Ta'Nil gasped once the door was open. The putrid air hit him first, then the sights of the bodies. He was going to say something like "My mother-in-law, how could you?" but it would not suit the circumstance.....unfortunately. Besides, he was too shocked in the first place. He fell back to hide on the other side of the door as he was still a bit weak from the earlier indecent. "This is a sick and twisted person, if I die in there....." He shuddered at the thought. "Traubon, don't die in there." he spoke with concern for his friend. thinking to himself "They might need help" the pain came back a bit for a short visit...."Yup, I'll hide here" his hate of magic was matched by his fear if it, maybe it was a bit more fear this time?
Posted on 2012-01-05 at 01:35:07.
Edited on 2012-01-06 at 18:28:48 by Takley
Glitch had flirted with the theory of Necromancy. He wasn't opposed to the whole idea, and frankly if given the chance he would still like to study it.
But there was nothing arcane going on here. This was apparently some unholy ritual. No study, no inventing, no research, no science.
This had to stop.
Glitch held back the urge to vomit, but looked visibly ill, possible due to blood loss and fatigue. His friends needed him now though.
This was the time to try out his new spell. He pulled a small candle from his pouch and flicked it to the center of the room while chanting in Brathnaii with his typical airy tone that alerted everyone he was preparing magic. His hands whirled around in patterns of Celestial, beckoning the magic to him.
(Give me that fire beetle now, smite evil on the lady. Then he'll follow up with Disrupt Undead on whatever is the most threatening, with his top priority being to stay alive.)
A fleeting thought raced through Brokkrok's mind as the stench of the rot and the scene of the unexpected horror almost overwhelmed the senses of the Cleric of Therassor.
"How is the doctor involved in this cover up and who is he trying to protect from this madness?"
The thought was gone in an instant as the hag gestured and then two skeletal warriors came to greet the 'intruders' as she prepared to hurl a spell at the adventurers.
Instinctively Brokkrok reached for his eye patch and whispered a confident prayer to Therassor as the Cleric of the Stalwart Blade chose to intervene for his wounded companions by Turning These UnDead, before switching his attention towards the grotesque figure that seemed to be the obvious answer to the mystery he and his companions were trying to solve!
In an instant Brokkrok was inspired from within as to his course of action to help vanquish this insade mockery that pointed defiantly towards the members of the Monster Hunters Collective.
Brokkrok chooses to call upon his ability to wield "The Burning Blade" in his effort to help end the madness that has assailed their senses!
The horror that had stricken the adventurers upon the sight of the room subsided immediately when the ghoulish woman started to cast. Ta’nil was first to react, and dodged behind the others, mostly Traubon. The rogue encouraged his teammates to be careful, but did nothing more than that, fear taking him over.
Brokkrok then touched his eye patch, but instead of calling on divine aid to grant the skeletons eternal rest, he chose a different tactic. He mumbled the words of a spell and his longsword started glowing with a bluish white energy. (Couldn’t find the Burning Blade spell in the 3.5 rules, so chose to do a Magic Weapon. Is that ok?)
Arra needed no time to prepare herself and sprang at the woman, shortsword swinging high. Her aim was quite good, but the blow itself had not nearly enough power to penetrate the evil cleric’s armour. The woman finished her spell without much effort. Instantly, a ripple of energy shot through the air in front of her and for the slightest of moments a bone-white energy shield could be seen, covering the cleric from head to toe. Then it was gone from the eye.
Glitch didn’t need to think about his course of action. He had thought out this plan well, the last time they met skeletal enemies in this unholy basement. This time it would work! Gathering as much of his concentration as the spell required, he began mumbling arcane words that would conjure a fire beetle from one of the heavenly planes.
Almost simultaneously, the two skeletons came rushing in, one going for Arra, the other targeting Brokkrok. Both wore a scimitar in their fists and a heavy steel shield in the other. With soundless cries they entered the fray. Arra got his in the shoulder, but her chainmail prevented a wound. Brokkrok had no trouble fending off the attack with his now gleaming sword.
Traubon finally woke to the fact that Ta’nil may be hiding behind him, but he was in no way a living shield. A living weapon maybe more so. He decided to test his skills again. The old halberd had done well against the woodland monster of Stone’s Hollow. It proved more than capable of taking on evil priestesses over their expiration date. He had no room to swing it with full force, so instead pierced it at the woman and tore a long gash over her neck. She bled; a black, thick fluid oozing from the side of her throat. She gurgled, but still stood. She was not going to die easily.
Ta’nil suddenly found his hiding place off fighting undead monsters. The sights and sounds of a wicked battle rang his ears and echoed in his head that he was not meant for this kind of mean business. Skillfully, he made his way to the deeper shadows of the hallway.
