Farfal,Kai Rellin and Stelian awoke to find themselves in a black-stoned room, inscribed with intricate writing in a language which they could not understand. A single ball of purple magical light moved through it around the room, and facing them was a ancient wall with a obvious crack down the centre. The party gathered their senses, and with a single press, the wall split in two, and the party ventures into the next room…
Playing in this episode were:
-Mike (me), the evil dungeon master of the world Lorr
-John, playing Farfal Soushard, a neutral Shade cleric of The Raven Queen
-Kyle, playing Kai Relin, a neutral human ranger
-Alistair, playing Sir Stelian Soul-eater, a neutral Vryloka Warlock Binder
Chapter 1: Many, many undead
The next room had a large stone pillar in the centre, with a huge semi-closed eyeball made of stone on the top. Two, four-armed skeletons, a scimitar in each hand, charged the party, while the eye lay down psychic blasts from above. The party found themselves hard-pressed in this strange, new place, as their foes were quite tough, and they found their life was being slowly and surely drained from them by necrotic magic which surrounded the place. This took the form in game mechanical as the only gain half their surge value every time they spend one, which made healing worse and combat more deadly. In addition, the skeletal tomb guardians would gang up on a single character, so often a party member would be taking 8 attacks a turn. Ultimately, they killed the skeletal tomb guardians, and managed to disable the pillar-eye, but took a lot of damage from the encounter. Despite this, they spent the appropriate amount of surges and went. They went right down a long, black stoned corridor. The group could see thanks to the darkvision of character and Kai Rellin’s many torches. They went into another room, where they fought a group of skeleton warriors and frost zombies, long-dead creatures whose heart had been so cold in life they froze over in undeath, and then proceeded through the next entrance.
Chapter 2: Impaling fun
They saw a door at the very end of the long corridor and head towards it, but as they closed in on it, they heard a heavy metal clanking sound coming from a corridor peeling off from the middle. Suddenly, a huge robotic construct, with massive metal arms and a spiked carapace burst from around the corner, and beset the party. The fight was joined, and the party determined that this feared automaton was a cadaver collector-a robot which it’s goal is to collect the corpses of the dead, spiking them on their back, and bring them to necromancer master. With this knowledge, the party decided to run away from it for a while, but they then decided that they would attack it to gauge its weaknesses. Upon doing so, they found it was not as initially hard as expected, and destroyed it quickly and Farfal took it as a minion. The party then advanced onto the next room. Within it, more frost zombies and a pair of powerful mummies were crowded around a black stone well filled with bright purple glowing energy. The party quickly found that it was overflowing with magical necrotic energy, which gave buffs to the group of undead, and penalties to the party. Their cadaver collector minion fell within seconds, and they quickly found themselves falling foul of the mummies curses. However, through a tough and stretched-out fight, the party won once more. After a extended rest (where they took surge penalties, and had the chance of being attacked by the place’s spectral guardians), they moved through a long corridor into the next room.
Chapter 3: Moving upwards
This room was a completely bare, black stoned one-at a glance, for Kai Rellin got an exceedingly high perception check,and found a secret wall made of a weaker stone in the structure. The party quickly broke through it, and found themselves facing a 200ft shaft leading up to the next floor. They began a careful decent upwards, but found themselves assailed 100ft up by a stone gargoyle, which chucked chucks of black stone at them. However, through careful manoeuvring, the managed to knock the gargoyle from its perch to its death. Farfal then brought it back as a new undead servant, and the broke through the wall it had been guarding to get to the second floor. Upon entering, they found themselves in a large pillared black stone room confronted by multiple skeleton warriors, and a horrible green-skinned woman with snakes for hair and a bow-a fierce medusa. After taking some pre-battle nature checks to deduce information on it, the party decided the best tactic to avoid the medusa’s petrifying gaze was to close their eyes and fight blind. This made a difficult, if entertaining battle, as the party could barely see where they were going or who they were hitting. However, their perception checks to find their way rolled true, and although the medusa was by far the last to go and toughest foe there, they slew them all. Seeing the gaze as a potent weapon, the party bagged the medusa’s head to use when necessary against a hated villain.
