Shrine of the Rat Cult

Here is another adventure in my Ruins of the Undercity campaign, played using the Labyrinth Lord rules.

Plague

Shortly after Nameera, Somteva and Zareef return to Cryptopolis the city is struck by a minor outbreak of the plague known as the Fatal Boils. People who catch the disease are afflicted with disfiguring boils and die within twelve weeks.

Nameera, Somteva and Zareef all save successfully versus death.

Fortunately none of the adventurers catch the disease.

Onzir the travelling peddler

The adventurers meet a travelling peddler named Onzir, who has travelled to Cryptopolis with a caravan from the city of Ezar to the south. He is selling potions and scrolls but is not asking for less than 200 gold pieces for any of them, so the adventurers bid him good-day and say they hope to meet him again if they are richer by the time he returns to Cryptopolis.

New party members

The adventurers go to Aliam’s Babuschs to collect the babuschs (shoes) that they ordered before going on their previous adventure. Then they search the dingy khiva shops for anyone who wants to join them for another expedition into the Undercity. They find three new party members.

Akram

Formerly a holy beggar devoted to the Red Goddess, Akram is now a cleric of that deity.

Azmi

Azmi was formerly a town crier and is now a wizard. He understands the language of flinds.

Nisma

Nisma was formerly a prostitute. After one of her clients robbed her she stole her money back from him, and discovered that she was good at getting into places. She is now a thief.

The Undercity

The adventurers go to the abandoned house near the Temple of the Red Goddess, where there is a stairway leading down into the Undercity.

All characters are moving at a rate of 30′ per turn (exploring movement).

SAM_1287

The party make their way to the moldy wooden door that gives entrance to the corridor of lanterns (34). They rest at the door for a while.

First to sixth turns elapsed.

Check for wandering monsters: none.

Akram lights a new torch (19 left).

They go through the door and make their way down the corridor beyond which is illuminated by a row of glass lanterns on the right-hand wall.

Has the covered pit trap 20′ deep in this corridor been covered again? No.

They make their way carefully around the pit in the corridor and go down a side passage (85) discovered previously but not explored.

First to third turns elapsed.

91: Cesspit

The passage ends at a door of moldy wood, which is unlocked. Going through Nisma (at the front of the party) finds herself in a small circular room 10 feet in diameter, with no exits. The floor is strewn with rotting refuse and a putrid smell fills the air.

Nisma fails to detect the covered cesspit.

Somteva follows Nisma into the room. The two adventurers tumble into a cesspit in the middle of the floor that was hidden beneath the refuse.

Nisma succeeds in climbing out of the cesspit.

Nisma climbs out of the cesspit and lowers a length of silk rope down into the pit so that Somteva can climb out. They clean themselves as best they can using rags from the floor of the room.

The party leave the room and rest in the passage outside.

Fourth to sixth turns elapsed.

Check for wandering monsters: four zombies.

Akram lights a new torch (18 left).

Zombies

Akram has just finished lighting a new torch and the party are ready to leave when four rotting zombies appear at the entrance to the side passage and advance towards them.

The zombies have hit points and weapons as follows (d4: 1 – hand axe, 2 – mace, 3 – scimitar, 4 – short sword):

  1. First zombie: hand axe, 5 hit points
  2. Second zombie: hand axe, 6 hit points
  3. Third zombie: mace, 10 hit points
  4. Fourth zombie: short sword, 9 hit points

The party has the initiative.

Somteva fails to turn the zombies and in the ensuing combat Nisma is killed and Azmi and Somteva are wounded before all the zombies are destroyed. Somteva partially heals herself with Cure Light Wounds and Akram completely heals Azmi with the same spell. Somteva and Akram perform the rites of the Red Goddess over Nisma’s corpse.

Somteva has 8 hit points left.

First to third turns elapsed.

The party return to the main corridor and go left, following the corridor for 30 feet before resting again.

Fourth to sixth turns elapsed.

Check for wandering monsters: none.

Akram lights a new torch (17 left).

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87: Standard masonry corridor

The corridor beyond is no longer illuminated with lanterns. They follow the corridor for another 30 feet before going down a side passage which branches off at 45 degrees.

First and second turns elapsed.

92: Refuse-strewn chamber

The passage ends in a large, square chamber strewn with refuse and with no other exits. They return to the main corridor which they follow for another 30 feet.

Third and fourth turns elapsed.

88: Torch-lit corridor

They follow this corridor until it turns to the left. They rest at the turn.

Fifth and sixth turns elapsed.

Check for wandering monsters: none.

Akram lights a new torch (16 left).

They follow the corridor for another 30 feet.

First turn elapsed.

