Lavham Hock 6

*Art by Image by OpenClipart-Vectors from Pixabay *

The pair of dwarfs head down a flight of rough stairs. Timbo watches them go, his mouth flapping silently in the gloom. Their silhouettes disappear into the darkness and the young halfling feels suddenly vulnerable. After sliding another bolt into his bow, he snatches up his still-covered lantern and follows the clank and chime of heavy armour.
“So what are you two looking for down here?” His voice is a squeak, tight with fear and the sudden realisation that he knows nothing about his travelling companions.
“Orks,” Snorlo grunts, accentuating the word by hawking up a ball of phlegm.
“Slave traders,” Hakka continues.
“We’ve taken out the majority of their trade, but these three are the ring leaders. We let them escape, there’ll be dozens more lives lost to their cruelty.”
The passion in her voice eases his nerves. Following the pair into a side-tunnel, he feels himself relax a little. The tunnel turns into a chamber. The air is stale despite a downdraft that seems to whisper through hard, unbroken rock.
Listen check – 1/d6. Roll: 3
He stops for a moment, head cocked to the breeze, but he can hear nothing above is companions’ rattling armour and heavy boots.
Surprise check – Gnolls: 5 Party: 1 – surprised. Gnolls get a free round before initiative
Forgetting the superior vision of dwarfs, Timbo pops a cover on his bullseye lantern. Warm yellow light floods the room, reflecting from a statue of glass standing in the chamber’s center. Transfixed by reflected light, Timbo rushes toward the object. A smile on his lips shows his appreciation of its workmanship.
A cackling laugh echoes off solid walls. Feeling ice crystals in his veins, Timbo turns to face the source. A creature looms in the shadows. Nearly 7’ tall, the halfling wonders how he failed to see it. Terror gripping his heart, he’s unable to move as the giant creature peels rubbery lips over jagged teeth and raises a mottled, hairy arm ready to hurl a rusted hatchet.
Gnoll: TN: 13. Roll: 18. Damage: 6
Gnoll 2: TN: 14. Roll: 16. Damage: 7
Lightning flares in Timbo’s chest. Exquisite pain Turns his vision monochrome before it blinks out completely. As the light fades, before he crashes into cold stone and Death’s cool embrace, he sees a second beast-man slice his blade into Snorlo’s skull. The burly dwarf drops without a sound.
The last thing Timbo sees is the deathly sheen in his companion’s cold, sightless eyes.

Lavham Hock 5

Okay, not my art (again). The parrot was looking a little bummed this morning so he’s currently listening to parrot chatter on my phone and eating apples. Since I can’t photo my (admittedly dodgy) pictures, I thought you enjoy this piece by Mostafa Elturkey from Pixabay.

“Maybe it was worth wasting the last of our medicine on you,”
Timbo can’t help but wince as the male dwarf, Snorlo, drives his blade through leaking carapaces. There’s a wet squelch each time the warrior withdraws his blade and it makes Timbo’s guts lurch.
“You healed me?” Timbo asks, gingerly patting the his studded tunic. The flesh beneath is still sore, but he feels less than a fraction of the pain he did before.
“I am in your debt,” he says in his best Sretch Dwarfish, bowing almost until his nose touches his knees.
A soft chuckle accompanies a crossbow’s creaking staves. Timbo’s glad for the darkness that hides his reddening cheeks until he remembers the zwergs’s improved low-light vision. Bowing his head, he makes busy retrieving his equipment from the cavern floor.
“What did you say brings you to Lavham Hock, master halfing?”
It’s the male, Snorlo of he recalls correctly, who asks. For a second he considers introducing himself but he doubts a warrior cares much for names or titles until its owner has proven their worth. He also assumes a dwarf of such practical profession would approve of brevity.
“Curiosity,” he says, filling the pause that’s verging on uncomfortable.
“Your friend the gnome told me about it while she lifted my wallet. I wagered, what with its proximity Bumberton, it couldn’t be more than a forgotten hole in the ground.”
“And where is dear Trixi?”
There’s an edge of something in the female, Hakka’s, voice that tells him she knows something but isn’t letting on. Mouth suddenly dry, he pulls his skin from his pack and takes a long pull.
“Sherrif Berrytum has her in the cells. Would you like a drink?”
A moment of silence passes between the trio as Snorlo and Hakka exchange the wine skin. Cold fingers caress Timbo’s spine. He can’t stop switching his gaze between each of the dark-blurred faces.
“Well then,” Snorlo says, smacking his lis and handing Timbo the flask.
“Looks like you’ve managed to find yourself in the right place at the right time. Welcome to the group, Master Chine.”

