Friday, March 7, 2014

A Different Experience -- Delve #18

Today's Delvers:
  • Taggert -- male 3rd Level Fighter -- AC-4; HP-22; 2-hand sword
  • Gylvair -- male 2nd Level Elf -- AC-4; HP-13; longsword; (sleep & magic missile)
  • Fasboo -- female 3rd Level Cleric -- AC-3; HP-18; hammer; (cure light wounds; Bless)
Both Taggert and Fasboo had managed to reach 3rd level on yesterday's delve . . . and now Fasboo was insisting that she needed to see the fountain in Room 8.  She said that is where she needed to go even if it was by herself . . . so they headed for Entrance E and entered the Undercity.

 On their way to Room 8 they encountered a lone Dwarf headed west.

"Greetings, friend", said Taggert in Dwarvish.  "What's the news?"

"Grenda is eating heart out and Day-old Wolf must help.", replied the Dwarf without stopping.

When Taggert related the gist of the Dwarf's words, Fasboo asked what it meant . . . and Taggert didn't know.  Gylvair said it was just an old story.

Upon reaching Room 8, Fasboo confirmed that it was indeed a statue of her Goddess, Athena . . . but it had been defiled and she would need to cleanse and bless it in order to restore it to the Goddess.  

Since she had anticipated that this might be the case, she had borrowed scrub brushes and cloths to accomplish the task of cleansing the room.  "Since both of you are of my religion, you can help . . . but one of you must stand guard at all times, so you can switch off."

And so it went.   Fasboo alone cleansed the statue of Athena. but the men took turns scrubbing the floor and walls and standing guard.  Fortunately they were only disturbed once when three Goblins charged them.  Gylvair slew two and Taggert the other.

Eventually decided that they had cleansed the room as well as they could and she would then cast "Bless" on the room and its fountain.  When she had finished doing so, the statue glowed and fresh water suddenly poured from the statue, filling the fountain pool with fresh, clean water.

Gylvair noted that an area on the east wall glowed as well . . . which they then discovered to be a secret door.  Passing through it and the corridor beyond they came to a "T" intersection.  Although there were doors both north and south, Fasboo concentrated her attention on the east wall and discovered another secret door.

 The room they entered was brightly lit (a Continual Light spell) and was an obvious tomb.  There were four sarcophagi and between them were three Ghouls who started toward the party but halted as soon as Fasboo lifted her holy symbol and called for them to turn in the name of Athena.

As one the three "Ghouls" bowed and returned to stand between the sarcophagi . . . which was a most unusual response.  It was not the expected response at all, but very mysterious.

A glance around the room showed an altar against the west wall.  It contained a marble statue of Athena and many items of gold and silver . . . many encrusted with gems.

"Do not touch nor take anything in this room", warned the cleric.  "I must pray".  And with that she knelt before the altar with her back to the "ghouls" and began to pray.

Taggert and Gylvair kept wary eyes on the "ghouls" for a long time as Fasboo continued to pray.  Finally she rose and crossed to the southeast corner of the room ignoring the "ghouls" except to say "I've been instructed to do this".

She then pressed her holy symbol against the wall.  An opening was revealed.  She reached in, saying "I thank thee, Goddess, for the use of this boon".  And when her arm returned she held in her hands a finely made Hammer.  She then returned to the altar and prayed some more.

Eventually she was finished and turning to her companions, instructed them to leave.  As they all left, the "Ghouls" bowed to them a final time.

The north door opened onto a staircase spiraling down to the right.  Closing it they headed to the south door . . . but on the way, Taggert triggered an arrow trap (taking two damage)

 Carefully proceeding to and opening the south door (room 50) they were surprised by a number of Spitting Beetles.  In that first rush Taggert was bitten for 4 points and Fasboo for 3.  In the ensuing battle, Taggert slew 2 of the beetles although he took another 3 points of damage; and Fasboo killed the other three as Gylvair failed to connect with any of his swings.

It should be noted that Fasboo used her new hammer and it connected even on a few swings she thought would miss . . . and it did more damage than she expected as well (it is a +2 Hammer).

First aid helped Fasboo regain a couple of hits but failed to help Taggert so the cleric threw a cure light wounds on him for 5 back (so he was currently at 18 hp).

The delvers tried the east door which opened onto  a corridor that turned right and then right again . . . but they heard something behind them, so they re-entered room 50 to be faced by more than double their number of Skeletons (wandering monsters).

