August 1, 2007
Another after-hours session, and about 2-3 hours of gaming on a weeknight. Subversive!
We picked up right where we left off, withthe heroes wiping their rapiers dry after running through some nasty goblinses…who are a variety, apparently, known as varag (a species that didn’t exist until hybridized by a sorcerer known as Monster Manual XXIV).
The heroes passed through an elaborate vault, where an earlier battle seems to have gone poorly for some varags. A bubbling water weird warned the party to retreat at once, but those silver tongues devils convinced it that they intended to root out the evil that had passed before them. The weird was serioulsy hurting from the previous fight, so it relented.
They tiptoed past and entered a Hall of Heroes, where it seemed several cherished servants of the king had been interrred. They stumbled upon a snarling, rat-faced tomb robber who was trying to infiltrate a well-sealed vault. A fight broke out…if you could call it that. With this poor devil cornered, but with an intense Damage Reduction of 10, this was like some sort of Swap Meet for stab wounds and senseless violence. Redgar and Lucas had several excellent hits, but the damage only trickeld in. What…15, 16, 17 rounds? More? He dropped his rapier and got two good bites in on Lia and Lucas. Dirty, filthy fangs…oh, there must be something diseased in that saliva! At last Redgar made the tackle, and they tied the rat dude up. Garjuk, a mercenary wererat hobgoblin theif (how’s that for a job title?) tried to bargain for his release with information about what lay ahead. The party didn’t trust him though, and Garjuk got an inkling these goodie-goodies weren’t going to undo that knot, so he shifted into his dire rat form and made a break for it. “Oh no he didn’t,” said Gareth. He and Lucas chased the running rat, and it was Gareth who pinned him to the floor with a well-timed critical hit. Whew! Now if only Lia and Lucas didn’t have sinking feelings in their festering wounds…
The haul was good, though: four magic items from a vault bequeathed to good adventurers: +1 bracers, a quiver of Elhonna, a +1 rapier, and an Ephod of Authority (for pumping up that cleric level when turning). Sweet!
Garjuk revealed just enough info about Krootad, “the big boss,” who was in a room up ahead, animating some more undead nasties. The party went all SWAT team—loaded up on spells, did their best Move Silently schtick, and caught Krootad by surprise. After Lucas snuck up behind him while he worked (moving waaay too far on just one “move silently” roll, I later realized, but what the hell, it was getting late), the jig was up, and the battle over before it started. Krootad and his minions went down hard.
If Krootad was “the big boss” though, he sure was awfully alone, and there is evidence that a bunch more creatures had been through here, tromping through a broken door and down a ladder that descended into blackness.
The party carried Krootad body back to the surface, an excellent idea that won the trust of the water weird. The elemental spoke to them as they passed: “There are more like that one, and others, many others. An arcane sorcerer led them all, with mongrel goblins and humans. Return and drive them out!”
The townies were also grateful (horrified, but grateful) to see Krootad’s corpse. It gave them somthing to hang their hopes on. So grateful were they, in fact, the town healer produced the necessary scrolls to cure the feverish disease that was creeping over Lia and Lucas, and reward them with gold for the return of some plundered loot from the masuoleum. Lucas, however, still had a sinking sensation creeping over him. He looked up and the moon and felt a strang pang…
(Of course, after our nigh-deadly encounter wiht the wererat, we had to ask: What’s the downside of lycanthopy? Sure you have to be tied up once a month, but oh, the power! We suspect Lucas may wait a while before seeking a cure…)