Monday, 22 October 2012

[AD&D] The village of Hommlet session 12 summary

From the notes of Alric Brethencourt of Veluna

Earthday, 20th day of Coldeven, dusk, the hidden entrance to the ruined moathouse

As we were gathered in the cold, foggy dark of night outside the secret moathouse passage, our ranger Kazireh suddenly became aware that someone was heading our way, at the very least one heavily armoured individual. For a moment we fretted; reinforcements of the evildoers, trying to catch us unaware from the rear? But then an unobtrusive birdcall seemed to put Kazireh at ease: a sign from the rangers of the Gnarley. And indeed, not long after a small company arrived, composed of some welcome familiar faces, and some new ones. None other than the recently vanished Philius Tilm, agent of the Kron Hills Gnomes led their number. At his side walked our companion Basil, who despite his dubious line of work had proved himself a decent sort and a trustworthy fellow. Joining them were an Elf and a Dwarf, both rather sturdy looking for their respective races. The Dwarf was clad all in plate and carried a sharp looking axe with him; while the Elf, wearing the robes of a practitioner of the magical arts, had a bow slung over his shoulder and a sword on his hip. A raven followed him too, which I heard being referred to as Elronny. Let it be noted here that at this point our company began to resemble a traveling menagerie.

 They introduced themselves as Eeli Goldblade, disciple of Clangeddin, one of the Lortmill, and Emariel of the Kingdom of Celene, sent by his superiors to aid us after Ellaria had returned to North Elfguard. Philius bore the glad tidings that, thanks to the influence of the viscount, these two had been sent to assist us on our perilous mission. Basil too vouched for them, and had personally seen lord Burne verifying their credentials. We had little time for proper introductions however: it had now been more than an hour since we had last seen our companion Tuffnell, and time was surely against us. Eeli and Emariel’s fortuitous arrival at this moment was a great relief and convenience - perhaps even suspiciously so. One whose faith in the grand scheme of things wavers in such dark moments could be assumed to harbour suspicions in his heart of hearts. However, I saw the hand of a superior being in this chance encounter, a sign clear for all to see, that good will always triumph, even when the night is at its darkest and the mind, in despair, turns to all but the grimmest thoughts. But we could no longer tarry. Our newfound companions would prove their allegiance and mettle in battle soon, no doubt. Having own matters to tend to, Philius vanished into the night once more, and our company set out, carefully descending into the tunnel, in search of the errant druid. Chose to stay behind, wary of the possibility of an ambush still, to make sure the entrance was guarded and our horses, packed with most of our belongings, remained safe. Writing this now, with the added benefit of hindsight, perhaps it was a tactical mistake; but as things turned out the way they did, I believe it was fated to be, divine providence if you will.

The plan was that Basil would use his professional acumen to approach the door quickly and silently and open it, while the rest of our party followed him from a short distance. Stood watching the approach to the tunnel, when suddenly I heard the echo of a loud bang coming from behind me, reverberating off the stone walls of the passage. Something was clearly amiss; I only hoped it was not too late yet. Immediately mounted my destrier Harros, grabbed my lance, and charged down the darkness of the tunnel towards the faint light in the distance. Mixed shouts now reached me, as well as the wails and cries of ghastly, abominable undead. Harros flew with great speed, but I proved ill prepared for what I would find down there.

