Day Two continued….
Well it was quiet until the last two remaining members of our party finally catch us up; the Half Elven bagpipe playing Bard Miley Cirus, and the Half-Orc Fighter, Abraham "Cut throat" Williams. The slight rustling noise made as people dug through the refuse of the rats searching for treasure is quickly drowned out by the dreaded warble of pipes, the sound reaching us long before we catch sight of the pair.
Miley comes round the corner first, cheeks puffed and arms cradling the quilted pipes of his granddaddy or something, while Abraham follows behind looking quite skittish, constantly looking over his shoulder, and jumping every time the pipes hit the high notes. He has not been around Miley as much as I have, so will soon learn to appreciate the shrieking piglet for all its worth, well, that, or his sanity will shatter into a thousand pieces.
I start to tell them the events to date since they left us, as quickly as I can in-between Miley pausing to draw in breath to feed the pipes, and he actually stops and listens as I get to the bit where we are looking for a baby white dragon stolen by goblins.
The door in the room we are in is closed and after some investigation from the Barbarian Kal-El, which involves much rattling and pondering before he arrives at the conclusion that it is indeed, locked. There are also multiple doors open behind us, which Miley and Abraham came through, also where we suspect the rats came from. The group collectively realize that blindly opening doors leads to being dinner for rats, and no, I am not going to mention some witty pun about ratatouille, as I can’t spell it.
Ignoring the bit where I just said we learned our lesson about passing open doors without checking them is a recipe for rat inspired death, the Bard and his special instrument is quickly put to use, with some inspiring bagpipe music that causes Fiddler the Rogue to be far more enthused to open the locked door than he was before the dreadful catawails arrived.
Fiddler magnanimously steps back so that the Paladin Ser Guildan can open the door wide, and as he does so, we hear the sounds of a bell clanging somewhere deeper in the room. Those peering through the open doorway can see a carpet of shadowy caltrops on the floor, vaguely lit by a torch, flickering somewhere in the distance.
Ser Guildan steps in first, followed by the Fighter Abraham, who immediately steps on a foot full of caltrops and falls over, crashing to the floor on to even more caltrops.
A Goblin then pops out to shoot an arrow at us, and the fight begins…. really really slowly as people gingerly step forward with exaggerated movements to try to step on the very small patches of bare ground.
St Vincent the Cleric casts a spell that sadly misses, and then I miss with a Fire Bolt. Guildan the Paladin is hit again midstride, legs akimbo, while the Fighter moves forward, moving ever so slightly left and right, hunched forward in an effort to dodge oncoming missiles. Just imagine them playing a medieval form of Twister and you will not be far off.
Miley mocks one, although I note that his vicious mockery somehow involves us to our detriment; “…call that a shot, a real goblin would have shot him in the throat!” before inspiring the Paladin, probably to be more enthusiastic about the goblin arrows striking him. The Rogue watches the rear, but cannot do much else as his path is blocked with eager party members trying to get a kill. Ser Guildan is now about half way through the spiked section, just in time for another goblin to pop up and shoot him in the leg.
Unbelievably, the Barbarian in an effort to get to the little Goblinkin, shoves me from behind, forcing me forward into the caltrops. He then uses my prone body as a platform to run onto and then magnificently leap forward and over the pair playing Twister to land right in front of the goblins at the end of the corridor.
I would have applauded such a move had my hands not have large spikey pieces of jagged metal protruding from them.
The Bard abuses another one, and I get up from the floor, shake the metallic points from my bleeding hands and cast sleep upon the Goblins. This has the unfortunate effect of catching the Barbarian alongside the three goblins, and inadvertently pay him back for his earlier transgression with a face full of caltrops.
The Paladin reaching the end promptly misses his sleeping target, and the Barbarian’s brief micro sleep and subsequent re-awakening due to the spike still stuck in his cheek makes no difference to his objective as he absolutely destroys a goblin with a Javelin to the head. Abraham also dispatches the one in front of him, and while people shuffle along the caltrop path, Guildan kills the remaining one.
During the lull in combat, the Paladin sweeps up the corridor of caltrops with brooms supplied by myself and Kal-El. The Bard then drops a large amount of caltrops around the door that leads back the way we come. Abraham the Fighter says he will take point, and moves to the front scouting, with Ser Guildan and St Vincent following closely behind. Ser Guildan also lays on hands to those needing it, to stop people from moving slowly due to the wounds caused from the caltrops.
Abraham leads us into a large room that has training dummies, and more light flickers, with signs of life; recent food and crates and bedding as we continue down the corridors. The Fighter moves cautiously, a little too slowly for Ser Guildan though as he simply walks past Abraham and steps out into an open area. There he spies three goblins behind a barricade, and seeing that they are currently looking the wrong way, rushes forward and smacks one dead before they can react.
