I caught up with some of Father Darham’s other orphans recently – Gweneesh the black-winged human magic user and cat, Thor; Zarlon the human magic user; Lichen the human druid and his staff/snake, Clyde; and Grog the half-orc, or half-human as he prefers, fighter/thief. Of course, I knew them from the orphanage, but I hadn’t seen them in a while. They’ve really changed since I knew them. I suppose the most shocking was Gweneesh’s wings, but she didn’t seem to want to talk about them.
When I joined them, I didn’t have much. I was wearing my simple clothing under plate armor with a shield, bastard sword, and short bow. Of course, I had a backpack with a few small items such as food and water as well. I told them how I was now going by Kyros Beastrunner after outrunning that beast, but they seemed to find it amusing and not believe me! They did, however, have a trade for me. They allowed me to exchange my plate armor and bastard sword for magically enhanced versions of each. I believe powerful weapon and armor enchanters use the shorthand “+1” for each of these.
My companions tracked the weapons to a volcano. After we found a cave leading inside, I followed my friends into the tunnel. Grog found a trapdoor covered in sludge, and he managed to open it with the help of Lichen. Through the trapdoor we discovered a spiral staircase leading us into a watery tunnel. Now I knew this was a bad idea, but my companions wouldn’t listen to me so we proceeded. A few turns later, I slipped and went sliding forward. It was horrible! I told
I reluctantly trudged into the mucky water behind them. Eventually we reached a beast with a cat’s body and human woman’s torso and head. She required us to answer a riddle before we could proceed, and we did it without a problem. The path forked into three ways, and we chose the left one.
We came across a hallway that we couldn’t cross without all of our metal heating to the point that it burned us. We came with an idea; we could put all of our metal belongings in Grog’s Bag of Holding. However, Gweneesh seemed very against it. She was incredibly defensive about leaving her dagger. Something is very strange about it. Grog and Lichen proceeded down the hallway as a test with all their metal in the bag. They entered a large room filled with a vast number of ghouls. Being unable to get ready for battle in time, they ran back down the hallway. When they rejoined us, Gweneesh cast a fireball down the hallway. The explosion stopped mere feet from us. Lichen used a spell to chill our metal, and the five us ran down the hallway as fast as we could. Our belongings began to get hot, but we made it without being harmed. With only the charred remains of the ghouls waiting for us, we continued.
Next we found a very strange room. It was a long room with a door on each side. A few feet in front of each door was a pit spanning the width of the room filled with razors. We experimented and found that we couldn’t fly in the room at all, and worse yet, the ground had no friction! Eventually we discovered that there was friction on the walls of the pit. Using a couple ropes and magical Rope of Climbing, Grog managed to reach the pit, stab the wall with his dagger, and use the Bag of Climbing to continue. Once ropes were set across the whole room, we were able to cross.
Of course, what do you think the next room contained? Something that would call for my unique experience with tracking animals so I could show my friends how heroic I’ve become? No. More water. Levitating tubes of water and boats. Resigned to my fate, I climbed into one two-seat boat with Gweneesh, and the five of us set sail through the flying waterway.
By the time Geneesh and I reached the next room, our friends were already in combat! I jumped out, ready to help. Gweneesh tried to help but never got out of her boat, so she actually continued sailing around. Some humans were attacking us, but I don’t know why. Most were weak, but one was fairly strong. I engaged him in melee combat, and he tried to jump away. I realized he must be using some sort of magic, because no normal person could jump like that. However, we managed to kill him. Examining his body, we found magical boots that Zarlon realized enhanced jumping, magical plate armor even more powerful than mine, a magical longsword and a magical shield. The group decided to let me have the plate armor and longsword for which I was quite grateful.
The next chamber we discovered was huge and quite odd. It must have been planned by some sort of sadistic, magical zookeeper. The room was shaped like an inverted ziggurat. We could walk in a circle around the chamber on the top level. The next level was some sort of aquarium with aggressive fish of some sort. Next was a level of scorpions. After that was a level of aquatic lions. On the bottom were three manticores guarding a door.
Lichen transformed into a bird and flew down to the bottom level. Almost instantly the manticores began launching spikes at him, and he looked seriously hurt. I began notching an arrow in an attempt to provide what help I could from the top level. Meanwhile Zarlon began to take off his new boots so he could give them to me, hopefully enabling me to jump down. I rushed to help my friends, not paying attention to what I was doing, and ended up making things worse. Not only did Gweneesh with my arrow, but I broke my bow to pieces. I’ll need to remember to purchase another bow. When Zarlon got the boots off, I got them on me and jumped down to help. After we slayed the manticore, we found a safe with some treasure in it, but still no lost weapon. But we did find another room.
This room seemed like a sort of lounge with couches and a hookah. A halfling, or something like one, was in the room. He seemed friendly but odd, and he got into a circular conversation with Lichen. Suddenly, disappeared, and in his place was five large creatures of some sort! At the same time we were hit with some sort of magic. Most of us were badly hurt, and Zarlon and Gweneesh were knocked unconscious. Sadly, Gweneesh’s cat familiar, Thor, perished in the attack. I tried to get a potion down Gweneesh’s throat, but Lichen managed to heal them enough for them to groggily get up. Grog, Lichen, and I proceeded to attack the creatures. As we attacked them, they disappeared. I had a suspicion that each would disappear when touched until only one was left, and that turned out to be true. As we fought the last one, he cast some sort of spell on me.
By now, I’ve realized what happened, but at the time, it went something like this. I was attacking the enemy with my group of friends when all of a sudden, I was in the room my friend who was being attacked by four invaders. I turned to the outsiders and began to battle them, trying my best to kill them. One went invisible, but I continued to slash in front of me where I thought he was. Unfortunately, I couldn’t protect my friend as the invaders slayed him.
And then suddenly I realized that it was my enemy who was in fact killed, and that I was under the effects of some sort of mind control spell. It was like I was a different person. What would have happened if I hadn’t snapped out of it? Was that Kyros killed only for my original personality to be revealed once again?
Regardless, we stumbled across an invisible sword in the room. After some debate, we tried to grab it up. Many of us just couldn’t do it. It was like the sword didn’t want to be gripped by us, and we were powerless to go against our wishes. It tolerated Gweneesh and Lichen, but I don’t know why. Lichen picked it up, and it began to take control of him just as he dropped it into the Bag of Holding.
Blackrazor was found, and now we had only two more weapons to locate.
This was my first session of AD&D 1e ever and my first with this group. They’ve been playing for some time now, so I jumped in at level 5. I had a lot of fun, and so far, this module has been great. Most of the night was spent thinking about how to overcome the rooms themselves rather than slaying enemies. I’m not used to that, but I really enjoyed it.