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 Deeper Penetration

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Number of posts : 761
Registration date : 2007-04-26

PostSubject: Deeper Penetration   Mon 19 Aug - 9:51:39

Deeper Penetration

We rested after our exertions. I needed to recover spells, but Rascal Roscoe, feeling his old self took to a little scouting in the connecting chamber discovering a room with a throne like chair and two walls screened by heavy drapes. Saladin decided to take a sledgehammer to crack a nut, or in his case a pick to crack a throne and he smashed several chunks off it, actually destroying one of the gems studding it.

Wily old Barakor dismissed the gems as fakes after some quick monocular study, but I jemmied a few off – you never know when a girl might need a few shiny trinkets to impress some yokels.

We restored our spells and moved off down a stairwell that we had found concealed behind the western curtains, passing warily under a raised portcullis. Holly was having a daring day and led us to the door at the base of the stairs and we entered a bed chamber where a striking tall red headed Amazon with a two handed sword met us.

Behind her and already scuttling for the exit, a face we recognised; Trinner, or was it Devro? Our old friend and nemesis. Unbelievably it was Roscoe who pursued him – was he possessed? We surrounded the redhead who missed Holly with her fearsome two handed sword before Eldras with a couple of well placed blows made her think better of fighting on and she threw down her sword and surrendered.

Saladin meanwhile had remained upstairs for reasons that remain obscure. He claimed later that he had been searching the eleven bodies that we had sat with resting for four hours earlier, so why he waited all that time is a mystery to me. He said that he was looking for any signs of cult membership- tattoos and such, so presumably he was busy getting the corpses naked whilst we were fighting for our lives. Hmm… you hear some funny things about customs out east.

Where was Trinner all this time? Legging it through the exit up another flight of stairs, dropping a portcullis behind him. Even more unbelievably, Roscoe flung himself forward under the portcullis as it dropped to continue his pursuit, rolling to his feet on the other side and flinging a dagger at the back of our old friend. Sadly he missed.

His little legs couldn’t keep up and Trinner dropped another portcullis at the top of the stairs and disappeared out of sight. As we searched the room and interrogated our prisoner Saladin arrived, slightly out of breath to see what was going on. I noticed Eldras palming half a dozen gems he found in a mounted bears head and Saladin took a fancy to the room’s leopard skin rug, wrapping it around himself.

I talked to the prisoner whose name was Prenell. She wasn’t the sharpest tool in the box but her muscles made up for it. She referred to Trinner as Merichus and I got the impression that she and he more than good friends although she was clearly frightened of him. The main points I picked up:

• Trinner was an associate of Taamus, the name we had heard in the village.
• His name is Merichus (Possibly?)
• Taamus has ‘powers’ and more men deeper in the dungeon
• They had been visiting here on and off for several years having killed the bandits’ previous leader Vaylor
• The amulet she wore around her neck was the key to a prisoner’s bonds
• She described the prisoner as a creature that I recognised as an Umber Hulk, a powerful tunnelling machine that enjoys eating humans
• She said that the prisoner was needed for Merichus’ quest
• She does not know what his quest is, only that it’s been going on for all the years she has known him
• He had only recently returned with the prisoner
• She did not know about what lay beyond her chamber
• But she did mention that there was a trap behind the throne in the previous room that somehow connected with the corridor where Trinner/ Merichus/ Devro had fled.
• Could she go now please?

We debated hotly what to do with our new guest, Holly adamantly restraining her to prevent her leaving which seemed to be favoured by our dwarf who had healed her Eldras inflicted wounds. Not unreasonably there was a school of thought that she would find a way to warn her former comrades if we did this.

Saladin, having first tried to murder the defenceless prisoner (although as usual he claimed his crossbow went off accidentally), now hired her with a little haggling and handed back her sword and some of her armour. I couldn’t help wondering if he would have hung back to ‘search her body’ had he killed her, but hey, maybe I just have a suspicious nature.

Roscoe had returned raising the portcullis using the controls on his side just as Barakor was psyching himself up to lift it. We reached the T junction. Prenell now partially re armoured indicated that to the right lay the trap she had mentioned and we followed Trinner’s path east instead. We reached a junction quickly and Prenell indicated that the prisoner lay to the right. Sure enough in the chamber to the right we espied an umber hulk, motionless in a shimmering stasis field of some sort.

The room had once been a tomb but was long since looted and now seemed to function as a storeroom with a number of barrels containing ale, wine, bread and meat. We had been debating whether to release the creature, a number of possible outcomes being postulated:

1. The Hulk would be eternally grateful to us and serve as our slave for ever more acting as our heavy assault weapon whenever required.

2. The hulk would be grateful for several seconds before enjoying an eight course lunch consisting of us.

3. Something in between.

Saladin and others had already been confused by the hulk’s befuddling stare but those of us with wit remaining were now surprised by the Hulk which joined the debate. Unsurprisingly perhaps, the hulk was firmly of the belief that option 1 would be the outcome if we freed him. We also learned:

• That its name was Vebulus
• That it didn’t know why it was imprisoned, but that it was needed for a specific task
• That it didn’t like Prenell
• That it had been made to do some tunnelling already
• That it was anxious to be our friends and definitely wouldn’t hurt anyone we didn’t want hurting, maybe even not Prenell

We were our usual decisive selves even rolling dice at one point to decide. Barakor was of the ‘free him’ camp and eventually with most of the party already moving on the search further he used the amulet to release the Hulk. As some of us had feared, its first thought turned out to be food and we left it polishing off the contents of the meat barrel without waiting to see if that sated its appetite completely.

