The Ruins of Myvolia

The Ghosts of Namaran

In The Depths of Darkness

Bghosts of namaran

From the lip of the tunnel you look into the vast chamber beyond. In the flickering light of a dozen or more torches fifty battle-hardened Iron Wolves stand about the Black Alter in a tense silence. Not a voice can be heard but the desperate pleading and hideous screams of the monk who is suffering under the ministrations of Bishop Tarduk.

The black alter  1

Even from this distance you can see the flush of Tarduk’s face and the fevered look in his eyes. Sweat drips from his thin, oily hair and splashes off the blood-soaked dagger in his hand. A shudder of ecstasy ripples through him as he once more slices into the monk’s naked flesh, eliciting from him a fresh cry of agony.

Below the dark stone alter huddles a group of monks, transfixed by the horror that they are witnessing, unable to do more than mumble prayers and await their turn.

What’chya gonna do?

Black alter  2

Comments

This might be a bit more troublesome than the dozen at the monastery

Says Brandos, readying his mace and looking to Kaspar.

Ideas?

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Kaspar furiously motions everyone back into the cave so that there is no way they can be seen or heard.

Look. There is gonna be no clean way to get out of this one. We’re gonna run out spells and then have to get in there and get bloody. There is no way I’m leaving hear without killing Tarduk. That being said, it would probably be foolish of us to strike him first…there is another mage out there…and at least another ranking Iron Wolf. So this is my plan:

Kaspar takes a quick breath and bemoans not being able to find Jacob again.

I’m going to cast message on each of you…each one of you will be able to speak to me, and I you, but you can’t speak to each other. This doesn’t have a large range but should be good enough in this massive cavern. I’m planning to fly up out of the reach of the torch light so that nobody will be able to see me. I’ll start with a fireball to soften up as much Iron wolves as I can…and hopefully get the mage too. Then I will specifically target the wizard with an enervation to weaken his power…and if need be enfeeble a big strong guy. Then…

He looks at Brandos

Then it’s pot shots with rays and evocations until I have to come down and get my hands dirty. If there is a lot of trouble I will make an illusionary fire wall to try to separate the combatants. Always keep an escape exit in mind: I’ll keep the skeleton here to block a route if need be.

Kaspar looks around

Tristan. We will need you on the ground with Ssiblliss protecting Brandos until his spells are gone. Then the group of you will need to move into hand to hand. You’ll want to bottle neck them…so you will want to make your position known…and have an alternate escape route.

This is gonna be one bloody evening whether we win or lose.

Kaspar leans back slightly to judge how his words have affected his companions.

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Ssibliss looks about nervously for a defensible spot to lead Tristan and Brandos
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So what are you guys doing?
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Kaspar has put forward an idea. Are you in agreement? What specifically are you going to do? No vagaries here, please. There is a map and it has rough coordinates on it with markers to indicate everyone in play.
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Kaspar takes the dark silence as consent and casts message touching each person allowing quiet communication. Following that round he will cast fly.

Okay, I suggest nobody really make an offensive move until I give the signal. The signal being fiery death from above…of course.

With that he sets about his task of flying up to the highest chamber of the cavern staying out of the torch-light and eventually hovering directly over the crowd biding his next move.

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Ssibliss crouches in the shadows near Brandos and Tristan waiting to render what assistance he can. He hopes Kaspar can cause enough chaos to cause the foe to break ranks. hopefully severely limiting the light sources that remain to them. it has been a bloody day reflects Ssibliss, he mentally retraces the path back to the surface, careful to note ambush positions and hidey holes. He glances at his compatriots; hopefully they have the cunning to survive if things go poorly.
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Brandos wishes he had prayed for a few more Searing Light spells for the day, but if it is Pelor’s will, as he assumes it is, he will escape another trial. He gives a quick prayer for success and makes his way from the cave toward what has been decided is the best place to have a fighting chance…and a route back out if need be.
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The cries of the monk on the alter turn to gurgles as a fountain of blood gushes from between Tarduk’s hands. The gathered watchers collectively shudder and there is a restlessness in the air, but not a word is spoken until one of the elderly monk captives before the alter wails out a plaintive cry and falls to his knees sobbing.

Tarduk looks up from his handy work and says in a voice hoarse with strain, “Bring him to me next.”

Secure in the shadows of the tunnel entrance Kaspar whispers the arcane words of his spell, his fingers gesturing through the complex motions. Moments later he alights, moving purposefully towards the enveloping darkness of the ceiling.

As the rest of you lose him to the depths you look at each other readying for the conflict to come. The blood and grime from the hasty journey to the monastery, the battle there and back, covers each of you. Sir Tristan mutters a silent prayer, lowering his head and closing his one good eye. His fingers clutch the hilt of his sword and he deftly tightens the straps on his shield.

Just behind you, the ghoulish sentinel that is the dwarven skeleton stands silent, apparently bound to whatever task Kaspar has left it. Drawing a breath you get ready for the signal.

Spot Checks:
Kaspar: 14
Brandos: 12
Ssibliss: 9
Tristan: 10

sorry :(

Kaspar, as you reach the pinnacle of the chamber, preparing to launch your attack, you catch a movement from a nearby crevice or tunnel entrance. Your heart sinks as you see the wizard Volson Karn wedged into the space, his hands extended towards you, his lips twisting through the last phrase of his incantation and then a bolt of lightning blasts from his extended fingertips.

Reflex Save: 8 (really sorry)
Cloak of Displacement: 67%
Damage: 22hp

The blast of searing light crackles through the chamber illuminating every crevice for one brief moment. The trance that had settled on the witnesses to the torture on the alter is snapped and a general cry rings out.

What do you do?

PS. I would advise updating character sheets because those are the stats that I am using!

Ba battle 1
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Furiously angry at being fooled by the illusion of Volson in the crowd Kaspar lashes out with a spell of his own at the entrenched mage. Kaspar flies up further to make sure he is in a different position from when the lightning flash happened and doubly sure he is beyond the sight of the torch light below.

Kaspar casts blindness on Volson DC 17.

Then he commands, through the message spell, the skeleton to follow Tristan.

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Okay, so my formatting didn’t work. Sorry. Also, Brandos on here is 2 levels low and I don’t have my sheet to fix that. I’ll try to remember to bring it to the office soon and take care of it, but just so you know…he’s still a lvl 5 here, and should be 7.

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Assuming their cover has been blown and everyone’s focus has turned to the entrance they are at: Brandos asks Pelor to send some friends to surround the mage (d3 Celestial Black Bears).

He knows that pulling focus from Kasper for as long as possible is best, as offensive spellcasting has never been Brandos’ forte, and Kasper will be much better at “softening” the group.

I hope this helps keep him busy…or at least off balance,

Brandos says via message to Kasper,

Please don’t hurt them if you can avoid it They are Pelor’s gift to help us. Apologies for the sudden change of plans.

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Initiative:
Tristan 25
Volson Karn 21
Brandos 14
Kaspar 10
Ssibliss 5
Tarduk surprised
Iron Wolves surprised

Pelor be with us, Tristan whispers, remaining ready for his enemies.

Brandos
You realize that Volson Karn is far beyond the range of a summon spell. What else will you do.

Kaspar
Make a concentration check to get your spell off.

Ssibliss
Still holding?
</style>
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yes still holding

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Refusing to let the pansy court mage get the best of him, Kaspar does his best to grit through the trial by electricity.

Roll: d20+11 (concentration)
26 = 15[d20]+11

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Brandos casts barkskin on himself as quietly as possible (+3 AC, though you don’t have the right numbers anyway and I keep forgetting to bring my sheets to the office) and whispers his bears plan to Kasper.
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Kaspar, despite the agony surging through your body and the smoke wafting from your ruined clothing you tap into the necromantic energies and use them to cast blindness on Volson. You are satisfied when the mage screams, grasping at his face with one hand and at the stone wall of the tunnel entrance with the other.

Amongst the Iron Wolves shocked shouts and hollers break out as they draw swords and peer into the inky darkness for approaching danger. “Over there!” one of them shouts, pointing in the direction of Tristan, Ssibliss and Brandos.

HOLD!” Tarduk bellows in a shrill voice that echoes through the cavern, “I suppose I should not be surprised to find you here,” he sneers his eyes still bright and manic, “Working on behalf of Cardinal de Valin, I imagine. Don’t worry, I am not wroth with you. In fact I must thank you. It was your hard work in Coronet that made my rise to power possible. Now, if you are here I must assume that you have what I seek or that you know where it is. Give me the Scourge, or I shall order my men to execute the remaining monks. If you are unaware as to the greater consequences of that action, then I must tell you it would be dire for all who live in Namaran."

As he speaks, several mercenaries move towards the remaining monks, naked steel in their hands.

Ba battle 2

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Brandos
You cast Barkskin and relate your plans to Kaspar. Volson is still far beyond your range (according to the model in Sketch up he is 240’ away from you, the spell’s range at your level is 60’)

Kaspar

The sight of the bloody corpse of the monk upon the Alter sends a tremor through you. For the briefest of moments a darkness descends into your heart and somewhere within emerges the thought of how good it must feel to slowly and tortuously end a life like that. You shake your head and the thought is gone.

Ssibliss

A few Iron Wolves have edged closer to you guys, but they appear to be holding for orders.

Skeletor

Lumbers up by Tristan.

Tristan

Shudders as the skeleton takes up position next to him.

What are your plans for next round!

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Assuming he still has some protection from the lack of light, and his constant movement, up in the far reaches of the cavern, Kaspar throws one more spell at the mage—hoping to keep him subdued for at least the rest of the battle. Knowing how exposed you are defensively when blinded (-2 AC, no dex) Kaspar risks a ray attack with Enervation.

ranged touch
Roll: d20+4
15 = 11[d20]+4

to drain
Roll: d4
3
levels from the mage. (no save)

He will then fly to another location so that the sounds he made with the spell can’t be traced back to him…remaining in the shadows.

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ROUND ONE

Tristan
The bold knight holds his ground, prepared to meet the charge of the first Iron Wolves to challenge him.

Volson Karn
Weaves his hands deftly through the complex motions of a spell and desperately lashes out into the darkness with another lightning bolt that slashes through chamber, filling it briefly with a harsh light before sinking back into darkness.

Ba lightning bolt

Brandos
Karn is still far beyond the range of your spell. In the flash of light you see Kaspar, his clothing scorched and his face blackened, hovering above the Iron Wolves. He appears to be casting a spell.

