Selangod Times
Campaign Blog

Selangod Times – Special Edition – June 15th, 1590


The taunting, bickering and public chastising existing between the towns of Pahand and Hatyad came to an official and violent end this week. Troops from Pahand descended on the northern territory and captured the keep at Hatyad after a short and bloody battle. The insurgents claimed their prize after only two days of fighting. The Army of Pahand numbered over a thousand worthies and included nobles and adventurers from throughout the kingdom.
Arguments between these two exterior mining communities have been notable for decades, becoming increasingly boisterous in recent months. Both sides complained of trade irregularities, barbarous theft of goods, and the raiding of food stores, always perpetrated by the other township. Assassination attempts were also believed to be committed by the opposing side. War was declared by Hatyad eight weeks ago and both sides built up their forces, hiring mercenaries and adventurers.
Baron Amishad V of the Royal Line, who has ruled Pahand for twelve years, expressed relief at the victory. “At last, the cruelty and harm caused by the leadership in the beleaguered town of Hatyad is at an end.” The Duke of Hatyad, also of the Royal Line, could not be reached for comment and is presumed lost.
Officer Terry Pritchert, Sheriff of Pahand and leader of the attacking forces, met with members of the newly formed “Hatyad Tribunal for Peace” after the battle. They all described the two-day conflict using similar terms:
The army of Pahand had marched for two weeks and prepared to lay siege to the town of Hatyad. Food shortages in the North suggested that a siege would bring about a swift victory for Pahand as supplies going into the city halted. The Pahandians gathered south of the city walls and began building fortifications.
The Hatyadians quickly learned of the danger, knowing that they would grow weaker every day and that the allegiance of their mercenaries was tenuous. They decided to act, sallying forth with their entire army. They employed hundreds of archers, infantry and even war elephants as they bravely charged the Pahandian lines. The presence of the elephants in combat between peoples is new, as they had only been used for clearing paths during Outside Incursions prior. Still, their terrifying presence and effectiveness caused the fortified Pahandian battle-lines to bend.
The army of Pahand, for their part, slew a great many Hatyadians by raining down arrows upon them. Their archers drew and drew. Additionally, adventurers in their ranks used magic to selectively kill their targets. Their battle lines found courage and held their places in the face of the on-coming elephants. Their leaders scampered about using veterans to fill holes in the lines, preventing breakthroughs.
When the bloodshed reached its peak, the Pahandians committed their strongest fighters to the battle, sending in their mounted warriors. These armored men on horseback swung around with great speed and attacked the Hatyadians from the rear, causing panic and confusion among Hatyadian soldier and elephant alike. Their brave infantry soon found themselves in a hopeless situation.
The Hatyadians began their retreat as the last of their mighty war elephants was brought down. The thunderous beasts had caught their share of arrows and lance-tips in the fighting, finally succumbing to their wounds. With their most powerful forces defeated and with nothing left to batter the Pahandian lines, the forces of Hatyad fell back, slowly at first. Then as the roaming cavalry gave chase, the measured retreat became a rout. The remaining Hatyadians ran at full pace back to the safety of their walls.
The battle left a grim field of human and animal remains not seen since the civil wars of prior generations. Over two hundred warriors from Hatyad lost their lives, with another hundred and fifty injured. Seventy-two fighters from Pahand perished, mostly due to the elephants, with another hundred injured. As nighttime fell, the moans of the dying filled the skies as their blood soaked the earth.
The next day saw the surrender of the forces and of the town of Hatyad. Now leaderless, with half of their army defeated and without the elephants, Hatyad had no other recourse. The terms of the surrender were accepted without exception and the flag of Pahand flew from the towers. Religious ceremonies were held, honoring the gods of Hatyad as well as those worshipped in Pahand. Services for fallen troops brought comfort to the people.

Later this week, the son and heir of Baron Amistad will get his first taste of rule at age sixteen. Amistad VI will enjoy the counsel of his sister, Periwitt, as well as that of Sheriff Pritchert. See our article in next month’s Selangod Times regarding the Amistad Line and the efforts to ensure peace between the towns. Rumors that Truskin, the Baron’s brother, would take the throne in Hatyad were ended with the surprise announcement that he had passed away in his sleep weeks prior.
Baron Amistad has assured the People’s House and the Council in the West that mining operations in Pahand and Hatyad will continue to produce material for any and all building projects to come. The mine in Hatyad will open again once the safety for the miners can be assured.

