Kwen felt hid body twitch, knowing that danger could be close, the kind of danger involving traps and starts looking for them, it was the poison that had worried Kwen.
search 1 1d20 + 14 - 2 ⇒ (16) + 14 - 2 = 28
Disable device if needed 1d20 + 18 - 2 ⇒ (15) + 18 - 2 = 31
Search 2 1d20 + 14 - 2 ⇒ (3) + 14 - 2 = 15
Disable device if there is a trap 1d20 + 18 - 2 ⇒ (17) + 18 - 2 = 33
Search 3 1d20 + 14 - 2 ⇒ (3) + 14 - 2 = 15
Disable Device if there is a trap 1d20 + 18 - 2 ⇒ (1) + 18 - 2 = 17
Search 4 1d20 + 14 - 2 ⇒ (12) + 14 - 2 = 24
Disable Device of there is a trap 1d20 + 18 - 2 ⇒ (2) + 18 - 2 = 18
Will save vs DC 29 1d20 + 4 - 2 ⇒ (2) + 4 - 2 = 4
Revery hears Sajeeks comment about cutting off the Necromancer's head, but thinks it unnecessary.
Will Save: 1d20 + 10 ⇒ (6) + 10 = 16
Spellcraft: 1d20 + 21 ⇒ (16) + 21 = 37 (+2 for alteration spells)
Seeing the book is written in the strange Gnome script, Revery starts looking over the items the gnome had. The weapons would be gnome sized, but what about the cloak and blanket?
"Kwen, is our door locked? If not, could you lock it?" He is too tired to look for a key.
Unknown to the group Khrix had cast a quickened spell to feign death and simply slip away from the perceptions of those around him. He had been wounded in the attack, but the spell halted an future bleeding, which was why his blood grudgingly flowed from his wounds. A powerful lies amidst the party, unknown and unseen, it was enough to provide the fuel for decades of nightmares.
In a way it is too bad that the group has not pierced the veil of this spell, since two members of the evil group they ran into (Cakkarak and Loki) will possibly use these very tactics against them the next time they will meet.
Sajeek speaks of the necromancer and then Khrix is simply gone from his perception, and that of his warder as well.
Will Save (Sajeek vs. DC 29 feign death): 1d20 + 10 ⇒ (3) + 10 = 13 (fail)
Will Save (Bast vs. DC 29 feign death): 1d20 + 2 ⇒ (18) + 2 = 20 (fail)
Luckily the group had access to nearly all the necromancer's items, since he didn't sleep with his magical things on him. All that they were missing was his slippers, robe and the key to this chamber. While he was a dark creature, he was not immune to the curse, and had grown complacent, as impossible as that might be to comprehend, that he was safe in his bed. Something darker than darkness itself had invisibly opened the door to foster further chaos. It was something that the group had heard cackling as they entered the manour. It was something they never wanted to meet face-to-face.
Nogglegrop whispers are low enough to not wake a colicky baby, drawing all but Jinx, remaining eternally vigilant in the face of danger, close enough to hear, "There are whole passages here, intertwined around his ramblings, which look to be torn free of other sources and are written in the common tongue, but others are in a language I do not understand." Pooling the group's knowledge together you realize that the other parts of the journal are either erudite or elven. The cleric is working slowly to mark each one to the page that they belong to, and then ripping them free of the small dots of glue that hold them down. It is akin to some sort of macabre scrapbook drawn forth from wills, diaries, personal journals and the like.
Kwen feels that the room is safe after finding a nearly invisible tripwire blocking the way out the private stairwell in the north wall. Each of you find it difficult to realize just how close you had come to watching a rusty scythe blade decapitate Nogglegrop who had stood with shins touching the wire, but had not proceeded forward (disable device 20 to disarm, may take 10, but not 20). Behind a covered mirror, in the south wall, is a previously unseen door, which likely leads out to the master bedroom's balcony. Kwen finds the cunningly hidden wire, which will be tripped if the mirror is moved at all, as one would need to in order to open the door, releasing falling block (disable device 25 to make the trap impotent). Should the group avoid these two exits there will be no need to disable them, but that only leaves one way out, which is tactically unwise.
The rogue snips the wire under the mirror, leaving the stone a permanent fixture of the ceiling, and then works on the tripwire, wedging a piece of scrap wood into the mechanism, so the wire can be cut without issue. The room is safe from all traps save the necromancer in your midst.
A key might exist, actually it's inches away on the bed in the pocked of the magically-hidden gnome, but you have not found it. As with the other lock it is locked from the inside, so one only has to turn the latch, and Jinx stands on his tippy-toes to do so.
Jinx frantically waves his hands for everyone to shut the hell up. As he draws their attention he points beyond the door and takes a step back with earthbreaker cocked and ready to swing. It is a tense few moments, where you smell fetid breath drifting under the crack of the door, before the creature silently moves on. You slowly can release the breath that was lodged in your throat.
Those that cast spells have an innate grasp of magic, as they can feel the mana flow through items around them. As such Gwendalyn, Sajeek, Revery, and Nogglegrop can quickly pull the magical items away from the mundane.
Magical items, as a rule, will reside to the wielder/wearer, so even though the short sword is currently ready to be wielded by Khrix (small), it will grow if any of the larger members of the group wields it.
- gossamer robes
- +1 short sword
- mystic cloak
- meditative blanket
- goo boots
Each of the items below are suited to a small person.
- masterwork light mace
- (5) fish rolls
- spell book
- spell component pouch
- ink vial
- scroll case
- (11) vellum sheets
- collapsible fishing pole
- animated bait
- fishing line and hooks
- assassin bug (worn as cloak pin)
- (1 dose) visceral rot poison
- (4) cat’s eye agates (2 gp each)
- 20 gp
Kwen looks twice at the assassin bug, and then recognizes it as a sign of an initiate to the Freeport rogue's guild. It appears that this necromancer also had rogue training.
Stomach still rolling like rough seas at the sight of the gnome's cast off body parts. Sajeek clamps a hand over his muzzle as the horrid smelling breathe of whatever oozes from underneath the door. He had already thrown up once. It was clear no one was going to be sleeping in the bed after that. Well, perhaps at the foot of the bed, but the combination of rations and hard liquor didn't smell that pleasant.
