Saturday, August 29, 2015

White Star / Star Sailors Adventure continues!

The first session was so well received that my daughter begged me to keep going, so we played for about an hour longer and this is what we did:

After our Heroes escaped from the Albino twins and their Gloom fighters they set a course for the scoundrel filled space station known as "Cleopatra Station". A minor ship malfunction causes the crew of the Canary to make a mid-space jury rig on the Mark II Temperature Power Coupling. While doing this they are passed over by an Imperiax Cruiser on patrol.

Upon arrival, the crew is contacted by the station "Boss" Coltross and his henchman. He greets Gore and Malbar while taking note of the "new" crew member Avangaline. The group sets out for the Trade Hub to look for a replacement Mark II TPC, as well as pick up a few sundries.
Boss Coltross greets the Team
No one seems to have the part they are looking for, even though it is not uncommon. The party begins to suspect something is up!
Trade Hub
The party makes their way to the station bar called the "Dry Dock" and have a sit down with Coltross. He explains the "part" they need could turn up for half price if they do a little side-job for him here on the station.

The Dry Dock Lounge
It seems a bio-organism has gotten loose and is hiding in the "Tween Decks" area of the Station. Coltross will supply three Non-lethal weapons to help wrangle the creature and and return it to captivity. The party get a Heavy-Stunner, a capture-net Ejector, and a Tranquilizer Rail-rifle. "So what exactly are we hunting?" asks Gore. "Oh, just a Denebian Slime-devil." smirks Coltross.

Bodies of prior hunters...
Entering the "Tween Decks" area it's not long before our Heroes discover they aren't the first sent to capture the creature! Upon inspection of the deceased, Gore discovers a strange egg-like object and stows it in his pack.

The Devil's Lair!
In a maintenance chamber near many heat ducts the Slime-Devil faces our party! Avangaline calls upon the Power of the Stars and transforms as globs of acidic slime are sprayed in their direction. It is quickly discovered that the chitinous shell of the creature deflects the Tranq-rifles shots! Avangaline gives the beast a blast of Star Power much to its chagrin! The creature is finally taken down by a critical hit from Gore with the Heavy Stunner!!

The beast is subdued!
The creature is placed in a containment cage and the party is met by Coltross and his goons. Coltross catches sight of Avangaline before she transforms back to "normal" girl mode. He comments to Gore and Malbar that the new girl looks "very" special. Malbar expresses to her young protege that her Star Sailor Persona "must" be kept as secret as possible. Getting their payment the group sends the part to the robot so he can begin repairs, while they go secure the last of the supplies they still need to continue the search for the rest of the missing Star Amulets.

An Octopoid with a mission...
Waiting at the airlock when the party returns they meet and Octopoid who tells them that Coltross plans to sell the Slime-Devil to the Imperiax Navy as a bio-weapon. The octopoid hoped to have his hunters capture it first so he could return it to it's quarintined homeworld, but his men were killed. At this point Gore reveals the "egg" to the Alien. "This MUST be returned to the planet Denebia, as must the Devil itself. Can you help me?"

"By the Power of the Stars, I believe we can!" says Avangaline.

We had to stop there as it was very late, but there will be more White Star-Star Sailors adventures in Quadrant 44 to come! So keep your scanners trained on this frequency!

Sunday, August 16, 2015

A Marqest Dungeon Player follow up.

Jeff "the Handsome"
Here is a first hand account from the Player of Jeff the Handsome (Fighter) in my current monthly Labyrinth Lord Game.

Jeff, raising a tankard of the darkest drink he can find: "Today, we mourn the poor souls who are no longer with us. But, in their memory, we celebrate the victory that each of us has had, having ventured forth and returned with spoils and stories for a lifetime! The bravery that each friend showed in the face of peril many times over - that is to commended. So, let's drink to the band that won the day, and drink to the days to come! For we will win those, too, and anyone brave and capable enough to join us is welcome! Cheers, my friends, and let the stories and drink be shared!"

Later, surrounded by interested ears: "... And we managed to escape the clutches of that dreadful ghost - those of us who had their wits, at least. We pulled each other through doorways, up ropes, and out into the air - I made sure of it. After having felled a dreadful beast with teeth like daggers, and a second that made men its meal, we would not be bested by some spirit.

But there were those who were hired to join us on this quest that didn't make it. Not because we failed them, but because they failed us. You see the fellows over there - they were smart enough to work with us, and have reaped the rewards. But the few who decided their greed and treachery were more important were duly rewarded... with death. I feel for them - they were capable compatriots, to the last, and we will mourn them still. But for those interested, I'd say that this side of the table is much nicer than that side of the grave. Now, which of you knows the arcane? We're to have a discussion..."

Daring delve to the Wine Cellars of Marqest!

