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The Dragonslayers III Pt. 15: Plundering Blackbrow

Morning, the slayers gathered again in the feasting hall/dining room of Tower Blackbrow determined to loot the place. The gear they had swiped from the remains of Parkannis Blackbrow had been safely packed away including the lich’s chromatic-yellow dragon skinned tome which Magiia had picked up after activating her Shield and that was dispelled by the Seal of Death on its cover rendering it “safe” to carry. Vorwulf gave Grom the shaman the smaller crystal orb that he was carrying to go with the two others the shaman had picked up (he recovered the big one from the battlements). The shaman could sense that all three of the crystal orbs were spiritually linked via the Astral Plane. They decided to go through the locked door to the north, another heavy wood iron banded door with an iron skull at its center.

After kicking it down with a single kick Maggi moved in while keep an eye out for danger. She found herself in a narrow 15 ft.-long hallway the ceiling covered in a netting of dusty cobwebs to her immediate right was an archway which opened into a small dark chamber with a wood floor and a well-crank with chain and tackle. Strangely she could smell freshly cooked food wafting on the chill, still air from the room ahead at the end of the short hallway. She saw a couple of ‘somethings’ scurrying under the webs on the ceiling.

The amazon shouted a warning and struck with her axe at the lead ‘thing’ whacking it into two convulsing spidery chunks which evaporated away before they hit the floor before her feet. Vorwulf unable to get past Maggi shot over her shoulder at the second shadow-spider-thing, the arrow passed right through as if it weren’t there burying itself in the ceiling. Grom slung a stone at the creature nailing it and Olf the Arborean Healer just stayed back and readied to heal should it be needed. The creature dropped onto Maggi and bit her but was unable to get through her armor. She struck at it but hit nothing but the plank floor. Vorwulf readied not wanting to waste another arrow and unable to engage in melee with his blades through Magiia. Grom and Olf both decided to hang back and Maggi finished the thing with an axe-blow that didn’t just pass through the shadowy blasphemy of its body. They continued forward.

They soon found themselves in an ancient kitchen its crumbling plaster walls draped with tapestries of spider-webs. An open archway lay to the west that led into a small larder/pantry, the dusty shelves within were bare and the floor was covered in dirt. Next to the archway was a barrel which was strangely new looking and quite clean and from which came the delicious smell of hot food. They found it to be a magic larder from which one could pull full-meals for 6 people 3 times-a-day complete with flatware (all of which faded away after the meal was finished of course). An old butcher’s block squatted in the south-east corner and a table and chair sat in the north-west next to the oven/fireplace in the north-wall to its right with an open passage into a short westerly hallway to its left. A bit of grey daylight could be seen peeking through the narrow smoke at the oven’s rear. Vorwulf checked this passage and found some steps which wound down. At the center of the east wall was a hinged bronze grating which covered a presumed waste-chute. The shaman and Magiia began to eat and pack away some of the fresh food from the larder. Grom contemplated taking the magic larder but cooler heads prevailed. The group backtracked back to the feasting hall and Maggi kicked down the other north-door which lay past the open west archway.

The door opened into a small foyer which opened up to the west into a small 10 by 10 ft. chamber with an iron-banded door to the north and which opened up into a room to the west where an arrow slit in the wall let in some outside light. There also were human skulls set on the floor of the small chamber and a medium round wood shield painted with the fading colors of Blackbrow hanging from a peg on the south wall. Maggi hesitated, Vorwulf charged in and the skulls began leap everywhere madly snapping like bear-traps. Maggi and Vor were able to quickly clear the room though Maggi nearly imbedded her axe in the floor on the last. Vorwulf checked out the arrow-slit room and found a decaying barrel full of naphtha. A small hearth lay in the north wall by the far north-west corner and a stone curbed basin with a drain at its center was built into the floor at the center of the room.

Vorwulf: “Probably drains through the spouts above the front doors.”

Magiia: “What? Why?”

Vorwulf: “They’re like murder-holes. So they could pour flaming naphtha on everybody outside near the gates.”

