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Defenders Summary #21: Hafney Hill Part 2-- What the &*@#! do they have under there?

Following the death of the second wraith and reuniting of the party in the halflings' bedroom, we decided to search for secret doors, and none were found. The next day, when Balinor had regained his level, we decided to explore the wraith corridor.

Noting that the seals had been broken on the door, we entered with Perry leading, searching for traps, and Felix and Balinor close behind.

The corridor had all sorts of niches with skulls and stuff in the walls. After about 60' we descended down a spiral staircase into a room with 4 other exits. Perry could faintly hear a creaking noise, and the sounds of running water. We noted the demonic sigil on the floor and decided to peek down the passages. The first one on the near right had a line of skulls, each with glowing red points for eyes which seemed to be staring at us, and vanishing off down the corridor.

This was vaguely disturbing.

The next corridor had another staircase leading down.

The far left corridor had a well decorated archway and another stairs across the room. We approached the altar, and Auburn was able to read the runes (written in Demon!). It welcomed all properly fearful demon worshippers to the lesser temple, and warned of death for all those who did not fear them properly. Perry listened, and we could hear the faint sounds of screams from down the corridor.

VERY alarming.

The last corridor was well built and unlike the rest of the more natural looking cave. Realizing that perhaps we were out of our league, we decided to head back.

That's when we heard the footsteps coming down the stairs we came from.

Balinor and Felix were poised at the doorway waiting for the thing to emerge. We could see a set of glowing dots on some shadowy figure walking slowly down. The creature boomed suddenly, "Who are you who descecrate this temple?"

We didn't reply, but we did gulp.

Finally, Perry said, "We simply want to leave. We have not desecrated the temple!"

The creature replied, "Pay the price for trespassing."

We backed away from the doorway and the creature emerged into the room. It was a skeleton with a bastard sword and short sword. It walked between us toward the demonic sigil. We took advantage of the opening to start fleeing up the stairs, Morgan and Perry first.

The creature reached the sigil when barely half the party had left the room (the corridor only had room for single file), when suddenly the clerics all recognized the area as consecrated evil ground, and that their turning abilities were suppressed somewhat. Then skeleton thing raised its hands and the swords suddenly lit in flame. It then whirled and charged Balinor
and Felix, who were trying to protect everyone.

Uh oh.

Cassian began turning, while Balinor and Felix turned to fight it. It swung viciously at Balinor, cutting him with both weapons and doing 20 points of damage, lighting him on fire. Balinor tried to roll out the fire, which was slowly doing damage.

At that moment, Morgan reached the top of the stairs and noticed that the door had been locked and bolted from this side. He crashed into the door, but couldn't knock it down. He cried out for a strong helper.

Felix swung back with the magic dagger and hit, but it was not clear whether it was actually damaged.

Auburn hurled a vial of holy water, connecting and splashing it, and it roared though no apparent damage was done. At the same time, Cassian managed to ward it off with her turn, since it suddenly stopped and backed up. It said, "Leave this place!"

We obeyed quickly, backpedaling. Balinor had quenched the fire and took up position behind Felix. Auburn dashed up to help Morgan get the door open. On the third try, Morgan crashed through with Perry, and people started rushing out. Unfortunately, we were only half out when the creature said, "That is enough time." It came up after us, and Felix stopped to delay it.

It slashed viciously, doing 41 points of damage and two single wounds (thanks to the Aid spell preventing the double wound), and lit him on fire. While the creature was recovering, he and Balinor got through the door and we slammed it shut, Kerr retracing the runes. Felix was healed in time, and we breathed a sigh of relief. Perry listened, but could hear nothing.

Perhaps we shouldn't have gone that way...

Deciding that was plenty, and that Hafney Hill was clearly not entirely mundane (everyone needs an evil temple in the basement), we packed up some of the valuables and went to the Trun area to purchase a wagon and oxen. We were able to carry out 30,000 coin weights of the 40,000, leaving mainly furniture and copper pieces behind.

By the way, the glowing Pope of Nevron heads were stacked in front of the evil door just in case.

