Friday, September 8, 2017

Stonehell: That Burning(prior) Sensation

Session 45 was played on 8/22

Eiric, wizard 5 (Kat)
- torch bearers (Gar)
- men at arms (E, Ulrich, Limdal)
- Naideen(dog)
A-A-Ron, Thief 5 (Henchman)
Orpheus, Human Fighter 5 (Henchman)
Brie, Human Wizard 1 (NPC Apprentice)
Karl, Dwarf 4 (Julia)
- Hobart (dog)
- men at arms (Kanye, Stable Boy)
- Linkmen (Mongo)
Daryll (NPC Cleric 6)

Events: Eclipse (Demon released/summoned in the dungeon) & Earthquake (structural instability, collapsed tunnel/hall/stairs)

When the sun was blotted out of the sky and the ground shook, there was panic in the streets. Some wailed, some flagellated themselves, and some went insane and lashed out violently.

In the basement of the orphanage however, there was little concern as the party planned for their next excursion. Boxes of rags, rolls of paper towels, and bottles of cleaners of all different types were put back on the shelves once the shaking stopped.

“Yolanda kept a nice suite of rooms at the Scroll and Arrow” Brie told Ulrich while looking at the unfinished stone walls and floor. She’d have whispered, but the sound of children being served lunch thundered above while dust continued to float down. “Aye” the dwarf agreed. “This is some miserable accommodations. And I like being underground.”

Not long after, they set out down the old king’s road, through the box canyon, and into the dungeon. Circling around, they worked their way down to the Asylum, and then into the great hall of the area without doors. A pair of giant black beetles were digging around in the rubble at the far end of the room. Flaming arrows made short work of one, and the other fled out the southern doorway.

Looking over the map, Karl and Eiric bickered about whether to deal with the hobgoblin occupying army, or go check out the burning priest. Mostly due to the fact that Eiric had the larger share of the party on her side, they went south, following the beetle, aiming to visit the burning priest.

In the room with the moldy skeletons and the burn marks from the green slime, they discovered some new construction. Stout iron bars had been installed in the doorway, blocking their path. Through the bars they could see an iron bar gate blocking the doorway to the silvery fountain.

“We definitely need to deal with the hobgoblins” Karl warned. “And soon, before they solidify their hold even more.”

Eiric wasn’t convinced that today was that day, so they went around the long way. Down the long corridor, past all the meditation cells, they came to the room with the partly dug up floor, and a papery nest of giant bees! “Didn’t we Power Thirst this already?” Peeking in, they could see the burn marks on the ceiling. The could also see angry giant bees, each about 2’ long, crawling out and flying toward the party in the hallway! (Cue Steve Irwin “They’re Angry!”)

The stingers were vicious, digging deeper every round, but the party managed to slay all the bugs without actually losing anyone. . The paper caught fire quickly, and black smoke and the smell of burning honey filled the air.

Back in the hallway with the iron gate, Karl decides to see what he can see. As he approaches, a red face peeks through the bars, and sneers “It’s them” and backs up. Karl launches a rock from his sling, but it bounces harmlessly. Shaking up a can of PowerThirst, he snags a torch and rushes over to the gate. He pops the lid, and sprays. Unfortunately the power of Power Thirst doesn’t spray far enough across the room, and misses the hobgoblin watch that stood ready with their crossbows. Karl retreated with a little loss to his dignity, and a couple of nicks from their shots.

Moving on, the party makes it down to the destroyed chapel. Fire and Brimstone, death, damnation, and the lash of the Lady of Pain came spewing from the fiery prior’s skeletal lips. The light of his green and red flames kept the destroyed chamber lit. Taking a side passage out of the room, the party explored a storage room, prayer chamber, and bunk room, finding little of interest but an iron gong, that Karl barreled through everyone to bang. While satisfying, it didn’t draw the attention of anyone else in the dungeon.

At least, not that came to investigate…

Sneaking back around, they again avoid the prior, whose preaching had turned to the sins of trespassing and violating sacred places. Down the opposite hall, they find another storage room, prayer room with a gong, and an old dusty study. Karl again ran in and banged the gong, causing the roof of the room to collapse on him. It took over an hour to dig the room, and Karl, out. He alternated between swearing and saying “worth it” the whole time.

In the opposite room, the only item of note was an iron bound alms box bolted to the wall. A-A-Ron warned that there was a pressure trigger on it, but couldn’t tell what it was hooked up to. Karl hefted his pick ax, and motioned everyone else out of the room. While the first swing missed the box completely, the second sent coins flying everywhere! It also sent large darts flying all over the room, only one of which managed to scratch Karl.

The coins were collected, they checked out the study, and found a secret passage! The once opulent bedroom had largely fallen to rot, but an armoire stood gleaming and dust free. Etched brass decorations depicting the Lady of Pain, whips, and suffering souls covered the teak wood. A-A-Ron picked up the smell of ozone, and tried to bribe the elf to open it with an offer of 5gp. The elf just looked mockingly back at him. The torch bearer jumped in and offered to do it. Pocketing the gold he reached out, yanked the door, felt a shock, and jumped back. Aside from a slight burn, and the fact that his hair all stood on end, he was okay. Within were 3 scrolls and 4 potions!

Heading back to the chapel, they searched among the broken benches, prayer books, and other debris, but found nothing. The flaming prior scolded them on the sins of wanton destruction and theft, and warned them not to interfere with those on divine quests. Karl threw a rock at him, which bounced harmlessly off if the prior. Without breaking the stream of consciousness monologue he flipped Karl off. Eiric cast Magic Missile at him. Holding onto the train of his sermon, he flicked back a small ball of fire back at her. In reply she hit him with a lightning bolt! The pulpit shattered, wood splinters flying everywhere while the prior was slammed back against the far wall. He lay curled up on the floor as the party cautiously approached.

He was sobbing. “Only 2 years, 3 months, and 13 days… I was so close… 97 years wasted!!” Karl hefted his ax, but Darryl held him off, and cast Remove Curse on the suffering soul. The fire wreathing his body flickered, and then went out. A silent moment later, it crumbled to ashy dust.

Deciding they’d had enough for the day, the party headed back toward the Asylum, passing some kobolds carrying skins full of water along the way. They nodded politely. “Where are you headed?” Eiric asked.

“Back to the Korners.”

“Wait, you can get to the Korners that way” she asked. “The Hobgoblins let you through?”

“Sure. They come to the Korners too.”

“Can you get us through?”

The Kobold looked worried “Don’t know, would really not want to try.”

Eiric understood, and the party continued out of the dungeon.

Gains: 600gp in assorted coinage, Potion of Healing x2, Potion of Extra Healing, Clerical scrolls of Ennui, What Was Your Doom, and Muttering Wounds
Kills: 19 giant bees, Burning Prior, Oil Beetle,

Revised House Rules:
Leveled NPCs only get 50% XP, but full treasure share
Carousing must be done with a die that allows for the possibility of rolling over your level

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