Session 10: Caverns of Calamity Part III

Cavern RoperNew

(Note: This adventure was run in February 2017.  In terms of campaign time, this adventure took place immediately after Session 9: Caverns of Calamity Part II).

Before heading down the chasm to explore whatever lurked below and to find the goblinoid creatures that had been taunting them, Xrax decided to relieve Velnius of his guard duties, watching over the horses and former captives.  Bao decided to accompany Xrax outside the caverns.  Velnius and Xerbo rejoined their companions in the caverns.  The party tied a rope to the remnants of the bridge that spanned the chasm, having climbed back over to the northern corridor.  The descent appeared to be about 40 feet down and all that could be discerned was the same rough stone as the current floors.

Once the party had descended to the lower caverns they immediately set about scouting the passageways east, west, and north.  No creatures were evident in the passageways to the east and north, although a rockfall appeared to block one very narrow corridor.  The cavern to the west held a significant stalagmite and stalactite wall that blocked the back end of the room.  Clicking noises could be heard from beyond the stalagmite wall.  Kulo and Velnius looked at each other and silently nodded to each other indicating their preparedness for what lurked behind the wall.  As they entered the room, one of the goblinoid creatures suddenly appeared out of thin air in the corridor outside of the room.  A glowing, magical hand appeared that pulled at a cleft in the ceiling causing a cave-in to block the passageway that Kulo, Velnius, and Xerbo had just entered, trapping them in the room.  The aberrant goblin seemed to laugh as he watched the ceiling crumble.  As the cave-in collapsed behind them, the clicking noise grew louder as a four-legged creature with probing antennae came towards them from around the stalagmite wall.

Rust MonsterNew

Jana quickly laid waste to the goblinoid that had just become visible.  At the same time, Tanin rushed over to the cave-in and began moving rocks to open up the passageway.  Belladore placed her torch down the eastern branching corridor to keep watch for other creatures heading their way given the noise of the cave-in.  She also lit a new torch and placed it in the northern corridor.  To her horror, she saw moving sluggishly in her direction what appeared to be a wall of gelatinous slime!

Meanwhile Velnius, Xerbo, and Kulo were trapped with a creature that seemed to be attracted to the metal on their bodies.  With no torches or other sources of light, Kulo was essentially blind in this room.  Velnius was able to see with darkvision and directed Kulo away from the creature to the back wall of the room.  He then engaged the creature in melee combat.  Xerbo, his trusted animal companion, stayed by his side and also lunged for the ferrous-eating monster.

As Jana and Tanin continued to clear rocks, all the while nervously looking over their shoulders at the gelatinous cube slowly lurching towards them, Belladore took off down the eastern corridor.  She picked up the burning torch she had placed on the floor. The corridor reached a bend to the north with a very narrow corridor blocked by rubble branching off to the south.  Belladore followed the corridor north.  The corridor gained elevation practically every 5 feet, almost like a series of steps.  Belladore noticed the passageway was remarkably clean and smooth as if the floor had been essentially scraped clean.

The corridor doubled back west and then south.  Belladore found herself on the other side of the gelatinous cube.  It had engulfed the other torch left on the floor, plunging Jana and Tanin in darkness.  Tanin could still see, but Jana now only had the faint glow of Belladore’s torch from the other side of the gelatinous cube.  The glow only added to it’s eerie presence since it illuminated the cube revealing the decomposing remains of a goblin within.  The cube lurched again towards them.  Jana and Tanin picked up their pace in helping to clear the rocks.  Belladore’s movement towards the gelatinous cube appeared to be sensed by the ooze.  It changed course and now slithered in her direction!

Belladore threw a dagger into the cube’s membrane and then took off down the corridor north and then east.  The cube followed in her direction.  Back in the trapped cavern, Velnius and Xerbo had wounded the rust monster, but it’s hungry tentacles had damaged Xerbo’s barding and Velnius’s sword.  Not wanting to take the time to rummage through his pack to grab and light a torch, Kulo took a blind shot with his crossbow at the rust-eating beast.

Between Kulo’s haphazard crossbow shots and Velnius and Xerbo’s melee attacks, the rust monster was killed.  Kulo and Velnius scrambled to their side of the cave-in and began tossing rocks out of the way.

Belladore circled back to the cave-in and saw that Jana and Tanin had opened up enough of a gap for Velnius, Xerbo, and Kulo to crawl through.  The light of her torch revealed that the gelatinous cube and changed its direction and now was heading back down the northern corridor.  The party unloaded ranged attacks as the ooze slowly glided towards them.

As the party continued launching arrows and bolts into the ooze, Belladore decided to go explore the narrow opening to the south.  It wasn’t hard to move the rocks that blocked the path.  Looking down the corridor, she could see that the corridor opened to a larger room about 30 feet away.  Twenty feet in front of her sat a stalagmite.  Belladore proceeded to explore the corridor and room, but as she reached the stalagmite, it appeared to awaken before her eyes.  To her horror, a single eye blinked open and looked at her.  A sticky tendril emerged from the awful monster and grabbed hold of her.  The monster’s slavering mouth gaped open ready for the sweet treat of halfling meat.

BelladoreExplore2

The party heard Belladore’s cry as she was snagged by the roper.  Gritting their teeth they let fly a number of arrows and bolts into the cube, which had moved to within 15 feet of them.  Kulo broke off from the group and ran down the corridor towards Belladore.  Tanin, Velnius, and Jana unleashed a final volley of missiles at the ooze.  The final bolt punctured its membrane and the gelatinous cube lost its cohesion, oozing in every direction into a sickly gelatinous mess that covered the floor and the lower part of the walls on either side.

Kulo reached the tight corridor where Belladore left her torch.  Looking beyond the pile of rocks around the entranceway he saw, with horror, Belladore in the grip of one of the living stalagmite’s rope-like tendrils.  Kulo launched a bolt into the monster’s slavering maw.  The hit seemed to distract the creature and Belladore, despite her slight strength, managed to peel herself away from the grasping tendril.  She ran fleeing past Kulo.

The roper shot out a tendril that encircled Kulo and reeled him in to its ghastly mouth, the many incisors looked as if its bite would stab a hundred daggers into the flesh of its unfortunate victim.  Kulo was helpless.  The tendril pulled him into the gaping maw.  Belladore watched, her eyes transfixed on the grisly scene as the rows of sharp teeth rent Kulo’s torso.  Fortunately for Kulo he immediately lost consciousness.

Tanin made it down to the narrow corridor in time to watch Kulo bitten almost in half!  Tanin cast healing word on Kulo, reviving him to witness the horror of his situation.  Velnius and Jana both made their way to the corridor and unleashed crossbow and bow shots, respectively, into the awful monstrosity.  Xerbo and Belladore moved up to engage the cave roper.  Before Kulo had time to even consider his options and as the searing pain pierced his recent consciousness, the dagger-like teeth chomped down again ending his screams of terror.  Kulo fell unconscious again.  Tendrils shot out against the party.  Most avoided its clutches, but Velnius was pulled forward towards the roper.  He dropped his crossbow and unsheathed his short sword.