Coming Home, Caves and Death threats
Death threats, caves

The party came home to Pahand to regroup, train and say a quick goodbye to Mho and Tru. There were a few quips about Tru and the fact that people paid a lot of money to raise him from the dead, just to have him leave, but, this didn’t slow him for an instant.
Most of the party trained to second level, some to third level and no one to forth level, for lack of funds. The magic training book made training cheap and easy but took about a month of game time, as the 1st levelers waited for their turn with the amazing book. Maka went into debt to get to 3rd level, while the ever responsible McAwesomepants paid his own way. Dalal fumbled through some grimoires, picking up new spells. The party had made a name for itself in Pahand.
Around July 12, the party quickly debated what to do next, you know, to earn bunches of money. They decided to go finish the dungeon they had started back before the war, after all, Gargg wanted to SMASH! A quick and uneventful two-day journey lead them back to the caves, where they interrupted some large, hairy monsters enjoying some burnt animal flesh. These quickly dispensed, the party rested beyond their locked and trapped door.
Next morning found the rest of the previously explored caverns empty of threats. They pressed on to deeper caverns, through the muck and mushrooms to find a few skirmishes with regressed peoples. They uncovered tiny amounts of coin but a neat tooth-and-bone dagger that a Regressed was using to cut veggies. Gargg did a lot of the smashing.
Then they delved into a chamber with 7 large, fire beetles, smacked them around, and took their shiny bits. Moving on to more shiny things, the party entered a chamber filled with shiny quartz crystals embedded in the stone. They felt at ease here although no one was wise enough to know why.
Maka and Gargg thought it might be cool to scrape off some of the crystals, while other members of the party pressed on to danger. Kem lead a small contingent and encountered the rest of the regressed people, having a shin dig, drinking some brews. Kem yelled, “Combat!” and attracted everyone’s attention.
An argument ensued as people debated where they were at the time of the announcement. But, words mean things. When you are scraping rocks, you are scraping rocks. Gargg got pissed and for some reason started threatening to cut the heads off various characters. This was poignant but short-lived. A modicum of serenity ensued just prior to the chaos of the fight.
About 20 Regressed folks, including a shaman of sorts, turned and charged into combat. The party was quickly flanked as they were spread out across the cavern. Aargh went down as he couldn’t catch a break to save his life. Maka found herself surrounded but, contrary to Aargh’s situation, the Regressed proved their ineptitude, failing to kill her as she fled. McAwesomepants kept on getting hit but only for flesh wounds. The fight saw a lot of bravery as most everyone was getting hit for something. The Regressed surrounded Rah for most of the fight but he came out okay, even though some of his combat spells were amazingly ineffective. Gargg settled it to a new role, that of clearing out all those flanking Regressed from the rear. Even Merlas was hitting stuff with daggers. The tide turned as the Regressed ran out of hit points. A few escaped down the hole in the back of the chamber. The Big Boss here (the shaman) was pathetic, and (the recently healed) Aargh beheaded him with a mighty blow.
Yeah! They won! And what did they get? A handful of gold and a shiny, purple rock. Maurice prevented the gloom from settling in by tucking into some awful tasting, but very potent, mushroom brew. He suggested bottling and selling it back in town. Several characters filled skins with the vile, fermented concoction. The gloom settled back in as the party discussed what to do with the regressed bodies. Chop em up? Burn them? Throw them in the pit? Throw them in the pit and then burn them?
Thus the session ended with the clearing of the second level of the dungeon. Seems there’s another level to explore down the pit. Not to fear. That’s where all the treasure is, right?

