Episode 17 : Lunch! Walks In The Front Door
 

The plan of attack came down to first trying to make friends but being in a position to respond with missile fire if our "Diplomat.", encountered problems. The halfling positioned himself at the front gate so he did not have to jump up on the fence to see over, Harry Mata and Serra Ibin Raaviat stood to Garack's right as he would enter the courtyard. Vernon Zarck stood to Garack's left, so he could see around the side to the area of the animal pens where the second entrance to the Temple was located. Crayg Rydorsson stood in a small grove of trees to Garack's right and twenty yards from the courtyard wall. Grimwold Mindbreaker stood invisible on the dome of the structure in the centre of the courtyard.

Garack approached the squeaking outer gate opened it and went inside, the rhythmic sound from inside the Temple stopped. Garack approached the door but still stood at a distance, "Hello, is anybody there?". We could hear the sounds of movement inside the Temple, the sound of a door being unbarred and the creak as it slowly opened. A troll stood in the doorway and in rose tongue said, "Lunch!". "I beg your pardon.", said Garack. The troll turned and spoke in trollish to another and turned and smiled at Garack.

The wind picked up and blew from the gate where the halfling was concealed. The troll sniffed at the wind and in trollish said, "Fee Fie Foe Fobbit, I smell the blood of a hairy toed hobbit, be he alive or be he dead I'll grind his toes to make my bread.". This happens to be the same rhyme that was going through Blue Bigfoot's head. The rhyme was about the angry troll come to eat up all the naughty halfling children gobbling them up whole. Blue Bigfoot gulped.

The door on the side of the Temple opened and another troll steps out, trying to sneak around the corner of the building. Vernon Zarck raised and lowered the Serpent Staff of Mahaaran and let loose a fire ball. This explosion was the signal for the opening fire of all those people with missile weapons upon the troll standing in the doorway. Thunk, Thunk, Thunk. The troll raised his club and looked at Garack with a mean look upon his face. The troll advanced and Garack drew his weapon.

Vernon Zarck went Bang again sending a cold ball at the female troll. This time the impact left the female troll stunned and disorientated. The first troll brought his club down on Garack who used all his skill to parry it aside. Thunk, Thunk, Thunk went the arrows from Harry Mata and Crayg Rydorsson the last from Crayg Rydorsson causing the first troll to fall forward at Garack's feet with a crash. Garack turned and headed after the second troll.

Vernon Zarck advanced upon the female troll and raising the Serpent Staff of Mahaaran gave this troll a good whack. Now from the doorway came a twang. The bolt was the size of a javelin, it whizzed past Garack and slammed into the side of Vernon Zarck. The force spun him around. He saw his new opponent back in the Temple, the third troll had fired through the doorway. Vernon Zarck raised the Serpent Staff of Mahaaran and let rip his third charge. A fire ball whizzed past Garack and exploded just beyond the doorway to the Temple. Swear words in trollish could be heard and the sounds of an arbalest being dropped.

Garack was now close enough to hit the second troll and did so causing minor damage but enough for the female troll to loose consciousness. Crayg Rydorsson drew back his bow to fire at this troll and fumbled, dropping the arrow from his grip to the ground below. He tried to reach for another but his quiver had shifted positions on his back and he needed time to readjust his orientation.

Garack stopped his advance on the second troll and turned to see a great troll, a full 12 feet tall, stepped from the open doorway of the Temple. This troll was covered in metal armour and carried a club the same size as the one his son had carried. The troll raised the club and flung it with all his force at Garack. The club sailed through the air but was deflected from its target by the deflections spell Vernon Zarck had just cast upon Garack. This troll became really mad and lifted the club that his son had used that now lay at his feet, he stepped forth intent on pummelling Garack into the ground. Vernon Zarck leaped upon the roof of the Temple and could now cover the battle from a distance and plug the still spurting wound from the javelin. The halfling fired an arrow at the troll, it went ting and dropped from the troll to the ground.

Harry Mata jumped the small Temple wall and now was sneaking up upon the furious troll completely unobserved. Serra Ibin Raaviat raised Hexgora's Wand of Fire Balls and let a fire ball burst above the great trolls head. He stood there momentarily stunned and singed. Harry Mata stabbed at the troll from behind and managed to only deliver a glancing blow, just enough to draw the troll's attention. The Great Troll swung around. Grimwold Mindbreaker tries to cast subjugation on the great troll but the spell reversed itself and left him unconscious upon the domed structure. Harry Mata drew back his sword and struck a mighty blow forcing the great troll back a step. Garack stabbed another minor wound.

