Monday, July 28, 2014

The Necromancer's Legacy - part 31

In the mountain grave in Pantoria, Kaeso removes the dead troll from Ignatia, who in turn use her magic to heal the party before they continue. Awhero scouts ahead and find another troll which appears to be asleep. Kaeso charges in and the troll is dead before it can cause much damage.

Meanwhile Geb is exploring a different tunnel within the cave, reasoning that his skill in battle will not add anything positive to an encounter anyway. To his surprise he finds a decidedly less than solid cave wall - he is able to walk straight through it. Behind it he finds a small cave with an apparent exit leading into the jungle. After examination he finds it too is hidden from view, but only from the outside. He goes looking for the others to share the news and finds them as they rest after the battle.

They all decide to return to their camp as night is approaching. Geb wants time to think about their discoveries so offers to take the first Watch. As the others go to sleep he works on his maps and decides not to include the secret entrance they've just found. Instead he marks its existence using some hieroglyphs which should be hard to decipher. A sudden wind which blows through camp gets him on his toes and he runs to wake up Kaeso. Too tired to respond at first, Kaeso finally awakes as Geb hits him with his leather bag. The explaination "there was a mysterious wind" is, according to Kaeso not an acceptable reason for being woke up in the middle of the night and goes back to sleep. Geb return to his post and waits for his watch to end and then goes to wake up the still grumpy Kaeso, who is next. Kaeso's watch is uneventful and he wakes Awhero who has the last watch until dawn. As the sun rises they all get up, but realizes that Ignatia is unusually late. Checking in on her, they find her sweating and tense and are unable to revive her. While Geb and Kaeso ponder the problem, Awhero head out into the jungle to find some herbs for treating her fever. Geb goes through Ignatia's backpack, finding a couple of elixirs which might prove helpful.

As the day progresses they have no luck in reviving her, despite the salve prepared by Awhero and two elixirs used. They decide the increasingly hot jungle is not a good Place for her and move into the caves.

While Kaeso stays behind to watch over Ignatia, Geb and Awhero split up to explore the cave. Geb finds what appear to be a second structure deeper within the tunnels and begins to explore it. Awhero, after reaching the end of the natural Caves, go looking for Geb and finds him inside a man-made hall. The entire structure appears to be very old and not very well preserved. Awhero discovers a room filled with old weapons and armor, but all in such a bad condition it is impossible to determine their origin.

Meanwhile Ignatia has started talking in her sleep and as Kaeso fall into a short slumber he sees strange visions and hear illusive talking. Waking up he realizes everything is not as it should be. Deciding it might be the location which is the source of the trouble he moves deeper into the cave. He too comes upon the man-made structure and finds a room where he places the mage. The sound of crashing metal force him to leave her there as he goes to investigate.

Geb has reached the conclusion that the building is an old fortress of some kind, and as he tries to make his way past the old armors Awhero found Kaeso shows up and tells them about Ignatia's worsened state. They hurry back to the room where Kaeso put her, but Geb is distracted enroute and locates a well built in the deepest part of the complex.

Kaeso and Awhero return to find Ignatia awake, but not acting as her usual self. She asks them to call her "Lord" and to continue with the business they came here for, but is unable or unwilling to offer further instructions when they mention they don't really know what they are looking for. Awhero steps outside and locate Geb to discuss the matter with him. Geb believes the mage to be possessed by a demon, but doesn't know what can be done beside killing it (and Ignatia) unless a templar trained in the art of excorsism can be found. As he cannot see how he could offer much help in either case he leaves it to Awhero and Kaeso to decide how they want to handle the situation.

Trying to get some information from Ignatia as to what is going on, the two at last convince her to return to the camp. As they arrive they both feel confident that Ignatia is no longer in control over herself and that they are dealing with something different. The creature offers to release control to "it's other part" in return for being kept secret and for them to later deliver it to a city where there are mages. Kaeso and Awhero again feel they need Geb's advice and hurry to get him. Geb really doesn't know what to say and, due to frustration, Kaeso decides to force some answers from Ignatia, who defends herself with magic. Awhero is torn by his loyalty and decides to try to put Kaeso to sleep using a poisoned dart, but the battlemage is well protected by his armor. As they continue to battle Ignatia shapechange into a second Kaeso, while expressing a growing irritation over the use of violence. The real Kaeso's powerful strikes is soon weakening the magic shield, forcing Ignatia to act. A critical failure with a teleportation spell and the creature again take the shape of Ignatia before disappearing with a look of utter surprise on its face.

