Monthly Archives: January 2007

Skeletal Storage

“No one go in there without covering your nose and mouth. I think I’ve seen that stuff before in old abandoned basements. Its spores will choke you if you’re not careful. The best way to be rid of it though is fire, but that will also destroy anything in the boxes. Anyone fancy searching that lot? I can’t say I’m that keen to.”

“I’m fine with leaving it.” If it was molding it likely held nothing but long rotted food stuffs. Feldard wasn’t THAT hungry yet.

“We might be missing an important clue or artifact. I will try an arcane divination before we bother to disturb it. The dweomer lasts for twenty minutes so its well worth it.” Miklos opened his spellbook and mouthed the words for his Detect Magic spell.

To Miklos the light cast by the Fire Beetle glands seemed to dim as Seath’s blade and Feldard’s axe leeched the light out of the room and through it forth again with an individual nimbus. He cast his gaze around the Laboratory and then into the storeroom, but the only things he saw that glowed were Feldard’s axe and Saeth’s sword.

Saeth rolled her eyes slightly at the young magus’ eagerness to use his talents. It was just a door, no different from the one just opened. She scanned the hallway, wishing that the others would just check the cupboard and be done with it. Night would fall soon enough.

“Well if we don’t want to worry about the contents of this store what about the other one? Then I’m getting the feeling that people want to push on.” Maruc went to the other door. “Everyone ready?”
Feldard shut the store room door once more and went to wait at the last unopened door. When all were in place, he opened that door.

The room was full of bones of all shapes and sizes. Reptile bones, humanoid bones, animal bones were all mixed together. As the door was opened, a few of the skeletons rose from the ground.

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Store Room

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Miklos studied the papers for a while …the Dread Night…consumed by darkness….Sons of Darkness…. This sounded more like the histerical ramblings of mad clerics rather than serious research. Sevastian was insane, pulling apart the building blocks of nature was dangerously close to crossing the Gods. Life and death were their domain.There was something else, yes on the sarcophogus, he opened his notes … “The Dread Night, Nithia, Nyx, Taymora, Black Opal Eye, Undeath, Sacrifice” ….Sacrifice…

There were quite alot of sacrifices that had been performed here. Perhaps the Dread Night was closer than they realised.

The other point that was worrying Miklos was that eveyone assumed that they were still in the Castle. They might have been transported to Taymora, Miklos shivered at the thought. Best not to worry the others with this unless something pointed toward a distant teleportation like differing humidity and air pressure and temperature.

“Shall we inspect the two doors before we continue?” He tried to keep the worry out of his voice. He pocketed the paper carefully and rose to join the others.

Maruc waited for the others to come over, “Shall we try the right door, I’ve listened at both but have heard nothing. Which doesn’t mean much down here.”

Maruc looked at the Mage, “Are you OK?”

“I’m fine, lets get on with this.” Miklos sounded more abrupt than he meant.

Maruc shook his head. There was something the mage had guessed at but wasn’t telling. “Anything interesting in the papers?”

“Just the ramblings of a madman.” Miklos waited for Feldard to open the door as the others positioned themselves arond it in their adopted manner.

“Lets get moving. I don’t want to be roaming these hallways and rooms forever.” The dwarf moved to one of the two doors, the one on the right, hand already on it’s handle and looked to the others. “Ready?” Bow drawn, Nicolai stood ready behind the Dwarf.

Feldard opened the door. The room appeared to be a store room. A disgusting yellow fungus coats much of the room. Crates and barrels that are piled high are covered with the moldy stuff.

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Inspecting The Laboratory

The dwarf was somewhat disappointed when the room revealed nothing to battle and little of interest save a chest. While Nicolai looked after the chest, Feldard circuited the room, studying the layout of the room for possible secret caches. This was just the sort of place one might expect them.

Maruc filed in after the Dwarf. The room offered very little of interest to him bar a disire to be away from it. He wandered arond the room glancing momentarily at the book shelves then made his way over to the left hand of the two doors and had a listen, then he proceeded to the second to check that too. “Hmm very homely. Oh look a chest, I bet its trapped.”

Miklos’s eye lit up as he recognised the trapping of a study. But his hopes faded as he took in the dishevelled state of the place. “What a shame look at these vails, priceless, and all broken. And a condenser, look this is criminal.” He sniffed the elderly compounds. “Hmm sulphur, and cobalt. This was a fine laboratory in its day. Look at the books!” Miklos dashed over to the bookcase. “Crumbled, broken.”

As her companions filed into the room, Saeth slid back to the door, guarding against attack through the open portal. The dead didn’t seem to move about too much, but no sense in taking risks.

“Mystic Portaliture..” Miklos read out loud as he cleaned the binding with his thumb. The book was falling apart in his hands. Many of the pages were stuck together, and the ink had been rendered blotchy and unreadable. “What I wouldn’t give to have a readable copy of this.”

Leaving the chest to Nicolai, Miklos then headed over to the desk to check if it had a drawer or lid. “This is a disaster, so much knowledge, lost.” Miklos slumped into the chair by the desk shaking his head.

