Wednesday, August 21, 2013

Sunday 1 August 1280, And After (The End)

Duran calls to Karnak and feeds him from his pack. He then goes and checks on Almo to see if he can be of any help. Fortunately, the darkness spell begins to fade. Though Almo doesn't have full sight back, he is beginning to make out vague forms and shapes, and seems to be improving by the minute.

Gaven goes over to Filbert's body and cleans him up as much as possible. Gaven says a prayer to the Light in Filbert's honor.

Oloc listens at the north door, but hears nothing on the other side. Opening the door, the mage sees a tunnel leading north – no doubt a secret passage heading onward into the dungeons beneath the keep as you originally expected.

All three leaders of the party proceed to examine the altar. As you look at the altar's surface, you can see several lines of wicked-looking characters carved into the altar's surface by Rottblood.

Oloc is able to make out the gist of the ancient evil language. Evidently Rottblood was carving a spell that would draw on the spiritual energies of those buried here and corrupt them. The corrupted spiritual energy would then be channeled into Rottblood himself so that he could – it appears – transform himself into a lich.

Examining Rottblood's body, you find that he was no ordinary mage. He was in fact a ghoul – already undead and, not content with his station, trying to move up in the underworld.

You also find upon him a gold ring, a diadem set with multi-colored gems, and another iron amulet with a symbol just like the one you found previously on his minions.

The rock-scraping you heard earlier – and which you still hear – is emanating from the stone of the altar itself as the wicked lines of text slowly fill themselves in and fade away. With Rottblood's death, the altar is repairing itself.

The iron chisel Rottblood used to carved the symbols still lies upon the altar's surface. Before your very eyes, it begins to dissolve as if it were bathed in acid. The process of the chisel's destruction leaves no mark upon the altar.

As you search the bodies of the skeletons you find little of value except for the gear they are carrying.

However, giving a closer examination to the altar, you find a secret compartment underneath. Within is a medium-sized coffer with Rottblood's symbol on it. Opening the coffer you find a substantial mixed assortment of gems, jewelry and gold.

All told, your haul from Rottblood's chamber – gear, gems, jewelry combined – is easily worth a total of 5,000-6,000 gp.

After the room is looted and secured, it is obvious that Almo is still quite shaken and cannot go on. You deem it would also be better to head back to town to bury Filbert and Wally. And of course Hazel will have to be told.

*****

As you make your way back through the catacombs, you note that the puddles of red liquid have almost all disappeared. When you pass through the chamber containing the Mirror of Blessed Souls, you find the water perfectly clear, still and placid. When Gaven looks into the water, the reflection of a face appears therein – not his own face, but the peaceful face of some old abbot.

The face whispers to Gaven: "Thank you." The image then wavers for a moment, smiling, and disappears.

When you make your way to the top of the stairs into the chapel, your comrades there are overjoyed to see you alive, but saddened to see yet another of the halflings dead.

All together you travel solemnly back to Fairbrook. The journey is without incident.

*****

Hazel breaks down and cries hysterically for hours when she sees Filbert's body. However, you eventually manage to calm her and console her as much as can be done, and you ensure that both Filbert and Wally get a proper burial. With Filbert's share of the treasure, Hazel will be able at least to have material security for some time to come. Almo, now fully recovered from his blindness, escorts her back to her family's home.

Captain Belloc crosses paths with you and is glad to hear that you've cleared such a great evil out of Blackwell. "We had no idea there were undead taking over the catacombs beneath the chapel. Clearing them out should make travel at night along the road past the keep at little bit safer, at least for a while," he says.

Abbot Cuthbert is overjoyed that Gaven has recovered the Way of the Light. "This tome," he tells Gaven, "is one of the great treasures of the Church, and was long thought to be lost. No one knew if this copy even still existed. It is a miracle that you were able to recover it!"

Back at the Red Tankard, Big Sadie welcomes you warmly and is more motherly than ever to you. She stuffs you with Sal's cooking until you can't eat anymore, and hovers over you to ensure your every comfort for the first few days you're back.

As much as you enjoy her attentions, it becomes clear that you won't be staying at the Tankard indefinitely. Blackwell and other places of peril and fortune await you, and Sadie knows as well as you do that your destiny lies there.

"One thing's for sure, though" says Sadie. "Wherever your adventures may take you, you'll always have a home here at the Tankard!"

*************************

OOC: I'm going to call a close to the game here guys.

I've been wrestling with a touch of GM fatigue + some RL obligations for a while now. I had hoped my three-week break earlier this spring would let me get over that, catch my breath, and re-charge my creative batteries, but it just didn't seem to work out that way. So with a new school year about to start and with you guys having just put down a major villain, it seemed like a good time to stop.

I do want to say that I really loved running this campaign for you. You were a great group to run a game for. This was my first time back in the GM's chair in 20 years, and I was lucky to have players that operated so well together and brought such good energy to the game. This game was fun for me mostly because of your play.

When next I run a PBB, I'll definitely be inviting you guys!


Monday, August 19, 2013

Sunday 1 August 1280 (After the Ball)

Gaven bellows seeing the fall of Filbert, and yells, "Your Master fell, now flee from the Light!"

Without their leader, and confronted by the righteous fury of the cleric, the skeletons once more falter, this time turning and running for the north door.

Duran turns his attention to the skeletons fleeing from Jack, firing his bow at the undead, while Oloc throws his dagger at the nearest skeleton. Jack, Gweneth and Karnak all also join in hacking down the running enemies from behind.

Even Almo senses their flight, and he swings his blade wildly with a mad halfling battle cry, nearly hitting Gaven by mistake. The cleric quickly sidesteps to avoid the unintended blow from the small warrior.

In a matter of moments, it's all over,* and the last of the skeletons lies unmoving in pieces near the door across the room from you.

The room is now silent. The puddle of crimson fluid in the eastern portion of the room seems slowly to be getting smaller. And you hear a very faint sound – almost imperceptible –  vaguely reminiscent of stone scraping on stone, but far quieter and more subtle, coming from the altar.



*************************

OOC: Actions?

*I didn't bother with hit rolls since with the skeletons were turned (and Rottblood was dead), allowing them no riposte. With their demise a given, and the only variable being time, I just ruled it "a matter of moments."

MAJOR EDIT: Also, I forgot to include Gaven's Protection from Chaos which was still in effect last round, meaning the skeleton's roll of 19 did NOT hit him. So in fact, Gaven is at 10/12 HP still. My apologies for overlooking that!

Time: 17:40
Current Torch Expires: 18:10

Oh, and the bones to the north are the skeletons you just killed.

Friday, August 16, 2013

Sunday 1 August 1280, Late Afternoon (One Down, One Up)

"Your necromantic powers will fail in the face of the Light!" cries Gaven as he raises his hand once more to turn Rottblood's minions. Unfortunately, though they waver momentarily, the cleric is unable to put quite enough force into his declaration to turn the skeletal minions back.

Duran, however, nocks one of Ruger's Perfect Arrows, and lets loose on Rottblood. True to its name, the arrow is precisely on target, whistling past Gaven's ear and striking Rottblood right in the center of his cowl. The evil fiend emits a howl of otherworldly agony as the flaming magical backflash from the arrow seems to burst out of his hood. Rottblood then crumples to the ground, lifeless.

With Rottblood down, Oloc throws his dagger at one of the skeletons threatening Jack, but unfortunately with no success.

Karnak strikes again at his skeleton, ripping away some of its ribs, and Gweneth and Jack, though unable to make progress, at least are able to hold their own on the flanks.

Today, however, seems destined to be a day of tragedy for the halflings. The skeleton facing Filbert, after dodging the small warrior's attack, strikes the poor stout fellow with a blow that splits his skull. With a sickening sound, Filbert falls to the floor, dead.

Another skeleton strikes [MAJOR EDIT] at Gaven, but just misses.

Behind Oloc, Almo stirs and shows what grit halflings possess. Despite his blindness, he stands and draws his weapon. The determined grimace on his face paints a stark contrast to his darkened, vacant eyes. Placing a hand in the center of Oloc's back to get his bearings, Almo moves past the mage and starts forward, returning to the fight.



*************************
OOC: Actions?

HP Update:
Gaven: 10/12
Filbert: 0/6 (dead)
All others full

MAJOR EDIT: When I first wrote this, I forgot to include Gaven's Protection from Chaos which would mean the skeleton's roll of 19 (below) did NOT hit him. So in fact, Gaven is at 10/12 HP still. My apologies for overlooking that!

Other points of note:
Rottblood is dead
Two skeletons have been wounded (the one facing Gweneth and the one facing Karnak)
Almo has passed a morale check and is now standing again.

The skeletons are still eligible for turning, if Gaven chooses to attempt it again (really lousy dice-rolling on my part once more – Gaven needed a 7, on 3d6, and I threw a 6; I need to have a serious talk with my dice).