Lavham Hock 4

It turns out spiders are on the long list of things I can’t draw so I downloaded one from Pete Linforth’s pixabay page

The two dwarfs rolled a pair of fours on the reaction table. That’s neutral/uncertain. Timbo’s charisma isn’t high enough to sweeten the result, but he’s also not so offensive as to have a negative modifier
“Wait,” he yelps, thrusting out his hands and shivering back against the wall.
“I come in peace.”
Even in the darkness, he can see the shield’s rim drop a fraction. The bolt stays true, but rumbling whispers fill the passage. It’s dwarfish, Sretch dialect from the hollow sounds and grinding throat noises, but it’s still too low to hear. Ice fills his veins and Timbo tries to push himself deeper into the wall. Dwarves, he knows, are generally good folk but their lack of greeting pulls memories from the darkest recesses of his mind. He’s heard of the zwerg who dwell deep in the world’s belly and their corruption by proximity to things that should not dwell in the world.
“Who are you?” The gruff voice is barely a whisper, but it holds the power of a back-hand slap.
“Timbo. Timbo Chine. A gnome from Trynt told me about this place and I figured if I cold just…”
“Are you hurt?”
It’s a different voice this time. Slightly higher, but not by much, it filerts from behind the shield and squeezes the air from Timbo’s body. It’s not shock of fear that saps the last of his strength. The hint of concern fills his little body with so much hope he cannot take it.
He comes round to blurred faces and the smell of strong drink. Muscular fingers dig into his shoulders lever him back into a sitting position.
“He’s waking up, Snorlo,” the slightly higher voice says.
He’s dragged into a sitting position despite his complaints. Bones and gristle creak as the dwarfs crouch beside him. The closeness of their bodies and beer-stained breath make Timbo uncomfortable.
“Where’s Trixi?” The gruffer voice barks as solid hands clasp Timbo’s shoulders and squeeze.
“Where did you see her?”
Panic rises in Timbo’s throat. The dwarf’s too close and he starts to scream. It begins as a low mewling in his stays, stays there long enough for him to hear a distant clatter. It’s a rhythmic sound that skitters and scrapes as it approaches.
“Do you hear that?” He gasps into eyes that gleam with keen low-light vision.
Rolled a 1 on the Random Monster check. There’s one coming and they’re (2d6x10) 90’ away!
Gleaming eyes narrow slightly before switching away toward the rasp of hooked feet on stone. Timbo glances after, sees a giant body suspended from the ceiling on long, black legs. Venom drips from savage fangs that jut from its multi-eyed head. Rope-thick silk skeins from its abdomen as it drops to the ground and scuttles forward
Round 1
Neither side is surprised
Intiative: Timbo – 5, spider 1: 4, Brinhakka (dwarf): 3, Snorlo (Dwarf): 3 spider 2: 2
Labyrinth Lord has a Ranged Weapons, Spells, Melee order of action, so if I’m right it’s Timbo, Brinhakka, Spider, Snorlo, Spider. Timbo won initiative and is using a crossbow, Brinhakka also has a crossbow so is bumped to the front of the queue. Melee fighters finish up each round
Timbo: TN: 7 (due to missile weapon bonuses). Roll: 20 (+3). Damage: 5 (x2 for critical hit).
Small limbs move fast. Timbo’s up on a knee with his bow leveled before his throat’s reached his heart. Despite the gloom and tight-packed confines, he sees a glimmer of ambient light. A flick of his wrist sends a bolt whistling through darkness. It strikes home with a dull splat. Ichor fountains from the wound. Chitin and brain matter spray across the wall.
Brinhakka: TN13. Roll: 19. Damage: 6
A second bolt flies, this one powered by a thunder crack of releasing cord. The quarrel spins from the prod, puncturing chitin with an audible snap and burrowing deep into the giant spider’s brain. The giant arachnid crumbles where it stands, it soul driven from its body by the wrath of halfling and dwarf.
“Reloading,” she shouts, her voice deafening in the tunnel’s confines.
Timbo sees the other dwarf, Snorlo, nod his helmeted head. His silhouette becomes a sheer black blob and the young halfling can only imagine the sturdy zwerg pulling up his shield and advancing on a second multi-legged shape clattering into the hallway.
Snorlo. TN: 13. Roll: 16. Damage: 4
A grunt of effort precedes the now-familiar snap of shattering carapace. A thump, wet and somehow hollow, fills the darkness.
“Some good shooting, Master Halfling,” Snorlo says, his form becoming visible once more as he lowers his shield.
“Almost as good as Hakka’s.”

