Monday, January 28, 2008

A Dark And Stormy Knight

Our adventure begins just south of Kalstrand, in the country of Ahlissa which is found in the Flanaess region of the continent of Oerik. Four young adventurers, set forth from separate locations but all with the same destination, find themselves a day or so from the city with dusk fast approaching, and a massive storm approaching faster still. Looking for shelter, one by one the travelers find themselves drawn to the enormous gates of a nearby Tor, a tomb built into the side of a hill.

Meeting within the dry confines of the grand entranceway, the four adventurers declare Storm-Peace, an ancient custom whereby an automatic truce is declared in a neutral territory when the weather is too dangerous for fighting. In this case, however, it is immediately obvious that no such custom is required, as the individuals quickly find a common like of one another. After some minor introductions, it is readily agreed that the best course of action while trapped by the storm is to take a closer look around the Tor.

Three doors lead deeper into the tomb, one directly across from the entrance and one to either side. All are locked, however, and none in the party can manage to pick the locks or break them down. Just when it seems that they will simply have to wait out the storm in the entranceway, a monstrous clap of thunder erupts from outside, and all three doors fall inward simultaneously! Seconds later, the sounds of squeaking fill the air as a pack of rats swarms in from the largest doorway.

Frightened, the rats swarmed the nearest members of the party, biting and clawing. The group immediately set into action, fighting alongside one another as though they had been doing so for years. Quickly the rats were vanquished, leaving 3 open doors for the party to choose from.

Choosing the door to the right of the entrance (when facing inwards), the adventures advanced down a short hallway into a small room, empty save for a large stone chest built into the floor. Wisely Halandar gave pause to the group, and used his skills to search for treachery. Sure enough, the chest was rigged, but Halandar easily disarmed the trap allowing the group to retrieve the contents of the chest, which included a Headband of Stout Heart, as well as pearls and gold.

Retracing their steps back to the main chamber, the group then decided to venture to the left of the entrance. This doorway took them down another short hallway, opening to another small room, this one containing only a Sarcophagus standing against the far wall. Strangely the head of the Sarcophagus had tendrils in place of hair, and bat-like wings extending from the temples. As this was registering, the eyes flew open revealing the glow of green flames, and the head flew forward to attack!

Acting quickly, Famond was able to step into the room and loose an arrow into the creature, which he recognized as a Lesser Vargouille. At this the creature let out a terrifying scream, rendering Famond paralyzed in fear and unable to move. Thankfully the rest of the members were unaffected, and easily slayed the Vargouille before it could even take so much as another action. As Famond recovered, the group set to inspecting the sarcophagus and found a magical ring of unknown power. Perhaps an appraisal can determine the usefulness of this particular item.

With one final passage to examine, the band set forth down a long, narrow hall. They came upon a stone chamber furnished with a large table on which lay implements of iron. Water dripped through from a shaft in the ceiling, out of which a rope dangled and swung slowly. Suddenly, 2 Hobgoblins stepped through a door on the far side of the room, and a battle ensued. Once again the party fought well, tearing through the Hobgoblins with ease and a synergy that belied their time together. Strapping on the Lifting Belt being work by one of the creatures, Halandar and crew chose to enter a small path leading from the side of the room.

Taking the lead, Berkley strode confidently down the narrow hall. As he approached the opening to a room beyond, he noticed numerous body-shaped lumps on the floor, each wrapped carefully in layers of grey thread, like woven mummies. This distracted him, however, and he walked straight into a giant spiderweb! Spotting it's prey, the heretofore unseen monstrous spider descended from it's perch on the ceiling and began to attack. Fortunately Berkley was quickly able to free himself from his bonds through sheer strength, and again the foursome defeated their foe. Claystone retrieved a minor Pearl of Power from within the room, and Halandar discovered a bag of gold pieces amidst the mummified lumps.

Turning back, the party had one last room to search, located at the end of the chamber where they had battled the Hobgoblins. The room was dominated by a long stone table, on which lay the well-preserved corpse of a Bugbear. This was clearly the corpse of the creature to whom this Tor belonged. Suddenly the corpse sat up, wielding a morningstar in one hand and a javelin in the other. As it climbed off the table, it's mouth opened to loose an eerie moan.

The heroes acted quickly, with Famond and Halandar shooting their crossbows while Claystone and Berkley wielded their swords. The Dark Knight struck quickly, heaving his javelin into the chest of Famond, leaving him terribly wounded. Claystone attempted to turn the zombie Bugbear but was unsuccessful. Berkley and Halandar each landed a couple blows, but did not faze the Dark Knight.

Badly wounded, Famond fled to a safe distance. Turning his attention to Berkley, the zombie unleashed a massive blow, seriously wounding the fighter as well. Claystone stopped trying to turn the zombie and instead healed much of the damage inflicted on Berkley. Halandar moved behind the bugbear in an attempt to flank him.

With the fight hanging by a thread, Famond edged closer and again readied his crossbow. The Dark Knight again landed a direct hit on Berkley, who fought back valiantly. Claystone damaged the beast with a reversed Cure spell, and Halandar staggered him with a vicious cut. Finally, Berkley was able to fell the beast, and the group was victorious. Injured but standing, Berkley was rewarded with a Masterwork Longsword found strapped to the back of the Knight. The party also scavenged 250GP that lay scattered around the chamber.

With that the party retreated back to the entranceway. The storm was still occurring, but was noticeably lighter than at it's peak. Deciding to camp in the entrance for the night, the group was positive the storm would pass by morning when they could resume their trek, together, to Kalstrand.