Killing Degenerates, Danger, Danger, Danger

The party loosely considered having a Leader. Maurice wanted Kem to lead, and Rah admitted to have followed Kem since day one. Kem was officially put in as some kind of tactical leader for the fights. This structure was followed as the party descended to the third level of the dungeon and entered into some fights against the Regressed peoples.
It was also decided that kidnapping one of the leaders of the Regressed would be a good idea.
The Party found some statuettes that probably have some value. They also steered clear of a room dripping with green slimy stuff. A room that smelt very badly, containing urine-soaked rat skins, was also avoided. Still not finding much treasure.
Then the party found a chamber literally filled with Regressed. Dalal was sharp enough to Charm the High Priest, causing momentary confusion in the enemy ranks. Here again the fixed system of combat saw great success in whittling down the Regressed foes, halving their numbers before they fled.
The next chamber looked like a throne room, save that there was no throne. It had smaller rooms and alcoves, some filled with treasure and scrolls, others with monsters. This information was brought to the party via an invisible Maka, who did a cursory search. The red-blob monster with three arm-things sat there too. As the information was gathered, a pleasant, young voice filled the chamber. It spoke of an end to the violence and cooperation on trade. The voice identified itself as that of Velikul, a stranger to these parts. It and the Regressed have been there for a long time, Velikul said, living without interaction with the outside world. Seemed to be what the party wanted to hear, except for Gargg who was intent on insulting it. In fact the voice was finally so convincing that the bulk of the party (including Gargg) approached it, being comfortable enough to lie down in its presence…

As Death Surrounds You

This week saw the cliff-hanger play out. Six of the nine characters lay prostrate at the feet of 26 Regressed minions. Velikul and his friends didn’t get involved, at the start. The party was quickly surrounded and attacked en masse. Party members laying down were hit often and Merlas went down on round one. Dalal went down a round later and the fighting intensified, the remaining party members no longer fooled by Velikul’s charming suggestions.
Maka was invisible and looked for an option to drag out bodies. Maurice cast Sanctuary and evaded most of the damage, healed Argh and dragged away Merlas. A hole had opened up, made by Gargg smashes. A key Hold Person by Rah also helped with the escape route.
It was then that Argh lacked the initiative to escape and was overwhelmed. The party couldn’t go back for him as they were quickly blocked out, and Velikul did enter the scene, three tentacles at the ready. The party ran back to their defensive stop-point and made a stand against their pursuers. They held off the attackers who gave up on the chase. 20 Regressed were slain.
The party retreated to their special hold-up spot and rested. Many had been reduced to minimum health levels, suffering grievous wounds. The next day saw healing and pondering the darker side of existence. They made for town after enough healing had taken place.
Within a few days the party was back up and ready to go again. They made it back to the caves without incident and returned close to the throne-room, where the fateful battle had taken place. Then Dalal cast invisibility on Maka again, who went back inside to check on things. The room looked mostly the same, minus the bodies and dropped equipment, including K’em’s magic axe. The remains of the monstrous party hid in the back, waiting for the party to appear. Unfortunately a newcomer had come; an extra enemy has joined the fouler ranks. This was enough to inspire dread in many of the heroes. Even Gargg wanted nothing to do with the purple stranger. The party considered a great many things. Many questions. Many possibilities. Many fears.

