Here's the recap email I just sent for last night's session:
First, we have adopted two new house rules:
a. PC's will go unconscious at 0 hp, and die at -10
b. Once per session, a player may substitute a d30 for any roll whatsoever. Damage, to hit, save, anything.
So here's what went on last night:
Mongo the Fighter, and his henchmen Melzgar the Elf, Rogar the Elf, and Roger the Fighter
Gutboy Barrelhouse the Cleric, his henchmen Slezgar the Elf and Serlo the Elf, and his dogs Rufus and Ruby
Netal the Elf, and his dog Moe
P.W. the Halfling, and his henchman Fast Eddie the Thief
Gutboy instructed Slezgar to poke at the body-shaped patch of blue fungus some more. Slezgar verified it was fungus, and then started prodding down the length of the "body." At the waist, his dagger clinked against something metallic - scraping the fungus away, the hips and legs of a skeleton, made of tarnished silver, were revealed. As the party packed up the skeleton, P.W. the Halfling suddenly burst in - he had been only a few minutes behind the party, having followed them from town.
Introductions were made by Gutboy, and then the decision was made to pry the crystal lamp from the ceiling. It was firmly attached, but hammering an iron spike finally disloged the light, yanking a bit of wire out of the ceiling. The lamp was made of solid crystal, with a bit of wire and some bolts sticking out. The party put it with the skeleton, hoping to sell it back at town.
The party continued deeper into the dungeon. Following a tunnel west, they came into the upper level of a large room with a balcony. As they entered, horrible screaming was heard from the darkness, and eyeless pointy-eared clawed albino freaks clambered up from the balcony. P.W. took a nasty hit to the head and was knocked unconscious, but a sleep spell knocked the screaming freaks out (several falling to the floor below as they lost their grip on the balcony). The party slaughtered the sleepers, and screams receding into the distance convinced the party the freaks had retreated.
The party decided to stay out of the lower level of the room, and exited to the north, finding an enormous cross-shaped room. In the center of the room were four yellow-and-red kruller-shaped things, with lots of legs and horns at one end. Two more sleep spells were attempted, but the weird things were unaffected. A short battle was fought, and the creatures eventually killed, but the dog Moe was badly beaten and unconscious.
Close examination of the room revealed that the tunnels leading out to the north and south were surrounded on either side by carved columns in the stonework, and topped by a lintel. Above the lintel were niches, each containing a crudely-carved skull, and lifting the skulls revealed three metal pins protruding from the bottom of the niche. The east and west sides of the cross-shaped rooms didn't have any tunnels, but did have the columns and lintel, surrounding a wall of smooth stone instead of an opening. Experiments were performed, moving the skulls to various niches, but nothing happened.
The party headed north, and found themselves in familiar territory - they eventually made it back to the 30' square room, with a 10' square pillar in the middle, and stone faces carved on each side of the pillar. The pillar was surrounded by skeletons. P.W. investigated the pillar further, and discovered there was a lever in each recessed right eye socket, in each of the faces. The party retreated to a room to the north, with a door, and P.W. pulled the lever. He yanked his hand back quickly as clear ooze began dribbling down out of each eye socket, and ran back into the room to the north. The party slammed the door shut, and worked their way back around the 30' square room via an alternate path.
Coming back into the room from an eastern entrance, they found no sign of the ooze, but most of the skeletons were now missing. P.W. theorized the ooze dissolved the skeletons, but this theory was soon to be discredited. To the south was an open door, and as the party moved south to examine it, eight skeletons with clear oozy bodies marched through the door towards them.
Gutboy immediately tried to turn their creatures, but to his horror realized he had no holy symbol - he had discarded Thor's but forgot to find a replacement. So melee combat was engaged. The door restricted the monsters' movement, however, and the battle was decidedly one-sided. Mongo and the dogs moved up to the front lines, and carved through them, while P.W. and Roger shot arrows over the dogs' heads. Mongo gave a blast with his napalm-loaded flamethrower, but only managed to splash the wall - he decided to switch to his two-handed sword after that miss. The combat was brief, and the party prevailed, but another hound was knocked out cold.
Continuing exploration to the south revealed an empty room, without even dust, and beyond that a small room with rusty metal shelving. The shelving mostly held tiny mounds of dust, but there was a small rack of six vials labeled "Ichor Samples". Each vial contained a clear fluid. Netal put the vials into his pack to investigate later.
The group decided to head back to Chelmsfordshire. At the village tavern, Fast Eddie and Slezgar announced that they were retiring from the adventuring life. There was muted discussion about killing them and taking their pay, but seeing as the party was in a public place, the two former henchmen were allowed to leave unmolested. A few days were spent healing and resting, but the two wounded dogs were deemed too unhealthy to risk bringing back into the dungeon. There was some talk of finding the village's cleric to help with healing, until they recalled that Gutboy was the appointed (and chronically absent) cleric of the town. Gutboy took some time to teach five of the locals about the glories of Nisus, and soon they were rubbing bugs, worms, and dirt in their hair. Gutboy also took some time to whittle a holy symbol, a piss-poor representation of a centipede made out of a stick. The party then headed back to the dungeon, a few henchmen and dogs lighter than they were before.