After a few minutes of waiting, (which feel like years), the vah shir looks around at the others. He gets a little closer to them before he dares to whisper.
"Should we hold up in here?" his voice is barely louder then a exhale. He points at the gear that they had piled up. Unlike almost everything else they had come across, this stuff was in good shape. "Or grab all this stuff and press on wards looking for a different hide?" the vah shir asks.
Nogglegrop blinks stupidly, having been almost completely drained of his magical reserves. He makes everyone aware that the group moving on will be doing so without his magical support until he gets a chance to rest.
Judging by the homey/highly defensible little hide that Khrix has set aside for himself, you stand in a room that the undead are used to having a living creature beyond. You are not what they would expect, but hopefully that is sufficient to throw off the trail of any potential pursuit.
Time is on your side it appears. for while your defences are tested in the hallway, horrifically from the private stairwell, and surprisingly on the balcony more than once, you are as safe as you can get in this cursed place.
Something interesting happens a couple hours in, as a heavily-damaged, and thoroughly pissed off Khrix, wearing only bloodstained robes, appears on the bed (feign death duration lapses). He sneers at the group, especially Nogglegrop, and then casts an almost instant spell (free action) and disappears. Whether the group recognizes the spell he just cast, they do recognize that he was in their minds and then did something to disappear.
Such a power would be very useful in pissing off half the undead in the manour, as the necromancer runs ahead of them, and then flopping down at the group's feet, leaving them to deal with 200 pissed off eternals. Such a tactic was called "training" in feign death circles.
A brilliant mind, affixed to a powerful body, is now plotting to end you, and he somewhere beyond the walls of the master bedroom, or invisibly within them, and carries the key to your current room. Of course he just landed somewhere at random nearly naked, so he might have a bit of navigating to get anywhere near actually doing you physical harm.
Direction (Cardinal): 1d4 ⇒ 2 (south)
Distance (x5'): 1d100 ⇒ 33 (165')
It takes over 7 more hours (all full health/full mana, ding) to bring the seemingly dissimilar excerpts of Khrix Fritchoff's journal together to provide a unified voice, but what comes together is an amazing tale.
Jinx had stood watch as long as possible, but afterward he had sunk into a deep sleep, since he had been up for several nights before, and almost bled out by the jack-o-lantern that had killed Ilina the first time.
(all: Please include a DC 20 Will save in your next post, or be Shaken for your entire duration here. The Shaken condition conveys a -2 morale penalty on attack rolls, checks and saving throws)
Nogglegrop (80/80 hit points, 140/140 mana) remains steadfast in throwing off the darkness of this horrific place, but Jinx (150/150 hit points, shaken condition) remains consistent in being affected by it.
Will Save (Nogglegrop vs. DC 20 Shaken): 1d20 + 14 ⇒ (11) + 14 = 25 (success)
Will Save (Jinx vs. DC 20 Shaken): 1d20 + 1 ⇒ (2) + 1 = 3 (fail)
You have all slept, but don't feel rested, since your dreams are nightmares.
Spellcraft vs. DC 18: 1d20 + 10 ⇒ (3) + 10 = 13 Failure
Will vs. DC 20: 1d20 + 12 ⇒ (5) + 12 = 17 Failure
Before they settle in to rest, Gwen studies her spellbook for a bit and re-casts Talisman of the Beast, this time with Jinx as the sixth instead of Revery or dead Ilina. As usual, her totem spirit -- a giant, transparent polar bear -- appears behind the young shaman to take the spell in its great paws, but this time it was looking dreadfully unhappy.
In the past, the ghostly bear seemed to be grinning with affection, or perhaps amusement at her youthful exuberance and joy in the simple spell; here, it was nearly cringing with dismay and glancing around warily, as if in a hurry to leave. She looks over her shoulder and her face falls at its appearance, for if even her totem spirit doesn't want to be here, then who is she to stay?
The fisherman's daughter pokes at the tiny fish rolls and sighs. Even if they weren't so small as to be little more than a snack to someone of her stature, she can't trust that the devious necromancer didn't poison them. He managed to make them all forget his very existence for a time; who knew what else he could do? Oh well, they probably wouldn't be as good as her mom's fish rolls anyway. She glumly munches on trail rations before trying to get some rest.
After sleeping, Luminary Gwendalyn (100/100 hit points, 100/100 mana, shaken) doesn't feel rested exactly, but she does feel... stronger. As if repeatedly forcing her way through the curse to her connection with the Tribunal had strengthened it, the way that hard work builds muscles. She stands up and stretches to her full, impressive height, at no risk of touching the high ceilings in the roomy manor. "So. What do we know? Any ideas for what to do next?"
When the gnome appears, Revery is shocked. But it is short lived, as he casts Shadow Step and reappears somewhere nearby.
Spellcraft to identify gnome's disappearance 1d20 + 21 ⇒ (20) + 21 = 41
"He is near, have fear. It was much too easy, and we need to be wary of him," Revery lectures.
Revery's nightmares are much worse than usual, and his mind is more disturbed than normal. Deep dark lines under his eyes show his discomfort.
(HP: 70/70, Mana: 180/180)
Scouring the recesses of the journal, over frustrating hours, with those that speak the different languages taking the lion's share of the toil, finally pays off:
At the southern tip of the Wayunder Lake perched a single stretch of land. This fertile area was festooned with lush plants, teeming with all manner of plants, including fruits and grains. The nearby gnolls and orcs saw this and decided to claim it. They fought over the land, each tribe warring for dominance.
Then a man came from beyond the waters, a priest of Quellious called Ayernosh. The man wished to spread the peace of his goddess,and when he saw the turmoil here he decided that this was the place where he could make a difference. He settled the land and began to build a temple.
At first, the local humanoid tribes laughed at the newcomer but largely ignored him, being too busy fighting their pitched battles against one another. Then, as they saw the walls of his compound go up, they became more concerned. They began to threaten him, sure that no mere man would dare stand against them. Yet Ayernosh was no ordinary man: He was in contestable in his faith, and gentle Quellious smiled upon him, keeping him from harm.