Session 5
I introduced Labyrinth Lord and the Wine Cellars to a group of Pathfinder Players who had a BLAST, and can't wait to attempt a second foray into my dungeon.
This took place on 7/23/15

Guest players – The Thursday Knights
Joe – Ambrose & Henchman Steve the M-U's
Matt – Jeff the Handsome / Fighter
Tony – Calendriel Sendar & Nithenor Sendar / sibling Elves
Alex – Tom Brady / Thief & Henchman J. Edelman / Fighter
Josh – Bordric Burnside / Dwarf
Dave – Hobbs & Henchman Calvin the Halflings

How they know each other:
Ambrose knows Jeff the Handsome because they both saved each others lives on a previous adventure.
Jeff the Handsome knows Calindriel because they are lovers
Calindriel knows Tom Brady because they were both survivors of a Junn Hoard attack
Tom Brady knows Bordric because the Dwarf caught him picking his pocket
Bordric knows Hobbs because they both apprenticed together under the same master
Hobbs knows Ambrose because they met in a cave during a torrential downpour.

Ambrose – amazing mane of curly hair
Jeff – Roman Centurian Helmet
Calindriel – short hacked haircut
Tom Brady – porridge bowl cut
Bordric – extravagent tricorn hat
Hobbs – beanie cap 

The group gathers at the Dog & Bone tavern to collect rumors and interview potential hirelings. Jeff the Handsome puts the hirelings through a battery of intelligence and physical tests before settling on hiring 5 of the 7 candidates. Bordric decides to hire the last two that Jeff passed on. Ready to proceed the party set out for the ruins of Marqest on foot, as the patrons of the tavern bid them good luck and farewell!

Under the leadership of Jeff the Handsome are Drossus a Man-at-arms who vows to kill any and all Orcs, Scar a seasoned Southlands warrior wielding a mean bone flail, Aramil an elf Man-at-arms in exceptional green leathers and elf spear, Medix a young torch-boy filled with enthusiasm, and Darwick the potion tester; the last of his line.

Bordric Burnside oversees the services of Odgle the halfling and “second best slinger” in the party (as so proven in a test with Jeff the handsome), and Hemessa the prettiest door spiker in the village.

As the group winds their way up the beaten path towards the Marqest gatehouse they stop as a group of about half a dozen partially naked creatures are spied cavorting about and smacking each other with clubs. After a few moments of watching the antics of the weird little creatures the group decides to skirt around the gatehouse and climb the ruined wall to gain entry to the courtyard proper. It is noted that a pair of the creatures watch the group from afar while still beating each other and at times urinating on fallen companions. Calindriel remarks upon seeing these actions “I'm glad we didn't go near them now.”

Once the rubble is bypassed the party takes in the view of the old Manor-keep. Jeff is overcome momentarily by thoughts of what treasures may lie within, while the others debate on a course of action. Tom Brady goes to check out the courtyard well to confirm if it indeed has water in it. The party decides from the rumors they gained to try to enter the mysterious “Wizard Tower”. Since it is said no-one has ever been able to penetrate this area of the ruin. Turning to head towards this choice the party is surprised to see a lone small goat between them and the door of the tower. The goofy little animal munching on grass and looking at them. Calindriel being a woodland being herself feels a connection to this animal and steps forward to communicate with it. At this moment Jeff, who is still gazing upon the Manor itself notices a shadowy movement along a second story battlement.

Calindriel approaches the goat speaking in soft friendly tones, and she notices that it only pretends to eat grass to grass to hide the snaggle toothed maw of razor teeth with chunks of rotting meat dangling from them. The elf reels in terror as the goat give out a hideous shriek and charges the maiden! The group is startled but Julien and Steve are both able to fire arrows that miss the beast! Nithenor steps in to defend his sister and delivers a blow with his staff that is mostly deflected by the goats horns. Jeff the Handsome knows he cannot leave his love to harms way but also doesn't want to really get to close to the goat so he positions himself to in her line of sight with his sling out ready to deliver the death blow. Bordric charges forward with his hammer and swing directly at the goats head, at this instant Jeff also launches his sling bullet!
A simultaneous “Crack, Crunch!” is heard as hammer and bullet both put a stop the bleating creatures charge. “I've saved you, my love!” says Jeff as he holds Calindriel. “Oh thank you most precious protector.” returns the maiden. “Oi! I'm pretty sure twas' me blow what felled the beastie!” mutters Bordric.

