Tuesday, June 4, 2013

Return to Castle Frobozz, Part II

The second part of the story actually misses an interlude (unfortunately lost to time), wherein the first band (including Pavel and Winfred) find a dastardly machine room, battle some hooting blue-painted cavemen (one of whom is beguiled by a charming spell), lose a hireling and promptly disappear down a chute. These two continue to have adventures in the Netherdeep, meeting a disgustingly hirsute Ogre bandit-sultan who makes his living by raiding the caravans that ply the underground highways, learning more about Princess Velouria's descent into the deeps, and delving deeper into the earth to discover a mining outpost run by the Evil Men of Kau'kawthar (along with their demon-worshipping, werespider Drow allies). Meanwhile, the remaining party (and the hirelings of the aforementioned duo) are left in the dungeon proper, where they murder another player character (after a week of his inactivity) and discover the entrance to a muck-filled Troglodyte burrow...

See also Part I.

RETURN TO CASTLE FROBOZZ, CHAPTER II
INTO THE DEPTHS
After bravely tiptoeing past a sleeping dragon and losing track of original party leaders, the troupe of dungeon delvers blunders forth into further and greater peril veiled within the Glittering Cavern...

EASTERN GLITTERING CAVERN
Your eyes adjust to the grandeur of this cavern, set with a canopy of shadowy stalactites, glittering minerals and faintly luminescent lichens and moss. This gallery extends far to the west, and features several distinct zones. To the Southwest, natural stairs climb up the cave wall to a cliff overlooking the chamber. To the West, the terrain descends into a dell of bulbous, mammoth mushrooms. To the Northwest stands a plateau of splendent, shimmering pools amidst a thick forest of stalagmites.

The exits are SOUTHWEST, WEST, NORTHWEST

There is a BARREL here.

TOECUTTER immediately trots over and inspects the barrel, oblivious to the natural wonders around him.

Prying open the lid reveals around 20 gallons of dried apples, halved.

SCUNTHORPE reaches in the barrel and grabs a couple halves of apple. After tossing one to ZUGG, he bites into his half. "Those mushrooms don't look very inviting, but if we have any chance of meeting up with the others, we must venture down. But a view of what's to come would be helpfull" At that, SCUNTHORPE begins towards the stairs SW, tossing the half eaten apple aside.

TOECUTTER looks mildly dissapointed for a second; he then fills a small sack full of dried apples and begins to follow SCUNTHORPE down the stairs.

Buried halfway down the barrel of apples is a gnarly twig, singed at one point with a leather wrapped handle on the other.

TOECUTTER pockets the backscratcher before leaving.

• TOECUTTER gains 100 xp! [Haha, this amuses me]

NARROW PRECIPICE
From this vantage point, much of the southern Glittering Cavern opens up before you to the shadowy illumination of your torch. Below you, a veritable forest of towering mushrooms wobble intermittently to the north. To the west of this vale, a shimmering, cerulean light can be seen. To the northeast, stairs descend down into the Eastern Glittering Cavern. The narrow ledge where you stand is slick from the condensation of this damp chamber, making footing treacherous. The wall is marked with deep gouges and cuts. At the very end of the tapering ridge lies a small opening in the cave wall.

The exits are IN or NORTHEAST.

There is a SHANE here.

Jealously eyeing the stick TOECUTTER just picked up, SCUNTHORPE comments "Good find, me thinks that's a wand." And at studying the wall says "These gouges speak of grand fight that took place here. I would guess horrible creatures from below were literally clawing their way through this passage. If true, there's likely something of value through there, and something nasty waiting below. But I still feel the best way to find the others is to continue down. What say you, party?"

Snapping out of his hypnotic stupor, SWALKHI replies, "I says I don't like the notion of mucking about under a mushroom forest -- I say we follow that shimmer to the west."

Before moving on from the Narrow Precipice, SCUNTHORPE pauses for a moment to study the other members of his party. "DONIVAN. SHANE. What say YOU? You have been following blindly and dumbly since you joined this quest." At that, with a quickness no one would have expected from the spell-caster, he spins around to the back of SHANE and draws his dagger to the mercenary's throat. "I suspect you to be a construct of evil. Give me any indication that I am wrong and you will have my apologies, otherwise you will have the taste of my blade in the back of your throat."