Combat Details

Initiative: Party 6 – Rottblood 2

Gaven (attempts to turn skeletons)
3d6 = 6 (fail)

Duran (shoots at Rottblood with Ruger's Perfect Arrow)
Auto-Hit, Auto Max damage = 12 (Rottblood Killed)

Oloc (throws at skeleton)
d20 = 1 +1 (medium range) = 2 (miss)

Karnak (attacks skeleton)
d20 = 18+2 (hit bonus) = 20 (hit); d6 = 2 (skeleton wounded)

Gweneth: (attacks skeleton)
d20 = 9 (miss)

Jack: (attacks skeleton)
d20 = 9 (miss)

Filbert (attacks skeleton)
d20 = 9 (miss)

Almo (morale check)
2d6 = 7 (pass); stands up

Skeleton (attacks Gweneth)
d20 = 7 (miss)

Skeleton (attacks Karnak)
d20 = 4 (miss)

Skeleton (attacks Gaven)
d20 = 19 (hit); d6 = 5 (Gaven is now at 5/12 hp)

Skeleton (attacks Filbert)
d20 = 18 (hit); d6 = 6 (Filbert Killed)

Skeleton (attacks Jack)
d20 = 4 (miss)

Skeleton (attacks Jack)
d20 = 9 (miss)

Sunday, August 11, 2013

Sunday 1 August 1280, Late Afternoon (Howling and Screeching)

Duran continues to fire at Rottblood while yelling encouragement to Karnak. One of Duran's arrows strikes Rottblood, who howls with anger.

Oloc stays near Almo, protecting him from any approaching skeletons. He lets the halfling know that he is there, in an attempt to calm him. From this position Oloc throws his magical dagger. The flashing steel projectile misses, but comes right back to the mage's hand.

Gaven then charges at Rottblood yelling, "For the Light!" The rampaging cleric hurtles forward toward his dark adversary, striking him hard with his club.

Rottblood staggers momentarily from the cleric's charge.

Meanwhile, Gweneth, Jack and Karnak all continue to assault the skeletons. But the latter succeed in parrying their attacks.

Rottblood quickly regains his poise and raises his arms high above his head: "Take courage, my children! Feel the power of the darkness flowing within you!"

As the words leave his lips, the skeletons stop their backward movement. They appear almost to stand straighter, more menacingly, and they press forward once more with their own attack.

All however, fail to land a blow. Jack's defense against the three skeletons who have ganged up on him is nothing less than miraculous, blade and shield moving with the speed of lightning and catching every blow thrown at them.

Having finally dragged his cousin to safety behind Oloc, Filbert charges into the skeletons to wreak his vengeance for Wally's death and Almo's blindness. "Back to the abyss with you! Die! DIE! DIIIIIIIEEEEEE!" he screams in an almost insanely high-pitched screech. His furious rage, however, is not enough to allow him to break through his adversary's defense.



*************************

OOC: Actions?

Hit Point Update: The only one taking any damage it seems is Rottblood (not even the skeletons got hit this round! Party HP are where they were at the start of the fight).

*****

Combat Details, Round 2

Initiative: Party 6 – Rottblood 1

Duran (shoots at Rottblood)
d20 = 8 + 1 (hit bonus) + 2 (close range) = 11 (miss)
d20 = 10 + 1 (hit bonus) + 2 (close range) = 13 (hit); d6 = 5

Oloc (throws at Rottblood)
d20 = 3 +1 (medium range) = 4 (miss)

Gaven (charges Rottblood)
d20 = 12 +1 (ribbon) = 13 (hit); 2d6 (for charge) = 3 + 2 (ribbon doubled for charge) = 5

Karnak (attacks skeleton)
d20 = 3 +2 (hit bonus) = 5 (miss)

Gweneth: (attacks skeleton)
d20 = 9 (miss)

Jack: (attacks skeleton)
d20 = 8 (miss)

Rottblood (attempts to rally his minions)
(Un-)turn undead: 3d6 = 6 success. *Text Edited: I originally wrote d20 when in fact I had rolled 3d6.

Skeleton (attacks Gweneth)
d20 = 3 (miss)

One skeleton cannot get to Gweneth because of altar "bottleneck."

Skeleton (attacks Karnak)
d20 = 10 (miss)

Skeleton (attacks Gaven)
d20 = 4 (miss)

Skeleton (attacks Jack)
d20 = 1 (miss)

Skeleton (attacks Jack)
d20 = 3 (miss)

Skeleton (attacks Jack)
d20 = 5 (miss)

Filbert (attacks skeleton; goes last after dragging Almo to safety)
d20 = 7 (miss)

Wow, if I keep rolling like this the combat is going to take forever...

Thursday, August 8, 2013

Sunday 1 August 1280, Late Afternoon (Light and Darkness)

"I am Rottblood," says the figure. "Who are you who invade my home and harm my family?"

Gaven answers in a stern tone, "We are the ones who will stop your defilement of this temple."

Hearing this reply, the skeletons charge forward. Rottblood speaks a word in an evil-sounding tongue, and a shadow flies from his hand, striking Almo in the face.

"I'm blind!" cries the halfing. "I can't see!" Almo falls to the floor, and tries to crawl away from the undead he knows are coming for him in his own private darkness.

Gaven lifts his holy symbol and commands, "Children of Rottblood, flee from the holy power of the Light!"

The skeletons who were rushing forward stop dead in their tracks. They look from Rottblood to Gaven and back again. Trembling between the wrath of their master and that of the light, they slowly begin to step backward.

Their withdrawal however, is not the mad flight you witnessed before, and you can't help wondering if Rottblood's will or magic might bring them back into the fight.

Meanwhile, Oloc finds a line of sight to the shrouded figure and points his finger. Recalling the spell stored in his ring, he sends the magical missile streaking towards the evil one. The missile strikes the dark adversary, in a burst of red energy, yet seems to do but little harm.

As soon as Oloc fires his magic missile at the shrouded figure Duran lets loose an arrow at the same, followed quickly by a second. Both arrows strike Rottblood. The first seems only to nick him, but the second sinks solidly into the fiend's torso.

Duran then steps to the side to let the others move into the room, motioning for Karnak to attack.

Karnak swoops down on one of the withdrawing skeletons and rips out two of its vertebrae with his talons. The skeleton falls to the floor in a pile of bones.

Gweneth and Jack each let out a primal battle cry and rush the adversaries on either flank.

Jack's reckless run bears no fruit. But the female elf hacks with her sword into another skeleton's ribs, sending a burst of bone fragments into the air.

Filbert rushes to his cousin's aid. "It's alright Almo, I've got you!" he cries, as he begins to drag Almo backward to a safer position.



*************************

OOC:  Actions?

Combat Details:

Round 1

Initiative: Rottblood and Friends 4 – Party 1

Spellcasting and Turning

Rottblood:  Casts darkness at Almo's eyes (distance allows save = 5, fail); Almo blinded (morale roll 2d6 = 8, fail)

Gaven: Turn Undead. 2d6 = 8 (success).

Oloc: Casts Magic Missile – automatically strikes Rottblood; d6 +1 = 2 (ouch, sorry for the poor die-rolling there...).

Duran: Shoots at Rottblood
d20 = 12 + 1 (hit bonus) + 2 (close range) = 15 (hit); d6 = 1
d20 = 18 + 1 (hit bonus) + 2 (close range) = 21 (hit); d6 = 5

Karnak: Attacks skeleton
d20 = 12 +2 (hit bonus) = 14 (hit); d6 = 3 (skeleton killed)

Gweneth: Attacks skeleton
d20 = 16 (hit); d6 = 1

Jack: Attacks skeleton
d20 = 3 (miss)

Filbert runs forward to Almo's aid.

Tuesday, August 6, 2013

Sunday 1 August 1280, Late Afternoon (All My Children)

Gaven uses the scroll of Cure Light Wounds to heal Almo (OOC: Almo regains 5 hp, and is back up to 10/10 hp). Almo thanks Gaven. In a matter of seconds, he looks to be perfectly fit.

"Shall we see what is behind the door?" the cleric asks.

"I believe it is time to face whatever is behind this door," Duran says to the others.

"Death, in one form or another, is behind that door." Oloc shifts uncomfortably in the passage, holding the torch high. "If it must be done, then so be it." The Mage fingers the magic ring on his hand and prepares to call forth his magic missile at the slightest provocation.

Before opening the door, Gaven casts Protection from Evil on himself.

The halflings and hirelings look nervous, but ready to follow. Filbert and Almo each give a nod that says "let's do this."

Duran and Gaven heave open the door. Oloc's torch flickers as a stinking breath-like gust of air pours forth. The room beyond is illuminated with a faint garish glow that seems to have no source.

Looking into the room, you see a 30' x 30' space. The dim red glow reveals a closed wooden door opposite you, and another puddle of the crimson liquid against the east wall. A stone altar stands mid-way across the room to your left (west).

Eight skeletons turn with an agitated movement toward the door you have just opened.

