Sunday, June 14, 2015

Back to Stonehell

Thowin Four Fingers, a fighter, and his torchbearer, Boarface
Imorfin the elf
Durik the cleric
Fretta the Dark, a thief
Balork the Medium, a magic-user, and Bursus, his man-at-arms

We rejoin the party on their way back to the dungeons of Stonehell after a couple days in Enharza...

Earthday, 20 Harvester

After an uneventful night camping on the trail, the party covered the remaining distance to Stonehell at a brisk pace. Along the path they discussed which way to take once they reached the dungeon.

"There is NO way I'm going back to the room with those snakes," Fretta disclaimed. The rest of the party knew there was little chance of convincing the albino thief otherwise. They were also hesitant to head back towards the orc chambers so soon after the fight. In the end the party decided against heading north past the iron sign or south past the orc territory, and choose to return to the chamber with the portcullis and brave the swirling winds and the booming, disembodied voice. They reached the bottom of the long stairwell and entered the first level of the dungeon.

(I checked on the table in the Stonehell book to see if anything had moved into the first chamber since the party was last here and came up with a 1 on a d6 - yes! Rolling on the d20 table showed it to be dwarves. I then asked were they coming or going; they were leaving the dungeon. Given the party's recent encounter with Snorri and co, I thought maybe there was a chance, albeit low, this was Snorri…)

Q: Is it Snorri's group? (No Way)
Mythic: 06 (Yes!)

Art by Don Avery
Snorri's group was returning from another archeological expedition but this time appeared to have all party members intact.

"Well met," said the leader of the dwarves, extending a hand to Thowin. A frown crossed his brow as he scanned the group. "Where is young Loro?" The party explained that the dwarf had fallen valiantly in battle with orcs nearby where they had met Snorri's group before.

The dwarves removed their helmets and nodded stoically. "Where did you lay his body to rest," asked Snorri. "We would like to pay our respects."

There was some general shuffling of feet and nervous swallows as Thowin and Imorfin had to explain that Loro's body wasn't taken out of Stonehell. Snorri bristled at the disrespect shown to his fallen kinsmen, but said nothing, simply donning his helmet again. Thowin apologized as the dwarves turned to leave. "We saw no orcs today," said Snorri as he departed,"but if you run across any, remember poor Loro and give them hell."

Thowin turned sheepishly to the rest of the party and got them to form up before leading the way to the room with the portcullis.

This time, the wind and voice didn't seem quite as ominous although the bones and stained floor didn't instill a lot of confidence. They looked through the lowered portcullis at the passage beyond.

Q: Does they party try and raise the lowered portcullis? (Very Likely)
Mythic: 96, No. Hmmmm…another unexpected result…gotta love the curveballs Mythic throws…

There was a bit of second-guessing and the party decided maybe the portcullis was lowered for a good reason. Since Snorri mentioned that they hadn't  encountered any orcs, Imorfin and Thowin decided to head back to the south.

They snuck past the chamber where the fight took place and continued to the south, eventually reaching a 4-way intersection. On the wall to the east they saw some words etched in crude Common.  "Open Sore Tribe - Keep Out!"

Thinking this must be the stronghold of the orcs, the party opted to head to the west, following the corridor into a small, natural cave and ran into a large group of kobolds.

Q: Do they kobolds recognize the party, maybe one or more are from the previous encounter? (50-50)
Mythic: 46, Yes. Reaction roll shows they are extremely helpful

I decided that a couple of the kobolds were from the previous group encountered. The party used the opportunity to ask some questions and glean some information. I created a small table of other 'leads' the party might get from the kobolds and made a couple rolls…

They learned that the Open Sore tribe (orcs) were at war with the Wolf Gang tribe (goblins) for control of the chambers in this part of the dungeon. The kobolds also told the party about the bazaar run by Trustee Sniv, the kobold leader which lay to the southeast, where all sorts of strange items could be found. More interestingly though they learned of the Quiet Halls (as the kobolds called them), which were supposedly filled with ancient treasures, and a lot of undead…

The party declined the invitation to follow the kobolds to the bazaar and instead decided to head towards the Quiet Halls after getting instructions from the kobolds. It would take them past the snake chamber….  After being promised the first pick of the treasure, Fretta agree to go along. But at the first sign of a snake, the thief swore she was out of there!

(To be continued…)