The Wyrm of Brandonstead, session 2

On Friday night I ran the second session of the Wyrm of Brandonstead D&D adventure with my friends. I’ll paste the session log in here, but a few other things first.

On Friday I had a busy day, with 4 ethics classes. I had a 4-hour break in between after the first morning class, but I needed to use this time to travel out to Macquarie University to a medical clinic there to get a nerve conduction scan done. I’ve had some loss of sensation in my left leg for several years, just a very slight numbness, like 80-90% normal sensation, just enough to be noticeably not normal. I had some scans done years ago when I first noticed it, but nothing conclusive came up. It doesn’t really bother me, but recently I noticed the numbness spreading, and so my doctor referred me to back to the neurologist, who ordered another set of scans.

For this one, they place electrodes on the skin of the leg, and then use an electric probe to send small currents through the nerves. It’s not painful but it causes a jolting sensation and the leg muscles twitch quite strongly. After doing a few of those, there’s a needle test, where they stick a needle into the various leg muscles and again pulse electric current through them to measure the conduction of the nerves. This is all to measure if the nerves are conducting electric signals at the normal strength or not. On Monday I also have an MRI scan scheduled to check if there’s some sort of pinching of the nerves at the base of the spine.

At the university I also found this beautiful flame tree:

Flame tree

Anyway, that done I returned home and immediately went out to the doggy daycare place to pick up Scully, who I’d dropped off earlier, first thing in the morning. Then I had three more ethics classes, and that led right up to the D&D evening. So it was a pretty full day. There were six players who had said they’d show up for D&D, but one called in sick with a cold, and another said he was very tired so elected not to drive over, but he did join in by telepresence. I set up my wife’s laptop on the table so he could join in!

Virtual D&D

We added the gloves for amusement.

Today I did a 5k run in the morning, which was tough because it was close to 100% humidity. Then I spend time writing up the adventure log from last night. In the middle of the day my wife and I went for a drive out to the beach and the pie shop there for lunch, then dropped in on her mother for a visit on the way back. While near the beach, we passed a park where some people were playing cricket. And since everyone knows that a cricket field needs a picket fence around it, with a gate so the players can get in and out, they had set up a picket fence gate:

Picket fence gate at cricket field

This evening we walked up the street, intending to get dinner at a cheap Asian place, but they didn’t have any unreserved tables available. So we wandered up the main street looking for somewhere else to eat. The trouble is Saturday night is very popular and busy, so most places didn’t have tables free. We finally found a table at a restaurant which is pretty fancy and expensive. We like this place, but don’t go there often because of the expense, but we decided to just splurge for no particular reason.

With that out of the way, here’s the log of last night’s D&D session:


As the party contemplated what to do, footsteps and the familiar voice of Brother Leonardo approached. He had completed his penance for overly beseeching his god and travelled to Brandonstead to seek out the rest of the group. There, the innkeeper Bentley had told Leonardo that the group had set out for Sir Brandon’s tomb this morning. Leonardo followed their footsteps and found the retainers waiting outside the tomb. They told him to go in and turn right and he might find the rest of the party.


The party decided messing with the antlered clay statue and its encircling stones was too risky and explored the passage to the west. Here they found a 4-foot deep circular pool of water, scummed with algae and slime, but beneath it a faint glitter of gold from the bottom. This also struck them as risky, so they retreated back to the main corridor and advanced west towards the chittering sound.

A long corridor led west and turned south into a room where they found 8 giant rats, the size of large dogs, squabbling over half-rotten food that had spilled from large broken clay amphorae. The amphorae looked like they’d been tipped over and smashed on the stone floor.

Drashi tossed a ration of food over the rats towards the far opening in the southern wall, causing them to race over and fight over the fresher food. Garamond rigged his lantern full of oil and threw it hard at the rats, attempting to spread oil over them and set them on fire, but his throw was poor and the lantern smashed short of the its target, creating a pool of fire between the heroes and the rats. The party took this chance to move into the eastern exit while the rats were busy and partly blocked by fire.

In the eastern room they found nine amphorae, intact and standing upright, with an odour of dust and lavender. Someone knocked one over and it smashed on the floor, spilling cloudy old lavender oil all over the floor. Garamond and Nogge worked together to carry an amphora into the rat room and smashed it on the floor, creating a large pool of fire. Three of the rats died in the conflagration, screeching horribly, while the remaining five scurried away to the south.