With the vile goat slain the group turns its attention to the doorway at the base of the Wizard's Tower. Jeff the Handsome takes a last glance back at the Manor and sees nothing else. Bordric tries the handle and discovers it a bit rusty and soundly stuck. Julian the fighter rushes the door intent on breaking it down and ends up on his ass, after bouncing off the stout construction. Brushing himself off he digs into his pack producing a crowbar and announces his intent to pry said door open! The party watches as he wedges the bar into the door jamb and begins working it, when suddenly the fighter begins convulsing in fits of agony as electrical bolts jump from the iron bar shocking him to within an inch of his life. The smoldering fighter is nursed by his friend Tom Brady while the rest of the group ponder what to do next. It is decided to leave the prybar in the door jamb and Bordric will send a grapple hook up to the 2nd story window just above the door. After a few practice swings the dwarf tosses the iron hook and rope directly through the open window on the first try! “Huzzah!” He then pulls it snug and confirms it is ready to be climbed. Just then the window bursts into a blue flame that shoots down the rope incinerating it as it goes and ignites the brawny dwarf.
“They did say No one has ever penetrated the Wizard tower.” states Jeff the Handsome. “I think I see why.”

Singed but still lively Bordic laments the loss of his rope and hook. “I've heard the Gatehouse cellars have a secret door into the Wine Cellars proper.” says Hobbs the Halfling, “Maybe we should look for that.”

Agreeing on this course the Party turn their attention back to the ruined gatehouse to discover the strange creatures from earlier are now gone. The party decides to try the “burnt out” tower first as it has no door. Upon entering the dilapidated tower they see a set of stairs in the floor descending into darkness. Medix the torch-boy is placed on the shoulders of Drossus the Man-at-arms, and they follow Calindriel and her brother down the steps with the rest of the party behind them.

Sprial stairs descend some thirty odd feet before coming to a small landing and then a second set of steps decscending into a chamber. The signs of a serious fire of great magnitude abound. Content to continue the investigation the party find a rectangular chamber with a circular hole in the floor at the far side. Above the hole are the charred remains of a block and tackle. The soot covered walls and floor show whatever used to be here was burned some time ago. The Wizards Steve & Ambrose lead Hobbs, Calvin, Tom, and Julien in a search for secret doors about the chamber while the rest of the party investigate the hole.

Calindriel sees the hole is actually large shaft descending further than elf-sight can see. There are also a set of iron rungs set into the wall of the shaft like a ladder. Jeff instructs Medix to light a second torch and drop the first into the shaft. As the torch falls it reveals a small landing about twenty feet down and then continues downward for a count of fifty before extinguishing in a soft splash. “Well there is water down there, way down there.” mutters someone. The Elf maiden decides she will descend to the landing and scout ahead. The party agrees and she climbs down a few rungs. “Oh, be careful. They are covered in a slimy algae.” Calindriel looks up as she says this and then slips and falls her soft cries echoing up the shaft as the darkness swallows her.
“Sister! NO!” screams Nithenor. Jeff the Handsome clasps the Elf on the shoulder holding his pursuit. “I know your agony,” the warrior whispers “my heart has gone with her as well.” A single tear glistens in the torchlight as it slides down Jeff's cheek.
“We should've used a rope.” states Bordric flatly.
No secret doors are found in the chamber so the party turns their full attention to the shaft. Julien volunteers his rope and grapple hook and it is set securely into the rafter beside the old block and tackle. The rope is secured in a harness fashion about Nithenor who begins to descend the rungs. Bordric, Drossus, and Calvin play out the slack as the elf climbs downward.

With the only light flickering from above, Nithenor reaches the landing and sees that it is an opening to a short hall of about six feet leading to what appears to be an iron door. He calls this up to the others and proceeds to the door disappearing from the sight of his companions. The door is iron and can only be opened from the other side. The elf can tell there is a vision slot in the door as well but it is closed too. Thinking for a moment the Elf decides to knock on the door three times. Rap-Rap-Rap...a few seconds pass in silence, then he hears the sound of two bolts being drawn. The door creaks open slightly and the darkness beyond seems blacker than nightmares. “Hello?” whispers the elf, “Anyone there?”
The group above leans over the edge of the shaft listening intently.

“I'm here!” hisses a terrible voice from the blackness as a tall spindly creature with black eyes and terrible talons reaches out hungrily for Nithenor! 
“aaaahhh!” tugging furiously three times on the rope the Elf backs up quickly trying to evade the creature.
“Was three tugs it's safe, or pull me back?” asks Bordric. “Umm, safe I thought?” says Hobbs. The screams from below cause the party to pull the rope and in doing so Nithenor swings out of the passage and into the light of the torch-bearer. The party sees a pair of large taloned hands groping out of the passage after the elf who now is swing back towards them kicking his feet furiously! One kick lands resoundly cracking the nose of the thing and black blood gushes forth as the hands clamp down on the elf!

