Wulluxia

Castle Clarish
Level One

A year after the first party made its delve into a castle on the borderlands of the Dwarven Mountains, the local Sunstone temple of Luxia sent three more adventurers to recover those still alive, as well as shut down portals that allow members of the Dark Races to spill forth. The party was made up of a mage (Hazukaiyah), a thief (Jaco), and a paladin of Luxia (Wire). They entered the castle and proceeded through in quick order, meeting up with a few kobolds. Already hurt from prior battles, Hazukaiyah and Wire made a hasty retreat. Jaco, however, managed to slip into the shadows, and began talking with the kobolds, playing at being The Cloaked One. He slipped around the back of the kobolds, and attempted a backstab. He slipped, and was quickly dispatched by the monsters. Huzakaiyah and Wire, hearing this commotion, rushed back to try and save their companion, but it was too late. The Kobolds overpowered them, knocking them out. The party woke up, fully healed, at the temple of Luxia. The clerics looked on the party as foolish, and warned them to proceed more carefully next time. The party headed into the dungeons once more, and found themselves quickly assailed once again: this time by gnolls. The gnolls, on the verge of being defeated, beat a hasty retreat into a side room. Discovering this room, the party popped their heads in to see a large group of gnolls guarding a pressure plate with an intricate blue and glowing design. Jaco, leading the group, made a hasty retreat, and lay traps outside the door. The party retreated to the empty northwest tower, where they attempted to set traps, and slept on the ground. They were ambushed by a group of gnolls, and fought bravely. But their number perished once again.

Some deity, perhaps, must favor the group, for they were once more awoken by the priests, and sent back to the castle. This time, they made their way towards the abandoned throne room, and found it not so abandoned: a large group of goblins occupied the space, sloshing around as if drunk. The goblins were not drunk, only in the throes of some goblin-secret ecstasy, but the party confronted them anyways. Hazukiayah let fly a Magic Missile, while Wire waded in and began chopping apart the dark enemies in front of him. Jaco, too, joined the fray, preferring to hang back and act as ranged support. But the eleven goblins in the room were too much, and once again the party was wiped out.

This time, however, some different God interceded. Hazukiayah, Wire, and Jaco found themselves in the restive barracks of a strange dark place. A man in a shroud of dark nimbus came to them, and asked they sign a contract that they might live. They all readily agreed, and this increased their constitutions substantially. The party again awoke, and this time managed to beat back the Goblins. They searched the room,finding little of interest.

The party pushed on, meeting with the dwarven shop posted on the highest level of the castle. Jaco tried his hardest to steal from the dwarves, and it was let slip they held some magic items. The party tried to haggle a price for a special ring, but the dwarves would only part with it in exchange for the party closing down the portals that plague the castle. The dwarves revealed that the castle had been built right into the mountain, violating all treaties with the dwarves, but they were attempting establish the castle as an embassy. Jaco offered instead of the ring, to take the treasure from an open room next to the dwarves. The lead shop-dwarf laughed and agreed. Jaco could take all the treasure.

The party set off through the hallways, combing them for clues as to the whereabouts of the portals they were tasked with closing. They found themselves in a room guarded by an adventuring party that radiated evil. Attempts at parley failed, so Hazukaiyah, Wire, and Jaco withdrew.

P. They worked their way into a former harem barracks, guarded by two Troglodytes (these very creatures had a hand in dispatching the party of a year prior). After finishing off the foes, Jaco searched the room, shiftily taking a mass sum of gold, silve, and copper for himself, along with a silver model of the earth, and a glassie globe. The other furnishings of the room were a poster-hung standard of the dark Jeltin Protectorate, the sides all gilded, and two small potion bottles, both full. Emboldened by his success in secreting the treasure away from the party, Jaco pushed into a courtyard where a Gem flashed from the waters of a fountain. It looked like a rather large and intricate gem, and Jaco grabbed for it. Blinding light flashed all around the room. Everyone but Jaco managed to blink, however, leaving him to take the full brightness into his eyes. He was blinded, and stumbled into the fountain. Wire helped him out. Hazukaiyah offered a swig of one of the potions to Jaco, who accepted, and took the blue potion from Hazukaiyah’s left hand. After a drink, he found himself flying and falling down all at once. The world seemed to change around him, and his blindness gave way to the mouth of a dragon crunching at his sides. This past, and he saw his former friends for what they were: owlbear-doppleganger hybrids. He lunged for them, but missed. A few more moments passed, as he teetered back into the fountain, and finally the feelings dissipated. He was still blinded, so the party made the trek back into town, where a cleric deftly healed the party. Jaco then led the party to a jewelers, where he had his gems identified, and sold them. (He had turned down the Dwarves in-dungeon offer of identifying and then buying the gems half-priced). Making quite a bit of gold, he cast his ear to the underground and learned that the Dwarves held a Ring of Chameleon Power, and also of the one wizard in Sunstone, Elron Hubbard. A wizard with a bizarre penchant for paying three to seventeen times more than the value of an item, he quickly brought Jaco into his tower, where he checked him for Energon Cubes, and offered him the means to control them for only a twenty gold piece base class starting price. He also bought the model of the earth, identified the banner as being Jeltin-made (suggesting it be taken to Wilhelmgrad), and finally looking at the glassie globe.