Kaspar
Luckily for you the bolt sears harmlessly by, Karn unable to aim it without his eyesight (I gave him a 10% chance to hit you and he rolled an 12!). The stink of ozone fills the air and the thundering of the bolt echoes through your ears, but otherwise you are unhurt.

In the wake of Karn’s spell the crackling black bolt of negative energy that you send his way goes unseen through the restored gloom. It is far more effective, however, striking Volson square in the chest and drawing from him a scream of pure agony, one that seems to wither as it reaches its gasping conclusion. Smiling to yourself in satisfaction, you quickly move to another location.

Ssibliss
In that flickering moment when the entire chamber was lit by the bolt your eye was drawn to the far recesses of the chamber where the sinewy familiar form of a Tormented One crawled its way down a wall towards the rear of the Iron Wolves.

Tarduk
Have it your way, the Bishop bellows into the darkness, KILL THE MONKS AND BRING ME THOSE SCUM!
His hands gesticulate and he utters words of power. In a heart beat Tarduk vanishes!

Iron Wolves
Four of the Wolves guarding the monks immediately turn, driving the cruel steel of their blades into the helpless monks, drawing from them piteous screams. One of the monks, wrenches free from his captors and throws himself at another wolf attempting to cut down another of the brothers. The final Wolf hesitates, seemingly unsure what to do.

Ba battle 3

Away from the monks, the Iron Wolves closest to you roar and charge towards Tristan, Ssibliss and Brandos.

Tristan, ready for the charge, steps into the first Iron Wolf, lashing at him with a powerful overhand stroke and following it with a backhand blow, both of which draw grunts of pain from the axe-wielding northman.

Give me an attack roll for your skeleton there Dave.

What will each of you do this round? I’ll wait until I get a response and then post the results of Round 2. If I don’t hear from someone by friday afternoon, however, I’ll assume that your character is holding their action and will only move to attack anyone striking at them.

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Skeleton: I’m assuming you have the stats for the dwarf before he died; but, if he is just a simple ordinary 1st level guy it will only be a +1 to the roll. So I’ll do that and let you add whatever you figure he should have…as well as his armor and shield for his AC.

Roll: d20+1
9 = 8[d20]+1

Kaspar quickly turns to observe the melee on the cavern floor, doing a quick scan for Jacob again. He draws his wand of Major Image and aims it at the altar.

He begins concentrating in the darkness above spending the time to get the meticulous detail needed for a grand illusion. As soon as Tarduk disappears he makes it look like he reappears with his hands extended in a glorious rapture. Tendrils of dark crackling energy spring from the altar entombing him in power and spectacle. I make beads of sweat drip down his nose, eyes bulging, heat emanating from the light show…and the strong smell of death and sulfur wafting from the image. He is holding the scourge and letting it twist and writhe in the air in concert with the crackling energy. I make him scream in the bellow of Tarduk.

It’s too late now! You have come to stop me! But it is too late! Ignore the monks! They are of no use to us now! Let them watch the destruction of their land! Quickly now! In formation! The beasts will come from that cavern entrance (one to the right of PC entrance). You must not let the beasts of these caves get to me before I have finished the ritual! Kill the others if they get in your way…but worry more about the creatures of the caves!

Then I will have him raise his arms in prayer and have the energy start to crackle louder and brighter and have the heat wave raise in temperature. Have his eyes roll back and start to chant unintelligibly as the scourge flashes back and forth across the altar.

Kaspar will remain concentrating on the illusion to be able to react to any events that may transpire such as conversation or attacks.

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Kaspar also mutters under his breath tense with concentration…sending his words with the message spell

Tarduk on the altar is an illusion of mine. The real Tarduk is invisible somewhere in the cavern. Be wary.

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Ooops, sorry Dave. I forgot to give you stats on the dwarf skeleton. Let’s call him…

h3. Bonehead

Dwarf Fighter Level 4 Warrior/Skeleton

HP: 31
AC: 21 (Banded Mail 6, Tower Shiel +4, Dex +1)
Base Attack: +3
Damage: 1d8
1
Saves: Fort +2, Ref +2, Will +4
Abilities: Str 13, Dex 12, Con -, Int -, Wis 10, Cha 1

So the attack roll was 11, which was easily parried by the Iron Wolf
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ROUND TWO

Tristan
Driving forward against the wounded mercenary, Tristan feints to the right before chopping towards the Iron Wolf’s legs. Wounded though he is, the mercenary senses the strike and manages to interpose his shield. Recovering quickly, Tristan takes advantage of his opponents lowered defense, coiling like a snake and stabbing at his torso with a lunging assault. Unable to recover, the mercenary can do little but rasp out a groan as the blade slips through his armour and into his lungs.
With a wet groan the northman slumps to the ground.

(Attack #1: AC 15, unsuccessful)
(Attack #2: AC 24, 11 points of damage)

Volson Karn
The mage’s piteous whimpers can occasionally be heard through the din of battle. Blinded and drained of much of his strength, he clings to the mouth of the tunnel.

Brandos
Stands his ground

Kaspar
Your illusion is sewing confusion throughout the Iron Wolves.

Ssibliss
Stands his ground

Tarduk
Is nowhere to be seen

Iron Wolves
Reacting to the apparent commands of the Bishop, one of the Iron Wolf captains bellows, “Cover that entrance, men! Nothing gets through!

The Iron Wolves holding the monks release them, looking relieved to avoid having to kill holy men.

Those mercenaries already rushing to engage with Tristan and Bonehead continue to do so:

The remaining mercenary before Tristan lashes out clumsily with a battle axe. The knight deftly dodges it (AC 6, miss). A pair of Iron Wolves, bellowing in rage run up the sloped floor towards the knight, swinging their longswords in wide, wicked arcs (AC 23 Crit, 12 hp) (AC 12, miss). Tristan grunts as one of the blades bites through the mail of his shoulder.

The two Iron Wolves facing the skeleton lash out at him with battle axes. (AC 8, miss) (AC 3, miss). Their feeble attacks do nothing to penetrate Bonehead’s tower shield.

Ba battle 4

What are you going to do next round. I’ll post Round Three on Sunday afternoon, so if you actually want to do something this round, please let me know by then.

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Ssibliss warns Kaspar via message that he’s seen a tormented one descending and it’s approximate location.

he will then charge forwards to the line where Tristan and the skeleton are and attempt top lay his claws into one of the iron wolves.

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Frustrated by his inability to affect anything at a distance, where the real problems here lie…Brandos wades in beside Tristan hoping his mace will help dispach these wolves quickly and they can get to what matters.

ps. I still don’t have my current stats up here, Trev. I keep forgetting my bag at home with my sheets and books and whatnot. If I don’t get back with an updated sheet before you need to do calculations, add a couple of levels and some fancy armour and mace to the fray…you should know what those things are, anyway.
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Kaspar whispers

Theraspian? Can you see Tarduk? What about Jacob? Hopefully Jacob will just gut Tarduk for us…but I want to know where they are.

He scans around again looking for the Tormented One Ssibliss was talking about to see if it is Jacob or just one of the others.

Theraspian. I can feel the scourge calling to me. It wants me to start eviscerating the innocent on the altar. It is too closely tied to one of the dark planes…I can’t risk experimenting with it just to study the necromancy. I’m not going to lose my freewill over a little bit of power. I’m drawn to it; but, it doesn’t possess enough knowledge for me to make the sacrifice. But, take note how the traits of the planar mingle with the traits of the grey…this might be another type of undeath.

Kaspar will remain concentrating on the illusion by delaying his initiative until he has heard back from Theraspian or has seen what Tarduk or the Tormented One will be doing (not a readied action…just a delay…I will act last in the round if it comes to that).

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ROUND THREE

Tristan
Thrown off balance by the ferocity of the Iron Wolves, Sir Tristan stumbles, falling to one knee. Hoping to buy himself a chance to recover, he lashes his sword in a wide arc, driving the mercenaries back and recovering his feet, but failing to inflict any injury to his opponents.

(Attack #1: critical fumble)
(Attack #2: AC 11, unsuccessful)

Volson Karn
No! no! no! Heeeelp the ragged voice of the mage echoes through the chamber. A sound like snapping lumber is followed by a blood-curdling scream that grows dimmer as something drags Volson down the tunnel behind him, away from the chamber.

Brandos
Two Iron Wolves are closing on you, howling in their northern tongue, they are moving to cut you off from Tristan. You thrown yourself at the mercenaries (Mike, I still don’t have proper stats for you. Please update those and give me a full-attack round).

Kaspar
I don’t see him anywhere, the floating skull of Thelaspin grumbles in his hollow-sounding manner, The scourge may grow stronger the closer it gets to the alter. I have some experience with powerful magical items like this scourge, but never one with such a strong will for destruction. Be careful, Kaspar. Once something like that gets a hold of you, it will never let go.

Kaspar, you scan the chamber for any sign of Tarduk or the Tormented Ones, ready to react to them. When your eyes cross the blood-soaked alter once more a thrill runs through your body and an urge almost sensual in its nature draws your mind to images of torment. Shuddering, you once more subdue the desires of the scourge (Will save: 21, successful)

The dwarves skeleton attacks one of the Iron Wolves with his battle axe (Attack: AC 12, unsuccessful) but the mercenary easily parries the blow.

Ssibliss
With two Iron Wolves closing in on you quickly you leap forward, flail spinning. There is a sickening crunch as the flail smashes into the knee of the first mercenary (Attack #1: AC 19, 6 points dmg). As the mercenary stumbles you side step his shield and lay a second blow across his head (Attack #2: AC 21, 6 points of dmg). The mercenary slumps to the ground with a groan.

(You owe this round to Hudson. He rolled for you getting wicked attacks and max damage on both of them)

Tarduk
The sinister Bishop reappears, crouched near the base of the alter. His hands are twisting through the last motions of a spell. Kaspar you feel the magic of your Fly spell wither and suddenly you are falling. The stone of the chamber floor rushes up to meet you (16 points of damage on impact, unless you have a free action that can save you, ie Featherfall)

(Dispel Magic check 24 against Kaspar’s DC of 18)

Ignore that phantom on the alter, Tarduk bellows at the mercenaries, Get that gnome and his companions and bring them to me!

Iron Wolves
The mercenaries facing Tristan howl as they see the knight struggle to his feet, lashing at him with their steel.

(Attack #1: AC 22, 4 points of damage)
(Attack #2: AC 21, 10 points of damage)
(Attack #3: AC 14, miss)

The two mercenaries facing the dwarven skeleton attack but are unable to get through its formidable defences.

