Flashback Friday – Taking a Solo Trip Through the Classic Adventures – Part 5 – B1 In Search of the Unknown
So every Friday I’ll be presenting a game recap of solo play through the “Classic” D&D adventures.
Now, by “Classic” I don’t necessarily mean The Keep on the Borderlands, Ravenloft, The Tomb of Horrors or The Temple of Elemental Evil. I mean the Classic D&D era game modules/adventures. The ones from the late 70’s and early to mid 80’s, Caverns of Thracia, Sinister Secret of Saltmarsh, Beyond the Crystal Cave…everything I’ve heard of but never got my hands on to play. My own experiences are limited to; The Keep on the Borderlands, Isle of Dread, The Secret of Bone Hill, Secret of the Slavers Stockade, The G (Giant) series and Queen of the Demonweb Pits. There are so many more modules/adventures out there… So, that’s where I’m headed.
So, to start off I’m going to play through B1, In Search of the Unknown, which according to what I’ve read has some OD&D ties but also was used with Classic D&D (the Holmes, Moldvay and Mentzer stuff) and maybe even 1st edition.
We last left the party after they had rested in the secret laboratory they had discovered, and would use as a sort of base camp for exploring the complex, and were exiting through the secret door out into a corridor.
Immediately outside the secret the corridor formed an intersection. A corridor ran off to the left which led to a small room, a sort of nexus with several corridors leading out of it, while another passage ran straight ahead into darkness and a small alcove opened up on their right. The party searched the surrounding corridor and alcove and found nothing harmful. They decided to move up the corridor in front of them, heading north.
They followed this corridor for perhaps 50’ when another corridor joined it from their right… and the torch bearer howled in fear from the back of the party. Everyone turned to see what the commotion was and found the torch bearer eye-to-eye with a huge spider, another Crab Spider similar to the one they had encountered before. The Crab Spider had dropped from the ceiling and by the luckiest of chances had missed the unwitting torch bearer.
Round – 1 Norrin called out a quick warning to the danger of poison but perhaps the green liquid sliding off of the Spider’s fangs spoke for itself. Presto spun his sling above his head and let loose a sling stone that went wide of its target and skittered down the corridor behind the Spider. Presto then moved backwards until he was behind Norrin the Barbarian and Tassit the Cleric. Sporragha the Thief let fly an arrow that sank deeply into the Spider and then he too moved behind Norrin and Tassit. Sho-Rembo the Halfling Fighter weighed his options; move away from this ungodly beast to safety and leave his hired torch bearer alone in front of it or stand firm and engage the Spider in melee. Sho-Rembo shouted to his torch bearer to follow him but he was already long gone before he finished speaking to his hired hand and once safely far enough away launched a sling stone at the Spider that missed (he wasn’t disappointed in the least). The torch bearer watched Sho-Rembo ….retreat? flee? …and using the ten foot pole he carried made a fighting withdrawal. (I didn’t make a morale check for Sho-Rembo’s torch bearer this time but Sho’s true colors are beginning to… show.) Tassit stepped forward as the torch bearer backed up past her and brought her “Hammer of Humility” down on the creature with a satisfying crunch. The Spider fell, twitched, and didn’t move anymore.
The party exhaled, that was close. The corridor that joined theirs from the right appeared empty as it disappeared into the darkness. The corridor straight ahead also faded into distant darkness. It was decided that they would continue on straight.
The corridor ran for 30’ before it was joined by a corridor from the left this time. The party’s motto, “Left is Best,” had them turn down this new corridor. They followed this new corridor for about 80’ when it turned right, went for only about 10’ and ended at a “T” intersection. To the left was a 10’ deep alcove and to the right a corridor with a door aways down on the right hand side that they could just make out in the shadows.
The alcove turned out to be just an alcove and they moved in the other direction to the door where the corridor only continued for about 30’ past the door and then ended. At the door Sporragha the Thief and Presto the Elven Magic-User had a listen at the door but heard nothing. Sporragha checked the door for traps and found none. They readied themselves and Norrin pushed open the door.
