Castle Whiterock—Chapter 8: The Pits

Characters

  • Emmeline Forthwrought, eccentric human wizard, with Jonathan, cat familiar.
  • Frevia Arden, self-sufficient human druid, with Roberta, snake animal companion.
  • Imra Shadowmantle, disciplined elven rogue.
  • Melanie Shadowmantle, aristocratic human fighter, with Angelina, recovered toad.
with
  • Gryffydd, human mercenary (hireling)

Trapmaker, Trapmaker, Make Me a Trap

The party explores the ruins of Shadowmantle Manor to get a better look at their possible new home. Frevia and Roberta begin a circuit of the perimeter to make sure nothing attacks the group from the woods.

Crossing the stream from the main guard tower to open area in the northeast, Melanie narrowly avoids falling into a concealed pit trap. That open area may have once been stables, but until recently, it was home to the goblin druid's wolf companion, who lived in a hollow in the stone filled with bones and rotting meat. Emmeline used a prestidigitation cantrip to clean the hovel out.

As they pass through a hole in the wall to rejoin the group, Frevia and Roberta tumble into another concealed pit trap. Melanie helps them climb out, and the group considers productive uses for these pits, including placing the brown mold in them as a form of food preservation.

Venturing into the main intact building in the northwest, Melanie falls victim to yet another pit trap over the only obvious entrance. As the fighter climbs out, Imra discovers a wooden plank just inside the wall of the building that the goblin must have used to span the covered pit. 

The building contains an open room with what appears to have been a library beyond. An iron door contains an arrow trap which Imra disables. Beyond, stairs go up to the roof, which was once a second floor, and down into darkness. Another iron door—with another arrow trap—leads to a small room that was clearly the goblin's lair, complete with a nest of furs and trash.

Venturing down the darkened stairs, Imra discovers a trap with a false stair and bulging canvas in the ceiling. Rather than tackle it now, with the party still wounded and tired from fighting the druid, she retreats to the surface. The group barricades themselves in the library, and Imra sets some noisemaker traps to warn them of attack during the night.

Who Doesn't Love a Murder Basement?

In the morning, the group heads back downstairs. Imra attempts to disable the ceiling trap, but she accidentally triggers it. Bricks and stone rain down on her. While Frevia heals the rogue, Melanie proceeds down the stairs. She sets a torch down on the floor to provide some light. Unfortunately, she discovers a mess of thin, nearly invisible razor wire spanning the corridor, which badly slices her arm.

Imra takes the lead again and disposes with the mess of razor wire. As she steps into the next room, however, she notices the torchlight dancing faintly off a clear, wet wall in the middle of the room—a gelatinous cube! She fires an arrow at the cube and then runs past it, avoiding its swinging pseudopod.

Melanie steps up to engage the cube, slicing it up with Treeheart. Unfortunately, she is quickly engulfed as the cube slides over her on its way after Imra. Still, she does enough damage as it over takes her that one final arrow show from Gryffydd is sufficient to destroy the ooze. 

Unfortunately, as the cube releases Melanie, she sinks to the ground right on a patch of razor wire. Imra and Roberta realize that it was only by luck that they made it to either end of the room without being sliced up by a pair of razor-wire traps. Imra disables them and a number of other patches throughout the dungeon. It occurs to the group that the cube may have been trapped between the razor-wire traps as a kind of corral. Had the goblin captured the ooze for his own purposes?

Other than the traps, the rest of the dungeon was hardly interesting. Only a small room at the far end, which bore signs of being the cube's original lair, held anything of value: an assortment of coins, gems, and a pair of quartz lenses which Emmeline later identifies as lenses of bright seeing. After clearing out the basement, the party goes back upstairs to rest for the night.

Checking Out the Neighborhood

Before heading back to Cillamar, the party decides to patrol the land around the Manor for a day, to get a feel for the terrain and any local dangers. It's a deeply overcast day, and much of it goes by without incident. Frevia identifies a number of animal dens that might house larger predators.

Late in the day, as they emerge into a clearing, most of the heroes realize that a party of orcs lies in wait to ambush them. The party engages the orcs, and with the exception of the burly leader, the orcs pose little threat. As they loot their foes, they recognize some symbols from the orc clans they disrupted in Castle Whiterock. They also collect a number of magic items from the orc leader, including his cloak, armor, bracers, and a ruby attached to the armor.

The next day, the part sets off for Cillamar. Four days later, they make it safely to town. Along the way, they made plans for how they want to rebuild Shadowmantle Manor. They know they will need to hire builders, and that the rebuilding will not be cheap. Frevia suggests that they head to Galaron, the seat of the King, to conduct business they cannot handle in Cillamar.

So next time, it's off to the big city...

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