Tears of Destruction

Necrotic Nuke

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. 

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The Crypt of the Crimson Shield

Write up provided by Scoff whom plays Ragnar

We resumed our encounter with the necrotic vines, however we soon overcame the threat and hacked the entrance way clear.  Realising that we only had a few minutes before we lost the benefits of the sunlight we moved swiftly into the Dwarven crypt.
 
The entrance chamber was vast, two side chambers supported by pillars stretched from the sides of the main room, while a corridor stretched away in the far wall. With no threat immediately visible we investigated the chamber, the first thing that struck us was a vast wall carving stretching all the way around the perimeter of the chamber, although badly eroded by age we managed to discern that it recounted the life of an adventuring party known as the ‘Crimson shield’.  This group consisted of four members, one of whom was unnaturally tall (7ft) and wielded what looked like a crimson shield and a flaming sword, we soon deduced that this fellow had been reanimated and was the undead that we had fought earlier and named marshal bane skeleton.  We reasoned that there must be three more out there.
 
Further investigation showed an interesting conundrum in the right chamber, a chasm created by tectonic movement of the mountain range, was laced with freshly spun web, however temptingly close to this chasm was an alcove full of treasure.  We decided to leave this for the moment as we had more pressing concerns, reasoning it to be a trap.
 
Peering down the far corridor we saw some ghoulish eyes peering back, but soon scuttling away from us and the sunlight, we decided to head down the corridor and end their threat while we had the benefit of the sun. 
 
The corridor stretched on a while, but eventually opened onto a balcony that was above a large circular tomb room, the balcony to the left ended in stairs down to the room, to the right, the same although the stairs had collapsed and while could still be used they were hazardous.  Before we could reach either set of stairs on our level were three corridors running off.

There is a green crystal suspended from the ceiling in the centre of the room, bathing the room in green daylight. In the large circular room we could see three sarcophagi, smashed open from the inside, and at the very far end a plinth that supported a small tear shaped black stone, the proximity to this stone seemed to increase the effects of the necrotic energy, and we could spend only a few minutes here before falling ill, we reasoned this stone was emanating the energy and possibly causing the corpses to animate.
 
We investigated the three side corridors, it was a short corridor that opened into a small tomb, and in there were three undead, beckoning us in with their foul cries. We noticed two ghoul like creatures and what looked like a Marshall bane skeleton, deciding we need to remove the threat we entered the room, however it was a tough combat as the rooms size meant that they could easily flank us and limit our attacks against them, this tactics played into their hands as with they could easily tie us down, but luckily our skill prevailed, with Jack and Ragnar soaking up a lot of attacks, while Jingle burst into the room, and while drawing a few attacks was able to get into a good attacking position, eventually we over came them, but it had taken its toil, as we were all battered and bruised.  The corpses yielded a hammer and amulet.
 
Without resting we healed as best we could, and entered the second corridor, it was a similar set-up to the first however the Skeleton had range in the form of a crossbow, the combat was a long affair with the necrotic energy seemingly draining the heroes, as a lot of blows were tired and inaccurate, fortunately the undead were equally effected, perhaps affected by years of being entombed.  We eventually overcame hem, but at a cost, we had expended a lot of resource, and we knew we must rest up before continuing, we decided to to move out of this chamber and heal up, before we did, we took the crossbow and some leather armour from the undead.

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The dead walk

Session write up provided by Scoff whom plays Ragnar

The group of adventurers surveyed the scene before them, a pair of ravenous undead lay motionless on the ground, their likes of which had not been seen or heard of in these lands for thousands of years. 
 
While Ragnar disposed of the bodies, Riley, Mathas and Jack gave good burials to the murdered villagers, Jingle in the meantime scoured the scene for clues, he was soon whooping in delight, ‘jingle!’ he cried as he pointed out to the rest of the group that he had found some tracks leading away from the farmstead up into the hills.  The footprints were not of booted feet and likely not the Marshall so we assumed it was the fiend who wielded the flaming blade.
 
The group headed off after the tracks up the wooded hillside, after a couple of hours travel, they came to a small clearing, laying propped up against a couple of boulders were two bodies who we recognised as the Marshall Tom and his son Pete, they both looked like they had been attacked by the creature with the faming blade, luckily for us we found that Pete still lived and after Ragnar prayed to Kord to revitalise him, Pete soon came too.  He told a harrowing tale of how they had been ambushed by this monster with a flaming blade. He and his father had fled from the thing for a number of hours until it caught them around sun-rise. It killed his father and the sun rose as it was about to finish Pete off. The last thing he saw was this creature retreating from the sunlight, in pain, into a cave a little way up the hill.
 