Jana dropped her bow and grabbing her glaive she had propped against the cave wall charged at the monster.  Once again Tanin cast healing word on Kulo bringing him back from the brink of death.  Belladore stabbed at the roper and Xerbo sunk his teeth into its rocky hide, twisting and tearing at the monster.  Jana’s glaive cut through the tendril holding Kulo, dropping him to the ground.  Tanin moved up and engaged the roper with his scimitar, the Blade of Dark Deeds.  At this moment a number of the corrupted goblinoid creatures appeared from deeper in the cavern opening behind the roper.  They started chucking heavy rocks at the party.

Tendrils shot out again, one enveloping Tanin and another grabbing one of the goblinoids.  Blows rained down on the slavering monster from all in the party finally killing it!

The goblinoids seemed distraught at the death of the roper, but fought on with hurled rocks and sharp claws.  But they were no match for the party.  One by one they fell to the blade.

Around the bend, Tanin, Belladore, and Velnius found a strange site.  On top of a large rock in the center of the room, rested a single bone.  From the patterns of dirt and dust on the floor, it appeared as if the goblinoids had regularly sat or kneeled in regular placements around the stone as if in worship to this bone.  On closer inspection, Tanin found the bone to be a single vertebra from some type of humanoid.  Picking it up, he could tell immediately it was suffused with magical energy.  Once attuned, Tanin would learn the vertebra granted the possessor of the bone the ability to cast invisibility once per day.

Magic Vertebra

Belladore and Velnius advanced to 4th level.


(Full Disclosure: Some of the following links will take you to drivethrurpg.com where I participate in the affiliate program.  Any purchases through these links provides me with a credit at One Book Shelf sites (DriveThruRPG, RPGNow, DMsGuild, etc.).  Your support is appreciated.)

Cavern Tiles: Fat Dragon Caverns 1 and Fat Dragon Caverns 2

Gelatinous Cube Paper Miniature: Fat Dragon E-Z Dungeons: Expansion 11

Stalagmites: Fat Dragon Mines of the Mountain King

Rust Monster: Mayhem in Paper/One Monk Dungeon Monsters

Cave Roper: Printable Heroes

Original Art of Vertebra: Jody Monochrome

 

 

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Session 9: Caverns of Calamity Part II

Caverns Full

(This adventure was run in January 2017.  In terms of campaign time, this adventure continues immediately after Session 8: Caverns of Calamity Part I).

Having completed their mission for coming to these dastardly caverns, the party was now free to finish exploring what else lurked within these dark bends and twists.  Jana’s regular intense bearing seemed to dissolve into a calmer repose, yet no one in the party would doubt her lethality, especially with her giant glaive.  Tanin asked her what she would do now that Dragomir was dead.  She said for the time being she would be willing to follow wherever the party led.

Turning back from whence they came, the party now realized they had a group of rescued prisoners they needed to take care of.  Asking what they knew of the caverns, the prisoners said they only knew of the spurs of the cavern system that the party had already explored.  They only saw goblins and hobgoblins from the time they were captured until their recent release.  Velnius agreed to escort the prisoners back to the cave entrance and guard them near the horses until the party had finished exploring the caverns.  One of the prisoners, Knack, asked to join the party in exploring the rest of the caverns.  He explained to the party that he was a wizard and could help assist the party in facing any dangers further throughout the caverns.

The party headed back towards the central cavern that branched towards all four cardinal directions after Velnius had escorted the former prisoners away.  The party decided to drag the cage behind them to block their rear in case any foul beasts were planning on flanking them.  The cage ended up getting lodged as the corridor narrowed.

As the party reached the central cavern, a group of eight goblins attempted to surprise the party with an ambush.  Unleashing arrows on the party, archers took up areas of cover behind walls where corridors branched from the main room.  Beefier goblins armed with spears moved up to engage the party in melee.  As the battle raged, a goblin shaman appeared from behind a wall and murmured something in an arcane tongue as he lit something he was holding in his hand with a taper.  Instantly, Xrax’s plate mail turned red hot and he cooked within.

The party hacked at the goblins, reducing their number.  Xrax continued to bash heads with his maul despite the scorching pain he was enduring.  Kulo moved up to get a shot on the shaman who was still hiding behind the corridor wall.  He successfully hit the shaman causing him to lose concentration on the spell and giving Xrax some relief from the burning he endured.  Two goblin archers seeing the tide of the battle had turned bolted for the corridor leading out of the caverns.  The party decided not to pursue, instead focusing on the shaman who had now retreated to his lair.  As the party entered the cavern room, four giant rats, companions of the shaman, attacked.  The shaman unleashed a thunderous clap against the party members who were mostly in a straight line from the shaman.  But despite the mixed success of the spell, the party skewered the shaman and put the giant rats to the sword.

After searching through the goblins’ moldy bedding for loot, the party returned to the central branching cavern.  As they emerged into the room, a small goblinoid-like creature suddenly appeared out of thin air, picked up a rock from the floor, and chucked it at the nearest party member.  It sailed harmlessly over the head of Kulo.  The goblinoid laughed and then turned and ran down the southern corridor.

The party followed in pursuit.  The goblinoid jumped into a void 15 feet down the corridor.  The party came to a stop at the chasm.  Looking down they could no longer see the creature.  The chasm dropped about 40 feet down and looked to be an irregular stone floor like the rest of the cavern system they were exploring.  The remnants of a bridge jutted out into the void about 5 feet.  A corridor branched to the west and a second corridor continued south.  A stalagmite rose from the floor at the opening of the corridor to the west.

The party decided to finish exploring this floor of the cavern system before going to the lower level to find the creature that had thrown the rock at them.  Belladore, having knowledge of horrid creatures that look like stalagmites but were not, suggested to Kulo to shoot the stalagmite with his crossbow before the party head down that corridor.  Kulo’s crossbow bolt struck true and ricocheted off the stalagmite down the corridor.  The party feeling confident that this rock mound was just a stalagmite, threw a grappling hook around it and climbed over to the corridor from the broken bridge.  Kulo decided to stay and guard the rope so that no goblinoid creatures emerged to cut their rope.

Edging down the corridor as it bent sharply to the north and around to the east, the passageway became choked with thick cobwebs.  Xrax taking the lead became stuck in the webs.  His attempts to free himself from the sticky strands attracted the attention of the webs’ spinner: a giant spider emerged from the dark recesses of the ceiling to partake of the squirming meal below.

