Episode 24 : The Temple To The Troll God - or - All That Glints Is Not Gold

The Wartroll raced down first and a few minutes later flew into fine wires that hung from the ceiling. From out of the side of the Great Staircase came a dozen arrows that pin cushioned into and off of the Wartroll. We stopped momentarily to see the gap on the lefthand side and continued flying down. The Wartroll mended itself in flight. At the 1 mile deep mark we came to a landing in the Great Staircase, it folded back on itself about a point and kept descending. In the area made by the turn was more artwork carved and engraved into the walls. This time it depicted a mock Temple to a Troll God. Grimwold Mindbreaker looking carefully saw that one of the mock doors in this Temple was actually a real door. We landed and looked for the opening mechanism.

The halfling saw a glint of what he thought might be gold so he went over to investigate. He found that the glint was actually a small brass lever at halfling eye height. "Found the opening mechanism for the door. Do you want me to open it?". Everybody ignored the halfling, chatting amongst themselves. The subjugated Wartroll came over and stood next to the mock door. The halfling flicked the lever, the mock door started grinding as it opened, moving back and to the left. The halfling stepped into the doorway to look inside. Axel Rohansson cast silence on the door stopping the grinding sound. Bang, the halfling was hit by a spell, but luckily for him he resisted. The halfling fell back under the weight of the spell uttering, "Oops, err, perhaps I should have waited.".

Vernon Zarck cast stun cloud into the room beyond, sparks showered the area. Those that can see inside, saw the multireflected light of the stun cloud and a torch that Domund Garsson tosses into the room. The reflected light revealed the figures of two trolls that were rushing to the doorway. Domund Garsson cast haste on the subjugated Wartroll. The first troll left the room into the blades of the Wartroll. The first display of Wartroll swordsmanship left the other reeling and on the backfoot. On the next round the hasted Wartroll cut the other troll to ribbons.

The second troll appeared in the doorway and turned to the hasted Wartroll. From behind the halfling stabbed at it with all his might, making it yelp and start forward. The next instant darkness engulfed the area of the fight. The halfling was stunned and unable to do anything for the remainder of the combat, he groped his way to the wall and waited until his sight and sense came back. The darkness lifted. Vernon Zarck cast haste on Harry Mata who was almost set to go into the fray. Vernon Zarck cast from a scroll and misfired, he sent himself staggering back, with a painful headache, unsure where he was.

The second troll strikes the Wartroll and draws blood, but no more. The Wartroll chops back sending the second troll reeling. Domund Garsson fires an arrow into this troll, hurting it. Harry Mata steps forward and hurts the second troll even more with a series of sword blows and thrusts. The second troll joins its companion lying on the floor in a ever enlarging pool of troll blood. The doorway goes black and stays that way. The Wartroll advances into the darkness and thrusts and swings his sword in the darkness. He does not hit anything apart from inanimate objects. There is a noise to his right he thrusts and misses. He swings again and is hit by a sleep spell. The Wartroll drops to the floor sound asleep.

Vernon Zarck has begun spell preparation. The third troll inside the room raises his sword and thrusts it where he thinks the Wartroll's neck should be. The third troll stabs his sword into the Wartrolls shoulder and wakes him. Vernon Zarck cast light and the darkness in the room is dispelled. Serra Ibin Raaviat cast break limb but it is resisted by the third troll. Domund Garsson fires his bow into the room and hits the third troll. The Wartroll tries to stand and his hand slips on the blood he shed onto the floor. Vernon Zarck's stun cloud crackles merrily away.

The third troll drops his weapons and raises his hands in gestures of spellcasting. Black channeling here we come. Serra Ibin Raaviat cast break limb, this time successfully, the third troll's right leg falls from beneath him and he drops to the floor. Vernon Zarck cast shock bolt and gives the third troll a soft outer glow. The third troll fails to cast his spell, the spell careers off to the right into the wall, chipping it. Harry Mata and Domund Garsson shoot into the third troll injuring him. The Wartroll stands and chops hurting this troll. Two more arrows from Harry Mata and Domund Garsson ting off the troll. The Wartroll delivers a series of blows to his downed foe, killing him.

People pause to draw breath. The room is a Temple to the Troll God, it has copper sheets on its four walls and ceiling. The door recess is cut from one of the copper sheets, there is no other way to enter or exit. At one end of the room there are three skeletal statues of humans. The statues are actual skeletons that have had their bones wired together to keep them in place. The skeletal statues still have weapons and armour and are in fighting posses. Also in the room is a troll size cot and in the very centre a copper pot set on a tripod. A small fire burns underneath the copper pot and its contents simmer away filling the room with the aroma found only in an Alchemist's shop.

