In our first D&D session we began investigating the dungeon from the Basic Rules set, somehow managing to avoid a TPK in the first battle but retreating to the village after our two followers were killed. In the second session our elf, Aengus, went on a date with the town cleric, learning nothing of interest, and after a day of rest we hired two new followers – a completely useless fighter called Abel Artone and a halfling called Begol Burrowell, who is famous for some situation involving an enraged badger – and set off to finish plundering the dungeon.
We arrived at a deserted outer courtyard, finding no sign of enemies or of our charmed kobold companion Dogface. Not really stopping to consider the possibility that his absence might be a warning, we plunged back into the dungeon (behind Abel, of course). Entering through the main door and finding nothing disturbed since our previous journey, we decided to head to the room of our fateful encounter with the zombies from the other direction, rather than retracing our footsteps. We passed through the open doorway on the east side of the entrance chamber and into a small room empty but for rubbish. We searched the room and found nothing, but Eric of Melbourne was nearly decapitated by falling beams in the ceiling, which dislodged a loose brick. Behind that he found a silver dagger, potentially useful when we decide to slay a werewolf, so we took that and moved into the next room. Here were more boxes, only these could be opened and investigated. We searched the room until our search was interrupted by a zombie in a box, which emerged moaning and dragging a rusted sword. Once again, Eric of Melbourne’s stalwart faith proved useless against basic undead, and we had to beat the thing to death with blade and stick.
Of course it had no treasure.
We passed this room into the closet where our last followers met their unfortunate end, and back into the area we had already explored. From here, heading northeast, we found stairs leading down into the lower level of the dungeons beneath the castle, where the kobold gang was hiding. Rather than risk such heavy opposition, we decided to clean out this level first, and headed north to the final rooms in the castle. The next room was occupied by 5 kobolds, who tried to do battle with us but were no match for our valiant swords and ferocious spirit. We killed them quickly, and found nothing of value on their bodies.
Good thing we made a deal with our followers to split treasure only after we had recuperated the cost of their equipment!!
From this room there was only one other exit, heading east into a small room. In the middle of this room was a statue of a kobold, pointing its sword at the door we entered from; the far wall beyond the kobold had a solid wooden door, the first door we had seen since we entered. We ventured forth, but were attacked by a giant lizard that emerged from hiding behind the statue, attacking our useless fighter Abel (who goes first, of course) with surprise and killing him in one savage bite.
Good thing we clarified marching order! We beat the thing to death while it was trying to swallow the fighter. Of course it had no treasure.
The door on the far side of the room was locked. Aengus used his super elven sight to look through the keyhole, and saw a bit of ruined wall with some sunlight on it. No one poked him in the eye. We retreated.
We circumnavigated that room, moving back through rooms we had navigated a few days before and passing right around the west wing of the building, only to come to another room with exactly the same statue pointing its silly, hopeless little shortsword away from exactly the same kind of door. Perhaps the shortsword wasn’t so hopeless; as we searched the room Barus the Magic-user touched the statue and it spun viciously in a 360 degree arc, cutting his head off.
We took his spellbook and retreated to consider our options. This door must be locked for good reasons – no doubt, having vanquished those five kobolds we stood at the threshold of their treasure chamber, piles of gold glinting in the sunlight Aengus had seen through the keyhole (was it even sunlight, or just the gleam of untold riches!?) Clearly the kobolds had bound the doors fast and secured the entryways with fiendish statue-traps to keep us away from their hoard, a hoard no doubt stolen from innocent villagers over years of violent raiding and despoiling. We were honourbound to somehow breach their inner sanctum, and carry away the money, though no doubt finding its original owners would be all but impossible and we would likely have to keep it for now.
How to get in? It was Aengus’ low elven-cunning that found the way – we would burn the door down. We set some of Barus’s oil on the door and set it alight, then piled broken chests around it. Soon we had a good fire going, and we retreated and waited for it to burn itself out. Once the fire had burnt down we strode forward and kicked the charred remains of the door down, marching in to reclaim our birthright in a swirl of sparks and smoke!
We found a large, 30′ x 60′ room with a huge table in the middle. There were chairs set around the table, and skeletons sitting in some of the chairs. Eric of Melbourne stepped forward to quell the skeletal monstrosities, but they weren’t moving; and anyway before he could a beautiful music washed over him and Begol, and they gave up all thoughts of violence. They walked calmly into the room, ready to meet the beautiful source of that fine music.
Aengus saw his two colleagues entranced with the horrible screeching emerging from the fireplace. He charged forward, hurdled the table, and looked into the fireplace. There he found two horrible, hideous old women with wings and goats legs, keening away like their cats had just died. He went to strike one but they attacked with their cloven feet and knives they pulled from the ashes, stabbing him to death immediately.
His last, blurry vision was of his friends sitting down at the table as the harpies swooped down on them, blades ready, and cut their throats. He took a while to die, and the last minutes of his life were a vista of horrific feasting.
Then the harpies turned to look at him …
fn1: Actually the table on the map was so big it didn’t fit through any of the doors of the room. Some fiendish magic at work here!