The spider bit at the restrained Xrax.  Most of the party still was behind the bend of the corridor.  Knack relayed what had happened to Xrax and then moved up to engage the spider.  The spider turned its attention on Knack.  A bite to Knack’s shoulder allowed the spider’s venom to course through his veins.  Knack keeled over dead!  Xrax, meanwhile, had extricated himself from the sticky web and dealt some blows with his maul against the spider.  Tanin, Belladore, and Jana moved up to kill the giant arachnid.  Kulo abandoned his guard post at the stalagmite to offer his crossbow in assistance.  As the attacks mounted, the spider’s eventual demise was merely a matter of time.  Whether bludgeoning, slashing, or piercing made up the final stroke, the giant spider died.

The party examined Knack more closely, his body showing the virulence of the spider’s poison.  Knack’s face was frozen in a rictus of pain.  The party dragged his body to the entryway of this spur of the cavern system near the stalagmite.  Looking at the grappling hook and rope, Kulo shook his head in disgust at finding the rope severed near where it was tied to the grappling hook.  Those little goblinoid creatures sure were a pest, he thought.

Caverns Part IInew

A couple of the party members carried the lifeless body of Knack back out of the caverns to where Velnius was guarding the horses and looking after the former captives.  The faces of the former captives looked crestfallen as they saw the slain body of their friend.  One of the former captives stepped forward and asked to join the party in further exploration of the caverns.  His name was Bao, a monk from the orient.

The party decided to explore the southern corridor next.  Using a different rope, they fastened the grappling hook to it and managed to lodge the hook into metal remnants of  the former bridge over the chasm.

Climbing over to the southern corridor, the party with torches ablaze, cautiously explored the length of the corridor.  Not wanting to make the same mistake they did before, Kulo retrieved the grappling hook and rope.  They marched nearly 50 feet before seeing a depression in the corridor about 20 feet in front of them.  The corridor turned to the east at this point as well.  Not seeing anything in the lower depression, the party continued around the bend to the west.  The corridor continued around to the north but ended in a deep chasm.  The gulf opened up into the sky–the party looking up could see the blue sky of day but it was a steep ascent.  Across the chasm was a small outcropping of stone about 15 feet long with a stalagmite at its closest edge.  A glint of metal could be seen on the landing.

Xrax landed a grappling hook around the stalagmite and began to climb over to the landing when a group of spear-beaks descended from the opening in the ceiling and began to attempt to feed on the party.  Tanin used his sleep spell to great effect again.  Four of the stirges plummeted down the chasm in a magical slumber.  The remaining three were easily sliced and diced by the party.

As the battle with the spear-beaks was coming to a close, Belladore suddenly found herself being attacked by an ooze.  The ochre jelly had followed the party as they had made their way down this corridor, waiting to attack when one of the party members was largely isolated.  Belladore happened to be hanging back as the party fought the stirges.  She cried out as a pseudopod bashed her.  The party came to her assistance once the spear-beaks were mostly slayed.  While it was a long, hard fight the party prevailed.

Climbing over to the landing, Xrax found that the glint of metal came from the old, rusted armor of the remains of a dried husk of a goblin, a victim of the spear-beaks’ blood-sucking feast.  The goblin body had just a few coins of copper, otherwise everything else was worthless.

The party decided they could use a short rest to patch up their wounds and prepare themselves for the final leg of the caverns.  They retraced their steps back to the depression which would give themselves a good defensive position should any wondering monsters come down the corridor.  As they prepared to relax, green slime fell from the ceiling onto Jana.  Luckily the party was able to assist her in scraping it off, but it’s acidic touch damaged her breast plate so as to be unusable.


Terrain and Giant Spider Webs: Fat Dragon Games

Giant Spider: Printable Heroes

Crafted Torches: DM’s Craft

 

Session 8: Caverns of Calamity Part I

Caverns 1new

(Note: This adventure was run in January 2017.  In terms of campaign time, this adventure took place the day after Session 7: Drow Spider Caves).

Searching Tasha’s corpse after felling her in a dramatic chase outside the Drow spider caves, Belladore found an interesting book.  The book appeared to have information about many of the merchant-nobles and members of the different thieves’ guilds in Cyr.  After burying the doppelganger in the woods, the party made their way back to Edgewood.  Along the way, Belladore persuaded Erik, the woodsman, to foster the children, Tommen and Flower.  He was happy to take the kids in and teach them hunting and trapping skills.

Returning to the Axe and Saw Inn by the evening, Belladore, Xrax, and Velnius relayed their adventure to the bleary-eyed crew of Kulo, Jana, and Tanin.  Jana was still in high spirits despite the lingering effects of her hangover.  When Belladore mentioned the rescue of Tommen and Flower from the clutches of the goblinoids, Jana’s demeanor changed abruptly, becoming very serious and sober.  Jana asked if they found out who the goblins were working for.  Belladore told her what they had learned from the goblin captive.  When Belladore mentioned the name of Dragomir, the leader named by the goblin prisoner, Jana’s eyes widened and she slammed her fist hard against the table.  The impact was so loud that Kulo jumped at the sound.

Jana looked serious and implored the party to join her on her quest to find the goblin caverns she and her group had been looking for when they were ambushed by the orcs almost two weeks ago.  She told the party how she knew this Dragomir, a hobgoblin.  When she was a child, Jana’s village was raided by goblins.  Her family and most of the village adults were slayed.  The goblins decided not to kill her outright.  Instead, they threw her in a circle formed by the jeering crowd of their fellow goblins.  As they hooted and hollered, a rat master appeared on the side of the circle and opened a cage containing a giant rat.  Whispering some words of encouragement to the rat, the goblin released him towards the child, Jana.  She froze in fear as the rat scurried towards her.  She tried to run away but was pushed back by the crowd of goblins.  When she fell to the ground, the giant rat attacked, sinking its teeth into her arm.  The pain was intense.  In a blur of rage, Jana grabbed the giant rat and bit its neck, biting down as hard as she could until she tasted blood flowing down her chin.  She stood up and threw the dead rat at the feet of the rat master.  The crowd of goblins silenced, then the jeers and boos picked up and they signaled to the rat master.  He brought forth two giant rats this time as the goblins cheered.  This time Jana didn’t hesitate.  She grabbed the nearest rock and lunged at the just-released giant rats.  They squeaked in terror . . .

The goblins didn’t kill her.  The leader of the band, Dragomir, took her down south to the fighting pits of Yor.  There she became a gladiator.  She was sold to a slave master who brought her around the various arenas where she became a champion.  On one excursion to a distant arena, Jana killed her master and all his guards, using the one token Dragomir left her–a hobgoblin glaive that became her signature weapon in the fighting pits.  She now wanted more than anything to gain her vengeance for her family, people, and her own life against the hobgoblin bastard!

