This site is an online accumulation of the Post Reports for my current ongoing D&D Campaign - for anyone who might be interested in reading them.

Tuesday, September 28, 2010

Meet 109, Adv 10, 9/4/10

Normally I plan out an adventure way in advance to the party actually hitting it, but in this case, I only mapped out Murderer's Hole and filled in the 7 rooms that were applicable. I had stumbled across something recently about letting the random dungeon generator fill in the missing rooms and decided that I would do this.

So for most of what the party found on this meeting, I DM'ed literally seconds prior to actually describing it and wove it into the total game as a hole.

Have to say, it worked out great! ;)

Write up follows:

The Captain of the guard agreed that he would offer us 4 of his trusted veterans to help out in examining Murderer’s Hole, save Arnog, and bring whatever warlocks would be found there (according to Jarl Trader’s information) to justice. Their names were Hagni (fairly large, red haired, muscular), Bor (a bit shorter and wide, darker complexion), Ve (thin and wiry, blond and tall), and Grid (non-descript brown haired and very plain looking). They met the party and understood that for this exercise they would still be representatives of Broken Hill’s law enforcement community but also answerable to the party and their guidance.

We followed the Eider road northward until it came to the end of the town proper and then took the overgrown and unused path southward to the Eastern Crack. We came to the edge of the drop off and navigated the old steps downward to the platformed area that led to Murderer’s Hole.

The original elevator mechanism and winches had been removed some time ago, leaving only the rusting stays and pitons in place. On one of them (the western most metallic stud) was a triple knotted length of hemp rope going down into the gloomy darkness of the 15’ wide shaft. We jiggled the rope and noted it was well tied but also somewhat new, especially since Murderer’s Hole had been unused as a mine for about 2 years. On asking the guards if they knew how far down the hole went, the best they could say was a couple of hundred feet – none of them really knew.

Norris activated his Boots of Levitation with a solid stomp and with one hand on the rope for guidance, began going down, checking out the area as he did so with the aid of Gwyn’s lantern. It was about 60’ down to the 1st landing, a platform of wood and stone on the eastern side of the shaft with a fairly wide (8’) corridor that went on into the darkness as far as the lantern’s light was able to shine. Our bard continued downward, coming upon a small supply niche on the western side about 30’ further along – 9’ deep and about the same in width. It was filled with old picks, shovels, iron crossbeams, small casks of what might have been oil, and a few lanterns and other mining gear.

He went lower, the sun above 120’ over his head appearing as a circle of light and nothing else, arriving at a 2nd level on the eastern side and the same as the 1st level, going in a deep as his light could shine. It was here that a couple of stones were dislodged from the wall and fell into the darkness below – and then Norris heard the shrill cry of bats and the flutter of leathery wings from down there. Feeling uncomfortable being this far down and with some bats below and not sure how long his levitating boots would last (as he hadn’t had the opportunity to try and exhaust the magic) he grabbed the rope and began willing himself up the shaft and out of the hole back to the sunlight and his friends.

We listened to what Norris had to say and decided that the shaft did go below the 2nd level and we should go carefully down, checking it out methodically and intelligently. Gwyn and Soren felt that the ropes would hold 3 of us easily, but a 4th might not be a good idea so we opted to go down in 3’s – with Norris levitating down by himself. It was on our 1st attempt down the rope that we learned that some of the party – and some of the guards, were not good climbers. Brother Beren and Ve were in danger of slipping, only blind luck and aching hands kept them from falling into the gloom. Even Soren slipped up at one point, ripping his palms open as his feet slipped out from underneath him.

Norris had to spike the rope across the length of the shaft, the heavy length stretching across the darkness, in order for the party to set foot on the 1st level platform. But we made it down and then broke ourselves down into 2 wide in order to better explore the cavern. Soren took a look around and he felt that although the stone was difficult to gather prints off of, he was unsure if anyone had been down here on this level for many weeks. We opted to check it out anyway – eyes peeled and weapons ready.

