Below the trapdoor

Session 29 January 2021

Lurlille and Mivyre wake up when Tomen and I get back from our little investigative detour. We take a short rest to regroup and share our information. We walk back through the rooms with the altars and the bodies – that Tomen and I labeled as ‘really dead’. Mivyre thinks that it is wise to burn everybody in the room, just to be sure. I set fire to everything. It feels good!

We take the Long Road back to Red Larch. Two Goblins stand in the middle of the road: one recognizes us, and vice versa. He threatens us: Mivyre, Tomen, and I want to attack, but Celeste feels something’s wrong and wants to go away. Lurlille tries to charm the Goblins into telling the truth about the disfiguring of all the statues along the way, but they keep denying it. Because Mivyre, Tomen, and I do not stow away our weapons, more Goblins show up, and we hear even more in the bushes. I think there are about thirty of them. ‘Oh SHIT!’ I think, ‘But I will fight until my death so that my party will live!’ Before anything else happens, Lurlille loses it completely. She begs the Goblins to leave her alone and cries and cries: she surrenders there and then. Tomen says:

‘The way forward is not always through conflict.’

Reluctantly, I agree with the party, we are going to flee. Mivyre pulls my hair to get me to run. The Goblins chase us, just for fun – I can sense that – but with enough threat for us to shit ourselves.

The house
We come near a house. It seems empty and ready for us to shelter. To keep the Goblins at bay, I suggest making a fire. However, it will set the whole forest alight: that is not my intention. I need to spare lives, and the lives of animals are as dear to me as any others. I leave a rope in front of the entrance and set it on fire with produce flame. Mivyre leaves his giant shield in front of a passage near a hole in the ground – containing spikes. Lurlille then produces a horrible smell that will remain in this area. Ugh. Quickly, we make our way inside the house.

Tomen and I barricade the door with a piano that’s standing nearby. We are all investigating in a different area of the house. Lurlille finds a book for me and calls me over. The book is ruined: there are no pages left in the book, but I can see it was a journal. In the meantime: we can hear Goblins on the roof. They can’t get in yet, so we are okay for now. I investigate the fireplace together with Lurlille: we find loose papers and decipher a small text. There exists a secret underground passage from the house to a place in the forest, and apparently, the homeowner performed rituals in a basement. How interesting… I wonder what those rituals entail. The Goblins break the roof: holes are visible now. We need to get out of here before they enter!

Behind a wall of barrels, we find a small space with a trapdoor. To cover our tracks, we place the barrels back how we found them, and descend down the ladder.

The underground passage
We find ourselves a couple of meters below the surface. Some of us can’t see here, so Lurlille lights the place with her dancing lights, and Mivyre holds the driftglobe they found. We walk for a short while and come across a statue of a demon. It is purple! How odd. Mivyre tries to move the statue: the arms are loose and it looks like a sort of combination lock. When he positions the arms to the side, we hear a click and the statue becomes a secret door! We can see stairs in the distance, leading upward.

Before we go back up again, we want to investigate the rest of the underground area. We come across a river with a couple of rocks in the middle. I jump quickly from one rock to the other and am one of the first to reach the other side. I think we’ve found the place with rituals and experiments we’ve read about upstairs because we see a skeleton on a table with a knife sticking out of it, and a lot of bones in a pile next to it – and a white mouse. I walk further and find myself in a room with a red circle on the floor. There are skulls placed around the circle, and a (demon) skull sits in the middle. There is a sword sticking out of the floor next to it. I am intrigued – I would like another sword to fight with. I want to pull the sword from the stone, just like I’ve read in books when I was young. I want to be like King Arthur too! When Mivyre tells me it is a greatsword, I lose interest. It would be too much to handle next to my shield – which I need.

I spot the mouse again. I think it is holding something shiny in its paws. Lurlille catches the mouse with her mage hand, and I can see the mouse is holding a ring that Lurlille quickly claims for herself. It is made of gold with two red stones in it. We make our way upstairs and end up on a path in the forest. It is almost 8PM when we reach Red Larch again.

A calm evening
I relax in a big armchair near the fire in the Inn, and Mivyre joins me. He is interested in my backstory and wants to have a talk. I ask him a couple of questions too. For Mivyre, it’s family above everything else, so he understands that I still want to look for my brother Fury. Mivyre also suggests going back to the ritual place: perhaps we can find a lead to finding my brother and the Oni. When Mivyre wants to head upstairs, we see Tomen and a Half-Orc entering the Inn. They are carrying Celeste and Lurlille and take them upstairs. Apparently, Lurlille and Celeste did some kind of drinking game with the Half-Orc and lost big time. I laugh: they really can’t hold their liquor… The Half-Orc helps to get them to bed: how nice! His name is Borac, he seems somewhat familiar, but I haven’t encountered many Half-Orcs, so I must be wrong. We all take a long rest.

In the morning, Lurlille seems really sad and she cries: she has lost all of her gold! I give her a big hug. I don’t have much gold, but I contemplate if I can give some to her. Celeste also misses some of her gold, and she blames Borac. To make some money, we sell the gems we found near the necromancer in the cave. Tomen and I give our share of the treasures to Lurlille. She is very grateful, how sweet.

On our way back from the pawnshop, we see a new store ‘Full Extracts’. It sells Tabacco, scrolls, and other stuff. The owner is a dwarf named Ramdring Goldfire and is really enthusiastic about his store. He sells some Tabacco to Tomen and offers magic mushrooms on the house! The dwarf can’t sell them, because of the law. Then Tomen says:

‘Rules are just a construct.’

The dwarf laughs and gives us the shrooms. I’m curious about what the effects will be – after thirty minutes, we should feel something. ‘Let’s wait for a moment when we have some time to try this.’ I think. With our newly acquired cargo, we travel back to the house – with the underground ritual-space – and discover that Mivyres’ shield is gone…

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