Killing the Dead
Kamilata ("I fuckin' hate riding horses"), Oruro, Anar, Ryzaim, Erlini.
Kamilata's been having peace and quiet at home – every time anyone turns up, he sends them off on a new mission (just tea for us again). This time however he's run out of 'volunteers'.
Set up a Bacon-tree at the Tîrgu Pass. It's got a road and everything.
Up in the pass, we set ourselves up. Ryzaim spots an odd rock amongst the other rocks – it's got Aerdy writing on it. Anar casts his cunning linguistics spell to read it as none of us can read pretty much anything. It says not "You're reading a sign" but "Temple this way" in ancient Aerdy. Maybe undead person is heading for the temple. There's a bleedin' stone around here somewhere.
We head off to see if we can find this temple that we hadn't previously noticed. Follow some paths into the mountains, find a big black basalt slab stuck in the ground and it's buried a bit deep. Edges of writing but most is obscured. Straight up in the ground. It's a big red fish. We carry on.
We are challenged. ("Yes, we know") by a short hairy bloke in a chain mail condom. "Hello!", he runs off to confer with his mates. Comes back "gid mooning – argh, you here, metal ogre!" pigeon polish dwarfs - seen evil looking metal armour, seen in early morning before dawn. Not sure a consistent direction.
Quick chat with dwarves- invite to lyrond come back to deal with Ogres later probably. Oruro reckons these dwarves follow Holgi the Grudgebearer.
We carry on, no sign of temple, night falls – uh oh stuck up a mountain without the right kit.. The ilin scrounge some shelter together in a cave. During the night Ryzaim "By the pricking of my thumb something this way comes" (250+) some evil artefact this way comes. The ilin fade into the darkness. Something large is approaching down the path, bits of armour, knuckling the ground, small pale version of King Kong. The infamous mountain gorillas/guerrillas of Perrenland. We're about to become gorilla fighters.
We could ask questions but Oruro shoots instead. 2 pts. Oops. It's now cross. Anar calms it (99) and it sits down and snoozes. We examine it; it's wearing special magic armour. Ryzaim looks at it "That's demonic armour that is; and it looks a bit more demonic than your average ape"
Kill it. Track back to lair, cave, wall at back, ogre sized hole battered in it. Behind are more walls, labyrinth. We investigate... Oruro and Kamilata at the front as a fighting two-man wedge. We prop open Kam's never ending bowl of porridge to mark our way.
In front Oruro resists a channelling attack (just – by 3 points) but still takes 8 points of blast from a glyph.
We rearrange things a bit – Ryz comes up behind Oruro to detect channelling, Oruro borrows Kam's spear and prods the ground ahead as they go, half speed. Up ahead is a glyph - "That's a summoning spell" (Symbol IV) Anar doesn't deal with that level, but what the hell. Prepares himself briefly and removes it – and realises that that was 9 pps, and he's got... 1 left...
Around the next corner is another glyph – of blinding/deafness. Oruro looks at it nervously. He asks what the trigger is. Ryz (fumbles) what glyph? Oh that glyph, if you think of daisies you'll be fine, like this "Probably not". Our Runemaster thinks differently – they seem to be tuned to a particular faith, demonic like. Oruro: Our Imp might be immune to this, Imp: I'm not going near there! Kamilata lines up behind it to punt it In fact the imp naturally detects magic and has been criticising Ryz ("you've missed a bit").
Erlini seems to be snoozing so she's volunteered to set off the glyph. Wakes up very much.
Apparently Ryz's imp gives him extra resistance and concussion hits regeneration. Right, you're at the front then. The imp is sent around the corner and the glyph goes fut.
We send him around the next corner, big loud bang (sonic attack – a bit like those high pitched alarms that gets rid of chavs). Comes back going "wow!" and heads back to the rear of the party.
Ahead we can hear demonic apelike minkies coming down the corridor: Oruro chucks his two caltrops down the corridor and considers making up a trip rope but not enough time.
The charge comes a little quicker than expected and they're almost on us before we attack. Oruro manages (227 + 66 crit) to drop one with an arrow through both lungs. He looks nonchalant. Yeah do that all the time.
Ryz tries to confuse one but it's not easily confused. They both avoid the caltrops. Ryz starts running. Kamilata sets to take the charge. Another soldier stands looking set to the charge (Erlini's illusion), calm and ready and quite still. Kam manages to clobber it for 15 and it dances back and around to avoid getting stuck on the spear.
The other attacks the illusion; Oruro manages only a glancing blow on it. The two apes now face the ilin and the Greyrobes are out of power. One facing Kam fumbles a little and has to readjust grip; Kam gets it through the neck, spurt spurt and stunned. Oruro clobbers his, small spurt small spurt, stumbles back. Both the apes are now on the defence Oruro charges forward but manages only another glancing blow, keeps the ape on the defensive. We beat them to the floor, blood everywhere up to our ankles.
