In the last session there was some attempted recon of the Tower and the area near its base. This session, the PCs were determined to enter. Demurarg, the female magic user NPC suggested a plan whereby she would somehow gain entrance from the back of the tower and then signal the others once they’d entered from the front to warn them of impending attack by the tentacled creatures on the ground floor that had killed her own original party. She was still acting very suspiciously and wouldn’t allow the PCs to see how she was going to gain access from the rear of the tower (a 30’ high balcony entrance).
Everyone but her went around the other side for a frontal assault, even though I strongly felt (I’m a player in this OSRIC campaign) that she was quite possibly leading us into a trap. There was plenty of confusion about what to do with the horses as there was very little in the way of trees or anything else to tie them up to, but eventually we found something. At one point Anrid the Fighter tried to hack the head off of the staked down thing in front of the tower as a cautionary step before pulling up the stakes with which it was impaled to the ground for use with holding the horses. Strangely, the head could not be completely severed and the metal stakes were impossible to remove from the ground.
Having gotten distracted from the coordinated plan of attack, they heard a whistle signal coming from the tower entrance, and hurried to it. They discovered that there was some flooding around its base, some of it as much as 20’ wide. They had to wade through this to get to the entrance, and again paranoia and precaution was high, but nothing attacked. It was discovered, though, that this moat of sorts was comprised of half water half mud as much as 2-3' high, so the approach was slowed as would be any retreat, making everyone most uncomfortable.
The dwarves' infravision wasn’t working very well from the outside as they attempted to peer into the darkness of the tower’s base level. They ended up throwing a torch in there to see what they could see, but it quickly extinguished by landing and rolling into more water. Suddenly it began to rain and a big thunderous sound was heard but there was no accompanying lightning. All of this water seemed strange as the climate and terrain had been barren and dry previously (there are no trees of any size in the area).
The two dwarves stomped into the base of the tower, and suddenly heard the whistling of Demurarg, warning them of the approach of creatures. The dwarves retreated back to the entrance way, and short tentacled creatures with flippers were seen approaching. I have no idea what these are, as I can’t remember anything from the 1e MM or Fiend Folio remotely like them that would might be encountered by such a group of low level characters - of course that’s not to say that it might not be something of higher caliber. I’m guessing it was home brew, as eventually we killed one of the pair of the beasts with our crossbow, slings, and darts, alternately fleeing and then returning on horseback once it was pursued us across the muddy moat. They were slow moving and never seemed a real threat to the party - the group that had accompanied Demurarg originally must have not been very cautious in their approach to have been nearly wiped out as they were.
After killing one, everyone fled to the rear again to hopefully regroup with Demurarg - there was still one of the beasts in the tower with her. She came out onto the balcony and asked us to throw her a rope (Aha! She must have levitated up there). We did so, but she had nothing to tie it to, and threw it back and then ran back inside. We waited, hoping she would appear again, but she didn’t. Finally we went back around the front of the tower and entered again. This time there was no sight of the other tentacled beast. We found a stairwell that was partially collapsed. The thief Gladric successfully rolled to climb walls and managed to get around the collapse. Once on the other side, he threw a rope and pulled the gnome over. Then the two tied themselves together and pulled the other dwarf up. Eventually they all made it over in this fashion.
Proceeding up the stairs, they passed the balcony where they’d seen Demurarg. The thief was able to hammer some spikes into stonework and then throw his rope around/through them and down off the balcony in the hopes of both providing a quick emergency exit from the tower as well as a potentially easier way back to where they were now.
They reached the 2nd level, and bypassed a door when they heard a whistle in response to their calls and own whistling. They found Demurarg unharmed in a small empty room just past the first, entered, took stock, and spiked the door shut with the aim of resting and allowing her to recuperate and memorize spells. This seemed like a good place to end the session as well.
The first couple of hours were really frustrating tonight, with all the continued recon and hesitancy of just entering the tower and then battling the creatures. Still, the PCs range from 5-8 hit points, so the prudence seems warranted. I was so glad to find Demurarg and spike the door shut. Later as I tried to get to sleep, I kept visualizing tentacled creatures in a tower emerging and pursuing me across a mud filled moat.
Demon City Appendix N (Part 2: Movies)
9 hours ago