The great troll roared and clasped his iron club with both hands and raised it as one would when about to drive a pail into the ground, only this time the pail was Harry Mata. Vernon Zarck then tried to cast deflections on Harry Mata before the great troll drove him into the ground. The spell backfired and blew up in the sorcerers head the damage when combined with that from the javelin sent Vernon Zarck unconscious. Vernon Zarck rolled from the steeply peaked roof of the Temple into the animal pen at the side of the house. He managed to avoid the burning chicken coop but landed very awkwardly upon his left shoulder shattering the bones inside. The Serpent Staff of Mahaaran clattered into the gutter and remained there.

The great troll brought down the club, Harry Mata used all his skill to deflect and parry the blow. Harry Mata swiped at the great troll but the blow went wide, his arms still shaking from the blow the troll had delivered the round before. Now things started to get worse. The two trolls that were on the ground started moaning and began to make motions of getting up. The halfling screamed at the top of his voice, "There getting up, there getting up.". Garack stuck the great troll twice in that turn and sent it back two steps with each blow, Serra Ibin Raaviat cast vacuum on the troll's head, the spell deflected off and shattered a couple of the ceiling tiles. Blue Bigfoot shot at the female troll, the arrow bounced off and again fell useless to the ground. Crayg Rydorsson shot also, dropped his bow and arrow and spent the next couple of rounds trying to retrieve them.

The great troll brought the iron club down on Harry Mata and shattered his shield as he parried with it. Serra Ibin Raaviat cast break limb upon the youngest troll and there was a snapping sound as his left leg broke under him. Blue Bigfoot quickly rushed over to the female troll and while she was still making motions to get up from the ground delivered a blow with his shortsword that sent her unconscious to the ground again.

The great troll brought his club down on Harry Mata, his arm jarred from the force of the blow his sword quivering but only slightly bowed. Garack turned to the smallest troll that was laying at his feet, he drove his sword down into this troll's body and backed it up with his full body weight. The small troll ceased to move or groan. Harry Mata chopped at the great troll his blow had effect but the wound seemed to seal over as soon as it was made. Blue Bigfoot delivered the coup de grace to the female troll and rushed off towards the burning chicken coop where he last saw Vernon Zarck fall.

The great troll brought the club down upon Harry Mata again. The sword Harry Mata wielded had lost its edge and was missing a chunk but remained in tact and did not break. Finally Garack spun one complete rotation on his heel and using the full swing and weight of his body landed a might blow across the back of the great troll. The blow drew a massive amount of blood and the great troll fell forward onto the ground as we watched the bleeding slowly began to subside. Not wasting any time Harry Mata and Garack delivered the coup de grace to the great troll and made sure that the smallest troll was similarly dispatched.

The troll bodies were dragged inside and put against the wall in one of the rooms. Inside the Temple proper we found everything troll size. A table with the dismembered form of a wolf having been chopped into chunks about two inches thick. There were chairs and a cauldron in the corner, three bed and chairs. Serra Ibin Raaviat casts detect essence, detect channeling and detect mentalism spells and came up with a human sized spearhead and a whip. There was a further source of channeling magic but that was in the cellar below and the entrance had not been found. This magic source was also trapped. The only other item of magic in the place was the armour of the great troll, a four foot round portion gave a large magic bonus but this item was too unwieldy for human hands. There was also the crossbow it was four feet long, and when fired at a nearby tree embedded the bolt all the way through. The only way to remove the bolt was to cut down the tree, another day maybe after all there were still another 11 bolts left.

Crayg Rydorsson tossed the head of the great troll into the cauldron to slowly boil away so that he could have the skulls of both Hexgora and a great troll. He noticed that underneath the cauldron the tiles had been displaced, so here was the way down. We did not venture down for another two days to give Vernon Zarck a chance to recover some from his wounds. Crayg Rydorsson did what he could for Vernon Zarck but the shoulder needed the services of a 13th level healer, otherwise it would remain impaired for life. Vernon Zarck could barely move it when he was fully healed and the pain greatly affected him.

Grimwold Mindbreaker cast dream. His dreams were filled with the girl that lay below our feet in the sarcophagus in the cellar. This day we ventured down into the cellar. From the stairs Crayg Rydorsson could see the sarcophagus and Serra Ibin Raaviat told him that the trap was a pressure plate two feet around the bottom of the sarcophagus and that the sarcophagus while it did weigh five tones was delicately balanced upon a knife edge, any weight discrepancy would set off the trap.