The party agreed to find the caverns and root out Dragomir.  After a night’s rest, the party departed south from Edgewood to the Hammer Fall Mountains.  The first day’s travel was uneventful, peaceful even.  Jana appeared grim the whole day, speaking little.  As they approached the mountains the second day, the party heard a magnificent cry from some large bird of prey overhead.  Crashing into Tanin’s horse a griffon attacked, lured by the succulent meat of his steed.  The force of the griffon’s assault threw Tanin from his horse.  The party reeled in their horses and set themselves for defensive positions against the griffon.  There was some talk among the party members–they were clearly reluctant to kill such a magnificent beast but the griffon attacked Tanin’s horse hungrily.  With a number of salvos, the party fended off the griffon.  Tanin’s horse bled freely from several deep wounds from the griffon’s talons.  As the griffon flew away, Kulo and Velnius brought it down with two crossbow bolts, deciding to avoid having the griffon attack again while they were in the mountains.

Griffon3

After the brief fight with the griffon, the party continued onward led by Jana.  Nearing the entrance to the caverns, the party dismounted from their horses and crept to within viewing distance of the entrance.  The cavern entrance was at least 40 feet up the mountain cliff.  The party waited to see how heavily guarded the entrance would be.  Over several hours, two goblin guards were exchanged by different goblin guards.  Kulo, Velnius, and Jana sneaked up within range and dispatched the two goblins with  crossbow and longbow shots.  The party found a good place to tie off the horses and proceeded to the cavern entrance.

Cavern Entrance3

The party made its way cautiously up the cliff face following a worn path that snaked up to the entrance of the cavern.  Listening at the entrance, the party could hear goblin voices just within.  The goblins seemed preoccupied, bickering over a game of dice.  The party rushed in catching the goblins by surprise.  Tanin and Velnius, aided by their darkvision, took out both goblins, leaving one unconscious to interrogate.  The captured goblin, once revived, revealed that there were many of his kind in the caverns, more than he had fingers and toes.  Tanin pressed him further for information.  He did mention his boss Dragomir and two other hobgoblin guards.  The party stripped him of his weapons and released him, threatening him that they would find him if he ever harmed the good people traveling along the Cyrian road.

The light from the entrance diminished considerably this short distance in the cave so Xrax lit a torch.  The party could see the cave continued for a short distance before splitting in half around a rock wall.  Moving cautiously forward, the party scanned the walls and ceiling for danger.  Passing beyond the split in the corridor, two giant rats sprung from the darkness and attacked Xrax.  As Xrax bashed their heads in with his maul, barking from up ahead grabbed the party’s attention.

The worg was chained to the wall in a crevice.  Nearby four goblins played dice on top of a crate.  They grabbed their weapons and charged forward.  Before they could get very far, Tanin cast sleep causing three of the goblins to fall to the ground in a deep slumber.  Velnius moved up and hacked at the worg.  The final goblin was slayed.

Worg and Goblins3

After looting the goblins, the party moved on turning a sharp corner that brought them to a rickety bridge over a deep, dark chasm.  The bridge was poorly made and seemed doubtful it could hold much weight.  Tanin flipped a copper piece into the chasm and the coin struck the side of the gaping hole a couple times before disappearing into the gulf.  They never heard it strike the bottom!  On two rocky outcrops about 10 feet from the bridge grew red, glowing mushrooms.  Belladore ventured onto the bridge.  It held her weight just fine despite creaking ominously in a few places.  The rest of the party crossed one by one making it to the other side of the bridge unscathed.  The bridge shifted and creaked the worst for mighty Xrax in his plate mail armor, but it held.  Xrax came close to losing his balance and falling into the gulf in a brief moment of terror.

The cave snaked around a bend before opening up into a large multi-leveled cavern with three exits.  Eight goblins that seemed to be roused and on the hunt for the noise that was coming from the last fight sprung into battle against the emerging party members.  Tanin, once again, changed the dynamics of combat with a sleep spell that immediately sent five of the goblins to their slumber.  The remaining three goblins, two that were burlier than the rest, tried to stand their ground but were quickly eviscerated.

The party quickly examined each of the branching corridors from the cavern they just fought from.  The corridor to the south continued for 15 feet before ending in a chasm to depths unknown.  A stalagmite rose from the floor right before the chasm.  The chasm spanned about 25 feet with a corridor continuing after the gulf.  A branching corridor to the west of the chasm could also be discerned with a stalagmite again rising from the floor right in front of the chasm.  Returning to the larger multi-leveled cavern, the party next investigated the corridor to the west.  After moving 10 feet down the corridor the party members could see two mounds on the floor at a bend in the corridor.  The party pulled back to the room that branched off in all four cardinal directions and decided to head down the corridor to the east.

Heading down the corridor, the party could make out metal bars of what appeared to be a cage near the far wall.  Some movement could be seen within.  The party continued down the corridor.  In a small side spur, a goblin lashed out with his spear.  The party took him on.  As they began to fight the first goblin a second one emerged from next to the cage.  As the short fight continued, loud barking began from the bend of the corridor to the south.  The party skewered and smashed the goblin guards and turned their attention to the barking and growling worgs.  They were chained to the wall but with enough length to reach the party and block their access to the part of the corridor they were housed.  Despite some nasty bites, the party slayed the two worgs and put an end to their racket that surely must have alerted anyone further within this part of the cavern system.  Belladore spoke with the captives inside the cage, a disheveled group of adult humans, telling them not to fear.  They were about to be rescued.

Worgs2

Belladore picked the lock of the cage, releasing the prisoners but suggested they wait in that part of the corridor while they finished investigating the branch of the cave.  The party continued down the corridor cautiously knowing that anything down that way would surely be aware of their presence due to the barking of the worgs.

The cave rose in elevation by 15 feet entering the final chamber of this spur.  Behind a column of stalagmites, the party viewed their final prey: a goblin, two hobgoblin guards, and their apparent captain.  As soon as Jana saw the captain, she screamed his name in anguish tinged with the sharp edge of vengeance.  “Dragomir!”  The captain inspected her and her glaive before the look of recognition crossed his face.  A smile crossed his lips as he said, “Look what you’ve become, little one.  I made you a champion.  You have a place by my side as my co-captain.  Help me slaughter these foolish adventurers.”

Jana looked at her companions and back again to the hobgoblin captain.  Her grip tightened on her glaive and with a look of grim determination she strode forward and joined into battle with the nearest hobgoblin guard.  Her mighty swing of the glaive had the intent of cleaving through the guard so that she would have an opening to Dragomir.  Her companions, her friends, came to her side to help her fulfill her quest for revenge.  The battle was intense.  The lone goblin fell quickly.  The hobgoblin guards shortly thereafter.  It was only a matter of time before Dragomir succumbed.  His dual blades whirled and sliced the party, but finally the killing blow was dealt by none other than Jana with her hobgoblin glaive.   The look of surprise intermingled with relief filled her face and Jana dropped to her knees, emotions overwhelming her sense of being.

