Darkness Rising

Within are to be writ the tales of daring and adventure of those who have placed themselves on the path of glory. Share your exploits with other Castlers & Crusaders!
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Posts: 525
Joined: Sun Aug 26, 2007 7:00 am

Darkness Rising

Post by koralas »

Cast of Characters -
  • Current Characters
    • Cob - Male Half-Elf Cleric (Firthnach)/Illusionist (Multi-Class)
    • Endrill - Female Human Ranger
    • Bunny - Female Human Knight
    • Judin Okosk - Human Monk
    • Amiri - Female Half-Orc Barbarian - Slain by assassination in the mysterious house in Hemelsville, wished back to life by the same ring that was left in the mountain chapel
  • NPCs With the Characters
    • Warhawk - Male Human Paladin
  • Former Characters
    • Doraz - Elven Thief - Last Session 4 - Left the company after defeating the goblins outside of Endsmeet, returned to Greenbriar
    • Eklisia - Female Human Cleric (Tuatheal) - Last Session 4 - Left the company after defeating the goblins outside of Endsmeet, returned to Greenbriar
  • NPCs
    • tNelag - Half-Orc warrior - Endsmeet, works at the Cockleburr Inn and Tavern, hired on to help find Havrin's family taken by goblins
    • Chris and Shala Olvenher, their son Dillin - half-elf and his human wife, merchants - Freed from the goblins outside of Endsmeet, they are traveling to Gaxmoor to open a new shop
    • Havrin, Ialla, Rog, and Cenna - human farmers - Live in Endsmeet, Ialla and the children Rog and Cenna were freed from the goblins
    • Seldoc - human Ranger - Ranger of the Knott
    • Otto - Human Merchant - Runs the Cockelburr Inn and Tavern in Endsmeet
    • Ularin Delsgoth - human merchant - Lives in Greenbriar, is cousin to Alix, a druid of the Darkenfold, sent the characters to Endsmeet to aid in the search for Havrin's family
    • Shar - human Cleric - Met in the 3rd level of a mountain chapel, as with Bran when first met he was mute, but after the freeing of the spirits of the couple he could speak
    • Bran - Human Male Warrior - Brought to life out of a painting in the first level of a mountain chapel
    • Mailina [deceased] - A powerful sorceress, once a member of the Senate in Brindsium, left when she could not convince them to expand their borders to offer protection to the growing communities to the west, died in her tower when an experiment when horribly wrong
    • Kerin - Apprentice to Mailina, the only apprentice to survive the blast
    • Chulto - Is being sought out in connection to the death of the Sorceress, was an apprentice to her, was found in Heirald's tower in Kandus, but looked to be deathly ill, and non-responsive, Celia said he had been like that for more than two weeks
    • Greldor - Mayor of Hemelsville, father of Veril
    • Veril - Constable in Hemelsville, was enamored of Mailina
    • Heirald - Not met, a sage/astrologer in the town of Kandus, Chulto was supposedly sent there by Mailina
    • Eric - Townsman of Hemelsville, accused Cob having seen him exit the Sorceress' tower just prior to the explosion
    • Graetta - Wench at Marik's Tavern in Hemelsville, daughter of the proprietor, was in love with Chulto, broke down when told of his role in the death of the Sorceress
    • Marik - Owner of Marik's Tavern
    • Jorus - Met at Marik's Tavern, works at the Brek Ranch, told them of finding Chulto tormenting and tearing apart a live chicken, no one believed him when he talked about the apprentice
    • Ingvol - Bartender at the Slippery Eel Tavern in the old fisher town in Hemelsville
    • Sarha - Wench at the Slippery Eel
    • Helga - Wench at the Slippery Eel, didn't much like Chulto, "he liked the rough stuff" which she did not
    • Frieda - Not met, wench at the Slippery Eel, disappeared in the days leading to the incident with the Sorceress, was Chulto's favorite
    • Rufus - Captain of the guard at the keep construction site, also is the architect
    • Burne - Not met, Wizard, often travels between the court in Brindsium and the construction site
    • Senator Haslithon - Not met, Senator of Brindsium, was good friends with Mailina
    • Ned - Human Thief - Freed from bonds in the abandoned estate in Hemelsville - Turned on the party in the wine cellar of the estate and killed Amiri with a stab to the back from a long dirk, in turn slain by the rest of the party
    • Yolla Tanfoot - halfling female - Freed from goblins outside of Endsmeet, now back home in Hemelsville
    • Bren and Halag- Human merchants held captive by the forces of Chulto, apparently being offered to the ogre Luras for food, escorted back to Hemelsville, promised to send a reward back to the characters when they reach their homes
    • "Isilgiv" - Gnome thief (full name Isilgiventhalusox), also rescued from the larder of Luras, aided the party in the fight against Chulto's forces in the ruined outpost, gave Endrill a ring that would identify her as a friend of the gnomes
    • Grrash - Leader of a pack of gnoll mercenaries, the party bought his loyalty in the ruined outpost Chulto's forces were hold up in, fought with them and slew Orran the leader of the outpost
    • Grunjir - Priest slain in ruined keep, also name of one of the men that escaped the party outside of Kandus
    • Graeh - Wench at the Moonlight Inn in Kandus
    • Celia - ?Assistant? to Heirald the sage

Posts: 525
Joined: Sun Aug 26, 2007 7:00 am

Re: Darkness Rising

Post by koralas »

3/11/2017 - Session 1
O.Y. 1946, Lothian 23 - Darkenfold Forest

A group of young adventurers takes their leave of Ularin, a merchant of advancing years, after escorting him to the village of Greenbriar, his home. Heading to the Long House to take some rest, and enjoy a good meal and drink. They enjoy the comforts of the inn, and while taking breakfast the not Ularin enter and seeing them come to join them.
Ularin Delsgoth wrote:My friends, I thank you for your escorting me back home here to Greenbriar, but I fear I have heard dire tidings from Ends Meet. My cousin Alix, a Druid of the wood came to my home and told me of a number of raids on Ends Meet by various bandits, the last a group of goblins, pillaged the farm of Havrin, one of the village elders. The goblins wrangled the cow, bull, and horse from the barn before setting it alit. Worse, the elder’s wife and two of their children were tending to the livestock when the raid came. They were also taken, while Ornil, his eldest son, was found slain, the black shafts of goblin arrows in his back. Alix is looking for someone to help, the Rangers are too few, and all but one are too far afield to be able to help in time. I told him of the stalwarts that lead me through the forest, you my friends, and he asked if I would approach you to ask your aid. The Druids have little with which they could repay your time, but he has sent for what treasure they may have. For your help in securing the town, he offers a ruby of a size that would fit a pommel socket, clear and with no blemish. Further, if you are able to set out and find where these goblins are based and can eliminate the threat, and additional sum of 5,000 silver coins will be provided. Saving Ialla and the children is the ultimate goal, and if you can accomplish this, an additional 5,000 silver coins will be yours. Alix had to leave before the sun rose this morning, yet he left a pigeon with me, and has instructed me to send it on its way with your response.
The party discussed it among themselves and replied that they would undertake this dangerous journey. Ularin was happy and presented the part with a potion that would cure wounds and a small, cracked wand, that has little power remaining, and cannot be imbued with more due to the damage it bears. This wand will conjure magical darts that will strike their target unerringly. After a bit of planning the group left the inn heading down the Old Post Road through the Darkenfold towards the hamlet of Ends Meet.

One night while resting in their camp, the group was set upon by a small pack of wolves. Three had found them and started their attack, the party not having a large fire, the creatures were drawn towards the dim light and snarling leaped upon the two guards as they began to shout to awaken their comrades. A flurry of blows were attempted by Amiri and Eklisia, with little success, the wolves struck some telling blows as the rest of the party begins to stir. The battle is not waged for long as one of the wolves lifts it's head back and howls loudly, drawing in the rest of the hunting pack. Endrill seems sad but determined to strike blows at these creatures, doing what nature has decreed for them, still her and her companions lives are more dear to her than the wolves. Six more wolves bound from the forest, one with a lighter pelt than the others, this one bigger and death can be seen in his eyes. The struggle continues back and forth, blows being struck from both sides before the last of the wolves is slain. Using the powers granted by their deities, Cob and Eklisia tend the wounds of their friends.

A few more nights pass on the road before the companions reach Ends Meet. Being looked at warily, most of the group sits at a table as Amiri and Cob go to the bar and order some drinks. Talking with the proprietor, Otto, for a while, they mention the druid and Havrin, before joining their companions at the table. One of the wenches that overheard their discussion exited out a door in the back of the inn, this door leads to the kitchen. Taking note of this Doraz exits the front door in an attempt to see where she had gone, but he is unable to trace her and stays outside watching the area. Amiri had taken note of tNelag, a large brutish looking man she recognized as a fellow half-orc, this man was cleaning behind the bar, and is obviously the muscle that keeps trouble at bay. She talks with him and asks if he would join them on their journey, he accepts, but looking at the, in his words "scrawny" group but demands a triple share of any treasure they find. Through much discussion, they get the brute to accept a double share. Bunny, who is deceptively strong, challenges the half-orc to arm wrestling. She initially thought this was to get him down to a single share if she wins, that is quickly cleared up and 10sp is wagered. It wasn't even a challenge as tNelag slams the womans arm down immediately as they are released to start their contest. The group is eager to get going and tNelag tells them to wait as he trudges up the stairs to his room. All this while Otto is yelling at the half-orc, cautioning him not to go, to remember the fate of his friend, Otto's cousin, while the two had been "traipsing about putting themselves in danger, and for what..."

A few minutes pass and a small group is seen heading towards the inn, the wench Wanise is with them. Doraz informs his friends of this and they all exit the inn, perhaps over cautiously. The group approaches, and it is found that Havrin is among them, looking haggard and despairing for his wife. They re-enter the inn as tNelag is coming down now in a chain hauberk, carrying a spear and a war hammer slung from his belt, Amiri tells the half-orc that they will be a while, grumbling he heads back up stairs to change back into his working attire. The group talks with Havrin and asks him what he had seen.
Havrin wrote:I was out in the fields to the south when it happened. The sun was going down, and I was returning with the ox and cart when I saw a glow coming from the north. I rushed up only to find my barn fully aflame. I did not hear any of the livestock or anyone from my family as I had expected. I quickly began running around and I saw some small footprints in the damp soil near the barn. Then I saw some of those damned black arrows and my heart sank. I checked the house, the storm cellar, and ran around the barn, and that is when I found Ornil lying face down in the dirt, two of the goblins shafts in his back. <Havrin chokes up> I… I am sorry, it is till so raw. Others had shown up thinking to help with the fire, but instead they had to restrain me as I had slipped into madness and was trying to follow the tracks. I cursed them all, but still they held me, for my own good. It is my shame, what I called the good people, my friends. My wife and two other children are gone. I do not know if they live, or if… if… No I can’t think like that, they must be alive. Can you? Will you? <he breaks down again> I can’t pay you, most everything of value was in that barn. I would give you the deed to my farm if you could only bring Ialla and the little ones back to me.
Bunny, always striving to help the weak and downtrodden, says the group will aid him, but will not accept his farm, that the druids are seeing to their reward. tNelag comes back down the stairs and the group looks over at him, Amiri says, "We are leaving now to make for Havrin's farm to see if we can catch the trail of the goblins." Grumbling, and stomping heavily, tNelag heads back up stairs...

Arriving at the farm, they see an ox tied to a post near the house, but the barn has been totally razed, burnt-out. Havrin shows them where he found his son, the black arrows still in the ground. The trail is going cold, but there is enough in the soft earth to begin to follow. Before they take their leave a young man is seen running up the road. He relates a tail of being ambushed the day before. He was part of a small caravan heading up to Petersboro. They were attacked by a bunch of goblins, he escaped and hid until they had left. He mentioned that they headed towards the North-West as best he could tell. The ruins of their caravan are perhaps 15 miles down the road... Thinking that the goblins were probably the same ones that had attacked the farm, the group opted to follow this trail as best they could.

The group made good time, crossing the Mistbane River at Merrics Fork, they found the trail more difficult to follow. They traveled until close to dark and stopped off the trail, Endrill covering their tracks as best she could. Lighting no fire to hopefully minimize their chance of being found, the night passes uneventfully. In the morning they continue and find much fresher tracks coming from the south. This trail was now easy to trace as they continued into the foothills of the mountains. The elf spots a pair of goblins walking outside a small cave that the tracks head towards. The find that they can approach unseen if they skirt around and come from high on the ridge above the cave. The barbarian and thief are able to move with enough stealth, lowering themselves on ropes before dropping onto the goblins when at their widest point from the cave entrance, to catch them unawares. The battle is quick, with Endrill dispatching the second goblin with her bow after it was grievously wounded by those on the ground.

Entering into the chamber they note -
Entrance Chamber wrote:The cavern is dimly lit by the sunlight from outside. You notice a musty smell and a dampness in the air as soon as you enter the cave. Blankets are scattered about the place on the floor, and a crude table with four chairs sits in the far side of the cave. Directly ahead a small passageway opens into another area, though the light quickly fades. {There are seven goblins lounging in the area, they spring to their feet when the first of you enters the cave!}
A battle ensues and the advantage swaying between both sides, at one point the goblin wielding a staff mumbles something unintelligible, and a fan of flames erupts from it's hands catching three of the party in the conflagration. tNelag, with two mighty swings of his hammer turns the tide of battle with Cob as he unleashes two of the magical darts from the wand. In the end, a bit bloodied, the party slays the goblins, finding little of value they rest for a moment before pressing on...

Posts: 525
Joined: Sun Aug 26, 2007 7:00 am

Re: Darkness Rising

Post by koralas »

3/26/2017 - Session 2
O.Y. 1946, Lothian 30 - Darkenfold Forest

Having bested the goblins guarding the entrance to the caverns, the group moves deeper into the caves. There is a heavy musty smell of dampness, and the cave floors appear very clean, as if washed recently, odd that is. When leaving the entrance, the passage way splits off to their left, and continues on ahead angling slightly right. The light from the cavern entrance is growing dimmer as they head towards the passageway across the cave, and Judin lights a torch. A couple of quick nods and they choose to follow the path straight ahead, which soon ends with cavernous passages going both to their right and left. As they approach, Doraz catches a slight glint out the corner of his eye to the left. As they investigate, they see that the walls and ceiling in the left hand passageway is covered with a glistening coat of green. Being wary, they opt to head in the other direction, thinking to come back this way only if the must.

Continuing to the right the natural cave passage twists to their right, and back to the left before it again forms an intersection, one bending sharply on the left, while the one in front of them continues on, slanting slightly to their right. Looking down the left they see it soon comes to an end, there is a form covered mostly in webs, little movement is seen, though from the fluttering of the chest it does appear to be breathing. The group now notices a large network of webs filling the back section of that small cave. Bunny, ever eager to help those in need rushes forward, but then thinks to stop as she realizes something had to have made these webs. Looking up and around she doesn't see anything and cautiously approaches the form, she quickly sees that the fluttering is just some loose webbing that is caught up in the slight drafts in the underground. As Judin approaches and puts his torch to the webs, a large spider drops on Bunny, it is a good thing she had thought to watch for such and was able to bring her shield up as it came down on her. Biting at her while clinging to her shield, its eyes glowing red in the firelight, it just misses sinking it's fangs into her exposed neck as she rushes towards the wall, seeking to crush the spider between it and her shield. The chattering of the arachnid exhibits that she has met with partial success, the creature is hurt but not slain. Amiri rushes to her aid as do other party members and they are, thankfully, able to slay the beast before it could strike the Knight and flood her veins with poison. The desiccated corpse is searched to see if they can find any evidence of whom this was, so they may bring news back to the village. The dead woman was obviously an elf, and while there is little left but the tattered remains of her clothes, a silver ring is found on her finger. Cob checks the ring over, and decides to place it on his finger. With nothing else of value, the clerics say a blessing over the dead elf and the party retreats from this cave.

Returning to the other corridor, the dank musty smell grows stronger, and the air feels noticeably more damp. The passageway turns to their right then back to the left before splitting again. To their left they see it very quickly would turn right, while to their right they see it continue on with a side branch on the right about 30' down, continuing past to the edge of the torch light. As they approach this branch on the right, the passage ahead can be seen bending slightly to the right. From the right they pick up a strong scent of feces and urine, concerned about leaving a foe at their back, they head down this corridor and find that it ends in a tight wooden fence roughly 8' high. There is a gate set into the fence, a small pile of leather sits off to the left near the fence. Beyond they see a group of large dogs that have taken note of them, and are giving some low growls and woofs. The group debates on what they should do, while a pair of them investigate the pile of leather, finding it to be straps, crude padding with leather covers, some sort of saddle. The dogs are growing more agitated, and being barking and growling in earnest. Endrill, sadly, draws her bow and starts to pick off the creatures and the others begin slicing the straps of the saddles. After a minute or so, the lookouts, Judin and Cob, note a group of goblins rushing down the corridor that had continued past this branch. Five goblins had come charging out of the darkness, death and fury in their eyes. They give out a cry and prepare for battle. Cob unleashes a Color Spray spell, causing two of the goblins to fall unconscious, the other three continued, though a bit of hesitance now. The entire party, save only Endrill comes to fight the goblins. Blows are stuck back and forth, and during the battle, Eklisia swings clumsily, tripping over a loose rock on the cave floor and loses the grip on her sword. Telling blows were struck by both sides, until the goblins were slain. The clerics worked their healing magics to aid their compatriots while Endrill had slain four of the five large war dogs, the last hunkered down behind one of the slain dogs. Endrill coaxes the dog to come closer with some jerky from her pack, when the dog rushed for the tasty morsel, she raised her bow but could not bring herself to slay this one last beast. Instead she coaxed it over with more of the jerky, and when she thought it safe, opened the gate to approach the creature. Giving it more jerky, she stroked it's neck and it nuzzled her hand, still smelling the jerky on it. The dog follows her around as she walks, and she periodically doles out a small piece of the cured meat to it.

Thinking it not wise to stay where they were, the group continues down the corridor, past the bodies of the dead goblins. It soon branches in a Y pattern, but the quickly note that these passages would simply rejoin as one 40 or so feet ahead. At this point the can continue ahead or head off to their left down a much wider corridor, to which they continue forward. This eventually opens into a large chamber, the smell of rotting flesh permeates the air, as they note that this was used as a bed chamber, though obviously not for some time. On a small table next to the crude bed is an unrecognizable lump of rotting flesh, the small chest near the bed has a broken lock, and has been obviously ransacked, there is nothing of value found. Retracing their steps, the head down the wide passageway and after 20 or 30 seconds they come to another junction leading left and right. "Right has been good so far," Doraz says, and he leads the way in that direction. The passage twist left and right a bit before coming to a sharp bend to their left, in the middle of the bend, on the floor, there is a symbol carved into the rock, and painted to resemble a bloodied two handed sword. After pondering over this for a bit, the clerics strike on it's meaning. It is the symbol of Thorax "Bull Hound" the god of the goblins. This does not portend well. Continuing down the corridor, it opens into a larger cavern, they pick up the scent of dried blood, of which they see a lot smeared across the floor. Before the party can do anything they are blasted with a fan of fire, scorching a few of the group, they quickly see the source, a goblin dressed in robes, with another behind him. This battle takes it's toll and the creatures unleashed their magics and fought valiantly before succumbing to the adventurers. Searching their bodies they uncover some jewelry and a little coin, as well as the crude, but wicked maces the two carried. Searching the rest of the chamber they find a pair of beds with sacks at their feet, and pegs in the walls holding some cloaks and robes. Nothing much of interest, other than a small back with a bunch of small metal balls in it. With many in the party being injured, they decide to take the beds from this area and retreat to the abandoned room. As they take the sack stuffed with straw used as a mattress from one of the beds a small canvas bag is found. There is some sort of cloth in the bag, and as they go to empty it they here the clinking of glass from within. As they empty it out they find a bone scroll case and two clear vials, one with a dark red liquid, the other a lighter shade of red. Investigating the scroll, Cob finds that it holds a Cure Light Wounds and a Cure Serious Wounds spell.

Retreating to the abandoned room, they erect a barricade across the corridor entryway. They use what magics they had left to heal, not using the newly found scroll, and pass a remarkably uneventful night...

Posts: 525
Joined: Sun Aug 26, 2007 7:00 am

Re: Darkness Rising

Post by koralas »

4/9/2017 - Session 3
O.Y. 1946, Lothian 30 - Darkenfold Forest

Having barricaded themselves into the large unused cavern, the part spent a rather uneventful night, remarkably so based on the slaughter they had committed the day before. Using some of their healing magics, they dismantle the barricade and exit the chamber, returning to the bed chamber of the priests of Thorax. They opted to continue through the chamber and exiting out the passage in the SE portion of the cavern. Following this they come to a three-way intersection, one branch heading to the north, the other continuing to the SE. Being confident the passage to the north would connect back with the passageway they have already come through they scouted it quickly to verify their thoughts. Continuing to the SE the passage comes to a T intersection going north and south with the smell of smoke coming from the south. Exploring to the south they see -
Temple Cavern wrote:A rough stone block stands at the far end of this cavern. The block is covered in dried blood. The makeshift altar, as well as the walls, are covered in the same runes you saw in the passageway. Atop the altar is an two-handed sword, the blade is black and sparkles with light coming from below, it has dried blood and gore hanging from it. A large fire pit has been dug out of the mud of the floor, the smoldering embers of a recent fire remain within it. A blackened skeleton, roughly human sized, lies partially covered in the pit.
The smoke obscures their vision of the pit, and as they approach, four skeletons emerge from the pit to attack, followed by a goblin that was on the other side of the pit. The battle took little time as the party finally found their stride on the attack. Still they did not emerge unscarred. As they were finishing with the skeletons and goblin, a pair of goblins come charging out of the darkness from the passage they entered this cavern. They too are dispatched with comparative ease. Amiri, admiring the two handed sword on the altar takes it in place of her own. The clerics decide the runes of the evil god should be defaced, as Amiri and tNelag (their half-orc companion from the village) work to turn the altar block over a few times until it rested half in the fire pit.

Backtracking they continue up the passage to the north. This opens into -
Sorcerers Bed Chamber wrote:This living area contains one large crude bed, a small chest stands beside it. Sitting mats are on the floor next to the chest. Sitting with its back to you is a female goblin.
Amiri charges with her new two-handed sword, but when she strikes the goblin there is a jolt from the sword that strikes at her spirit, draining some of her life energy. Shocked by this she drops the blade. Rox, the war dog they had liberated suddenly bites at Endrill's leg. Endrill turns and the ranger recognizes rage in the dog's eyes. Was it this goblin that turned her? Sadly she turns on the dog, using the flat of her blade not wanting to slay the beast she had bonded with. The goblin suddenly disappears, as the rest of the party begins to move to find theirr now invisible foe. They block off the exit from the room, as some work to subdue Rox. Doraz works back towards the door before running into the invisible goblin. Amiri hearing him exclaim he found her leaped into action, and bringing her two-handed sword down, causing thief to back pedal lest he be hit by the barbarians wild swings. Impacting the now dead goblin sorceress multiple times with her great blade. Cob approaches and get the barbarian to calm and begins searching the invisible dead goblin, feeling around as best he could. He finds a gold earring set with a ruby, a silver ring, and a silvered dagger. Taking their time to search the room, not much of value is found until they open the small chest. It is filled with clothes, but taking that all out they find a false bottom in the chest hiding some coin, a scroll, and a book written in goblin.