Vengeance, Loot and Scrambled Egg

The party thought, and thought and thought about what to do. During the process (that only Ian Gillan could break them out of) a pair of returning Regressed People approached and then fled, carrying a heavy load. The party quickly engaged them, chasing them back to the level’s entry. With the Regressed slain, an unconscious person was found in the sac.
Lester woke from his apparent drugging to the party of adventurers willing to help him. They promised him a safe return to Pahand. He wasn’t in the party yet though.
The party decided that sneaking in and surreptitiously bogarting some treasure was the way to go. Dalal had turned Maka invisible, and so the thief approached the throne room with McAwesomepants at the ready. The enemies, rained on the parade by changing their location, effectively cutting off easy access to the loot. They were much closer now, and watching the passage for movement. While they did not see Maka open the curtain, they did see through her to the Paladin on guard.
They heard the beginnings of Velikul’s pleasant diatribe and stopped up their ears with wax. This saved them from the unnatural compulsion to obey but it also caused communication difficulty, as sign language was hardly a practiced art. Minutes later the diatribe stopped and the party reorganized farther back in the caverns.
a third of the party then approached the throne room again. Gargg charged the watchful Regressed person and cut her down. Scruffy also approached and acknowledged that the entire enemy force had gathered nearby. K’em went back and notified the rest of the party that combat had begun.
The next major understanding was that something was wrong with Gargg. In the heat of battle he took a moment to fully embrace McAwesomepants, in a bear hug, which he held off and on for the rest of the fight. This put Scruffy on the receiving side of several Regressed attacks, but only briefly. Gargg, in his new found clinginess, carried Scruffy to the rear of the enemy lines, where the bosses could beat on him.
Meanwhile, K’em re-emerged and filled the hole at the opening of the cavern, to face the attacks of all of the remaining Regressed. Seeing the desperate plight that Scruffy was in, Rah also stepped forward and cast Hold Person on Velikul’s two remaining clerics, preventing them from beating on the beleaguered Paladin. Meanwhile the Magic users targeted the obscene Velikul with Magic Missiles, causing him to whimper in pain. An assortment of thieves and then magic users harried the Regressed with other various missile weapons.
In a brief moment of freedom, Scruffy struck down the two Held priests before again falling into Gargg’s tender grasps. He took regular damage from Velikul and his purple partner after that. Yet he stood his ground.
This was important as the damage levied against the largely un-armored Regressed reached an all-time low. They bobbed and weaved, deflecting most of the blows. Nicks and scratches were all that they received for several rounds. Finally, however, a hole opened up and Maka slipped through, to deliver a crushing back-stab against Velikul, an attack that failed miserably.
There was noted celebration when the last of the Regressed was brought down, a huge, personal victory. By the time that Scruffy’s life began to blink out, Rah was on the scene to deliver Healing. The whole party was involved in the attack against Velikul now. Even Dalal struck at it with her staff, while Merlas threw daggers to typical, deadly effect. In fact, he delivered the killing blow. Mr. Purple Monster offered little more before the end, a clear victory for the heroes. Gargg was freed… But sad that no one was left to smash.
Next was healing, but not before Gargg went to bag up the scrolls. Then came the bagging of coin, a huge sum of treasure. Meanwhile Dalal and the thieves worked on the puzzle-lock at the side of the room. With this puzzle solved, the real treasure room was opened. Inside were found a valuable collection of art, a series of powerful magic items and a large, stone egg.
All the loot of value was brought up to the hiding place on level one. There resting and the counting of coins took place. More healing come morning and the party was off to Pahand, to cash in and identify magic items.
On the way the party ran into another fighter named Clifford, who wanted the egg. He claimed to be lead there by the discovery of the egg and came immediately (and apparently by great speed) from Selangod. He offered a huge sum of 6000 gold for the dragon egg, which the party accepted (to Dalal’s chagrin.) He then cracked open the egg and fried it over a fire. Several of the party accepted his invitation to taste dragon egg.
Then they came back town. Dalal and Scruffy confronted Lester about his evil ways. It almost came to blows and the party gave them space to resolve the matter. Lester, Dalal and Scruffy eventually came to an agreement and Lester was invited into the party as a full member.
There were a bunch of scrolls (written on rat-skins), a magic Hauberk of Strength, a magic flail, an Ioun stone, magic arrows, and a stone fragment that seemed to fit with another stone fragment that they already had (although this wasn’t confirmed.) The most valuable of treasures found to date. Some treasures were sold to insure that party members were paid. Arrangements were made for other items.
Then came time to advance in title for several of the party members. Some had received a grant to facilitate training, as their renown had reached the academies in Selangod. Others took loans in order to pay for training. In the end, the party became better equipped to handle the adventurer’s life, and their fame was noticed by commoners and nobles alike.

Let's finish the dungeon... Yep.

