Sigh. Only two players turned up, so, once again, we are away from the Delve. At this rate, I’m going to be running the Campaign of the Sidequest. Anyway, I gave the players the choice of two different one-page dungeons or a small dungeon I rolled randomly. They chose the latter.
-Stoich the Stalker, an amorous elvish thief
-Pollaro, a stoich dwarven warrior
Our heroes were sitting in a small town bar, when they were approached by a man named Argos of Sanor who asked them if they would help him take out a business rival, who had set up shop underground nearby; he offered to pay well, and pay even more for the rival’s journal. The boys jumped at the chance of a job, and quickly headed out to the ruins where the rival was holed up.
Their first stop within the lair was a laboratory, which was guarded by a small horde of wooden skeletons that advanced as soon as they opened the door. Our heroes managed to set some of them on fire, and left while they burned to ash. They inspected another room, where a small flight of stirges attacked them. They quickly backed into a corner, where they had the advantage over the flying monstrosities, which either fled or died.
While Pollaro searched the crates throughout the room, Stoich went back to the lab. The first thing he noted was a strange blue goop leaking out of the skulls of the wood skeletons. He scraped some of it into an empty jar, and made a hurried search of the rest of the room. He found two bottles: one labelled Disappearance, and the other labelled with an enigmatic symbol. Then he smashed the rest of the glassware.
Back in the stirge room, our heroes blocked the door with crates and went on. They came to an intersection, and turned right, entering a room almost entirely filled with a pool of rancid water. There was a small sack floating on the water. Cautious of disturbing anything that might have been in the pool, Stoich used Pollaro’s 10’ pole to fetch it out; it had 9 pieces of electrum.
Wounded, Stoich decided to rest, while Pollaro kept watch. Pollaro saw a troop of wooden skeletons approach from down the corridor, and turn to go through the room they had blocked off. After a few minutes, they returned to the intersection; some went back the way they’d come, and went up the stairs; the others headed straight for Pollaro.
Pollaro drew his +1 scimitar and attacked. There was no help from Stoich who was, at this point, taking a leak. Pollaro smashed one skeleton, but was knocked unconscious. Stoich set a trap for the surviving skeleton, throwing it into the pool. He dragged Pollaro back into the room, where they holed up for a while.
Once they were both feeling up to moving, they went in the direction the skeletons had first approached. At the end of a long corridor, they found a door, locked and barred by a magical forcefield. They had no choice but to double back. They explored past the laboratory, winding their way through the rest of the complex. In one room, they found a giant bee hive, no doubt kept by the owner for ingredients. In another room, they were beset by another swarm of stirges. One of them latched onto Stoich’s groin; once they got it off, Pollaro declared that “You’re not Stoich the Stalker, you’re Stoich the Not-So-Well-Endowed.” Stoich was not impressed.
Finally, they found their way to another locked door. It was not barred magically, so Pollaro decided to smash it down. It folded quickly before his scimitar. On the far side was an elf, dressed in a wizard’s robes. He was waiting, with a magnificent sword drawn. But before he could do anything, Pollaro slashed across his chest and Stoich hit him in the stomach with an arrow. He was down almost instantly.
Before killing him, Stoich demanded an explanation of the enigmatic potion—it was a love philtre, and Stoich decided to take very good care of it—and the blue goop—the wizard spat on his face and refused to answer. “Argos sent you, didn’t he? Tell the son-of-a-troll that I’ll never tell, and he’ll never translate my journal!” He tried to cast a spell, and Stoich slit his throat.
Our heroes ransacked the room, and found some scrolls, a chest full of coins and jewellery, and a handwritten journal. It was in Elvish, but in some kind of devilish code that Stoich couldn’t read. They took the sword, and left.
Back in the town of Sanor, they sold their gems and jewellery to a cunning priest, who undervalued everything, without them knowing. Pollaro went to the blacksmith with his spoils, and ordered a set of custom-made plate mail. They met a slimy street vendor calling himself Rumelor the Magnificent, who offered to identify their magic items. Their sword, it seemed, was a historical blade, forged by the knights of Ravolox to fight against the dragons; however, in the hands of anyone but a practised warrior, it would be weak.
Mightily pleased with themselves, Stoich and Pollaro made their way to the inn, where Argos was waiting. When he saw the jar of goop, he quickly gave them a hundred gold for the jar. Then he asked if they had the journal. Pollaro decided that they could easily get more than the 500gp already promised, and asked for a hundred platinum for everything. Argos was not impressed.
He spoke a command, and every man in the inn stood up and drew his sword. Stoich readied his bow to fire at Argos; but Argos was faster. He drew a wand, and paralyzed them both. He took the journal, as well as the gold he’d already paid them, and had them thrown out into the pig sty. Our heroes swore vengeance on Argos, and meekly returned to the inn near the Delve.