Next instalment: 17-18th May
Big cavern ahead, slope up to red glow behind lip at top. Stairs on left; we head to there. Erlini senses a presence in the force somewhere up the stairs. We all pause – there appear to be writing on the steps.
Everyone stands around discussing the lack of power points. Oruro tries to look through a window in his hands at the writing and there's a big bang around his head – he stands dazed and gawping. (15 rounds...)
Sounds of monkeys off (we are the lew – we have come for your minkies).
Kam goes to top of the stairs and peers over top – big pit, real lava lamps, abyssal gorillas. Heading down. He returns to the foot Oruro is still standing looking blankly at the stairs.
"Can anyone shoot any bows?" Wha? "Anyone who is moving"
Kam prepares to hold the stairs at the bottom. The abyssal baboons charge down to be met by him at the bottom. Fight ensues; a few rounds of spear stabbing later and the first staggers back and slumps against the wall letting another around to attack. Another is beaten back to recover. The third gets some strikes in to Kamilata and he's forced to parry.
We glance back through Kam's shield at the scene behind - a few close monkeys are hopping about, reluctant to get into spear range. Behind we can see the minkies now pouring over the stair edge and swarming towards us. We run faster.
Erlini accelerates even faster and runs past us at speed.
Kam, still hazing at the rear, is clobbered (22 pts) stunned. We all keep running and Kam picks up speed (145) despite being stunned. Close behind are three baboons and some bigger monkeys closing. We all keep running, more (R13) and more (R14),
Kam still hazing and he makes it to the labyrinth entrance, the last of us. The big monkey comes up and manages a decent attack but fully negated by Kam’s full parry.
Ryz examines the gorillas from behind the safety of Kam's shield for looking up later. Oruro emerges from his walking coma "What's going on?" run!
We run down the labyrinth; the monkeys give up halfway down and give up, and we emerge blinking and relieved to the sunlight.
We find a nice quiet spot to rest briefly, and return to Nereth for reinforcements. By the time we get there we're a lot better. At about the same time everyone else returns from Aulbesmil. And Tûd is back! He's a bit lyio-less, requests a job from Kam (FG is not back yet) – general assumption was that he'd be back anyway. Nymraith returns from Cornwall with a big stick.
We want a library. There is a library at Westil – next to Elephant Tower is a library/chapel. As part of Hisra we could ask to use that library. Which is where Tûd convalesced many years ago. And Nym can get us there fairly quickly.
We have the necromancer's journal from Coldstone keep. That might be useful.
Then there was the bloke in the tower (more clues!)
Then the other Maldekor (who left?) but he's left.
Then there's the wood elf Galadhrim library that Nym knows about and Tûd and Kam have visited.
There's FG's sister who rules in Alcant where there are some very nice libraries, she's got we've met her before. She knows what we're like. Swirly carpet fast transport in Westil to get there.
(Back-story: One of FG's ilin is killed; remember to find his wife – missing assumed dead, Jukpûdhar)
Ryz has a good hard think (00 (or 150)) and reads through his books (+2 ranks) about demons:
Demons (Abyss) – want to destroy the universe Types I-III are affected by non-magical weapons. Types IV+ are immune to them. All demons can:
Affected by: Acid (f) Cold (½) electricity (½) fire (½) gas (½) cold forged iron (full) magic (full) poison (full) silver (nothing special)
Devils (hell, e.g. Ryz's imp) - want to rule the universe (thus at loggerheads) only some can be hit by non-magical weapons. Greater ones can be struck by magical or silver weapons. All can:
affected by: acid (full) cold (1/2) electricity (full) fire (none) poisonous gas (½) iron (nothing special) all else full
Nym arranges to visit the Galadhrim library and for the others to get fast access through the woods to Westil. To do this he explains the situation, that these are elf-friends, service of the lands, etc, and his kinfolk are happy to oblige.
Casts first staff improvement.
Back at Nereth: Oruro and Chita
(Account from stew re forest)
Fienthin chief librarian introduced to. Explain with Ryz's shopping list/question list. DEMON not devil.
Fade to Westil. Gesfa Nhi is our helper. Ryz had a big long list of questions but he's given it to Nym. We explain a lot at once (undead, what was at that temple site, monkeys, etc) produce bits of gorilla armour, inspected.
Made at the dread forge (what, run by Rastafarians?), Demogorgon made to make the early troglodytes (ruler of a good part of the abyss). Etc.
That'll be ancient and powerful and semi-godlike etc. Lots of background.
---- back at the forest
Asks about the temple in the mountains. If there is one there, it's been there since the time of dinosaurs. If it's now open all the things that were in there were in stasis (let's forget apes from dinosaur times...). Something has broken in – if it was Demogorgon we'd all have noticed by now. And possibly be dead. So what could? Powerful Blackrobes, somebody using Aerdy artefacts, death knights and the lich.