The party started in town. A lively discussion ensued about how to fairly divide loot, keeping magic items versus cashing it all in for gold. Several ideas were proffered. In the end, no decision was made, and so the old way became the default.
The party was smaller now with some members taking time out for deep contemplation. Some went in for training. Others tried to find out about the fractured statue that they had been carrying around for months. The group-loot went to pay for a thorough examination and revealed that the statue, when assembled, summons forth a feline-type animal guide. But by the value of the item, it was uncertain if any character would “pay” to keep the statue.
The six-member party returned to the dungeon to finish exploring the last few tunnels. They burned off the green slime that had covered most of the ceiling of one of the chambers. They then uncovered another chamber buried under stone. Here they found the skeleton of a fallen human and an inscription on the wall, one that warned, albeit too late, that they should stop up their ears before engaging the monster Velikul.
Next was another series of tunnels that started with a fight against transparent glossiness. It seem the moisture on the wall was reaching out to absorb Gargg, among others. This strange encounter saw many huge blows to take the giant, clear jello down. The party burned off the remains and searched to find a small cash of items.
A few rooms later the party came upon a collection of human corpses. Gargg chopped at one, which seemed to fill all the corpses with life. The undead rose and struck out against the party. Rah was able to Turn several of the zombies, and they fled to a chamber out of sight. As the party felled the remaining zombies, four new skeletal horrors emerged. The party beat on these well-adorned undead only to find them completely resilient to some of their weapons. It seemed to terrify Gargg that he could receive so much damage and yet couldn’t inflict any. The fight went long enough that the turned zombies returned to join the fray. The party won in the end but their healing spells were depleted. Rah enjoyed destroying stuff with his new flail. K’em enjoyed cajoling Gargg for leaving the fight. There was also interesting treasure to be had.
They found a small wooden box, a couple of clean swords, and a medallion necklace. This last item looked odd in that it was complete with an ugly set of teeth, a full mouth of teeth in fact. Dalal was freaked. K’em picked up the medallion with a bag only to hear the thing speak.
“Ahhh, life” it said loud enough for all to hear.
The party was unnerved by the talking thing but Lester wasn’t going to leave it behind. They feared for Lester and kept an eye on him for changes. In any case, the party had sufficient treasure to go back to town, and after a night in their hideout, made for town.
Later, in the dead of night, not four hours from home, the party smelt the wonderful fragrance of a meaty, hot soup. Dalal and Gargg fixated on this smell, believing it to emanate from the cooking of the mysterious Martina. An argument ensued between the tired members of the party that only wanted to go home, and these others that wanted to find Martina and her amazing house. They wanted to show her an egg that a talking snake had given to them months ago. It was 4 to 2 against exploring, a soft bed was more desirous, but exploring they did.
They spent an hour cutting through the mean-ness of the Great Outside and eventually called out to Martina. A woman’s voice responded and guided the party to the top of a hill where Martina and her thatched-roof house currently resided. K’em told Martina about the egg but she didn’t want to see it. She explained that she had a lot of enemies and that such an object would not be welcome in her house. Kem left the egg in his backpack – outside, while the party came inside for a fine meal.
Martina was anxious to hear about their adventures, their fight against evil. She answered some questions about the Battle for Hatyaid, and even about the apparently evil medallion that Lester had. Yet Rah became uneasy, unable to get comfortable in Martina’s presence. After an hour of lively chat, and repeated offers of comfortable beds from Martina, the party set out for home. Promised to return the next night. Upon leaving they found K’em’s abandoned backpack gone.
So they pulled into town not but a few hours before sunrise, exhausted.