Fasboo attempted to turn them and some turned back, but four pressed on against the delvers (the skeletons' saving rolls were 20,19,19,19,16,13 and 9 when they needed 18 to save vs spell, which is what I use for "turns").  

In the ensuing combat (which only lasted 4 rounds) Taggert and Fasboo each destroyed a pair of Skeletons . . . but Gylvair had trouble drawing his longsword, then almost dropped it, then did drop it so he tried to draw his shortsword and dropped that!  (Rolls of 2,2,1,1 on top of failing to hit anything during the fight with the beetles).

Fasboo looked at Gylvair and asked, "You didn't touch anything in the crypt room, did you?"  "No, of course not," replied the Elf "but I did lust after a broach on the altar; my sister would love it.  But I never touched it or anything else."

"That crypt has never been defiled and it is sacred to the Goddess.  And I'm sure that those 'ghouls' were far more than ghouls,"  stated the cleric.  "and it is clear to me that you need to be cleansed . . . or do you think that your 'sword work' in the last two fights has been natural?  Athena needs your repentance."

So rather than try the south door, Fasboo took a look in the southwest alcove suspecting from their maps there was a secret door to the corridor leading back to the fountain . . . and so it proved to be.

Once again in the Fountain Room, Fasboo asked Taggert to guard the door and ordered Gylvair to strip naked and wash himself in the fountain maintaining a constant prayer to Athena craving her forgiveness.  She added, "Even if we are attacked, do not even THINK about using magic while in her fountain."

(And eventually the die indicated a wandering monster.  I turned over a card and it was 6 Orcs.)    Taggert shouted a warning and Fasboo joined him in the doorway to defend Athena's Fountain.

They positioned themselves inside the room so that only two orcs could face them at the same time.  Fasboo slew one but she took 6 damage doing so while Taggert was hit for 4 points.  Then the fighter slew another as Fasboo took another hit for 1.  And then an orc hit her for another point before she killed it.

The next orc won initiative and WHAM! Fasboo was hit for 7 more (2d6 for a crit, dropping the cleric to a single hp); but she managed to slay it in return as Taggert finally killed the stubborn orc he'd been fighting.

This left a single orc (the largest).  Fasboo stepped back to let Taggert engage it . . . but Gylvair was finally out of the fountain and cast a magic missile at it for 4 damage.  The orc then turned to run (having failed morale) but a second magic missile for 7 more ended its life.

First aid healed a couple of points for Taggert but none for Fasboo so she cast her last two cure lights on herself for a dozen hits back.  A search of the bodies resulted in 31 gp (mostly on the largest orc) and the delvers decided that they'd done enough for the day and exited the Undercity with no further encounters. 

Delve Results:
  • Injuries after healing -- Taggert down 6; and Gylvair down 4
  • 1 Dwarf encountered *
  • 3 Goblins killed
  • 3 "Ghouls" neutralized
  • 5 Spitting Beetles slain
  • 7 Skeletons turned or destroyed
  • 6 Orcs slain
  • 1 Fountain Room cleansed, blessed 
  • 1 Crypt survived
  • 2 Rooms Explored
  • Treasure -- +2 Hammer and 33 gp 
 * has anyone solved the Dwarf's message?

-- Jeff 


  1. This was a great adventure! The cleansing of the statue and the goddess' gift in the undefiled tomb really give a sense of mystery to the dungeon. And the ritual purification of Gylvair after his covetous thoughts was an absolutely brilliant bit of pulling story out of simple die rolls.

    I confess the dwarf's message has me stumped. I thought of Beowulf and Grendel's dam, but none of the possible etymologies I looked up for Beowulf had 'beo-' meaning 'day-old', 'young', etc. I have an inkling that Agnar may be involved, but I can't quite figure out how.

  2. Different and interesting indeed. A good delve and story. How much of that came through random die rolls or other random techniques?

    I also thought of Beowulf and Grendel. But I stumped beyond that. (unless "day old" is just misheard "Beo")

  3. Glynvair's problems were quite simply inspired by his terrible die rolls . . . but it worked into the story quite well. As to the Dwarf encounter I will wait a bit for others to have a chance to comment before I do any sort of "reveal".

    -- Jeff

  4. It's really cool how you're working die rolls into the story. I'd love to see a "behind the scenes" post explaining more of the "crunchy bits" of how you decided, for example, that Fasboo needed to visit that particular room. Just something you decided to do, or is it managed by die rolls, etc?

    And I have no clue as to the dwarf's message.