Brokkrok was now ready to face the enemy of his divine father. There was just enough room to squeeze in alongside Traubon and Arra and he cleaved down with his longsword in a stroke that would’ve split a log. His weapon bounced harmlessly off the invisible shield in front of the priestess though. However, he had found the woman’s attention. She stared him right in the eyes, her cold, glazy gaze fixed on his eye patch more than anything else. Bubbles erupted from the gash in her neck and she snarled. Even though she could not have seen it coming through her stare, she evaded Arra’s next attack with supple ease. The Kazari warrior had to admit the swing was wildly misjudged though.
The undead cleric suddenly darted forward, jaws opening wide. She grabbed hold of Brokkrok and bit down on his neck. When she released him, he was bleeding heavily, but also felt a strange sensation flow from the spot where she had entered his flesh. A few heartbeats later, he found that he could no longer move any of his muscles.
At that moment, Glitch’s Celestial fire beetle arrived and followed orders right away. It started attacking the undead woman, trying to bite her as she had Brokkrok. It could not penetrate her defences though. But the Brath had other tricks up his sleeve. From his finger sprang a ray of brilliant light that was aimed directly at the evil menace, but he had a hard time targeting her, since she was in the middle of combat and his friends were standing in the way.
The two skeletons tried their luck again, Arra and Brokkrok again being the targets. Arra knew to dodge the scimitar with a quick dive to her left, but Brokkrok had nowhere to go. Even if he had wanted to, he couldn’t move. He was a sitting duck and the scimitar slashed hard over his lower back. The wound bled openly, and he was beginning to feel a bit dizzy.
Traubon cut in with his halberd again, but hit only the woman’s filthy robes.
(OOC: Gonna stop here. Two rounds have passed. Brokkrok is on only 2 HP and needs desperately to leave this battle, but will be paralyzed for one more round. I have decided action for Arra, since Lady Dark is feeling a bit under the weather. So far, the evil cleric is not yet defeated.)
Ta'Nil awoke from the fear that held him as he now smelled a load of blood coming from something that was not undead. He peered around the corner and even though Brokkrok was a magic user, he needed help. Ta'nil moved to bring the Khord back behind the door so he had the time to heal and be un-paralyzed hoping his hands would not slip because of the great wound as he was carrying him. After that, knowing he could not defend too well, he stood by the door in case some thing did come to finish them off.
((yes, I realize I have basically the same amount of health as Brokkrok right now.))
Brokkrok was indeed a sitting duck after choosing to attack the evil cleric with his magical sword spell. It had proven a futile effort as his magical blade glanced off an invisible sphere of protection.
At least he had gotten her attention at the expense of his own health and well being ... thus buying a few precious moments of respite for his comrades to find a way to defeat her!
As she bit into his flesh, the Cleric of the Stalwart Blade was helpless to repel her attack. Profusely bleeding from the unholy assailant, his body went numb as she withdrew from Brokkrok to seek yet another victim!
His mind was clouded and somewhere from a memory in the back of his brain Brokkrok could hear the voice of Loco Fungihammer warning him:
"Shrooms live of the death of other things. Use them, but never become a shroom yourself."
Brokkrok had indeed become a helpless shroom of sorts, as a skeleton took advantage of his paralysis.
The blade biting into his back was a faraway sensation, as visions of dead shrooms sought to claim the fragment of awareness that clung to his paralyzed state.
Brokkrok fought to stay focused to at least know what was transpiring round about him, but it seemed to be a losing battle, as the Cleric of Therassor feebly called upon his deity within the shadows of his numbed mind to somehow give him another chance to prove himself against the forces of evil ... whether it be this day ... or another ... here ... or elsewhere.
Then as the bloody haze clouded his mind ... someone managed to come to the aid of the Cleric of Therassor ... he had no feeling and was still paralyzed ... but Brokkrok was thankful just the same ... as he fought to maintain a semblance of consciousness ... until he could join the fray once more!
Hopefully Ta'Nil is successful in getting Brokkrok to safety, so he can recuperate! If the battle is still raging when he does recover, then the Cleric of Therassor will take a shot at Turning UnDead against the evil cleric if at all possible!
The battle was raging in full force. Blows were dealt left and right, spells swung one way or the other, and in the midst of all that Ta’nil found something deep inside his heart. Some might have called it courage, others might have reasoned his actions were because he cared about the mushroom loving Khord. Whatever the case, he got up and started pulling on Brokkrok, trying to get him away from the undead cleric who seemed so eager to put him in the ground. And then likely back out of it again.
