Players: Gante (Jon), Epona (Played by Jon as well), Kerwyn (Will), Glod (Adam) and Jim (other Adam)
17th of Suncrest
The group ascends the spiraling stairs. Their footsteps are the only audible sounds. The stairs are punctuated with a hallway extending to the left and right. Nearby on the left is a wooden door, very old, but still standing. Across the hall, another old, heavy door barely hangs to its hinges. To the right, the hall splits with one branch going off to the left and the other ending with another set of stairs spiraling up. They decide to head left (North) through the old wooden door. Every wall of this room is covered with bookshelves. The room extends upward to a second level, allowing even more books to be stored. Windows line the left and right sides of the second level, allowing light to stream in, and an old iron ladder leads up to the second floor. They can just make out a number of voices on the other side of the right wall, but can’t see anything from down here. Opposite the entrance is a wooden door, covered with glyphs and engravings. Jim takes some of the books out, examines them, then sets them aflame with the torch. Glod, being the arcane scholar, examines the door. He discovers that it’s trapped with a fiery blast guaranteed to fry anyone who tries to open it.
[Adam scored a critical success on this roll, which was about a one in a hundred chance. Critical successes are a variant rule that means the character succeeds beyond what they attempted.]
Glod had a stroke of genius here, finding a way to add to the glyphs, essentially canceling the spell. Meanwhile, Gante heads upstairs to look out the windows. To the west, he can see a castle moat followed by fields stretching out for miles. To the east, he can see out to the castle courtyard filled with at least forty or so goblins, hobgoblins, and bugbears. He climbs back down the ladder and relates this to the team who are preparing to move on through the next door. Before entering, Kerwyn listens for anything beyond. The room is completely silent. The team cautiously enters. Entering this room, all the sounds of voices from outside suddenly stop. From what they gather, it’s enchanted as a zone of silence. The room is filled with unusual devices and items, and was probably some sort of wizard’s study. An iron ladder on the left leads up to a second floor. On the right is a door (also covered with glyphs) and two windows that are dirty enough to provide no view of the outside, yet let in some light. The team finds several magical items, though most prove to be of no use. While looting, Jim finds a milky-white orb. Glod examines it and decides it’s triggered by striking it. Jim hits it, unaware of what it may do. Gante, Epona, and Kerwyn back up defensively while Glod holds on to it, hoping for the best. The orb begins glowing, but the glowing fades after a few seconds. It doesn’t glow after they keep trying to strike it. The team breathes a collective sigh of relief, save for Jim who had taken the torch to burn some papers.
The team moves back to the first door they saw, across the hall from the stairs. This room is filled with debris and rubble. In the corner, a few wooden desks lie broken and splintered. In the room’s center is a hole in the floor, about five feet wide. Two wooden doors are on the right. The hole is filled with rubble, probably filling the hall below where they found that wall of debris. The two doors lead to closets with bookshelves filled with scrolls and papers that are now strewn on the floor. The papers are all merely records of Kendra from decades ago. The team moves on to another hallway which has an iron door at its end. Kerwyn can hear the goblinoid voices very well through the door, so the team decides they’ll try that other staircase first. Up the spiral staircase is another iron door. Kerwyn picks the lock, and the team enters.
This room is unusually fine condition despite the castle being infested with goblins. The bed is of exquisite quality, and a fine wardrobe stands in one corner of the room, filled with fine clothes. It is clear this room must have once belonged to the owner of this castle. Torches hang on the walls, currently unlit, and a chest filled with treasure sits open on the left wall, its contents spilling out. On the right side of the room is another door, locked with easily removed wooden bars holding the door in place. Jim is the first to take action, running to the treasure chest. He grabs a handful of gold, but finds that the chest was trapped. A massive hand materializes, holding him in place. The hand does not try to crush him, so he tries releasing the gold. As he does, the hand dissolves into thin air. Jim repeats the process a few times, testing the limits of the trap. He finds that moving the chest does nothing; only grasping the treasure triggers the trap. He grabs a garment from the wardrobe and kicks some gold into it. He wraps it up to use later.
The team opens up the other door. They exit on to an open area. To the right is a ballista. In front of them is the roof to some other part of the castle that has a window in the front. About 30 feet to the left, the area drops down to the courtyard below. They can hear the goblins, but can’t see them from here. They check the window ahead and find that the roof covers a banquet hall. Still not wanting to stir up the small army, they check the area near the ballista. Two ladders between a pair of guard towers lead up to an overlook. Gante and Jim head up to check it out. The edges of this area have parapets providing cover. There are also some old rusted weapons. They decide to head back down. As Jim turns around to descend the ladder, a crossbow bolt zips by his head.
[Gah! What awful timing! I had hoped to either finish this battle during the session or not even start it. Jon had to leave shortly after the battle began, so we ended on a cliffhanger. Where did the bolt come from? Did the marksman fire it? So many questions, and we have to wait a full week for the answer!]