The rope is torn from the parties hands as it goes taught, and terrible screams and gouts of blood spew forth from the passage below. “By the Gods!” cries someone. The sound of flesh being torn and bones snapped causes a wave of nausea to pass among the party as the rafter cracks and begins to sag from the tension placed on it from below. Just when everyone is about to succumb to total fear, the rope goes slack and the sound of a door slamming echoes up the shaft.

(At this point Tony had lost both his starting Characters and was allowed to choose a hireling to play, he chose Aramil the elf man-at-arms.)

Jeff the Handsome steps to the edge of the shaft and proclaims “We cannot allow our fellow to go unavenged, we need to kill what lies below. We need a plan!”
Moments pass as many ideas are given and passed over as “Not good!” It is Hobbs the halfling who lays out a masterful idea. 

Hobbs is lowered down the shaft “Mission Impossible style” so he is just above the passageway, he then hurls stones at the iron door until after the third stone it opens. He then politely coos, “Hello, hello, I have girl-scout cookies. They're made with real girls.” all the while clutching the flaming oil flask in his other hand. “Real girls? Rraarghh!” the creature rushes out of the darkness and Hobbs hurls his flaming projectile! A HIT! ( This player opted to use his D30 roll once per game to roll damage for the flaming oil flask) DAMAGE = 29 points!!!!!

With the creature incinerated the party is all able to climb down safely and pass through the open iron door that had barred their way. Just inside the grisly remains of Nithenor are found (well mostly just some intestines and a hand) and Julien takes the dead Elf's pack. Another short hallway leads out of the bloody lair and the group find them selves in a sort of foyer facing a wood paneled wall with a single door in the center. The wood is carved beautifully with scenes of vineyards and and a castle. “This must be the Wine cellar!” cheers Jeff, as Tom Brady brushes past the fighter eager to get at the treasures beyond. Tom Brady begins to tinker with the door while claiming what he will do with the fantastic vintages that lie within, when he feels the pointed tip of steel at the nape of his neck! Turning slowly about he sees Jeff with sword drawn staring him down. “Listen Thief, we do this by the book. Safely and not half-cocked, and we all share the spoils equally right?” Tom looks to Julien who draws his sword and points it towards Jeff. Drossus and Scar step up to back their leader Jeff. As the Dungeon Stand-off begins to boil Hobbs steps behind Tom and proceeds to pick the lock on the cellar door with his dagger, and in doing so springs the needle trap! Hobbs makes his save and the needle flies past him, Tom hearing the spring mechanism fire off twists to the side, the needle just missing him, then Jeff proceeds to perform a full on back-bend and the projectile misses him as well finding purchase in the Torch-boys throat! “Oh my sir!” thump. Medix drops to the floor as his body spasms from the poison. “Son-of-a-.....,” gripes Jeff seeing his hireling pool dwindle.

Bordric having had enough of all the nonsense bellows loudly and proceeds to knock the door off its hinges with two blows from his warhammer. 
Boom, BOOM, creak....crash!

The wine cellar now open the party sees a cobwebbed labyrinth of racks within. Only a handful of bottles glinting in the torch light. As a group they decide to not go in beyond the point where they will lose sight of the doorway. Each member finds a bottle of wine, but Aramil the Elf man-at-arms suddenly flips a gold coin at Jeff then pops open a bottle and proclaims, “I return your coin sir, and call myself equal to you all in this endeavor!” The elf then drinks mightly from the bottle and becomes instantly inebriated! “Wow! Thish ish a phantastich vintage..” he slurs.

Jeff face palms himself, as other members of the party begin to seek a second and even third bottle among the depleted racks moving deeper into the cellar. Bordric decides a little wine tasting isn't a bad idea and cracks a bottle too. “Ah ha, to your health!” grunts the dwarf as he takes a healthy gulp from the bottle. “Oh, may I sir?” asks Aramil holding out a hand towards the dwarf. “Of course!” says Bordric handing the bottle of dark vintage to the Elf.

“You guys, we should be more careful. Some of this stuff is supposed to be magical or something!” moans Jeff as the pair continue taking turns swigging from the bottle. Hobbs cracks one himself and takes a taste.

Calvin and Hobbs each stow another bottle in their packs followed by Jeff's hirelings when suddenly Bordric begins projectile vomiting all over the empty racks. “oh my...” says Aramil clutching his stomach, then dropping stone dead to the floor.

(Again Tony got to choose a new hireling to play so he took Darwick the potion tester, at which Matt bemoaned about how Tony was killing off all his hirelings)

Ambrose then points out the fact that if everyone wanted to taste-test why hadn't Darwick been doing it all along! 

“It's what I hired him for!” Jeff the handsome throws up his hands in exasperation not only at the situation but also at the fact that he realizes they have moved out of sight of the doorway. “Crap!”

The remaining members of the group are then overcome with a hair-raising chill as a tall phantasmal gentleman steps through a wine rack and thunders, “Who DARES drink my Wines!!!”