Leaving this area and heading back towards the entrance since they found no other passages here, they come back to the passage leading up to the dog pen. It suddenly dawned on them, all of the bodies of goblins that they slew were missing! Not knowing what to make of this they press on coming back to the passage leading to the entrance cavern, where there is a green slimy covering on the walls. They head back towards the entrance cave, remembering there was another passage heading to the east. As they approached that passage, they are assailed by a number of goblins from the entrance cave. This battle was touch and go for a while before the tide finally tuned in the favor of the adventurers. Heading down the way to the east they find another large cavern -
A Pile of Bones wrote:This ceiling in the passage leading to this cavern slopes away from you, growing ever higher, it must be 20’ above you. The cavern itself is empty, save for a large pile of bones.
As they approached the pile of bones six skeletons animate and attack them. Tearing at the party with their bare hands, the skeletons deal little damage before they are able to return the bones to a state of rest with the clerics providing them a blessing to find their eternal rest. Disheartened that this cavern is another dead end, they decide to return to the passage with the slime and proceed down it.

The slime it seems is just a mundane sort growing here with plenty of moisture, and some dim sunlight filtering in from the entrance. As they continue the corridor is quite long, twisting a bit before opening to the south east leading to what looks like another cavern, and branching due west. From this direction they hear some sounds, not quite sure what it is and they decide to head down that corridor...

Posts: 525
Joined: Sun Aug 26, 2007 7:00 am

Re: Darkness Rising

Post by koralas »

4/22/2017 - Session 3
O.Y. 1946, Lothian 30 - Darkenfold Forest

The party cautiously continues down the corridor to the west, and soon is able to identify the sounds as goblins, chanting some horrific song. The corridor continues to the west and two branches are seen to the north, from which the sounds are emanating, while a bit further ahead another, large passage is seen to the south. Bracing themselves for another fight, Amiri leads the charge into battle with the goblins.
Goblin Guard Quarters wrote:This chamber is well appointed, five large beds sit with partitions between them, and at the foot of each bed is a leather bag. Sitting at a table in the center of the room are five large goblins.
As the battle is joined it is obvious that these goblins are tougher and more skilled than their compatriots. The group utilizes the two passageways into this cavern to their advantage, by attempting clogging the second way out. Judin stands watch as he cannot fight into the cavern. It is not long before more goblins are seen coming up from the western passageway, the sounds of battle calling to them. The party is holding their own against these tougher foes when the largest goblin they have seen, and another dressed in robes come from the passage to the south. tNelag, now deep in the cavern to the north roars in outrage as they run past the group, heading east. Judin gives chase and sees more goblins pouring down the passageway from the east! As the rest of the party finishes the goblins behind him and start coming to his aid, the goblin in robes attempts a sleep spell but fails to drop any of the heroes. Judin again uses his superior speed and begins to chase after the goblin chieftain, but the sheer numbers of goblins are to much for him on his own and he falls before being able to catch him. The rest of the party has little trouble with the remaining goblin rear guard and find their fallen companion, bloodied and near death but still breathing in gurgling gasps. The clerics are able to restore him to consciousness with their healing arts. Returning to the cavern they search, finding little of value, only spare goblin clothes and a few coins. Beaten and bloodied, they resolve to continue on to find the hostages.

Heading to the west, the passage way is split by a column and then turns to the south, sloping downwards fairly steeply. This opens to a huge cavern, to the east is an underground pond, their torchlight reflecting of of it to let them just see a ledge with something on it on the far side. Quickly checking and finding the western reaches of little import they return to the edge of the pool, and yes, there definitely looks to be a chest on that ledge! Is this the treasure horde of the goblins? Amiri tests the waters and is surprised when the very water itself seems to come to life and begin pulling her into the frigid water, it is actually trying to drown her! The party, now cautious of the water but wanting to save their friend springs into action and find that blunted weapons work better against this creature. It is a few touch and go moments before the water seemingly collapses, freeing the half-orc. Not sure there aren't more of these things about, but still wanting to get to the chest, Doraz and Cob wade into the water, it grows deeper the further they go until it is up to their chins. Doraz is able to reach the far wall, swimming to attain the rough wall, and climbs it to the top.
Elevated Shelf wrote:Bats scurry away as soon as you climb to this platform. It is cramped, being only about 4’ high. A chest sits near the edge.
Examining the chest, he doesn't think it is trapped, but the lock has long since rusted and will not give to his picks. This is not the horde of the goblins, what is it? He notes the bottom of the chest seems fairly well rotted and spends a few moments digging at it with his dagger before a few blows makes the bottom come loose from the rest of the chest. In side is a small fortune in coins, actual platinum pieces being found! There is a small case of some sort that is rotted, and within he finds more rotted wood, like it was once some kind of stick, with two silver rings circling the stick. Pocketing all of these he dives back into the water and motions to Cob that they should return to the shore.

Posts: 525
Joined: Sun Aug 26, 2007 7:00 am

Re: Darkness Rising

Post by koralas »

6/4/2017 - Session 4
O.Y. 1946, Uthdain 9 - Darkenfold Forest
[Cast of Characters updated]

Having gathered the treasure from the ledge beyond the spring fed pool, the party returns down the passage they entered the cavern from. Passing the caverns where the goblin chieftain and his guards had taken residence, they continue to the east. Being cautious and moving slowly, they come the the junction, where to the north is the way out, and the larger cavern to the east lay unexplored. Entering this large cavern, they find it littered with sleeping mats, piles of straw, and other such forms of bedding, this was where the main goblin force had used as a barracks. A passage exits to the north. The lack of goblins had the characters emboldened and they open the gate. The corridor twists and turns, it smells of waste and rot. They turn the final bend to find another makeshift fence and gate. The light of their torches illuminates a group of beings beyond.
Captives Found wrote:A wooden barricade and gate has been erected at the opening to this cavern. Beyond it smells of urine and feces waft from beyond it. Looking through the fencing, you see, huddling against the walls, five humans (two females and three children), a male half-elf, and a female halfling.
The party talks with this rag-tag group of captives, the half-elf steps forward to talk, his name is Chris, he states that he is a merchant from the south, his wife, Shala, and he were part of a caravan that was raided a few days ago. One of the children is their son, Dillin. The halfling, he states, is Yolla, she was also travelling in the caravan with her husband when they were waylaid. Yolla and her husband fought the goblins and both were injured. Brandel, her husband, was here, as was another man that was unconscious when Chris arrived, but both have gone missing a day or two prior, taken from the pen by the goblins. Yolla is in critical condition, deep infefected lacerations, and a wheezing breath, show her to be near death. A bit further away is a woman that he has not spoken with much, she claims to be from a near by town, and the two children are hers. She has kept to children and herself, not even giving him her name. Endril speak with her and finds that she is quite beautiful, earning her trust, she learns that this is Ialla, the children are hers, these are Rog and Cenna, Havrins family!

Continuing to speak with Chris, they learn he is from Brindsium and is heading to Gaxmoor to open a new trading branch in that locale. He notes the strong box the party has taken is his, and asks for the party to return it to him, he will give them a reward of 150GP each, a rich prize indeed! The acquiesce, and will help him take the goods to Endsmeet.

Yolla is distraught over her husband, she mumbles her worry as the clerics tend her wounds. They learn that she and Brandel were only recently married, and were travelling for their honeymoon. She regains enough strength to leave the caverns, though breaks down when the party tells her of some of the remains they had seen, certain that it was from Brandel. She is eager to leave the caverns and return home.

They party exits the caverns with the captives, keeping them in the center of the their order to provide maximum protection for them. This is good since along their way back to Endsmeet they are assaulted by a group of Orcs and an Ogre. The clumsy humanoids alerted the group before they sprung their ambush, allowing for most of the adventurers to ready for the attack, stepping forward to keep the creatures off of those they are protecting. While most of the part engages the orcs, Judin moves towards the ogre. Fighting with great ferocity, the battle does not last overlong as the party fells the attackers.

Arriving back in Endsmeet, the town rejoices at the return of Ialla and the children. They open the hearts to the others returning the with characters and all receive food and shelter. A celebration is had outside of the Cockelburr Inn and Tavern the second night after they return. Here Chris and Yolla both approach the group asking for their aid. Chris wishes to continue his passage to the north and has made a generous offer if the characters will come as guards, or to return a message to his brother in Brindsium, to which there is an offer of coin, along with additional coin when delivered. Yolla seeks to return to the home that her and Brandel were gifted, a small estate on the southern coast, in the burgeoning town of Hemelsville. She offers the party a sum of 2,500SP if they will escort her there. The mayor introduces the group to Seldoc, a Ranger of the Knott. Seldoc gives the characters their promised reward and states that there is going to be an expedition to try and find the goblins to eliminate the threat. He can offer little but asks the company to join in the endeavor. Given these options the party deliberates and decides to aid Yolla in returning home, and will also carry the message for Chris to his brother, since Hemelsville is along the way to Brindsium.

The next day they meet with tNelag to settle up on the treasure pulled from the caves. His demands are heavy, one of the magical golden rings, the magical dagger, the rough amethyst and coin. He was adamant on the ring and stone, and after much negotiation with the stubborn half-orc the party finally reaches an accord with the warrior and they part amicably.

Also departing the party are Doraz and Eklisia, the pair decide to head back east to Greenbriar to rest and spend time helping that community to expand. The western reaches of the Darkenfold hold many dangers to which they are not ready to endure. They part hoping to see the others again one day.

After a week of rest and recuperation, the group sets forth, they purchase a raft to take downriver. As they travel they marvel at the sites of the forest, amazed at the diversity of vegetation and the creatures along the banks of the river. They beach one night and meet a small party coming up from the mountains to the south. They talk of a pass they had traversed, a bit tricky to find, but it makes the travels through those highlands much easier. One of this group is a wizard of no mean power, or at least that is what he claims, and learning this the group asks if he could review some items they had procured. To which he agrees, for a fee. Perhaps this was a bit reckless on these fledgling adventurers part, but they do produce the items they had taken from the caves. They learn over then next few minutes that what they had recovered were -
  • The gold ring inset with a diamond is a Ring of Disappearance, a ring that can cause the wearer to become invisible, but it has a limited number of uses
  • The two plain silver rings that were found with the rotted remains of a wand are Rings of Shielding, capable of erecting such a barrier of equivalent strength as the spell once per day
  • The obsidian dagger is of minor enchantment but will aid in combat (+1)
  • Upon seeing the obsidian two-handed sword, the wizard wanted no part of that item and refused to touch it, he does relate the name of the blade as The Vengeance of Thorax
They spend the night with this group, safety in numbers, though they insured that they had at least one member on each watch, just to be safe... In the morning they decide they want to venture overland, for with the guidance of the wizard they believe they can find the mountain pass, and they were going to need to abandon the river at some point in any event. The strangers buy the raft from the party, the hard toil of poling upstream will still provide them faster passage, and safer, than walking the banks of the river.

After a few days of travel, reaching the mountains, they enter the rising land looking for the pass. The skies begin to darken as they find what they believe was described to them. Continuing to the south, following the meandering way, the skies open up and a heavy rain begins to fall. Darker and darker still the skies become as the roiling clouds unleash their fury. Lightning and thunder assail the party as the seek for someplace to shelter from the storms fury. In a particularly long streak of lightning traversing the clouds Amiri spies a strange site, a small stone tower atop a cliff that appears to be in the shape of a star. One of the star points seems to have crumbled a bit a good distance down from the top, still the tower looks to be their best bet to escape the weather. It takes the better part of an hour, but they finally reach it and find the door unlocked. Entering they see the floor is of marble in this roughly hexagonal room with nooks in each wall, an altar stands in the center of the chamber. The chapel has been vandalized, the ruins of the benches and other accouterments lie scattered about. In each of the nooks in each area of the room there are some paintings visible at the edges of the torchlight. Those near the door where the party enters shows the chapel looking as it had when first built. Walking across the area Amiri lifts a torch and views the painting, a group of six orcs can be seen. To the astonishment of the company, the orcs suddenly come to life and jump down from the painting...

Posts: 525
Joined: Sun Aug 26, 2007 7:00 am

Re: Darkness Rising

Post by koralas »

7/15/2017 - Session 5
O.Y. 1946, Uthdain 13 - Darkenfold Forest
[Cast of Characters updated]

The party is in a chapel on top of a star shaped plateau, they walked through the chapel to the southern wall, raising their light to see better the painting above their head, the painting springs to life as the six orcs suddenly come to life and attack. Yolla lets out a squeal and backs away from the battle, hiding behind the small altar in the center of the chapel. Blows are struck back and forth before the orcs are suddenly laid low. The party marvels at the situation as the orcs bodies suddenly disappear. The next alcove over shows another scene of battle, this time prepared, the group sets out to see if this painting comes alive, and it does as soon as the light they carry fully illuminates the subjects. This time three goblins assailing a burly man can be seen as they materialize in front of the group. The battle is joined with the party and man quickly dispatching the goblins before they wink out of existence.

Cob and Endrill try to get the man to talk with them, questining him about his name and where he is from, but the man remains mute, gesturing such that the party determines the man cannot speak. Twice more they find paintings that come to life, one a single ogre, the other a bull-headed man. Each of these act slowly allowing the party with the silent warrior to quickly lay them low, and just as with the dead from the other paintings, they to disappear.

The strange runes on the floor are recognized as words, and after a little effort, the party figures out that the phrase is as follows - When the light of light comes to lifeless eyes and mortal sword slays flesh immortal then will the dumb speak the dead die the dark god topple and the chapel of silence be clean again.

The storm rages outside as the party looks around the chapel. A fourth alcove shows a series of mountains, while the alcove where the entry way is shows scenes of the tower, much as it had been when first built. Night has fallen and the moon, if it could be seen, would have risen high in the sky, the hour is growing late. Not comfortable here in the chapel they search around and soon find that the altar in the center of the chamber can easily be slid to the side. Beneath the altar a spiral staircase descends into the darkness.

Descending the stairs they come to a level where the floor is littered with skeletal remains in heaps, the area is a hexagonal room with a door in the center of each wall. Yolla looks warily on the piles of bones and does not want to descend fully, but Cob is able to show her that they are harmless so she climbs down the rest of the way. The group determines to open the door to the south, beyond they see an altar showing scenes of planting and reaping, the walls covered in a rich brown velvet curtain, behind the altar is a large skeleton, dressed in wealthy peasants attire, kneeling with it's hands in the appearance of prayer. Deciding not to enter at this time, they close the door and look into the door to the left. This door opens to an area nearly identical to the last, but this is adorned in green, the skeleton adorned as a hunter, with scenes of a hunt on the altar. Again they open a door, this one to the North-East, this room is identical to the others but colored in gold with commerce scenes engraved in the altar, and the skeleton dressed as a merchant. The northern door opens to a room of red, the skeleton has clasped in it's hands a large two-handed sword with head bowed in supplication, scenes of battle are viewed upon the altar. To the NW the room is a rose-colored hue, the skeleton in womans clothing, while the altar is carved with the sights of hearth and home. Finally the door to the SW is opened and a deep blue scene unfolds with the skeleton dressed as a mariner as the alter shows sailing ships and ocean sites.

The party deliberates and decides they will enter the northern room first, the one of red and containing the warrior skeleton. Yolla remains in the central chamber as the others enter the room and investigate. The altar is quite ornate as they marvel at the carvings upon it. The skeleton is a fearsome statue, around which Judin walks cautiously to peer behind the curtain behind it. A blank wall is seen, but Judin studies it closely and searches around and finds a worn area on the wall which, when pressed against, the wall slides to the west, when suddenly a bolt flies out and hits Cob in the shoulder. The room beyond is triangluar and is covered in a thick layer of dust. The area is filled with weapons, armor pieces, along the back wall there is a long bundle wrapped in a warriors cloak. As they search the area, the dust is disturbed causing some coughing and wheezing, but also shows some hints of gold, which, when uncovered shows a golden helm and a sword with a golden hilt. "Hey, I bet the riddle above can be solved with these things," says Judin as Cob is saying something much the same. Trying to place the golden sword on the altar has no effect. Amiri unwraps the bundle to find a well made, but plain sword within. "Lets try this on there," she says, but again there is no visible effect of doing so. Frustrated, Judin says, "There is something we are missing, lets check the other rooms."

Deciding to check the chamber with the altar dedicated to hearth and home, little is found in the area, but another sliding panel is found behind the skeleton. Beyond the triangular room had obviously been looted at some time. There is a broken clay pot, and a churn laying on it's side. Looking in the churn, a dirty scrap of paper is found. Looking at it, there is some strange script upon the paper, it is handed to Cob who's eyes widen as he say with a good deal of awe in his voice, "This is a scroll of healing, it can heal the most grievous of wounds and cure disease and many of the most serious of afflictions." He rolls the paper and places it in a bone case. Sweeping through the area one last time, a small golden thimble is found in the corner to the right of the door. While a trap door is located with another set of stairs leading down. "Should we go down?" asks Cob. "No, lets see if we can unravel this riddle, perhaps once we check the other rooms it will become clear," Judin states.

Next checking the golden chamber of commerce, it is much like the others with a sliding panel on the wall opposite the door. The door opens revealing a deep pit, the bottom of which cannot be seen. This takes the entire area of the room. Probing with his staff Judin finds it sinks into the darkens as he prods downwards with it. Turning the group heads to the hunting chapel. Here as the door opens it shows signs of the dust having been disturbed. Nothing is found in this room until Endrill spies an ivory horn hanging high above the door. Climbing onto Bunny's shoulders she is able to scramble up and pull the horn down. "These things have to have something to do with that riddle," Cob says, "I just don't know how they fit together." Judin agrees and again they try to put the horn on the alter to no avail.

They resolve to check each of the remaining rooms and try to ponder how they can solve this mystery. Thus they move twords the rich brown chamber. The door is opened and Bunny and Amiri move into the room. Each suddenly assaulted by something darting from the shadows. A dagger bites deep into Amiri, as the thieves spring their attack. With a melee ensuing, one of the thieves is quickly dispatched, while the other, weakened by multiple blows, throws down his dagger and begs mercy. Relenting, not wanting to slay the unarmed man, and hoping to gain information they parlay with the thief, but he discloses but little information, and finally before the party can react he stealthily reaches into a pouch at his side and throws out some sort of powder causing many of the party to cough and gag, choking on the dust. He breaks for the stairway, trying to flee, but he is to slow as Judin catches him and strikes him low. Each of the thieves had sacks with coins on them, one of the also had a ring of platinum set with three pearls. Taking a breather, the grouip decides to continue, despite the late hour. Opening the sliding panel, Judin walks in and steps into a large steel trap that slams shut about 1/4 of the way up his shin. Crying in pain, he shouts, "Why didn't I look this time!!!" prying the jaws of the bear trap open, the monk is freed. The triangular room holds a table upon which is set a bowl filled to heaping of grain, while to the right of the table is a small golden scythe, and to the left a miniature iron plow. "Dammit, I know these play into this," Cob exclaims, "what are we missing???"

Opening the last sliding panel in the room of deep blue, a silken sail comes spilling out into the room. Pulling the sail fully out of the room, they find a small by finely carved ivory ship. "Ah, perhaps in the morning, a fresh look will aid with this, lets fortify up in the hearth and home room, and see what we can determine with some rest and healing." Cob looks at the others, they nod in agreement. Making themselves as secure as possible, they pass the night, each disturbed by the same dream...
The dream wrote:The chapel seems filled with light and a happy throng of people, and it is apparent that a wedding is in progress. Just as the priest pronounces his final blessing upon the betrothed pair, the scene fades. A new scene follows it — a scene as sorrowful as its predecessor was joyful. Again the chapel is full of people, but this time all are weeping. A funeral procession escorts two shrouded bodies to their tombs and tearfully places them within. Once again the priest pronounces a final blessing and the scene fades.

A third scene follows; again the chapel is full of light. The adventurers themselves are the only ones in attendance, but suddenly they are struck dumb with surprise as the figure of a lovely woman appears at the altar. Silently she beckons to the party, and each member senses her promise that person (the one who is having the particular dream) boundless reward if he will but follow her. Just as that character steps forward, there is a blinding flash and a stalwart man suddenly stands beside the lady with a sword in his hand. While the lady begins to weep entreatingly, the man steps to prevent anyone from approaching her. He sadly shakes his head in refusal of the lady’s pleas. The scene then gradually fades...
Once they are all awake and eating a quick breakfast they talk about the dream, and ponder its meaning. Trying to put the objects down on each altar, as seems logical, nothing happens, so the party decides there must be more clues elsewhere and decides to descend the stairs below the trap door. But just as they move to the first step, the skeleton in the room suddenly animates, as do the bones in the central chamber. a few of the doors to the other altars were left open and more of those larger skeletons begin to move on the party. The fight does not last very long, though some heavy blows were taken by the group, Amiri taking a particulary painful wound from the large skeleton from the warriors room. Fearing that the skeletons may come to life yet again if they attempt to descend the stairs, they opt to dump them down the pit in the golden room. Having done so, and taping some of the limited resources for healing, they feel strong enough to descend...

Posts: 525
Joined: Sun Aug 26, 2007 7:00 am

Re: Darkness Rising

Post by koralas »

7/22/2017 - Session 6
O.Y. 1946, Uthdain 14 - Darkenfold Forest
[Cast of Characters updated]

With a bit of trepidation, the party steps foot on the stairs to head down, they breathe a sigh of relief when they do not find any more skeletons assaulting them. The stairs descend down and the group notices that the walls down here are filled with a number of cracks, some thin, some large enough to put your hand into. As they reach the bottom of the stair they hear a the crowing of a creature that looks similar to a chicken, a large malformed chicken that is! With a cackle the thing attacks the party. The group strikes a few blows on the beast before the thing is able to bite Cob, as it withdraws its beak, Cob falls motionless, becoming grayish in color, soon it is obvious that he has been turned to stone. Back and forth blows are struck with others just barely avoiding the same fate as Cob. Finally the creature is slain, and the party looks in wonder at what had happened to their friend. Standing, not sure what to do, the silent warrior taps Bunny and motions holding up one finger, and gesturing like putting a ring on. "What, does he want us to put a ring on Cob?" Bunny asks. Ok, Bunny has her moments of... lets just say, naivete. Then it dawns on her, "No, not on him, one of us, what ring? Oh, I know!" she jumps up and down clapping, "The one with the three pearls!!!" The mute man gestures again and the group thinks he is saying to ask for something, no, that isn't it, after he motions in the shape of a bottle, then flutters his fingers above it like smoke, then stands with his arms crossed. Remembering an old story, Judin says, "The ring will summon a genie? That can't be right... Genies grant wishes in the old story, is that what he means?" The party is discussing this, with Judin relating that the genies might grant the wish, but often pervert or twist them, especially for the greedy. They determine to try it no matter how unlikely it seems, and Bunny says, "I wish that Cob was not struck by that evil chicken thing." With that Cob was returned to flesh and blood, but Amiri cries out suddenly, a bite showing on her arm while Cob's seemed to disappear. Amiri feels a bit sick to her stomach but is able to fight off the feeling, and smiles when she remains flesh. "Now, let's not try that again shall we? Let's get out of this room, quickly."

