Mesa Old School Gaming

2e Dungeon Crawl (The Pilot Episode)
If an Orc Digs a Hole in the Woods Does Anyone Care

Like all good adventures this one starts in a tavern. Falca, Hadron, Roger, Pog, Gondolin, and Harlech are in The Ferryman’s Rest (Note: I could not remember the actual name and it is not in my notes) in the village of Taylors Ferry. This is a small village on the banks of the Nollan River that serves as a stopover for those traveling between Arden and the Eastern Kingdoms. The party is heading west to seek adventure and wealth in the frontier city of Arden.

The Party has settled in for another night of removing the dust from the road with some local beverages, but can’t help over hearing a local trapper deep in his cups claiming to have seen orcs digging in the hill across the river not more than a few hours ride from town. Intrigued by why orcs would be digging so close to civilization the party haggles with the trapper and he agrees to take them to the place, but wants 25 GP in payment.

The next morning the hung over Trapper takes the party across the ferry and up through the hills eventually leading them to some dilapidated and overgrown Thaeten ruins. The party sees a fresh dug hole in the earth and promptly investigates, but only after working a deal with the trapper to take their horses back to down and come back the next day.

After climbing down about 20 feet they find themselves in a large underground room with three exits.

Choosing a tunnel they soon find a large room with some old gears and ruined machinery, as well as a large bronze cherub face set into the far wall. Next to the face is a lever. The party at first chooses to ignore the lever, but curiosity gets the better of Rodger and he pulls it. This opens the cherub’s mouth and lets in a rush of water. Caught up in that water is half dozen angry snakes! The party quickly dispatches them with and only Harlech is bitten, but makes his save or die roll.

The party continues on exploring finding more abandon machinery, a toilet and sewer system that they don’t enter, and eventually a large carved bronze door. The door depicts Jahnnaina accepting an offering from some worshipers her left hand is cupped and comes out from the wall. The party determines the door is probably trapped and heads further into the caverns.

The party finds another room with a large table, but disturbs a flock of striges, they soon dispatches them but are weakened slightly by the blood suckers.

The party then enters a strange room with a well in its center and the stone walls carved in the shape of satyrs. The party investigates the well and the carved stone satyrs animate and attack. This scatters the party as they flee down different corridors. A great battle ensues and the party soon realizes only magical weapons will hurt the creatures. Hadron uses a potion of gaseous form to escape, Falca falls back and seeks the aid of the Halfling, but then both Pog and Roger are brought down by the beasts. The party has a good laugh because Pog and Roger both get knocked below zero HP in the same square so effectively fall on each other. Many accusations fly about what the Halflings are up to laying on each other. Gondolin comes to the parties rescue using his magic arrows to slay the beast as well as a few well placed spell.

The adventure ends with the party victorious and lucky Gondolin getting some pats on the back.

Deeper into the Harvest Temple
Whats with the halflings?

They Part goes to the surface to rest a regain spells and the next morning the Drunk trapper comes by too check on them and has two new companions in tow, an elven necromancer called Nettles and a human cleric Claude. The Dwarf has fallen ill after the poison snake bite he thought he had saved versus made him sick overnight he is left on the surface and watched over by the elf. (Note: This was back when we tried to justify party absences and addtions)

The adventure starts with the party investigating the mysterious well. After a few test they determine the well is magical and its water soon heals them of all of their damage. They continue further into the complex and find some abandoned quarters that look like they once held monks, inside these quarters they find some treasure and an old priest scroll. They then return to the carved doors and fool with them for some time trying various items in the cupped hands, but nothing will seem to budge the doors.

They then go back to the first room and travel down a different corridor. Here they discover several large storage rooms. They also encounter several gaunt undead creatures. Unfortunately for them the dwarven fighter with the undead killing sword has returned to the surface. A battle ensues and is hard fought as the evil creatures turn out to be ghouls and paralyze most of the party in their initial attack. Again both roger and Pog are paralyzed in the same square and fall on to one another in the second Halfling love pile in a row.