Lavham Hock 3

Our man Timbo is down to 1hp and has lost his mace to the toad. He’s in a bad way. With an intelligence score of 16, I’m guessing that he’d make the smart choice and find somewhere to hole up and get a new sidearm to replace his bludgeon
Timbo pushes himself back to his feet. He tries not to groan but it’s a wasted effort. Creaking ribs and aching gristle complain too loud for him not to moan along with their dissatisfaction. The lightness on his hip where his mace used to hang makes him feel naked and unbalanced. He’s surprised at how much he misses its weight.
It wasn’t his grandfather’s weapon or anything of the sort, just a rusted old piece he picked up from a dwarfish tinker outside Putzy Meadow. The old dwarf sold it to him cheap, let him swap out a string of glass beads to cover his short-fall in coin. When Timbo had asked why, the grey-beard told him that he’d have a hard job selling the goblin-forged junk to anyone but a hinfolk.
Memories of home transmute into thoughts of Petunia Paddlebrook. A grimace on his face, Timbo forces himself off the cold, damp wall and uses the momentum to crush his mind into silence. He tells himself the gap in his chest is for the mace. It may have been made by unskilled hands, but its weight felt good in his hand. It was the first possession he could really call his own and now he wants it back. He knows he’ll need to rest before he tries.
Defeat weighing heavily on his soul, Timbo begins to climb the staircase. He freezes almost immediately as a sound filters down from the floor above.
Wandering monster roll comes up a 1. Timbo’s about to have a bad day.
On a side note, the random dungeon comes complete with random encounter tables, which is a massive bonus!
Vomit burning the back of his throat, Timbo creeps back down to the landing. Forcing calm through his body and mind, he seals the shutters on his lantern and folds into the cavern wall. It’s a simple process really, just curling into a ball and believing himself invisible. He’s better at it in the woods and fields, but he managed to evade that orc for a week down in Cinderton.
Halflings hide successfully with 1-2/d6. Timbo gets a 1 so is undetectable so long as he doesn’t move nor speak
Metal clanks in the darkness. Low voices whisper from above. Timbo knows, whoever they are , they’re trying to be quiet. Their absolute failure tells him it’s not a pair of heavily-armed halflings coming to find him. Unable to reconcile the crushing weight of that thought, he hunkers down and tries to keep his teeth from chattering.
The voices grow more intelligible as they approach. Timbo recognises a word here and there before phrases rattle through his ears. With armoured boots clanking toward him, he jumps to his feet a bellows a greeting in the language of dwarfs.
Startled gasps come in reply. A shield’s iron boss and painted wooden width fill his vision. A quarrel’s lethal iron tip poles around the heater’s rim.

