Friday, 3 October 2014

PotS 1x06 - Into the Catacombs

These posts are from our DnD group's latest game. The current adventure is a return to the world of Eberron, and specifically Xen'drik. Their time in Stormreach had to be cut short - shipless, they return to the ruins, to search out and solve its mysteries!  

Contenders for the Cards
Almost as soon as they had arrived in Stormreach, they had started hearing rumours of another group who were also looking for the cards. They had been asking questions throughout Stormreach, and had even ruffed up a few individuals, who were still shaken by the experience. They also left for Zantashk at least a week before Kami and her crew even made it to Stormreach. With knowledge and time on their hands, Kami wanted a speedy turnaround.

Cousin Walid was delighted with their map, and eager to set up the portal to start trade with the eladrin encampment. His promised work to the Kami Kaze would take time, though - probably at least a month - and so he suggested another option. The trade portal would be linked within a few days, and they could return to Zantashk via it. Once he was finished with his work, he could sail Kami's shop down for her. After a bit of discussion, he instead offered to send some of his men via the portal to inform Kami of the work's completion, and then she could return to sail her own vessel back.

Sir Edric, of course, was coming with them, and eagerly moved into research mode as they arrived in the feygrove. There, they briefly met with Galinndan, who surprised the party by not rejoining them - instead, he used the now-functioning portal to travel to Stormreach, in search of answers to his own questions.

A Return to the Ruins
Hassan was most impressed with what the Kaapiots had achieved in their month-long Watchtower investigation. Taking the ideas Hassan had come up with, they had turned the observation utility of the tower into a rudimentary form of transportation, being able to draw those they scryed into the chamber, and deposit them at another location. Each trip exhausted one of the quadriplets for most of the day, meaning that they couldn't handle more than two transportations a day and leave the tower manned, but they were able to quickly take the party from the grove to the ruins without the required hours of travel.

Sir Edric was delighted to have found the temple ruins, even though he was deeply saddened as to what had happened to the order. Before the afternoon sun had started to dip behind the mountains, he had confirmed that there were indeed other areas beneath them. Once, they would have accessed them by steep and elaborate stairwells, or short-range magical travel. Now, the stairwells had collapsed, and the magic had long since dissipated. It was down to the Kaapiots to throw them into the catacombs...but such a trip would exhaust them completely! So it was that Regdar's eyesight and Urquilla's brawn would guard over the four dwarves until they were once again ready to run the Watchtower.

Venturing Far Below
The catacombs were dark and reeked of decay. Hassan quickly brought a light into play, with which they could make out the faint shadows of sarcophagi lying here and there, the final resting places of the paladins of the order. More dead had been placed indiscriminately in niches in the wall, piled upon each other so that their remains no longer remained separate.

From ahead of them, they heard the faint sounds of chanting. As they approached, four individuals were spotted kneeling before an altar - adorned in armour, but the metal was covered in grime and dirt, as if they had been underneath the ground for far too long. Expecting the worst, the party were momentarily confused when the knights rose and greeted them. They introduced themselves as paladins, trapped and barely surviving after their path inside had collapsed behind them. Their leader, Sir Glenndin, explained the altar, dedicated to the cycle of life and death - at the top, Balinor; at the bottom, The Keeper. Somehow, they claimed, Balinor had kept them from the Keeper's grasp for now. They had meagre magic to create plain food, but no real way out... which was when Kami realised that she had no presence of the Watchtower any more. They were, apparently, cut off. Trapped, like Sir Glenndin and his companions.

With promises to return, and warnings about what lay ahead, the group moved onwards, which was when the paladins showed their true forms. Lashing out at the party's back, they may well have had the victory, had they not spent so long together, knowing each other's tactics, and being formed into a formidable 'land crew'.

Giving Rest to the Wicked
The next two areas were more straight-forward. There was little doubt that the occupants would be aggressive, undead, and in need of being subdued, though that was not to say it was easy. As they moved into a room dedicated Arawai, complete with a floor mosaic and a spring of life-giving water, Hassan was nearly roasted alive by two flaming skeletons. Tvennr also had to throw back a hungry wight, whilst Ogg cleared away the remaining skeletal guardians.

Though Tvennr and Ogg had each recovered from their month-long bout of mummy rot, they were not eager to engage directly with the two mummified paladins they found next. The room, coated in thick moss, and with masses of roots hanging from the broken ceiling, held two of the creatures, along with an expansive swarm of rot scarabs, and a rather crazy flameskull. Once even his fiery light was dimmed, and the two mummies returned to their resting places, the group looked around to work out where to store the skull. Strangely, the other two sarcophagi were firmly closed, and had been that way for many, many decades. Perhaps, the skull belonged elsewhere?

The search was left for later - with Hassan's skin taking on an ominous (and now familiar) green hue, the party agreed that they had to stop for the night. They all would have preferred to rest outside the catacombs, but with no way of contacting those at the tower, that option was unfortunately removed. Hopefully, that would be dealt with in time.

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