After the temple was finished, creatures began to approach,hesitantly at first, often secretly, but then in greater numbers. Soon orcs and gnolls and others were knocking openly on the door and asking to be admitted. The priest welcomed all, and tutored them on how to work together. Though he was unable to establish a lasting truce between the gnolls and the orcs, Ayernosh did keep the area around his temple calm and peaceful, and he did manage to bring some of the warlike folk to the view that not everything could be solved with hatred and fear - a rare and remarkable accomplishment indeed.
After Ayemosh finally died of old age, his temple was left alone by the humanoid tribes out of respect, until eventually the wooden structure crumbled away of its own accord and its rotted remains nurtured the plants all around it.
Several centuries after Ayemosh‘s death, another priest of Quellious arrived on Faydwer’s southern shore. This man, a noble named Frederic Wilhavyn, brought his entire family with him. He came in search of the shrine of Ayemosh, whose legend had reached other temples in other lands, and after many months of searching Wilhavyn finally located the ruins of his predecessor’s holy place. Looking around at the lush grounds, Wilhavyn admired his predecessor’s choice and dedicated himself at once to following in Ayernosh‘s footsteps. Like Ayernosh, he hoped to teach the local races how to live together without war or strife. But a temple alone would not be enough.
Instead, Wilhavyn paced out a large estate, and at its centr he constructed an impressive manor house, his family chapel sitting directly upon the foundations of Ayernosh‘s fallen shrine. This estate, like its precursor, was open to any in need, and was protected from harm by a mighty talisman Ayernosh had crafted, which Wilhavyn called the Hearthstone of Gentle Dissuasion. In time, many sought out the estate for shelter or healing, and all manner of creatures lived together there in peace.
But not everyone admired Wilhavyn’s actions or his faith. Some wished to see him destroyed and all his good works undone. Chief among these enemies was the mighty lich Tintragen, who desired the estate for himself and who preferred chaos and bloodshed to peace and tranquility. More than once he pitted his might against Wilhavyn, but each time the gentle power of Quellious, not to mention the estate’s newer residents, came to the holy man’s aid. Tintragen was unable to enter the estate himself, for the Hearthstone blocked any whose heart harboured ill will toward the master of the estate and his charges.
Then Tintragen hit upon a plan. He waylaid a lone traveler, an itinerant dwarf called Garanel. The foul lich possessed the dwarf, displacing his spirit and taking up residence in the small but fierce warrior’s frame. Then he approached Wilhavyn’s estate, pleading for aid. The cleric’s followers took the wounded dwarf in, and the Hearthstone let him pass - for indeed, wihin Garanel's heart there was no malice toward any on the estate. The evil spirit controlling the dwarf’s body had other plans.
Once inside, Tintragen waited until nightfall. Then, leaving his cot in the infirmary, he crept, in his dwarven body, into the family quarters. The Wilhavyn family slept secure in the belief that no harm could befall them on their sanctified ground. The lich slaughtered every last one of them. On their bodies he performed foul rituals and atrocities, dragging their heads into the family chapel and staining the walls with their blood. The chapel and the manor were desecrated, and with the cleric’s death the Hearthstone’s wards fell as well, opening the way for Tintragen’s followers to enter.
Wilhavyn had been a pious, gentle man and a devout follower of Quellious, and the goddess was outraged by this act of defilement. Looking down and seeing the carnage, she drove back the foul creatures invading the estate, her gaze fixed on the murderous dwarf at the root of the slaughter, she smote the poor creature at once. Moreover, she decreed that his mere death was insufficient to atone for such a crime: T h e murderer of her favoured priest would be bound to the estate for all time, unable to depart the property, unable to rest. Since the grounds were already profaned, she withdrew her divine protection from the land, and it became so unwholesome that only the vilest of creatures- or those already beyond death - would ever choose to reside there.
Garanel & Tintragen
When Garanel's body died, his soul was consigned to lifeless existence as a ghost; Tintragen, at the same time, was trapped within the dwarf’s walking corpse, his powers dramatically reduced. However, the lich knew that once he returned to his own form he would regain his full powers he was already undead, so the goddess’s blow had done little to hinder him, really. And then, fully restored and with the cleric out of his way, Tintragen could sweep across all Faydwer if he wished, conquering the entire continent.
But he failed to reckon on the legendary anger of the dwarves.
Garanel had not been a good man, necessarily, but neither was he evil, and he was a lawful soul at heart. The acts Tintragen had committed with his body sickened the dwarf, but, worse, the goddess’s punishment struck him as unfair. The lich was wholly to blame for the catastrophe, and should be the only one doomed for it. The dwarf’s spirit raged with righteous indignation in its confinement. Garanel was now a ghost, without a physical form of his own, and he was unable to reclaim his body as long as the lich occupied it. Yet he could still influence others.
Dominating several of the lich‘s more weak-willed servants, Garanel took the first steps toward his own terrible revenge. When Tintragen returned to his base to reenter his own body, he found, to his great dismay, that it was no longer there.
Since that time, ghost and lich have waged ceaseless war upon one another. Tintragen wishes to find and reclaim his own form, and with it his full powers. Garanel wants only to cause the lich to suffer as greatly as he has suffered,impugned and wronged as he has been - taking back his own body would be ideal. Either way, the ghostly dwarf hopes to prove to Quellious that he was an unwilling pawn in the Wilhavyn murders, and should thus be allowed to move on to the afterlife.
Both sides in this ongoing battle have gathered various forces, and the undead on the estate are divided almost evenly between the two camps. Ghost and lich also seek new recruits for their armies, which they draw from among those foolish enough to enter the place and be slain, for such victims are then reanimated by the dark curse of the estate. And, of course, both still search for the Hearthstone, which would most likely give the possessor a decided advantage.
