GATAVIA III, Episode 4

Session/Game: ACKS Gatavia3 #4 Date: October 13, 2013

Episode 4: Stop Dying, You Cowards!

Campaign Date: April, AY 1430

Rotwang the Battle-lover, neutral, barbarian-2 (Bob)
Brother Punchy the Norrisite, neutral, mystic-2 (Chuck)
Murderface Jack, neutral, dwarven fury-2 (Jason)
Nameless Lizard 1, neutral, lizardman gladiator-1 (Robert)
Split-tongue, elf, enchanter-2, neutral (Marlon).

Cassandra the Miscellaneous, human, level-0 (works for Rotwang)
Wilhelm the Chiurgeon, human, level-0 (worst healer ever) (works for Brother Punchy)
Miller the Torchboy, human, level-0 (works for Brother Punchy)
Jebbly the Pack Hauler, human, level-0 (works for Rotwang)

Judge: Dave

Prologue: As the Skull Collectors divide the treasure from the wizard Presfen’s lair, Decius the Explorer discovers a note in his backpack. He reads it and exclaims “I was supposed to meet my sister days ago!” He gathers his treasure, makes a few jottings in his memory book and takes off into the wilderness.

Encounter 1 April 1, 2013
The Skull Collectors, minus Decius, begin a thorough search of the remaining sections of the “Eye Level”, formerly Presfen’s lair, of Skull Mountain. Near the wizard’s rooms, they find an old comrade named Split-tongue, locked in a cell with 2 young children—Eddie and Teddie Osbertson—all of whom had been kidnapped by the wizard’s bandit allies for ransom. They also discovered One-Eyed Max, a bandit-emissary from Lucius Bastardo, who had been sent to get Marco and his bandits to betray Presfen and join the Bastardville bunch. He was locked in the next cell. The Skull Collectors freed him and asked him to join them in exploring the lair.
Making a sweep of the level, they found Presfen’s pantry (filled with delicious hams), the hobgoblin supply room and armory, the bandits’ tool shed, filled with useful stuff, the Blade Dancer’s room, with some treasure, and Presfen’s spare chaos monkey storage room, where they had to kill another 7 chaos monkeys. They then made camp in the stables and rested for a good two days.

Encounter 2: April 4
As their second day of rest drew to a close, the crew was nearly healed up (despite Wilhelm’s terrible healing power). However, they heard a dozen men approaching, and then a strange set of code words. One-Eyed Max then answered the code words with some of his own, saying that it was okay and these were his friends approaching. He called in the bandit Lieutenant, a heavily-armed thug named Murkley, and he came in to parley. Murkley took and immediate dislike to the party and told them if they handed over the wizard’s treasure, he’d let them live.
Taking offense, Murderface began to attack Murkley, who was aided by One-Eyed Max. Rotwang, fearing that the bandits would defeat them, murdered Princess Athalwyn, so that no one else would gain ransom or reward for her. After an initial failure, Split-tongue managed to throw a Charm Spell on Murkley, who began to withdraw, ordering his men back. However, Murderface was in a berserk rage and continued to attack Murkley. Brother Punchy, meanwhile, finished off One-Eyed Max and tried, with the help of Nameless Lizard Guy to subdue Murderface, so the Charmed Murkley would take away his men. Finally, Rotwang and Murderface gave up and decided just to kill Murkley and began to attack him again in earnest. However, Murkley proved to be stronger and hacks down both Rotwang and Murderface. Although pelted by arrows from the other bandits, Brother Punchy and Nameless Lizard Guy finally kill Murkley, causing his 12 allies to flee, rejoin the larger party at the base of the mountain to withdraw.
Rotwang is badly cut up, suffering from ghostly visions of his ancestors, and requires a week to rest up. Murdeface had a leg chopped clean off by Murkley and requires 12 days of rest.

Encounter 3: A Visit to Shadrack’s: April 6th
When the Skull Collectors are sure the bandits have gone and their two critically wounded comrades are safely resting, they send Split-tongue, together with Cassandra and the Osbert Twins down to investigate the shack at the foot of the mountain. Split-tongue enters the shack a meets a strange hermit named Shadrack. The hermit is a shaman who worships a strange spirit he calls Grampius. Split-tongue attempts to bargain with the hermit for healing herbs, but Shadrack replies that he has all he needs, with respect to material goods, and only desires honor for Grampius. Finally, he offers that if Spilt-tongue, Cassandra and the Osbert Twins will dance around his Grampius Pole naked, he will give them the herbs. Eventually, Split-tongue agrees, dances around and collects the herbs. He takes them back to Wilhelm, who of course immediately wastes them. The crew also discovers that the two wands they had taken from Presfen and the Blade-dancer were Polymorph (command word “Shemp”) and Detect Magic (command word “turnip”).

