Epic! they cried. Heroic! Highly flatulent! Only three wee adventurers
stood to make the best of an otherwise disappointing day. A day with
no Matt. No Ari. No Alex. And very little Hans. Just a bi-gendered
barbarian, an angry elf, and a giant chinaman faced the horrors of
Vordekai’s tomb by their lonesome.
Seeing the impossible odds, the day began with a rare act of pity on
the part of the Dungeon Master who granted the party an ‘auto-hans’ to
help with healing between rounds.
Having narrowly escaped death by drowning, the adventurers returned to
the storeroom where they decided to search the amphora while waiting
for the waters in the lower chamber to subside. Besides salty prunes,
the ancient jars held many d6x10 of gold, with only the auto-hans
avoiding the dreaded ‘1’ and receiving anything for his troubles.
Moments later, as hoped for, the water in the lower chamber did in
fact recede and the party slipped under the portcullis to find a
4-foot diameter river eel flopping around helplessly on the wet floor
- having been well stuffed with cyclops-zombies for brunch. The party
dispatched the creature effortlessly for the easiest 3k gold ever
obtained in the history of the borderlands.
Afterwards, the barbarian found a 4+Strength, +1 attack, 950gp value), a nasty artifact of Khorne,
Chaos sucker, and generously awarded it to himself.
Seemingly at a dead end, the wily adventurers then searched the
statues in the alcoves, finding a loose sword in a scabbard which
opened a secret door. Climbing up the revealed staircase, the group
came to a large rectangular room of creepiness. At one end hunched an
unremarkable altar, while at the other stood large double bronze
doors, fancy tiles on the floor, and a mosaic of a longboat with a
very creepy boatman. Near the center of the room two hulking columns
carved with unsavory creatures (also creepy) stood, whose creepy eyes
followed the party as they traversed the chamber. Bjorngina, ever
modest, decided to cover the eyes with various mule-skin garments.
Prior to entering the room his suspicious barbarian mind thought he
detected a trap which would require ‘blood to be spilt before we left
the room’. Turned out to be just more barbarian mumbo-jumbo as the
party simply avoided the double doors and left the room by a
nondescript door directly across the way. (DM did roll a die before
the party’s departure. Surely coincidence though.)
Atop the stairs, the party came to a vaulted room with two pitch black
swirling smoke monsters just hanging out. Cousins of the one that
attacked us with the Raven-on-a-Stick apparently. Seeing the party,
they offered them cold beers and a bong hit. No. Actually they
attacked the wizard right off, but a blinding assault by Dik Chi Nee
and Bjorngina dispatched them rather handily with some help from the
auto-hans. There was much disappointment on the part of the DM.
Once the smoke monsters had been smoked, the party observed the room
properly and found it to be a tall natural chamber with stalagmites on
the ceiling and a central pit dropping down to murky water below.
Around the circular walls stood three doors, each with a small
platform in front of it, jutting out over the drop. The only way
across was to string an elven rope, which the party did. As Bjorngina
alighted on the far platform, the hapless wizard rolled a ‘1’ on the
power die, summoning a zombie sorcerer from Varnhold to materialize
and attack the party. While Bjorngina battled the sorcerer solo, Dik
valiantly launched himself across the rope hand-over-hand to come to
his rescue. Meanwhile the wizard carefully and slowly tied on his
5-point safety harness and high-visibility crash helmet before
proceeding across. The party wounded the sorcerer before another ‘1’
on the power die sent him floating away from the platform, waving his
arms hypnotically in some horrible incantation. Before he could
unleash the spell however, Dik crashed through the door at the back of
the platform retreating out of range, followed by the brave wizard,
thus leaving the barbarian yet again alone with the specter. And so,
he got zapped. But not too badly. Seems the DM greatly exaggerated.
Unimpressed, the barbarian simply shot an arrow through the monster’s
head, sending him spiraling down into the murky water below.
At this point, the players engaged in a long discourse on the merits
of consensual extra-marital coitus, gastro-intestinal encounters we’ve
enjoyed, and our unfortunate lack of bar-b-que skills. Lamb was
nevertheless bravely grilled and eaten and grilled and eaten again.
Back at Vordecai’s, beyond the door Dik had barged through, the party
found yet another stairwell winding up. At its top, a small squat room
occupied the landing with two doors leading right and left. Close
listening revealed a slurping sound behind door number one. The DM
admonished the party to ‘choose wisely’. The party chose the slurping
Through the portal, the party beheld a monstrous table set with 33
chairs, each occupied by a half-dead citizen of Varnhold missing the
top half of his skull, brains embarrassingly exposed. Around the
sitters, five zombie cyclopses huddled ritualistically scooping out
their brains like ice cream sundaes. At this point, the party leader
decided we would act like zombie cyclops waiters, cupping one hand
over an eye and shuffling towards the diners. Rolling an ‘11’ it
miraculously worked. We shuffled right up to the cyclopses before they
realized we were the aperitif, gaining a free round of attacks for our
In the ensuing battle, Dik strode atop the table like a boss throwing
cyclone kicks and super nun-chuck-norris moves while Bjorngina smashed
the zombies to bits with his new +4 wonker. Elronnie meanwhile fought
defensively with all his cowardice and rolled as many ’1’s on the
power die as he could, withstanding eighteen attacks from the
cyclopses in the process. At this juncture Matt arrived, taking over
the auto-hans, transforming Josephina into a man-hating, bitter,
feminist bitch-cake with a dash of Silky thrown in. In the end six
cyclopses were FedEx’d to hell by the heroes. Prior to searching the
room, the day was called.
In all, the party rolled four ’1’’s on the power die and yet still
survived the day, racking up ~10,000 xp in the process about half of
which went to the barbarian killing machine. No Ari was discovered in
Vordecai must surely be close at hand…
Some minor edits:
The Hell Blade gives -1 Initiative to the wielder
The “creepy” chamber also had two altars flanking the double doors. These were made from large pieces of quarried quartz. On top of each are an unlit oil lamp and a shallow drinking cup stained with some kind of dark residue. The unremarkable altar at the opposite end of the room is plain stone, also with an unlit oil lamp (empty).
The smoke monsters were not in the chasm, but rather in the central crypt. A very large chamber, whose walls are pockmarked with burial alcoves. This room was quickly swept for clues, and one door in this room remains unopened.
The chasm chamber also had two other ledges – one with a door – that could be explored with some more rope use.
Joseph / Dik Chi Nee also killed when it came to gold/xp.