Tracing the magic to the nearby cave they hurry towards the hidden entrance, only to find the revolting sight of their leader having teleported to several places at the same time. She is as dead as one can be and they still don't know what really happened.

Wednesday, July 23, 2014

The Necromancer's Legacy - part 30

As the doors begin to open in the age old tomb, Charon, Thriatos and Horacio feverishly try to invent a cunning plan to avoid detection. In the end, they put out the torch and stand still, hoping not to be discovered. The real Esteria, accompanied by a group of mages and armed guards, enter and after a short stand-off between them she offers a peaceful solution and an opportunity for conversation while sharing a meal.

Accepting her invitation, the three quickly realize Esteria's expedition is very large and thus pose a serious hinderance to their mission. However, Esteria offer them to join her expedition in exploring the tomb, granting them 30% of the profits. As this allows them to explore the tomb on their own they agree. They also learn that treasure contained in the tomb cannot be brought out through the entrance due to a curse - for this reason Esteria has brought diggers to open the wall once they find a suitable place for doing so.

Putting up their tent in the camp of the expedition the three mages start making their own plans in the relative secrecy behind a thin veil of cloth. Their primary plan to use Jamal and Victor as spies within Esteria's exploration teams crumbles the moment Charon presents it to her. This leaves them Little choice but to race the expedition for the artifact they seek and so, after breakfast, they head off to explore a second corridor within the tomb.

The corridor contains many small burial Chambers, but they are sterile and of little interest or value as they contain nothing but old sarcophagi. Detecting a faint trace of necromancy they conclude the sarcophagi likely house guardians of the tomb. Two other traces of magic attract their interest, but after finding a room filled with wall etchings they loose the track.

Delving ever deeper, they eventually discover what appears to be a natural cave and an underground river. As they examine the rapid current a group of goblins attack them from the darkness. As they are fought off more arrive but Charon - using a wall of death spell - turns the scene into carnage. As the goblins flee back in terror the three mages discuss whether to pursuit or return to the tomb and eventually decides for the latter.

Attempting to pick up the lost trail they start looking for hidden doors and stumbles upon a second key stone hidden behind a secret mechanical door in a cave beneath the floor. As they grad the stone the door begin to close and Horacio again manages to rip his robe as it gets stuck when he barely makes it out of the cave.

With the key stone in hand they debate whether or not to return to camp. They decide to find the second trace of magic as, hopefully, more magic items found would make it easier for them to keep the key stone from being discovered. A second hidden door is found along with several traps which are set of by Jamal. Using their servant to clear the path the group make it into a chamber with a lone sarcophagus, which Jamal is instructed to open. But as he approaches it the stone lid is thrown off and a dense cloud of dust fills the air...

Wednesday, July 16, 2014

The Necromancer's Legacy - part 29

Geb, finding himself in a cell, is trying to relax and . He tries to start a conversation with a fellow prisoner, but the latter soon tire of his endless banter.

Kaeso, on the other hand, does not bother about relaxing - or conversing for that matter. He rushes headlong forward to the rescue, while Awhero and Ignatia decide it is best to pack their equipment before joining, as leaving the town in a hurry is quickly becoming a likely event in the near future.

With a combination of surprise and shock, Kaeso quickly kills of the militiamen guarding the entrance to the town's castle. His progress is however checked by a group of archers, but with Awhero arriving they manage to push through, capturing the militia commander in the process. They blackmail the guards into delivering Geb, who negotiates to have his cellmate released with him. With Ignatia covering their retreat they have to marsch through a crowd which has assembled outside before reaching the edge of town. The released prisoner introduces himself as Nohen and comments that they are apparently not better liked outside of town as they spot a group of Tumapec tribesmen approaching from the north. He still agree to aid the party for a generous pay offered by Ignatia.

