|Calypso (the miniature)|
Yes, I'm painting him.
I took the opportunity to help @thePrincessWife plot some strategy on how to fight the things that she saw surrounding the probable coffin of Alaxus. I suggested ways of using the dungeon terrain (the door) and gave tips on how to use oil/missile weapons, plus spears in the second rank. So off they went... and shortly, they found themselves confronting the ratling king, his host of ratling followers and two very nasty giant weasels. The vast majority of ratlings went down from an NPC's Sleep spell, but the weasels proved very difficult. @thePrincessWife sacrificed her shield arm (Shields Shall Be Splintered!) to prevent a blow that would have taken her to 3 hit points (the weasel attached and was sucking hp automatically per round until successfully damaged to cause it to break off). The brave cleric of Patharcus healed Aeli, only to die from a weasel's bite shortly thereafter. In the end, the other hirelings proved their worth by defeating the weasels and the Ratling King was killed in a fight to the death (he wanted to retreat, but there was no other way out, so it was to the death.)
I am coaching @thePrincessWife on using some of the variant rules for OD&D to make the fighter an interesting choice, as well as giving her some options to increase her survivability as a solo player. The ones I have been using mainly are the "Cleave" (if she kills an opponent, she can immediately attack another opponent of lesser HD in that same round, provided the opponent is within melee range - 10') and the "Multiple Attacks per round" at FM Level - Creature HD = # of attacks.
With the ratling king dead, she could now retrieve the sword with crystal runes embedded in the blade that glowed an odd blue. Tironell, the NPC mage, saw the blade for what is was: the fabled Runeblade that legends say slew Alaxus! So Aeli bent down to pick up the blade and...
... 10 minutes later, she realized she was happily cleaning and sharpening her "fancy blade" (the one with runes on it that say "Covet Me"). Everyone else is looking at her like she's out of her mind. Shrugging it off, she took the large silver key that dangled about the ratling king's neck, noting that it was very similar to the key displayed in various murals found in Alaxus's tomb - and hopefully the key that would open the sepulcher doors! With only 8 hp and no cleric, she decided to return to town to heal and discuss the Runeblade.
Thus began some of the better roleplaying that we've had so far in the two plus years of this on-again, off-again campaign. Aeli was very reluctant to admit that there might be something wrong with her "fancy sword" but when pressed by Tironell, she tried to pick up the Runeblade again. 10 minutes later, she realizes Tironell is staring at her while she's cleaning her precious fancy sword. So, as a test, he offers to trade her his dagger for her sword as a permanent exchange. 10 minutes later, she realizes she's cleaning her sword (AGAIN) while Tironell is hiding behind the door, with the dagger stuck into the door about where his head HAD been!
It was at this point that Aeli finally admitted that yes, something might be wrong. Next game, we'll be resolving this with a trip to the Patriarch priest to have Remove Curse cast upon her.
In game terms, @thePrincessWife has a sword with some personality! She's not entirely sure that the sword has been beneficial to her, although it seems to have been a good sword. She is playing up her character to be a "damn the torpedos" type of person who doesn't like to admit she's wrong and wants to present a brave front. She also likes her pretties as well (life/art imitation? *grin*) and this "fancy sword" has been her mainstay, although @thePrincessWife said she really does want the Runeblade.
So on to the next game! Will she be forced to confront whatever lies in Alaxus's sepulcher with the Runeblade or the "fancy sword"?