[Actual Play] B2 Beyond the Borderlands (LL) Pt. XXX; Nuroman

And so it was that our heroes set out to ransack the domain of Nuromen. Snorri was conspicuously absent, as was Zoltan, and Isildoro was lost in his cups, alongside Gaius Manus. It fell to Beorn, Son of Dalric, to lead the expedition. With him were the wizard Barrin, the priest Dereck, the savage hunter Nortain and two new companions. The halfling Fineon Fastrabbit, and a fighting man named only Hollow, a graven eyed freeman from some dismal region in the Iron Empire’s nether regions who was a master of the Polearm. They purchased supplies, Beoric garbed his retainer Toto in banded mail, they hired on an additional porter, by the name of Titus Agrippa, both would be paid in gold for their troubles. They set out on the Elfway once again for the Necropolis of Nuromen.

On the 1st day of their journey on the elfway they encountered 6 hobgoblins of the Blue Talon, and gave them the right of way, enduring their sneers with barely restrained anger. The other two days upon the elfway, they felt only the regard of friendly eyes from the forest as they trudged on, and made for the village of Law’s end.

Gnawed carcasses with cracked bones lay strewn across the ruin, and our heroes soon suspected something was awry. From the ruined domicile boomed an awful voice. ‘WHO DARES INTRUDE UPON THE TERRITORY OF TENEBROUS, BREAKER OF ANIMALS AND LORD OF THE RUINS.’ And from the darkness inside they espied, a sinuous shape the size of a pony, black as night, with razor-sharp teeth. The young dragon Tenebrous faced them. It demanded they pay it a tribute of 100 gp for the privelege of entering its field. They bartered with it, and as they did so they spread out, and Dereck began casting the light spell.

It was well they were quick, for as they charged, it unleashed a breath of scalding acid on Beorn and Hollow, and it was only through quick reflexes they managed to escape the worst of it, sustaining only minor burns. Hollow drove its polearm into its chest, and an arrow from Fineon found a weakness under its pits, and it wailed and screeched with barely controlled rage. It shrugged off the light spell, and as it reared to smite them again, a sideways blow from Hollow lodged loose a tooth, and laid it out insensate. They hogtied it with ropes of silk, and soon bargained with it. Its hoard of electrum they would take for themselves, its hoard of copper they threw in the pond, for it to recover. It either swore an oath to render them a service, else they would carry it to the Keep, to be sold to some Lordling or Menagerie. It acquiesced, swearing on its hatch-mates, and all Dragonkind, not to harm them, and to keep them safe while they adventured near its lair. They took the oath, and with its hoard of electrum, returned to town. On their way back they fought two giant spiders, who had ventured onto the Elfway, and Nortain took a bite, almost losing his life, but they killed them, and were victorious. Two giant rats they encountered later, and with a hurtled volley, splattered them across the Elfway.

While at the Keep, Barrin the wizard poured over the Book of Nuromen, using the downtime to learn more of his magicks. Dereck cured the rest while they were in town. They comissioned plate for Hollow, garbed Fineon in Siriroco’s plate, purchased horse and saddle from a nearby farmer for all, even their hirelings, and with their added mobility, they could reach the village of Law’s end with a hard day’s riding. As they set out, they accidently rode over a pair of pixies that had been frolicking across the elfway, and thus brought great anger upon themselves from the kingdoms of the Fae, but that would be a tale for another time. By night, they encountered a pack of goblins of the Maggot-gnawers, whoom they had previously encountered in the ruins of Nuroman, and told them of the terrible dragon. The goblins were warned off, and vowed to avoid the place in the future.

Setting up their camp near the Dragon’s den by evening, they descended into the Halls of Nuromen at first light, to continue their search for his riches. On their way down the stairwell, they met two skeletons, and vanquished them without comment. On the stairs, they all but bumped into a heaving gelatinous mass, that filled the entire stairwell, and hewing and hacking away at it, barely managed to overcome it, spilling its amoeboid form across the stairs. Beorn was smitten, and burned with acid in places, and paralysed by terrible poisons. They moved down the stairwell, so slowly that by the time they had emerged at the landing, the venom had worn off.

