Here we are once more, as I spin out the skein of another Labyrinth Lord game as hosted by my buddy Paul.
When last we left our heroes, they were holed up in the city of Bridgefair, recovering after having busted another evil cult dwelling in the basements of that fair principality.
Thus when morning came we set about various orders of business that had been put off by the prior night's hate filled cloud of brawling. Poor Hearth was still down with a broken nose, so the Deacon set about fixing him up first. It worked, but now there's a barely audible whistling noise when the poor fella breathes. Chalk it up to elves and their hollow bones...
Next task was retrieving Tinhelm from the cellar we'd left him tied up in for the night. We eventually decided not to turn him over to the Haberdashers to get made into a hat, instead letting him off with a stern warning of severe beatings that would ensue if we ever saw him and his shiny helmet ever again.
That turned out not to be a problem, as we sidled up to the abandoned gnomish jewelers and sent Half Klint inside to check in on him while we feigned talking about business. (There were a lot of pedestrians about, and we didn't want to arouse suspicion by breaking into an abandoned jewel shop.) Well, it was good that nobody was paying too close attention, 'cos the little guy failed his move silently rolls spectacularly and knocked over an entire cabinet of china accompanied by loud curses.
I suppose I've gotten off the point, which was that Tinhelm was nowhere to be found, just a little bit of frayed rope marked where he'd lay. We tossed a coin and it came up "Not our problem anymore." (I'm sure that's the way it will be too. No future problems at all... Nope...) So we went off to run more errands.
Our third stop took us to Adric the sage, in his ramshackle "Hoarders" episode of an office, where we found him talking to a young mage of very professional aspect who expressed an interest in joining our group after hearing something of our exploits from the aged sage.
This was fine with us. It didn't hurt to have another mage in the group, and our recent acquisition Marklov had somehow failed to show up back at the inn after a night of carousing.
Once again, I'm sure he's fine, and will show up eventually someday...
(I'm afraid our new magic man's name escapes me right now, as is often the case with new player characters. The real haps was that Marklov's player had decided that a mage was more apropos for him vis a vis the group's play style, and so he decided to shelve the burly thief for a magic user.)
We did a fair bit of business with Adric. We contracted him to identify the magic chainmail and mace that we'd recovered from the underground cult leader. We also hired him on as a go between to sell the ancient ilmorian armor that Frog, Marklov, and Half Klint liberated from the crypts where the cult was having their little soiree. He'd assured us that a collector would be willing to fork over about 100 gp per suit (which in Paul's houseruled money adds up to 10 times that amount.) So we were all for it.
Once that was done we had our appointment with the clerics of Palinthor, whom we'd promised to lead to the cult's lair for them to check it out. There was some dissention among the group about whether we should do this now or later after we'd had a chance to loot the place, but it all turned out okay 'cos when the elderly priest found out the place hadn't been 100% cleared of nastiness he demurred going down. I guess I, for one, had imagined a squad of paladins would follow us down, but in truth those guys had left the city to face this whole invading army business so it was just the old priest and a couple acolytes who'd be with us.
So we bid them good day and set out for the old abandoned house where Half Klint had discovered the entrance.
We went down and started mapping out the underground complex, noting rooms and connecting halls. There were a lot of crypts. Some of the skeletal denizens of the alcoves got up to complain about all the noise we were making, but now that the Deacon is 5th. level skeletons ain't no big thing, as I get an automatic T when turning 1 HD undead. So I sent 'em back to bed with a few strums of my silver stringed mandolin.
There was one pretty funny battle where we ran the skeletons off and Kashim still insisted on charging 'em, so the rest of us held back and watched in bemusement as he kept glancing over his shoulder, wondering if we were planning on helping him in his epic battle. You wanna roll them bones, big man? You just go right ahead. He smashed 'em without too much trouble.
The situation underground got VERY interesting when we came upon a footbridge crossing an underground river fork, which in turn led to a small, ruined town in a large subterranean chamber. Wowsers!
