Synopsis

This forum is for Solomoriah's playtest adventures in the town of Redbluff.
Sir Bedivere
Posts: 998
Joined: Thu May 27, 2010 10:46 pm

Synopsis

Post Sun Mar 03, 2013 8:54 am

I plan to post a synopsis of the story here so we can keep track of it more easily.

PLEASE, if you would, I'd like to keep this thread a nice clean retelling of the story, so if you see something wrong or would like to add something, tell me in the Out of Character Chat thread.

Also, I think we should use the Maps and stuff thread for setting notes.

Edit: I've decided to follow my own request and move the treasure-to-date to the end of Chapter 9.

I'll start posting a chapter-by-chapter summary of action later today. (I already have the notes; I just need to edit them into tight descriptions.)
Sir Bedivere
Posts: 998
Joined: Thu May 27, 2010 10:46 pm

Re: Synopsis

Post Sun Mar 03, 2013 3:01 pm

Just a fortnight, Timorel thought to himself. The ragged washcloth warmed his new scars: two sets of spidery claw marks across his chest and belly, the pale needle-tips from a full set of fangs in his upper left arm, the new white oval of a spear point in the center of his chest, low and just a little to the right. He sat in his room in the inn washing himself with a bucket of warm water, longing to submerge himself in the steaming baths at home.

It began here two weeks ago, on a night like this one, only it was raining then. He had just met the three who were to become his comrades in arms: Shybolt, the halfling … scout, Dorne, the dwarven cleric, and Grumm, a local warrior and acquaintance of the Reeve.

Grumm noticed first -- Irena, the serving girl, was missing. A quick check revealed a kobold raiding party carrying her away into a hole in the cellar wall. The group, still strangers, made short work of the kidnappers and rescued the girl. Intrigued, they made a deal with Harald, the owner (or at least, the manager) of the inn: room and board for a tenth of all coin they found below for as long as they went down and killed the wicked things underneath.

So they went.
Last edited by Sir Bedivere on Sun Mar 03, 2013 10:47 pm, edited 1 time in total.
Sir Bedivere
Posts: 998
Joined: Thu May 27, 2010 10:46 pm

Re: Synopsis

Post Sun Mar 03, 2013 8:59 pm

Chapter 1

The very next morning was the first time he almost died. Recalling it, Timorel chuckled wryly. They went down the staircase revealed by the hole in the cellar, walked into the entry room, and were ambushed by a gang of troglodytes. Seconds later Timorel was lying in a pool of his own blood, unconscious. His three comrades finished off most of the troglodytes, taking their own wounds, and then made an uneasy truce with the lizards remaining; each side took their wounded and left.

They rested two days, with many wounds healed through Dorne's prayers. Then they went down again.

South of the staircase they found a room (A on Timorel's map) with a runic marking on the floor in the center surrounded by a circle of Elvish that read, "Here is the way to great treasure. Step inside and enter the deepest hoard." Dorne thought the stonework was done maybe 200 years ago, by humans, and Timorel thought the Elvish script was painted maybe 50-100 years ago. No one recognized the rune. Cautious of what might happen if they stepped inside the circle, they moved on to another room. (Some days later they came to understand at least part of the script; the floor within the circle was an illusion. Beneath lay a pit which led to a lower level of rooms and halls. Instead of treasure, however, they had found a giant, two-headed snake.)

Next they went to the room east of the staircase (B). It seemed to be crypt of some kind of lizardmen. Here they found the ivory horn, trimmed in gold in a rope pattern. The ivory itself was covered in strange, graven runes which no one knew. Here the party was attacked by a huge white worm which paralyzed with its tentacles; they killed it, but Grumm and Timorel were paralyzed. As they came out of it, zombies invaded the room and the party killed them.

Up the northern corridor, room C held a mess of steaming pipes that released a blast of flame at whoever opened the door, in this case, Dorne. Then, a party of troglodytes caught up with them, but the four adventurers quickly dispatched them.

The party returned to the inn late that evening, tired, cut, bruised, and burned, and ready for food and sleep.
Sir Bedivere
Posts: 998
Joined: Thu May 27, 2010 10:46 pm

Re: Synopsis

Post Sun Mar 03, 2013 9:08 pm

Chapter 2

Dismaying news awaited them when they arrived in the inn, however. Dorne had been called away on urgent business, leaving that very night. They split their meager loot and said their farewells.