Down they went, into Nuroman’s hall, and soon, by Fineon’s urging, discovered another secret passageway behind the second statue, but this they marked for later exploration. Instead they ventured through the original secret passage, and investigated the blank wall in the north, and found there, at last, a secret passage, leading to a great square shaped hallway around what seemed solid stone, with a passage to the west their only exit. Down the passage westward they ventured, until they arrived into the cob-webbed hall of Nuromen the wizard.

There, flanked by bas-relief sepulchres and the animated husks of his ancestors, the Wraith of Nuromen confronted them. It smelled in the head of the wizard his own evil lore, and bade them leave the wizard, else all would perish. Dereck cast a flask of holy water at the wraith, missing it, and thus combat was joined.

Nuromen raised its spectral hands, and evoking terrible magicks, unleashed them upon the wizard Barrin, that had partaken of his stolen tomb. Yet only a pale shadow of Nuromen’s might remained, and so the dart he cast only wounded the wizard, who fled off into the tomb. The rest surged forward, brandishing weapons. Mortal weapons could not touch Nuromen. Even the power of the Lords of Law could not harm the wraith. The enchanted dagger of Fineon, Nortein’s enchanted dagger which he had tossed to Hollow, and Beorn’s chieftain’s sword were the only weapons that could hope to touch it. His two ancestors staggered forward, and both inflicted frightful wounds on Fineon and Nortein. The halfling’s dagger was driven into the creature’s back, and Beorn and Hollow surged forward and ended the monstrosity. The two living dead fell not much later.

They plundered the tombs, but found little, only a strange key-shaped amulet on Nuroman’s corpse. The tombs were occupied but bereft of riches. Once they were interrupted by two skeletal guardians, but these were quickly despatched. At a loss, they returned to the great stone block, and proceeded to search every square of it. Almost two hours they must have spent searching, as their light source dwindled, miraculously they were undisturbed, until at last they found the hidden panel, and opening it, ventured forth into the secret vault of Nuromen.

Having warded himself against evil, Dereck pressed the amulet into the vault, and was stricken by a poison gas released from the lintel. One last cruel trick of Nuromen, he died on the cold stone. They ventured within, finding a vault, bissected by a trench filled with spikes coated with vile slime, with seemingly endless riches on the other side. Trusting it little, they investigated, and flung silver coins at the piles, dispelling the illusion, and setting off the last trap. A primed crossbow, discharging several bolts, lightly injuring Beorn. They shrugged it off, stumped, prepared to leave this place. It was Nortein who pointed out that perhaps, the treasure was not the only illusion. The spikes in the trench were every bit as illusory, and below it was at last, the boundless hoard of Nuromen.

Gold in profusion. Diamonds. A rope of spun silver and the hair of mythical beings. A half-moon axe of some minor hero of the east. Elixers and a ring imbued with the power to walk on water as if it were land. They carried it off, dividing it among themselves, and piled the lot atop the floating disk, conjured by the wizard. Up the stairwell it dispersed. They divided it among themselves, and with bulging backpacks, began the grinding march upwards. On the stairwell they were attacked in the rear. Hideous Trogloditic things, with hides of mottled grey, assailed them in the rear, and ere they were slain, had killed the porter Titus. They grabbed his share and divided it among the rest, and left him there to be eaten. Upward they ventured.

Several times they encountered centipedes, and giant rats, and these they would chase off with tossed rations, or merely blunder them aside, heedless. They were lucky, in their way, and made the great hall, and the downward stairs, and at last the shaft. They climbed up then, and rested for the night (for it had long since grown dark), and in the morning, made their way across the elfway on horse, passing only two surly dwarves, who eyed their treasure with covetous calculation, and at last made it back to the keep, past curfew. The corporal of the watch shook his head, ‘Ah you rascals’ he muttered, and bade the nightwatch open the gates.

So ended the cursed existence of Nuromen.

The Champions
[S] Beorn (Ftr 2, Hp 15)
[M] Barrin the Wizard (Mu 2, hp 6)
[U] Dereck Huyderman (Clr 2, hp 10)
[Q] Fineon Fastrabbit (Hal 2, hp 7)
[N] Nortein the Hunter (Ftr 3, hp 18)
[V] Hollow (Ftr 2, hp 8)

The Tally
2 zombies
5 skeletons
1 Gelatinous Cube
2 Giant Rats
2 Giant Spiders
The Wraith of Nuromen
1 Adolescent Black Dragon Tenebrous (subdued)