Only Bordric, Darwick the Potion Tester, and Calvin find themselves not overcome with fear, as the spirit of Duke Marqest himself looks over the party.

Darwick, with a bottle in each hand says “Sir Duke your vintages are exquisite if I may say so, and they've had a bit to drink.” pointing at Bordric and Hobbs.

“Then they shall die first!” booms the apparition as he reaches out and drains the life from Bordric and Hobbs! The two demi-humans shrivel up like prunes and expire in view of all!

As one the bulk of the party break and run back the way they came, while Darwick and Calvin begin a “fighting retreat” to cover their companions by hurling bottles at the advancing Duke!

Reaching the foyer first Ambrose instructs Steve to begin drawing a protection circle while he prepares a Magical Missile. Just then Jeff followed by his last two hirelings Drossus & Scar emerge and await the others. Tom Brady and Julien emerge from the cellars and proceed to leave with Jeff and his men. Little Hemessa the doorspiker and Ogdle the Halfling slinger emerge and seeing as Bordric is dead they immediately bolt from the dungeon as well. Ambrose sees both Calvin and Darwick come into view as they continue hurling bottles from a wine crate at the Duke.

“Alla-ka-Zam!” shouts Ambrose as a white bolt of magical power bursts from his finger and strikes the Duke square in the chest! ( Joe the player chooses to roll his D30 for damage, but als the roll is low only a 7)

Both Calvin and Darwick await to see the Duke's reaction to the magical bolt. The Duke looks down at the hole blasted in his chest and his ruined smoking jacket, then his blaze with fury as he casts his full attention at Ambrose.
“You Mother-&#%@er!” bellows the Duke who surges forward passing through both Calvin and Darwick with arms outstretched!

“Steven? How's that circle coming along?” squeeks Ambrose as he raises hand over his eyes to block out the sight of the charging spirit.
“Almost there sir, I'm almost...AHH!” screeches Steven glancing up to catch sight of the doom that approaches!

To give their friend the time he needs both Darwick and Calvin hurl a couple more wines at the Dukes back, unfortunately they pass through him as all the previous bottles have and end up striking Ambrose and knock him unconscious! Steven however finishes the circle with not a second to spare and the Duke rages as he cannot now reach the protected Wizards. His anger at full tilt the Duke turns on the pair behind him, and roars at them! The pair fire off the last two bottles of wine and again they pass through the ghost and end up knocking poor Steven out. The Duke looks at the prone wizards and says “Well I've got nothing but time, and since those two aren't going anywhere...” he turns and lunges at Darwick and Calvin. Calvin makes an amazing leap over the circle of protection in a bid for escape watching as Darwick has his life-force sucked from him. Then mouthing a silent apology to the unconscious Wizards he escapes from the dungeon.

Outside the Gatehouse Jeff the Handsome hears footsteps and turns to see the disheveled Calvin emerge.

“I'm ….the ..last!” heaves the little halfling.

THE END....for now

Sunday, August 9, 2015

Conversations from the Dog & Bone: a Marqest dungeon interlude


Odgle, the Halfling: "My employer kicked the ol' bucket in the cellars. Right shame that was; he was quite the bold dwarf, with a peculiar, but fancy hat! The ghost of the Duke haunts those cellars beneath the gatehouse, so you'd be wise to steer clear!"

Hemessa, the Door Spiker: "Um...Bordric the dwarf hired me to keep the doors open...but then he just kept breaking them down with his hammer! I don't mean to sound ungrateful, but, um, I felt a little useless. I got really scared when he tried to climb the Wizard's Tower, and he suddenly caught fire! I think that tower might be protected by magic or something! And below the gatehouse, all the blood and-and...body parts, and g-g-gross stuff...." *Hemessa faints*

Saturday, August 1, 2015

Wine Cellars of Duke Marqest: A compliment can save your life!

A Wine Cellars play report: 12/26/14
This session was run for my friend Greg at short notice and Barbara was a first time player of any RPG.

The party consisted of 4 players:
Greg: Harry the Halfling who sports a lacy black veil
Barbara: Cindy-Loo-Hoo the Magic-User, wears purple robes sprinkled in silver glitter, a head wrap and a wooden mask with tusks.
Wife: Valiah the Elf, wears a pointy Princess hat.
Daughter: Rima the Cleric, wears a hood made of frost serpent hide.

The group started out in the village just a few miles from the old Marqest ruins. We rolled on the "100 Reasons the party are together" chart and discovered the following about our brave party - Cindy-Loo-Hoo met Rima on a failed adventure where they abandoned their compatriots to a certain doom. Rima recently discovered that Harry is her half-brother. Harry is the cousin of Valiah. Valiah met Cindy-Loo-Hoo in a tavern over a fist fight. 