Jenn (Magiia’s Player): “That’s f@#%ed-up man!”

Cris (Vorwulf’s Player): “Yeah. And that’s why we came here before he could rebuild everything. We’d never get in here.”

Gil (Grom’s Player): “And that Black Moon thing too.”

Maggi had kicked the north door down and entered another small chamber which was dimly lit by a large piece of superior quality fire-quartz set into the torch-loop in the north wall shedding its eerie light on the moth-eaten war-banner sagging on the east wall with a glittering gold buckler hanging on a peg next to it; at the center of the room stood an animated alabaster skeleton-statue. The Feren-amazon was able to shield-parry its claws with her shield and bashed it to pieces with her shield. They saw that there were steps which wound down in the north-west corner, so after snatching the golden buckler they backtracked again back to the feasting hall and kicked down the door in the south-west.

They found a pair of ruined and badly neglected chambers which were probably the lich’s suite when he was alive and in need of such things. Among the detritus they found and fought a pair of giant spiders. Maggi and Vor made quick work of them. The slayers backtracked yet again and took the steps which wound down from the disused kitchen.

Maggi led the group this time and charged down the steps which T’ed into another short hall which opened into what appeared to be a dimly lit library to the west and into a dark room, possibly a laboratory, to the east. Directly in front of her in a small niche in the wall facing he stairs was a severed zombie head. Its sticky yellow eyes slowly opened. She threw her shield down and went to power-chop the thing. It opened its rotten black-gummed yellow toothed maw and screamed a scream which tore through all of their ears and skulls. Magiia chopped down onto the head with all of her might splitting the filthy in two, as usual, and drove her axe deep into the stone blocks of the wall completely shattering the axe-head and reducing the haft to splinters.

Magiia/Jenn: “NOOOOOOO! That was my favorite AXE!”

To Be Continued…

The Dragonslayers III Pt. 14: Smack My Lich Up

Magiia immediately whipped out her short-spear and threw it with all her might in the surmised direction of the invisible lich but missed by a mile. The spear disappeared over the battlements into opaque blackness. The Blue-Hand’s grip tightened on the sword dubbed the Anvil and stuck close to Vorwulf. The ranger/dragon-slayer pulled the sword named the Hammer and sent the sonic orb from among the small magic spheres that were orbiting him from the still active Ring of Orbs spell to strike the unseen enemy and when it did he knew exactly where the monster was though it did little but elicit a hideous, dry laugh. The lone Hill-lander warrior surged forward blindly and Canohk remained by the trap-door and started to play his pan-flute to inspire bravery in his companions.

Gil (Grom the shaman’s player): “He WHAT! What good is that!”

Cris (Vor’s player): “Well, it’s something. He’s a bard after all, we might need that bonus.”

Gil: “Useless bard.”

Grom called to the spirits of the sky, the distant rumble of thunder answered but he failed to call down the lightning on the skull of the still invisible lich. Suddenly, the lich appeared and called out a strange name in a draconic tongue. In answer a fierce and strange roar cracked over the snow-choked battlements and a giant undead dragon leapt sluggishly over the crenulations landing heavily onto the battlements among the slayers its leathery black wings fully spread. Its black scales were like lumps of foul coal with large openings and tears in its mummified hide exposed white bone and the shriveled brown fibers of long-dead muscle.

Jenn (Magiia’s player): “Ooh! A dragon! Does it have any blood?”

Cris: “No. It’s some kind of undead dragon-thing.”

Cris (to me): “That’s a draco-lich isn’t it?”

I just shrugged my shoulders and smiled.