The rogue found, however, that the cleric was as heavy as a rock. He got the cleric on his back, but that was where his action stopped. Brokkrok himself was mentally encouraging the young Sylvari to keep tugging, but could do nothing else.
Arra had managed to keep herself alive in this battle. Better yet, she had not yet been dealt a single blow. She was starting to feel this life of adventuring was not so bad after all. She might even be cut out for it. All she needed to do was find a hole in the ghoulish woman’s defences. Not paying to much mind to the skeleton behind her she eyed the undead’s movements. Exactly at the right moment she thrust her shortsword forward and sank it deep beneath the corpse’s armpit. When she withdrew, more black blood and some half-decomposed tissue streamed from the wound. The cleric’s eyes blazed even hotter and she shrieked loudly.
With Brokkrok out of her reach, she found the next available target; the catwoman who had just successfully attacked her. She jumped forward, trying to bite as viciously as she had Brokkrok, but the fighter knew to evade her attack. With unexpected agility, the evil cleric swung a claw at her that raked the surface of the skin on her arm. Patches of hair flew, and blood welled up. For a moment, Arra felt her muscles freeze involuntarily, but unlike Brokkrok, she knew to shake the sensation before it got to her. And just in time, because the undead woman swung her other claw at her. She missed barely.
In the meantime, Glitch had been preparing his next move. He had noted Ta’nil and had figured the Syl’s intentions. With a swift movement and a few slippery words he conjured forth a slimy substance on the floor beneath Brokkrok. Suddenly, the rogue found he was not so sure of his footing, and he fumbled a moment to remain standing. A lot more was needed to get him out of balance though, and he remained standing.
The same could not be said for the skeleton standing behind Brokkrok. With Ta’nil coming closer, it had found itself a new target. But just before it was ready to strike, it fell backwards onto the floor. It clenched its teeth in frustration and began climbing back up immediately.
Arra also found her footing suddenly unsteady. Though she was part cat, and thus more likely to land on her feet, she found that this did not apply to Kazari. She fell on her behind quite inelegantly. The skeleton behind her took the opportunity to make an attack, but it also missed precision.
Glitch’s fire beetle did its very best to attack the undead priestess as it was commanded to, but found it was quite inadequate.
Finally, Traubon stepped up and lowered the handle of his halberd, while raising its tip. With a quick stabbing movement he held off the undead woman, preventing her coming close to his fellow Khord. He could not penetrate her defences just yet.
Ta’nil found moving was difficult, but moving Brokkrok suddenly not so much. With not too much effort he slid the Khordaldrum cleric over the stone floor, towards the doorway. There he stood over him, guarding him against any attacks that would come.
Brokkrok found that control over his body slowly returned to him as Ta’nil dragged him away to safety. From his lying position he could’ve decided to cast a healing spell on himself. Instead, he touched his eyepatch, and sent a quick prayer to his God.
Again, the skeletons in the room fell to dust right away. The undead woman suddenly halted her attacks and stared at Brokkrok for a moment. Then her expression changed from sheer anger to pure fright. She turned and sank into the far corner of the room, next to the bucket of guts and gore and curled herself up like a ball. She eyed Brokkrok feverishly and hissed at them all.
“This is it!” Traubon called out, and flung his halberd high. It came down with a profound precision and the woman fell still. The battle died with her, and the adventurers were standing alone in the room filled with corpses.
Peering around the corner, he saw the evil cleric on the ground not moving. Turning to Brokkrok, "Ya did it, guess at times your kind of people do help. Evil druids don't give your kind a good name, one got rid of any capability of using any form of magic for me and my family. Wanted to be a cleric. I can't be though, just to break the line of rogues in the family."
Ta'nil goes to one of the skells bodies and looks at their weapons, hoping to find one in decent shape for a bit more range.
Traubon slowly raised his Halberd after executing the killing blow. He looked around to make sure everyone was alright, and sighed a little relief as everyone seemed to be alive. The room though, was still as gruesome as ever.
"Someone definitely wanted tah' keep this ah' secret, and I think dat' someone is right up thah' stairs."
Traubon looked around the room one more time, and then to the corpse. His eyes went big as he realized something.
"Do you think, that this evil being here is the daughter of the priest that came here years ago? They both have the sign of their god, and she wears the robes of a cleric. But why would someone want tah' bring 'er back from thah' dead?"
Traubon walked over to the stone altar with the corpse that still drew breathe, and examined it. Another thought came to his mind, a memory from earlier that day flashing through his mind.
