Arc Sol - Human Cleric of Pelor, the god of the sun (264 points)
Aurum Red-Brand - Human Wizard (262 points)
Mor'ath Enanqua - Elven Swashbuckler/Thief (251 points)
Zaxod - Half-Orc Knight (256 points)
Day 8 (Cont.)
Zaxod and Mor'ath tried the stone doors, but were unable to open them with brute force, and realized that with a rope all four of them could probably open one. While the rest of the party debated different options (like Aurum casting Water Jet on the other side, pointed towards the door), Mor'ath noticed that there were narrow passages to either side of the wall, and explored. The left side led to a dead end, but the right passage circled around behind the structure to a hole in the back.
With their stones of Continual Light, they were able to see a long hall (about 8m wide, and probably 20m long) that went into darkness. The floor behind the front doors looked flat, and there was a stone door on either side of the hall at that level. Stairs down started after about 10 feet, down to another landing directly below the hole they were looking through. Luckily, Aurum got a look through the hole before anyone jumped in, and noticed that the stairs were covered in Lightning runes. After some debate, and calculating how far Zaxod could throw Aurum (18m), the party returned to the surface, grabbed their backpacks from Odwen's shack, negotiated for an additional $500 now that the job was more complicated than originally thought, and headed back to Carda.
Before heading back to the Jovial Unicorn for the night, Arc asked around and found out that there was an abandoned dwarven empire underground that had fallen over a thousand years ago, Mor'ath bought some 3/4" rope, and Zaxod bought a great axe, long knife, and raw steel to repair his axe. Back at the tavern, Aurum won $100 by Gambling on some dice, and Zaxod disturbed everyone's evening by using Armoury to repair his axe.
The party got up at sunrise (Arc is rather insistent that he be able to praise the sun each morning) and headed back out the south gate, over the old bridge, and towards the mines. The party stopped off at Odwen's shack for Zaxod to drop off some gear, and then moved back underground.
Multiple failed Navigation rolls (and 5 hours) later, the party finally arrived back at the dwarven structure. They noticed the Hook Horror corpse (and all of its blood) was gone, and then tied a rope to one of the front doors and tug-of-war'd it open, making a horrible scraping noise. Cautiously, they moved into the main hall. After checking it for traps, Mor'ath opened the door on the right, revealing a small hallway, with one door on either side.
They chose the right door, and saw 4 lizardmen-like creatures, with stone-like skin instead of scales, 2 with ancient iron maces ready, standing in a room full of weapons and armour scattered uselessly on the ground. Mor'ath tried negotiating, but they responded in an unknown language and then attacked. As they moved into melee, Mor'ath noticed that they smelled absolutely repulsive.
Mor'ath dropped his trap-finding kit and drew his saber while Zaxod switched to his great axe. The lizardmen were unable to land a hit on Mor'ath, who parried deftly; Aurum began casting Great Haste on Zaxod, and Arc cast Shield 2 on Mor'ath, elevating his Parry to 17. Mor'ath held the door and continued to attack, lightly wounding one of the lizardmen, while Zaxod used the great axe's Reach 2 to attack over him. The unarmed lizardmen picked up more maces and moved to join the fight, but really only managed to prevent their allies from retreating.
Nobody was able to land a successful hit for a while, thanks to the enemies retreating and Mor'ath now being untouchable. Aurum finished Great Haste and started charging a 2d Fireball while Arc charged a 3d Sunbolt. Zaxod switched back to dual axes as prep to move into melee, and then Mor'ath stepped aside, letting the half-orc into the doorway.
Once Zaxod was in the fight proper, he killed two immediately, and a third the next second before becoming nauseous due to their foul stench. The fourth tried to run away, which resulted in Mor'ath being sickened and Arc vomiting uncontrollably, but it was quickly boxed into a corner and finished off. The group rested until Arc finished retching, and then checked for loot.
Zaxod noticed that there were six suits of dwarf-sized plate but only five helmets, and inspected the arms and armour to find that they were all too ancient to be of good quality (because he failed his Armoury). Aurum examined the weapons and determined that they would be priceless (crit-failed Merchant), and so stuffed two greathelms into his backpack, which was now full to bursting.
Mor'ath checked the room across the hallway, and found a stone desk with 3 bottles on it, a stone bed, and a large hole leading down to a room filled with rotten wood. Zaxod scouted the room through the hole and found two suspiciously intact barrels full of a dark brown liquid while Aurum checked the bottles and discovered they were extremely aged dwarven ale.
Zaxod moved a barrel, which managed to hold his weight, and climbed back up. Aurum called him a slave and demanded he pick up the bottles, so Zaxod threw one at the wall over Aurum's head. Aurum then grabbed the two remaining bottles and put them in his potion belt. Arc decided to continue to rest a bit while the rest of the party explored.
Zaxod took point, headed back to the main hall, opened the door on the left side, and found a similar small hallway with one door on either side, though the one on the right was crudely barred from this side and made of iron. Zaxod opened the one to the left and failed to dodge a tripwire-activated maul, which alerted the five lizardmen inside the room. One of them had the missing greathelm and a maul from the armoury, and two were unarmed and moving very sluggishly.
Signature Weapon working as "I tell you if your weapon has a chance to break to this attack" seems to be fair.
I actually forgot the stench effect of the "lizardmen" for about the first 3 rounds of the fight. It might have gone differently had Mor'ath been retching uncontrollably.
The fight took quite a while because Mor'ath was effectively untouchable and the PCs didn't use serious deceptive attacks/feints for a while. Once they started, the lizardmen died in 3 rounds. I should probably not have fodder enemies retreat, just to save on time.
Zaxod was surprised to realize that his great axe needed to be readied in between attacks. I have a feeling he's going to set off down the road to ST18. The long knife was bought as a "parrying dagger", so I assume he's going to pick up Main-Gauche.
I was somewhat surprised nobody took any of the weapons/armour. Maybe they plan on picking some up on their way out. Both Mor'ath and Zaxod rely on being very low encumbrance thanks to fencing/acrobatics and dual-wielding unbalanced weapons, respectively.
2 for success
1 for roleplaying
0 for the hardest fight (the lizardmen)
0 for completing quests (they negotiated up but didn't turn it in)
0 for loot (none cashed)
MVP was Mor'ath, for holding the line and not being sickened thanks to GM error.