The dragon unleashed a line of putrid acid-breath aimed directly at Maggi. She dodged easily and charged the undead black dragon striking at it with her axe chopping straight through a rack of steel hard ribs. Olf used his telekinesis to grapple the draco-lich to try to hold it still to allow Maggi’s hungry axe to do its terrible work. Vorwulf ran at the lich of Blackbrow swinging wildly with the Hammer landing the blow, his hands rung with the hardness that the blade met. The Blue-Hand followed suit striking at the undead mage with the Anvil but missed. The Lich took a step back and unleashed a bolt of lightning from his hands striking Vor. It rippled through the unfortunate ranger/dragon-slayer zigzagging over the area of the battlements to strike the other slayers one-by-one. However, the Blue-Hand was uncannily able to avoid the chain lightning. Olf was sheltered by the Shield spell that originated from his magic bronze open helm which disappeared immediately after absorbing the electricity. Maggi on the other hand was hit hard and hurt badly. Grom was struck and injured. Vorwulf however had taken the worst of it (Natural 1 saving throw) and was in the worst shape. Fortunately for him the lich, using his Teleport I eldritch talent, blinked out and appeared on the opposite side of the battlements.

Grom shouted to the sky-spirits again this time calling down a bolt of lightning that crashed down onto the draco-lich’s serrated back but which dealt no real damage. The Draco-lich roared with supreme wrath as it was unable to free itself from the healer’s telekinetic grip. Maggi took the time to drag in a deep breath and recover from the shocking blast she had just endured. The lone Hill-lander clan-warrior struck at the grappled dragon landing a blow with his claymore which did little. Vorwulf ran across the battlements to close with the lich but the grinning monster remained just outside of his weapon’s reach. Grom cast another spell granting his companions Bull’s Strength. The lich called another bizarre name into the black sky but nothing happened. The draco-lich however was able to break loose of the healer’s power.

Magiia struck at the dragon again chopping into its petrified hide. Parkannis the lich shot a bolt of pitch black energy at Grom which the barbaric shaman was somehow able to avoid. Vorwulf again charged the lich and landed another blow the lich teleported again in a failed effort to avoid the blow reappearing on the opposite side of the battlements. Grom activated the Heal All ability on his mithral helm restoring his companions to very near full health. The draco-lich snapped the lone Hill-lander up in its jaws chomping into crimson pulp in a single bite, thus passed the last of the Achaánal clan. Vor swigged down a potion to ease his still existent wounds.

Parkannis began to cast another spell still out of the reach of all of his righteous foes, energy gathered between his boney claws then a sudden look of what could’ve passed as surprise swept across his twisted, shriveled visage before the magic went wild the explosion covering the entirety of the battlements save the lich himself in a cacophony of fire, splattering snow and bits of stone shrapnel. Olf’s body was splintered and blackened in the blast and the healer was as close to death as he had ever come. The Blue-Hand again was able to uncannily avoid any damage. The others were all moderately wounded. Maggi without skipping a beat struck with a power attack at the dragon hacking through dried flesh and smashing bone. The creature retaliated by turning its gaze to her the hell-lights that shinned in the bottomless sockets failed to deliver the death gaze to the amazon. The Blue-Hand zipped to the lich, his sudden burst of speed probably attributed to his pair of blue-leather boots, and struck it wounding it and causing it to immediately teleport away in panic. Olf activated the second use for the day of the Shield ability on his helmet. Canohk continued to blow his pipes with a failing wind.  He was bleeding out. Grom attempted to cast another spell but failed. Parkannis unwittingly (my bad) had wound up within range of Vorwulf who immediately ran up and struck again chopping out a wedge of the would-be lich-lord’s bone who then teleported away again escaping to the opposite side. Maggi power-attacked the dragon again nearly hacking it down in a single blow but it was still active and snapped at her ineffectively. Vorwulf continued to follow the lich around the battlefield with the Blue-Hand trying to keep as near the both of them as he could.

