The youths managed to get a second meeting in for this week and played for a good couple of hours. What has occurred though was that they have had their first run in with lack of healing and the need to find a place to rest. The 4th level is crawling with undead so they had taken their NPC Safir’s advice that somewhere on the 5th level is a small fortified Gormite position if they can find it.
Write up follows:
The party made their way south down the slightly sloping corridor, noting the many places on the walls where the passing boulder had left deep gouges and scratches along the surface. However they walked south for some distance, Mark’s lantern providing pretty much the only light for over 60 paces. Eventually they came to an area where the corridor had a side passage that went to the right as well as continued straight ahead into the darkness. The slight sloping had come to an end by this time and the group dickered on which was the best choice before opting to take the side passage.
The passage was long and dark, and the group spent some time walking and checking the area for traps and secret doors. When after another 50 odd patient paces they arrived at a blank wall they fanned out, sure there was something to find in the area. Their efforts did pay off and they were able to note that a section of the wall would slide in and up. But Volkan and Mark grew wroth at each other for some reason and there was a vicious shove on one followed by a resounding slap across the face for the other.
One of them tumbled backwards and their impact on the wall caused the secret door to slide open while Delsin and Safir got between the two and their reprimands and cooler heads did prevail. Calmer now, we pushed the secret door entirely open and peered in.
The sizable chamber was filled to the shins with skeletons and bones of dozens, scores, even maybe hundreds of people. We cautiously poked around and searched, wondering if they were going to animate – they didn’t. There were 2 other doors in the room, one on the east and one on the west wall. With great care we entered and looked around, the bones shifting under our feet – but nothing happened.
Once we were as sure as we could be the room was safe, we looked at both doors and decided to open the east door first – as it was on the same wall as the secret door we entered in by. Safir gave it a once over for traps and we listened to the door, unsure if we heard anything on the other side. Feeling ready, we grabbed the handle and pulled - revealing a corridor in which sitting on his legs and staring at the group was a pale skinned dirty humanoid covered in feces across his chest and wearing a wolf mask. And then he said, “Bark!” He didn’t bark like a dog, he actually said the word, “Bark.”
Delsin was disgusted and had to be restrained from tearing into this strange person who then started saying “Growl” in response to the fighter’s threatening stance. Mark and Volkan were attempting to talk to the strange person who continued to mutter “Bark”, “Howl” and “Grr” as the responses merited. We followed it back down the hall until the passage turned south, and we noted that there were 2 passages that went back to the west. The wolf mask person took the first one and we followed along, still trying to get some answer from him in something other than spoken dog noises.
It was when he sniffed around the corner and then crapped on the floor, wiping more of the excrement on his chest, that Delsin lost all patience and drew his sword, hoping to assault the crazy person. Who then rose to his full height and ran down the next corridor to the east. Two of us gave chase while 2 others on Delsin’s advice ran back down the passage we had come from, believing they all link up on the other side.
The fighter was just around the corner, shield in front of him, when the wolf-mask person whipped around the corner and slammed face first into the fighter’s shield and slammed back against the dungeon floor, screaming out, “Son of a bitch!!”
So he can talk.
He then castigated us that we had ruined his dream that he was a wolf, a dream that had been borne out from the priests of Zargon and the gifts of Zargon, the dreaming god. By blurring the line between dreaming and awake, followers show to Zargon their love of him, empowering the dreaming god to expand his realm on this earth. He was from Cyndicia far below, and his dream wandering had him coming up to the temple area to do whatever it is the dream of wolves was meant for him to do.
We discussed this with him as he pulled the mask back, showing his homely face, pale eyes, and now bloody lip and nose. The conversation was growing louder and angrier about Zargon and what he means for everyone when something slammed into the Cyndician from behind and tore across his shoulder and head. He was being assaulted and torn apart by a zombie!
The undead ripped the Cyndician apart, a second zombie joining the combat as the wolf-mask Cyndician stuttered, gurgled, and then died. Delsin noted that the zombies had come from down the passage the Cyndician had lead us, and knowing they all linked up here, told the group to “Hold them here!” while he ran down the other western passage, hoping to get behind the undead in short order.
So Volkan and Mark stayed in the hall while Safir shot the undead who had finished beating the Cyndician to death, his arrow having no effect. Mark called out to Gorm to turn the undead, but the power of his god was lacking as 2 more zombies came around and drove the party back. Knives flashed, Mark’s Mace of Gorm flashed, and the three party members beat and stabbed and hacked at the zombies, but had very little success for their efforts.
Meanwhile, Delsin had run down the passage, turned south and then at the next corner back to the east once more. With 4 zombies in front of us the party was struggling to hold their own when one of them managed to get past Mark’s defenses and sent the priest tumbling backwards. He struggled to right himself and was met with a cavalcade of blows that dented and then compromised the integrity of his breastplate; and then crushed four of his ribs and had him on the ground choking on his own blood and dying. Everyone was yelling for Delsin to hurry up.