The only intelligent living creatures who reside on the estate for any length of time are a cabal of gnome necromancers from the Dark Reflection. For these spell casters, the estate is a beautiful place filled with creatures they can raise and control as they wish. Currently, only one gnome named Khrix Fritchoff lives here. He and his allies are not the worst interlopers to have dwelt here, though.
Another necromancer, a dark elf known only as “the Grim,” visited the estate several decades ago. Seeing the evil loosed upon the grounds and sensing the fear its inhabitants might spread, the Grim felt this was a perfect place to dedicate to his own master - for he was no worshipper of Innoruuk, but a convert to Cazic-Thule, God of Fear. As part of his ritual, the Teir’Dal dug up all the bodies in the graveyard, save one that he was unable to touch, and reanimated them as zombies. Then the Grim sacrificed himself in the chapel, desecrating it a second time but also consecrating it to his dark lord.
Cazic-Thule was surpassingly pleased by this act - and delighted also by the not-entirely-just curse Quellious had already placed here - so he added his own power to her edict, increasing its strength, so that now the estate not only transforms any who die there into undead, but actually draws other evil and undead creatures toward it.
Slowly but surely, the estate’s influence is creeping out into the lands beyond, and if it is not stopped, it could eventually draw every undead creature on the continent to its clutches.
Trade Skill (tailoring) vs. DC 22: 1d20 + 12 ⇒ (13) + 12 = 25 Success
In a way, Gwendalyn wishes that the bloody gnome had known her people's tongue, since she could use a distraction from the oppressive sense of doom. Being useless with the journal, she begins messing around with the magic items instead. As a seamstress's daughter and a tailor in her own right, maker of Revery's silk armor, she recognizes the boots right off. She taps Kwen to get his attention silently. "Try these on," she whispers. "They're goo boots. Very quiet and a little bit sticky." He deserved a reward for making the room safer by finding that secret door and disabling the traps.
The others, she has no idea. The short sword looks to possibly be of Combine make, but she isn't familiar with edged weapons, and can't tell if it's any better or worse than another. She tries on the robes and just feels silly, so she takes them off and hands them to Revery, assuming that he'd like them; not to stereotype him as an Erudite, but because he's worn robes before of his own free will. She puts on the cloak (without the strange-looking pin), then takes it off and lies under the blanket, to see if she feels at all different.
Gwendalyn follows Kwen's lead and scours her memory and is able to determine the nature of the tailored boots that Pravus Mortis found in the master bedroom.
Description: These odd boots enable the wearer to pass over stone floors and dried leaves in silence, muffling any sounds produced underfoot. The soles also sink into nooks and crannies, giving greater purchase on tree limbs or cliff faces. Creation requires the tailor to collect inert goo from a slain slime or jelly of the sort often seen in the City of Mist and elsewhere. Adding pixie dust reduces the goo’s causticity and enhances the stealth effect.
(powers: +4 to sneak checks, +2 to climb checks and is worth about 500gp)
The cleric follows suit with tinkered items, and also easily discerns their use. Of interest you learn that your cleric is an avid fisherman, who is very excited to put these things to use. Nogglegrop holds up the bait, which wriggles and wiggles in a manner that makes even you want to bite it, and plays with the button on the side of the pole, both extending it and retracting it with a measured grin on his face.
Fun seemed so far from this place that it was hard to hold back the veil of crushing evil long enough to truly smile.
Tinkering (Nogglegrop vs. DC 12 Collapsible Fishing Pole): 1d20 + 20 ⇒ (13) + 20 = 33
Tinkering (Nogglegrop vs. DC 12 Animated Bait): 1d20 + 20 ⇒ (17) + 20 = 37
Description: This tinkered fishing lure quivers enticingly when immersed.
(powers: grants +1 bonus on all profession: fisher checks and is worth about 15 sp)
Collapsible Fishing Pole
Description: Sturdy yet completely retractable, this tinkered fishing pole travels well. Gnomish statisticians conclude that use of the collapsible fishing pole produces a significant increase in the number of fish caught over extended periods of time, especially when combined with animated bait.
(powers: 5' long fishing pole grands +1 on all profession: fisherman checks. Can be collapsed into a rod only 2" wide and 1' long, and is worth about 40 gp)
Kwen grunts at the news, " Well talk about difficult tasks this year." Kwen mutters to himself, his sleep while suffer dark dreams, where more annoying. Each time he had woken up he told himself that he had suffered worse, both physically and spiritually, that this place would not be the end of him, then rolled back over to sleep. Each time a few hours would pass then the dreams began again.
Will save vs Shaken 1d20 + 4 ⇒ (6) + 4 = 10
" So we now have a gnome that was hiding among us? Well I mean a necrognome. Lovely, this might just take a while, I have a feeling that he is going to muck things up."
Revery reads through the translated text twice, absorbing every word and second-guessing every nuance until he is satisfied his understanding is accurate. Of course, he reminds the others, the text's accuracy may well be partially or completely false.
He finds it hard to accept that a goddess, his goddess, would make such a grave error, and fail to notice the presence of a foreign entity in the body of the innocent Dwarf. Perhaps, he surmises, assuming the story is otherwise true, it was a servant of Quellious who committed such an egregious error.
This is the curse, he is sure. The war between the two undead. The curse upon the innocent Dwarf, and his backlash.
Revery sidles up to Nogglegrop and says, ever so quietly, "Nogglegrop, I've been wondering. Do you think it is in the realm of possibility that a goddess such as my patroness could fail to notice the control the Dwarf Garanel was under at the hands of a vile lich? Does it not seem so much more likely that a servant would have been responsible for such an error?"
After the gnomish necromancer had reappeared and then vanished, Sajeek's fear at the thought of a neeker in the same room was casually swept away by anger. The vah shir's ears lay flat against his skull, and his teeth were clenched so tightly the muscles were visible under his fur. He takes off his clawed handwraps and commits to punching the wall until blood splatters the dark stone. Healing his knuckles with a few angerly whispered words, the vah shir falls completely silent, tail lashing back and forth angrily as he stares at the wall. Rage radiated off of Sajeek, and even Bast shied away from the vah shir.