(Attack #1: AC 5, unsuccessful)
(Attack #1: AC 15, unsuccessful)

The two Iron Wolves facing Brandos charge him with their longswords but Brandos easily turns their clumsy attacks aside with his shield.

(Attack #1: AC 7, unsuccessful)
(Attack #2: AC 6, unsuccessful)

The one Iron Wolf left facing Ssibliss lashes out with his battle axe. (There is no AC listed for Ssibliss on the site).

(Attack: AC 21, ?)

The Tormented Ones
Suddenly, shambling out of the tunnels and crawling down the walls of the cavern come several of the twisted and ruined undead. Without any sound they rush into the ranks of the Tormented Ones, grasping at the mercenaries with their bare hands.

Kaspar
Having held your action, what do you do now? You are lying on the cavern floor in a disarray.

I have another map, but the site isn’t allowing me to upload it. According to the uploader, only the GM can do that now, so I’ll have to get you to co-GM me, Dave.

The Ghosts of Namaran
 

Kaspar stands resolutely with as much dignity as he can muster. Taking in the scene he looks out toward the Tormented Ones. He then casually lifts his head to get his beast orators voice and intones.

See your abuser! Look unto the face of the villain who has tortured you all of these years!

Kaspar points his steady hand toward Tarduk

Jacob! Jacob! Lead your brethren of agony and torture, lead them against Olin Vars and the sheer contempt he holds for you and your brethren’s suffering. I will fight with you!

Tear him limb form limb!

Warriors of the North! Know that you fight beside a man who has forsaken Pelor and gathers strength from deals with devils. Save your souls and join us in our purge of the blight that Tarduk has brought to this land! I will fight with you!

With that, Kaspar will throw two Scorching Rays at Tarduk.

Diplomacy (just in case you wanted a roll)
Roll: d20
9

Ranged Touch 1st Ray
Roll: d20+4
24 = 20[d20]+4 (crit!!!!!!!!!!!)

Confirmation of ranged touch
Roll: d20+4
14 = 10[d20]+4

Ranged Touch 2nd Ray
Roll: d20+4
18 = 14[d20]+4

Damage 1st Ray
Roll: 4d6
15 = 6[d6]5[d6]1[d6]3[d6]
(if crit is confirmed add)
Roll: 4d6
15 = 4[d6]
6[d6]1[d6]4[d6]
Total= 30 damage (no save)

Damage 2nd Ray
Roll: 4d6
14 = 5[d6]3[d6]3[d6]+3[d6] (no save)

Kaspar whispers to his friends though the message spell.

I’m hurt quite bad. I may only have the strength for this last volley. I can probably survive any physical attacks but if I get hit by more magic: I’m done.

(OOC)I would have taken my turn directly after Tarduk…so you can put me there now for my initiative.

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The Ghosts of Namaran
 

ooh were back!
I’ve somewhat updated the stat block for Ssibliss. ac21 should miss.

The Ghosts of Namaran
 

it would be a great shame to die here and be bound to this place eternally like these poor creatures on the walls.

Ssibliss gestures to the near by tormented one.

Ssibliss then executes total defence, and attempts to tumble back into the tunnel.

no pay is worth that fate… I suggest you try and save your selves, the monks are your only hope.

Ssibliss hides in the darkness of the tunnel. and waits for a reaction.

The Ghosts of Namaran
 

ROUND THREE, CONCLUSION

Kaspar

Finding your feet you unleash twin bolts of fiery light straight into the chest of Bishop Tarduk. Both bolts slam true but you watch in amazement as the fire sizzles out and Tarduk stands with only minor injury. He grins at you and a devious light fills his eyes.

Your appeals to the mercenaries appear to land on deaf ears for several of them turn your way at the commands of the injured Bishop and begin moving cautiously towards you.

There is no sign at all that the Tormented Ones have even understood your words. Their bloodlust is like a mindless compulsion. If they have heard your reason they fail to show any sign of addressing it.

As for Jaccob, he is nowhere to be seen.

(Spot check: 9)

ROUND FOUR

Tristan

Fighting desperately now with mercenaries assaulting him from all sides and bleeding from several wounds Tristan once more attempts to thin the pack of the Iron Wolves. His powerful overhand attack splits through one bearded northman’s defences, slicing into his chain shirt. The thick-chested mercenary grunts but holds his feet. In frustration, the young night again tries to fell the same opponent but his attack is easily parried.

(Attack #1: AC 20, Dmg 5)
(Attack #2: AC 15, unsuccessful)

Volson Karn

The final echoed screams from the mage reverberate through the tunnel and are lost amidst the confusion and clamour of the battle raging in the main chamber.

Brandos

Still no idea what Brandos is doing or what his stats are so I assume he is taking a defensive position with an estimated AC of 22, with 45 hit points.

Ssibliss

Vaulting away from the threatening Iron Wolf you bound into the dark maw of the tunnel, easily avoiding his parting blows. The northman looks uneasy about following you into the darkness and instead turns his attention to the Tormented One fast approaching from above.

In his guttural northern language you hear the man mutter, “This place is cursed.”

(Tumble: 27)

Tarduk

My turn now, Kaspar, Tarduk growls, levelling his hands at you. A ball of fire five feet in diameter appears directly before you. It rolls forward, heat blasting off of its crackling exterior. The flame surrounds you, scorching your skin and setting your clothes on fire. You attempt to leap away, but alas you are not fast enough. Pain wracks your body as darkness rushes to meet you. At the back of your mind a sibilant voice whispers sweet promises of agony to come.

Flaming Sphere:
Save DC: 16
Kaspar’s Reflex Save: 4
Damage: 7

Kaspar

W-ell, probably not much, unless you have some defence against fire that I didn’t see.

Bonehead

Attacks one of the Iron Wolves.

(Attack: AC 5, miss)

Iron Wolves

There was some confusion amongst the mercenaries regarding the mixed orders from the real and illusionary Tarduk, but much of that is resolved as the illusory Tarduk vanishes when Kaspar falls unconscious.

While several of the mercenaries turn to deal with the Tormented Ones, others move to take hold of Kaspar. A further body of Iron Wolves move to reinforce those facing the rest of the group.

Those facing Tristan attack:

(Attack #1: AC 12, miss)
(Attack #2: AC 17, miss)
(Attack #3: AC 12, miss)
(Attack #4: AC 10, miss)

Those facing Brandos attack:

(Attack #1: AC 13, miss)
(Attack #2: AC 22, 5 points of damage)

The Tormented Ones

Several more of the undead have appeared from cracks, fissures and tunnels. They clamber across the walls, towards the fray below.

Brandos and Ssibliss, what are your actions for next round. Kaspar, please roll to stabilize. I’ll post Round Five on sunday evening.

I’ll post the map in a bit here, I have to get my kid to bed first!

The Ghosts of Namaran
 

Stabilize
Roll: 1d100
66

Fail (1- hp)

Kasparfootercurrent

The Ghosts of Namaran
 
Brandos, Ssibliss, I need some input here! I’ll post the next round on Thursday. If you guys haven’t posted I will assume that you are retreating from the chamber at full speed, seeing as that is what Ssibliss’ previous actions suggest as a likely action.
The Ghosts of Namaran
 

Ssibliss briefly considers trying to sway some of the iron wolves to switch sides. Instead he creeps back out of the cave and attempts to surprise one of the iron wolves in attempt to try and help extract Brandos and Tristan back to a more defence-able line.

The Ghosts of Namaran
 

Sorry, guys. I’ll post soon, but I’m leaving for work at 4:30 am and not getting home until after 7:00 pm, so I don’t have enough time right now to get a whole post together. Keep checking, I’ll get it done ASAP.

trev

The Ghosts of Namaran
 

Gah. And I just told Mike you would probably burst a vein if he didn’t post soon. LOl. Oh, well. I should post on mine…you know…on my PBP…speaking is basically a free action that can be done on anyones turn as long as it isn’t too long winded. Just thought I would mention that…you don’t have to wait for your turn to respond to a conversation.

Dave

The Ghosts of Namaran
 

dude! Remind me not to complain about my schedule around you.

The Ghosts of Namaran
 

Still forgetting to get my gaming bag to the office so no updatded stats yet.

Brandos looks for Kasper in the mass of bodies, and (assuming he just sees a swarm around him and no hope of a rescue, he will look to Tristan to try to gauge what his thought are on a retreat.

The Ghosts of Namaran
 

ROUND FIVE

Tristan

Sir Tristan, bleeding heavily from several wounds, fights desperately to fend off the overwhelming number of mercenaries that are now surrounding him. With more of the Iron Wolves swarming towards him, the young knight delivers a ferocious overhand blow to one of the northmen. His sword rends through armour, flesh and bone, driving the bearded mercenary to his knees as he howls in agony.

Tristan recovers his stance, deftly parrying a counter attack and then drives forward, this time stabbing forth to good measure. The blow catches its target in the belly, driving apart the rings of chainmail and biting into the soft flesh of the mercenary’s stomach. Though the wound is vicious it is not enough to fall the Iron Wolf.

(Attack #1: AC 30, Dmg 18)
(Attack #2: AC 21, Dmg 9)

Brandos

From your position of higher ground you look down over the heads of the approaching mercenaries and see Kaspar, scorched and unresponsive lying on the cold stone ground. Several Iron Wolves have cautiously approached him, and are even now reaching out to claim his unconscious form.

You look to Tristan and realize that, despite his skill he is soon to be overmatched by the approaching Iron Wolves. You realize that there is no way that the young knight can safely disengage from so many enemies to flee, so it seems likely that he is stuck to fight it out.

Ssibliss

You creep from the tunnel entrance, using the voluminous shadows to hide your approach. The nearest target is one of the northmen harrying Brandos. You slip behind him and with your handaxe deliver a heavy blow to his groin. The mercenary shrieks as blood gushes from the wound, running like a fountain down his legs as he collapses to the ground. Judging from the severity of the wound it should take mere moments before he bleeds out.

(Hide: 29 vs. Spot 10)
(Attack: AC 19, Dmg 13)

Tarduk

Bring him to me! It is close, I can feel it!, the Bishop’s voice rises to its previous, sonorous tone: one that is both sedulous and commanding.

Kaspar

Your world is one of agony. You feel rough hands upon you and as your eyes crack open it is to reveal the bearded face of a battle-scarred northman. His breath reeks of onion and his clothes stink of horse and sweat. He is pawing at you.

The sounds of screaming and battle come to you dully as though through a fog. You are being carried now, with little regard for your many hurts.