We Stoneshaped the iron grid door shut, and set Fire Traps on both entrances. Quentin then Stoneshaped the other entrance shut. We returned a few days later and retrieved the treasure in the wagon and began the trip back to Restenford. Of course, while we were still on Hafney Hill, the half of the party transferring the treasure to the wagon got jumped by a spider, who Quentin convinced to go away.

Incidentally, there were three magic items found-- the magic ring on the wraith, a Captain's Jacket (Captain Ketone's!), and a magic plate armor.

We later discovered that the weather predicting property of Ketone's jacket was usable by anyone with meteorology skills, such as all captains, and Phaulkonian clerics of at least third level, like Cassian.

On the way back to Restenford, several things happened. First we encountered a group of five archers up the road, who scattered into the forest when we spotted them. Nothing happened, and we moved on.

Then we saw a giant (20' long) snake lying across the road, and Quentin convinced it to move so we could get past.

Then two gnolls appeared in front of us and demanded a 30 gp toll since they had killed some bombardier beetles. We decided that rather than fighting, the 30 gp wasn't terribly important and paid them off grudgingly.

Then the hurricane hit.

We got the sense something was terribly wrong, and took cover on a hill, the wagons and oxen separate from the main party with Felix and Cassian (both are teamsters) to help control them. The main party encountered another group of six adventurers hiding up there as well and took cover with them.

The storm was hideous and lasted several days, but miraculously Felix and Cassian were able to keep the animals from bolting. Unforunately, the other party was using a tarp for cover, which had metal posts. This made them a target for lightning strikes, and one of them took 60 points of damage and was incinerated suddenly! This frightened them.

When the storm blew over, Quentin helped bury the scorched man, and we continued on uneventfully to Restenford. There we paid salvage tax and have some issues to discuss.

Hecht can actually train, and I believe Auburn can as well, but neither can do it on Lendore very easily. Cassian trained to 4th level, gained 2 hp to stand at 27, and Quentin trained to 5th level, gaining 4 hp to stand at 20. Balinor missed 4th level by 200 XP...

We had the items, including the captain's jacket, identified in Barnacus-- the jacket also allows the user to know the tides and protects from the effects of normal weather. The primary ability is the weather detection though. It seems much more geared toward a captain than anything else-- a land-lubber is wasting the item.

The ring is a ring+1.

The plate armor was, unfortunately, a hideous cursed item. It looks cool, but when you get struck in combat, all enemies are attracted to attacking you for a round afterward, and do extra damage, and then the armor falls apart. Nuts.

Treasure splitting: this must be discussed. My suggestions:

The Captain's Jacket should be returned to the other party. The ring +1 would be a good item for the Defenders.

The monetary split is interesting-- we have a LOT of money tied up in goods-- an idea is to give it to the Baron and have him sell it and feed us a large percentage, rather than trying to sell it ourselves, since we don't even know what anything is worth.

The Defenders have hoped to claim quite a bit of the furniture for the house. Furthermore, the main bulk of cloth was ruined in the storm, but the 5 bolts of cloth survived and the Phaulkonian church was interested in about 2100 gp worth of stuff. Of course, we can't sell it for that much, so perhaps giving them 1000 gp worth as a donation will work. The druids were only interested in some of the silverware, which totaled to about 200 gp. So we can donate that, and then give more once we get money from the Baron.

In addition, the actual monetary treasure has to be split. Nearly 1000 gp was spent getting the wagon and oxen, but these can be resold to recover a lot of the loss. So there is some cash.

If anyone is interested in the proposed option of having the other party remain in Restenford and having them do the easier missions, the Defenders are quite interested in that arrangement. Of course we can provide financial help there. There's lots of negotiating to do.

In any case, some cash will certainly need to be transferred so Hecht and Auburn can train, which can be done.

Furthermore, while in Barnacus IDing items, we informed the Hand of Fate (Church of Nevron) about the Pope heads and hideous temple down below Hafney Hill. Perhaps an option for the future would be to accompany them, if they want us, to clear the place. Just a thought...

A mainly successful conclusion!



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