« Defenders Log Entry #19: Creepies and Crawlies and Kittens (oh my!) | Main | Defenders Summary #21: Hafney Hill Part 2-- What the &*@#! do they have under there? »

Defenders ADVENTURE LOG #20: Return of the Halflings

Adventure #4: Hecht & co. and the Restinford Defenders vs. the Evil Halflings of Hafney Hill
(from the chronicles of the Restinford Defenders)

Character Roster:

Felix, 4th level fighter, 42 hp, played by Alex
Drew, 4th level ranger, 34 hp, played by committee
Balinor, 3rd level fighter, 33 hp, played by Joel
Cassian, 3rd level cleric of Phaulkon, 25 hp, played by Katherine
Morgan, 4th level fighter, 22 hp, played by Alan
Quentin, 4th level druid, 16 hp, played by Jeremy
Perry, 5th level thief, 16 hp, played by Sean


Hecht, cleric of the halfling god Brandebaris, played by Mark
Auburn, 1st level cleric of the halfling god Sheila /1st level fighter, 11 hp, played by Kyle
Kerr, 1st level druid, 7 hp, played by Mark

The party checked around the lair of the burrow worms for a few days just to make sure there were no more worms left. We entered the lair with Felix in the lead, and discovered a room of dead husks. There was also a gem and 2 vials of Nevronian holy water.

We dragged four husks back to Restenford, paid one in salvage tax(?!), and commissioned the always friendly armorer to turn them into great helms (?!). Felix, Balinor, and Drew are decked out in the bug head helmets (pincers still intact) when FAR away from civilization, such as it is on Lendore.

Perry trained to 5th level, and gained 3 hp to stand at 16 hp.

A letter and a mage arrived in Restenford while Perry trained, named Donald Collins. Colin, the elven mage/thief whose disastrous adventure had nearly destroyed his hearing, had found someone for us.

Donald is a human coastlander, quite tall, but in most assessments, a "geek." Fresh out of Wicker's training school, he was able to spend some of the money we gave him on two first level spells, Detect Magic and Identify. He also revealed that he has the Light spell. He also has at least two others, one of which must be Read Magic. He said he didn't have any combat spells, and would be more useful if the party acquired some. We traded the lenses to Peltar for the dagger+1 and two spells, Sleep and
something else I don't remember.

Colin added that he had absolutely no idea why Donald would want to go to Lendore, but he was interested in "some excitement." Oh boy. He's getting it.

We accepted him and helped him equip fully, providing him with ink and other necessities.

A month later, the Baron invited us to meet with him. He had a mission that he thought we might be interested in.

For those of you who don't know Hafney Hill, it is a lovely little place near Key Ferry that has claimed the lives of countless adventurers. The place was supposed to be haunted, and a halfling cleric of the god of adventure, named Hecht, led a group of adventurers called Sam and Friends to clean it out in 2173. They failed miserably, and lost everyone but Hecht, who escaped via a Sanctuary spell. They were all taken down by startlingly good bowshots from some hostile halflings in the ruined keep.
In addition, one of the companions, Larry surrendered and was captured. Sam managed to kill one with a Command spell to jump to his death, but was shot to death moments later. There were two left that Hecht had seen.

A while later, in 2173, Hecht and Kerr, a druid, led a new expedition to rescue Larry and finish the job. Unfortunately they ended up at the wrong hill, and stumbled on a circle of demon worshippers, and a few of their buddy demons. Over half the party was lost, but the remainder killed the witch and several of the weird demon things. The six survivors split up the treasure-- Arutha the elven cleric of Nevron obtained the only permanent magic item, a silver necklace that gives a +1 bonus to saves. Several potions and the loot were distributed as well. Arutha went off to the Church in Benct, Daryl and his companion went off their own way, and Hecht, Kerr, and Auburn, a halfling cleric of Sheila, went off to get revenge, and help.

It appears, in fact, that the ghost stories are entirely false concoctions to scare away people, and that the effects were created by extremely mobile halflings leaping from tower to tower somehow.

They arrived in Restenford, and the Baron requested our help. We agreed to finish the job, and marched out to the hill. On the way, we ran into another of our old friends. The burrow worm leaped up straight in front of Balinor. In a move wrought of skill, Balinor managed to get captured by it and beat it incessantly from close up, thereby preventing it from spraying acid all over our nice equipment.

This was, of course, entirely deliberate.

The party hammered at it for awhile, and it dragged Balinor underground. Unfortunately, without the Plant Growth wall, the creature could escape. After Balinor had wounded it and nearly beaten it senseless, and with Felix in hot pursuit, the creature dropped him and fled.

We reached the site of Hafney Hill after a brief stopover in Trun a few days later. The party decided that since reckless attacking had led to their death previously, this adventuring party would try to lure them out to eliminate as many halflings as possible. An astrology revealed that the number 9 was important, and we assumed this meant there were nine halflings.

We set up a false campsite and hid in the bushes nearby, hoping to draw their attention and capture them. Unfortunately, though we noticed no observation during the night, we found tracks of a halfling in the morning. Irritated, we tried again the next night, this time with Perry's snares littering the area.

