I and several friends have had the good fortune over the last several months to have the opportunity to play Labyrinth Lord under the game mastery of Dan Proctor of Goblinoid Games. We meet every other Sunday at Chimera Hobby Shop Appleton. Dan has been running us through Stonehell Dungeon. Here is a recap of the major events of the first six expeditions into the dungeon, previously posted at the Goblinoid Games Forums...
First and Second Expeditions (May 29, 2011)
Five disparate, desperate adventurers ventured into Stonehell Dungeon...
Raylin the Outcast, Half Elf Ranger, nearly died when bitten by a giant rattlesnake, discovered that he was allergic to snake venom. Shot in the back while in melee with skeletons (which, being "not-snakes," he had no fear of). We ended up saving his life by getting him to the local higher-level cleric just in time, but it ended up costing us 1500 gold that we didn't yet have! Robbie: "I swear by the Gods, if anyone shoots a bow into melee again, I. Will. Kill. them." Ray: "Why is everyone looking at me? What?"
Exior the Mysterious, Elf Assassin/Illusionist, was fond of being first to claim that he was "right there" when any treasure may be present, but being "way over there" when bad things happened, such as when green gas suddenly poured forth from a fountain. But in the end, his illusion of a giant snake (quite realistic, having recently seen one), helped us quite nicely when we encountered too many orcs while with too few hit points remaining. Mason: "Me? I'm Exior... you needn't know more." Everyone Else: "Oh hell, an assassin, sheesh..."
Cormac MacNicol, Human Cleric of Crom and Saint Conan, took charge of the party because everyone seemed hell-bent on hanging out at the taverns rather than going into the dungeon. He also hired on Flynn the Torch boy, and took him under his wing to teach him the values of struggle and mighty combat. It was Cormac's mace that crushed the skull of the giant snake, and his exhortations that pushed the group to the fore into battle... except when he had to bolster the morale of Flynn when he was threatened with violence by a fellow party member (see Rey From Round the Bend, below). James: "A temple o' feertili-tee y' say? Le's see jus' 'ow feer-tile th' wee preest-esses be!" Dan: "Um, the temple is run by a priest, Father Huxley..." James: "Och, thet won' doo... wait, be he a fine, pretty preester lad?" Dan: "..." Mason: ::squicked::
Ray Rennel, From Round the Bend, Elf Thief, Sleeper in Trees, Leaper into Mid-Air, Spinner of the Wheel of Fortune, Summoner of the Skeletons of Doom, He How Happily Shoots Arrows Into Melee, the Dancer in the Dungeon, Tempter of Fate, He of Little Faith. 'Nuff Said! Ray: "I'm jumping out of the tree with my 18 Dexteroty! Wooo!" Dan: "You take 3 points of damage from the fall." Ray: "But... 18 Dex... awww!"
Winthrope the Even More Mysterious, Half-Orc Assassin... Mysteriously, likes to use his dagger rather than his sword. In battle. Really! Bailey: "..."
The first foray toward Stonehell ended up with us dragging Raylin back to town before we even got within sight of the ruins! The second ended very unprofitably, with only a handful of coins looted from orcs, and a bevy of smallswords taken from the skeletons and same said orcs. Exior also harvested some venom from the giant rattler, and we took the glow-orbs from the bodies of five fire beetles, but we are most certainly not remotely near paying back Father Huxley for the neutralize poison spell... we'll be hard-pressed next venture to pay for the torch boy and more torches and trail rations!
Such is the life of adventurers...
Monsters Slain: 1 Giant Rattler, 5 Fire Beetles, 8 Skeletons, and 5 Orcs.
Treasure Won: 5 Fire Beetle Glow Organs, 26 gp, and 24 gp from the sale of the orc blades.
Adventurers Lost: None!