As we all rush up, three more Goblins pop up, also armed with spears and crossbows.
Ser Guildan kills another, closely joined by Abraham who misses. The Paladin is attacked in return, but the weapons are wide of the mark. Abraham however is not so lucky and struck deep just above the waistline, the spear plunging deep.
The Barbarian runs through the choke point to stand in front of the door, while more cusses and spiteful words are issued by the Bard. Abraham moves back slightly in the space that the Rogue created by killing a goblin, but is again stabbed as he moves away. The Paladin’s luck and armour can only work for so long while standing in the front rank, and mere seconds later, a vicious attack from a Goblin spear is buried deep into Guildan stomach, who is quite expertly gutted and flicked off the end of the spear to slide down the wall. Abraham’s position is not good at all with his Paladin shield now gone, and this is capitalized by the Goblins, as another spear thrust catches the Fighter high in the back as he twists away from one attack to be hit from the other side. While he still stands, there seems to be an awful lot of blood leaking from Abraham, and one arm is down, shield dragging on the floor.
St Vincent is on hand to heal Ser Guildan, blessing him with so much divine power he almost instantly awakes and stands up in a quick motion looking as good as new. Soon, just two goblins stand, and are quickly dispatched, I blast one dead with a flick of a Firebolt, and then Kal-El javelins the last one dead, the Goblin screaming as the spear is flung so hard that it carries him the ten feet or so to the far wall.
It is quiet for a second or two, but then lots more of the buggers pile in.
The Rogue punches one of his feet with an arrow, the bright light Cleric spell (I am not sure what it does other than light everyone up, but I think it’s supposed to ‘smite thine enemies’) is inefficient again, and another goblin stabs Abraham full in the cheek with a broken spear head. Too many hits have now been taken by the fighter, and he drops to the floor dying. I kill another one with Fire, the bolt hitting the Goblin under the chin and igniting his facial and chest hair, then the bard makes another one of them scream loudly with blood pouring from its eyes and mouth before it falls over dead as my Goblin just keels over, his head alight, slowly popping and crackling.
We stop Abraham from meeting his maker, well St Vincent does, while the Barbarian caltrops the other door in this room.
Ser Guildan has taken the role of guarding the exit to this room far too seriously, standing in its open archway like a fleshy door, but this allows the goblins to nip in and out and keep attacking him.
I miss one of the buggers that keeps trying to hit the paladin, while the Bard tells the Paladin how wonderful he is. I am unsure if this is a Bardic ability, or just general positive vibes from the goodness of his heart, but I suspect the former.
The Monk has now caught us up from where ever he was earlier, and thanks to the ingenuity of the designer of this dungeon, we as the attackers are stuck in a massive bundle of people, while the defenders can pick us off in the narrow walkways.
The Fighter having learnt a valuable lesson about spears and his own mortality begins to use a ranged weapon instead, and quite expertly kills a Goblin with a crossbow bolt while the rest of us try to work out the most optimal route of who moves first.
The Barbarian ‘walks through the door like a hero’. I will pause here, as I am not entirely sure who actually wrote that as I am still quite pissed at him using me as a diving board, so it seems like it wouldn’t have been me. However, he did basically walk round the corner knowing that an ambush was present and smash a Goblin dead, before being stabbed a few times, so I will let the comment stand.
The Paladin and the Cleric follow him, Ser Guildan hitting a Goblin, but it is a glancing blow, while the ineffectual spell from the Cleric is ineffectual again. Ledge Legend Fiddler runs in to snipe one dead and runs away again, showing exactly how it should be done.
The goblins are not done yet though. They have a seemingly unlimited supply of numbers, and keep running in and out and attacking, so with the noise and cross over attacks it’s hard to tell how many we are currently fighting and we are definitely not able to say how many are left.
The Barbarian continues to wade in, killing another one with a huge sword thrust, and the last one at this section screams and throws himself at Ser Guildan, the short sword stabbing over and over into the Paladins side. Despite being quite renewed from his earlier near death some minutes before, this is too much, and the Paladin drops once more.
The goblin runs over the prone figure of Ser Guildan, straight into the path of myself and the Bard lying in wait. While the Bard hits with a glancing blow, I miss completely, the Fire Bolt hitting a crate nearby with a small smolder. The goblin screams again and dodges around some crates while angling for an open archway, but moves too close to the waiting Monk, who simply steps out from a pillar and slits his throat.
The area is quiet again, and making sure everyone is ok, we all start to search the area. The Paladin is patched up for the seventh time today, dusts himself off, walks off towards a door while looking up and down the walls, and promptly falls down a pit that has a swivel door that closes behind him.