Nicolai checked everywhere for traps. Apparently, the necromancer had felt quite secure in this underground bunker, for nothing was locked or trapped as far as the reformed thief could tell. In the chest were some old moth-eaten black robes. Elaborate embroidery was obscured beneath a coating of earth and dust.

He then joined Feldard in a search for secret doors. They did their best to avoid touching any of the freakish skeletons and strange dried-out chemical compounds. “Ack, what I would do for a bowl of stew and a hunk of bread now,” remarked the young rogue. Their search revealed nothing except for insects that crawled about in various cracks and crevasses.

“How can you think of food right now? Its taking all my willpower to stop vomiting!” Maruc shuddered.

“Hmm yeah. Anyone for zombie stew?”

After Nicolai had inspected the desk for traps, Miklos delicately opened the desk drawer. Despite his precautions, the wood cracked as he gently pulled the drawer open and it fell in his lap. A small dust cloud was kicked up in his face, the noise interrupting the Nicolai and Maruc’s playful banter. Within the drawer were various items common to the study of magic, quills, empty scroll cases, parchment, etc. Strange, how the few scroll cases he found were empty. If this dark mage had kept any scrolls encased, as was the custom, they would be well-preserved. But, unfortunately, there were none to be found. And also no spellbook. Perhaps, the necromancer left long ago and took them with him?

Still, some of the parchment was inscribed with frenetic, tiny scrawl, some of which could still be read. The passages seemed to detail necromantic experimentation, and refer to something called The Dread Night, a day in which the world will be consumed by darkness. It seems that the necromancer was a member of a group of wizards calling themselves the Sons of Night, who made sacrifices to gain them personal power and to help bring the time of the Dread Night closer.

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The Necromancer’s Lair

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Miklos trailing the others gave the room they had arrived in a cursory search. He was particularly interested to see if there were any sigils for determining the arrival point of the teleportation device. Especially if there was a way back though here.

He also picked over the bodies in case there was anything of interest. Miklos was not bashful about doing this as in his view they were animations. Macabre animations true but things driven by magic none the less. Like Golems he decided.

Saeth prowled slowly down the hallway, pausing to listen a moment at the door, then cleared the corner, scouting beyond. “Anyone hear something beyond that door?”

Maruc’s gaze swept over the door. “Not that the dead make much noise, but I guess it’s worth a listen. Seath? This is more your thing I think.”

They listened at the door, but there were no noises to be heard. “Well I guess we try to open it?”said the mage. After everyone was prepared, Miklos grabbed the handle. He checked the hinges to see whether it opened inward or outward.

“Miklos, as before, I would recommend that we group with Feldard and Maruc in front, and myself, you and Saeth behind with knives, or in my case bow, at the ready.”

Feldard moved to the front and bodily interceded before the mage could open the door. “Mage, are you trying to get yourself killed? Get to the back and make yourself useful by keeping watch down the hallway.” Yes, perhaps the dwarf was being a little overly rude but that tended to happen when he found himself faced with battling the undead in a Necromancer’s secret haven with magic being all around him. His beard had stopped itching sometime ago and instead had developed a permanent twitch.

“Not particularly Feldard,” Miklos said patiently, “its just that you made a keen observation before, namely that the person opening the door is doing just that. I am given to understand that the most effective combatants use both hands? I’d imaging its quite difficult to fire a bow with only one. Therefore would it be more appropriate of the one who is not immediately useful with offensive capability to open the door and allow others to be prepared to charge in? But if you, feel I have come to the wrong conclusion, be my guest. I am not a fool and I am not afraid, I am only trying to be useful. Although I might add that the door looks like it opens inward so, Its probably better if you just kick it in….” Miklos stepped out of the way.

“You would not be useful dead Miklos. Nicolai and Feldard where only concerned with your safely.” Maruc put in. “Please don’t be upset by their words. I serously doubt we have enough room here for us all to crowd around the doorway anyway. I suggest myself to the right, Seath to the left Nicolai behind Feldard with his bow, and our esteemed Master Dwarf on door duty. You Miklos can go and wash your hands.”

“You can talk, have you looked at yourself in a glass?” Miklos said absently wiping his hands on his cloak.

“Priests don’t have such vanities.” Maruc cut the mage off, but couldn’t help himself glancing down at his gore spattered gear. “After you Feldard.”

With everyone in their place, the dwarf opened the door.

A large broken down table dominated the center of this large room. There is a bookshelf on one wall and two doors leading out. A desk and chair are in the remaining corner. The bookshelf holds skeletal remains of various creatures and several books. Damp air and age has ruined the books, but the title to a few were still readable: The Dread Night, Mystic Portaliture, and The Heart of Entropy. Flasks, decanters and vials that have been toppled over and broken are littered about the room. The dried residue of chemical compounds gave the air a putrid smell. A broken down bed rested against the far wall. A large wooden chest sat at the foot of the bed.

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In the Hallway

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Maruc turned to Miklos, “Interesting tactics. Shall we leave them to get out numbered or shall we follow them?”