Keeping well away from the sarcophagus we saw corridors leading off. At the end of one of these corridors was a pile of sacks. This got the better of the halfling and he went forward to investigate. Crayg Rydorsson noticed movement and beckoned the halfling back. The halfling began to edge back when just in front of him a miniature land wyvern raised it's head hissed at him and attacked from three feet away.

The halfling went into full defensive mode, parried both the claws and the stinger that came at him. They scratched him and in fear the halfling slashed wildly back, hitting the creature in the neck and opening one of the veins, this covered the halfling in wyvern blood. Crayg Rydorsson rushed forward to where the halfling stood and brought his sword down upon the creature but jarred his wrists so that they locked and his sword fell limply from his hands. Crayg Rydorsson began to back off, he cast shield on the halfling as Garack having heard the commotion came to investigate. The miniature wyvern again did it's claw, claw, sting attack and the halfling again did full defence and again was slightly scratched.

Serra Ibin Raaviat cast blur upon the halfling and Vernon Zarck cast shield on Garack and then the miniature wyvern attacked again. This time it drew back its head and opened its mouth and sent forth a spray that hit the ground and the wall next to it and again the tail flailed wildly at the halfling who parried it aside. Garack brought down his sword and in one blow cut off the creatures head. The halfling leaned against the wall and slid down it shaking. He later learned that inside the sacks there turned out to be only potatoes from last years harvest and statues of Wendinni Goddess of Justice to whom this Temple had been dedicated.

Harry Mata came up and investigated the possibility of retrieving some of the poison for his growing collection of wyvern poisons. He found that this creature was not actually a wyvern but a lizard that had evolved to look like an imitation land wyvern. After all who in their right mind would mess around with a land wyvern? This was the adaptation that all creatures living on Pentyce Island had made. The wyverns had conquered the island and all other creatures mimicked them for self-preservation. This imitation wyvern had a stinger injecting a potency 4 neurotoxin if it got a critical hit and the spray from its mouth was a potency 6 paralysis poison.

Later that day away from the Temple Vernon Zarck used a summons spell to call forth a demon from the worlds beyond. The air parted and inside the small circle stood an imp, four foot tall green with a nasty look upon its face. The imp or hothorog had only two fingers on each hand and had the head of a jackal and body of a man. Vernon Zarck cast demon mastery and instructed the demon to remain within the range of the control spell at all times and to only attack those it was specifically instructed to do so. Vernon Zarck called up another demon this time a third level appeared zapped him and vanished. Vernon Zarck tried again and got the second first level Demon he wanted.

The next morning we went down the cellar and stood before the sarcophagus. Upon the sarcophagus were the words in Rose Tongue, "Herein lies Justice.". Grimwold Mindbreaker cast intuition and stepped forward, the sarcophagus flew back into the wall and Grimwold Mindbreaker dropped down into a hole below and began to slide down a shoot into the darkness. The shoot ended and there was a drop of thirty feet before an abrupt end. Grimwold Mindbreaker had cast landing and so stood there on his feet. Grimwold Mindbreaker projected light around the room and saw a number of skeletons, one of a great troll. The great troll had a similar iron club to the ones found above. Grimwold Mindbreaker looked around and saw that there was also another entrance to this room again via a trapdoor but there was no exit. The spell ended.

The next intuition spell Grimwold Mindbreaker used the troll club to wedge the trapdoor mechanism open after it had slid back. The floor cracked open and the mechanism inside was revealed, the trap now harmless. Grimwold Mindbreaker had Garack use his strength to open the sarcophagus. Inside there was a two handed sword, inlaid with gold in the old Elvish script justiceor justice. The sword softly glowed. The spell ended.

Crayg Rydorsson pulled out his mirror and called forth the Demon Humzaar. Crayg Rydorsson began to negotiate as to what the demon would require for information on the sword "Justice.", and the silver hand that Serra Ibin Raaviat had in her possession. The Demon Humzaar indicated that he wanted the troll breastplate and the headband of demon mastery that was in Crayg Rydorsson's possession. So said Crayg Rydorsson "It controls another demon, does it?". "Damn.", said the Demon Humzaar and the mirror went blank. "Well that slip did not cost us anything and I guess that's our lot of information for the day.", said Crayg Rydorsson.

