On Monday, September 9th, two adventurers meet and decide to see what else hides in the tomb beneath Castle Wraecliff. Word came that Wraecliff’s laborers had entered the the first level of the tomb under his watch, but that he desired another party to explore the level below. A third follows with the same intent. They are
- Lash (WaB): Level 1 Human Thief
- Lonir (MaC): Level 2 Elf Thief.
- Verdis the Prickly (HuS): Level 2 Human Fighter
Lash and Lonir set out first, hoping to pass unseen and discover more about the tomb. They take with them Verdis’s map of the tomb. They arrive at Castle Wraecliff and get updated on the status of the tomb. Verdis arrives soon after they enter the tomb and moves to catch up. As they hesitate at the edge of Verdis’s map, he joins them, having passed Wraecliff bringing his workers in on the way down.
They traverse a room occupied by two long tables. A zombie at the far end gives them little trouble. While Verdis adds the room to his map, Lash mixes the contents of many jars to no effect he can detect. Lonir picks up a wicked ceremonial dagger with a severed hand beside it and finds he can’t put it down. Lash takes the hand.
They descend the stairs and find themselves in a room where Lonir can see 8 skeletons and many other undead waiting for them to make the first move. The battle begins when Lonir, using Verdis’s Puppeteer Staff, commands a skeleton to attack its neighbor. Lonir continues to command and produces his glowing crystal, revealing the rest of the room. Verdis charges in, embedding himself deep in the undead force. Lash focuses on one of the two Dead Lords, launching an arrow, throwing the severed hand, and finally a burning lantern.
Though Lonir’s two controlled undead have a great impact and Verdis manages defend himself against all attack, just as Lash and Lonir come under attack from advancing skeletons, a wight manages to drain a level from Lash, and a pair of creepers drop in behind them, one of them stabbing Lonir badly. They are wildly outnumbered and on the verge of death.
Lonir breaks and runs, taking another cut on the way out. Verdis runs back and strikes down a creeper, pulling Lash to the stairs and out of danger. Lash runs up the stairs and Verdis manages to take only a little damage before withdrawing himself.
They regroup near the stairs to the top level, waiting to fight in a narrower confine. The undead don’t seem to be following. They take stock of their condition and, despite being sure the staff no longer has power remaining, they believe they can do better if Verdis holds the stairs while Lonir (with one finger off his dagger hilt) and Lash focus their bows on the dead lords.
On the way back they chase a zombie down the stairs and engage with Verdis keeping a wide stance to prevent anyone passing him up the wide stairs. By fighting defensively, he holds out unwounded until Lonir finally finishes the first dead lord, which Lash had wounded before. Over half of the remaining foes collapse and the others reposition as Lash and Lonir turn their shots on the other.
Verdis’s defensive fighting continues to keep him safe until the wounded dead lord becomes desperate, pushing through his undead and reaching out with a Touch of Death. Verdis rolls a 5 on 3d6 (about as probable as a 1 on a d20) for his parry and takes the 12 damage, putting him in nearly as much danger as the others. Lash misses a shot on the dead lord and Verdis strikes it, dropping his defensive posture for the desperate move. The dead lord reaches out again and Verdis rolls another 5! He is drained and drops unconscious.
Lash and Lonir work together to drag him up the stairs and out of danger. They carry him together, eventually reaching the top floor where the workers are. Wraecliff is surprised at their obviously battered state. He and the workers help them out, again sealing the hole behind them.
Once Verdis is conscious, Nicholas Wraecliff offers a wagon to carry him back to Citadel since Verdis cannot walk. In Citadel, the healer is able to get Lash’s level restored, Lonir nearly fully healed, and Verdis patched up enough get by. They visit Matthias to see about getting the dagger out of Lonir’s hand and with a little prayer he is able to lay it down.
They take the rest of the week easy. Verdis levels up, improving and diversifying his combat capabilities. After 2 weeks assisting in the healer’s house most of the time, he is able to take a level in Spell Casting (healing components) and Lay on Hands. As the second Citadel House adventurer with healing available, he’s expected to be a mighty boon to the cause.