Dragomir2


Cavern Terrain, Cliffs, and Cage: Fat Dragon Games

Goblins and Hobgoblins: One Monk/Mayhem in Paper Miniatures and Printable Heroes

Griffon: Sanity Studios Miniatures

Worgs: Brave Adventures Miniatures

Hobgoblin Captain: Kev’s Lounge/Papercraft Dungeon

Crafted Torches: DM’s Craft

 

 

 

 

Session 7: Drow Spider Caves

 

Spider Cave 1

(Note: This adventure was run in December 2016.  In terms of campaign time, this adventure took place the next day after Session 6: Grim Manor Part II).

The party celebrated their new heroic status in Edgewood that night after the eldritch implosion of Grim Manor.  Many rounds were quaffed at the Axe and Saw Inn and many townsfolk praised the heroes.  Jana was deep in her cups that night and she took a particular liking to Kulo, keeping him in a veritable headlock every time he tried to slink away from her.  Not one to typically overindulge, with Jana’s insistent prodding Kulo was deeply inebriated. The party continued on late into the night . . .

The next morning, Velnius, Xrax, and Belladore had breakfast and discussed their plans for what they were going to do next.  The wedding caravan they had agreed to serve as guards was still a couple of weeks away.  Tanin, Kulo, and Jana were still sleeping off their drunks.  Velnius, Xrax, and Belladore gossiped a little over seeing Kulo and Jana sharing a room last night.

As the party was chortling over Kulo’s ensnarement, a young woman ventured over to their table.

Stepping up to Xrax, she addressed the Heroes of Edgewood, “Good morn, great heroes.  I beg your pardon for interrupting your meal, but I am in need of help.”

The party listened attentively and asked her to go on.

“My name is Tasha.  My brother has recently ventured into some nearby caves thinking himself an adventurer.  The fool.  He hasn’t returned in several days and I fear for him.  Would you please investigate?  The townsfolk speak of your bravery in the Karpath Estate.  The Heroes of Edgewood, people are calling you.”

Xrax asked, “Why would he seek out these caves?”

Tasha responded, “He believed they contained treasure.  But who knows what foul things he found instead.  Please, I beg of you, I need to find my brother. I can take you to the caves.”

Xrax, Belladore, Velnius with Xerbo agreed to investigate the caves.  Tasha led the party south through the King’s Wood toward the edge of the Hammer Fall Mountain range.  Shortly on their trek, they heard the cries of a man coming from the woods.  Investigating cautiously, they came upon a man who was pinned underneath a large branch.  On hearing the party, the man called to them to help release him from the tree.  Xrax moved over and with his mighty strength moved the heavy limb from the man’s legs, freeing him.  The woodsman introduced himself as Erik.  He had been out hunting this morning.  He climbed the tree to lie in wait for a deer but the limb he was on gave way and ended up on top of him in such a way that he couldn’t get leverage to lift it off of him.

The party told Erik of their intentions to investigate the caves Tasha had described.  He’d never heard of them, but agreed to accompany them, partly out of curiosity and partly because of safety in numbers.

As they proceeded onward towards the caves, they heard gruff voices ahead of them.  The party could discern the voices were goblinoid.  Advancing stealthily, the party saw in a small opening ahead a group of goblins led by a hobgoblin.  The goblins were leading two kids by rope, their hands bound each to the length of rope.  The hobgoblin was barking orders to the goblins, keeping them in line.  Some of the goblins eyed the children with hungry looks.  All told there were seven goblins and the hobgoblin leader.

The party could not let the kids be taken off to slaughter or slavery, so they acted on their moral duty to rescue the children.  Xrax charged forward ready to engage the goblins.  Belladore crept around to the side of the goblins, flanking them.  Velnius readied his crossbow for ranged attacks.  Xerbo prepared to pounce.

The goblins moved forward to intercept the warrior Xrax as he broke through the underbrush at them.  Despite taking the brunt of the attack, Xrax’s plate mail broke most of their attacks.  In return he smashed their small skulls with his large maul.  Meanwhile Belladore engaged the goblins closest to the children from the side.  Velnius set about picking off goblins from a distance, as did Erik, the woodsman, with his bow.  Xerbo jumped on the nearest goblin and ripped his throat out.  Tasha, on the other hand, held back.

The goblins fell quickly.  An archer tried to provide some return fire to Velnius but was soon laid waste.  Two tougher goblins with spears joined with their hobgoblin leader to rally their final defense, but were no match for the party.

Goblinoids and Children

The cowering children were comforted by the party in the wake of the battle.  The two children, Flower and Tommen, were abducted by the goblins after they raided their parent’s farmstead.  They choked up on describing their parents deaths at the hands of the goblins.

The party managed to incapacitate one of the goblins and set about questioning him after he was revived.  He told the party that the goblins were bringing the children back to Dragomir, their leader.  Their lair was a series of caverns in the foothills of the mountains.  The kids were to be sold into slavery.  The party stripped the goblin of his weapons and freed him on agreement that he would no longer raid farmsteads.  The party brought Tommen and Flower with them.  They asked Erik if he would be willing to protect the children at the entrance of the cave while they investigated.  He agreed.

After a few more hours travel, the party arrived at the opening of a cave that Tasha indicated was the cave her brother said he would explore.  The opening was quite large but narrowed after about 10 feet.  Xrax could not discern much beyond the first 10 feet of the cave opening as the darkness swallowed all sight.  Velnius could see with his darkvision that the cave continued for an additional 45 feet before apparently turning.

The party entered the cave with trepidation.  Belladore cast light on her short sword so that the party members without darkvision could see in the cave.  Erik and the children waited at the cave entrance.  Examining the floor for signs of passage, Belladore noticed a number of boot prints in and out of the cave.  The party moved cautiously 20 feet down the cave passageway, noticing a spur off to the left.  Up ahead, the cave turned sharply to the right.  Along the walls, wisps of cobwebs swayed gently in the air circulating through the cave.

The party decided to examine the spur, not wanting something to stalk and attack them from behind.  The spur opened up into an irregular room 25′ × 30′ at its widest.  Against the back wall were thicker webs and what looked like large spider egg sacks.  As the party moved forward to investigate the room a little more closely, movement along the irregular ceiling caught their attention.  Descending from the ceiling, a giant spider with fangs dripping attacked!  A short, but dangerous fight ensued.  Luckily for the party no one was poisoned by the spider’s venomous bite.

Drow Spider Cave 3

As the party fought the giant spider, an egg sack within the spider’s web began to pulsate as a swarm of small spiders erupted from it’s center and attempted to envelope Xrax.  The swarm was chopped and crushed in short order.

Drow Spider Cave 6

Returning back to the main cave, the party continued forward following the cave as it narrowed and turned to the right.  Webs lined the walls and ceiling at this narrowed portion of the cave and as the party sliced their way through the web to proceed further in the cave, another giant spider descended from the ceiling and attacked!  Another short battle ensued with the spider ultimately skewered in the end.  In both of these short battles with the spiders, Tasha kept her distance and did not attack.