The corridor ran straight for 15-20 paces, sloping slightly, before there was a side passage opened up, telltale bits of brass still glinting on the walls along with crystalline gypsum growing in the cracks and crevices. The side passage opened into a smallish chamber, testament to the miners following the vein of precious metal in here and harvesting what they could. However the place was empty and we moved on back to the main corridor.

The 2nd side chamber was on the left this time and there was a steep slope upward, at the bottom of the slope was a small scattering of fist sized stones and a left boot. On checking out the boot, Bron was almost bit by a centipede within and the insect was crushed. Otherwise there was nothing else untoward there. A quick look up the slope revealed a plain chamber also mined out, however the back was somewhat smooth and the ceiling did slope up almost 11’ in height. We pondered the wheres and whys of it but decided that it was not important and went back to the main corridor to look onward.

At this point only Soren and Norris went onward, no need for the rest of the party to follow down the dangerously dark and uneven caverns. It was at the 3rd chamber on the right where they came across 2 long dead skeletonized bodies lying amidst the dust that the realized that they were following a dead track. They backtrailed to the party (and the light!) and we decided that the deeper we went, the less sign we had of anyone else coming in this far into the caves. Let’s try the next platform down.

So as a party we went to the main chimney/shaft and we slithered down the thick ropes in groups of 3 until we arrived at the 2nd level down, some 120’ below the surface.

Norris and Bron took the front with the party spaced tightly behind. It was some 25 paces or so to an area where the corridor had two side corridors as well as continued onward, the one on the left having some smell like rodents in it, and the one on the right we heard a scurrying noise. A quick look to the left showed a dead chamber with a ceiling barely topping 7’ in height and little else. We felt there was nothing here except for possibly vermin but according to Soren, the ranger was able to tell that “people” had been up and down the main corridor in the recent week or less.

Bron took out his bear trap, arranged it down the right corridor, and placed a bit of dried meat on the trigger. Feeling that it would deter whatever critter was down there, we went onward with caution. The main corridor wove into a gentle 2 as the former miners had followed what veins of ore were here, eventually splitting into two passages; the one on the right continuing on and the one on the left opening into some sort of mined out chamber.

The chamber was roughly 20’ x 25’ with a ceiling just under 8’ in height. And in the middle of the room was a pile of sticks numbering just over 30ish and mounded in some haphazard order. The group stood outside the chamber, looking at the sticks, and frowned before saying, “Yeah, don’t want to go in there, don’t care what it is.” Feeling it was trap of some sort the party wanted to keep on going when they heard a definitive SNAP from behind them. Ahh – Bron’s bear trap caught something!

The monk ran back (snagging a lantern while doing so as we now had Brother Beren’s lantern and Gwyn’s lit) and was delighted to see the trap had caught a 60# giant rat, almost dissecting the creature from the force of the huge jaws. He pried it opened, pulled it towards the left corridor (where we had original thought there was some other vermin hiding down) and used a bit of the giant rat as bait, leaving the remainder of the carcass down the right passage and then came back telling the party of what we had learned.

The group walked on, the main corridor “Y”ing here, and we went right this time. It turned 90 degrees more and down the short corridor before it turned to the left we saw a dark black furred wolf just standing there. Umm, weird. Soren went to step forward and used his wand of Speaking to Animals to communicate with it.

It was very calm and to the ranger, spoke very well. It called itself Tisig and said it had been left here by a former master. It wanted to go with Soren and would agree to be his friend. Yeah, just too damn easy. Soren was relating this to the group and we were very uncomfortable and at this point Bron was trying to divine what the wolf’s feelings were (contentment, but also like it knew something nasty and secretive) while Norris was going to use his wand of Detecting Magic. Bor meanwhile was walking up to the wolf to pet it.

It was at that time that all hell broke loose as the wolf seemed to talk into Norris’ mind begging him not to wave the wand and that he could partner up with him. The bard yelled out, “It’s evil! Kill it!” and the wolf snarled in a decidedly humanized manner. Its form shifted until it appeared to be a 3 1/2” tall horned grayish red skinned demonic figure. The group sprung into action, Bor swinging at the wolf/demon and missing while weapons were readied and holy water was hurled – hitting the beast with a plume of angry red smoke!