What about obelisks – ah need Aerdy section. Plaques from inside a temple/palace, will tell a story. Get one in right sequence, tell a key to something. Unlock something.
Aerdy wizard called Tealpick made his home once on the western side of the Yatil mountains, followed Wíjas (Aerdy god of magic) so used to collect artefacts. Only about 100 years ago. Probably left over from then.
What things do we know about that are powerful enough to break into such a place? .... Death Knights (created by Demogorgon) and the Lich. From the speed of travel it must have had some artificial means of travel such as, perhaps, a Death Knight steed. ("What about a flying carpet?!" shut up),
What else might be in there? Troglodytes, werewolves, were-troglodytes, divine spell casters of Demogorgon (clerics). Oooh.
Could seal the place in again, but we'd need some mystical seal (have to go down to the sea side). O ring – a ring seal. Called grommet. Blown seals are very relaxed.
Big undead thing from the east (Aerdy land) so need to find out about Aerdy and who is the main man.
What we need is access to the Shindrick society library as they studied the Aerdy (Evil Geniuses for a Better Tomorrow). They're all a bit on the evil side (Maldekor, Tealpick, etc).
Thinking back to size of opening at break in – big enough for ogre sized creature.
Had assumed it was a Demogorgon worshiper and slotted into the temple hierarchy.. Not set off traps (or?) So who worships Demogorgon? Don't know. Anti-paladins might.
Or it is so well hard it set off the traps and walked through the monkeys and is doing stuff in there now, while the monkeys attacked us to protect the temple against further incursions.
(Stew's accounts of death knights)
We prepare. Lots of faffing. Spells, potion mixing: 5x 1d10 healing potions, 15x Combat Enhancements (+5 DB/OB) spread around the party.
Nymraith stores Bleed (target 100', RR at -20, for 1d10 rounds bleeds 1 per 5% failed) in his staff. And forgets about it.
Ryz does some research on the worst smell for devils: (fumble +66) it's radishes.
We sneak up to the labyrinth door and Oruro sneaks up to the door to listen but all he can hear is ilin in yicduroh, Ryz wheezing and everyone going "can you hear anything?". Although Ryz is definitely improving his fitness all this running around – he's had to get a smaller sombrero.
In the labyrinth Anar points at a bit of blank battered wall "I did that" What? What are we doing anyway? Are we red or blue? Who's that? It's me! We've all stopped again. What...ow, get off my foot. It's dark. No I can see. Well bully for you. What's that smell of radishes? (the imp is sniggering in the background about how silly we look) Where's my candle? We've stopped again – what's that short idiot at the front doing with that bit of paper? Well I don't know. WILL you get off my foot?! Sorry can't see you. (Anar zaps one symbol 131) Have you been eating radishes? Dammit you're making too much noise. Am I supposed to have my bow ready? Or my sword? I don't know, I don't do combat, I make potions. (Anar just zaps the last one – 05)
We make our way reasonably quietly up the stairs and peer over the top. A big cavern with pillars with writing (Can you read that? What? Oh that -ermmm... bit old... no it's just nonsense. "Other way up", as far as I can tell. It's probably magical).
The opposite wall is smooth like that of the maze. Door 10' wide 15' wide, with a pit in the floor. Cylinder side lit at the far end past the pit.
Ryz perceives power - there's a symbol on the floor just inside (set by a reptile (troglodyte?), in the language of the abyss) and hisses "Stop!"
What? Are we stopping again? Will you get off my foot! He's pointing at something! What is it? I can't see – don't look idiot it's sigil trap. There's that wee guy with a (wee? What's that mean?) paper again. I think he's done something. Can we go now? Wait, hey, what happened to my foot. Heh heh heh – hey you put it back – heh ok but stop kicking me with it. Isn't it odd I thought that was a cylinder ahead but it's just a bit of the well. Right off we go lads. Stop wittering for fucks sake you sound like a school of children. What's that smell of radishes?
We make our way through the door and down the corridor. In side passages ahead we can see baboons sneaking around corners.
The archers open up. Tûd gets out first – and manages an absolute classic Tûd of 252 (-10 DB, -25 under cover, -20) 17 + would knock him into chasm but there isn't a convenient one +6, 5/round, stunned, etc.
Shalbai shoots (crap roll) and misses - just. Chita manages also an open ended roll (158) a good shot too 17 and 4/round etc etc. Kamilata rolls his half-chewed cigar to the corner of his mouth and leans in to Shalbai "Don't feel bad kid. Happens to everyone the first time"
A baboon charges around corner with gorilla in tow – two low rolls on initiative (Gorilla going what what? what are we here for? Oh fuck, backpedal backpedal. We on the other hand are going nice start, well done oh look out there's a - )
Tûd is still in full Tûd mode and shoots twice, missing the first (too dark, too fast), Shalbai misses, Tûd’s second misses and Chita wings one as it closes.
