Thursday, February 10, 2011

Averlorn Campaign: Return to the Maw of Torment

Recap from 2/4/2011

We started off the session by leaving the Halls of the Blind and the ancient stone statues and ruins under the shadow of the giant statue of Hephaestus and headed towards the hamlet of Slagford.  After resting up at the Deer’s Perch Inn overnight we headed back to Limus Town to take care of some business.  There we met up with some of the adventurers from our previous forays.  We shared ale with the dwarven cleric Brummbar, the Halfling warrior Tok and our other Elven companion Cyrcla.  We took care of some business identifying the magical broadsword we found in the Harpy’s nest the session before (it was +1) and then decided to sell it to one of our contacts at the Black Cloister since the previous session had seen little to no other loot garnered (the Harpy’s nest only had a small sum of gold within).  We divvied up the loot with the group that had gone to the Halls of the Blind with us previously and each character received 171 g.p (add to your character sheet if you were there).

The following day, there was the matter of the cursed sword that Teth-en-Aire had picked up to attend to.  After a few objections, we finally convinced the Elf to let Brummbar cast a remove curse spell on him to rid him of the accursed blade.  Once the curse was lifted, we threw it into the Kuoros River.  After taking care of that and buying a few more healing potions we pondered our next move.

Since Rekk, Ascelepius and Kaira had other business to attend to in town, the remaining characters and recently met NPCs decided to head back to the secret entrance at the Maw of Torment to try to find some loot.  We headed out after we had purchased provisions and arrived at the hamlet of Slagford uneventfully.  After securing rooms for the night, we were set to return to the Maw in the morning.  The following day we ventured forth through the hills towards the maw and arrived at the edge of the woods outside of the area where all of the statues were located.  We decided to scout it out first with Arceus’ Eyes of the Eagle but were quickly set upon by three rather strange looking bug like creatures at the edge of the woods.

As they attacked, the dwarf identified them as Giant Rhagodessa - 6’ long nocturnal carnivorous arachnids that closely resemble spiders but have immense crushing mandibles.  They have shorter legs than spiders but are still good climbers.  They also have suction pits on their front legs to trap prey and pull it towards their mandibles and mouths to devour.  As we fought the giant arachnid creatures, they attempted to grab us with the suction pits on their fore legs to pull us closer to their mandibles and succeeded in grabbing both Brummbar and Lucias.  The rest of the group attacked the creatures and Lucias managed to kill the one that had him before it or one of the others could attack him while he was held.  After that the group managed to kill the one holding Brummbar and finally killed the last one which covered the dwarf with its gooey bug juice as it was destroyed (straight out of Starship Troopers!).

So, with our first opponents taken care of, Arceus scouted out the complex with his magical eyes and didn’t notice anything different than the last time we were there – everything was the way we had left it including the missing gargoyle statues where the Harpies had stood.  So we headed towards the crumbling dragon statue that’s mouth was laying face first next to the flagstone that concealed the hidden entrance and descended into the Maw of Torment once again.  We explored the right side of the complex this time and were surprised by the lack of any signs of life (or un-life).  We passed a skeleton that had been shackled to the wall and then went through an empty room with large gouges in the floor as if made by some large creature.

Then we found another small prayer chamber and searched it to find a secret door that concealed a decent amount of silver pieces.  The next room had an apparent cave in on one side and the bones of some unfortunate adventurer beneath the apparently sprung trap.  When we searched the room we found an invisible basket that contained a bit more unguarded silver when it was revealed by the Dust of Appearance that Arceus used to uncover it. 

The next room was empty except for short pieces of rope scattered all over the floor.  We found a secret door there though that was locked and when Lucias finally managed to break it down, he destroyed a scythe trap that was designed to attack someone opening it from the other side.  This room contained a bunch of discarded helmets all over the floor and another pile of rubble in one corner and another niche that contained a solitary chest.  The two thieves searched it for traps and Arceus found a magical trap of some sort on the chest but didn’t think he could disarm it.  We debated whether to use the knock spell that Teth-en-Aire had on a scroll to open it or Brummbar’s dispel magic spell to disarm it and decided on the knock spell to open it up from a distance.  Apparently, that was the wrong decision because it exploded in a cloud of smoke and lighting shot off in all directions to hit everyone even though we were a good distance away from it when we did this.  Despite this punishment, the chest was empty!