The phantom skull of Thelaspin is before you, his jaw wagging wildly, but whatever he is saying is lost in the din. Suddenly he is replaced by the smiling visage of Bishop Tarduk. His dark eyes have a wild, fanatical look to them. His pale skin is covered in a sheen of sweat and there is dark blood covering his jerkin and his hands.

The Bishop is now holding a sack, one that you dimly recognize as having once been attached to your belt. And then, the Scourge.

The handle is of dark stone, like that of the Black Alter. It seems to drink in the light around it. The nine long, tentacle-like tails that extend from the scourge are made of the blackest of steel. Each is built of fine, interlocked pieces of wickedly barbed metal. At first your eyes see a crusting of rust that coats its precisely made components, but soon you realize that it is dried blood.

Jaccob’s blood you realize, and perhaps that of a thousand other such victims.

The look on Tarduk’s face as he uncoils the scourge with a metallic whisper is that of a man whose dire addiction has finally been fed. A contentment washes over his face and for a moment his features relax and before you is nothing but an aging ecclesiastic with thin hair, a skinny neck and a hooked nose. But in a blink it is gone and once more the look of cruel hunger overcomes him.

Tarduk draws the Scourge back and with a long flick of his arm causes it to crack through the air with a sound like steel being ripped apart.

In his deep voice, full of confidence, he orders the mercenary holding you, Revive the gnome, but keep him pinned. He is still a danger.

Bonehead

With a plodding efficiency the skeletal dwarf lashes out once more with his axe, this time catching a northman off guard. His razor-sharp blade bites into the mercenary’s arm eliciting a howl of rage from him.

(Attack #1: AC 21, dmg 4)

Iron Wolves

Two heavily muscled mercenaries holding Kaspar painfully twist his arms behind his back while a third one grasps his hair and draws his head back. A clay vial is held over his mouth and its contents are drained down his throat. Immediately the pain of his many injuries begins to subside and the fog in his mind begins to clear.

(Cure Moderate Wounds: 14hp)

The northmen facing Tristan deliver a swarm of punishing blows to the young knight, many of which he manages to parry. As he turns to deflect a blow from an one direction, however, a howling northmen with an axe delivers a heavy blow that lands on Tristans upper sword arm, tearing through mail and opening up the skin to reveal the raw white of fat and muscle beneath before a well of blood excises all other colour but deep crimson.

As he reals from the blow a second northman manages to score a hit on Tristan’s upper leg, a wound that is small in comparison, but is telling on his tired and wounded body.

(Attack #1: AC 24 (crit), dmg 7)
(Attack #2: AC 21, dmg 3)
(Attack #3: AC 18, unsuccessful)
(Attack #$: AC 6, unsuccessful)

The Iron Wolves charging at Brandos drive towards him, seemingly unaware of Ssibliss skulking in the nearby shadows. The northmen easily outflank Brandos, and rain down a barrage of strikes with sword and axe, but are unable to overcome his defensive posture.

(Spot checks: 1, 3, 5 and 14)
(Attack #1: AC 7, unsuccessful)
(Attack #2: AC 10, unsuccessful)
(Attack #3: AC 15, unsuccessful)
(Attack #4: AC 11, unsuccessful)

Tormented Ones

The crack of the Scourge echoes through the cavern and draws from the ragged remains of humanity that are the Tormented Ones a dramatic result. They flinch from the sound, several of them crawling back into the cracks and crevices that dot the chamber’s surface, while those closest fall to their knees, squirming on the ground as though they were warding off unseen blows. Though they make no sounds, their jaws hang open as though proffering bellows of agony.

It has been over four centuries since their suffering and death but it seems that the memory of the Scourge of Kalavadus is still fresh.

Ba battle 7

Please submit your next round actions. Be specific with your actions. Things are getting vague and that requires interpretation from me that may not always result in the action that you wished for. I’ll try to post the results of Round Seven on Sunday night, but it may be as late as Wednesday.

The Ghosts of Namaran
 

Kaspar wearily eyes the situation…disbelief ringing through his head like a migraine that he is still standing. With as much decorum as he can muster he states.

Olin. Poor little Olin. Do you really think sacrificing all of these fine Northmen so you can gain a little power will go unpunished? Sure, these ones are dupes, but there are nations of others who will be very angry. Besides, Olin, killing all these people and learning a little black magic won’t bring Mommy and Daddy back.

Drop the scourge and let’s go back to Vintara to see if the Patrician can do something for you. He might even be able to break the bonds that the altar has on you. Then all of these young men won’t have to die.

Kaspar eyes Tarduk and watches for any opening. To help create that opening he whispers to Thelaspin.

Alright my dear friend Thelaspin, please put the truth of fear in these poor men’s hearts.

Thelaspin will use his 1/day Fear ability (DC 16). He will place the cone directly behind Tarduk and have it fan out hitting Kaspar and as many other Northmen as possible.

Kaspar Will Save

Roll: d20+9
22 = 13[d20]+9

Kaspar is shaken (-2 to att/saves/skills/abilitly checks) for 1 round.

Hopefully both of my captors are panicked. If this is true Kaspar will then cast Vampiric Touch and lunge for Tarduk.

Touch Attack

Roll: d20+3
20 = 17[d20]+3

Damage to Tarduk/ Temp HP for KAspar

Roll: 3d6
13 = 6[d6]3[d6]4[d6]

If both of my captors are not panicked I will struggle to try to escape: If I do escape I will jump backwards away from Tarduk and the Iron Wolves casting Fireball to engulf as many enemies as possible.

Break the pin (Grapple check)

Roll: d20-1
1 = 2[d20]-1

Break the Grapple (grapple check)

Roll: d20-1
0 = 1[d20]-1

Okay…so I hope they both fail their saves…lol.

Kaspar then messages his companions.

Tarduk has the scourge! Tarduk has the scourge.

The Ghosts of Namaran
 

Oh, that touch attack should be 18, and the two grapples -1 and -2 respectively. Forgot about the Fear spell.

The Ghosts of Namaran
 

I’ll post a response tomorrow. If either Ssibliss or Brandos want to take ANY action this round, please post by then.

The Ghosts of Namaran
 

Ssibliss will make a pair of attacks against another iron wolf attempting to extricate Brandos.
perhaps freeing Brandos to help Tristan.

The Ghosts of Namaran
 

ROUND SIX

Tristan

Fighting like a man possessed, Tristan lunges, parries and slashes at the surrounding mercenaries. Blood flows freely from his many wounds, but still he retains his feet. As one of the northmen drives forward at him with an axe, the young knight side steps and buries his sword in the man’s stomach. The axe falls from nerveless fingers and the northman falls to the ground in a heap.
Spinning to interpose his shield with an incoming sword stroke, Tristan wrenches his blade free and lashes out to buy himself some space.

(Attack #1: AC 22, 12 dmg)
(Attack #2: AC 16, miss)

Brandos

Continues to fight defensively

Ssibliss

Darting from the shadows once more you leap at the bulky back of one of the mercenaries. Seeing an opening at the base of his neck you take a wicked stroke at him. Your first blow is ill timed, however and glances off his mail shoulder. The second attack is true, biting through flesh and into bone. The northman howls, spinning to ward you off. Blood spurts in crimson waves from his heavily muscled neck. He bellows something in his northern tongue, “Bastard whore,” you think, a curse that you have heard before but find puzzling.

(Attack #1: Handaxe [sneak attack] AC 8, miss)
(Attack #2: Handaxe [sneak attack] AC 19, 8 dmg)

Tarduk

Turning to the wiry bearded commander of the Iron Wolves Tarduk says, If it is not too much trouble, Captain, I would like those men taken alive. As for the gnome, secure him to the alter.

Leaning towards Kaspar he continues, You shall be the first one in over thirty years to feel the kiss of Kalavadus’ scourge, Kaspar. I’m sure that you felt its thirst for misery. I assure you, I shall do what I can to slake it.

Tarduk begins walking up the rough stone steps of the Black Alter, laughing.

Kaspar

Your words seem to strike deep into Tarduk. From the steps of the Black Alter he whirls, pointing the bony hand holding the Scourge towards you, his mouth twisted in rage and his eyes burning with insult.

How dare you… he begins. It is then that the grinning skull of Thelaspin interposes himself. Unable to get both Tarduk and your captors with his spell he opts instead to concentrate on the northmen.

It passes over you like a wave, quivering in your marrow like maggots. Terror reaches its bony hand into your rib cage and squeezes your heart so that for a moment you can not breathe. You grit your teeth and focus your mind, warding off the worst of the effects from the Fear spell, finding yourself shaky and disoriented but otherwise capable.

The mercenaries around you were not so lucky. Of the four northmen, including the Captain of the Iron Wolves, immediately surrounding you all of them are now running pell mell across the chamber, screaming in terror. Behind you, another gasps and whimpers in confusion, but does not flee.

Wha… NOOOOO Tarduk bellows as you charge towards him. He moves to back away from you, but such is his surprise that you are able to bound up the steps and briefly grasp his arm, allowing the surge of necromantic energy to flow through you, filling you with his life force and causing him to further recoil.

As the two of you square off on the steps of the alter, you alert your companions that Tarduk now has the Scourge.

(Will Saves against Fear spell DC 17 by Iron Wolves: 12, 4, 3, 12, 17)
(Vampiric Touch: Touch Attack AC 18, 13hp drain)

Ba battle fear spell
The Fear Spell

Bonehead

Once more the skeletal dwarf’s axe whistles through the air with brutal efficiency, catching the injured Iron Wolf in the chest.

(Attack #1: AC 18, dmg 5)

Iron Wolves

The heavily injured mercenary facing Bonehead moves to retreat, but is quickly cut down by the undead dwarf.

(Attack of opportunity: AC 20, dmg 6)

The heavily muscled northman that Ssibliss has injured hefts his axe and delivers a powerful strike to the tiny lizard man. The axe bites deep into Ssibliss’ shoulder with an attack that would have beheaded him if the lizard man’s instincts were not so keen. Instead the axe jars into bone before being withdrawn by the northman.

(Attack #1: 22, critical, 15 dmg)

Those fighting Brandos deliver another flurry of attacks on the cleric with sword and axe. Though he is once more able to parry the majority of the blows, Brandos is unable to avoid a sweeping cut that catches him in the chest from a longsword. Though the cut was well timed, the mundane blade with its less-than-keen edge fails to do any serious damage.

(Attack #1: natural 20, dmg 4)
(Attack #2: AC 10, miss)
(Attack #3: AC 14, miss)

The sight of Captain Stoker fleeing in terror has a significant impact on the Iron Wolves. Those who were even now swarming over the prone Tormented Ones cringing on the ground pause as they see their leader in apparent retreat.