The Price
[A] Otso (MU 1, 3 hp) – Slain by Treachery
[B] Hardroc Sansaxe (Dwr 1, 4 hp) – Died on his feet against the Goblin Foe
[C] Buddy (Ftr 1, 6 hp) – Died in the rearguard against Kobold treachery
[D] Valen (Thf 1, 2 hp) – Felled by Kobold arrow in the Battle of the Warrens
[C] Brother Buddy (Clr 1, 3 hp) – Felled by a bandit’s spearthrust
[E] Quinton RumbleBreeches (Hal 1, 6 hp) – Felled by a bandit’s arrow
[B] Sazar Thistleborne (Thf 1, 4 hp) – Ripped apart by a Mountain Lion in the Perilous forest
[C] Brother Buddy Jr. (Clr 1, 4 hp) – Drained of life by monstrous Stirges
[F] Hardy the Dwarf (Dwr 1, 6 hp) – Clubbed to death by Ogre
[B] Zed Fauxgivvin (Hal 1, 4 hp) – Fell to a hobgoblin sword, but he did not go alone
[G] Colemeier Stonesaw (Dwr 1, 8 hp) – Fell to hobgoblin swords
[E] Father Kane (Clr 1, 6 hp) – Fell to Hobgoblin swords
[H] Ludwig Andros (MU 1, 4 hp) – Charmed and eaten by Harpies
[I] Derek de Chitsville (Ftr 1, 8 hp) – Charmed and eaten by Harpies
[J] Vinnie Jones (Ftr 1, 10 hp) – Charmed and eaten by Harpies
[K] Johhny Longfingers (Thf 1, 4 hp) – Charmed and eaten by Harpies
[L] Vitus the Southron (Ftr 1, 9 hp) – Eaten by Harpies
[I] Father Theodore (Clr 1, 6 hp) – Struck down by skeletons
[J] Box the Fighter (Ftr 1, 9 hp) – Struck down by Valgard, breaker-of-horses-and-men
[A] Diggory Class (MU 1, 4 hp) – Slain by Poisoned treasure
[M] Pajeje (Ftr 1, 9 hp) – Slain by poisoned treasure
[B] Chinning Poofter (Mu 2, hp 6) – Rent asunder by furious Griffon
[N] Grog (Ftr 1, 10 hp) – Drowned in armor in the bay of the Flooded Temple
[Retainer] Father Bell the Octogenarian (Clr 2, hp 12) – Devoured by the Basilisk
[M] Father Paisisco the Blessed (Clr 2, 6 hp) – Turned to stone by the Basilisk’s Gaze
[P] Roger (Dwr 1, 8 hp) – Rent asunder by the Chimera
[P] Bali (Dwr 1, 8 hp) – Incinerated by the Chimera
[R] Brandt (Dwr 1, 9 hp) – Ripped apart by Troll
[S] Lucifur the Cleric (Clr 1, hp 5) – Devoured by Werewolves
[Q] Cork the Cleric (Clr 2, hp 11) – Polymorphed and Stunned, then pushed to his death by a Beholder’s Rays
[M] Siriroco the Halfling – Slain by Giant Spider
[Q] Aruman the Wizard (Mu 2, hp 6) – Slain by Snorri the Stout, Reverse Betrayal
[S] Feud-baby (Thf 2, hp 6) – Punished for treachery by Dereck
[I] Pyotor (Thf 1, hp 4) – Fell by an evil Curse, slain by Dereck
[U] Dereck Huyderman (Clr 2, hp 10) – Slain by a poison trap

4 thoughts on “[Actual Play] B2 Beyond the Borderlands (LL) Pt. XXX; Nuroman

  1. Fantastic ending (though, of course, I am hoping for further tales).

    Poor Dereck…to die on the doorstop of a big score! And whatever happened to the wounded wizard Barrin? How far did he flee? Was he able to rejoin the party? Or was he eaten by giant rats.

    Two hours to find the secret panel? Hoo-boy…they sure missed Foxy the Elf!

    Your AP report has made me excited enough to pick up the Necropolis of Nuromen adventure. Plan on reading it this week. So, thanks for that (though I did wish I could get a print copy of the thing).
    ; )


    1. Let me know, I think as a fellow Vanilla appreciator you will enjoy it. *** is about right, there’s some good encounter work, a few puzzling details in the map, some natural barriers, overal very solid work with some nice flavoring.

      Liked by 1 person

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