Session Date: 1/31/2012
From last time:
Bulwark spent the remaining time in the city studying in the library. He was researching Lord of Blades and Mournland. Not much in books. Mostly rumors and gossip. Things crossing Mournland border…living spells, Warforged raids (seem to know a way through) The Lord of Blades himself has not been seen outside the mist nor any reports of him before the war. Heard of a raiding operation on border of Carnath…more of a salvage operation. They know a way in to the Mournland to raid the cities for magic items. Rumors from them is that people they have seen seem to be mage-bred people — inhumanly beautiful, strong, and fast.
Alric gets a job from Hobb Knobb Cobb, which is to find a creation forge that should have been destroyed but wasn’t and use it for our benefactors yet to be determined. We were told that it would teach a lesson to those who had preserved it. Kobb Knobb Cobb’s job advance pays us +40gp each. We need to be back in town to finish job in two days.
The party then made its way to the Temple of the God of Death via lightning rail and a few hour’s walk. It is set in a cliff amidst the Star Peaked Range. It is in ruins. We found a camp of zombies guarding a bunch of emaciated prisoners, and determined that no one but Aldric could possibly sneak and climb up there. We think the Claw put the zombies there while they raided the temple.
So…we are at the encampment. No Emerald Claw around but there are undead creatures keeping watch and unconscious people chained together in a rundown tent camp near the entrance.
We think it is possible for the zombies to raise the alarm to the Caw members who are probably inside the temple.
NOTE: Milestone reached two weeks ago means all powers back and surges and health.
We recognize 4 different types of undead: Hulking brute zombies, skeletal soldiers, flesh crazed zombies and a skeletal caster.
They are vulnerable to radiant.
The link that binds the zombies together….makes their attacks stronger but their defenses weaker as they lose their numbers.
-12gp for lightening rail ticket and tent.
It is around 6pm. We stealth up and do a surprise attack.
Neils tries something new (“Ok, guys, let me try something. I’ve never done this before, but I’m sure it’ll work!”). Plays card (Improvisation)
We wipe out the undead.
We check the wagons…find just food stuff and supplies. We get maybe a day’s worth of rations out of what’s left. In the tent bedrolls and equipment for 6-7 soldiers. No armor or weapons.
The prisoners have aberrant marks…but minor.
They are bruised, as if they tried to run a way and were beaten back.
Aldric sketches the marks down. Sees one that is the Mark of Hospitality on a non-halfing! This is considered aaaberrent because the bearer is not of the race. Interesting.
This means the Lord’s daughter’s mark is technically aberrant as well.
Bulwark and Neils wake up unconscious prisoners.
They set to the food with a vengeance.
They’ve been here for 5 days….the Emerald Claw soldiers brought them. They were expecting to meet some people, but it was just the undead and no one else. The soldiers went into the temple. They haven’t come back.
Don’t know why they are wanted by the Claw. They were from Fairhaven. Some have had marks for years, though one had it show up just a month or so ago.
They set off towards the lightening station.
Also in the tents was a collapsing desk where the commander probably worked. Nothing really in it. Supply tallies for 6 men….for a few months.
We enter the temple.
There were torches but they have gone out. No light. Bulwark lights his gem for the party members that need it.
We see a circle of statues of goblinoids. Probably representations of their gods. We recognize the similarities with our 9 gods. We see a wizened old Goblin in a robe clutching a staff with a tomb…their version of Orron? The goblins did worship the Nine.
Also see the representations of the Dark 6. Probably worshiped as part of a pantheon. We do NOT see a representation of the God of Death. This is just the antechamber.
There are other corridors leading out of the room.
Signs of recent movement. Possibly searching for things.
Neils does not detect any magic in the vicinity.
There is some goblin writing on the walls. It covers the walls. A column of writing is aligned with each god.
Neils does an understanding of goblin so that he can read the writing.
The writing looks like the commandments of each god. Songs to their glory. What does it say about the 6? They value the animal strength of nature. Ferocity. The savage side.
The closest we see to the God of Death, is the God of War and Murder. The Mockery.
The goblin version of him is a bugbear with a garrotte and heads piled at his feet.
The Shadow (God of Ambition, Dark Magic and Corruption). His credo: Power is an absolute, and anything done to seek it is not wrong. Let nothing bind your ambitions.
The silver flame did not exist in this era, so no representation here.
3 corridors leading out from our chamber. One to the west, north, and east.
Westbound corridor is collapsed and choked with rubble. Undisturbed. An excavation was begun but abandoned. Possibly by the Wayfinder Foundation.
The north bound tunnel goes deeper into the mountain. Branching off of it are smaller rooms…probably quarters for temple workers and priests. Anything of value would probably have been taken already by the Foundation or the Claw.
