Game: A homebrew of Dungeon Crawl Classics rules
Part 1 - Escape from White Doom Mountain
The mad mage told us we couldn’t leave, and ordered two efreet demons to kill us if we tried. But Corwin the Cleric had gained new boons from his God, and one of them was the spell of Binding. Using this spell, he bound the two efreet to his will—or at least compelled them to pause long enough for the cleric and the dwarf to escape.
At the base of the White Doom Mountain, at the edge of the sea, the two adventurers saw the boat come to take them back. They immediately boarded the boat and set sail, eager to put some distance between themselves and the mad mage they had escaped.
A few nights into the journey, both the dwarf and the cleric had their dreams disturbed by strange visions. A king on his throne, suffering from some wicked illness. Dark forms around him, meaning him harm. A trio of Witches of Azure, engaged in some sort of ritual…
The cleric and the dwarf were jolted out of their dreams, and tossed from their bunks, to find the boat in the midst of a terrible storm. The dwarf tossed his cookies, but the cleric made the deck in time to see a massive wave bearing down to swamp the ship. The wave tumbled the boat, injuring both heroes, and smashed the vessel up against a sheer rock cliff.
Corwin and the dwarf leaped from the boat and clung to the cliff as the waves smashed the vessel to kindling. Two others from the boat made it to land, clinging to the rocks until the dwarf spotted a cave that led into the cliff face. There, within the shelter of the cave, Corwin tried to save the two sailors. But Choranus frowned, and both men perished.
Waves from the storm began to wash into the cave, threatening to flood it. Our heroes found a rusty iron gate at the back of the cave, and the dwarf smashed it open with a mighty blow from Whelm, the magic warhammer. They passed through the broken gate and followed the steps up, finding themselves at the top of the cliff amongst the ruins of a church.
Some sort of strange ritual was underway amongst the ruins, with a goat, a black cat, a bear, and a raven gathering in a circle. Three witches tended a cauldron inside the remains of the church, and after throwing what appeared to be the captain of the ship into the cauldron’s boiling stew, a massive witch figure emerged from the huge iron pot. The figure identified herself as Baba Yagat, and she commanded the two heroes to drink from her chalice. Both did, and as they felt themselves slipping into some strange oblivion, Baba Yagat commanded them to depose the old, sick king, that a new king might fortify the throne in his place.
The heroes found themselves in a dark, frozen landscape, facing a black gate. They entered the gate and felt themselves moving across several worlds. When they emerged they found themselves at the base of another mountain, on a field covered with thick, powdered snow.
The snow began to form itself into a massive, human-like shape—a frost giant, sixteen feet tall and three thousand pounds in weight. The giant began to gather snow, with the evident goal of forming massive snowballs with which to attack the adventuring duo. Corwin used the spell of Command, and despite the power he felt resonating in his words, the giant merely laughed it off. The dwarf, meanwhile, was being eagerly cajoled by the warhammer Whelm, which was eager to bathe itself in giant blood.
With a mighty swing of his arm, the dwarf hurled Whelm at the giant. It hit the giant with such force that it ripped right through his chest cavity, collapsing both lungs. With its dying breath, the giant tried to throw its snowballs at the dwarf and cleric, but it failed to hit either of them.
No sooner had the giant fallen, the forms of dozens more began to coalesce beneath the snow. The cleric and dwarf fled the area, finding shelter in the trees. They fashioned themselves snowshoes using branches cut from the trees, but by the time they’d finished their crafting, night had fallen. A cave provided shelter, but Corwin failed with two attempts to provide food—first with the spell Food of the Gods, and then with Summon Animal, with which the cleric hoped to lure a rabbit to their fire. Neither spell worked, leaving the cleric to wonder whither Choranus was unhappy with him for having drank of Baba Yagat’s brew, or whether the God himself was not present in this strange realm.
To be continued...