Squeezing single-file, through the narrow portion of the cave, the space increased significantly.  The party entered a long cavern at least 60′ in length.  Cobwebs filled the closest wall of the cave.  Hanging within the webs were numerous egg sacks.  On the floor underneath the webs was a desiccated husk of a body.

The party investigated the body with caution.  A giant spider moved to intercept them as they got closer to the body.  Xrax lit a torch and started lighting the webs on fire.  As webs burned, one of the egg sacks burst and a swarm of spiders emerged scurrying towards Xrax.  The party slayed the giant spider with little effort and squashed the spider swarm under boot.  Tasha once again held back as the party fought the spiders.

Afterwards, the party motioned for Tasha to investigate the body to see if it was her brother.  She moved forward with trepidation, a sorrowful look on her face.  They turned the body over for her, but relief came over her face and she shook her head to say it wasn’t her brother.

The party moved towards the far wall of the cave.  The cavern narrowed before opening to an irregularly shaped section of the room.  This side of the cavern was thick with webs and again egg sacks could be seen throughout.  Xrax, Velnius, and Xerbo moved forward to investigate.  Xrax started lighting the webs on fire once again, but usually only portions of the webs would burn before the fire would smolder to embers.  Belladore and Tasha held back.

As the webs were disturbed, two giant spiders emerged from the ceiling and pouring forth from the egg sacks were two swarms of spiders!

Drow Spider Cave 5

Velnius, Xerbo, and Xrax found themselves in the thick of battle.  At one point, Xrax was restrained by a web shot by one of the spiders.  But the brunt of the spider’s attacks fell on Xerbo, sustaining several bites, becoming poisoned, and falling unconscious.  Velnius rallied to his mastiff’s defense lest Xerbo became spider food.

Drow Spider Cave 7

As this battle raged, Belladore held back about 20 feet casting spells to assist the front line.  Tasha about 10 feet back from Belladore, suddenly sprung into action.  Grabbing one of her daggers she threw it.  The target wasn’t one of the spiders, however.  Her aim was leveled at Belladore!  The dagger flew wide.  As Belladore spun around to confront her attacker, Tasha took off, running towards the entrance of the cave.  Belladore followed in pursuit.

Meanwhile, Xrax, Xerbo, and Velnius had their hands full with the giant spiders and spider swarms.  They finally put the last of the arachnids to the sword and heard Belladore call out for their attention.  They too followed in pursuit.

Belladore threw one of her daggers and it struck true, injuring Tasha.  But Tasha continued to flee the tunnel making gains on Belladore whose halfling legs just couldn’t keep up.  Another dagger, another hit and Tasha suffered another wound.  Tasha burst out of  the cave opening heading for the safety of the nearby woods.  Belladore followed shortly.  Erik, the woodsman, looked perplexed as not one but two of his party came hurtling out of the cave.  Belladore threw another dagger and again her aim was true.  Tasha was bleeding badly at this point, but she put more distance between her and Belladore.  The woods were beckoning.  Tasha was sure to escape!  But Belladore had one last chance.  Throwing her last dagger, the Dagger of Venom, at long range, Belladore’s chances were low, but she wasn’t going to let Tasha escape easily.  The Dagger of Venom, hurtled end over end and struck true!  The final wound was a mortal one.  Tasha collapsed to the ground.  As Belladore caught up to her and caught her breath from the intense chase, she witnessed Tasha’s face dissolve into a smooth, indistinct form.  Tasha was a doppelganger!

Back in the cave, just as Xrax, Velnius, and Xerbo were rounding the tight corner in the cave they saw a magical portal appear and a drow priestess and two drow warriors emerged.  They looked distressed at the sight of all the slain spiders.  Xrax, Velnius, and Xerbo fled the cave before being seen.

Spider Cave Drow


Paper terrain/map: Heroic Maps

Giant Spider Paper Miniatures: Printable Heroes and Brave Adventures

Spider Swarm Paper Miniatures: from cowboyleland at Cardboard Warriors Forum

Goblins Paper Miniatures: Printable Heroes and One Monk/Mayhem in Paper

Hobgoblin Paper Miniature: One Monk/Mayhem in Paper

Flower and Tommen Children Paper Miniatures: Dryws Imperfect Creations

Tasha Paper Miniature: Brave Adventures

Magic Portal: Fat Dragon Games

Drow Paper Miniatures: One Monk/Mayhem in Paper and Kev’s Lounge

 

 

 

Session 6: Grim Manor Part II

Vlad the Wight

(Note:  This adventure was run in November 2016.  In terms of campaign time, this adventure occured immediately following Session 5: Grim Manor Part I and is a continuation of that adventure).

Awakening from the nightmarish images of the demon-lord and his skeletal minion, Kulo, Velnius, Jana, and Tanin blinked their eyes and steadied themselves in the upstairs study.  Looking around they noticed that Belladore and Xrax were missing.  The remainder of the party gathered themselves with Xerbo in tow and proceeded to explore the rest of this haunted mansion.

Stepping outside the study through the outer door, the party found themselves in the hallway that led to the upstairs landing.  Flanking both sides of the banister stood suits of armor.  The party, ignoring caution, simply stepped up to the suits prepared for battle.  Animating once one of the party was within 5 feet, the armor bashed and slammed the party with plate mail gauntlets.  Ultimately the party reduced those ornate suits of armor to battered piles on the floor.

The party headed back to the locked door on the second floor that they had passed when they had climbed the stairs to the second floor from the dining room.  Kulo picked the lock.  As soon as the door was opened, the hearth became ablaze and two lurching zombies attacked.  The party hacked the zombies until they moved no more.  The room was smaller than the master bedroom, nicely furnished but somewhat austere.  A leather chair sat near the hearth.  A fine rug covered the floor.  A chest near the bed revealed linens, but remembering the dagger that was found in the other bedroom, Kulo looked more closely at the bottom of the chest, finding a false bottom.  Within was a book, similar to the one found in the downstairs library.  Bound in skin, this was the second volume of Abyssal Arcana.  Tanin relieved Kulo of the book, placing it next to the first one in his pack.

Proceeding to the two remaining rooms on the second floor, the party opened the first small guest bedroom next to the stairs.  A single candle ignited on a bookshelf in the room.  Other than the bookshelf, the room contained a small bed and a chest in the corner.  A door along the southern wall connected this bedroom to presumably another bedroom.  Examining the bookshelf, Tanin discovered another spell scroll.  Kulo investigated the chest only finding linens.

The party moved on to the second bedroom after Kulo picked the lock to the door.  This room was even smaller than the last with a bedroom, chest, and a small hearth.  As the party filed in, a swarm of bats erupted from the hearth and attacked the party.  In less than a minute, the party had chopped the bats to pieces, covering the floor of the bedroom with twitching remains of hacked bats.  Examining the room, Kulo found a pouch underneath linens in the chest containing 45 GP and 75 SP.