The fighting goes bad and only Falca and Nettles are left standing. Falca stands his ground surrounded by ghouls who cannot penetrate his armor. His luck appears to run out when he fails a saving throw, but his god gives him a chance to reroll the saving throw, but if he fail he will die. He succeeds and manages to defeat the remaining ghouls with the help of Nettles bow.
The session ends with the two catching their breath and trying to revive their companions, but they suddenly hears a commotion and a battle cry rise up from the darkness of the corridor and many booted feet coming towards them.

Profit over Piety
This Ole Key Might be Important

The adventure starts with the party bracing themselves as a new danger charges out of the darkness orcs!

The dwarf has recovered and him and the elf here the sounds of battle and join the party just in time as 20 orcs with shaved crimsion painted heads rush the party. With the help of the dwarf and the elf’s bow, along with party members who are slowly becoming unparalyzed the party quickly defeats the orcs.

Investigating the hallway from where they came they find the orcs had barricaded themselves in and judging by the stink and cannibalized corpses had been there for some time traped by the ghouls. The party also find the eaten remains of a human priest, and in his discarded possessions a letter. (See wiki Skar’s Letter).

At the other end of the hall they find one of the storage areas has a shimmering magical wall that they cannot pass through with a humanoid shape behind it. Roger covertly uses the ancient holy symbol he looted from the bed chambers when the party wasn’t looking and this dispels the magical wall.

It reveals the humanoid form they saw was a human priest, but when the wall dispels he begins to age rapidly ding before their eyes. On his corpse they discover a key made of strange silvery metal with the symbol of a falcon cut out of the handle. The room is also full of grain sacks, unaffected by the passage of time.
The party tries the grain in the cupped hands of the carved doorway and this works and the door opens.

The doors open reveling a bare stone temple, but as soon as the party sets foot in the temple it transforms. The walls and columns become vibrant with color; depicting flowing wheat fields, cloud filled skies on the ceiling, vines encasing the columns. The party is more attracted to the altar, as it appears to be studded with large gems. With the rest of the part too cowardly to approach Claude and Nettles move into the room to investigate the altar.

Claude soon begins to pry gems from the alter and at that point the doors boom shut. Within second a young boy parts the wheat on the wall and steps out of the wall accompanied by two goats. The boy chides the party for desecrating the temple of his mother, especially the clerics and paladins. Then the two goats swiftly transform into 8 foot tall man-goat beast with curved swords and attack the party. Nettles and Claude are quickly brought down, Roger climbs a pillar to hide, and it is up to the rest of the party to take out the weird goat men. They succeeded thanks to some lucky rolls and Gondolin using color spray to temporarily blind one.

After the goat men die and fade away, the temple follow suits and returns to dull grey, the gems in the alter nothing but clear glass.

The session end with the party double checking the complex for any missed treasure and the returning to town.

The Role Playing Session
Gold is my Charisma

The adventure starts in Taylor’s Ferry the party attempting to track down the Corrom, the man mentioned in the dead Skarn’s letter. They have also ran into an old acquaintance, a half elf druid. (Note: I can’t remember Daniels druids name)

The party travels to the Laughing Crone, a rickety dockside tavern, with a dirt floor, a bucket of watery ale, and a rough crowd of barge workers. Once inside they soon identifies Corrom. Nettles seems dead set on being the center of attention, and a elven sorcerous who flirts and dances on table becomes just that. And Pog in an attempt to convert some true believers starts buying rounds.

With Nettles providing a distraction Harleck approaches the Corrom says the code word and suggests they meet outside. Corrom seems worried and grabs two burly men to go with him. Once outside Gondolin, Hadron, and Falca follow as Roger and Pog stay to keep an eye on Nettles. Just down the river under a tree far from prying eyes Harleck attempts to get info out of Corrom. This is when the party realizes they had sent a dwarf with a 6 charisma to be their “Faceman”, sure they have a paladin with an 18…..

