Karameikos

The Ritual

Where a giant humanoid figure stands atop a raised dais, surrounded by four truncated pyramids. Soul energy streams into it from the workshop above. A portal on a wall facing it channels blue light into the titan too and arcs of arcane energy coruscate about it. Robed figures around the chamber chant, heads lowered, arms raised. Most startling of all is the figure stood on a raised platform at the far end of the chamber, leading the chant by reading from an ancient tome – Kalarel!

Word is sent up to Ozzie, who throws a final spanner in the machine’s workings and joins his companions at the foot of the stairs. Agreement is quickly made – Kalarel must be taken down as quickly as possible. The assault begins.

Switch darts forwards, cutting down a robed celebrant as Tol fires an arrow down the length of the chamber, a spectacular shot that sinks home into Kalarel. The madman looks up and with an angry gesture, shades appear on top of the pyramids – two winged fiends and two knights. Memnon blasts one fiend with Lance of Faith (Natural 20!) before it hops down from its perch and plunges part of the chamber, including Switch, into darkness.

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Undeterred, Switch rushes out of the zone, cutting down another celebrant. Tol is staggered by a mind blade attack from a Shade Knight, but advance through the zone of darkness, slaying another Celebrant. The other robed figures continue chanting – and the Death Titan moves slightly!

The darkness vanishes and the Heroes of Dymrak advance further into the chamber, cutting down celebrants and assaulting the Shades. Ozzie teleports Memnon ahead, with Hammerfall step. Kalarel zaps Ozzie in return with a skull-topped wand as Switch makes it to the foot of the altar, below the madman. Ozzie engages again, teleporting Kalarel down alongside Switch. Switch and Kalarel exchange blows and Memnon strides into the fray, burning Kalarel with divine radiant energy.

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(No I can’t get the drokking thing the right way up…)__

Althea is flanked by the two fiends, who claw at her, Undeterred, she pulverizes them in return and advances into the blue light emanating from the wall –where she stops abruptly. Tol slays another celebrant and uses the blood of the fallen to heal himself.

The two Fiends and a Shade Knight come to their master’s aid, surrounding Ozzie and savaging him. Memnon and Switch flank Kalarel. Pressing their combat advantage Switch stabs Kalarel in the back twice (80damage!) before Memnon breaks off to go to Ozzie’s aid. The wizard dazzles his opponents with a prismatic spell, triggering his fireburst armour. Memnon’s divine powers cure the wizard’s remaining serious wounds.

Althea shakes off the whatever stupor momentarily affected her and advances to Memnon and Ozzie’s side, shaking the earth to slay the last celebrants and further damage the Shades. Tol’s advance is announced by arrows thudding home into Kalarel. Ozzie dashes towards the altar and the book Kalarel was reading. The evil Cleric bellows in rage, sickly black tentacles emerging from his midriff to lash at Switch, before he rushes after Ozzie.

Switch glugs a healing potion as his companions engage the Shades and slay a fiend. Ozzie snatches the book from the altar, provoking a scream of rage from Kalarel, closely followed by a blast of black energy which the Wizard’s cloak of distortion narrowly diverts. The cloak is not so effective against the claws of a fiend, which knock Ozzie to the ground, barely clinging to consciousness. Kalarel pauses at his altar to taunt the party about his “Dark Masters” (not Orcus anymore..?) but the smirk is wiped from his face as switch backstabs him yet again.

Memnon rushes to Ozzie’s side once more, taking a brutal clawing from the Fiend as he passes by and consecrating the ground around the fallen Wizard. Althea’s iron resurgence allows the Cleric to blaze back to health.

Another zone of darkness falls. Tol is slashed by a shade (Natural 20) and staggers into the darkness, somehow avoiding four attacks of opportunity as he goes. Memnon activates his shield’s protective abilities, ensuring both he and the fallen Ozzie are safe from most harm for a few seconds, long enough for darkness to vanish.

The savage battle begins to take its toll, as Switch too is felled by a shade. With Ozzie conscious again, hurried shouts establish a new plan of action to stop the flow of energy to the Titan. Ozzie sets up a counter chant from Kalarel’s book, Tol is swiftly able to shut down the energies streaming from the blue light and Althea focuses on the emerald energy coming from the ceiling.