Near the altar stands a wavering man-like figure in long black shroud that obscures his face. He bends over the altar with a silver hammer and chisel, tapping into the top of the altar. The figure stops his task, rises from his bent posture, and turns to look at you.


A low, raspy voice emanates from his cowl: "My children here told me you were coming. It seems you weren't very nice to them. No, not at all." The figure shakes his covered head in a scolding manner. "I do not appreciate your mistreatment of my sons and daughters."

The skeletons clatter with menacing irritation at these words.

"I am Rottblood," the figure continues. "Who are you who invade my home and harm my family?"


*************************

OOC: Actions?

Time: 17:30
Current Torch Expires: 18:10

HP Update:
Gaven: 10/12
All others: Full

Gaven is protected by "Protection from Evil" (giving his opponents -1 to hit him, and giving him +1 to all saves against them)

Saturday, August 3, 2013

Sunday 1 August 1280, Late Afternoon (Getting Colder, Getting Fouler)

Gaven binds Almo's and his own wounds, and Duran helps tend to the others' wounds were he can. (OOC: Almo regains 1 hp and Gaven regains 3 hp).

Gaven then prays to the Light to thank for the power to turn the zombies.

Once done Gaven says, "let us explore the foul area we have been avoiding. I suggest we take the path south of this room to the west. If we must fall back, we should fall back to Abbot Michael's tomb. Perhaps it is warded."

A big grin spreads across Oloc's face as he pockets the ring and pendant. He passes the scrolls to Gaven before lighting a new torch.

"Looking at the map, I think we know where this door leads," Oloc says, pointing to the rusted door. The Mage agrees with Gaven's suggested approach.

"I agree Gaven, let us move that way as soon as we are able," says Duran.

The party leaves Elizabeth's tomb and moves south of it down the west-heading corridor. As you pass near more red ooze creeping up through cracks in the floor (along the north wall of the corridor) you notice that the air gets coldest and foulest near a door in the center of the north wall of the hallway. There is a tension emanating from the door that makes it seem almost to shiver on its hinges.

Peering farther down the hall, you see that this tunnel links up with several others you saw before, further west, and you note one other tunnel branching off far to the west turning north.


***************************

OOC: Actions?

Since the map's getting a bit more complicated I've marked on the revealed area all currently unexplored corridors (two locations) and unopened doors (two locations).

Time: 17:20
Current Torch Expires: 18:10

HP Update:
Gaven: 10/12
Almo: 5/10
Everyone Else: Full

Monster and Treasure Page Updated.

Wednesday, July 31, 2013

Sunday 1 August 1280, Late Afternoon (Fish in a Barrel)

In their panic, the zombies struggle unsuccessfully to open the door in the far wall.

Duran shoots into the backs of the zombies striking another one down with an arrow to the kidneys. Oloc hurls his magical throwing dagger, unfortunately missing.

Gaven and the hirelings rush into melee after missiles are fired. Gaven smites one zombie with his club splattering the creature's head like an overripe melon. Almo slices the legs out from under another and finishes him off with a thrust to the torso once the creature is down.

Filbert and the hirelings are unable to do any damage to the undead with their attacks, but Gaven and Almo both step up and finish off the panicked creatures.

A calm settles in, everyone catches his breath, and Oloc searches the chamber. Rummaging in the tattered zombies' clothing he finds two scrolls, each containing one clerical spell (one "Cure Light Wounds" and one "Light"). In the pocket of one, he collects a plain copper ring, that looks to be worth about 10 gp at best. Around the neck of another, he finds a chain with a pendant. Wiping the zombie filth from it, he discovers it is a thing of beauty. The chain itself is gold, and the pendant is a glittering blue gem, probably worth an easy 400 gp.

The only other thing the mage notes is that the iron latch on the far door looks to be rusted shut.

Seeing the torch about to go out, Oloc lights another.

*************************

OOC:  Actions?

Time: 17:10
Current Torch Expires: 18:10

Current HP:
Gaven: 7/12
Almo: 4/10
Everyone Else: full

Let me know what binding or healing you want to do, any other actions you want to take in this room, and which direction you'd like to go when you exit.

*****

Fish in a Barrel Details:

Round 2 Initiative: Zombies 4 – Party 3

Zombies

Zombies (five remaining) attempt to open door (6 required due to panic): d6 (x5) = 1, 1, 3, 5, 5 (fail)

Duran
d20 =  14 + 2 (short range) + 1 (hit bonus) +2 (rear) = 17 (hit); d6 = 6 (zombie killed)
d20 =  4 + 2 (short range) + 1 (hit bonus) + 2 (rear) = 9 (miss);

Oloc
d20 = 5 + 2 (short range) + 2 (rear) = 9 (miss)

Gaven
d20 = 16 +1 (Maggie's ribbon) + 2 (rear) = 19 (hit); d6 = 6 (zombie killed)

Almo
d20 = 18 + 1 (hit bonus) = 19 (hit); d6 = 5 (zombie killed)

Filbert
d20 = 4 (miss)

Gweneth
d20 = 7 (miss)

Jack
d20 = 9 (miss)


Round 3 Initiative: Zombies 4 – Party 2

Zombies

Zombies (two remaining) attempt to open door (6 required due to panic): d6 (x2) = 2, 5 (fail)


Gaven
d20 = 13 +1 (Maggie's ribbon) + 2 (rear) = 16 (hit); d6 = 2 (zombie killed)

Almo
d20 = 10 + 1 (hit bonus) = 11 (hit); d6 = 5 (zombie killed)

Saturday, July 27, 2013

Sunday, 1 August 1280, Late Afternoon (Zed Men Walking)

Gaven hefts his club: "Likely more ghouls." Gaven readies himself to enter the room.

Oloc shudders at the thought of facing more ghouls. But the Mage summons forth what courage he can muster. He pulls out his magical dagger and prepares to throw it at whatever foul undead lies beyond the door.

Duran nods and pushes the door wide open.

Through the doorway you see a 20' x 30' room, as anticipated, with another door directly across from you in the opposite wall.

Near the north wall is a stone sepulcher, similar to the ones you've seen before with the following inscription:


The lid to the sepulcher has been cracked and thrown aside, and you see six slavering zombies in torn, ragged clothes groaning over the abbess' remains, voraciously sucking marrow out of the bones. Their expression is as close as a zombie's face can come to delight.

As you open the door, however, they drop what they are doing and turn toward you moving in to attack.

Zombies (red) jump down from the tomb to attack the party (blue).

One zombie claws at Gaven, cutting the cleric fairly badly (OOC: damage = 5 hp; Gaven is now at 7/12 hp). Two others gang up on Almo. The halfling is able to dodge one attack, but the second attack finds its mark, and Almo staggers backward a step as the zombie strikes him (OOC: damage = 3 hp; Almo is now at 4/10 hp).

As the zombies clash with Gaven and Almo, Duran is able to jump back from the door and get off two shots with his bow before the melee becomes too confused for further missilery. One of his arrows strikes the zombie from which Almo recoiled, wounding it severely, but not quite killing it.

Oloc, too, is able to throw a dagger through the gap opened by Duran's movement, targeting the zombie wounded by the fighter's arrow. The thrown blade spins through the air, slices through the undead creature's throat, and returns to Oloc's hand.

The zombie crumples to the floor, as another steps up to take its place.

Recovering from the pain of the zombie's clawing attack, Gaven raises his hand to turn the foul creatures.*  The zombies stop in their tracks suddenly, as if in agony, then spin around and begin to rush for the door on the opposite side of the room.

Zombies (red) in flight from the party (blue).

*************************

OOC: Actions?

*I took the liberty, as Gaven did this against the skeletons, and it seemed the most sensible course of action here as well. If you would have attempted some other action, let me know and I'll edit accordingly.

Current Situation:

The five surviving zombies now have just turned their backs to you; they are still right in front of you, maybe about 10' from the doorway.

Gaven is in the doorway; he is currently at 7/12 hp.
Almo has recoiled away from the door after being hit; he is currently at 4/10 hp.
Duran stepped back to get off his shots before melee was engaged.
Oloc has stepped up to a position through which he can throw through the doorway.

Given this position...

Gaven (I believe he still has a spear, no?) and two others could make missile attacks from the doorway (or just outside the doorway). It could be Oloc and Duran, but doesn't necessarily need to be since the mage and fighter are not actually in the doorway, like Gaven is.

Alternatively, any number could press into the room to try and make any combination of missile/melee attacks (once through the bottleneck of the doorway, there is no hindrance to any combination of missile/melee for one round, after which, if melee is engaged, missilery would likely be blocked by those in melee).

All attacks you choose to make against the zombies are at +2, since you're behind them.

Since the zombies have been turned, they cannot attack at all – the zombies are allowed no action other than flight for the next 3d6 rounds.

*****

Time: 16:55 (combat time, no significant change after 1 round)
Current Torch Expires:17:10

*****

Combat Details

Round 1

No surprise for either side.