The triangular room has a door in the SE that opens to a hexagonal room with piles of rubbish in it, a door directly across to the SE is then opened. The central hexagonal room, as they had seen in the floor above, has a central column, the outer covering has crumbled, and the interior has also collapsed, the stairs down not accessible. There are doors in each of the walls here, and they decide to check the door to the north. As they open the door, they cover their eyes as the room beyond is filled with daylight. There is a gaunt man sitting with his back to them, looking out to open air, where they would expect a room to be beyond a door, if the layout was identical to that above. There is a bed, a water basin, and a cooking circle here, this man has obviously been here for some time. As they approach to speak with him, he stands and turns, he is gaunt, almost emaciated, the dirty, tattered clerical robes hang loosely from his frame. They ask his name, but quickly determine that he is mute, as is the big warrior that has been joining them. Endrill offers the man some food, which he happily takes. He motions at them, and the party all feels refreshed, their wounds all but healed! Judin starts as the plain sword he was carrying tingles and seems to vibrate. "Here, someone take this," he says, "Not sure, but this thing must be magical it is vibrating, and I don't want it, can't use it really, not my style. I was carrying it for the group, but someone else may benefit from it more than I." They find that, while he cannot talk, the man can read and write, though his wording and script is quite archaic, they are able to communicate. He does not have much he can really them them about this dark god mentioned in the passage above, but he knows it must be defeated somehow. He introduces himself as Shar, and the large warrior, a man he has met on occasion, as Bran. He doesn't know where Bran comes and goes to, and nods and smiles at the story of him appearing out of the painting above. When asked where the tombs are, he motions behind the party then off to the left. The party shares more information with him before taking their leave, with Yolla staying behind with him until they can return for her.

Heading back into the central chamber, the group moves to the SE door, opening it, the room beyond is dark, it is a palpable darkness, seeming to even dim their torches, and a chill is in the air. Being on edge at this strange room, they begin to move cautiously in, to find the door on the opposite wall to see if there are stairs to descend. They get about halfway through the room when, with a roar, a grey skinned humanoid shaped creature, with long claws and teeth, glowing red eyes, and the smell of death assails them. The meele is not long, but it is costly as both Judin and Endrill are struck by the foul creature and feel some of their life-force drain out of them. The creature is felled, and in a rush to leave this room, they find the door opposite and find a spiral stair heading down.
The Dark Ceremony wrote:The stairs leading down are dark, but as the party approaches the bottom of the incline, characters become aware of a ruddy glow emanating from floor level below. After descending several feet further, they will exit into a large room similar in size and shape to the chamber on Level 1. The stairway descends into the alcove in the SE. As each character enters, he or she quickly becomes aware that a temple service of some sort is in progress and feels compelled to quietly join those standing at the back of the congregation.

The congregation fills the areas in the NE, SE, and South alcoves. Wide staircases going down are seen in the recessed areas in the North and South West, while the alcove directly across from them is curtained off from the main chamber with black velvet.

In front of the curtain stand a black-robed priest and his scarlet-clad acolyte. Before them in the center of the room is an elaborately carved hexagonal altar of obsidian, in the place where the center column appears in each of the above levels.

As members of the party watch in fascination, the priest intones a long passage in an unknown tongue while the acolyte chants occasional replies or affirmations. Suddenly the priest seizes the acolyte by hip and shoulder and raises his body high overhead. In another instant, he brings the body down on the altar and buries his fangs in the acolyte’s neck. After taking a long, ceremonial draught for himself, the priest catches the rest of the acolyte’s life blood in a black basin. He then proceeds on a meandering path throughout the congregation, splashing blood on their faces and dipping their hands into the basin. When the supply of blood is used up in about five minutes, the priest utters a strange cry. Suddenly, Endrill begins to walk in a trancelike state toward the altar.
This shocks Bran, Amiri, and Judin out of the effects of the magical compulsion, Bran is able to grab the ranger as she tries to walk through the congregation. The priest screams again, this shocks the rest of the party out of the spell, and also has an effect on many of those other here, at least half of them see the dark priest, scream and run, the others seem to still be in his control and attack the party. Amiri grabs for the plain sword as it was vibrating even more vehemently, and while she can still feel the vibrations when she draws it forth, they do not seem to affect her grip on the blade. Cob pulls out the wand of magic missiles they had received when going to rescue Havrins family and unleashes two missiles at the priest. He howls in outrage as the missiles strike home. Amiri charges the priest, noting its pasty white skin and long fangs. Striking out with the blade the priest howls in agony as it bites deep into him, and bursts out shedding light like the sun. Judin and Bunny are fighting off the humans attacking them, Bunny trying to keep from killing her opponent, and is able to knock him unconscious. Judin shouts at her, "What are you doing, these are willing participants in this foul ceremony, they deserve no mercy!" Bran charges and while Judin and Bunny work on fighting off the congregation, the silent man and Amiri land more telling blows on the priest, Endrill, now free of the charm also swings at the creature, her blade striking, but there is no resistance and it seems to pass harmlessly through him. A look of panic in it's eyes, the priest suddenly changes into a bat and begins to fly away. Cob is able to send the last of the missiles from the wand at the flying creature which ends up felling it. Falling to the ground and transforming back into his humanoid shape, Amiri runs up and repeatedly stabs the creature. At this, the remaining humans turn and flee the chamber. The fallen priest turns into a cloud of gas and seems to be fleeing from them heading towards the velvet curtain, Amiri runs to stand between it and the cloud, over the next 30 or 40 seconds this chase is on until the cloud is able to make it's way into the cracks in the wall and disappear.

"What was it trying to reach behind that curtain?" Juden asks. As the group walks over, they each ponder this, and as Judin opens the curtain, they look upon something so vile, the visage of some dark deity, that they are also struck dumb. Their stomachs churn and they fight down bile, until they gather themselves and regain their composure. Still though, none can speak. The visage of the evil god is carved upon the lid to a stone coffin. Bunny lifts the lid and underneath is the priest! Laying still, with arms crossed over his chest, the creature looks to have been healed of much of the harm dealt to him. This alarms Amiri such that she uses the blade to chop off the head of the priest. At this Cob pulls the remainder of the creature from the coffin. Pantomiming in confusion, the party is not clear on what they are looking at. As they try different hand gestures to determine what to do next, Cob notes that the headless body is starting to claw it's way over towards the head. Amiri again stabs the priest multiple times thinking, "WHY...WONT...YOU...JUST...DIE?????" After a few minutes of trying to get each other to understand, they finally get clear to bring the thing up to Shar to see if the cleric knows what to do. They drag the body upstairs and when exposed to the sunlight it seems to wither and eventually give off wisps of smoke until it finally disintegrates. Still unable to speak, they resolve to head back down in search of the resting place of the bride and groom...

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Re: Darkness Rising

Post by koralas »

7/30/2017 - Session 7 (time-shortened session)
O.Y. 1946, Uthdain 14 - Darkenfold Forest
[Cast of Characters updated]

Climbing down the stairs the company returns to the level of the dark altar. Looking around one more time they find nothing of interest and head down the stairwell in the southern portion of the chamber. The chamber they descend into is roughly hexagonal in shape, much like a couple of the levels above, except there is no central column present here. As they reach the lower portion of the stairs their torch light reveals a large number of skeletons, forming a guard for an aisle leading into the darkness. They stand at at attention, swords clasped in their hands, point down. Walking down the aisle, being wary of the skeletons, they spy a pair of thrones with a man and woman seated on them, they look real but do not stir as the light reaches them. Suddenly the skeletons come to life and attack the party. Cobb pulls out his holy symbol and calls upon the power of his god, driving a large number of the undead back from him, many disappearing into the darkness. The others fight desperately as the skeletons continue to come for them, many appearing from the darkness. There seems to be little threat to the party as the skeletons fall quickly. The party spills some of their own blood, but finally the last of the skeletons fall. Taking a deep breath, they find they are still unable to speak.

Approaching the thrones, the figures on them are recognized from the dream they all had, this is the couple they saw married, then carried on biers near the end. The woman is the one that was pleading for them to come, and the man is he who shook his head while looking at the characters. Now they stand, looking imploringly at each of the party members, they make motions holding their hands out in front of them, and pulling them in to their chests. The party looked on a bit perplexed at first and then they understood, the pair was asking them to thrust a sword into their bodies. They do this and there is a bright light, the walls and floor shakes for a moment, then a sound is heard behind them. They turn and see Shar descending the stairs. He smiles and speaks to them, "Thank you my friends, you have expelled the dark god from this chapel, and freed the spirits of Owen and Andrea. They have gone to their final rest with their gods, some of whom you have already met, and the others now stand ready to come and thank you. But first, beneath the throne is a reward. I know the minions of the dark god tried to take it at one time but were unable. Take what you will of it, but the other items from the altars above must be returned." Beneath they find a large trove of treasure including some magical scrolls, a magical hammer, shield, and platemail armor, along with two necklaces and two rings that do not show magical aura's to the detect magic spell that was cast. One of the scrolls contains some illusionist spells, while the other turns out to be a curse, and Cobb is afflicted with some rotting disease as he reads it. Shar is unable to help, but then it is remembered the ring that granted wishes, it is used to cure the cleric, but then is held without power. The gods of Owen and Andrea then appear, and with another bright flash of light, the party returns to the first level of the chapel, and take part of a funeral procession, interring the couple into their tombs. The gods smile at the characters and the one that looks like a farmer speaks to them, and tells them the history of the dark gods minions slaying the couple but placing a curse upon them so their spirits would be held with their mortal forms. The priest below was a Vampire, and while weak for his kind, was still able to overcome the chapels defenses, and despoiled the tombs of the Owen and Andrea. Placing them on the thrones below, drawing strength from them to beguile the commoners of nearby communities, those that were present at the dark ceremony the party beheld, and almost lost a member to. The vampire being slain did not free the chapel from the taint of evil, that only happened once you had severed their spirits from their bodies. None had seen that when they could not take the treasure below the thrones, that instead they placed a cursed scroll there. But, you had the means to restore your friend to health.

The characters asked about the nature of the items found, and were informed of the strength of the magical weapons and armor found. They are free to take all that they had found in the chapel except those items from the altars below. They replace the items and gather up Yolla, the rig a travois to haul their treasure, this will slow them significantly, but such is their due.

Resting to heal, they leave the chapel and again journey on the path towards the south-lands...

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Location: Arizona and St Louis

Re: Darkness Rising

Post by Treebore »

I can see why you do such write ups with how much time passes between some of your sessions. Glad to see its still going on!
Since its 20,000 I suggest "Captain Nemo" as his title. Beyond the obvious connection, he is one who sails on his own terms and ignores those he doesn't agree with...confident in his journey and goals.
Sounds obvious to me! -Gm Michael

Grand Knight Commander of the Society.

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Re: Darkness Rising

Post by koralas »

Treebore wrote:I can see why you do such write ups with how much time passes between some of your sessions. Glad to see its still going on!
Thanks, yes, challenges at times getting everyone together, we try to get at least one in each month, preferably two or more if we can. We are scattered around the country, and some travel quite a bit for work. August was a challenge with GenCon in there (we do a full week of gaming so we lose two possible weekends unless we all get together the weekend prior), and September there was this little storm in the southeast... Anyhow, last nights session was good and I will be posting it today.

Posts: 525
Joined: Sun Aug 26, 2007 7:00 am

Re: Darkness Rising

Post by koralas »

9/23/2017 - Session 8
O.Y. 1946, Uthdain 14 through the Feast of Unmaking 3 - Darkenfold Forest, Guarded Hills - Town of Hemelsville
[Cast of Characters updated]

Battered and bruised, the party leaves the chapel after sunrise and returns to the path heading south through the mountains. They rejoice as the lands continue to descend and they see the forest ahead, the Elkhorn Deeps, here they should have respite from the evil humanoids as the region is oft hunted by elves, and the Dryads are even beginning to have a resurgence with other fey returning. As they follow the trail, it seems to become more overgrown as they move to the south. Endrill once spied a party of elves watching them from a distance, though they did not approach, they did obviously take note of the group, and seemed to point in their direction a number of times. There seemed to be a discussion among them, a bit heated, but one finally made a chopping motion with his arm and the others stopped. They watched a while longer them moved out. The journey through the forest was thankfully uneventful. Moving slowly with the horde of treasure, they relied mostly one foraging for sustenance, both Endrill and Amiri returning with enough to provide good meals for a few day on each hunting foray. When they come across a stream, running cool and crisp, they refilled their skins. The dread weight they carried from the chapel slowly seeps away as the tension seeps away. Yolla, still in deep mourning even seemed a bit brighter as they drew closer to the coastline. The reach a more well worn path, actually of such good quality you could call it a road, heading east and west. "This should ease our passage, and with our burden that will be a welcome relief, let's follow this way," Cob exclaimed. Indeed, their pace did quicken as they headed to the east, though still much slower than they would have gone if not overburdened as they were. Along the road they had passed near to some small settlements, and even a way station, few travellers are on the road though, and little news of import is learned along the way.

It takes about a week from the time they left the chapel until the way ahead seemed to ascend a bit, Yolla becomes more excited, but a shadow also looms over her face, "We are getting close now, I'll be..." she chokes up a bit, "home soon." As they grow closer, Yolla tells the party of the town, how it has grown since the Sorceress Mailina had come and built a tower there. She petitioned the Senate and finally won at least some small accord, the Senate is funding the construction of a keep, not far from her estate. Another days travel and they see some fields ahead, well tended, and recently tilled for crops. She tells them of an estate just past hers, as you head to town, that has been abandoned for quite some time. The locals believe the place to be cursed or haunted since all that have taken ownership have died under mysterious and unexplained circumstances.

As they continue down the road Yolla at first smiles before her face darkens, pointing forward she says, "This is my home," as tears begin to fall. It is a bittersweet moment for the halfling, home at least after her ordeal, yet facing her life now without Brandel. "Come let us take some rest, I must pen letters to... to... out families to let them know what has happened. You are welcome to stay at my estate, though the Wayfair Inn is new, and if you wish to stay there, there will be no hard feelings." Yolla's estate is of a good size, plenty of fields to provide for their family, with plenty to trade. A small paddock for horses and a some cattle can be see near the barn, and pen for pigs and coop for chickens is also seen. A small pond stands nearby, with some troughs leading to the paddock for watering the animals, a counter-levered winch with a large bucket on the end can be easily worked to move the water. The manor house itself is well appointed and has enough rooms that each character has their own place. Yolla gathers the servants for a meeting, after which they come out, obviously distraught, and crying over the loss of the master of the house. Yolla again repeats her offer for the characters to stay, and they thankfully accept. "There is also the matter of your payment," she motions to one of the servants who opens a small chest, filled with 2,500SP. "I cannot thank you enough for saving me, if only Brandel cou... could be here. But, no, you did what you could, please I must go rest. You have but to ask the servants for anything you need." And with that she turns and leaves. The characters are lead to their rooms, and are shown where the baths are. Their traveling clothes are taken for cleaning, and the next evening there are some new clothes laid out for them.

Amiri breaks the silence the next morning as they gathered for breakfast, "That bed was bad, the floor much better, to soft. Just as we will get if we eat like this," she waves her hand over the table, "not that I am complaining!" she laughs, crumbs spewing from her mouth as she does so. Wiping her mouth with the sleeve of her tunic, "Yolla, anyplace here we can spar with others, maybe someone good with sword to teach new trick?" Yolla says that Veril, the town constable, trains the militia, and then there are the guard up at the construction site, but she doesn't know what they do there. Cob asks about temples, to which their host says there are some small chapels in town, but the temple of Posiden (also called Ea-Lor) is the main center of worship here. Up in the eves of the forest, the druids practice the old religion, and the folk to the north of town revere there teachings at least as much as that of Ea-Lor. After breakfast the party decides to head into town, first stopping at the tower of Mailina to see if she can help Cob learn more of his magic, and see if there is anything of worth that she would part with, or that she could make for the party. "

There is another man there, talking with one of the apprentices, handing him a small package and receiving payment. "Alas, no, your skill with the arcane arts is far different from mine, and I fear I would be of little help. But in thanks for your rescue of Yolla, please feel free to use the apprentice's workshop and library to see if it will be of any help. Normally would not allow this but for other wizards of note and their apprentices, and that at a cost," she smiles, "but this once you may be free to use it for now. Know that the end of the month my tower will close at sundown, I have the culmination of some research to complete, and none shall be allowed entry but my apprentices." Cob thanks her as his eyes glitter at the prospect of having a workshop to use. "As for your other queries, I am not in the habit of selling to those I do not know and respect, but perhaps we could work out some minor boons, it would be good for some of my more advanced apprentices. This will have to wait until after my experiments are completed though."

"Oh, one more thing," Cob says, "This wand is empowered to call forth magical missile, but it seems to be drained of any more power. Is there perchance a way to imbue it with magical energies such that it would again function?" He hold forth the magical wand.

Taking it, Mailina says, "I will have one of my apprentices take a look at this tonight, though again, if we find that it can be so empowered, it will have to wait until after the start of Feast of Unmaking at the earliest." With this the party departs.

Heading to the Town Hall, the party notes the building is used for many purposes, from council hall, to jail, the offices of the mayor, and a small medical facility. Entering they talk to Veril and strike a bargain to use the training grounds, with his tutelage at a cost of 500sp/week. A steep price with the proceeds all going to the town, with most being funneled to the construction of the keep. Despite many grumblings, the group soon determines that they will pay the cost asked, better to have good will with the town, and it's constable than the coin holding them back and slowing them down. "Let me pay my thanks for your help with Yolla, for myself and the town. The couple had only recently come to live, but Brandel was here often during the construction of their manor. Many in town are saddened by his death, though happy at Yolla's safe return. It will be a pleasure to spar with you and test your mettle." The group asks about the old abandoned estate, and the constable says, "Yes, the place is cursed or something, there have been many unexplained deaths there." When they say they had heard those stories and thought they might investigate the place for the town, he tells them, "Unfortunately no, the Council has held that none should go in the house without their leave." Asking if they can speak with the council about this they are told, "Perhaps, they are to meet during the Feast of the Unmaking, you can petition them then." Thanking him they leave.

The next week passes fairly quickly, a good camaraderie is built with Veril, his skill is better than that of the PC's, but their muscle strength returns, and the quick twitch muscles improve under his guidance. Cob perhaps the lesser of his compatriots as he would leave early to work on his studies in Mailina's tower. While there he scribes the Silent Image and Obscuring Mists spells on the scroll found into his spell book, and researches a new spell that will allow him to scribe in the Invisibility and Guards and Wards spells as well, if he chooses to do so, since they are beyond his ability to utilize or transcribe. This new spell, Write, will insure that his hand is steady, insuring spells he can utilize will scribe unerringly, and allowing those spells beyond his ability to be written without error. With each spell he transcribes, the writing for it fades from the scroll.

Uthdain 30th, one of the apprentices approaches Cob, "Sir, unfortunately this wand will not accept any additional arcane energy," he points out some small cracks in the wood, "If we try to imbue any power, these will foil those attempts at best, at worst it could cause a missile to go awry." Cob nods and thanks the young woman. "Also, we are reaching the time of the experiment," at this a man enters and speaks with another of the apprentices, delivering another package, he looks over as he hears the woman continue, "I am afraid you will have to leave," as she escorts Cob out of the tower.

Cob returns to the road and begins walking to the west, after about 5-10 minutes the sky lights up with the brightness of day, and a second later a great thunderclap hits him, louder than just about anything he can remember, as he feels the force of the blow. Turning, there is a column of orange with roiling clouds of smoke above it ascending from the top of the tower. Stunned for a moment, he starts to run back towards the tower. Those at Yolla's hear the sound of the explosion, and seeing the mushroom cloud and glow of the fire coming from the east, they quickly run in that direction as well. As Cob draws near, he hears the sounds of others coming from the direction of town, there is a man at the end of the path leading from the road to the tower, waving people in. Veril is heard yelling, "You crazy old man, get out of hear, weak fool!" Coming out of the tower, emerging from the smoke, is the Mayor, Greldor, covered in soot. One of the buckets of water being drawn from a well is handed off to someone that takes the Mayor aside, and helps him clean up, but the sputtering and coughing of the man cannot be easily quelled. The mass of the fires dies down, and Veril exits the tower. A man runs up to him and points at Cob, "That is the man I told you about, I saw him leaving the tower just before this happened!"

Veril looks that the man a bit exasperated, "Are you sure?"

The man nods, "I even heard one of the apprentices tell him to get out, I know he had something to do with this!"

He approaches the party, "Cobb, I am sorry, but you will have to come with me. Your friends can take your possessions, but you are being accused of this crime, I have no choice." The party protests, but Cobb calms them and says that he will submit to this. He knows that he is innocent and believes this will be proven out. Veril turns toward the other man who was turning away, "Wait Erik, you were in the tower just before this you say?" The man turns and nods. "Then you must come with me as well, you are also going to be held until the truth of this matter can be discerned." The man protests. "Enough!," shouts Veril, "You are as much at suspect as this man," he waves at Cob. "You claim to have seen him in the tower, thus you also were in the tower and could be at fault, be silent." The man begins to protest, but Veril pulls his hand back, the man cringes and is cowed.

Shouts come from the tower, "There is one that is alive!" On hearing that a couple of men rush in with a stretcher, when they come down there is a man, severely burned and unconcious, "We found him pinned against the wall, a cabinet on him, it is a miracle, but it must have saved him from the worst of the blast!" Cob has them stop before they leave and casts a cure light wounds spell on him, which soothes some of his wound, but the man remains unconscious. They rush him to the town hall...

Bunny asks Veril, "Can we go in and check the tower?" He denies the request.

Juden states, "But he is our friend we want to prove his innocence, can we stand watch around the tower at least?"

Getting in Judens face, Veril raises his voice, sounding much as he does when instructing at the training grounds, "NO! Your friend is accused yes, that puts at least some suspicion about yourself and these others," as he waves at the rest of the party. "Do you think we could trust you or your opinions in this matter? No, we could not. Perhaps that was part of the plan all along. If you are found near the tower you will be arrested yourself! Now go back to Yolla's, and don't even think about leaving town." As he is staring into Juden's eyes during this, they seem to tell a different story, like he doesn't mean what he is actually saying and want the characters to stay and watch the tower. Juden puts on a mask of anger, and waves to the rest of the party to leave. When out of earshot he tells the party his suspicions. And they plan to set a watch for the remainder of the night. Amiri will take the first watch, and Endrill will take the second. The night passes, with still a bustle of activity, the bucket brigade continuing to hand up buckets, the fire is out for the most part. Nothing seems to stand out to the pair as they report back to their friends.