Kalarel leaps down from the altar, blasting Ozzie almost to death. With a roar, Memnon engages his evil counterpart. Tol exalts Switch back to health and runs to join Memnon in battling Kalarel, but both adventurers are knocked to the floor by the mad man’s tentacles. The zone of consecrated ground brings Ozzie back from the brink of death and with a dark chuckle, he rises to his feet and blasts Kalarel with a colour orb (Natural 20!).

A whirling battle begins in the corner of the chamber, with the Shades and Kalarel exchanging blows and magics with the Adventurers. Another Shade is destroyed. Switch falls again, too weak for even magic to help him. Tol fights on, despite being close to blacking out (1 hp). Memnon blasts another Shade apart with a lance of faith. Ozzie tears chunks from Kalarel with a winged horde, Kalarel does the same to Althea with his skull wand, before the elf brings the weight of the earth down on him in return.

As Memnon draws on his mother’s teachings to help stabilize switch without divine power (Natural 20!), the battle reaches a crescendo as Tol bloodies the last remain shade with a twin strike (natural 20!) and Althea attempts to bring the weight of the earth down on Kalarel twice, both attempts narrowly missing. However, attention focused on Althea’s attack, perhaps Kalarel does not notice memo running up to him, hefting back his mace, ready to strike. The blow crunches home and with a terrible scream, Kalarel’s tentacles extend and wrap around him, tightening and crushing.

Kalarel has just enough time to reach out, gesturing at the death Titan, before he is folded in upon himself, bones splintering, before vanishing completely. The Death Titan turns to look at where its creator fell, then takes a jerky, booming step down from the dais, wreathed in crackling soul energy and advancing on the battered Heroes of Dymrak…

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Blades in the Dark

The party advances through the darkness, Althea spying a 20 foot drop at the edge of the Keep, leading down to a wooden floor. A lift of some kind..? To is suddenly dragged off into the darkness. Memnon and Switch dash after him, and Althea is plunged into darkness and stabbed. Ozzie creates a vision of avarice and as Tol stabs at the Hound that has seized him, it lets go, drawn by a big pile of Hound Kibbles. Memnon bloodies it with a Lance of Faith and a strike form switch and winged horde from Ozzie slays the beast.

More knives stab or hurtle through the darkness at Althea. She shakes the earth and then dives into it, burrowing through the floor and emerging next to Memnon. Steps descend into yet more darkness close by. More knives fly. Memnon, Switch and Tol are all wounded as more Shadowtwa are fleetingly glimpsed. Ozzie’s magicks are obviously successful in slaying at least one Shadowtwa close by, as both the wizard and Switch are blinded. Guided by Memnon’s voice, the adventurers gather at the top of the stairs and descend.

Those with sight remaining see a large area, with no columns. Large vats, wooden boxes full of sand, bottles with liquids, magic circles – the décor screams ‘mad wizard’s workshop.’ Ozzie senses a meshing of different energies – something powerful. More powerful than anything else he’s ever known, even Trinklar.

Perhaps worryingly, the Shadowtwa don’t follow. As party members regain their sight, it’s swiftly reasoned that the sand has been used as a mold, creating a huge, humanoid statue. Soul energy has been used in whatever rituals have been performed.

Althea boost switch up to peer inside one of the vats – and a shiny, black pseudopod lashes at him from within. The ooze moves over the top of the vat, another one emerging from the other vat. The heroes swiftly assault the oozes with thorns, winged hordes, blade and fire and they are swiftly dispatched.

Examining the room, there’s a machine of some kind, channeling soul energy downstairs. More steps at the far end of the workshop lead down and a book lies open on concerning the creation of artificial beings that can then be animated lies open on a bench. (Cue nervous glances at the size of the molds elsewhere in the chamber). Annotations in a spidery scrawl refer to a ‘Death Titan’.

What transpires downstairs…?