With the way blocked by fire, the party retreated back to the earlier oom the the antlered statue. Here Drashi tried breaching the circle of small black stones to approach the statue, intending to toss a coin into the offering bowls. But as he stepped into the circle of stones, they began jumping and clattering on the floor, making a loud sound. Nogge collected the stones, and they quietened down as they came together. Drashi tossed a gold coin into an offering bowl, but nothing happened.

They went into the room with the slimy pool of water and Nogge tossed in one of the black stones. Then they noticed that as someone stepped between Nogge and the pool, the stones began rattling in Nogge’s hands. They figured if someone was between the stones they would jostle and make noise.

They were interrupted by an approaching sound, clanking and the scraping of metal on stone. Attracted to the noise they’d been making was a large skeleton, 7 feet tall, wearing rusty armour and a silver death mask with a bushy moustache on it. The skeleton wielded a large two-handed sword. The heroes attacked, with Notgandalf striking with another well-aimed thrown dagger. After a a few rounds of fighting, they prevailed over the skeleton and Nogge claimed the two-handed sword.

Now they decided they had to retrieve the one in the pool in order to make the best use of the stones. But they also realised that in the chaos, the goblins they had captured had snuck away and fled, nowhere to be seen.

Nogge: “Can I carry the others stones around the pool and see when they vibrate, to determine if there’s anything alive in the pool?”
DM: “We’re just one step away from you wanting to do computed tomography on the pool”.

Nogge waded into the pool and got covered in green slime, which began eating away at his armour and skin. He jumped out of the pool and grabbed a torch from Tarlan the cleric, and burnt the slime off, taking a bit of damage from the fire himself. Nogge then waded back into the pool with bare feet, searching the bottom with his feet to find the black stone. He also found a human skeleton, which had two gold teeth in its skull, and an ornate silver dagger. Notgandalf took the dagger to use.

The party went back to the rat room. The lavender oil fire had died out, but the remaining five rats had returned to get more of the food. The group decided to just attack and kill the rats the old-fashioned way this time, making swift work of them with weapons.

But the noise appeared to have attracted more attention! Maniacal laughter approached from the south. Quickly, the heroes hatched a plan: spill another amphora of lavender oil across the southern entrance and set it on fire, to prevent whatever it was from approaching them. Fire set, the party girded themselves and waited to see what new foe appeared. A floating skull with big yellow eyes swivelling in its sockets approached, flying right over the slick of fire! It cackled as it approached. Notgandalf wasted no time and cast Magic Missile at it. Nogge then swung his new two-handed sword at the skull, cleaving it in twain, and revealing the sword to be magically empowered.

The ghost!

The next room to the south was an old armoury, with shattered weapons and shields strewn about, covered in thick spider webs. Notgandalf cast Detect Magic to see if any of the equipment was magical. Finding none, he then ran back to the room with the antlered statue to see if there was any magic there. He found a small golden amulet, hidden behind one of the offering bowls, which had a folded up piece of paper inside, inscribed with a Protection from Evil spell.

After he returned, the group headed east into a lounge area with carved stone armchairs and a table with an empty bronze pitcher on it. The next room to the east held nine 5-foot tall stone statues of warriors, each armed with a real wooden, metal-tipped spear. While deciding what to do, a ghostly apparition of a bearded priest appeared and drifted towards them! It screamed that the party was trespassing on hallowed ground and ordered one of the stone statues to attack. The statue charged at Nogge, who took a spear hit, before the statue froze again.

Severely wounded and not willing to risk fighting all of the statues, Nogge suggested a retreat. The party fell back, but Garamond and Notgandalf loosed Magic Missiles at the ghost. They hit it with three Missiles, which caused the ghost to dissipate.

Safe for now, but wounded and out of Leonardo’s healing spells, the party decided to retreat and return to Brandonstead for a day of rest.

The upper chapel

After resting for a full day to recover and make use of Leonardo’s healing spells, the party felt strong enough to return to Sir Brandon’s barrow.

First they tried exploring the western passage from the entry chamber on the upper level, which they had ignored until now. The first room contained four 8-foot tall statues of knights in different poses, with words carved on the plinths: “Valour” gripping sword and shield; “Piety” praying, with a staff resting on one arm; “Wisdom” reading a book; “Duty” bent over carrying a load.

