Our last session began with our intrepid adventurers descending once again into the gloomy depths of the dungeon below Witchspyre Hill. The group journeyed for about an hour through corridors and passageways that had they had previously explored, intent on visiting a previously unknown section of the underworld. Along the way, they stopped to make a rubbing impression of a mysterious copper disk that they had previously found that was covered with strange and unrecognizable magic runes. The party's magic users, Imgmar and Abu, thought that Bytor of Null's Harbor might be interested in trading the information for knowledge that he claimed to have regarding a possible clue to the dungeons strange origin.
Shortly after this, the party was attacked by a band of roving lizardmen. After besting the reptilian humanoids in combat, the group pressed forward and made the acquaintance of a strange individual, a filthy long haired human who emerged from behind a secret door and claimed that he was willing to trade goods and supplies for gold. Puzzled by this strange encounter, the party attempted to gather information from him. His answers to their questioning proved to be evasive. Who was this strange individual exactly? How did he come to be in the dungeon? These questions remained unanswered and the party decided to return to Null's harbor to trade their information with Bytor and hire an additional hireling. On their way out of the dungeon, they were beset by a group of strange froglike humanoids. The fight went well, though one of the mysterious creatures did manage to escape.
Back in town, Abu hastened to Bytor's shop and discovered that the mage was in fact very interested in the rubbing, though he claimed not know or understand its meaning. In exchange, he produced a very old tome that had been in his collection for some years. The book was entitled "Tales and Legends of the Old Empire" by Thentis the Sad - written in 603 (more than four hundred years earlier). It contained a collection of legends of the old empire that had existed in what is today Thrang over a millennium earlier. Bytor drew Abu's attention to the third chapter entitle "The Mysterious Dissappearance of the Tower of the Four Faces" It purported to be a retelling of a scroll dating from 1000 years earlier, now lost, that contained a story by someone named Skelos of an incident that took place some fifty years earlier in a coastal province of the empire. A tower with four screaming faces inhabited by Zorander, a powerful wizard stood once stood on a high hill by the western sea. A crude map included indicated that this spot was in all likelihood what is today Witchspyre hill. One day, according to Skelos's account, the tower and its foundations just mysteriously vanished into thin air. (Note: these events, if true, would have taken place 1,498 years earlier). Written in the margin by a hand other tahn the author's was the word "Malfarazzaar?" Bytor claimed that it seems likely that the tower of the faces may in fact be the same tower that appeared atop the Witchspyre just months earlier. When asked what the word "Malfarazzaar" might mean, Bytor claimed that he had no idea, nor did he know what later owner of the book may have authored this marginal gloss on the text. His own magical inquiries had only revealed that the word was a proper noun, but beyond that he had never been able to learn any more. He recommended that they seek out the advice of Sul-tas the sage, a learned man who lives on Boar's Head Isle in the Drakenspree Tarn and who specializes in ancient and obscure languages and history. When Abu asked him why he had never sought the advice of this sage, the mage claimed that he had never deemed the matter to be of much importance, or at least he never had until the tower mysteriously appeared recently. Bytor claimed that his business interests in town prevented him from making the journey to see Sul-tas himself at this time, but that he would be happy to share in any costs if Abu and his companions wanted to travel and ask him themselves.
The rest of the night passed without much incident, though several members of the party decided to enjoy some wenching in Sorrowside. This led to mixed results. Abu awoke the next morning only to find that in his drunken binge he had had an image of the tower of the faces tattooed on his back. Igmar also awoke with a new tattoo, a mysterious symbol on his wrist that he could not explain or understand. Wolfgar the cleric had had a less successful evening. Apparently, in a drunken revel he had managed to accidentally set fire to several fishermen's shanties by the harbors edge. Uncertain, if anyone knew that he was responsible for the accident, Wolfagar was understandably eager to leave town.
And so the party did, after hiring an additional hireling, one Zelig Croop, a heavy set, talkative individual whose breath reeked of garlic. On the journey back to Witchspyre Hill, Zelig privately told Wolfgar that he knew that he was responsible for the fire in Null's Harbor but that the town watch did not. He intimated that, as long as he was well taken care of by the party, he would make sure the town watch did not learn of this either.
The party arrived back atop the hill on May 22 only to find the remains of a recent campsite in the ground floor of the tower, a likely indication that another group of adventurers had recently preceded them into the dungeon. And that is where we left off. Thanks to all of you for a great 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.