Advancing to the stairs, Tol can hear chanting, some form of ritual is underway down below. Memnon looks a little paler than usual. Were a death titan to be unleashed, it could wreak havoc across not only this plane, but several others

Whilst Ozzie works to disrupt and dismantle the machinery channeling soul energy Switch picks the lock on the door at the foot of the stairs. Easing it open, the rest of the party enters the room beyond…

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Knives in the Darkness

After a short rest, the adventurers descend steps at the far end of the keep, into a dark undercroft – a maze comprising many columns supporting the keep overhead. Lit by Memnon’s flaming mace and light spells on Switch’s blade and some carefully thrown stones, the party advances…

Ambush! Several Shadowtwã shimmer into sight out of the darkness (“Balls, balls, balls…”) and a dark hound flickers into sight beside Tol.

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A well placed disruptive strike (Natural20!) saves the ranger from a savaging before Ozzie pushes the beast away into the darkness. Althea clobbers one of the Shadowtwã and just as the last time they were encountered, the shrunken creature explodes, blinding Althea and Switch with darkness. The hound attacks Ozzie, more Shadowtwã fall to Memnon’s radiant powers and Tol’s exaltation restores Switch’s sight, even as Althea shakes off the effect herself.

The battle is not easy. Every foe felled blinds another member of the party and the hound manages to drag Tol away into the dark, before he returns, swinging Aecris with deadly precision (Natural 20!). Divine glows and a winged horde help the adventurers to hold their own before what little light there is suddenly goes out for half the party, and they are lost in inky blackness that snuffs out even the light from Ozzie’s spell and which the wizard cannot dispel.

Memnon stalks forwards until he exits the zone of darkness and calling out to his companions, the whole party is soon back in the near darkness of the undercroft. Althea darts ahead, finding some form of lift to a lower level at one side of the croft and more steps down at another.

Blades fly or are thrust out of the shadows, wounding Althea. Behind her, the hound continues its hit and run attacks, until it’s drawn into the open by a vision of avarice and swiftly bloodied. The beast snaps its jaws at Ozzie, who steps back and coolly gesture a winged horde into existence that rips the hound apart. Althea avoids the enemy’s blades by burrowing through the earth to the top of the steps.

In the darkness all around he adventurers, there is the sound of furtive movement and cruel giggling…

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The Dark Tower

The party is quickly reunited and after the soggy Tiefling has donned his armour and equipment, the group head through the dunes and scrubland towards the tower. The emerald light has now gone and drawing closer, the tower is seen to be jagged, ruined. Also, it is part of a fortified structure with battlements – more of a castle than a tower.

Tracks lead to and from the keep, some appearing normal, bound in cloth, others cloven. The keep appears similar than the one where the party defeated Kalarel. Ozzie senses the group is at a nexus of the planes…

A decision is swiftly made for a multi-pronged approach into the structure (the Horns of the Tiefling..?). Althea, Ozzie and Switch scale the walls, Tol sneaks in through a breach. Inside, a trio of figures are visible – Shadarkai and Shadow Dwarfs. Tol can also see another trio on the far side of the structure.

As his companions have taken position, Memnon strolls into the structure, approaching the first trio and asking if he can share their fire, he’s just been ship wrecked. Both trios advance menacingly, snarling, foaming and with weapons drawn.

Ozzie delays hostilities by creating an illusory wall, blocking the second trio’s advance, whilst Memnon shrugs at his potential guest’s lack of hospitality and burns them with solar wrath, felling two Shadarkai zealots. Tol is attacked, and manages to turn failure into hilarity before being hacked at by a foaming dwarf.

Althea shoots with perfect precision (Natural 20!) wounding the dwarf attacking Tol, before recoiling as a vision of hell canters into view – a robed and hooded figure armed with a scythe sat astride a strange skeletal Hellsteed that strikes sparks and fire from its hooves! Both then vanish from sight…

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And reappears beside Tol, slashing at him! Up close, Tol can see the rider is not skeletal himself, instead appearing to be a humanoid wearing a mask. He bellows that the heroes’ souls will served to Thanatos. Switch offers fire support to Memnon from his vantage point on the battlements as Ozzie pushes the rider and his Hellsteed away from Tol with beguiling strands. More zealots and dwarfs find their way past Ozzie’s wall and enter the fray as the Hellsteed charges forward, leaving flames in its wake.

