Here's the recap email I just sent for tonight's session:
Here's the usual recap of the session. We'll meet next on Wednesday, Nov 17th.
The halfling P.W., fighter Too, and cleric Gutboy, gathered in the Stinkborugh village tavern, when they were approached by a magic-user, who called himself The Claw. He was accepted into the party after a few brief words, and they began scanning the tavern for likely henchmen. Two human men, a dwarf, and an elf looked like they could make capable employees.
Gutboy walked up to the first human, and introduced himself as the village priest. "Get lost, priest. Always taking money from the poor. You make me sick." Trying his luck with the second human, he was told to take a walk as well. Whoever these two were, they despised the priesthood.
Gutboy decided to try talking to the elf. He was 5' tall, with gray skin, pointed ears, a nose so small that the nostrils were almost like slits in his face, eyes entirely black, and a mouthful of sharp fangs.
"Hello. Would you perhaps be looking for an adventure? Something to make a little money?"
"Why yes I would! I could always use fame and fortune, more fortune than fame, if you know what I mean."
"Coin and I are never together for long, it's the ladies I long for. My name is Slezgar."
Too approached the man who first told the priest to take a hike, and offered him a job. "Yeah, I could use some coin. Just keep that priest away from me. I'm good at sneaking around. My name's Fast Eddie."
The Claw also decided to try his hand talking to one of the men who told Gutboy off. "What? Yeah, sure I'll work for ya! The standard half-share? I'm quick with a dagger, and I've done a bit of safecracking in my time. Call me Zarak."
P.W., also wanting a henchman, approached the dwarf, a flabby, squat, gray-skinned creature, with eyes also entirely black.
"Hello, good sir, would you like to join me on an adventure?"
"Get the hell away from me, you little freak! Say another word, and I'll knock your head clean off!"
P.W. quietly backed away, but Too liked the cut of his jib, and saw an excellent hiring opportunity. "Well, would you like to work for me?" "Yeah, sure, I'll work for you. I hate those halflings, though. The name's Dingo."
Employers and employees agreed to meet back first thing in the morning. After an uneventful night at the inn, the party gathered, purchased equipment for their new retainers, and Gutboy purchased a second war hound, which he named Ruckus.
They spent a day and a half tromping through the woods and up the slopes of Mt. Rendon, when they reached the cave mouth. They proceeded into the well-lit, white-walled complex, and stopped in the first octagonal room to try to figure out their map. This took quite some time, and while they turned pieces of paper over, tried connecting them in various ways, and otherwise flailed about in confusion, a lone automaton stumbled into the room, its body a mix of steel framing and bones tied to rusting stumps of metal with ragged strips of human skin. It rushed at the party, frenzied by the prospect of retrieving precious skeletons from the filthy meat-sacks, but was quickly dispatched by the party.
Gutboy had Slezgar drag the automaton's body along, as they made their way to the room where the party had met Lt. Hammer, during the last session. They passed a group of non-hostile five bone-and-metal automatons along the way, and Gutboy struck up a conversation.
"Hello! Are you interested in more parts?"
"Oh. Hmm. Do you like Lt. Hammer?"
"He takes our parts!"
"Would you like to help kill him?"
P.W. then pipes up, "Do you want my parts?"
After thoughtful consideration, the automaton replies "No, your parts are too small."
One of the automatons then grabbed at the automaton-corpse they had been dragging along. Gutboy told him to stop, but the automaton just shouted "Parts!" The other automatons then descended on the corpse as well, and they began tugging it apart. The party decided to just move along, and made their way to the room where they had last seen Lt. Hammer.
The lieutenant was there, along with his three footlockers, but was in a foul mood. "Humans! Again?" He lined up one of his arms at Too, the black hole at the end of his arm-pod staring Too right in the face.
Gutboy spoke up, "Wait! Will you let us go down? We'll bring you back money."
Hammer laughed loudly. "Ha! You won't be coming back from down there!"
"What's down there?'
"More fleshy things like you. I shoot them. Want to see how?" He points his arm at Gutboy.
"You'll pay now if you want to go down."
"How about half now, half later?"
"How about all right now?" Hammer grows impatient, and clearly prepares to fire his arm-weapon.
"Ok! We'll give you the money!"
P.W. says, "I've got 95 gp."
Hammer: "Give it to me!"
"Well not all of it!"
"Yes, now!" He points his arm at P.W.
The other members of the party quickly start handing over fistfuls of gold to the lieutenant, and he drops his 100 gp into a footlocker. Gutboy tries to sneak a peak inside, but was unable to see what else Hammer had inside. "Now get out of here!"
The party proceeded south into a 20' square chamber, with an opening in the west wall, blocked by protonium-metal bars running from floor to ceiling. On the south wall was an inclined metal shelf, with a lever and glowing screen. The screen read, "Safety period expired. Fuel replenished. Subsurface entry permitted."
Too sent Dingo to use his wide-spectrum vision to look through the bars. He saw a stairway heading down as far as he could see (that is, 60'). The stairway was of dressed stonework, there was no sign of the glowing ceiling or white walls and floors of the complex they had explored so far.
After much discussion, Too volunteered to pull the lever. The rest of the party cowered in the doorway, as Too carefully pushed the lever up. Nothing happened for a few seconds, but then the screen changed. It now read "Subsurface Research Facility Main Power Facility Re-Activating." Another few moments of silence, and then klaxons sounded, both within the room, and from somewhere deep underneath the room. Horrible crashing noises were heard from below, and the room began vibrating. Finally, the klaxons quieted and the shaking stopped, and the screen now read "All entrances open. Ready."
