June 13, 2012

Pratfalls and Manslaughter

After a month of conflicting schedules I had enough players to continue my Dungeon Crawl Classics campaign. The party had discovered a complex below the witch's hut (detailed here) and had just begun exploring the first level. The walls were water-stained but the stonework was elegant. The remains of frescoes peaked out between the slime and mildew. Water dripped, echoing down the empty halls and onto uneven flagstones

Apparently the players were rusty because what followed was two hours of fumbling around in the dark killing themselves. To cross a 10-foot gap they attempted a human ladder, killing a well-armored mercenary when he lost his grip and plummeted 30 feet onto his head. Another died when the floor of a room, already uneven and cracked, collapsed under him. They lost another three when a cloud of plague-ridden bats erupted through an open door, tearing two of the peasants to pieces and infecting the wizard Spud with a case of vomiting batpox. This sent him packing, emptying his stomach across the walls as he went. One of the peasants fumbled his dagger into the throat of one of his compatriots as he swung wildly at the flying creatures.

With their number already drastically reduced they were more careful as they broke into a new chamber by tearing down a cracked wall. This room was marred by an enormous gulf, stretching down into darkness as stinking of brine. This unnerved everyone, but they continued forward to another spiral staircase that led farther below ground.

They left the staircase at the next landing, despite the stairs containing deeper into the earth. This floor seemed even more humid, and the water damage was even more widespread. Giant newts populated the galleries and rooms, but the party avoided most of them. They dispatched one protecting a nest of slime-caked eggs and found a glowing golden orb for their trouble. They were in good spirits searching the rest of the level till an errant turn led them to the nest of a giant snake. They didn't have the courage to face the thing, so they fled beyond a door and spiked it behind them. With that behind them the session ended.

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