Corrom insists he is just a messenger, has no idea what the key does and just needs the 50 GP promised for its transport to Arden for his family. Harleck soon convinces Corrom to give him the details of what he was supposed to do with the key in exchange for 200 GP, Harleck, reluctantly gives them over.

Armed with the knowledge they need to find the Dancing Darkness in Arden to exchange the key for 50 GP and maybe determine what it does they travel onward. Several unefentful and rain filled days later the reach Arden.

The party is carrying Thaeten artifacts, and they know these are illegal to poses or trade without a permit, decide to separate and go in two groups. One without artifacts and with the paladin. The other with artifacts and without the lawful good characters. The shady group elect The high charisma Druid as their spokesman, but unfamiliar with city ways he draws some suspicion to the party but they are eventually let in. The other group gets in no problem and Falca as a noble is even allowed to ride his horse in the city.

The part spends the rest of the session exploring the city, and tracking down info on the Dancing Darkness. Roger also finds time to sell the Thaeten artifacts he pocket from the temple unseen by the party to the Veiled Mages. Falca arranges a meeting with a noted mage, Voorim the Half Elf, a man who is reported to know much about Thaeten Artifacts. Voorim agrees to meet the party but can’t meet for two days.

The session ends with the party planning to get a good nights sleep and then meeting the buyer of the strange falcon key the next session.

Death in the Rain
Lies, Greed, Death and the birth of the 50 GP Party

Falca and Hadron stay in the Reeves Rest, as the rest of the party goes without armor to the Dancing Darkness to exchange the strange magic key for 50 GP and try to find the buyer.
It is a rainy night as the party arrives at the seedy tavern known for its bad reputation, but also for a strange magical mysterious dark flame in one corner. The party elects Roger as its “Faceman” this time and he gives the signal to the one handed bartender. Soon afterwards a man sits down and asks Roger to follow him outside and in a small alley way.

Roger enters the alley and sees two other men armed and wearing chainmail under their cloaks.

Version 1 In this alley Roger gives the key to the man and the man informs Roger he won’t be paying him.

Version 2 In the alley Roger gives the key to the man and the man gives Roger the 50 GP as promised.

When Harleck hears version 1 of this story he demands vengeance and a return of his 50 GP especially after the party never repaid him the 200 GP he paid for the key in the first place. He insists the party follows the men and get the gold.

Roger finds the men and they enter the dangerous part of the city known as The Twist. They follow a ways back and soon see the men enter a rundown building in a narrow street. The party watches the building and eventually the two armored men exit the building. The party attempts to parley, except Roger, who in a rare act of bravery immediately begins slinging demanding his 50 GP and starting a combat before the men can answer why they refused to pay the 50 GP. The men exit and engage the party, a round latter a couple more men exit, then the man from the tavern followed by an imposing figure in plate mail, a full helm, and a crimson cloak.

The battle starts in earnest as Nettles charges down the rainsoaked alley to try and capture the man from the tavern with her man catcher, the rest of the party moves to attack the armored men. But the man in plate holds up a severed human hand and foul power of evil divinity stops Pog, Roger, and Harleck in their tracks. Gondolin, Claude, the Druid, and Nettles continue the fight, but the next round Gondolin uses color spray even though the druid is in the area of effect and drops him along with a few of the armored men. The evil cleric uses a series of Command spells to drop party members temporarily and the man from the tavern stabs Nettles dropping her. With Claude fighting and Pog held Nettles bleeds to death. The first causalty of the campaigne.

The battle turning against the party Gondlin in desperation downs a potion of speed doubling his bow attacks to four and floods the alley with a rain of arrows. Claude learning from the evil cleric start using Command spells on the fighting men causing them to flee.

Both sides are battered and beat, The evil cleric bleeding from several of Gondolin’s arrows. But the party is low on hit point and spells. The evil cleric yells for a truce as he grabs the held Pog and puts a knife to his throat.

