ADVENTURE 12: SLIME TIME: Thus, the group carried back the coffin from out of the frightful dungeon depths, hauling the unfortunate soldierss moldering skeleton past river and monolith, through moor and through marsh. The same odd peasants glared at them wickedly, this time seeming to be in greater numbers, their stares more direct than ever before, and all the while the heroes felt a sense of being watched from all directionsperhaps only a lingering feeling of dungeon-inspired paranoiaperhaps something more. Carrying the body back to the branch Temple of all Gods, the local Nerrulite cleric was pleased to received this corpse of a minor hero, and set forth to give the man a proper burial. The heroes were given a thousand gold piece reward for this deed, and with the money in tow, they began setting out for the dark depths of Rappan Athuk yet again. It was then that they met a most curious individualhis name was Graham Delay, self-proclaimed expert on Rappan Athuk, a master dungeoneer who bragged about his exploits in the famous pit of evil, claiming great knowledge and greater expertise, Graham had journeyed into the Dungeon of Graves before, each time the only survivor in his party. He made the others an offerto be their guide, and they his protection. The others agreed, though with a bit of skepticism, as many of his claims seemed rather inflated. They soon discovered that Delay had an agenda of his own; the acquisition of the legendary Mace of Cuthbert, which he had discovered was way down on level fourteen. With the new member along, the party was soon back in Rappan Athuk, and through the main entrance. This time, they explored the long-ignored wererat lair of level one, earning a few delayed pieces of loot, and also learning a few things about the dungeon from their new friend: the river on the first level lead to a waterfall, descending all the way down to a near-legendary ninth level. Also, the dung-monsters lair was rumored to contain a great treasure; and though they made some plans for getting it, nobody was yet eager to fight the being. They went through the second level with little trouble, and on the third, their only molester was a lone umber hulk, which was more of an annoyance than anything. Here, as they walked through the eternally dark grotto of the worm cavern, Graham spoke of a secret tomb somewhere on the floor, a tomb to the legendary mage Spiegel, the same man who had given the wise warning at the entry. Where it was, nobody could sayalthough Joseph had a few ideas about the strange rock formation in the central cave. Also, the river on the third level apparently lead, according to their guide, to sub-level 3A, the legendary well level, and lair of the undead Zelkor. Not having any boat to sail down it, they decided to send Snaggletooth along, to see what he saw. The dragon came back shaking and afraid, speaking of a horrific feeling about the whole level, and of some strange undead beings he had seen. They decided to go to level four first, hoping it would be more merciful. Before going down, however, they more fully explored the former ghouls chamber, uncovering a secret room with an undesecrated tomb, belonging to a pure and holy eleven maiden. While Ashrem and Joseph wanted to take the body back for a profit, Karl disagreed, wanting to preserve the sanctity of the place. Tyro spoke with the dead soul, and learned that she had no desire to be moved anywhere elseand so they left the tomb alone, jarring shut the secret door behind them so that nobody would ever disturb it again.
Then came level four. The halls were all carved with hellish runes, scrawled by inhuman hands and glowing subtly in the darkness. A hallway winding left and rightthey took the left path first, hoping for the best, but finding only a sinister trap. It happened to the two roguesSithdar and Graham. As they rounded a corner and investigated a dead end for secrets, Sithdar found a hidden door. He opened it to reveal only a blank wall. Suddenly a huge porticulis slammed down behind them, trapping the two in this small chamber. From another hidden panel in the wall came an oozing, slimy black thing, its mass undefined and its consistency that of slick and greasy oil. It lurched toward them, through the porticulis and over Graham, nearly killing him. The others, who had been waiting back in the hall, came running as they heard the screams, and eventually, Valrilon was able to move the stone porticulis aside with stoneshaping magic. Still, the ooze was trouble. When they hit it, it simply multiplied. With each hit there was one more of it, and at one point in time, it was over twenty tiny blobs all lethal. The heroes were only able to defeat the foul pudding through the use of flame and magic. That trap done with, they went on to briefly explore a side tunnel, which led to a large cavern populated by eight stupid ogres, most of who were easy kills indeed. Two of them were charmed by the PCs, and guarded their campsite as they rested. That night, the watch was interrupted by four acolytes of Orcus, who immediately attacked the infidel adventurers. As these were only lower tier priests, they were all soundly beaten. Their leader, a young woman, surrendered, and pleaded for her life, even renouncing her evil faithor so she claimed. She told them that she would show them a secret door into the temple on this level, as well as tell them the code-word to get in undetected. Ashrem could tell she was lying, just by the sound of her voice and the look in her eyes. He immediately killed the evil woman, and nobody protested too strongly, as they all went back to rest.
DM’S COMMENTS: Not a bad session. I had some fun with the black pudding, but it did go a bit slow this time. Already, I could sense that the tempel of Orcus was not far off… (see next session!)