Kathy - Vochma
Micah - Cardhu
Mark - Corlis
Ben - Gerald
Liz - Quera
Joe - Moth (playing Misha today - Moth is out of town)
Josh - Bo
The party stood in the flesh-covered hallway inside Golga's, momentarily stunned by the force of the lightning bolt Sernelia had just launched. After a few moments of chaos, we all gathered together and elected to press onward, making our way as best we can past the bizarre direction shifting effects we encountered at each intersection. We also decided to pass most of the side passages so we could get through to our final goal more quickly.
We continued ahead, and cross several pit traps in the floor. Corlis was in front with Quera and Cardhu locating the pit traps. As Corlis jumped across a final pit, he was beset by a half-dozen of the horrid zombie things. The berserkergang took him, and he began to carve a path through the fleshy remains. Quickly, Bo leaped across and joined the fray, while Quera and Cardhu consumed potions of spider climb and proceeded across the pit and up the ceiling to get behind the zombie creatures and attack from there. Misha advanced to aid in the fight, but when he leaped the pit, he slipped on the oil someone had thrown and fell into the pit. Vochma an Sabrina pulled him out, and the healer cured him.
When the last of the zombies fell, Corlis was still berserk, and noticed something down one of the side halls. He chased after it, but returned shortly thereafter, calmed, without having encountered anything.
The party spent a good 20 minutes regrouping and healing, then proceeded down the passage. We elected to ignore the doors marked with DEATH MAGIC MASTERY and FATE MAGIC, and went to the one unmarked door in the passage. Behind it we found Sernelia, another group of the zombie creatures, and a huge fleshy construct - Mr. Fleshy in person. The Storm Bull takes Corlis once again, and he charges to the attack, while the rest of the party tries to get to the doorway (the strange directional shifting effects were still causing problems). Corlis' first attack nearly cleaved Sernelia in two, but something clawed and worm-like inside her actually held her together long enough to turn to mist form and escape. Corlis decided to turn his attentions to Mr. Fleshy next.
By this time, other party members had reached the room, Bo ducked in around the corner and started firing arrows at the enemy, while Vochma launched an icy spell into the room that killed the zombie things, leaving Mr. Fleshy for Corlis to hack to bits, which he did in fairly short order (but man did that thing hurt!) Several party members noticed that Corlis was inflicting massive damage on Mr. Fleshy - more than usual.
Finally, the creature fell, and the still berserk Corlis started hacking on party members. He knocked Bo, Misha, Cardhu unconscious, then turned to the poor healer, who he sliced and diced into small chunks, who spoke the healer's dying curse as she died. Shortly thereafter the berserkergang left him.
Once the party recovered from the brutal assault, they took the black gem they received from the Mother of Gods on the Shadow Plane and crushed it over Sabrina's corpse, bringing her back to life. When she recovered, she attempted to remove the curse from Corlis, but could not -- something prevented her.
Now that the study (for so the room appeared to be) was freed of evil zombie creatures and fleshy constructs, the party searched it, revealing a most interesting journal (which identified Sernelia as a Wampiri), and six medallions designed for protection from the devil Vine. All of the party donned the medallions except Corlis (there were not enough to go around). And the party elected to spend a night of rest in this place -- which had more normal construction.
The party awakened after a restless but uneventful night. After healing as many wounds as possible, we headed back out to finish our task. We quickly discovered the guards and wards of the previous day were no longer in effect, making our travels much easier.
Just outside the room we holed up in, we discovered the door Sernelia made her escape through bore a new seal, which appeared to be the seal of the devil Vine. Misha foolishly touched the thing and was nearly burned to a crisp. The healer quickly applied her arts and revived him, and the glyph was broken. We opened the door and discovered that it lead into a large round room filled with a huge pile of bones. Along the walls were five portals, shackled to each was a Brother of Balance, with eyes and ears burned shut. Beyond the portals we can see many many Wampiri, pressing forward to get through the portals. As we studied this scene, Sernelia came down a flight of steps, turned to mist, and floated into the pile of bones.
We elected to go up the stairs and see what we might find, but when we cross the threshold above, all magic dies away! The room above is some sort of summoning room, filled with evil sigils and runes. We elected to go back and deal with Sernelia before proceeding upward.
Down below, The mist arose from the bones, then crept back up the stairs. Sabrina the healer refused to go back up stairs, saying being cut off from her god and healing was too much to take, so Vochma and Quera stayed behind to keep her safe while the rest of the party went back up (after first coating all weapons with garlic oil).