The party found themselves in another storeroom and again, like the storeroom they had found before, this one contained implements for building; picks, shovels, saws, irons bars, etc.. After a thorough search the only thing found was an odd counter-weight mechanism and lever for releasing the weights. Sporragha the Thief played around with the counter-weight mechanism for a bit and found that it was part of a simple but deadly portcullis trap located just outside the room. If the party had passed the portcullis and triggered it they would have been trapped between the iron bars and solid stone and earthen walls! Sporragha located the general location of the triggering mechanism just passed the door to the room. With the rest of the party safely back away Sporragha and Presto searched the corridor beyond the door for anything important but aside from the pressure plate in the floor that would trigger the portcullis nothing else was discovered.
The torch bearer lit up a new torch as the previous one burned low…
Since the party could go no further this way they retraced their steps back to the last intersection. Here they turned north and proceeded up the corridor. They only went about 30’ before another corridor joined theirs from the right. They could see by the dim light of their torch that the corridor seemed to zig-zag as it went east. They passed on this new corridor and continued on straight but only for another 10’ or so as their corridor turned to their left. The party went maybe 90’ when the corridor turned again to their left, went a couple of feet and ended in a “T” intersection.
Sho-Rembo called out from the back of the group. No Crab Spider this time. He had found a hidden door.
Sporragha and Presto listened at the door but heard no noise within so Sporragha checked for any traps and turned up nothing. Norrin nodded to the group and pushed the door open.
Beyond the door was a 40’x40’ room that was devoid of anything save a pile of rubble in one corner of the room. Norrin took the ten-foot pole from the torch bearer and prodded the rubble for a few minutes, pushing aside large pieces here and there, but nothing was found. The party checked the walls of the room and found nothing new so they returned to the corridor and the “T” intersection.
At the intersection corridors went off left and right but neither for very far, less than 20’, before turning south. They once again chose left, because “left is best.”
They followed the corridor from the intersection for about 10’ and turned south, went another 30’ or so and came to the corridors end. There was an alcove on their left and a door on their right.
Norrin the Barbarian and Tassit, Servant of St. Cuthbert, looked over the alcove while Sporragha and Presto listened at the door. Nothing was discovered in the alcove and no noise was heard through the door. Sporragha gave the door the once-over for traps and found nothing.
Norrin gave his customary nod to the party and pushed the door open to reveal another, almost empty, room.
The room was 20’x30’ and opened up to their right. The lone feature in the room was a shiny, sparkling outcropping of crystalline rock that dazzled when the torch light reflected off of it. The party closed the door and set to searching the room.
Nothing turned up in the party’s search so they turned their attention to the sparkly, rock outcropping. Now would be a good time to have a dwarf around was the general consensus. The rock appeared to be of mundane nature though extremely reflective. Presto the Elven Magic-User mentioned casting Detect magic on the rock to see if it had a magical nature but it was decided that he would save his spell and that the rock was likely a decoration come upon accidentally while carving the place out.
The party moved back to the door and Norrin slowly opened it and peered out into the corridor…
… but this wasn’t the same corridor they had entered the room from. At least, he didn’t think so. Murmurs about the delay snapped Norrin out of his confusion and he opened the door full for everyone to see. No longer was the alcove in front of them and a corridor going left but instead a corridor going straight out into darkness in front of them and two corridors going off to their left into shadows.
“What the <bleep>,” someone said from the back of the party.
The party moved slowly out into the corridor. Norrin peered around and thought if two sliding walls were opened in the east and north wall of the alcove that may be why the corridor looked the way it did. He mentioned his idea to the group and they searched the walls in those areas looking for any sign of a sliding or shifting wall but found no evidence of such.
Damn not having a dwarf around!
That ends this session and all of the party members are still alive, but, little do they know…they are not where they think they are in the complex…bwah hah ha ha.