The Annals of Stonehell Dungeon – Season 1 – Fifth Session

The Annals of Stonehell are the weekly record of the semi-seasonal game of D&D that I run using the brilliant Michael Curtis’s Stonehell dungeon.  (Go and buy it now; it’s worth every dang penny.)  All installments are indexed here.

July 14, 2016

The party continued to explore Hell’s Antechamber, but picked up some useful information about other places to go in the dungeon, so they set off in search of the kobold settlement.  Mostly because there’s a bar there.  To get information, of course.  Here’s what happened on the way:

Kobold work crews!  With information!  The party had several encounters with kobold work crews re-setting sprung traps in the dungeon (which answers the question of “how come the traps in Stonehell are always armed”).  None of them were overly friendly, but most were content to be left alone and to give a good word of advice.  Most importantly, they let the player characters know the following: (i) directly beneath Hell’s Antechamber is a level that was once a sanitarium for Stonehell’s more mentally unstable prisoners, but that long ago the inmates took over the madhouse, and, consequently, it’s not a safe area, (ii) to the south of Hell’s Antechamber, there’s a war going on between a tribe of orcs and a tribe of goblins, and the orcs are winning, (iii) beyond the doors carved with dancing skeletons is a series of crypts full of the restless dead and (iv) far southeast of Hell’s Antechamber is a trade hub and neutral ground for dungeon denizens known as Kobold Korners where the party might be able to deal in treasure and merchandise and find out more about the deeper levels of the dungeon.  Also there’s a tavern.  Also the kobolds are very concerned about the dragon.  The player characters, less so.

See!  The sprung pit trap was re-set!  On their way to find Kobold Korners, the party went past the pit trap that Giel Kerash (played by Oliver) fell into weeks ago.  It has since been re-set.  Now the party has a pretty good clue who does that.

Dwarven archaeologists!  The party encountered a group of dwarves studying an architectural marvel, led by the “famed” dwarven archaeologist Snorri Broadshoulders.  Snorri tried to hire the player characters as bodyguards, but it was evident that his planned pace through the dungeon was going to be more… leisurely than the party really wants, so they passed on the generous offer.

A trash heap!  With rats!  The party found what looks like an orc dumping ground.  Probably connected to the orc tribe that the kobolds told about.  There was an awful lot of rodentlike chittering in the room though, so the party decided it was not going to be worth getting filthy and catching something nasty.  Had Thergus the Poacher (played by Sean) been along, he certainly would have dived in headfirst.

An electricity trap!  And a fight with orcs!  After navigating a concerningly high number of crossroads all right next to each other (dare I say a labyrinth?), the party found an oblong room covered in weird frescoes with two armored statues at either end pointing at each other and an intense smell of ozone.  Suspecting a trap, Ruphus the Merciful (played by Jon) tossed a dagger into the room.  An arc of electricity leapt between the two statues, frying the dagger.  It was also loud, and attracted an extremely unfriendly orc patrol!  The orcs and the party shot arrows at each other across the trapped room. Electric arcs were everywhere.  Some were wounded.  One orc was killed.  Neither group was willing to move through the room though to engage the other group at close range, so eventually the players withdrew, conscious that they had now, just possibly, alerted the whole orc tribe.

Yet another crossroads!  And graffiti!  On high alert, moving south out of Hell’s Antechamber into the Contested Corridors, the party came across orcish graffiti marking the territory as belonging to the Open Sore Tribe.  Who are the Open Sore Tribe?

Kicking in the door and slaughtering orcs!  The player characters then came up to a closed door and heard orc voices on the other side, so they kicked in the door and quickly dispatched the orc outpost, sending them howling to meet their orcish maker.  Unfortunately, this caught the attention of another orc patrol, who rounded the corner, gnashing their teeth with weapons at the ready!

On to the next session!

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