Shadow over Alfheim pt 10 – The Rats of Malek

I’m beginning to concede that Malek is kind of a stupid dungeon. I’d tried to make giant insects and animals make some sense in this game world, but the sheer number of large animals in tight spaces borders the absurd. At least they party is going to have some good XP from this last session.

The monk was out, so he was on autopilot. We had a new player, who may or may not be temporary, who is filling in as a Magic User of the chaotic wild-man variety. His introduction was that he was pursued by goblins and ended up where everyone else was. But we’ll get there.

The party found the room with the talking oracle face, fed it money, got nothing useful. Didn’t ask the right questions, of course, but isn’t that how those oracle faces always work?

They randomly encountered a pack of giant shrews in the hallway. Interestingly, the fighter decided to offer them his rations rather than try to fight them. Happily, the shrews scurried off, because I didn’t feel like running an encounter where for some reason 4 giant shrews were roaming the halls. In retrospect, I should’ve ignored the roll and made it a goblin encounter.

The party determined they’d made a big circle around that portion of the dungeon before investigating the rat-room. The goblin-thief had a rat jump in his face. After killing that rat, new-comer wizard showed up. After introductory descriptions of characters, the other 21 rats came out of the hole in the door and swarmed the party.

The short version, the goblin thief and new-comer mage contracted diseases from the rats. While most rats were killed the old fashion way, several were burnt to a crisp when the goblin thief smashed a bottle of oil and set a lot of them on fire. After a bit of cleanup, the party dug through gross crap and found a lot of treasure that the rats had been gathering.

The party went down the spiralling tunnel to level two. And by went down, I mean that the cleric and fighter fell down the pit-trap together. The goblin thief shimmied down, dropped them a rope, and they climbed out. When they got back to the cell-room by stair, they were kind of lost (mapping-wise, anyway), and while they got their bearing straight, they were attacked by a ghoul. I’ve decided that ghouls are cursed elves. So, uh… attacked by a cursed elf. The fighter was paralyzed, but otherwise the party made short work of the ghoul.

Battered and bruised and out of healing spells, the party decided to retire to the face room to camp out, as they could spike the door shut.

I’m finding myself really wishing I had more modules like Maze of Nuromen to run. Of all the modules I’ve run so far, that was the one I’ve had the most fun with and, despite any problems it had, was the easiest to create a compelling setting and atmosphere in.

At least the party is finally going to reach level 3/4 after this last session.

Anyway, for Halloween week, we’ll be playing lots of groovy gothy sounds. Enjoy.

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2 responses to “Shadow over Alfheim pt 10 – The Rats of Malek

    • In B/X it lasts 2d6 turns, I think, but a cure light gets rid of it. It can be really bad if there are several ghouls in a fight, but it’s not as bad as getting a disease. It’ll be interesting to see how this pans out for the goblin thief and the new magic user (if he’s not just a one-off player).

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