3 hours ago
As we left the party, they were trying to be more cautious since the trapped chest debacle. The next area they explored contained a statue that was facing the door they entered from. None of the other doors would budge, but they quickly figured out that the statue needed to be rotated, facing whatever door they wanted to open. Valerius was convinced that the doors would lock behind them once they closed, but was unable to persuade Thodric the torch bearer to test the theory out.
After checking what was behind each door (and they even listened first before opening them! I'm so proud!), they chose a direction and proceeded, though Valerius forget to check if the door did actually lock behind them. Forcing open a door to another room, they came upon a woman, chained to the wall, apparently unconscious. Valerius being the noble fighter that he is, went forward with Thodric to investigate, failing to notice the ogre until it's club smashed into him, sending the warrior sprawling across the room. Poor Thodric thought he was done for, but then Indel drove the monstrosity back with some well placed arrow shots.
Every one sprang into action, and the two men-at-arms Norgard and Balmat were instrumental in taking the beast down, Norgard striking the ogre's knee with his hand axe, and Balmat delivering the coup de grace with his spear. Once victory was theirs, they examined the poor woman, and Saren delivered the best line of the night...
"Wait, so she's passed out, but is she alive?" she said with a straight face.
We, of course, haven't let her live that one down yet.
After everyone settled down from Saren's impromptu comedy routine and consoled the ogre's former prisoner (who was too traumatized to speak at the moment), the party found a four way intersection where two directions were purposely blocked with debris. The only open way led to a partially collapsed chamber, and the characters noted that the architecture was different, being an older and more ornate style than what they had encountered before. Several stone sarcophagi led them to believe this was part of the underground necropolis rumored to exist below the town.
Valerius decided to start opening the sarcophagi, something Saren (being a cleric) had trouble with, believing the dead should stay undisturbed. Valerius' opinion won out, and the grave robbing commenced. This time a sleep gas trap was avoided by very carefully prying the stone lids off with poles. They have learned to be more careful! A golden ring, a silver necklace, and a finely crafted long sword (which might become significant later) were the rewards received. Saren was able to successfully turn the only skeleton that was animated, but the last sarcophagus held a nasty surprise for Valerius.
Clutched in the bony hands of the interred skeleton was a jeweled dagger, one that reacted violently when Valerius removed if from it's owner's grasp. It flew into the air, and pursued the poor fighter around the crypt, and eventually forced the party to flee the area, the sound of the dagger repeatedly striking the heavy door they closed behind themselves fading into the darkness as the exploration went on.
The catacombs continued on, and another chamber full of smashed wooden coffins led to the lair of two ghouls, busily feasting on what remained in the caskets. Saren tried to drive the ghouls away, but they were too much for her. The party decided that it was time to unleash Grimslade the magician's true power, and so he cast his one memorized spell, Sleep. Too bad no one told them the dead don't sleep.
The ghouls ripped into the group, Indel being the first to discover their paralyzing touch. Norgard attempted to rescue the poor thief, but was brutally knocked down himself, the party assuming he too was paralyzed. Once one ghoul was defeated, the other failed it's morale check and fled. Saren attended to Indel, and then moved to Norgard, but it was too late. The brave man-at-arms had bled to death during the melee, reaching negative two hit points ( he only had two to begin with).
At first they treated it like any red-shirt's death, an "Oh well." and a few shrugs, let's move on. When I mentioned that Balmat the other man-at-arms was watching their reactions intently, they changed their tune. Valerius gave Balmat part of the ghoul's treasure, a bag filled with ten gemstones, and decided that the rest (a bag filled with 50 platinum pieces) would go to Norgard's family.
By this time the woman was finally able to talk, and the party decided to take her out of the dungeon, since they were near the entrance. Along the way a metal gauntlet was discovered, a tiny ivory figurine of a wizard in one of the fingers. They were not sure what to make of it, but Valerius finally decided to try on the gauntlet. He suffered no ill effects, but it didn't fit well at all. That little miniature could become very important in the future, depending on the characters actions.
Lemunda (the ex-prisoner) was taken to the surface, and then the party descended once again into the catacombs.
More to come...