Tol and Ozzie pick off a dwarf each as Memnon swings his flaming mace in wide arc fending off three attackers at once (AKA “doing a Sauron”). Althea strides through the flames, slaying another Zealot but the Hellsteed again vanishes, reappearing beside Ozzie. Switch leaps to the ground, felling a Zealot with a well placed bolt, as Tol takes to higher ground, pursued by a foaming dwarf. Ozzie’s magicks raise foes into the air, dashing them to the stone floor.

Having created some room to maneuver, Memnon strides through the flames, centres himself amongst the party and evokes a shield of faith.

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Under divine protection, the heroes trade savage blows with their shadow foe. After another minute of battle, the Hellsteed rider is bloodied, despite being able to draw succor from his Shadarkai allies. After more furious combat, as Switch and Althea finish off the last of the zealots and dwarfs, the Hellsteed rider disengages from melee with a now-diabolic Memnon and bounds towards Ozzie only to pulled back by Althea’s Warden’s Grasp. Tol sinks an arrow into the rider and Switch leaps off a wall, skewering the robed figure with his blade and slaying him (Natural 20!).

As silence falls, the party searches the bodies of the fallen, finding iron scythe pendants (the symbol of Thanatos) on all of their opponents. The Hellrider has a small key. Small, crudely built soul cages are also found.

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Storm !

Setting sail to the west towards the Dark Keep, the Heroes of Dymrak and Shadarkai crew muse over who might have freed the Hydra, as it had been bound at the bottom of the lake. It’s possible some new occupant of the Dark Keep may be responsible. Although not dedicated to an evil entity like Orcus, the very old Keep has attracted all kinds of unpleasantness over the years.

Spending time with the Shadarkai reveals them to be more than a little ‘Emo’. They seem prone to drift off into deep thought, grounding themselves by tugging on ornate body piercings, cutting themselves or smoking a form of dark pipeweed. Captain Dalgar is in charge of the ship, with Neera and her second in command Lt. Thoris in charge of the actual operation. Dalgar seems a bit more relaxed than his kin and is openly disparaging about Neera.

Three smaller fishing vessels are encountered, nets raised in the air to catch souls. Their crew (Hinn like creatures) report that their catch has been poor for some time. There appear to be no souls coming from the West and there is something amiss/nasty in the lake.

“Land Ho!” A shore becomes visible, with something white/illuminated white on it. It’ll be hours before the ship reaches land so the party and crew rest, with rota leaving one person at the tiller and two on watch throughout the night. Taking second watch, Memnon and witch think that they see a tower emitting an emerald light. Souls are travelling overhead towards it – as if drawn like moths to a flame, something Neera hasn’t seen before.

During the next watch, a large soul storm begins to form to starboard. The water begins to churn and the boat is rocked savagely. Everybody is woken and soon all hands are on deck trying to keep the ship away from the large whirlpool that has formed.

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For several long minutes, the ship is battered, holed and take on water. Heroes and Shardarkai are battered, gored by broken wood and in Memnon’s case – washed overboard, until as suddenly as it appeared, the storm abates and vanishes. The ship limps on, but Memnon is lost…

Drawing closer to the shore a slender white tower is visible, lit by moonlight. Moonlight is very rare here and considered bad omen. The Heroes prepare to head ashore, traveling to the tower, seeing what’s there, stopping anything bad and then returning to the ship. The party is given a brass sphere (a mobile stone..?) to communicate with Thoris, but are warned that utilising the sphere will require something of the user.

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Elsewhere, a groggy Tiefling regains consciousness, finding himself washed ashore….

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Hydra Attack

As the Hydra heads attack, the party retaliates. Ozzy’s magics daze it, Memnon’s radiant energy burns it, Tol’s arrows sink home and Althea and Switch land injurious blows. Yet as the boat surges on, the attack continues. Crewmen die, other turning intangible to escape the Hydra’s fury. As bodies splash into the water, it boils and churns with frightful activity.

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Switch and Tol both fire some amazing shots (Natural 20s!) but even coupled with Ozzy, Althea and Memnon’s powerful arcane and divine energies, the Hydra still threatens to overwhelm the craft. More crewmen, including the ship’s Captain, are seized and hurled overboard and before long, Althea and Memnon are snatched up and hurled into the sea too.