Above we faced the Sernelia thing, in evil needle toothed monstrous form. The group attacked in full force, and eventually we slew the evil creature (once again Corlis inflicted massive damage on the creature). The force of the thing's death was powerful enough to knock unconscious most of the group upstairs. The few folk remaining standing roused the unconscious folk
Meanwhile downstairs, a large chunk of the bones had fallen off the pile, revealing a candle and a strange bone dagger. Sabrina the healer went down to take a look, and picked up the dagger. When she did, some evil spirit possessed her, and she began to gesture at the pile of bones, which slowly began to form into an undead army of skeletons! Vochma tried to knock the dagger free, but failed, running up the stairs to the rest of the party. Quera bravely battled the healer for possession of the dagger while skeletons closed, but could not wrest it free in time, and eventually had to flee as well.
Upstairs, the group gathered back together and debated what to do. Since they had seen no way out down below, they felt they could leave the healer for a few hours and continue exploring the rest of the tower, and finish this thing off, then come back and deal with the problem below. We proceeded upward. The next level up was the lair of a monstrous spider that Bo quickly burned in its web. Above that was the lair of a group of witches, which quickly fell to the party as the warding medallions made the witches magic useless (though one of the witches managed to seal up the stairway behind us with solid stone). The next level up contained a smithy, and Gerald paused to admire the swords on display there. The next level up was a laboratory, and we discovered a number of potions there.
Up again, and we discovered a study and torture chamber all rolled into one. Exploration uncovers a spell book, which Vochma destroys when she reads it. We also discover some letters to Baron Stewart and Nightgaunt, a sorcerer mentioned in Sernelia's diary. As we explored the room, our old friend the hunchbacked man came down the stairs. He revealed himself to be an agent of Baron Stewart, and serving as a messenger between Stewart and Sernelia. He also reveals there is an angel trapped above. We ask the hunchbacked man to tell us how he enters and leaves the tower, and he is surprised to learn that there is no way out down below. We tell him to go look -- a bad idea, as he teleports himself away.
We proceeded upward again, and discovered that things are as the hunchback said. An angel, claiming to be the emissary of Rootgar -- dwarven god of combat, is there. We discuss with it why it is there and are not quite convinced it is what it claims to be. It asks us to go to the Cauldera and bring back the head of Nightgaunt. We refuse and Bo attempts to touch the creature with holy water. It recoils and transforms into Vine!
The party gathered itself to do battle with the foul minion of evil, but before anyone could act, Misha pulled forth the arrow given to him by the Trickster God at the moon pool long ago, took aim and fired! The arrow flew true, and struck the devil in the heart. With a terrible cry the creature fell and collapsed to nothingness. As it faded away, the party heard Misha say "Farewell - Father." =8-0
When the devil faded away completely, the tower began to collapse, depositing the party in town, where chaos ruled. Apparently the healer and her undead forces had managed to escape the tower while the party was inside and had attacked the town, slaying many and causing great damage. Only the timely intervention of Moth with a group of elven warriors had saved the place from destruction. We also learned that several days more than we thought had passed, and the healer was long gone into Veldman's Needles.
As we surveyed the damage, we discovered the Duke, nearly dead, but spitting up some sort of worm creature from his guts. We took him to the healer's, who were quite busy. We aided folk in town as best we could, while debating the future. Most of the common folk were OK, with the chief losses being amongst the Duke's guard. When the Duke heard that Moth and his folk had saved the town, he lifted Moth's banishment as well.
Thus ended the quest to stop the devil Vine and its minions. There were many twists along the way, but two great evils were put to rest (or were they?) There remains the Caldera, where Nightgaunt awaits, and the roving undead army of the healer Sabrina, possessed by the evil dagger. More awaits the party, but now it is time for a brief rest.
This is the end of the campaign until the Fall of '98. The group is going to be running a troupe style Star Wars mini-campaign over the summer because travel and work schedules are going to make it difficult to organize the main campaign, and to give Rich a well deserved break from running games. Expect to see the next session write up sometime in September.
When Corlis went running off berserk after the thing he thought he saw, he encountered a creature that appeared to be the Wampiri. It charmed him and laid some sort of egg in his throat, told him to go kill evil, then erased his memory of the event. This is what is causing him to inflict such great damage in battle and why the healer could not lift her dying curse. I'm sure something will come from this in the future.
The party has (not including items distributed):
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