Barrowmaze – Session 5

I haven’t used this blog for anything useful in a very, very long time (arguably ever), so I might as well use it to store my session recaps for the lunchtime D&D game I’m running at work. I’m using The Black Hack with Labyrinth Lord along with The Race Hack and Additional Things to run Greg Gillespie’s Barrowmaze Complete. I’m doing something like open table, since not everybody can show up every week. I neglected to write up reports for the first few sessions, and I don’t recall what happened well enough to write up something narrative with just my notes, so I’ll just start with what I do have.

Adventuring Party:
Kärl – Level 1 ShieldBreaker Dwarf
Wollus – Level 1 Sensitive Conjurer
Ralph – Level 1 Elementalist Cleric of Silvanus, the Green Man
Inghas – Human Man-at-Arms
Balde – Human Man-at-Arms
Geoffrey – Human Man-at-Arms
Sige – Human Torch-bearer

After several begrudging days of rest and recovery at the behest of the Conjurer Wollus, the party made their way to the Helix Mercenary Guild, run by the former adventurer, Osen. The guild master recognized them as soon as they requested new men-at-arms as the party that went out with Jamert and Phamond, but didn’t return with them. He said that his mercenaries would be willing to work with the group, but that the price was going up. They acquiesced, and hired on Inghas, Balde, and Geoffrey to go with them out into the Barrow Mounds.

After an uneventful half-day trek into the marsh, the group explored several of the mounds only to find them sealed or covered over. They found a standing stone, engraved with runes in the Black Tongue and adorned with the visage of Nergal, Anganach god of Death and Undeath. Wollus didn’t detect any magic on it, and the party was unable to decipher the runes, so they left it alone, but not before considering toppling the monument and perhaps dragging it back to Nexus.

Skirting around the edge of the marsh, they checked a few more mounds until they found one sealed with not a stone slab, but a large stone door, engraved with funerary imagery shared by the elves and the Green Man, chosen god of Ralph. They pried the door open and descended into the crypt, finding it mostly empty but for some unadorned tables and knee-deep water. In an alcove in the east of the entrance chamber, they pried open a waterlogged door, causing water to flood into an adjoining room where they found a pedestal holding a well-preserved amphora and another tablet covered in runes. Ralph decided to take the lead and pressed forward, using his quarterstaff to feel for tripwires or other mechanisms on or around the floor. Being untrained in such things, he missed a pit trap that opened below him, dropping him and the water around him 10′ down onto iron spikes and yellow mold. The combined fall, piercing, and and acid were enough to knock him unconscious as water continued to pour into the hole. After some quick deliberation, Kärl had the men-at-arms hold a rope for him as he climbed down to rescue the Cleric. He knocked into the yellow mold on his way down, but persevered through and secured the rope to his fallen comrade. As he began to climb back out, Balde gave a mighty tug and carried both Kärl and Ralph back out of danger. Ralph awoke quickly, still banged up, but luckily unharmed by the experience.

The party skirted around the pit to make their way to the pedestal, recovering the amphora and tablet. Wollus tried reading the tablet and, unlike the prior time, was able to recall what he saw. This time it was a Divine spell, which Ralph recognized to be Locate Object, which is sure to come in handy in the future.

They retreated from the marsh back to Nexus, where they were able to sell the amphora for 540gp to H. H. R. Huffenpuff, who was happy to buy the antique from them.

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