Managing to shake of their pursuers they reach the river Pantor and travel east to the town of Moonin where Ignatia has private business to attend to. After being away she return to tell them a second stop is required before they can reach their destination further south. This stop is later revealed to be a small and rather desolate castle where they meet a group of mages lead by a certain Kanadir. While wearing the robes of a grandmaster he certainly looks out luck but still welcome the party to the residence. Geb is sent to the library to discover what he can of their final destination while Kaeso makes good use of the large laboratory found within the castle walls. Before being summoned to a well-prepared dinner Geb finds an interesting book appearing to be a research report on the very site they are looking for.

After dinner they all go to bed and thus it is soon the following morning. They prepare to leave, but not before Ignatia has persuaded Kanadir to provide them with several useful items along with a copy of the report found by Geb. Nohen continues to lead the way until they reach the town of Javibara where they separate. Thus they continue on their own from the town until they reach the mountains to the southeast and they manage to do so with no further incidents.

After finding the entrance to the tomb they seek Ignatia decides they should put up camp, but then begin researching the site immediately before it gets dark outside. The heavy bronze doors leading into the tomb appears locked, but the reason for their meeting with Kanadir becomes obvious as Ignatia produces a key.

As the report found by Geb suggests the first part of the tomb has already been investigated they start looking for the natural caves which is also mentioned. As they start exploring the tomb they quickly discover a magical presence - as well as traces of creatures living within the tomb: cave trolls. The bad news have barely been brought when they are charged by a rabid troll. With his magical axe Kaeso manage to kill the beast quite quickly, but not before Ignatia get knocked over by the troll and, together with Geb, find herself soaked in troll's blood.

Tuesday, July 1, 2014

The Necromancer's Legacy - part 28

Charon, Thriatos and Horacio manage to reach Osayla without further incidents (not counting dropping their wagon into the river, but at least it was salvaged) and begin asking around for a guide. Experiencing no luck among the city's caravan drivers, Horacio gets a tip to visit a local tavern known as The Defeated Giant. There they quickly find a man named Farn who offers to take the job. They conclude their deal and after renting a room the three mages head out into the city. After locating an alchemist shop they are shadowed on their way to a tanner, which they ask to produce some specialized belts for their elixirs. Their mysterious follower does not hang around to wait and feeling fairly secure they end the day enjoying a bottle of red wine at a fine restaurant.

The following morning they begin their quest for the orb which consul Callissios tasked them with. Farn leads the way into the mountains, initially following the caravan route to Ossaria, but soon switching to a different path going south. The graveyard city, known as The King's Tomb by the locals, is somewhere ahead. After spending the night in the wild they continue - only to find they are not the first on the site. Two templars are camping outside a massive gate in the very mountain itself and the mages decide they'd best tackle the situation themselves, so pays Farn for his services and send him back to Osayla.

Prepared for trouble they speak to the men who appear to be waiting for someone other than the mages. Thriatos manage to convince them that they are part of the party soon to be arriving and gains entrance to the graveyard on the condition that the doors are shut after they've entered. They agree and soon find themselves in a grand hall as the light quickly disappears with the closing doors. Illuminated by torchlight Charon performs a ritual to protect them against undead. When he finally completes it they begin exploring the tunnels.

Following a faint magic resonance they discover a large pillar-clad hall ending with a massive stone door. Searching through the room they discover an amulet on a pediestal and begin to look ferverously for traps. Finally Charon attempts to lift the amulet with his staff of telekinesis, which appears to open a distant door as a wind suddently blow through the room. As things could be worse the mages relax and examine the amulet, which appears to be some sort of key - surely to be useful later in their quest.

Devoting their attention to the massive stone door they cannot quite shake the feeling of being followed. Then they spot the giant lizard creature clutching to the ceiling and decide to unleash their arsenal of spells. The creature is not easily brought down and tears part of Horacio's robe into shreads before being killed, but luckily no one is seriously injured.

After resting for a short moment they return their attention to the door and after managing to get it open they discover a burial chamber. Careful not to touch the equipment or the sarcofagus contained within, a chest filled with gold and gems prove to be to much temptation and they agree to take it back to the entrance.

Just having completed the task they are meet with the sound of metal scraping against stone. The doors are opening and someone is about to enter...