The party stops, and they make terms, the evil cleric will go to the end of the street keeping Pog as a hostage and the hostility will stop as the reaming fighting men will go with him. The party agrees and the two remaining men and the evil cleric drag Pog to the end of the alley. For a few tense seconds only the sound of falling rain can be heard but then the cleric pulls the knife across Pogs throat as he drags him around the corner.

Gondolin, low on HP but full of courage and inspired by three sessions in a row of saving the day, sprints down the alley with his potion of speed driving him on. He rounds the corner just in time to see the Evil cleric rise from over the body of Pog. The cleric holds the severed hand towards Gondolin and uses his last Command spell, one failed save latter Gondolin drops, and one of the remaining fighting men puts a sword through his skull.

Claude guards the party until they are unheld and binds the fighting man dropped by color spray. The party gains control and the go into the building. Claude takes the time to loot Nettles as well. In the building the interrogate the fighting man. They find he is a devote cultist, following a power he calls the Dark Lord, and refers to the armored evil cleric as “The Horned One” . the party also discovers the fighting men the killed are all members of the city watch. Spooked by the discovery they have killed watchmen they return to the Reeves Rest.

Here Kitty Kitty
No animals were killed in the making of this session

The session begins with the Mage Voorim meeting the party in the Reeves Rest. Vorrim addresses Falca and ignores most of the rest of the party. The mage seems confused that the party has lost they key but he confirms that it was a rare and important item, the key to the vault of an ancient Thaeten family. The half elf explains that the Graetus family was known for their magic and the key opens a long hidden vault. He offers the party 5,000 GPs if they can recover the key and find the vault. He also offers to accompany them into the vault after they find it and split the spoils within evenly. Voorim tells him the vault is located in a villa on the north side of the High Lake.

The party agrees and Voorim promise help, a scroll with multiple high level Locate Object to help them find the key and he has hired a gnome cleric/ranger Clanger, to help them in the wilderness. He only asks they take with them a young fire-mage with them. It seems this mage Abeener has spent his whole life in scholarly pursuits in libraries and study rooms. Abeener’s master is a friend of Voorim and sent his weak apprentice to the west to toughen him up.
The party spends a couple of days buying supplies, including war horses, for the trek north. They have one last night of fun then take the ferry north of the Nollan.

The first few days go uneventful as they travel through the forest slowly gaining elevation as they move towards the Highpass. Three days in to the trek the party camp in an abandoned hut near the road deep in the forest. That night as the rest of the party sleeps the Druid takes his watch alone.

As the druid circles the abandoned hut and the party sleeps he hears a soft growl moments before he is attacked by a fearsome creatures, a six legged panther with razor tipped tentacles growing from its shoulder. The druid takes a small hit, and presses the attack raising the alarm. The party slowly rouses itself and the next round the creature brings both of its tentacles around the druid. (Note: I love my d4 of death) The tentacles both hit for maximum damage, dropping the druid.

The rest of the party now roused rushes to help. Only Falca is delayed as he hastily tries to don his armor. Hadron rushes in, showing unusually bravery for a thief (played by Sarah as she had forgot Claude’s character sheet) the other thief Roger climbs a wall to sling stones. The Party presses the attack but even with Hadron’s heroics fails to reach the Druid. In a last ditch effort to save the Druid the party throws a healing potion to Hadron after he jumps from a horse to land near the druid but the dice are against them and in a series of unfortunate rolls the party misses the opportunity and the druid dies.

The party does manage to save the wounded horse.

There is some debate is the party could have saved the druid instead of the horse, but in any event the Displacer Beast gets away and the horse is completely healed.

Oh and at some point Falca gets his armor on. Those buckles are complicated in the dark.

Welcome to your Adventure Log!
A blog for your campaign

Every campaign gets an Adventure Log, a blog for your adventures!

While the wiki is great for organizing your campaign world, it’s not the best way to chronicle your adventures. For that purpose, you need a blog!