Encounter 4: A Visit to Tower Graf: April 8th
After resting a day to clear the weirdness of meeting Shadrack out of his head, Split-tongue is sent off again to visit the nearby mysterious fortress of Tower Graf. As an elf, Split-tongue is ushered in the main gate by mysterious green-armored soldiers and led to a parlor, where he is told he must wait until after nightfall, since the tower’s master Feggenbel must attend to his mysterious secret work until the sun goes down. Every few hours, a creepy servant comes buy and offers Split-tongue some food or drink, and a copy of the Boscovania News and Funk Report to read.
Finally, after nightfall, Feggenbel comes into the parlor and talks to Split-tongue. Feggenbel is very friendly and interested in everything Split-tongue has to say, especially about the court of the Elf-Queen and her jewels. Feggenbel himself seems peculiar and disproportioned in a vague, hard-to-pin-down way. Feggenbel repeats that he is working on a powerful magic device and must attend to it all day until the sun goes down. He’d like to clear out Skull Mountain, but is far too busy with his project. Split-tongue is too suspicious to ask to have his magic items identified by the wizard (presumably the reason for his visit) and soon leaves without asking him for anything.

Encounter 5: A Good Deed Rewarded: April 9th-13th
The next day, Split-tongue and Cassandra head north with the Osbertson Twins in tow. They return Eddie and Teddie to their father, a thane name Osbert, who rewards them with 700gp, some herbs and a barrel of delicious travel sandwiches. While they are gone, Lizard-Guy and Brother Punchy search the area around the mountain and get the lay of the land, discovering a ruined manor house nearby. They also search the dungeon level a bit more, discovering a stair case heading down deeper into the mountain, and a section of the level that is sealed off with 2 heavy barred doors, rusted closed from the outer side. They use a drill they found in the bandits’ tool shed to drill a few holes in the door and peer through, discovering a room with a coffin and some blasphemous murals.

Encounter 6: One Up, One Down: April 16th
Murderface Jack has finally recovered and is now hobbling around on a peg-leg. He’s raring to go. With Split-tongue returned, the Skull Collectors approach the rusted door. They run some rope through the holes they’d drilled, and hook it up to a block and tackle, forcing the door open neatly. They investigate this section of the dungeon, finding it to have been some sort of mortuary-laboratory complex in the past. They find a set of 6 mysterious liquids, fight a squad of 6 animated skeletons, prudently avoid a glass tank filled with gray liquid, obsefve but don’t touch a bookcase full of skulls, and find 1000gp in a compartment in a secret shrine to the god Mercury. Near the altar to Mercury, they find a false door, which when pulled upon causes an avalanche of bricks to fall onto Murderface, Brother Punchy, Rotwang and Nameless Lizard-Guy. The Lizard-Guy is horribly crushed by the brick fall, having one arm permanently pulverized and when Wilhelm fails again, nearly dies. He is saved at the last minute when they try one of the 6 mysterious liquids, which turns out to be Liver-Squeezings, a form of wine made with female owlbear liver juices squeezed into it, that has some healing power, but runs the risk of blindness. The Liver Squeezings manage to save lizard-guy’s life, but not his arm.

Cassandra, Jebbly, Miller and Wilhelm all reach first level. Cassandra, Miller and Jebbly decide that now is a good time to flee, and take their treasure and sneak away one night. Wilhelm, entranced by Presfen’s books, becomes a Warlock and decides to remain in the service of Brother Punchy. Brother Punchy and Rotwang each advance to third level.

Rough times all around, it sounds like. What sort of mod did Murderface Jack get for his peg leg, if any?

We figured that Wilhelm the Chiurgeon was probably pretty good at making peg-legs, since he was so good-awful bad at making healing rolls, so he gets the standard 1/3 movement penalty and loss of DEX AC bonus from the mortal wounds table. Luckily, he got a +1 shield from the dead bandit lieutenant, so his AC stayed the same, and since he had been moving at 120/40, he’s down to about 80/25, and is still faster than the Lizard guy and Rotwang.