Saturday, May 11, 2013

The Spidermen that Came to Hirot

Our second session went well. Not quite the furious pace of the first one, but we had to take care of levelling up which slowed us down.

The Company;

  • Brand the dirty sneaky Thief
  • Rubin the warrior
Sebastien - I keep forgetting to write done Seb's character's names! Sorry man...
  • A very tactical and pragmatic Cleric
  • A Warrior
  • Chez the "How do we start fighting here?" Warrior
  • Adel & Bezal - 0 level halflings
  • Daniloth the "my spells kill me" Elf
  • Chester and Lester - 0 level radish farmer
  • Grom "I'm a Wizard!!"
  • Jenson the Warrior

We crunched through levelling and got semi-familiar with some of the class specific rules. Unfortunately no less than three PC's rolled 1 for additional hit points. Two of these were Jeremy's meaning Ruben the warrior had a grand total of 2! Although disappointing the players sucked it up and valiantly played on. We've since made a house rule that a player can spend a point of permanent luck to re-roll a hit die. I think I'll make it retroactive...

The action started several months after the events of Sailors on the Starless Sea. The adventurers had been honing skills and learning spells from the local priest and the chaotic carvings on the dragon boat. The local blacksmith, used to making only horseshoes and shovels, had been hard pressed to make a half decent weapon for each of the adventurers. The group also had some treasure from the last adventure but no place to spend it in such a small village.

That's when a trope of Halfling traders, the Sonorous Fermentators of Milk and Barely, brought news of the far village (several days to the north west - further than anyone had ever been) of Hirot suffering from attacks by a savage beast. Seeing this as an opportunity for further adventure and treasure, the band gathered its gear and headed up the old king's road. A few days later, as they neared Hirot, they encountered a group of peasants and warriors dragging a bound woman to a set of standing stones.

There was a terse exchange where the players attempted to inquire as to the nature of the situation. The leader of the group, an immense warrior deferred to as the Jarl, made it clear that no help was required, that they were on their own business and that they were seeing to the safety of the village. A few of the villagers didn't seem so convinced and shouted out that they were leaving the woman as an offering to placate an evil beast that was plaguing the town.

This of course cued the adventurers and there followed many loud brags that they could rid the town of any monster, that they were the heroes of Lemsby and had killed a chaos demon and they could do it again, especially if gold were involved. The Jarl was unimpressed, his warriors looked on in interest,
I'd thank you to all piss off.
acknowledging the apparent capabilities of the band, but unsure if the situation was going to turn ugly.

That was when Jenson the Warrior lit up the chaos flail he had acquired from Sailors of the Starless sea. The villagers cowered, the Jarl stood impassive and his warriors observed in measured states, hands on swords. Things were tense for a few moments, but calmer heads prevailed and the Jarl simply picked up the woman and rode to the nearby standing stones and bound her to a stake. With a warning not to interfere he led his people back, presumably, to Hirot.

The adventurers waited a few moments then went and freed to woman (whose named turned out to be Morgan), who was grateful but obviously nervous. They learned that the beast had been attacking at night for several months and though it had been slain once, it simply returned the next night more vicious than ever. The Jarl's advisor, one Sillus Ru had come up with the idea of a lottery sacrifice, which had been done every three days which seemed to sate the monster. After a bit of quick math, it was realized that this was not a sustainable situation. It was also discovered that none of the Jarl's men had been picked in the lottery, which immediately set off the rigged lottery alarm.

The adventurers decided to wait for the beast at the stones and were not disappointed when it appeared in the dark of night just beyond the light of the campfire. Brand, with his extra sensitive elephant ears heard it first and a couple left the safety of the firelight to flush it out. A fierce melee ensured and they managed to kill the beast, without casualties, though there was a quick heal when one of the PCs was brought to 0hp.

The band then departed for the village of Hirot, arriving in the early morning. They were greeted by a horn blast and cautious guards at the gate where they discovered that the rumours of great heroes come to save the village had already spread. Urging them to come to her father's Tavern Morgan lead them to the Wolf and Spear as early rising farmers looked on with a mixture of hope and fear.

Broegan was the tavern owners name and was very grateful to see his daughter. He readily offered room, board and gossip. Much was learned. There were ancient myths of a wolf demon, that had been slain or tamed by a champion named Ulfheonar with a great spear. They also learned the trouble started when those no good brothers Kej, Stien and Illham, got the weird idea to go treasure seeking (they'd been bragging) in an old tomb to the north. They also learned that that old Ymae the witch woman had been living in her hut before the village had been founded and knew much of the old stories.

After a meal and a sleep the gang headed out that afternoon to speak with Ymae. Villagers were popping up to check them out. They encountered and had a shouting match with the local cleric of Justica, Father Beacom who loudly proclaimed they were all going to die from their vague and various sins. Reasoning with a looney zealot is seldom satisfying and the band moved on. Ymae's hut stood in the shadow of the promontory on which the Jarl's hall was built, and appeared ancient and unassuming. A knock at it's wobbly old door elicited a crone's voice "You've come at last. Please come in"

Amazingly everyone seems to fit comfortably in the tiny hut which was stuffed with shelves and trunks and bottles and cases filled with an endless assortment of strange and mysterious items. The old lady herself sat by the fire that seemed to crackle and spit as if it were talking, handing the crone wisps of flame which she spun on a spindle. All very impressive. The conversation ranged but the group was able to learn that a great wolf demon plague these parts in ages past but was defeated by a great chief known as Ulfheonar. Ymae give the impression that she had known Ulfheonar personally and said that he had bound the demon to his tomb in the north. The party quickly surmised that the brothers Kej, Stien and Illham had somehow set the wolf spirit free. The witch informed them that a spear capable of destroying the wolf lay in the tomb. She also offered a deal - she would construct a rope that could bind the demon if the party brought her the hair of a dead man and one of their number agreed to marry her. No one committed to this deal, but they thanked her and left. 

