>>> Chapter 14 <<<
>>> Prelude <<<
As it turns out,
It isn't the Tomb of Horrors. Despite the foreshadowing by the four-armed gargoyle.
So there's that.
However, that doesn't mean that we steamrolled the place (we didn't).
After we got done dealing with the undead knight in the foyer, we started looking around the place in an attempt to not only find this book on dragons, but also to locate the shrine that's despoiling the place.
Fortunately, the place isn't exactly huge (thank you invasive sand). So, the search only took a short while (but we took two game sessions to figure out what to do; Strategy!).
Several passages, as I mentioned, were filled with sand, so there was nothing to find there. But, there were stairs up & down. After some debate as to which one to check, I (the Thief) scouted the basement first. Sure as shit, I see rows of undead "guards" and the shadows of what looks to be a king and maybe a queen?, in a throne-like area far into the room. I gathered Brugo (the Fighter) to see what he could see (half-orc, darkvision). We actually asked him, "What do your orcish eyes see?" He was able to confirm that it appeared there were some form of not-ghoul undead thing at & around the throne.
All in all, we counted 14 or so.
So... we decided to check the stairs up. The undead seem to react to noise, so they didn't respond to our presence downstairs & therefore didn't drag any of them upstairs with us. I guess that's something? Upstairs turned out to be... a little more interesting that we might have liked.
We kept hearing the wails of a child or woman in the distance & every chance they Cleric got, he said "banshee." Ultimately, we discovered the upstairs was the remnants of the library. A lucky break for once! Wait for it... And as you might expect, the wailing did turn out to be an undead creature. But not a banshee.
Some undead thing burst from around the corner & started her attack, but she proved to be less of a threat than the thing that was actually wailing. And if you can guess what it is by the .gif alone... you guessed it!, it was a fiery, undead, child. I don't actually know what the thing was, but I know this. It turned out to be a LOT tougher than it was meant to be [though that's what happens when the party rolls like shit, and one of its main damage dealers (the Thief) is useless... ah, the wonders of undead traits...].
Anyway, eventually we beat the thing into the ground, but not before it dropped at least one Fireball & a few other AoE-type effects on most everyone. Oh, but it can't be that easy, can it? Hell no.
The Cleric succeeds his Religion roll & recalls that this particular sort of undead will rise again... UNLESS!... It's comforted by a parential-type figure as it lays dead.
By the way, "comforting" means a Diplomacy check.
I'm tempted to say he made it up, but the GM relayed the information. And, he was pretty freaked about having to do it. But it's not like HE had to do it. Thus, the retired-assassin cradled an undead-fire-baby & sang it a lullaby to put it to rest.
And no, that wasn't a sentence I expect to have to type, either.
After THAT awkwardness, we located the tome in question. Annnnnnnnnnnnnnnnnnnnnnd it was locked with some special seal-key. Taking one look at it, I figured I could maybe pick it, but I'd rather locate the actual key. That seems less... curse-like.
Which, of course, meant we'd be going into the basement. Joy.
After spending the night hunkered down in the library [and then being leveled drained in the middle of the night by a massive stone obelisk (which the Bloodrager then tossed out the door & down the stairs)] we warded ourselves up, prepped for undead combat & braced for a fight.
And oh boy, was it.
Gotta tell you, by the by, don't ever downplay the +4 bonuses from Hero's Feast, sometimes circumstantially totally worth it. Everything under the sun was prepped. Barkskin. Haste. Shield. Prayer. Bless. Bear's Endurance. Et Cetera.
Despite our Cleric being a pacifist, he had no qualms about dusting undead, so that's good. Undead to Death turned out to be super-useful, killing at least 3-5 of the ghouls per casting. He handled the minions in quick order & left the Raptor to clean up the adds & keep them off the Druid & himself.
The Fighter & Bloodrager charged in, because of course they did, and started tearing the horde apart. The Fighter used Strike Back & just stood there as a target, taking his free Strike Back attacks & Opportunity Attacks at everything that moved by or attacked him. Bloodrager's got no time for that, she just dived right in & started tearing the supposed magistrate of the "knight."
Yeah, I didn't accomplish much of anything. Some days, being a Thief doesn't pay. Ah well.
The undead used fear, LIBERALLY, hence Hero's Feast's usefulness. And they didn't actually affect any of us too terribly, so that's good. But the again, we did prepare quite well. The knight threw down with Brugo while the Bloodrager tore apart the magistrate, who teleported away & got a face full of Raptor.
The fight turned out to have been less deadly than the one-on-one with the fiery undead kid. How do that even happen?!
14 on 6, "easy."
1 on 6, doomed.
But of course, at the end of all things, the GM asks us to roll a save. No one failed. Which was good, as it was to resist the death curse of he undead knight. Per the GM, it's good no one failed. I didn't ask why, but he alluded to it being horrible & incurable with Remove Curse.
Also, remember that level-draining obelisk? Turns out the magistrate was a lich & said obelisk was her phylactery. Yeah, we sundered that thing real quick.
We closed the evening by burning corpses, consecrating shrines & looting treasuries. I'm pretty sure that it was cliche as hell, but whatever, at least we got paid? And we have a book! I guess?
I feel like Jack Sparrow wen he gets his jar of dirt. "I got a jar of dirt. I got a jar of dirt."
Next time, on The Chronicles of "Of Course Brugo Did," The Jar of Dirt