May 01, 2012

The Witch and the Sinking of Snim

This week several two players joined the campaign. Arrowroot and Diesel were the only characters present with any experience to their names since the rest of the regulars were either out for the week or no longer in possession of a living, or active, PC. I gave the players the option of rolling up a trio of 0-level peasants (DCCrpg's claim to fame!) or they could roll a first level character of their choice. This was a gamble on their part since as written the racial classes are only available if one rolls the correct occupation, but multiple characters would give them a chance to get someone with better abilities. Everyone choose the peasants, so we had a veritable Children's Crusade of nameless washouts by the time chargen was over. Six were ex-slaves freed from the Bogmaster's mind control, the rest foresters and woodcutters, picked up during  the long walk to the nearest town. When the group left the tower they discovered the straight road through the swamp the caravan had traveled over had disappeared, as if it had rolled itself up and sank to the bottom of the mire. It was a hard slog through the bogs and mud for over a week, chasing memories that began to slowly return to the ex-slaves.

Snim, as painted by Yun Byoung Chul
After nine days hard travel they arrived at Snim, a rough frontier town built up on tall bamboo piles. The group descended on the tavern for some needed rest. The town was alight with rumor and weird stories, some said that naga rose from the bottom of the swamp on the night of the full moon to sing strange songs, other that there was a pickpocketing ghost in the above-ground cemetery outside of town. As the light sank and the candles began to gutter stranger stories were shared. Snim is sinking, an old man whispered. Every year the buildings are a little lower than the year before. The only building in town not sinking is the old witch woman's hut. Here was adventure! Arrowroot thought.

Collecting Diesel and their merry band of peasants they absconded to the witch's hut. It was a wreck, kilted to one side and festooned with bundles of herbs, dead animals, and strangely geometrically aligned brick-a-brac but it wasn't immediately apparent if it was any higher than the rest of the town. One of the newcomers, an elven sage, was sent in to try to distract her. He claimed he needed a potion to win the heart of his beloved and being a weird old woman in need of ale money she was happy to assist. Provided with a scrap of cloth from another elf in the party, cut without his knowing, the witch woman turned to her cookpot and began to brew. Her attention drawn away, Diesel eased open a window and slipped into the hut silently, none of the woman's fifteen cats made a sound at his entrance. The interior wasn't any better organized, but he could keep out of sight easily. Nothing appeared out of place, or rather everything seemed out of place but not especially malevolent. The only thing out of place was a large wooden trapdoor set in the floor, but the surrounding mess made it impossible to open up without alerting the witch. Sneaking back out he met up with the rest of the party, they hatched a plan to break into the witch's basement.

Diesel fetched a stray dog from town and tossed it into the window. The effect was immediate. The cats went ballistic and the witch let out a shriek as the animals flew into a panic. The party dropped into the slime by the roots of the hut and began to hack at the bamboo pile that held it up. The moldy pile gave way exposing a low cellar set out with rotten logs for growing mushrooms. The floor was stone blocks, ancient but finely hewn, and a spiral stair in the corner led down to some deeper sub-cellar. They immediately set for the stairs, but were quickly stopped by a rockfall a few turns down. It took them some time to clear the rocks, but the witch was still too distracted to hear their excavation. Past that obstacle the stairs descended deeper into the earth. Lighting a torch, Arrowroot led the group down into the depths.

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