After taking a brief rest, the group travels in to the Town Hall and talks with Cob, when Veril comes in he says, "My friends, I am sorry for this, I truly believe you are all innocent, but the accusations made required that we hold Cob, but as Erik also told that he was in the tower prior to the blast, he is still here as well. I am sure once we can complete our investigations, you will be exonerated. I ask only for your patience a little longer." They discuss who might have had motive, but Veril does not know any that would have done something like this. He tells them, "Chulto is still unconscious, the clerics have worked what healing arts they have but have not gotten him to awaken. They fear the blow to his head may have caused sever injuries and do not know if he will be able to recover. They cannot say one way or another, they would have thought he would have at least stirred, but nothing as yet." Asking for permission to perform an investigation of their own, Veril agrees and hopes they can find something to help get to the bottom of this. Perhaps it is all just a horrible accident, Rufus will be investigating the tower to see if he can find anything that may have triggered this, or been a catalyst to make the experiment to go awry. He also relates that many of the apprentices often visited the town and held some friendships outside the tower. They ask about investigating the abandoned estate again and are again rebuffed, "Perhaps when Senator Haslithon arrives the Council will meet and you can get permission then." Looking quizzically at him, "Oh, we sent out messenger pigeons last night, and I am sure when he hears of this, the Senator will come with all haste. He was a great friend of Mailina, once colleagues in the Senate before she left."

The group proceeds to the temple of Poseiden, speaking with the priests, they ask if there is anything that can be done to perhaps bring Mailina back from the dead, and they sadly state that no priest of that power is present here. Juden asks about the possibility of speaking with the dead, he had seen that done once at the monastery he had studied at. The cleric stated that he wish it could happen, but that this caused the spirit of the dead to be again linked to their corpse, but the damage caused by the explosion and resulting fires caused damage to them that makes this impossible. The party thanks the priests and leave, discussing their next steps.

It is decided that Amiri and Juden will head into the old fisher town down in the chasm that forms a cove where the docks are built along the Silt Bay, while Endril and Bunny go talk with Rufus. The Ranger and Knight arrive at the pavilion that Rufus works from, but only one would be allowed in to talk with him. Bunny enters and Rufus motions for her to sit and asks what she has come for. Tossing her hair the Knight says, "Well, I was wondering if you had a chance to investigate the tower yet." He tells her that he has not, but once they say the last of the hot spots are out he will be heading up. "Did you know the Sorceress?" she asks. He responds that he did, not well, but that the former Senator had lobbied for this keep to be built, so he has had many discussions with her about the placement, and how to best work for the protection of the people here. "Anyone that you know that might have had ill will with her?" To which he replied, "No, oh sure she had those in the Senate that were opposed to her in many things, including this keep, but none that would go this far." Bunny thanks the man as she leaves, and offers her aid, as well as that of the others of the company should he have need.

Juden and Amiri head down to the old original part of the town, now little more than slums where the independent fishermen live, as well as many of the laborers of the town, they find there are two taverns in the area, one known simply as "Tavern" the other is the Slippery Eel. When they learn of the two, the look at each other and say at the same time, "The Slippery Eel." Wending through the streets of the old village, they note the place is dirty, the people look to be poor, and the smell of fish pervades the area. They reach the Eel and take a seat at the bar. The barkeep, Ingvol, looks at them, "A bit fancy for the Eel aren't ya? Not that I mind we get the fancy folk here at times, the prices are lower here," he winks at them, "and ya kin find some action here that ya might not up above, eh?" he laughs. "What is yer pleasure?" To which the pair ask for ale. The man grabs a couple of mugs from behind the bar, looking in them he blows in one of them and taps it upside down on the bar before taking the top off of a barrel and dipping the mugs in. Setting them before the pair he asks for 5 copper. Looking at the drinks dubiously, Juden takes a small sip from his, while the brew is strong, it tastes horrible. The pair talk with Ingvol, asking about the Sorceress and if anyone might have a grudge with her. "Ah, terrible that is that she died, but then again, she was the one responsible bringing those stiff's in here with that keep, so perhaps it isn't so bad after all. But no, I don't know anyone who would have done dat." They ask a few more questions, not getting anything much of worth, they leave, leaving their mugs full.

Heading back to Marik's Tavern up near the bridge over the river in the upper portion of the town, where they are to meet with Bunny and Endrill, they enter to see the pair already seated at a table. They join them and order ale and lunch, the wench, a comely blonde brings it to them. They ask her about the town and the Sorceress, she is distraught over the loss of the woman, "She was kind and often would help others in town." When they ask about the abandoned estate, fear comes over her face, "That place is haunted, the ghosts there kill people you know, I would never go near that place." They finish their lunch and exit the tavern, Endrill notices a bird flying into the coop above the Town Hall. The group decides to head to the townhall, in the hopes that they can hear word of the tidings brought by the bird. This one had returned from a keep in northern Brindsium, they are sending troops in for additional security, as well as Senator Haslithon, whom was spending time for the festival with the lord of the keep, he should arrive by ship in a few days. The group pretends to have come in to talk with Cob when Veril comes down reading the message and relating what it says to them. As they are talking the healer comes in to tell Veril that Kerin, the surviving apprentice, had awakened, he can talk with him, but for a short time.

The apprentice when queried relates what he remembered, "We were working the rituals when something odd happened. Chulto, showed up in the chamber. He wasn't supposed to be there, he was sent out somewhere by the Sorceress, where exactly I can't remember. It was strange, there was some sort shimmering around him. He hit me as he jumped onto the dias, it knocked me off the platform and as he impacted my mistress, grabbing for the Orb she was working the ritual on, there was a bright flash and I felt heat, and slammed into the wall before everything went black. And I don't remember anything until waking up now." Veril asked a few other questions, finally asking why Chulto might have done this, but the apprentice said he didn't know, Chulto was soon to complete his apprenticeship, maybe he just got power hungry, but he doesn't know. The healing woman came back in and told them they had to leave, that Kerin needs his rest.

As they are leaving Bunny asked about Chulto and if there were any in town he was friendly with, to which Veril said, "He frequented with many in town, but he did seem to take a special liking to Marik's daughter, Graetta. And I know he spent time in the workers camp at the construction site." He doesn't have any other details to share with them about the apprentice.

Both Cob and Erik are freed from their cells and Erik looks at Cob, apologizing, "I am sorry sir, what I saw and heard, and the explosion happening just after you left..." He holds his head down, Cob accepts his apology and tells him that he will hold no grudge, he understood why that would be seen as suspicious. Erik leaves as they talk further with Veril before leaving the Town Hall.

Talking with the others, perhaps the wench serving them might have been this girl Veril spoke of, so they decided to return to the tavern. The young blond was happy seeing them return, "Oh back so soon," she smiled thinking of the tip the party left the last time they were here. Bunny asks her about Chulto, and the girl brightens even more with a broad smile, "Chulto is a good friend of mine, he is not in town though, the Sorceress sent him about west to see some sage, Her.. Har... Harold or something like that, he left a few weeks ago and was to be gone a couple of months, I was sad to see him go, but all things considered, I am glad he wasn't here." She covers her mouth, "Oh that sounds terrible, I just mean if he was here he would probably be d... d... no I can't even say it." Bunny relates what was learned from Kerin, and the girl breaks down shouting, "NO! THAT CAN'T BE TRUE!!! NOT CHULTO, HE WAS KIND AND WOULD NEVER HURT ANYONE!" As she continues her father comes over and tries to console her, Bunny asks him about the young man, "I though he was a good man, he and my Graetta spent much time together, he had even recently come to me to ask, no I can't say that now." Bunny tries to pry, but he holds up a hand and says, "Not now! Let me take her back."

When he leaves another young man walks over, "May I join you for a moment?" When the party says yes, he says, "My name is Jorus, I work up at Brek's Ranch, I could not help but overhear Graetta's dismay. She loves Chulto, but he is not the good man he pretends to be. I caught him once, just outside the ranch, he was tearing a live chicken apart, slowly, a sadistic look on his face as he did so. I confronted him on this and took the chicken and broke it's neck to put the poor thing out of it's misery. He kept everyone fooled, no one would believe me, perhaps they will now." He says this with no glee, but stating it with a seriousness that bordered on sadness. "That scum used to spend quite a bit of time down in the old town, who knows what he did down there, but I bet he fed his darker desires there. I feel sorry for that young lady, to have her dreams torn from her by this foul creature." They party questioned him on Chulto's current whereabouts, but he said he hadn't seen him for a while and wasn't sure where he might be. Though he said, "Mailina did often send her apprentices out on various tasks and they could be gone for months at times." After a bit of additional talking, he states that he needs to get back to work, the party thanked him.

The group again decides to split with Bunny, Cob, and Endril going back to the construction site to talk with the workers that Chulto might have befriended, while Juden and Amiri were going to head back down to talk to Ingvol at the Slippery Eel again.

Reaching the workers camp, they find that the workers here have frequent turnover, but two have been around for some time, and were often seen with Chulto. Seeking them out they ask the pair about the apprentice and learn much of the same, that the pair was surprised that he would do something like this, when asked about where he was sent to, they said that he was heading to a town called Kandus to see an astrologer but they could not remember his name. They haven't seen him in a while so they thought he had gone there. Giving the pair some silver, they grin and as the party is walking away they hear one say, "Lets not tell anyone else, this is for us..." The pair then decides to scout out the abandoned estate before returning to the tavern to meet their friends. The place is in disrepair, a pair of doors, the more ornate on the sea side of the manor, with a smaller entry on a cracked and overgrown patio. The windows are exceptionally dirty, but all are intact. Where they can see into the house they see rooms in disarray. They search to see if they can find any evidence of recent passage, but the grounds covered with weeds, tall grasses, and dried leaves, they find no evidence of such. Bunny thinks that is a good sign that perhaps the house does not have anything to do with the explosion as they had begun to think, Endrill sighs and says, "I know you are not very wise in the ways of the forests, but conditions like this are extremely easy to use to cover your tracks. So even if someone did come this way, if they knew what they are doing, they would be able to hide their passage easily." Bunny looked crestfallen, and says, "Then unless we want to go in, there is nothing else we can do here now." Cob says they should not go inside, and Endrill nods her head and motions back towards town.

The half-orc and monk make their way back to the Slippery Eel. Ingvol sees them and laughs, "Did ya realize you didn't drink yer ale and come back fer it?" The pair laughs with him and orders another pair of ale's and asks the barkeep if they knew Chulto. His face grows a bit more serious, "Yes, he was here quite often. He enjoyed the girls you know?" He winks and smiles. When asking about where he might be, he said that he didn't know, but called over one of the wenches, "Sarha here knew him, honey come here."

The girl walked up swinging her hips, looking the pair of adventurers over, she smiled, "Oh are you a couple, do you come as a package?"

Ingvol growls, "Quiet, they are not here for that kind of business, they are looking for information, do you know where Chulto went?" She stammered and stuttered and when a silver coin was produced she said that he went out east somewhere, maybe even all the way to Brindsium City. Juden and Amiri look at each other and Amiri asks if the girl knew who he was going to see, to which she replied, "Someone called Boras I think." Amiri said she knew she was lying and sent her away.

Ingvol scowled at the girl, "Why did you lie? We will discuss this later..." he waved the girl away. "If Frieda was here she'd know more, she was his favorite, if you know what I mean." he give a lurid grin. Asking where Frieda is he says, "I don't know she didn't come in to work a few days back and I haven't seen her since." Seeing another girl, "Ah he was with Helga before, and she is a good friend of Frieda, Helga, come here." When she was near he asked, "Helga, I know I've asked before, but these two are also looking for information on Chulto, and we think Frieda may know more. Do you know where she is?"

"No," the wench says, "I wish I did, I am worried about her." Amiri asks about Chulto, "He was scum, you know, he liked the rough stuff, and that wasn't for me, not for any amount. Frieda seemed to like it, though I tried to talk her out of it she wouldn't listen." When asked if she knew anything else about Chulto, "Well Frieda did say he was going to see someone out west, the guy's name is Heirald, some smart guy or something." The girl didn't have any more information for them, they gave her a silver piece and left the Eel, again, their mugs still full of ale.

On their way out of the slums Juden notices that a figure in a hooded black cloak is following them. He alerts Amiri and they decide to continue to see if the person follows them out of the slums. Before they exit the area they are assailed by a pair of thugs, brandishing short swords the thugs attack, but the monk and barbarian quickly dispatch them, but the man in the hood appeared behind them again and throws a dagger that sinks into the back of the monk. The monks spins and takes a few steps towards the would-be assassin, then suddenly his head spins as the world does before his eyes, he sinks to a knee and begins vomiting profusely. Amiri didn't seem to notice this and rushes after the man that had ducked around a corner. When she reaches that corner she finds that the man had disappeared. Returning to the monk, she helps him walk as his strength has faded from him, as he continues to heave every dozen or so steps. Getting him back to the medical facilities at the Town Hall. The healer takes the dagger and smells and tastes the glistening portion of the blade that did not sink into Judens back. She makes a face of disgust and reaches into a cabinet and tosses some herbs to an aid, "Steep that is some water to make a tea." She grabs some other ingredients and takes them to a mortise and pestle, working them together to make a poultice that she applies to the monk's wound, black tentacles extending out over his back from the puncture, before attaching a bandage. The monk feels a sting, the the antiseptic effect of the poultice numbs the pain, and drinking the tea the nausea passes. "He will be weak for a day or two, but should heal up quickly after that."

Kerin's eyes go wide when he sees the dagger, "That looks like Chulto's dagger, see there on the pommel, that is his families crest."

Amiri looks at him as Veril walks in, asking what happened. Amiri relates the story before asking the constable to let their friends know, and to have them meet back at Yolla's place...

Posts: 525
Joined: Sun Aug 26, 2007 7:00 am

Re: Darkness Rising

Post by koralas »

10/01/2017 - Session 9
O.Y. 1946, Feast of Unmaking 3 - Darkenfold Forest, on the shores of the Silt Bay, Town of Hemelsville
[Cast of Characters updated]

Returning to Yolla's after Judins curing from the poison, the party discusses their thoughts on what to do next. They are set on trying to find the murderer of the Sorceress Mailina, and continue to talk through their thoughts on the abandoned house. Cobb uses some of his curative magic on the monk, bring him closer to full health, though Juden still feels quite weak. They take to their beds for the night, and in the morning after taking breakfast, Juden returns to the medic to have his wound checked. The woman is quite surprised at the rate of healing, "Oh, that was my friend Cobb's doing, he is a cleric you know." The woman nods and changed the bandage as Juden asks, "Where is Kerin, I don't see him." She tells him that he was released, he insisted that he could not stay here another night. He is currently holding a room at the Wayfair Inn. "I also noticed that a lot of people have been coming in to the town hall, and heading to the room over there, what is going on?"

"That, oh they are going to have the Council Meeting, Veril and Greldor insisted on it." When Juden asked if he could go in she said, "No, only townsfolk are allowed entry, unless others are summoned by the Council." She finishes up, "There, now you are on your way, the effects of the poison should diminish quite quickly now I think. Off with you, I am going to head into the meeting." And with that Juden returned to Yolla's estate.

Once back, he lets everyone know what he had learned and someone recommends that they ask Yolla to attend the meeting to see what is going on. The halfling readily agrees, "It is the least I could do for you all," and heads off. The group goes about cleaning their gear, taking whetstones to their blades, and oiling their weapons to protect against the salt air. After a few hours Yolla returns with Veril and they learn that they have been given permission to investigate the old abandoned estate, though the Council insists that they do so at their own peril. Councilman Heinrich was quite adamant about not allowing anyone to enter "That place of death" but was overruled by the others. Thanking the constable, they gather up their gear to head to the manor.

Coming to the estate they see that the wall surrounding the manor house is crumbling, and in many places has already collapsed. The grounds are overgrown, and the manor come close to the cliffside about 70' above the waters of the Silt Bay. The front of the house is facing towards the bay, not inland, which is a bit odd they think. As they approach they see that the windows are still intact by mostly covered by grit and grime, making views into the house quite difficult. They know of the two entrances to the place, thanks to the scouting work they had previously done, and decide that the sea-side entrance is the way they should proceed.

Lacking any one with the skills of a rogue, Amiri scans the door, she shrugs, "Looks safe enough to me," and put her shoulder to the door until it swings open with the loud moaning of rusted hinges.
Entry Hall wrote:The door opens to a dirty, musty hall. The walls of this area are bare, though some broken up pieces of wood give testament to a small table or chair that once stood there before it was destroyed. Ahead a corridor leads deeper into the house, while there is a passageway to the west in the center of that wall. To the east, a staircase rises to the next floor which shows a hallway on the north and western sides of the area overlooking the entry hall. While the stairway looks safe enough the balcony rail shows several breaks along it's length. Beneath the staircase a corridor continues to the east.
Entering cautiously, the party looks about and determines to head to the western passage. Down the hallway three doors can be seen, one directly at the end of the hall to the west, and one on the north wall almost at the end of the hall, the third on the south wall, just this side of the northern door. They move into the hallway and investigate first the southern door. Amiri smiles, giving the door a clean bill of health before opening it, again to the protest of the hinges.
The Library wrote:The room has bookshelves lining the walls, most of them are broken, but those that remain intact are empty. A pile of books lies on the floor, the remains of what once must have been the library the likes of which are seldom seen in a private residence. On the north wall to the east of the door a fireplace can be seen, dirt and detritus covers the grill.
The barbarian snears seeing the contents, "Nothing of import here, just some books," she says with disgust in her voice. "Let move on!"

"No," Cobb cried, "Let me look at those first," he waves towards the books. Going through them, many just fall apart as he handles them, many remain whole, some bug eaten, some with water damage. Three tomes stand out to him, "The Magical Properties of Gemstones" another of similar style "The Magical Properties of Herbs and Flowers" and the last a tome labeled, "The Metaphysics of Mathematics". "These look interesting," the half-elf states, "I'm going to take these with us, they may come in handy one day." A snort comes from Amiri as she turns towards the door.

"Wait, one more thing," Juden says as he approaches the fireplace, he ducks inside and looks around, he hits the level opening the flue and a cascade of dirt and debris comes falling out. "Ugh, that wasn't pleasant," the monk says as he brushes himself off.

Checking the next door, it, much likes the others, could use the hinges to be replaced, they are a bit worse off than the others.
Study wrote:Beneath the windows on the other side of the room a large desk can be seen. It has three drawers, the two to either side stand open, but the center drawer is still closed. The desk is riddled with damp rot, most likely a leak in the window above. On a closer look the two open drawers were obviously forced open. On the south wall a fireplace can bee seen.
Looking in the open drawers, they are not surprise to find them empty. Juden looks up in the fireplace, this time backing out a bit before opening the flue, more dirt pours out of the trap into the fireplace. The center drawer is locked, but using their daggers, the drawers face quickly falls apart. Inside are found papers about the purchase of chemicals and laboratory equipment, but nothing of real value. "Bah, more scribbling," exclaims the barbarian, 'nothing of use, what were these people?"

Bunny says, "Lets try to pull the desk from the wall!" She offers to do it, and grabs the desk, as she pulls the desk top crumbles. So they decide to try and move it together, and as the do so, Juden sees something rolling around, but before he can say anything, a vial rolls out the back from under the central drawer. Moving with incredible speed he dives and catches the vial before it hits the floor. It is filled with a watery rose-colored liquid. "Wow, what a catch," Bunny exclaims! The barbarian on the other side of the desk grunts and winks at the monk.

Nothing else of value being found, they open the door at the end of the hall.
Living Area wrote:This large room is empty, but for a pile of refuse in the south east portion of the room. A door stands in the northern wall.
Entering the room, Juden moves to search the refuse, as he does so he pulls his hands back when he sees the large, rusty nails in the pile. Using the end of his staff, he doesn't find anything of value, so he turns to the fireplace, only to be disappointing once again. Amiri moves towards the door, but before she gets there a loud voice comes from above, "Welcome fools... Welcome to your DEATH!" followed by maniacal laughing. Looking up they see a set of lips on the ceiling, realizing that it is an illusion, Cobb lets the others know that it is harmless. The door to the north leads out to the patio they had seen while scouting the area previously.

Returning to the entry hall, they make their way north noting two doors, one on the eastern wall about 10' up the corridor with another on the western wall about 5' past that. The corridor continues ahead and turns to the east, on the north wall at that junction is another door. Deciding to first examine the door to the left, they check it again as best they can, but find no traps, and open the door.
Dining Room wrote:A long table lies ruined in the center of this room, with a single chair against the wall to the west between two windows. This chair is also broken with a heap of broken china on the other side of the northern window in the corner. A fireplace lies in the south-east corner of the room.
Checking under the table and the fireplace they find nothing, and the barbarian appears to be getting frustrated. The group wants to head to the room to the north, but the barbarian decides otherwise and stomps off to the eastern door, barely even giving it a glance she forces it open.
Parlor wrote:The door opens revealing a fireplace in the south west corner of the room, standing in front of it are what were a pair of stuffed chairs, though they are ripped open and the stuffing scattered about the floor. The frames look to be in descent shape. A table, broken as has been the other furniture seen in this place, lies in a pile along the northern wall.
Growling, "Is there nothing of value in this place!? And if the murderers of the witch are here, where are they, we haven't seen any evidence of anyone in this gods forsaken place!"

"Lets take a look anyway, there has to be something here, I just know it," Endrill states.

Juden sighs, "I don't know why I bother," as he walks over to the fireplace and sticks his head in looking for... And as he does so a large spider drops onto his head, trying to bite, but as the monk pulls away, the spider sinks it's fangs into his headband. Reacting quickly, Amiri tries to flick the spider off of Juden's head, with her two-handed sword, she just barely misses cutting into his scalp, and does manage to cut a couple of the legs off of the arachnid, but also shears a piece of his topknot. Juden tries to swat at the thing, using his staff to scrape along his head, but not being able to see the creature he misses. The spider bites again, this time it fangs sink into the monks scalp, but did not penetrate enough to cause it's poison to take effect. Being more methodical now, the party is able to kill the spider, but not before taking another chuck out of the monks topknot. Shaken, Juden begins to walk out of the room waving the rest to join him before he stops and scratches his head, "You know, I never did actually get a look in the chimney." And he returns. Searching around he finds a hidden nook and retrieves a small metal box from it. Something rattles within, but the box is locked.

Amiri smiles, "Ah, something at least, here let me try to open it," she says as she swings her great sword in a telling arc. The monk says, "No, that is probably not best, lets wait and see if we can find a key."

