Tuesday, June 6, 2017

Idalium Game 60: Making the Rounds

Session date: Monday, August 29, 2016
Game date: Saturday, February 22, 209 to Monday, February 24, 209

Gulleck Stonefoot, Dwarf 4, hp 23, xp 10157/17000
Caryatid, Magic-user 4, hp 19, xp 11790/20000

Manley "Meat" Smythe, Fighter 2, hp 13, xp 3461/4000
Brother Chase Pike, Cleric 1, hp 6, xp 153/1500

Sort of an unfocused ramble of an adventure today. We only had two players, and they weren't sure of what to do. Ideas were floated: give the magical wardrobe to the goblins as a Trojan Horse to gain secretive entry to the Goblin Palace? Foment a feud between Caryatid the Green and the goblins?

First they went to "Crazy Harry", the apothecary, to see if he had prepared an antidote to the enchanted goblin fruit they had brought to him last session. "Yes!" said Crazy Harry. "Although it is of limited effect. I believe it can break the enchantment that the fruit casts over a person, but only so long as they are still human. Once they have been transformed into a goblin, I don't think anything could bring them back!"

Crazy Harry wanted 500 silver shekels for a dose of the antidote, but they haggled him down to 300 shekels. They also purchased two vials of "stirge repellant". "Ah, yes," said Crazy Harry. "So, the good news is, stirges can't stand the smell. They hate it! The bad news is, just about every other kind of vermin loves it. It attracts them! Bugs, rats, worms, you name it."

Gulleck thought that sounded like more of a feature than a bug, and paid extra to get it in breakable glass vials.

Into the dungeon they went, but ran into a scavenging party of orcs almost immediately, in the town square of the undercity. The orcs recognized them and attacked instantly. Caryatid cast a magic missile at one orc, and Brother Chase followed it up by caving in the orc's skull with his mace. Meanwhile, Gulleck and Meat quickly dealt with the orcs that attacked them. The other two orcs ran screaming into the dark.

The adventurers collected a number of gold coins from the orcs, as well as a pouch of the crumbly off-white powder they knew as "rage dust". Then they checked the magical talking statues that stood around the fountain in the middle of the square. As they had arranged, the gnomes had left them a message, saying that they were almost finished digging the shaft down to the second level, and would await them at the dig site.

They made their way quickly to the small temple where the gnomes had been digging a shaft down to the lower level, hopefully emerging in the room that contained the frightening shadow monsters (and more importantly, the gold and gem encrusted idol and ceremonial items). The shaft was finished now, and all that remained was to chisel out and lift away the stone slab that was part of the ceiling below. The group wanted to wait until everyone could be there, including Tod and Tyrriel, so they thanked the gnomes and said they would visit them at their quarters in the mines when ready. Everyone packed up and left, and Caryatid cast wizard lock upon the door on the way out, to discourage any unwanted visitors.

The fight with the orcs had taken a bit out of the adventurers, so they returned to the surface to rest a bit before attempting another delve. On Monday morning they reunited and headed back into the dungeon, this time heading down to the second level to check in on Caryatid the Green. They passed through the Temple of Hedonism, which was occupied by half a dozen fresh-faced youths, drinking wine and playing the harp languidly. The adventurers weren't sure if they had arrived pre- or post-orgy, but it was certainly awkward.

They checked on the orcs, but after the recent pitched battle they'd had, the orcs appeared to have retreated into their lair, and no orcs were to be seen at the entrance to their domain. Moving on for now, they visited Caryatid the Green in her apartment, who was as before in good spirits and happy to receive them as guests. There was a large strange man, sitting in an armchair with his back to them, facing the magical fire that crackled away but shed no heat.

"Oh, I've been busy since we last spoke," said Caryatid the Green. "The lovely Professor Zinn provided me with such useful information on anatomy, and physiology, and human biology... And I put all of that knowledge to good use! Can I introduce you to my new bodyguard?"

The man in the chair stood slowly and stiffly, and turned to face them. He wore a drab, shapeless coat. He loomed over even Meat and Brother Chase, and his eyes were dull. His skin was pale and blotchy, and it seemed there was some kind of tattoo at the base of his neck, almost like... stitching?

"He doesn't talk much," said Caryatid the Green. "He's really more of the strong and silent type. But the dungeon can be dangerous, you know. With him by my side, I have so much more freedom to roam and explore. No one dares to threaten me."

The adventurers made polite goodbyes and nervously left. Things with Caryatid were getting weirder and weirder, and they were grimly certain that she would have to be "dealt with" sooner or later.

On their way out, the adventurers decided to prank the orcs. Having stolen their big alarm gong several weeks ago, Gulleck had bought a tiny toy gong in a shop up in the city. Now he tossed that toy gong down the stairs that led to their lair. There was silence for a moment, and then a twang of a bowstring from down below and an arrow snapped on the wall next to Gulleck's head. He quickly slammed the door shut at the top of the stairs, and the adventurers laughed their way back out of the dungeon.

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