Saturday, February 18, 2017

Grove of the Gorgon

A Khamen and Candorra Adventure
Using Four Against Darkness

Once again Khamen was summoned before the Preceptor and offered another mission. This time, he and Candorra would sail to the southern island of Sarpedon. Rumor had it that the Holy Rod of Leonidas, another lost relic, was located there, in a grove guarded by a medusa.

This time our heroes were accompanied by Sister Wynne, a priestess of the Holy Temple (whose earlier adventures have been recorded previously).

Our heroes landed on the rocky shore of Sarpedon. Cliffs rose from the beach, with a pathway cutting through them leading into the island's interior,

Suddenly, with a screech, five bird-like creatures swooped upon the party. Two of them dove upon Candorra, rending her flesh with their sharp talons. Swinging wildly with her sword, she struck down her attackers. Khamen and Wynne took care of the rest. Their way was open.

As the path climbed through rocky terrain, they could hear the rumble of water in the distance. Then they came upon a bridge that crossed a gorge. A raging river ran through the gorge fall below. A gate blocked the river. It was fastened with a rope tied in an intricate knot. An old man sat beside the gate.

As they approached, the gatekeeper rose and greeted them.

"You may only pass this way if you can solve the riddle of the knot. Otherwise, the gate shall remain closed and there is no other way."

Candorra approached the gate and inspected the knot. She tried to untie it but failed. Wynne also could not unravel it. Khamen approached, pulled out his magic dagger, and with a single stroke cut the knot in half. The gate swung open as the gatekeeper's mouth dropped in surprise. Khamen's companions gave him a look.

Khamen shrugged. "I read about something similar once."

"Well, it worked." Candorra replied. "Let's go."

As she advanced, she noticed something lying upon the bridge. It was a wand. She pocketed it, and promptly forgot about it.

After traveling a ways, the party entered a forest. The sound of pipes seemed to emanate from the trees. Khamen and Wynne began to get drowsy.

"Let's take a short break." Khamen urged as he plopped upon the grass. Wynne joined him. Candorra urged them to rise, but they paid her no heed. Suddenly, a bunch of half-man half-goat creatures popped out and began to shower the party with arrows. Candorra pulled out her bow and responded. The satyrs could not match her elven marksmanship, and soon they were routed.

The path now led our heroes into a secluded grove. At the far side was an altar with a rod upon it. The Holy Rod! But where was the guardian?

As they stepped into the grove, a figure appeared from behind a tree. It turned to face them.

"Avert your eyes! Look upon the ground!" Wynne commanded.

She and Khamen looked away, but Candorra hesitated. She then got a full view of the guardian's face. It was a terrifying sight - with the malformed features framed by a mane of writhing snakes! Candorra emitted a cry of horror, then she froze in place. Khamen glanced at her, then stared in horror as she petrified before his eyes. In seconds, a stone statue stood where his friend once was.

Wynne was not the least bit fazed. She stepped over to Candorra, laid a hand on her stony shoulder, and said a prayer. The rock began to crumble and flake off. In but a moment, Candorra was restored.

Wynne challenged the medusa. "Begone vile creature! Your evil has no power over us!"

The medusa hissed. "Fool! I am not evil; just cursed."

"If you are not evil, then step aside and let us claim the Holy Rod of Leonidas." Wynne demanded.

"Nay, Sister. I cannot do that. Part of my curse is to remain here and guard the Rod. I cannot let you have it . . . unless the curse is broken."

"And how do we do that?" asked Khamen.

The medusa's hideous visage broke into a smile. "You must bring me the sorcerer that cursed me. Alive."

Will our heroes capture the sorcerer and recover the Rod?
Find out next time!


  1. Nice report. The thing I like about 4AD is that, while you can play it just as a random dungeon generator game and see what happens, you can't help but start to fill in the gaps with dialogue and back stories. It's a bit of splendid nonsense, but it's splendid nonetheless!

  2. Yes! As I am writing up my reports I can hear their conversations in my head. Not sure if hearing voices is a good thing, but it makes for good reports. ;)