Heading up to the northern door, they look to the east, seeing the hall there end with a window. Bunny tels the party to wait, she goes and scratches some of the grime off and looks outside towards the well they had seen the last time they were here. Satisfied she returns to the group and they open the door.
Kitchen wrote:The door opens into a kitchen that is dirty and damp, grey patches of mold can be see around the room. An iron stove lies in the south west of the room, a chimney extending above it. Beside it is a sink under a window. To the right of that is a small closed cupboard, about 5' off the floor. On the northern wall a staircase ascends to the next floor, it is decayed and a few of the treads are missing. Next to the stariway is a door on the east wall.
Entering the kitchen and looking around nothing looks particularly valuable, and when they approach the cabinet, 5 giant centipedes scramble out from beneath it. The party is able to quickly dispatch the creatures, taking a couple of bites that caused little damage. The cupboard itself is empty and they move to and open the eastern door.
Scullery wrote:This room appears to have suffered the elements more than the rest of the house. Mold grows in patches along the walls, on the floor and ceiling. The cobwebs in the room are ragged and appear to be suffering decay as well. A copper boiler, dented and split is empty beneath the window in the north. Crockery shards cover the floor near it. Along the eastern wall, and descending to the south, a stairwell leads into the darkness.
Quickly searching they find nothing of value and discuss their next move. Deciding they want to check the next floor up before heading below ground, they opt to return to the entryway to take that stairway, concerned that the stairway in the kitchen may not be safe. It is determined that they should ascend one at a time, just to be safe... Endrill leads the way and at the top of the stairs the hall extends east and west. To the east the hall ends with a window, and there are three doors on the southern wall. To the west, they can see the entire balcony and a passage on the other side leading north. A pair of doors line the walls on the western portion of the hall. When the party all has ascended, they decide to head to the first door on the eastern portion of the hall.
Bedroom wrote:What was once probably a bedroom, there is no furnishing, but a fireplace does stand in the middle of the western wall, something glints from among the dirt gathered there. Rubbish covers the floor, and webs line the walls and ceiling to the south.
Entering, they stay far from the webs and Juden examines the object in the fireplace. It is a small clear stone, uncut, and a bit cloudy in a few spots. "Not sure if this is of value or not, but I will take it with us just in case." And with that the group moves to the next room.
Bedroom wrote:This room is dirty and decaying, more water damage is visible here, and the floor doesn't look particularly safe, some floorboards are missing, and others appear to have partially collapsed. The room is otherwise completely bare.
The group decides to bypass this room. At the end of the hall, they try the door, but it is locked. Endrill, standing next to the window at the end of the hall notices something out of the corner of her eye, something on the window sill. A key! She grabs it and shows it to the party, they try it on the door and it opens, still protesting, but not as bad as the others in the house.
Bedroom wrote:The door opens to reveal a room that is much like that next to it, the floor looks unsafe, but it is not empty, the remains of a four-post bed stands against the north wall. In the far corner there is a man, bound hand and foot, and gagged, lying on the floor wearing nothing but his undewear. The rise and fall of his chest shows that he is still alive.
The group sends Bunny to talk to the man... He rouses when she calls out to him, "Wha...who..." he looks at the knight. Bunny asks who he is, not realizing he can't say much with the gag, the others roll their eyes at the scatterbrained blonde. "What, oh," she says as she realizes her gaff. She removes the gag and asks his name again.

"Ned," the man replies, "can you untie me before they come back?" When the knights asks who he is talking about, "Dem wat took me, see I was down at the Slippery Eel and was a bit deep in my cup, and I blacked out. When I woke up I was here, tied up like dis, not knowin how I got here. Dey came back once and when I tried to talk, dey hit me on my head." The knight asked how long he has been here, "I dunno, a day, two, maybe more, I ain't had nuttin to eat or drink, I tell you, I cud sure use sumptin. Can you cut me free?"

Amiri actually laughed at that, "Sure, we are just going to let you go, why would we do that, we don't know you, and I sure don't trust you."

Juden says, "Well we should probably take him to the constable," but was interrupted by Ned.

"Uhm, no that would not be good, the constable and me, we don't get along so good." When pressed Ned continues, "Well see, I have uhm, acquired some things... oh hells, I stole some stuff and he caught me, put me in dat damn jail. A man's got a right to live don't e? Cummon at least cut my feet free so's I kin stand up." The party nods so Bunny frees the mans feet and helps him up, he winces a bit and works his feet until he can stand without pain. "My arms to?" The group relents and frees the man, "Oh I dank ya I does." When asked about the others he mentioned he tells them, "I've seen dowes two, but dey talked about others, I dont know how many dey are. Hey, doos you got a blade, a dirk preferably, something I kin youse if we see dem." The party discusses, Amiri doesn't want to give him anything, but they eventually opt to give him a dagger, after all it is just a dagger...

They exit the room and head west down the hall. As they move, the reach the balcony area and look down into the entry hall as they continue. about 10' past the stairs, Juden, who is in the lead of the party cries out as the floor below him suddenly collapses. He lands hard on the ground floor, but stands up and holds back a curse. Climbing back up the stairs, the look at the floor, about a 5' hole has opened up, they see about a 3" lip still there along the wall, and Juden says that he will try to traverse that, but first they tie a rope to him, keeping no slack as he moves across the lip. it still does not hold his weight and he falls, but this time the rope saves him from hitting hard down below. The group decides to head back downstairs and check the stairway in the kitchen. While it looks to be in bad shape, they think if they stay to the edge near the wall they should be ok. This plan worked for them and they ascend into a landing.
Landing wrote:The stairwell on the northern wall heads down to the kitchen, and to the east another stairwell ascends to yet another level of the house. Only the six lowest steps are intact with the others having fallen and are rotting in a heap in the corner. A corridor heads to the south in the south eastern portion of the area.
"Well doesn't that look joyful," Endrill says pointing at the other stairwell. "I wonder what is up there..." The party decides that they will head south, to check the two doors in that corridor. The wall to the west is the outside wall of the house, and they scrape off some grime to look out onto the patio. Opening the first door...
Storage Room wrote:This room holds more broken furniture and household items. Three wooden chairs, the remains of wooden buckets, and a mop, all broken are strewn about the room. One large wooden chest stands below a window to the east. A mildewed sack lies near the chest, while just inside the door to the left is a bundle of what looks like clothes. While not clean, they are not covered in dust or mildew.
As they enter Ned exclaims, "Hey, wats dis, sum gud luck fer a change? Dat looks like my clothes! Mind wat I take dem and go around the corner to get out of these dirty things to put them on?"

The half-orc smiles, "No, you can't do that. Just change here." The man protests, and Amiri says, "We won't look... promise," she grins baring sharp yellow teeth.

"Uh, no I'll wait," Ned says as he gathers up the pile of clothes.

The chest turns out to be empty, with the sack having old, moldy, rotting clothing. The party leaves that behind and heads to the next door.
Bedroom wrote:This room was obviously used as a bedroom, as the large, moldy, torn mattress in the center of it testifies. The room is decaying a dirty with mold scattered about the room. There is a chest below the window opposite the door, it's timbers split. A fireplace stands along the southern wall.
Checking the mattress, nothing is found other than damp stuffing. The box is locked, Amiri looks at the thief, "Well, looks like we can use your skills, if you are true to your word, open that up!"

Juden laughs, "And how is he going to do that Amiri? Unless he has some picks hidden in his clothes that 'they' didn't find. Isn't that right Ned? Ned?" The monk looks around, "Where is he?" he begins to ask as Ned appears from the other side of the fireplace, now dressed in his clothes.

"Heh, I figgured whle youse all was looking at the box and mattress, I'd do a quick change. And no, I aint got no tools wit me now. But..." He stoops down and uses the dagger to cut out some wood, after a few attempts he nods, then pries out a few nails, the bringing them to the half-orc, "Youse think you can bend dese up a bit," making some motions with his fingers. The half-orc snorts, they seeing he is serious takes them, the first breaks as he tries it, but the other bend easily. He then starts working on the chest, and finally with a barely audible click, he smiles, "dere you go..." Juden pulls out the small box, and offeres it to the thief to be unlocked, The thief frowns and looks it over, "Dis gunna be harder than the other." He does however get the box unlocked. Inside is a silver ring, and after a short debate Cobb decides to put it on his finger. Nothing happens as he does so, and the company leaves the room.

Opening the chest the party finds more ragged clothing and a bunch of papers regarding the original purchase of the house. One piece of parchment has strange writing on it, Cobb looks at it and relates that it is a clerical spell, one which can hold a person immobile, "This will be quite useful at some time I am sure!" Leaving the room the move to the balcony area, the hole in the floor to the east, they head west and investigate the first door.
Bedroom wrote:Judging by what little of the paint of the walls can be seen, this was once a richly appointed bedroom, perhaps that of the master of the house. On the east wall a fireplace stands, dampness evident in the dust around it. Along the western wall a wardrobe stands closed. While the room is filled with dust, dirt, and a little rubbish, no other furniture is present. The floor looks to have suffered some damage, a few floorboards missing.
Amiri volunteers to check the room, and a rope is tied around her, in case the floor gives way again. She moves in to check the wardrobe, and when she opens the door there is an explosion of yellow dust. Amiri gasps and inhales a large amount of the spores. Clutching at her throat, she falls to the floor. Endrill cries out to pull her out of the room. The party does so, but the half-orcs throat can already be seen to swell. She gasps and then is unable to breathe. Looking on in horror, the party isn't sure what to do. Endrill looks at her and thinks, she realizes that these are spores from a yellow mold. If only she had some of the proper herbs and other components she could had slowed this, enough to let her breathe at least, but alas she is unable to help. Then she thinks of that rosey colored potion they had found, "Hey what if we give her some of that potion? We don't know what it is but she will die if we can't do something!" After debating for a few seconds, they decide to try it. The half-orc is on the verge of passing out when they do get the potion open and pour some in her mouth, it takes a couple of seconds then she coughs and sputters as the liquid slides down her throat and she is able to breathe. After a few minutes her color returns and she is able to get to his feet, feeling strong enough to continue. Checking the last door of the hall they find...
Bedroom wrote:A four-post bed, it's wood worm ridden, the curtains torn and stained, stands along the wall of the room, the mattress bare. A large fireplace is on the western wall of the room. Rubbish is scattered about the room, and the signs of rodent infestation are present.
Searching the room, nothing of value is found. Amiri sits on the bed for a moment as the rest of the group looks around. "Well what is next?" the barbarian asks.

Posts: 525
Joined: Sun Aug 26, 2007 7:00 am

Re: Darkness Rising

Post by koralas »

10/08/2017 - Session 10
O.Y. 1946, Feast of Unmaking 3 - Darkenfold Forest, on the shores of the Silt Bay, Town of Hemelsville
[Cast of Characters updated]

(Sorry for the late post, forgot I had not put this up so it is a bit shorter than some in description since I wanted to have it up before today's game.)

Looking around the room, the group asks what they should do next. They determine to head back to the area with the stairs leading to the kitchen, and the fallen stairs leading up. They hoist up Endrill to see what she can. The attic is dimly lit from gaps and holes in the roof and she can see grimy cobwebs about the area and notes that the floor is strewn with dust and rubbish. Pieces of broken furniture, and piles of rubbish are heaped around the area. Several posts stand, support beams, they look to be in decent shape, given the condition of the roof. Two large sacks can be seen in the NW corner, but nothing else of interest in this area. To the south it looks like the attic opens over the entire area of the house. Using ropes, and one of the pillars, the entire group manages to get above. Moving to check the sacks, they are found to have the remains of moldering rags and clothes. Endril and Bunny move towards the south as the rest look over the area. As they approach they see that the attic does indeed cover the entire house. But just as they note this they are attacked by 6 flying creatures, large as birds, but with long and pointed stingers on their faces. They attack and to the parties horror, they find the purpose of those stingers, not only do they pierce and hurt a bit, but, once they latch on, they stay there and suck the blood out of their victims. A battle with the creatures is waged, some trying to pull the things from them, others trying to use their blades to assist their companions. After a few tense minutes, the creatures are all slain, but not before a number of them had these blood sucking creatures feast on them. Healing as they can, they investigate the rest of the attic, finding the nest of these creatures in the south east corner. Prodding through it they did not find much of interest until an old cracked leather purse was uncovered. Inside was a small ring of silver. Finding nothing else of interest they head back down stairs, through the kitchen, and into the scullery to take the stairs down. As they being to step down a number of hideous screams can be heard, as if a soul in torment. Their resolve shaken, but not broken, the group uses some light spells and then descends the stairs into the darkness.
Wine Cellar wrote:This was obviously a wine cellar. Wooden bottle racks — mostly broken —line the north and west walls to a height of 6'. There appear to be no intact bottles left in the racks though there are several with broken necks. Broken bottles cover the floor beneath and near the racks. Against the east wall, at the foot of the stairs, are two large metal storage bins which appear to be empty. In the centre of the room lies a human corpse clad in plate mail; a long sword lies by the corpse's right hand and a large shield lies across the legs.
Bunny decides to check the corpse, and as she disturbs it a sick yellowish white worms jumps onto an exposed portion of her arm and burrows under the skin. The group quickly tries to help her, and decides to cut the thing out, but as they do so, it is able to wriggle in deeper and avoid their blades. Quickly pulling back the chain covering her arm, they try again and fail. Thinking quickly Juden lights a torch, and mutters, "Sorry bunny, this is going to hurt," and shove the torch at the last place they tried to get to the thing. A sickening smell of burning flesh rises up, and Bunny screams out in pain. She slumps back and says she doesn't feel the thing moving any more. Ned had backed away from the corpse, eyes wide, and when they try to get the man to rejoin them, he says he isn't going anywhere near that thing. A detect magic spell reveals that the armor, and some of the other gear, like the ring from the nest in the attic is magical. Not knowing what exactly to do about the corpse they leave it for the moment.

As they search around the room Amiri and Endril head towards the fireplace on the southern wall. Endril says, "There must be a hidden door in this room, it is the only space that doesn't match up with the floors above." Amiri nods, and begins to investigate the fireplace when Ned sneaks up from behind and pulls his dagger, glistening with some sort of liquid, and plunges it into her back. The half-orc gives a gasp, coughs, and blood flies from her mouth as she collapses on the floor, the long dirk of the assassin penetrated at an angle through her lung and heart, a killing blow! The party leaps to attack the man and do not notice a sliding panel on the southern wall to the west of the fireplace opening. A man steps out and attacks. It isn't long before these two are slain, though really the party wanted to try to take one alive. "Damn it," Endril exclaims as she sees Cobb examining Amiri, looking up and shaking his head, she is beyond his power to aid. "These must be the ones that killed Mailina, or part of a group that had done so, they do not seem capable enough if we were able to take them down so easily. I bet we will find Chulto is with them!" Saddened at the loss of their friend, they check her for any gear that would be immediately useful and compose her body, laying a cloak over her, vowing to get to the bottom of this and return to take her for a proper burial.

Looking through the hidden doorway...
Cellar wrote:Ten single beds (crude affairs — little more than thin mattresses on boards) stand with heads to the south wall, each with a small wooden locker at its foot. In the centre of the flagged floor is a long wooden trestle table on which there is a variety of cheap metal cutlery and earthenware crockery together with a large jug about half full of a light brown liquid. There are a dozen wooden stools round the table. Against the north wall are two casks, one larger than the other and both broached. The larger one is nearly full of a clear liquid, the smaller one about half full of a light brown liquid. A metal dipper hangs on the outside of the rim of the larger cask.

Next to the casks is a large wooden bin. Above it, hanging on hooks on the wall, are a large ham, a long string of sausages and a small side of meat. Next to the bin is what appears to be a crude, metal wood-fired stove standing in a fireplace. Above the stove, on a shelf, are some iron and earthenware cooking utensils, while next to it is a small pile of logs.

Near the foot of the stairs are two small, unbroached casks; next to them is a bolt of cloth.

In the southeast a passage heading to the east can be found.
"Odd that someone would have a secret door just heading into a cellar like this. Note the beds over there, 10, well we have slain 2 of them," the monk states. Checking the casks, they find nothing of great value, brandy, water, the cloth is find silk, and the lockers are unlocked, containing clothing and worthless trinkets.

Cobb looks a the stairs, "Hey, if I had to guess, I would say these come out in that big room at the end of the house, the one where there was the patio outside of it. It is a hidden trap door, see, there is the bottom of it there." Look at the distance from the walls, "Ah, I bet this is right under that mouth illusion we saw above!" The other nod in appreciation of his distance judgement.

Looking down the passage way, it is seen to be a small nook with two doors...
The door to your left appears normal but the one ahead of you has a strong wooden bar across it, carried in brackets on the frame and the door itself. On the door has been written the single word 'DANGER' in the common tongue; this has been inscribed in large letters using chalk.
"Let's not open that door yet," Juden says, pointing at the one with the inscription. Opening the door to the north...
Private Quarters wrote:This small room is clearly the quarters of a person senior to those who live in the 'barracks' main room, since the furnishing is less crude and the place is clean and tidy, as if cared for by a servant. There is a comfortable-looking bed in the northwest corner with a wooden locker at its foot. A small wooden table stands against the east wall, and beside it is a padded leather chair. On the table is a brass 3-branch candlestick and in it burn 3 candles, giving the room good illumination. The candles, though not fresh, are far from spent.

Under the table is a small wooden box and a bullseye lantern with a moveable shutter over the lens; the lantern is unlit.

On a shelf above the table are stacked three books.

In the northeast corner is a wooden cupboard with the door closed.
After a careful search of the room, the group finds the box under the table to be mundane items, flasks of oil, tinderbox w/flint & steel, candles, but a curious item, a piece of parchment with some curious code marks on it. Three lines with a number followed by - and X in various patterns. The books include an illustrated tome of poetry, naval almanacs with the tides for this region, and a volume with a dissertation on mesmerism. In the last book a scrap of paper is found with some strange writing that none can decipher. The cupboard only shows an old oilskin cloak, though it is in good repair. Searching further a secret cavity is found under the table top of the desk, Cobb looks gleefully at it as he recognizes the script as magical, and using a read magic finds it is full of illusion spells. "I'll just tuck this away for perusal later!" Finally, after searching under the bed they find a loose flagstone, and after removing it they see a small iron box. It is locked and they don't want to try to force it open. "Wait a minute," the halfling says, "if this is a book of illusions, I don't think it would be Chulto's, unless Mailina was also a master of illusions, but that just doesn't seem to add up!"

As they turn to leave, they are assaulted by a pair of Gnolls and four humans, all but one in leather armor, the last is in robes. The party is taking a bit of a beating, and it is not looking good for them until Cobb manages to get off a color spray and disables most of their foes. They are able to quickly dispatch most of those quickly, though the illusionist, as they now recognize him, disappears. But before he he can get away Cobb and Bunny swing wildly, managing to strike him, they hear the thud of a body hitting the floor. Feeling around Cobb manages to find the body of the illusionist and patting it down finds a belt pouch that contains a key, "Aha! I bet this will open that box." A few coins, some dice and a pair of gems are also in the pouch. Excited, he turns from the invisible corpse and asks for the box...

Posts: 525
Joined: Sun Aug 26, 2007 7:00 am

Re: Darkness Rising

Post by koralas »

12/10/2017 - Session 11
O.Y. 1946, Feast of Unmaking 3 - Darkenfold Forest, on the shores of the Silt Bay, Town of Hemelsville

Taking the small box, Cobb uses the key from the illusionists and it opens. Inside he finds three vials of a pale yellowish liquid, as well as two other vials one a light blue, the other a deep green in color. A small leather purse with 11pp are also located, along with a piece of parchment, folded over. The parchment has writing on one side, and a crude map of the coastline, with a trail marked leading to an X an indeterminate distance to the NW of the area of Hemelsville.
Note to Sanbalet wrote:Sanbalet,
Our plans are underway, I trust you saw the lighting of the night and have come in. If all is on schedule, I will expect Ned within the week, much hinges on this my friend, sendhim with all haste. A rough maps is on the back, he is resourceful and will find his way. Stay there until I return, or send Ned back with further instructions. Tell Sigurd to pull out and follow our plan, I will meet as soon as able. I have acquired some things to help our disguise, ready them for retrieval when I return.
Chulto (this has a seal of a crescent with three interlocking diamonds that is the crest of Chultos family.)
Just as they finish examining the note, the head of someone can be seen from the secret door where the illusionist and his cohorts had come from can be seen. Cobb says, "Go, I will stay here and tie up the prisoner." The party takes off after the man, Judin ranging ahead with his improved speed. Beyond the secret door a passageway leads to the east and descends some stairs, then reaches a small landing with stairs descending to the south. at the bottom of which the walls become that of a natural cavern, the floor roughly graded, but no longer smooth, and comes to a T-intersection, to the W/SW it opens to a larger cavern, to the E it extends about 30' and continues to the E as well as a new branch to the S. As Judin reaches the area he has lost sight of the fleeing man. Waiting briefly to allow the party to catch up a bit he motions further to the E. Ahead the passage turns to the S and a larger cavern can be see opening the the E, and a few hints of movement can be seen in that direction. Moving in they are attacked by five men that are quickly dispatched, the lackey's of the illusionist left to guard the "treasure" left behind in these caves, and two men that are tied up. Both burly, dirty, and dressed in tattered rags, shackled to each other at the leg, and wrists bound and chained about their waists. The cavern also contains more bundles of the silken fabric and barrels of provisions, brandy, and wine.

Removing the gag, and asking the graying haired man his name, and why he is shackled, he replies, "I am Warhawk, and this," motioning to the man next to him, "is Tharik. We were guards on a caravan heading north in the western portion of the Darkenfold, and while we were off watch, the caravan was attacked. Before we woke up and knew what was happening, we were surrounded and taken captive. This was a few weeks back, I am not sure exactly how long. We were brought here maybe a week ago, I cannot be certain since we have not seen the light of day in all the time we have been here, and have been tasked with moving these goods into this chamber, from a cave opening to the sea, and a long boat they brought them in on. Would that I could get revenge on the scrawny little one that leads this band of misfits. There are gnolls with them as well." Asked about the bandits, "I know the leader is Sanbalet, and I have heard the name Ned, little else do I know of them, they only used names when they thought we could not hear them. I have heard the name Chulto, but I don't know what or who that is, they also have talked about the 'Captain'. I heard some talk about the sorceress being slain, whoever she is, and some talk of a bigger plan. I wish I knew more, but I don't even know where we are."

Talking a bit more, Tharik reiterates much of what Warhawk had said, and is impressed with the party having taken out the bandits. Warhawk expresses some regret that he could not be part of that, but that he is glad the deed is done. The party deliberates a bit, and frees the pair. Tharik arms himself with a shortsword, and grabs a suit of studded leather armor from one of the bandits. Warhawk does as well, the armor does not fit well, but is servicable until he can get better. Scouting through the rest of the cave system, they indeed find the cave opening into a small sheltered cove, and here a jolly boat is found, it's mast currently down. Returning into the caves, they find it a small web of passages, ultimately all leading back to the stairs. The cavern to the SW of the stairs is found to house a slimy greenish patch on the ceiling, they opt to not look to deeply into that area when a glob of it falls off, just missing Juden. "I think that stuff was TRYING to get me!"

Heading back to Cobb, the bandit has come around fully, but gives no real information to the party. He reiterates much of what had come from Warhawk and Tharik, claiming, "do you really think that Sanbalet and the Captain would let us know their full plans?" and laughs at the party. Wanting to open the door marked "DANGER" to the E, they think instead it better to get Veril to come and see what was going on in the house, and to turn over their prisoner. Sending Judin to get him, the rest of the party sets about gathering all of the dead into the large basement room. They also come up with a plan to burn out the corpse where the worm things had come out of it. Pouring some oil on it, the light it up and it burns out fairly quickly. The leather straps are damaged and will require repair, but it seems otherwise to be in good shape.