RUN!, you hear one of the northmen scream in Thentic and suddenly the mass of them are fleeing towards the tunnel exit, funnelling towards Brandos, Ssibliss and Tristan in an apparent route.

The Tormented Ones

Though several of the broken souls have been viciously struck by the cruel blades of the mercenaries, they show little attention to their wounds. Rather they crawl or drag themselves towards whatever crack or crevasse that they can find, desperate to put as much room between them and the Scourge as possible.

Ba battle 8

Alrighty, please submit your next actions. I’ll try to post Round Seven Thursday night if I have heard from all of you, or at least those who are consistently participating (I’m looking at you, Mike).

The Ghosts of Namaran
 

Setting his face in a resolute version of sternness, Kaspar draws his dagger and attacks Tarduk physically.

If you aren’t willing to help yourself I guess I will have to bleed the evil from you.

He messages the others:

I’m engaging Tarduk in hand-to-hand…I’m gonna need some help here. I have another fireball to help you guys if you need it…but Tarduk seems to have some protection versus fire. Try to break the morale of the Northmen: tell them to look at there leader fleeing for his life.

Kaspar then commands Bonehead to sprint across the cavern as fast as he can to attack Tarduk.

Kaspar will try to keep Tarduk engaged in melee as much as he can to prevent him from casting spells or performing rituals (grabbing him bodily if need be)…hoping Kaspar’s stoneskin and displacement will be enough to keep Kaspar alive.

Kaspar’s attack on Tarduk
Roll: d20+3
16 = 13[d20]+3

Dagger Damage
Roll: d4-1
0 = 1[d4]-1 (1 dmg minimum)

(Note to self…get better at melee)

Footercurrent

The Ghosts of Namaran
 

And Thelaspin will cast Doom on Tarduk every round until it affects him.

The Ghosts of Namaran
 
Brandos has a look to see if he thinks he can get to Kasper. He thought he was done for, but if he’s going to be going toe to toe with Tarduk, Brandos will die trying to help him. The only reason he looks first is to try to allow the least number of free shots as he breaks through to get to his friend engaged in what should be HIS battle.
The Ghosts of Namaran
 

PS. I still haven’t remembered to bring my damn sheet to the office, so just pretend Brandos is like way better than he is on your sheet. Like WAY better. And then roll low anyway for his opponents.

The Ghosts of Namaran
 

Ssibliss will again move to total defense and tumble back into the darkness though this time he will try and move around behind the tormented one at B,14 and then run into the emptying cavern towards P, 13 trying to stay in darkness as much as possible.

The Ghosts of Namaran
 

ROUND SEVEN

Tristan
Feinting towards one of the Iron Wolves, Tristan strikes at the other, slipping his blade past the mercenary’s shield and finding a chink in his armour. The blow causes the northman to leap back. Spinning with amazing speed the young knight’s sword whistles through the air, striking the unprotected throat of the man flanking him. The wounded soldier drops his sword and shield, clutching at his severed throat as a fountain of blood gushes from the mortal wound. He manages a single step before falling to his knees and then crumpling to the cold stone floor, his lifeblood pouring into the dust.

“There is too many of them.” he shouts to Brandos and Ssibliss as the approaching wave of Iron Wolves prepares to break upon Tristan and Bonehead. “We need help holding them!”

(Attack #1: AC 28, dmg 6)
(Attack #2: AC 26, crit, dmg 13)

Brandos
You peak over your shield and across the vast chamber to where Kaspar is now struggling hand to hand with the sinister Bishop of Namaran. Rage pounds in your heart as you consider a way to get across the chamber to where your nemesis is. The northmen around you have managed to thoroughly pin you against the wall, leaving little room to maneuver. You realize that it will be difficult to break past so many opponents unscathed but you have few options. With a mass of enemies about to flood into your position the time will not get better.

Surging forward with shield raised, you slam into the Iron Wolf directly in front of you. The mercenary hacks at you with his axe as you drive at him, the blade biting deep into your shoulder. You ignore the pain and continue on, pushing the northman to the ground and charging over him as a rain of blows from the other mercenaries surrounding you fall harmlessly on your armour.

You make for what open ground there is, leaping past the hideous Tormented One dragging itself across the chamber floor towards the tunnel exit.

(Ok, so I assume that as a standard action Brandos will be using Total Defense giving him a +4 dodge bonus for the round and then using the Overrun action which can be taken during your move phase to attempt to blow past the mercenaries hedging him in. Once more, I don’t have any stats, so I’ll use the following approximation: AC 22, with 41 hp remaining. )

Overrun Step 1: Attacks of Opportunity
(Attack of Opportunity #1: natural 20 +2, critical hit, dmg 11)

Overrun Step 2: Opponent Avoids?
Sure doesn’t. The mercenary that you are attempting to Overrun moves to block you.

Overrun Step 3: Opponent Blocks (Opposed checks)
Brandos Str: roll 12+1=13
Iron Wolf Str: roll 1+1=2

Overrun Step 4: Consequences
Brandos successfully knocks the mercenary prone and moves past him (Incurring Attacks of Opportunity from the rest of the surrounding mercs)

(Attack of Opportunity #2: AC 15, miss)
(Attack of Opportunity #3: AC 5, miss)
(Attack of Opportunity #4: AC 3, critical fumble)

Ssibliss
You watch as Brandos clears a path through the attacking mercenaries. Using the opportunity, you leap and twist through them, following quick on the monk’s heals.

Tarduk
NOW YOU DIE!” the Bishop screeches in Kaspar’s face, drawing back the Scourge with a metallic whisper and then lashing it at the gnome. Once more there is a sound like tearing steal as the barbed joints of the whip shriek through the air, snapping at Kaspar’s flesh but failing to imbed deeply through his magically hardened skin.

Even so, agony thrums through the gnome, forcing him to clamp his jaw to keep from screaming. Images of an eternity of blood and death flash before Kaspar’s eyes as he fights to overcome the searing tendrils that worm their way through his muscle and bone.

Somewhere deep in his mind Kaspar finds a refuge. A place that is impervious to the suffering of the flesh. It is there that he goes, finding succour and strength enough to overcome the Scourge’s torment.

A flash of concern crosses Tarduk’s face as he recoils the Scourge, its potent powers failing to find purchase on Kaspar.

(Attack #1: AC 21, Displacement check: 62%, Dmg 6 negated by Stoneskin. The Scourge has an effect like that of a Symbol of Pain on those that it strikes. Fort Save DC 17 or suffer wracking pain that imposes a -4 penalty on attack rolls, skill checks and ability checks for 1 hour. Kaspar’s save roll 17, successful)

Kaspar
Shrugging off the effects of the Scourge, you draw your dagger.

“Please, Kaspar, we must flee! " Thelaspin pleads with you. “Believe me, undeath is not something that you would wish to endure.”

Ignoring the floating skull of your dead master, you turn to Tarduk, “If you aren’t willing to help yourself I guess I will have to bleed the evil from you.”

As you lash out with your dagger, you warn you message a plea to your companions for assistance and order Bonehead to your side.

Your dagger finds flesh, but fails to seriously injure the Bishop.

Meanwhile Thelaspin hovers close to your side, focusing his boney eyes upon Tarduk, and casting Doom upon the unsuspecting target. Tarduk winces as the spell strikes him, but shrugs its effects aside with a growl.

(Attack #1: AC 16, Dmg 1)

(Doom: DC 17, Tarduk Will check roll 8+11=19)

Bonehead
Reacting to his creator’s commands, the dwarves skeleton surges forwards. The mercenary facing Bonehead hacks at his shield, failing to do damage, but giving himself a chance to throw back the skeleton. Bonehead staggers backward but managed to keep its feet.

Overrun Step 1: Attacks of Opportunity
(Attack of Opportunity #1: AC 16,miss)

Overrun Step 2: Opponent Avoids?
Sure doesn’t. The mercenary that you are attempting to Overrun moves to block you.

Overrun Step 3: Opponent Blocks (Opposed checks)
Bonehead Str: roll 1+1=2
Iron Wolf Str: roll 8+1=9

Overrun Step 4: Consequences (Opposed checks)
Bonehead Str: roll 17+1=18
Iron Wolf Str: roll 7+1+8

Iron Wolves
Confusion reigns amidst the mercenaries. The combination of disappearing and re-appearing Bishop’s with contrary orders, the horror of the slaughter of the monks and the appearance of the Tormented Ones was enough to shake their morale. The panicked retreat of their Captain has set them in full retreat towards the tunnel.

Most of the Iron Wolves stream past Tristan and Bonehead, keeping out of their range, while those engaged with them fight extra hard to dispatch their opponents before withdrawing.

The three mercenaries standing before Sir Tristan lunge forward, hoping to fall the injured knight. Their swords and axes rise and fall but are unable to penetrate his defences.

(Attack #1: AC 8, miss)
(Attack #2: AC 5, miss)
(Attack#3: AC 2, miss)

The mercenary fighting Bonehead hefts his axe and delivers a heavy blow which thuds harmlessly into the skeleton’s upraised shield.

(Attack #1: AC 9, miss)

Jaccob
From the shadows he emerges, climbing down the wall and dropping on the Black Alter behind Bishop Tarduk. His white eyes are wide in the shrunken ruin of his face as he surveys the man who wrought his doom. He flinches as the Scourge licks through the air, but remains steadfast, the long years of consuming vengeance have steadied him for this moment. Tarduk is completely unaware of Jaccob’s presence, his focus entirely upon Kaspar.

Ba battle 09

Please submit your actions for Round Eight. I may not be able to post again until next Monday, so have your submissions in by Sunday at the latest, please. Mike, I really need some updated stats from Brandos, especially if you intend on getting into the climactic battle with the main antagonist! Thanks, guys.

The Ghosts of Namaran
 

A slow smile creeps across Kaspar’s face as he sees his friend Jaccob mount the altar behind Tarduk. Reversing the blade of his threatening dagger, he stands up straight in an unworried fashion. Looking Tarduk dead in the eyes he says,

Little Olin Vars, I’m sure you remember little Jaccob. I think you each have some things to talk about.

He will then point slowly to Jaccob on the altar.

The very second that Tarduk starts to look away, Kaspar will cast shocking grasp and lunge to touch Tarduk to see if he has any protection from electricity.

Touch attack

Roll: d20+6
22 = 16[d20]+6 (19 if he is wearing no metal)

Damage
Roll: 5d6
26 = 6[d6]6[d6]4[d6]6[d6]4[d6]

Kaspar will then start encouraging Jaccob.

