Wednesday, August 3, 2016

Idalium Game 48: Snakes, Bears, and Rats

Session date: Monday, March 21, 2016
Game date: Saturday, October 19, 208 to Sunday, October 20, 208

Tod P. Quasit, Jr., Fighter 3, hp 16, xp 4813/8000
Gulleck Stonefoot, Dwarf 3, hp 15, xp 7991/8800
Tyrriel, Elf 2, hp 7, xp 4994/8000
Caryatid, Magic-user 3, hp 15, xp 9624/10000

Brother Jibber, Cleric 2, hp 10, xp 2545/3000
Manley "Meat" Smythe, Fighter 2, hp 13, xp 2426/4000
Wilhelm, Magic-user 1, hp 3, xp 1982/2500
Brother Guntur Valto, Cleric 1, hp 5, xp 1265/1500

Since we had ended the previous session on a cliffhanger, we picked right up from where we left off. This was complicated a bit by a change in the roster of players this evening, but we all suspended our disbelief and declared that Simon the hobbit had gone  back to the guesthouse with Grimbo (their hired ranger) and that Tod and Brother Jibber had awoken in the guesthouse and followed the trail of destruction to the monks' temple where they were reunited with the rest of the party.


"Hey, Abbot!!" the ratman screamed in a panic, as the open door revealed a room containing a gigantic rattlesnake, easily three feet in thickness. Gulleck unceremoniously shoved the captive ratman into the room and closed the door behind him. There was the sound of snapping fangs, a frenzied squeaking, and then silence.

Gulleck and Caryatid brought Tod and Jibber up to date with recent events, and once everyone was ready, they prepared to open the door and confront the rattlesnake on their way to find the Abbot of St. Rathmus. The door was pulled open, revealing the giant snake, now with an ominous bulge in its middle, and Wilhelm quickly chanted the words of the Sleep spell. The snake's head wobbled on its body, and it slumped to the stone floor. Tod ran his sword through its neck without delay.

There was a door on the other side of this antechamber, and Gulleck's keen ears detected the sound of urgent prayers and chanting from the other side. Tod kicked the door open. Inside, the Abbot of the monastery (now in ratman form) stood praying to a stone statue of a giant rat, presumably St. Rathmus. Near him, a huge grizzly bear lay growling on the floor.

Even now, Gulleck attempted to parlay with the fanatic monk.

"Why are you doing all this? All we came here for was the lantern. We even did you a favor and killed that ice lizard!"
"You will all die! St. Rathmus will torture your souls in hell!"
"Oh, for crying out loud..."

The Abbot pointed at the group and screamed, "Attack!" and the grizzly bear lunged at Tod and Brother Jibber, tearing at them with its claws. It could have been a dangerous encounter, but Gulleck concentrated on the power of his ring of animal control. His eyes rolled back as he took control of the beast.

The bear turned upon the Abbot. "No, not me! Attack them!" The Abbot was struck by two fearsome paws, and then the bear squeezed him in a terrible embrace. There was a cracking and popping of bones, and the Abbot went limp.

There was some discussion of what to do with the bear, but in the end self-preservation was deemed more important than kindness to animals. Tyrriel put the bear to a magical sleep, and Tod killed it. He and Tyrriel were looking forward to making some snazzy fur cloaks, and everyone was quite hungry, having run out of rations a day or two ago.

In the Abbot's chambers were thousands of gold and silver coins, stamped with the exotic heraldry of unfamiliar realms. They also found a letter that greatly disturbed them. Written in Common in a scratchy hand, it was a welcome from the Brotherhood of St. Rathmus below the Old City of Idalium! The Idalian brotherhood encouraged the monks of the monastery in their struggles to be "free of the tyranny of the Moon" and welcomed them to come to Idalium once they were able to travel incognito during the night.

The adventurers gathered up the treasure to carry it back to the guesthouse. On the way out of the temple, they investigated a hall that they hadn't been down, and found that it ended in a dusty, unused shrine. An ancient statue of some saint or demigod stood behind a small altar, and in one hand the statue held a tarnished and dented tin lantern. Gulleck carefully removed the lantern from the statue, and Brother Jibber examined it and noted that some of the symbols on it were archaic versions of familiar ones from the Great Church! Could this be the holy lantern that they had traveled here in search of?

Stowing the lantern safely away, the group retreated to the guesthouse, barricading the door behind them and setting watches while they grabbed a few hours sleep in the early morning. Gulleck was concerned about the rat bite on his leg; it already felt hot and tender to the touch, as if infected.

The treasure acquired from the temple provided sufficient experience points to raise Gulleck and Caryatid to 4th level, which gave Gulleck a significant bump in his "to hit" numbers and saving throws. Brother Jibber went up to 3rd level, undergoing a "field promotion" to become Father Jibber, and Wilhelm finally gained enough experience to achieve 2nd level. Everyone was quite satisfied with the lucrative and successful session. All that remained in the monastery was to mop up any remaining ratmen.

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