Castles & Crusades Diary: Dragonclaw Barony, Session 11.

The adventurer’s go on a mission for the Gnome sage Fonkin to find Valanunthe, the elven thief that had stolen important items from him.

When we left off last time, the characters had completed their mission for the Town of Dale to find their beloved gnome sage Fonkin at a doorway in an underground doorway, unable to break through the magical enchantments that would allow entry to the lower level. He told the characters to meet him back in town, twisted his ring, and disappeared.

It took two days to return to Dale, but as they entered they heard loud celebrations coming from the Laughing Dragon Inn as the town celebrated the return of Fonkin. When the characters entered the town turned to them, cheered, and gave them pats on the back and provided free drinks. Fonkin, not one who likes all that attention, gratefully allowed the attention to shift to them, backed into a private room and motioned for them to join him when they could spare the time. When the adventurer’s had their fill of drinks, music, and celebration, they entered the private room Fonkin had taken and he told them he needed their help.

Fonkin, gnome sage of the Town of Dale (art from Tales from the Laughing Dragon, BasicFantasyRPG)

He had recently taken on an elven apprentice named Valanunthe, but upon learning she was not the person he thought she was, he dismissed her. But she was shrewd, and apparently broke into his home, bypassed his magical wards, and stole two items: 1) the Amulet of the Mighty Fist (which enhances a person’s strength), and 2) a top secret document that revealed an underground entrance into the Baron’s castle in the nearby town of Heatherleigh. He needed them back, but felt that he was becoming too old to do such things. Would they help? He offered 500gp for them to find the items and bring Valanunthe back alive (for further questioning), but if that couldn’t be done, he would provide 200gp for her dead. The group agreed. In gratitude for their assistance, he provided them with an Orb of Light that could produce the equivalent of torch light upon command, and a special scroll that should be able to by pass the magical lock allowing entrance to the lower level.

The group headed off and encountered some goblins en route. It appeared to Tobias, the ranger that had just joined the group, that they seemed to be moving into the area and establish a stronger presence here. This became even more apparent when they entered the old ruins. Although still largely empty from when they emptied it out several days before, there were indications that the goblins had moved into parts of the complex. Avoiding those areas, they made it to the doorway to the lower level, used Fonkin’s new scroll, and descended the stairway to the lower level. Upon entering the lower level, Bitters, the dwarf in the party noticed that whereas the first level was poorly excavated and engineered, the second level was marginally better constructed.

The adventurers arrived at an intersection and could choose to head east or south. They chose south. After examining their very first room (which was empty, but was being prepared for further excavation), the elves, dwarves, and rogue in the group noticed something a little off on a southern passage wall, and after putting their heads together discovered it was a secret door that swiveled on a pivot. They activated it and one-by-one they entered a hallway heading south. There was a single doorway at the end of the hallway. When Juraviel, the rogue, couldn’t hear anything, Gwar the barbarian entered.

Immediately a magic missile as well as a normal arrow flew out and hit Gwar, and then the person responsible for the attacks darted behind a cot and disappeared. Several members of the group entered the 40 x 30 foot room heading to different corners of the room to see if they could see the person. There was a lit brazier in the center of the room illuminating everything, revealing a cot, a small chest, and some books. But the person who attacked the barbarian was nowhere to be seen. Then Gwar noticed a trap door open beneath the cot and some (invisible?) person dart into it. He charged, overturned the cot, and opened the trap door. Bitters, the dwarven cleric/fighter was next and he descended the ladder. At the bottom he found himself in a 5 foot wide and 6 foot tall passageway covered in darkness. He heard a female elven voice whisper out to him from the darkness that she was going to kill him. That got his blood boiling and he charged ahead. She managed to sneak behind him in her invisible state, whisper in his ear that his time had come, and then stabbed him in the back (which removed her invisibility). The attack took him to 0 hit points! He fell to his knees, unable to attack or cast spells. She could hear the sounds of the dwarf’s companions entering the hidden passage and approaching fast, realizing that she couldn’t waste anymore time, she swiftly moved to the front of the dwarf (where he could see she was wearing the Amulet of the Mighty Fist), stroking the helpless dwarfs cheek and beard, gave him a little wink, and darted off into the darkness.

The majority of the group had now descended the ladder and rushed to the aid of Bitters, throwing on some heals to bring him back to his feet. But now it was time to pause. It seemed that upon entering this lower level the group speculated they had already found Valanunthe, and she was formidable indeed, with a unique balance of wizardly intelligence/magic, and combat skills that could take a person down with a single blow. It was time to evaluate what they should do next – examine her room more closely, or continue down this dark, dangerous and narrow passageway. In two weeks the adventure continues!

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