Return to the Castle of the Mad Archmage

We stepped back to the dungeon, having gained about 2,000 XP, putting Rul at over 5,100 XP and a 3rd level fighter. Only 5HP gained, including my CON bonus, but that put me at 21. Yay, an extra +1 to hit as well.

We head down to the 2nd level, having pity on the Cleric and Druid. We head down, and a mouth recites a mocking limerick having to do with pits, ghosts, and hell. 

We’d worry that it was trapped, but since there’s no number on the floor, we know we’re safe. Ah, old-school metagaming at its finest.

We head down a corridor, see spikes protruding from the walls, and head the other way. We move down a curved corridor instead, because the curves call out to +Peter V. Dell’Orto. I guess Mirado likes curves. We usually go left, and continue that, moving into the room.

Lots of fungus. Great. And the sound of reverberating crickets. Very large crickets. They’re eating fungus off the walls. Rul claims he disbelieves the crickets, because no one believes in giant crickets, really.

Naturally, Mirado attacks. Whiff. I hit one with an arrow, which falls. We all get attacked a bit. Peter gets hit for 4 HP, and that’s about it.  They win initiative and hit Rul for only 2HP, and Roll20 is streaky with the 1s again. Tim, of course, gets hit for 3HP.

The hirelings are cringing in the back, the pansies. Mirado hits, Alisha crits and kills one. Super-Tim ( +Tim Shorts ) hits with his dagger, and managed 4 HP, rolling another 1 (this time on 1d4).

The fighters suck, and show that they’re really not concentrating. I mean, who takes crickets seriously. Alisha the druid puts them all to sleep. Then two megalocentipedes enter just in time to also be put to sleep by Alisha’s spell. Mirado uses his evil sword to kill all the crickets and centipedes, in order to gain HP back. Hey, evil sword.

[We discuss driving in New York City for a while. Not sure why. But hey, New Yawk.]

We keep going east, and look, more fungus. The fighters guard the room, as we fruitlessly search for anything of interest or value, finding nothing. We discuss if we pass the evil sword around killing wounded, if we can use it as a moveable healing potion. We’re bad, bad people.

We head through a four-foot tall door instead, after opening it with a crowbar. The highest HP figher gets to open the chest we find in the middle of the room. Peter starts with the crowbar, and inside we find

  • 2016 sp
  • Full suit of human-sized plate armor

Peter takes the plate armor (AC +7), gives his plate mail to Tim (+6), and our poor Druid continues to go nekkid. Rul has his +1 banded mail (+6) and keeps it.

We finally head to the curvy area, and find the floor labeled “slope down 5%” so we decide that one of our hirelings has dwarven blood. Or can read. Your call. Either that or one of us has a marble. Guess we need a player-only map, eh?

We continue and miss the giant “to level 3” sign on the wall, so we look around the corner to see if there’s anything cool. Some of us (Rul) argue that the treasure would be even cooler on level 3. I mean, hey – plate armor. 

We go down the slope for a bit, looking for a fight. We don’t find one immediately, so we got a puzzle room with a bunch of keys in it. I take the right key, and it works. so I avoid 4d6 damage. We argue whether making players do math in the middle of the dungeon is cool or not. They decide that no, it’s not.

Inside the room, there are three chests and a wardrobe. We decide that there’s probably a dick-ass trap after the puzzle room. So we spend a lot of time with no thief looking for, and, drag the hirelings into the room. We have them stand and watch.

Mirado opens the first chest, and finds lots of gold pieces.

  • 3045gp

The second chest requires a saving throw, which Mirado fails, getting nailed with a giant bear-trap of doom. In it is 

  • 10,000 cp. 100gp and 100 lbs. Dude, 100lbs of dead weight.

+Michael Garcia was really sleepy, and headed off. Alas.

Rul opens the third box, gets zapped for half damage, and takes 7 HP. Inside we find 

  • 6,050sp and 
  • a shortsword. 

Minister Tim pees on it to find out if it’s magical.

We still have the wardrobe to open. We try and tie rope around the handle, but cleverness does not help avoid Save vs Death – but Mirado saves. yay.

  • One leather cloak

Seriously. Just a cloak? It better be awesome.

We don’t push our luck. Any more “save or die” would likely leave us in the “dead” column, and we’ve already pushed pretty far. We head back up to level 2 in order to, you know, not die.

We find another door, kick it open, and . . . we are not surprised by the bad guys, surprising them in turn. It’s a room full of orcs, playing cards. Peter kills four in one moment of fury. Our Minister most sinister rolls an 18, to hit, and kills the fifth one, earning a cleave. He rolls a one, of course. Tim . . . he’s back, he’s bad, he’s black, he’s mad. Not a bad surprise round.