[What follows next is a pause both awkward and long (a full week out of game).]

"Just as I thought, I release your cursed spirit." The words were still rolling off SCUNTHORPE's tongue as his dagger slid through SHANE's throat. As the body falls limp to the ground, SCUNTHORPE shouts "DONIVAN!" as he turns and forces his body against the cave wall. SCUNTHORPE holds the point of his blade firm against his chest. "Will anyone speak up and prevent me from releasing this one as well?"

TOECUTTER enthusiastically munches on a couple of apple halves as this all goes on. "Not to interrupt a good murder spree or anyfing, guv," he says mid bite, "but is 'at really nessesary?"

SCUNTHORPE pulls back from DONIVAN at TOECUTTER's words, and sheaths his dagger. "Oh my, I believe these caverns are starting to play with my head." He looks down at SHANE, "Don't think he'll be forgiving me, but perhaps we should leave this incident behind us. ZOTT, AUGUST, EVANDER, you're not too outraged by my actions to continue on this quest, are you?"

"Oi boss," says ZOTT, "AUGUST is dead, right?" EVANDER and ZOTT eye SCUNTHORPE nervously...

Looking rather embarrassed, SCUNTHORPE allows "Of course. These caverns are most certainly affecting me detrimentally."

"Right... s'pose SHANE won't miss this now..." TOECUTTER removes SHANE's Plate Armor and dons it, careful to wipe up the blood. He also takes SHANE's rations and coins. He drops his own Leather.

SCUNTHORPE peers into the opening in the wall. "For my own sanity, it is time I moved on." At that, he goes IN.

TOECUTTER follows SCUNTHORPE (for lack of anything better to do. Also, I think SCUNTHORPE has the light).

IDOL OF YOB
Spears hoisting thick proto-human skulls stake the entrance to this natural cavern. Deep scratches in the wall trickle with water from above, gleaming in the torchlight. Against the western wall looms a large, hideous idol: a squat, toad-like creature with its left eye shut and a gaping grin lined with serrated teeth. The open right eye is a gaping socket, damaged and cut around the lid. The false god holds out its left hand, upon which someone has placed a golden rock. The cave continues deeper to the SOUTHWEST.

The exits are OUT or SOUTHWEST.

There is a SCUNTHORPE, a DONIVAN, a SWALKHI and a TOECUTTER here. There is an IDOL here.

SCUNTHORPE cautiously approaches the idol for a better look, making sure to watch his step. He tries to look into the statue's mouth, and also at the golden rock.

There is a shallow space within the toothy maw, perhaps large enough to fit a single hand... The hole apparently continues deeper, down the IDOL's throat. The golden rock has apparently been placed here recently, judging by the lack of slime and cave lichen on the stone. It looks to be the texture and shape of a piece of shale, perhaps a pound in weight, only it has been somehow transfigured into gold.

SCUNTHORPE steps to the side of the statue, well out of way of it's mouth. He pulls a gold coin of his own out, and quickly as possible attempts to snatch the rock away, replacing it with the coin.

SCUNTHORPE gains GOLDEN ROCK. Somewhere in the distance, a giant boulder is released and nearly crushes a man in a hat.

SCUNTHORPE, after seeing nothing happened, pockets the GOLDEN ROCK along with his gold coin. He searches the ground for rock, and once found places it in the idol's hand.

The IDOL continues to give its listless, meaningless stare at the interlopers. The rock remains... rocky.

SCUNTHORPE picks up the rock, and places it into the idol's mouth. He also tried to place the Golden Rock in the empty eye socket.

Other than the continued humiliation of this blasphemous icon, nothing outré appears to happen.

Mildly disturbed by the looming shadows and statue of what might be an eldritch god from beyond space and time, TOECUTTER lights up his own torch. He then investigates the scratches in the walls, trying to determine if they are natural or... something else.