The lich again called the same strange name to the sky. This time something happened. The darkness congealed and twisted in on itself forming into a hideous winged creature standing near the unfortunate bard. The creature that appeared as if bursting from a blasphemous cocoon stank of rotting flesh steeped in brimstone. It was winged, and horned, and emaciated in appearance.  Parkannis had summoned the Death Demon which had struck down Bers in Sawback’s Lair (see The Dragonslayers II Pt.17). It immediately shot a bolt of black-death at the bard slaying him instantly.  The Blue-Hand and Vorwulf charged Parkannis at the same time finally able to maneuver to be able to attack him both at once but the Blue-Hand was unable to lodge his sword between the monsters ribs. In response the lich unleashed its cold aura in a blast of withering cold from which the Ring of Orbs protected Vorwulf but when he looked to his side at the Blue-Hand he found that the boy was frozen solid and very much dead. The lich again zipped away to the opposite side near the dragon hoping to gain some cover behind its gruesome mass. Maggi struck at the dragon again causing the thing to collapse and move no more. The pinpoints of evil light in its sockets faded away. Parkannis shot a bolt of black lightning at Vorwulf but to little effect. The shaman cast Bestial Might on himself growing a pair of feathered wings and pulled the Mace of Supernatural Power from his belt. Vorwulf snatched the Anvil from the Blue-Hand’s freeze dried corpse; the hand breaking off into a dozen pieces tinkling to the freshly explosion-swept flagstones.

Vor sent his last orb zipping off at the lich to no effect and started to move in. The death demon waved its arm towards Olf and a searing scythe of black energy swooshed through the healer dispelling his second Shield. Maggi charged the lich but fumbled the strike nearly losing her weapon in the attempt. Grom flew at the death demon striking with his mace crunching bone and tearing the necrotic flesh. The lich shot a shadow bolt at Maggi sapping some of her strength and wounding her slightly then teleported to the head of the dragon’s corpse. Olf used his telekinesis to grapple the death demon catching it easily (natural 20 versus a natural 1). Vorwulf charged around the dragon-corpse and struck at the lich using the Hammer and Anvil as paired weapons slashing into the creature just before it was able to teleport away. He had almost killed the lich with that attack.

Cris: “S#@t! I gotta stab ‘em both into it don’t I?”

Basically had he killed Parkannis without triggering the magic in the swords they would’ve had to hunt down the monsters phylactery which was VERY well-hidden and protected somewhere inside of the tower.

The lich activated one of the rings on his skeletal hands and almost all of the wounds he had suffered disappeared, the bone like wax melding back together to be whole again. Maggi maneuvered to get in position to charge it. The death demon broke free of the psionic grapple and was able to parry another mace blow from the shaman. The lich got off a second casting of Chain Lightning wounding Vor badly (he rolled a natural 1 on his save), zapping Maggi wounding her horribly as well, and dispelling Olf’s last Shield of the day. Vorwulf gulped down another potion. The death demon missed Grom with a twisted black claw and the shaman struck the demon down with his mace before it too leapt into the freezing night air. The creature’s corpse dissolved into fetid black smoke then was gone without a trace. Vorwulf redoubled his efforts against Parkannis and stuck both of the blades between the ribs of the lich (on a double called shot no less). The blades and the lich burst with bright white light. The obsidian gems dangling from his wrists, the phylacteries of his underlings, glistened with crackling purplish light before they popped. Out drifted spirits which surprised at first then a look of relief as they drifted into the sky and disappeared one after the other, the last being the spirit of the draco-lich which majestically soared into an opening in the clouds.

Grom: “Spirits huh? Hmmm.”

After the light faded away all that was left was a pile of ashes, the lich and the swords were gone forever. Among the ashes were several of the personal possessions of Parkannis Blackbrow which the Dragon-slayers immediately began to go through and log.

 

To Be Continued…

The Dragonslayers III Pt. 13: The Heroic Charge of the Blue-Hand

By the time Grom was able to push his way past the rest of the party including the bard and the Blue-Hand and bursting onto the scene Magiia had just smashed through the third and last iron skeleton sending its rusty bones scattering into the air and clattering across the floor of Blackbrow’s feasting hall/dining room. A large gold jewel-studded chandelier hung from the center of the deep blue vaulted ceiling studded with diamonds like stars over the long dark oak dining table. The plaster walls of the rectangular chamber were painted with a landscape mural which was that which could have been seen from the battlements of this very tower as it was ages ago. Web sheeted gold candelabras stood in the northwest and southeast corners of the room and the jet cabinet against the north wall housed a full set of superior quality gold flatware. To the north next to the jet cabinet was an iron banded wood door which was securely locked. Opening in the west wall was a small archway which led to another locked door bearing an iron skull decoration through it and immediately around a short bend. Another door identical to the previous lay through an opening in the southwest corner after a short bend to the west. To the east was a locked bar-door behind which the slayers could see a set of dark steps leading up and turning to the north around a corner out of sight between the bars. They decided since they were “storming” the tower they had to go continue up through the bars.

