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 Halls of Ryzek

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Number of posts : 761
Registration date : 2007-04-26

PostSubject: Halls of Ryzek   Mon 1 Sep - 13:02:47

Halls of Ryzek

Now as it happened I was absent for the initial foray to the Halls of Ryzek, and probably just as well as never before had we been so battered and beaten in one session for so little gain in experience or treasure as in this opening advance into what Faffleen had warned would be the ultimate test.

The party teleported to the favourite destination of the late Trinner’s transmat key and sure enough found themselves in a magically protected bunker on a rocky coastline. The room was a small one constructed around the transmat terminal. At its rear in an alcove a spiral staircase descended. There were no walls or windows, the walls themselves were shimmering transparencies of a magical nature.

Ripven investigating found the walls to be elastic and he was able to force his way through the wall which sealed up behind him. He found himself out on the hillside with startled sea birds wheeling overhead. Looking back, the room was invisible until Eldras’s arm emerged from it and pulled him back inside.

The party descended and found a cavern running east from the foot of the stairs, close to a hundred feet below the Transmat bunker by Barakor’s best estimate. Advancing we could see a large chamber ahead, its vaulted ceiling supported by columns and pillars, but of more immediate concern, several dozen skeletal warriors who stood by each column and lined the walls, the ones to north and south standing in recessed alcoves, the ones to the east flanking a large set of double exit doors.

Despite the fact that the skeletons were presenting no threat, Barakor, confident in his faith presented his holy symbol, the party preferring to rush to the attack without wasting time on any kind of pointless preparation or strategy. Barakor and Eldras were initially in the forefront, a surprising tactic unless you regard a non clerical non fighter in the front line against undead as a good approach. Neither was there any attempt to gain advantage positionally on the creatures, over confidence and under estimation of the opposition in equally plentiful supply.

Despite this possibly rash approach, a dozen of the skeletons crumbled instantly to dust but the rest immediately flooded forward to attack, led by the skeletons from the alcoves which proved to be of a superior variety to your average common or garden skeleton. Forced into combat having apparently expected the enemy to simply melt cooperatively away, we also chose sportingly to use ineffective edged weapons rather than the blunt weaponry that is the bane of skeletons’ existence.

Holly in weretiger form bounded in to attack allowing Eldras to spider climb up into the room. Meanwhile Ripven and Zionestes tried their turning abilities too but whilst some three quarters of the skeletons were quickly destroyed the dozen remaining were made of sterner stuff and remorselessly continued slicing up our front line. Zionestes was forced to administer emergency healing to Holly at one point.

It was noticeable that one initially damaged skeleton regenerated to become fully whole again even as we fought, and it was clear that they were absorbing significant punishment. Barakor and Holly’s attacks were not doing full damage either. Eldras noticed that one of the southern alcoves now vacant contained a previously concealed door. Four skeletons monitored his movement on the high ceiling, moving to protect the eastern door that was his initial objective.

Eldras hid in the shadows above and the skeletons moved away leaving two guarding the door, he decided to investigate the south provoking two to move to guard that door too. Meanwhile the fight was going slowly; concentrating on one target eventually a skeleton fell. Saladin had meanwhile replaced Barakor in the front line, but to the party’s horror, the slain skeleton rose up again.

Finally Zionestes managed to turn all twelve with his steadfast chanting of the rites of Death and the enemy broke quite unexpectedly to cower against the east wall. Conscious that a successful turning can last for ten minutes or a matter of seconds, the party unanimously agreed to exit stage right, using the southern door.

A corridor was revealed beyond, one that turned west almost immediately and dropped via a short length of stairs to a water filled corridor. On the wall were scribbled the words ‘Access to level two’. We weren’t sure if this was good or bad news. Eldras scouted the corridor avoiding the water with his spider climbing slippers.

He discovered that it wound for some distance, at one point widening out briefly but then ended with steps leading up from the water’s edge. Checking the depth several times he could find nowhere deeper than six feet. There were also a number of circular open pits at both ends of the corridor which Zionestes theorised might have been grain silos. Saladin showed off his ring of featherfall, floating into the one at the eastern end and had to be pulled out with rope, after discovering it to be about ten feet deep and empty.