Delsin meanwhile was charging along and noticed and open doorway on the south. He slowed down and peered in, frantic to find two MORE zombies making their way to the exit and the hallway! He grabbed the door and yanked it closed, hoping to force the frame into the jamb long enough to slow down the undead before drawing his new mystical blade, the green glow and smoky trail running down its length. He noted the press of undead at the corner and accelerated his speed shouting out “Heat Stroke!” and firing the ensorcelled blade to life and then bisecting the lead zombie who was trying to kill Safir.
With Delsin in the fight, the pendulum swung the other way as another of the undead fell over, allowing the party to drag Mark out of the battle and force our last healing draught down his mouth. The priest coughed and choked, snagging his own holy symbol, and then croaked out a prayer to Gorm to heal his broken form, giving him a few more precious hit points.
Meanwhile Delsin had dispatched three of the zombies himself while the party killed off the last one. And it was over.
We were a mess. Everyone had some sort of wound, some of us were very bad off, Safir’s quiver was more than halfway emptied, Mark and Volkan had no spells left, we were out of healing potions, and Mark’s armor was not as effective in protecting him. We needed a place to hole up and we needed supplies.
Safir did let us know that somewhere on the 5th level was a Gormite outpost where if we could make it, would be able to help us out. But it would mean putting aside our quest to find the tomb of King Alexander, Queen Zenobia, and the last 1 or 2 mystical weapons of Cyndicia. Given the way we were feeling, we opted to hasten our search for the way down to the next level.
We limped our way back to the bone filled room and crossed it to the opposite door. Listening and hearing nothing, we opened it to look down – at another long corridor. This one was lit 1/3rd and 2/3rds of the way down by a candle burning on a holder set on a niche along the south wall. Volkan took one and extinguished it while we proceeded to the end where the passage turned south and there was a door on the north corner.
We listened at the door which we noted was very cold, like icy frigid cold. Hearing nothing and not liking the cold aspect, we continued south. There was a door halfway down the passage on the east wall that we did look in at. Another burial chamber – this one very nice and set up to look like some lady in waiting. There was an ivory inlaid coffin on the east wall that we checked carefully – finding it to be empty.
The group left and continued on their south where the passage “T’ed” left and right. Safir felt we should be going right and the corridor should lead north eventually. So we moved on, eventually finding a door on the north wall. The bottom of the door was chewed – almost 2’ of it! And we could hear heavy squeaking and squealing within. Yeah – screw that. No one wanted to get anywhere near it.
After backing up a bit to make sure this passage at the other end of the “T” went back to where the zombies were (and it was!) we walked carefully beyond the squeaking noise door and continued on until the passage turned north. It was almost 50 paces before the passage had a 4’ wide hole set in the floor, with a set of ladder rungs going down. The corridor did continue north from here, but we would be checking it out sometime in the future after we had a chance to rest up.
Climbing down the almost 50’, we found ourselves in a 30’ square chamber with no obvious ways in or out. So we fanned out and checked over everything, until we noted a section of the south wall that would lift up. Delsin bent his legs and grabbed the flanges on the wall – and lifted. The wall slid up and Delsin was struggling to hoist it up – unable to get it over his midsection. Mark ducked under and ran into the next room, looking along the wall where he found a lever. “Oh my god! I have been looking for one of these for so long!” he exclaimed with excitement, lifting the lever from the down to the up position.
The pressure on the door ended and the door went up. We all entered what seemed to be an oversized living quarter that had some symbology to Usimagarius. We gave the room a once over and checked out the bed, drawers, tables, and wall hangings. There was a door on the south wall but we ignored it for now. There was a set of spell scrolls uncovered which we gave to Mark once we realized they were clerical in nature.
But it was when Delsin touched the white robe on the back of one of the chairs that things went freaky. Time seemed to stop for the fighter and he was looking and talking to a ghostly figure of an older man. He said his name was Demetrius and that he was cruelly slain by his brother Darius, a priest of Usimagarius. His spirit was trapped here, unable to move on since he was terribly slain, until it was avenged. Delsin offered to help and Demetrius told him he would know when he was close to Darius – then he sieved into the fighter and time started again.
Delsin told the group of what happened along with his ghostly tenant. This bothered Volkan who did pull Mark aside and let him know that they didn’t owe this ghost anything – and to be ready if something went wrong fast.
We then wanted to rest here but this was a main room heading to the 4th level – so we looked for secret doors, finding one on the northwest corner. Entering we closed the door and locked it behind us, the only thing in the 20’ square room was a locked chest. With plenty of time and no desire to go anywhere for a while, we let Safir spend as long as he needed on the locks while we readied ourselves to rest the entire day.