Cris (Vorwulf’s Player): “After we get that lich out of the way we’re gonna get that Brown-Spine!”

Magiia pulled out a vial of Rust Powder and emptied it over the black iron bars which secured the staircase. While they hung back and kept a lookout Vorwulf took the sword named the Hammer from Grom and stuck it in his belt – “just in case”. After the metal was rusted through, the magic powder had failed to completely disintegrate the bars to the groups’ disappointment, Maggi kicked the door down. Vorwulf walked up to the steps and checked for traps and listened. He heard shuffling coming from around the corner but could see nothing in the pitch-black the choked the passage. He quietly signaled the others to get ready and moved cautiously onto the steps.

Vor had just stepped around the around the bend when he caught sight of a hand reaching from the shadows as if from out of a pool of black water sheathed in an orange-metal gauntlet reaching towards the Hammer. He knocked it away with his magic (+3) buckler and immediately leapt back out into the dining room. The shaman dropped his lantern and prowled onto the dark steps. Olf the Arborean healer readied himself. Maggi steeled herself dropping her axe and pulled her sword (for some reason). The shadows in the dining room seemed to stretch and deepen. The orange-metal gauntlet leapt from the shadows around Magiia she countered with a power attack slashing into the shadows. Her blade met unseen flesh and hot blood spattered everywhere as two halves of a cloaked corpse emerged from the shadows, the Shadow Meld spell which had enchanted their mysterious attacker suddenly dispelled, and fell at the amazon’s feet.

Vorwulf: “Yup. That’s Zancor.”

Grom: “The one-armed guy?”

Magiia: “Who?”

Vorwulf: “The necromancer guy we fought in the snow back in Merdna.” (see The Dragonslayers III Pt. 1)

They took the Gauntlets of Transmutation from the bleeding corpse and proceeded to recover a few bits of gear the dead necromancer had taken from Bers’ corpse. They recovered the Cape of Bat-Flight, the Ring of Dragon-Protection (the one bearing the jeweled seal of the Slayers of the Tower), the green cloak of Invisibility with an emerald clasp (which Vorwulf took possession of), and the Shaman took the necromancer’s staff. It was a black polished heavy piece topped with a small white skull. They split up the take from Zancor’s coin purse which was made of tattooed human skin finding 3 platinum talons, 4 gold talons, 20 fliks and 15 silver pieces. The Blue-Hand began complaining and the rest of the war-party grumbled along with him so Vorwulf the rest of the slayers turned back to leading the raid.

They found the steps led to a trap door in the ceiling which led out onto the top battlements of the tower. As Vorwulf was carefully opening it up using his axe the Blue-Hand pulled his sword, the one named the Anvil, and called a charge! The slayers were pushed out into the cold with the rest of the raiders spilling out behind them into the snow. It was dark the sky was covered in angry black clouds though the slayers couldn’t tell if the sun was behind, they had no way to tell how long they had stumbled through the tower. The snow was falling limiting visibility in addition to the dark. About 25 ft. away they could see a fire burning beneath a cauldron and a tripod in front of that was the diamond-oculus which provided light and fresh air to the lower reaches of the keep. The Blue-Hand and his warriors were looking all about clueless as to what to do next while they lacked a clear target.

Vorwulf: “Idiots. Stupid Blue-Hand.”

