- Zosia, a tiny (but perfectly formed) elf, a fighter-mage
- Able, trying (with only erratic success) to be a paladin of Tyr, but lacking a mentor, having to figure it out as he goes along. Currently on probation, having failed to rescue a maiden in distress (he thought it was an illusion)
- Heidi, a warrior-maid who recently found herself hag-rid and eventually died of it. She got better, but is still rather floppy and is in recovery at Rath Donnan
- Morgan, a ranger and undead-hunter
- Siegfrida, a valkyrie, sent to oversee Able's probation and atonement quest
Subtlety has not, thus far, been their strong suit.
You will observe the haunting beauty and painstaking precision of my carefully-crafted dungeon map :)
Anyway, Able's brute force having failed to budge the massive doors, Morgan the ranger elected to use his brains instead of his Mighty Thews, and went looking for some sneaky kobold-tunnel by which the kobold they were chasing might have by-passed the door. Success! He found a cunningly concealed tunnel to the right of the door.
Note: it should have been to the left, but I wasn't looking at my map when I described it to the party. Hey-ho, it made no real difference anyway.
Zosia, being the most petite of the crew, crawled into the tiny 2' by 2' tunnel and found a Cunning Trap by virtue of falling face-forward into a concealed pit and on to some nasty and insanitary spikes. Fortunately her wounds were relatively minor and the rest of the party by-passed the pit successfully, though the passage being so restricted they had to take off all their armour and gear to get through.
Able bravely led the way into the hall, which he found to be pitch dark and (as far as he could tell by the light of his lamp) deserted. He soon came under arrow fire from out of the darkness, and began running about trying to come to grips with an opponent — with no success, and looking more and more like a porcupine as more and more of the tiny arrows found their target. Noting that the arrows seemed to be coming from above, he hypothesized the existence of a mezzanine and tried climbing the huge, figured bronze doors....
Zosia was next into the hall, and she too came under arrow fire. Fortunately, being so small, she had not had to doff her armour and immediately cast a blinding Pyrotechnics spell, using Able's lamp as the flame source. It worked beautifully; there were shrieks of outrage and surprise from the kobolds behind their arrow-slits. Unfortunately it also blinded Able, who was left clinging half-way up the door. Being a PC and not a Real Person, he dropped the fifteen feet or so to the floor without a second thought, and stumbled away (still blind) without so much as a sprained ankle.
Back to the report again after a break of a couple of days. I'll summarize the rest:
- Zosia put Protection from Normal Missiles on Able and Morgan to protect them while they struggled back into their armour.
- Kobolds dropped jars full of very angry hornets among the party.
- Zosia isolated the hornets with a Wall of Ice spell.
- Party investigated the dais and throne at the far end of the hall, with Able and Morgan acting as arrow-shields for the other two. Able found a secret shaft leading straight down to a nasty funnel-pit, into which he accidentally dropped his lantern. The resulting flare revealed a small tunnel leading off to one side of the shaft.
- Zosia Polymorphed herself into a pixie and flew down the passage, finding that it descended down a couple of short flights of stairs and ended in a dead end. Suspecting a secret door, she searched for, and found, and opened one.
- Able climbed down his grapnel-rope and, by virtue of his acrobatic ability, managed to wriggle into the rather claustrophobic passage. About twenty or thirty feet in, he tripped a nasty spring-spike trap that skewered him in a dozen places or more — OW!
- Siegfrieda, coming behind him, retrieved his hacksaw form the Bag of Stuff he was dragging behind him and started cutting him free from her end. Being a PC and not a Real Person, Ables remained staunch and stoic through the process instead of squealing and crying like a little girl. I myself would squeal and cry like a little girl. OW!
- Zosia finished cutting him free from the other end, and dragged him out, down two flights of stairs and around a tight bend. Again — staunch and stoic.
- Morgan, more or less forgotten up on the dais, fended off a massed rush by kobolds with nets and mancatchers by hurling molotov cocktails at them, and slid down the rope and into the passage.
- The party have emerged into what looks like a garden. There is grass underfoot, flowers and fern beds about, and what appears to be daylight coming from above, though the "sky" is a featureless haze. The walls of the garden-chamber are tiled in large, faience plaques bearing an arabesque design in greens and browns.
- Zosia and Siegfrieda extracted the sawn-off spikes from Able with a pair of pliers — still remarkably staunch and stoic. Amazing what these imaginary people can endure.
- Zosia healed Able somewhat. Still no sign of the kobold king they were looking for.