The party headed downstairs, with Too and Fast Eddie in the lead. The stairs went down for 100', before ending at an intersection: a door to the north, and corridors heading west and south. Too listened carefully at the door, and hearing nothing, opened it. A small room lay behind it, 20' square, with nothing but a skeleton, grasping an antique pen, and a few papers beside it. P.W. read the papers aloud: "To whosoever finds this note, they have locked us in. I don't know what happened in the lower levels, but I'm pretty sure they will never let us out. The soldiers at the top of the stairs were taking pot shots at us. Please let my wife and kids know I loved them. There is something outside in the dark."
After listening to this sobering message, Gutboy picked up the pen. It was not a mere quill, but a retractable ballpoint pen. The kind rich people have. He was disappointed to find that the ink was dry, but he claimed it as his own regardless.
Heading back out of the room, the party headed west, following a winding corridor til they found another door. Too poked his head inside, and saw a room empty, except for another door, and a dozen small holes in the northern wall, five feet off the floor. The party grew nervous, and wondered what traps could lie within. Except for the halfling, P.W. He boldly strode into the room, fearing nothing, not even the dozen darts that flew over his head as he stepped on a pressure plate.
After some experimentation with the pressure plate, the party gathered up two dozen darts for the thieves and The Claw to use. They then crawled on their hands and knees to the other door, and proceeded down a short hall and into another room. This room was empty except for dust, and a few dried piles of excrement. Seeking gold in unlikely places, Gutboy pawed through the piles of dessicated manure, but found nothing.
On to the next room. The party opened a door in the south wall, and beheld a strange sight. They lookd into a pair of corridors, one heading east, another west, and the walls opposite them bore large floor-to-ceiling carvings of grinning faces with empty recessed eyesockets and recessed mouths. Scattered on the floor were many skeletons. The party decided discretion is the better part of valor, and closed the door carefully, deciding to try a different exit from the dung-covered room.
Listening at this other door, Slezgar reported that he heard chewing noises. The party lined up, bows and darts at the ready, waiting to slaughter whatever beasts lay behind. One of the thieves crept up to the door, threw it open, and ran back to the party. Behind the door was a room with three horrific creatures savaging a bloodied corpse. The creatures were vaguely dog-like, with oily black skin, six legs that ended in knobby stubs, and heads like elongated four-sided pyramids, that hinged open into four toothed jaws and a toothed tongue.
The creatures didn't seem to notice the party, and they let fly with their weapons, and Gutboy released his hounds, Rufus and Ruckus. The creatures were slain within seconds. Entering the room to investigate the savaged corpse, they found it was too mutilated to determine what kind of creature it was, but it did have a gold necklace. Grabbing up the treasure, they exited south from this new room, and wandered through more maze-like corridors.
Eventually the hallway opened into another room. Approaching the entrance, the flickering torchlight revealed two clumps of a strange fungus on the ceiling, with knob-like growths on it. Holes opened in the knobs, and suddenly they gave out loud screeching noises. The party rushed in and pulled out darts and bows to kill the fungi before it attracted attention.
As they began to shoot at the fungus, two bizarre, twisted creatures, with gnarled semi-cylindrical bodies 10' long and 1' wide, one with 5 legs and another 8 legs, entered the room. They were yellow, with red splotches and stripes, and from the ends facing the party, each had a pair of "arms" that ended in long spikes. The hounds were released on one, but another charged Fast Eddie and gored him badly.
Arrows, darts, and magic missiles flew, and the gas-bag of one of the ceiling fungi was pierced with a loud flatulent noise, and its shrieking was silenced. Still, more monsters appeared from the gloom. From behind the party, five giant earwigs appeared in the corridor, but the insects did not attack. More fighting, swords were drawn, and the twisted yellow-red creatures were cut to bloodless pieces. Their bodies were fleshy and yellow, but there was no blood or internal organs to the creatures.
As the party killed off the last ceiling fungus, they heard horrible screams from off in the distance, somewhere to the east. They eyed the earwigs nervously, but didn't attack. The insects headed back into the darkness, and the party, fearful of whatever made the screams, headed south, deeper into the dungeon.
Following a gently curving corridor, they found themselves in the eastern end of a vast room. Their ceiling arched far above them, beyond the feeble illumination of their torches, and the walls stretched off into the darkness. Pulling back so the dwarf could look with his wide-spectrum vision, he reported that he still could see no end to this room. The party began walking along the wall, trying to determine the extent of this room.
After much exploration and surveying, they found that the massive chamber had a doorway in the southeast wall, a massive archway with a short corridor to a massive set of double doors to the north, and raised dais with a throne on the west wall. The throne was stainless steel, and covered with raised steel sculptures of winged cherubs. The cherubs were threatening in appearance, with empty eye sockets and cruel smiles. Other than the empty eye sockets, they didn't resemble the faces they had seen earlier.
Examining the area around the throne, the party noticed scratch marks curving away from the base of the throne. They had two of the henchmen push the throne, and it pivoted around one corner, revealing a hole in the floor. Dingo took a look down, and reported that there was a ladder that went down 40', and then a tunnel headed south.
At this point, the party took stock of their situation. They were deep underground, with an extortionist soldier-robot above, out of magic missile spells, and with a wounded henchman.
Too: "You want to heal Fast Eddie?"
Gutboy: "No, I want to save my cure light wounds. He's just a henchman."
Fast Eddie: "Hey, I'm right here! Stupid priest."
They briefly considered camping out in the vast hall of the throne room, but then decided that it wasn't defensible enough. They went back to the first room they had found, the one with the skeleton, clutching the note describing how he had made his last stand in that tiny room, some 3,000 years ago. Hoping for better luck, they spiked the door shut and made camp for the night.