There, the Elf and Tiefling discover what lurks beneath the surface – hungry bonefish! With the Captain overboard and nobody at the tiller, the ship veers off to starboard. Althea easily swims back to the boat and begins to climb aboard. Tol grabs the tiller but Memnon struggles to stay afloat, his shield of protection ironically playing a key role in him spluttering and floundering.

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All the while, the soul storm hovers close by, as if observing…

Ozzie plays out some rope using Mage Hand as the remaining crewmen scramble to take the tiller from Tol and assist others. The Captain teleports himself back aboard and despite being further bitten and poisoned, Althea and Memnon both manage to climb aboard too.

The Hydra continues to savagely attack and Tol and Memnon are both seized and thrown into the water. The ship regains its course but speeds ahead, leaving Ranger and Cleric behind! Tol swims over to a struggling Memnon but is savaged by the Hydra. Both utter healing words (glub in Memnon’s case) to keep Tol conscious. Althea ties a rope about her waist, fixes it to the ship and dives in (!) to rescue Tol and Memnon.

As she closes in on the struggling duo, Ozzie unleashes a devastating fireball that finally makes the Hydra turn tail and depart. The boat slows and, fighting off the snapping Bonefish, all the party are soon back aboard. Off to port, the soul storm gradually dissipates.

Tending to their wounds in the ensuing calm, the party have time to notice just how strange the environment of this realm is, each being privately affected in ways that remain unspoken, for now…

With so many crew slain by the Hydra’s attack, the Heroes of Dymrak pitch in as best they can with the running of the ship until the Captain receives new orders that supersede taking the party to Umbra. Followers of Thanatos/Orcus are at large. The captain is ordered to find out what they’re doing and put a stop to it. The heroes of Dymrak (albeit left with little choice) agree to help.

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Into the Shadowfell
In search of Kathra

Fydor tells us that the statues in the on the shrine has been fixed and works differently from when we last worked with it.

The seer says he will send us through into the shadow realm. He tells us when we a re ready to come back, use this gemstone, which he gives to Ozzie, he says place it anywhere inside the shrine. Break it and you will return to the normal realm . We can shout in the shrine if we do lose the gem.

There is a strange wrenching feeling as the shrine moves into the shadowfell. There is a faint luminescence to the shrine, which wasn’t so obvious last time. The repairs don’t look new, even though the seer says it has been repaired.

As we depart the seer says “remember things may change.”

The shadowfell is drained of colour, there is a paleness to everything, a washed out and dankness to everything.

The lights of the souls area drifting around the shrine, being pursued by several soul catchers. Ozzie speaks to a soul catcher and tells him he is seeking and is told to speak to Neera.

We head round the side of the building and go in search of Neera. She is a tall imperial pus woman, with another supporter. She is quite hostile to Ozzie when he approaches her, however the rest of the party convince Neera to assist..

She suggest we must go to the Palace of her mistress in the City. ( we Learn that here there is an intrinsic value to the soul), which is several days away.

Switch asks about a ferry, but Neera offers to take the party to the city. They have a while to go before they have completed their mission. In the meantime Tol searches for dark weed at switches behest. We have some time and head up to the one tree. As we explore further we discover a large barge like vessel has been beached on the beach.

Switch discovers that there is shadowfell pipe weed from the 5 shires equivalent and that he should be able to pick some up in the city. He offers some to the shadow Kai guarding the the barge.

Time is difficult to measure and see how we make things go, we do start to feel slightly listless.

Neera comes and asks Memnon about the loss of Kathra’s soul. He recites the story, Neera brings out a sphere to which she speaks to her master about it. It’s a mobile stone. This seems to up the ante on Neera bringing us back to the city.

The shader Kai aren’t friendly, but they aren’t antagonistic, as we join them on the boat back.

We discover that sometimes a number of souls coalesce together and can force out another. The confusion occurs where Kathra’s soul.

We set sail. We discover that there are soul storms which gives off extra light, this tends to happen near to dramatic circumstances, although it tends to happen before the battle.

The boat is driven by some of the souls held in a gem. There is very little magic, except possibly in the sail.

Tol starts shouting about something he has seen. Then he sees a hazy glow in the distance, whilst Switch tires to sneak down into the hold.