Promising Pete they would rid the world of this menace and avenge his fathers death the group headed into the cave, which extended a way back into the hillside, as we entered the final cavern we heard a shuffling and moaning that could only be the creature we sought.
 
We attacked in two prongs, Jingle leading the charge down the left flank, Ragnar to the right, the creature we saw was tall at least 7ft and skeletal in nature, previously Human with black shadowy tendrils flicking around its ribcage, it wore chain armour and brandished a flaming blade.  It fought as though it had a shield on it’s arm but no shield was present causing it to parry a number of blows with it’s shield arm and lose said arm in the first half of the fight. The combat was long and arduous the creature taking several solid blows and dishing out damage of his own, at one point it had Jingle wrapped in its shadows tendrils.
 
Eventually, we defeated the creature, Ragnar finishing it with a blow that removed its head.  We found that its armour and sword were both magical and we took them before Ragnar destroyed and blessed the corpse, to hopefully prevent it from rising again.
 
As we left the cave Pete was waiting for us despite us telling him to head back to Tringlee. he told us that the monster had come from further up the hill and that there maybe more there.
 
So making sure Pete headed off, we then went further up the hill, we came to a ridge with a strange stone ring carved into the cliff face, we investigated this strange thing, it showed signs of recent usage. Ivy had been growing over the face of it, but something had severed the ivy covering it and the Ivy cuttings laid dead in a pile in front of the ring. Riley judged the cuttings to be done 7-10 days ago.

We also found a single set of footprints heading away (and not back) from the stone circle. Jingle pointed out that they were slightly unusual footprints in that they had way more weight on the forefoot than the rear part of the foot. Or they were “evil footprints” as Blackjack summarised. From the fact the ring was magical in nature, that there was one set of foot prints walking away and from Mathas’ study of artifacts you came to a fairly certain (although un-proven) conclusion that the stone circle somehow allowed magical travel through it.

The footprints headed towards a hill over the valley, as we looked over we saw across the valley an area of dead vegetation, that was about 100 metres in diameter. It stood out against the lush green landscape, we headed towards it, on our way traversing a rickety old rope bridge which jingle had great fun swinging around on while Riley was trying to cross. 
 
As we approached the area a malaise fell over us, and both Riley and Mathas informed us that this was necrotic energy that would harm us if we spent longer than an hour in the area.  we hurried to the centre of the area, where we found a Dwarven made stone doorway in the hillside, leading into what looked like a tomb. The doors to this had been blown inwards by four or five boulder sized blasts that were comprised of raw magical energy infused with both fire and acid (with Riley’s excellent Arcana check he guessed around 2d10+20 damage per bolt).

As we wondered what could do this Jingle hacked away at an Ivy mound 20 foot from the crypt doorway. Under it he uncovered a big crystal set into the ground.  As he cleared the vegetation off this the sunlight hit the crystal which focussed the rays into the tomb and illuminated it, from which we heard screams. Rushing in through the doorway we were ambushed by necrotic vines hanging above the entrance way, we entered combat and the session ended there. 

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The summer festival

The Tringlee summer festival got under-way but by midday the town Mayor seemed agitated, and not just by his 16 year old daughters floozy flirting with anything in trousers.  He summoned you guys to his inn and informed you of smoke seen out at the Heathstone Brothers farmstead (15 miles out of town).  The brothers were due in town two days ago so the Marshal and his son Pete had gone yesterday to investigate and they were due back by now too.  When pressed he revealed that a local hunter, Stanley Prand, had spouted crazy-talk about bandits attacking the farmstead and eating the brothers; the Mayor didn’t believe a word of that though.

He asked you all to head out and see if there was any trouble.  He kitted you out with fancy weapons and armour, the likes of which aren’t ever seen in these parts but were kept in a secret cache under Black Jack’s smithy.  He led you to a local monument called Kimbertons Circle (supposedly magical) where following an unknown and not-understood town tradition he said some words and “lent gravitas to the situation” by asking you to do your best for your friends and community.

You headed off, hoping not to miss too much of the summer fair, travelled until night fall and camped for the night.  Setting off the next morning you arrived at the smoking remains of the farm stead just before midday.  There you found no signs of the Marshal or his son, but two Ghouls were feasting upon the remains of the two Heathstone brothers.  You destroyed the undead and recovered a blessed trinket (+1 Holy Symbol of Daring – Adv. Vault 2, P29) from around the neck of one of the brothers.  Examining the body also showed that the Ghouls had not killed the brothers but a flaming sword had.

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