When Judin returns with Veril, the group explains everything they had found in the house and turns over the captive. They talk about the door, and ultimately decide to open in. The room beyond is dark and seems empty until they see a number of skeletons emerging from the darkness. Cobb pulls out his holy symbol, "BACK INTO THE DARKNESS!!! Firthnach demands that you part from me, your foul existence is a stench among the living, you shall trouble my journey no more." At this the undead cower back from him and turn as if to flee. Moving in to engage the skeletons, the party finds one that was not affected by the power of the cleric. The fight is short as the skeletons are easily dispatched one by one.

Veril says, "Well that was not all that dangerous..." laughing, "who put that sign up I wonder, or maybe why was it there? Ah well we will probably never know. Now lets get this scum back to town for further questioning. As for the loot, the village will claim a hefty amount of it, taxes you know, not much I can do for you there, but still, if you have an interest in the jolly boat I will claim that for you as salvage rights."

Returning to town the group decides to see Kerin, to see if the young mage can identify the items they have located. He will, but there will be a fee, one that digs deep into the treasure they have found. The group, being quite beat up, and it becoming later in the evening after debriefing the town council, stay at the same inn as Kerin for the night. The next morning he gathers them to let them know what he has found. The items are all identified, the armor and rings are all of a minor enchantment to protect the wearer, and the yellow potions found are for healing, two of giant strength (one is the scintillating bluish potion, the other the light blue seems to be of greater enchantment), the green potion seems to be able to improve the speed of the imbiber, the pinkish potion will remove disease, and the dark red potion can restore life to a slain being if administered within a minute of death. Thanking the mage, the group is about to head back to Yolla's to finish resting, healing, and prepare to attempt to find where the map goes, hoping to find Chulto there...

Posts: 525
Joined: Sun Aug 26, 2007 7:00 am

Re: Darkness Rising

Post by koralas »

01/28/2018 - Sessions 12&13
O.Y. 1946, Feast of Unmaking 4 - Darkenfold Forest, on the shores of the Silt Bay, Town of Hemelsville

"How do you think to find this place?" asks Warhawk. "Other than this point here being the town, there is nothing else to point to how long this line extends, or just where this X really is!." Obviously frustrated, the paladin rubs the back of his neck.

"We can't just give up," exclaims Endril, "This bastard is responsible for Amiri's death." Somewhat surprising in her vehemence, Veril always thought it an odd pairing, this ranger and the half-orc. "She must be avenged, regardless of her heritage, she was a true friend and stout warrior!"

Judin holds up a hand, "Friends, calm, we will suss this out, we must. Losing our temper will not aid our search." Cobb and Bunny nod at this and look down at the scrap of paper.

Veril interjects, "We know there are still some ruins that have survived from the days before the Winter Dark." He signs himself as if warding off some sort of evil, "Well survived might be a bit strong of a word. Still, there is the occasional word brought back of ruins, and at times of some ancient treasure being returned. I don't think there is any way to be certain of the location, but an area to search can be gleaned from this map. Look here, it does show the shoreline and the forest to the north. We know there is perhaps two to three miles between the shore and forest here, but deeper inland it is about nine or ten miles. The coast line is drawn poorly, but if you use that as an estimate then you should be able to find a rough area to search."

Cobb looks at the constable and nods, "That is a good catch Veril, let me see that map." Taking it, he pulls a loose thread from his cloak and uses it to measure out various sections of the map. "Ok, using our friends suggestion, I would say the X lies four or five miles inland, and is about 20 miles west of here. This gives us a large area to search, but much less than just a wild guess. It could take forever to find it though, without some sort of landmark to go by. Damn it, why couldn't we capture Ned or that illusionist, we could have had more information from them!"

"Look, there are some hunting trails out there, not often used that far from town, but sometimes the braver, or more foolhardy, hunter ventures out that way. Some of these follow old roads, they are mostly overgrown, but some traces of them remain in some areas." Veril waves to the north, "Just a bit north of town, at the Brek ranch, they had to dig out a lot of old carved stone, they used it to build th e wall around their place. It was layed out from east to west, and it was speculated that it was part of the old trade route. The brick used as pavement was long gone, but these stones lined either side of the roadway holding them together. Or at least that is what old Morgaln said. I wouldn't doubt him though, he was one of the most learned men I ever met. In any event, perhaps if some traces of the old road can be found, that will help shrink your area to search."

Warhawk stares at the map, "That is as good a plan as any I imagine. It gives us something to go on, though just how readily we will be able to find this road, with the years of neglect, I am skeptical." He looks at his new found friends, "What do you think?"

"Oh, lets do go!" Bunny nearly shouts, "It will be a grand adventure in any way you look at it. I am sure we will find something out there!"

"Judin?" Cobb looks at the monk.

"Yes, we must find this one, time is short." The monk nods.

Before he even turns to her, Endrill, her face solemn, nearly growls a single word, "Vengeance!"

"Then it is decided," Warhawk stands, "we should not delay. Veril, do you know any that can point us towards some of those hunting trails you mentioned?"

"We should do this on foot," When the other look at Endrill she continues, "yes, finding traces of this road, or any tracks, this will not be easily done from horseback."

"Yes, I will ask Adon to lead you, I will have him take a few men with as well, they can lead you out as far as you think you would need, then they can return with your horses. This way you can make your best time."

With this they company gathered up their gear, going light since they will not be far from town, but insuring they have what they need in the case of a fight. Working the horses hard, they head out of town, just before sundown they stop and make camp. It is agreed that Adon and the others will return at dawn and the group will press onwards in their search. It takes the better part of two days following various trails, finding the remains of some small building, probably a waystop, before they catch site of a small line of stones, mostly buried in the dirt.

"Here they are!" Exclaims the ranger, "I don't know th at we would have even noticed them if it were not for this ruin. Lets hope there are enough to follow."

Heading to the west it takes another day, spending not a small amount of time doubling back after losing the trail of stone before they spy some larger ruins off to the north. The road wends its way closer to them, but then veers to the west. A small trail leads towards the ruins, and they follow it. as they approach, they see a stream meandering from the NE to the SW, and quickly see that this is split around a small island upon which the ruins sits. A small fort of stone, it's was crumbling in many areas. The SW corner of the place the ruins of a small tower overlooking the gatehouse. On the far side there stands a square tower, from here it looks fairly intact. The path leading to the gatehouse is raised, and while it has some growth on it, it is not overgrown as the surrounding area is. The remains of a large tree has fallen across the path, the base of the trunk has split off from the rest of the tree and looks to be about a three feet below the level of the berm. The remainder of the tree lies on the path supported by it's branches, it stands as a obstacle to the shoulders of Cobb. The bark of the tree is sloughed off, and only the stoutest of branches remain, giving thought that this has lain here for a very long time.

After much deliberation, the group decides to use some ropes to ease their passage by stepping down to the remains of the trunk, and back up to the other side of the path. It takes a bit of time, but this approach works and they reach the drawbridge, in the lowered position, the chains long rusted and broken. It doesn't look very safe, but they pass over it, one by one, pass through the broken gates, and reach the inner courtyard of the place. To the west they can see a doorway, the door long gone, that leads to the interior of the fallen tower. In the western wall to the NW a pile of rubble shows a gap in the wall, while a large portion of the NW corner shows a set of stairs ascending to another large doorway, the two panels of the door lying in ruin. Slits can be seen in the walls to the north and east, obviously some sort of arrow slot for the defense of the place.

"How is this place still standing?" asks the paladin. "The stone looks deeply damaged, and portions collapsed, probably from some battle, but the wood of that drawbridge was quite soft, and the remains of the doors up there look even worse from here."

"I don't know, but what I do know is I don't like leaving dark openings behind me," Cob says. "We should look to that fallen tower before heading deeper into this place." He waves to the west and the dark opening at the base of the remains of the tower.

Going in and looking around, the base floor of the tower looks to be all that remains. It is dark, but a few gaps let in some light from outside. As they examine the place a huge spider falls from the remains of the ceiling. It's fangs scrambling to pierce the armor of the knight, Bunny screams for help. It doesn't take long for this beast to be killed by the group, and the pass back into the courtyard. "I... HATE... SPIDERS!!!!" the knight exclaims.

"I hear you, but they do serve a greater purpose in the wild," Endrill calmly states, earning a glare from the knight.

"Yes, but why must they always fall on me?" Bunny asks.

"Come on you two, we have more important things to do now. If this is where Chulto is hiding out, we need to find him, we are already past the time the note said." Judin looks at the pair and continues, "Lets get up the stairs and see if we can find any traces of him."

Heading to the NW, the company ascends the stairs, littered with the detritus of the fallen doors, portions of the rotted ceiling, some leaves, and more than a bit of prairie grass and weeds growing in the cracks of the floor.
Great Hall wrote:This was once a great audience chamber, as shown by the tattered banners and tapestries on the walls, destroyed furniture, and heaps of rotting cloth thrown into corners. Once richly appointed, it has been thoroughly searched, sacked, and despoiled. Leaves and dirt cover the floor, and cobwebs hang from walls and the ceiling above. Looking up, you see that pieces of beams and chunks of stone poke through, indicating that the upper stories of the place are totally destroyed and likely to be impassable to anything larger than a rat.
Cob, looking at the three passageways leading out of the hall to the west and south, the opening on the western wall in the northwestern corner, and at the door on the northern wall in the northeastern corner of the hall, thinks for a moment then says, "Well looks like we have no choice but to leave openings behind us this time, we knew that would happen, it just sets my nerves on edge!"

Warhawk looks at the cleric, "Bah, let them come, in front, behind, by Corthain we will handle them all!" Pointing towards the southern passageway, "That is as good a place as any to start."

The monk rolls his eye a bit, out of site of the paladin, thinking to himself, 'Why are they always like that?' before saying, "There is truth to that, all of these are unknown to us, let us go to the south then."

As they approach the southern passage, they notice a section they had thought was just a collapsed portion of the wall actually once lead to a stairway that ascended to the now ruined upper level. Continuing on there are two doors on the western wall, one to the east, and the corridor opens to a larger area to the south. Checking the doors, none are locked, the two to the west are just littered with the remains of their former contents, dirt and wreckage of furniture. In one of the room they disturb a small nest of rats that quickly crawl away into the cracks in the walls. The room to the east was obviously once very opulently composed, expensive furnishings and tapestries adorning the place. Now they are all ruined and in tatters, once the light of Judin's torch hits the ceiling, it is seen to be a mass of brown and black, moving slightly before scores of bats launch them selves into the air. The ranger shouts, "Don't hurt them, get out of there and close the door." The party does this, a few of the bats had flow out the door and quickly fly down the corridor in either direction, not returning.

Continuing to the end of the corridor the group finds a large empty room. The SE corner has collapsed, allowing in some breaths of fresh air. As they investigate the area, Warhawk disturbs a giant snake, brownish grey scales with a darker zigzag pattern going down it's length, and it lunges out at the paladin. In the ensuing fight, the snake lands a few bites, but the man is able to shake off the effects of it's poison. In the end with a mighty blow it's head is cleaved from it's body and the snake falls lifeless.

Retreating up the passageway, the group walks the perimeter of the hall, deciding to bypass the door for now and head down the eastern corridor. As they step into the hall, they hear a chittering behind them. Turning to look, they see a huge swarm of giant rats pouring into the corridor.

<Start session 13>

As the rats swarm over the party they fight back. "Ugh, disgusting beasts," Bunny says as she brings her blade down cutting one in half. The creatures bite and snap at the party, inflicting little damage with each, but combined they will cause much bleeding and the risk of disease grows. "They smell bad and I bet they have fleas!"

Cobb looks at the rats and a smile crosses his face as he thinks back to the battle with the giant adder and begins to chant and gesture. When he completes the spell, he motions towards one of the breaks in the wall, waves his arm forward and an adder slithers out, quickly catching one of the rats in it's jaws and as it begins to swallow the furry creature, it stops squirming. Some of the rats seeing this snake turn and flee from this deadly foe. Still the melee continues as the party, and the illusory snake beat down the rats until the swarm is finally overcome. Judin spins towards the snake, raising his staff to strike the snake. With this, Cobb ceases concentration and the snake fades from view. "I apologize for not giving you warning friends, but that snake was of my doing. I have not used much of my skill in this kind of illusion in the past, but you will see more if it in the future. I will try and give you a bit of warning when I can."

Judin looks at the man, "Yes, I was not looking forward to fighting another of those creatures. A warning would be well received!"

The group turns and looks back down the hall, to the south are two doors that open into rooms much as they have seen in the eastern wing, dirty and all that is found is ruined furniture, though they open the door to the north to find what was once a kitchen. It shows signs of use from not all that long ago as there are some moldering foodstuffs on the work tables, and dried blood on the floor. Perhaps used by some hunters to clean and dress some of the game they had caught. This would seem to make sense since this is not far off of the hunting trails they had followed. A wooden cask stands near the fireplace on the north wall, in the side of thise fireplace is an open oven, the door lying on the ground beneath it. As they approach the open cask a bunch of large ticks come scurrying out, they attack the group, but are quickly dispatched. The cask is found to be empty but for a dipping ladle.

Exiting the kitchen, the group heads to the door in the western wall. The room beyond is partially collapsed, with piles of rubble in the SW corner. The remains of some cots and chests show this was once a barracks. Most of the chests are smashed, but a few stand intact. While moving to inspect them, a giant lizard springs from behind one and bites as the paladin. The creature gets a few bites in on the party, drawing blood from a few of the party. With the killing blow to the beast, a ringing is heard as if the sword hit something metallic. "What in the name of all that is holy is that?" Warhawk exclaims. "It was like hitting a breast plate with that last blow!" Slitting the stomach of the creature open a shield is found. In the meantime Cob opens the chest the lizard had lain behind to find that it holds a scale mail tunic, a light crossbow and a case of two dozen quarrels.

"Hold a moment," the cleric says as he begins to cast a spell. "Hmm, of all that only the shield shows any magical aura." Cobb hefts the shield, "Ah I prefer my buckler, Endril or Bunny?" He looks as the ladies.

"I would prefer to keep free to use my bow," Endril states, motioning to Bunny, "you can take it."

Bunny smiles as she looks at the shield, "There is no blazon, the lizard must have had it in it's stomach for a long time. I'll have to get it properly cleaned and have my coat applied, but it will do well." Loathe to let her current shield lie wasting she straps it on her backpack while fitting the straps to her arm. "Let go check that last door."

Returning to the great hall, they approach the door in the northern wall, they find it to resist their attempts to open it. It seems very sturdy, despite it's appearance. It takes a bit of work but they get it open, and when they do they see the other side of the door has new wood, it was bared but the rotted nature of the stone broke the brace free of the wall. When it opens the area beyond is lit with a dim red-orange light.
Tower Ground Floor wrote:The chamber is floored in black flagstones, and has ebon-colored wall hangings (now burnt and tattered) in addition to some jumbled wreckage. A number of bedrolls lie in odd corners, and the remains of a fire can be noted in the northern fireplace.
"Someone was here recently," Judin states as he motions towards the fires remains.

"Yes, that fire has died down maybe a few hours ago. And can you smell that? It is oil burning, so some lanterns were in here at some point recently," Endril says as she looks around the room.

"Why would they leave their bedrolls behind?" the paladin asks.

"I don't know, maybe they are left here for anyone to use. I know many hunters that have some huts set up that do this so they don't have to carry them with them, and any are free to use them. But if this place is Chulto's I wouldn't think that to be the case," the ranger runs her hand through her hair. Scouting through the room, searching for any thing hidden, the party doesn't find anything of note. "What if this was where he came and has gone? Did we take to long to get here?"

Leaving the room they had to the only place that haven't looked into yet, the opening in the NW corner of the great hall, they find it to be a store room. The only thing of worth found is a jug of oil that they use to fill some of the empty flasks that are in the place. Looking around the shelves, they note a set of stairs descending into darkness. Agreeing they should see what lies below, they take to the stairs which widen to 10' as they descend.

The stairs exit in the center of a large room, but as the knight steps towards the floor a large blob of something green falls onto her breastplate. Stumbling back exclaiming, "What is that?" She looks down and sees that the stuff must have some acidic quality as it is beginning to eat into her armor. She tries to scrape it off quickly with her gauntlet and it begins to eat into it as well.

"QUICKLY, FIRE!" Exclaims the monk as he pushes forward with his torch. Cob opens one of the flasks of oil and pours it on the knight, as the paladin begins to do the same. The knight slashes at the straps on her breastplate as the oil is set alight. Suffering some small burns herself, Bunny's armor falls to the floor, she quickly tosses the gauntlet onto the breast plate. The green slime burns with the oil, leaving the magical breastplate scarred and pitted, it will take an expert armor some time to repair it, if it can be, and the straps will need replacement as well.

"Damn it all!" the knight swears, "What am I going to do now, naked against whatever we find down here?"

"Lass, there is that scale tunic we left above. Perhaps we could retrieve that for you to use until we can get this," Warhawk waves at the pile of still hot armor, "can be repaired, or we get something to replace it."

"Oh," slapping her forehead, "why didn't I think of that," the knight bobs her head with a silly grin. "Like that is such a good idea, why didn't I think of that!"

Recovering the scale and pulling the arming straps as tight as possible, it fits roughly, and will provide some measure of protection, if being a bit awkward. Juden looks up as they draw near to the bottom of the stairs, more of the green slime can be seen on the ceiling. Tossing a couple of flasks of oil onto the stuff, they torch it and let it burn before continuing on. A pair of columns stand on either side of the stairwell which lies in the center of the area. To the west two doors can be see, the doors are knocked askew, through them can be seen arms, armor, capes, and crates of arrows and bolts. A few kegs and barrels can be seen. The labels show them to be food stuffs, water, brandy and the like. To the SE the chamber continues heading to the south, while in that area there is a door in the northern wall. Three more columns lie in the center of that portion of the chamber, in a line heading south. To the west in that portion of the room are five doors, while the eastern wall has an opening about 20' from the southern wall. As the party heads towards this section of the chamber, they note that through the opening to the east they see something that looks like a torture rack. At that moment a couple of rotting corpses come shambling towards them. The cleric quickly tries to turn the creatures as the knight and paladin charge forward quickly slaying the creatures. With the sound of screeching rusted iron, the doors in the western wall open, each showing more of the walking corpses.

"MORE OF THEM!" shouts the monk as they begin shambling forward...

Posts: 525
Joined: Sun Aug 26, 2007 7:00 am

Re: Darkness Rising

Post by koralas »

3/17/2018 - Session 14
O.Y. 1946, Feast of Unmaking 4 - Ruined Outpost - Darkenfold Forest, on the shores of the Silt Bay, Town of Hemelsville
[Cast of Characters Updated]

"Fall back to a more defensible position," shouts Juden, "back towards the stairs!" He and the party begin a strategic withdraw as the zombies begin to shamble out of the cells.

"Make a line of battle, Cob get behind us, Bunny you too, you are to heavily injured," Warhawk wipes the sweat from his brow as he briefly rests his great sword on his shoulder.

"No, I am not going to cower behind, my honor would be shattered," Bunny looks at the Paladin to her left as she says this, amazingly lucid for the girl. "I mean, gosh, what would they say?" she asks as she tosses her hair over her shoulder.

As they form up with Endrill drawing her bow, and Cob reaching for his holy symbol, the zombie press forward. They form in a mass and Judin calls out, "Use the oil, we can burn them." As he says this he reaches into a side pocket on his backpack and pulls out a vial of oil, he swings his arm back to throw it forwards, but the seal on the flask must not have been good, oil had leaked onto the outside of the ceramic and it slides out of his hand, shattering on the floor behind him.

With this Cob calls on his deity, Firthnach, he puts forth his holy symbol which seems to glow with a faint light, and all but one of the zombies stop and begin to shamble away from the cleric. Holding the symbol boldly before him, he stands with his friends, hoping he can keep them far enough at bay to either escape or devise some new plan.

Bunny and Warhawk both swing their blades at the remaining zombie, the pair gouging huge chunks of rotted meat from the creature. Juden again calls out, "If we can pin them back against the wall, it will make it all that much easier to douse them with the oil. We need to improvise some fire arrows, Endrill get some out of your quiver and tear off a few strips of your cloak."

"Warhawk, liek, lets keep moving on them, Cob come with us," the knight says in her usual bubbly tone.

Cob, in a stern voice, "Don't strike at them yet!" Still holding his holy symbol before him, he says a quick prayer and lays his hands on Bunny, filling her with renewed vigor as some of her minor wounds close and vanish.

Warhawk slows his approach, and reaches for a flask of oil, "I know, we want to get them lit up, I only hope that their souls can be released from the torment of this unnatural life!"

Juden takes the strips of cloth as Endrill tears them from her cloak and covers over the arrow heads, tying the cloth off and dousing them with oil, handing them back to Endrill.

Two flasks of oil are thrown at the zombies, impacting the wall and shattering causing the oil to splatter over the zombies and pool on the ground. "NOW!" shouts the monk at Endrill as he brings his torch in front of him. The ranger lights the arrow she had knocked and lets it fly, the force of the shot begins to tear at the flaming cloth, but it holds long enough to hit the oil pool and create an inferno with the zombies at it's heart.

With the light of the fire, only six zombie can be seen. "Weren't there more?" asks Bunny.

"The last doorway," Cob exclaims, "I can just see one in that room!" With that, Warhawk moves, the pool of oil leaving him just enough space to reach the doorway and with one zombie in range, he cleaves with his great sword. The blow strikes home and eviscerates the undead, the gasses that had built up in the thing's stomach exploding into the air, nearly causing the paladin to retch before they quickly ignite and burn out in a flash.

The zombie in the oil burn, the flesh peeling from their skin, this also releases the gasses pent up in them as they turn seeking escape. For them the only escape is true death as the oil flames flicker and die out with a final few flashes of blue light. The reek of burnt flesh and oil smoke fills the chamber, and a haze of smoke reduces visibility. Above, the ceiling is hidden from view with the oily smoke rolling along it. Warhawk and Bunny quickly enter the far south room and are able to slay the remaining zombies before they can cause any damage to the pair.

Cob begins to wonder and looks in each of the rooms for the mechanism that would have opened the doors. "Surely these mindless creatures would not have opened the doors on there own. Did anyone see or feeling anything as you trod in? Perhaps there was some sort of pressure plate? I can't see anything that would have opened the doors, no ropes or chains, or anything like that, maybe some sort of gearing mechanism in the hinges?" He looks perplexed, "Or perhaps it was magic of some sort, I have heard of such things, though how one would invoke that is beyond me."

"I didn't feel anything, but then with these boots, I doubt I would," Warhawk raises one leg, tapping the soul of his boot with his massive blade.

"Me niether," Bunny says as she looks in disgust at the torture equipment in the room to the east.

Juden also looks on in distaste, especially after spying a pit in the northern part of the room filled with refuse and the bones of past victims. "I didn't see anything either that would have been a trigger."