Grim Manor Swarm of Bats

Having cleared the second floor, the party made their way to the small staircase leading up to the attic-level of the house.  The stairs opened onto a hallway with two doors, north and south.  The party entered the northern room first.  Amidst the dust and cobwebs were stacks of crates and two chests.  Apparently this was a storage room.  Holes in the room let in some ambient light from outside.  The dilapidated room also allowed four giant bats, each the size of hawk in wingspan, in to attack the party rooting among the boxes in the room.  After skewering and disemboweling the bats, the party returned to their rummaging of the room.  The crates contained relatively worthless household goods (i.e., mildewed linens, plates, and utensils).  The two chests were locked, however.  Kulo went to task unlocking the chests.  The first revealed a silvered short sword as well as a pouch containing 31 GP and 143 SP.   The second chest turned out to be trapped which Kulo hadn’t noticed.  A poisoned dart shot out from the chest and punctured Kulo!  Luckily the poison on the dart had dried out and had no effect.  Inside the chest was a large, ornate key.

The party moved to the southern room in the attic.  As soon as they opened the door they were assailed by a swarm of bats that roosted on the rotten remains of the ceiling.  The swarm was reduced to bat bits and pieces in half a minute.  The small room held three beds, apparently the servant’s quarters.  Searching the beds turned up a pouch hidden in one bed containing 110 SP.

With key in hand, the party descended levels of the house, deciding to stop first on the ground floor to clear out the kitchen area they had passed before.  Entering the room they had peeked into before, the party avoided the bites of three giant rats in this small, dark storage room. Barrels filled the corner so movement was very limited.  Nonetheless, the rats were skewered fairly quickly.  Listening at the next door, the party heard similar sounds coming from what must presumably be the kitchen.  Charging in they found themselves in a spacious kitchen, a large hearth suddenly ablaze, and on a table in the corner several of those eerie red candles ignited.  Five giant rats that had been prowling the kitchen, turned to attack.  Between the bard, rogue, fighter, ranger, and hound, the rats didn’t have a chance.

Ready now for the final confrontation, the party found the stairs to the cellar and headed down into the dark depths, torches ablaze.  Turning a sharp corner at the bottom of the stairs revealed a long corridor that opened onto another hallway about halfway down.  At that junction between hallways stood a brazier that ignited as the party made their way, casting this part of the cellar in malevolent flickering light.  The party made their way down this hallway that turned to the right passing a door to a room to the right in order to see what lay beyond.

The hallway opened into a large main room in the cellar, the only light provided by the brazier at the back of the hallway and the torches held by the party.  A table and chair made up its only furnishings.  In seemingly every dark corner and shadow could be seen beady eyes.  Moving into the light eight giant rats pressed in on the party for a taste of their sweet flesh.  The party responded with sword, rapier, crossbow bolt, and glaive, leaving the room a vermin butchery.

The party doubled back to the first door they had passed.  Opening the door, they  found a storeroom containing a barrel, a crate, and two chests.  The barrel and crate were empty but both chests contained skeletal remains of a humanoid.  Tanin and Kulo searched further looking for hidden loot.  Immediately, two spectres materialized from the walls, summoned by the disturbance of their remains, and began attacking the party.  No easy vermin were these undead, giving the party a hard fight before succumbing to their attacks.

Moving on to the room opposite of the one just explored, the party discovered another storeroom, but this one held a most unusual find: Belladore and Xrax, frozen in a moment of terror, their faces contorted in fear.  Looking closely, the party saw that they appeared alive, yet immobile and waxen.  No amount of jostling or shaking woke them from their trance.

The remaining small rooms in the cellar also were storage rooms of little interest, holding moldy and useless household goods.

The party approached the last door along the far wall in the cellar with trepidation.  Kulo tried the door, finding it locked unsurprisingly.  Taking a breath, the party steeled their resolve.  Kulo inserted the key found in the attic in the lock, turned it, and heard the door click unlocked.  The party entered the room expecting the worst.  Against the back wall laid a coffin surrounded by a score of eerie red candles that ignited as soon as the party stepped inside the room.  A skeletal warrior rose from the coffin in the same instance, brandishing a mighty sword.  To the left and right of the party, stacks of crates, barrels, and sacks lined the walls.

The warrior spoke, “You have released me from this imprisonment.  I will reward you with life after death as minions in my army.”

Tanin replied with, “Perhaps we could work out a deal where we let you go in exchange for some treasure.”

The wight turned to Tanin and said, “You have my scimitar.  You met my brother and his wife in the tomb.  Now let me introduce you to my sisters.”  And with a sweeping motion of his hand, Vlad, the skeletal warrior, motioned to the corners of the room, where two ghastly forms moved into the light.

Tanin shrugged and looked to the party members and said, “Well, it was worth a shot.”

The final battle at Grim Manor began as the ghasts closed ranks around Vlad and attacked the party.  The fight was hard and brutal.  The party found their weapons did not do as much damage as they could against Vlad, except Tanin’s magical scimitar and Kulo’s silvered short sword.  Vlad’s sisters clawed at the life’s blood of each party member they could reach, at one point paralyzing Kulo, leaving only Tanin able to do significant damage against the wight.  Vlad appeared to target all of his attacks against Tanin, seemingly focused on the wielder of the Blade of Dark Deeds.

At the first significant damage against Vlad, the house was rocked by a significant tremor almost knocking people off their feet!  Tanin, Velnius, and Jana continued to press on hacking at the undead from the abyss.  Again, as more significant damage was done to Vlad, the house shook with a tremor, this time stronger than the last.  And again, people were knocked prone by the shock wave.  But the party held firm and continued to slice and pierce the enemy! Tanin slashed Vlad again with the scimitar seemingly bringing the wight to the edge of oblivion.  A much stronger quake rocked the house and most everyone was knocked off their feet!  But the tide had turned.  With one final stroke, Tanin slayed Vlad.  The sisters soon met the same fate as the party, with Kulo regaining movement, were able to target their attacks on them.

The party searched the coffin for treasure, finding a chest with gold filigree.  Inside they found an unusual dagger (later identified as a Dagger of Venom), a ring (later identified as a ring of protection), and what appeared to be a potion of healing.  In addition, there were five onyx gemstones in the chest.  But as the party was searching the room, another wave of shaking hit the house.  It appeared that the house was unstable as the quakes got stronger and stronger, knocking the party members off their feet if they weren’t prepared.  With haste, the party rushed to exit the building.  As they made their way back through the cellar, the were greeted by Belladore and Xrax who had been revived from their paralysis.  The party in full ran full tilt out the manor as the very foundation started to crumble and the house violently shook apart.  Just as they managed to escape the house, Grim Manor collapsed inwardly on itself in a great upheaval.  As the dust swirled, the party saw a faint image of Mina smiling at them before disappearing.

