the Goblin King and the Lord of Werewolves have renewed their ancient alliance beneath the Howling Tower;
and the secret treasury of the ancient Bronding Kings is said to lie somewhere behind the Brokenbrand Falls, haunted by enchanting naiads ...
Rendorsheeg (Elf 2)
Finbar (half-Elf druid 1)
with Cornelius (a dog)
Harambe (man-ape 1)
with Orion and Bacon (both dogs)
Little Bob (traveling-man 1)
with Marlo (a cur of a dog)
Rendorsheeg, having learned from Kaaraak the eagle of a route bipeds could take to get to the Eyries of the Eagles, was very eager to attempt to get there, but was talked out of it by Harambe and Little Bob, who wanted to return (for Harambe at least) to the Howling Tower. The party ultimately compromised on the Brokenbrand Falls.
On the way out, I tested my wilderness as attrition rules, and I think they need fiddling, but it wasn't terrible. I rolled one encounter, and it came up the worst that could be, i.e. 6 dice of damage for the party unless they broke a bunch of stuff. So they broke a lot of equipment--Little Bob lost his scale armor (must have worn it through poison ivy, and then ditched it); Rendorsheeg expended 12 arrows and broke his bow in some kind of fight against baddies; he also lost his prized wheel of cheese, taken from the goblin larder in the Howling Tower; and lastly Finbar broke his shield and took 6 damage (out of 7 hp!) from getting mauled by a wild animal.
Which is to say, one roll caused a lot of attrition for this party.
Anyway, at the entrance, the party looked upon the stair that leads up the cliff face south of the waterfall; they successfully climbed it without falling into the pool, and entering the dungeon found a statue of Brondr, old King of the Brondings, with his brandished sword. There was a little bit of green slime residue around the statue, and the party belatedly looked up, but saw nothing waiting to drop on them.
To the east lies a kind of audience chamber with large windows and tapestries; there used to be three tapestries depicting heroic deeds, but one of them was hauled away by a previous expedition, leaving two tapestries and a slightly discolored square on the wall.
Coming back west through some pillared halls, the party's lead dog, Cornelius, was surprised to suddenly find a green slime on its back, precipitated from the ceiling. The party proceeded to beat the crap out of the dog with a club, sword, and dagger, doing nothing to the slime, but injuring the poor hound. Then Harambe remembered that fire was the answer, and by a lucky roll, he managed to pour oil only on the slime, and to burn only the slime, killing it and saving the dog, now slightly singed and with a big furless chemical-burn patch on his back.
Heading south, the party found an armory, already slightly looted by a previous expedition; and in the next room, saw what seemed to be a pool of water in the corner--except, when they stuck a spear into it, the spearhead began to dissolve, and the puddle moved slimily toward them. They poured more oil on this one and lit it up, but to no avail, and I rolled a critical hit on the second dog--pour Bacon got his face engulfed and began to quickly dissolve, kind of like that scene in John Carpenter's The Thing (1982) when the dog's face falls off, except even more horribly, the slime is dripping with still-burning oil!
The party decided to just beat the crap out of the slime at that point, and though their weapons quickly put the dog out of its misery, they also quickly destroyed the slime and it kind of discorporated into puddles of slimey bits intermixed with dog blood on the floor.
This room was clearly a sort of antechamber, with bas-relief carvings of the god Sabazios the Dragon-Killer, and of heroic Brondings; and indeed through the door to the south, the party discovered a shrine dedicated to Sabazios, with a lead sword lying on the altar before the idol. The sword is just a blade with a naked tang, no hilts, and on its ricasso are etched two runes, ᚨᚦ;
trying to lift it, the party found it magically heavy so that no amount of strength could remove it from the altar. They left this puzzle for others to attempt and continued deeper.
First, to the east, they discovered a sort of balcony carved out of the cliff face, and there, a small eyrie of eagles. Finbar cast speak with animals, and learned that these eagles are also friends of Jaer the Windlord, and of Kaaraak; their names were Kriar (male) and Kriak (female), and at Rendorsheeg's request, Kriar agreed to travel with the party for a time (he has a bold heart, and though eagles do not like the dark enclosed spaces inside, he thought he might see what could be seen).
The last few rooms they explored included a scummy well with another colony of green slime, and a set of four small cells meant for the habitation of the former priests, including loot of a holy symbol, but also one of the cells contained an ancient corpse that was completely molded over with yellow growths. For a final time, the party resorted to fire, tossing in oil and a torch and quickly shutting the door on the resulting expulsion of a cloud of spores.
Finally, there was a locked door, just around the corner from the shrine. Harambe decided to bust it open with his ability as a man-ape to perform feats of strength, and though he yanked the door from its hinges, he also set off the rune inscribed invisibly onto the door, which flashed with a terrible, eldritch light, and then Harambe fell back dead, flash-burned all down his front.
Alas, poor Harambe! He was the first character to expire beneath the Greyhame Mountain; but I doubt he will be the last ...
Inside the room, the party discovered three chests, heavy with loot. With a comrade fallen, treasure in-hand, and our time running out, they beat a hasty retreat, dropping Kriar back off at his balcon-eyrie, and then returning to town without any encounters in the wilderness.
Back in town, they split the loot, and then spent enough to buy a little plot and tombstone for Harambe, and then all shared a bowl of something powerfully hallucinogenic at the Black Dragon's Meed while carousing in memory of the man-ape (each of them rolled a hallucinatory "insight" on my carousing table, which can be "cashed in" from me at any time in a session--kind of like an acid flashback).
Later that week, a higher level Cleric named Lailith arrives in town, intent on constructing a shrine to her patroness, Saint Ursula, a bear-goddess who defends families and children. Despite Harambe's lack of any such family, she offers to raise Harambe from the dead for the paltry price of 300 gold coins, and after Little Bob exhumes the corpse (permanent -2 reactions check locally--someone saw him digging up the grave, and now he has a reputation for grave robbing), Harambe is succesfully returned to life, albeit -1 INT.
Remembrance for the Slain
Bacon (boar hound)