Norris took out his net to throw it and the demonic figure went invisible! Trusting to luck he gave a mighty toss, just clearing Bor, and the net fanned out and ensnared the flying hellspawn! Well done! He yanked the bottom rope and bagged the net, attempting to bring it to bay, Bron helping him out. It was then that the demon gave a hissing abyssal bark of power and a blast of fear aura snarled out, striking Norris, Bron, Bor, Gwyn, and Soren.

Soren turned first, running Brother Beren down and trampling the priest. Then Gwyn kicked the priest as well and knocked down Ve before shoving his way into the hall. Bron and Norris followed, the poor priest and guardsman getting kicked and shoved and stepped on at every opportunity. Meanwhile Bor ran the other way into the darkness of the demonic figure’s cave, eventually running full tilt into the unyielding wall and knocking himself out. Brother Beren used his magic missile wand and two of the eldritch bolts slammed home into the demon figures chest, slaying it!

It took another minute or two for the party to overcome their fear (Gwyn having to tackle Soren at one point to get the ranger to stop running) and regroup. We checked out Bor (he was fine after a few minutes) and took stock of the chamber we were in. The demonic figure (some sort of Quasit according to Beren and Norris) is usually summoned as part of a familiar ritual for a decent level mage, and yes, it is usually evil. The chamber had some soiled and older robes and magical paraphernalia in it as well as some spent looking scrolls.

It was when they were checked for magic and two of them registered that the party took the time to check them out. The scrolls were written in invisible ink! Bron and Norris spent some time heating up the paper near the lantern, burning it slightly but allowing the ink to become visible. Then Norris spent some time reading magic and let us know the spells were Ice Storm and Wall of Ice – two fairly decent 4th level spells – and both penned by a wizard of 8th level experience. Our bard took them for now and after we made sure the rest of the chamber was empty we moved on.

We knew there had been traffic down here in the recent days, but so far we had seen nothing except for the quasit and some giant rat earlier. As we came to the end of the corridor there were two final chambers – the one on the left was rough looking, 3 fairly large pottery jars covered were in the middle and there were 4 humanoid shaped clusters of mushrooms growing about the room. Soren told us they were corpse fungus, mushrooms that often grow on decaying flesh underground. We looked the room over and decided that whatever was in the pottery jars most likely killed the last group of 4 in here – so we weren’t going to screw with it.

During all this Bron had decided to go back and get his bear trap so he borrowed Beren’s lantern once more and walked back towards the entrance where he was surprised to see things had changed.

The meat of the giant rat was now gone (as well as the rest of the body) and in its place on the bear trap was a single platinum bar. Bron was looking at it, walking around it, trying to get an idea what the hell was going on. The teeth of the bear trap had some sort of faintly greenish residue on it and the cautious monk assumed it was a poison of some sort. He dislodged the platinum piece and triggered the trap, letting the teeth clack shut. He was about to pick up the 6’ chain/rope when he had a sneaky suspicion and doused it with his water skin. The water that ran off had a greenish tint as well. Great, bastard poisoned the rope as well.

Someone else was down here and they were screwing with us.

Using his blanket he wrapped it around the wet rope/chain and held the trap off the ground as he worked his way back to the party. Explaining what he had seen and found we were all of the mind that we were getting close to whatever was down here and most likely had Arnog. Meanwhile the party had checked out the last chamber on the right and it was fairly low ceilinged except for the back right hand corner where it had been squared off and on the floor were about 9 planks of wood all next to one another.

The wood was a cover and it was nailed together, blocking a 5’ wide hole that went straight down, a faint breeze blowing up, and it smelled very faintly of stew. Gwyn volunteered to go down first and a length of rope was tied around the dwarf, the free end being held by Grid, Ve, and Bor. It was when the dwarf placed one foot over the hole with the intention of going down that unseen forces grabbed him and pulled him down the hole at a moderate and steady pace!

Bron reached out and grabbed the dwarf’s hand but he too was pulled into the hole and Norris who tried to stop them also reached out but he was pulled into the hole! Then the three guardsmen were dragged forward and one by one went into the hole, leaving Beren, Hagni, and Soren. Seeing that the party was now dropping at a steady pace of roughly 1’ per second and that they were in no immediate danger of falling, we deduced that this was by design and most likely going to lead us to the mages below. So Hagni went in, followed by Beren, and lastly Soren – as the party dropped into the darkness to confront whatever was below.