“Dost thou not know what this is?” Elron asked Jaco. Jaco shook his head.

“This is the Glassie Globe of Mambrino,” Elron said, “It is worth to me twenty thousand gold pieces, as it can causes fear and control of monsters from three to three hundred times the size of its bearer. Will you sell?”

Jaco would not sell, and as Elron raved about the benefits of his science of Deminautics, he backed out of the tower. He then made his way to Cirrub the Money-Lender’s, where he purchased a lockbox under thieves discounts, tipped the man well, and placed the Glassie Globe of Mambrino inside, wrapped in the banner of Jeltin.

Meanwhile, Hazukiayah and Wire spent their time at the temple. A helpful cleric identified the two potions as an Elixer of Madness, and a Potion of Human Control. Wire also spent this time in prayer and meditation, as well as tithing the required ten percent of the funds he’d gained so far to the church. Jaco left word at the temple that he was heading to the castle ahead of the party, where he made a deal with the dwarves that he would be gifted the Ring of Chameleon power, in hopes that he could blend in with the evil adventuring party. He would trade between five and ten slaves (or ‘prisoners-of-war’, as he explained to Wire) to dwarves working in the mine just beyond the east wall, in exchange for the ring. He agreed, and met up with the Hazukaiyah and Wire once more. They combed through the castle, first coming to a room with a lovely princess.

Close inspection revealed that the princess was chained to her bed. She called out to the party meekly, addressing Wire specifically, saying that an ogre held her captive, and someone brave must defeat him. To Wire and Hazukaiyah, she seemed airy and not all there. To Jaco, she seemed a complete person. Wire and Jaco rushed into the chamber, where they found no princess. Instead, they found themselves staring face to face with an ogre. Jaco attacked first, and missed. But one quick blow dissipated the ogre.

Searching the room revealed a secret closet with a square plate, and a book. The book told the story of the castle: once the holding of Rathar nobles, dwarves had broken through from their mines, and declared the land within their domain. Slow negotiations took place, working towards a bi-racial embassy, a place of cultural exchange between dwarves and humans. However, portals opened up in the underground level of the dungeon, and members of the Dark Races from the Jeltin Protectorate began to overrun the castle. One of the wizards on hire was Elron, whose mind was warped after he laid down a protective princess-ogre illusion in the castle, and Gringar, the other wizard was affected by the portals, turning against Rathar, and joining gnolls, kobolds, and other things in the invasion. The party also discovered that touching the square on the ground teleported them to the front door of the castle.

Moving on, still searching for kobolds to exchange for the ring, the party reached a luxuriously padded den of thieves. They thieves flashed their swords, and demanded one of the party drink from one of two goblets set out. The rules were simple: one person must drink from each goblet, and all the liquid must be drank. One bandit would drink, and one member of the party must drink. Jaco first swilled the drinks together, and then he borrowed the Elixir of Madness, which he poured into each drink, using up the potion. Both he and the bandit drank at the same time. However, Jaco’s tolerance to the potion (built up during his bout of madness), allowed him no ill effects. The elixir must have also reacted with the poison, rendering it inert. The bandit, however, went mad, and attempted to leave the room. The other bandit attempted an attack during the confusion, but was quickly slain by Wire. The mad bandit made an attack, but missed, and was then easily subdued by the party. They put him in chains, and attempted to glean any information from him, slaying him when he proved useless. Weary from a days work, they quartered in the chamber, taking from it the fancy chandelier, and the gold scattered about the table. They woke, however, to find a Homonculus standing before them. It quickly attacked them, and knocked them unconious.

They woke in a room surrounded by an evil circle, with the words “turn back” written in a blazing magical scrawl signed by Gringar. They continued on their way until they found a room filled with kobolds and a goblin prisoner. Jaco had started towards town, but was called back to action as a fight broke out. Hazukaiyah made quick work of one kobold with his quarterstaff, and pressed his advantage. Just as the kobolds began to overbear on his companions, Jaco arrived, and forestalled the encounter by accepting a challenge to dispatch the kobold champion. He did so in one stroke, but attempted to talk the leader into surrender. A kobold never surrenders when there are numbers, so the battle renewed. The party attacked to knock out kobolds, as they needed the slaves to trade for the ring. Hazukaiyaha was wounded severely, and retreated, but he was faced with the Homonculous once more. The creature attacked, missing Hazukaiyah, who ran towards the secret exit of the ogre room. Wire and Jaco defeated the kobolds and shackled them, freeing the dwarf the kobolds held prisoner. Jaco went with the Dwarf to trade the slaves to the dwarves of the mine. Then he sprinted back to town to find Hazukaiyah. Wire also sprinted after Hazukaiyah, but he met up with the Homonculous, who knocked him out.

