Our first night of play began with our hardy adventurers arriving at dusk outside the gates of Null's Harbor, principle town of the the Kingdom of Gnut. Upon entering the town, the party lost little time tracking down the truth to the rumors that had been trickling down the coast road into central and southern Thrang. After some inquiries were made at The Green Griffon tavern, the party made the acquaintance of a local jack-of-all-trades known as "Filthy Pete," who claimed to have information about the strange goings on in the Stony Brow Hills and the stories that had lured the party to Gnut.
According to Filthy Pete, five months earlier, a mysterious black tower manifested itself one night atop a remote hill know as Witchspire Hill. No one witnessed any construction of the structure - it was simply "there" one November morning. Needless to say, the bizarre occurrence created a stir when news of it reached the Null's Harbor which lay just one day's march to the west. Unable to resist the lure, a local adventuring company known as "The Wild Boys" headed out to investigate. They returned to town one week later telling tales of an extensive network of tunnels, galleries, and chambers laying beneath the tower. Significantly, they also returned with treasure in the form of gold coins, gems, and some strange and foreign looking objets d'art. After resupplying, "The Wild Boys" headed out again to investigate "The Witchspire" as locals had begun to call it. That was late November.
As of yet, they have not returned.
Following the discoveries of "The Wild Boys," two other adventuring companies - "The Undermountain Boys" and "The Bronze Dragon Adventuring Club" - set out for hill hoping to recover additional loot. Not a single member of those groups have returned either.
Despite the obvious danger, our adventurers could not resist the lure of possible treasure to be found and quickly formulated plans to set out for the Witchspire on the following morning. After some negotiations with Filthy Pete, they managed to convince him to come along as a guide and even serve as a shield bearer for Igmar Houndhaven, one of the party's magic users. Filthy Pete offered to find an additional hireling to serve as shield bearer for Silas Graylock, the party's second magic user. Pete made good on his promise and returned the following morning with an affable if somewhat dim-witted bumpkin named Dent Footknocker.
Also at the Green Griffon, the party learned from three burly dock hands about the recent execution of Gnut's Queen. Apparently, King Hardric VII, current monarch of Gnut discovered that his wife, Queen Yvonne, had been cuckolding him with her music tutor. He promptly dissolved their marriage and had her executed. But because Queen Yyvonne was sister to King of Alfonso, ruler of the Thrangian Kingdom of Eknad, a political dispute has ensued. King Alfonso is not at all happy about the execution of his sister and tensions between Gnut and Eknad are nearing a boiling point.
The following morning, the party made ready to leave town by purchasing supplies and questioning some local merchants who had purchased some goods from the Wild Boys.
But while leaving Bytor's Magic Shop, the group's two magic users, Silas and Igmar, were approached by an indiviual identifying himself as Legas who claimed to be an agent of Hezroat, a prosperous local spice merchant. After cornering the two neophyte mages for a private conversation, Legas informed them that his master, Hezroat, would pay everyone in the party 100 gp each if they returned to town with the head of Bartok, leader of "The Wild Boys." Legas offered no information concerning Hezroat's motives in offering this deal. After some discussion, Silas and Igmar took the deal, but decided to keep the deal to themselves and not tell the rest of the party.
The rest of the morning was uneventful except for the actions of Thimble, the party's thief, who took the opportunity to pilfer a silver comb from a merchant's stall in the central marker square.
The trip to the Witchspire was uneventful and the party arrived late in the afternoon on April 24.
Upon investigating the tower itself, the party discovered what appeared to be a ransacked wizard's tower. Little was learned beyond that, but the group did find a secret compartment containing a scroll and book bound in red leather, both written in a strange and unfamiliar language. After camping for the night, our adventurers finally began their descent into the regions below the tower on the following morning.
There, the group began exploration of what they presumed to be a large underground complex. And sure enough, the complex was not uninhabited. Horrid undead in the form of ghouls and a strange bull headed skeleton assailed the party within their first hour of exploration. It was here that we suffered our first loss. Rayleen Marybegotten, a female fighter, was savagely gored to death by the bull headed skeleton during the desperate, torch-lit battle. Though shaken, the party decided to continue, and after stripping Rayleen's corpse of all useful items, they did just that.
And this is where we left off, poised on the edge of the unknown mysteries and dangers that lie beneath Witchspire Hill. Nice work everyone.
Experience Points Awarded: 43 points per character. 5 bonus points go to Thimble for her theft.
"Common, standard hirelings are basically the usual craftsmen or laborers taken on by lower level player characters...In general the various occupations represented here are common to most settlements of village-size and above, although each and every village will not be likely to furnish each and every sort of common hireling." (ad&d "Dungeon Master's Guide", 1979) p. 28.
A careful (and at times even overly analytic) exploration of the traditions of "old school" fantasy roleplaying by two former d&d apostates who have recently returned to the game's roots. All advice and any suggestion is welcome.
Expect a particular focus on the retro-clone of OD&D, Swords & Wizardry as well as the occasional session recap from ongoing games. In our games we steal unabashedly from the great OD&D blogs linked to below.