There was a second corridor going off from the room with the sarcophagus this lead firstly to a pile of troll shit from the makeshift toilet the trolls had created from the room above. The two demon imps spent most of the day removing this mess to the garden outside. When the corridor was fully cleared the party advance down it. The corridor narrowed further and came to a set of stairs going down, this was coated with the slime of over 300 years of troll shit. Vernon Zarck cast fly on everyone and we all floated down the 300' to the bottom to the first chamber.

In the first chamber were four sarcophagi with four statues of Wendinni Goddess of Justice in various posses. We read the inscriptions on the sarcophagi, each was in ancient Elvish and read "Here lies ... Knight of Wendinni.". Behind each of the statues were four corridors leading off. Here Serra Ibin Raaviat began to casts her detect essence, detect channeling and detect mentalism spells sensing each of the forms of the magic realms. She picked up a channeling item in one sarcophagi in this room. We started to investigate each of the corridors leading off. Each corridor lead into a room beyond. To the north we found an empty room, to the east a burial crypt, to the south a room with seven large sealed jars, and to the west a room that was the direct channeling path to Wendinni Goddess of Justice. Serra Ibin Raaviat did not go any further down this corridor, neither would any of the spell casters.

Garack advanced into the room, the water rippled, he left, the water calmed, he advanced, the water rippled, he retreated and it calmed. Garack decided to leave behind the silver coin of the sorcerer Hashem and then he entered the chamber. Inside Garack could see a Temple to Wendinni Goddess of Justice, it was lined with mirrors. Before Garack stood a twenty foot tall statue of the Goddess herself, she stood in a pool of water and at the base of her statue was a inscription in bars of gold in ancient Elvish script, wendinni goddess of justice or "Wendinni Goddess of Justice.".

To the sides were stairs leading up onto a landing, on the left were a line of statues of Clerics of Wendinni Goddess of Justice and on the right were a line of statues of Knights of Wendinni Goddess of Justice. At the end of the line of clerics in a small chamber just ahead stood a 15' tall statue of a human male, extremely lifelike. Similarly at the end of the other line of statues stood the same type of figure. Garack came out with this information but when trying to convey the meaning of the inscriptions below the statues seemed to convey it across in Dwarvish rather than ancient Elvish.

So the halfling was sent in to make the translation, Blue Bigfoot ogled all the gold. The inlaying was solid strips of gold and the writing of Wendinni Goddess of Justice was done with bars of gold. The halfling returned with the inscriptions which translated as "King Borak II, First Knight of Wendinni.", and "Arch Bishop Bishbrall, First Cleric of Wendinni.".

The halfling went back in and with a small ladle scooped water from the pool into a waterskin. Giving into temptation Blue Bigfoot tasted the water, sea water. Blue Bigfoot left the Temple room and was in the chamber with the four sarcophagi. He looked at the small imp the Vernon Zarck had named "Bigfoot.", and after first asking permission of Vernon Zarck threw a cup of water over the imp and bolted. The imp vanished in a flash of light.

We moved into the chamber with the jars, Grimwold Mindbreaker cast intuition and broke open the jars to reveal a moss growing inside. Grimwold Mindbreaker cut himself and placed the moss over the wound. Doing this stemmed the flow of blood. The moss was a healing herb, and just using it raw with no real idea on how to apply it properly stemmed the flow of blood. So once we knew how it worked properly, it would act even better. Grimwold Mindbreaker now in reality opened a jar and placed some of the contents in a pouch which he sealed securely shut.

We entered the burial chamber. Serra Ibin Raaviat cast detect traps and the whole floor illuminated. Those that could cast fly, the rest left the room. Vernon Zarck cast portal on the floor and looking beneath saw that the floor was supported by two pillars coming from the side walls. Below the floor was the slide leading to the room where the great troll met its end.

Grimwold Mindbreaker now started his intuition in earnest. Grimwold Mindbreaker walked to the Temple entrance and stepped in, the water violently rippled, Grimwold Mindbreaker reached for the silver coin of Hashem and threw it at the water. The coin vanished in a blaze of light, midflight. Grimwold Mindbreaker could now see from below the appearance of a white wyvern that came flying from the pool and engulfed Grimwold Mindbreaker as he was breaking the spell. Grimwold Mindbreaker repeated his intuition of the previous turn and cast mind typing on the white wyvern that appeared, the creature was 46th level and was the priest and protector of this Temple. Also Grimwold Mindbreaker saw that the eyes of the statue were open and that Wendinni Goddess of Justice was looking at him. The spell ended.