Waking after a nightmare filled sleep did absolutely nothing to improve his mood. The vah shir's emerald gaze was, mildly put, angry. Of course, sleeping in such a darkly cursed place, filled with horrors and vile deeds didn't help. Still having the double deity cursed chapel to try and clean out, Sajeek could only hope that little f+~#er showed up. So he could peel his skin off while the little gnomish bastard screams.
Jinx moves quickly over to Sajeek mid-punch and shakes his head. They did not need anymore attention cast their way.
In the hand the short sword feels perfectly balanced.
The robes have a certain rigidity to them when struck, as if they momentarily harden to protect the wearer. Revery had heard of Gossamer Robes, since they are the most common robes in all of Norrath.
(powers: This robe is the equivalent of +I raw silk armor. AC+3, max Dex +9, check + O; hardness 1, 3 hp, Break DC 22 and are worth about 1800 gp)
The cloak makes the wearer feel harder to hit and protected.
The magical blanket provides no idea of what it does.
Nogglegrop, looking much renewed from a night's rest, considers the question for a long time before answering, "My knowledge of religion is limited, for I received the calling straight from Fizzlethrop himself, and speaking of my deity I know him to be capricious at times. While they are all powerful they are not infallible or omniscient."
They knew not who the authors were of the different works they had collected, so it made it impossible to trust their words too deeply. The other option, if the rest was truth, would be that the goddess of peace and tranquility struck down a non-evil dwarf for the actions that a possessing lich had forced him to do.
Over the last hours there has been too much activity outside the second floor hallway to consider going that way without invisibility, possibly related to Khrix, leaving another route being a better decision.
"What about the one in the grave? The one the Tier'Dal couldn't exhume? Perhaps that is Ayernosh or Wilhavyn. If he could resist the necromancer named the Grim, perhaps he could help us?" suggests Revery.
"Other than that, does anyone have ideas of how to remove this curse?"
" I'd say looking for the one body, and seeing if we could at least try to speak with his spirit, if such a spell exists might not be a bad idea. Noggy do you know any ritual spells that might help sanctify this chapel? Or Gwen could you perhaps speak to the Tribunal for some aid? Or we seek a way to remove the lich without letting it get back it it's body. Or perhaps we try to aid the dwarf spirit in figuring out a way to remove the pass back to the lich's body, destroying whatever magics that would power it." Kwen suggests, this was out of his field of expertise.
" Oh by the way, Khrix might have received some training or is a member of the Freeport's rogue guild. This is something that they give to higher ups. So I would think that more traps are going to be the flavor of the day, or more or less some cunning plans.
Jinx paces back and forth, frustrated at his inability to attack their tormentors directly. "Damn gods and their scheming. Make a mess, then send us to go clean it up."
Sighing, he looks over at the cleric and shaman, "I don't know much about this stuff, but seems to me if we take out this lich and find the dwarf's body, the problem is solved. The problem with undead is makin 'em stay dead once you kill 'em"
"For the damn gnome, do any of you have a way to prevent him from getting away? If so, I promise I'll make quick work of him."
Reaching back to grasp his earthshaker as he resumes his watch, he mutters, "They won't be gettin' up once we're through with 'em, will they?"
"Why don't we just pour the skins of holy water on the altar?" Sajeek asks quietly. "Screw looking around for the bodies, let's go right to the source. If that neeker's journal is right that is." The vah shir falls silent for a few minutes as he thinks.
"So, if the Lord of Fear joined in on the curse, you realize we are probably going to spend another eternity on the Plane of Fear being tortured and destroyed," the Beastlord says dryly. He is unable to hide the fear in his eyes at the thought of returning. "Because, it reacted so well and sent the Avatar of Fear after us last time." The vah shir says quietly, trying to force a grin. "I mean, it's not like we really got a choice in the matter. We fall, Shissar gets the win, and everyone gets killed or enslaved. No pressure on us or anything. I suppose the gods would just shrug their divine shoulders and plan on rebuilding Norrath if we do fail."
Sajeek looks over at Jinx.
"Death is a fairly permanent way of keeping him leaving. Oh, you meant magic," the vah shir say quietly, very mindful of the undead roaming the halls. "Uh, I don't know. I mean, we have his spellbook, so he only has whatever spells that happen to be floating around in his head."
Gwendalyn ponders. "Re-sanctifying the chapel is not a matter for a simple spell. It would take a unique ritual, and divine intervention. Then there is the matter of making it stick, as long as Tintragen is still around to undo our work. I would think that we should take him out first, but a lich? Is this even in our power?"
"I'm going out on a limb and going to say: No, no not even close. We can barely kill skeletons and zombies." Sajeek says plainly, not even attempting to sugar coat their odds. The vah shir shrugs. "And the animal spirits haven't offered me any hints either," the vah shir grins. The grin slowly fades as a concerned look creeps back into his emerald eyes. "I can barely hear them when I call upon them as is."
No member of the group has a means of halting a teleportation beyond slaying or incapacitating the necromancer with a spell, nor are any means of sanctifying a place known to them.
Nogglegrop shakes his head in answer to Kwen's question, "I know of no spell to sanctify an area."
This curse came from a goodly source, and was later buoyed by an evil one. The way to remove it is rectify the issue that caused it: Quellious' rage against the being that slaughtered her priests and befouled her chapel. While the goddess' righteous might was misplaced, if one was to put the lich down for good it would go a long way to fixing things.
Tintragen must die.
"The difference is we know what he is, and we can plan out an attack. A well planned attack is much more powerful than randomly hacking at things that attack us. We think Tintragen the lich is in the body of a dwarf, likely the very same one we saw battling undead outside a short while ago?"
Revery pauses, and then continues. "Further, the necromancer is on the side of the lich, in the sense that he wishes the curse to continue. Thus, we could use all the help we can get. If there's anything to that undisturbed grave, any help in there, we should use it. So let's not run off and start killing things - let's make a plan. Even though he's a lich, we can outsmart him if we try. We have maps of the place, and now we have some knowledge. We need to use everything we have."
Rockbite had suggested the chapel.
Revery wishes to visit the graveyard the group passed earlier.
