Tuesday, April 18, 2017

Ballad of the Pigeon God #2 - The Secret Crypt of Caldwell Manor

Our active players at the onset of our episode:
Rolf Wolfsblood:  Bald-headed barbarian from the Plains of Galmar
Kane: Student of Eastern mysticism
Maloran Alberhold - human fighter
Ashe - highly skilled elven ranger... previously sprayed by a skunk.

3 Hexdec 1069 - Village of Eding, Kingdom of Crosedes
It took a day to find Lady Christiana and lay claim that the manor was cleared, save a peculiar trap door that refused to open.  Lady Christiana told the crew to stay put at the Blue Wizard and she would hire someone to "fix" the stuck door.

5 Hexdec 1069 - Village of Eding, Kingdom of Crosedes
Lady Christiana finally got back to the group late on the 5th.  She was particularly grumpy since she spent considerable coin on a hedge wizard to magically unlock the manor.  It better be worth...

6 Hexdec 1069 - Caldwell Manor, Outside of Eding
Expecting a root cellar, Kane encountered a twisted dungeon basement. 

First off, upon descending the ladder from the trap door, the trap door just vanished!  But zombies came clamoring down the hall.  Rolf and Ashe went down from the small horde, and Maloran took a rusty short sword in the ribs, but he and Kane managed to finish them off.  A few quick healing potions and they were wounded but back in action.

They next room was chock full of gold and treasure, yet none of the four found it odd that the whole pile glowed a light green.  Upon two or three steps towards it, and they were all zapped to a different room, full of coffins.  The began pillaging the coffins of some gems and jewelry, but again, no one questioned where the bodies were.

Three more undead, much stronger, burst out of the covered coffins an crashed into Rolf and Ashe.  Fate was a bit kinder and they were dispatched with less injuries to the heroes. 

It took some time, particularly with only two heroes that could read, but they found ancient Ferasean writing detailing how to escape from the tomb.  A chant was conducted for a few minutes, and they again were magically transported to another room, filled with slimes and jellies, but also a way out. 

Clearing the basement of a few more undead, they discovered a secret door, that lead them down a passage filled with sunlight.  It seemed the secret door at the opposite end of the passage was already open to the outside!  They pushed the door further open and found themselves on the overgrown side of the manor, with a commotion near the front of the house.

Barely making through a narrow path, they arrived to find Lady Christiana fighting... another Lady Christina?

Unsure as what to do the four simply stood there, until one of the Christiana's pulled a dagger and jammed it into the other's neck.   The grievously wounded one fell to the ground and reverted back to its original form a claylike human body with no features. 

"You missing one of your pests you're supposed to get rid of?" Lady Christiana asked, sheathing the still bloody dagger in disgust.  Ashe and Maloran dumped the body into the woods off her land and when they came back, Rolf and the noblewoman were finishing a heated exchange.  Lady Christiana went back to her horse, grabbed a few small sacks and tossed their gold at their feet. 

"We're done with this cursed house.  I want no part of this land or that woman," Rolf yelled as the four walked back to town. 

The party got back late to Eding, found (individual) rooms at the Blue Wizard.

"We gambled and bought hookers." - Rolf.

23 Hexdec 1069 - Village of Eding, Kingdom of Crosedes
Over the next week and a half (remember the local calendar has 12-day weeks), the four men lived like kings in the little town, occasionally giving Torm a taste of luxury, for hope that goodwill would deter the thief from practicing his skills.

Two surprises came up over the next two weeks:  Everyone discovered that Maloran was a former armorer, as his repaired Kane's armor.... and everyone else discovered the monk had been wearing armor underneath his robes, all along!  It was ring mail, but it began a conversation that the Easterner explained he was not a fighting monk, rather a mystical student of the elements.  Apparently Kane had saved most of his healing magic for himself.

Lady Christiana never set foot in the Blue Wizard again, although rumors spread that the ghost still roamed the halls of the manor.  It was, fortunately, the only surprise left over in Caldwell Manor.

DM Notes: Therein lies the completion of "Castle Caldwell" from module B9: Castle Caldwell and Beyond.   It's a nice starter adventure, for new players, as well as new campaigns.  Just enough loot, just enough of a variety of different problems to get everyone warmed up. 

I've also run this numerous times within the border of Crosedes.   The ghost?  A paladin from an earlier campaign where Christiana's dad, Clifton, hired that group for the same task.  The paladin died in the basement... and for numerous reasons the party left the body in the room with the coffins.

The Caldwell family will neglect their "summer cottage" again in the future, I believe.  Some things never change.

NEXT #3 - New Friends... and the Temple of Alasku

No comments:

Post a Comment