Switch can see that it is dark in the hold, he can make out that there are sever,a shapes covered in some kind of cloth and what appear to be several tall amphorae.

The hazy glow is almost certainly a soul storm, which tends to be a portent of danger. The crew leap to make sure the ship doesn’t get tangled up in the storm.

The captain is pleading with Neera as he tries to avoid the soul storm, he is asking for more souls to increase the power and speed of the ship.

The soul storm is not very far away, it is above the water and there is something beneath the water. There is a cry of battle stations!

The soul storm appears to be disapating, then on both sides of the ship two reptilian heads appear on either side…..

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Ozzie the Black
into the valley of death and back again...several times

As the party discuss what to do next, Ozzie in his new surly manner tells the party why they should be heading to Thyatis and searching for the his father.
He agrees that they should search for Kathra first, he observes that in his time with the Veiled One this time around he saw no sign of Kathra.

Ozzie tells of the night when his parents disappeared…

About 30 years ago when Ozzie was 7, something changed. All infringements stopped. (Portal incursions from the Shadowfell and Feywild on the Portal in Knosht.) They stopped for several months, although elsewhere infringements continued at a slightly higher level. Wombat and Koala were lulled into a false sense of security, until one night (pick an auspicious night), 6 riders on black flying steeds descended from the south. 3 of them immediately engaged Wombat and Koala in battle whilst the other three commenced opening the portal. Ozzie was instructed to remain in the house under the bed.

The battle raged for most of the night with amazing pyrotechnics, at last the three fighting Wombat and Koala were defeated and the couple rushed to prevent the other three from opening the portal. By this time Hamlet the raven had been dispatched for help.

Unfortunately they were too late, the portal was opening as they engaged the remaining riders. Wombat and Koala could not prevent the arrival of the creature from the other side.
Ozzie by this time was completely terrified but also knew that the battle was not going his parents way, and was determined to assist in some way – how who knows, he has no recollection.

In the ensuing melee both Wombat and Koala were slain and the creature was preparing to feast on Ozzie, its talons were already rendering into his back. The scars remain to this day.

The last thing Ozzie remembers are several flashes of light and seeing 3 great winged and feathered creatures, with riders on them dropping out of the night sky. When he comes around he is safe and alive in the care of a local village woman. Ozzie is seriously weakened, in fact his strength is never the same again. All that remains of his house and possessions is his fathers armour and sword, both of which are very valuable. His mother’s body was destroyed in the battle and his father disappeared.
[DM note; the bodies of both parents were found and buried, side by side, in a marble tomb near to Knosht. this is where you found the strange skeletal remains recently].

Ozzie goes onto say that these snake people must have some link to the Far Realm or be worshippers of creatures from this realm. However his father is alive and he must find him and rescue him. The library in Thyatis holds a copy of an ancient text about the Far realm, so it is important to visit the library to find out more before continuing the search for his father.

However priority one is to find Katha’s soul.

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Trinklar's Game

Memnon acts with uncharacteristic swiftness (Natural 20!) enveloping his comrades with his shield of faith before blasting Falorax with a beam of daunting light and advancing. The Dracolich shakes off the burning radiant energy and dominates Francisca. Althea and Tol advance on Falorax, their attacks just failing to land. Switch darts forward and stabs at Ozzie, the wizard’s shield barely deflecting the blow (due, no doubt, to the Wizard cheating).

Ozzie growls for Switch to kill him, before sprouting huge talons, swiping at Switch and teleporting away, creating a wall of fire as cover. Above the roar of battle, Trinklar titters and asks to be amused. With a roar of his own, Memnon shifts to his Diabolic form and invokes Turn Undead, burning Falorax and pushing him back. Francisca is unable to act, still dominated by Falorax’s power. Switch too falls victim, but Althea resists and peppers the Dracolich with a painful hail of thorns (natural 20!). Tol fires arrow after arrow at Falorax, chipping away bone and disrupting its attacks.

Switch charges Memnon, doing a significant amount of damage to the Cleric before coming to his senses and shaking off Falorax’s power. As Althea smites Falorax with a pulverising impact (Natural 20!) Switch darts towards the wall of fire to get a line of sight to Ozzie, but the wizard creates the illusion of a pile of Hinn kibbles that the rogue simply cannot resist, (due, no doubt, to the Wizard cheating) before shimmering and fading from sight.