The slayers moved forward cautiously getting within 5 ft. of the fire and cauldron. Olf used his presence-sense ability but was unable to zero-in on anything but definitely knew that something was there due to the level of power which was tweaking his psychic senses. Grom’s backpack exploded in a burst of flames burning the bag, his rations, rope and hunting horn to cinders. The large round crystal thudded into the snow glowing brightly with the image of an angry Parkannis Blackbrow. Vor knowing that this was probably a “distraction” immediately scoped the area and spotted footprints appearing mysteriously in the snow almost 40 ft. away. The Arborean moved past the flames of the fire and since he could see into the ultraviolet spectrum, could see the invisible lich where he stood and pointed him out.

Olf: “Lich! There!”

Immediately a burst of evil green energy flashed from the faceted crystal globe and all of the Westlander tribals and all but 1 of the Hill-Landers disappeared. The slayers, the Blue-Hand, Canohk the bard and the lone Achaánal clan warrior prepared for battle.

 

To Be Continued…

The Dragonslayers III Pt. 12: Evil Blue Eyes

The stinking remains of the disembodied zombie-head oozed in its wall niche and the floor was strewn with the shattered fragments of skulls. The slayers were all somewhat wounded, some more than others, and as they saw only a single path before them they decided to continue on.

Cris [Vorwulf’s Player]: “Man, we’ve got no choice! It’s this or the end of the world!”

Gil [Grom’s Player]: “You think no one else will stop him?”

Cris: “No.”

Jenn [Magiia’s Player]: “It’s up to us then. Let’s go!”

Vorwulf crept up to the start of the short north-running hall. At the end of the bend of the L-shaped passage he could spy a door and stopped to see if he could spot any traps. There was something not right about the skull decoration on the door. The door at the end of the hall was another iron-banded heavy wood door with no visible locks with a white enameled sculpture of a skull affixed to the center of its face. He withdrew so Olf, the Arborean healer, could use his telekinesis to open the door in order to bypass any potential magical traps (those activated by touch anyway). The fighters and the Blue-Hand were whispering amongst themselves while they waited for the slayers to give the go-ahead. The door creaked open arthritically on rusted hinges but to no other incident. Vorwulf, being somewhat cautious tossed a copper piece into the dim, mystically lit room to see “if anything happens”. When nothing did the ranger/dragon-slayer led the war-party in.

The atmosphere within was damp and smelled strongly of mold and mustiness. Heaped into the center of the room were the decayed remains of a large leather chair and a small table. A fresh but cold breeze blew in from behind a fancy but badly corroded vent-grating in the north wall just above the open door. To the south-east in the eastern wall was a stone step rising to the next floor. Standing in a large niche indented into the south wall was another statue portraying the beautified countenance of Parkannis Blackbrow, a large superior quality multi-faceted crystal orb held in an outstretched polished white-marble hand but this one was glowing with a fairly strong pale blue light. The statues sapphire eyes sparkled poisonously and held high in the other cold, white hand as if ready to strike was a solid gold javelin artfully styled into a lightning bolt. Along the eastern wall of the musty 15 ft. square chamber hung a large bronze shield with a large eye motif at its center with a large fist-sized sapphire as its pupil. The shield hung between two sets of crossed battle axes and great swords. As soon as the slayers were within the eerie chamber the crossed weapons on the east wall shot from their hooks and flew at them as the shield-eye began to flicker then strobe with angry blue light.

It didn’t take long for the adventurers to smash the flying weapons to shivers, less than 1 melee round, though Maggi’s armor took another couple of dings. The light in the shields eye winked out and the chamber was again filled with the soft blue glow from the large crystal. Again, they began to move through the room in a southeasterly direction towards the steps. Suddenly the shields eye blazed and Vorwulf’s heavy astral-driftmetal battle-axe was surrounded by an angry blue aura and seemed to wriggle like a living thing in his hands for a few moments but he was able to maintain his grip and the shield eye again blinked out. He motioned for the rest to follow; the Blue-Hand motioned the rest of the party to temporarily sheath their weapons as they moved past the sorcerous shield. Grom however, walked over to the statue, the glowing crystal having caught his eye. He pulled out his dagger and began to work on prying the crystal from the statues hand carefully as not to damage the treasure. He was concentrating on his efforts and didn’t notice when the last of the fighters walked up the steps out of sight. Soon after, the shaman heard the crash of breaking wood from above echoing down the steps.