The last orc pulls out a spear. Rul kills him. We hear from the west, metal clanking, chairs falling over. Mirado takes out a flask of oil, Rul readies his bow. “Billy! You guys OK in there?” Mirado speaks in bad orcish “Come in here and help us!” 

Mirado Solo. Boring conversation anyway.

We loot the bodies. We rack up

  • 54 ep
They start piling up stuff on the door. Mirado offers to give them 10,000 cp if they’ll help us carry money to the surface. The leader actually starts talking to us. “For 5,000 coppers and the card-cheats money, we’ll help.”
Here we go. We agree. “Done!”
They remove the furniture from the door, we remove the dead bodies of the cheater-orcs. There are six orcs that come out, one with sword and flail, the other with axes and halberds. We attack, of course. Despite Peter rolling a 2, the GM rolls a 1. We win.
Peter nails two, I nail two, Tim rolls a 19 and kills two more with his flippin’ dagger. Boom. Twelve orcs, two rounds of combat.
  • Another 47 ep
  • The leader’s flail and sword
The next room has another door, with a cot, and a desk. An orc desk. OK. “Made glorious summer by this son of Ork!”
We totally loot the room, and find a small sack.
  • 13 gp
  • 21 sp
This has been a good trip. On some other level, we’d have to dig through rooms full of rat poop. We also realize that the two hired bodyguards are the weakest two in the party.
Minister heals himself up. Next door! Mirado tries and fails to open doors. Rul kicks it in, finds the orc supply room. Bedrolls, food, stuff like that. We look for valuables, and find a secret door. Booyah. 
We find a few waterskins, a locking bar. Huh. Guess it was a bolt-hole. 
We note that the room-clearing bonus is at 3,744 XP. 
We head north and find a portcullis. The fighters fail to bend bars/lift gates. The priest shows us up and opens it up. We are not as properly pumped as the holy man.
We head on up, and find . . . a group of four troglodytes. Rul blows his roll and they win initiative. Mirado hits one for 4 HP, but they’re not that scrawny. The priest casts Sleep, and a whole lot of trogs, plus reinforcements, fall asleep. We took out 7 trogs. They have no treasure. Mirado stabs five of them for HP gain. We try and bogart the sword. We fail.
We open a door, find a hallway, and leave it behind. We’d bypassed one more door, so we open that up. it’s Rul’s turn to roll a 1 and open a 5′ tall door, which he does. It’s a very low door, and a very low hallway. Let’s forget that. We find another door, break it open . . . and I fall through, taking 8 HP as I fall through the very light wood. Ouch. 
We try and work back to the gate, and Mirado falls into a pit trap. He falls way, way down. Maybe level 3, maybe level 300. Who knows. Rul has 200′ of rope, so he throws it down, weighting the end. The ceiling closes up. Rul slams a potion, we throw the hirelings into the pit, and jump down. One flunky lands on Mirado for 2HP, and Minister takes 1 HP (bringing him down to 1 HP).
Four skeletons vs. five of us. They pile on Mirado and Tim. We finish them all off in one furious round. We search for, and find one.
So we’re on Level 3, most of our consumables are gone, and we’ve got no idea where we are. We head south, mostly hoping to find our way out. A magic mouth appears, insults us for a bit, and we move on. We manage to find our way out, thanks to the previous scouting mission that led us to reveal the ramp down. 
Score 1 for Rul’s decision to head to level 3. We head out the the surface.
***
A very good session and having Peter drop us into a skeleton room at the end was really cool.
We pick up 7100 XP each for the rooms (!). The shortsword and the cloak are both magical. Rul picks up the sword. It’s a +1 shortsword, which is cursed to always be in my off hand. We pay to get that cursed removed, and sell it for 250gp, breaking even. Minister decides to put on the cloak, and it’s a +2 Cloak of Protection for AC and saves. 
So total 7957 XP each for monster and XP. Gold is 4,018gp total, so we each get 1,004gp.
That which did not kill us, made us stronger. We all leveled up, so Mirado and Rul are Level 4, and Tim maxed out at his next level in each of Magic-User and Cleric, and is a point shy of his next.
We pick up a bunch of healing potions (5 Healing, 1 Extra Healing) for 1,450gp. So good gold, good XP, some good loot for Tim, bringing him up to AC 18. Peter nabbed himself some plate armor, also bringing himself to AC 18. Rul was already AC 18.
So we’re a pretty hard-to-hit bunch at this point. Good delve.

2 thoughts on “Return to the Castle of the Mad Archmage

  1. So a 5% decline is like, what, 1 foot of drop every 20 feet? It's not that much less of a decline than a wheelchair ramp. I thought it was more subtle than that. It shouldn't take a dwarf to notice a decline like that, especially when it suddenly gets flat and doubles back and down again. Not that we didn't notice in game.

    I forgot about that little door. I think I said, "We're either going to check it now, or never, and never seems like a good time." Too low, too narrow, too dangerous, for potentially dubious loot.

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