Sure enough, in the middle of the night we heard the wire snap, and a moaning sound began. Presumably it was the halfling trying to scare us. Balinor and Felix charged with a wild yell, and a hopeful Entangle was thrown in the general direction by Kerr.

It missed, and the two charging fighters barely missed getting caught. Drew tracked through the woods helped by a Light spell, and we found that the tracks were indeed halfling sized and led back into the keep. The moaning continued but got more and more distant until finally it vanished.

In addition, the previous party had noted a secret door in the hillside, presumed to be a back exit. We noted the location and waited for the rain to hit.

In the morning, we awoke to a large and thunderous storm. We approached the ruins, and Quentin cast Call Lightning and held it as we walked. Cassian cast a Dust Devil, which is much more powerful for Phaulkonians. We noted that the real lightning would strike one of the towers much more often than the others, and then noticed the metal wires running from tower
to tower. Either they are to ground the lightning, or allow rapid halfling transport from tower to tower.

Suddenly, the bell in the far tower began to ring. Cassian sent the Dust Devil that way, and we advanced cautiously. We reached the tower and found the wooden door locked. Finding it untrapped but locked, Felix crashed through it.

And suddenly an arrow went cleanly through his shoulder, doing 28 points of damage! He fell back in shock.

Cassian sent the dust devil in.

We heard a scream and a thump, and found a dead halfling on the floor, presumably pushed off by the dust devil. He was covered with wires and pulleys and other rope systems.

Dragging the body in tow, we advanced to the other tower, which the lightning struck more often. With a crowbar this time, we opened the door and waited. Then we looked in quickly, and could hear gears but not see them. Cassian sent the dust devil in. Then we heard a noise above us. Suspecting the halflings were fleeing the dust devil along the wires, we waited a moment.

Then Quentin blasted the far tower with lightning.

The results were spectacular. We ran to the tower to find three dead halflings, all badly burned. Cassian sent the dust devil down into the open basement, where one of the halflings lay. We hauled it out with a grappling hook, and sent the dust devil down. A moment later, Cassian sensed it had been destroyed.

Figuring the halflings might try to escape through the "back door," we ran to the secret door. Since Felix was injured, Balinor used the crowbar to open the door. Suddenly a roughly six foot tall shadow flew out of the door and ran straight at Balinor.

The party sprung into action, attacking with all its silver weapons. Balinor clocked it with Maiden Basher as well. Fortunately, the creature missed Balinor, and it was taken down after failing to hit Morgan (surprise). In fact, it critically fumbled and allowed a free attack.

Drew decided that the monster was a wraith or a spectre, though he had never heard of spectres being hit by silver weapons. So we assumed it was a wraith. That means level draining.

We doused the body with two vials of holy water, which sizzled on contact. We put it outside, and removed a magic ring from its finger. It appeared to be the collapsed body of a normal Coastlander, turned into a hideous monster by some demonic ritual. We blasted it.

We peeked inside, and found a 4' diameter corridor leading off into nothingness. In addition there were two wires running along the sides. One had clearly been triggered-- though the target was somewhere down the hall. It pointed roughly toward the tower we had just left, about 1500 feet away.

It was decided to split the party. Balinor leading, followed by Felix, Cassian, Perry, and one other person, would head into the tunnel and follow it to it's end, Perry spot-checking as appropriate.

About five minutes into the tunnel, another much smaller wraith appeared and tried to kill Balinor. Cassian attempted to turn it, but failed. The only person who could fight it in the close quarters was the victim, and Balinor smashed it with both hammers. The silver one appeared to inflict half damage, but could affect it. Unfortunately, it actually managed to hit him on its next swing, and drained a level.

It was getting old.

The now 2nd level Balinor totally bashed it into the ground on his next attack routine.

Hecht immediately recognized the corpse after it collapsed-- it was Larry.

We splashed Larry with holy water and continued. We finally came to a larger open room about 15 feet high. There was a "vault" on the right side, which the wire that had been pulled was connected to. Apparently the halflings had opened this to mess up pursuit. They succeeded.

We continued into the tunnel and discovered a room with a dozen halfling sized beds, 9 of which had been recently occupied. Also, there were a bunch of glowing Pope heads (Nevronian) lit by Continual Light just sitting there at even intervals. Finally there were boxes. We then shouted up, and realized that we had reached the other half of the party. They clambered down and we realized that to our annoyance there were still 4 halflings on the loose.

We checked out the vault as well, and discovered a multiple locked chest area. We opened the chests and found quite a bit of money. In the boxes in the main room were random items of value, clearly ripped off of caravans.

What to do next? It's unclear. Hopefully the halflings won't find us-- or we'll be able to kill them. Now to get the treasure back to Restenford.

The Fall of Hafney Hill!


(Larry had actually joined the halflings, but when they recognized Hecht they locked him the prison cells "just in case." In the escape they released the wraith but did not release Larry, who was trapped and munched. Then he rose as a wraith himself.)


TrackBack URL for this entry:

Post a comment

(If you haven't left a comment here before, you may need to be approved by the site owner before your comment will appear. Until then, it won't appear on the entry. Thanks for waiting.)