AD&D - New World

60: Mildred the Mad

our heroes meet a familiar new friend

In the Lord’s Treasury, Bertram investigates the pedestals and the Revengers take possession of the lord’s treasure. Golgaraz takes possession of lex, the sixth piece of the Rod of 7 Parts. Golgaraz learns that lex can slow time, and has been tapped into the power of the cursed castle itself to create this island of (relative) safety in the middle of the chaos storm itself. If it leaves the castle time will accelerate, the eye of the storm will collapse, and all within it may perish.

Ervendio communes with the kuraphai and meditates on the horn of the sacred grove. He learns the horn will “open a window in time” if blown; he interprets this to mean it will allow them to return to their proper time period. Chow-Chow and Ervendio develop a friendly, if third-person repartee. Valeria reminds Chow-Chow he is a good boy. Chow-Chow asks Valeria to tell Ervendio that the elf is also a good boy.

Even as they stand still in the Lord’s Treasury, the Revengers notice a time shift — the chests full of treasure are emptied, cobwebs appear, and a door that had not been there is now there. The party moves through it — Golgaraz triggers another pit trap, but is saved by Ervendio’s feather fall — and they discover a large, natural cavern.

There is a chasm and cracks in the floor, and yellow mist rises from them. A group of leechmouths are circled around a hunch-backed, hideous mongrelwoman — it is Mildred the Mad, a strange outcast druid of the badlands. Valeria takes an attack stance; the others cast defensive spells. A battle is joined!

Bea immediately experiences a wild surge — her left hand turns into a hawk’s talon. The leechmouths are quickly dispatched — two survive and are put into a 20-foot-deep pit, one is tied up and taken prisoner by Valeria, and one of the fallen is animated by Mildred. Its name is Roger, and it follows Mildred as a mindless servant.

Mildred! Is this the same Mildred the Frowzywig that started this adventure with our heroes so long ago? The one whose name was taken as inspiration for Mildred’s Revengers? It is unclear. Mildred the Mad — this Mildred — has no recollection of such things. She has lived her entire life here, in the chaos storm, and has learned to use its time-shifting to her advantage, creating a reputation among the leechmouths and the druids of Sanctuary as a strange and dangerous creature, though one who can sometimes be allied with. Yet she speaks of a mysterious dark lord, just as the Frowzywig did. This Mildred does not recall meeting Bea in the branches of Yggdrasil and sending her here, but she does have an interest in the pieces of the rod the Revengers are collecting. Mildred joins with our heroes — for now — and Valeria informs her that the body of her father, which they are still carrying with them, is strictly off limits when it comes to animating dead.

In the large cavern, the Revengers discover a large door in the floor — round, bolted shut on this side — that supposedly leads to tunnels that could take them out and under the chaos storm itself. This manner of exit would not resolve the curse of this castle, but with the piece of the rod in hand, is the castle’s curse even their responsibility?

The Revengers debate splitting up and gathering some of the druids and other innocents of the Grimlands outside, bringing them here, and escaping through these tunnels. But Ervendio wants to stay together and use the horn to escape. Bertram seems to feel there is much left undone in this land.

The Revengers finally rest for a few hours, taking refuge in a comfortable, softly-lit study. They briefly consider opening a book of certain vile darknesses, but Valeria tosses it into the chasm of yellow mist instead. They discover a trophy room that contains not only mounted animal heads, but druid skeletons as well. Ervendio peers into the crystal ball for signs of Harpo, but spies only an old and weathered gravestone. He can make out the words “Harpo” and “father…”, but nothing else. The crystal ball offers no glimpses of Maeve or Ursula.

Bertram, popping his head up through a trapdoor, discovers another trap-laden hallway — spouts of icy-cold black flame and an ominous black door. Will they press on through the black door? Escape through the tunnels? Blow the horn? Split the party? It is nighttime in the castle again and the Revengers are at a crossroads….

XP
Group Awards
1 Piece of the Rod of 7 Parts, 10,000
8 leechmouths, 7800

Group Total: 17,800 Individual Award: 2967

Bea 3917 (Are You the Mildred I’m Thinking Of? 950, Group 2967)
Bertram 3917 (Bertram’s Lost Weight 950, Group 2967)
Ervendio 3917 (I Said Check for Traps 950, Group 2967)
Golgaraz 3917 (Hero Tug 950, Group 2967)
Mildred 3917 (Rise, Roger! 950, Group 2967)
Valeria 3917 (Stands Her Ground 950, Group 2967)

LOOT
- scroll of protection from undead
- a ring
- a bottle
- bagpipes of fog
- LEX, the 6th piece of the rod of 7 parts (Golgaraz)
- 17 gems
- 2 unknown potions
- tome on the early adventures of Glimmer Greyhaven (Ervendio)
- books on the history of human empires (Bertram)
- human poetry (Bertram)

Comments

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