Cob begins walking the perimeters of the rooms, searching the walls for any signs of sliding panels or hidden doors, "I sure would like to know what it was. We should take some time to try and find out how it happened, maybe it will give us some clue to what we can expect in the rest of this place."

Endrill looks at him, "Are you sure that is wise? Do we have the time to spare? We are already behind the time the note said that Chulto was expecting Ned. I think we should press on to see if we can find the murderer."

A brief discussion ensues and Cob relents, "Ok, ok, perhaps you are right. Lets press onward then." He looks towards the door in the northern corner of the aisle. "I didn't find any hidden doors here anyhow, so it looks like we go that way."

The door opens into an area that was once a storeroom, it is now filled with litter and refuse, a door stands in the eastern wall. "Hey did you notice that?" Cob asks. "The door, it made little sound, and look," he hold the door partially open, "the hinges, they are well greased. There is someone down here!"

Warhawk looks thoughtful, "You know, I don't think I heard and screeching from those cell doors either!"

"I wonder if someone was watching us and triggered those doors! It would explain how they opened," the cleric states as he pushes the door fully open.

The monk moves into the room, "Don't get paranoid, that will lead you to a path of despair."

Bunny and Warhawk move towards the door, and Bunny is looking all over the door. "What are you doing?" asks the paladin.

"Well, we have opened some doors that were trapped before, I thought I would look to see if I can see anything, I mean like I'd hate to have another one hit us, you know what I mean?" Bunny says in a rapid pace that makes it hard to understand what she is saying. This causes the paladin too look up and roll his eyes so the lady can't see him doing so. "But I don't see any traps, I mean I'm no expert, but I think it is safe, we should open the door, right? Lets open it."

The door opens, and beyond is a large chamber with five columns, along the eastern wall is a large chest, and in the north is a large pile of cloth and furs, standing and looking at the door is a very large brutish looking humanoid, to the south there is a door, with a large bar holding it shut. "Ogre!" calls out the ranger, "he will be incredibly strong, and that hammer will hurt."

The ogre is wielding a maul with a rather large head of granite. "Who you?" it questions in rough common, "you no look like master men!"

"No, no, we are, the master sent us here," begins Cob.

"You not wear his... his... thing, you not master men, Luras kill you!" It hefts the maul and charges the door.

A battle ensues with the ogre's first blow just missing the paladin and smashing into the wall, sending chips of the stone flying, but leaving no mark upon his weapon. Bunny is hit grievously in the melee which prompts Endrill to risk shooting into the combat. Blows are struck by both sides, while the ranger looses her arrows, taking careful aim to inflict as much punishment on the beast as possible. Finally it falls to a massive blow with the paladin's great sword.

Juden, seeing the badly injured knight, pulls out a vial of yellowish liquid, "Bunny, take this you need it." The knight shakes her head, but the monk grabs her hand and places the vial within it. "Yes, you are always on the front line, we need you healthy, now take it!" He turns away from her so she cannot push the vial back at him.

With a resigned, yet grateful look she opens the flask and swallows the liquid. Instantly most of her wounds heal, and she feels refreshed, "Thank you my friend, I will not forget this."

The paladin and ranger walk over to the chest and open it. Most of it's contents appear worthless, glass baubles, worthless candlesticks and the like. There is a small sack of poorly tanned leather, it holds a bunch of coins. Searching the chest over, the paladin spies a secret panel that opens to show a vial of reddish colored liquid. The pair turn to the rest of the party to show what they have found. As they turn, they notice on the eastern wall in the southern corner of room, there is the outline of a poorly disguised door.

Cob wants to head through the door to the east, to which Bunny concurs, however, Juden, Endril, and Warhawk want to find out what is behind the bared door. "What if they are some sort of captives?" Endrill asks, "We have to find out!" With that they decide to knock on the door, to which they get a returned frantic pounding.

Bunny moves to try to hold the door shut if there is something hostile behind it as Juden removes the bar. They open the door a bit to reveal two humans dressed in what once would have been fine clothes, and a gnome that has been badly beaten. "Help, help us please!" the older of the two humans shouts. "We have to get out of here!"

The monks holds up a hand, "Peace old one, tell us who you are and how you came to be here. We will surely aid you in flight from this place." He nods at the knight who backs off as they open the door fully.

"I... I am Bren, and this is my friend Halag, we are merchants from Aleas. We were in a caravan traveling The Southern Way when we were attacked. Most of us died, but many survived and were taken prisoner by the goblins. Of those that survived, the majority were sold to a group of men, and we have been passed around to a few of their number before finally ending up here. The gnome is, well I don't want to try to say his full name, we have been calling him Isilgiv," he points at the gnome. He was caught in the ruins above and brought here a few weeks ago. They made him work elsewhere but he caused some sort of trouble and they through him in here. The others that were here, it always followed the same pattern, the ogre would come in and beat them badly, then the next day, or the day after they would be taken out and never come back."

"Ah, we have seen an area of torture, and many undead, I fear this is the fate of your compatriots," relates the monk, his expression of great sadness.

Bren looks at him dumbfounded, "No... I don't think you understand, the ogre, he..." he covers his face in anguish, "he eats them. Isilgiv looks to be next."

A look of horror on the face of the monk, "Then it is well that the beast is dead, he will eat flesh no more!"

The gnome looks up, "Yes, but that is not all there is to worry about in this place. There are many guards about, I have seen bugbear, humans, and gnolls to go along with that foul ogre."

"What can you tell us of these bandits?"

"Not much, I know I heard them speak of their leader Orran, he wields some sort of magic I am afraid to say. And I know their numbers can fluctuate, there is another I have them speak of, it sounded to me like it was someone that Orran reports to, but I have not heard his or her name. After I was beaten, while I was being dragged here yesterday, I remember hearing someone grumbling about not getting paid what they were told. They didn't sound very happy about it." The gnome winces as he stands up, "I'm not in good shape, but would join with you if you are going to move against Orran and his lackeys. I just ask for a short sword or dagger if you have one. My skill lie more in stealth that force of arms, but I relish the thought of getting revenge on these fiends."

The party discusses this and the disposition of the two men, and in the end it is decided that the men will remain in this holding cell, the door will be shut but not barred. If no one returns within two to three hours, they should exit and make their way up the stairs, they are left with a few rations. The men are afraid that they don't know where they are, but Endrill tells them that they should head south, it will be maybe 6 or 7 miles before they make the cliffs overlooking the Silt Bay. From there they should turn to the east, that will be their left, and after a couple of days walk they should reach Hemelsville. With this the party leaves the men behind, Cob gives the gnome one of his light war hammers. Isilgiv is not trained in it's use, but thanks the half-elf none the less.

Heading back into the room of the ogre, the door to the east is opened, this leads to a large empty closet. "Ah, I have been through here before, no it isn't a closet," the gnome looks as Warhawk, "pardon me friend." He moves towards the eastern wall, "See this little indentation here," he motions towards his foot, "you stick the toe of your boot in and, well," he stands there for a moment before there is a barely audible click and the entire wall panel slides to the left. "Ah, it is a bit tricky, but you need to move the toe of your boot up and to the left." Smiling he looks at the party. Endrill gives him a bit of a wary look, and after this tries to keep an eye on the gnome. Beyond the panel is a short flight of stairs, descending less than 10 feet, "I think they might have expanded on some natural fissures for part of this place. This stair seems to serve no other purpose..."

As they reach the landing at the bottom of the stairs, the passageway turns to the south, and there is a branch leading east. They continue on to the south, coming to a large, well lit, room with some crates in it. To the west a corridor leads into what might be another room, while to the south, there are three nooks that end in the doors, the one furthest east, the door stands open. There is a slight scent of fur, and snuffling and growling sounds come from the western passage. Halting with only Warhawk and Bunny in the rooms entrance, they call Isilgiv forward and ask him to see if he can find out what is making the noise.

The gnome moves forward, the party is a bit surprised at just how quietly he can move, he approaches the passage and just barely enters it before stopping. He stands there for a bit are then returns to the two warriors. "That is gnollish they are speaking. They are griping and grumbling about Orran not living up to his promise. These must be the ones that I had heard before. They are talking of leaving."

Juden looks at the knight and paladin, "Before you say anything, let me finish. This could be good for us, we might be able to get these gnolls to help us. If they are... no Warhawk, let me finish... If they are so disgruntled, perhaps we can pay them to join us against Orran. We don't know how many guards he might have, and we could be walking into a trap." He looks at Cob, "You said they might have been watching us, and that is what triggered the doors to open right?" Not waiting for a response, "Well, then we should take this opportunity to get some temporary allies."

"I have not encountered their ilk before, but I have heard of the great evil these 'hyena-men' have wrought, I will not permit this," the paladin firmly states.

"Yes, but isn't there evil in even mankind?" Cobasks. "If so, then what if these are not evil themselves? And even if they are, you have said that you follow Corthain, and I admit few know much of your sect, but I do know your god is bent on justice. What cause is more just than seeking a murderer?"

The paladin's soul is torn and he thinks upon this, "If they are found to be evil, I cannot allow this!" As he is saying this the gnolls begin coming down the passage from the room to the west. He stares at them, concentrating on detecting for any evil impressions. The very walls of this place radiate feelings of irritation and anger, why had he not noticed this before. The waves of these feelings are intense, and he staggers, "What... is this place?" The others look at him quizzically before he stands again, concentrating on the creatures coming towards him, still the aura of the dungeon overwhelms his senses. He does sense some feeling of irritation from the creatures, but nothing he would consider to be overt. Placing one hand on the wall to steady himself, he rubs his head and waves at Cob.

With the gnome interpreting, the party negotiates with the gnoll leader. There is a sticking point that the gnoll wants to get first pick of the treasures, thinking back to the debacle with tNelag, they are hesitant, but in the end strike a bargain with the pack, they will pay them each two gold now, and split any treasure found with them getting the first pick. The paladin looks a bit sickened, but reluctantly agrees with the party and the deal is made. The gnoll leader, Grrash, says he knows where Orran most likely is, and that he will lead the party there. They form up with gnolls both in front of, and behind the party as they move quickly through the halls. Reaching a dead end passageway, they watch as the gnolls open a secret door, and then another in the passage beyond that. The hall beyond this door has human guards within it, and a great battle ensues. The gnoll leader calls for the party to come with him charging down the hallway as the gnolls swarm the human guards. At one point only Grrash, Juden and Warhawk can move forward as the melee fills the corridor, blocking passage. Grrash charges through a door in the eastern wall of the chamber they come to ans Warhawk charges forward to engage a human in splint mail armor. Blows are struck back and forth, each drawing blood from the other, as Juden is able to break free from the melee, he rushes the room where Grrash is fighting another human in this one in chain mail, there is a man behind a desk in the room in a black robe that looks to be over some sort of armor, a red eye intricate stitched on the front of the robe. Another human in studded armor stands ready to move in. Juden springs into the room and strikes the man in the weaker armor, causing a great welt to form under one eye. Isilgiv begins to move forward and is climbing the wall, hoping to move in and behind Orran.

Outside in the hall and barracks chambers the fight continues to rage, finally a path opens for Endrill, Bunny and Cob to move forward, ignoring the others they head into the chamber of the master of this place. Warhawk was being attacked by both the man in splint, obviously the leader of these bandits, and another in chain, but a couple of gnolls came to help fight that man. With the casting of a spell, Grrash continues his assault while Juden suddenly feels all of his muscles lock up tight, he slumps over against the wall held by some magical means. Mighty blows are struck by the gnoll, and he takes some in return. The little gnome is able to get down off the wall, he thinks he was not noticed by the master of the place and prepares to attack him.

Humans and gnolls strike blows, slaying some of each of their opponents as Bunny and Cob reach the battle with Orran. Cob calls on his illusory abilities and unleashes a spray of scintillating colors, muttering as he does so, sorry Juden but it doesn't look like you are in the fight for now anyhow. The monk and the aide to the bandit captain are hit with the full force of the spell. The aide falls unconscious, while the monk, now not only held, but blinded. While the colors wash over the captain and Orran, neither is affected by the spell. Orran casts a spell again, this time there is no visible effect, but when Isilgiv goes to strike a blow at the cleric, something compels him not to. The gnoll moves in deeper to attack the cleric, and he feels the same compulsion, but is able to fight it off and gets a terrible blow on the cleric. Bunny moves in to strike as Endrill decides to shoot into the melee, between the two they are able to dispatch the captain, having been near death already. Outside, the gnoll fighting the sergeant dies, but another takes its place and is able to bring the man low. Warhawk strikes with his great sword, driving the bandit leader to a knee, this causes the man to beg for quarter, which the paladin accepts.

The cleric casts yet another spell, this time some of his wound heal as he touches himself. The thief is able to shake off the feeling to leave the cleric alone and strikes him in the back with the war hammer, the loud clang of the metal head striking metal armor can be heard, but so to the sickening crunch of breaking bone. The gnoll slashes down with his halberd, tearing the robe off of the cleric, exposing his armor which is emblazoned with the crest of Chulto's family.

The next blow from the Gnoll slays the cleric, while out in the barracks chambers, the last of the humans are dispatched. Of the twelve gnolls that started the battle, 5 remain. The aide comes to from the color spray and quickly surrenders. Juden also revives from the hold that was placed upon him. The party interrogates the prisoners, they know the man that was here was a superior of Orran, but knew nothing of him. These men were all followers of Orran, and sat under his teaching of the elder god. The red eye is the symbol of this deity, they know nothing of the crest on the armor, and were surprised to see it there. The man that met with Orran, met in private with him, and used their masters chamber while he was here. He had left just hours earlier. "We could have had him!" the paladin exclaims, before recovering his calm.

Looking around the area there is little in the way of treasure, a fine silver dinner setting, a small alabaster box with some sort of ungent in it, and there is a golden necklace inset with diamond chips. Upon seeing this, the gnoll chieftain exclaims, "That is what I want, you keep the rest!"

Looking at each of the party members Cob nods and hands the necklace to the gnoll. "Take this, and gladly, we appreciate your help." The gnome interprets this with a bit of difficulty, but the gnoll bobs his head up and down, and calls for his mates and leaves the room, heading to the south.

The party learns that the passageway they entered before turning north is actually a bolt hole, when they ask if there are any horses or wagons, they are told yes to horses, but no wagons, at least not now. Of course, if that is the way the gnolls went, the horses probably would no longer be there, and... they are not. Using his detect magic spell, Cob finds only the armor of the cleric, and the black staff he wielded, that caused a grievous wound to Bunny shed any magical aura. Though when they strip the cleric of his armor, they find a leather strap tied to his arm with a small pouch, this also shows to be magical. The pouch has some writing on it, but it is in a tongue none of the party can understand. Taking the dinner ware, one of the cups is found to hold a small string of five fire opals, then checking the books on the shelf nothing appears to be of any great value. Finally they search around on the desk, and under one of the books they find a note -
Note found on desk wrote:Ned,
I don't know what has taken so long, this is frustrating my friend. I fear I must leave this place now, my guards tell me of a strong party that is nosing around above. They aren't you normal hunters or we would deal with them quickly. To protect our plans, I am going to leave Orran in place here to hold, and I will return, you know where, I doubt that word of Mailina will have reached there yet. The old man will take me in, and I will tarry there a few days, but must away by the 3rd of Falkhyn.
If word has reached there, I will gather what I can quickly, and meet with Sigurd either on the island, or in the pits.
"I bet he is talking of returning to Kandus, and the old man is the sage he was supposedly learning from. I'll bet he is a part of this as well!" Judin states. "But this will have to wait, we must get these two to Veril, and bring the merchants with us as well. We should make all haste back to Hemelsville then see about getting mounts and remounts to let us move as quickly as possible."

With little additional discussion, the company returns for Bren and Halag. Exiting through the bolt hole, the travel a couple of miles when Isilgiv stops, "Here is where I will leave you my friends, I will head off to my home." Approaching Endril, "Lady, please accept this," he reaches in to a hidden pocket of his ruined armor. "This ring will show you to be a friend of the gnomes, any of my homeland will know your for a friend if you show this to them." It is with a bit of sadness that the gnome leaves, for he has great gratitude for these brave souls, and even they are a bit sorry to see him leave, for he did prove to be a true companion.

Rushing as best they could, the company, the prisoners and the rescued merchants make it back to Hemelsville in good time. It is now mid-day on the 6th day of the Feast of Unmaking. They enter town with the prisoners in tow, rumors first had it that they had caught Chulto, but that was quickly shown to be false. Still they are one step closer to bringing the murderer to justice, Veril though needs to speak with them urgently...

Posts: 525
Joined: Sun Aug 26, 2007 7:00 am

Re: Darkness Rising

Post by koralas »

4/5/2018 - Session 15
O.Y. 1946, Feast of Unmaking 6 - Constable's Office - Darkenfold Forest, on the shores of the Silt Bay, Town of Hemelsville
[Cast of Characters Updated]

(Sorry again for the late post on this, but real life once again intervened, this was another short session, and we have another scheduled for tonight after a too-long hiatus.)

Veril greets the characters as they enter his office. "It is good that you are back, and so soon." He motions for other to take the prisoners. "We have yet another mystery, though I believe it tied together with the slaying of Mailina. We have received reports of strange lights coming from out on the bay, they flash for a while, then all goes dark, and flash again. It appears to be aimed towards the old mansion you had investigated. Many of the townsfolk believe them to be the spirits that fled when you entered the house, and fear they are planning to seek revenge on the town. Of course, I don't believe this to be the case, but none the less, we need to have them investigated. I am hoping that you will take the lead on this, alas I don't have anything to offer for payment, but the council came to me and said they would gladly give to you the mansion if you could help find what is going on. They are concerned that the more superstitious among the townsfolk are spreading their fears."

Warhawk sighs, "The spirit realm is indeed a true thing constable, it could be their fears have some bit of truth to them. Still I admit it would be unlikely, since these lights seem to be following a pattern. I know I am not adept in handling water vessels," he looks at the others whom all shake their heads, "it looks as if none of us are. Is there any aid you can offer?"

Veril calls out, "Will, Tom." As he turns back to the company, "Yes, the corporal and private will accompany you," the door to his office opens and two men come in. "This is Corporal Will Gunderson and his brother Tom." The pair nod to the party and stand at attention. "I wish I could send more assistance, but the council will hear none of it. These two are also fishers for their day jobs, and the jolly boat you had found in that cave at the base of the cliff is something they can easily handle. They are doughty warriors, though at times I fear them more brave than is good for their tender years."

The party offers their aid and begin discussing plans for finding the source of these lights. Cobb says, "There must be a ship out there somewhere, has anyone seen one during the day?"

"No, at least not anyone reporting a sighting," Will states as Veril unrolls a map of the area. Pointing at an area of sea side cliff, "This is where the mansion is," and he traces out an area further out in the Silt Bay, "this is the are the lights are being seen. Light carries well across water at night, so it is hard to determine just how far off shore they might be originating. Having seen them once myself, I would guess them to be somewhere between a half to a full mile out."

"Hey, wait just a minute," the blond knight suddenly exclaims, "I just thought of something, remember that paper we found with those strange markings? Will, do you remember what the lights did?"

"Yeah, I saw them late one night, and over about a minute I saw a short flash of light, then three longer flashes, then another short and three long, and another short followed by three long flashes. Kind of strange I thought, there was a bit of time between some of the flashes, but I don't recall exactly."

"Lets get back to Yolla's, I have an idea." Once at the halfling's house, Bunny heads into the room with their gear and emerges waving a piece of paper, "Yes, yes, yes, look at this!" She beams and tosses her long blonde hair back as she holds the paper out. "This," she points to the top line, "we didn't get it before, but now? Anyone?" Judin cracks a grin, half jovial, half annoyed as the others seemingly understand.

The monk states, "This is a code, the dash must be a short flash of light, and the X a longer flash. And unless I miss my guess, the number two at the end of the second line means to flash that signal twice. All of the other notes begin to make more sense now as well. "Mailina's death is not just the result of jealousy by Chulto, but it seems a larger conspiracy with these slavers."

Cobb asks, "When was the last time the lights were seen, and how often do they appear?"

Veril looks at the cleric, "Last night they were reportedly seen, and it seems that they come each night, though not always at the same time, but near enough. If you are going to try to patrol tonight, spotting the lights should be easy enough, with some clouds moving in, the moonlight should be diminished."

"Tonight?" Endrill asks, "Well, there goes a good night sleep after being on the road." She turns to Will, "when did you see these lights?"

"Near on midnight, maybe a bit later." He replies.

Cobb looks at the group, "Well maybe we should catch a little rest now, and as much as I hate to say it, I think we should do that in the caves below the house, so we can be close to the jolly boat, and can have someone upstairs watching for the lights. Not to mention I will have some time to pray to insure I can heal us should the need arise."

"That sounds as good a plan as any," Judin looks at Cobb, "we should gather what we need, but in case the house is being watched, we should probably get there by boat, a small fishing boat would be best, make it look like it is just a fisher trying to get a catch."

Veril smiles, "Yes that would help disguise what you are doing. Will, Tom, go get one of your boats ready, I'll help them bring some gear in town, that is if, Yolla will lend us a wagon so it is not obvious." To which, when asked, Yolla gladly acquiesced.

After they group reaches the caves, the remainder of the afternoon and evening passes with little of note. There is a light cloud cover over head, but still enough moonlight to see fairly well. It is after midnight when Tom comes down from above and says, "The lights are there now." And with this the group sets out in the jolly boat. They had opted to not send the return signal, but rather to row out to the seaward side of what they believed to be the ship, and approach from that direction. It took a bit of time, but they finally spot the ship, keeping far enough away that they should not be easily spotted, the skirted around and were able to reach the port side of the ship. From their vantage point, they could see two men leaning against the rail, their backs to them. Rolled up, and hanging off the deck is a rope ladder. Juden and Will are able to climb up the side of the weathered hull, these slavers need to learn better ship maintenance. Cutting the ladder free, they surprise the two men on deck and attack. Unable to slay them quickly enough, other crew members begin to assault the characters, and to their surprise as a door opens, three lizard men come out to join the slavers in the defense of the ship.

The battle rages with four of the slavers being slain outright, with one of the lizard men also dying. Others falling unconscious to the color spray cast by Cobb, while the captain of the ship succumbs to a hypnotism, a mage that had thrown some magic missiles at them from the poop deck disappears, followed shortly by a splash being heard, it is believed he dove overboard. Finally the remainder of the crew surrenders seeing their leaders dead or in the hands of the party. The party scanned the water but was unable to locate him. As the fight winds down, Endrill gets a strange look on her face as she hears a strange voice in her head. "Hello, hello, I am Yeval'ug, you are my friend, yes?" The ranger starts turning her head about trying to locate the source of the sound, when she suddenly seems to be outside of her body looking down, "Up here, I am up here." Her head turns upwards to where a small lizard creature sits on one of the yard arms, it has wings on it's back and a long pointed tail. "Yes, me, me, you see me now?" As she hears this her vision returns to normal, and she stumbles, steadying herself as she sees this creature. "Me, me, I am your friend, you are my new friend!" After a few moments she recalls hearing of such creatures, a sort of lesser dragon, nowhere near as fierce as their larger cousins, but tough as nails, and generally kindly in nature. They often bind with another intelligent being, and are greatly sought out by mages as a familiar. The bond of friendship is not as strong as that of a wizard and familiar, but does bring benefits to their friend. Being able to communicate telepathically, and allow their companion to see and hear what they do is a boon that most enjoy, though at times it could be distracting or a nuisance. Odd that one would bind with a slaver, perhaps something to discuss at a later time.