Progression, Piles of Paperwork, Pretty Persons, Poppies and Popping Off

The party pulled into Pahand after a late night, slept in the next day. Prior members resurfaced and the party, in its entirety, gathered together for the first time in months. The first order of business was to identify and process the loot from the previous adventure. Part of this treasure, a medallion of supposed ill-repute, disappeared in the night. Some consternation occurred regarding the handling of loot, and in the even distribution thereof. This started a detailed discussion regarding a Party Charter that went on for the next few weeks.
During this time, Gargg, Merlas, Lester and Delal took time to train, honing their skills. A trip was also made into Selangod to sell an evil Candle of Invocation and a magic Pick. Further items were sold to apportion monies to six of the party members.
It should also be noted that half of the party went to meet with the mysterious Martina. She had produced a hearty repast for the party, and many stories were shared. The party got to know Martina more and vice versa. She seems to be quite knowledgeable.
Then, back in Pahand, a deep discussion ensued between Delal, K’em Lester and Maurice, to solve the inequities of the current loot distribution system and problems in party structure. Options were explored, pros and cons debated and preferences detailed. They produced a rough draft for a party compact currently being debated.
The party considered what new action they might take. Heading out to the cocoa farm seemed the most popular option. The journey there was uneventful, made more so by Gargg’s unusual silence. The farm looked to be operating normally, with people working the fields. The party skirted the edges of the farm area to surreptitiously discover who was in charge. They came upon a farmhouse and satellite that had lanterns lit. Maka and Lester snuck closer to the buildings and peered in through the slats. Inside, warriors and fighters milled about unawares. The pair of sneaks then returned to bring news to the rest of the party. Then, out from the tree-tops, an observant magic-user struck out with his magic and inflicted severe wounds on Lester who made haste back to the party.
Gargg considered his options and to the surprise of many, struck down Lester, his companion in arms. Maurice screamed out his rage and immediately went to shield his bleeding cohort. Others moved to protect Lester while still others went out to meet the enemy opposition.
Maka had quietly ascended the tree where the powerful magic-user was busy blasting her fellow party members. Rah had Commanded the arcane attacker to “Die” causing him to collapse where he stood. Maka sprung her attack and with help from Delal’s missiles, brought the magic-user down after a concerted effort.
The party was down to fighting just the warriors and fighters. Gargg, after instructing members to keep Lester quiet, engaged the lead, enemy fighter along side McAwesomepants. K’em penetrated deep to assail the archers lined up in the back, and was joined by Delal. Maurice started a Chant in honor of his god, supporting his companions in their fight. Rah flung bullets and stood guard over Lester’s body, finally healing him at the end of the fight. One enemy fighter was captured.
However, these details were all secondary to the confrontation among K’em, Lester and Maurice on one side, with Gargg on the other. The accusers were incensed at Gargg’s attack on Lester, made without warning and in the presence of other enemies. Gargg justified his attack, believing Lester to be under the influence of an evil, harmful force, namely the toothy amulet that had apparently gone missing earlier. Gargg believed Martina’s words regarding the amulet and stated he was concerned for the well-being of the party and even for Lester’s soul.
The accusers saw no justice in his attack, noted that Gargg intended to kill Lester and had made the move, without notice, against a fellow party-member, one that had officially been accepted into the group. It was a clear breach in the trust between members.
Gargg the Mighty decided to leave the party at this point. He collected himself and with an apology to Lester, walked away. None supported him, his own lawlessness finally catching up to him.
The rest of the party and their captive made their way to the safety of the caves, moving in silence.

Scrutiny, Squabbling, Sleepiness and Sickness

This week saw the party return from the Lost Caverns but to different destinations. For fear of Death by Gargg, Lester stated his refusal to return to Pahand. He took a different route through to Selangod. The party, however, returned to Pahand.
They were met at the town’s entry by Father William of the Shrine, Jorge Starbright, and a woman eventually discovered to be Anabell, High Priestess of Utu. The party was asked if they would submit to questioning and none refused. Anabell questioned each party member individually, even though it was quite late.
After questioning, the party members were released and charged to go out and do good, save for Scruffy McAwesomepants. The Paladin has not been seen since the questioning occurred. The party waited for Lester to return after sending him message that Gargg was not to be found in the town.
Lester returned to Pahand days later, disguised as a female egg seller. It should also said that there was no little discussion about the party contract regarding the division of loot. New proposals were made by Maka, trying to keep magic items in the party versus cashing everything out. This was emphasized by the discovery that the newly found set of bracers that are worth 12,000 GP by themselves.
Another concern was that cold shoulders were given by many townsfolk. Jorg said that he feared the party had “lost its shine.” Many people lamented that Gargg hadn’t returned. Some in the town wondered at some of the decisions of the party. Even the Beekeeper called foul. Finally, though,the fact that the Shrine discounts had vanished was enough to say that something had changed for the party, changed for the worse in Pahand.
After a discussion about what the party should do next, Lester fell asleep at the table. He couldn’t be roused, not even by a foul-smelling sack of rot that Maka produced. The party moved Lester to an out of the way place, and then K’em brought him upstairs and put him to bed. The sleepiness wasn’t explained except that Lester had been travelling all day.
It was decided the next day that the party would check out the strange statues to the south of Pahand. Two days into the trip, they came upon a floating head. It was a bloodied skull, to be more precise, floating a few yards off the ground, tethered by a chain. The party did not investigate.
Pushing on, the party encountered a few, small undead animals. The first attacks against the foul creatures did slight damage, even with Delal’s magic blowing bits off the largest attacker. The creatures returned with dreadful attacks of their own, sending forth a plague of undead fleas. Maka, Delal and Maurice were infected. Rah tuned the loathsome creatures but the damage was done. When the disease developed, the sick party members started losing health.
The party hurried back toward Pahand with the health of three party members failing. They stopped at the small village along the way and asked for help. In the end they turned down the offer given by the Enlil Priest they found there, and made for Pahand proper. Maurice collapsed just as they pulled into the Shrine. The Utu Priests were only too willing to help, curing the disease and at least partially healing each infected party member, and at no cost. All made a recovery, saved from certain death. The generosity of the Shrine was appreciated.