Tuesday, September 14, 2010

Meet 108, Adv 10, 8/7/10

I have used the Deck of Many Things a total of 2 times in all my years of DMing (27 now!!) and not once in the last 12 years at least. However it is one of those iconoclastic items that everyone recognizes and in some games it is whipped out as often as a ubiquitous sword +1.

However the party has stumbled across a rather almost artifact level item, Book of Infinite Spells. I've had it creep up in my campaign before and it has been met with, and to quote Jeff Goldbloom from the 2nd Jurassic Park movie, "Yeah, that's how it starts with Oohs and Aaahs - and then after a while it turns to running and screaming."

In the original incarnation of the book I had it crafted by Orcus, Lord of the Undead and it was eventually used to help a powerful mage learn the spells necessary to become a lich (Dareth Causticus for those keeping track at home!) and saw no reason to change it even though demonology has been minimized over the years in my campaign world. So here they were, some 6th level bard attempting to Dispel the magic on the book of infinite spells and it flubbed - which attracted Orcus' attention (I figured a 1 out of 8) and he showed up with deck of many things in hand and made the 3 people in the room choose.

The group was actually quiet during the drawing and one of the players in the silence muttered, "This is so damned cool" as the cards were laid out for the bard to draw for the 1st time.

That's what I like to hear as a DM - this is so damned cool.

Write up follows:

The group had gone to the mausoleum where upon arriving noted that another one of the Bather’s rings opened the doors here. It was now well past midnight and the group had some investigating. After opening the door, Bother Beren went in and some red energy shot across the door. The party was unsure what it was, so while our priest began to consecrate the tomb, Bron smashed a hole in the side wall. However upon attempting to enter he was struck by the red energy and was knocked out.

It was upon the completion of the consecrating that Aaron Skelt showed up, spectrally angry and pissed. He was told him not to come any closer Bren would destroy his sword; the spectre didn't believe him so on his charge the priest shattered the sword and sheath with a blast of magic. The undead horror let out a banshee scream that knocked out most of the merchants as well as Kazak.

Furious, Aaron punched Brother Beren twice dropping him two semi-permanent levels and dangerously coming close to killing him. It was at this time that Soren shot his bow and missed horribly – hitting our beleaguered priest! Ignoring the unconscious adept, Skelt picked up the sword cast some spell and the sword reformed. He then placed the sword some sort of extra-dimensional pocket about 5’ off the ground and in this “cubby” he placed the sword and we noted that there was also the helmet and the brooch.

And then he disappeared. At this point the rest of the party came through the door, which made it obvious that anyone could enter and the rest of the party did. As for the extra-dimensional pocket, how were we to get in there? There was some experimenting but the group learned that if they touch the air in just the right place and make an opening motion with their fingers the pocket opens and allows them to go inside. They then took out the 3 items and just before shutting the pocket threw in a couple of bottles of holy water so they burst opened. This way the next time the spectre opens the pocket it will rain holy water upon him.

We went back to the inn, deciding to avoid Two Cats for now, instead going to the Swaddling Goose and getting rooms there. We had a fitful night and the next day we went to Cornblood Keep where we met with Lord Falconhand to see about garnering our charter as well as some sort of restorative potion or scroll for our Brother Beren. It was then that we learned that there was ANOTHER murder last night! This happened about 1 PM near the culvert, a guardsman was found with his head torn free from his body, a broken bit of a hitching post shoved into his heart, and the remains of hardtack shoved into his mouth.

His sword was missing.

What the hell? A request was made to get Moltas Falconhand to come down (Lord Sverek’s father, Aaron friend) but it was discovered that Moltas was missing – and no one knows where he is. A page was sent out to the tracks as well as the two local watering holes in an effort to find him. The deal for the 750 was reiterated and a blank charter was handed over to Soren for us to fill out.

