*Delving Deeper, Session 5.*
*Rot grub tango*
Finally the group goes to their initial destination: the dungeon that is supposed to hold fantastic magical loot. Arkbald had thought it was a long forgotten place, but they find a whole gang of bandits camping around the entrance. The bandit chief greets the adventurers and invites them to a hot drink. Then, noticing their surprise, he explains that his gang rules this area, and that adventurers come here quite often. Their deal: They let everyone in, but upon leaving, adventurers have to pay one third of treasure they find.
The bandits pride themselves on being fair and truthful, and they offer to look after the party’s horses for free for two days. After that they will be presumed dead and their horses belong to the bandits.
The party says No. The group decides to take the horses with them into the dungeon. The bandits warn them that dungeons are no place for horses, but they do not stop them.
The bandits are right: it is difficult, because they have to get the horses down a long set of stairs. Tough going, but they do it. Downstairs they go along the right wall and find a beautiful room with comfortable furniture. But Arkbald decides to push on. Of the three doors here, he chooses the one on the right, and they find a long winding corridor, where they have to go one by one because of the horses.
In the next room they find four skeletons.
A quick battle ensues, where it takes two combat rounds until everyone even gets into the room, gets the horses out of the way and joins in. Nameless tries to turn the Undead, but without success. In the kerfuffle, the Snowman snatches a skeleton’s femur out from under it, forcing it to hop on one leg. King Dragon accidentally shoots the snowman, Kyrill pierces skulls with arrows, Fluffy the dog trips up a skeleton, Nameless pulverises a skeleton head, Jay and Lysanderoth get wounded, Silent smashes one of the undead to bits – and finally Evelyn and Bob the Elf overpower the last skeleton and force it apart alive to store the struggling bones in different sacks and backpacks. Evelyn intends to keep it.
Nameless also searches the room for treasure and finds 60 gold pieces. Angry that nobody else searches for anything, the cleric declares that he will keep this loot for himself.
The Snowman is bored: “This takes much too long! I want fighting, not talking!” he shouts, and races off, out of the dungeon. Andy races after him.
Two doors lead out, one stone door and one wooden door. Arkbald decides to keep going along the right wall, but it turns out this stone door is closed by magic. They cannot overcome it, but find a note written in magic script: “Take the statue’s hand”.
Behind the wooden door they find an alchemist’s workroom with old materials and potions. One exit: a door on the left. They leave the horses in the skeleton room and Nameless searches the room finding a pit trap in front of the exit. Kyrill checks for traps in the door lock and tries to open it, but he cannot pick the lock. So Jay hacks the door apart with his axe.
Wandering monster: Rot grubs come out of cracks in the wall and frighten the horses.
The group races to aid their panicking mounts, they see the horrible worms and start trampling. They are busy squashing worms under their boots until one of the beasts snakes up Lysanderoth’s boot. Kyrill the Killer fails to dislodge it, King Dragon fails too, and all three of them fall to the ground in a jumble of arms and legs. It is Silent the Dervish who expertly judges distances, quickly wedges the tip of his blade under the climbing worm and flicks it off, cutting it in twain.
Elves and Horses
Now the group does no longer dare to leave the horses alone. But they cannot take them with them, because the horses can’t get past a pit trap directly in front of a doorway. So Evelyn and Bob decide to get the horses back out. They leave the looted bones with the others and just get the horses out to find a place for them in the woods.
The bandits once again offer to look after the animals, but the Elves do not trust them. They lead the horses away and go around the site in big circle, getting the horses to the area behind the hill with the entrance.
Traps and Stabs
The others are shocked to find an axe-wielding skeleton waiting for them — behind the door Jay broke down. But it does not go closer, it stays a full flagstone away from the door. Lysanderoth suspects that it will only “activate” once they cross the door, but no — as he steps closer, it reacts … yet it still does not come.
Kyrill the Killer prepares an arrow to shoot it, but it hides somewhere to the left, in a room that looks like a comfortable study full of books and an old easy chair.
Lysanderoth sends King Dragon and Kyrill in to overcome the skeleton. They step across the pit trap into the doorway without problem. But as Kyrill steps out of the door the ground gives way and he falls into another pit trap! “Nooo!” shouts Lysanderoth. With a successful save, Kyrill manages to drop his weapons and hold on to the rim.
King Dragon goes into the infight with the skeleton. Silent tries to help him, but they fail to overcome the opponent. Lysanderoth goes to help Kyrill out of the pit trap.
In the next round, King Dragon and Silent keep the skeleton busy, but Kyrill the Killer snatches up his daggers, circles around the combat and attacks the skeleton from behind. He scores a crit – the skeleton falls apart.
“Thanks, you saved my life!” Kyrill tells Lysanderoth.
Nameless quickly inspects the books. “These are religious texts … forbidden tomes of Chaos!” He starts to read. The others welcome the chance for a short respite.
End of session.
Image: Luis Vidal, Unsplash