Initiative: Zombies 5 – Party 4

Zombie 1: Attacks Gaven
d20 = 18 + 1 = 19 (hit); d6 = 5

Zombie 2: Attacks Almo
d20 = 4 + 1 = 5 (miss)

Zombie 3: Attacks Almo
d20 = 16 +1 = 17 (hit)

Zombie 4: Cannot attack, no room.
Zombie 5: Cannot attack, no room.
Zombie 6: Cannot attack, no room.

Duran:
d20 = 17 + 2 (short range) + 1 (hit bonus) = 20 (hit); d6 = 1 (zombie wounded)
d20 = 1 + 2 (short range) + 1 (hit bonus) = 4 (miss)

Oloc
d20 = 13 + 2 (short range) = 15 (hit); d6 = 3 (zombie killed)

Gaven
3d6 = 11 (successful) All zombies flee!

Party Henchmen: Cannot attack, no room.

Wednesday, July 24, 2013

Sunday 1 August 1280, Late Afternoon (A Sound Beyond the Door)

Duran gives the parchment to Gaven for keeping, and makes ready to move out.

Oloc scratches his head as he considers the parchment. "It is only speculation, but I think perhaps someone of great evil tried to read this prayer and was duly punished." He then looks to Gaven for his thoughts.

Gaven replies: "I wonder if this prayer has some importance as to what is happening here. I also wonder if this hand was affected by the same holy fire that flared when I pulled the lever upstairs, though how it would make it so far into the chamber is puzzling. There are no burn marks in the room, so it doesn't seem something was attacked here. Let us keep investigating."

The Mage looks about the chamber. "This place appears untouched by the evil presence. Perhaps perhaps Abbot Michael was a great man, indeed."

Oloc looks for secret doors, but finds none. He then suggests the party moves out to the corridor heading north.

Duran and Gaven both agree, and the party moves on.

Heading north, you follow a corridor that branches off to the west in two separate spots. In both cases, the air in the westward leading pathways feels cold and smells foul, just as in the corridors you had previously explored to the west.

The westward passage situated farther the north turns southward after about forty feet, while the one situated just south of it continues westward, eventually before splitting at a T-junction north. Between the two westward corridors is a door in the west wall. Judging by the blank spot on your map, you estimate a 20' by 30' room on the opposite side of it.



Listening at the ordinary wooden door, Duran notes what he believes to be the sound of a faint moaning on the other side. The sound is very indistinct and sporadic. As best Duran can tell, it is more a moan of despair than of pain or fear.

*************************

OOC: Actions?

Time: 16:55
Current Torch Expires:17:10

Sunday, July 21, 2013

Sunday 1 August 1280, Late Afternoon (Looseleaf)

Duran carefully examines the paper before trying to remove it. It seems to be pinched between two skeletal finger bones. Only the tips of the bones are intact, and the ends of the phalanges leading to what would have been the rest of the hand seem blackened and burned. Duran also notices scattered ash and burned bone fragments behind the sepulcher which weren't noticeable before from the doorway.

Gaven examines the room to determine if there are any defects, wondering why this room is cleaner than the others. Oloc, still beaming after discovering the large gem, helps Gaven investigate the chamber.

The cleric and the mage find no defects of any sort; if anything, the room looks "perfect" if such could be said about a tomb, apart from the ash and bone behind the sepulcher.

Looking at the name and dates engraved on the sepulcher, Gaven has a vague recollection from his studies of an Abbot Michael, but off the top of his head he cannot recall why the Abbot Michael he read about was celebrated, or if that Michael could be the Abbot buried here.

Meanwhile, Duran gives the parchment a first once-over. It is unburned, despite the state of the hand that held it. As far as the fighter can tell, the parchment is perfectly normal, torn like the piece found in the first burial chamber. It has writing on it that looks similar to that which the party found before as well.

Duran then shows the parchment to the others. Oloc and Gaven again immediately recognize the text as part of the same prayer for the dead found on the earlier fragment.

*************************

OOC: Actions?

Time: 16:45
Current Torch Expires:17:10

Thursday, July 18, 2013

Sunday 1 August 1280, Late Afternoon (Items Out of Place)

Duran stands watch in the hall while the others investigate the store room.

Oloc grabs the torches and place them in his pack.

Upon seeing the vials he comments to Gaven, "More gifts of the Light?"

"A gift from the Light," the cleric confirms. Gaven takes the holy water and the golden liquid and one of the other liquids. He gives one vial to Oloc and Duran, "For safe keeping. We will question Abbot Cuthbert. Perhaps he'll know what these are. I do not recognize them."

Gaven briefly prays to thank the Light.

Oloc pokes around the ancient storeroom trying to find anything of interest or value. He uncovers a small cloth bag, concealed behind a pile of broken jars. Within the dusty pouch is a moderate sized purple gem, probably worth about 200 gp.

What the gem is doing here is anyone's guess. It has no religious significance as far as Gaven can tell. And hidden away in a storage room, it is decidedly not part of anyone's burial attire.

Once done in this room, Oloc suggests investigating the door to the north.

Gaven agrees: "Let us continue north."

As the party marches north, Gaven continues to check the western wall for secret doors, and Duran keeps an eye out for the missing skeletons.

The wall heading north is just as solid and uniform as it was to the south.

Additionally, Duran detects no movement, skeletal or otherwise.

The air in the corridor gets cooler once more the farther north you go.

Arriving at the door in the east wall, you note that the tunnel continues on, branching to the west and also east where it turns north once more.


The door is reinforced by iron bands that are slightly rusted. At about eye level there is a small iron plate, in which is engraved a shield with a crossed mace and hammer. The door is unlocked, and opens easily with a push on the iron handle.


Inside you see a 20' x 30' tomb, with another stone sepulcher similar to those you saw before for James and Edith.

The inscription on this one can also be read from the doorway. It says:


The room is particularly clean. From the doorway you see no dust, no debris. Duran, however, spies what appears to be a tiny piece of litter – perhaps parchment? – sticking out from behind the sepulcher.

*************************

OOC: Actions?

Time: 16:35
Current Torch Expires:17:10

Monday, July 15, 2013

Sunday 1 August 1280, Late Afternoon (Storage)

Indicating the door south of the lectern alcove, Oloc asks: "Shall we try the door here and then work our way to the north?"

Duran agrees to search behind the wooden door before heading north again.

Gaven examines the map and points out the empty area between their corridor and the next corridor over, "Let's check the western wall for secret passages."

As the party moves northward toward the door south of the alcove, Gaven feels along the wall for any inconsistencies and knocks periodically to listen for hollow spaces. The whole wall seems smooth and solid.

Arriving at the door Oloc had suggested, Duran gives the portal a firm shove, and it swings open, revealing a small room beyond. The space is 20' x 20' in dimension and appears to be a store room.

Blue arrow represents party location.

Rickety wooden shelves line the north, east and south walls. They hold mostly broken crockery and vessels, along with a few intact jars of mundane herbs, so dried out they've almost turned entirely to useless, moldy powder.

However, you also spot on the shelves five intact glass bottles with stoppers in them.

One is clearly a bottle of holy water, which Gaven recognizes immediately as such from the standard Church markings on the flask.

Another is filled with a golden fluid.

The other three all hold a clear liquid, slightly different from the holy water, and  which appears similar to the liquid you found in the font in the chapel above.

You also discover six unused torches in perfect condition.

*************************

OOC: Actions?

Time: 16:25
Current Torch Expires:17:10

Sunday, July 14, 2013

Sunday 1 August 1280, Late Afternoon (Taking the Book and Moving On)

Filbert lets out a low whistle. "That's a pretty book – and I know a thing or two about fine objects. Odd that it would be in such good shape unlike everything else down here. Rust on the candelabra, mildew stains on the wood of the lectern... I'm not sure how it's possible, but that book is beautiful."

Oloc nods his head at Filbert's comments. "Odd indeed. My guess is this book is some holy relic not subject to the effects of time."

The Mage looks at Gaven. "Should we leave this holy book here, given that we know evil has come to these crypts? Part of me thinks we should take the book, but I will of course defer to your judgement in such matters."

Having little interest in books Duran continues to stand watch waiting to move on.

Gaven agrees with Oloc saying, "I think it best we bring this to Abbot Cuthbert for safe keeping until we can cleanse the temple."

Gaven carefully wraps the book in his cloak and asks that Oloc carry it. He does not want the book anywhere near the rottblood covered spearhead in his pack.

Gaven says, "I suggest we search south."

Oloc places the book in his pack and nods as Gaven suggests heading south.

Duran also nods in agreement to head south.

Oloc lights another torch as the party leaves the candle-lit alcove.

Moving south, you pass the door in the east wall of the corridor. It is a perfectly ordinary wooden door with no special markings. You hear no noise emanating from beyond it as you go past.


Eventually the corridor bends west, linking up with the first burial chamber you entered after descending from the chapel above.

*************************

OOC: Actions?