Well, we crossed the bridge, sending Kashim and his Ring of Water Walking across first in case of deadfalls, and proceeded to explore what seemed to be ancient Ilmorian ruins. We came upon a small square with a well, flanked by four buildings at the nearest corner in the triangle formed by the underground streams. The buildings weren't much trouble for us to get into. (I think Half Klint had another of his Halfling Hulk Out's on one of the doors, pulling it off the hinges with a 6 on his open doors roll.)
The interiors weren't much to write home about, mostly ancient bits of furniture that crumbled to the touch. One building held a pair of were-rats, who we quickly overbore and slew without too much worry of catching any lycanthropy off of 'em. (Our front line is pretty sturdy, with Kashim at a 2 AC and Frog at a 1, with the Deacon weighing in at a pretty solid 3.) I don't totally recall the play by play on that fight, but we didn't have too much trouble taking 'em down with all the magical weapons we were slinging. I think I kerploded one's noggin' with my Mojo stick. Good times.
Well, things went very pear shaped in the southernmost building. Pear shaped and black. With eight legs and a red hourglass shape on the belly. And big as a shetland pony.
Yeah, we ran into a bunch of giant black widow spiders in this structure, which was otherwise empty except for a thick haze of webbing. Kashim and Frog charged 'em, and against my better judgement, the Deacon did as well. All through the fight I had a feeling I'd gotten in over my head, and it came true when one of the bastards bit me.
So I had to roll a save vs. Poison, and I had a plus two from the Ring of Protection I was wearing. But it wasn't enough. I rolled a 4. In a few short moments of convulsions and agony, Deacon Django Silver was dead.
Ah well. Bound to happen sometime. I was the last holdout from the initial party, and hadn't suffered a death yet, so I guess my number was up. And it was a 4.
Well, I gotta say I was tremendously heartened by what happened next. The rest of the group went into GO mode and beat a hasty withdrawal. They knocked one of the spiders out with a Sleep spell, and managed to kill one of them too, and then absconded post haste with the Deacon's rapidly cooling corpse.
They headed back to the Temple of Palinthor at a run, and plunked me down on the head priest's doorstep looking for a Raise Dead. Mercifully, the old guy could do the ritual, but they were gonna need a large, valuable gemstone to start with. Also mercifully, we happened to have just such a ruby, that we didn't use when we tried and failed to raise our veteran thief Klint.
Although there was a bit of uncertainty as to WHO had the ruby. I envision a furious patting down of pockets and belt pouches at that point. Thankfully, Paul showed some mercy and let us find it, although we'd lost other valuable things before due to poor record keeping. We resolved to keep better track of our stuff from here on out.
Well, with ruby in hand there was still the matter of paying for an additional Neutralize Poison spell, or else the Deacon would expire from the very poison that killed him seconds after being revived. That also was ponied up, and the old priest set to work.
Hallelujah! The ruby flared like a small sun and vanished, and the Deacon twitched awake. He was feeble and delirious, and wouldn't be functional for a couple weeks to come, but by cracky he was back!
And that's where we left off.
Whew. A real bang up session. I kind of felt like I'd finally gone thru a rite of passage that other players were by now old hands at... the grisly death of a PC. Extremely luckily for both me and The Deacon I had my first experience with the reaper within' the confines of a major city with good Raise Dead facilities and we had the requisite pricey gem at hand to pay for it, so I was dead and back from the beyond within' that all important "golden hour" that medical experts talk about.
As I said, I was also touched by how the team dropped everything and rushed to get my character back. As Frog said "He's our voice of reason. We need him!" So yeah, thanks guys. You're the best bunch of larcenous miscreants I guy could hang out with.
So now, the Deacon rests up, and whatever mischief they get up to in the meantime doesn't need to be mentioned.
Thanks again to Paul for running a gripping session, and to the 10d gamers for picking me up when I was finally down. You guys rock!