Here is the play report from our last OD&D session. There are five PCs:
- Ruby the Hobbit Footpad (2nd level thief)
- Arsenios the Adept (2nd level Cleric)
- Dunther the Veteran (1st level FM)
- Drizzle the Medium (1st level MU)
- Adrog the Dwarven Warrior (2nd level FM)
The group set about exploring the Dwarven Hall. Small rooms concealed by tapestries on the east and west walls appeared to be guard’s quarters, replete with small beds, mostly empty chests and a suit of fine Dwarven chain armor. They were both unoccupied, however a secret door in the eastern room opened to a narrow, spiral staircase that descended into darkness. Ruby led the way down, taking the party through a narrow tunnel and up an identical staircase at the other end which ended in a trap door above. It was difficult to lift – apparently being under a heavy rug, but after some effort, Adrog managed to cut his way through the rug and open the door fully. The room the party found themselves in was large, square and circled by a staircase that hugged the wall on two sides, up to a stone landing some 15 feet above. There were large double doors to the east. All was quiet, and exploring above the party found a bed and desk, on the latter was a dried inkwell, and a leather-bound book detailing prayers and rituals for Dunaits, the Dwarven God of the Mountains. Ruby found a chest under the bed that held some vestments, six vials of holy water, and a leather pouch with some platinum coins and a diamond in the shape of an eye.
Pocketing the loot, the party continued east, through the double doors. Faint singing could be heard now as the party proceeded down a wide corridor which turned south to an opening, beyond which was a walkway over a dark and open space. Ruby caught some movement in the darkness above – perhaps something in flight? As the party approached, the singing became louder and Dunther, Arsenios and Adrog fell into a trance, walking towards the opening. It was at this point that a large, flying creature with the upper body of a woman, eagle wings and large talons flew into view. A Harpy! Ruby hurled a dagger which only grazed it, and melee was engaged. The Harpy went after Dunther first – charmed and putting up only a meek defense, he was wounded even as Ruby and Drizzle fought to protect their charmed companions [DM note – The Harpies’ charm in OD&D is not described very well – there is some confusion as to when the actual charm takes effect and just what it does. I assumed it was similar to a charm person spell, that a charmed PC would not do anything to obviously harm themselves, and would defend but not attack]. The lone Harpy did eventually succumb to Ruby’s and Drizzle’s attacks, but Dunther was not so lucky, falling prey to the Harpy’s razor-sharp claws.
The party, minus Dunther, took stock of their surroundings. The six-foot wide walkway spanned 50 feet across an open chamber some 30 feet below. Crumbled staircases were in either end of the walkway – neither were usable as a means of descent. Ruby descended on a rope, her torch illuminating a gruesome scene. The chamber below was filled with armored Dwarven skeletons, clearly the aftermath of a great battle.Curiously there were only Dwarven-sized skeletons, no other creatures. Ruby dropped to the ground and explored the room. In a corner was a nest of sticks and refuse, buried beneath she found a leather scrool case and a brown, stoppered bottle with liquid in it. She could find no exits, and so pocketed the scroll case and phial and rejoined her companions.
The party continued through a maze of corridors, passing by several doors, in the end opening one that revealed a long-deserted jail. Two of three cells were empty, but in one was a Dwarf-sized skeleton draped in tattered clothing, a jeweled ring still on its skeletal hand. After recovering the ring without incident, the party moved on and found themselves at an intersection – to the west, an open chamber showing a dim glow from within a low, circular stone wall. To the south, a closed door. Ruby moved to the door and listened, hearing a low, distant moaning. She moved aside to let Adrog open the door, then proceeded in with all possible stealth while the rest of the group stayed back. A short corridor led south to a small hexagonal chamber with no exits, at the center of which was a well. The well was of dark stone and about four feet in height. As Ruby approached, the moaning became louder and with a whoosh, a dark, shadowed, vaguely human shape rose from the well and moved straight at the Hobbit! She turned an ran as fast as her Hobbit legs would carry her, diving through the door as Arsenios slammed it behind her. The door shook and a terrifying screech could be heard from behind the door, but it did not open.
Glad for their caution, the party continued west and into a large chamber lit from a pale glow. Giant marble doors were atop a set of wide stairs to the north (the party surmised these were the doors leading to the entry hall, if so they would be barred from within). An open exit was to the west. They could now see the blue glow emanated from a large, circular pool of water perhaps a foot deep. Circumscribed around and on the top of the stone wall containing the water were glowing runes. No one could understand the runes’ meaning, but Ruby decided to take a chance and sample it. She gulped a mouthful the water and immediately felt full, as if she had eaten a meal. No ill effects were apparent after a few minutes.
To be continued…