This led to another chamber west, a chapel with stone pews facing a stone statue of St Arthur, patron of hunters. Water dripped from a root-penetrated hole in the ceiling, onto the states face, which was partly covered in mould. Brother Leonardo decided to clean the mould off with his robes, which released as cloud of spires that he managed to avoid. After cleaning the statue to look respectable again, Leonardo felt blessed by the good grace of St Arthur.

The crypts

Returning to the lower level, the party returned to the armoury room and headed south, finding a priest’s work room with a desk, and a footlocker full of rocks. One the desk was a magnificent illuminated book with velum pages, titled Lives of the Saints. Leonardo said it told the stories of several of the local saints venerated in the region. In the desk drawers were a small hammer, chisel, quills, and dried bottles of ink.

A room to the east was a crypt, containing a sarcophagus, the lid carved to show a human with a long beard. Next to the sarcophagus was a small table with three dusty bottles, containing greenish, purple, and yellowish liquids respectively. They took these then opened the sarcophagus, revealing a headless skeleton which attacked with a great silver-bladed axe. The heroes defeated the skeleton and Drashi claimed the axe.

Nogge: “Can I put one of the black stones on either side of a sarcophagus to see if theres anything alive inside?”

The next room east was another crypt, with the sarcophagus lid broken on the floor. Inside was the desiccated corpse of the priest, with platinum coins over the eyes. It held a carved stone tablet in its crossed arms, which Leonardo determined was a clerical spell of Bless.

The next room along was a third crypt, this one with the sarcophagus lid shattered on the floor, as if pushed violently off from inside. The sarcophagus was empty except for rotting shrouds exuding a musty smell.

From here a passage headed north to the room of the nine stone statues again. Brother Leonardo used the Blessing spell from the stone tablet on everyone, before they tried prodding the statue carefully in case they animated. But they remained solid, and they tipped them over to smash them on the floor.

Progressing east they found an antechamber with great stone double doors leading south, shut and blocked by a statue of a noble woman wearing a crown, holding a stone sword out horizontally in front of her. Brother Leonardo decided to kneel beneath the sword. He heard a woman’s voice in his head: “What makes a true knight?” Leonardo answered with the inscriptions from the statues in the upper level: “Valour, piety, wisdom, duty”. The statue moved slightly to dub Leonardo on the shoulder with the sword, and the double doors slowly swung open.

Revealed inside was the crypt of Sir Brandon. His sarcophagus was in a small ship, the lid carved in Brandon’s likeness. The group removed the lid carefully, finding Sir Brandon’s body resting peacefully within, clad in plate armour, with a shield, magnificent sword, and jewelled chalice.

The group took these items before letting Sir Brandon be, reasoning that they had need of dragon-slaying gear in their present adventure. On the way out of the barrow they also grabbed the coins and five small rubies from the offering bowls in the antlered state room.

Character moments

  • Brother Leonardo – Cleaning the statue of St Arthur and getting spore clouded in his face. Kneeling before the sword-wielding queen statue.
  • Drashi – Tossing rations to giant rats. Breaching the circle of rattling stones to toss a coin into the offering bowls.
  • Garamond – Making a molotov cocktail out of an oil lantern. Failing to hit rats with it and creating a flaming pool in front of them.
  • Nogge – Wading into the slimy pool and immediately getting covered in green slime. Obsessing over magical rattling stones. Cleaving the floating skull in twain.
  • Notgandalf – Hitting with daggers again! Casting Detect Magic and then running back through the tomb alone to check other rooms.


  • 10 small black “warning” stones – magical, Nogge
  • Two-handed Sword of Sir Alfred – magical +1 sword, Nogge
  • 2 gold teeth – estimated value 20gp
  • Ornate silver dagger – Notgandalf using
  • Golden amulet – value: ?
  • Scroll: Protection from Evil – Notgandalf
  • Illuminated book: Lives of the Saints: value: ?
  • Silver Axe of Sir Wyllt – Drashi
  • Stone tablet: Bless scroll – used
  • 2 platinum coins
  • Sword of Sir Brandon – magical, Garamond
  • Plate mail of Sir Brandon – Garamond
  • 45sp and 20 gp – from offering bowls
  • 5 small rubies – from offering bowls

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