Third Expedition (June 12, 2011)
Most of the records of the Third Expedition have been lost... as were Ray Rennel to a spiked trap and Winthrope the Mysterious to the bite of a cobra. Ray had apparently "acquired" some valuable gems during a "scouting" expedition ahead of the party; these were found secreted on his corpse after it was pulled out from the pit. It was decided that we would leave the body behind in the dungeon, but Exior decided to drag it out to give the thieving thief a proper burial. Winthrope, too, was buried outside of the dungeon, both on a hill nearby, overlooking the trail between Stonehell and Shady Hollow.
Monsters Slain: 5 Orcs, 7 Kobolds, and 3 Cobras
Treasure Won: 188 cp, 84 gp, and two gems each worth 4,000 gp!
Adventurers Lost: Ray Rennel (spiked pit) and Winthrope the Mysterious (snake bite)
Fourth Expedition (June 26, 2011)
Most of the Stonehell Dungeoneers - Cormac Cleric of Crom and St. Conan, Welton Stonebeard, Who the Druid, and Raylin the Ranger - returned to Stonehell Dungeon for a third time, this time joined by Margit the Halfling, Rugar the Dwarf, and Dent the Warrior. Also joining them was Trance the Cleric of Metallica, whom they had rescued from kobolds in their prior venture (wherein they lost two previous companions to the foul pits). Exior the Mysterious remained behind in the town, resting from his exertions in the prior adventure...
And for most of the Dungeoneers, it was a final delve... in the depths of the first level catacombs. For though they fought well against many foul undead, including a dozen zombies, nine skeletons, a ghoul, and a super-skeleton (not to mention a clutch of nine fire beetles), their greed was their undoing...
As they found little if any treasure during most of the adventure, the three great and two lesser jewels, thousands of silver pieces, and many stone's weight of fine copper funerary items found in the super-skeleton's tomb were felt to be great recompense for their efforts. Of course, so great a weight in silver and copper would take several trips in and out of the dungeon. Leaving Raylin the Ranger and Margit the Halfling with the horses and the hired horse-guards, the other six adventurers (and the linkboy, Flynn the Farmer) returned to the tomb a second time to gather more silver and copper...
En route they encountered a roving band of six ghouls in the large Cross-Chamber of Many Pillars, and there they met their final fate! Linkboy Flynn, Who the Druid, and Welton Stonebeard fell ere they knew what had struck them. Cormac and Trance called upon their gods to no avail, and the ghouls kept coming. Cormac cried out for a fighting retreat, but the three remaining companions either did not hear or heed... for all the good it did him, for a ghoul pursued him and sent him to Valhalla, even as Trance and Dent fell beneath the fiend's claws and fangs. Finally, fighting alone in the growing darkness, Rugar the Dwarf and the druid's wolf-like hound companions Bingo and Dingo fell, too, their resting place as ignominous as could be...
Raylin, Margit, and the horseguard waited... an hour, then more, then the whole of the night and morning, until they determined that their companions would not return with them. Heaving a terrible sigh of sadness as he departed, Raylin led the much-reduced troop back to town, where the two surviving adventurers sold off the jewelry for a baron's ransom, the better to equip themselves for their next adventure, to hopefully find some sign of their lost companions...
I should also note that the meticulously-kept map was in the possession of Cormac the Cleric when he fell... as much a loss to the remaining party members as their friends!
