Because I haven’t written anything in forever, here’s the recap for first session of my homegroups 5e campaign.
Last time on, The Fate of Mercaers,
Our party found themselves in spot of trouble as they attempted to track down the erstwhile Tiernan MacWessel, the son of Wessel Hotch the town’s mayor who was ostensibly their boss but lack much real authority what with the Baron always being around. A band of orc rejects attacked them in the mountains. Two stopped their way while two more dropped rocks from above. However the party made quick work of the would be ambushers and as they recovered from their minor wounds Thia the Ranger noticed a dried pool of blood along the trail. Recognizing it as belong to some humanoid but not an Orc or Goblin the party suspected the worst for Tiernan and with some clever deductions were able to guess where he had gone.
They followed the suspected trail till they found a cave entrance. Written on the outside of the cave “Here lies that prince of fools who thought he could conquer death. His final rest will be never ending. His torment is finally over. May tritheron bless him for his sacrifice and punish him for his betrayal.” in infernal and draconic. The party gave the words little thought and moved on into the cave. It was immediately clear this was a magic location as a tingle ran through them crossing the entrance and the cave air felt fresh and warm.
Descending some stairs they came to a passage heading to the left and right. Mo, Palladin of the Green Lady, reached out with his mind for sense of evil and was guided by her hand to know of undead down to the right. The party advanced slowly sending two members to scout ahead. But when they got to the to appropriate spot there was nothing. HiroHito, People’s Hero and Famed Sorcerer(™) sent forth motes of light to guide their way. The party approached another branch with a passage continuing straight and one off to the left. As they debated the lights continued forward illuminating three rotting Orc corpses standing and moving around. The zombies from Mo’s earlier divination. The zombies began to advance at a slow walk and the party rushed in to meet them, with the exception of Thia who kept her place in the back, ready to rain death with powerful bow.
Lighting flew from Hiro’s Dragonbone staff, Arrows sunk into flesh as Thia mercieless picked her targets. Shiel the berserker fighter and Kine the quirky monk hacked away with axe and sword while Mo reached from behind with his mighty glaive severing limbs and skulls. As the battle wrapped up with the final smashing of the skull the party turned to see Thia bristle with tiny arrows and drop where she stood. Behind her 3 kobolds stood with small bows raised, looking ready to perforate the party where they stood.
But Mo would have none of it and he charged the tiny lizard beasts while Kine and Hiro tended to their wounded friend. Seeing the great knight charge was enough to convince the Kobolds that cowardice was the better part of survival and they flew down the adjoining passage away from the the Mercearn adventurers. Mo turned back then and the group took a moment to collect their wits. Thia had recovered and though her clothes were covered in blood it seemed none of the arrows had done any permanent damage. A quick scouting trip down the corridor the Kobolds used to flee they found them set up behind a portcullis ready to fire arrows through at anyone who approached. Mo however knew how to deal with this cowardly lot and let forth a great growl, almost an animalistic thing. The creatures heard their deaths in that noise and abandoned thier bows and their posts, fleeing farther into the dark.
Returning to the once zombie occupied tunnel the party noticed a set of ”windows” cut into the wall. They were unable to pass anything through a solid barrier perhaps of magic perhaps some ancient glass the secrets of how to make long lost stood in their way. Through the window they could see a what appeared to be a robed figure, his face hidden beneath a hood, his two arms hidden his sleeves, placed on two glowing pillars. There were also many skeletal remains and what looked like a body either recently dead or still alive laying face down at the foot of an elaborate and gaudy decorated sarcophagus.
Unable to make ingress through the window our Hero’s continued on, finding another winding hallway that led to an ornately decorated chamber. The walls were covered with religious carvings, many of which had been crudely covered with some form of graffiti. One item in particular stood out though. A Demon head brought forth from the wall like some form of gargoyle. It’s mouth was open and below it a pictogram showed a woman depositing a diamond into it’s mouth. Inside the carved mouth near the back of the throat was a diamond. To the left were another set of stairs.
Some discussion left the party in a state of confusion. Mo seized the initiative and tried depositing a pebble in the demon’s mouth. It closed and when it reopened the pebble was gone and he could feel a magical divine presence surrounding him. Kine tried a different method, grabbing a stick and attempting to reach the diamond in the back of the Demon’s throat. However he still had to put his arm into the mouth which closed with a snap on his hand as he touched the jewel. It was clear to Hiro that the trap had lost magical powers over the years and would have taken Kine’s hand off had it been in full effect. Shiel was able to pulled the head up allowing Kine to extract himself, diamond in hand.
Kine wasn’t done though. He wanted to see where the pebble had gone. After some talk of smashing the head, Mo grabbed a crowbar and helped Shiel wedge the thing open. Kine climbed in and was able to see a pile of treasure below. However to reach it would take hours trying to expand the hole in the Demon’s mouth. The party decided to leave it for now, perhaps risking an attempt on their way out.
They descended the stairs and found the passage below to be lite ambiently by magic. It felt like it led back the way they came and when they reached the stairs and the end and ascended they found themselves in the chamber they had viewed before. The walked into the room only for pieces of the scattered skeletons to begin moving. A dozen hands in different levels of rot and decay leaped up and started skittering towards the group.
Hiro, calm as early spring breeze, lifted his wand, the claws on the end gripped tight on the glowing crystal that tipped it. He began to sing a lullaby his mom had taught him and the crystal pulsed in time to the music, it’s light reflecting mesmerizingly on the slightly bronze scales that lay on his skin. One hand in the distance dropped, it’s animation unable to keep in moving against his sorcery. He looked around confused though as usually that spell packed a bigger punch dropping up to a score of enemies once.
But he wasn’t given long to think as the hands began to jump and claw at him and his friends. They blocked eyes and ears, grabbed throats, pulled arms and legs preventing movement. Thia dispatched a few with arrows, pinning them to the floor. Hiro fried a few more with lighting. Mo and Shiel were both grasped heartly until the things found their belt pouches and took of running. Kine finished the last few around them, while Hiro fried Shiels thief and Thia impaled Mo’s.
Kine and Mo then went to look at the Robe standing in the corner, thinking that’s where the hand that stole from the knight was headed. It turned out to be a very old man breathing shallowly unaware of the party completely. The other three moved closer to the body. Turning it over they found it to be Tiernan’s Manservant and he was not breathing. There was a large blood stain on his robe. He most certainly dead. As they turned this over in their heads, Kine grabbed the robes arms and pulled them from the pillars. The robe collapse the figure inside aging quickly, turning skeletal and then finally disintegrating to dust. A loud laughter filled the chamber and the lid of the sarcophagus thumped once.
The laughter died out and the Hero’s stood in silence. Then, the Ghoul that had once been Tiernan’s manservant struck. It reached forward with it’s claws swiping at Shiel but he was able to block easily. Thia’s quick reactions let her knock an arrow and release punching it through the things eye before the other could even react. She was smart though, not waiting around to savor the moment but moving well beyond the things reach as she knocked another arrow. Shiel and the beast traded it blows and circle neither able to create a full opening on the other. Hiro tried to fire in his lightning but was unable to land a strike as the two moved warriors moved in an intricate deadly dance. Mo slowly and purposefully strode to the sarcophagus to empty out a sack of ball bearings, hoping to catch whatever might spring forth from the tomb. Kine, in contrast, flew across the room to help the one he named master, but before he could get to the young sorcerer’s aid Thia’s second arrow had taken the things other eyeball and the beast embraced death for a second and final time.