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 Hellish Encounter

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

PostSubject: Hellish Encounter   Tue 1 Oct - 13:37:20

Hellish Encounter

Having spent some weeks training up, studying and rueing how quick and easy it is to get paid 60000 gold pieces and yet end up in deeper debt to various parties who itís probably not a good idea to get into debt with, we learned of our next assignment from the mage.

The Allerzoi hunt does not seem to be progressing very well with little tangible evidence cropping up, usually because we fail to capture anyone who might know something about it. Apparently her other agents are not dong much better though but we have been assigned to investigate reports that an old Allerzoi keep has been the site of suspicious activity.

Hellís Portal is located on the southern fringe of the Great Plains south of the great city of Mirath. The Mage sends us to investigate reports of activity in the old abandoned fortress. There have been disappearances, mutant creatures reported, rumours of occupation in the once abandoned outpost.

We travel to a secret teleport terminal deep under Mirath to meet with a dwarf associate of the Mage. We move through a substantial underground complex with large numbers of well armed and equipped personnel from many races before meeting Taim, a richly dressed dwarf who briefs us further.

The keep lies six days south on horseback we will be escorted by a dozen of his men and provided with supplies. The escort will wait for us three days. Our mission is to investigate and report.

We emerged in the warehouse district of the city, a warning from Taim echoing in our ears. He makes it clear that all we have seen is privileged information shared by him as a courtesy to the Mage of Krim, who to be fair had also indicated that we would need to respect his privacy.

Eldras, unable as usual to suppress his natural urge for enrichment attempted a little casual thievery but unbelievably managed to blow it despite his supposedly enhanced skills. He met us outside town having escaped whatever passes for law enforcement in these parts. Talk about kleptomaniacs R us.

The Great Plains are pretty bleak and there were some concerns when we were told that it was tornado season and off in the distance after a few days, but apart from that our only encounter was some bison like creatures which made off as we passed them upwind. Our escorts were well armed, some elves and dwarves but mainly humans, armour ranging from leather to banded, but all well armed and equipped.

They were led by a dwarf named Zebulecks and a human named Avalan, both of whom seemed very loyal to Taim and who brushed off attempts by Saladin to learn more about them. Eldras strongly opined that we were witnessing a highly organised and powerful thievesí guild in operation, no doubt commensurate with a city of Mirathís standing.

On the afternoon of the sixth day we spotted the old Allerzoi keep, four storeys high and surrounded by cliffs. We parted from our escort and approached at nightfall, Holly scouting around the building. Barakor confirmed the Allerzoi construction but its good quality was evident to most of us by now. Saladin took the lead in his usual headstrong fashion; he found the heavy oak doors at the entrance already ajar. Boldly entering he found that the entrance chamber covered almost the whole area of the keepís ground floor. An air of decay and dust was about the place, if it was occupied again, it seemed any defenders were elsewhere.

Three stairways presented themselves; two ran up to doorways, the third descended ominously into darkness. A brief poll was taken, and on my casting vote the party descended. The vote system didnít seem terribly effective in the elimination of arguments between certain party members who will remain nameless,* and they almost came to blows at times during this session, his royal uppityness showing by turns uncharacteristic restraint, and more characteristic sulking.

*But their names rhyme with Brolly and Badabin

The descent went deep into the bowels of the castle before arriving at an octagonal room filled with dancing ghouls who promptly attacked. Saladin and Barakor were up front and the grim faced dwarf Cleric drove off a third of the attackers with his proudly brandished holy symbol and steadfast faith, however he was then paralysed by the cold clammy claws of the leading ghouls.

Zionestes however, was even more successful as he presented his silver deathís head and the entire remainder fled to cower against the far wall. Holly dashed forward and liberally splashed oil over the helpless creatures and I ignited it with my burning hands spell and an impromptu ghoul barbeque was the order of the day. The choking smoke and sickening stench of the flaming spinning torched bodies forced us to retreat for the moment and we returned upstairs.

With Barakor still unable to move I levitated him and we pushed his floating body back up the stairs where fortunately he recovered. Whilst he was still floating we ascended the left hand stairs to a landing and entered the chamber beyond. This room proved to be another reasonably large chamber, the other door we had seen from below also proved to access this room.

Saladin was hanging back at this point, declaiming to anyone who would listen* the reasons why we should be investing in a small hobbit sized oven and inserting a well known halfling thief in it for a couple of hours. He clearly felt that Roscoe should be leading from the front and giving enemy shins cause for serious concern, whereas Roscoeís fundamental combat philosophy appears to be:

a) Combat? Whatís that?
b) Ah that thing where you run and hide until all the loud noise stops
c) Unless the enemy is foolish enough to either turn his back on you
d) Or falls asleep or unconscious thanks to the efforts of other party members and can be safely and humanely despatched
e) A further priority for a greener planet should be to maximise any opportunity for recycling that may arise through the above, especially of anything shiny.

