The Master's Monastery, Ep. 4

Maia 1, 4729.
  • Personae: Long Tim (Hobbit Ftr3), Tahj Birdfoot (Elf Ftr1/Wiz2), Tia Birdfoot (Elf Wiz1/Thf3), Penrod Pulaski (Human Thf3), Banjo Saskin (Dwarf Wiz 2), Ruff Sharktrainer (Hobbit Thf 3). Brother Maccus unavailable, still recuperating from injuries 3 weeks ago. The group buys as many healing potions as they can afford and heads to the ruined monastery. 
  • The group decides to explore the upper ruins more. Takes a stairway to an upper-floor cloister with books and scrolls. Carefully searches the works and finds a gold ring and a partial map of the cellars, most of which they have explored, but showing several additional rooms. Attacked by several animated skeletons with swords in the dead-end room. Party manages to fend them off. Banjo takes a skeleton's arm with attached sword. (Reasons he should swing this and count the skeleton as wielding the sword.)
  • Looks inside a central garden area and finds a giant plant growing 60' away, with something metallic glinting in the sunlight. The group stays at distance and Ruff shoots it with one crossbow bolt; one of the large growths on the thing explodes, firing a stream of high-projectile seeds back at him for damage. The party responds with a volley of more missiles, all rolling well and scoring hit after hit. Two more volleys of seeds fire back and the the plant slumps to the ground, killed. A silver statuette half-buried in the soil is retrieved (1,000 sp). 
  • An exterior room is explored and two giant demonic hogs spring to attack; the party defeats them easily, but avoids the other filthy droppings in the room. The next room has a sagging ceiling and a makeshift beam propping it up; Ruff checks for whether it is load-bearing, and several flakes of ceiling plaster tumble down. The group considers whether it could fit in the wall slots in mysterious dead-end the 3rd room of the cellars, but decides it is too big a turn aside.Then, a kitchen with a mounted crossbow trapped aimed out the exit; the party disarms this and moves on.
  • One of the last exterior buildings, the party goes to move through an empty room. Unfortunately, dice show that the covered trap is sticky and only gives way as the last row crosses it. Ruff makes his save and jumps aside; Banjo falls 10' and takes damage. Immediately a large squad of hobgoblins attacks from the entrance on the other side of the pit, by surprise. Tim and Tahj take sword-hits. Penrod runs from the room, trailing a rope into the pit after him. Hobgoblins get initiative again, and press the attack with swords and spears. Tia takes two spear-hits and goes down (save vs. death successful; narrowly clinging to life). Tahj casts sleep and 4 hobgoblins fall, but 6 remain. Banjo climbs out of the pit. Tahj is hit twice, one of which is a double-damage critical; damage dice rolled -- snake-eyes for a total of only 3 points, leaving her with 1 hit point; she flees from the line of melee. The two hobbits, Tim and Ruff, hold the line; 2 hobgoblins are killed. Penrod slings stones from the entryway, bloodying the larger ones at the back. Banjo successfully casts charm person on a hobgoblin. Morale for hobgoblins narrowly succeeds, and they strike more blows. Two more fall and the chief, at 1 hit point, tosses his sword and falls to his knees, begging for mercy in hobgoblinese. 
  • Tia is given several healing potions (as do Tahj and Ruff). The group try to interrogate the chief but lack any shared language, and so put him to the sword. The charmed hobgoblin, Ukt, is discovered to know Common and pressed for information. He takes them to the group lair and informs them of the large metal net trap over the other entrance, which they spring with a 10' pole. Party retrieves a silver medallion and chest of 1,000 sp. Ukt seems to have grandiose plans of raising a goblin army and overtaking the entire kingdom, and seems to see himself as the new leader of the party group. Also discover a row of cells with a human child, Phillip, frightened and cowering, held for the next meal. Party debates what to do with this unfortunate. The warlike Tim argues forcefully for strapping him to his own back and giving him a weapon to fight in that direction. Banko suggests simply releasing him to escape on his own. Other party members try to give him various playthings to cheer him: the gold ring, a drink of wine, the skeleton arm and sword, a potion bottle with a painted face, a.k.a. "Mr. Potion Bottle", allegedly a favorite toy for city children. Phillip is then locked back in his cell for "protective custody".
  • Last few rooms of the upper ruins are searched, finding nothing but ruined furnishings. Group makes it way back to the cellars/dungeon, with Ukt leading the way. 
  • Passing stealthily, the group avoids goblin and beetle lairs, and proceed to a long, cool room to the southeast of the main storage chambers. Inside find shelves of old vegetable matter and large urns. Ukt is directed to check one, at which point 4 giant centipedes spring out him! In the first round, all miss him with their poison mandibles. Ukt throws one off and cuts it in half with his scimitar. Ruff runs forward and daggers a second. Tia pierces one with her spear. And Tim fires an arrow scoring 6 points of damage, cleaving through the last centipede and also Ukt's chain mail, killing him instantly.
  • Party proceeds to the wine cellar, avoiding the pit with the ooze-monster that killed Aslak the Unclean. Enter back into the large L-shaped room with scores of broken casks and barrels, many of which are turned into nests for many horrid bat-mosquito monsters. 5 creatures fly into the air to attack; missiles and daggers mostly miss them; Tia's last spell, magic missile, partly injures one. One sticks in Banjo's backside, and falls and rolls to squish it; it dislodges and gets speared by Tia. Two fliers are cut down, but another flies up out of its nest. A few more are cut down, and then 6 more fly out, swamping the parties' attempts at attacks. The buzzing creatures dive and strike at all the party members, and now every party member has a bat-creature stuck in them and sucking blood rapidly. 
  • Becoming desperate, Penrod lights a torch and fires one of the nests. Yet more spring into the air. One is stuck deep in Tia's ear, blood spurting up and the thing lapping it greedily. One is stuck on Tim's foot and he misses it with his sword. Several are pulled out and the party runs for their lives, creatures still pierced into Penrod, Tahj, and Tia, each rapidly turning white and near death. Tim plucks the one out of Tahj and squashes it. Tia has 3 hit points and is about to take 1d3 blood-suck damage. Banjo tries and fails to grab the thing. Tia herself fails to pull it out. Damage die comes up: 3 hit points and Tia is out of points. Save vs. death: failed, and Tia sadly expires before the others can save her. Tim slashes his sword at the bloated monster and it explodes, splashing the entire party with Tia's life-blood.
  • The party retrieves Phillip and returns to the village. His well-to-do aunt, Heide, weeps with joy and rewards them with 500 sp. Total haul for the excursion: 3,500 sp, and a total of 7,000 XP (so: 700 sp and 1,400 XP for each survivor). Tahj is promoted to a 2nd-level fighter. Banjo achieves 3rd level as a wizard and looks eagerly forward to wielding a magic spell of the 2nd level on his next adventure!