Rumors they collected:
1) The Duke employed a Wizard that worked magic into the wines.
2) The cellars are riddled with secret doors and passages.
3) The cellars have more than one level.

The party also decided to put up the 10gp for flyers and Criers to advertise for Hirelings to join them for a foray into the Dungeon. The following morning they had six applicants waiting to be interviewed. Two local youths vying for the position of torch-bearer, a Dwarf, an Elf, and two Men-at-arms. After a bit of questioning the party hired all six to even the odds if any monsters were encountered. Supplies were procured and they set off up the path to the old ruins.

At about the halfway point the party noticed a broken fence along the path that was probably part of a herdsman's property. They also came upon the remains of a recently devoured something. Guts and a sticky pool of blood in the grass nearby. Casting about themselves the only thing they see is a lone large goat chewing on a boot and staring at them. Harry wanted to shoot the goat with his crossbow, but the Magic-users logic prevailed, and the party quickly moved on. They weren't sure if the goat was responsible for the gore or if it was just really eating a boot it found.....

Reaching the ruins, the party found its way into the old guardhouse and quickly discovered a recently uncovered set of steps that led below ground. They found the remains of an old store room that had seen serious fire damage (see actions of an earlier party). In the old burnt barrels a single giant rat leapt out and was speared by a Hireling. A few scattered coins a single potion and a burnt leather belt and short sword scabbard were discovered. 

The party then looked at the large open hole in the floor of the chamber and at the burnt block & tackle system in the roof over it. Harry figured this must have been used to bring the wines up from the lower levels just like the rumor they had discovered said. A lit torch was dropped into the hole and if fell quite a ways before either going out or dropping too far to be seen. However the light revealed iron rungs in the side of the shaft and a landing perhaps 30 or so feet below. The torchbearer who called himself "Scar" and who was a bit of a glory hound agreed to climb down to the shaft to the landing below. Everyone watched as he made it to the landing and then was promptly attacked by something in the dark! The sounds they heard were determined to be goblins by the Dwarf and Elves. The party then as quickly as they could followed the descent of the missing torch-boy to the landing below in an attempt to hopefully get him back from the goblins. The lower landing led into a short hallway where a pool of fresh blood was found and trailed off deeper into the cellars. Following the grisly trail left by the goblins whose footprints were seen in smeared blood on the floor, drew the party into a large room, the far wall was paneled in wood with a single heavy wooden door in the center. The door was open slightly and beyond was a cellar filled with wooden racks covered in cobwebs holding the odd bottle or three of wine. The door to this chamber had been picked open some time ago. Harry grabbed the first bottle he could, opened it and drank. He was surprised at how good the wine was! (He was also struck with Paranoia from the spoiled magic in the wine)

Wending their way cautiously through the maze of racks the group found a Fighter in full plate with a bottle of wine to his lips that had been turned into glass! Harry was sure the Dwarf in the party wanted all the wine for himself but kept these suspicions to himself. Cindy-Loo-Hoo asked Harry for a sip of the bottle he had opened and Harry flatly denied her request saying, "This one's mine, get your own!" 

Soon the bloody trail left by the goblins ended at a rack against the wall. It was obvious a secret door was located here and the Magic-User quickly discovered the false wine bottle that acted as a lever to open the revolving door. Upon opening a dark hallway was revealed and the glimmer of red eyes reflected in the torch light. A pair of black arrows were fired into the group. One bounced harmlessly off of Galg the Dwarf's shield 
Goblin that ate the Torch-boy

while the other nicked Harry's ear! The halfling returned fire with his small crossbow and heard a satisfying scream as he shot into the darkness. There was a terrible screech followed by three goblins charging into the light of the parties torches as they held their ground by the revolving door. Galg was able to brain a goblin with a single blow and Hurix the man-at-arms set his spear and skewered a second. The third goblin made it past the two hirelings and threatened the Magic-user and cleric to no avail. Rima defended Cindy-Loo-Hoo and killed the goblin with her Trident! A cry for retreat was heard from the remaining goblins. The party took a vote and decided that Scar the Torch-boy was probably dead by now. They returned to the wine cellar and spiked the revolving door so the goblins couldn't get back in. Then they scoured the cellar and put 3 bottles of wine in each surviving members backpack to be carried out of the dungeon. 

Just as they were preparing to leave a cold breeze blew through the chamber and a spectral figure stepped through a wine rack blocking their way out. "Who dares to drink my wine!" demanded the glowing spirit. "The Dukes ghost, maybe I can turn him!" cried Rima reaching for her wooden holy symbol. "Wait." sad the Magic-User. Harry stepped up and looked the ghost right in the eye and said,"I have, and it's bloody fantastic!" The spirit looked at the little halfling and then at the rest of the party and replied "Then take what you have and leave now!" he then faded from sight. Not wanting to push their luck any further they made haste to exit the way they came and returned to the village.