*In other words no one

Roscoe did scout around this room however and discovered a chest.* He and Eldras checked it for traps and the half elf discovered some suspicious wires. He then proceeded to disarm the trap; perhaps he is good for something after all. We could not see what the trap did but with the mechanism neutralised we could establish that the chest was nothing more than a lure as it had no bottom at all.

*Cunningly concealed in plain view

We moved through to the next chamber which was a black room containing an altar and a large copper or bronze statue at the far end. The room was enormous and we proceeded cautiously, Eldras checking for traps on the north side, Roscoe on the south. Half way along we were ambushed as six chain mailed guards stepped through an illusory wall on the south side and two more attacked through a similar wall to the north.

A melee ensued with Roscoe falling early, struck twice by enemy broadswords. Our clerics both used Hold person spells during the fight which were instrumental in defeating the attack, no fewer than six troops were held by the end and I concentrated on finishing the helpless victims.* Roscoe who had been shamming as usual back stabbed another and the fight was over.

*Significant arterial spray lending me a rather warlike appearance at present

Barakor attended to healing of our thieves and we looked through the walls. The chamber to the north we decided to leave as it appeared to be a dead end. The south promised a couple of exits to explore and we went that way. The first door we checked was a bedroom which we searched and Eldras discovered a secret door at the back in what was otherwise a disappointing room.

Holly meanwhile had discovered and triggered an alarm bell checking torch brackets in the temple, but no fresh onslaught appeared to arrive so we decided to move on as fast as possible.

Saladin who had recovered from his sulk (he had taken no part in the previous battle) now resumed his leadership role and fell unconscious the moment he opened the secret door, hit by a spell that flashed and dazzled the rest of us briefly. Beyond the door we were faced by four robed figures wielding staves. We all charged in, Roscoe however fell under the malign influence of some other enchantment and collapsed.

*So at least Roscoe and Saladin would not need to argue about who made the greater contribution in this fight as they both would contribute precisely nothing.

Barakor cast a spell of silence on one of the opponents and the rest of us piled in, but when we landed blows the opponents disappeared, except the one Holly was fighting. We realised that our opponents were identical in every way Ė a mirror image spell! Holly, using open handed techniques now knocked out the enemy illusionist and we tied him up securely ensuring that he could not move his hands.

We searched the room which was a handsomely furnished bedroom, under the bed discovering a box of robes some of which were damaged and burnt. There was also a spellbook but the enchantments inscribed were unfamiliar to me. During our search Roscoe and Saladin asked our prisoner a few questions in what they described as a perfectly civilised round robin discussion covering a number of topical issues.

For some inexplicable reason, many of the answers obtained were punctuated with extremely loud screams, but apparently they learned that he was a fanatic demon worshipper who promised us a horrible death with out revealing anything specific. He then apparently died of a serious pre existing heart condition, although I suspect that Saladinís claim that rapid insertion of fourteen inches of steel to the gut is a well known defibrillation method in Kett may not stand up to close medical scrutiny.

We discovered another secret door which emerged through the statue of the demon in the temple, and realised that the illusionist must have been watching the battle with his guards throughout. If Eldras had not suggested checking the walls as we advanced the guards would probably have caught us from behind with him firing spells from the statue. Maybe heís not such a bad egg after all. Iíll just pause in my writing now though as that reminds me I need to check my valuables again before resting, specifically whether or not I have unexpectedly parted company with any of them.

Ghouls Room 38 150
Guards Room 3 40
Illusionist Room 10 80
Total 270

Characterisation and Roleplay 30
Trap discovery and disarm room 3 75
Suggesting trap searches along walls room 3
Guards Room 3 40
Secret Door discovery Room 7 10
Illusionist Room 10 80

Total 310

Healing 10
Silence spell room 10 150
Hold Spell Room 3 80
Ghouls Room 38 200
Illusionist Room 10 80

Total 520

Characterisation & Roleplay 40
Scouting keep externally 20
Ghouls Room 38 150
Guards Room 3 40
Capturing Illusionist Room 10 140
Discovering Alarm Room 3 10

Total 400

Characterisation and Roleplay 40
Not attacking Holly 50
Mapping 10
Ghouls Room 38 150
Torture session 40

Total 290
Guards Room 3 40

Total 40

Hold Spells room 3 160
Ghouls Room 38 400
Illusionist Room 10 80

Total 640

Name Class 2nd Class B/F Cumulative Target Current Level
Kravaine MU*
297 7850 8147 10000
(4) 3
Eldras T*
341 5833 6174 10000
(5) 4
Barakor F*
286 C*
286 6863/
6863 7149/
7149 8000/
(4/5) 3/4
Holly M
400 7905 8305 10000
(4) 3
Saladin F*
319 8009 8328 18000
(5) 4
Roscoe T*
44 7594 7634 10000
(5) 4
Zionestes C*
704 6598 7302 13000
(4) 4
*EP Bonus applied

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