Once More into the Tomb

On Monday, February 3rd, three Citadel House adventurers resolve to finally return to the tomb beneath Wraecliff’s castle where powerful undead have before driven them off, nearly killing some of them. They are:

  • Frank (WaB): Level 4 Dwarf Brawler
  • Lonir (MaC): Level 5 Elf Thief.
  • Verdis the Prickly (HuS): Level 6 Human Fighter

They arrive at Wraecliff castle and see the foundations under way, but the work is apparently paused for the winter. At Wraecliff’s home (destined to be the ground floor of the main keep) they find him and express their desire to take another run at the sealed sarcophagus room.

They manage to assuage his concerns about opening up dangers that have defeated them before and, despite it requiring a pause to the work he is doing to strengthen the tomb structures to support his castle, he goes with them and assigns a couple workers to guide them and help them open the sarcophagus room.

In the tomb, the work is well under way to shore up the walls and one of the fire traps has been disabled. The second fire trap had been left intact as a security measure, so Lonir disables it, allowing the workers to unseal the doors. Verdis and Frank then push the heavy stone doors open and enter the tomb.

Hand Brain by Howard Tayler

The Sarcophagus Room

Lonir’s gleaming crystal reveals a Dead Lord upon the throne beyond the sarcophagus, but from the shadows an arrow leaps out and strikes Frank. Lonir had an arrow at the ready and looses it into the Dead Lord. Verdis rushes in and engages the Death Knight from their previous encounter and the battle is on.

In the course of the battle, Lonir and the Dead Lord use their command staffs to struggle for control of the Reaper and the Stalker. The Death Knight armor resists their damage, especially Frank’s punches, and though Verdis mostly fends if the Knight’s attacks, the appearance of a Shadow Walker turns the course of the battle.

He stabs an unsuspecting Verdis and, despite Verdis’s armor preventing much of the damage, he gets his blade in deep enough to break it off, causing Verdis to lose consciousness and crumple to the ground. Frank attempts to wake him, but is stabbed deeply by the knight, putting him dangerously low.

Frank lands a few more punches before further wounds convince him to withdraw to the doorway. Verdis manages to rouse himself and engages the knight again, fending if its and the Reaper’s attacks while Lonir and Frank support him with arrows. The knight starts to look badly damaged and as the Dead Lord approaches it from behind, they recognize it is coming to heal the knight with a touch of death.

In a final effort, Verdis breathes fire on the Death Knight, Reaper, and Dead Lord with the Mordia Man Mask, and strikes the knight down with a blow from his axe.

From there, the battle winds down quickly, with Lonir preventing the Shadow Walker from getting another backstab, Frank beating the Reaper into a pile of putrid flesh and broken bone, and Verdis and Frank together dropping the Dead Lord with axe, fist, and frost breath. With the Dead Lord destroyed, the Stalker and Shadow Walker also collapse.

They enthusiastically search the bodies, retrieving a high quality bow and sword, a metal kite shield, ancient armor of good quality resembling Mogul armor, a scythe Verdis remembers having dealt death damage, and a tunic and two robes they believe to be magical from their state of non-decay.

With the loot collected, Verdis and Frank open the sarcophagus (despite Frank’s misgivings) and see a mummy within. Verdis eagerly starts to search inside for burial treasure and is clubbed by a mummy arm. The party gets in a round of vicious attacks on the still prone mummy before it sits up and unleashes a tortured scream accompanied by a wave of death magic that drops Frank and leaves Verdis reeling.

Verdis and Lonir drag Frank from the room while the mummy climbs out of the sarcophagus and each cast a couple quick healing spells, getting Frank back on his feet and strengthening Verdis. The mummy hits them with a stream of phantasmal insects that again put Verdis and Frank in danger of collapse. They retreat further, putting some arrows into the mummy while Lonir heals them a little more. They mostly evade a second stream of insects and with another volley of arrows manage to finish the mummy.

They gather some more  treasure, all monetary or jewelry, and thoroughly search the room for hidden doors (spending 2 hours feeling their way around the walls one behind the other). They leave confident that there were no doors to be found. (I made them roll 8 times, that was a mistake; knowing there were no doors, I should have given them a single search roll.) On their way out, Wraecliff thanks them and pays them.

Back in Citadel, they get some help from Aronis and Bill to identify the magical loot and distribute it, including a tunic of low-light invisibility, robes that resist fire and ice damage, and robes that deal in death and mental enhancement. These last they allow Agon to try on and he feels a rush of willpower, but finds he cannot remove them. Bill concludes that they must be cursed and that to remove them will require some sort of specific condition.

Frank and Verdis both level up.

 

Do you use undead to tell a story in your campaign? You might be interested in my system-agnostic, narrative undead found in Whispers of the Dead: Undead do Tell Tales.

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