Write up provided by Scoff whom plays Ragnar
Having rested and regrouped the party entered the main chamber, edging around the balcony toward the final ante-chamber we had yet to clear. Anticipating a set-up the same as the other two rooms Jack and Ragnar lead the way, hoping to rush in and push the creatures away from their ambush positions.
This tactic paid dividends, as the Jack struck the first blow of combat, hitting a ghoul hard and forcing him from his flanking position, without taking a hit, this was further backed up when Riley, spoke some arcane mutterings which produced a radiant glow forcing the undead even further back into the room, this allowed Jingle and Ragnar to enter the chamber unimpeded, and gain good positions against the creatures. The combat ebbed and flowed, but the party soon gained the upper hand, landing a series of telling melee blows, well backed up with ranged and enchantments from both Riley and Mathas.
As the combat was soon to be over, Riley believing his work done decided to descend into the main chamber to examine the tear-gem. As he approached within 5ft of the gem, the necrotic energy grew and seeped into him, causing a small amount of discomfort, Riley noticed the outline of a shield made by moss on the floor, indicating that once a shield had rested on this plinth, probably for thousands of years. Meanwhile the rest of the characters finished of the undead and on them they found a rod and a belt. Noticing Riley deep in concentration at downstairs the group headed down.
While Riley continued to examine the gem, the rest of the party searched the chamber and the sarcophagi, their eagle eyes spotting a badge and an amulet hidden away. Mathas then aided Riley with the gem, confirming his theory that it could be damaged by radiant energy. Hearing this Ragnar boldly proclaimed that the power of Kord could destroy this hell cursed abomination, Hearing this Riley sneered ‘ha oh really? I’d like to see him try’ hearing this as a challenge to his god and his might, Ragnar strode toward the gem, lofted his sword high above his head, and brought it down in a swift arc onto the gem, invoking the name of Kord as he did so.
As the Blade made contact radiant lightning arced between it and the gem, gradually forcing a crack to appear in the gem. As this happened the gem started to hum and vibrate, the more learned of the party knew the gem was about to explode and suggested the group leave the crypt.
This retreat soon descended into chaos, as the gem began to vibrate and hum at an alarming rate, soon making the whole chamber shudder. this was not the worst of it, the small trickle of necrotic energy leaking out so became a jet propelling the gem around the chamber and leaving a miasma of necrotic energy around it. This fog was expanding to fill the room, touching the vines and animating them as a necrotic vine we had encountered earlier, this was right in the path of the groups retreat. Luckily Riley and Mathas managed to avoid its grasp and slip down the corridor toward safety, unfortunately Jingle was not so lucky, the vine wrapped round him, holding fast and squeezing the breath out of him.
Ragnar, charged up the balcony, slashing hard at the vine and exposing its evil core, sensing the time was of the essence, he called fourth all his strength and that of Kord into a mighty blow, the effort was visible as blood flowed from his mouth and nose, the gods smiling upon him guided his blade with devastating accuracy and great power, as the blow connected destroying the vine in one hit. the evil core seeping away leaving behind only a dead husk. Jack used this to advantage and scaled the now dead vine onto the balcony above and worked to free jingle who was still wrapped up in one of its stalks, sadly he could not free him, Ragnar moved over and luckily enabled Jingle to escape its grasp and head to safety down the corridor. Pieces of masonry were now falling from the chamber as the vibrations hit a new high, and both Ragnar and Jack knew they didn’t have long left before the gem exploded destroying the crypt.
Almost sensing the groups desperation the gem seemed to move with a malevolent intelligence towards the remaining members of the party. coming with in touching distance on the balcony, the necrotic energy coating the area in an inky blackness, this touch of death was enough to send jack into unconsciousness as he fought valiantly against his earlier wounds. Sensing he only had limited time, Ragnar hoisted up Jacks body and sprinted down the corridor.
Just as he exited the crypt and met the rest of the group the gem exploded in a catastrophic burst of energy, lifting the crypt off the hillside, and then collapsing in upon itself, the shock wave sending the beleaguered party tumbling down the hill. Mathas notices a shaft of light shot from the cloud and embedded itself in a tree trunk not far from the group.
As they regained their senses the group looked back seeing a mushroom cloud rising from the ruins of the crypt, rising higher and higher, as the group look in awe at the unleashed power, the hear a clapping echo towards them, its is a condescending slow hand clap.
The group look toward the source of the noise, they see an elderly Tiefling standing off in the distance, approximately a mile away, gesturing the Tiefling grows in size, soon dominating the hillside. His dress is unlike anything any of the group have set their eyes on, such resplendence! Gloves and cloak that visibly glimmer, Jewellery of the finest ornamentation, all topped of with a blade of such malevolent beauty the group find it hard to take their eyes off it, this blade makes all the other finery look like cheap baubles.
The Tiefling speaks, congratulating the rag tag bunch on seeing his experiment through to a perfect conclusion, impressed that such insignificant creatures could survive. Ragnar shouts up to challenge him, but the creature treats him with contempt and feigns deafness.
suddenly a second more hoarse voice speaks up, barely audible to the group, but coming from the Tiefling’s direction “It is past time you announced yourself to the world. Tell them your name and we move to the next phase”. At this the Tiefling visibly bristles and then asks, “can any of you simple villages write”, Mathas responds by waving a book in the air, very well the Tiefling replies ‘write this, Barbatos Malphas’ pauses and then says, “before that write, this devastation was caused by and your pitiful existence was ended by”
“Well now you have that” he continued “I have a world to bring to its knees and kingdoms to crush”
Making some arcane gestures, he opens a portal, allowing two Hell Hounds to step through, using his free hand to conjure a ball of hell fire (magic infused with fire and acid) using it to convince the hell hounds to hunt us down and kill us.
The party realise that the group are not in a fit state to fight, they decided to head back to the rope bridge and set up ambush there. Its a tough slog maintaining a good pace and stay ahead of the hounds, luckily we all make it across the bridge and set about cutting the ropes, unluckily one of the hell hounds does to, the other plummeting to its doom along with the bridge. Ragnar now fully full of rage, stands firm readying himself for the hell hound. As the hound approaches he swings his armoured foot, catching it plush under the jaw sending it sprawling back and over the cliff edge, despite the hounds frantic clawing it cannot find purchase and joins its colleague at the bottom of the ravine.
The party breath a collective sigh of relief, and set down to rest and identify the magic we have found.