Chapter 4: The Arduous Stairs
Entering the next room, they party were attacked by a pair of large rust monsters-creatures which had a nasty habit of eating metal armour and weapons. Not wanting to lose any valuable items, the party adjusted their weapons and armour accordingly-except for Stelian, as the pair of creatures ganged up on him, and it was found out later that he had misread his hit points to 21 rather then the correct value of 71. Regardless, due to good divide-and-conquer strategy Kai Rellin and Farfal employed, the rust monsters were easy meat. They re-switched their equipment, bagged Stelian’s corpse to resurrect later and they headed up a long, black set of stone stairs. They climbed this for many hours, and stopped to rest, where they resurrected Stelian. After that, they took multiple arcana and perception checks to find the right way. This revealed that there had actually been many other staircases hidden by magic, and that one way in particular drew them in, as they could feel great magical power oozing from it. As they proceeded this way, the entire structure they were stuck in began to rumble, and they felt the magic power begin to grow stronger yet.
Chapter 5: The True Foe
They continued upwards until reaching a large black stone door where a golden face was inscribed in it. After several religion, history and arcana checks, they found out that this face is the depiction of the legendary Magus the Arcane, an ancient elven wizard who once possessed the most powerful of all magic within the empire-more infamously known as his villainous self, Vastormix the Lich-king, the creature which almost brought about Lorr’s ruin 200 years ago. With this knowledge in mind and the amount power being radiated from behind the door, the party entered.
The room itself was a large, black stoned one, where a set of black stair where situated in the lower half. Several skeletons, a flying flaming skull and a heavily black-armoured undead knight armed with silver shimmering sword were guarding the ground area, whereas at the top of the stairs forming a portal stood a truly terrible foe. A skeleton made of polished bone was clad in a long black flowing robe, a golden pendent around it’s neck, and a deathly golden crown bejewelled with crystal green and red gems. It’s eyes glowed a deep-set red, and as it spoke, it’s voice pitch went from high-to-low due to the number of souls it had taken to sustain itself. It was The Dark King, Zaggaroth the Dreaded, and it mocked the party for their constant interference. It showed them a true fraction of it’s power by conjuring a image of Jaderstone as Zaggaroth bombed it with an eldritch magical blast from the sky. As usual, the party traded funny quips with the lich before Zaggaroth tired of this, and with that, the undead knight and the other creatures attacked while Zaggaroth continued working on his portal. The party fought hard against them, and found the knight to be more then a match for them independently. They believed it to be a former hero who met his fate, and was then enslaved by Zaggaroth in death. The encounter was made infinitely more difficult due to the fact that Zaggaroth had a aura which re-animated the dead as they died 50% of the time. However, after a fight which truly tested the skill of the party against their unnatural foes, they managed to kill them all. As they finished off the knight, Zaggaroth had finished his portal, and before stepping through, promised the party that the mortal world would be his own before it was all over.
Bearing this threat in mind, the party looted the corpses, and as well as finding 2 green gems in the flaming skull worth 500GP each, they also found on the knight a vanguard shield, a gem of vision recollection and the silver sword. In regards to the gem, they believed that with the right equipment, they could replay the visions engraved into the gem, and possibly glean some important information in regards to the Zaggaroth situation. As for the sword, they found it was missing a specific gem in the centre, which they believed unlocked the sword true magical capabilities, and that something was written in dwarfish on the hilt, but was impossible to read as none of them spoke dwarf. After this, the party decided that they needed to return to the Empire, and warn them of the threat the Lich king posed to the world, and to deal with that as quickly as possible. As they approached the portal to leave, they found its purple form splitting into 3 distinct portals with 3 distinct colours: Red, Blue and Yellow. The party decided after weighing up the options that the best way to escape this place and get to a (hopefully) safe area, each of them would jump into each portal. With that, Farfal went Yellow, Kai Rellin went Blue and Stelian went Red, and they found themselves teleported to very different places indeed…
However, you will have to wait until the next session to find out whether or not the party were successful in their attempts to escape wherever they were, and whether or not they are able to get the warning out about the threat of Zaggaroth before it is too late. The sessions that follow on from this one are about to get interesting…
Until then, Happy Gaming !