We then went to Jarl’s Tradegoods and spoke with the Halfling trademaster for a bit – his cousin, Esias, was coming back to town today/tonight after a long trip to Dilabria – and it was understood that he had the last of the Skelt cursed treasures. We told Jarl of what was going on and the Halfling thanked up for being upfront, sending one of his cousins out on a swift pony to intercept Esias and bring him back to town as soon as possible.

Meanwhile, someone asked Norris to attack the people who had been watching him. He attacked the guard, doing minimal damage, and then the guards defended themselves. Since Norris wasn't really into it he kind of let himself lose the fight. The guards however were very into it and they beat him after he had let himself be disarmed and called for the watch. We showed up just as the watch was getting there. We all went to the watch station where the captain of the watch corroborated our story about Norris being under a Charm spell. He did warn us that if Norris did anything else he'd be kicked out of town.

We had some words with the local Captain of the guard and some of the other information the inquisitor had gotten from Henian Bather, plus some other information that had come to light and we had deduced that Arnog is most likely being held in Murderer’s Hole – and not at the mercy of Jarl’s Tradegoods.

While a solution was coming for Brother Beren’s brush with the spectre and its draining touch, we also wanted to resolve the problem with Norris’ ensorcellment (charming) that he was under. Something that had come up before regarding the oakleaf bound leather book that we had gotten from Henian was that not only did it help to teach the neophyte mage the basics of magic, but it also seemed to supply whatever spell was needed!

Brother Beren had spent some time praying at the shrines and even in his weakened state from Aaron Skelt’s draining touch was able to come up with a pair or lesser restorations which did return most of the priest’s lost levels. We were anxious though to come up with a solution for Norris’s charming and when the bard went lookinh through the tome, it opened up to a Dispel Magic spell! Just what he needed.

Brother Beren was uncomfortable with the book’s acquiescence to our needs but decision was made to dispel magic on Norris’ charm as well as impact the book. So Beren, Kazak, and Norris retreated to the inn room and cast the dispel magic – ending the charm – but failing to assault the book.

This ended up making a strange silence fall over the room and a wrenching seemed to feel out of place – and there was a rotund, sweaty ruddy skinned older man shuffling a deck of cards. He pointed to Norris, spread the cards and said simply: “CHOOSE.” The cards were old and worn and there was a strange miasma of malevolence in the room – it was Brother Beren who made the great mental leap – book was evil, using it summoned and created undead, an attempt to destroy it made this being appear and although it was clad in “human” form, he knew it to be otherwise. Orcus, Lord of Undead.


With shaking hands the bard picked a card and upon looking at its face began quivering – and the luck that had guided his existence was smited – giving him -3 to all of his saves permanently.

Then the man pointed to Beren and said, “CHOOSE!” The priest took a careful hand and pulled out a card – it was the fates! Of his own choosing if something horrible was to happen to him – he could have the skein of destiny change what would be the outcome and spare him from it!

And finally the aspect of Orcus pointed at Kazak and said, “CHOOSE!!!” and the half orc ex slaver took a card – and the air around him swirled – his features became wonderful, his personality sparkled, and then Orcus disappeared and the page from Lord Falconhand came in with orders to bring Kazak immediately to the lord as his mother was a direct descendent of Moltas Falconhand – making him royalty and the next in line after Sverek for the family name!

It was an odd and strange twist of fate that we bid Kazak farewell and the decision was made at that point to NOT use the book NOR attempt to allow it to be the victim of a harmful spell of effect. It was right after this that the book’s necromantic energies summoned a zombie from the graveyard to trek across town and close on the Swaddling Goose – which had the people frantic and calling for the guard. Brother Beren used his conduit from Tyr to turn the undead, but the energies were warped and twisted from the book and instead of turning the zombie – it was instantly upgraded to ghoul! It assaulted three other people in the street and began feeding on them and there was a general melee before it was destroyed.

We then gave the book to Bron who would keep it safe while Soren told us that the Captain of the guard would be lending us 4 of his trusted veteran guards to go with us to Murderer’s Hole and attempt to get Arnog back.