89: Rough masonry corridor

They follow this corridor for another 30 feet and come to the door to the chamber where Nameera, Somteva and Zareef found a hoard of gold coins. They take the side passage on the left.

Second and third turns elapsed.

93: Corridor of lanterns

Corridor illumination: row of lanterns, fragile glass.

Corridor type: rough masonry and dirt floor.

Corridor features: dank and moldy.

They follow the corridor of lanterns for 60 feet before resting.

Fourth to sixth turns elapsed.

Check for wandering monsters: none.

Akram lights a new torch (15 left).

94: Shrine of the Rat Cult

The corridor ends in a chamber of rough masonry with a dirt floor, and illuminated by the same glass lanterns. There are 16 giant rats, each at least three feet long, feeding on the remains of food which appears to have been given to them on clay plates as offerings. The chamber is apparently the shrine of some bizarre cult that worships rats. Scattered around the chamber there are seven rotting sacks amidst human bones and scraps of leather armour. The sacks appear to be filled with silver coins.

The sacks contain a total of 4,000 silver pieces.

The rats have the initiative and attack.

Zareef is attacked by four rats with 4, 4, 4 and 3 hit points.

Somteva is attacked by three rats with 3, 1 and 3 hit points.

Azmi is attacked by three rats with 1, 2 and 4 hit points.

Akram is attacked by three rats with 3, 3 and 4 hit points.

Nameera is attacked by three rats with 3, 4 and 1 hit points.

I decide that any ‘overflow’ damage from a successful hit against one rat can be shared between the other rats within range of the hit.

The adventurers kill 13 of the rats and three of them flee, but not before Azmi has been killed and all of the adventurers have been wounded.

Akram: 2 hit points left.

Nameera: 8 hit points left.

Somteva: 3 hit points left.

Zareef: 6 hit points left.

The adventurers quickly fill their sacks with silver coins and then leave the chamber, heading back towards the stairway to the abandoned house. Zareef is now the mapper for the party.

Each adventurer takes 600 silver pieces.

89: Rough masonry corridor

Returning to the turn in this corridor they rest.

First to sixth turns elapsed.

Check for wandering monsters: none.

Akram lights a new torch (14 left).

85: Rough masonry corridor

Returning to this corridor they rest.

First to sixth turns elapsed.

Check for wandering monsters: none.

Akram lights a new torch (13 left).

12: Rough masonry corridor

Returning to this corridor they rest.

First to sixth turns elapsed.

Check for wandering monsters: 28 kobolds 40 feet from the party, coming from the entry corridor.

Akram lights a new torch (12 left).

Kobolds

The kobolds are uncertain. Since the previous group of kobolds encountered by the party were indifferent, I decide that these kobolds will be hostile.

A group of kobolds enters the corridor from the entry corridor. Their numbers are difficult to determine but there appear to be at least 20 of them. The two kobolds in the front rank have javelins ready to throw. They bark at the adventurers and gesture for them to drop their sacks.

The adventurers decide to comply with their demands and place their sacks on the floor of the corridor. The kobolds advance to inspect the sacks. The adventurers hope that they will be satisfied with the hoard of silver coins.

Are the kobolds satisfied? Yes.

The party leave the kobolds to squabble over the silver and head back up the corridor. They pass the intersection.

13: Slimy corridor

Past the intersection slime coats the floor of the corridor and they have to watch their footing. They pass a putrid chamber strewn with refuse (14) and enter a corridor free of slime (38). They reach a side passage (39) which ends in a rubble obstruction. They decide to get some sleep here as they have been exploring for eight hours now. Zareef sits on watch while the others lay out their bedrolls and settle down to sleep.

First to sixth turns elapsed.

Check for wandering monsters: none.

Zareef lights a new torch (11 left).

Akram, Nameera and Somteva will sleep for eight hours.

First hour elapsed.

Check for wandering monsters: three giant carnivorous flies 60 feet from the party, with 11, 12 and 14 hit points.

Zareef lights a new torch (10 left).

Giant carnivorous flies

Three giant carnivorous flies enter the side passage. Zareef quickly wakes the others.

The flies have the initiative.

The adventurers kill all of the flies but not before Nameera has been wounded.

Nameera has 6 hit points left.

The adventurers are now exhausted but they decide to leave the Undercity. No doubt the kobolds will have returned to their lair by now.

12: Rough masonry corridor

Returning to this corridor they rest.

First to sixth turns elapsed.

Check for wandering monsters: none.

Akram lights a new torch (9 left).

They return to the abandoned house and to Cryptopolis without further incident.