Lavham Hock 2

Timbo draws the string on his crossbow and slides a bolt into place. He’s still buzzing from his taste of adventure and moves with stealthy confidence through the tunnel. He’s listening hard, but he doesn’t hear anything break the cool silence. Excitement shivers through his veins as axe-touched walls expand into another chamber.
This one’s smaller than the last, barely more than the pantry in his home. There’s a stink in the air fair worse than anything that’s troubled his larder. His mind can’t focus on the acrid stink, because the laughter starts again. High, shrill, it jabs into his brain with knife-like precision. Timbo Chine can barely keep his hands on his bow and off his ears while the ringing cackle breaks off into a broken-glass voice.
“Too late,” it cackles, digging deeper into his brain.
“Far, far too late!”
Timbo sweeps the chamber with a glance to find the speaker but a cacophony of high pitched shrieks snag his attention. Black shapes swell and blur on the ceiling. Wings spread as a cloud of bats panic in response to the unnatural voice.
Round 1
Neither side is surprised
Initiative: Timbo: 6. Bats: 4
Timbo draws a bead on the flapping beasts. His finger hovers over the trigger but does not unleash a bolt. He knows the bats are just scared. Closing his eyes and pulling his chin to his chest, he weather a flurry of wings and teeth that leaves a spot of blood on his cheeks.
x1 bat hit for 1 point of damage
Round 2
Bats morale: 6. Roll: 9. Bats flee
The bats flee in a shrieking cloud. Timbo exhales, wipes blood from his cheek and surveys the room. A lone stool stands in the corner, its mahogany surface ruined by time and corrosive guano. 3 sconces line the walls, each with a half-burned tallow candle. He sees nothing else of interest and heads deeper into the complex.
Stairs, two flights, lead down. Lantern high, the halfing trudges onward. A small landing separates the two staircases. Strange spoor marks the stonework. Timbo notices odd scratches in the wall and, looking up, sees an inconsistency in the ceiling.
Secret door search. TN: 1/d6. Roll:1
He examines the wall, sees a hair-thin split in the surface above his head. Curiosity burning in his chest, he rushes back to the bat room and retrieves the stool. Though he’ll probably forget, he makes a note to wash his hands before eating, then stands on the chair and presses on the rock above. Old wood, disguised with paint and wit to resemble stone, flips open at his touch. The sliding his bow over his shoulder, the halfling climbs into the concealed compartment.
Suprise roll: Timbo: 1. Opponent: 4
Timbo is surprised
Attack roll: TN12. Roll:10. Miss
A bellowing croak sounds the second he finds his feet. It’s the only warning he gets before a whip-like tendril slams into his armoured chest. He feels the impact, but it doesn’t hurt. Leaping away from the attack’s source, he scrabbles for his mace. Two huge eyes glisten in torchlight. They sit atop a rounded mass of warts and brown skin. A defeaning bellow croaks from a mouth big enogh to swallow him hole. A whip-like tongue flicks from between rubbery lips.
Round 1
Initiative: Timbo 4. Giant toad: 2
Timbo attack: TN: 12. Roll: 10
Terrified by that gaping maw, he leaps into action. With a growl of his own he swings his bludgeon into the toad’s skull. The blow’s week, bouncing off the critter’s rubber hide with little more than a wet slap.
Toad: TN: 12. Roll: 13. Damage: 1
That enormousl mouth catches his rebounding fist. Its solid jaw compresses flesh and grinds muscle. The blow’s more shock than pain, but it still light pyres of fear in the halfling’s belly
Round 2#
Timbo TN:12. Roll:1
He raises his mace for another strike, grimaces in fear as the weapon flies from numb fingers. It hits the ground with a loud thump. A rock does the same in Timbo’s gut.
Toad. TN:12. Roll:11
Those enormous jaws snap again. Bony ridges caress the studded leather encasing his right thigh. Slick goo stains the hide, trailing in ropes back to the amphibian’s swollen lips.
Round 3
Eyes on the mace glinting beside the creature’s bulk, Timbo throws his weight back to the gaping trapdoor. He’s halfway there before the brute’s tongue slams into his stomach.
Toad. TN:12. Roll: 18. Damage: 3
Ribs creak under the blow, but its power gives him momentum enough to clear the open hatch. He lands hard, missing the stool by a fraction. He’s on his feet before the pain in his body can disable him further and closes the secret entrance with a satisfying slam.
Wold spinning, breath coming in painful, ragged gasps, Timbo Chine collapses against a cold stone wall and wonders what in the nine hells possessed him to to take up a life of adventuring.

Lavham Hock 1

Bit of a loss for what to do with Mortimer, but it’s been the better part of a week since I updated. So while Morty’s getting over his dreamworld experiences, I’ve pulled up a quick rando dungeon, smashed together a Labyrinth Lord hobbit and will set to


Random dungeon is courtesy of https://osricrpg.com/wizardawn as I can’t find my one-page thingumy anywhere.


TImbo Chine casts one last glance over his shoulder. Bumberton’s been his home for the past 40 years and there’s a twinge in his gut at saying goodbye. He’s always loved the small village with its unusually square, stone-built homes, heavy wooden gates and the constant influx of peddler and travelers, but it’s time to move on.

Lavham Hock’s been chewing up his inside since that gnomish lass from Trynt lifted his purse in the Dawdling Cock and spent the night regaling him with stories. He probably wouldn’t have listened if she hadn’t been paying (hah!)


Taking a draw on his long-stemmed pipe, Timbo Chine adjusts his crossbow and heads towards the lightning-split tree on Udo’s Rise. He wonders, not for the first time, if the girl from Trynt will ever make it out of the gaol.


Wondering monster check before he gets to the delve. I roll a 5 so all’s clear for Timbo.


Back to the blackened oak, Timbo Chine counts out ten paces. Crossbow gripped in sweaty palms, he scrapes the floor with his leathery toe. He feels nothing at first, just muck and detritus. The gritty loam shifts easily until, suddenly, it doesn’t. With the early evening sun still filtering through heavy clouds, Timbo crouches down and swats away dirt with his hand. He feels rough wood and touches of steel. Heart in his mouth, he puts his weapon aside and scrabbles through the muck until the trapdoor’s clear. He can’t believe it’s been sitting here so close to the village and no one’s any the wiser. Timbo Chine grabs the iron ring and heaves on the door until the hinges shriek into action.


