Trial By Fire, Session 8

(or, “There’s only one of them. How hard can it be?")

(This is foner’s test drive of AD&D first edition, played entirely by-the-book. The module is “Trial by Fire” from Judges Guild.)

PCs

  • Kalem, Elven Mage, played by BlueLightning
  • Reggio Emilia, Gnome Illusionist/Thief, played by skidoo

NPCs

  • Cael, a spear carrier
  • Stan , a spear carrier
  • Timmy, a spear carrier
  • Cartman, a linkboy

During the interim of the party’s recovery, Cael was dispatched to the nearby town of Yetin to seek new recruits. The small purse of coin lured out two young ruffians, Stan and Timmy. The three hirelings were outfitted with the best light armor and sharp sticks money could buy. Kalem and Emilia Reggio would spare no expense on the bodies between them and the residents of the secret fortress.

This time, the party’s objective was clear: return to the room of the giant snake, and retrieve the silver. And the bodies of Dragonfly and Kenny. Leery that their recent kobold prisoner might set snares for them, the party proceeded with some caution through the southern portion of the fortress. However, the snares were never unleashed; in a further stroke of luck, the door to the snake chamber was still spiked shut.

The party removed the spikes, and found the much-decayed bodies inside the chamber. And the silver coin was still there! It nearly filled three sacks, and there was some concern that the party would be unable to carry out the bodies and the coins. (Side note: There was a digression with the internet where we sought information on the weight of a two week old corpse, proving that role players are just as sick as the pamphlets suggest). However, the company managed to get both corpses and loot out, taking an alternate route lest the kobold choose to trap them while they were overburdened.

Casualties:
None.

The next few days were spent returning the body of Kenny to his family, along with a small amount of coin that was Kenny’s severance package. Emilio gave such a touching account of Kenny’s brave demise, that he was asked to repeat this oration at Kenny’s funeral. Dragonfly was interred in a corner of the church graveyard in Auburndale. What the monk’s next incarnation will be, no one can possibly ever imagine.

After Kenny’s funeral, the party returned to the Secret Fortress. A second examination of the mural room (Rm. 10 on the map) was the order of business. Once again, Kalem’s keen door-sense carried the day. In the north wall was a sliding door. The activating protuberance was a brick in the floor. The open portal revealed a long hallway leading to a door, and beyond that, a strange chamber.

In the center of this chamber was a ten-foot diameter basin of white ceramic. It was filled with water, clean and clear. Reggio took the 11 foot fishing pole and thrust it in the basin. A disembodied voice spoke inside his mind, saying:

”Remember the man with the spinning disk
at the juggler’s exposition
Then hearken you, for that’s a clue
To aid your expedition.”

An instant after the recitation ended, the entire party was transported back to the entryway chamber (Rm. 1). After settling the disoriented troops, the party decided to return to the mural room, as they recalled their may have been a juggler in the street-scene mural on the east wall.

Their excitement was tempered with dismay: the mural room was now occupied by a single human-like figure with most inhuman fangs and scented with the charnel house. However, the numbers were to the party’s advantage, or so the party thought. Reggio Emilia ordered the hirelings to charge, and this was nearly the downfall of all.

The undead thing was a fast and agile creature, with two claws and a terrible bite. The spear-charge was a failure. The thing made short work of the hirelings, felling Stan and Timmy, and freezing Cael on his feet with fear of the grave. Kalem the mage was the day’s most valuable warrior, as he struck with arcane bolt and quarterstaff, before he too went down under the claws of the thing. The day might have ended with the ghoul’s feast, had Emilia Reggio not croodled behind it, and made stabbing upon its back.

The gnome and the linkboy Cartman were the only ones left standing. They immediately stabilized their companions, lest they fall into a cannibalistic undeath. They then dragged the bodies into the secret passageway. They thought they might be teleported once again to the entryway chamber via the magical basin, but when they returned to its chamber, they found the basin cracked, empty, and covered with dust. So, after waking Cael from his paralysis, the three removed their comrades from the underground, happy to have survived, and eager to return to the mural room again.

Casualties:
Kalem – Unconscious, resting for one week.
Cael – Paralyzed, wounded.
Timmy — Unconscious, resting for one week.
Stan – In coma, resting for one week.
(Assuming that Udayan applies the curing spells daily to the troops)

Treasure:
None.

Monsters killed:
One ghoul (remember, claw/claw/bite)

written up by skidoo

Less verbose but perhaps more touching were the gnome's words at Dragonfly's funeral:

Here lies Dragonfly
He flew too high
I liked the guy

—BL

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