Come on Jaccob! Don’t be afraid of this sniveling brat! As soon as we get the scourge off him he will just be a simpering old man! Come on, Jaccob think of the life you missed and the family you can’t see—he took that all away from you!

(Oh, I should mention my save vs symbol of pain should be +6 because it is necrotic.)

The Ghosts of Namaran
 

ROUND EIGHT

Tristan

Spinning his sword in wide arcs to buy himself room in the growing press of Iron Wolves, Tristan lashes out at the mercenary he had previously injured. His sword bites home and the northman crumples to the ground in a heap.

(Attack #1: AC 21, Dmg 6)
(Attack #2: AC 9, miss)

Brandos

You charge towards the Black Alter where you see Kaspar, his clothing hanging in ragged ruins and his skin scorched and blackened facing down the wiry bishop with a knife. A group of mercenaries in full retreat are heading straight at you. The idea flashes through your mind that they may move to attack you, but you refuse to detour. Instead, you raise your shield and plunge straight through their ranks.

Intent on their flight, the mercenaries crossing your path making no attempt to hamper or harm you.

You splash through the cold water of the ankle, deep creek, heedless of any dangers. The Alter looms before you now. A mere ten feet away stands Kaspar on the rough stone steps.

Ssibliss

You follow in Brandos’ wake, finding it difficult to keep up with the longer gate of the human.

Tarduk

Whether it was Kaspar’s warning or an innate sense of danger, the bishop spins towards this new threat. Jaccob, he rasps.

Drawing back the Scourge he flicks it towards Jaccob, sending its metal arms screeching through the air. The barbs bite deep into the boy’s broken flesh and for a moment he writhes on the ground. Not forgetting Kaspar, Tarduk recoils the Scourge and spins with a practiced ease, striking at the gnome even as he reaches to attack Tarduk.

It was close. Razor close. The tendrils snap out, reaching for Kaspar with a menacing will that is partly that of the Bishop and partly that of the weapon. As it is, the barbs streak through the refracted image created by the Cloak of Displacement, snapping past the gnome and failing to gain purchase.

Tarduk, realizing Kaspar’s intent shrieks in terror, stumbling backward and landing heavily next to Jaccob.

(Attack #1: AC 20, Dmg 4, Symbol of Pain DC 17, Jaccob’s save 12, -4 penalty on attacks, skill checks and ability checks for 1 hour)
(Attack #2: AC 18, Displacement Check: 89%, miss)

Kaspar

You lunge past the barbs and reach out, grasping Tarduk’s hand. There is a buzzing noise as the summoned potential in your outstretched fingers finds a path through the bishop’s body, causing his muscles to contract in spasms and his face to tighten. Blood spurts from his mouth where he has clamped down on his tongue and he shakes and squeals as the electricity washes through him.

Tarduk’s eyes lock on your’s for a moment and the triumph and elation that had filled them a moment before is completely gone. Rather it is fear that lives there now. And then he is unconscious, slumping down beside Jaccob, his head thumping on the stone of the Alter. Only his hand remains rigid, clenching the handle of the wicked Scourge.

Bonehead

As the remaining mercenaries melt out of his way, the skeleton begins to lumber across the chamber towards the Alter.

Iron Wolves

There is no will for this battle left in the mercenaries. Pell mell they rush for the exits intent on saving their own skins.

Jaccob

Regaining his feet, the undead boy stands over Tarduk.

Olin Vars; his tormentor. It is difficult to know what is going on within Jaccob. His features betray no thoughts. In truth, it is difficult to discern if there is anything more complex than a need for vengeance within him. But then he looks to Kaspar and their eyes meet for a long moment and the gnome could swear later that in that cold dead gaze he saw something new. Perhaps it was gratitude. Maybe relief. Whatever there is to this poor soul he was once a child and somewhere down deep that boy remains.

He is so small and yet he looms over the unconscious form of Olin Vars and it is clear what his intentions are. His vengeance is only just beginning.

Ba battle finale

We can probably end the rounds here. Please post your next actions and I’ll respond, likely Wednesday night.

The Ghosts of Namaran
 

Kaspar nods to Jaccob.

It is good to see you my friend.

He glances down at the body of Tarduk and frowns. He quickly examines the body for any other magic to be wary of, using detect magic. He will quickly strip the body of all of the offending items as well as any badge of office, signet ring, letters, or seals. Being very careful not to touch the Scourge (or altar), he will even cut off Tarduk’s forearm, if need be, to avoid touching the item.

Looking at Jaccob while going over the body Kaspar will ask:

Do you know how to destroy the scourge?

Will the rest of the Tormented Ones continue to harass the Dwarves if they mine here?

Is there a way to put them all to rest without killing them?

Kaspar glances over at the surviving Monks.

Is there any way you can consecrate this place? Perhaps that will diminish some of the power of the altar. You of course know you will have to rebuild and gather as many new disciples as you can so you can save this valley. It seems that it is only the existence of the Monks that have kept it bay this long…you have a very important job Brothers.

Kaspar then stands and nods again to Jaccob, silently waiting to see how Jaccob enacts his revenge.

Kaspar is also very conscious of Volson Karn. He will not leave without seeing his remains. While he heard the tormented screams he will assume he is alive until the body is discovered…and thoroughly looted. Kaspar still feels deficient from the lost of his equipment in Coronet.

Looking back behind to Brandos, Kaspar asks

How are we going to relay this back to the throne…let alone the church? Is Sir Tristan’s name good enough to carry the burden? I have no intention of letting the Scourge get into the hands of the government of church again. We will need witnesses from the town, and clergy…and proof that Tarduk ordered these men to commit these crimes. I want to be able to go home. Not to mention work at getting a pardon for the bloodly escape that sprung you from the prisons. What say you?

The Ghosts of Namaran
 

i’ll give this another couple of days. please submit something by saturday, even if it is just a “read it” to let me know that you guys have looked at this.

The Ghosts of Namaran
 

Jaccob tears his eyes away from the moaning form of the unconscious bishop to meet Kaspar’s gaze.

Ssibliss and Brandos slow down as they approach the base of the Black Alter. They cast wary glances about for enemies but find that the darkness left by the retreating mercenaries is impenetrable. Moments later a heavily injured Sir Tristan joins them, his face pale, his hands covered in blood and his chest heaving with ragged breaths. Beside the young knight the bleached skull of the dwarven skeleton peaks out from below its thick steel helmet.

Kaspar casts Detect Magic and focuses on Tarduk. A dagger tucked into the smooth leather belt that encircles the bishops slender hips emits a faint aura of magic. The sturdy-looking black leather armour that he wears and a golden ring set with a large ruby on Tarduk’s left hand also emit a faint trace of magic.

A quick examination of his pockets reveals seven small steel vials. Each one has a rectangle of parchment glued to its surface with a spidery script written on it. Two of the vials say "Darkvision"_, one says -“Barkskin” and the final four say “Cure Moderate Wounds”.

Next to these lesser magics the Scourge of Kalavadus and the Black Alter reveal a potent magic. The Scourge radiates a strong aura itself but the Alter’s aura is nearly overwhelming. Kaspar turns his gaze from it, dismissing the spell and blinking away the aftershine.

Looking back to Jaccob he asks, “Do you know how to destroy the scourge?”

Jaccob shakes his head slowly in the negative, looking for a moment at the evil weapon before bringing his gaze back to Kaspar’s.

“Will the rest of the Tormented Ones continue to harass the Dwarves if they mine here?” the gnome asks.

Jaccob makes no response, instead he casts a long look in the direction of the three monks of Saint Brisbee who are standing hesitantly at the base of the Alter. Their eyes are locked on the ruin of their brother’s whose broken corpses lay scant feet from the small Tormented One.

Kaspar’s voice quavers as he asks his final question, fear and hope mixing in his voice: “Is there a way to put them all to rest without killing them?”

Jaccob shakes his head. The horror of the Tormented Ones’ cursed existence weighs heavily in the air.

It seems to propel him now, he grasps the collar of Olin Vars’ jerkin and drags him towards the end of the Alter. The Scourge falls from the bishop’s hand, laying on the black stone like some kind of metallic squid. Tarduk’s eyes flicker open.

“Please,” he whimpers, “Please! Kaspar, Brandos, I beg you…”_

Jaccob drags the bishop onto the ragged remains of the dead monks, covering him in gore and ichor. He drops him to the dark stone with a whet, Plop and drops on to Tarduk’s chest. As the bishop’s screams echo through the chamber everyone stands spellbound. Like so many audiences before, you bear witness to the gruesome end of a life on the black stone of the wicked alter.

As the last pathetic moans and violent crushing noises fade away Kaspar turns to his companions standing below him and asks:

“How are we going to relay this back to the throne…let alone the church? Is Sir Tristan’s name good enough to carry the burden? I have no intention of letting the Scourge get into the hands of the government of church again. We will need witnesses from the town, and clergy…and proof that Tarduk ordered these men to commit these crimes. I want to be able to go home. Not to mention work at getting a pardon for the bloodly escape that sprung you from the prisons. What say you?”

The Ghosts of Namaran
 

To recap, the magical items recovered from the Bishop are:

*Leather Armour – faint aura
*Dagger – faint aura
*Gold Ring with Ruby – faint aura
*2 Potions of Darkvision
*1 Potion of Barkskin
*4 Potions of Cure Moderate Wounds (2d8+8)
*The Scourge of Kalavadus – strong aura

I should be able to post again on Wednesday or Thursday if you guys can post by then. Please add some input for poor Dave, he’s trying to figure a direction for your party!

The Ghosts of Namaran
 

oops, I forgot to respond to this!

Kaspar

Turning to the monks, Kaspar asks: “Is there any way you can consecrate this place? Perhaps that will diminish some of the power of the altar. You of course know you will have to rebuild and gather as many new disciples as you can so you can save this valley. It seems that it is only the existence of the Monks that have kept it bay this long…you have a very important job Brothers.”

Brother Camrose

The eldest of the monks whose plain brown robes are wet with blood from a wound to his abdomen leans heavily on one of his younger companions. His tonsured head has a wispy halo of white hair about it and his thin, weathered face is covered in a coarse growth of salty beard. “Though I can not speak for Abbot Hewin, I doubt that what is left of our order could ever overcome the evil of this alter. Our songs, however, have long calmed the Tormented Ones. Each night in our hymns we beg for the pardon of those who have been wronged and ask for their comfort. We will continue to do so until the last of us leaves this world, a fate I fear is not long away.”

