After a longish break while half our group moved houses, we finally resumed our campaign this past weekend. To add to the fun, we played Dungeons and Dragons by candlelight. Yeah.
We resume our campaign in the middle of some woods after a mighty battle — three of our party levelled up after the last session (including me — woo hoo), so we are in great spirits. It doesn’t take us very long to check out the creature village, shimmy down a tunnel into a dark chamber, deal with a trap or two and retrieve the stolen statue… We also pick up some cool items:
- A short sword (+1) — which Ash appropriates (lucky me!)
- A magic ring (+1 Strength stat, +4 Climbing) — which is also ultimately given to Ash, although it won’t work immediately
- A gemstone (onyx)
Ergosh, our lizard man cleric host for whom we retrieved the statue, is so happy with us that he even cooks us dinner once we return to his tower.
After we rest up and heal, we decide to tackle a stone staircase leading up out of the valley. We haven’t made it too far before we encounter…
A giant four-legged chicken
My ranger skills can’t persuade it to let us past, so we have to fight it. Problem is, we are stuck in single file on these stairs, and we keep missing the cursed thing! Our paladin takes first line of attack, but he goes down, so Ash steps up and promptly rolls a 1, which sends her hurtling down the stairs, leaving our cleric to face the creature. She goes down too. (The ‘chicken’ has two mean claws and an even meaner beak.) Ash eventually manages to slay the chicken, but by this time both our healers are unconscious.
Excellent — taken down by a chicken
Cal, our ‘innkeepers son’, goes back to get Ergosh, who heals the two with potions. After that, we have a little discussion about battles and who should engage with creatures and in what order. We return to Ergosh’s tower to rest a bit longer… and promptly get various degrees of food poisoning from eating the cursed chicken.
The stairs again, another chicken
Eventually we set off up the stairs again and meet a second giant four-legged chicken. We dispatch this one a little more efficiently and continue up the stairs, through a tunnel, until it opens out in a magnificent balcony, jutting out on the other side of the mountain, and looking out over a broad valley.
This balcony is inhabited by — you guessed it — more chickens.
We fight two adult chickens and Ash is viciously hen-pecked into unconsciousness… The others manage to dispatch the creatures quickly and stabilise Ash, who would have been dead in another round. Close shave. Would not have wanted to write in that vale notice: Killed by a ‘chicken’.
Our party is out of healing spells by this point, but Ash is saved by a fortuitous scroll hiding among the bird rubble, which has two ‘cure serious wounds’ spells. (I think the DM was being kind to us at this point!)
In a small room off the balcony is a treasure chest, which (once the trap is disabled) turns out to contain:
- A suit of mail armour (+2) — Used to belong to Richard Deathmaster and instills in the wearer certain traits, including a tendency to act in a random cavalier manner.
- A backpack containing, among other things, an everburning candle (cool!)
- A magical purse — Our rogue discovers three gems inside, which remain invisible when within the purse. (Currently she’s keeping this a secret…)
Our paladin claims the armour, puts it on immediately and charges down a newly discovered stone staircase in the corner of the room, promptly triggering a pit trap and impaling himself on stakes. There goes the other ‘cure serious wounds’ spell.
And finally a wraith
To cap off our evening (and a very late night), we encounter a wraith in a magically sealed chamber at the bottom of the stone staircase. Ash is instantly in the thick of it from the start, mainly because she is standing in the wrong place at the wrong time, and cops three direct attacks from the wraith.
Her sword has no effect on the creature (turns out she should have used that short sword +1 she obtained at the beginning of the night), and I don’t do well on the fortitude saving throws so Ash loses a whole three constitution points. (I have a really bad feeling they’re a permanent loss, which kind of sucks.)
In the end Ash flees the engagement, leaving Cal to use his secret magic skills against the wraith. He manages to defeat the thing more or less single-handedly while the rest of us cower at a distance. Our cleric tries to turn undead a few times, but doesn’t seem to have enough grunt. The paladin gets in a successful ‘smite evil’ attack, but otherwise it is all up to Cal.
The serpent’s eye
Our final act for the evening is to search the sarcophagus from which the wraith emerged and retrieve a magic rod which holds a message about the serpent’s eye — the powerful gem we’re hunting for. (Ash and Alix (the cleric) have been brought into the quest for the eye of Varrien now.)
So it seems we’re on the right trail. The next challenge is going to be food rations, I suspect. We know we can’t eat the chickens — although Ergosh fed us a nice fish and pig-like creature, which seemed nutritious enough. So perhaps we’ll have to put my ranger skills to the test soon! I’ve certainly beefed up my ‘survival’ skills for this very event.
So there we are, running around in the wilderness, up and down staircases, through tunnels, avoiding traps and other pitfalls, battling creatures, almost dying… searching for a magical gemstone. It’s so much fun!