Time: 16:10
Current Torch Expires:17:10

Wednesday, July 10, 2013

Sunday 1 August 1280, Afternoon (Good Book)

"Strange that this room feels 'cleaner' than the others," says Gaven. "Perhaps the tome will provide some answers."

Gaven asks Oloc to light the candelabras so he can read through the old tome.

Oloc uses the torch to light the candles on either side of the lectern. As the candles light up, he notices the iron stands are severely rusted. He then moves to join Gaven in trying to figure out what is in the tome. "Very interesting," mutters the Mage.

Duran stands watch with his bow and arrow at the ready as Gaven and Oloc read the tome.

Gaven recognizes immediately what the book is – The Way of the Light – a book which conveys the fundamental beliefs of the Church, the mysteries of the Light, the history of the Church and of its greatest heroes and prophets. Gaven is intimately acquainted with all the details as he was required to study them in his religious training.

However, Gaven notes that the language used in the text is somewhat dated. Oloc is able to determine that the text is in one of the many versions of "old common" – the specific version here is over 500 years old.

To the surprise of both Gaven and Oloc, the book appears brand new. Not a single blemish or mark of age or wear is to be seen anywhere on the book. Its pages, writing, illuminations, binding and ornately tooled leather cover are all in pristine condition.

Peering between the cleric and the mage, Filbert lets out a low whistle. "That's a pretty book – and I know a thing or two about fine objects. Odd that it would be in such good shape unlike everything else down here. Rust on the candelabra, mildew stains on the wood of the lectern... I'm not sure how it's possible, but that book is beautiful."

*************************

OOC: Actions?

Time: 16:05
Current Torch Expires:16:10

The torch is about to go out (in 5 minutes), though you'll have plenty of light from the candles until you leave the book nook.

Monday, July 8, 2013

Sunday 1 August 1280, Afternoon (Nook)

Putting a hand on Filbert's shoulder Duran says, "We will help you settle your scores as best we can."

Gaven gives Wally brief last rites and a blessing with some of the holy water from the font.

Filbert and Almo both nod their appreciation for Duran's words and Gaven's gesture.

Then all make ready to head back down into the catacombs and continue exploring.

Oloc eyes the torch before turning to the others. "I think there is enough life left in this one for us to begin exploring that chamber to the east." The Mage then readies his gear and prepares to descend once again.

*****

Familiar with the territory, it doesn't take the party long to reach the second catacomb chamber where the skeletons were defeated.

Heading out the north door, you make your way down the corridor to the east toward the chamber you spotted earlier at the hallway's end.

The chamber is small, only 20' x 20' square. Carved into the far (east) wall is the symbol of the light. Before the symbol stands a wooden lectern, atop which rests what appears to be a very old book. To either side of the lectern is an iron floor candelabrum, each with five candles, though none are lit.

Blue arrow shows party's position.

The air in this chamber seems slightly warmer and more wholesome than the air you've encountered elsewhere in the catacombs.

Exits lead to corridors north and south. In each corridor, there is a door in the east wall. The one to the north is about 20' away, while the one to the south is about 35' away.

*************************

OOC: Actions?

Time: 15:55
Current Torch Expires:16:10

Saturday, July 6, 2013

Sunday 1 August 1280, Afternoon (Going to the Chapel)

Filbert bends over Wally's dead body, and quickly mutters words too quiet for you to hear.

As this goes on, the wounded members of the party bind their wounds, and Gaven picks up the pendant to examine it.

The pendant is roughly three inches in diameter, and it feels somewhat heavier than it looks. Apart from that, and the fact that it resembles the graffiti above, it is unremarkable. Though the symbol is undoubtedly a sign of evil, it does not feel particularly unwholesome. After his examination, Gaven places it in his pack.

Gaven turns to Filbert and Almo, "I am sorry for your loss, Wally fought bravely." The cleric queries the party, "Shall we return Wally to town now or try to explore more?"

After Duran finishes binding himself he puts a hand on Almo and Flibert's shoulders and says, "I too am sorry for your loss, Wally was a good companion."

Turning to the others the fighter continues, "I think Almo and Filbert should have the final say in what we do with Wally. At the very least we should return his body to our waiting porters and make sure those skeletons did not find and attack them."

Filbert glances at Almo and replies. "We should indeed like to carry Wally's body up to the chapel, where it may rest for now with our companions. It would be best too, that we be certain that the skeletons did not run into them, as Duran says."

Oloc concurs: "I agree. Let us return his body to the chapel above before continuing our exploration."

*****

You make your way through the open door to the south through which the skeletons fled, back through the first catacomb chamber, and up the stairs to the chapel.

Along the way, you see no sign of the skeletons at all.

Arriving in the chapel, you are greeted with a mix of emotions. Your companions are relieved to see you alive, saddened to see Wally dead, and disquieted by the news that there are skeletons now roaming around who might come up their way. Stan however, stoutly steps forward and says that he will keep close watch on the stairs to the catacombs, and will crack the first undead skull that dares to show itself.

Oloc proposes that the party continue exploring, investigating the chamber at the end of the last hall, to the east.* Filbert, on behalf of the halflings, agrees. "I now have two scores to settle. One with the bandits and one with whomever is controlling these skeletons. If I can pay off one on the way to the other, so much the better!"

************************

OOC: Actions? (Most importantly please indicate whether you agree with sonofotho's suggestion to continue exploring the corridor to the east, from the room where you fought the skeletons, or if you prefer another course of action).

Time: 15:45**
Current Torch Expires:16:10

*Based on sonofotho's OOC comment.

**As you were moving through previously explored and comparatively safe terrain, I ruled you could do it relatively quickly without increased risk. I'll rule you can get back down to the room where you fought the skeletons in one turn as well.

Wednesday, July 3, 2013

Sunday 1 August 1280, Afternoon (Dust to Dust)

The last two skeletons mindlessly continue their attack. Almo dodges the first skeleton's efforts easily. Jack isn't quite as successful and takes a blow to the body (OOC: Jack loses 1 hp; 3 hp remaining).

The party ripostes, however, with Almo slashing the westernmost skeleton through the ribs, and bringing him down, while Gaven bludgeons the last skeleton hard with his club, dropping the foul thing to the floor in pieces.

As its head looks up from the floor, a faint, clean light returns to its eyes once more. It opens its mouth and raises a hand as if to speak, but the light disappears and its hand falls back to the flagstones as the glimmer goes out for good.

Now the bones of all the slain skeletons lie broken and still on the ground, barely distinguishable now from those in the catacomb slots along the walls.

There is neither any sight nor sound of the bulk of the creatures who fled through the door to the south. Through the open southern door you can clearly see the hallway in which you stood earlier leading north from the first catacomb chamber you entered.

A thorough examination of the room and the bones reveals nothing of note, except that the skeleton at Gaven's feet bears a pendant similar in shape to the graffiti you saw previously up in the church.


The pendant is heavy, about three inches in diameter, and is made of black-colored iron.

Blue Square = Party's Location

*************************

OOC: Actions?

Time: 15:35
Current Torch Expires:16:10

Current HP totals:
Duran (10/11)
Almo (6/10)
Jack (3/4)
All others are at full hp.

Binding wounds (I assume you'll do this) will automatically heal Duran back to full (11/11), and Jack as well (4/4) (no die roll needed since they were only down 1hp each) and will heal Almo back to 7/10 (unlucky die roll of "1").

*****

Combat Details

Initiative: Skeletons 2 – Party 1

Skeleton Attacks Almo
d20 = 10 (miss)

Skeleton Attacks Jack
d20 = 15 (hit); d6 = 1 (Jack's HP: 3/4)

Duran Attacks Skeleton
d20: 4 + 1 (level 2) = 5 (miss)
d20 (Combat Machine): 2 + 1 (level 2) = 3 (miss)

Gaven Attacks Skeleton
d20 = 20 +1 (ribbon) = 21 (hit); d6 = 3 + 1 (ribbon) = 4 (skeleton killed)

Almo Attacks Skeleton facing Duran
d20 = 13 +1 (level 2) = 14 (hit); d6 = 1 (skeleton killed)

Sunday, June 30, 2013

Sunday 1 August 1280, Afternoon (A Crushing Blow)

The skeletons at the far end of the room manage to rip open the door and rush out, fleeing the party and the wrath of the Light called down on them by Gaven.


The remaining skeletons press forward. One comes at Duran and two attempt to take on Almo, but to no avail. However, the fourth skeleton delivers a crushing blow to the side of Wally's head with a sickening crack, and the halfling falls to the floor, obviously dead.

Gaven moves farther into the room to attack one of the non-turned skeletons, and Duran also attacks skeleton nearest him being careful to stay clear of the rotblood.

The cleric's attack misses its mark, but Duran's manages to take another couple of chunks out of the undead thing, which staggers backward in a vain effort to defend itself from the fighter's blows. Duran's skeleton seems on the verge of falling apart.

Almo likewise hacks at the skeleton before him, striking the monster twice, leaving it in a heap of broken limbs on the floor before him.