"Roy the man upstairs, he seemed almost... infatuated with thah' priestess. By my fathers braids do you think he wouldah' brought 'er back from thah' other side!? Someone would have tah' be obsessed with thah' dark powers to do that!"
He looked back, and tried to look around the room for anything that could be the source of the evil magics, a book, scrolls, anything.
Brokkrok was grateful that Ta'Nil had put himself in danger to pull the Cleric of Therassor to safety, along with the quick thinking resourcefulness of Glitch to make a slippery path for Ta'Nil to accomplish the rescue with success.
Moments later the Cleric of the Stalwart Blade was mobile enough to summon forth another attempt at turning the undead by the grace of his deity. In the blink of an eye the skeletal menace was dispatched and then the ungodly cleric was cowering in fear, before Traubon dispatched her with a well timed smash from his halberd.
Brokkrok took note that he would recommend the young Khord for a braid to honor his bravery when the Cleric of Therassor met with the Khord elders at a future date.
"We should find any evidence of the missing humans to give their loved ones a sense of closure. Look for any rings, jewelry or other item that might give a clue as to the identities of those victims who met an unfortunate end in this cellar!
"Then let us go find the 'good' doctor and interrogate him further!"
Brokkrok begins searching for any clues as to the identities of the unfortunate victims whose body parts are strewn about in the buckets of gore. He also praises his comrades for their bravery and actions in the face of such unexpected danger.
Brokkrok will minister healing to himself after he searches for any evidence that would give closure to the loved ones of those who have disappeared.
He will also look for any place that a living person may be held captive prior to being tortured by the unholy cleric.
Then he turns his attention to finding the 'good' doctor for further answers, ministering healing to himself, before drawing his blade to go put an end to this vile discovery!
He will be alert for any more unexpected developments or attacks as he seeks answers from the 'good' doctor!
With the room returned to a relative quiet, they had the opportunity to properly look around. There were a few things they hadn’t paid much attention to before.
The first was a gaping hole near the far wall, which led to a dry tunnel into the earth. The tunnel wasn’t very deep though, and its purpose became clear quite soon. Pressed into the sand of the ceiling were wooden coffins, some old, others newer. They were splintered at the bottom, and appeared empty. Apparently, this is where a lot of the bodies had come from; the tunnel was a direct way under Sedostra’s graveyard. And it seemed that bodies were the only thing the evil priestess had been interested in, for some of the coffins still held coins and jewelry. (I can give you a list of the value of these things should you guys decide to take any of it).
Another thing they had not noticed before was a large, stone coffin on the opposite side of the hole in the wall. Words were written on it once, but there had been an attempt to erase them. With some effort they could decipher the text: Here lies a glorious son of Solanis. Darkness took his body, his spirit dawn now claims.
While they were looking at the coffin they heard a sudden gasp from the doorway into the slaughterhouse. Glancing back, they noted doctor Roy Pikarov standing in the doorway, mouth agape.
“What in Solanis’ name have you done!?”
After a quick exchange of words they took the doctor upstairs where he told them the rest of his story.
About half a year ago, Roy Pikarov and his wife decided their marriage was not working out, and Roy’s wife had left him. He had become a Solanis devotee after that and soon fell in love with Sofia, who was running Sedostra’s church. She returned his love and not much later their relationship became public. Drawing their own conclusions, the townsfolk decided that Sofia had purposely destroyed Roy’s feelings for his wife and driven her away. They hung her as a false prophet from the cherry tree on the burial grounds.
Roy buried her a few days later, but she would not be put to rest. A month after her death he began to suspect that her spirit had survived.
Then, one night, while praying in an already dilapidated church, he saw her. She had returned from death as a ghoul. But he could not shake the feelings he had for her and hid her away.
Every day he prayed to Solanis for her peace, or forgiveness, or whatever the God could do to restore her to the person she had been. He knew she was responsible for what was happening, but had also still had hopes that he would be able to lift her curse somehow.
He now sees he has failed.
(OOC: This is it the end of this adventure. You help the townsfolk bury their dead a second time, doing your best to identify the bodies and linking them to the right people. In the end you can’t place them all, but that is fine. If there is anything you’d like to do in this town, then please do so in your next update. Next week will bring you back to Stone’s Hollow).
"Monies"1 he thought to himself, looking around he decided to leave some for the others looting three of the coffins and stared at the results for a while. Afterwards, he spoke up "I think we should re-bury some of them and lay them to rest...again." He shuddered after the again as he was akin to looting and thiefing but not to desecration of the dead.
1((Is this what going to college on a student loan does to you? just wondering))
Posted on 2012-01-24 at 02:13:49.
Edited on 2012-01-24 at 05:33:25 by Takley