Falorax takes flight, breathing noxious grave gas over most of the party before landing square in the centre of the chamber. Francisca finally overcomes the Dracolich’s domination, darting around the wall of fire and twisting space around Ozzie, whose warp and weave save him from harm yet again (due, no doubt, to the Wizard cheating). Switch tears himself away from the Hinn kibbles, charging at Ozzie but failing to land a blow (due no doubt, to the wizard cheating).

Ozzie’s hammerfall step teleports Francisca into the wall of fire, where she screams in pain, burning badly before managing to escape. Falorax flaps over to where Tol is relentlessly firing at him, his claws forcing the Ranger back. Memnon moves to assist Tol and Althea, spearing Falorax with a lance of faith and marking Ozzie with a divine challenge that helps Francisca to colour spray the Wizard, who seems more hurt by this attack then you would expect. Switch ambushes Ozzie from a distance, wounding him again.

Althea’s earth grasp strike marrows Falorax, before Tol’s bloodlust strike causes it more damage. In what is swiftly becoming a battle royale between the two, Falorax claws at Althea, who brings the weight of the earth down on him in return. As Memnon is pushed back by the Dracolich’s wrath, Tol fires more arrows into the fray, his twin strikes landing time after time before he switches to using Aecris and Dragon Slayer and flanking the Dracolich with Althea.

Whilst Althea and Tol wear down Falorax and Memnon heals himself, Switch flanks Ozzie with Francisca, backstabbing and sneak attacking until the wizard is bloodied. The wall of fire vanishes as Ozzie teleports closer to the eagerly watching Trinklar, creating a stinking cloud over Switch and Francisca and using his colour orb on Memnon to no effect (due, no doubt, to the Wizard cheating).

Falorax takes flight, soaring away from Althea and Tol and landing in the stinking cloud.

To be continued

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Dead Ends
Dead Ends

The noisome, damp island the party explores appears to be half a mile across. Francisca detects strong arcane necrotic traces. The dominant feature is some cyclopean ruins, which appear astoundingly old. The party determine that it is older than the Age of Heroes – from before the time of Halav! There is no sign that living animals come here, although there are tracks that look like they belong to skeletal rats…

Memnon recites the Corpse Light ritual on his mace and takes point, leading the group into a dark passage. Oddly the passage isn’t damp and the party feels an increasing low sense of dread as they gradually progress in downwards in a spiral.

Tol spies more skeletal tracks as the passage opens up into a larger space. The air feels oddly dead, with hearing and sense of smell feeling muted. Memnon’s Corpse Light suddenly flares! In a lower part of the chamber to the right are several skeletal archers. More light, unnaturally purple, flares as a previously unseen skeleton bursts into flame, lighting several torches around the chamber.

Switch and Memnon vault over the railing down to the lower level and into the fray. The floor underfoot is made up of compressed skeletal remains. Above, skeletal hounds charge forth, attacking the rest of the party. As combat rages there is a flash of sickly green light and four more skeletons erupt from unseen runes on the lower chamber floor.

Memnon turns undead, dissolving several of the skeletons around him. Francisca twists the fabric of space, felling yet more and further radiant energy from Memnon burns away others, giving Switch time to determine that the runes can be deactivated.

Tol tries to deactivate one but fails, and is blasted by necrotic energy as a result. As arrows and fireballs from the undead are exchanged with magicks, arrows and divine power from the Heroes of Dymrak, Tol once more stands atop a rune, fighting for balance as more undead attempt to erupt from beneath him. This time he is successful!

Althea vaults down to the lower level too as yet more undead appear and Switch is grievously wounded by their bow fire. Tol disarms another rune, taking hits as he does so. Francisca’s beguiling strands shred the Hounds worrying her and the Ranger, but as Tol dashes to another rune he suffers combined blows from a skeleton and burst of necrotic energy and falls limply to the floor.