Oloc avoids the fighting. He makes sure the torch is held high to keep the scene illuminated.

Seeing Wally go down, Filbert rushes past Oloc in a blind rage, smiting the skeleton that killed his cousin with a mighty blow that shatters it into a thousand pieces of bone. The disproportion between the halfling's size and the power of his blow is surprising.

Gweneth and Jack dash into the room past Oloc as well, managing to flank east and gang up on one skeleton there, but neither is able to land a blow.



*************************

OOC: Actions?

Sorry for the delay in this post. I meant to put it up yesterday but the weekend just got away from me.

Time: 15:25 (no change, combat time)
Current Torch Expires:16:10

Current HP Totals:
Duran (10/11)
Almo (6/10)
Wally (0)
All other party members are at full hp
Two skeletons remain; one (facing Duran) badly battered; the other (now surrounded by Gaven, Filbert, Jack and Gweneth) untouched.

Combat Details:

Initiative: Skeletons 4 – Party 2

Skeleton Attacks Duran:
d20 = 3 (miss)

Two Skeletons Attack Almo:
d20 = 10 (miss)
d20 = 6 (miss)

Skeleton attacks Wally:
d20 = 19 (hit); d6 = 4 (Wally Killed)

Gaven
d20 = 6 (miss)

Duran
d20 = 14 +1 (level 2) = 15 (hit); d6 = 1
Combat Machine (second attack) d20 = 13 + 1 (level 2) = 14 (hit); d6 = 3  (Skeleton has lost 5 hp total, but still alive)

Almo
d20 = 17 + 1 = 18 (hit); d6 = 3
Combat Machine (second attack) d20 = 15  + 1 = 16 (hit); d6 = 4 (Skeleton killed)

Filbert
d20 = 17  (hit); d6 = 4 (Skeleton killed)

Gweneth
d20 = 3 (miss)

Jack
d20 = 6 (miss)

Thursday, June 27, 2013

Sunday 1 August 1280, Afternoon (To the Bone)

Oloc holds the torch high in one hand as he steps to the side to allow access for the others. "More undead! Gaven can you turn them?" shouts the Mage.

The skeletons move quickly, however, and before anyone can react, they are upon the party, attacking with their bony bludgeons. Gaven, Duran and Almo are in the doorway, blocking off the skeletons' path to the rest of the party members, but the skeletons press in.
One lands a glancing blow on Duran (OOC: 1 hp damage), and another strikes Almo with the leg bone of some long dead cleric (OOC: 4 hp damage). It appears that the Light is shining on Gaven, as none of the skeletons succeeds in striking him.

"The Light shall drive you back to the abyss rottblood!" cries Gaven at the skeletons. For a moment a dead silence drapes the room as all motion stops. Suddenly eight of the skeleton horde turn and flee toward the south door, struggling to open it and escape in that direction.

The remaining four skeletons resume their march toward the party.
Duran steps to the side as he fires his bow at the nearest skeleton.  One arrow misses, but a second strikes the creature, splintering out a chunk of a rib bone. As his second the arrow is released he puts his bow around his shoulders and draws his axe.

Almo, meanwhile, rushes toward the skeleton nearest him, heedless of his own injury, and swings with his sword, nicking the monster's skull. As Duran and Oloc have stepped aside, Wally has the opportunity to join the fray as well, slashing another of the skeletons across the collar bone, sending tiny bone shards flying into the air.
*************************

OOC:  Actions?

Duran, Gaven, Almo and Wally are in the room as indicated on the map; current status for them is:

Duran (10/11)
Gaven (12/12)
Almo (6/10)
Wally (4/4)

The rest of the party are still just outside the doorway, lined up as follows:

Front: Filbert (6/6)     Oloc (6/6) [Light]   (and Karnak fluttering above)
Rear:   Gweneth (6/6)   Jack (4/4)

Oloc is basically right at the door with the light, so you are able to see the entire interior of the room.

The eight turned skeletons are attempting to tear open the door to the south and flee.

Time: 15:25 (no change, combat time)
Current Torch Expires:16:10

*****

Combat Details

Initiative: Skeletons 4 – Party 1

2 Skeletons attack Duran:
d20 = 17 (hit); d6 = 1 hp damage
d20 = 2 (miss)

2 Skeletons attack Almo:
d20 = 2 (miss)
d20 = 18 (hit); d6 = 4

2 Skeletons attack Gaven:
d20 = 11 (miss)
d20 = 12 (miss)

Gaven's turn roll
3d6 = 14 (success)
3d6 = 8 skeletons turned

Duran
Shot 1: d20 = 10 + 1 (level 2) + 2 (close range) = 13 (hit); d6 = 1 hp damage
Shot 2: d20 = 6 + 1 (level 2) + 2 (close range) = 9 (miss)

Almo
d20 = 14 + 1 (level 2) = 15 (hit); d6 = 1 hp damage

Wally
d20 = 18 (hit); d6 = 2 hp damage

Tuesday, June 25, 2013

Sunday 1 August 1280, Afternoon (To Save, To Join)

"Shall we just continue through the door in front of us?" Duran asks.

"Yes, let's go forward," replies Gaven.

Pulling open the door, you see before you yet another 30' x 30' room, much the same as the first room you entered after descending from the church.

Horizontal stone recesses are set into all the walls, going all the way around the room, from about 2' above the floor, all the way to the ceiling, some 10' up. Each recessed shelf has about 2' of horizontal space, into which have been laid the bones of dozens and dozens of skeletons. The remains look very dry, brittle and old.

At the south end of the room, you see a door.

Along the west wall of the room, there is another puddle of the red substance seeping up from beneath the floor. In it lie twelve skeletons, arranged in contorted, unnatural looking poses. As the light of your torch falls upon them, they wake from their slumber and rise, the red substance dripping from their limbs like tattered clothing. They stagger toward you, wielding the bones of others' remains like clubs.

Blue arrow represents party's position and facing; 
Green arrow represents skeletons' position and movement.

These animated skeletons look distinctly less fragile than the inert remains lining the walls.

For a moment, the foremost skeleton has a light in its eye sockets as it says in a raspy voice "Save us..." Then the light in its eyes fades to black, and it adds: "...join us."

All twelve skeletons move to attack you.

************************

OOC: Actions?

You are currently in the doorway, lined up as follows:

Front Rank:   Gaven (12/12)   Almo (10/10)   Duran (11/11) (and Karnak fluttering above)
Second Rank: Filbert (6/6)     Oloc (6/6) [Light]     Wally (4/4)
Third Rank:   Gweneth (6/6)   Jack (4/4)

The nearest skeletons are still about 5'-10' in front of you. This would allow a round of missile attacks (front rank only), if you win initiative.

Time: 15:25
Current Torch Expires:16:10

Saturday, June 22, 2013

Sunday 1 August 1280, Afternoon (Wall Huggers)

"Well, at least we know what the substance is called," says Gaven.

Oloc replies: "Rottblood. It even sounds like something to be avoided."

The cleric continues "Which door? We've been avoiding the north, but according to the map the south door leads to the room we avoided before. I vote south."

"South is fine with me as long as we can get away from this pool of water," Duran says as he casts a wary eye at the frothing pool.

The mage instructs the hirelings to not touch the 'mirror'. "Let us try the southern door then."

It takes a moment to get some of the hirelings willing to enter the room, but finally they do, despite their dread of the turbulent, wailing pool. The men-at-arms readily obey the Oloc's instruction, hugging the wall out of fear as they move around the pool from the west entry to the south exit.

Opening the door, you find yourselves in an east-west corridor. To the west, there is a door in the north wall. Directly in front of you, to the south, is another door. Far to the east, it appears the passage opens out into a chamber, though you cannot determine its shape or dimensions from this distance.


You also note, on the floor just to the west along the south wall, another puddle of red fluid. Like all the puddles you have seen, there is no dripping from the ceiling, or streaking down the walls above it. It would seem to be seeping up through the floor.

*************************

OOC: Actions?

Time: 15:20
Current Torch Expires:16:10

Wednesday, June 19, 2013

Sunday 1 August 1280, Afternoon (What that pool may be, Thou shalt behold...)

Gaven attempts to speak with the clear water within the pool, asking what the red substance is and how to get rid of it.

Oloc looks on intently as Gaven tries to speak with the faces in the liquid "mirror" of the pool. He avoids getting too close to the strange sight. "What is this madness?"

In response to Gaven's attempt at communication, the faces thrashing about in the pool seem to strain toward the cleric, plaintively looking to him for help it seems, but unable to articulate coherent speech, with but a single exception. Gaven is able to make out just one word, periodically repeated in painful, accusatory tones: "Rottblood."

Uneasy about what he sees in front of him, Duran carefully circles the room looking for anything of note.

The archer sees that despite the violent struggle going on within the pool, not a single bit of either the clear fluid or the red substance has spilled out over the edge of the "mirror." The floor all about is entirely dry.