From his years in the Greyhawk sewers, TOECUTTER instantly recognizes these to be claw marks. Maybe a territorial sign, or a count of some gruesome deed?

SCUNTHORPE shrugs his shoulders, giving up on the frustrating IDOL. He continues on down the cave to the SOUTHWEST.

TOECUTTER readies his club for a fight; he then follows the (probably mad) mage into the darkness.

EGG ROOM
A stinking green haze curls about the floor of this room, barely concealing the muck-filled depressions and clusters of variously shaped and sized eggs. Every surface of this choking cavern is covered in an acidic filmy substance which burns the skin but doesn't seem to impede the vibrantly coloured colonies of algea that cling tenaciously to every crevice. Tip-toeing around the narrow spans between craters leads to the centerpiece of the room, a single massive egg that bobs lazily in a hole filled with slimy water. To the East, a low opening leads into darkness. To the South is a winding tunnel. The passage to the Northeast leads back to the Idol.

The exits are NORTHEAST, EAST and SOUTH.

There is a SCUNTHORPE, a DONIVAN, a SWALKHI and a TOECUTTER here. There is a GIANT EGG here.

Suddenly, two shapes on the ceiling start to form. Dropping down before you reveals two gruesome Troglodytes! The foul creatures charge at you, surprising you with their assault!

Surprise is 1d6: 1, Initiative is 1d6: 1

Round 1!
The party is surprised, and will go last (for the rest of the battle)!
• An odious Troglodyte slashes at SWALKHI (2d6-2: 4) with its claws, slashing him for (1d6-1: 0) damage! [No damage, but the scrape may become infected if a barber-surgeon doesn't tend to it soon.]
• A toothy Troglodyte snaps at DONIVAN (2d6-2: 8) with its maw, but gnaws futily at his leather jerkin!

The PC's may now act...


SCUNTHORPE lets out an audible shriek at the appearance, and appears stunned for a moment. Fortunately for him, his retainers are quick to act.
ZUGG throws a dart at the odious Troglodyte (2d6-1: 9), which slides off the creature's slimy scales!
ZOTT slashes at the toothy Troglodyte (2d6-1: 7), but is repelled by the creatures foul stench!
EVANDER backs up his friend and attacks the toothy one (2d6-1: 7), but jabs ineffectively at the creature's spongy carapace!
---i don't know what weapons they carry, could you please put in the rolls for me? [They are spearmen, if I recall.]

TOECUTTER shoves past the mage and bashes the odious Trog [2d6: 8], but the attack bounces of the creatures lumpy hide!

Round 2!
• An odious Troglodyte turns on ZOTT, slashing at him (2d6-2: 8) with its claws, but is parried by the able spearmen.
• A toothy Troglodyte charges at ZUGG, snapping at him (2d6-2: 3) and sinking its fangs into the Neanderthal for (1d6-1: 5) damage! ZUGG goes down!

The PC's may now act...


Annoyed, TOECUTTER strikes the odious trog again [2d6: 9], grazing the Troglodytes bulbous shoulder ineffectually.

SCUNTHORPE tells his men to "Hold Fast!" ZOTT obeys and strikes at the toothy Troglodyte (2d6-1: 9), as does EVANDER (2d6-1: 9), but are repulsed by the monster's stench!

Round 3!
• An odious Troglodyte claws at ZOTT (2d6-2: 5), connecting with his neck for (1d6-1: 1) damage! Blood sprays out of the poor hireling's neck as he hits the ground unconscious!
• A toothy Troglodyte advances on EVANDER, flailing with its razor sharp talons (2d6-2: 2) and howling madly. The young spearmen is caught across the chest for (1d6-1: 4) damage, and falls to the ground unconscious!

The PC's may now act...


SCUNTHORPE firmly grips his staff with both hands, and swings it at the toothy Troglodyte (2d6: 10), who easily avoids it. He calls out to TOECUTTER, "The wand! Use the wand!"

"The wot?" (Yep, the mage is bonkers!) TOECUTTER swings yet again at the odious trog [2d6: 7], but is driven back by the creature's fetor! [Time for a plan B, I think!]

