Going Postal: Troglodyte Zombie Battle!

[This happened on May 12, Sunday 2013, between 16 and 21 UTC. Players Mike, Ian, Ralph and Demo in attendance. It being Mother’s Day, John and Toby are unable to attend. Pace is in Silverton, Oregon and all players are participating via Skype and Roll20.]

After mapping most of the complex the Green Dog Sea Caves, after fighting a strange water elemental and defeating two ghosts, including the spirit of the orc pirate king Green Dog himself, the Postal Squad counted up the treasure of the dead Pirate Chief in room 8.

A screenshot of the map where all the action happened

It was discovered that the missing money shipment the squad was sent to find was not among the treasure. There were several suggestions floated as to the whereabouts of this money.  There were:

  1. Two mysterious and locked heavy stone doors found in the prior session. One which appeared to have a great deal of water pressure behind it. These doors remained unopened.
  2. While all of the rooms of the cave complex had been mapped there was a slight possibility of a few details in any one of them that might have been overlooked.

Hinkwe and Maceo proposed disarming and exhuming the remaining spear traps buried under the beach of room 6. Care is taken and two hours labor passed as this was done. As this work proceeded, Lingerhol heard the approach of a someone or something slogging through the water filled passages outside room 6. The disarming work, which was nearly finished anyway, came to a halt and the party readied itself for combat. In the light of Bussell and Frickalind’s everburning torches, at the mouth of cave 6, a strange insect-like creature stepped out of the darkness.

A demotivational joke poster about rust monsters and how armorclad fighers fear and hate them!

The postal agents were clueless as to what this creature was but Maceo identified it as a rust monster and warned that the creature that loved to consume metals of all kinds but especial iron and steel. The party was danger of losing their weapons and armor.

Thinking quickly Hinkwe and Golath both grabbed one of the unburied traps, which had many steel fittings and linkages, and heaved it in front of the creature to offer as food.

Working on the assumption that the creature somehow smelled metal, Frikalind implored Crondussa, the Goddess of Eagles, to create a great wall of wind to blow back the scent of the party’s collection of steel weapons and armor. She then shucked her own armor and drew out her quarterstaff.

Using the spear trap as diversionary bait worked. As Frikalind removed her mail, pouches and backpack, the creature feasted. Frikalind then ran through the wind wall and struck the creature on the flank with her quarterstaff. Sated from the metal of the trap and threatened with bludgeoning from a quarterstaff, the timid creature ran off into the darkness. Frikalind considered following it but then discarded the idea.

The creature did not return, and the party returned to discussing what to do next. It is decided that it is likely the missing money shippment might be behind one of the two locked stone doors however Hinkwe, Maceo and others are wounded from the prior fight with Green Dog and everyone was depleted of magic.

It was decided to have party set camp in room 8, which was well hidden behind behind a secret door. The party rested, recovered and healed and nothing happened during the watches set save for a strange and spooky sighing heard in cave 6 on the third watch. Frikalind and Bussell, composing the third watch, sat silent and straining their ears for any other sound but there was none and morning, which was very near, came without further incident.

On daybreak, the party readied itself to march out of room 8 with the plan to investigate the stone doors again but they were caution given the report from the third watch.

Golath drew his hammer and readied himself to kick the secret door open in hopes of surprising the creatures. Maceo drew out his horn for bardic magic. Lingerhol and Hinkwe readied their bows. Frickalind, back in her armor, readied her staff for a charge. To start things off, just in case, Bussell cast a sleep spell into the center of cave 6 in hopes that it might take out whatever creatures might have moved there during the night. This action started combat and several things happened nearly at once:

  • Golath kicked the door open, charging straight out and into zombie troglodytes!
  • It was immediately clear that Bussell’s sleep spell was useless against the undead.
  • Maceo rallied the party with a song of courage.
  • Golath, at the end of his charge, nearly knocked one of the undead monsters on its rump with a mighty strike from his hammer!
  • The room was filled with a horrible stench of rotting flesh from the monsters and Golath nearly doubled over wretching.
  • This foul vapor blew over the party causing many to wretch and heave in overwhelming nausea.
  • This nausea effectively canceled the beneficial affects of Maceo’s rune singing magic.

A photo of a zombie trog miniature

The rest of the party moved towards cave 6 for a better view of the zombies. Frikalind, in particular, readied her silver eagle for an attempt at turning them.  It was her turning of the dead that was decisive in the combat for the creatures turned in horror and shame from Crondussa’s might and fled to the opposite wall of the cave.

The remainder of the party pursued with glee, striking the backs of the horrors with their favored weapons,  Bussell relying on magic missiles and Maceo dropping his horn and using his crossbow instead. The combat finished within 20 to 30 seconds and it was clear the creatures, despite cowering in abject terror, were unnaturally tough, shrugging off mortal blows and slashes.

But in the end they were rendered truly dead. And it was there that we halted the game session.

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