Discussion, planning and an assortment of fights. Discovery of a great staircase, and a few interesting bits of treasure. This was all enough for the group to reach 4th level when they headed back to town. The group keep encountering creatures that their players either have not encountered or know little about. I do occasionally remind the players that while they may know something about certain monsters or the way things might happen, their characters do not. It can be difficult not to mention/utilise that sort of knowledge, so being able to put creatures they don’t know into play is good for both me and them. (They still don’t truly know what the dark folk are, and while some of them knew what a kyton is, none knew of the augers – the flying armoured eyes.)
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20th Harvester: Bacon notices a secret door in the small chamber while they wait. One of the dark folk returns and leads them along a narrow hall and then off to a large room with small tables, chairs and even a rug on the floor. A slimmer, taller figure in similar clothing (but much cleaner) and leather armour is waiting for them. He introduces himself as Kael, the leader of the group of dark folk here and above. Kael thanks them for helping the earlier folk and seems happy to meet them. He mentions rooms on both sides of a wide hall on this level, and states that demonic creatures have taken over the other side of the level. The dark folk outnumber them, but they take little damage from non-magical weapons and are faster, so both groups are at a stalemate, with an occasional skirmish at the central hall. Both sides have low barricades protecting their position. Kael offers gems and coins if the group will destroy the bloodthirsty group, led by a chain wrapped humanoid. Seldrel thinks from descriptions, that the other leader is a Kyton, or Chain Devil. As such they would need silver weapons to defeat them. They accept the proposal and decide to rest here and prepare spells. They also locate three bottles of silversheen in their equipment and decide that Bacon, Hardaz and Winter should use these.
21st: With Hardaz’ axe, Bacon’s fists, and a quiver of Winter’s arrows silvered, the group moves up for quick look down the long wide hall. All is quiet, and two damaged doors close by lead to small empty rooms. They cross a low barricade and move into a narrow passage. Many alcoves are spaced along it and as Lanliss move forward a small metal clad object darts at him. A large flying eye is mostly wrapped in metal and covered in barbs and blades. He has trouble damaging it, and while its attacks cause minimal damage, they bleed. It takes a few blows from Bacon to take it down. At the end of the hall is a small chamber with bloodstains. An engraving (of a star in a circle in a square) is carved into the floor with reddish stones embedded into it. Seldrel reads a faint magical aura. Lanliss finds a secret door – beyond it a second small room has rubbish. Amid the broken weapons, scraps of armour and clothing, they locate a wand and a small magical shield. Moving forward through some more rooms, they sight the Kyton and when they move in to attack, two more of the armoured eyes fly in and attack. Both sides trade blows and then both the kyton and its allies retreat. Lanliss suggests closing doors to stop the eyes moving around and they carefully check the rooms around them as they move forward. They find a badly wounded dark folk whom they heal. The Kyton opens a door behind them and makes a brief attack before retreating again. The group splits two ways, with Bacon chasing the chain devil and nearly everyone else heading around to the narrow passage. The eyes attack, retreat, and soon it’s a general melee in the passage with the kyton backed into a niche and the eyes on the edge of the fight. This time they are all destroyed. The group heals, has a final check that there are no other rooms and heads back to Kael.
The dark folk seemed happy and Kael thanks them for what they have done – then the dark folk attack. The surprise attack inflicts wounds on most of the group – some of which are poisoned. Bacon throws off the effects, but Lanliss is not so lucky. Kael draws two short swords and focuses on the rogue. The first dark folk struck down with a solid blow creates a burst of bright light blinding Winter. The group is careful to glance away each time another falls. Then all their lights go out – mundane and magical – and only the dwarves can still see. They focus on Kael and dark folk around Lanliss, who is knocked unconscious. Soon the dark folk leader is struck down and the magical darkness is lifted. Merxif heals whomever he can, while the rest trade blows. Winter can see again and resumes taking down targets. Two dark folk retreat and someone takes a moment to make sure Kael won’t rise again – the traitorous humanoid explodes in a ball of flame, setting off fallen dark folk like firecrackers. Only clothes and knives remain of those killed. The group scout through more rooms and into some caves full of fungi and vegetables. A giant scorpion attacks Hardaz but is quickly killed. Searching the rest of the chambers produces a wand of magic missiles, food, silver and gold coins, gems and some potions.
The group head back to the central wide passage and check two more empty but battered rooms. Beyond them is a thirty foot wide shaft with a stairway going both up and down. The stairs appear to make only a few downward revolutions being stopping, but the shaft extends down as far as anyone can see. They head back upstairs, stopping in the Hall of Gods to activate the statue of St. Cuthbert. Heading up through the hold is uneventful, but as they head out to the main road and voice speaks from the long grass “I’m watching you!” and something moves speedily away. Lanliss and Winter find paw prints, likely a large canine like a wolf. They are back in Falsford around midday.
22nd Harvester – 2nd Brewfest. Seldrel begins crafting magical enhancements for the group. Hardaz seeks out the town wizard to make his axe Impervious. The group enjoys the celebration of Brewfest. <Level Four>