“I don’t know Maruc they seem quite enthusiastic. It’d be a shame to miss their heroics.” Miklos replied.

“Oh, you think they’ll be returning any minute then?”

“I think so let me check.”

Miklos went to the doorway. He winced. Then turned back to Maruc. “It’s pretty messy out there. Oh look an ear.”

“Wow let me see. Eugh.”

“Nice Miklos, now will you come back here before you atract attention to yourself.”

“Hmm I think they’ll need some clerical help soon, maby a patch up job.” Miklos ducked back as a flying wrist arced over him .”Good shot Feldard!”

“Miklos look at the state of you, you’re covered in blood.”

“At least its theirs.”

“Actually, I think they do need your help Maruc.” Miklos wiped the gore from his face.

“Oh all right.” Maruc pulled his flail out and marched into the fray. “Havachyou you undead, err Halfling!” Maruc brought his Flail down on the unfortunate demihuman.

The last zombie ceased moving, and the fight was over. With the undead were dealt with, Feldard moved on down the hallway to ensure that the battle hadn’t attracted attention from others. Nicolai returned to where he left his bow, and then followed Feldard down the corridor to have a check for traps and secret doors.

The corridor turned sharply to the right, where it continued for around forty feet until it again turned to the right. Halfway down on the left wall there was a closed wooden door.

“I’ve a feeling we’re not going to get out of here before night fall.”

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Finishing Off the Zombies

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Zombies were like goblins or dwarves–they learned very slowly, regrouping from defeat after defeat, attached to the habit of attacking again. Saeth threw herself through the doorway after the fleeing creatures, determined to finish the job this time rather than wait for that second attack.

Nicolai sprinted after the elf and thought “Damnable elf. She’ll get us all killed running off like that, who knows what kind of ambush or trap could have been lain here. Still if we’re all alive and able, the better chance we have of all getting out of here.”

“Maruc, watch over the mage. I am off to keep the Elf in one piece.” Then Feldard too took off towards the doorway, following the Elf and Nicolai.

As the zombies continued their march away from the cleric, the fighting spilled out into the hall beyond the doorway. Feldard, Saeth and Nicolai followed them.

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Zombies On All Sides

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Miklos breathed, at least he thought he did. Now he knew they were in for trouble. Not the immediate trouble of fending off hordes of undead. But the mischief one can achieve with power that can instantaniously transport. But why not place this at the front door then transport all unwelcome guests straight into a doorless and windowless room somewhere deep underground? Or failing that just into solid rock?

He didn’t want to depress his friends just yet with that thought. Calming his mind in preparation of reciting the new incantation he’d learnt, he summoned into being an enchanted arrow. Siting it at the the nearest moving corpse he held the magic until the veterans had decided on the best course of action.

As his eyes became accustomed to the gloom Maruc’s eyes widened. “So this is Wizard magic eh?” There was no doubting that they were in trouble this time, there was no escape now they were trapped. Unless Feldard still retained the key.

Then the movement caugh his eye. More abominations! Halav curse meddling Magi! Holy symbol in hand he thrust it about the room calling the power of Halav to his aid to drive these creatures forth. His wearyness forgotten he entoned in a deadly quite voice. “Oh woebegoten spirits it is I, Maruc, the clench fist of Halav’s retribution. I am the light in the dark from which you must flee or be burnt. Crawl away back to your pits and trouble the living world no more!”

There were eight creeping zombies. The corpses were varied. Human, demihuman, goblinoid and orc all re-animated by dark magic. Two of the undead broke off and ambled away from the cleric, exiting the room through the open doorway.

Nicolai loosed his readied bow at the first available figure, sticking it in a zombie’s neck. He then dropped it and drew his sword, as the zombie came at him, the arrow protruding out of its neck did not seem to slow it down. The undead was almost upon him, when a bolt of energy shot forth from the mage. The zombie’s head exploded, and the headless body collapsed at Nicolai’s feet.

Saeth spun, seeing the creatures rise from all directions. Hah! Thought they’d keep her away from the action by putting her in the back, did they? She’d show them what she could do! She began mumurring ancient Elven words of protection, and amidst the hum of power they wrought, threw herself into battle with the rising corpses.

Muttering sourly at being targeted by the necomancer’s magic, Feldard tucked the key away and freed his battle axe, moving himself into a blocking position in front of the Miklos—who seemed the most vulnerable of the group. He swung his mighty new axe at the first corpse to shamble it’s way in range. He heard the priest’s commands and watched the undead. Would they be like the last zombies and cower away or would they be resistant like the bugbear?

The dwarf and elf charged into battle, taking on 2 zombies apiece. Their weapons sliced into undead flesh, but the undead were resilient. They slashed at the demihuman warriors with their claws. Feldard and Saeth countered, both armed with enchanted weapons.

Maruc continued his entonations, boldly confronting the creatures with nothing but Halav’s symbol to protect him. Again, the zombies turned away from the battle, and Saeth and Feldard chopped two of them down as the undead dropped their guard. The remaining two retreated out the door.

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