|8 point buck outside the window as we|
started. Deer season opener is
The elf having inexplicably wandered off the party was reduced to the Tilean fighter, the Dwarf Magus and the dwarf monk with his human henchman of the clerical persuasion. Prior to starting I informed the monk's player that his henchwoman, when encountering uncouth behavior would use her 0 level 'Create Water' on the offending character, like a squirt gun on a cat. He asked if she could do it as ice water and I magnanimously agreed.
Faced with a choice of going after the Swamp Witch or returning to the trap door in Crow's Hill, they decided to do the door first. After an uneventful journey, they returned to the octagonal room with the red granite floor and walls covered with archaic holy symbols. Lacking the thief they used brute force and a crow bar to open the trap door, discovering a shaft with a ladder leading down to a stone door inscribed 'Correus, Fidelis Custos'. Despite the a couple of the players being former altar boys, they couldn't decipher the dog latin. They did guess had something to do with faith or fidelity, but that was as close as they got.
Opening the door, they entered a keyhole shaped room, with a throne at the far end. In the throne was seated a skeleton wearing ring mail, with a jeweled torque and bracers, holding an iron spear across the arms of the chair. Behind the throne they could see that the wall was carved with some sort of symbol, but they couldn't tell what. They detected magic around the skeleton's neck and the spear, and also from some chests under the alchemist's lab set on one side. Keeping one eye on the skeleton, they looted the chests (better to run away rich than poor), before tackling the skeleton, which they assumed was some form of undead.
The cleric prepared to turn undead and the party readied itself as the dwarf magus reached out to take the spear, and a transparent shade materialized around the skeleton and immediately attacked. Whacking the dwarf for minor damage, but also draining two levels. (Level drain in Pathfinder is crap, more like a bad curse than actually losing levels.) The cleric realized the spectre was too much for her. But the party had enough magic weapons and the fighter kept making the fortitude saves so the fairly quickly put the spirit to rest.
|Freehand in GIMP. If I was an artist|
I wouldn't even aspire to'be a
Heaving aside the throne they discovered that the wall contained another stone door, but the entire wall and door were carver with a strange sign that looked like a warped star with a sort of five lobed oak leaf in the center.
Breaking the sealed door, allowed a miasma of rotting fish to roll into the room. A vision in pink awaited the party in the next room, but it was vision that made the characters reach for the eye bleach. From it's clawed toes to the tips of it's enormous flapping ears, the ape like body was pink. All shades of pink. From florescent to the pink of blood spilled in water, the shades writhed across patches of hair, scales and skin on the seamed wrinkly hide. From the center of it's triangular head, a single malevolent green eye stared balefully at them. The lamprey mouth dripped a disgusting yellow ichor on the scuffed out lines of the restraining pentagram.
The cleric (domains of War and Glory) charged in while the players hung back hoping to lure it out. After she luckily survived the first round, they started piling in. But in the second round the creature did the good old claw/claw/bite and REND to but the cleric all the way down. The monk and the fighter waded in, again making saving throws to avoid both the confusion effect and egg implant from the bite attack and after several round put it down.
The cleric was down to -22, but instead of declaring her dead, I had them role on the ACKS mortal wounds table (the monk actually had Heal as a skill) It came out as the loss of a hand, so I had them roll percentage to dtermine how much of the arm was taken off - 03! The hand was intact but mangled beyond use and it was her weapon hand too. On top of that she needs a weeks bed rest. The magus had Bandages of Rapid Recovery, so she could get her bed rest while they transported her. They took her back to Rettindorf to be looked after by the villagers and then went to find the Swamp Witch.
They knew that the herbalist hadn't been seen in the village since their encounter with the bugbears, as they had taken over his house, but one of the local lads reported he had seen him skulking around the edge of the forest. Failing their Perception checks to see him observing them or running ahead to warn his mistress, they returned to the bugbear huts where they found the bodies had disappeared. Doing an easy tracking job (where in I found out that the monk had NOT been using his Survival skill for tracking last time, but his Perception - no wonder he succeeded so well) they followed the drag marks to a pile of bodies behind a nearby bush. Looking around they found a path leading to a cabin at the top of the hill, sneaking up on it the magus opened the door to see a gowned figure with something moving on it's head. A medusa! He slammed the door shut again. At the same time the fighter in the rear and the monk heard a branch break behind them, wheeling the fighter made his save against the medusa's gaze and her arrows missed. The next round the fighter moved to melee with the medusa while the monk ran around to flank her. (pity that all those snakes prevent it). The magus got off a spell at the one outside, but the door cracked open and a fan of flame billowed out singing him. The fighter kept making his fortitude saves so he and the monk fairly quickly (after I pointed out the fighter's player was adding his attack bonus to the damage roll
Inside the cabin they found some minor treasure and a journal, showing a map of the hill, which included a tree down the hill from where they had slain the medusa, whose head they harvested. but most of the note book was filled with what they assumed were musical notations. Going down the hill, they found a tree with strange ridged bark and two hardwood rods leaning on it. Detect magic was inconclusive and after some fooling around with the sticks and bad puns on the DM's name, the magus attempted to play a tune on the tree. Dancing Lights appeared. This caused some speculation, he attempted to play the same tune but failed - however this time a bassoon appeared. The dwarf picked it up and tried to play it - causing everything in the swamp to flee - before it disappeared whence it had come.
Returning to the village, they found the baron had returned with the men after putting down the Kurgen Horde the party had fled from all those months ago. the villagers helped them load the macguffin (cocktriced bear) into the wagon and they returned to Altdorf. The magus has now hired a bard to teach him to read music and a sage at one of the colleges (admittance allowed after a sizable donation) to research Correus. The sage thought Correus might be the name of one of the old pre-Empire chieftains.