After about a minute he finally yanked the crystal free. Its glow intensified. He heard a soft male voice whisper into his left ear with a slight but perceptible effeminacy.

Parkannis [the lich]: “SO why do you and your companions harry me barbarian? They and you are very skilled, powerful; and may have a place with my army. You can be rich and powerful serving the rightful lord of these lands.”

Grom [looking up at the 8 ft. tall statue]: “Um. Uh. We come in peace?”

Cris face-palmed.

Jenn snickered (she does that a lot).

Grom jumped back when he felt a hand land lightly on his left shoulder.

Gil: “Aw sh*t!”

Parkannis: “DO NOT insult me you savage!”

Grom backed towards the southeast easing towards the stairs but afraid to turn his back on the enemy mage. Parkannis, appearing as a beautiful youth with long gleaming black hair fixed by a glittering gold circlet with a single black pearl, his turquoise gold trimmed blue robe flapped when his raised his arms in the air revealing a pair of solid gold bracers studded with diamonds and emeralds on his wrists, the 3 rings on each hand shone in the reflected light of the statues crystal the light of which suddenly diminished before it went out entirely leaving Grom in a dark room under the flickering flame-light of his closed lantern which was fastened to his belt. The youth slowly followed after Grom at a leisurely pace gliding along the floor with a certain amount of measured grace ultimately leaving only a slight space between himself and the shaman.

Parkannis: “You think you can break into my HOME and disturb my RESOURCES and thwart MY right to reclaim MY lands. I AM MAGNIFICENT; I AM FURST, I AM PARKANNIS THE BLACK, and you are NOTHING!”

A golden spear stabbed through the apparent body of Parkannis towards the shaman as the image of Parkannis (for that was what it was; an illusion) dispersing it as smoke though no doubt Grom had been conversing with the authentic Parkannis, revealing the white statue made in its image wielding the gold lightning bolt lance as its weapon.

Gil/Grom: “Uh, guys?”

Cris: “Dude, we’re busy! You gotta deal with it yerself!”

Maggi had kicked down the door revealing a fairly large and hideously underused dining room, fully set and decorated, and the 3 iron bone skeletons attendant within that sizeable chamber.

Cris: “Three! THREE! REALLY!”

Me [the GM]: “Well, only one has six-arms.”

Cris scowled at me as he picked up his D20 and began to roll initiative.

A brief battle ensued with Vorwulf and Maggi slinging powerful blow after powerful blow at the iron skellies and Olf catching the third skeleton in a telekinetic grapple after buffeting it from atop the long table. The six-armed skeleton scored a lucky slash with the serrated blade of one of its falchions on Vorwulf wounding him horribly. Magiia took her share of the wounds and found herself at the same level of physical damage that she had been at before the scant healing that she had received previously.

Meanwhile, on the floor below in the eye-shield chamber, after avoiding a jab of the golden lightning lance, now crackling with electricity, Grom quickened a Bull’s Strength spell on himself and whipped out his Mace of Supernatural Power. A blast of magical energy shot from the statues sapphire eyes.

Gil: “Nope.”

Me: “What!?”

Gil: “I just remembered. I have this Ring of Eldritch Aura so it has to get through my Magic Resistance first.”

Which it didn’t.

Cris: “This guy! Uh! Oh I forgot I have this THING that will completely wipe that out!”

Grom quickly pummeled the animated statue to dust. He snatched up the sapphire eyes from the shattered head and wrapped the crystal he had taken from the statues hand in a rag and dropped it into the Bag of Holding on his hip when he noticed a pale blue light shining within his backpack; the other crystal was glowing. In it he could see a clear vision of Parkannis pacing back and forth presumably at the top battlements of the tower. He pulled off a fur he was wearing from his shoulders and wrapped that crystal up as well stuffing it back into his pack. He jaunted up the steps to rejoin his companions the sound of ringing steel rising with every step.

 

To Be Continued…