After figuring out the gold value of the wines they procured, the party bought a 4 bedroom cottage, paid the hirelings and gave them each a small bonus and retained them for another sojourn. Then each party member rolled on the Carousing chart to see how much gold they spent! Cindy-Loo-Hoo failed her save and is now known as the town-drunk! Rima also failed her save and almost owed money to the thieve's guild but she was bailed out by Harry who covered his half-sisters debts.

Wine Cellars of Duke Marqest: Beware the Howling Frogs!

This session occured on 3/14/12

Party was:
Wife: 2 elves Dechlin & Vahlia
Daughter: Navarria M-U
Dan: Fighter, UGH! a primitive barbarian, he rolled a 5 INT, 12 CON, all other stats 10's and a 9. UGH wields a great club and 2 hand axes. In a pinch he will use his bag of rocks for ranged attacks! Ugh also sports chainmail and a dusty pink hood!

Ugh was released from an enchantment by Dechlin and they sat together with Vahlia drinking in the Dog & Bone. Navarria was nearby watching the dim-witted barbarian. Ugh overheard two farmers talking about frogs as big as cows! At this Ugh demanded to know where these giant frogs could be found as frog legs are a delicacy among his tribe. The Farmer asked if Ugh would be interested in driving the frogs from his meadow as they attack his cows. A bit a haggling and Ugh agrees to solve the frog problem for some coin and a cow as payment. The elves and Navarria decide to tag along and watch the spectacle.

After a short trek to the edge of the marsh near the cow meadow, a large mud mound is found and 2 small fist sized toads are perched atop it. UGH screams "frogs!" and charges!!!!!!!!! the tiny frogs respond with an eerie howl that causes UGh to go insane and begin attacking the bushes! Dechlin tosses a oil flask atop the mud mound and burns the tiny frogs to death! Ugh returns moments later claiming the frogs drove him "crazy" and collects the burned frog husks and eats one and put the other in a pouch. Just then a dozen or so giant frogs emerge from the bush surrounding the party! In unison they all emit the eerie howl and send everyone but Vahlia packing!!

The farmer watching from the meadows edge hears the weird frog howls and then moments later sees Ugh run out of the marsh, jump the fence and run back into town! Then Dechlan followed by Navarria do the same! At last Vahlia comes out of the marsh hops the fence and tells the Farmer they are still working on the frog problem. She then heads into town to find the others!

Spending the night in town behind the stables next to the Dog & Bone, Dechlin decides to break out some of the wine he has from his foray into the cellars. Ugh is given a bottle, which he promptly chugs! only to discover it makes the drinker instantly Greatly Drunk! Per AD&D DMG pages 82-83. He ends up losing 40gp and getting a "lame" tattoo; Dechlin gets a random Insanity from the DMG pages 83-84.

By morning Vahlia has deduced that the Frogs emit a Fear inducing howl, and that they must attack the frogs before they can do this. Going to the Trader they purchase 9 flasks of oil. Ugh purchases a mule and a large cask of ale! His plan is to roll the cask into the frogs lair then light it afire and watch it explode! (I'm pretty sure Ale isn't explosive, but might catch fire???) any way, the Elves think UGH is stupid anyway and head back to the marsh. Suddenly a large Eye appears above Navarria and says her master has need of her! A beam of light surrounds her and she disappears!!! "Hmph, wizards!" says Ugh. (it was somebody's bedtime, so...)

Tromping back to the frog lair with a laden mule, the party is set upon by 2 large frogs! Ugh shakes his bag of frog bones at them while the elves quickly slay them! Once in sight of the mud mound Dechlin (overcome by his Insanity: Suicidal tendancy) charges the mound! followed quickly by Ugh and Vahlia with the mule! 3 more frogs are surprised and a quick melle sees them dispatched!

Otherworld Miniatures!
Ugh unlashes the ale cask, oils it and lights it and rolls it into one of the mud mound openings. within moments croaking is heard followed by billowing smoke, then 2 giant frogs emerge from the mound. oil flasks are hurled one of which shatters right in the mouth of one frog!!! a third frog emerges and Dechlin ends up with both arms entangled by different frog tongues and is being pulled apart! As Vahlia works to sever the tongues holding Dechlin another frog emerges and swallows Ugh's head! Ugh begins beating himself and the frog with his club!

After much comedic fervor the frog's are smoked to perfection, the bedraggled party returns to the farmer and collects a cow, a pouch of 20sp and a small goat! UGH is very pleased with his goat bonus!

Vahlia Caroused and earned 400xp. Dechlin brooded over not dying in combat, and UGH told very embellished stories of the slaying of the Giant frogs ofMarqest marsh.

beware the Howling frogs........