There’s a steep dark, drop. Timbo snatches his pack and pulls out a lantern. Striking flint, he casts the oily yellow glow into the hole. Uneven steps, reinforced with wooden planks, have been cut into the tunnel. Though he can see them descending, he can’t quite make out what hides at the bottom. Sweating slightly, a response to the fear and excitment burning through his veins, he re-slings his pack and takes up his crossbow before descending.


Cool, damp air twists and turns about him. Cobwebs and roots jut from the walls and brush against his face. Jaw tense, fighting an urge to scream that will surely alert any denizens to his presence, the halfling raises his lantern and is almost overcome by the spike of excitement in his veins.


A second passage branches off. For a moment, Timbo considers continuing his descent into the earth. A touch of caution whispers through his mind, tells him that if trouble lurks to the right, he’ll be able to find escape with little trouble. A wise halfling, he turns left.
Decay’s putrid stink clogs his throat. Regret filling his mind, he pulls an arm across his mouth. He backs away, wanting to delve deeper. A sound, laughter almost, comes from the rotting tub central to the room. Placing his lantern down on the ground, Timbo grips his bow and moves to investigate.


Something skitter in the bin. A long, chitinous body rears from up over the edge. Venom-laced pincers jut from its armoured head. Timbo draws a bead, screams in shock as dozens of sharp feet drop onto his head. He thrashes violently, dislodging the critter. It sinks sharp teeth into his left ear before dropping to the floor.

Giant centipede para-trooper won initiative and got a 19 to hit. Their only damage is a poison attack, which is pretty nasty. Luckily, Halflings have excellent saves and Timbo’s 13 showed his hearty constitution throwing off the critter’s venom


Panicked, Timbo thrashes some more. He shoots wild and sags as his bolt thuds into the tub. The second centipede scuries toward him, tiny feet rasping against the earthen floor. Its pincers fail to puncture Timbo’s studded leather armour.
Round 2

Initiative: TC: 4. GC1: 1. GC2: 1
Timbo: To Hit: 10. Rolls 12. Unarmed damage 1-2. Roll: 2


Timbo lashes out with a kick. His foot sails past the abomination’s head. Quick of limb, he turns the swing into a stamp and drives his heel into the centipede’s spine. Chitin splinters under the blow. Ichor spills from its ruptured side. The beast thrashes, writhes, then rests silent on the earth floor.


Centipede 2
TO Hit:14. Roll:1. Fumble.


Round 3
Timbo: To HIt: 10. Roll:14. Damage: 5


Hands a blur, Timbo Chine draws the string on his crossbow. Setting a bolt, he aims and fires in one swift motion. The iron-tipped quarrel punches through the foot-long creature’s head and pints its writhing body to the wall.
Rubbint his ear, Timbo crosses to the bug. With a snap of his foot, he hammers it to paste before retrieving his bolt. Adrenaline still burning in his veins, his hand trembles as he retrieves his lantern.


For a moment, he stands immobile, eyes fixed on the two corpses. Finally, he’s been tested in battle and he feels like a king.


Metal’s glint catches his attention. Sliding his bow over his shoulder, he pulls the mace from his belt and approaches. Among a pie of junk in the corner, he sees something glistening. He prods it with his bludgeon, gasps in surprise as a platinum goblet rolls from the debris. He scoops it up, sees a small pouch inside. Drawing the string, he sees silvery powder within.


He tucks the loot in his pack and considers his next step.


Being a complete doof, I closed down the dungeon window without making a copy. I’ve recreated it but since it’s random, it’s not going to be the same so I apologise in advance if things don’t make too much sense on a later date

Portals

It’s been a shocking couple of weeks, but it’s all in the past now. Hopefully I’ll get back up to speed, but with various things crawling out of the woodwork, I’m not sure I’ll be able to get back to the daily update schedule.

He’s exhausted but still conscious. Hauling himself to his feet, he braces his arms against the rack’s frame. He drags a hand across his face, wipes sweat from his sopping brow. He reaches for the hammer again, lets his hand hover above the dessiacated pile of flesh and bone chained the surface. Something glimmers in between ivory ribs. Mortimer’s no stranger to death and the dead. He dips his fingers into the carcass, feels dried skin and old bone brush his fingers. Cold metal is next. A small brass key rests in the occultist’s palm.

