Stepping north and out of the Western stairway, the party enter a square room with an odd apparatus in the centre. They see a chest in the middle of the floor; above it is suspended one end of a heavy wooden log, the other end placed on the floor. The log is suspended by a rope that runs to the ceiling, through a hook to the wall and from there back to the chest. Following some discussion, Elric decides that the direct approach is the best and unsheathing his blade he slices through the rope. At once the log falls onto the chest smashing it to pieces and scattering the contents.
The good news is that the contents are 500 SP, 50GP and a citrine gem (worth 10GP according to Norri, the resident valuer). Feeling more cheerful the party take the eastern doorway out and step into a room dominated by the stone statue of a Kobold. The statue is clad in leather armour. A conversation then ensues as to how the party can get into the room beyond (containing an assortment of dangers but closed to characters that are lower than level 2) and the party, to the chagrin of the DM, consider whether the statue has any bearing on how the door to the dining hall (room 27 in the original scenario) might be opened.
The party decide to investigate the statue further and tell the DM they want to touch the statue. Norri the dwarf steps forward bravely and puts his hand on it. Immediately the top half of the statue pivots towards Norri and the stone sword clasped in its fist swings murderously close! Luckily Norri successfully passes a saving throw (against wands) and manages to leap aside and out of danger.
Somewhat hilariously (from the DM’s perspective) Teelia the fighter strips the leather armour from the statue to investigate it further! Hmmm, didn’t anticipate that happening…….. This prompts our youngest player to make a pencil drawing of the disrobed statue and the DM is then forced to try some course corrections.
Given some gentle hints, the party decide to retreat back to the stairway and decide to take the stone steps downwards to the lower level of the dungeon. As they descend the steps, they encounter a group of 4 Kobolds heading up the steps in the opposite direction. On a role of a d6 the party are surprised and the creatures get to react first. A reaction roll by the DM is inconclusive and the kobolds hail the party. The characters fence verbally with the kobolds and the DM makes another reaction roll. It appears the kobolds will be friendly after all and they teasingly warn the characters of the dangers that await them below. The two parties pass each other cautiously on the stairs and continue.
At the bottom of the stairs the party enter into a square room with graffiti and drawings daubed on the wall opposite the stairs. Nothing further attracting their notice, they move on to the room to the South (42 on the original map) which is a long chamber with crumbled statues in niches on either side of the wall and a worn stone altar at the southern end. An investigation of the altar shows that it is now being used by kobolds. On the altar rests a stick figure of their god Cygnus on top of a depression containing straw. Underneath the party are thrilled to find 900 SP.
At this point the lure of the TV in the next room proved to be too much for Elric and the session ended there. Oh well! Great danger lies ahead of the party courtesy of the DM’s home-brewed dungeon, using a map supplied in the Mentzer Basic set, but populated entirely by yours truly!