Wine Cellars of Duke Marqest: Be wary of Gnomes with gifts.

This session occurred on 3/5/2012
My Labyrinth Lord Dungeon was visited again, The following is an account of what happened.

Mike C. returned with Vexus Lustmort and his apprentice. 
Vexus Lustmort
 He discovered after his last foray that he had a bottle of "Lick City" wine that is highly poisonous. It causes a painful wracking death in 1-4 rounds or save and suffer 25pts of damage! Harsh, you say... yes it is. He also had 3 bottles of "Fields of Mercy" vintage which brought him 10sp a bottle.

My Brother created Father Liam O'share, a Cleric of St. Cuthbert. Come to wipe the unclean from the Keep. He hired 5 men-at-arms and a torch bearer to go along.

My daughter created Navaria a M-U.

This party passed through the ruined gatehouse and crossed the courtyard heading for the main Keep. Upon discovering the Keep doors were still quite sturdy they opted to take a moment and talk about what to do. A failed surprise roll allowed them to see the four gnomes on the rampart above just as they hurled masonry down upon them! The apprentice was brained and fell with a cracked skull! Navaria cast charm person on one and yelled for it to stop its friends from being naughty! Father O'share healed the Apprentice while commanding the hirelings to get the Keep doors open! Vexus cast web and caught two of the vile gnomes!

Father O'share and Navaria then led the charge inside looking for the stairs to the ramparts, while Vexus and his apprentice took cover by the well and prepped oil flasks for hurling! a few more rocks were thrown to no avail by a gnome and Vexus hit the wall with a firebomb!

Bursting out onto the rampart Father O'share quickly grabs and hurls the "charmed gnome" over the side and into the courtyard below! The hirelings and Navaria surround the 2 webbed gnomes and everyone realizes the 4th gnome is missing! revealing himself from behind the tower door the 4th gnome screeches something and brings a chicken out from under his cloak that he throws at the party!

There are rampant rumors back in town about gnomes, and chickens, etc. So a morale check has to be made for the hirelings to hold and not break at the sight of this gnomes actions! Father O'share keeps the lads together but one of them falls off the rampart as the chicken attacks! Vexus hears the screams of terror, the chicken, and then sees a hireling fall 20ft to the courtyard as he and the apprentice were moving forward to check on the gnome which had hit the ground seconds before! He sees the hireling surprisingly is alive but gravely hurt, but the gnome has dissolved into a dark goo that seeps into the ground!?!

On the rampart above the hirelings are still afraid of the chicken so Father O'share smacks it with his flail only to see it spring back to life and charge the party!!! The hirelings keep shouting "Dopple Fowl! Dopple Fowl!" and scramble to stay away from its pecking beak!

The gnome rushes forward and stabs Father O'share in the foot! dropping the holy man to "0" hp! The father has a bulldog that kills the gnome with a "20"!!! Navaria is beating the webbed gnomes with her staff! The chicken attempts to leap off the rampart but is caught by Rufus the Bulldog who mauls the chicken. Before it can revive it is placed in a large leather sack and tied shut.

The party revives Father O'share and along with the wounded hireling that fell they return to town. The father suggests they go to the Abbey and ask for healing and info on the chicken. The Elder at the Abbey tells of the gnomes twisted magicks and curses that create the "Dopple Fowl" and how they swap these for true chickens and lay waste to entire farmsteads. Some believe those pecked or scratched by the "Dopple Fowl" will become one when next the moon is full!!! The Elder assures that is ridiculous but he better Remove Curse on the Torch bearer as he was pecked repeatedly!

The party rested for a day, then returned and entered the Keep. They found a locked door and set the Hirelings to opening it with a crowbar. Fluttering sounds above revealed a group of stirges in the rafters above! The door was opened and the group moved into the next chamber leaving the stirges unmolested. This large room held an old trestle table a broken longsword and an empty water skin. A stairwell leading down was also here. Vexus carved his name and the date into the tabletop, Father O'share did the same and added the Symbol of Cuthbert as well.

The stairs lead to a large hall that went off into darkness beyond torch and bulls eye lantern range a side door is just 15 ft away. However just at the edge or the lantern range a barrel is seen. A hireling is persuaded to check the barrel and quickly returns shaken about the contents. It seems the barrel is filled with assorted teeth!?! Human and monstrous.... Vexus sends his apprentice to gather 2 pouches worth of teeth. The side door is found to be open and lights are shined within to reveal a 10ft wide hallway leading into darkness. Farther O'share got a sudden call from St. Cuthbert summoning him elsewhere and the Party decided to return to town. Easily avoiding the stirges they left the Marqest grounds to return to the Dog & Bone.