Mortimer examines the treasure for a moment. It’s warm to the touch, which doesn’t surprise him, and worked with intricate detail to appear as twisting vines and bramble. The bit’s shaped like a face, eyes closed, but with a third staring from the centre of its forehead. He slips the key into his pocket befor snatching up the hammer and surveying the room.

There’s only one other exit. Testing the hammer’s weight, Mortimer creeps toward the gaping doorway. Moving slow and breathing light, he keeps his ears keen for any sound from beyond the portal.

TN10. Roll:3+1(+1 Wil). Fail

He catches nothing but heads deeper into the complex. What else can he do?

5d6: 1: Living or meeting area. 3: No encounter. 5: A valuable treasure. 1: A trap. 3 exits (50% dungeon exit. Roll 32%) 1 dungeon exit

The orange glow is sharper here, more crips. It spills from the walls with glaring radiance. Mortimer has to squint to take in the room’s contents. A pedestal stands central. A carved pillar of marble, it bears the weight of a golden chest. A bonze door stands behind it, identical to the others he has seen throughout the complex. There’s another door to the right. This one stands beside the pedestal, bereft of hinge or frame. A simple lock of black iron appears to seal it closed against the very air. Bereft of decoration, it is a simple slab of wooden slats.

Mortimer stares at the lock, his fingers reaching into his pocket. Half of his mind if focused on the chest and its contents. Yes, he’s opened graves and robbed tombs, but he’s a scholar. Whatever lies within the golden box is of less interest than what hide behind the floating door. With a single, rapid step, Mortimer Belvedere insterts the key into the lock. It turns easily, as if the mechanism had been well tended. The second tumblers and pins fall into position, the door swings inwards.

Mortimer awakes.

Sleep of the Dead

I roll a six. Consulting the oracle tells me that Morty gets to rest, recuperate and heal

Shovel clutched to his chest, Mortimer races through the cemetary gates, drops his speed to an idle walk as he passes into Invar’s narrow streets. The air stinks of animals and effluent, but his mind is too busy racing to activate his usual sneer. Too preoccupied, he doesn’t even check for a tail as he cracks open the apthecary basement’s door and slides inside.

He eschews eating in favour of reading. Tucked away in a crevice, book lit by the smallest of candles, he devours words and knowledge with a rapacious apetite. Though he fights against biology, the trevails of his past few days gnaw at him mind until he falls into deep slumber.

  • Rest and recuperation isn’t exactly exciting. I consult the engine and get ‘explortion’, so another dungeon, and also get a ‘6’, meaning the scene is altered. I get 2 – the location is different or changed. Spooky.*

Mortimer awakes to heat and sweat. The stink of burning coal rakes his throat. Even before his eyes open, he reaches for the book. He paws the hot, smooth ground with a trembling hand. Moisutre evaporates from his throat. His heart kicks against his ribs. Snapping fully awaye, Mortimer leaps to his feet. The book is gone. The candle, gone. Rufin’s Apothecary? Gone. He stands in a hall of plain black glass. Infernal light throbs within obsidian panels. The air is hot, dry. He can hear his blood rushing through his veins but voice from his dreams is almost loud enough to drown it out.

“Where in the Krinian Fortress am I?”

Knowledge forms in his mind the second his words drop from trembling lips. Of course he’d known the risks of dabbling with infernal powers, the voice in his dream tell him so nightly. They’re screaming it at him now, laughing at the low humming in his veins, the sensation of fear crawling beneath his skin.

+Welcome to Hell+ They say, out of synch just enough to make the words echo through his skull.

Silence descends. Mortimer’s breathing rises. The black glass seems to move, solid obsidian slabs press in on him. He gasps for air, searing his lungs with the heat. He has to get out of here but he doesn’t know how. There’s passage and he has little choice but to take it. Lips bleeding from the edges of his uneven teeth, he breaks into a sprint towards doors of soot-stained bronze.

(TN10. Roll: 4+4+1. Fail)

Baroque faces, frozen in metal, stare with gaping mouths and pointed tongues. Terrified but not stupd, Mortimer tries to press his ear against the worked slab of bronze. With the intricate decoration and sizzling heat, he can’t get close enough to listen. Fear turning to the rage of self-preservation, he steps back and hammers his foot into the door.

5d6: 6 – Specialised location. 1 – Hostile Enemies. 2 – Useful tool, key, or device. 4 – Nothing special. 2 – 2 exits

Hinges scream. Doors swing inwards. A familiar orange glow paints obisidian tiles that lead to benches and racks arranged throughout the space. Bolstered by his will to survive, Mortimer strides inside. For half a second, he sees the shapes and structures for what they are. Foul objects of torture fill the space. Constructions of wood, iron, and stone that house the remains of their former guests. Blades,spikes and bludgeons gleam with bloodied reflections. Limbs, torsos and heads sit separated from each other.