East bound corridor leads to a storeroom and kitchen. Doesn’t look like there is anything of value that way. Mostly undisturbed.
Heading to the north we find nothing of value along the way until we reach an altar room. We are at the end of the path.
This is a circular room with an altar in the center. It is still stained with blood. It was probably a sacrificial altar. The stains are not fresh, but oddly enough still looks wet.
Sacrificing sentient beings is not unheard of for the worship of the 6. Not so much for the 9.
Aldric takes 20 (minutes) to search the room. Finds heavy traffic towards the north wall. The tracks are cut in half at the wall. Hmm.
On a closer look……
Hogar taps on the wall…as he does so hears a voice: “Help help! It swung close behind us.”
As we look around we find there is a hidden switch in some carving along the base of the floor.
The wall swings open. A guy tumbles into the light, dressed in Emerald Claw armor. He looks half mad. He surrenders as Zel draws his sword. His name is Castle. Bulwark takes a hold of him.
He babbles near-incoherently to our queries (with fine voice-acting from the GM):
His companions are dead…from traps. Didn’t get far. Went in for the others. This door was open, and when they went through it closed….He and Rodrick were just coming with supplies. Usually just meet them outside.
Just told to bring the aberrant. Don’t know what use really.
Lieutenant Redpath. Probably got his orders from the Crimson Council. That’s who he was looking them. Spear trap killed Rodrick. He had to eat Roderick.
They were following footsteps of emerald claw boots, and then there was an area with traps.
We find some heavy stones to prop the door open.
There is much debate about what to do with man.
Zel grabs man out of Bulwark’s grab and tells him to run, but he refuses to leave the circle of light. Neils lights a rock for him and he runs off as Zel tells the guy to never show his face again or tell the Claw about us.
We make our way over to the corpse of Roderick.
He was killed by a spear trap apparently. Triggered by pressure plates.
At end of the hallway is a control panel. There is about 30 ft of trapped hallway between us.
Hogar picks up Neils and puts him down safely closer to the panel, but Neils decides he can’t do it with magic from this distance.
Hogar fumbles lifting Neils back. Neils takes 14 pts from a spear.
Aldric and Hogar then try to acrobatics their way down the hall. They make it to the end with Hogar taking one hit.
Aldric starts disarming the trap, but then spectral hands thrust through the wall and attack them. This temple is haunted!
Neils tries to magic missile them, as Zel tries to shoot his crossbow in support (Uh…).
Hogar defends Aldric as Aldric tries to continue disarming the trap. Finally, the spear panels suddenly close shut.
Neils fires a scorching burst down the hall as Aldric and Hogar throw themselves to one side. The apparitions are destroyed and we take a short rest (very short, since common sense tells us that the traps will reset at some point).
There is a door at end of this corridor. We push it open.
Passing through…we see footprints (6 pairs of boots). One set goes right and does not come back. 5 go left. There are no return tracks from that direction either.
Neils senses a powerful source of magic from the right. Seems to be a weapon of some kind. Dark, deathly. And satiated.
We head down that way. We enter a chamber lavishly decorated with frescoes of war on its walls. At the forefront of all these is a goblin welding a hammer (the group decides). Crushing the skulls of aberrant horrors.
The fresco hero appears to be wielding a krag hammer! It is portrayed as being enraptured in dark energies.
Zel knows that most of the Draconis empire fell due to invasion from Zoriat of a horde.
Words on the fresco hail the champion figure.
In the room is a casket with a skeletal man in Emerald Claw grasping the casket. The casket is closed.
Neils senses magic from the casket.
Zel senses amoral energy. Definitely powerful.
Neils uses mage hand to open the casket.
He slides the casket lid over and looking inside sees a skeletal hobgoblin dressed in what was once very fine armor plate mail. In his fist, crossed over his chest, is a shield and on top of that is his other hand grasping a krag hammer. Black energy swirls around it. It looks like it is in perfect condition. The armor and shield both look like they will crumble if touched.
It refuses to move for Neils.
Bulwark tries to pick it up physically…he senses that he is not what that hammer is looking for…he draws back.
As Zel reaches for it…the hobgoblin’s hand releases it, and a faint sigh escapes from the hobgoblin skeleton. Zel has the hammer. He feels he has the power to smite his foes. It feels eager in his hands.
Aldric searches the Claw soldier’s armor and takes some dice and a deck of marked cards.
Neils senses that the hammer feels pleased.
We go to the other room with Zel leading eagerly in front.
We follow it to a patch on the ground…and then it is replaced with what looks like drag marks going further into the corridor. Maybe he was running away from something.