We found a suspended skeleton in the next room with a set of heavy doors which needed the efforts of several of us to push open. Nothing to report there except Eldras returned some gems to me that I had dropped. Hmmm. We next encountered a series of lifts. Chambers with metal plates which when weighted down lowered the room and when lightened raised it. Some rooms had weights already placed on the control plates but we found that our body weight did just as well.

The first room had a false wall which we broke down to reveal an exit which we could connect with only when the room was at its maximum height, i.e. we had removed the control stones. The next room descended and we quickly found the exit, but whilst some of the party scouted ahead, we got a bit cocky and descended further only for the floor to heat up, scalding the six of us who had remained aboard.

Eldras meanwhile setup a grappling hook and rope to scale the next chamber, which was a similar lift shaft missing its lift. We scaled the chamber with only the somewhat clumsy Prenell falling and injuring herself. Finally with the ascent complete, Eldras returned and retrieved the rope, swinging across heroically, his only regret that a chandelier was unavailable for added romantic effect.

In what turned out to be the final such chamber, I luckily discovered a secret exit before we even had to try the elevator system. I wonder what would have happened if we had? A corridor beyond led to a door which bore an inscription proclaiming it to be Grakt’s tomb and treasure chamber.

Entering we found another looted tomb and the presumed spectre of King Grakt judging by the crown it wore. After some futile turning attempts by our clerics some magic weapons bit home and my own magic missiles finished it. Holly had again been the target but only suffered a slight wound from her royal opponent.

We headed south and found a chamber containing four columns between which an invisible force field hummed. Barakor advised that his find traps spell was showing that something would trigger if touched and sure enough when Saladin marched in a magic mouth was triggered. The message said that the force field would yield to the ‘servants of Loki,’ a phrase that caused much debate.

The prize would be the ‘spiders horde’, which no doubt referred to the dais protected by the columns which had a spider motif. Even Eldras, a devotee of the mischief god was stumped but eventually Barakor correctly deduced/ guessed/ fluked that the clue meant fire, and sure enough the force field were negated by the touch of flame.

The treasure revealed was a potion of levitation that raised us 18’’ above the ground and enabled us to manoeuvre normally as if walking at that level. There was just enough for all of us, and another magic mouth helpfully indicated that we would die unless we flew. Beyond, the corridor continued and Barakor’s find traps went mad as we floated over as many as ten traps without triggering them, the corridor ever widening.

Some questions that occur to me only now: If Trinner came this way, how did he negotiate the lift system alone? How did he open those heavy doors? Why was the amulet and stasis field where it was? Why do we even trust Saladin? Why would Prenell trust him?  Why do we trust her? Is Roscoe perhaps a schizophrenic? Isn’t Barakor a bit of a goody two shoes? How did Eldras really get hold of my fake gems? Where is that umber hulk now and is it going to come back and bite us?* Is Barakor too clever for his own good? Are we up to tackling an opponent who can capture an umber hulk?

*Until we are dead.

Characterisation and Roleplay 30
Interrogation of Prenell 150
Attempts at Precognition 10
Interrogation of Vebulus 50
Removing false gems intelligently 20
Discovering secret door room 16 50
Spectre room 17 100
Capture of Prenell 30

Total 440

Characterisation and Roleplay 20
Capture of Prenell 75
Discovery of gems room 7 50
Room 14 climbing operation 20
Pick pocketing Kravaine 20
Spectre room 17 100

Total 285

Characterisation and Roleplay 40
Allerzoi research 50
Healing 50
Use of Find Traps room 19 50
Protecting Prenell 10
Figuring out Lift operation 40
Discovering false wall room12 10
Spectre room 17 100
Decoding the Loki clue 200
Capture of Prenell 30
Identifying gems as fake 10

Total 590

Leading the approach to room 7 25
Preventing Prenell’s release 50
Characterisation & Roleplay 40
Spectre room 17 100
Capture of Prenell 30

Total 245

Characterisation and Roleplay 40
Mapping 10
Checking for cult markings on bodies 10
Spectre room 17 100
Taking Leopardskin 35

Total 195

Scouting room 6 & the throne 20
Heroically Pursuing Trinner 50
Characterisation & Roleplay 10
Spectre room 17 100

Total 180

Healing 50
Spectre room 17 100
Capture of Prenell 30

Total 180

Name Class 2nd Class B/F Cumulative Target Current Level
Kravaine MU*
484 5259 5743 10000
(4) 3
Eldras T*
314 3891 4205 5000
(4) 3
Barakor F*
325 C*
325 5424/
5424 5749/
5749 8000/
(4/4) 3/3
Holly M
245 5470 5715 10000
(4) 3
Saladin F*
215 5660 5875 8000
(4) 3
Roscoe T*
198 5867 6065 10000
(5) 4
Zionestes C*
198 4832 5030 6000
(4) 3
*EP Bonus applied


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