Session 34

And in the Darkness…Cromwell Touches Himself

This session (Barrowmaze 18/Northern Reaches 34) was played on Tuesday, April 10, 2012.

Sol and Durdir the Dwarven Man-at-Arms
Serge and Darmore the torch-bearer

This session started in town as usual, where the PCs decided they would return to Barrowmaze and explore. Last session was spent entirely in one room looting gold filigree from sarcophogi so it was nice to get out in the old corridors and stretch the legs a bit.

The first significant room that Cromwell and associates hit was a forgotten tomb. The door to it of course was locked. Sol and Kelg tried furiously to bash down the door which was making quite the ruckus. They huffed and they puffed, but the door would not budge. The party opted to forget about this room, but Cromwell would not have it! He prayed to St. Ygg, beseeching strength, then charged the door with his flail, splintering it off its hinges. The party was lucky though, as there were no enemies within earshot during the commotion. Now, the party entered the room cautiously. There was a stone slab with a skeleton resting on it, along with a gigantic bowl of coins! closer inspection revealed them to be platinum and there were alot of them. Also, this room was not trapped or guarded in any way, sweet.

The party now turned to a room that they found to be filled with many, many little mausoleums. they investigated a small room in this area and found a dead Mongrelman in a pool of blood. There were alcoves but they had all been searched. The Mongrelman's belt contained a pouch of coins. the party rested in the disturbing room before investigating the mausoleums. These mausoleums were basically small 10 foot by 10 foot locked rooms all lined up beside eachother, and were meant to preserve corpses. The party opened the first one and were immediately attacked by a skeleton wielding a fine sword and fine black chainmail. the party slew the creature and Serge took the items as his own. the party searched the rest of the mausoleums and found some gems, and the final one holding a nest of spitting cobras. Sol immediately closed the door on them to avoid getting poisoned. The chain and sword were found out to be magical (+1) items, which was especially good for Serge as he could wear the armor and still retain his spell casting abilities.


With these fresh hauls in hand, the party headed back to town to cash in. While there, the party convened and decided it was time to open some portcullises. They had found several on their adventures and knew they could be lifted as a group effort. the problem was that they had no way of keeping it open once it was lifted. Sol and Serge spent several hours designing an elaborate metal beam that would prop open the portcullises and talked with the black smith at length about having it made. In the meantime, Cromwell went out on his own and found a stout oak log, had it shaped for 50 gold coins and surprised the party who were still drawing up plans for the elaborate beam. The party lugged it up to Barrowmaze and opened a portcullis which blocked off a passage leading to an old yellow curtain. They had noticed this peculiar spot in a previous session. Turns out the oak beam worked just fine. Now, Serge was told to move aside the curtain with a 10 ft. pole, an idea he was not comftorable with at all. After much goading though, he did it.

As soon as the curtain was pushed back a large ornate mirror was revealed. Serge gazed deeply into the reflective depths, and noticed his reflection distorted and decayed. Alarm rang through his mind, but before he could even look away he found himself in a dull world. he stood atop a hill, and in the distance was a gnarled and grotesque tree. His surroundings were eerie still and the world was devoid of color, it was as if he had stepped into a dark and macabre painting. Serge looked behind him and found himself being attacked by none other than his gruesome "reflection". Looking at it, he could now tell it was an undead replica of himself, and its eyes shone with dark malevolence. The thing swung at him and missed, barely. Serge was desperate now and attacked with a mighty blow. It lopped the gruesome doppelganger's head clean off, and Serge was ejected from the mirror in an explosion of glass shards. The enchantment had fled from the mirror and it stood before the party broken and worthless, and there was no visible treasure to be found. Serge cursed his comrades who appeared to be laughing at him through the mirror, but the party assured him it was just a vile trick of the illusion (yea right!). [As a side note, the DM calculated the doppleganger's initial swing wrong, thinking it a hit. the damage rolled easily killed Serge but one of the players noticed his roll was off by one and that the thing missed! lucky break for Serge. Also, the undead reflection had the same stats and items as Serge.]


After trekking around, the party came to a large hallway with several doors. all the doors in this room revealed empty rooms, and at the end of the hall was a larger, more sturdy door. The party cautiously entered the room, which was very large indeed. At the center of the room stood a large obelisk. Close inspection revealed writing in several languages including Elven, Ancient Common and Black Tongue. The party reasoned that an etching of this obelisk would fetch a good price but lacked the materials needed to take one. The party decided now to check out the adjoining rooms here.

Behind the first door, a large crypt was found. there were many burial alcoves that looked to have been previously searched. As the party stood in the room examing things, Sol was struck by some force coming from the side. He was immediately paralyzed and it was now that the party noticed a large Gelatinous Cube bashing Sol with some sort of gelatinous appendage. The party immediately rushed to his aid, attacking the cube from all sides. Several palpable blows smashed the cube to a liquid jelly before much harm was done to Sol. Cromwell uttered a divine invocation to free Sol from his paralysis, and there was much rejoicing. The party noticed the entrance to some cavernous pathways, but left them alone for now. The party now went to the opposite room in the obelisk hall and found it to be symmetrical to last one they entered. The party noticed similar cavernous pathways and un-looted alcoves! but before the party could even lay their hands on one, they were beset by a group of 24 skeletons. The abominations flowed out of every alcove and cranny in the room, and the party readied their maces. the fighters cleaved through their share as usual, leaving a pile of bone fragments and dust all around them. The torchbearer threw some flaming oil to where the skeletons were approaching from, and Cromwell turned 7 of them through the power of St. Ygg. Next, Cromwell uttered an invocation and layed his hands upon himself to fill him with clerical energy [This spell was Spiritual Armor (range: self) -2 AC vs. undead. Effectively this led me to say Cromwell is touching himself in the darkness, to which there was much laughing.] the fighters continued to cleave for several rounds and soon there was nothing but ground up dust and scattered bones. The party laughed, trying to shake off some of the horror of what they had just witnessed. [As a higher level party, the players actually did laugh at how easy this encounter was. We remembered when we had near TPKs from skeleton groups not even half the size of this one. Now, barely a single hit point was lost].


The party now began to search the alcoves while Cromwell stood guard at the door. During the searching, Cromwell spotted three Mongrelmen approaching from the darkness. Cromwell's heart pounded with shock while he beseeched St. Ygg for strength. Cromwell outstretched his hand and shouted a divine invocation in the name of St. Ygg. Immediately, all three of the would-be attackers fell over, paralyzed. Cromwell then proceeded to casually walk up and bring his flail down to bear on their skulls. When Cromwell returned to his post, he waved off the party's curiosity, saying it was nothing more than a minor inconvenience. When the party had finished searching they had found several hundred gold in the form of copper, silver and platinum coins. they also found a magical sling, a magical cloak and a clerical scroll. the party took their loot, went back to town and called it a night.

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