Coming up on 2 years for the Rift City campaign and we seem to be settling in to our new home at the Black Horse in Aylestone. The 23 session saw a slightly larger party brave the caves - we were joined by a new player for this session and a couple of people who've missed the last few also made it to this one.
In the end the party this session was:
Berg – 3rd Level Dwarf
Brigham – 2nd Level Cleric*
Cnut – 3rd Level Fighter
Elenya – 2nd Level Elf **
Galen – 3rd Level Elf
Gibbet – 4th Level Thief
Karensa – 3rd Level Elf
Nelson – 2nd Level MU***
*as Bonjella the Elf died at the last session, this was Bonjella's player's new character. Rather than have a problem integrating low-level characters into the game, new characters start with the lowest level in the party. Currently they're all 2nd or above.
**new player and new character - for the level, see previous note.
***the MU that was the new character of Gene's player when he dies a couple of sessions ago - for level, see note before the previous one...
In a break with the recent run of things the party chose to go to caves on the right (downhill) side of the road, rather than fight their way to the only staircase they've yet found. They found a rough path down and when it split they chose the less-used fork as that would probably have more undisturbed treasure.
Finding a cave, the party entered and discovered a stairway cut into the rock at the rear of the cave. Following it down it they came to a long straight corridor running back into the hillside. Following this down a little way they came to a door in the right-hand (western) wall. As they reached it, an Orc patrol spied them from further down the corridor, and gave chase. The party piled into the room behind the door and waited for the Orcs to attack.
Barging through the door, the Orcs were met by a hail of arrows, daggers and thrown axes. The PCs made pretty short work of the Orcs (who kept making stupidly over-confidant Morale checks) and soon all were dead, at which point the PCs looted them and found some nice jewellery, possibly looted from an old corpse - which netted the party 890gp back in town (I don't think I'll be spoiling anything to say that at least some of the PCs made it back to town).
They explored the room and noted several exits. There was also a mosaic floor with ghoulish scenes of slaughter and cannibalism. Lovely. This series of rooms seems to have been built by people who are fond of portcullises instead of proper doors as several in this area had them - the party seemed quite fond of spiking them open. They moved north and checked out another rooms, finding curiosities but no monsters or treasure, before heading south and encountering some giant weasels.
These were a little tougher than the Orcs but there were only three. The party killed them and searched the room, where they found a small amount of treasure, in the strange coinage of the Ancients. Then Galan, with his superior Elf-senses (which he no doubt calls 'senses', thank you Aragorn), spotted that a patch of mould in one corner was actually an illusion hiding a secret door.
Going through the door delivered the PCs into a larger room, and here there were giant lizards. They did take a bit more effort to defeat than the weasels, but the PCs overcame them too - with one injury, though I now can't remember whose [Galan's player has said that it was Gibbet, in the report here].
The lizards had also amassed some treasure - some copper and gold coins (these are newer and must have been brought to the caves since their rediscovery in the last 200 years or so). There was also a scroll among the treasure.
Pushing on the PCs were attacked by Stirges, but Sleep and swords dealt with them; then on to another room with a kind of pool in it, where the portcullises seemed to be held by some enchantment because they really wouldn't move. The party decided to set them on fire, but they didn't burn very quickly and the party retreated back they way they'd come, away from the smoke.
Threading their way back the party encountered a group of men who they might perhaps have negotiated with, but violence quickly broke out and again the tossing around of Sleep spells caused the encounter to go in the party's favour. Looting the bodies produced some more goodies.
Somewhere around here, Galan decided to see what was on the scroll. No sooner had he started to read than he felt himself overcome by some form of evil magic - not fatally, but he did feel weakened somehow.
As the PCs made their way back to the room with the exit, an Ogre came towards them. She wore a strange turban-like affair on her head and was surprisingly difficult to hit. Having disposed of her (I think someone else was injured in this encounter... I'm certain at least two of the party was injured at the end of the session, besides Galan's curse) the party looted the body gaining more gold and taking the turban (which, when they got it into the light, was more like a cloak for a human).
And that was that - the party high-tailed it back to town to divvy up the loot. I'm not sure anyone went up a level this time. Ah well, there's always tomorrow...