I'd like to extend a hearty welcome to our newest player - and first female player in our weekly Labyrinth Lord campaign - Mike's friend Kat. On sunday we were down a mage and a gnoll but now had gained a fighter.
What follows is an account of said game session...
As the party of heroes approach the courtyard building, which they have been hired to clear out by Baron Thorvid, they see it is flanked by large pillars. A wide staircase leads up to the entrance of the building and at either side are large barred windows. From behind the pillars, two wolves emerge, slavering and howling! The heroes finish them off without too many problems.
Once up the stairs and inside the building proper, Falador the fighter triggers a trip wire which causes a portcullis to drop but luckily he avoids impalement by the skin of his teeth!
A strange odour seems to permeate the entire place, an odour that none of the character's can place. In one of the rooms, with a barred window to the south of it, an arrow thuds into Terder's (the thief) back! The party turn to see an orc outside of the window, taking aim at them with a bow. Before they can react, another arrow speeds towards the thief! Thal the Elf and Korm the Dwarf both nip into an alcove within the room while Falador rushes the Orc, intent on stabbing it with his sword, but the bowman steps back out of range of his stab and continues to rain arrows into the room. Falador resorts to throwing his short sword at the orc in desperation. Other party members, including Mirana, return fire with ranged weapons and eventually the orc is brought down.
Falador moves to leave the room to collect his short sword, opening the door to reveal five more orcs waiting in ambush! A vicious melee ensues with Korm taking most of the punishment on his platemail armour and glowing magical shield. A short while later, there are lots of dead orcs and most of them have fallen to Mirana's deadly arrows.
The heroes stumble into a study and load up their mule with stolen books on range of topics from battlefield tactics to business. There is even a spellbook - but without the read magic spell, no one can read it to tell what spells are inside. Inside a chest of drawers Falador discovers a few keys and a map of the level; Terder spots a funny symbol on the map and realises there must be a secret door in here. After a quick search they find it! Under a carpet is a hidden trap door. Lifting it up, they find stairs going down into a pitch darkness...
Thal, having infravision, can see that the stairs lead to some kind of cave system so he gingerly moves down them alone. The strange odour from earlier gets stronger. At the bottom, he sees the passage splits and decides to return to the rest of the party. A bookcase is moved on top of the trapdoor to seal it shut and the group continue to explore the courtyard building.
The group come across a door that won't open, so Falador attempts a flying kick at it. Unfortunately, the door remains shut. Miranda attempts her own flying kick - there is a crack as the door splinters open! The door had been barricaded shut by a bunch of kobolds that inhabit the room, they had wedged a bed up against it. The party draw weapons and attack the kobolds.
One of the kobolds leaps onto the bed and is knocked off by a punishing arrow shot. It pulls itself back onto the bed and is knocked off once more by another arrow! Slowly, it climbs once more onto the bed and Terder, who has climbed the wall above the door, swings down through the door way and stabs it with his daggers! It drops off the bed for its third and final time, now being dead. Next, Terder reaches down and grabs another of the kobolds. Its feet dangling in the air while it struggles with the thief's grasp, so Thal shoots an arrow into it!
In pretty short order, the kobolds are all dead.
Through a secret door that was also marked on the map that the party found earlier, they come across an old armoury. There are two weapon racks: one has been ramsacked years ago; the other contains intact weaponry. However, this rack - and the entire wall - is covered with a strange yellow mold. Thal goes to smell the mold, to see if the strange smell originates from it and gets a face full of spores that almost kill him!
The party retreat from the room while Falador rips up bed sheets and wraps them around the heads of his crossbow bolts. He lights them and fires them at the mold, putting it to the torch, but in so doing he accidentally destroys all the weapons except for a mace. Needless to say, the fighter takes the still smouldering mace.
Later, the group happen upon a kitchen containing much broken furniture. A stove sits in the corner and above it, a rusty exhaust pipe that leads to a leaky ceiling. Thal decides to look inside the stove and disturbs four stirges that are nesting within the pipe! They fly out and attack. One of them jabs its proboscis into the Elf and begins draining his blood. Thinking quickly, Thal uses his Spell Rune and passes through rock, moving out of the room and into the corridor beyond. The stirge's proboscis cannot pass through and so the stirge is left in the room. Thal lives to fight another day!
One of the stirges flies at Korm and inserts its proboscis into his neck. He stabs with his mithril tipped spear and kills it. Another dies in the chaos of melee, leaving two on Falador, who draws his two handed sword The Leveller from the baldric on his back. This is the first time he has wielded the ancient rune covered relic in battle... he powerswings it at both stirges that are attacking him, cutting each in half with the same blow! He has ended the danger to the party.
The group enters the courtyard itself from the spectator area, among seating high up above the overgrown artificial battle ground. In this courtyard are two skeletal warriors, fighting. They feint, thrust and swing yet never defeat each other. The heroes watch for a while, shout a few insults down but the skeletons continue to fight. Falador throws his short sword, smashing the ribs of one of the boney gladiators, but their strange dance continues unabated.
He hammers his rope into the seating area with an iron spike and climbs down, searching. He finds a ring with an R inscription on it amongst the weeds. Then he smashes one of the skeletons to bits and immediately the other begins bowing to the crowd, over and over and over again. Falador grasps its skull and pulls it off its neck, but still it continues to bow. So, with great effort, he pulls its legs off and finally smashes it to bits.
At this, the party realise they have explored all of the above ground level of the courtyard, leaving only the underground portion, so they set off for the elven village of Bramble to get the Elf trained for level two. En route, they see the remains of a grass fire and numerous nasties in the wilderness including a four headed hydra! These are all avoided by galloping away from them as fast as their horses can. Finally, they arrived at Bramble, the Elf is trained to level two, items are traded and our evening was wrapped up. How quickly five hours goes!