Serra Ibin Raaviat quickly searches our downed foes and finds a key which she pockets. The key unlocks all the locks from this point to the outpost above. Serra Ibin Raaviat cast a magical flourish and saw that the area surrounding two of the statues and the copper pot glow. Serra Ibin Raaviat has a closer look at the statues. The first is in chainmail with a broadsword and round shield. The second is dressed in the same manner but uses a longsword instead. The third statue is in leather that has long ago grown old, it has a shortsword and a dagger in its hands. Serra Ibin Raaviat casts detect essence, detect channeling and detect mentalism and brings up the following objects, the copper pot, the broadsword and the shortsword.

Blue Bigfoot goes up to the skeletal statue with the shortsword and shakes the shortsword from the bony fingers. Grimwold Mindbreaker comments, "I think detect curse would be a good idea.". Serra Ibin Raaviat cast detect curse and says, "The copper pot is cursed but nothing else here is. Well, that is, that we don't already know of.". We stripped the skeletal statues of their weapons and armour. All of their weapons and equipment are of fine quality. A suit of chainmail and a round shield goes to Ham Stollsson. Harry Mata takes the shortsword. The other round shield goes to Domund Garsson. The dagger disappears into the halfling's belt, and the other suit of chainmail is carried along as baggage.

The shortsword is magical and has inscribed down its blade in spidery Ancient Elvish bloody fist or bloody fist. Serra Ibin Raaviat deduces that the shortsword has a +20% bonus, as well as doing slashes instead of crushes and an extra A class critical if it does do a critical. Hence the shortsword's name follows on quite well.

Axel Rohansson suggests that we sleep here the night as this seems to be the best place for it. We are only likely to be disturbed by Clerical Trolls come to relieve this Temple Outpost and not just by any passing Troll patrol. From down below another roar reaches the ears of the halfling, sending shivers down his body.

Serra Ibin Raaviat wants to do some further questioning of the two Wartrolls before we rest for a period of eight hours. Grimwold Mindbreaker cast fear on both Wartrolls and has them both whimpering with fear. Now both Wartrolls have ready and willing tongues. The halfling shudders at the sounds they are making. Serra Ibin Raaviat turns to the Wartroll we found at the Troll outpost and using her magic spell truth, and an interpreter she begins questioning. "As we progress down the Great Staircase what is the sequence of leftside rightside locks that we have to know to get safely downstairs?". A simple reply follows, "Don't know.". Pulling out the key that she found on the dead trolls, she says, "What about this key, it will open the locks downstairs, won't it?". Again a simple reply, "No, that key can only open the locks upstairs.". "Damn, well at least getting upstairs again will be easier.". The Wartroll smiles, "That's only if you live long enough to go back!".

Serra Ibin Raaviat continues, "How many rises between each trap?". "It varies, the traps are all different each time.". "Right then, how would you go safely down the Great Staircase?". "I would look out for the signs and be very careful, that's how.". Serra Ibin Raaviat said, "What's at the bottom of the Great Staircase?". The Wartroll said, "There is a Man's House with a pretty garden in front of the Gate. There are big trolls. There is a lake. There are Smackits.". The halfling pipes up "I know what a Smackit is.". She turns and says, "What?". "Well they are things that really smack it one!". Serra Ibin Raaviat sighs, "Thank you.", she turns to the Wartroll, ignoring the halfling. She said, "What is making the roaring sound that we have twice heard before?". The Wartroll responds, "The big thing that eats trolls. It's stuck in the middle of the stairway. It prevents us from getting downstairs without losing trolls. It big and scaly and burns trolls to a crisp.". Grimwold Mindbreaker speaks up, "It must be a small version of a Dragon, a baby or infant perhaps.".

"Tell me about the man at the bottom of the Great Staircase, what race is he? Elf, or Northman or Common man?". The Wartroll points at Harry Mata and says, "Normal man, like him.". "Now, what does the man do?". "Man live in house, man kill trolls, man hides treasure in house, man protects the Gate.". "How long has man been there?". "Man there when Grandfather was young.". Serra Ibin Raaviat said, "Is man troll enemy?". "No.". "Is man troll friend?". "No, he scare trolls.". "How many major landings like this one are there between us and the man's house?". The Wartroll thinks and says, "Three.". "How many before the next troll outpost?". "One.". "How many more keys are there?". "One more key, downstairs.". "What guards are there.". "Guards change at the Great Underground Highway.". "Are they trolls like you.". "No, they little trolls.". "How often is the Great Staircase used?". "Not much, maybe once a day, sometimes very busy, sometimes not, this time not busy. Humans in new cave.", spitting, "Some movement on Great Staircase.".


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