The explorers made their way west back towards the throne room they had found during one of the party's earlier visits to the dungeon. Instead of heading through the trap door under the throne, they instead went north through a massive pair of double doors. The chamber beyond was only partially excavated, but strangely had dressed stone wherever there wasn't rough unexcavated rock. There were also several giant earwigs, but the creatures didn't seem particularly interested in the party. Gutboy praised Nisus, and the expedition west east down a long corridor.
The corridor stretched for over a hundred feet, before an opening with a door was noticed to the north. Exploration of the tightly-spaced tunnels beyond revealed a room with a stuck door, and P.W. heard voices behind it. P.W. failed to smash through it, but Mongo was able to bash the door open, sending a spike flying across the room. Inside were four stinking lizard-people, with sharp claws and massive jaws. Arrows were fired, taking one of the lizards out, and a sleep spell took care of the rest. The party gleefully set to slitting throats and looting the bodies of their pouches of electrum pieces. The lizard-people were clearly malnourished, with skin tight against their ribs and distended bellies.
Another room in the tight cluster of corridors was found to contain a stunning pile of perhaps 10,000 gp, plentiful jewels, and a pair of swords sticking out of the pile. The entire party stared in absolute disbelief, and began raining arrows down on the pile. The piles began advancing towards the party, but was slaughtered before it could reach them. It was some sort of fleshy creature with two pseudopods, and the swords and gold coins were attached to its sticky carcass. The jewels turned out to be the creatures multi-faceted shining eyes. The gold was real enough, however, and the party divvied up the 1,200 gp (and pocketed the short swords as well).
Beyond this room was another, with a leathery mummified body in the corner. The corpse was clutching a note, which read: "I don't have long now. It's been two days since I sent Jorge down to the pools. He must bring the water from the brown pool only. If he doesn't make it, there's still a skull left, use that to bring me back." Theories were advanced about how the stone skulls might be the skull referred to, and a slanted wall in the room was examined closely, but no other secrets were found here. The party took the note and left.
Continuing east down the long corridor, it went for another hundred feet or more, and a side corridor heading to the southwest was found. The party ignored it, and continued on til the long corridor ended, and two new corridors headed north and south. They headed north, and eventually came to a door. Opening it, a room occupied almost entirely by a 15' deep pool of golden liquid was revealed. Opposite the door, 25' from the door to its edge, was a 5' deep by 15' long stone platform, covered with several hundred gold coins. Closer examination revealed that the golden liquid was probably clear, because the walls of the pool were covered with a sheet of gold that ran a fraction of an inch taller than the pool. The ceiling was also found to have many strange, regular cracks in it.
Netal dipped his shovel in to see if it would turn to gold. Instead, it dissolved almost instantly as it came in contact with the fluid. Mongo flicked a gold coin in, and the coin sank to the bottom, unaffected. Flicking a silver piece in, that dissolved quickly, like the shovel.
Unable to come up with a plan to get to the coins on the platform at the other side of the pool, the party continued deeper into the dungeon. As they approached some stairs in a corridor heading down, P.W. and the dog Rufus suddenly fell as a pit trap opened beneath them. As fast as it opened, it closed shut again. The party tried pressing down on the pit, standing on it, jumping up and down, but they were unable to get the pit to open again.
In the pit, P.W. found that he was on a grate. He had managed to hold onto his torch, and could see that there was another tunnel beneath the grate, and a lever on the wall, in the "up" position. P.W. pulled some chain out of his pack and tried draping it over the lever, but it wasn't enough weight to force the lever down. He also tried reaching through the grate and pushing with his sword, but his reach wasn't long enough. As he sheathed his sword, he saw a half-dozen four foot long stony-looking caterpillars with nasty mandibles creeping down the tunnel beneath him. They stopped and began circling below. The halfling pulled out his bow and began shooting them, and soon they were all dead, riddled with arrows.
Up above, the party began a frantic search for a way to get to the trapped halfling. They followed twisting corridors and ran through rooms containing glowing patches of green fungus, and more giant earwigs (that also remained uninterested in the party). Finally, they saw the corpses of caterpillars up ahead, a lever on the walll, and a grate on the ceiling - they had found P.W.!
P.W. used his rope to tie himself and the dog to the grate, and Mongo pulled the lever. The grate flung open downwards, stopping short of hitting the wall and the lever, and Mongo untied the two and lowered them to the ground.
And that's where we ended for the night. Next session will be on Wednesday, Feb 23.