We had until the next day when Esias would return and it was on that day that the shade of Aaron Skelt would assault him – reclaiming the last of his 4 treasures. So we had to go into the hole, save Arnog, bring what mage’s we could find down there to justice, and get out to do what we needed to. And it was already about 1 in the afternoon – the clock was ticking!

Thursday, September 9, 2010

Meet 107, Adv 10, 7/31/10

The art of misdirection as a DM isn't to contradict yourself, but to only provide a partial list of facts - and then at a later date, supply the rest or in some cases, more of the facts. If digested in two separate piles, it can and will drive the party nuts - and that's what had been happening here - so much so that one of the players spent a good half hour writing out the bits and pieces of our activities so far in an effort to see how it all came together.

Write up follows:

Soren used the 1st of the antidotes on Gwyn (an incense you burn that smells like shit covered skunk) and then the 2nd on Kazak – waking our two friends up. On waiting for Bron’s return they then went to Skelt Manor with a bit of trepidation as Soren informed the group of Bendern’s seeming duplicity and the fact that Beren was there now.

On arriving the door was closed and no knocking opened it, although we did hear some grunting inside. Norris used his thieves tools and his severe lack of lock picking – and it just goes to show exactly HOW cheap the locks were at Skelt manor because he opened it! On the rugs were some muddy foot prints that went in and to the right, then up the stairs to the 2nd floor.

Inside and to the right in the sitting room was Quaris Skelt, trussed up, gag in his mouth, and sporting a purpling goose egg on the back of his head. He was released and told that someone knocked his ass down and out about an hour ago and he didn’t know who or what happened. When asked where Bendern was he told us that the younger Skelt was upstairs in his room and had been there most of the night. Damn it.

We followed the prints up the stairs where they went to a door and it required Norris and his lock picks and ANOTHER terrific roll and the door was opened! And lo and behold – there was a small pile of ash inside the door, the muddy foot prints ended at the bed, and the room smelled faintly of oranges. Bendern was asleep and did not awaken to our prodding. We asked where Brother Beren was and was told that he was on the 3rd floor in one of the old servant’s rooms.

We checked and he was there, unharmed and once again succumbed to the poison. We dragged him down the stairs to Bendern and using the last antidote, lit it and woke the two of them up. Then it was question time.

Bendern did not remember meeting the party last night, telling them that he had gone to Two Cats about 6:30 last night and then to Madame Greenbelt’s for some nightly pleasure with a girl named Agatha. Around quarter to 8 he left and came home where he sat with his father for a spell and then went up to his room to read and eventually fall asleep. However as far as we were concerned we saw Bendern at Two Cats at 8ish in the company of the 2 men who tried to Orange Blossom us and even pass on a magic mouth pouch (that Bron had eventually heard and said it was the same voice that Aaron Skelt had during his short fight with the buggish undead thing).

Bron was a keen discerner of the truth and on looking at Bendern and hearing him speak, was convinced he was telling the truth – or at least BELIEVED he was telling the truth. So now what? The group then looked at Bendern’s shoes and saw that they were about the same size as the prints on the rug but that meant nothing – plus the boot prints although ending in his room did not go up to the bed, nor were his current shoes or his spare set covered in mud of any sort.

What was going on?

Soren went down to the very angry wolverine in the cage in the pantry and called on Frey to give him a blessing to befriend the animal. And suddenly the 135 lb giant wolverine stopped hissing and spitting, became docile, and snuffled happily at Soren’s hands. Mission successful! 60 hps of snarling wolverine fury now in the hands of the party’s ranger. ;)

Feeling that it was time to get the authorities involved in light of last night’s attacks and then to arrange a visit with Sverek Falconhand, Soren went to the militia house and spoke with the tired Captain of the guard. He talked about the attack, his response, and what had been learned of the matter. And was surprised to find the captain was less than pleased with Soren’s results!

Not once did the ranger call for the watch, and he took it upon himself to shoot two men with deadly if not lethal force and accuracy, question them, lead them to his room, bind and interrogate them, and then kill one and let the other go and THEN come and tell the watch so they can clean the dead guy out of his room.

