The characters for this session
Fennec, L2 Wizard
Cauleigh, L3 Warrior (Townsman)
Jotunn, L5 Warrior (Apprentice Hunter; Tracking)
Crompton, L2 Rogue (Roguery, Rune-bearer)
The four Fingold furbishers are far out in Level 1 of Fingold’s Shatterzone dungeon. They have just made an agreement with the Ogre that bosses Level 1. They have been asked to meet up at the same place in an hour before travelling down to assassinate the Goblin boss of Level 2. The Goblin boss is known as Fishface; he has a shaman and a 2-i-c known as Cheesecart.
Meet Bryn, key to the assassination attempt
Although they could possibly race back to re-equip, nothing leaps to mind and that would be riskier than just sitting with lantern dimmed. They decide to stay put. Burnley, the cheery half-Elf who scouted their way here, bids them good luck and slips away.
None of them screams like a girl when bats flutter close: they spend an uneasy hour listening, and ducking bats.
The Ogre shows up again bringing Bryn: tall, armed like a ranger, with a suggestion of pointy ears and sharp teeth.
“Trust my hatred if you can’t trust me” mutters Bryn. “My end of the bargain is, I get everything belonging to Cheesecart, and his harem.”
“So, hatred, yeah, but why do you want to help…?”
“I want revenge on Cheesecart.”
“Oh, revenge! Yeah, we all understand that, sweet” the Dwarves agree.
“Bryn will collect my final payment,” Ogre-boss adds and leaves them to it.
It turns out, the way Bryn plans to descend needs rope, at least, if they plan to return the safe way. So with Bryn trailing well behind, Jotunn leads the party back through the maze of ruinous walls and tilted paths that form the bulk of Level 1, towards the Guild. There’s a nasty moment when a giant Badger erupts from its burrow and attacks Jotunn and Crompton slips into the burrow while trying to help Jotunn. But Jotunn survives long enough for the others to help and they make it out.
There’s plenty of rope in the spare room where they were looking at trap gear, and the 80’ Bryn estimates is needed is organized. Cauleigh finds the demon in glasses for an update and sketch-map of exit route for Level 2. He learns that a lot of Level 2 is wet. River seepage that trickles straight through Level 1 tends to pool in Level 2. So it’s ideal terrain for Goblins.
Traversing Level 1 safely the Dwarves head into a crypt
The five make their way cautiously through Level 1. Bryn seems very keen not to meet anything, though he’s obviously powerful. Light is kept to a minimum and he uses his nose a lot.
Reaching the now-familiar broad chamber where the deal was made, the Dwarves note that the goat-men corpses have been removed. It’s too dark to see how. Bryn gestures south.
“The path down leads through a crypt. Ancient dead going to be a problem?”
“No, we’ve all fought undead. Lead on.”
Judging by the symbology Cauleigh guesses the catacomb or crypt once lay beneath a Zolman temple. The remains are very old but the smell of ancient mortification is still unpleasant. Then Bryn freezes and crouches low. The others crouch or drop.
Across the secret exit out of the crypt lies the corpse of a Lizard-man. When nothing attacks, they investigate. Blood has congealed on the body. The cause of death is a crow-bar that something has rammed through its head. The corpse has been looted.
“We need to move the body so we can rope down.”
Preventing Fennec from tipping it forward into the blackness beyond – “fool of a Took!” – the others drag the corpse stiffly back into the crypts. Bryn points out spikes ancient enough to be part of the crypt, and rope is knotted and paid out. It will be about 40’ down, they estimate. Cautioning Fennec not to do any of “that flash-bang magic” and explaining that he won’t be stopping for folk that slip into pools, Bryn heads down first.
The path through Level 2, in haste and with accidents
They land on ashes: they have descended a chimney-like crevice. According to Jotunn’s compass the exits lead north and south. Sound from the south prompts Bryn to run at the door visible to the north, slap it open and dive through. The others follow – wary of tripwires – to find that the chamber beyond is mud, dominated by a pool to the left. Bryn is already scaling a wall to the right. Crompton slips and is in danger of sliding beneath the pool’s surface, while the others must deal with a huge toad that lunges up out of the pool.
Crompton’s lamellar is not as sinkable as mail or plate. He uses his axe icepick-style to keep him attached to the pool’s muddy side, while he ditches mace and pack. He clambers out, cursing his ill fortune, to find the toad dead and Jotunn and Cauleigh looking with horror as Fennec takes a good long lick at the toad’s slimy skin.
When the wizard fails to drop dead or go raving mad the Dwarves clamber up behind Bryn, who crawls north. On their left the wall drops away to a foul smell and glimpses of rotted furniture. At length Bryn finds his mark, a length of twine fastened to something below, an iron shield.
“Drop here. It’s solid stone below. And be silent!” Bryn suits deed to words, dropping and tucking into a roll to take the impact away. The others do likewise – though dangling by their hands first – but Crompton’s axe knocks against the shield as he falls past it. There’s the sound of a pewter tankard dropping onto stone and the five are plunged into combat!
Goblins are hard to combat but they survive
The Goblins have been sinking a few quiets around a keg, in an irregular chamber, good footing, no light. One rank of Goblins use missile weapons while another closes.