Round 4!
• An odious Troglodyte turns on DONIVAN (2d6-2: 0), sinking his fangs into the little halfling's backpack for (1d6-1: 0) damage! [The Troglodyte looks surprised to not have delicious halfling flesh in his gullet, as the contents of DONIVAN's pack start to spill out over the floor.]
• A toothy Troglodyte claws at SWALKHI (2d6-2: 8), but is parried by the able dwarf!
• An iron spike falls out of DONIVAN's backpack onto the floor!

The PC's may now act...


"The gnarled stick you found in the barrel of apples. Me thinks it's a magic item," SCUNTHORPE replies as he swings wildly with his staff (2d6: 10), easily missing the toothy Troglodyte.

"Yer daft - 'at's a backscratcher if I ever saw one!" TOECUTTER clubs the odious trog [2d6: 4] for [1d6: 3] damage, and maneuvers to fall back next round! The creature is momentarily dazed by the blow, but comes to and continues its attack.

Round 5!
• An odious Troglodyte turns instead against TOECUTTER (2d6-2: 6), raking its claws across his armour.
• A toothy Troglodyte continues his assault on SWALKHI (2d6-2: 4), grabbing his shoulders and chomping into his head for (1d6-1: 1) damage!

The PC's may now act...


"Ugh. Dwarves!" SCUNTHORPE explains in exasperation as he looks over his fallen retinue and strikes out at the toothy Troglodye with his staff (2d6: 7), but swings wide!

"RIGHT! Get off tha li'l one, ya git!" TOECUTTER tries to distract toothy troglodyte with a blow to the melon [2d6: 3] for [1d6: 5] damage, buying time for SWALKHI to get out of the way! TOECUTTER's cudgel bashes the slimy lizard's noggin in, causing its rubbery hide to collapse to the cave floor with a wobble! (BAM!!! -J) [Bam indeed!]

Round 5!
An odious Troglodyte looks in shock at its fallen submissive (2d6: 5) and howls in primal rage at TOECUTTER!

• An odious Troglodyte claws at TOECUTTER (2d6-2: 3), but is desperately held at bay by TOECUTTER's shield!

The PC's may now act...


TOECUTTER grins ferally and counterattacks [2d6: 7], but his swing is batted aside by the furious Trog. [Should I wait a little more for Scunthorpe?]

SCUNTHORPE jabs at the remaining Troglodyte ineffectively with his staff (2d6: 9).

Round 6!
• An odious Troglodyte continues to claw futily at TOECUTTER (2d6-2: 5) from behind his shield.

The PC's may now act...


"Offa my kit!!!" TOECUTTER bashes the trog with his shield edge [2d6: 5] for [1d6: 4] damage! The odious Troglodyte takes the shield-bash in its maw, stumbling back with fewer teeth before collapsing to the ground unconscious.

SCUNTHORPE flails at the Troglodyte with his staff (2d6: 11), but swings wide as the creature staggers back and falls.

The enemy has been defeated! The PC's may now bind other characters' wounds (restoring d6-1 hits, once per injured person), explore the room further or otherwise act.
• TOECUTTER gains 400 xp!


SCUNTHORPE , although unharmed from the battle, looks quite dejected at the cost of it. He kneels by each of his fallen retinue one by one, to bind their wounds. First ZUGG for 1d6: 4, then ZOTT for 1d6: 3, and finally EVANDER, healing him for 1d6: 2. (oops, forgot about the -1. it is corrected on their character sheets)

SCUNTHORPE then turns his attention to the fallen foes, searching them over thoroughly.

The Troglodytes have nothing but slime and offal on them. The brained Troglodyte is quite dead, but the odious Troglodyte is still breathing.

TOECUTTER pokes his head (and torch) into the opening to the east, hoping for a better view.

The light from the torch reflects off a thick fog in the eastern chamber. The party will have to effect ingress to establish a more accurate survey.

"Hey, fellow," SCUNTHORPE says to TOECUTTER, "if your aim is not to use that back-scratcher, as you call it, perhaps you would care to sell it. Name your price."

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