A decision should come together fast to move, and via what exit, for you know Khrix is plotting your demise. You can plan further on the run, since your longevity relies on not having your location being known by the gnome.
"Well then, let's check out the chapel first, since we're in the manor, and see what we can find there. That's where the troll said, and it's a good as a lead as any. Plus, all of the big desecration happened in there." Sajeek says after a few moments. "The sooner we get moving, the better for us. After the chapel, it should be kinda easy to sneak out. Then we can eyeball the graveyard, and see what is left in there."
"I'm not really sure what's to find there, but it should give our hunters a small moment of confusion," the vah shir says at a near whisper, with a slight nod of his head. "As far as leaving, we have two doors to choose from. Whomever has the map, look and see where the path that we didn't come in, leads to. If it takes us near the chapel, we go that way. If not, we go out the way we came."
Kwen nods then looks at the map that Revery had picked up from the rogue, saying " Sounds like a plan to me, at least we will have something, I'm sure our new found necrognome will have stirred up the undead creatures against us."
Revery pulls out the maps. Though they are on the second floor, the chapel is on the first, and they may need others too. "Sajeek, do you want to hang onto these? You seem to have all the other maps."
"If we take the stairs, and can keep our stomachs intact, we'll end up by the kitchen. Or we could go off the balcony, round to the front, and into the chapel, this one in the northeast corner, through those doors."
"Ha. Let's please keep the excitement to a minimum." Gwendalyn broods over the maps. "Down the stairs to the kitchen gets my vote; it's a fairly direct route, and the gnecromancer probably won't expect us to leave that way, so anything we encounter will hopefully be fooled by Noggy's spell. Going through the ballroom to the main stairs is about the same distance, but more desirable real estate than the front room, which makes it more likely to hold sentients. Going by the balcony means too many open sight lines, and no magic is perfect or unbeatable."
Nogglegrop reaches under his helm and pinches the bridge of his nose, tips over forward, and silently embraces the powerful belly laugh that he can do nothing to arrest.
It just wouldn't be Pravus Mortis if there was a consensus.
He ping pongs back and forth between the two sides waiting for a decision to be made so they can get the f%$$ety f+++ f!*& f#@* out of this f@$! sucking f***ing s!*~eating room before the a&$+$+& necromancer comes back and sticks his foot up their collective asses and forces them to s#@~ out a plan.
Taking out a gold piece he points at the stairs as heads (1 on die) and the balcony as tails (2 on die), then flips it up in the air, so they can get moving.
Coin Flip: 1d2 ⇒ 1 (stairs)
Each step down the slippery stairs is an exercise in holding the railing, and also holding in the bland rations you have been stuffing in your faces lo' these many days. There is more than just you in the too-hot stairwell, evidenced by the sounds of vermin sliding in and out of bloated flesh. About a third of the way down the stairs you lose all sight, and have to proceed by feel. Spiderwebs break across your face, and every panting breath sucks in a flying insect it seems. Each corpse you touch wriggles with the slough of skin loosed by maggots.
The ripe bodies are fresh, having been killed in the last week.
If there is a positive to the experience, and it is difficult to search one out, it would be this: tracking you by scent now is nigh impossible.
(please include a DC 15 Fort save to ward off the effects of being sickened for 1d3+1x10 minutes afterward, sickened: -2 attack and damage rolls, saving throws, skill and ability checks)
Jinx waits at the bottom until all have joined him, feeling their fumbling hands reach him and his spiked armour. Tracking the movement of the undead for awhile an opening is provided allowing the group to slip north, under the main stairwell (this is a scary moment, as a trio of zombies and 4 skeletons wander by a second after the last of the group catches up to the others), and are forced to move south before they can go east into a room (enter room 8).
The normally solid Nogglegrop spills all of the food he has had in the last hours, finding it hard to catch his breath and cope with the disgusting descent down the stairs.
Fort Save (vs. DC 15 Sicken): 1d20 + 5 ⇒ (3) + 5 = 8
Meditation Chamber (#8)
This room had once been panelled in wood, but it has since been hacked away. Thick furs are scattered about. A wooden statue of Quellious, once occupied the south end of this room, but while its larger pieces barely discernible blackened pieces, the rest is but ash. In the place where the statue once stood there is an image of Cazic-Thule painted on the wall in blood.
The door on the north wall is locked (DC 30 to pick the lock).
With another sigh the rogue follows the others, it had been too long since he had jumped off a balcony. That job had ended quite well for the half elf, still the rogue makes an effort to move down the stairs in style.... or at least with as much style as one could muster in a cursed place in a hallway that was littered with bodies.
balance check not required just using flavor 1d20 + 12 - 2 ⇒ (6) + 12 - 2 = 16
fort save 1d20 + 4 - 2 ⇒ (15) + 4 - 2 = 17
Kwen gives a snort at the lock then pulls out his tools, with a grin the rogue starts the process of picking the lock.
open lock 1d20 + 23 - 2 ⇒ (13) + 23 - 2 = 34
Kwen makes opening locks look easy in a few breaths the lock, clicks open, Kwen had to admit he was having fun with the simple things for a change.
After listening at it, and hearing nothing, Kwen opens the door in a manner that makes one wonder if he secretly has the key.
Desks sit along the north, east and south walls, with wooden chairs before them; several of the desks have been slashed or battered, and most of the chairs are too broken to hold anyone anymore. Bookcases sit between the desks, holding scrolls and tomes and sheaves of notes, many of which have been burned or ripped, and loose papers are strewn all about the room. For those that take the time to examine the notes they piece together the day-to-day business of clergy working alongside this Frederic Wilhavyn, preparing sermons, religion, peace, life and healing the sick.
The door to the north connects to the chapel and the west connects to the grand stairs. While the west one is locked, the north is open.
Interestingly there is something not on the map. A narrow, circular staircase of iron leads from the southeast corner of the room down to the basement. Listening to the noises from below you are reminded of the ghost stories and witch tales of your youth, except these are real and right below you, far too close for comfort.