Unable to get anything further from the howling faces, Gaven joins Duran in examining the area, avoiding contact with the red substance. Closer study reveals nothing further however.

Meanwhile, Oloc moves to inspect the two doors and listens at each of them in turn.

The doors are of old wood, much like the other doors in the catacombs. Both are unlocked, and Oloc detects no traps. He hears nothing beyond either door but, as might be expected, the draft beneath the door to the north is colder than that to the south. Additionally, Oloc detects a faint whiff of the foul odor previously noted to the north as well.

As the torch burns down, a new one is lit.*

*************************

OOC: Actions?

*I took the liberty, please mark one off if you haven't already.

Time: 15:10
Current Torch Expires:16:10



Friday, June 14, 2013

Sunday 1 August 1280, Afternoon (Troubled Waters)

Gaven re-probes the ceiling closer to the door as Oloc suggests while saying, "I fear the door may be supporting the ceiling and if we open the door...crash! I say we check out the moaning."

"I agree," says Oloc. "Let's avoid this door for now."

Duran cast a wary eye towards the crumbling ceiling as he steps back from the door. Nodding in agreement with the others he begins to move down the hall to the other door.

Oloc heads towards the door and the moaning sounds, careful not to walk directly under the unstable ceiling.

As Gaven re-probes, and as the party passes carefully by, no more fragments fall from the ceiling near the south door.

Once at the east door Oloc listens to see if he can discern anything about the moans.

The mage notes that the voices sound somewhat human, and in a great deal of distress, while having a supernatural quality.

The frontline members of the company heave at the door, and it swings outward. The sound of the moaning rises to a howling wail, now that it is not muffled behind the thick wooden portal.

Peering through the entry, you see a square room, 30 feet by 30 feet. There are two other doors, one in the north wall, and one to the south, both closed.

The air in the room is cold and damp, and your breath steams as you exhale.

In the center of the room is a 10 foot by 10 foot square pool of fluid. The fluid appears to be a bizarre swirl of clear water, such as you saw earlier in the font back in the church, combined with the red liquid you have previously encountered.

The two twirling substances foam and froth as if they were alive and struggling with one another. From time to time, face-like forms appear in the clear parts of the fluid, straining upward as if to escape the red substance. The faces form mouths, emitting desperate, painful cries, that are just as quickly strangled by liquid crimson tentacles that drag the watery faces back down into the violently churning and splashing broth.

The halflings and your henchmen shrink back against the wall of the corridor. Some hide their faces from the sight before them. The others look on, with bulging wide eyes and voiceless open mouths.

On the eastern wall of the room, you can make out an inscription that reads "Mirror of Blessed Souls."



*************************

OOC: Actions?

Time: 15:00
Current Torch Expires:15:10

(You'll need to light a new torch this turn or lose your light – whoever does so should mark it off on his character sheet)

Tuesday, June 11, 2013

Sunday 1 August 1280, Afternoon (Boink)

Gaven pokes along the chipped ceiling with his broken spear to make sure the passageway is safe. Most of it appears relatively solid, but near the door to the south, several more small chunks of stone fall from the ceiling when he taps at it. "Those moans, there may be people down here. We must investigate."

Duran also inspects the cracks and the nearby door. "Should we check behind this door first to make sure nothing comes out behind us?" asks Duran. "Then perhaps we can carefully check out the moaning." Duran hears nothing at the south door. However, looking up at the ceiling, he notes that the cracks appear to extend outward from beyond the south door, as if they originate on the other side of it. As he draws away from the portal, one more small chunk – about two inches in diameter – drops, striking him on the shoulder (OOC: no damage).

Oloc avoids getting underneath the crumbling ceiling. At Duran's query the mage responds, "I would be careful trying to open the door. That ceiling looks quite unstable. If you mean to open it, perhaps Gaven should probe a bit more to release any loose bits of rock."

*************************

OOC: Actions?

Time: 14:50
Current Torch Expires:15:10

There were two votes for opening the south door, but I didn't know if the new information revealed by your careful prodding and examination would alter that, so for now I've held off on you guys opening it. Just let me know what you want to do.

Sunday, June 9, 2013

Sunday 1 August 1280, Afternoon (Moan, Moan, Moan)

"I fear there are more undead down here," Oloc says to his companions. "No doubt the red substance is connected in some way."

The Mage considers the different paths. "Perhaps we take the first path here to the east - the air seems less....foul."

Duran nods in agreement to Oloc as he readjusts his pack.

"I agree Oloc," says Gaven. "Let's move."

The company moves north to the first of the two side passages heading eastward. Turning to look down that corridor, you see that the hallway east extends about 80 feet before ending at a closed door. About 50-60 feet down the hall is another door in the south wall, while a tunnel simultaneously branches north at roughly the same distance.

Near the door on the south wall you see a few cracks and chips in the ceiling, and a few stone fragments scattered about the floor beneath them.

The air in the passage to the north is cold and foul, much as you perceived previously in that direction.

From directly ahead, behind the door at the east end of the corridor, you hear what sound like muffled moans of pain.



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OOC: Actions?

Time: 14:45
Current Torch Expires:15:10



Friday, May 10, 2013

Sunday 1 August 1280, Afternoon (A Ghoul's Best Friend)

After the defeat of the ghouls Gaven prays to the Light in thanks.

Oloc smiles. "Nice work, Gaven!" The Mage then begins to search the room, spending some time looking for any secret doors.

Duran also searches the room for anything of note or value.  Despite their initial ragged appearance, the ghouls are not without possessions of worth. Each wears a thin necklace, bearing a tiny diamond pendant. Once Duran wipes the ghoulish filth from the necklaces, he estimates each one to be worth about 250 gp.

The abbess' skull also wears a gold circlet with the symbol of the light on the front, unsullied as yet by the hands of the ghouls. It would no doubt be worth some 400 gp, but it clearly belongs back in the tomb with the abbess.*

Gaven replaces the bones in the sepulcher in their proper place, and Duran assists him in properly dealing with the abbess' remains. After this, Gaven and Duran replace the lid.

Gaven then kneels and prays for the abbess.

Oloc, after a thorough search, finds no secret door.

So Gaven, ready to head up the northern corridor, suggests that the party move on in that direction, and everyone moves out.

Blue arrow indicates party's approximate location (exploring that length of corridor).

After several dozen feet, the way north branches to the east, and some forty feet beyond that the main way itself also turns east.

The air in the lower, branching eastern passage is again cool, like the air you felt earlier. The air farther north where the passage turns east is downright cold, and there is a very strong, foul stench of decaying flesh from that direction.

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OOC: Actions?

*I have added the ghouls' necklaces on the monster and treasure page. I assumed Gaven would object to taking the abbess' circlet and did not add that to your plunder; but let me know if that is not the case, and I will amend.

Time: 14:35
Current Torch Expires:15:10

Wednesday, May 8, 2013

Sunday 1 August 1280, Afternoon (Calling on the Light)

Oloc shouts: "Foul undead! Gaven, can you use the power of the Light to repel these ghouls?"

At the sight of the ghouls, Gaven grabs hold of his holy symbol, thrusts it forward and standing steadfast commands, "Foul fiends, succumb to the Power of the Light!"

The ghouls suddenly drop the remains of the abbess, and cower against the sepulcher in dismay.

Duran fires at the nearest ghoul as he yells for the other fighters to charge.

Oloc begins to call forth the words to his magic missile spell as he moves back allowing the men-at-arms easier access.

The mage quickly realizes his spell is not needed, and holds it back for a later occasion, as Duran's arrows, along with the hirelings' and halflings' blades make quick work of the cowering undead.

In a matter of mere seconds the undead lie in unmoving pieces on the floor.

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OOC: Actions?

Combat Details:

Gaven's Turn Roll: 3d6 = 10 (success); as the ghouls had nowhere to flee, they cower in place, helpless.

Duration of ghouls' helpless cowering: 3d6 = 9 rounds.

I didn't bother rolling blow-by-blow for the rest, since 9 rounds of completely unopposed attacks by your group seemed a foregone conclusion (I doubt it would have taken more than half that time).


Time: 14:25
Current Torch Expires:15:10

Tuesday, May 7, 2013

Sunday 1 August 1280, Afternoon (A Grisly Sight)

"I think I prefer the other door," Oloc whispers. Looking to Gaven he adds, "it sounds as if something is being eaten...rather messily. If we open this door we need to be ready to fight."

"Perhaps we open with bows at the ready. Then we can let fly quickly."

"Hopefully whatever it is in there is distracted by what it is doing so we can get a drop on it," Duran says quietly.

Gaven readies himself to charge in to the room, if necessary.

When the party is ready, Duran has Almo open the door, while he himself keeps his bow at the ready.

The halfling gives the door a good pull and it swings open.

Within the room you see a grisly sight.

Against the west well of the 20' x 30' space you see a raised sepulcher resembling that of abbot James. This one bears an inscription reading:


However, the lid of her tomb has been raised and cast aside, and the remains of her skeleton hang draped over the edge. Some of her bones lie on the floor.

