Tuesday, July 4, 2017

Wine Cellars of Duke Marqest: Beach Party part 2!

After a short break from part 1 we continued playing:

Celebrating the success of their first foray into the Marqest dungeons, the newly chartered Brothers GriMMM set about making plans for the follow up expedition.

Wasting no time the party take on some new hirelings and a mercenary wizard. Shiro & Kuro are excited to add the Spell-caster to the group because his pointy hat and robe obviously mark him as powerful!
Dromore the old pack bearer is still employed by the party and they have grown to really like the silent fella.

New Hires:
Sorlof - mercenary Wizard of the first circle.
Rothsus - torch boy, wields Bentil's goblinoid bestiary.
Nuadeen - Elf archer, has a black cat.
Bryvay - Man-at-arms, crossbow & dagger, brother of
Bargrim - Master Torch bearer, sack of torches.

Gunnar and the Sword Twins feel comfortable with a party 10 strong. After consulting the map they made of their last expedition they set off for the Beach cave once again. They timed the entry this time to happen just after the giant crabs went out to the ocean for a morning hunt. They quickly descended to the second level and went back to the cave lair of the Ghoul-woman. Passing through that chamber they locate a pile of bones from previous victims, but no treasure. A set of natural stone steps descending to a third level are found and the group goes deeper!

Halfway down the natural steps the group hear shuffling footfalls coming from below and are surprised to see 3 zombies ascending the steps. One of whom is their prior henchman Uts!!! Rothsus the torch-boy says his book has no entries for undead and steps back so Fieneil can move up to fight. The young warrior fumbles his attack and slips down the steps directly into the arms of the hungry dead suffering terrible wounds to his legs from bites!! As Gunnar holds back the zombie advance, Kuro rushes forward and slices & dices the undead diners with exquisite sword-play!
Uts returns!
Though Fieneil clings to life by a thread, Gunnar fears he may slip over to undeath and puts his loyal henchman out of misery. His gear is stripped and the party continues its descent to the third level.
Reaching the bottom of the steps the party advances along a natural tunnel. It should be noted that Bargrim the Master torch-bearer is able to provide expert lighting for the group even from his position at the rear of the party. A sudden tremor shakes the ground and rock and sand fall from the ceiling, the group panics and runs forward as the tremors worsen!!!

Coughing and battered by falling debris, most of the party emerge from the tunnel into a well constructed chamber with two exits, stairs descending again to a lower level or a small single file wide tunnel to the southwest. Gunnar decides the stairs offer better options if they need to fight and the hand-made construction means they must be close to the actual dungeons. It is also at this time the group realizes that both Sorlof the wizard and Rothsus the torch-boy are missing! A quick search back they way they came finds the two were brained by rocks during the tremor. A bag of scrolls and the bestiary are recovered from the bodies.
pondering descent to level 4
Descending to the 4th level by Gunnar's reckoning, the party emerge in a large chamber already lit by guttering torches. A large archway opens to more stairs going down, and a single iron-bound oak door stands opposite the landing from which the party emerge. Gunnar notes that both portals show signs of heavy use and structural damage. "It's almost as if something too large forced its way through here multiple times." mutters the seasoned fighter.
"I think we should check this level out. The torches mean someone is already here." states Shiro.
Gunnar agrees and forces the dungeon door open to reveal a long hallway, lined with three doorways on the right-hand side. The furthest two are open arches but the closest is another iron bound door. the party move to and open the door and enter a short hall leading to a large square room with one exit opposite the way they came in. Too late the party smell the gas as members begin to fall into a drugged slumber!!! Only Gunnar is able to resist the gas and he awaits the inevitable arrival of those that have trapped him and his companions.

Tense moments pass and soon Gunnar hears the locks open on the doors to the room. A group of goblinoids enter eager to reap the rewards of their trap, only to be set upon by the vengeful fighter! Gunnar eradicates the little creatures before they can raise any alarm, and he quickly sets about reviving his party. Groggy but no worse for wear the group decide to back track to the long hallway and head for the arches when the whole area echoes with the sounds of a monstrous growling! "Maybe we should just go back up!" says Kuro.

The party make for the long hall and Gunnar with Bargrim open the door and step out first. Emerging from the arch at the far end is what Gunnar recognizes as a Manticore! The fighter and monster react simultaneously: Tail spikes are thrown and Gunnar fumbles with his Magical trident!!! Bargrim panics causing Gunnar to hurl his trident into the party instead of the monster. The group watches in horror as two tail spikes impale and kill Bargrim, one spike slices Gunnar and the trident sticks into poor Dromore the pack-bearer!

As the magical trident rips itself out of Dromore and returns to Gunnars hand, the old man now lying in Shiro's arms looks up and says... "aww, screw you guys!" then dies.

Shiro, overcome with grief rushes to the hall in order to aid Gunnar who is now locked in combat with the voracious beast! Shiro in concert with his brother use their sword-throwing ability to sever the tail of the creature! Sorely wounded in its struggle with Gunnar the manticore retreats back the way it came. The party give chase and run the beast down in the chamber just the other side of the archway. The beast is slain, but the party realize that they have only killed a baby when the deep growling rumbles through the chambers again.

Sorely wounded after fighting the "baby" the group decides to beat a hasty retreat back up to level 3 when they find themselves face to face with the rest of the goblins looking for payback!

Seeing what the group have done the goblins parley with the adventurers and ask to team-up and kill the mother manticore that has been terrorizing this level since coming up from below to give birth. The Bros. GriMMM accept in return for healing and a treaty of non-interference from the goblins on any forthcoming trips through here in the future.
Gunnar lures the Manticore
A plan is made to attack the mother manticore by using a passage the creature blocked off. Gunnar is able to break through and sets in motion a running battle through the halls, Bryvay and half a dozen goblins are killed and the Bros. GriMMM in a titanic battle bring down the Manticore.

The Bros. GriMMM return to town with loads of treasure and only one surviving hireling. Carousing is done and Shiro wakes up covered in slime, while Kuro had unscrupulous liason but saved vs disease. Gunnar counts his gold and ponders the next expedition to Marqest.

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