Thursday, March 8, 2018

Greyhame Mountain Dungeon Expedition 22

Orcs have returned to the caverns of the Glimmervaults ...
the Goblin King and the Lord of Werewolves have renewed their ancient alliance beneath the Howling Tower ...
and the secret treasury of the Bronding Kings is said to lie hidden behind the Brokenbrand Falls, haunted by enchanting naiads ...
and Jaer the Windlord looks down on the world below from the Eyries of the Eagles on Greyhame Mountain itself ...
while the Stars themselves are singing an eerie, eldritch song, night after night ...

26 February's roster:
Aethelwulf (paladin 3)
Lead (cleric 4)
Baby Face (thief 5)
Valor Justice (Elf 1, first return since first session, played as Baby Face's retaine)
Blackleaf (Elf 3)
Koko (woman-ape 2)
Kord (half-orc fighter 3/cleric 3)
Ham (cleric 4)
Little Bob (traveling-man)
and all their army of hirelings and dogs ...

First things first, town stuff:
Axxl the Mask, one of two local sages, identified the black-bladed magic sword won from the wyvern hoard last session--it's name is Drinker, and it was made in imitation of the Black Swords, but is not actually such a weapon (those weapons were forged of old with demons bound inside; Drinker just looks like them). Drinker is a sword of life draining, and so will be able to drain life energy levels when Aethelwulf wishes ... as a paladin he feels slightly uneasy with the sword, but is not barred from wielding it.

Meanwhile, Morholt's son, Morrow, returns injured from a hunting trip, having been mauled by an animal in the woods. He was brought into Oakridge Castle badly savaged; Morholt, the local usurper of lordly power, sought around town for help and both Aethelfwulf and Kord were willing to offer magical healing for Morrow. Aethelwulf received a silver ring from Morholt as a token of his appreciation.

Furthermore, Morholt asked Aethelwulf to gather the party for an audience in the castle. When everyone was gathered, Morholt declared that though the adventurers' presence and meddling in town an in the dungeon was generally aggravating to him, "Perhaps now we can come to some sort of agreement of mutual benefit." He then called in and introduced another character--one Amrohir, an Elf of the Dwimmerholt. Indeed, the Elf that the party had run into last time on their way out to the Greyhame mountain, and who had sneered at them!

This Elf Amrohir now launched into a tale: he told the group that he was in search of the Elf-princess Amaltheia, who some while ago had been ensorceled and seduced by the Goblin King and left with child, and who had thence fled from the Courts of the Dwimmerholt fearing that her mother and the other Elves would have her half-goblin child exposed to die. Other Elves are out seeking her throughout the land, but Amrohir believes that she has fled into the Glimmervaults, and he thought he would enlist the aid of adventurers in discovering her. "And of course her fears are ridiculous--you must find her and bring her back, and assure her that all will be well."

Well, the party didn't trust Amrohir at all; once they had left the audience, Baby-Face used his sending bone to attempt to send a message to Amaltheia that they were on her side and wanted to help. Alas, the spirit-sending was not able to find her, and returned without delivering its message.

The party, however, had goals other than seeking and saving Amaltheia. They were rather more disturbed by the news received from Jaer the Windlord that the stars are singing because star-things are coming, looking for something or someone, summoned because the Goblin King and Lord of Werewolves are meddling in deep magic. The arrival of the star-things will be very bad, and so our protagonists hoped to find and stop whatever evil the goblins and werewolves are up to.

So to the Howling Tower they went. Arriving at the top of the ridge where the tower rises like a spike above the treeline, they observed the pyres out in front of the tower; and, approaching the doors, they observed three wolves who observed them back and then ran to the door, stood up, opened it with hands, and then disappeared into the tower.

Somewhat worried, the party pressed on nonetheless. And worried for good reason as they soon learned--passing through the rooms on the first level of the tower, the party came up against a large party of wolves (about 14 altogether--and as they ultimately learned, not all were mere wolves ...).

Blackleaf put three of the normal wolves to sleep, and then battle was enjoined. The party was poorly organized, though, and several of the wolves who seemed to have extra cunning in their yellow eyes set about waking their sleeping comrades while the party struck other wolves at random. All the wolves were ultimately slain, even a half a dozen who received multiple wounds from normal arrows and weapons without taking any hurt, but which were ultimately killed with silver-tipped arrows and swords; the party, meanwhile, lost the hireling Dorcas, and no others. Aethelwulf managed to skin five of the wolves, and then the party continued deeper into the dungeon.

We were short on time, but ultimately the party discovered the stairs down to the second dungeon level in the northern section of the first dungeon level; pushing down they explored in a few directions, gathered several broken pieces of marble sculpture that they thought they could resell, and then found themselves in a strange room with a pool in its center. From the pool the singing of the stars came through very clearly; but moreover, the pool seemed to open out to the stars, and didn't seem to have any bottom.

A magically lighted stone thrown into the pool passed through the water and then seemed to sink away into infinity. Then Lead jumped in, caution thrown completely out, and dragged Baby-Face into the pool with him. They splashed briefly and then began to sink, and it didn't quite seem that they were sinking through water. Fortunately the party had rope, and using it was able to drag out the hapless Baby-Face and Lead.

And then something turned within and approached. Something impossible to describe, something Lovecraftian and squamous and tentacled, and it looked at and into Lead, reached out and through the pool in an attempt to grasp at Lead. Fortunately, it rolled poorly.

Faced with such an empyrean horror, the party had no desire to look upon it any more and they fled.

They fled all the way out of the dungeon and back to town. With so little treasure, their shares of experience were pitiful. Finally, nobody wanted to carouse except Kord, who made his save.


Remembrance for the Fallen:
Dorcas, Frida, and Johann Haybaler (normal hirelings), Hauka and Wilmerand (weasels), Blade and Boar (dogs), Hubert the Peacock and Lysimmachus (normal men), a nameless mastiff, Livy (normal man), Orkie (orc mastiff), Fang (boarhound), Droopy and Snoopy (mastiffs), Dream Destroyer (ghosthound), Arrow (pack dog), Freyja (normal woman), a nameless cur, Hot Dog and Cross (mastiffs), Orion II (lion dog), Bacon (boarhound), Tore (half-orc fighter 1/cleric 1), Jimmy the Snitch (dog), Orion (lion dog), Harambe (man-ape 1)

and for those Enchanted Away:
Dol (fyrdman hireling)

(I don't know what's going on with the format of this post)

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