The party then proceeded to seek out the remaining no good brothers lead by a certain Master Jenks. These they found in their residence, a filthy flophouse of the other side of town. On their way there the caught the eye of one of the Jarl's men who greeted them with a smile and a caution that the Jarl was none to happy that they were interfering. Strangely, the warrior didn't seem too upset about the situation...

Master Jenks and company were uncooperative at first but after some threatening agreed (it wasn't like they had a choice actually) to lead the group to the tomb and show them where the missing brothers crawled in (they had run away once they heard screams from within the tomb so have no idea what happened to the brothers). 

The adventurers took Master Jenks with them back to the Wolf and spear and tucked him in a closet for the night and got some rest themselves, planning to get up after dark knowing that the demon wolf would likely attack that night. 

Of course it did. Again Brand with his odd elephant ears was the first to hear the howls. The adventurers spread out along the walls, joining the night guards and a few of the Jarl's men. The mood was grim and the friendly comradery was gone. The attack occurred on a little hut and the they arrived too late to save the elderly couple within. A ferocious fight ended with the wolf demon vanquished once more but with the death of Rubin "I only have 2hp" the Warrior. Seeing that one of their number had fallen in defence of the village, the guards were more accepting, but one of the Jarls men made it clear that more villagers would die unless something was done, and at least the Jarls plan was keeping the bloodshed to a minimum. 

Suitably admonished, the party slept the remainder of the night and headed out first thing in the morning with Master Jenks in tow. They came upon the tomb a few hours later in the dense forest to the north. Shaped like a massive serpent, the earthen mound was surrounded by a stream that formed a pond at the serpents's head. Wary of that obvious entrance, the group pushed Jenks to show them how the missing brothers got in and he lead them to a crumbled opening in the mound where a collapse had made an unintended way in. 

The band crawled in and discovered a partially collapsed room with ancient murals and writing on the walls, apparently praising the exploites of a tribe that had taken the wildcat as it's motif but paid tribute to a more powerful tribe whose symbol was the snake. Not finding much beyond rubble, they crept out to find a larger corridor beyond. One direction lead into darkness, the other had a golden glint. Eagerly choosing golden glint over the darkness they discovered themselves in a large, impressive room decorated with murals depicting the snake tribe and a great chief, presumably Ulfheonar, striking down a demon wolf with great spear. There were Two great bronze doors that reflected the light (and not a giant pile of gold as had been speculated) which refused to open. Unnervingly the floor was covered in thousands of cast off snake skins.

It was Daniloth the elf sniffing about for secret doors that came upon the pile of pile of dried twigs and roots by the entrance to the hallway and looked above it to see a secret passage. Brand the thief, sensing  the opportunity to be the first to find the "real hoard" volunteered to go in and scout it out. "Wait!" cried  Grom the wizard "I'll cast a spell!". Everyone groaned.

It should be noted that Grom had been casting spells left right and centre since learning how to do so. Quite a few spells had failed but he had miraculously avoided corruption. Spider climb was the spell he choose to cast this time, with the mercurial effect of Whimsical Patron. This gives a random action die type. In this case, Grom rolled and got a d30 as his action die. He then proceeded to roll a natural 30, a critical. Which means he adds his caster bonus twice for a total of 34. With this result Spider Climb 
Oh Yeah Baby!
essentially turns all friendlies within 20 feet into Spiderman for the next 24 hours. Everyone can climb walls, does extra damage in melee and CAN SHOOT WEBS. Yes they all gained the ability to shoot super strong, sticky webbing...


Chortling over this incredible new ability, Brand leaps up the wall and scuttles into the secret passage with a web rope around his waist so the others can pull him out if something goes wrong. Unfortunately, the Super Spider Powers did not include a spider sense and he was set upon by some sort of zombie in that cramped space and apparently killed. Chez the warrior quickly went in to help and destroyed the zombie and turned Brand over to discover that he was not in fact dead, but just very very hurt. Brand crawled out and Chez crawled forward. Chez soon discovered a chamber with a stone and wood pillar with a very grand looking spear and shield hanging from it halfway up. The pillar looked suspicious and was apparently holding the ceiling up. Chez covered the ceiling with a series of supportive web strands to stop it collapsing (at least immediately) and then scuttled across on a web rope snatched the spear and shield and scuttled back as the room rumbled. He watched it collapse from the relative safety of the secret passage and returned triumphant to the others.

It seemed like they had found the famous wolfspear, but Sebastien's very tactical and pragmatic Cleric wasn't convinced. Were did that zombie come from? He climbed up and searched for a second secret passage in the secret passage. He was rewarded quickly enough by finding an upward tunnel which led to a far less ornate room within which sat a mummified corpse on a simple throne. There was a wolfspear and drinking horn on the corpses lap. Gently lifting these away the Cleric side back down to meet his comrades.

And that is where we ended it for the night!