12 May 2016

Averaigne campaign - session 12

[The story so far]

Session 12 - Back to the barrow
Dumnorix the cleric strode ahead into the darkness of the tomb entrance, his mind still swimming with the visions he had been vouchsafed in a dream he was sure came straight from Alathea - the barrow must be purged of its unholy taint.

Symbol of Alathea
The others followed after, their horses and donkeys safely tethered outside the barrow; Grat the elven summoner, Aurelius the human mage, Nomos the human ex-soldier, Gowmac the halfling thief (reformed), and Rubeus the elven warrior-mage. Two retainers of Guisarme Fitzheron accompanied them as they had last time - Jean and Henri.

[Note - I'm writing this several weeks after it happened, so I'll be brief-ish, and may have forgotten some of the fine detail]

The party caught up with Nori as he paused to light a torch, and they formed up ready to re-enter the passageways that had so nearly been the cleric's doom last time. Nomos adjusted the patch over the mess that had been left of his eye on their previous venture into the barrow, and the others hefted their weapons or readied spells. They'd be ready this time.

They retraced their steps but, where they'd fought the zombies last time, the bodies were gone. "Ah man, I hate it when that happens!" muttered the halfling, "It means they'll be waiting for us..."

Ignoring this warning, Dumnorix strode on and they followed him until they reached a rough winding staircase cut into the rock. Pausing only to sort out their order, they descended. Halfway down they passed an alcove with another of the spiderweb zombies in it that lurched out towards them but Nori held out his amulet of Alathea and it glowed! The zombie shuffled back into its alcove but was unable to back away any further so, as it kept trying to step through the cave wall, Nomos split its skull and dropped it.

This cheered the party enormously and they headed down with renewed confidence. At the foot of the stairs they found the remains of the two zombies they'd faced last time (well, they were headless, so that's what they assumed) so they kicked them as they passed (well, not Nori, but Nomos did!).

Ahead, the passage was twisted and naturalistic...

Cautiously, but in good spirits, they proceeded. Then, from their left, two crossbow bolts spat out of an opening they hadn't noticed. Fortunately both missed, so the party charged in, and saw a group of men (?) in dark red robes, armed and angry!

Two were reloading crossbows; one fell to a sword blow, the other appropriately by a bolt from Gowmac's own crossbow. At the back of the room, one of the cultists was chanting furiously and green flame was starting to coalesce around his outstretched hands - a bolt of magical energy from Aurelius caught him full in the chest and he collapsed, wreathed in the green flame he had been summoning and that now had escaped his control, immolating him rapidly and to the distress of the other robed figures. Taking advantage of their distress, the party pressed home their advantage and another cultist was sent sprawling by an arrow. Grat had kept himself back from the frontline and, having been able to focus sufficiently, summoned the minor spirits of the air, sylphids, over which he had most control. He showed his viciousness by sending them to drive the arrow deeper into the fallen cultist - within a minute, their action had forced the arrow into something vital and the cultist was slain.

Aurelius and Nomos tried to double-team a cultist with a sword who was proving a tougher challenge, but they weren't used to fighting together. Aurelius swung his staff, missed the cultist and cracked Nomos so hard in the knee that he dislocated it [natural ones are always humorously punished], but this meant he missed the cultist's blade and Aurelius was able to finally bludgeon him beyond the cares of this mortal coil. Nori stepped in to pop Nomos' knee back into place and check the cultist really was dead.

And then the room was silent. A few coins were retrieved from the bodies, along with a scroll of illegible text and a wand. There were sufficient robes that weren't horribly damaged for six of the eight, so off they set again, using the "Chewbacca in handcuffs" gambit. What would they encounter next?

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