Fortuitously, that very evening Brother Arven of the Morning Star Monastery was in town looking for adventure, and had soon been added to the party.
Sir Bedivere
Posts: 998
Joined: Thu May 27, 2010 10:46 pm

Re: Synopsis

Post Sun Mar 03, 2013 10:27 pm

Chapter 3

The fifth day of exploration led them to a great mystery. Down the corridor east of the pipe room they found a door wet with blood. Shybolt picked the lock without touching the door. Timorel spiked the door open, also without touching it, and the party entered. The walls were mottled and at the far end were two statues of lizardmen guarding a door.

Shybolt searched the room and found a badly faded mural across the wall; what parts he could see appeared to show throngs of lizard men in robes standing around a pyramid, atop which he could see a green dragon. There were other scenes, possibly martial scenes, but the paint was too faded to see clearly. Shybolt wondered what would fade the paint so badly underground, where no sunlight could shine.

As soon as Shybolt stepped between the two statues, everything changed. The adventurers found themselves outdoors, on a grassy hillside; the two statues remained, as well as the door, which was now the entrance to a large stone tower. Bright sunshine illuminated the strange scene... all around the hill, humans, orcs, and lizard men did battle, but the sounds of the battle were muffled, as though they were much further away than they appeared.

Then the statues began to move, relaxing from their positions of attention, then assuming battle stances. One of them began to speak in an unfamiliar guttural language. Shybolt recognized some of the language as similar to lizardman; he understood that a challenge had been issued and that the door was the "Doorway of Glory."

At this point, Timorel remembered the horn they had taken from the lizardman crypt. After consulting the rest, he blew the horn. Alas, four corpses from the battlefield around them rose up and attacked the party. Timorel could exert no control over them, though thankfully Brother Arven's faith turned two of them. The adventurers dispatched the other two quickly. Grumm took a dagger from one of the corpses.

Seized with a sudden fit of inspiration (though from where, Timorel wondered), Shybolt rushed to the bloody door, pressed his palms against it, and immediately began bleeding from his upper orifices. (In the days that followed, the group noted that the malady did not seem to affect his spirit or abilities.) With the party following, the halfling tried to reach the door beyond the statues, but the now-living statues attacked, wounding Brother Arven and Timorel. Their own repeated attacks had little affect on the animated statues.

Shaken by the experience and fearing that Shybolt was suffering some form of curse, if not bleeding to death, the group retreated to the inn to recuperate.
Sir Bedivere
Posts: 998
Joined: Thu May 27, 2010 10:46 pm

Re: Synopsis

Post Sun Mar 03, 2013 10:35 pm

Chapter 4

When they arrived, they were surprised to find that night had fallen and the inn was dark and quiet. Timorel suspected the Otherworld Room was in a different time stream, but he couldn't be sure. He helped Shybolt wash the blood from his hands and face, but the halfling continued to bleed. Grumm returned to his cabin; Brother Arven, Shybolt, and Timorel collapsed in their beds at the inn.

On the sixth morning, Grumm returned and the rest awoke in the inn to find it abandoned. There was no sign of Harald or Irena, but they found one of Irena's slippers in the cellar.

Grumm appealed to the men of Redbluff for aid in rescuing the pair, but the men of Redbluff courageously decided to remain aboveground to defend their town, should evil appear. Timorel took some bread from the kitchen for their breakfast and the four descended again to attempt a rescue.
Sir Bedivere
Posts: 998
Joined: Thu May 27, 2010 10:46 pm

Re: Synopsis

Post Mon Mar 04, 2013 9:54 pm

Chapter 5

The four searched the underground passages until they finally found Harald, bound and gagged, in a passage they had never seen before. He was lying on the ground outside a door. They quietly rescued him and found out that troglodytes captured him and Irena; the lizards were inside the room behind the door and planned to sacrifice the girl.

They went through the door to find Irena hanging unconscious, upside down, above a deep pit. The slew the three troglodytes in the room and rescued the girl. In addition, they found a large brass key. A low growl came from the pit. Not knowing when the rest of the troglodytes might return, and feeling the need to protect Harald and Irena, they fled back to the inn.
Sir Bedivere
Posts: 998
Joined: Thu May 27, 2010 10:46 pm

Re: Synopsis

Post Mon Mar 04, 2013 9:58 pm

Chapter 6

When they returned, they found the Reeve waiting for them. He called them heroes and bought them ale. Not knowing whether this official attention boded good or ill, the group sat in uneasy silence. Except Shybolt, who told him the story.