We negotiated the water, Holly allowing Saladin to ride her, Roscoe swimming and some of the taller party members pushing through in the hope that Eldras had correctly assessed its depth. At both ends the corridor gently sloped so only the centre section was deep. Only Eldras stayed dry with his slippers, how they missed me and my levitation. The corridor beyond ended with a door on the eastern wall which Barakor opened at once, again with no preparation of any sort.

The cavern beyond was half filled by a pool and an exit was visible to the north. Barakor’s trap detection sword screamed a warning; four trapdoors above were revealed to its magical sensing, some sort if trigger mechanism in the floor would open them, presumably not dropping ticker tape on the victim below. Eldras confirmed their existence and strolling across the ceiling he worked on each one to wedge them shut. Ripven then astonishingly deliberately walked under each one to test if this disarming was successful.* One wonders what the point is of looking for traps if you then attempt to trigger them.

*You should see him checking if a crossbow repair has been successful

Fortunately although something did trigger, Eldras had done good work and the trapdoors remained sealed, however, six skeletons emerged from the water to the east. Barakor quickly turned them and they disappeared as quickly, but the group was not in the mood to try and tangle with more skeletons after their recent experience and quickly moved out even before the ripples subsided.

Holly checked out a small side cavern with a pool as they advanced north, expecting a repeat of the shallow gently sloping waters encountered so far. She adopted the simple and somewhat ridiculous test method of stepping straight into the water, some might say deservedly discovering that this was a deep sinkhole and she had to be ignominiously hauled out by the others. And I thought that cats hated water? I know they miss me but did everyone have a death wish just because my delightful presence was missing?

Moving on, my friends found themselves at the southern end of a large cavern. They were viewing it from a ledge forty feet above the water filled floor. The water depth? Two inches or two hundred feet? Who could say? Crossing the cavern, presumably to an unseen exit on the other side, a series of columns about four feet in diameter, helpfully at the same level as the ledge from where the party surveyed the scene.

The simple technique of a series of modest leaps would be enough for a courageous and reasonably agile traveller to cross this chamber. After all, what could go wrong? Had they been able to count the columns and seen that there were thirteen maybe they would have taken it as a bad omen and been more cautious. Or then again, maybe not. As it was they decided to proceed with the unplanned, uncoordinated, unsophisticated approach that had served them so well so far. Or then again, maybe not.

So once again with a confidence that defied explanation, Eldras advanced in, relying on his spider climbing slippers to proceed across the ceiling. Unfortunately and hardly surprisingly had my comrades thought about it, any denizen of such an area was hardly likely to find the unusual environment a problem, and sure enough two gargoyles swooped from a concealed lair and attacked him.

Holly’s crossbow bolt pinged off one of the creatures demonstrating eloquently that magical weapons were required to cause injury to them. Barakor leapt onto the first pillar and fell straight into the water, which fortunately/ unfortunately* turned out to be deep. Ripven jumped onto the first pillar successfully and Saladin onto the next. Holly as a tiger then bounded over both onto the third. Some might say that with planning it may have been easier to do this in the reverse order but hey, I wasn’t there and so who am I to judge, I’m sure it seemed eminently sensible at the time.

*He was not squashed flat but was in danger of drowning

Unfortunately, two more gargoyles flew from the other side of the cavern, heading for those standing on the pillars. Underwater Barakor, having dropped his precious magic sword was trying to inch his way up the column. He then discovered that he was not alone as two marine gargoyles attacked him.

The fight was difficult and protracted, especially with no spell support available: Ripven used his spiritual hammer to hold off one gargoyle for some minutes whilst Eldras continued to head for the North East and exit, two gargoyles swirling around him all the while.