“Ah, a new customer!”

The voice echoes through his skull, but it is external and reverberates from smooth walls. Shadows coalesce in the centre, solidifying into a massive shape.

1 – Health – Weak (1d6). 2 – Armour – Light protection – AR 7. 4 – Attack Bonus – Masterful – +3. 4- Strength – Powerful +3. 5 – Dex Bonus – Blurred – +4. Will Bonus – Clever +2.

Features – Gills. Trait – Gelatinous. Abilities – Exploding. Tactics – Uses terrain. Personality – Vain. Weakeness – Flattery

Interesting spread. I do love a random table.

“No need to stand on ceremony, please take a seat.”

Sloshing liquid sounds as the creature moves. It gestures toward the devices arranged around the chamber. A long scourge hangs from its translucent fist. Globs of slime fly from the whip’s barbed tails as the unholy entity flicks its wrist.

“I do trust you have no other appointments. A full treatment can take some time.”

Bile roiling in his gut, Mortimer scans for his shovel. Ice spikes in his chest, thaws a little when he sees a large bload-soaked mallet on the nearest bench. With cat-like reflexes, he sprints toward it.

Morty: 2d6+2 = 10
Slime: 2d6+4 = 15

Pouring water fills his ears. Half-way to the weapon, green slime crosses the distance, solidifies into a human form. The whip cracks, spraying the ground with cast-off mucus.

“Dear boy,” the semi-solid torturer gurgles.

“There’s no need for__”

Mortimer screams words of power. Hand raised high, he crushes it to a fist as the voice from his dreams spills from his throat. Illuminated tiles flicker and wane, sulphourous smoke drifts from the denizen’s ooze-like body.

Save. TN:10. Rolls 3+2 (+2 Wil). Fail.

“You can’t…” it screams, flickering out of existence, returning smaller, then flickering out again.

Finally, it is reduced to the size of a pea. With ozone and sulphur mingling in the air, Mortimer raises his foot and smashes the tiny demon into oblivion.

The spell stripped from his brain, voices in his head abate a little. Exhausted, trembling, Mortimer staggers toward the bench, reaches for the hammer and collapses against the bloody wooden frame.

Spells in Maze Rats are completely random. A roll of 2d6 give you a combination of Physical/& Ethereal effects, elements and forms. Rolling a d66 gives the two spell name parts. The effects etc are left to the GM. Morty cast Diminishing Summoning and the beasty failed its save. Huzzah!

Part 5

Four Thieves

More dodgy art? Yeah, sorry about that.

He wants to keep the book pressed to his chest, but it’s a bad idea and he knows it. Instead, he places it in his sack and keeps his hands busy with the shovel and heads back into the surface world. With the occult tomb behind him, he hears the grind of ancient statuary. He knows he’ll not be able to open the door again. It doesn’t matter. He has what he needs.

Solo Engine gives me a 5: Travel (random encounters). I ask if Morty is accosted by undead in the night (likely: 3+). I roll a 6

Too eager to return to his lodgings, Mortimer sprints through rows of gravestones. Panting with effort, he fails to hear the …

The cultic tomb has been disturbed. Are the dead rising? (4+) 2. No.

… creak of old limbs and the groan of hard labour. He jinks left, dodges right and checks the cemetary map that has resided in his brain for so many years. So deep in thought is he, that he doesn’t notice the

D3/3
6 on the reaction table gives me a ‘friendly’

3 forms huddled in the shadows.

He’s almost on top of them before he manages to stop. Pallid faces turn to him, their skin glowing in the wan moonlight. Dark eyes scowl, drift to the shovel gripped in his fists and the dark clothing swaddling his slender frame. SOftness passes across the grave robber’s face.

“Nice night for guild work,” one of them says, tugging the front of his hood.

“Yes. Definitely, now the blasted rain has held off.” Mortimer has never considered himself a grave robber, but if the assumption prevents these men from impeding his return home, he’s more than happy to partake in the ruse.

“There’s movement in the stones,” another says, face obscured by shadow and cloth.

Mortimer nods sagely, hoping they thinks he has a clue what they’re talking about.

“Stiff with red tattoos. Says he’s looking for someone out of the tombs.”

Mortimer hopes the blood drainging from his face doesn’t look as obvious as it feels. He still has the bottle of medicine in his pouch and the sense of disquiet in the pit of his stome. Shivering through the latter, he reaches for the former and hands it to the three robbers.

