This session was played on July 22, 2010, featuring Aehie, Copernicus Quinn, Gaël Ur-Boss, Ha'lafa, Karvenn, Kellen, Martin le Black, Pritchard Hood, Richard Loubeau and Robert Hazart. The party was accompanied by the hireling Red Marley and the charmed orc Gluk.
As the date of play approached it became clear how large a group would be attending this night. Having picked up rumors of unaffiliated adventurers going into the dungeons of the Chateau D'Ambreville and braving the massive spiral stair and judging the group impressive enough, the Army of the Crossed Swords decided hit this same area.
Combats (Plural) on the Stairs
Most of the session took place on these stairs. A "Detect Evil" spell cast by the girl orc Gael fruitfully spotted the shimmering evil shapes very far away on the lower landings of figures that would become black-skinned, white-shock haired goblins and hobgoblins of the deep. A flung flask of burning oil nearly hit a group of them, but alerted them to our presence. They disappeared farther below and distant drumming hovered up to our ears.
Zombies: A number of slashed and chopped bodies lay in the intermittant landings. Having learned absolutely nothing from previous experiences, the party cautiously approached these for examination instead of firebombing them from above. True enough, they proved to be zombies. These long dead soldiers of Ambreville rose and shambled to attack but were dispatched without too much fuss.
Question: we know the planar dwarves came up these stairs. We know an armored wight and its party came up these stairs. How did they not disturbe these bodies?
Dark Goblins: While the party played around with the bodies, cutting up chunks to throw down, flaming, to the creatures of the deep, the creatures of the deep were already rounding the bend for the next combat.
These, too, proved not terribly tough. Weirdness was their appearance, but they bled just the same. Dark Goblins and Dark Hobgoblins, with one of our orcs a cheap cost to the victory, and our grubby little theif-girl Aehie electrocuted by Robert Hazart's illusionary lightning bolt (reviving later).
Shadows: While the party dithered over whether cutting scalps or whole heads was more valuable to show the orcs of the Burning Brand and trying to figure out what possibly could be of value on these corpses, the party was blind to four shimmering forces of vanished light, alive shadows, whose touch chilled and drained strength. Karvenn and Martin were able to wipe their evil natures out of existence without much trouble.
Here the company parted from the stairs in favor of a side passage they had discovered. Still the drums beat on, but no second patrol came, and it was judged better discretion to avoid the Black Goblin tribe holed up in their territory for one of these higher levels. Ha'lafa cursed and raged at this. She believed the sub-humans prime for the plucking, their secrets and treasure displayed for them nearly at their feet, and now will have supplicated reinforcements or some greater evil taking them out and strengthening themselves in the bargain. When, she thought, would they have this strength again?
With her dubious hygeine and wild manners, she utterly failed to convince anyone. On to the opening and shutting of doors, then. In these passageways the party encountered and fought one of the dark humanoid bird-things of the aviary located floors above, although Red Marley dispatched it so quickly it was impossible to tell if it was a ghoul version or regular. A scuttling spider-thing of some magic-dampening abilities was splattered at the end of a sword. The party had seen these before from afar. The shell and guts were scraped into a sack for examination.
Giant Hornets: A troupe of giant hornets hovered up the stair shaft (the drums had fallen silent by now) and were destroyed likkety-split with the help of a Venus Flytrap illusion shot from the crotch of Bobby Hazart.
Lastly, a room of great promise was found. Four statues at the corners, a concave painted ceiling above a dark stoned blood-stained patch on the floor. The statues each carried a special instrument of their profession: a bronze sword and armor and… well, since this was seen through the eyes of Ha'lafa, the others might have been carrying stuff, too. The auslander fighter was determined to steal one of these icons and pulled at a talisman, ready with a potion of gaseous form in her hand for an escape. The statue came to life and chased after her and into a spit-infested cloud of sub-Arabic curses ripe enough to make a demon blush.
Losses & Loot
The party defeated eight zombies, four shadows, five giant bees, thirteen night goblins, three night hobgoblins, one mysterious magic-eating arthropod and one bird-man. They obtained an intact brandy decanter, a broken silver chain, a copper medallion of apparent religious significance, three crude silver bracelets, 20gp and 36sp.
For creatures defeated and wealth acquired, each party member received 68xp.