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New Tactics

Sprocket’s Journal

Eleasis 2, 1373 DR, Ruins on the outskirts of Pommeville

We discussed what Bryrgar found in the graveyard, and I gave as many details as I could about the ruins. We also exchanged introductions with the little half-drow Zym, and his guardian RonyŠ, who had fought at Bryrgar’s side in our latest skirmish with the undead. Widget reminded me (finally!) that I had yet to see the sorcerer Aseir, and fortunately for us, he was among the villagers waiting in the temple. He was quite helpful and filled in some missing information about the ruins for me. Hundreds of years ago, there was a fortress dedicated to an evil god. A religious order from Vilhon Reach organized a holy crusade, and sent some of their paladins and clerics to destroy the evil, resulting in the ruins outside of Pommeville. I wonder now if Giles was from Vilhon Reach and was a member of that holy order that vanquished the evil? Was the holy order successful in that original crusade? What could have happened to Giles— what did he release?

I asked Aseir if he would be willing to accompany us, indicating my new comrades. I fear he took one look at the barbarians— Charzth appeared to be growling at the temple doors, impatient to be outside again— and declined.

Eventually the perpetual pounding on the temple doors ceased. We opened them to see the zombies shuffling back to the cemetery. I was worried that the green glow we’d witnessed the prior morning; if we released it from a zombie again, it might make the ruins that much harder for us to navigate, but luckily the zombies were all going back to their prospective graves (much to the chagrin of Bryrgar, who had spent yesterday re-burying them after they’d all be dropped where the stood). Three zombies remained without graves to shamble back to— apparently none of the downed town guards of the night before had survived the night.

After a quick meal and some vague discussion of battle plans, we wandered over to the ruins at the edge of town. I had no spells prepared, since we’d not had a full night’s rest, and neither did Bryrgar. I wished that we’d asked Damota to join us, as I’m sure he has a score to settle with whatever lurks within these broken walls.

It was about a two-minute walk from the inn to the ruins. The crumbling foundation stands about 2’ to 4’ high— I can see over most of it. The visible part of the foundation is a rectangle about 30’ by 40’. Signs of recent excavation, no doubt by Giles and his group, are evident in the southeast corner, where a pile of discarded shovels and picks lay near a staircase leading down into the earth. Charzth kept trying to hand me a shovel— the darn things are made for human-sized hands, and I have no desires to become a ditch-digger anyway.

We wandered down the steps, to find another pile of gear (oil, rope, pitons and a lantern), and a helmet wedged between a pair of double doors to keep them from closing. There are a few other doors and at least one passageway blocked by stone (okay, the shovels may be useful, but I’d rather check out the cleared ways first!). Bryrgar wasn’t impressed with Roscoe’s checking the doors (or floor, or walls, or ceilings) for traps and just took the double doors off their hinges. I hope we don’t need to close them in a hurry. We noticed there was a symbol of Tiamat on these doors as well— that mausoleum may actually have been related to the ruins after all!— but if the one on the doors wasn’t enough, there was a huge symbol of the 5-headed dragon on the floor as well. We suspected it was trapped, and Roscoe asked me to confirm that it was a magical trap. Of course, before I could do that, Bryrgar walked over it and got a zap of lightning from one of the symbol’s heads.

The huge room containing the aforementioned Tiamat symbol (which was indeed magically trapped with evocation magic), also contained six 10’ tall statues (one of which also radiated magic) and an evil-looking stone altar with four skulls on it. I pulled my periscope out to look at the top of it without getting closer when I saw that it had conjuration magic emanating from it. I think we figured out what it did in the course of the next few moments though.

Nosila stepped closer to the altar, but did not touch it. I guess being close to it was enough to activate it though, as four skeletons wielding scimitars appeared and began to attack her. Her mate was only one step away and absorbed one of the blows meant for her— I’m sure she’d have not survived it otherwise. Shooting an approaching skeleton did no good, so I attempted to shove a staff between the legs of one and trip it. However, the undead took offense to Bryrgar’s holy symbol and began to back away. I dropped my spell and dragged Nosila out of the fray. If I am going to keep lugging the unconscious barbarian woman around, I will need to invent a belt with wheels on it for her to wear.

I looked up in time to see one of Roscoe’s arrows sticking out of the dwarf (oops!) and RonyŠ jumping up on top of the altar to cut down a skeleton (I worried more skeletons would appear, but thankfully nothing noticeable happened). The battle was soon over, and when we realized that our dwarven cleric really had no healing ability left in him, Charzth hauled Nosila back to the temple (where, I’m told, it took the strength of all the adepts to revive her) and we rested at the Green Griffin until mid-afternoon so that we could go into the ruins with spells ready.

Eight hours later found us back in the ruins, this time walking towards another door. I was surprised, and slightly alarmed, to see Bryrgar had fashioned some sort of vehicle out of a wooden wheelbarrow with a wooden shield attached to it, and had managed to convince Charzth to ride in it. Being from Lantan, and a gnome, I was surprised that I hadn’t been consulted on the building of this device, but since I’m not entirely sure what it is or what it does, I guess that is just as well. It doesn’t seem to have any source of propulsion. Perhaps it is some sort of stretcher for an injured party member— Bryrgar is our cleric after all.

While I was puzzling over that, Roscoe had been checking a door, deeming it free of traps, and opening it. There were two zombies on the other side of the door however. I couldn’t get a clear shot at them with my pistol, so I shot one with a magic missile. Nosilia was right in there fighting with them, which frustrated those behind her, so they did the least logical thing and began to open other doors. I am not sure if Bryrgar or Charzth found anything, but RonyŠ and Zym found some rather large centipedes— one of them was screaming in alarm, and I’m going to assume it was Zym. Those of us not engaged with zombies ran around the corner in time to see RonyŠ pushing the door to the bug room shut, but the critters were coming out underneath and biting him. Zym was in the safety of his arms at least. As Bryrgar tried to step on them (and got bitten himself in the process), I cast a simple mage hand spell to safely push them all back into their nest on the other side of the door. A relieved RonyŠ tossed me his cloak, which I used to seal the doorway with the critters trapped on the other side. Before I could even suggest it, oil and a spark were produced and the cloak was set ablaze— hopefully that will finish off the bugs without smoking the rest of us out!

Posted by Kristin on September 28, 2004, 17:48 | Sprocket’s Journal