Castle Xyntillan Session 20: Hoard of the Hell-Pigeons

In which the party faces down a wicked hunter, fights evil pigeons, gets audited, feels remorse, and wheels out of the dungeon with so much loot that the undead start stealing from them

  • Longo had just ducked back into the tower, and the hunter was leading his dogs into the castle, along a path that the party knew led towards their position. They quickly came up with a battle plan. They dug in their heels, set arbalists along the lip of the pit, and set the stairs on fire.

Idred: If we’re going to set the stairs on fire, you shouldn’t be on the first floor.
Longo: Fair.

  • The dogs burst in through the door and the first three of them fell under crossbow bolts, but the hunter came in behind them and swiftly loosed two arrows. Both struck their mark, injuring one arbalist and immediately killing Herman.

  • Idred retaliated with a Sleep spell, which pacified the remaining dogs, and in the next round the party moved everyone back from the lip. Seeing his minions neutralized and the only way to his enemies through a flaming stairway, the hunter blew on a horn and disappeared.

GM: Are you going to go down there and eliminate the sleeping dogs?
Corby: This is the worst part of the sleep spell.

  • The party took stock. Most of their hirelings held their ground when Herman was felled, and they pressed onward. As they discussed their next move, they heard an odd tweeting sound from Herman’s corpse, and watched a diminutive blue songbird emerge from his mouth.

Boroth: I didn’t know Herman was a mother!
Longo: Did your mother eat live birds?
Boroth: That is his child!
Longo: I thought it was his lunch.

  • Idred approached it, and it hopped onto his finger happily. For the remainder of the session, it found a perch on his shoulder.
  • Longo returned to his project of climbing the rungs, now avoiding the one which the Blind Beast pointed out. He made it safely onto the third floor of the tower, and saw it was a great, pillared room, with a pair of stoppered golden urns on the steps of a curtained dais. The skull-locked door was a mechanical terror from the other side, and he concluded that if he had failed to pick it, he would have triggered some form of trap. He managed to open it simply from the inside.
  • Poking at the urns, they heard it echo more than it should have, and listening to it, they heard a whispering ‘Let me ouuuut’
  • They interrogated the voice within, which claimed that within the urn was the treasure of a lifetime. It identified itself as Erol, son of Otus, and its brother in the other urn as Dan. The party suspected that these might be the mummies that BB had warned them about.

Longo: Are you a mummy?
Voice: I am not a mummy.
Longo: Are you a daddy?
Voice: Insolent cur!
Longo: Sounds like mummy talk to me.

  • Behind the heavy drapes, Idred found a crude bronze owl idol, perched over a stained altar. They briefly inspected it, and afterwards decided to leave it be.
  • They heard the bell toll above them, and knew there must be some way up to the top. They searched about for paths up, and came across a hidden ladder going up. Boroth poked his head up, retching from the smell of pigeon guano, and he saw that the top of the belltower was populated by several horse-sized pigeons and their young, with the corpses of another adventuring party scattered about.

The session continues in the link above