Tuesday, 15 September 2015

[Actual Play] AD&D 2nd - Ravenloft, House of Strahd Session 3

Ravenloft Session 3

Standing in the destroyed throne room, a hundred fried bats around them, the adventurers hear muffled voices coming from the door to their left. Thenn steps over and tries to listen, making out a few common words from one individual, but the other person was unintelligible. Kolbo suggests opening the door and tossing a fireball in, but Grayven had just used the two he’d memorized. Instead, the Grayven casts invisibility on Thenn.

Thenn knocks on the door while the rest of the party hides behind the secret door. An aged, portly scholar opens the door and, in a confused manner, asks if someone has brought dinner. Thenn sneaks into the room and finds a cluttered desk, shelves and floor covered in books, scrolls… and a pile of coins. The scholar appears to be chained to the floor by a long steel shackle and a padlock. Amongst the books is a middle aged halfling filling his pockets with coins while the scholar isn’t looking…

Marvin the Mediocre - Level 6 Thief/Level 5 Fighter
Str 9, Dex 10, Con 13, Int 7, Wis 9, Cha 7
HP 22, AC 8, Two-Handed Sword
Marvin is petitioning the Count over an inheritance issue related to his grandfather’s pants.

Thenn cuts the alarm bell cord and positions himself to be ready to attack. The scholar closes the door and tries to begin a converse with the halfling again, who seems to only speak the halfling tongue. Kolbo decides, since Thenn is taking so long, to kick in the door while Grayven follows him in. Seeing some rather harmless individuals, Kolbo introduces himself. The scholar, Lief, explains that he was kidnapped and chained to this desk to account the Count’s tax incomes. Lief explains the little surroundings of the castle that he knows about and warns the adventurers not to steal any of the taxes. The party ignores him and finds 3,400 gold pieces (Marvin had already pocketed an additional 300 gp) and a cleric scroll containing heal, restoration, cure serious wounds, and cure disease. Lief seems fearful that the Count will punish him now, so agrees to follow the party.

The party enters the double doors of the throne room and finds a narrow room with skeletons on the right and left. Afraid they might animate, Kolbo and Marvin dismantle the skeletons with their flail and sling, respectively.

Passing into the Hall of Grace, the party is disconcerted by a low moaning sound near the center of the room. Searching the southern wall, the Quidianna finds a secret entrance to a room reeking of grease and oil. A number of cogs, pulleys, gears, and levers cover the room. Kolbo begins experimenting with the levers on the east wall when he triggers the trap. The floor he stands on suddenly rises, leaving a 10 ft tall gated elevator in front of the rest of the party. The elevator continues to rise up the lengthy shaft, one so long that Kolbo can’t see the top with his darkvision. The rest of the party franticly mashes the controls and tries to stop the cogs as Kolbo pounds the roof of the elevator he is atop looking for a secret door. Eventually, just as the elevator picks up speed, Quidianna finds the controls to stop the elevator. Adjusting them slightly, she brings elevator back down and returns Kolbo to the party.

Fleeing the elevator room, the party decides to continue their exploration to the east. As they open the double doors, they find a grand balcony before them, light softly emanating from the void below, silhouetting two high backed chairs. Thenn, still invisible, decides to sneak forward and investigate the thrones, but his coin purse jingles a little too loud. Two rotting corpses spring up, cartilage creaking from disuse, and walk towards the party with hungry glares. Lief flees the scene.

Quidianna brandishes her holy symbol of the Morninglord but fails to turn the undead and the heroes valiantly lop off the arms of their foes. Emboldened by Quidianna’s aid, Marvin prepares to face off against a weakened shambler when the zombie’s severed arms rise up and claw at this chest, tearing out handfuls of flesh. After the zombies are dispatched with a stunning overhead cut by Marvin’s longsword, the party finds a box containing 30 platinum and 8 gold pieces beneath one of the thrones.

The adventurers descend the stairs to their north and find themselves in a large grand, cathedral ceiling chapel, the balcony they just fought on cantilevered above. The chapel has a raised altar with a stone statue of a man draped over it. Marvin inspects the statue, it appears to be a cloaked man whose stone grasp clutches a silver raven figurine. Grayven believes that the man might have been afflicted by the spell stone to flesh and offers to attempt to dispel it’s magic. As he unweaves the centuries old magic, the figure begins to move and it’s stone skin cracks, but never breaks. Quidianna is able to pick up the raven figure.

Further exploration of the chapel reveals aged blood stains amongst the overturned pews and the remnants of chapbooks to a deity called Andral.

The party heads west through another set of double doors and finds themselves in another long hallway, mirroring the Hall of Grace above. It is lined with armored statues every ten feet. Marvin Quidianna attempts to don the armor from one of the statues, only to find that it is a cheap tin replica of plate mail. Grayven also searches for a secret door in the center but finds nothing.

Marvin sneaks forward and opens the set of double doors at the end of the hall and finds himself in the gargoyle filled foyar near the castle’s main entrance. The torches are out now and the gargoyles glare down at him in the minimal dawn light. Marvin sneaks forward further while the others are look for a secret door. As he steps into the middle of Castle Ravenloft’s entry, 4 margoyles descend from their ceiling perches. Before Marvin can even draw his sword, he’s crushed to a pulp in a fury of fists, fangs, and lashing tails.

The rest of the adventurers can only look on in horror as the margoyles ascend to their perches out of sight…

Session XP: 540

Session Loot: 3708 gp, Scrolls of heal, restoration, cure serious wounds, and cure disease, and a silver raven figurine.
RIP: Marvin the Mediocre

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