Moving On

The party in full collected in Pahand being accompanied by the Ranger Alara and having re-acquired the Paladin, Scruffy McAwesomepants. The party then moved on to the mining town named Kedad, where they hoped to find new adventure.
Sadly the party split after an argument regarding party organization. Still, the majority of the party decided to press on after finding new potential excitement. Richrom was a small apparently deserted village with the distinguishing characteristic of having a huge pile of corpses lying in the center of the town square. The party decided that it would be best to burn the bodies. They noticed that the bodies were of multiple races, many never seen before by party members. They also noticed that the bodies were not mangled nor damaged except by smallish puncture wounds. Strangely there were no flies or carrion birds to be seen.
With the fire started and a great odor emanating from the burning mass, the party decided to bed down for the night. They chose the abandoned worship hall for their shelter. In the middle of the night, they were attacked by a pack of stirge-like mosquito bats that flew in through a hole in the roof. The adventurers dealt with them quickly.
The next morning saw a greatly diminished pile of smoldering corpses. Alara and Maka decided to examine the statue in the town square and found a plaque with the name “Garvin Richrom” inscribed upon it. Checking over the plaque released a smelly gas but also uncovered a passage descending down, under the statue – a staircase into blackness. But the smelly gas seemed to attract predators.
A huge mass of mosquito bats descended upon the party from the highest heights of the derelict Inn. A desperate fight ensued as slain bats were quickly replaced by reinforcements. The bats drained the vitality of the party members away, drop by drop. The party retreated to the shelter of the night before, harried all the way by the winged attackers. After slamming the door they peeled the remaining bats from their blood-drained bodies and rested. K’em and Dalal went down in the final moments of the fight but were saved by Rah’s healing. Between the two encounters, 38 mosquito bats were encountered. How many more could there be?
Items of Interest:
1 – A small wooden statue of Aruru with a head shaped like a key.
2 – A broken urn with an inscription, “My dear sweet AnnabelMarie, taken too soon.”

P.S. Maurice, Merlas and Lester joined another party in Kedad, accepting another party charter.

Clearing the Inn, Killing Bats and Tomb Raiding

The party started by licking its wounds from the previous session. Rah and the fighters, save Scruffy, were heavily damaged. The cleric’s administrations were in demand that night and the whole of the next day. Still, some investigation was warranted, and invisibility was available.
Maka climbed the outside wall of the inn, up to the forth, uppermost level. She wanted to peek in through the hole in the roof, wanted to count the mosquito bats. Using a grappling hook expedited her efforts. She found the numbers of the flying critters to be substantially reduced, although they were still there.
Alara explored the insides of the inn, level by level, until it got too dark. The ground level was largely abandoned. There was a bar and restaurant, once, but now it was just dust and corruption. The split sign above the bar read “_Notice_!” She found a floor safe and a collection of steins, but saved these for later.
The second level was darker so Alara lit a lantern. She found many locked doors, all later determined to be doors to empty bedrooms. She balked at investigating the third level for the darkness.
She and Maka went on to check out the stables, which turned out to be a ruin. Remains of horse care tack and fetid troths abounded. They then returned to the church after fetching the safe. Inside, they busted open the safe and found receipts and a note, “_All valuables have been moved from our premises to your designated underground area_.” It is signed, “L_ogan, Munroe, and Summers Moneychanging and Merchant House_.”
The party rested another night.
The next morning saw more healing and investigation, with the final aim of destroying the mosquito bats. They did a thorough search of the inn’s basement and found a meat storage room and a secret door that they left for later. They moved back upstairs to check out the beer steins and found a small note, a scrap of paper, upon which is scrawled: “_The third one is false.”_
The party eventually went on to explore the unexplored third level, perhaps expecting to find danger. Instead they found more locked and empty rooms. However there was a furnished bedroom, an empty library and a craft/work room.
The library was empty of books or anything else of interest. The placards labeling each shelf read:
“Physical Sciences”
“Construction, Excavations, and Engineering”
“Riddles, Jokes, and Gags”
“Feeding and Care of Dragons”
“Adventurer Journals”