Three arrows thud into Althea, but in return her thornburst shreds the undead (natural 20!), allowing Switch to make his way to Tol’s side and administer a potion of vitality. Memnon strides into the centre of the chamber, using divine energy to cure a mass of light wounds. After a worrying moment, Tol is son back on his feet and back in the fight. Becoming more accustomed to what they need to do, the party swiftly deactivates more runes, before Memnon and Franciscas’ combined powers clear the chamber and allow the group to finish off the runes.

As the party bask in the light of Memnon’s healing sun, a vision appears in the air. Initially it is of a beautiful woman, but her visage rapidly shifts to that of a corpse, mocking the heroes in a voice all recognise as that of Trinklar. The Liche entices them to fight their way down to her throne room, face her champion and find Ozzie and Falorax. She promises not to lift a finger against them, if they’ll play her game. The apparition fades and taking stock of their remaining powers, the Heroes of Dymrak decide to soldier on.

Bypassing a door that emits strong necrotic energy, the party advances with a purpose, until they enter another large chamber and the floor begins to rumble. The bones that make up the fabric of the floor knit together into two large golems! As they advance to attack, there is the sound of an unseen door dropping away and a terrible, huge skeletal snake with a skull-like head slithers in to attack.

The movements of this Bone Naga and the rattle of its tail prove hypnotic and as battle is joined, several members of the party are dazed by the strange creature, or immobilised by grasping skeletal hands that emerge from the floor. Three terrific strikes from Switch (39, 38 & 30 damage!) combine with Althea and Memnon’s powers to bring down one golem and the party try to fight off the dazing effects of the Naga and struggle to maneuver to take it and the remaining golem down…


A well placed twin strike from Tol destroys the remaining Golem. The adventurers work together – Switch charges the Naga and ‘marrows’ it with another mighty blow (29 damage) before Althea’s earth grasp strike knocks it to the chamber floor, where Memnon’s lance of faith burns it before Francisca moves here water sphere, dragging the Naga with it.

There is a rumble as another door somewhere in the chamber opens. As the heroes stab, burn, magic and shoot the Bone Naga to pieces, a four armed skeleton, with large scimitars rushes forwards and attacks Switch. Memnon rushes in and heals Switch, missing the skeleton with his mace and leaving himself open. The skeleton promptly hacks Memnon to within an inch of his life (MINUS 21 hitpoints!!!)

Francisca engulfs the skeleton wit her water sphere and Tol darts forwards, his twin strike thudding home into the six limbed skeleton as he exhalts the Cleric back to health. Althea burros through the boney floor, emerging behind the skeleton and striking it.

A furious Tiefling gets to his feet and with a roar, smashes into the Skeleton (Natural 20!) his wounds knitting together as radiant energy from a healing word washes over him. Althea’s fury rocks the skeleton before Switch leaps up, vaults off Memnon’s shield and decapitates it!

As its bones fall to join the others comprising the chamber floor, Francisca realises (Natural 20!) that the whole structure they are in has a certain sentience, which can be manipulated against them.

Advancing, the party passes a ring of silver runes around the diameter of the tunnel and faint ghostly voices warn them not to speak with him. Memnon realises that the runes are those used to bind a fiend mere seconds before a terrible voice greets the party from the end of a tunnel. There, a strange a terrible figure – part man, part snake, part insect, stands.

The Fiend says it would like to help the party but is ‘inconvenienced’, shrugging as ghostly red chains tethering it to the walls briefly become visible. Switch draws nearer, despite Memnon’s warnings and converses with it. On a ledge behind the fiend appear to be an ornate key, dagger and amulet. Tol and Memnon usher the party back down the tunnel, and as they withdraw, the Fiend roars and tears down the tunnel towards them, stopping only at the runes, which the party has thankfully just passed.

Ignoring the Fiend’s platitudes, the adventurers, having exhausted other options for exiting the chamber complex, return to an ornate, locked door they encountered earlier. The ornate key on the ledge behind the Fiend springs to mind, but Switch is quickly able to pick the lock with assistance from Francisca and Memnon. Stone steps descend into the darkness.

By the light of a flaming torch and sun rods, the group advances, feeling watched by the numerous skulls embedded into the walls. There is a sudden piercing scream from the skulls, as the door above and behind the party slams shut and skeletons leap from the walls, attacking. A spectral form with huge talons also emerges, its shape passing through the party members – battle is joined yet again!

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