Our group of intrepid (and sometimes inept) heroes, led by the valiant, courageous and noble wizard, Krotchet, are in search of the fabled lost laboratory of the plated mage. The group have arrived at the village of Larm and, being the generous sort they are, have agreed to help out with a few local problems for a small fee. After talking to the Septa of the Church of the Revered Mother, the party are investigating the ruined Temple to the Father and, after descending into the depths of the cellars below, came face to skull with several groups of vile walking skeletons and worse. Krotchet realises the corridors are angled down into the earth, turning at right angles and getting shorter meaning the group are spiralling down and down into the unknown. After clearing one corridor of a particularly nasty group of skeletons, the party gather at the next door, holding their breath while…
Ainesilver reaches for the handle to the door, grasping it firmly despite his sweaty palms. Pulling on handle, the door squeaks ominously which alerts the creatures inside and as Ainesilver wrestles to open the door fully, Snyth sees 4 monks get to their feet at the end of the corridor and start shambling towards them waving great silver warhammers above their heads. With a gasp, Snyth realises that these monks are covered in diseased and pock ridden skin, while green pus slowly drips from open sores all along their arms.
Ainesilver reacts quickly and slays one of the zombie monks with a single sweep, lopping the creatures head off with ease. Denagar makes a complete hash of the situation, getting the sword of Thaxton stuck in his belt then tripping over his own feet to land face first in the remains of the monk killed by Ainesilver. Rolandius steps up and kills the second one before Aleena calls upon the power of the Mother to cause the remaining monks to turn and shamble off in fear.
Denagar, Ainesilver and Rolandius pull out their bows and finish the final two off staying at a safe distance.
Examining the bodies, the party find nothing of interest except the silver warhammers which are claimed by the fighters of the group.
Advancing along the corridor, Rolandius is distracted by a fast moving humanoid figure about 3 or 4 inches high running along the corridor. He watches it run into a crack in the wall at the far end of the corridor. Curious, he bends down and peers into the crack but can not see more than a few inches into the hole.
By this time, the rest of the group have searched unsuccessfully for traps and, more importantly, treasure so they examine the door and realise, starting to get bored now, that it was no different to the last half a dozen doors they had opened since going down into the cellar.
Explaining excitedly about the tiny human, Rolandius takes his warhammer and starts tapping on the wall around the crack, trying to widen it. After a few light blows get no results, he winds back and gives a wall a mighty bash, loosening some of the surrounding bricks and mortar and, no doubt, warning ever other creature of their position. Peering into the larger hole, Rolandius is dismayed to find that the hole is merely the gap between the outer retaining wall and the wall of the corridor and is too small to venture further.
Turning back to the door, the group ready themselves, knowing that whatever was beyond already knew about them.
Throwing open the door, the group are surprised to see the four figures at the far end only just getting to their feet, as if the key to their awakening is the opening of the door rather than the noise the group are making.
Beyond the figures is a collapsed and ruined altar with a couple of benches arranged in front, like pews. Krotchet puzzles over this, wandering why there would be an altar in a corridor, before deciding it didn’t really matter if he knew why humans did it. After all, humans did many strange things.
The four figures are moving swiftly down the corridor towards the party, one waving a swords that glows with a soft blue light, illuminating their pallid, stretched skin and abnormally long fingers, ending in hooked claws.
Moving to attack, Ainesilver strikes a blow against the nearest one but it just rocks back, staggering under the might of the blow before continuing forward. Rolandius and Snyth fare no better, their blows wounding but not slaying the creatures. Denagar again proves his clumsiness by missing while Krotchet prepares a mighty spell, ready to slay the creatures. Aleena, frightened by the otherwordly appearance cowers behind Krotchet too scared to react.
With a low hiss, the creatures attack, whilst Ainesilver blocks the sword swing, he is caught off guard by creatures second swing with his other hand, the talons on the end of its fingers raking a long shallow gash across his side. Stunned, Ainesilver realises the creature has some sort of venom on its claws and he is paralysed from the blow. Rolandius and Snyth fare no better and they are paralysed as well. Denagar notices the impact of the creatures attacks and purposely dodges the sword coming at him and blocks the talon swipe.
Denagar is now on his own in the room and, looking around worriedly, he starts to back up. One of the creatures comes at him and he swings the Sword of Thaxton in a sweeping backhanded blow which smashes the creature in two, separating the top half from the bottom. Aleena comes to her senses and once more calls upon the power of the mother to smite her enemies. At first the blessing has no effect but just when she is about to doubt her faith, the remaining three figures shamble off, distracting Krotchet and causing his spell to fail just as he was about to unleash carnage and death on the creatures. Denagar and Krotchet drag the paralysed bodies of their friends out of the corridor and swing the door shut, blocking the creature’s way.
After a short break to get their breathe back, Denagar and Krotchet fall back on their tried and tested method, Krotchet opens the door while Denagar prepares his bow to shoot at one of the things.
At the touch of an arrow, one of the creatures overcomes the blessing and turns back towards our plucky heroes, stalking towards them on unsteady legs. Denagar continues to fire arrows before drawing the sword of Thaxton and cleaving it into two. He then swaps back to the bow and starts to get the attention of another creature when both of them overcome Aleena’s blessing and start down the corridor towards them. Denagar and Krotchet wound the creatures but Aleena is caught by a surprising swing and is paralyzed.
Becoming desperate, Denagar grasps a gem on his necklace and raises it whispering an arcane phrase that causes it to flare with a brilliant white light. This causes most of the creatures to back away blindly while Denagar attacks the remaining one. Knowing remaining creatures are close to death, Krotchet lowers his guard, allowing himself to be paralyzed in a “heroic and shameless display of his thirst for knowledge and experience”. Unfortunately, what he did not count on was the path of the blow, the swipe of the claw taking off the end of his snout, which the vile creature prompty stuffs into its mouth and eats!
Fortunately, Denagar finishes off Krotchet’s assailant and using a combination of the blinding light from his gem and his bow, deals with the remaining creatures and then moves his new colleagues into the corridor, barricading the door behind them so that they are safe, for now at least.
Several hours later, the paralysis wears off and the group are reunited. After a quick check that everyone is okay, the group head up the corridor and search the broken altar, finding nothing much to Snyth’s disgust while Krotchet wondered if Denagar had already searched it and pocketed any treasure, despite his claims to the contrary.
Snyth searches the door at the end of the corridor for traps while Ainesilver and Denagar searched for secret doors. All of them were unsuccessful. Taking up defensive positions, the group open the door and are surprised when the corridor in front of them is empty except for a door on the far end of the South wall.
Cautiously making their way down the corridor, Snyth checking for traps as he always said he did, the group gathered before the door. This door was unlike the others, it was smooth and featureless, made of a strange grey cold material that glowed with an otherworldly power. Above the door carved into the stone arch were strange, mysterious glyphs. With no hesitation, Krotchet translated the strange markings for the benefit of the rest of the party who would be unable to decipher such a strange and arcane language.
“Only the will of the gods can help you now,” Krotchet advised before allowing the group to discuss what this could mean.
The group had spent several minutes trying various acts or desperation and often lunacy to open the door to no success. Krotchet was just about to ask Aleena to use her divine magic to bless the door in the same manner she used to repel the undead creatures they met on their way through the cellar, when the girl thought of it by herself and raised her holy symbol, bathing it in warm light.
There was a strange “pop” sound like a balloon bursting before the door swung easily open, revealing a black void beyond, through the crack in the edge of the door.