Outside, the mist that had shrouded everything was now gone.  The night was crystal clear.  The guards who normally watched the house, surprised by the sudden collapse of the manor, collected the party and brought them to the garrison for questioning.  After a long and thorough interrogation by the garrison commander, the party was let free to go.  The garrison commander told the party that they would now likely be regarded as heroes in the town.  Grim Manor was cursed and haunted.  The people of Edgewood would be relieved to see it gone.  But before letting the Heroes of Edgewood leave, the garrison commander told Velnius that he knew where he got Xerbo, his mastiff.  He said he would let this transgression go given their new heroic status, but warned not to do anything like that again or Velnius could expect a nice, long stay in the stockades.

Tanin and Kulo advanced to 4th level.  Velnius advanced to 3rd level.


Wight Paper Miniature: One Monk/Mayhem in Paper

 

Session 4: The Barrow Tomb of the Karpath Brothers

Karpath Barrow Tomb

(Note: This adventure took place in October 2016.  In campaign time, this adventure took place the next day after the Steelhand Clan Redoubt).

After the night of rest, Xrax and Okkar agreed to accompany Enna Moonwhisper back to Cyr.  Her recent captivity at the hands of the orcs had troubled her deeply and she had no intention of returning to her adventuring life, at least at this point.

Kulo, Tanin, Velnius, and Jana decided to travel to Edgewood (lumber town in the King’s Wood between Cyr and Valerius).  Jana had recently acquired the location of the Barrow Tomb of the Karpath Brothers, rumored to be filled with treasure.

The Karpath Brothers, Brom and Vladislav, were wealthy noblemen from Valerius who made their fortunes in Edgewood on the burgeoning lumber trade.  Edgewood’s location along the Hyperborean River made floating lumber down the river to Cyr easy.  As a major port city, Cyr has great need for lumber for shipbuilding.  According to local lore, the Karpath Brothers’ noble heritage and wealth as lumber barons did not satisfy their desire for power.  Rumor had it that the brothers were involved in evil activities, perhaps at the behest of a demonic patron.  This bit of information helped to assuage Kulo and Velnius over the morality of raiding a gravesite.  Tanin agreed, although he didn’t seem necessarily bothered before learning about the possible demon pact.

Travel to Edgewood would take two days from the Steelhand Clan Redoubt.  During the first day of travel, the party was accosted by a group of rough looking fellows, ostensibly bandits, who demanded the party pay a toll to continue on their way.  Tanin attempted to gently persuade the leader to let them pass unmolested but his sweet tongue did little but upset the bandits, who then decided to take what they wanted by force.  The ensuing battle was short-lived.  The ruffians poor weapons and armor made them an easy obstacle to overcome.

Bandits

Arriving in Edgewood, the party sought accommodations at the Axe and Saw Inn to rest before seeking the location of the barrow tomb.  In town, the party asked around for more information about the Karpath Brothers.  They learned that the brothers were involved in a pact with Orcus, specifically.  Their abandoned manor house, called “Grim Manor,” was under constant guard by the Valeriun garrison, despite the death of the brothers for years.  Residents have reported seeing and hearing strange things from the manor house.  The house is under constant watch since the brothers were nobility of Valerius.

The next day, the party traveled to the location of the tomb according to Jana’s information.  On a grassy knoll, they found a stone staircase descending to a door.  As soon as the party crossed an invisible threshold onto the knoll, two animated skeletons emerged as if bubbling from the ground.  The party fought the skeletons but as quickly as they could dispatch the skeletons, new ones would bubble out of the ground.  Tanin quickly realized that they needed to get inside the tomb–the skeletons would continue to spawn as long as they stood near the entrance of the tomb.

Barrow Tomb Entrance

Opening the door to the tomb revealed a hallway that lead to openings both to the left and right, as well as a second entrance to a room on the right.   A suit of armor stood at the end of the hallway.  As soon as the party crossed the threshold of the room, the suit of armor animated and attacked them.  Eventually the suit of armor collapsed into a heap on the floor after the party hacked away at it for some time.

Karpath Barrow Tomb 2

The party entered the room to their immediate right and set about exploring for treasure.  Unfortunately, the room contained mostly broken shards of pottery and a pile of bones in the corner.  Tanin moved up to examine the bones, at which point the bones collectively pulled together to form a skeleton warrior.  Despite the close quarters, the skeleton was quickly reduced back to a pile of bones.

Karpath Barrow Tomb 3

After the skeleton fight, the party peered into the room that was on their left when entering the tomb.  They could see a dark figure hunkering down along the far wall.  Not taking any chances, Kulo unleashed a crossbow bolt into the creature’s back.  The attack brought the ghoul to undead life as it turned and moved to assault the party.  Hack and slash, hack and slash, the party returned the thing from the crypt back whence it came.  On a table in the tomb, the party discovered two potions.  From a taste, the PCs new one was a potion of healing.  The other potion had separate bands of brown, silver, and gray layers.

Barrow Tomb Ghoul

Turning back to the half of the tomb yet unexplored, the party proceeded single-file down a narrow corridor.  As soon as they entered the corridor, an animated scimitar came hurtling at the party.  The flying scimitar caused some damage to the party.  Eventually the scimitar’s animated magic succumbed and it clanged to the ground.  However, unlike the animated armor, the scimitar appeared to be undamaged after the fight.  In fact, it gleamed with an otherworldly shine in the dark and decrepit corridor.  Tanin grabbed the blade and put it in his belt.

Barrow Tomb Scimitar

With no further obstacle in their way, the party continued down the narrow corridor.  At the threshold to the remaining room, the party tried to peer into it and see if they could see another creature like before.  But the hard corner of the wall prevented them from seeing anything.  Rounding the corner, another ghoulish figure assaulted the party.  This walking dead appeared stronger than the other, but was ultimately vanquished by the party.

Scouring this part of the tomb for loot, the party found Boots of Elvenkind, a Helm of Telepathy, 360 GP, and an obsidian statue of a goat-headed demon.  Jana ended up taking the two potions.  Velnius grabbed the boots.  And Tanin took the Helm and the Scimitar (later learned to be the Blade of Dark Deeds).  The party returned to Edgewood with their loot and greater adventuring experience.  Tanin and Kulo advanced to 3rd-level.


Paper Terrain and Skeletons (by Kiladecus): Inked Adventures

Bandit Paper Miniatures: One Monk/Mayhem in Paper

Ghoul Paper Miniatures: Brave Adventures

Animated Armor and Scimitar Paper Miniatures: Printable Heroes

Paper Miniatures for Kulo and Jana: Permes

Paper Miniatures for Velnius and Tanin: Kev’s Lounge Paper Miniatures

Inspiration for Adventure: Adventure Shorts, Vol 3 by R&D Adventures