The Ghosts of Namaran
 

While waiting for the rest of the party to mull over our next action…Kaspar continues his discussion with the Monks

I’m not sure how the rest of this is going to go down. You still have some brethren in the camp above the surface. I’m hoping the Iron Wolves will realize they have allied themselves with the wrong man and make a hasty retreat back to the North; but, that might not happen.

Regardless, if I were you, and I had any attachment to this valley, I would make it my life’s mission to teach those songs to every man woman and child in this neck of the woods. Your songs might have been the only dam to stop the flood of Kalavadus’ evil sweeping across this valley again. I think I might know of a place where we can hide this scourge; but, the altar will remain here contaminating the land.

Kaspar looks over at Jaccob and motions him forward toward himself and the monks.

Can you feel it when the brothers sing their songs? When there were many brothers, singing all of the time, were you trapped down here? Were you in less pain? Did it lessen the power of the altar?

Kaspar looks back toward the monks.

This is a rare opportunity for us, brothers, to be able to get some small degree of understanding from the poor tormented souls that haunt these caves. Perhaps, you, and Jaccob here, with me as a medium can solve some of the mysteries. Either way, I think it is clear, it is your order that keeps the evil at bay.

Kaspar muses to himself aloud

Perhaps a small order of Lantern Knights on the other side of the river might be apt to protect these pacifists.

Kaspar looks over at Tristan and Brandos.

Ideas? Do we head straight to the Iron Wolves camp, do we secure the monks first, do we gather some evidence to save our own skins form the headman’s axe? I might remind Sir Tristan, and Brother Brandos that we are enemies of the crown currently…something that is becoming a habit for myself…but I don’t heartily recommend it.

With that, he will dole out 2 healing potions to Tristan, and the rest of the potions to Brandos.

The leather armor is magical…might be an good fit for Ssibliss.

With that he puts the ruby ring on and then covers it with the gloves he acquired earlier. Casually sheathing the dagger in his belt, Kaspar casts around for the oiled sack that contained the scourge before. He will then use the tip of a dagger to place the scourge in the sack and tie it tightly closed…and then tie it on the back of his belt.

It might just be that Cardinal Guy de Valin might have some ideas about how to handle this scourge…it sure would be nice to be able to enter Ran Adin without sneaking past the guards.

The Ghosts of Namaran
 

Kaspar

As you speak to the monks they nod their heads, but a defeated look fills their eyes as they contemplate their dead brethren on the chamber floor around them. Seven dead monks lay scattered on the stones.

As you turn to Jaccob and ask:

Can you feel it when the brothers sing their songs? When there were many brothers, singing all of the time, were you trapped down here?

Jaccob slowly shakes his head.

Were you in less pain?

He nods, his hand slowly drifting to his chest where once his heart beat.

Did it lessen the power of the altar?

Again he nods.

To the monks:

This is a rare opportunity for us, brothers, to be able to get some small degree of understanding from the poor tormented souls that haunt these caves. Perhaps, you, and Jaccob here, with me as a medium can solve some of the mysteries. Either way, I think it is clear, it is your order that keeps the evil at bay.

Brother Camrose nods his head.

Long have we suspected as much. As our order has diminished the terror of the valley has increased. It is our greatest wish to ease the suffering of these poor souls whose torment has stretched through these long ages. I am certain that Abbot Hewin would agree.

Kaspar turns next to Brandos and Tristan:

Ideas? Do we head straight to the Iron Wolves camp, do we secure the monks first, do we gather some evidence to save our own skins form the headman’s axe? I might remind Sir Tristan, and Brother Brandos that we are enemies of the crown currently…something that is becoming a habit for myself…but I don’t heartily recommend it.

Tristan responds after drinking the healing potions offered to him. Instantly he stands straighter and the strain in his features relaxes.

There are still several of the monks being held by the Iron Wolves. It is a certain thing that they will know what has happened here as soon as those who fled reach the surface. I doubt that we will have the advantage of dropping on them unaware the same way we did here. As to our standing with the crown, that is a matter I know little of. It is something that I would discuss with his grace, the cardinal.

Kaspar gives Ssibliss the armour and puts the Scourge into the oil sack and secures it to his belt.

As he descends from the Alter Kaspar says:

It might just be that Cardinal Guy de Valin might have some ideas about how to handle this scourge…it sure would be nice to be able to enter Ran Adin without sneaking past the guards.

If anyone else has anything to add, please simply add it to the conversation. Otherwise, let me know what course of action you’ll take next.

The Ghosts of Namaran
 

Ssibliss suggests that perhaps it may be wise to dispose of Tarduk’s remains carefully. While it seems fitting to have him suffer the same fate as his victims, he should perhaps spend his afterlife in other appropriate locales. Ssibliss believes that his remaining here would be distastefulness both to the living in the valley and the unliving below.

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The Ghosts of Namaran
 

Other than that Ssibliss thinks it would be a good idea to confront the remaining Iron Wolves soonest. Being somewhat ruffled and patron-less who knows what they may do with the remaining monks. perhaps we should act before the power vacuum completely collapses.

he will then thoroughly investigate the black leather harness.

The Ghosts of Namaran
 

Sorry, guys. I’ve been busy and was hoping that Mike might want to add something here, but I think that he has pretty much abandoned this. So, to carry on…

Sir Tristan draws a vial from his pouch and helps administer the healing potion to Brother Camrose. The monk straightens as his wounds hastily knit themselves together and many of the lines in his face ease as the pain ebbs away.

“I dread to leave the bodies of my brethren in this place. Those that died on that hideous alter may succumb to the curse and rise again in ageless suffering.” the monk says, his voice quivering.

Before anything more can be said, a distant scream echoes its way through the chamber, emanating from one or several of the tunnels that honeycomb the cave. Jaccob steps to Kaspar’s side, pulling on his sleeve and looking warily into the darkness beyond.

Sir Tristan scoops up one of the few remaining torches and holds it high to increase the light in the chamber.

“Whatever plans we make can surely be discussed on the surface,” he says, his voice tense with urgency, “I think it would be best to depart this place.” And then, turning to the monks he says in a contrite tone, “Perhaps we can return for your brother’s bodies once we have greater strength and fewer enemies to face.”

“We must find that mage!” Thelaspin urges Kaspar, his skull floating into the gnomes’ sight.

The Ghosts of Namaran
 

Feel free to discuss any plans, or simply let me know what you plan on doing. I should be able to respond fairly quickly. If you don’t want to add anything or make an action just post a “read it” so that I know to carry on. Thanks, guys!

The Ghosts of Namaran
 

Kaspar scans the darkness quickly and frowns deeply.

Tristan. Gather all of the survivors and double back the way we came. Gather everyone at the abandoned Dwarven camp at the cave entrance. Treat the Iron Wolves with neutral respect if you meet any. Express to them that we welcome any help and that we will work together to survive this haunted place; but, if they go back to their leaders we will then become enemies again as they have allied themselves with the same evil that haunts these caves.

I will meet you there shortly.

Kaspar then turns to Bonehead and Jaccob.

I have a feeling the Tormented Ones are just the first tier of dangers in this labyrinth. Both of you follow me. We need to make sure that mage isn’t turned. And make sure he doesn’t possess any more of these unholy relics that stirs the evil here.

With that, Kaspar will strike out toward the cave that the mage was fighting from. He will try to move as quick as possible so that he can catch back up with the group again.

To Thelaspin he will whisper.

What do you know about this mage? Why must we risk this? I know why I want to…but? What is it you are thinking?

The Ghosts of Namaran
 
Brandos, as though snapping out of a daze, rushes to Kasper’s side. “I am sorry, my friend,” he says honestly, “I know not what came over me during the battle, and was lax in attending to what should have been my fight, not yours.”

Assuming Kasper is looking for the mage Volson Karn, he kindly requests the honour of accompanying him in an attempt to right the wrong he feels he has done to Kasper.
The Ghosts of Namaran
 

Kaspar looks back at Brandos,

Most likely I’m heading back to a crushed body. You may accompany me if you wish; but, we also need to get the monks out of here so that this valley has a chance of survival.

With that he will turn back toward the cave with Jaccob and Bonehead.

The Ghosts of Namaran
 

Tristan

Without further question Tristan turns to Brandos, Ssibliss and the monks. “Follow me, and keep close.”

The young knight slings his shield over his shoulder to free a hand to hold high a torch before leading the group away from the Black Alter and towards the same tunnel that the Iron Wolves had retreated down mere minutes ago.

There is ample sign of the headlong flight of the mercenaries in the tunnel. A pair of kite shields and an iron helm litter the floor where they were dropped. The tunnels twist and branch in ways that stretch your memory. Several times Tristan hesitates, requiring prompting from the group. Without the expertise of the dwarves or Jaccob the subterranian passages are maze-like.

“Shit! This doesn’t look familiar at all!” Tristan growls. As he does so a scuffling noise alerts you to something stumbling through the dark nearby.

Raising his sword Tristan leaps forward, “Show yourself!”

From the darkness a trio of northmen stumble forward, terror written plain on their face. “M-mercy, sir,” one of them begs in heavily accented Vintaran. In their hands they clutch their swords and one holds the burnt-out stump of a torch.

Despite your revulsion for the brutal mercenaries, stumbling through the darkness must have been terrifying.

Tristan glances over his shoulder to Brandos and Ssibliss. “Well?” he asks.

Kaspar

You find yourself left with only the light of your glowing stone, standing at the base of a blood-drenched alter with a skeletal dwarf, an undead boy and the spectral skull of your long-deceased master. If you came to the ancient lands to plumb the depths of necromancy, it has certainly taken you in some unexpected directions.

“We need to find that mage,” Thelaspin lisps, “This battle may have been won but your position is far from secure and it is likely that Volson Karn may have some items that could be of assistance. After all, in the last few years you have killed a Count who was the father of the new king; caused a war with Coronet that killed the old king; murdered the powerful leader of a secretive, but obviously well-connected organization; broke Brandos out of prison by slaughtering a number of guardsmen and topped the whole thing off by assassinating a Bishop who was also the Privy Seal and Councillor of Cyonia and, though you may have had good reasons for all of these things, they have left you with far more enemies than friends. Besides, I’m curious to see if he had his spell book with him. You never know what kind of arcane tidbits a mercenary wizard has managed to accumulate.”

It strikes you, sometimes, how long winded Thelaspin can be without the need to actually breathe.

