The Company of Crossed Swords decided to explore dungeoneering opportunities outside their usual stomping grounds. Following rumors of a Temple of Elemental Chaos laying dormant (or not so dormant) and prime for a plucking plunder, they wound their way to the province of Caurenze. They touched down in Homlett — pronounced 'Omlette' — a tiny village, or hamlet, prime for heroism. The duo of Byrne and Rufus, a mage and fighter, kept careful watch over the environs and proved open to the party's offered expertise. There was a moathouse in the swamp, first of all, that had been the center of some prowling activity.
Quickening evil? The rights to spoils? Say no more!
Upon reaching the moathouse, the party were unsurprised to find the structure surrounded by a moat. Surveillance from the surrounding bog indicated an obvious bridge and a likely ford on the westerly side, but decided further study was advisable before crossing. Sending two of their stealthiest members out to tighten their cartographic noose, the party waited in hiding. The plan was working perfectly until the scouts were pounced upon by giant frogs! It was a tough fight, but the party persevered.
They crossed into the moathouse by way of the rickety drawbridge and Henri, the thief, thought to climb the nearby tower to gain a better vantage over the foreboding ruins. He gained the summit without issue, but was beset by a giant spider housed within. Not about to let his prey escape, the spider entered the courtyard and was killed by the combination of the party's arms, but not before sinking its fangs into Hop-Frog, who shrugged off its poison.
Someone had spotted movement through a window and, for some reason, it was thought a good idea to clamber through single file. Inside was a giant lizard, which provided mighty battle against the front rank and nearly swallowed and killed Jorge, he of small size.
A further chamber, likely a kitchens, brought out a giant tick, scurrying over Snickwick and causing much consternation. It latched on to Hop-Frog and drained enough blood to weaken him against further attacks (one of which would kill him).
A large door in the central tower proved to be barred from the inside, with voices audible from the other side. After much deliberation — the tower was partly denuded to the wilderness, on the other side of the wall, a gap made by the erosion of time — the party decided to bust the door down instead of attacking from the other side.
Alas, the barrier was too strong. By the time it burst open, the occupants had fled. They were seen in the distance. The room was ransacked. Ninarel, the elf, noticed a secret door and marked it with chalk — this lead to a stairwell downwards.
Under the guiding principle of "One More Room", the party then lost Hop-Frog to a sneaky giant snake, which afrighted his system with venom and laid the beloved dwarf down to death. His story unfinished, but his wretched time on his planet washed away with the salve of doom.
Losses and Loot
A magic shield, a jeweled dagger, an ivory box, some rusted chainmail, loose coins, and a rough, uncut gem of some kind. Hop-Frog Berbatov fell in battle, valiantly manning the front-line for a green party. Henri assessed the haul at a value of several hundred gold pieces.
For monsters defeated and wealth reclaimed, each survivor was awarded 235 xp.