Friday, January 15, 2016

Into The Antechamber of Hell

This first session of Stonehell was played on 1/8. We are using the Rules Cyclopedia rules set (mostly).

Tink, a pretentious Elf (but I repeat myself) and former barkeep (Hanna)
Jorgen, a recovering alcoholic Dwarf 1 (Julia)
-Guard Dog
Shelly, A vegetarian recovering alcoholic halfling Thief 1 (Nadia)

After arriving at the Keep-Town of Arnson, the three fair folk finish supplying themselves with what they think they'll need to delve into the former prison. While getting ready to head out, they encounter Buckman One-Eye and his map scraps of dubious quality. Tink purchases one scrap with some indecipherable writing on it. They also debate the value of picking up some hirelings. Eventually they decide that they can handle this initial foray into the dungeon on their own, and head out.

At the entrance to the box canyon, they come to the old gatehouse and the ruined wall. A quick look at the gatehouse shows it to be covered in graffiti, which they spend some time reading. Tink finds a small map scratched into the wall, with a note "We Left It Here". She copies it down and then they skirt along the outside of the gatehouse and into the canyon itself. They're greeted by a rather pastoral scene. Grass and bushes, a small waterfall and pool in the distance, as well as a herd of deer drinking at the pool. Small cave openings dot the canyon walls. The caves are all ignored, but they do stop at the pool to refill their waterskins. Finding the temperature abnormally warm for a mountain stream, Shelly dives in to check it out, and finds a small crystal sphere embedded in the center of the pond, but she's unable to do anything to it with her dagger.

Map Scraps

The front door of Stonehell is within a small chamber at the very end of the canyon. Within the chamber are names scratched on the walls, adventurers who'd previously dared enter it's depths, and a stone stairway going down... They take a moment to scratch their own names on the wall before beginning the long walk into the dark.

Descending about 100 feet the stairs emerged into a large chamber with 5 doorways. Picking the wall with a single door, they found a ruined kitchen. Beyond that was a trashed feast hall, and then a room that had been completely burned, obfuscating whatever it's most recent use had been. Following through the only other door, they found themselves back in the entry hall, completely turned around and confused. Vowing to buy some paper to map their route, they decided to explore a little more first.

Picking another door, they entered a room full of debris, and a rusty iron gate blocking the only other exit. They poked about the trash, looking for anything interesting, when a swirling wind began to blow the debris about, and a booming voice called out "Fools! Flee before your bones rest here evermore!! Hahahaha!!!" As the echo of the laugh faded, the wind dropped, and all returned to stillness.

Everyone held still in the sudden silence. Eventually, everyone breathed a sigh of relief, and got back to dungeoneering. Jorgen forced the gate open, and the party found a room with a large stone wheel set into vertically edge on into the wall. It was marked with symbols, and a pointer. Each took a turn spinning it, Shelly first, who felt more experienced for having done so. Tink got a chunk of amber, and Jorgen's treasure was doubled (a whole 5gp).

Moving back down the other way, they came to a room with a dry fountain. Shelly checked it out while Tink and Jorgen kept watch. The poking about triggered something, and with a loud HISSSS a green vapor poured from the fountain. Shelly and Jorgen began coughing immediately, while the dog fled the room. Tink thought she smelled eggs, but was otherwise unaffected and unconcerned... until Shelly and Jorgen began coughing up blood. She shepherded them back to the room with the wheel of fortune where they spent a restless time trying to get some sleep. At some point in the middle of the 'night' they heard voices on the far side of the door, but after a time, they went away.

After their rest, the party decided they needed to head back, heal up some more, get some paper for mapping, and maybe bring a cleric back with them, or at least get some healing potions... But the way was blocked by 4 pig faced humanoids! Rather than fight, everyone opted to talk. The orcs wanted the dwarf. Tink offered her braid. The orcs wanted the braid and the dwarf. Tink countered with her braid and the dwarf's beard.  The orcs agreed. Jorgen began to object, but Tink's dagger had sliced off the length of the beard and her own braid and tossed it to the orcs before Jorgen could get a word out. The orcs laughed and snorted in their own language, and stepped aside.

The party made it back to the surface and to town without further incident.

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