"The Baron will wish to hear of this," the Reeve said. "Take your rest while ye can, for he may wish to meet ye soon."

Not knowing how to reply, the four retired to clean their gear and rest. They tended their wounds and recuperated for two more days. Brother Arven wrote a letter to his monastery to see if anyone was available who might be able to lift the curse on Shybolt, and to briefly inform them of the things they'd seen beneath Redbluff.

On the ninth day, a message arrived back from Brother Halden that no one was available to go to Redbluff, and as Shybolt was a halfling, it would require a substantial donation for the abbot to remove the curse.
Sir Bedivere
Posts: 998
Joined: Thu May 27, 2010 10:46 pm

Re: Synopsis

Post Tue Mar 05, 2013 9:22 pm

Chapter 7

The four went below again, where they found and destroyed a powerful undead.

They went to the Throne Room (F) to see what was there. There were two heavy, metal-bound doors with a massive bar across them. The corridor was thick with dust and cobwebs, and the door was likewise shrouded. Beneath the shroud of cobwebs they saw what might be writing, rudely graven into the wood of the door as by a dagger or swordpoint. Shybolt used his sword to clear away some of the cobwebs. The writing exposed by Shybolt's sword was in a runic script unknown to him. Timorel thought it looked a little like ancient lizard-man, but he couldn't actually read any of it. Timorel copied the text.

Grumm was able to maneuver the bar off the doors. Opening them revealed a corpse, rather reptilian in facial appearance, on a large, thronelike chair. Suddenly the corpse attacked. Timorel slammed the door almost shut, but the monster shoved an arm through, clawing the air. Shybolt poured oil on the waving arm and lit it with a torch. With a howl the undead beast retreated into the room and the party was able to drop the bar on the doors again.

Rather anti-climactically, the party returned to the inn and came back down with a barrel of oil. They spilled the oil under the door, opened the door, and torched the undead beast when he charged them. The monster was still able once to strike Grumm, who felt a chill go through his body, but that was the only damage taken by the party.

They began to explore the room when a minotaur attacked them from behind, felling Brother Arven with a single blow. However, this beast, too, was quickly slain. Shybolt discovered a secret door and a set of a kind of push-buttons linked to it while the rest tended to Arven and guarded the door. There was no time to explore the possibilities of the push-buttons; the party took Brother Arven to the inn to recuperate.

For three nights they rested, with Brother Arven recovering on the first morning and praying for his own healing. During this time, Arven wrote a letter reporting all that had happened to his superiors at the monastery.
Sir Bedivere
Posts: 998
Joined: Thu May 27, 2010 10:46 pm

Re: Synopsis

Post Wed Mar 06, 2013 8:42 pm

Chapter 8

The morning of the twelfth day brought revelations. Shybolt concocted an ingenious plan to test his hypothesis that the rune room and the secret door in the throne room were somehow connected. The plan worked, and the party learned that the floor inside the circle of Elvish writing in the rune room was an illusion. There was, in fact, a round, ten-foot-diameter hole in the floor that led to a pit below them; a corridor led away from the pit.

Shybolt and Brother Arven went to explore it and ended up fooling around for a bit with a snake while Grumm and Timorel remained in the rune room, discussing serious matters and making sure the team was not surprised by troglodytes and other wandering creatures. Brother Arven found a remarkably well-preserved short sword in the water in the lower level and gave it to Shybolt.

Finally, Shybolt and Arven let Grumm and Timorel know there was something to explore below, and the two joined them. In the corridors below they found and battled a giant two-headed snake, and they discovered that the halls indeed led to the secret door in the throne room above. The backside of the secret door was an ingenious mechanism.

Looking forward to some time spent exploring the lower levels, the group took this opportunity to restock at the inn. However, to their surprise, new orders were awaiting Brother Arven. A nearby parish was in need of a new priest, and Brother Arven had been assigned as his assistant.

Taking a sandwich for the road, Brother Arven left at first light the next day.

The group rested and prepared to descend again the next day. Serendipitously, Rykken Thundermaul, a dwarven cleric, was in town and, intrigued by their tales, joined them.
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