Serra Ibin Raaviat in the burial chamber flew up to those areas that radiated magic and cast portal opening a way into the tombs beyond. The floor vanished with a clang. As everybody was either off it or floating above it we were ok. Serra Ibin Raaviat grabbed a ring from the finger of the corpse and purloined it, she grabbed the bastard sword inside. Serra Ibin Raaviat repeated this for a second bastard sword on the second corpse. We went into the chamber with the four sarcophagi. Serra Ibin Raaviat went to the sarcophagus marked truth or "Truth.", and again Serra Ibin Raaviat used portal to get into the sarcophagus and she reached for the ring that the corpse wore. Zap. As electricity arced between the ring and Serra Ibin Raaviat. Garack removed the ring. The ring had a large green stone set in it, the stone was the size of a human palm and glowed slightly. The stone was not from this mortal plane.

Then came the sound of trouble, the lapping of water could be heard coming from the Temple. Everyone as one fled up the stairs. Grimwold Mindbreaker, using leaping, leaped his way up, Serra Ibin Raaviat and Vernon Zarck flew up and Garack, Crayg Rydorsson and Blue Bigfoot had to do it on foot. Grimwold Mindbreaker, Serra Ibin Raaviat, Vernon Zarck, Garack and Crayg Rydorsson reached the top. Blue Bigfoot was having trouble having slipped on some of the slime. Below him he could see a cloud of charged particles with electricity arcing between them rapidly advancing towards him. Blue Bigfoot redoubled his efforts, slipping and sliding his way up reached the top of the stairs, just after the cloud. Zap, the halfling stood there dazed and sparking to earth his hair standing on end. Serra Ibin Raaviat cast leaping on the halfling and Vernon Zarck cast breeze call, a parting in the cloud opened and Blue Bigfoot could see the entrance further on and, using leaping, leapt there out of the cloud. Blue Bigfoot lay panting on the floor and giving off sparks.

About an hour later the party was talking about the first sarcophagus they had found and whether we should let out the girl trapped within. The final decision was to let her out, the trick was to first disarm the trap. The halfling looked carefully at the writing on the coffin and saw that the first Elvish letter had a slight depression, so pressing this, the halfling waited to see if the trap would go off. There came the sound of bolts moving into place and the sarcophagus when touched did not go flying into the wall. Garack removed the lid and we looked upon what lay inside. The sarcophagus was lined with red velvet and there was the skeleton of a small girl long since passed away, and a two handed sword.

The sword looked as it was made of steel, it was inlaid with gold with words, here again in ancient Elvish, justice or "Justice.". The sword did not have a scabbard and the hilt of the weapon had a green stone, the matching pair to the one that Garack wore on his finger. The stones were not from this mortal plane. Now began the time of testing of the items found.

Garack turned to the halfling and said, "Are you a halfling?", "No.", came the reply. "Are you a halfling?", asked Blue Bigfoot of Garack "Y...y...y...", was all that Garack could say. He now attempted to remove the ring only to find it was permanently attached until he performed an act of justice in the world. Garack picked up one of the bastard swords and began to draw the weapon, the light that emanated from it in the presence of the evil magic users was blinding and Garack quickly put it back in its scabbard less he be forced to use it.

Serra Ibin Raaviat cast identify and determined that the bastard swords were holy slaying weapons that were manufactured in or below Tornburg. They were forged to slay beings that radiated evil (which all the magic users here did). Garack took one two hundred yards away unsheathed it and wavered it in the direction of the party, the glow was enough to see by and would easily lead the wielder to the spell casters in the party.

Crayg Rydorsson pulled forth his mirror and the Demon Humzaar came into view. The bargaining for information began, the Demon Humzaar after much horse trading would swap the great troll breastplate, both holy slaying weapons, two first level demons and the evil magic users necklace for information of the two handed sword Justice, the ring Truth, the silver hand, and to attach the silver hand to a person yet to be chosen.

Justice was a slashing sword that had the soul of a young acolyte within and did +35% bonus, but it could not inflict unjust damage. It would doubles damage done justly and could not be touched by evil. The ring Truth was a 4 times spell multiplier directly attuned to Wendinni Goddess of Justice. The silver hand automatically entered the recipients name in the Pillar of Damned Souls and caused the wielder to radiate evil. It had a +15% fist attack, acted as a times 2 mace, a times 5 mace three times a day and supplied the spell lists for evil clerics necromancy and evil magicians matter disruption up to the level of the wielder automatically.

 

 
(c) 1997 One Night in Middleburg Rolemaster Campaign Journal by Ross Stopford  
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