Saladin and Holly joined forces, Saladin clearly developing a taste for straddling her beast form. At one point, Saladin heroically/ foolishly leapt from Holly’s back onto a gargoyle, only to leap straight back as the gargoyle began to struggle for height, but a pillar near the far side turned out to by of flimsy construction at the top, collapsing immediately the pair landed on it and pitching them into the water too.

Ripven also ended up in the water, as did Zionestes who displayed particularly pathetic jumping and climbing skills. Then Roscoe discovered another trap: he had been jumping from pillar to pillar very successfully despite his diminutive size, but a pillar close to the far side ran all the way from floor to ceiling. Fiendishly, its top half had been turned invisible so that it looked just like all the rest and the halfling crashed into it and slid into the water too.*

*Fans of proper 1940s/50s Tom and Jerry cartoons will know exactly what happened here

There were three marine gargoyles; two dedicated their time to harrying Barakor, who after laboriously climbing up the first column had succeeded in falling in again. Saladin and Holly, the latter acting as swimming mount once more made it to the far side and were faced with a climb up to the safety(?) of the far ledge. Both of them fell back into the water more than once as they tried to climb out, often under aerial attack.

The flying gargoyles were concentrating at the eastern end after Ripven’s hammer ended, but Eldras at least now made it to the ledge. Saladin and Holly made it too eventually with plucky Roscoe also swimming to safety. The first gargoyle fell at last then the others in quick succession, the last brutally deprived of a wing and leg in short order by Saladin and his slicing swordplay, allowing Holly and Eldras to lower ropes to rescue Roscoe and Barakor who were snapped at by the swimming monsters.

With no targets left at the northern end, the three marine gargoyles returned to attack Ripven who was making slow progress mid cavern, and Zionestes who had been floundering around the first two columns this whole time. Eldras using a couple of ropes tied together helped Ripven and then Zionestes, dragging them across the cavern dogged all the way by the underwater gargoyles.

It was a battered and bloody group that gathered at the foot of the stairs that ascended from the ledge at the eastern end of the cavern. Barakor had already drunk his potion of extra healing whilst swimming across as had others, everyone was badly hurt and the marine gargoyles were unscathed. Barakor had lost his sword, Vitrix, and early cockiness had been replaced by a feeling of dread. They had barely scratched the surface of this last resting pace of Ryzek but already felt worn out and exhausted.

Still, in the spirit of total over confidence that flavoured the day, perhaps the worst was behind them?

Characterisation & Roleplay 20
Scouting room 17 20
Guardian skeletons 100
Scouting corridor 58 20
Disarming traps room 34 400
Gargoyles 300
Rope rescues 250

Total 1110

Characterisation & Roleplay 20
Healing 50
Skeletons 250
Guardian skeletons 100
Detecting traps room 34 50
Turning Eastern Skeletons 50

Total 520

Characterisation & Roleplay 20
Guardian Skeletons 150
Gargoyles 300
Rope rescue 50

Total 520

Saladin/ Grom
Characterisation & Roleplay 40
Guardian skeletons 150
Gargoyles 300
Kamikaze leap onto gargoyle 100

Total 590

Characterisation & Roleplay 20
Spiritual Hammer 50
Healing 50
Investigating the bunker wall 25
Skeletons 250
Gargoyles 300

Total 695


Total 0

Healing 50
Skeletons 50
Turning guardian skeletons 400

Total 500

Name Class 2nd Class B/F Cumulative Target Current Level
Kravaine MU*
0 69,643 69,643 95,001
(Cool 7
Eldras T*
1221 63,890 65,111 70,001
(Cool 7
Barakor F*
286 C*
286 40,285
40,285 40,571
40,571 70,001/
(7/7) 6/6
Holly M
520 67,727 68,247 98,001
(7) 6
Grom/ Saladin F*
649 71,149 71,798 125,001
(Cool 7
Roscoe T*
0 47,839 47,839 70,001
(Cool 7
Zionestes C*
550 71,706 72,256 110,001
(Cool 7
Ripven C*
765 64,310 65,075 110,001
(Cool 7

*EP Bonus applied 30.8.14

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