Saturday, October 6, 2018

Stonehell: Getting Lost

Session 79 was played on 9/23

Koltic, Cleric 3 (Chris)
Orpheus, Human Fighter 6 (Henchman)

Koltic awoke bleary eyed an unfamiliar doorway. Darryl’s boot was unforgivingly harsh, and his voice piercingly loud. “The goddess’s blessing is also a curse you bloody fool! WAKE UP!”

A short time later, over a bowl of porridge and a pint of small beer. Darryl filled Koltic in on what had happened. “And to make matters worse, that damned stick-in-the-mud seven-pointed-dwarf cleric Kili is back from his retreat… and Eiric seems to trust him more than she trusts me. Me! Who was there when the heartless repeatedly threatened? Was it Kili? Nooo… It was me. ME!” Darryl slammed his mug down on the table. Here’s what you’re going to do. I can’t stand the runty holier-than-thou number-worshiper, but I want you to keep an I on him. Go back into the dungeon with Orpheus. He’s shopping right now for more supplies. They’re planning on spending the week in there, gods preserve them… Find him, and get down there! Prove that a number is no real god!”

Koltic took this overly-loud lecture to heart, and decided that he needed to do some shopping himself. He stopped by the orphanage, taking inventory of his goods, and collected the goblin Grishnaz, who had been taking in by the orphans as a playmate, much to the nuns’ distaste.

“Be sure to tell the Lady Eiric that we’re looking forward to seeing her take up residence in her new estate… With her entire entourage.” The mother superior’s smile was… disconcerting.

The first thing Koltic needed was a few meatshields. The tracker Elwyn signed on as a woman at arms, and Caldwell the gravedigger signed on as a torchbearer. A few extra bits of armor and equipment are purchased. Finding Orpheus (who is quick to offload some of the supplies to the hired hands), they head to the dungeon. On the way, they discuss their lives, and Orpheus tells Koltic about the job offer, and how he’s thinking about retiring after the business with KaNefar is finished. Koltic shares his life's motto “All major decisions require a night of heavy drinking before being decided. And one after.”

Awaiting them at the bottom of the stairs was Esmalia. “Eiric sent me to tell you they had to move from the elevator, and that you can meet them down in the robing room before the maze down on the third level.” She doesn’t know why they moved, and doesn’t seem to care.

Grishnaz wants to go visit his clan, but Orpheus wants to get back to Eiric. He gives in since the caves are just right there. The goblins excitedly swarm the party, expressing how impressed they are with Grishnaz’ new armor. Pressing them deep into the caves to the watery chamber of Zunbar, the old troll grabs Koltic and draws him near. “We will all perish under the Black Sun if you don’t fix this.” The monster’s black eyes look deep into Koltic’s eyes holding the look for an uncomfortable time before releasing him. Orpheus sighs deeply, relaxing his grip on the hilt of his sword. The goblins wave them out of the caves and send the party on their way.

Down and around they go passing by the well known landmarks, down into the Asylum. Avoiding the corner of left shoes, Orpheus forgets the spear trap, and again breaks it after triggering it. His cry of pain startled… a group of something, which ran away before the party could catch sight of it.

Taking the stairs down to the Dorm, Orpheus looks around at the hallway… and can’t remember how to get to the maze from here. Picking a direction they come to the Oliphant room, and Orpheus warns Koltic about it. Taking hallways at random, Koltic manages to trigger a dart trap which hits both him and Grishnaz. Then pass through an unnaturally cold spot that sends shivers down everyone’s back. Orpheus remembers that, but still can’t figure out how to get to the robing room.

Passing by the boulder that blocks the wererat den, they continue on reaching a section of hallway that gets warmer and more humid, smelling of earthy rot and flowers. Spying the weirdly lit hall, Orpheus is pretty sure this isn’t the way, so they backtrack, and take the next passage. It opens into a hexagonal room where half a dozen gnolls are bundling large leaves and other plants. They bark at the party, and 2 grab bows and open fire, hitting Orpheus in the shoulder (a crit!). 2 grab their axes and charge. Koltic and Grishnaz injure one, while Orpheus chops his in half, sending the torso tumbling toward her mates. The 2 that weren’t engaged charge in, and one cracks Orpheus’ armor with his blade (Another critical!) and then slams the flat of the ax into his helmet (THIRD critical hit!) Koltic calls for a retreat!

Running, they round the corner back toward the weirdly lit plant corridor. Koltic heals Orpheus’ wounds (a little), and they continue down the hall onto the spongy loam, coming quickly to an intersection choked with plant life. To one side was a pile of broken wood and some chain half covered in plantlife, and to the other stairs going down into the dark. Wanting to be away from the gnolls, they head down…

At the bottom of the stairs they hear several large things coming toward them. Giant beetles being ridden by kobolds! They’re snarky about “cowardly sniveling Sniv” and fairly insulting to the party. They push past, heading back up to level 3. Taking a peek at the cavern at the bottom of the stairs, they remember that they’re supposed to meet the party on level 3. They head back up. Back at the boulder, they take the side passage, pick a hall at random, and end up in another set of rooms that Orpheus doesn’t recognize. Backtracking again, they find themselves at an intersection near the elevator. The button to summon the elevator is lit! With a shrug, Koltic presses it. Rather than the rumble of the machinery, there’s a distant bell that rings.

Kills: 2 Gnolls

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