 

 

 

 

 

 

A Lucky Find of Gold

I’ve returned to a Ruins of the Undercity campaign that I’ve been playing using the Labyrinth Lord rules. Having previously generated 11 parties of adventurers that were all wiped out before any of the characters reached second level, I’ve decided to use the optional advanced Hit Dice rules from the Advanced Edition Companion for Labyrinth Lord to boost the survivability of my new characters. This is a condensed version of my latest session.

Cryptopolis

Six adventurers have gathered in Cryptopolis.

Arav

Formerly a scribe in the Temple of the Red Goddess, Arav has discovered his hidden talent for sorcery. He understands the languages of kobolds and flinds.

Nameera

Nameera is an 18 year old belly dancer from the khiva shops. She has heard stories of the Undercity and now wants to explore its depths herself.

Othnos

Othnos worked as an undertaker but had to flee the funeral parlour after he was caught plundering a corpse. He is now a professional thief.

Senrion

Senrion is a 151 year old elf who became dissatisfied with his occupation as a shoemaker. He understands the language of flinds.

Somteva

An elderly dwarven woman of 269 years, Somteva worked as a mule teamster before becoming a cleric of the Red Goddess.

Zareef

Formerly an actor in a performing troupe, Zareef left the troupe to explore the Undercity.

Nameera and Zareef are fighters and Senrion is an elf of the basic class of Labyrinth Lord.

The Undercity

Arav knows of an abandoned building not far from the Temple of the Red Goddess, where there is a stairway leading down into the Undercity. Evening is falling and the inhabitants of Cryptopolis are hurrying back to their homes when the party reach the building. It is a stone house of two storeys, evidently the former residence of a prosperous merchant or some such wealthy person.

The party enter the building. In the entry hall the stirring of a dark figure startles them, but it is only an old beggar getting up from a bed of rags. He scowls at the adventurers for disturbing his rest and wishes doom upon them in the Undercity below.

Deep within the house the party come to a small, dank room with no windows, where there is a flight of narrow steps leading down into darkness. The party form their narrow marching order and descend into the Undercity.

sam_1229

81: Giant toad’s lair

The party explore the corridors of the Undercity and come to a large, dark chamber, damp and moldy, where the ceiling is supported by eight pillars. There is a door of rusted copper in the right-hand wall.

The giant toad has 14 hit points. It surprises the party.

A toad the size of a large dog lunges out of the darkness at Zareef, but fails to bite him. The party manage to kill the toad, with Senrion dealing the fatal blow, but not before Somteva has been badly wounded. She heals herself with Cure Light Wounds. The party rest in the chamber.

Check for wandering monsters: eight giant rat skeletons (1, 3, 5, 1, 7, 7, 1 and 3 hit points).

Giant rat skeletons

The party hear the sound of clicking bones and see eight animated giant rat skeletons enter the chamber from the corridor. Somteva turns five of the skeletal rats and the remaining three are destroyed, but not before Arav has been killed. The party divide his coins, rations and most useful items between them. Nameera takes his quill, ink and papyrus sheets and now has the job of mapper for the party.

36: Empty room

The party enter a small rectangular room which is dark, moldy and empty. Senrion discovers a secret door in the left-hand wall, a stone panel that pivots to reveal a dark cave beyond.

The secret door is trapped with a pit 10′ deep with spikes. Senrion fails to detect the trap.

Opening the panel also opens a pit which Senrion falls into. He is impaled on the iron spikes at the bottom of the pit and killed.

The cave beyond the secret door is inhabited by a vampire named Telki, a previous adventurer who was bitten by a vampire bat.  I consult the Answer Oracle found at the back of The Covetous Poet’s Adventure Creator and Solo GM Guidebook to determine if he has been destroyed or is in the cave at the moment.

Has Telki been destroyed by other adventurers? Yes.

Somteva performs the rites of the Red Goddess over Senrion’s corpse and then the surviving members of the party make their way around the pit and into the cave.

37: Cave

The cave is dark, damp and empty. The party rest for a while.

Check for wandering monsters: none.

The party cross the cave to a passage opening in the right-hand wall.

66: Marble corridor

The party come to a single lantern of fragile glass that hangs on the wall opposite a door of moldy wood. Ahead the corridor comes to a dead end.

Has the covered pit trap 10′ deep with spikes in this corridor been covered again? Yes.

Othnos fails to detect the trap.

Othnos plunges into a covered pit trap between the lantern and the door. He is impaled on the iron spikes at the bottom of the pit and killed. The party lament the loss of yet another adventurer and they have now been halved in number. Somteva will now check for traps at the front of the party. The party rest in the corridor.

Check for wandering monsters: none.