Wire was tied up in a room filled with gnolls. His sword was guarded by a hyena. It took him some time, as the party made their way to town and back. But eventually, after several attempts to break bonds, and one failed escape, Wire returned to the room with the evil adventuring part—which was the next place of attack for his own party. He found both Hazukaiyah and Jaco dead, amongst the remains of the adventuring party. Only one thief remained, and Wire made quick work of him. He dragged the party back to town, payed the costs for resurrection, and they headed into the dungeon once more, descending down the stairs towards the second level.

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The First Delve

Asmodeus, MacRob, Mont Blanc, Grifter, and an Elf made their way to a castle formerly inhabited by the Clarish Clan of the Ratharian Empire. During the war against Jeltin, some portal was opened, allowing members of the dark races to pour out into Rathar. The party was sent to investigate the portal, and close it if at all possible. They spent some time in Sunstone, preparing for their adventure. Grifter attempted to steal everything that was not nailed down, and some things that were. An inn was found, and the party agreed to trade work for lodging in the barn. The Elf sat watch for the night, while the other slept. Eventually, a group of kobolds began an assault on the inn, but the party dispatched them quickly. After informing the owners of the attack, the adventurers were allowed to sleep inside for the remained of the night. They set out to the castle the next morning, winding up the rock pathway through the Dwarvish Mountains. The Party entered the castle and proceeded through it haphazardly. They navigated through the inner walls of the first level, discovering a small Dwarvish enclave, where they purchased slightly better weapons. This interaction was followed by Grifter running into a large room filled with treasure. A block shot up, preventing both Grifter, and Mont Blanc from exiting the room. Mont Blanc tied up the rogue, and the rest of the party (Asmodeus, MacRob, and the Elf) continued to poke through the dungeon, and learned from the Dwarves that the treasure-filled room was a trap, from which they would take the rogue and place him in jail for his greed. The party outside the trap also encountered a Green Slime in a room with a fountain, though after Mont Blanc and Grifter were released, they managed to dispatch the foe. For a moment, the party worried that Asmodeus was starting to turn into a slime, but they determined it was only a trick of the light. the party grabbed coins in the green slime’s room, and passed through a room to the south, where they disturbed an urn, which began laughing maniacally. The Elf grabbed a piece of chalk from the floor, and kept it close to his hands. The party crossed a hallway, and entered a fairly empty room, but for sparse decorations. In the doorway they viewed a princess, beckoning them to come to her aid. MacRob, however, thought the whole thing some elaborate dupe. The Elf, however, charged through the door to save the princess. Here he encountered an ogre, which attacked him viciously. The Party fled from the scene, and headed north once more. They party then entered a barracks-like room full of beds. A large table held a freshly killed hogshead, and other debris. They then pushed outwards into a courtyard, where they found another fountain. From inside the fountain, a gem flashed, and Grifter grabbed at it, causing a flash of light to blind everyone except for Mont Blanc. The party rested for four hours as their sight came back, and were attacked by Troglodytes. Mont Blanc, acting quickly, guided the party out another door, and their vision quickly returned. The party continued down a hallway, coming to the barracks of one of the watchtowers. Using an arrow, Grifter managed to pry open a trapped chest, avoiding spikes that shot from the lock. Unfortunately for the greedy thief, the chest had long since been emptied. Growling, Grifter led the party into the tower, where they found nothing but tattered sheets, some scented oil, and a few sweetmeats. From there, the exploration continued back out the barracks doors, and down a slanting corridor to the east. The party listened at the next door they came to, and heard a slight buzzing. Opening the door revealed two fire beetles, who promptly attacked the party. Engaging the bugs for a few rounds, the party was wounded, and made a fighting retreat. They attempted to retread towards the Dwarves they’d met earlier for safety, but met with the troglodytes on the way. The Elf offered a candle, suggesting the Troglodytes would meet their maker should he use the implement in the correct way. They did not, however, believe him, and quickly slew Asmodeus, MacRob, Grifter, and the Elf. Mont Blanc, his party’s corpse around him, surrendered, and the troglodytes brought him to a cavern in the lower level of the castle. Kobolds have been feeding and beating him daily.

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