Jaccob leads you into a narrow fissure near the alter. The small Tormented One has little difficulty but you find it an uncomfortable and vulnerable squeeze. It takes some verbal coaching to get Bonehead through. The skeleton’s armour, especially his tower shield, proves problematic and you realize that it will have to be left behind.

The tunnel is not long, but climbs steeply over rough rock that takes time to navigate. With Jaccob’s iron-like hands pulling and dragging you soon reach a flattish area that branches off to the left or continues slightly to the right. You are happy to see that Jaccob chooses the left-hand path which appears to be wider and flatter.

Creeping through the dark you round a corner to find what must have once been the body of Volson Karn. Little that is recognizable remains of the mage. Raw, brutalized meat and organs hang loosely from shattered bones. Though you are no stranger to death, the sheer violence of what lays before you causes your gorge to rise.

Jaccob, seemingly unbothered by the carnage, squats nearby, watching as you move closer to Volson’s remains. Suddenly, Jaccob sits upright, his eyes peering into the looming darkness. Lightning fast he leaps to your side.

Out of the shadows, the monstrously big figure of a Tormented One hulks into view. It’s milky skin hangs from its bulbous form like rags. Its arms have been flayed and its hands broken off leaving a pair of sharpened bones for appendages. The creature has a massive gut that hangs to its knobby knees. Chillingly, its neck is broken, the head tipping far to the right with a thin, leathery tongue hanging from the corner of its mouth. Fresh blood covers its arms and chest.

At the back of your mind there is a tickling presence which you recognize as the will of The Scourge of Kalavadus attempting to influence you. You see mastery over the beast, the metallic cracking of the whip drawing it to heel. The delicious and seductive draw of power mingles with fear and revulsion in the pit of your stomach.

“Oh dear. I hope you prepped more invocations,” Thelaspin mutters.

The Ghosts of Namaran
 

OOOOOOOOOPS!!!! Ok, sorry guys. I started this post earlier before Brandos and Kaspar’s last updates and didn’t see them until I submitted it. Just read this as Brandos accompanying Kaspar now.

The Ghosts of Namaran
 

Stepping back behind Jaccob and Bonehead Kaspar urgently speaks,

We are just here to retrieve our property. We will not abuse your sacrifice. You may still offer the body to the altar. We only need a short minute.

Kaspar then straightens his posture and fingers the oiled sack containing the scourge. In a harsh whisper he intones,

And if you don’t give us a minute…you will feel the steel caress of Kalavadus once again…and it will be you on the altar…yet again.

If there is enough of a pause. Or, if I feel Bonehead and Jaccob can hold the Tormented One off long enough, I will search the crushed remains for any single recognizable item.

While searching, under his breath he will say to Thelaspin,

I’m down to one Scorching Ray and one Fireball, a handful of cantrips and some utility spells…chip in any ideas if you have them.

The Ghosts of Namaran
 
Brandos begins summoning so as to release his called friend to help if and when necessary, and steps in front of Kasper as he searches the body.
The Ghosts of Namaran
 

Brandos

You pushes past Kaspar, standing shoulder-to-shoulder with Jaccob and Bonehead. The three of you form a solid wall blocking the menacing creature from Kaspar. The Tormented One stands, unblinking, scarcely fifteen feet from the group. It could be a statue but for the sickening way its head lolls at the end of its broken neck.

Kaspar

You quickly picks through the remains of Volson Karn. On one of his mangled hands you find a ring that slides easily off of the blood-soaked finger. You drop it in your pocket and continue to pat him down. On his belt hangs a beautifully crafted short sword of dwarven make. You draw it from its decorative sheath and tuck it in your belt, realizing that you do not have the time to wrestle the sheath and belt from the body.

Frustratingly you do not find the mage’s spell book.

Thelaspin hovers over you, peering over your shoulder with his empty sockets. He mutters:

It has to be here. Where in hell is it?

Looking up from the body, between the legs of your companions, you see something that looks like a rucksack lying between the feet of the Tormented One. Thelaspin follows your gaze.

Shit.

Tunnel 1

The Ghosts of Namaran
 

Looking back at the Tormented One, Kaspar wonders if his words meant anything to it. He whispers,

I’m going to slowly walk forward to see if he backs up. I want to examine that satchel beside it—as I think it contains something I need.

With that Kaspar starts inching forward. He sidles sideways so that the oiled sack is visible to the creature. Kaspar keeps his hand hovered over the sack, but doesn’t touch it.

If the creature stands his ground or gets aggressive I will command Bonehead and Jaccob to attack. If not, I will walk up to the satchel, take it, and back away in the same manner…and get the decorative sheath (I mean who would leave a matching set?). Double check the body, including any clothing that might have unerringly survived.

The Ghosts of Namaran
 

Kaspar

Kaspar walks slowly forward, towards the Tormented One, watching warily for any sign of movement. It stands still, statue-like, neither advancing nor retreating. As you turn sideways, revealing the oiled sack, the Tormented One’s eyes lock onto it.

Thelaspin hisses in his hollow voice:

Be cautious, that thing could crush you in a heart beat.

Pushing between Bonehead and Jaccob, you edge towards it. Finally, with less than ten feet distance, the Tormented One takes a shuffling step back. Your hand hovers a fingernail’s breadth from the lip of the sack. One more step forward and the creature retreats one more shuffling step back.

You realize that you have been holding your breath and draw a deep gulp of air, smelling the bile and blood covering the spear-like protuberance from its arms.

You reach forward, slipping shaking hand through the strap of Volson’s satchel. It is reassuringly heavy. A bead of sweat trickles down your face as you shoulder the satchel and shuffle back behind your companions.

The Tormented One stands, nearly engulfed in shadows. Watching you with dead eyes as you strip the ornate sheath from the ruin of Volson’s body.

There is a collective sigh of relief as the group edges their way down the tunnel, away from the Tormented One. You scramble down the steep slope that leads back into the vast chamber of the Black Alter. The remaining torches have guttered out, so the only light comes from your meagre stone.

Though you can not see the alter, you can feel its presence, like some malevolent watcher waiting in the gloom.

What is your plan of action?

The Ghosts of Namaran
 

Ssibliss will be using the time spent by Kaspar’s side trip to prepare Tarduk’s remains for transport to the surface. This may involve some space saving strategies that other individuals may find distasteful; assuming Jaccob has not already accomplished the necessary adjustments…
hopefully by the time Kaspar returns to the main chamber there will be a bundle or two wrapped in cloaks of fallen Iron Wolves and rope.

If time still remains he will set about working out how to transport the deceased monks back to the surface as well. Though that will require more thought and care as to the dignity of the remains.

Ssbliss reasons that Tristan, Brandos and himself should be able to each carry a monks remains. and perhaps the remaining monks could transport the remains of Olin Vars between them. That is unless Kaspar perhaps has prepared an incantation for conveying bulk over distance.

He will place the monks in charge of collecting and maintaining the remaining light sources in the cavern while he goes about his work.

The Ghosts of Namaran
 

Oops, I already moved you along with Tristan and the monks (please see a couple of posts up). If you would like to remain in the chamber, alone, and package up the dead bodies while Kaspar et al. are on their side trip, you may, but Tristan had already decided that the dead monks were far too heavy and cumbersome to remove from the cavern at this time. He left with the monks, making a break for the surface.

The Ghosts of Namaran
 

I think my action are gonna depend on what Sandy is doing…so I’ll wait a bit.

The Ghosts of Namaran
 

Yes, Ssibliss is very determined to stay and deal with the remains, and will not consider the matter closed until it is done. He states that it is indecent to leave even Tarduk to the evil of the altar. He would also be uncomfortable making a break for the surface without Brandos and Kaspar. In-fact; if their side trip takes them out of earshot down the tunnel Ssbliss stops what he is doing and will quickly pad off after them to insure they are doing alright.

The Ghosts of Namaran
 

Ssibliss

Tristan hardly seemed to notice your absence as he led the surviving Brothers of Saint Brisbee into the tunnel and away from the gloom of the Black Alter. As the light of their torches quickly disappeared from sight, you turned to survey your surroundings. Two torches remained, guttering on the damp stone ground. You recover one quickly, realizing that being alone and unable to see in this chamber would be certain death.

You remain constantly on vigil as you drag the heavy bodies of Tarduk and the dead monks into a line before the alter. No sooner have you finished than the appearance of a torch coming from the direction that Kaspar and Brandos left returns. Stones clatter as they scrape their way out of the tunnel and return to the chamber.

They appear none the worse for wear, though Kaspar seems to have acquired a sturdy looking satchel that is covered in blood.

Looking at Kaspar, Brandos, Jaccob and Bonehead, you realize that there is no possibility of dragging so many bodies to the surface at one time.

What do you do? Kaspar, you become aware of Ssibliss right away.

The Ghosts of Namaran
 

Ssibliss

Tristan hardly seemed to notice your absence as he led the surviving Brothers of Saint Brisbee into the tunnel and away from the gloom of the Black Alter. As the light of their torches quickly disappeared from sight, you turned to survey your surroundings. Two torches remained, guttering on the damp stone ground. You recover one quickly, realizing that being alone and unable to see in this chamber would be certain death.

You remain constantly on vigil as you drag the heavy bodies of Tarduk and the dead monks into a line before the alter. No sooner have you finished than the appearance of a torch coming from the direction that Kaspar and Brandos left returns. Stones clatter as they scrape their way out of the tunnel and return to the chamber.

They appear none the worse for wear, though Kaspar seems to have acquired a sturdy looking satchel that is covered in blood.

Looking at Kaspar, Brandos, Jaccob and Bonehead, you realize that there is no possibility of dragging so many bodies to the surface at one time.

What do you do? Kaspar, you become aware of Ssibliss right away.

The Ghosts of Namaran
 

Are you kidding? I’ve seen you eat from a drainage ditch. Leave bodies to rot in the sun. Walk past heaps of slums…what has changed your mind now?

While I think we can make some points with returning the bodies of the Brothers, I’m not going to drag these bodies up thousands and thousands of feet one-by-one just to sate your newly found propriety for death!

Not to mention, these tormented Ones come in many sizes! We just found one that made Jaccob look like a little girls doll! Come on Ssibliss, What the hell is going on?

With that Kaspar motions to the other to leave and head out of the caves.

Jaccob, if you feel some love for these poor souls and wish no ill to befall these corpses, we would appreciate you dragging the bodies up to the surface one-by-one. If not, you may come with me, I always enjoy the company of a good undead friend.

He looks at Ssibliss and shrugs in a best-I-can-do way and started heading out to the surface.

The Ghosts of Namaran
Wild_Gazebo Wild_Gazebo

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