Sunday, January 10, 2010
After Friday night's victory over the smoke dragon and opening of Alaxus's Tomb, @theprincesswife's PC Aeli was ready to plumb the depths of the ancient Black Mage's final resting place. Things, however, didn't quite turn out the way she hoped. Sometimes the dice love players, sometimes the dice hate players.
After a brief survey of a room with a rune-carved plinth, she found a room littered with bones ankle-deep. The bones were packed down to a smooth surface and a shimmering distortion could be seen. As they approached it, it reached out suddenly with a pseudopod and slammed one of her hirelings. Down he went, paralyzed. It was a gelatinous cube!
Thus began a disjointed retreat from the creature. Aeli attempted to hold at the door, but she fumbled and now her glowing, possibly magical/weird sword was stuck in the wall! With only 3 hit points left, one man down and the rest injured from the smoke dragon, Aeli had no choice but to flee. The party had to leave behind the chest of gold they'd taken from the dragon, as it was slowing them down. They fled the tomb and dungeon proper to the forest outside. Fortunately, her paralyzed henchman recovered.
The party was dejected as they bedded down in front of the tomb. Sleep came to them, however, sleep that was rudely interrupted by a harsh laugh and a croaking "Well-ho, boys! What do we have here?" and the answering laugh... from creatures encircling the party's camp! A band of goblins had stumbled onto the party and now had them in a bad place. Aeli looked to make a fight of it, despite being surrounded and without armor (you can't sleep in armor in my game), but the NPCs and hirelings told her this was a bad situation. Aeli and the goblin sergeant negotiated and he took all their coins and a couple of weapons and left them alive.
Thus Aeli and company marched back to Valetown, now injured, dejected AND penniless. The Patriarch (spiritual leader and mayor of Valetown) took them in, healed them and agreed to keep some items he'd borrowed from them in exchange for coin and weapons refit from the town guard. Tironell, the mage NPC, knew the books were worth 5 times what the Patriarch could spare, but the party had little choice. The evening ended with the Patriarch directing the innkeeper to allow Aeli & company to have a barrel of beer, which they consumed to drown out the memories.
The dice were just not with @theprincesswife. This time, the cube did not fall so easily as had one in the past and Aeli was still injured from her previous encounter with the smoke dragon. When the follower fell, that was the cube getting a good hit, and the fumble (with following roll resulting in "weapon stuck in wall/floor") was further bad luck. I thought for a minute that my wife would stay, but when she realized they could outrun the cube, she pulled back and tried to bomb it with oil. That missed, so they fled proper.
What made it worse was the wandering monster result I rolled up during their camp-out. When I came up with a large band of goblins, I thought of how this might go... and I decided that the goblins were in a good place to try and pull off a bluff. Goblins are sneaky and canny, and they don't want to sell their lives cheaply. The leader had the advantage, so he pressed it to get some easy coin and a couple of weapons. A good score for the goblins without them losing any lives - made perfect sense to me. It was a low point for my wife, for sure, but if this had gone to combat I think it would have been a very bad go. She was, in a way, lucky that the goblins felt they had a good advantage AND she's lucky in some sense her glowing magic sword was stuck in the tomb's wall. If the goblins would have seen that and tried to claim it, it would have been bad, bad, bad. My wife does not give up her sparklies and pretties easily.
The dice sometimes are with you, and sometimes they really kick you in the ass. So Aeli lives another day, but she's been taken down a peg and she doesn't like that! I have no doubt my wife will return to the Tomb, but I think in retrospect, she should have healed up before venturing further into the dungeon. Even at 3rd level, a good hit from a tough creature can bring you down fast. So last night was enjoyable from just playing, but in the words of my wife - "That adventure SUCKED!"
That'll make the next success all the sweeter.