Sunday, April 17, 2016

The Wolf’s Throat Dungeon

This adventure came about when a very stupid and very unlucky character was rolled up. He also was very low on charisma. Aren’t such characters always fun to develop? He was given the name ‘Fut’ – a solid first step towards the history books.

Fut wanted to go down a dungeon but was advised to take a wizard with him. To find such a partner in likely doom, he did what all non-thinking men do and went out drinking. It was a while until his pub crawl netted him a fish as most magical candidates turned their noses up at such an unpromising treasure-gathering buddy. He came across a very shortsighted wizard who presumably failed to see his disadvantages and who needed a get-rich-quick scheme. He went by the name of Flamebeard and to see him was to know why.

Flamebeard had it in his head that another tavern, a rather exclusive one at that, called the Honeydrippers had a special way to get to a dungeon he had heard tell of known as the Wolf’s Thraot Dungeon. This was good enough for Fut and so the ungainly pair set out to meet their destiny and make their fortune. The transporter to the dungeon’s mountaintop location turned out to be the lifting section of the bar and they stumbled their way through and beyond to the point of no return.

The dungeon entrance is in the form of a giant wolf's skull - you have to go down the throat. It is guarded by two large, ponderous ape-golems, Fair and Square. Fair and Square bare passing resemblance to Rosencrantz and Guildenstern - they are amiable at heart and even gave the travellers a night's rest in the skull and lit a fire to keep them warm against the mountain's chills.

Inside the dungeon the next morning, Fut learned (courtesy of a series of doubles) that his leather armour was enchanted to be flame-proof. This he was very happy to find out when a freak of magic enchanted his arms to be flaming arms in the same fashion as Flamebeard's chin.

Because Fut was so incapable at so many things, the player took a talent for going unconscious to save him from the gravest of indignities. As for Flamebeard, it gradually unfolded that his near blindness related to the mysterious fact that he could see invisible things but very little that was normally seeable. This unusual state of affairs, he seemed very reluctant to own up to.

Before long, the pair rescued another delver - Pencilvania, a vampire with a magical talent for bringing drawings into being. This talent would serve them time and time gain although Pencilvania struggled to make his beautiful sketches come to life. And when they did, they lasted barely 30 seconds most of the time.

Frequently, what he drew either didn't materialise or, if it did, had a flaw that thwarted their escape from danger. The WOlf's Throat dungeon turned out to be a series of rooms which were traps in themselves - getting through to the next room seemed to be the only reward.

After a few such rooms, they discovered that the creator of the dungeon was himself on trial. A watching gaggle of wizard-gods and witch-goddesses were sitting in judgment, evaluating the amusement provided and adherence to rules.

This fledgling dungeon master was the French Taunter, known well in another life t Monty Python fans. As his voice and views became heard, delver dialogue descended to dire levels of diatribe. The Taunter naturally catapulted animals at the party. Although the cow did not survive its flight, the horse did and was promptly added to the party once they assessed it as being extremely lucky as its legs did not break on landing. They then had th problem of getting it through man-size doors but Pencilvania attended to that, as best he could.

These are the rooms they got through:

·         The Stench Bench - Roman-style toilet benches, escape route underneath.
·         Boomerang Keys - deadly little flying keys; needed to capture one to unlock a door near the ceiling. Pencilvania drew a bomb whichtook care of that danger.
·         Chocolate Box - unususal centres, just vile or sometimes poisonous - a drawn stomach pump camp in handy.
·         Magnets - they lost their armour but another drawing of a tin opener did the trick.
·         Invisible Door/ 78 Visible Doors - well, to Flamebeard there was just one door, so not a problem to this crew.
·         Mad Surgeon - brother of tailor and perfume-maker; offered weird transplants - wings, brains, horns, etc - from a wide range of creatures; Fut got gargoyle wings that act as a shield but he can't fly, Pencilvania got bat wings that did get him aloft. Flamebeard got an extending frog tongue.
·         Tailor (Invisible Garments) - the nudity factor did not bother Flamebeard but upset Fut alot; Pencilvania ended up with a suit in the form a giant pencilcase.
·         Perfume-maker - his perfumes attracted monsters but they were slain by the now-proficient dungeon crew. He got paid exorbitantly by the Taunter for the operations, which were meant to be fatal.
·         Minefield - Flamebeard was blown to pieces and Fut committed suicide in protest but the reliable Pencilvania drew them back to life. The horse made it too.        
         Flea-ridden Carpet - fire accounted for these dog-sized horrors.

The team are almost out and free but the Taunter has breached Dungeon Etiquette by not providing treasure (he had already been reprimanded by his peers for not providing a safe means through the Minefield). On top of that, he cannot afford to pay the Surgeon for his work.

The Powers That Be have decided on a one room challenge - the Taunter must come up with a deadly room using five different items (there must be a way of circumventing death and there must be treasure on offer); Fut, Flamebeard, Pencilvania and the horse have the same challenge but for them the stakes are 20,000 GPs a head rather than continued membership of the DM Guild.

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