I made some changes to rules governing the zombies, the spell book, and the Spider's web trap, noted by asterisks.
After recently acquiring Fighting Fantasy and the Sorcery Spell Book through separate second hand distributors, I was eager to run “The Well” with my wife for two reasons. The first reason was to practice GMing role playing games. The second reason was to allow my wife a chance to play an rpg before our big Dungeon World game a month from now.
So entering The Well on this quest was my wife's character Tana with her pet monkey. Also accompanying them was an NPC best friend named Troy. Tana rolled decent stats of 9 Skill, 11 Luck, and 19 Stamina. Troy was a power-hitter with 12 Skill, 10 Luck, but only 16 Stamina. The monkey could follow simple commands and would answer yes or no questions.
Tana put her monkey in the bucket with the lantern and lowered it down, down, down some 30-40 feet to the bottom of the well. Seeing all was safe, Tana and Troy descended down the rope.
Traveling north, they came to the first door. Tana hesitated upon finding it locked, and tried to dig under the door. Scraping away with their swords, they only moved a bit of dirt and mud, and the monkey could only just get his hands under. On the other side they heard the chittering of some animal.
Troy suggest bashing the door down. Tana wanted to hack or pry with the swords. Not wanting them to break or dull their swords so early in the game, I spoke for Troy: “Let's give it a good shoulder butt and see if it opens.” So Troy tries once, and gets the creepy mysterious warning. Then on the second attempt he stumbles into the next room, does a somersault, and whacks his noggin.
In the next room they found a dwarf with a huge beard full of nesting birds. My wife loved my play acting of Thrushbeard and his birds. Their interaction was peaceful and fortunately no nuts were spoiled. I acted out the monkey eating nuts as well. Taking leave of their new friend, the party tried the east door, ended up in warrior's trophy room. Seeing the eyes moving in the painting on the wall, Tana was very cautious, saying “lets not touch anything!” But wanting to get the missus used to trouble, I had Troy go up and handle the painting, trying to look beneath it for the spy holes that he suspected were in the walls. The alarm sounded. In a panic, Tana led the team northward.
Upon encountering the mummy, Tana tried to greet it. It groaned and went to punch her. She dodged, and they quickly inflicted several wounds on the mummy. Troy covered Tana while she looted his sarcophagus. Tana being disinclined to fight, they tried to evade the mummy, heading to a dead end. Then they went around the mummy and ended up running into Nandras's library. Just as they greeted him, they could hear the mummy pounding on the door in the hallway. Nandras was quick to ask them to deal with that annoying mummy.
Our heroes returned to the trophy room to confront the mummy, and quickly dispatched him. Tana suggested decapitating the mummy to make sure it died, so they did, and brought the head to Nandras. They burned it in his fireplace, but Nandras demanded the whole body. So they dragged the mummy's body in and burned that too, winning the crystal key as a reward.
Stopping by Thrushbeard for some more nuts, they proceeded on their adventure finding the room of skeletons and chests. They were all locked but one, which contained some coins and a mouse. Troy put the mouse in his breast pocket. They kicked open another chest and a ghost came out. I play acted the angry spirit, growling and shouting threats.
So they fled the room, only to wake a two-headed lizard from it's slumber. It threatened, it growled and reached under the bed for a sword. The heroes they quickly fled north to a cave with many holes. They avoided messing with a spider web, and found a door leading to blackness, save for a pair of glowing eyes that growled. They shut the door, and instead opened the door to the Spider King.
After a short chit-chat with the king, they grew afraid and attempted to leave. A golden sticky web fell on them.* Troy burned it with his lantern, and they fled before the spider could attack, slamming the door behind them.
Returning to the bedroom of the lizard, who was very angry at having been woken a second time, they began to fight. They traded blows with the lizard, and then Tana offered it the emerald they took from the Mummy, and it accepted the bribe. So they left through another door. Troy was angry that Tana gave away some of their loot. If they're not here to get rich, then why bother being here? After finding a pit with retracting bridges, they returned again to the lizard's bedroom, finding it examining the emerald at it's desk. The monkey grabbed the mouse from Troy's pocket and dived under the bed while the two humans fought the lizard. After a quick fight, it died. Getting into the spirit of the game, Tana searched the room, finding the lizard's loot and a throwing dagger behind a painting.
Troy said if they're going to get rich, they probably have to kill the spider. After all, kings have money. So they returned. Giving the dagger to the monkey, the two humans fought with the spider king. They managed to avoid most of it's strikes and fortunately were not poisoned. Much spider goo began to run from its wounds. As the spider tired, Tana ordered the monkey to throw the dagger, going right into the spider's face. In anger the spider went to bite the monkey, but it managed to avoid the spider and run through it's legs. As it did so, the heroes plunged their swords into the spider's hide (both passing a luck checks), and causing massive wounds, and the beast expired.
They took it's treasure and a note describing where to find a magic spell to open the treasure room, and returned to the cave. Before tackling the hell hound, Tana wanted to search all round the cave for anything useful, perhaps to eat, as she was out of provisions. They found the Nandi-bear hiding in the dark corner, and it chased them back to the Spider's lair. They evaded the bear, slamming the door behind them. Being distracted by the massive spider lunch, it ceased to pursue them.
The two heroes quickly made short work of the hell hound from the black room. Claiming the magic sword and the gold from the body it guarded.
Finally they found the spell book. A zombie appeared as Tana took the book, and Troy stepped in to deal with it. They retreated to the cave, where Troy held off a slow parade zombies hell bent on eating Tana, while Tana searched the book for the spell. After some time, she found an index page*, and turned promptly to the proper spell. Reciting it perfectly, she opened the door to the treasure room. Another zombie appeared, and Troy fought them while Tana filled her pockets with the loot from the treasure room. They fled as best they could back toward the entrance, slamming every door behind them. Pursing zombies were slowed by the doors, but new zombies materialized wherever Tana went.
Upon returning to Thrushbread's room, he was shocked to find a zombie materializing in his home. “Did you take that accursed book?!”* said Thrushbeard as drew a small ax and approached the zombie. “Get rid of it! Get rid of it!” Thrushbeard and Troy fought the zombie, with birds diving down to peck at it as well. Tana tossed the book down a hallway, shutting the door afterward. The zombie in the room was destroyed, disappearing into a puff of ethereal smoke. Tana could hear shuffling about in the hallway where the book was thrown, but it did not come into Thrushbeard's room. Perhaps the zombies found the spell book and were taking it back where it belonged.
The heroes thanked Thrushbeard for his help and climbed out of the well, returning home with their newfound wealth.
The haul for this adventure:
80 gold pieces, 1 emerald, 4 rubies, magic sword +1, lucky charm +1