|Revised Barrowmaze Map|
The Dwarves continued their delve into Barrowmaze, searching for treasure in these haunted halls. This time, as you'll see below, they did have to use their axes - and in this case, not only against the living dead.
- Boulderson the Lucky - Level 2 Dwarven Craft Priest - Eliran
- Rufus Chikenfoot - Level 2 Dwarven Delver - Itai
- + Angus the Cleaver - Level 2 Dwarven Fury - Rufus' henchman
- And dogs, Lots of dogs.
Down the road, corpses - some of them fresh - were abundant. One still held a torch in his cold, dead hand, and had 15 Platinum Pieces in a small belt pouch, which the Dwarves looted. The corpses looked like novice adventurers or lowly tomb robbers, usually gnawed and partially eaten by creatures unknown - or by the "surprise" waiting next door: rats. Lots of rats. With razor-sharp teeth under their whiskers. However, the party was clever, and threw a burning oil flask into the rat-infested room, killing most of the rodents. Axes and hammers took care of the rest.
Keen Dwarven eyes located two secret doors in the nearby corridor. One room held a demonic idol, next to which two bags sat on the floor. After some deliberation and fear of a trap, the players opened them - to find silver and gold, which they took. Another room appeared to be a tomb-raiders' hidden cache, with backpacks and adventuring equipment hidden in it, again much to the joy of the Dwarven crew.
Such potential treasure, of course, attracts unwanted attention. The party was split, with Rufus in the cache room and the rest in the demon room, when Angus and Boulderson heard noises from the corridor. A whole gang of tomb robbers heard the noise made by the Dwarves and came to investigate - and rob them. They set up two battle formations on both sides of the corridor next to the demon room, trapping the characters. Then they made their demand: "your gold or your life!"
But Dwarves do not surrender so easily. Rufus and Boulderson prepared to defend themselves on both sides of the demon room's door, effectively setting up a choke point. One robber entered and was quickly felled. A stalemate ensued, as the robbers did not try to enter that death trap and held positions outside. However, Rufus, hearing the ruckus from the nearby room, sneaked back towards it, surprising one of the robber squads from behind. This led to disarray in their ranks. Then the Dwarves attacked. Enjoying momentum and partial surprise, they defeated the rank-and-file robbers and backed their leader to a corner.
They offered the robber boss a choice: "your gold and (good-looking) sword or your life!" - and he agreed. They allowed the leader and the one surviving robber to retreat deeper into the dungeon with their armor and light weapons, but received all the robbers' gold and the leaders sword - a magical Sword +1!
Thus, victorious, they returned top the Village of Helix.