" Basement?" the rogue whispers " Or locked door to chapel first. I'd say we peek our heads into the chapel then go to the basement." he finishes, his head cocked to the side listening for any movement. Turning to Jinx the rogue whispers " Chapel, first watch my back I'm going to try the locked door." Kwen puts his ear to the door listening as much as he was able too as usual, then starts to pick the lock
listen check 1d20 + 6 - 2 ⇒ (10) + 6 - 2 = 14
open lock 1d20 + 23 - 2 ⇒ (7) + 23 - 2 = 28
The rogue smiles when the lock eludes him for a moment then starts the process again.
listen 1d20 + 6 - 2 ⇒ (6) + 6 - 2 = 10
open lock 1d20 + 23 - 2 ⇒ (3) + 23 - 2 = 24
Now Kwen is annoyed. open lock 1d20 + 23 - 2 ⇒ (1) + 23 - 2 = 22
Kwen swears to himself then takes the time to get the lock process right.
The north door from the office grudgingly opens with some resistance, as if warning you away from this chamber, hoping to save you from bearing witness to the horrors contained within.
Rockbite had alluded to this being the centre of the curse, and as soon as you enter you have absolutely no doubts that the undead troll is correct.
This room occupies the northeast corner of the manour, the the right of the front porch, and juts out slightly from the rest of the building. Its walls are older and cruder, you guess because they were build from the remnants of Ayernosh's original shrine. Your guess is correct: Frederic Wilhavyn preserved and restored the place as much as possible to show his respect for his predecessor.
Once, this was a pleasant, peaceful room, with narrow stained-glass windows to the north and east. Worshippers entered from the large door to the west and came down between the double-row of wooden pews. At the eastern end of the room was a low wooden dais with a simple marble pulpit at its centre and a large marble statue of Quellious herself on the wall behind. A small door to the south opened onto the priests’ office, and the rest of that wall held tapestries showing the goddess bestowing peace and mercy upon her supplicants.
Sadly, this room was desecrated by the undead of the current Estate. Dark smears are everywhere and there is a pool of blood on the dais itself. The statue of Quellious, which once held out both hands in a gesture of welcome, has had its arms smashed away, and old blood is spattered across its front. The pews have all been smashed to splinters, and the west door was split in two by the force that hurled it into the room and against the wall. Every stained glass panel has been broken, and small shards of colour litter the edges of the room. But the worst by far is the dais.
This platform is hidden beneath a pool of blood that, quite disturbingly, never dries. The base of the pulpit has turned dark red from the constant contact, and that colour has slowly seeped up the rest of the marble, so that now it looks as if the pulpit were bleeding and the wound seeping up instead of downward. Face down in the pool is a single body, now little more than a skeleton - that of Frederic Wilhavyn himself.
Quellious’ blessing still rests strongly upon her priest even though it was lifted from the estate and its other inhabitants. Because of this, none of the undead can touch him or even approach within a few feet, you deduce this by the lack of footprints in the pool. His flesh has rotted away over time, as have his clothes and other items, leaving behind only the skeleton itself (which crumbles to dust if moved), his silver chain with its icon of Quellious, and the large gold ring on his right hand, a ring of peace that bears the crest of the Wilhavyn family.
The icon of Quellious, on the silver chain, glows as magical to the eyes of goodly creatures, providing enough light to push away the darkness that has been the norm since you have come to this place. For the first time since you have entered this place you feel a bit of warmth, peace, contentment and happiness. This item is a beacon to undead creatures, drawing a great deal of attention to you.
(those that failed any saving throws, and carrying lingering effects, may make another saving through to throw off the effects here, but at a +10 to do so)
Some might think to resurrect the priest, but considering what happened to his family, you do not imagine that it would be a kindness.
The broken door provides you a view into the room west of the chapel.
East of the foyer is a second small room. A low platform along one wall is meant to hold shoes, while a small table once held rows of candles and a small icon of Quellious. In the corner was a stone basin on a tall pedestal, which held holy water. Worshippers would enter the nave, remove their shoes, light a candle, and then sprinkle hands and face with holy water. Thus, refreshed and cleansed, they could then enter the chapel through the large door in the east wall. Another door to the south lead back to the grand stairs.
This room was the first to be attacked by Tintragen. The wall still bears dark smears,and the basin is coated with dried blood. The candles and their table have been shattered, scraps of wax and wood tossed into a corner, and the small shoe platform also destroyed. The door to the chapel, a large slab of mahogany carved with images of the goddess, was long ago torn from its hinges and tossed into the chapel itself.
The west and south door are locked by very simple locks.
Before they leave the questionable safety of the bedroom, Gwendalyn casts Spirit Sight on Kwen, because he's in front; Revery, because he might be able to identify what he sees; and herself, because she can. She also casts Inner Fire on Kwen, in case he triggers a trap; Revery, because he's so bad at not getting hit; and herself, again because she can. Then, she casts Spirit of Wolf on Nogglegrop and Jinx, to keep the group moving along nicely.
It isn't as good as casting everything on everyone, but this is taking much longer than she expected, and her pool of magical power is not so deep; she can't fully buff them all every hour and a half. When she's done, the luminary adjusts her memorized spells a bit, noting with delight that she can keep one more in mind at a time now.
Gwen doesn't quite take everything that isn't nailed down, but the thrifty Northwoman certainly makes sure that they don't leave behind any of the magic items or other valuables. She puts the cloak on herself, handing the short sword to Jinx -- "it's no earthbreaker, but some things here are not quite of this world, and mundane weapons are of little use against them" -- and offers the fine little mace to Nogglegrop, since it looks like his own only better.
Fort vs. DC 15: 1d20 + 7 - 2 ⇒ (3) + 7 - 2 = 8 Failure
Duration: 1d3 + 1 ⇒ (1) + 1 = 2 x 10 = 20 minutes
She's no delicate flower, and she's had to wade through decaying corpses before, but hearing Noggy upchuck in the back stairway is just too much. Retching convulsively, she adds her own vomit to the unspeakable smells and slip hazards.
