Crusade Campaign – Session #14 – Welleran

The party, just rescued by the much-battered Perudo, again found themselves in the richly carved inner sanctum beyond the secret Temple of Magnus.  The Aspergillum was near, but they’d failed to secure it (and nearly all been lost out in the process).  The spatial distortions within the room seemed to be confined to the room, and they were able to look in and see the large metal box or sarcophagus in which the Aspergillum and its guardian Specter lay.  They first experimented by taking a rope in and pulling it back out.  When it seemed that this worked, they would try to haul the box itself out of the room.  The door was just wide enough, but the box looked extremely heavy.
They decided a single rope could snap, so they sent Perudo in with several to rig multiple ropes around the box to even the load distribution.  The cleric also poured a goodly amount of oil across the floor to make sliding it easier.  This done, they now all worked together and began to heave on the rope.  However, it was still to heavy for them (there strong Paladin would’ve helped, but he was dead).  But, Jimmy had a potion of frost giant strength and, with this boost in raw strength, the party was able to haul the steel box from the room and into “normal space.”  But, the Specter remained, so the party now read a scroll of protection from undead. Jimmy and Ulthar fell back (the former taking a potion of speed and drawing his bow, the latter turning invisible), and Perudo and Lune opened the box.  The Specter looked at Perudo and waited a moment (they later speculated there was a password of some sort), then attacked, but was thwarted by the scroll.  Jimmy peppered it with arrows as the monk and cleric attacked in melee, but the Specter now began to attempt to cast spells.  By good fortune, it never managed to get one successfully off, and it was soon slain, and the Aspergillum at last taken.  Jimmy had hit Lune with an arrow, by ill chance, but there were no hard feelings.
With the huge golden holy water sprinkler there, the party decided to quickly flee the dungeon before, they hoped, the enemy could learn of their location.  They now slipped out of the secret door and back to the secret temple, but were quite surprised to find a pair of blood monks present.  One was stooped over the dead abbot, speaking to him (speaking with dead, the party theorized).  Ulthar threw illusions of gags over their mouths to prevent spellcasting, but one recognized the falsity of the illusion and was unaffected.  A brief fight erupted.  However, Jimmy still retained his giant strength and used it to good purpose, first picking up one, then the other monk, throwing them bodily into the yawning chasm before the dais, where they were never seen again.  The young thief was most pleased with himself.
The party now slipped quickly out of the temple and, after a brief discussion of going up or down, headed downwards.  On the stairs they encountered a 3 foot high or so, goblin-like creature.  As they were all wearing robes, they were not surprised when the thing slipped to the wall and lowered its head.  However, it began to follow them, but at a respectful distance, mumbling and talking to itself (it also, Ulthar later discovered, had picked his pockets and stolen a potion from him).
Now on the Second Deep, the party ran into the ghoul-like dwellers of the lower levels once more, armed for battle.  A melee erupted, with more armed semi-men soon arriving.  But, though quite weakened, the party still managed to slay them and pass on (after Ulthar chased off the Gnome, who watched the battle).  Down on the Third Deep, Ulthar drew two patches from his Robe of Useful items and placed a locked iron door athwart their path and also put an open pit just beyond it for added protection.
Now, the party ran into some confusion.  They had a map, but no one was sure where the way out was!  There was a good deal of discussion, but eventually they moved out.  After nearly falling into a known pit trap that was not quite where they thought it was, and Perudo turning a wandering Sea Wight, the party finally found the exit along the small river and to the shore.  There, in the falling light, they could see there boat.  A quick scouting showed that the enemy had tried to burn it, though did a poor job of it.  Still, there was a decent size hole where the fire had burned hottest.  And now, the party did what they do, and had a long discussion on how to get around this problem.  There was driftwood on the beach, but no planks.  There were doors in the dungeon, but they had no real carpentry tools.  There was some canvas remaining after the fire.  Jimmy was all for floating out on the boat, but Lune was concerned for the underwater zombies (Perudo had to turn some while they were working).
In the end, after much talk, they ended up filling the boat with as much driftwood as they could find, plugging the hole with stuffed canvas and wax, and then overturning it and sitting atop its back.  meanwhile, Ulthar took a potion of polymorph self and turned into a small whale and, with a  rope in his mouth, pulled the “boat” to sea.  Still, it began to slowly sink and would not likely last an hour.  The party had seen boats passing less than a mile out, north and south, as this was the major shipping lane to the Sea Empire’s capital, and they’d headed out when a boat was present.  As per their previous plan, they showed a red lantern light, but did not receive a countersignal.  Lune urged signaling the boat, though Jimmy was less inclined to do so, but eventually they did wave at the ship for aid.  The ship, in any case, had turned somewhat towards them, and they could see sailors watching the odd spectacle of a capsized boat with three men on it, being towed by a whale.
Eventually they drew alongside.  the ship was bound for Vodai in Ruatha, they told the party as they helped them aboard, and would gladly provide passage when asked.  The party paid them in gold and were welcomed aboard, including the now normal sized and restored Gnome, who declared he would like to accompany the party on the next stage of their quest…
– Experience:  2200 XP each (2000 for Ulthar to split) plus 10,000 XP bonus each PC for surviving.


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