Chapter 09: Found 'Em

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Session Number: 52
Date: Sunday 30 May 2010
Venue: Alain's
PCs & Players:

Arrian Rog1/Clr7 (Fergus) (kills: none)
Rangers (DM) (kills: 1 zombie)
Rowaine Pal8 (Craig) (kills: none)
Shalélu (DM) (kills: none)
Troll Wiz8 (Densial) (kills: 5 zombies, 1 rat, 2 unknown)

XP Awarded: TBC

The stairway is mostly dark; cracks of light outline the door leading to the kitchen. Rowaine asks Harley to guard outside. "Keep in touch, Harley. If you sense my fear or my stamp, come." Rowaine then fires up a sunrod and Troll casts Shield upon himself. They descend the stairs: Arrian, Rowaine, Troll, Shalélu, followed by the rangers (Jakardros at the rear).

Arrian searches the stairway for traps. The stairs creak underfoot and immediately dogs start barking below. A short corridor continues at the foot of the stairs, finishing with three doors: ahead, left and right. Barking emanates from behind the left door. Troll Acid Splatters above the left door then Spider Climbs to look through the hole. Six large dogs jump about excitedly on the room's earthen floor. The walls are stone. A double door exits from the right wall.

Arrian checks all three doors for traps but finds none.

The party aren't comfortable killing the dogs unprovoked just to get past them - they are practically the innocent parties in this encounter.

Troll Acid Splatters the right-hand door at head height, burning a small hole. The area beyond is dark, quiet, and smells indescribably horrible. A bloody, skinless corpse lies on one of two tables; Rowaine's sunrod glints off several knives resting next to it. Several cords hang above the tables, passing through eyelets in the ceiling above, going from there to similar eyelets in the ceiling some distance away. Troll burns a hole in the wall adjacent to the door. Rowaine lights another sunrod and tosses it inside. She enters, wrinkling her nose and looks left, Arrian enters and looks right.

Troll steps between, hands on hips.

Hundreds of flies circle in the putrid air. Bones hang on hooks attached to the walls. Disgusted, the group look around but find "nothing of interest". Troll Detects Magic but finds none. Rowaine retrieves her sunrod, thankful it has not come to rest in one of the many gory piles on the floor.

Troll and the others return to the centre door, and the elf burns a peephole through the door. In the small room beyond are tables, chairs and crates. Troll enlarges the hole and Rowaine throws in her spare sunrod. It bounces upon the earthen floor. Rowaine and Arrian enter. Arrian checks the floor and chests for traps, finding none. Arrian does however spot a rectangular-shaped depression in the floor near the far wall, as if something heavy one sat there. Arrian carefully opens a deep drawer in the desk. Inside is a metal base that tightly fits the wooden drawer, with numerous inset cylindrical metal containers. It smells like something metallic has burned within it and there are scorch marks on its base. Arrian inspects the candle on the desk; the wax at its tip is liquid and warm. It was alight no more than ten minutes ago.

Troll uses the pigments to draw a hole in the left wall of the room, but it only reveals a far wall in an unknown sized chamber beyond. He repeats the process in the left end of the far wall and sees a strange, treelike creature with two waving tendrils. Rowaine does not sense that it is the source of evil she detected earlier. Troll draws a full-height door near his peephole on the left wall, and the party pass through. Double doors stand at either end of a narrow chamber, almost a hallway. The doors to the left lead to the room housing the dogs. Arrian checks the floor and doors to the right for traps, again finding none.

Arrian casts Magic Weapon on Rowaine's axe. Rowaine throws open the doors and she and Arrian step through.

groll_house_basement_01.jpg

The tree-creature stands rooted to the floor in the centre of the far wall. Just beyond it is a bed in the far right corner, the matriarch Groll lies atop it. The tree-creature obscures something moving between it and the bed. Seven zombies that were obviously Grolls stand along the right wall. The facial deformities of one, and the many fire and acid wounds they bear suggest that the party has met them before. Two large rats crouch in front of the zombies. "Contact!" yells Rowaine as she mentally calls Harley.

Arrian calls Corellon's Holy Smite upon his enemies. Two rats scream in pain, and something else growls inhumanly. Shalélu fires twin arrows at the matriarch but both miss, embedding themselves into the wall behind her head. Three zombies shamble towards the party, blinded by Arrian's attack. Two reach Rowaine and swing their meaty fists at her but she easily avoids their poorly aimed blows. The two rats bound over and attack Rowaine and Arrian respectively. Arrian is unscathed but Rowaine is bitten. Rowaine yells and strikes back twice for heavy damage. Troll Fireballs the far corner. The blast near-fills the room, as does the ensuing screaming, which somehow seems to come from everywhere - perhaps the room has strange acoustics? A figure beside the bed topples over. The matriarch points her corpulent finger at Rowaine and a ray of dark energy strikes her chest, sapping 7 strength. Troll identifies the spell as a Ray of Enfeeblement.

Arrian concentrates on the rat in front of him and casts Recitation. Shalélu holds her action, lining up her arrowshaft on the matriarch. The zombies regain their sight but miss. Arrian's rat misses him again. Rowaine lands two more axe hits on her rat for moderate damage. Troll Fireballs the same spot again! The three zombies still on the far wall are immolated where they stand, as is the remaining unknown figure near the bed. The two zombies facing Rowaine and Shalélu wither and collapse. The matriarch's screeches in pain and begins casting a spell. Shalélu looses her prepared arrow. The zombie in front of her swings but misses and the arrow hits the matriarch in her meaty upper arm. The matriarch's concentration saves her spell and she disappears. Troll identifies the spell as Dimension Door. The rangers fire two arrows through the peephole and the zombie who swung at Shalélu drops. The tree is now burning. Its tendrils whip towards the party but it cannot reach.

groll_house_basement_02.jpg

Arrian loses his concentration and consequently his Searing Light spell. The remaining zombies move closer. Rowaine chops at the remaining rat, hitting once for minor damage. Her swings just don't have their usual clout. Troll double-moves to the stairs leading up and out, sees the matriarch opening the door to the dog's room. He ducks back then Spider Climbs up the wall.

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