A tangled, frantic battle was taking place, with our company hard pressed. As there was little room for a controlled charge I reined in my horse hard, and in that moment I could overlook the carnage from a little to be envied vantage point. Before me in a pool of blood lay the body of the Halfling Basil, savagely bitten by what seemed to be reanimated corpse of Weebrian’s former dog Rotter. The cleric Eeli lay slumped in an unnatural fashion against the wall of tunnel, with a ghoulish gnoll climbing over him. Chryseis was locked in combat with a decaying bugbear, but at that very moment fell to a paralyzing rend of its claws. A few feet ahead of this melee what looked like a large spider’s web barred access to the door just beyond, and two ghouls, entangled in it, were desperately trying to rip free of it, when suddenly it burst into flame as Weebrian, stood right next to me, muttered an arcane incantation. The web burned quickly and brightly, charring one of the ghouls while granting the other the opportunity to free itself. Now the door came back into a view, and what could be seen there sent a chill down my spine. Standing at the entrance of his mistress’s underground lair, flanked by two crossbow wielding Dark Elves was none other than the vile Silas Rac, lieutenant of the Temple’s Keep and the most dangerous of Lareth’s lackeys, brandishing his cruel two-handed sword that had been my undoing on our previous encounter. With some effort we dispatched the remaining ghouls standing between us as the Drow, as Silas stepped into the tunnel to meet our challenge. Despite her skill, Kazireh could not stand her ground against the onslaught of blows that Silas unleashed. Then a series of very peculiar occurrences took place. I noticed, from the corner of my eye, one of the Dark Elf bodyguards suddenly drop to the ground, while Silas advanced in my direction. At the same time, due to a spell courtesy of Emariel, I rapidly began to grow in size, so much so that I thought it best to dismount before the strange magic spooked Harros. Alas I had little time to familiarize myself with my new dimensions; as but moments later Silas brought down his sword upon me. Blackness rushed up to greet me as I too fell, my last waking moment a distorted impressions of hundreds of blue butterflies fluttering all around me.

Then suddenly, with a jolt, I awoke, as an unseen hand poured a healing tonic down my throat. Aching, I tried to get up, but too late. The fiend Silas had turned his malice on our companion Emariel, and inflicted a most grievous wound upon him, with such force that no Elf or Man could have withstood it. Emariel too was slain by the forces of evil, but the tide of battle was about to turn. A gobbing sound could be heard nearby, and a globule of poisonous spit caught the back of Silas’s head. The mighty warrior fell, paralyzed, by the feet of the dead Elf, bested by the most unlikely of opponents; the toad Mr Timmus. Wasted no time in preventing him from rising ever again and with exultant, righteous fury I drove the Song Spear deep in his flesh and that of his fellow Dark Elves. Chryseis meanwhile brought out the precious flask father Lightweather had presented us with when we left Verbobonc. Quite assuredly she administered its contents to Emariel, and lo and behold, the latter suddenly drew breath once again.

There was no time for rejoicing however, as then the Canoness Warden of the Temple’s Keep herself, Lareth the self-styled Beautiful, appeared, with a throng of zombies at her beck and call, and far worse, our friend and companion Tuffnell, wearing but his underclothes, on a leash. I will not tarnish these reminiscences by repeating any of her foul utterances; let it be recorded that Chryseis boldly stepped forward to meet her, paying no heed to her vile and twisted words, while the revived Eeli invoked the name of Clangeddin and sent the zombies staggering back. Then Weebrian, wielding magics the likes of which I did not know he was capable of, sent a bolt of lightning streaming by, cutting short the unlives of Lareth’s reanimated minions and injuring the Canoness. At this point I had caught up with Chryseis and, noticing that something was definitely amiss with Tuffnell, cast him to the ground so he would not turn his mystical powers on his allies in his confusion. This in turn must have angered his faithful companion Timmus, who then used his poison on me, to great effect. I felt my muscles cramp and stiffen, and helplessly I fell to the ground. What passed then I cannot clearly recall, but more lightning was hurled at Lareth by Weebrian, and then a great explosion ensued, a deafening blast that threw Tuffnell against the wall beside me. Some time passed before I was able to stand up and walk. My companions were already gathered around what little remained of Lareth, the once Beautiful. Apart from some enchanted pieces of her equipment, there was no trace remaining of her, not even a stain left to remind the world that once she walked it. Unfortunate victim of our spectacular if unexpected victory was Reggie, Kazireh’s dwarven tunnel hound. Of him too, nothing was left. But his demise is of little import here. We defeated a great evil, but at the cost of the life of one of our valued companions. Rest easy, brave Basil, your friends will remember and honour your sacrifice always.


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