Blue arrow indicates party location; red dots represent ghouls.

Three ghouls, barely clothed in tattered rags, and reeking of death, hover over the abbess' skeleton, each gnawing and sucking the marrow from old bones they hold in their hands, and slavering and slobbering onto her remains.

The ghouls spin around, surprised by your entry into the room.

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OOC: Actions?  You do have a surprise round (you had a bonus of 1 to the roll since the ghoul was preoccupied with chowing down on Abbess Edith, and just made surprise with a "3").

I have "readied" actions from Duran (shoot) and Gaven (charge), but of course with the length of rounds here you are not locked into those. I will still need an action from Oloc (and a confirmation or change from Duran and Gaven).

A few notes:

1. You are permitted to shout orders to hirelings/halflings before executing your own actions.

2. Missile-armed characters jumping into the room first can get off their shots before melee fighters engage.

EDIT:

Time: 14:20
Current Torch Expires:15:10
END EDIT



Sunday, May 5, 2013

Sunday 1 August 1280, Afternoon (Snarl, Slurp, Rip)

Gaven examines the door for any markings or inscriptions before deciding whether to open it or move on. He sees none.

Oloc listens at the door and hears the faint sound of muffled snarling and slurping, punctuated occasionally by a sort of ripping sound.

Duran makes ready to open the door, waiting for a nod from Gaven and Oloc.

*************************

OOC: Actions?

I apologize for the delay; been grading finals, going to graduation ceremonies, etc. On the plus side, I got to dress up all Harry-Potter-ish.  :)

Now all that's done I should be able to get another quick post up as soon as I have two votes on which way to go (through the door, continue north, back east, other).

Time: 14:15*
Current Torch Expires:15:10

*I've started using "half-turns" for actions that I don't think would really take you a full 10 minutes to complete.

Friday, May 3, 2013

Sunday 1 August 1280, Afternoon (Backtrack)

Gaven relays what he smells to the other. At the door he remarks, "I have an ill feeling about what lies behind this door. If we plan on opening, be prepared for the worst."

Oloc frowns at the smell and the inscription. "I have a bad feeling about this," he says. I think I would prefer to head back to the other passage and see what lies in that direction. What say you?"

Duran feels uneasy as well and nods in agreement with Oloc.

After a brief discussion, the decision is made to explore the other northward hallway further west of the one in which the party is located.

Blue arrow indicates party location.

You return past Abbot James' tomb and turn north. After about forty feet, you spot a door on your left. Just ahead of you to the north is a corner turning west. Peeking around the corner, you see the passage way swings north again after a short distance.

Your torch begins to splutter, on the verge of going out. You light a new one from the last flickering flames of the old one.*

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OOC: Actions?

*I took the liberty on the torch, assuming you would automatically do this. Please mark off one torch used.

Time: 14:10
Current Torch Expires:15:10

Wednesday, May 1, 2013

Sunday 1 August 1280, Afternoon (Scratches)

Oloc scans the room for anything other items or objects of note. The mage doesn't dare suggest disturbing the sepulcher.

Duran watches the door while the others search the room. As he waits he feeds Karnak a bit to eat as the bird rest on his shoulder. .

Looking closely at the tomb, Oloc notes scratch marks along the edge of the lid, as if someone or something tried to lift the lid off an failed. Judging from the size and spread of the marks, they were made by hands (four fingers and opposing thumb) of roughly human size.

Apart from this there is nothing to be seen in the room. The lid of the sepulcher is tightly sealed and the seal – which appears to be made of lead – is entirely intact.

Oloc allows Gaven to pay respect to the Abbot before suggesting heading back to the north.

Gaven quickly pays his respects to the Abbot and motions everyone to leave. Once they are all out, he closes the door.

Gaven sniffs at the cool air to try to determine if it smells like the surface or something else. The air has a very faintly unpleasant smell, almost imperceptible, but reminiscent of an open grave. Slight as it is, Gaven is certain the odor is not suggestive of the surface. The cleric therefore suggests the party follow the cool air.

Blue arrow indicates party location.

Following the cool air, the party marches east, then north, joining up with the hallway leading north from the earlier mass burial chamber. The way north extends some thirty feet, then ends in a closed door.

The door bears an inscription carved in the wood: "May Those Who Lie Here Know Peace."

*************************
OOC: Actions?
Time:  Time: 14:00
Current Torch Expires: 14:10

Note that your current torch will splutter out at the end of next turn.

Monday, April 29, 2013

Sunday 1 August 1280, Early Afternoon (Abbot James)

Oloc says: "Cool air to the east - my guess is the passage joins up with the northern passage from the burial chamber." The mage looks to his companions. "Shall we take a look at the door?"

Duran nods in agreement with Oloc and moves to the door searching for anything out of the ordinary.

Gaven moves along with the others.

Duran finds no traps near the door and hears no noise. With a nod from Oloc, Duran puts his shoulder to door and heaves it open.

Blue arrow indicates party location.

Inside you see a smooth, clean, stone chamber, 20' x 30', completely devoid of markings on the walls or refuse on the floor.

At the north end of the room is a small dais, atop which sits a sepulcher. Standing in the doorway, you can just barely make out the following letters carved along the front face of the tomb:



*************************

OOC: Actions?
Time: 13:50
Current Torch Expires: 14:10

Pacing question: are we going too fast for anyone? We've been posting a bit more quickly recently, sometimes a couple of posts a day, largely because a lot of posts have been comparatively trivial ("let's go left," "let's turn right," etc.) and I thought it best to scoot through those quickly to get you guys to posts of more substance (rooms to explore, things to manipulate, monsters to encounter, etc.), at which point I assumed posting pace would slow to more normal rates. Just wanted to check and see if everyone's cool with that. I'm assuming you guys don't want to spend 2-3 days between "let's turn right" and "let's go straight," but if I'm wrong on that and you do want more time, just let me know. I don't want anyone to feel uncomfortable with the pace.

As I say, this dungeon is a bit of a different creature from the ones we've done up until now, so I'm trying to get a sense of a good way to pace it. Scooting through the trivial decisions and slowing for more substantial ones -- adapting our pace to fit the circumstance -- seems to be a reasonable way to go (at least at first glance).

Sunday, April 28, 2013

Sunday 1 August 1280, Early Afternoon (Go West)

The party heads west, following the corridor until it bends north again. Shortly you come to another T-junction. At this intersection, the corridor continues north, as well as branching back east opposite the direction you came. Down the eastern hallway you can barely make out the edge of a door in the north wall at the very limits of your torch light. You feel slightly cooler air coming from the east as well.

Blue arrow indicates party location.

*************************

OOC: Actions?  Really the same as before; I mostly need to know a direction.

This dungeon is a little different from the smaller lairs you've entered into before. Those were so small that there was little exploring to do, and fewer options in terms of paths to take -- they were pretty much linear marches with a few side passages. This one will be far less linear; so with each move, I'll take the party along the indicated path up to a decision point (junction, door, and/or some change in atmosphere), and ask for actions/directions.

Time: 13:40
Current Torch Expires: 14:10






Sunday 1 August 1280, Early Afternoon (A Sample of Crimson Malice)

The mage examines the red liquid coating Gaven's weapon without getting too close. Oloc tries to discern if it appears to be a living organism or some foul substance. As best he can tell it seems like something in between the two, not quite one, not quite the other, but with elements of both. The liquid seems rather nasty; up close it appears to release a sort of malignant anger, much like the graffiti above.

Gaven is taken aback at the way the liquid enveloped the spear tip. He examines the tip without touching the substance and feels malice emanating from it.

"If only we could discern more about this I would be tempted to coat the tips of my arrows in the substance," Duran says aloud. "What say you Gaven?"

Responding to Duran, Gaven says, "I am sure it would be harmful to us, but to those of evil intent, I think not. This substance is like pure darkness."

Given Gaven's advice, Duran opts to not coat his arrows.

The sample of the red substance seems completely dried on the spear tip. It no longer moves or squirms, or gives any sign of life at all beyond the feeling of evil it inspires.

Gaven breaks the tip off the spear and without touching it, wraps it tightly in a sack and stuffs it in his bag. He keeps the pole for now.

Oloc hands the old parchment over to Gaven. "This may hold some significance for you, Gaven. It appears to be a prayer on a very old piece of parchment. My guess is this place has been undisturbed for many, many years."

Gaven thanks Oloc for the parchment and places it in his scroll case for safe keeping.

With nothing else to see in this room, the party prepares to choose a direction and move out.


The exit to the north feels colder than the rest of the chamber, and the puddles of red liquid are located along the north wall of the chamber. Ten feet up the corridor to the north a way west branches off at a T-junction.

The east and west exits of the chamber exhibit nothing to distinguish them.

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OOC: Direction? Just need a vote on which way to go. Once I have two votes for any given direction, we'll move the party that way.

Time: 13:30