CAST OF CHARACTERS
Mustafa of Arabia, a scimitar wielding desert warrior
Uther of Alfheim, an elf
Shamus Bloodstar, a Gaelic wizard
Mulnar, a Northman cleric
Falki, a Northman specialist
Arthur the Fair
Visin the Frey Cleric
"Let's hope the wizard is clearly interested in this alien skull", was a common sentiment with the party, as they stood in line outside the wizard's tower.
"Wizard's tower, wtf? I thought this campaign is on some frozen island in the arctic circle?", you may ask. Well, yes it is, but apparently that hasn't stopped an enterprising magician from far Arabia from building a tower in sheltered valley not far from Trade Town. He pays good silver for alien relics, they say. The popular rumor is that he's carried back and forth on the winds by his enslaved djinns.
So we resumed play with the party stamping their feet in the cold air, waiting on line outside the wizard's tower. They suffered the boasting of Brand the Red, another petitioner at the wizard's place, whose group 'The Wolf Cloaks' had recovered a golden disc from the ruins, a flat circle covered in weird dots. "This is writing," he said, "And this is what the wizard pays for. He's going to laugh at your stupid box." If there was some sand nearby, Brand would have tried to kick it in their faces.
The inside of the tower was oppressively hot to the Northmen. Only a single person was allowed at a time to negotiate with Milkyaton, the servant of the wizard that appraised items salvaged from the city. Shamus accompanied the strange looking foreigner, wearing the traditional head wrap kufiyya and agal of the desert people, and they went deep into the tower to sit on low cushions and speak. The metal box was carried by a pair of blocky wooden automatons that looked like dwarves with turbans.
In the end, Shamus left the strange tower, with its exotic smells, coffee drinks, and onion-shaped turret on top, with a mere 150sp, but with the knowledge that the wizard would pay well for alien writing (which, to the modern reader, I've been describing a bit like Braille). Now they had a better idea on their scavenging in the city.
Before the next jaunt back to the city, they were at the Njord Hall looking for help, and met a new potential PC, the Northman, Falki (we were down some players, so one of the dads brought his kiddo along). They learned that Galm, the mercenary from last week (who had that thing fly into his head), was out there recruiting his own group, with bold talk of finding the passages into the deeper depths. They wanted to stay far away from Galm after what they had seen.
Back in the dungeons, they went to see if the bandits from the Angry Yrsa were still camped out in one of the rooms. Different week, different players. One Sleep spell later, and the Angry Yrsa was down 7 crew members and the group was counting silver and stacking equipment to take back to town. "They attacked us first", said Shamus. "That's my story and I'm sticking to it." The murder hobo tradition is alive and well.
The Well of Woe area is well-trodden, and there were runic markings in chalk on some of the entranceways and hatches giving some indication of the room beyond… the room with the laser turret was marked as "danger", another room might have been filled with undead with the word "gjenganger", and so on. (They ended up defeating the laser with mirrors and looting that room, picking over the decapitated corpses of some less savvy explorers).
There was a large hostelry set up in one of the chambers, a small barracks where a man named Agnarson and his crew offered to provide safe quarters and food in return for coin. "It beats having to pay the toll every day to re-enter the Well of Woe", said Agnarson. "We charge quite a bit less than the toll and you don't have to leave the dungeon at all."
One of the final moments was when they were backtracking to search some areas they moved through quickly, when a large number of rats, giant rats, came skittering out of the dark. The rats ended up mobbing Twig-belly, one of the retainers, who went down to the ground screaming while giant rats clung to his torso and bit him in the face.
"Yeah, he's pretty much dead already, let's just throw oil on the whole mess and call it a night". I'm sure the other retainers will feel that was a good choice, too.
Game three ended with the group hauling all their looted gear back up the Well of Woe and back to camp, meeting the trader to see what was salvageable for coin. We're using a silver standard, so 300sp is a fine "night at the office" for level 1 adventurers.
Nogal used to post an intermittent blog over at Chronicles of Nogal, but the kid's computer died a few months ago and I haven't had the chance to get a new motherboard. He said this is what he'd be putting in his character's diary about game night (if this proves interesting, maybe I'll end the DM's game reports with Mustafa's war diaries).
Mustafa's war diary - Day 3
I got chain mail today. From a dead guy. Woohoo. Another henchman bit the dust today, torn apart by giant rats. Then we put a bunch of oil on him and the rats and we burnt them. I wouldn't want to be him.