Catacombs, Part Three - Test of Iron
Rik asked for 60 shillings to guide them to the undead they were searching for, and gave them a lot of information about the catacombs including some of their many dangers. The companions eventually negotiated him down to 30 shillings [after some prompting from Donna (over dinner) to think about how much that was in real money and whether he should be paid that much. They still massively overpaid but that’s one way to manage treasure levels!]
Rik and Tector led the way further into the catacombs with Storm and Sophia right behind them. Rik stopped them just before a side passage heading off to the left, as he had heard the tell-tale metallic clinking of the Iron Cobra, a terrible predator of the catacombs that he had warned the group about earlier. The hearty heroes were spoiling for a fight however, and so pressed on despite Rik’s warnings. Sure enough, as they drew level with the side passage they were confronted with a huge (fifteen foot long) metallic cobra flashing towards them at great speed!
It was a great combat. Tector went toe-to-toe with the construct (a left-over Roman guardian with corroded programming that essentially became a wandering threat). He had been paying attention to what Rik told him about this formidable foe, and so decided to weigh in with his best fighting moves right from the start. By the end of the battle he had taken a couple of nasty wounds, but shrugged off the cobra’s poison with no ill effects due to his strong constitution. In return he had dished out massive damage, using all his daily and encounter powers, including his Bull Brooch. There was a great moment when Storm finally landed one of his Lightning Orbs on target (having missed with 2 or 3) only for his eyes to widen in horror as the Iron Cobra seemed to writhe happily as the electricity coursed up and down its body, and scales that Tector had smashed away started growing back!
Having twigged immediately that electricity actually healed the construct, Sophia contributed with a big critical in the form of an arrow straight down its throat, and Storm finished it off with his Ice Javelins. As its smashed iron segments crashed to the flagstones, Rik stood open-mouthed in awe as they turned to him. “You didn’t help! Why didn’t you help?!” they demanded.
“Do I look suicidal to you?” the goblin replied.
Pressing on, they came to a large rectangular room filled with smashed stone. They quickly worked out that it contained more than twenty stone sarcophagi, but that the lids had been removed and smashed to rubble, with many of the sarcophagi sides suffering the same fate. As they picked their way through the rubble, Sophia noticed that one sarcophagus remained intact, largely hidden under a pile of rubble. They cleared the broken stone away, to find that the lid was sealed in place with some sort of metal which had been poured, molten, into the gap between the lid and the sarcophagus. They noticed runes on the lid and both Storm and Sophia quickly realised they were Danagrim.
Rik immediately took out his knives and started trying to prise the lid off, telling the group enthusiastically that there would be treasure inside. The others were all taken aback by this and insisted that they were not going to open the tomb of a fallen Danagrim. Rik reluctantly gave up, realising that he had no chance of getting in without help. [The roleplaying here was great, they were looking at each other saying ‘we can’t do that, it’s opening someone’s grave!’]
As they moved to leave the chamber, they were surprised by a dark burgundy spider the size of a small pony, with bony blades at the end of each of its legs. As they engaged with it, a glob of acid flew from the darkened corridor beyond and hit Tector square in the face. A short battle ensued, but the group was easily a match for the wandering Blade Spider and its shadow-lurking cousin, the smaller Spitting Spider.
[One thing that struck me after the session is how much the kids’ roleplaying influenced the game. They thought fast to capture the goblin in the first place, did well to keep hold of him and interrogate him, and treated him with respect. They did not take advantage of the fact that they had him metaphorically at knifepoint, agreed to pay over the odds for him to act as a guide, and even gave him half the payment up front. Initially I (roleplaying a sneaky goblin) was thinking that I would just agree to whatever they wanted, lead them into a trap or a monster-infested area, and engineer an opportunity to do a runner. But they treated him with such honesty and respect, and offered him such a huge reward, that his thought process now is that they are good guys (even if very naive) and he intends to actually see it through rather than to cut and run at the first opportunity.]