Will vs. DC 20: 1d20 + 12 - 4 + 10 ⇒ (14) + 12 - 4 + 10 = 32 Success
Fort vs. DC 15: 1d20 + 7 - 2 + 10 ⇒ (17) + 7 - 2 + 10 = 32 Success
By some miracle, they actually make it all the way to the chapel unscathed. Though the priest's unattended body presents a tragic sight, his amulet is a soothing balm to nerves frayed by the fearful curse. Her doubts flee and her stomach settles.
Inner Fire (+1 insight AC, +3 buff hit points): Gwendalyn, Kwen & Revery (100 minutes)
Spirit of Wolf (base speed +50%): Jinx & Nogglegrop (100 minutes)
Spirit Sight (see invisible plus spirits, even if insubstantial or in solid objects): Gwendalyn, Kwen & Revery (100 minutes)
Talisman of the Beast (+3 buff Str): Bast, Gwendalyn, Jinx, Kwen, Nogglegrop & Sajeek (indefinitely)
Revery holds his breath and descends the bedroom stairs around all the poor victims. He is sure they are reaching for him, grabbing him as he navigates through them.
By the time he is at the bottom, Kwen has the door open and he spills out into the hall to take a breath.
Fort Save (DC 15) 1d20 + 6 ⇒ (18) + 6 = 24
They end up in the chapel, and he is both relieved and sickened by the place. The emotions swirl around him in a maelstrom of confusion, and he drops to his knees and prays, faithful as he has ever been, to Quellious. She offers an island of peace in this squall of chaos. But the place needs care.
He stands up, and begins to tidy up.
Gwendalyn, Revery and Kwen all catch glimpses enough to solidify earlier information about the location of a ghost. It was relatively still in an outbuilding at the southern end of the compound and further west than the party had ever traveled before (#13 on grounds map).
A gnome, buffed for speed (spirit of wolf), is a gnome that everyone can get behind, though the cleric declines taking the necromancer's mace, even though it is better than his. He didn't even want to touch it, for he would always wonder what it was used for.
Pravus Mortis has moved without leaving a trail of bodies behind, as was their norm previously, and if truth be told lo' these last years.
Nogglegrop gazes at the holy symbol of Quellious with reverence, not even slightly surprised that his ill effects are warded off in its presence.
Fort Save (vs. DC 15 Sicken): 1d20 + 5 + 10 ⇒ (16) + 5 + 10 = 31
The cleric moves right into the blood, right up to the body and offers a prayer on bended knee to his fellow cleric, tears staining his bearded cheeks that such a foul end came to one who had worked as an agent of peace and tranquility. As his hand touches the body, it simply crumbles away, as if it only held on long enough for the party to bear witness. Nogglegrop collects the priest's chain and walks out of blood, which is quickly drying. A few seconds later it has all dried, looking like it has been that way for a decade and more.
The gnome does not hide his tears as he hands the icon of Quellious to Revery, the only true believer that Nogglegrop knew of in the party.
Revery works to tidy up, and bring some order to macabre scene, and while he is able to do much in a short while, there is still the smears of the dried children's blood, the broken and shattered, not to mention the large pool of once wet blood on the dais. As the chain touches his flesh the light ends, but the enchanter is confident that he can bring it forth with but a thought (full round action, incurs an AoO, 2 charges remaining).
You have seen the site of desecration. It is time to leave for there are goodly works to mete out.
Even in this holy place, Jinx cannot shake off the sense of dread that has gripped him since entering the estate grounds. This may be holy ground, but the dais still slick with blood and the remains of the fallen priest lying there is enough to convince him this room is no safer than the rest of this hellhole.
Without saying a word he pats the earthshaker on his back for reassurance and takes up watch at the door as the others go about the business of cleaning up and deciphering the mystery.
Will Save vs. DC 20: 1d20 - 1 + 10 ⇒ (9) - 1 + 10 = 18
Traveling down the slippery stairs, Sajeek tries to avoid breathing as he makes his way down. The rotten flesh writhed, filled with small vermin. Considering Swenj's pit, this was rather mild. Still foul and disgusting though.
Sajeek looks around at the cursed and ruined chapel. The vah shir feels himself relax a little bit when he gets within a few feet of the corpse of Wilhavyn and the shining necklace. The sense of peace works it way into his mind.
Relaxing a little bit, he drops his hand down and scratches Bast's ears. The big reddish-orange tiger purrs quietly, leaning against the vah shir.
Revery says, "Remember the Dwarf outside? Either he's in that body, or he's floating around as some kind of spectre, I guess. Noggy?
Will this holy symbol hurt the lich?"
He's continuing to clean up as the group talks, focusing now on the holy water basin.
"My question is, where would you expect that body to be found when it isn't fighting Garanel's ghost? I don't want to go through every other powerful undead in this estate." She ponders and her brows pull together in concern. "I sensed where Garanel is, thanks to Spirit Sight. Do we dare ask for his help? That might be too dangerous..."
Each of the stained glass windows in the chapel have been shattered, and it is through these windows that a familiar gnome's voice echoes. "Breathe your last heroes, 10...9...8..." His venomous, and far too calm, voice recedes in volume as he casually walks around the north wall and into the front door, followed by a skeleton that's taller than any member of the group.
True to Khrex's count, as one is swallowed up in the venom of his words you are startled by the heavy blade slamming into the west door into the nave.
The other undead on the ground floor would have trouble coming up with a thought between them, but they are attracted to noise and movement. Soon enough you hear many heavy fists slamming into the south door into the nave, and the west door out of the office.
Nogglegrop starts to answer, though his shrug is enough of an answer to not need his words for corroboration, then he stands stock still when he heard the voice, knowing he's generally the loudest of the group.
"Well s@%*," mutters Sajeek as he looks around the chapel rapidly. He thinks about the layout of the first floor. They had all spent a good deal of time looking them over be Rev had handed them to the vah shir. The Beastlord had added them to the other maps he had collected.
Looking over at shattered windows, the vah shir nods to himself.
"Let's just go out a window into the yard," he whispers to his friends. he looks back at the two doors. "I have a feeling going out those two ways is going to be tricky."
Sajeek makes his way to the east wall to check and see if they could be used for escape purposes.