All of the surviving crew and lizard men are bound, to be guarded by Will and Tom as the party continues to explore the ship...

Posts: 525
Joined: Sun Aug 26, 2007 7:00 am

Re: Darkness Rising

Post by koralas »

7/26/2018 - Session 16
O.Y. 1946, Feast of Unmaking 7 - On board a ship in the Silt Bay, offshore from the Town of Hemelsville

Exhausted from their battle, their cuts and scrapes wearing on them, the group decides to investigate the rest of the ship, with Cobb and the two marines from Hemelsville remaining on deck. They first enter the cabin in the aft on the port side.
Wizards Cabin wrote:The furnishings and fittings of this cabin are of a good quality, the place is clean and tidy. A single bunk, made-up with linen, has it's head against the bulk head running the center-line of the ship. There is a wooden partition squaring off the corner leading to the main deck. In the center of the room is a polished wooden table on which a silver bowl sits, filled with an assortment of fruits. A silver carafe and goblet sit next to it. Two wooden chairs stand next to the table, accompanied by a padded leather chair. On the deck, beneath a port hole is a brass bound wooden chest, beside which are a pair of highly polished black boots. An unlit lantern hangs from the ceiling above the table.
Moving into the room and looking around a maroon robe hangs behind the door, and the silver carafe is found to be half-full of a crimson liquid. The chest is locked, and it doesn't move, apparently bolted down. Checking the bed, nothing of interest is found. Not wanting to force the locked chest at this time, the group heads back on deck and to the door to starboard.
Captains Cabin wrote:The furnishings and fittings of this cabin are of a good quality, the place is clean though it is untidy. A single bunk, made-up with linen, has it's head against the bulk head running the center-line of the ship. There is a wooden partition squaring off the corner leading to the main deck. A writing desk is obviously bolted to the wall below the stern porthole, a drawer on each side of the desk, and three trays above it. On the desk is an inkpot, two quill pens, a small knife and a pewter pepper-pot like container. The starboard side of the room is dominated by a padded leather couch with a bearskin rug before it. A metal lockbox can be seen below the couch. In the center of the room hangs an unlit hooded lantern.
The pepper pot is examined and found to contain some sort of dust like material, the paladin gives it a sniff and begins to sneeze and cough... It is pepper indeed, of a high potency it seems. The papers are mostly bills and receipts of marine supply, though some are of a more... personal nature... from ladies in three different port towns. There is a semi-literate document requesting further supplies, "as per previous consignments and agreed upon terms." The document is not signed, but bares the mark of Chulto in the upper left corner of the page. The desk drawers are locked, "Hey, did anyone check those guys out there for keys?" Warhawk asks. Answering in the negative, the group heads back and checks the dead and living for keys, the body of the captain is found to have two, as does one of the other prisoners. Checking the chest in the other cabin none of them works, so returning here the and one of the captains key is found to open the drawers. The first is found to hold four crystal vials, one a rosey color, two of a pale yellow, and one that is purple in color. They are labeled in common, in order, "To Remove Poison", two state "Healing of Wounds", and the last "If Deathly Ill". The drawer also holds four dirty tumblers and a half empty bottle of brandy. Finally a small key is found, tucked in the back of the drawer. The second drawer sticks a bit as it is opened, it is fairly heavy and contains a number of coastal charts, obviously made by a skilled cartographer. Behind the door is found a grey cloak hanging from a peg, but a search of the bed and couch find nothing of value. Warhawk drags the metal box from under the couch, it is quite heavy, and uses the second of the keys found on the captain and as he open the lock box a blade scythes out causing a nasty gash on the underside of his arm, bleeding he steps back to tend the wound. Inside the box is found a large amount of electrum coins, they are of an odd size and the mint mark is unknown. The box is dragged out to the deck, and the group continues their search.

On the starboard side in the fore of the ship lies the door the lizardmen had exited.
Lizardman Cabin wrote:The room has a distinct odor that reminds you of a marshland. It is not fetid or oppressive, but definitely noticeable. In the center is a wooden table with three chairs around it, and an unlit lantern hangs above it. On the table is a silver jug, with some sort of red liquid in it. Around that are set three pewter mugs. There are three hammocks hung in the corners of the cabin, the one on the forward an starboard corner shows a small chest or box of some type. Under the hammocks can be see some weapons, a broad sword, some javelins, spears, and the like. A door stands closed on the opposite wall.
Looking around, near the chest is also found a nest, obviously that of the psuedo Dragon that has befriended Endrill. The chest is locked, so they shout out to Cobb who finds a key on one of the lizardmen and brings it to them. The key opens the lock, but the Paladin cries out in pain as a small needle pierces his skin as he opens the lid. An odd feeling comes over the warrior as one hand grasps his wrist and he see's black lines beginning to extend out from the wound. Bunny shouts, "Hey... Hey... that one bottle, quick... quick..." Looking at her incoherent rambling, the others wonder what she means. She tosses her hair back, "MUST I DO EVERYTHING!?!?" she exclaims. She reaches for the clerics pack and pulls out the vial filled with a rosey liquid, "To Remove Poison, REMEMBER?" She pulls the stopper and hands it to the Paladin whom has not felt ill since before his apprenticeship, and he downs the liquid, quickly recovering. The box is filled with the same electrum coins they had seen in the captains chamber. Opening the door beyond the hammocks the room there, obviously all the way in the fore of the ship, is filled with supplies for the upkeep and repair of the ship, nails, tar, planks, etc. There is a door in the port wall that opens to what is the galley stores for the ship. It also has a door to the aft wall that when opened reveals the galley of the ship. Another door leads to the main deck, and in the corner by the main deck, it is squared off much like the other cabins.

Returning to the deck, the doors between the cabins, and the one in the forward wall all show stairs leading down. Deciding to descend in the fore, the group comes to the crews quarters.
Crews Quarters wrote:Various odors assail you senses as you enter this room. Stale perspiration being just barely dominant over the others. To the starboard of the staircase is a door leading deeper into the ship. Eight hammocks are slung from the beams and poles in this area, and they all appear to be slack and unoccupied. Beneath each hammock is a wooden, brass-bound box. In the center of the cabin is a long wooden table with a bench to match on either side. The table is stained and dirty, below it is a tin bucket piled high with dirty plates and cups. Over the table hangs a hooded lantern, unlit at this time. On the starboard wall is an area that has been closed off by a cheep, dirty blanket.
Wrinkling her nose Bunny exclaims, "Ugh, this is the most foul place I have ever been in, what is that smell?!?"

Examining the area nothing much of value is found, the sea chests all hold old, dirty clothes and other mundane items of little value. Beyond the curtain the cause of the other smells is found as an open porthole does little to draw out the stench of a make-shift privvy with two tin buckets, both empty most definitely not clean. It is obvious what stains the floor, and in some areas, the wall here...

Exiting through the door the main cargo hold is found. Here barrels line the walls, while a stairwell rises to the cargo grate above. Beyond that are stacks of some sort of silken cloth, much like that seen in the cave below the abandoned mansion, and past those two doors heading towards the aft of the ship. Waiting for the company are four more of the slaver crew. The battle that ensues is quick, though telling blows are struck by both sides. In the end all but one of the slavers lie dead, and the group pauses to tend their wounds. The barrels hold various goods from salts to soaps, wine and brandy. The silk does look very similar to that found in the cave, solidifying, as if there was any doubt, the link between the two. A hatch can be seen in the floor forward the main mast. Checking the port door, it opens into a cabin. One of the men had a key on his body that they take with them. Taking the prisoner above, he is bound with the others. At this time Cobb decides to descend, leaving the marines to watch the prisoners.
Bosun's Cabin wrote:This cabin appears to fill have the stern section of the ship, with a bulkhead running down the center line. Stairs leading up are in the squared off portion of the corner next to the door. There is a plain wood table in the center of the cabin with, on which is found a pewter flagon and mug, a single chair beside it, and an unlit lantern hanging from the ceiling. A hammock is strung along the port wall beneath a porthole, and a brass-bound wooden box below it. Hanging from the ceiling a large cage with a parrot in it is near the back wall.
As soon as Warhawk enters the room the parrot begins squawking, "Pieces of Eight - Pieces of Eight", and it continues for about 30 seconds before tucking it's head back under it's wing. The chest is not locked and contains grubby and smelly garments. Digging through them an iron box is found. Pulling it out, it is found to be locked. Using the key from the man found on this deck it unlocks, and holding the lid from the back, the paladin opens it up. Inside is found a small leather bound tome, though none can decipher it's writings. Suddenly from the aft wall a thumping can be heard. "What is that, Endrill asks?"

Cobb says, "Hey, this room doesn't look right, it should be longer to match the length of the ship." He examines the aft wall and finds that a few of the wall boards, if pushed, move in together and slide to the side. In the small space beyond, there is stomping his feet against the wall, a gnome, chained and gagged. Removing his gag they interrogate him, his name is "Small Beard" he says, "wizard, par excellence." The conversation continues, and they opt to unchain him. Luckily, the small key they found in the captains cabin desk unlocked the manacles. He asks for a dagger or staff to defend himself with, to which all of the party looks questioningly at each other, remembering what happened with Ned and Amiri... In the end they relent and Cobb gives him the obsidian dagger he carries. "Uhm, you wouldn't have happened to see my spell book, leather, about this big..." he gestures. Endrill pulls the book out, and hands it to him, a question in her eyes. "YESSSSSSSSS!" the gnome exclaims, "this is it!" After another brief discussion they leave the cabin and check the one adjoining.

This cabin is that of the Mate, it to is mostly unremarkable, and contains little of value other than a small chest holding some silver coins, and a few books of maritime lore. The cabin also has a hidden door like the other and beyond is found a cache of weapons, morningstars, broadswords, javelins, etc. Nothing of a remarkable value, but there are also a number of shields, one bearing the crest of Chulto on it's face.

"There is only one place left to look," Warhawk says, pointing to the hatch leading below in the cargo hold. As they open it, the stench of stale water and garbage assails them. A chittering of rats can be heard faintly. Lowering Endrill into the space, she sees that this is the bilge, and while she does not know how deep the water is, she can see a number of floating piles of garbage. One though looks to have anchored itself to the base of the main mast, and as she sheds light on it, something glitters of gold from it. Pulling her up, the group decides that the psuedo dragon should fly down and check it out, so Endrill asks her new friend if he would do that. And if he can, grab the shiny thing she had seen. The dragon happily flies into the lower deck and sees rats, just the normal variety, skittering about the garbage islands. He heds for the large stationary one and grabs the shiny object, and gives a little screech. Flying back up, it drops what is a gold coin at Endrills feet, but just barely visible as it disappears beneath the scale of the creature is the tail end of a worm like creature. Shouting out what she sees, the group tries to light a torch, but it is to late from the little creature, as the rot grub burrows quickly to it's heart and feasts upon it. Endrill cries for the small dragon, not long had they been friends, but the bond was incredibly strong.

Heading back up onto the main deck, they decide to try and open the last chest in any way they can. "Did anyone check those boots out?" Cobb asks, as he looks at them, he notices one of the heels moves. Inside is a small silver key. "Hey, look at this!" He looks at the silver lock on the chest, "Wanna bet???" The paladin offers to open the chest, so many have been trapped, and he is still in the best health of them all. The others back away as the Paladin unlocks the lid and pulls it open. A cloud of spores of some sort explodes out into the room, filling about half of it, gasping as his lungs fill with the stuff the paladin falls to the decking. Not sure what to do, the group eventually the marines move next to the party as they are able to pull the paladin out, they find he is alive, but in a comatose state. The spores settle to the deck and they are able to examine the chest. Inside they find various items of well-appointed clothes, though of little value. A small leather pouch containing some coins, and a pair of slippers. As they move to close the lid, it looks odd, and they find a secret compartment in it. Inside is a book with a script none of them can read, though some of it looks a bit familiar to Small Beard, in the back of the book is a loose sheet with "Abracaphagic" in the common tongue, what this means none know. Also in the compartments was a metal tube, stoppered on either end. Inside is a sheet of parchment with more strange symbols on it. As they move to put the scroll back in the tube there is a clinking sound from within. As they upend the tube they find a small ring, inset with a single gem, though there are spots for two other gems that are empty. As they turn, they realize that the lizardmen are gone. It looks like they were able to chew through their bonds and escape.

Suddenly Endrill says, "Wait, I recognize that ring. Remember in that tower/chapel in the mountains, that ring we had found there? This looks just like that!"

Cobb looks at her, "And you know what, this ship, doesn't it look like that one on the altar there?"

"It does, it does! The wishes it had granted us then, do you think it will work here?"

A long discussion is had, and the group sends the marines back for aid as they watch the prisoners. A couple of boats return, with men to man the ship and bring it in to port, while others take the prisoners in to town. The last takes the party back to shore near Yolla's place. Here they decide to rest the night, and in the morning they debate and decide that they will test the ring right away... "To those that power this ring, those that were freed at last from their mortal forms, we beseech you to return our friend Amiri, one of the warriors of our group that helped free the Lord and Lady to their rest eternal. Her death was most untimely, her service not yet done. Return her to life with us, that she may fulfill her purpose in this life." At first nothing seemed to happen, but then there is a shout heard from below, Yolla screaming. As the group rushes downstairs they see someone standing, naked, over Yolla's body, which was laying on the floor. Blood drips onto the floor. Shouting at whoever it was to back up, the person turns her head, exposing the side of her back to the light as a gaping wound closes. As her face becomes visible, Endrill gaps, "Amiri..."

Posts: 525
Joined: Sun Aug 26, 2007 7:00 am

Re: Darkness Rising

Post by koralas »

10/28/2018 - Session 17, 18
O.Y. 1946, Falkhyn 3 - Town of Kandus
[Cast of characters updated]

After returning to town and being awarded the ship of the slavers, the company talks with Veril who helps them find men to man the ship. The group had pieced together some of the evidence and have decided that they would try to catch Chulto in the Town of Kandus. They believe he had fooled the old astronomer, and fear he may do him harm as well. They gather supplies and horses, and head out on the Silt Bay, being dropped off to the west in an effort to get to Kandus before Chulto would leave. They take the better part of two days sailing and hard riding to arrive in town. When there they head to the Moonlight Inn, sitting they order food and drink, and ask the serving wench, Graeh, about the town, and inquire as to where they could find Heirald. She tells them that he is in a small keep to the north east of town. At that point the party notices someone that seemed to be paying attention to them, and he gets up to leave the Inn. Cobb and Judin begin to follow him as the others gather their horses to try and make better time. The man disappears from sight around some buildings but Cobb and Judin increase their pace to follow, but they loose him in the gloom. As they turn the corner they see him sprinting SE, heading out of town. The others soon join them and Endrill is able to find his trail and they follow it until they come into view of some large hills and spot the man atop one of them. Spurring their horses into a gallop they soon catch him, and a short battle ensues. During this fight they try to get the man to surrender, but he refuses, stating "they" would do worse to him than death. From their vantage point on this high hill, a slightly worn path in the valley between hills can be seen, and on investigation, there is a not well concealed door set into the side of one of the hills.

After searching around, there is a lever that is found that opens the door. Beyond a cave stretches out in the darkness, so the priest casts a couple of light spells. Once inside they group looks for, and finds, another lever that closes the door behind them. There are a few piles of rock in the cave, and the floor seems to have been smoothed out. There is a bit of dust and grit on the floor, but it looks as if someone had cleaned it up a bit. A single passage heads north out of this chamber.

The passage to the north opens into another large cavern, with two exits to the north and one to the west. More rock piles are found in this chamber. The passages to the north both quickly come to an end, but the one to the west continue on, winding to the north before again continuing westward. A wooden stockade with a gate is found here, it opens easily, being bared on this side. Nothing seems to be alive in the largest cavern they have seen in this complex, but there are many bones, including a large pile directly across from the stockade. There are some tattered furs and cloth mixed in the pile. As they approach to investigate, a huge portion of the bones stands up, a skeleton the size of a giant! It brandishes what appears to be a large thigh bone of some huge creature as it attacks. The horrifying undead strikes at the group, causing not a few wounds, while their blades do little damage to it. Bunny recovers from the initial shock and strikes with her warhammer, the damage it causes is immense, the magic upon it as the bane of undeath causes bones to crack beneath the head of the weapon. It quickly is brought low once she joined the fray. Cobb is horrified at the atrocities men can cause on those that have fallen and blesses the bones, hoping that the giant can go at last into it's afterlife. No exits can be found from this chamber, so the group returns to the entry cavern.

"The must be something more here, that can't be it, can it?" says Judin.

"I don't know, maybe this is just something to throw us off the trail," Endrill states. "Do you think there might have been someone else working with the man we chased?"

Warhawk looks at her, "No, not unless they waited until we were far away to leave, it took a few minutes to get the horses and we didn't see anyone trying to sneak away."

"Lets look around, see if maybe there is a hidden door here somewhere." Cobb starts checking the walls. As the rest of the group does, they finally find a section of wall that is insubstantial, an illusion! It covers a passageway leading west from this chamber.

Following the passage but a short distance, it opens into a small cavern with a wooden, iron-bound door to the west. The door is not locked and opens easily. moving in they see another door in the passage to the west, and an open passageway leading north. From within they see two large skeleton begin to move towards them, fragments of chain mail armor still hanging from their shoulders, with shields and large swords at the ready. Warhawk, who was leading the way, charges into the chamber to attack the foul things. He is soon followed by the rest of the group. This battle is difficult, the party taking many grievous wounds. As blows are struck back and forth, Warhawk is almost brought low and has to step back for a moment to gain some healing lest he be slain. Suddenly a noise attracts the attention of Cobb and Endrill as they see two people run past the passageway to the south, as a third, dressed in platemail armor, steps into the passage to block their way. This battle is fierce and in the end the man is subdued allowing Warhawk, Juden and Endrill to chase down the other two. Thanks to a hypnotism spell from Cobb, the warrior is at least passingly friendly to the Illusionist and he begins to try and get information from him. He learns that someone called Grunjir was leading this place while the "big boss" wasn't here, and that they were here getting "merchandise". He doesn't know of any other ways out but the way the characters had come in.

The others catch up with the second of the two men that had ran past, he is dressed in platemail armor as well, it is black enameled and bears the crest of Chulto on it's breastplate. As the group begins to approach him, they are suddenly unable to hear anything, as if they were completely deaf. Moving in on the man, he suddenly disappears. Judin swing at the space he knew the man to be last at but catches only air. While out of the corner of his eye Warhawk sees a man in robes near the northern passage out of the entry cavern. As Amiri comes into the chamber Warhawk waves towards the north and she chases after the man. Swinging her sword she hits but the blade finds no resistance and the man winks out of existence. A few of the party explore back to the north but do not find either of the two.

The man that was subdued had been largely ignored for a period of time, and had freed himself from the bonds the party had put him in. They did not search him, and he was able to get to the dagger in his boot, and cut the cords, then reaching into his pouch he drained a potion of giant strength. With this he was able to barrel past some of the unsuspecting company, swinging out with his dagger as he continued to try to barrel through. Bunny suffered heavily, almost being eviscerated as the man fought desperately to get free. In the end they had to slay him as he would not stop, crying for forgiveness and that Grunjir would have a fate worse than death for him.

After the battle, the party talked and Cobb said, "Hey wasn't that guy in that ruined keep also called Grunjir?" They discussed this a bit as they headed back for the chamber the three had come from.

"You know, maybe that isn't a proper name, perhaps a family name, or a title of some sort?" Warhawk questioned. "That could make some sense."

Nodding the group entered the room and found a desk with papers on it. The papers are in some sort of code that none could figure out, but the formatting of the documents made them look like a ledger of some sort. Checking the desk they find little of interest except some incense. Beyond a large rock pile they find a sofa, a bed, and a chest. Rifling through the bed and sofa, nothing of interest is found. The chest is locked, and by some miracle they are able to force the lock open. Inside is mostly clothes, fine looking garb, beneath them, a well concealed false bottom is found. Beneath that is a rod with a ball on top of it. There are some studs on the rod handle, perhaps to help hold onto it? With nothing more to find, the group decides to leave and head straight to the tower of the sage.

It is getting well into the night, the sky is clear and above can be seen the moon and numerous stars. One grouping catches their eyes as it seems to have a glow about the three stars, strange indeed. They decide to knock at the door of the tower since they are locked, and after a moment they open with two men in platemail standing guard asking their business. Stating they want to see the sage, it takes a bit of time, but the guards converse and one leaves to head back, but as he does so a lady appears from deeper within the tower.

She introduces herself as Celia, "How can I help you?" The party explain that they wish to talk with Heirald, and tell of the death of Malina. "I am sorry, but he must not be disturbed right now, he is in study of a most important astronomical conjunction, one that will not pass again for many decades. I would need more information that just the death of his friend to interrupt him." The party relates the story of how Mailina died, and the treachery of Chulto. "Why that is just not possible, Chulto is here, and has been for more than two weeks." Stating the she must be mistaken, then asking to speak to him, she replies, "No, he fell ill a day or two after arriving, he had gone to the inn to meet some friends that were passing through, and after he returned, he fell into some sort of swoon, and has not regained consciousness yet, nor do we know if he ever will." She shows them the bed in which a man that looks just like the one that was tailing Judin before he was attacked in the docks back in Hemelsville. Well, it looks like it could be him in any event, his countenance is greyish, cheeks sunken, the man looks deathly ill. Retreating to a sitting area, she relates more of the story, and how she has cared for him, and even the druid in the grove outside of town did not have the proper magics to heal the man.

A short time later as they had been talking, an old man descends the stairs, "Celia, who are these?" He wrinkles his nose at the party, dried blood on their armor, "And what are they doing here, today of all days?" She explains to him what they had told her, and he says, "No, I have known that boy since he was knee high, that is definitely Chulto. I don't know who murdered my dear friend, but it wasn't him!"

A discussion ensues, and they decide that Warhawk should try to call on the power of his deity to heal the man of this disease. As he does so, his eye flutter open and his countenance seems to improve slightly. "I have not seen him open his eyes since he fell to this sickness!" She examines him, "He will need some rest, perhaps in the morning he will be able to speak, but then just briefly..."

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Re: Darkness Rising

Post by tocnaza »

I can see why you do such write ups with how much time passes between some of your sessions. Glad to see its still going on!

Posts: 525
Joined: Sun Aug 26, 2007 7:00 am

Re: Darkness Rising

Post by koralas »

tocnaza wrote:I can see why you do such write ups with how much time passes between some of your sessions. Glad to see its still going on!
Thanks, real life has a way of interfering quite drastically at times. With our being scattered about the country, and a few that travel frequently for their job, it can be quite the challenge. I have our last session from last weekend to write up as soon as I have a few minutes to do so.

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