Jotunn Cauleigh and Crompton form a shield wall to protect Fennec, who lets a WilloWisp into play to provide light. Bryn sidles off right to use his bow.
This is a tough fight, with the Dwarves somewhat overmatched. Each missile Goblin Bryn takes down makes a big difference, but he’s not shooting well. And the Dwarves are pushing right and forward while Fennec tries to stay shielded. There’s a nasty moment when the missile Goblins close on Bryn but he hurdles them to join the shield wall, using the keg as cover.
As the last goblins turn and run Cauleigh and Crompton cut them down. Wounds are checked: not too bad.
“Fishface’s chamber is not far now, down the next stair” Bryn encourages them a short while later. “There’s a secret entrance on the right. But the steps could be trapped.”
He takes the Ogre’s payment at this point, just in case things go wrong from here.
Crompton finds that the stairs have been set to safe, makes his way down and checks the indicated area. This is the non-secret side. There’s a latch that when disengaged will allow the door to be pushed from the other side. But there’s no obvious way of pulling it open from this side.
This puzzle stumps Crompton, and a child’s alert in Urukun (“mummy, the thing moved”) when he unlatches the door makes Cauleigh leap down,and pry it open with his dagger, and entry is gained.
The assassination takes place
The chamber is mostly harem: females and brats milling in alarm. Opposite, at near range, a powerful Goblin sprawls in the traditional throne; a shaman sits behind and beside him; and a hulking Goblin stands at close range at the right-hand wall.
The Dwarves close, Fennec slamming the shaman with a L2 TTYF. Crompton goes for the chief, Fennec for the shaman, the other two for Cheesecart. Jotunn loses some equipment getting through the crowd. “Buff me!” Fishface snarls to his shaman. Bryn loses his shot.
At the wall: Cauleigh goes low, Jotunn high and between them force Cheesecart into a purely defensive stance. They overwhelm him; Jotunn grabs the rune-scripted great-axe he bore.
At the throne: Fennec sees the shaman dodging away and turns to help Crompton who has managed to keep Fishface from leaping at Fennec with twin scimitars. Cauleigh leaps over and takes a TTYF – in orange and with crackling – from the shaman but closes and kills the shaman. Bryn manages a reasonable shot at Fishface.
Jotunn leaps at Fishface and the axe and scimitar slam together and explode! Jotunn (armed only with a dagger now) Fennec and Crompton are in close combat against Fishface armed with the other scimitar when Cauleigh heaves the throne over against Fishface’s back and the chief is quickly finished off.
Bryn has missed out on Cheescart’s axe but loots the remains and herds one of the females away, while Jotunn retrieves his own gear and Crompton and Fennec loot a crown and cloak, and scoop coins into a canvas sack. Cauleigh delicately returns the obviously-poison scimitar to its scabbard. Then away!
They exit Level 2, but not without incident
The word-of-mouth on exiting allows the Dwarves to guess they are not far from the exit here. They head off, quietly.
All is well until within sight of the rockfall that marks the exit. A bull-like creature, head bowed with bone armour, guards it. The Dwarves decide the best option is climbing up and around. A good plan, except that Fennec falls in front of it!
As Fennec survives its deadly gaze (or breath?) Jotunn drops in and puts it off its charge. Crompton locates the exit… and through they flee!
They are all silver plaque adventurers! But there’s no time to waste because the zombies are keeping their regular appointment.
Back with the Guild everyone is Zombie fighting
Zombies are strong but slow. Cauleigh, who is on minimal health, rests. Fennec has very little mana left and also rests. The adventurers ask the other two to stand in as tanks for the “survivors”. Crompton objects but is persuaded.
The battle goes well on that side, allowing the big hitters to exclusively help the other group. The one surviving tank of the survivors stands with Crompton and Jotunn while Mother Hobb, Burnley and the pasty-pale half-Elf use their agility to trip Zombies so the front rank can smash heads.
The following night the attack is repeated, and Cauleigh replaces Crompton, who feels he has learned enough of the dodge-a-zombie business. It doesn’t quite work as he planned it and he gets clear by dropping his loaner mace and cutting clear out of his lamellar. The mace is lost permanently, which is embarrassing.
Just about ready for Level 3!
With plans made for replacing equipment and a brief appointment with Quartermaster-General Lady Countess for permission to learn spells all seems to be going well. Crompton trades a meal for fast repair of his lamellar, and trade gold and silver for gems ready for travel or trade. Jotunn visits the citadel master gunner, gets his silver-laced gunpowder, and Cauleigh gets a carbine he can use as a handgun.
The next day will see all equipment ready and the mission to Level 3 begin. With some objections and argument among the other adventurer groups, the demon in glasses decides to bring only his rogue Gnat with him as he heads in with the Dwarves. And with that decision an early end to the session is called.
A good deal of AP was earned and spent with SRs galore as the dungeon levels were traversed. Of note: Cauleigh has enough DEX to make L2 easily, and Crompton finally has enough LK to make L1 easily. Jotunn boosted STR to wield a heavier axe and has enough SPD to make L1 easily.
The dungeon levels and population were generated with Wizardawn’s Area Builder. Zombies are not listed as dT&T monsters but the template is from 5th edition: x2 STR x3 CON; 1/4 LK; IQ and DEX to 3.