After searching the bedroom, the party found a journal. It is mostly blank, but the first page had some writing on it. It was obviously continued from another, not-present journal (and is dated seven years before the present time). The relevant information is a message:
“_Father’s prime architect, Grant Tarkenton, has reportedly broken his contract and sold part of the tomb plans to unknown tomb robbers. Have taken steps to deal with both Tarkenton and track down the receiving party. In the meantime, security around the Inn has been increased to prevent entry to the tomb and theft of its treasures.” Stuck in the journal were many receipts and contracts for labor work, mainly excavation and masonry, with all work paid in gold coin.
The workroom contained lots of old, rusted woodworking and metalworking tools. It also contained a small iron cage with a dead, rotted sparrow inside. The bottom of the cage was lined with shredded sheets of transcribed musical notes, with a song title “_My Bonny Lass (She Don’t Look So Good_).” Connected to this cage by a gold thread was a small machine made up of many gears and a crank. The machine was found under the floorboard but not before it was activated by the lifting of the cage. Whatever was supposed to happen, the end result was only that the dead bird caught on fire and burned the shredded music. They also found a spool of gold thread worth about 50 GP.
Next the party stood posed at the trapdoor up to the attic, where the remaining mosquito bats presumably resided. By opening and quickly closing the portal, the party limited their exposure to the bats. Eventually the bats were depleted and destroyed, 14 in total. The party ascended to the attic and found a bunch of old furniture and several hundred GP in treasure. Seems the bats liked the shiny bits they saw out in the pile of corpses in the courtyard. There was also a silver placard with the inscription, “_Follow the sun. Ignore the moon
” on it.
With the inn cleared, the party descended to the basement again, figuring that the secret passage lead to the noted underground tomb. They were wrong. What they found instead was a gruesome, bloodstained torture chamber. Shackles on the wall, knives and chopping blades in a box. The blood, blades and rust suggested an evil more than mosquito bats.
The party decided to descend the stairs out through the statue’s panel. They used a long pole to press the panel, attempting to avoid the poison gas. This worked except that they pressed too long. The party was engulfed in a cloud of what turned out to be sleep gas. A few fell but entry to the tomb was eventually successful.

The first room of the tomb was empty with a door leading out. It had an inscription that read, “_Mark Well Your Passage, You Would-Be Robber, For the Clever Observe Closely and Only the Clever Will Win the day_.” They also found a secret compartment that had a wall switch behind it, in the “down” position. No matter of manipulation and cross-checking could reveal the purpose of the switch, however, and so it was left in the “up” position.
The passage beyond the door lead to another door and another sign, “_Family Crypt – Do Not Enter_.” Maka found that the door was trapped with a needle trap. Trap averted and sign ignored, the party found more doors and passages. One lead to another small room with a candle hanging down, shrouded in a glass bulb. Lighting the special candle revealed words hidden in the floor tiling, “_Richrom Dares You_.”
Another room was painted like a night-time field of stars, with a large, glowing moon in the ceiling. Recalling the cryptic note from before, the party ignored this room.
At another door the party heard whispering from the other side. The door was bolted from the other side but the party lost interest in it when a secret door was discovered by Alara. Behind it was a series of very long staircases and passages leading far and wide. The party got pushed down a staircase for light damage by a trap set in the wall.
More careful now the party found some actual monsters. Two ghoulish undead horrors approached and ignored Rah’s turning attempt. Dalal blasted them with magic missiles but couldn’t stop Alara and Scruffy from being paralyzed but the fiend’s foul touches. But they weren’t too tough. Rah’s flail and Maka’s bullets finished off the horrors. The party retreated, carrying paralyzed party members through staircases and traps back out and to the church building for rest and recovery.
Over night the party met a wandering fighter, a worshipper of Innana who did not detect as evil, and invited him inside for further consideration. He apparently holds the rank as “hero” and is looking for any kind of fight he can get. The party deferred a decision on accepting him into the party and possibly returning to town until later.

P.S. The italics option on this site blows.


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