The party retrace their steps to the junction and take the other corridor, which ends at a door of moldy wood. A side passage on the right also leads to another door. This door is locked but Zareef easily breaks down the rotten wood.

64: Octagonal chamber

Have the mites that live beneath this chamber covered their pit trap again? Yes. Somteva detects the trap.

The octagonal chamber beyond is dark, damp and moldy, with moldy wooden doors in the left-hand, right-hand and opposite walls. Somteva alerts the others to the covered pit trap next to the left-hand door. The door in the opposite wall is unlocked and the party go through.

82: Chamber of ancient frescoes

The party enter a rectangular room with no other visible exits. By the light of Zareef’s torch they see that the walls are covered with fading frescoes that depict the civilisation of the necromancers, over whose ruined city Cryptopolis was built. The colossal statue of the Red Goddess is shown towering over houses and shops. The inhabitants of the city are shown being entertained by musicians and dancers, and fighting monsters such as flinds and lizard men.

Snyads

While the adventurers are studying the frescoes two snyads emerge undetected from a hole in the wall. The snyads approach Nameera and Somteva to pick their belt pouches. Somteva notices her belt pouch being picked but Nameera does not. The snyad steals d10 gold pieces from Nameera; one gold piece.

Somteva notices that a small, tan-skinned humanoid, a snyad, is about to pick her belt pouch. She swipes at it with her mace, intending to drive it away rather than kill it. The snyad flees into a hole in the wall. A moment later Nameera sees another snyad darting into the hole and finds that one gold piece is missing from her belt pouch.

Somteva finds a secret door in the left-hand wall, which can be opened by pressing on the door of a fresco of a house.

83: Half-flooded chamber

The large, square chamber beyond has no other exit and is half-flooded with water. The party enter and close the secret door behind them. The chamber is hardly welcoming, but at least the party can rest here knowing that they will not be discovered by wandering inhabitants of the Undercity. The adventurers lay out their bedrolls on the dry half of the floor and enjoy a meal of rations and wine before settling down to sleep.

No checking for wandering monsters as the party are in a secure place.

The party sleep for eight hours and wake up refreshed. A new day has begun in Cryptopolis above them.

The party retrace their steps to chamber 35.

37: Cave

Returning to the cave the party rest for a while.

Check for wandering monsters: none.

35: Empty chamber

Returning to this chamber the party find that the second door in the left-hand wall is locked. Zareef breaks it down.

84: Room of ancient frescoes

The party enter a small, rectangular room. The walls are decorated with fading frescoes of the ancient necromancers’ civilisation, but the floor is strewn with refuse and a putrid smell fills the room. The frescoes are more sinister than those of the previous frescoed chamber; they depict ghouls, mummies, a hideous frog-like demon with grey skin and fangs, and a bearded, grey-skinned man wearing grey robes and a white turban. He wields two scimitars and confronts cowering humans. Not finding any secret doors in the room, the party leave and retrace their steps to the entry corridor leading from the stairway in the abandoned building.

The party return to the entry corridor and take the corridor numbered 12.

34: Corridor of lanterns

Going through a door the party enter a corridor which is well-constructed of standard masonry, and illuminated by a row of fragile glass lanterns hanging on the right-hand wall.

Has the covered pit trap 20′ deep in this corridor been covered again? No.

The party come to pit in the corridor about 20 feet deep. They make their way carefully around it. Beyond the pit they find the site of a past battle; there are bones, shields and scimitars and other weapons strewn over the floor.

This was where a previous party were wiped out by gibberlings.

86: Kobolds

Wandering monster: 13 kobolds 40 feet from the party.

The kobolds are indifferent to the party.

A group of 13 kobolds are coming down the corridor towards the party. Their scaly hides are a dark rusty brown and they are wearing ragged red tunics. They are armed with axes, javelins and morning stars but these weapons are lowered and the kobolds do not appear to want a fight. When they reach the party they pass them in single file and ignore them, apparently preoccupied with some warlike mission that requires all of their numbers.

SAM_1233.JPG

 

90: Chamber of broken furniture

The corridor ends at a door of reinforced wood. It is locked but Zareef kicks at it until it gives way. At first glance the chamber beyond appears to contain nothing of interest; it is dank and moldy and constructed of rough masonry with a dirt floor, and strewn with broken and decaying items of plain furniture such as tables and chairs. But in the north-east corner there is a rectangular stone container carved with images of skeletons, nagas and other monsters. Zareef heaves off the lid and the party find a hoard of gold coins inside. There are 250 coins in total; Zareef takes 84 and Nameera and Somteva each take 83. Pleased with this find, the party decide to leave the Undercity.

The party return to the abandoned building and to daylight without incident, and go to a khiva shop to celebrate their find of gold.