Sunday, October 14, 2012

[Actual Play] Session 2

the cella of the buried temple

TL;DR (October 13-14 AD 597)

The party liberates a sextet of naiads, clears a buried temple to an Etruscan god of its undead guardians, and turns the tables on an elven ambush in the Blean Wood.


After introducing the new PC Sister Anastasia, an Irish Christian and itinerant healer who showed up in Canterbury just in time to save a churl, Eomer, from his elf-arrow-induced wounds, leading to the baptism of him and his whole household (16 souls), the party decided to head back down to the buried temple beneath the crypt of St. Martin's church. They brave the 20' wide moat/trough of water without incident. Their jerky-fishing proved that at least no natural predators were living in the waters. I mean, if I were living in a sunken water-moat, and someone started fishing in my house with beef jerky, I'd be all up on that. But the jerky was still on the line, pleasantly rehydrated.

The stairs on the other side rose 10' high and went for 20' long before terminating in a portico 40' tall, with tons of rubble in it. Skeletons crushed by the rubble. They didn't come to life! Yay. But, problem: when they breached the line of the columns, they triggered a pressure plate that unchained the six naiads kept in the bottom of the moat they'd just crossed.

I'm using B/X reaction rolls, and I got a 10 on the roll. Whew. I used the 4e dryad stats for these things, and that means they are level 5. The party is level 1, with one character (Brother Charles) at level 2. So it would probably have been terrible slaughter in a straight up fight.

As it was, with such a good reaction roll, I went with it. I knew that the naiads had been imprisoned here against their will and tortured terribly; so I figured they'd want out. Maybe they had to be transported in particular vessels, or else they would die with a curse upon them. Sure. I was improvising. So that's what they said. Bro. Charles knows Greek (apparently), and so he could understand what they were saying: "bring us our urns." Oooookay. The naiads melded back into the water, and the party proceeded.

Bro. Lucas detected a pressure plate in front of the temple door. They didn't touch that junk. The door was locked, but a search of the skeletons in the rubble revealed a key and some coins and gems. Sweet.

Inside the temple, it's all crazy bone-decor, like this:

It's a 10' wide rectangular hallway, with a puzzle-door (apparently) at the back. See below.

bad scene
When they opened the door (after 10 minutes of failed Open Door checks), of course there's a flaming skeleton high priest sitting lotus style on the altar, and of course his priests and virgins are in there too. (Level 5 Burning Skeleton x1, Level 1 Grasping Zombie x5, Level 1 Skeleton Minions x4 = 1000 XP).

It is a baaaaaaad scene. They get pincered. The high priest burning skeleton guy keeps rocking Bro. Charles. If Father Bernard hadn't popped some daily I had no idea about (that apparently gives resist all damage 5 until the end of the encounter to, like, everyone in the world), I think it'd be a TPK. Sister Anastasia kept picking off the zombies, and, once they realized the skeleton minions couldn't harm them anymore, it was straight pwnage on the high priest. GG.

the climax
The party looted the corpses, looted the cella. Bro. Charles failed a save or die vs a poison needle trap and might have bit it had not Sister Anastasia, a Healer class (one of my homebrews) prayed for his healing. She rolled a hit (not a crit), which means God told her something uncomfortable or inconvenient that had to be done. In this situation, I said that she had to smear Bro. Charles's blood all over her face. She did, and the poison started spurting out of the cut she had made in his arm. Legit.

Inside the trapped chest were the six urns of the naiads. They hopped in them, and the party headed for the surface. They deposited their treasure with the church, rested a day, and saw some pagan unrest going down. Some druid they don't know was giving them the stinkeye at Mass, and he had at least a dozen sympathizers with him.

They didn't want to brave the underworld again; so the party headed out to deal with the elves that had nearly killed the churl Eomer, the guy that Anastasia had miraculously healed. They searched along the road where the attack had happened and actually managed to surprise an elf raiding party of seven (random encounter per B/X rules).

All the party contributed nicely in this one. Bro Charles tanked like it was going out of style; Sister Anastasia locked down the leader of the elves, and Father Bernard and Bro Lucas brought down the pain on the rest. The elven leader (level 3 Elven Guard) fell quick, and the rest failed their morale save (per B/X). The party killed a scout (level 2) before the rest could flee.
The leader had a quiver of bone arrows with raven fletching. Bro Lucas picked that junk up post haste. They count for +1 to attack because of the devilishness of it all, don't ya know. But the bodies of the two dead dissipated in black mist shortly after their death—or "death."

We ended there, with Bro Lucas and Father Bernard joining Bro Charles at level 2.

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