GATAVIIII: Episode 6

Session/Game: ACKS Gatavia3 #6 Date: November 10, 2013

Episode 6: “Bleeding Raven, Poisoned Lizard”

Campaign Date: June 15—June 20th AY 1430

Rotwang the Battle-lover, neutral, barbarian-3 (Bob)
Ulrich the Torchboy, human, neutral, level-0 (henchman)
Brother Punchy the Norrisite, neutral, mystic-3 (Chuck)
Wilhelm the Warlock, human, warlock-1, neutral (henchman)
Murderface Jack, neutral, dwarven fury-3 (Jason)
Stupid Marco the Pack Hauler, level 0, human, neutral (henchman)
Crethassus, neutral, lizardman gladiator-1 (Robert)
Split-tongue, elf, enchanter-2, neutral (Marlon Kirton).
Tavish Furley, half-elf, shaman(druid)-1, neutral (henchman)
Louise Impetuous, human, level-0, neutral (henchman)
Decius, neutral, human explorer-2 (Andrew then Robert)
Father Amico, human, cleric of Jupiter-3, neutral (henchman then Andrew)

Judge: Dave

Prologue: The Skull Collectors have returned to the abandoned Ardean manor house near Skull Mountain. After they install their mercenaries inside to protect it, they instruct them to tell any visitors that the place is named “Skull Manor” and that it is owned and ruled by a man named “Penroyale”. After Decius returns from vainly seeking his sister, the adventurers decide to make another expedition to Skull Mountain.

Encounter 1 June 15: Louise to the Front!
The Skull Collectors return to the “Eye Level” of Skull Mountain and find that it has not been seriously disturbed since their last visit. They decide to tear down the bricked in doorway which Presfen had left undisturbed. Inside they found a large, stale chamber with a fetid pool in the center. Louise Impetuous rushes forward and peers into the pool, only to be bitten an poisoned by a Chaos Serpent lurking there. The rest of the Skull Collectors quickly slay the serpent before it can bite again. It’s only through the use of some White Lotus, donated by Murderface Jack and by Wilhelm’s treatment of her wounds that Louise is saved from death. A small party takes Louise back to the manor to rest.

Encounter 2 June 15-17: Rotwang Flushed
When the party reunites, Rotwang enters the fetid pool, drawn by the glitter of gold. The floor of the pool swings down, flushing Rotwang down a passage to a level below. He is immediately swarmed by a band of 14 skeletons, attacking him in the pitch dark. While the rest of the party wastes time looking for secret doors, Murderface Jack and Decius follow down the slopping passage after Rotwang. Eventually, Murderface arrives in the skeleton chamber and joins a battered Rotwang in the fight. Things go from bad to worse as first the tricky magic sword “Kinslayer” slips from Rotwang’s hand, and strikes Murderface greviously in the head. Rotwang is then hacked down. Soon after, Murderface also collapses from his wounds, just as the rest of the party arrived to the rescue. The skeletons are finally defeated and both Murderface and Rotwang are saved by the ministrations of Wilhelm. Split-tongue makes some interesting (privately held) observations about the silver glyphs in the skeleton room, and he makes some notes about them in his journal.
The party decides to withdraw so that Rotwang and Murderface can recover. They return to the manor and rest 2 days.

Encounter Three: June 18, Poison a Lizard, Get a Prize
Returning to the Pool, they discover that there is a standard door covered with runes of some sort. Wilhelm’s familiar, Bill the Toad, tells Wilhelm that the runes were protective spells, long-since discharged. They force the door and find a stairway that leads up and deeper into the mountain. At the top of the stair, they are confronted by ghostly crows, which Tavish Furley (Split-tongue’s druid henchman) dismisses with no trouble. Searching around some rooms, they find a stone vase half-filled with a sticky paste, also some carven oaken warriors and a few empty chambers.
Then, they discover a room with 3 sturdy treasure-chests. Crethassus the Lizard-Guy picks up each one and shakes them. Unfortunately for him, when he picks up the third one it activates a trap causing an avalanche of bricks and stones to fall on him, critically wounding him and crushing his leg permanently. The rest of the party gets the bright idea to go back to the stone vase and spread the black paste on his wounds. This paste proves to be a nasty poison and kills the Lizard-Guy. Rotwang then returns and opens the treasure chests, provoking a battle with an Ochre Jelly which had crawled into one of them. It inflicted some minor wounds to various party members before it was killed (or rather broken into 4 smaller jellies, and then finally burned up with fire). There was a large store of ancient druid gold pieces among the chests.

Encounter 4: June 18, The Brain of Bran
After releasing a party of frozen dwarves from a curse, and discovering some magic raisins which gave Tavish Furley some increased dexterity, the party discovers a band of hairy spirit-warriors. After a negotiation, the warriors lead the party to the throne room of “The Brain of Bran” a giant spiritual creature who channels the god Bran and is the lord of the mountain. The Brain is pleased that Tavish the Druid is present, and Split-tongue the Elf, and indeed Father Amico. Amico reveals that he is not a member of the Church of Bor after all, but rather a priest of Jupiter, a follower of the Neutral gods, and is indeed more powerful than he had let on. Bran tells the party that they must clear Skull Mountain of all Lawful and Chaotic influences and that this will lead the way to a resurgence of the worship of the neutral gods, the “true gods of this world”. He promises that if they succeed, he will give them his mighty staff to aid them as a reward.

Encounter 5: June 18, Into the Deep
The Skull Collectors leave the hidden druidic shrine of the Brain of Bran and return to the eye level. They discuss following the pool-tube to the “Nose Level” which was apparently once a necromantic laboratory. They, however, decide to take the central stairs downward to the “Mouth Level” which Presfen’s journal indicates is filling up with orcs and ogres. After climbing to the bottom of the stairway, they decide to go to the southern, deeper direction, rather than toward the mouth entrance to the north. Once they tear down a sealed door to the south, they enter an old, sealed crypt area. Father Amico scares off 3 ghouls they find chewing on a dead serpent, and Brother Punchy finishes the fourth. They then open a door nearby and hear a loud pounding from another door on the other side of the chamber therein.
The party plans an elaborate ambush, stringing trip wires, pouring pools of military oil and placing warriors at the ready. They then unbar the door, revealing an expedition of 4 ogres and 30 orcs at the head of stair leading up from below. The ambush works like a charm, the ogres are never able to come to grips with the party and are killed off by missiles, a choke spell from Split-tongue and a few well-placed blows. The only serious damage they do is to kill Tavish Furley’s totem-animal Raven who was ordered to attack for some reason.
The orcs are a bit more resilient, enticing Murderface and Rotwang onto the landing at least, but they are no more effective. Even though the orcs refuse to turn and flee despite heavy losses, they fail to inflict serious harm before they are all wiped out. The Skull Collectors find a fairly good pile of treasure on the Ogres and decide to return home.