He is down there for quite a while as the rest of us continue to search the rooms and bodies, firstly, not noticing that he was missing, and secondly we could not hear his pitiful crying to locate him. Eventually we do hear his cries, and the Barbarian decides to use a dead goblin to find traps, by simply picking up its corpse and throwing it a few feet in front of him until it finally triggers the floor to swivel and dump a battered corpse onto Guildan waiting patiently to be rescued. Fiddler the Rogue then jams the trap mechanism open and helps the stricken Paladin out.
In the meantime, the Monk has kicked the door in and after hearing some noises. He quickly moves in to find some Kobolds in distress, of which there are three, tied up with rope, and something else bundled into a cage and covered with cloth and rags.
After freeing them, we hear their story – that a larger creature, someone bigger than both Kal-El and Abraham currently looming over them, admittedly ready to punch them in the face with weapons should they make any sudden moves, took a baby Dragon.
A bloody Dragon!
St Vincent takes the cage apart to see what is inside the cage, and it appears to be a Gnome, so he is released and we take the kobolds back.
The Gnome is a Cleric, and we keep him with us as we rest for lunch, before resuming with our searching and checking more doors. This door we stop at is quite portentous, and feels a little chilly around the edges, with the words “rebuke the dead, open the way” written in Draconic upon it.
While we mill about, the Monk is watching at the crossroads, alone with the illuminations of a torch while we listen to the Gnome Cleric telling us that he can open the door. We agree, then obviously move back, and indicate for him to go ahead. After concentrating on his holy symbol for a few moments, the door cracks and opens, with more chilly and slightly foggy air released to emphasis the ominousness of it all.
As usual with a locked door of danger, everyone is like Schrodinger’s cat; simultaneously there and not there dependent on whether traps or treasure be present. The Barbarian however commits properly, and steps up to go through the doorway first.
He moves in, quickly followed by everyone and no one to find three coffins in a room, lit by the strange glow of a candle with a green flame. A silver coloured flask sits on one of the coffins, and we all mingle around, until everyone is in the room either staring at the walls or altars. Ser Guildan picks up the flask, and suddenly, the altar lids erupt upwards or crash sideways to the floor as five skeletons appear.
Ser Guildan immediately smashes one with a club, and Abraham the Fighter hits it with an Axe, killing it in an explosion of bones. St Vincent strikes another and thankfully, all of the remaining skeletons miss their attacks on the party. Myself and Fiddler hit one together, but it remains upright, while the Monk punches one down.
In a short few seconds there are just two left. Ser Guildan smashes one, and then a few more attacks from the Fighter, Cleric and Paladin hack down the last.
Suddenly a shrieking ghost appears from the walls, rushing out to attack the Cleric. The Monk, the quickest of us all to react, takes one look and runs back the way he came, down the corridor and out of sight as fast as he can go.
The brief moment of stunned silence as our attention is dragged back from the fleeing Monk to the Ghost is broken as the Barbarian screams and attacks, slicing through it. Both the Fighter and the Paladin close in to attack but their attacks seem to have no effect at all.
The Ghost ignores everyone and looks straight at the Cleric. It rears back and then rushes at him, arms forward shrieking with a deadly cold whistle of air. The ghostly hands are buried into the Clerics chest, and St Vincent has no time to react as he drops quite dead from the deadly attack. The creature then quickly disappears into the floor before the rest of us can react.
The Barbarian looks about, and seeing nothing can be done for the crumpled heap of Cleric  on the floor, picks up the potion and tastes it, declaring that it is a fire resistance potion.
A few minutes pass and we have not really moved, many furtive glances and shifting of weapons from one hand to the other, well, those of us lacking the power of the arcane do anyway. And like that, it’s back amongst us, the clammy air announcing as such the appearance of the ghostly apparition. With quite a few of us ready to shoot as it appears.
Our attacks are quite poor to be honest, and it’s not long before the creature has downed the Fighter Abraham, while the Ser Guildan the Paladin is still up and whacking away at it. Fiddler pops in to fire some sneaky arrows, and I am still blasting it with Chill touch, a spell I thought was good for undead….but there is something not right, and I cannot quite put my finger on it.
No-ones attacks seem to be doing that much, well apart from the ghostly creatures that is. There is some wispy smoke that appears around any wound inflicted to it, and it’s only after it downs Kal-El that it turns and flies directly at the Bard who had just jibbed it…something something your mum”. The fact that it ignores everyone around it to fly past us all seems to indicate that so far, the Bard was the only one to really hurt it, or jibes at the someone’s mother bite deep even in the afterlife.
With the ghost basically hitting so hard that it takes people out with just one attack, things don’t look good for the Bard, and as he closes his eyes and wonders who will sing at his funeral. Seconds pass and he realizes his eyes have been closed to long and opens them to find the creature has thankfully missed.
The creature is standing, well floating right next to me and with not many places to run as the ghost is blocking the door, I reach out and touch the ghost with a lighting blast, which thankfully obliterates the creature into tiny wisps of smoke.
 St Vincent Lost his chance here