Monsters Slain: 8 Fire Beetles, 9 Skeletons, 12 Zombies, 1 Ghoul, 1 Super Skeleton
Treasure Won: 8 Fire Beetle Glands, 4,008 sp, 5 gp, 2 Brooches (30 gp each), and two Jeweled Necklaces (1,300 gp each)
Adventurers Lost: Cormac MacNicol, Trance the Cleric of Metallica, Welton Stonebeard the Cleric of the Dwarf Gods, Who the Druid (with Bingo and Dingo the Wolf-Hounds), Dent the Warrior, Rugar the Dwarf, and Flynn the Link Boy
Fifth Expedition (July 10, 2011)
After the debacle of the Fourth Expedition, only Strider Raylin the Ranger (m 2nd level Half-Elf Ranger) and Warrior Margit the Halfling (f 2nd level Halfling) survived to return to Shady Hollow. There they determined to rebuild the group and go in search of the fate of their lost companions. They recruited the following adventurers:
Medium-Veteran Ellan the Elf (f 1st level Elf Warrior-Mage)
Veteran Wulfgar the Stout (m 1st level Dwarf Fighter)
Veteran Dane Gerous (m 1st level Human Fighter)
Acolyte Fin Thorbergr, Cleric of the Dwarf Gods (m 1st level Dwarf Cleric)
Acolyte Him, Cleric of Somebody Somewhere (m 1st level Human Cleric)
Galen the Link Boy
Latimer the Pack Boy
Additionally, Raylin acquired a guard dog, whom he named Cormac after his lost companion, and Margit acquired two guard dogs, Rufus and Blake.
Together the seven went once again into the dungeons. Without the lost map, Margit and Raylin wracked their memories in the maze below to find the catacombs, but after some searching, the great Chamber of Many Pillars was found, and there they discovered the fate of many of their party. Amidst blood and gore, torn armor and ripped clothing, and the lost map(!) were found the bodies of Rugar and Welton, the dwarves. Whatever had slain them and (perhaps?) the other companions had no interest in treasure or equipment, so the party looted the remnants there found, including an extensive hoard of platinum coins that one of the former adventurers had apparently been holding.
Further into the catacombs, they found the first sign of what exactly had happened to the party... when they encountered the former warrior Dent, now a ravenous ghoul! The party quickly put him to rest, and shortly thereafter, sadly, too their former companions Cormac, Flynn, and Who, the last being a most effective ghoul, perhaps due to his ineffectiveness in life. Of Trance, the Cleric of Metallica, there was no sign... perhaps he had been consumed whole?
The party returned then to the surface, rode back to Shady Hollow, and had the bodies of their erstwhile companions cremated and buried in the town cemetary, as none wished to leave their bodies rotting in the dungeons deep.
Monsters Slain: 4 Ghouls (the former adventurers Dent, Cormac, Who, and Flynn)
Treasure Won: 26 sp, 78 gp, and 110 pp.
Adventurers Lost: None!
Sixth Expedition (July 10, 2011)
After some rest and recuperation, the party added two more members for the Sixth Expedition:
Medium-Veteran Albert Fairbreeze (m 1st level Elf Warrior-Mage)
Veteran Rost the Dwarf (m 1st level Dwarf Fighter)
Thus further reinforced, they went again into the dungeons and sought further treasure in the depths of the ill-fated catacombs. There they encountered:
A Giant Spider, which made short for Raylin and Cormac CuRaylin; a mere hadnful of copper was all that was gained from its lair;
7 Stirges, laired in the ruins of an ancient Temple of Evil; these would have drained Ellan the Elf to the last drop of her blood, had it not been for a timely healing spell cast by the dwarf cleric. A worthy gem of unknown value was found buried in the rubble of the altar and idol;
7 Skeletons wandered into said temple, as the party was searching it for treasure and secret doors; these had no treasure to speak of;
Finally, in a vast chamber (The Chamber of Rotting Flesh and Bone), they encountered a large force of 8 Skeletons and 10 Zombies! Quickly forming a battle line, many were grievously wounded, and Cormac CuRaylin was lost to a savage zombie, but in the end the party prevailed...
It was decided then that a return to the surface and their base in Shady Hollow was in order, to rest and recuperate. The party would loot as much of the remaining copper funerary items as they could in a single trip (lesson learned!), and return to town to fight again another day...
Monsters Slain: 1 Giant Spider, 7 Stirges, 15 Skeletons, and 10 Zombies.
Treasures Won: 21 cp, an as-yet unvalued gem, and an as-yet indeterminate amount of copper funerary items...
Adventurers Lost: Cormac CuRaylin