So we were pretty frazzled at this point and healed up as best we could with our hair standing on end.  When Arceus and Sicarius decided to spread out and find a good place to hide in the shadows of the room, Arceus fell into a pit trap, took even more damage and broke some of his potions.  So despite not finding much loot aside from some silver and having not fought anything within the complex we decided to retire since it was getting late and we were pretty chewed up at that point.  We started suspecting that maybe others had looted the place recently because it was noticeably devoid of creatures and loot and there was evidence of several traps having been set off as well and even a couple of sets of bones.

This is when Teth-en-Aire mentioned that maybe he and Tarus had spent some time with some of Milligro Conje’s female associates at Mosaics (from the evil cult of the Gatherers!) when they had been carousing in Limus Town over the winter.  This is when the rest of the group started suspecting that he or Tarus may have let slip that we had visited the secret entrance to the Maw of Torment where we knew the Gatherers had vistied back then (we suspect that they placed the evil glyph there – see previous recap for the Maw of Torment).  So we returned to the Inn in Slagford despite the late hour.  The innkeeper met us with grumblings about disturbing him so late at night but was quickly quieted when he was given a 25 g.p. gem for his troubles.

So despite our suspicions of the place having been previously cleaned out, we returned the next day to what we were jokingly referring to at that point as “the Maw of Borement” since our previous foray had been so uneventful.  As we descended the stairs and entered the first hallway, four eerie and evil looking shadows began moving towards us down the dark hallway.  At first we thought they were Shadows, lost shadowy spirit creatures, but then Brummbar said “oh no, they are wraiths!”  So at this point the boredom was over and the cleric and fighter in the front really started sweating as they confronted the level draining incorporeal undead creatures.  They attacked first and immediately hit and drained a level from Lucias – he was now fifth level!  The group then got to swing back and Brummbar managed to turn one of their number while the others in the rear fired magical arrows at the hateful undead creatures.  Lucias then hit one with a powerful blow from Hope Blighter and managed to kill it but then the dwarf was hit and also lost a level – he was now 5th level as well!

This was not boring by any stretch and was looking like a dire situation for the two characters up front and even the ones in the back.  Tok, being a mere second level hireling decided that discretion was the better part of valor and headed for the stairs.  Teth-en-Aire asked Lucias if this was a “Broken Arrow” situation and Lucias replied that it most certainly was (broken arrow is military terminology for bomb or shell your own positions because the enemy has just broken through your lines!).  So he let loose with a fireball on top of both the dwarf and the fighter.  Brummbar made his save for half damage but Lucias failed his but was aided by his ring of fire resistance so they both managed to survive.  The two remaining Wraiths didn’t fair very well either and were nearly dead (again) and were quickly dispatched by a magic missile from Cyrcla and another magical arrow from one of the thieves.

At this point, we were ready to cut our losses and get out of there while we were still alive so we bolted back up the stairs into the sweet sunshine outside.  We were really thinking that we needed to get out of there and ran smack into another group of four Giant Rhagodessa which nearly killed the fighter and dwarf since they were so badly hurt and hadn’t been healed yet.  We somehow managed to defeat them as well and decided that we had had enough of this place for the time being and would return to Slagford to recuperate.

After we returned to our rooms, Brummbar cast Restoration from the two scrolls he had been given by the Surgeon’s Guild before we traveled to Spyrithol and the Barrow Mound of Gravemoor thus restoring the two lost levels.  Thus the group narrowly managed to avert disaster once again at the Maw of Torment and had little to show for their efforts aside from lost experience points, some bruises and scrapes, a meager amount of silver and quite a few used or destroyed potions.

We were told that the Oracles of the Confessors Guild have said that the Maw of Torment is a fitting name for this evil place and now we know why!


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