System: B/X D&D
- Squolia, thief 1 (Anthony)
- Thangor, dwarf magic-user 2 (Joe; died, but resurrected)
- Murd, fighter 1 (retainer)
Leoden, fighter 1 (hireling) Meltot, magic-users 1 (retainer)
- Belgon, magic-user 1 (retainer)
- Mike, normal man (hireling)
Last night was a pretty tiny session, only two players, during which two separate dungeon expositions. I'm typically not a fan of smaller games, and I think that showed in my DMing ability last night. Reguardless, I still had an enjoyable time and the session added a heavy dose of depth to the game which will hopefully be built upon more in the future.
In the first delve into the Vats of Mazarin, Squalia, Thangor, Murd, and Leoden swung north from the bridge over the steaming pit into the tunnels of the Mole Men. The exposition proved deadly for 7 Mole Men and awarded the party 45 gold bars, worth 10 gold a piece. This should prove interesting to see how it affects the previous adventuring party's tentative alliance with the Mole Men, which will likely be dependent on whether or not Murd was recognized. Before shimmying back up the rope to the bridge, Murd was spotted by Thangor's infravision walking back into the Mole Men's tunnels with a small iron chest of gold bars and star-speckled snakes. Questioned after his return, Murd's only answer was, "Gettin' rid of them snakes."
Before the second exposition, the group took a couple of days to acquire two new retainers and a hireling. Actually, Melot and Belgon, two magic-users, hired the party to safely take them into the dungeon in search of artifacts of the Snake Men, of which little reliable information is known. These magic-users are in the employment of a man named Lord Garond or, as he was more commonly refereed to, the Archeologist. They agreed to give the party 10gp each up front plus an addition 100gp per downwards staircase found and an additional 1000gp per each artifact of the Snake Men collected. In addition to these two magic-user, the party also hired Mike the torchbearer.
Heading back into the Vats of Mazarin, Murd unknowing set off a newly placed trip-wire at the back of the cave entrance just before the bridge, presumably set by the Mole Men. A canister of magical gas dropped from the ceiling, causing the Murd, Leoden, Mike and Meltot to go into a berserk rage. After a minute of in-fighting, Murd has killed Leoden and Mike had ended Belgon, at which point the two survivors made their way towards the rest of party, who has fled out of the cave mouth. Luckily, Thangor managed to down them, (in addition to Belgon) with a well-placed sleep spell.
Thangor and Squalia tied up their sleeping companions and searched the bodies of their fallen comrades. Leoden possessed nothing of note, but Meltot wore a jade snake medallion around his neck and carried the floating disk spell in his spell book. The two adventurers then decided to check and see if Belgon wore a similar amulet: he did indeed. Now believing the two to belong to some sort of snake-worshiping cult, the party looked through Belgon's spells book and checked Meltot's body more carefully. In Belgon's spells book the party found map and drawing of an alter with two snake statues labeled the Caverns of Lycin. Upon Meltot's ankle, they found a green tattoo of an eye writhed in the red tongue of a serpent; such a mark could not be round on Belgon. After being woken up, Belgon explained, under threat of torture, that the Cavers of Lycin was the last location given to him to explore by the Archeologist, but claimed not to understand the meaning of the tattoo possessed by his late partner.
After the interrogation, the party lined up the bodies next to those of the previously fallen adventurers and ventured back into the complex. They made their way through an abandoned alchemy laboratory, down into the second level of the dungeon, and into the room of the legendary Vats. After opening up one of the nine iron hatches sealing each of the vats, the party decided not to mess the substances, believing them to be the source of the canisters' power. At that point, however, Thangar felt a dagger pierce his back before keeling over dead. After violently dealing with the thief, an npc inhabiting the dungeon's second level, the party retreated out of the complex.
They then decided to get Thangar resurrected by the high priest of Kelin, leaving Thangar, Squalia, and even Murd impoverished, and journeyed three days west to the city of Parithian. Thangar will now forever be haunted by nightmares.