Monday, April 5, 2010

LL at Paul's: Catching up, catching fire, etc. etc.

Okay, so I better talk about the last session of Labyrinth Lord at Paul's before I totally forget how it all went down. This will probably be abbreviated and contorted regardless.

So when last we left our heroes, Yøgund the Paladin had been depantsed by a rampaging glob of green protoplasm and a lot of fire, so we decided to get out of the infamous Stonehell dungeon, hit the surface, and get our bearings. We went up the spiral staircase shown us by our new comrade Grut the dwarf, and found ourselves on the edge of a valley, with a large wall running across one end of it like a dam with no water. We were miles away from where we went in, and so we were kind of lost.

As we surveyed the landscape, we heard a rustling in a nearby copse of trees. Liam the elf ranger and possibly Yøgund approached and called for whoever was hiding to come out. When they didn't comply, Liam lit up a torch and started setting fire to the underbrush. In short order, all the trees around the mouth of the cave were burning merrily, becoming a rapidly spreading forest fire. This finally flushed the stranger out, a halfling mage by the name of Elef, who was a bit shy about revealing himself to a band of fire setting yahoos, but eventually we smoothed things out.

It turned out that Elef had been a former companion and now rival of Talen Zin, one of our two erstwhile mages who we'd lost back in the early innings in Stonehell. (Apparently, Koode and Talin met some sort of lamentable fate, based on the fact that Elef is a replacement character for Koode's player. Alas, Koode, we hardly new ye. So long, and thanks for all the Sleep spells.)

So, after a long and circuitous process of negotiation, we allowed Elef to join up with us on a similar deal to the one we had with Talen Zin. He sought a magical figurine of an elephant, and some other magical gizmo that I can't recall right now, and we agreed he'd get first crack at those, but the rest would be portioned out based on who could best use them. We also all agreed to retreat back into the graffiti marked entry hall to Stonehell, since the forest fires set by Liam had begun to spread at a truly alarming rate.

We bedded down for the night, and set watches. By the time second watch had rolled around, the fires outside had died down to hot embers, and Liam and I believe Strang the hireling spearman were on duty, and maybe Klint the thief as well. They spotted something creeping through some surviving brush and tall grass toward the cave, and so decided to fire upon it.

This provoked a very angry, possibly singed mountain lion to charge them. Strang was sent back to wake the rest of us, and Klint and Liam fired on the beast. It charged the elf, and somehow got past the ranger's prosthetic shield arm, tearing him open with raking claws. As Liam succumbed to his wounds, an awakened Yøgund and Grut charged in and quickly slew the beast, but it was too late to give the stricken elf any aid, and so Liam, the badass, one armed elf, was no more. He died as he had lived, hating nature with every fiber of his being, and I, for one, think that the feeling was quite mutual...

We proceeded to put together a funeral for our friend, skinning the cougar, wrapping Liam's body in it, and tossing it into the flames of the forest fire he started. He probably would have wanted it that way.


We also divided our elven companion's money and worldly goods among ourselves, with the chain mail pants in particular going to Yøgund. We definitely would have wanted it that way.

For his role in Liam's final fight, Strang the Unlucky decided he wanted to be treated like a full member of the group, which led to a little friction along HR lines, especially in view of the fact that Melchior *does* have seniority. The Deacon will have to see if we can work this out.

The next day dawned with a revelation, a cave had been uncovered by the forest fire, and so we decided to give it a look.

Inside, we found the remains of some sort of base camp, although it had long been abandoned to nature. We found little beyond giant pill bugs in one room, a quickly dispatched rabid raccoon in another, a chamber with a stone roof that seemed quite ready to cave in, a venomous adder, and a vacant throne room with an empty stone chest. After exploring this small complex for the better part of an afternoon, we found little of value. The poisonous snake and the foaming, mangy raccoon reminded us too poignantly of Liam, so we left to go back and do some more exploring down in Stonehell.

We decided to do a little searching on Elef's behalf for his mystical doohickeys, since he was the only party member with any kind of motivation to explore down here. Otherwise, the plan was to make for the nearest recognizable village, as directed by Elef, who'd come here from some tiny hamlet about a days march away, and then from there head back to Restenford, and maybe then plan a trip to the city of Bridgefair.

We hied ourselves to the oracle room, and asked three questions of the mystical steaming bronze head, namely the locations of the two items that our halfling friend was seeking. The answers were cryptic and lacking in clear directions, but we noted them and decided to forge ahead deeper into the dungeon.

We headed up the corridor from the oracle room, and found a T junction. Following the easterly hall, we came to a large chamber that I've got recorded on the map as empty. I'm not sure what other features might have been here, so I don't really have much more to say about this room...

Anyway, we headed west, and found a connecting hall that eventually led to the four way intersection with the rusty kobold sign. On the way there we passed a door, and decided to check inside.

There, we found a grisly room full of dead bodies, rank with the heady stench of chemicals. As we stood and took in the vile spectacle, the bodies started to twitch and move, but for good or ill it actually wasn't their own movement, but the movement of a pack of giant rats. The creatures sprang forth, biting and gnashing as the Deacon called for a flask of flammable oil and a lit torch.

While these items were being handed forward, the rats charged, and were rebuffed by Yøgund and Strang, although one of the beasts got a bite in on the Deacon. It was a good thing that our heroic (and re-pantsed) paladin had his Cure Disease ability to use on me, because otherwise, after failing his save, Paul informed us the Deacon would have died in six days if left untreated.

Anyway, we eventually threw down some oil and lit it, doing a lot of damage to several of the rats and most of the corpses, and the party finished off the rest with blades and bludgeons. We searched the room, finding little else of interest, and it was about here that we called it a night.

So it was a good session, all told, although we didn't really get much XP and treasure. Okay, it was a fun session, but otherwise a "heap o' stir and no biscuits" as the old cowhands were wont to say. Some days are diamonds, and some days are stone golems... Ah well.

We're certainly seeing some turnaround in the PC lineup. It's uncertain whether Liam's player will just keep on with Strang or make up a new guy. I have no idea what happened to Koode. Paul had a session with his player to work out what happened after we lost him at the first teleporter rune, but apparently it didn't end well. It's probably better we not know, at least until this campaign has wrapped up. Player knowledge vs. character knowledge and all that. I'd prefer to be surprised.

Then, of course, the following week we cancelled, so this week's session will pick up where we left off. 'Til then, stay tuned, kats and kobolds, for more sturm and drang.

Thanks again to Paul, and my fellow 10d gamers.

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