In this session, the players start the Death on the Reik adventure proper…
The players and characters were;
Ed – Thorgrim – Dwarf Scholar
Amy – Llewellyn – Wood Elf Warrior
Andy – Thorn – Wood Elf Wizard
James – Deem – Dwarf Warrior
Alan – Yvette – Human Ranger
The players were aboard their boat, Moon’s Folly, travelling down the River Reik on their way to Kemperbad to investigate a possible Chaos cult headed by an evil wizard. Along the way, they engaged in a bit of trading (really not making much money, but it gave them) something to argue about. Also, sessions at this point seemed to be starting with a fight between Andy and James.
It all started off in Weissbruck, when Andy and Amy were dancing in taverns for money. One of them (it had to be Andy…) suggested they start ‘sword dancing’ and, for additional fun, they would do it around a grumpy dwarf – James. Unfortunately, a busking roll was seriously botched, and Andy ended up accidentally skewering James. This started a fight in the bar room that saw the watch get involved and both Andy and James ending up spending the night in the cells.
On this particular occasion, Andy had walked into James’ cabin after the dwarf had had a particularly hard night of drinking. Acting way too cheerful, James through an axe at Andy – which connected with his head. Taking umbrage at this, Andy waited until James had left his cabin, then went back in and urinated on his bed. When he discovered this, James did the same to Andy, which culminated on them both having to move to different cabins on the boat. This also started a quest on James’ part, sadly unrequited, to locate someone who could fashion a stone door for his cabin on the boat…
Anyway, once the party had stopped arguing amongst itself, they found themselves travelling down the Reik, and as they approached Castle Reikguard, came across a strange looking tower under construction. As they approached, a couple of dwarfs came running up to the shore line, waving a bag of coins and asking for a lift. Being dwarfs themselves, Ed and James readily agreed, but the tower’s foreman caught up with the escapees and ordered them back to work.
He explained to the party that while the tower was nearly finished (actually a signal tower, so the Empire could communicate quickly between cities), the workers had seen more than their fair share of illness and accidents. Lately, they had started to simply disappear at night. Would the party help?
They agreed and, after poking around the tower a bit and turning up nothing, set up camp.
It was Ed on watch when the Ghoul crept out of the hidden trapdoor in the floor and attacked. With his low Initiative (dwarf), it was on the party before anyone knew any better.
Still, they were now hardened adventurers, and one Ghoul was not going to cause many issues. They dispatched it quickly, and James noticed it had a strange metal bar on a cord round its neck. A bit of experimentation showed that proximity of this bar caused the trap door to open. With this knowledge, and a lantern (which the dwarfs grumbled about), they entered the secret area below the tower.
Here, they met a lot of zombies, which all had the metal bars round their necks, which James scooped up. They also encountered rooms that looked liked libraries, studies and laboratories, and duly made inventory of everything they found.
Andy began to get rather excited by the presence of books and the undead (by this time, he was giving serious thought to a Necromantic career, to the horror of the rest of the party), but did not turn up anything worthwhile. Meanwhile, Ed had discovered some maps and astronomical notes that indicated that whoever had built the original tower had found something of interest in the wilderness south. It begged further exploration.
To round things off, the study also had several portraits on the walls that all showed a strong family resemblance. Andy promptly took them out of their frames and, loaded with several tomes that had caught his eye, declared the mission a success.
However, they had discovered a chamber in the centre of this little complex that had an obvious trap door set into its floor. Around it were little holes that the metal bars James had been collecting slid into perfectly. It seemed likely that all they had to do to open the trap door was insert the metal bars – but they did not have enough. One hole was left unplugged and, as much as they searched, they could not find it.
In the morning, they informed the dwarf foreman that his problems were at an end and, still scratching their heads over the missing metal bar, resumed their journey southwards.