When it was redescribed (with the party helping out as interested militia men listening in and making snarky comments during the questioning) the group realized it didn’t sound so great. But in light of all the good the group had been doing, it was excused (not forgiven) and then the party was told they could go to Sverek Falconhand and speak to the Lord on the matters at hand. Be ready in an hour. He did ask about questioning Henian under the Zone of Truth and was told it was not necessary at the Bather was very forthcoming on his actions and did not mince words or try to smear up his crimes or parts in them. In fact he did not know of Aaron but DID admit that he had looted Aaron Skelt about a year ago right after the old man was interred and sold most of the goods to personages not local.


If that was the case then how was Quaris able to open the tomb 10-11 months later and see Aaron there with the same 4 items that Henian admitted selling? This needed more discussion with the party.

Soren grabbed the group, Bendern as well, and they tramped back to Cornblood keep where they checked weapons and went to Sverek himself. The lord was in his late 30’s, long black hair pulled back, thin moustache waxed heavily, military air and bearing to him. A pair of swords girded his chair and there were plenty of guards around.

We explained what was going on, Aaron Skelt, the 4 items, and the order of the deaths – the fact that Sverek was most likely next. The lord said he did not have the sword, he gave it to his father, Moltas, Aaron’s longest living friend. Moltas was brought in along with the sword and the older man spoke long about his friend and the fact that he had a gypsy curse on him. The curse was something along the lines of “Never rest, Always hungry, and Never satisfied.” It was almost 40 years ago and the gypsy was unknown. Moltas did tell the group that his friend didn’t sleep much (2-3 hours a day) and ate and drank like a pig, and gambled to excess and then some – so the curse was true.

This also seemed to be in line with Aaron’s awakening and going after his belongings but if Henian had fenced them about a year ago – how did they get back? The group then guessed that since the items had been sold and been done outside of town, the deaths of the new owners were not noticed by those living here and Aaron had killed and retrieved his treasures – eventually coming back to his crypt where he slept undisturbed until Quaris opened it a few weeks ago and sold the belongings again – once more restarting the curse.

It was a working theory the party had – at least for now.

They assured the lord they could do the job and eventually Sverek offered them 750 crowns and a group charter if they could face Aaron’s shade and put it to rest. We took the job and asked for the sword. We then went to the Keep’s chapel to Thor and Odin, ground that was holy and consecrated, Bron holding the blade (which we did check – was not magical) and waited.

Norris kept up an almost continuous litany of countersong, hoping to keep any potential further affect and charm of him at bay. The clock passed – and passed – and passed – and no one came. As we crept closer to midnight we were growing worried and frantic – a seeming pressure was surrounding the group and the chapel and it was like the time was growing slower. We readied weapons and tried to look around – seeing no one.

At a few minutes before midnight Brother Beren asked Tyr for the ability to detect undead – and he received a pile of them – two sets of 6-10 right outside the stained glass windows, and a single one in the hall right outside the door – but invisible to sight. He then begged for a blast of pure sunlight and slammed it down the main hall – searing the undead and causing it to shriek in agony and dive into the wall to escape the flaming white light.

Spells of strength, blessing, competence, and health were called forth and as one the group entered the hall ready to do battle. Aaron Skelt appeared in a blast of acrid fumes and chittering bugs, assaulting Bron who was fighting as defensively as he could. Gwyn used his Hydraspear on the undead, scoring the man viciously in the midsection. Soren fired some of his bolts coated with holy water from the temple’s font, Bron had dipped rags into the font and wrapped his fists inside of them – hitting the undead beast as well. Bottles were thrown and weapons plied and even the wolverine slammed and slashed into Aaron, the undead flailing at Bron and just missing both times. And eventually the monster collapsed into bugs and dissolved away and the group smacked and slapped the insects with wild abandon.

What now? Did we kill Aaron? Was he really dead for sure? The group wanted to go to the cemetery and check the coffin and if there finish him off. We left and made our way there (learning that SOMETHING had coming into Cornblood Keep through the water culvert under the wall and had left the same way – zombies was our guess) as fast as we could, arriving at the cemetery in a few minutes. Brother Beren used Henian’s keyring and found one of the keys was the one for the cemetery gates – opening it and ushering the group inside to do battle and meet hopefully for the last time with Aaron Skelt.