Monday, April 1, 2013

Osric: Cleansing the hobgoblin lair (11)

We have finally started a game session at the opening to the crypt of Kas the bloody, in a position where we aren't already totally worn down. Amazingly enough we seem to be kitted up to clear this bastard dungeon and have the people power to do it. A big boost in group power came from the hiring of our two new henchmen (archon the disgruntled dwarven cleric, and Jane the impressario illusionist) followed by the windfall profits (in gp and xp) from the winterwolf pelts.

We launch into the first level of the dungeon expecting an easy walkthrough (as we have a truce with the goblin king on level 1), alas it was not meant to be. The gygax dungeon ecology has been disrupted with an opening of an ecological niche previously held by bandits and goblins. We are ambushed by bugbears, with nasty orange hair with highlights. After our first battle against a pair of ambushers, Jane clones up 6 illusionary bugbears via improved phantasmal force, and uses them to trick the next set of bug bears in the old bandits lair. As they rush out to join their 'compatriots' in 2:1 battle, the illuionary force falls back behind us, and proceed to moon the newcomers and mock them. This doesn't do a lot for their morale.

You are getting distracted.....very distracted

We continue through level 1 and encounter another group of bugbears by the goblin tribe room. It turns out that the goblin king has been kept in a cage and poked with sharpened wood sticks and methodically starved. The goblin assasin (whose name escapes me right now), has been sneaking food to him, and reporting on his crafty kills. He has managed to prevent one group of bugbears from disrupting the seals on the liches room. Thanks goodness for small mercies Jenks (and myself) breathe. A final group of 12 bugbears lurks in the room of the flying dagger. Once again we use the illusionary force to coax them out into battle. Archon thunders out a stirring dwarven chant that impedes our enemies and boosts our own abilities. Jane after getting her illusions to 'can-can' dance for a bit, proceeds to cast hypnotic pattern and traps a fair number of enemies in a stupor. As their compatriots force their fellows gazes down and away it drastically speeds up our fighters work in chopping them down.

A relevent point to be made now would be that Bugbear treasure sucks. Primarily coppers and silvers. Nowhere in line with the risk involved in killing these bastards. This was observed early by the GM and I heartily agree.

A rest break is arranged to heal up, and refresh spells and then we descend to level 2.

We still have 3 major choices down here. The dueregar zone, the hobgoblin cavern, and the mysterious floating skull that demands a magic item to pass it. We decide the hobgoblins are probably a good group to wipe out, as they've been reduced a bit, and are highly aggressive. On our way to the cavern we find that the fungus farms of the goblin tribe are heavily overgrown, and the fungi mutant dog corpse has spawned a strange, rapidly expanding patch of eyeball fungus (eyeballs on stalks.....creepy).

In the main tribe area Jenks spots an invisible deuregar sentry and manages to charm him as he slinks off to the South. He explains the groups presence away as a lost bet that requires him to swim in the Otaygh cesspool to the West, and to please not mention it......terribly embarrassing and so forth. We manage to extract some very useful information from the guard:
- The deuregar number: ' a few score'
- The floating skull marks the start of an undead area that is a type of laboratory for the liche. Apparently a necromancer prowls the area as well.
- Approximate2-3 dozen hobgoblins.

Eventually he notes that his relief is coming soon and we better bugger off. We do so and sneak to the final door that seperates us from the hobgoblins. Dan the fighter breaks out his hand drills and quietly drills a peep hole that lets us view the massive chamber. We can see hobgoblin fighters, females and youth going about their activities of daily life, as well as about a half dozen human slaves....some we recognize from compliments! A massive bronze gong on a wooden frame stands on the far wall, and we seem to recall hearing this alarming in the past when we were chased. As we stand about discussing how we could shut this thing down before it makes sound the view point is obscured.....

A yammering small hobgoblin child is playing on the other side of the door and is excited by the individuals on the other side. The guards nearby who throw open the door are slightly less impressed. The alarm is briefly sounded by a female before Jenks manages to warp wood the structure into uselessness. Interestingly the hobgoblin non combatants promptly start covering the fire with leather blankets and such.....apparently word of the pyrotechnics trick of Jenks has spread.

Once again Jane breaks out hypnotic pattern to our benefit. As the few who managed to resist start to break the hypnosis of the others we play a close game of trying to halt the chain reaction. We are lucky/successful and manage to clear out the room, although the non combatants have fled to the south.

Our 6 rescued human slaves inform us that there are some fungus farms to the south and what sounds like a bastion/treasure room. Even more interestingly there are stairs that descend deeper into the depths.

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