Last session began with the surviving party members hiding below ground, waiting out the evening of May 10 after the ill fated battle with the spiders the previous day. Fortunately, the evening passed without incident, and on the following day, the survivors were able to make it out of the dungeon without encountering further danger. Bloodied but unbowed, the survivors started the two day journey back to Null's Harbor to recruit more members.
Once there, the survivors returned to Jack's Place in Sorrowside and made the acquaintance of the fighter Bian Fu, Wolfgar a cleric of Kord, and Abu Thistlestrike a portly and jovial Magic User with a taste for ale. After some discussions over hearty flagons, these three agreed to join the party. At this point, Igmar decided to go back to Steng's brewery to negotiate with the underworld figure and hopefully see what potential help the thieves guild might be able to offer.
At the brewery, Igmar sat down for a council with Steng and his mysterious, blue handed, sorceress companion. Igmar proposed that his party of adventurers would be willing to offer a greater percentage of the profits taken from Witchspyre Hill, if Steng could offer any additional assistance to their group. Steng claimed to be intrigued by this offer, but said that he would need to see greater evidence that Igmar's group was competent before providing any assistance. He told Igmar that he might be willing to offer assistance for a greater percentage of the loot, but that he would need to see evidence that the party was able to pull significant wealth from the dungeon. He then reminded Igmar that the party had agreed to pay him and the guild a full twenty five percent of treasure taken from beneath Witchspyre Hill. Just as the negotiations were concluding, the deformed Igmar surprised everyone concerned by rising to his feet, bowing, and presenting the lovely, raven haired sorceress with a single flower as a tribute to her great beauty. The blue handed woman's icy demeanor shifted for a moment from cool aloofness to amused curiosity as she thanked Igmar and accepted his gift.
Meanwhile, the rest of the party was back at Thumbless Jack's attempting to hire some new hirelings. Given that no hireling had as of yet returned from Witchspyre Hill alive, not many were willing to join the group. After some clever negotiations on the part of Thimble the Thief the group hired two individuals - Tuck, an over weight, somewhat asthmatic man wearing an ill fitting suit of leather armor, and Joboron, a shifty eyed drunken mercenary from parts unknown.
The following day, May 13, the group arose early, intent on resupplying and heading back to Witchspyre Hill. Before leaving, however, Abu wanted to visit Bytor's magic shop located in Maintown. While browsing in the crowded and cluttered interior of the shop, Abu asked Bytor, a lean and wiry individual, if he knew anything about the mysterious appearance of the tower atop Wichspyre Hill. Bytor shut the door of his shop, produced a bottle of wine, and confided in Abu that he did have in his possession something that might reveal crucial information about the tower, but that he would only trade it for magic. He was not interested in gold. He also cautioned Abu against getting too involved with the church of Wee Jas, though the mage turned cagy at this point and refused to specify why such caution was necessary.
While this discussion was going on, Igmar entered Hezroat's spice shop and asked the merchant directly if the deal regarding Bartok's head was still in effect. Attempting to bluff, Igmar claimed that others had also offered him money for the head of the missing adventurer. Hezroat, however, seemed to know that Igmar was bluffing, claiming that he could not possibly imagine why anyone but he would want proof of Bartok's death. When asked by Igmar why he wanted such proof, Hezroat emphatically said that he could not say, but did stress that the offer of gold for such proof was still in effect. Igmar thanked the merchant, purchased a pouch of Devil's Weed for his pipe, and took his leave of the merchant.
Their business in town concluded, the group began their journey back to the mysterious dungeon beneath Witchspyre Hill.
They resumed their exploration on May 15. The party made some further headway, mapping some more unexplored corridors and chambers, and finally uncovered what appeared to be some long forgotten tomb or burial chamber hidden behind a secret door. Within, the group made the acquaintance of the crypt's occupant, a horrible animated skeletal figure clad in chain mail and armed with a gleaming and oddly untarnished longsword. A desperate battle ensued when the horrific figure arose from its ancient undead slumber and closed with the group, its skeletal hand closing around Tuck's throat and chocking the life out of the the pudgy hireling. The figure appeared to be radiating some sort magical aura of terror and several members of the group began to flee. Even those who appeared resistant to the thing's horrid power did not all seem to want to engage it however. Thimble, for instance, chose to withdraw with the those who were fleeing while Joboron, quite drunk, refused to fight the thing and ran as well. Things looked like they might turn grim when the horrid corpse seized Wolfgar by the throat and began to strangle him, but Abu the mage crushed its skull with a sling stone and saved the cleric from certain death. Released from its fear effect, the rest of the party regrouped and proceeded to loot the tomb, recovering 1200 gold pieces and the skeleton's apparently enchanted sword. At this point, three ghouls emerged from the corridor and attacked. A fierce fight thus followed, but the party quickly gained the upper hand. Noteworthy in this encounter, Lilyth actually dealt the "killing" blow to each ghoul.
And this is where we left off. After dispatching the ghouls, the group decided to pull back to the surface and camp for the night the ground floor of the tower before proceeding. Thanks to all for a fun night of gaming.
"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.