The Adventure Log will allow you to chronologically order the happenings of your campaign. It serves as the record of what has passed. After each gaming session, come to the Adventure Log and write up what happened. In time, it will grow into a great story!

Best of all, each Adventure Log post is also a wiki page! You can link back and forth with your wiki, characters, and so forth as you wish.

One final tip: Before you jump in and try to write up the entire history for your campaign, take a deep breath. Rather than spending days writing and getting exhausted, I would suggest writing a quick “Story So Far” with only a summary. Then, get back to gaming! Grow your Adventure Log over time, rather than all at once.

On the Trail of the Horned One
An early victory weakens the party for a later defeat

Saturday July 30th session

The party started off by tracking the wounded displacer beast to it’s lair. The party’s fighters, the dwarf Harlech and a new Human archer Tannhauser, charged ahead, but the displacer beast’s entire family was there waiting, and a tough battle ensued. THe party survived only because of another new character, an elfin cleric Tom the Cleric. Afterward, the lair was explored and a rich treasure was discovered.

The party then returned to the old house/ruin to rest & Magic up, where a Gray Legion patrol was encountered. News of trouble down the road in the shape of killed warriors was gathered, and then the patrol was on it’s way.

The next day the killed warriors were found and it was detirmed they were minions of the horned one, along with tracks suggesting Ogres were the culprits. THe party decided to press on and investigate the Ogres Later. Unfortunately, that may have been a mistake, because a manticore attacked our party later in the day, and after staving off death from above, the party set up camp, only to be waylaid by ogres in the night. The ogres swiftly struck down the Ranger Clanger and cleric, then the still-wounded dwarf and Human archer, but fortunately the Halfling theif Roger and his new Mage friend Abaneer were wily enough to escape.

A Rescue (???)
Best (and worst) Laid plans...

After the fateful ogre raid of the night before, the surviving characters Roger and Abaneer Linked up with the Paladin, Falca Breks, Hadron the Thief, Tez the human magic user, Mr. Brown, a Gnome Illusionist, Malik a fighter, Claude a human Cleric, and Brecon the Dwarf Fighter/Cleric to attempt a rescue. The trail was easy to follow and lead to a hill with a dwarf-fashioned opening.

After much detailed planning, logistical deliberation, and careful forethought, it was decided that the human thief would sneak in with the aid of an Invisibility spell and scout out the situation. After 30 feet it occurred to the party that a light source would be needed. * Sigh *. With the aid of a flaming arrow it was determined that at least one owlbear and one ogre was present in the lower level, and it became known that there was an additional opening 300 feet above, as a second ogre was noted peering out, undoubtedly seeking the source of the flaming arrow.

Again, After much detailed planning, logistical deliberation, and careful forethought, it was decided that the party would attack the opening with missles first and draw out the baddies inside. About halfway to the opening, Death From Above-the manticore-appeared, and after firing two salvos of tail spikes, returned to the higher opening. But not before being wounded by at least one arrow flying true.

The plan of attack worked well…for a round or two…The owlbear and first ogre were killed, the thief snuck past the fray at the entrance, but the fighter and paladin pressed into the entry hall too far,* SIGH *, and a subsequent Phantasmal Force spell of a manticore cast by Mr. Brown the Gnome Illusionist blocked any possible missle weapon support. Bold Malik fell, and despite an heroic effort by the cleric to pull him to safety, he perished. The Mage fell to a mighty ogre spear thrust, and would also have died, but the battle ended with several telling blows and a well-placed Flaming Sphere cast by the Mage Abaneer. The paladin revived the bold Mage Tez by Laying on Hands.

See ya next week…

Malik's just hangin' around

Today we learned that we can defeat an ogre ghoul, a manticore and three human ghouls but a chest trap has the potential to kill us dead dead dead. But, we were lucky and didn’t lose anyone (though we did come close).

Oh yeah and Malik makes a lovely pendant.


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