Before we pick up from last time, here is the full tally of the brave and foolhardy souls who dared to rescue their fellow villagers and seek fortune and glory in the process. Also, my apologies to the Skabipally brothers for misspelling their family name in my previous post.
- Cornelius Von Dettrick IV, jeweler – DECEASED
- “Fruity” Frank Delaqua, costermonger – DECEASED
- Joey “Diamonds,” smuggler
- Valgrun, healer – DECEASED
- Immgard the Grey, herder – DECEASED
- Shifty Jack, gambler
- Ogrom Ironbarrel, dwarven blacksmith – DECEASED
- Cul the Odorous, ditch digger – DECEASED
- Anathrolas Evenstar, elven glassblower – DECEASED
- Sherman Funk, gongfarmer
- Billy the Squire – DECEASED
- Baldwin the Fool, jester – DECEASED
- Grom Readyrock, dwarven blacksmith – DECEASED
- Ippy Skabipally, halfling chicken butcher
- Rulfus, gongfarmer – DECEASED
- “Shakey Dog” Buchanen, wheat farmer
- Flippy Skabipally, halfling chicken butcher – DECEASED
- Percival, halfling haberdasher
- Rickard, mendicant – DECEASED
- Dwarven rat catcher who’s name I can’t recall – DECEASED
SOME SPOILERS BELOW!
The PCs forced open the door to the Tower of the Beast, and Ogrom Ironbarrel led the charge against the beastmen. Ogrom’s spearhead was rather short-lived, and the beastman champion lept down behind him, cleaving the dwarf in twain and cutting off the party’s frontal assault. The fight against the beastmen netted a number of casualties before all was said in done. Joey Diamonds attempted a special contribution, as he ran back toward the burned temple with the intention of trying to lure the tar ooze out and trap the beastmen with it in the tower. Unfortunately the plan didn’t occur to him until a few rounds into the fight, and by the time he got back to the temple door the battle had shifted strongly in the party’s favor. Percival the halfling haberdasher spent the entire combat looking on from the gatehouse, prepared to flee and dislodge the rocks behind him.
Once they had triumphed over the beastmen, the party set about freeing the villagers captured within the tower and replenishing their number with six fellows willing to push on and seek their remaining countrymen. Of course, they stopped to loot the tower first despite all of the rotting hides. Only one of them turned up a rot grub and he managed to kill the creature before it could burrow into his arm.
Descending into the dark depths below, they opted to follow the “right is right” philosophy of dungeon exploration and veered off into the natural cavern when they reached the second landing (the one with the 3 gold coins). Rickard the mendicant managed to translate the inscription on the stone portal at the end of the cavern; none of the objects they placed on the door caused it to magically open and Billy the Squire’s best efforts at pushing couldn’t loose it, so they decided to fall back and return to this area on their way back out.
From there they continued back down the stairs to the hall with the black pool and the wall mosaics. All four moldy old chaos priest robes were claimed and most of the party took glowing skulls from the pool. Sherman Funk decided to see what else he could find in the murky water; upon discovering the metal ring connected to the pool’s bottom he tied rope around his waste and anchored himself to a dwarf. In the cavern below he found the faintly glowing ring, which he quietly kept for himself, as well as pushing through the narrow passage to scope out the beach beyond.
After hauling Sherman back up, the party quickly proceeded down the rest of the stairs to the shore of the Starless Sea. Rickard examined the carvings on the menhir, and just as Immgard the Grey was coming up to do the same the mendicant whirled about and brained Immgard with a mace. Joey Diamonds sprinted over and slew Rickard just as he was coming to his senses, but subsequently examined the menhir himself in an effort to figure out what the hell was going on …
As the now-crazed Joey Diamonds rushed the party, “Fruity” Frank moved to loose an arrow from the long bow discovered beneath the capstone, but the string ended up snapping and Frank sliced his own throat open, dropping dead on the spot. “Shakey Dog” Buchanen managed to wrestle Joey to the ground, Flippy yanked the short sword from his hands, and the dwarven rat catcher brought him back to his senses with a solid right hook to the jaw.
Meanwhile, Sherman Funk ascended the menhir and lit the candle atop it, bringing the boat to shore. The party all climbed aboard, though Percival hesitated long enough that he needed to be pulled up as the boat began to move back out onto the water.
When the tentacles of the chaos beast emerged from the water, they were initially threatening but not attacking, though it did wrap one tentacle around the prow, clearly stopping the boat. The party attacked first, though, and the fight did not go spectacularly. A few creative methods of appeasing the beast were attempted amid the slaughter of Billy, Baldwin, and the dwarven rat catcher, such as a robe-wearing Shakey Dog holding aloft a glowing skull authoritatively or Joey Diamonds smashing one of the same skulls.
After a few devastating rounds, some of the party decided to swim for it, including both of the surviving halflings. Luckily for them, Joey Diamonds decided to try his old standby one last time before the chaos beast got its next round — the incense censer. The beast put its tentacles at Joey’s feet before sinking back into the depths of the Starless Sea. The overboard PCs were all pulled back aboard before they could drown, and the boat sailed the rest of the way to the island.
At that point, I awarded everyone enough XP to tip them over to first level, becoming real-deal, character-class-having adventurers before advancing on the ziggurat. One of the players had to leave anyway by the time the boat got to the island, and it was general quitting time once everyone else finished leveling. The next session is slated for Sunday, March 17 — St. Patrick’s Day. Will the luck of the Irish be with the party, or with the fanatical beastmen? Only time will tell …