“Take this,” he says, injecting as much good humour into his voice as he can manage.

“It’ll help if you catch yourself.”

“Thanks,” the grave robber says, patting a grubby finger against the side of his nose.

Mortimer offers a brisk nod before taking his leave and heading home. He can no more stop the memories of those burning red tattoos flashing through his mind than he can silence the whispers in his soul.

Part 4

Part 6

Mortimer’s Miracle

Okay, another pinched image.

Round 1
Cultist – HP 6, AR: 6, BAB +1,

Initative
Cultist: 5
Morty: 6

Morty: TN6, Roll: 6+4 (10). Dam 5 (4+1)

The brute’s not messing around and comes in with clubs swinging. Mortimer’s not here to play either and drops to a knee with his sovel extended. The bare-chested bludgeon bro doesnt’ seem to notice and keeps on swinging… right until he charges onto the blade hard enough to seperate his head from his neck.

The body falls forwards, twin iron clubs thumbing down in synchronisation. The wooden stilts hold the corpse in place. Hot jets of crimson ichor spray into Mortimer’s face. He topples the carcass with a swing of his shovel and curses himself for destroying yet another source of income.

5d6: 1 – A living or meeting space. 3 – No encounter. 4 – Nothing or mundane objects. 5 – Nothing Special. 4 – 3 exits.

Wiping gore from his face, Mortimer kicks the carcass. He takes a door at random, more intersted in cleaning muck from his face than paying attention. The next room is bigger than the last. Bland, undecorated in any mannyer, it holds a lecturn and nothing more. Curious, Mortimer inspects the carved wooden stand. Finding nothing of interest, he heads more cautiously into the next room.

5d6: 3 – Typical, unremarkable area. 2 – Hostile Encounter. 2 – Useful tool, key, or device. 1 – There’s a trap! 4 – 3 exits

D3 cultists – 3 are present. Item – Book on lost languages. Trap: Room fire, trigger – Unbalance.

Moving with as much stealth as he can muster, Mortimer traverses a short passage. The murmurof voices filters through an archway ahead. Though he strains to listen, he cannot comprehend the language. Hissing, grunting syllable rattle through his mind, pulling forth memories of the strange voices that whisper in his dreams.

Emboldened by the language, terrified by the prospect of meeting more resistance, he sneaks toward the doorway.

TN10. Roll 5+5 (+2 dex)

Clinging to the shadows, he sees a trio of black-swaddled cultists. Two kneel in obeisance. The third, the first female he has seen in this accursed hole, stands above them. She reads from a book bound in leather, a tongue of similar matieral marking its page. The woman’s voice is far too low and inhuman to be her own and Mortimer can feel the heat of her arcane power washing over him in waves. Knowing this is a battle he cannot win, Mortimer rolls his eyes into the back of his skull and whispers the words from his dreams.

Acid and silk fill his mouth, the flavours exhiliarating yet beyond detection in his altered state. He removes the scarf from his face, allows delicate filaments to pour fourth from his lips. The strands twitch and squirm across emty stone floors, seeking out the unwitting trio. It is not until their legs have been coccooned do they realise their peril.

Saving Rolls: TN 10. Cultist 1: 3, Cultist 2: 6, Cultist 3: 2 – crit fumble.
I’m saying a crit fumble deserves a roll on the catastrophes chart:5+3 – people disappear

Mortimer stands, moves slowly towards the trio. His mind, now quiet, reels from the impact of his Hindering Web spell. Never before have the voices in his dreams shown him such power! He rushes toward them, eyes locked on the ancient book still hanging in the air.

A flash of light knocks him to the ground.

It takes a moment, maybe a decade, to recover from the searing assault. Blinking through scarred, watering eyes, Mortimer looks his the trio of captives. Piles of silken thread loop and droop across stone flags, but their contents have gone. Cautious, he clutches his spade close to his chest, scans the room for any sign of trick or trap.

There is nothing. Just him, the silk and an ancient books.

Breathless, Mortimer sprints over to snatch his prize. Eyes wild and mind racing with possibilities, he heads back to the outer world and his laboratory.

Holy Moley, someone survived a dungeon!
I gave Mortimer a spell instead of the usual +1 hit bonus and it gave me everything I needed to know about his motivation.
Hungry for more power, he is questing for arcane knowledge and the book will provide it.
With 6 xp in the bank, he will also reach level 3 and receives another spell.
Well done Morty! Just watch out for rats.

Part 3

Part 5

The Travels of the Lost Pangolin

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