Tuesday, 9 July 2019

Barrowmaze #10: In Which Moonwhisper Kills Himself


This may be obvious but these AARs contain spoilers for those wanting to go into the Barrowmaze.  The message is that if you're going to, don't take advantage of them.  They're called spoilers because they spoil the fun.  DON'T BE A DICK!
 
I’ve several delves to catch up on, so there’s going to be a spate of reports.  Also, I missed a few, so there may be some disjointedness in narrative.  There were three delves on 30 June, but I only took part in (and thus have notes on) the first two.

Barrowmaze – 30 Jun 2019: First Delve 

John 
Dungeon Master 

Player 
Character 
Class 
Notes 

Me 
Decimus Stonehythe 
Gnome 
Level 1 

Pet Badger: Dachs. 

Character’s 5th delve. 

Stephen 
Moonwhisper 
Magic User 
Level 3 

Hirelings:  Gringol Harper (Lvl 1 Fighter) and Agnol Mank (Man-at-Arms). 

Has innumerable delves under his sparkly belt. 


Vlad 
Gorgon 
Ranger 
Level 1 

Character’s 2nd delve. 
Mark 
Wuss 

Cleric of St Ygg 
Level 1 

Player’s and character’s 1st delve 

The Plan

To return to the Skeleton Room and explore further.

Pre-Delve 

The group gathered at Galmar’s Lodge.  Wuss has been attracted by the posters around Helix recruiting new members and promising riches (if not survival). 




Two hours into the journey to the Barrowmoor, the party spotted three crocodiles lying in ambush in the marshes.  We took a detour to avoid them, which added an hour to the journey.  It was therefore noon (seven hours after we set out) before we reached the Mounds.   


On reaching the Back Door Mound and visibility being good, Moonwhisper and Gorgon decided to use a technique that had served them well in a previous trip when they had mapped mounds.  They climbed onto the top of the mound and plotted what they could see.  Having done this, they noticed an odd-looking structure two mounds along to the east.  We decided to explore this. 


As we were passing a mound to get to the structure, we looked at that first.  Decimus sent Dachs in ahead, who reported nothing that would bother a badger.  Inside was an octagonal chamber, the walls decorated with bas-reliefs.  These appeared to show a wizard vivisecting animals and creating hybrids – notably an owlbear.  Towards the rear of the chamber was a stone slab, upon which was a lectern holding a tome bearing a demonic face on its cover.

Decimus tried to pick the book up, but received damage from a blast of arcane energy.  He suggested that perhaps only a powerful mage such as Moonwhisper should try to do it again.  Moonwhisper accordingly cast Protection from Evil and successfully lifted the book up.  He opened the book and immediately disappeared in a cloud of yellow smoke, the book returning to the lectern.

The remaining members of the party were at a loss to know what to do next.  They attempted to move the tome using weapons and rope, but it stayed stubbornly on the lectern.  Wuss prayed and used his Holy Water to no avail.  A fruitless search was undertaken for secret triggers or inscriptions. 

Meanwhile, Moonwhisper had been transported somewhere ‘other’.  He remained in the chamber and could see the rest of the party through a haze, but could not communicate with them.  More pressingly, the wizard from the bas-reliefs was with him and in the process of casting a spell!  


Don't know the artist for this one

Moonwhisper prompted cast Sleep, knocking him out.  On going over to the body, he was surprised to find that the wizard was a mirror copy of himself.  Cautiously, he nicked the wizard’s arm with his dagger; as he didn’t receive any damage to himself from doing this, he went ahead and cut the sleeping figure’s throat.


The spitting image...
Immediately, Moonwhisper returned to ‘normal space’ and the rest of the party.  The tome flew to him and opened up.  It turned out to contain a dozen or more spells as yet unknown to Moonwhisper, but written in his own hand! 

We moved on to the unusual-looking structure and found that it was a collapsed mound.  After some investigation, we decided to leave this as being too much trouble than it was worth. 



The Delve 

We decided that it was important not to risk Moonwhisper’s new spell book to the dangers of the Barrowmaze and to return back to Helix. 
 
Post-Delve 


During the return journey the party encountered four zombie-like creatures.  These proved remarkably difficult to put down, and they managed to kill both hirlings (Gorgan using them as meat shields).  As their attention turned to eating the corpses, the rest of the party fled. 
 
No treasure had been recovered, but Moonwhisper promptly set about learning his new spells and commissioned a strongbox to secure his magical tomes.   The new spells included Continual Light, which Moonwhisper cast on various pieces of kit (including his Staff).

Encounters


Location 

Nature 
Casualties 
Notes 
Wilderness 
Crocodiles (x3) 
None 

Successfully avoided 

Mound 11 
Wizard(?) 

Defeated by Moonwhisper 

Wilderness 
Zombies (x4) 
Gringol and Agnol both killed 

Surviving members of the party fled 


Loot

Location 
Nature 
Value 
Notes 

Mound 11 

Spell Book 
Not valued 
Allocated to Moonwhisper 


Score: 2252 
XP: 48 

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