Everyone else sorts themselves out (hey look! What? there's a – ow he hit me with his elbow – feck has he got a tail? Of course he has – no him the ilin – what – get off my foot – is that a radish you're holding?)
The gorilla closes into Chita at the front, the baboon slamming into Shalbai. Shalbai takes it on the chin (14 concussions) and Chita is battered back as the gorilla hits him (10 +12 +5/round }
"Who's left standing?" At the front? "Anywhere?!" Oh calm down... Tûd steps in over Chita, to attack the gorilla
Kam (03) nearly drops his sword but it's not bad. Tûd hands his bow to his tail draws his sword and (03 -99 -83 = -179!!) falls spectacularly +2 hits and is out for two rounds. The imp is in tears of laughter. The gorilla is wondering how he managed to down one of his opponents without hitting him.
(at the back: oh forgot to take the potion – don't worry it's not a real fight yet. From the front: what do you mean?!) Seeing the mayhem from the rear, Oruro steps past Nymraith who is backing up as he finds himself with nothing between him and a very large, angry, awoken, dire gorilla.
The gorilla slices down at Chita and wings him as he bleeds down to his last point, The little baboon fails to hit Shalbai...
... and runs off – he's done his job. Gorilla clobbers Tûd who is struggling to get up 9 + 15 stunned next round (was anyway, ha).
Anar calms the gorilla and everyone pauses and takes a deep breath. Shalbai gets in to first aid Chita while Tûd gets up. She does a good job, leaving Tûd holding a freshly unrolled bandage going 'oh'. He's on a bit of a down now.
Time for a Coup de grace on the calmed gorilla. From the rear. Who has the best skill? Well Tûd but given past performance... we all move behind the gorilla to make the most of this. Tûd manages not to fumble (176 14 points) but with only a 01 on the critical (+3 hits) it is hardly damaged (98 left). Oh FFS. Sh leans in to stab it too – but misses. Oruro hits (17) + ruins foes arm (which? Doesn't say, maybe he only has one arm), stunned for 6 rounds.
Shal finally hits (98+ etc) clobbers spurt spurt spurt gorilla will die in 3 rounds. Tûd hits at last, and we basically gradually clobber it to the ground.
Ryz is reading the sword as a human slaying sword
We all take a deep breath. (Phew who's been eating radishes?).
That was hard work. We post a lookout while we faff about; the curly-haired Voy as our listener.
And Voy fumbles -180; there's an 'Aliens' moment as a gorilla leans in to whisper in his ear... DM: I think you're surprised. V: Surprised? I think if eventually he notices what's going on he'll be not only surprised but shocked. Possibly awed.
The foe has arrived from a side passage and are pushing into Voytchek and Chita
Voy is zapped by Demogorgan's touch and he staggers, all actions -50. He's immediately kebabbed by a spear straight through a kidney and collapses.
Erlini finds herself facing a 5'5 lizard and after a brief pause of shock she steps back Tûd with suaveness steps forward, draws (Iai) and strikes (162) all very smooth at last. 16+ break ribs, 6 and foe at -10.
Chita looks at the two options and goes for the one pinning Voytchek. And misses appallingly but not quite fumblingly
Oruro (who should be looking the other way covering the front) notices two lurkers in the dark behind the attackers and flings a last second arrow through the melee to one of the two spell casters – hitting one, disturbing his spell casting.
Kam and Anar swap around – we're all facing one way now.
Voy's death scene. Any famous last words? "Not yet".
Wounded Chita has another go at the one with the spear and 8 + destroys arm.
Tûd clobbers his (13 + 5 + stunned)
Oruro gets an arrow through the melee but fails to hit the magician.
Ryz sleeps (at -90) the nasty little shoites but they throw it off.
Tûd is knocked down by disruption (+20hp) for two rounds
A flash of light from Anar stuns both magicians (local effect, light flashes down to the rest of us).
Shalbai shoots at one of the wizards and sticks an arrow through the arm.
Kam & Chita break off to attack the stunned wizards. Oruro moves up to cover the stunned trog warriors. Kam & Chita batter down the wizards. Shalbai shoots at one of the stunned grapes.
We batter them down. We keep one for souvenirs but change our mind and chop them up into pieces. Demonic tainted +5 plate, demon tainted human bane longsword. Troglodytes +5 demon trained spears, plus bangles for +10 DB, protection something +5 DB.
Disguise? Tûd picks up some of the bangles They're shiny. As does Ryz. He puts them in a carefully in a lead-lined bag. Tûd puts his on. Effectively he shows up under Detect Evil. It may taint him long term. This could be interesting.
Second Aid by Tûd stabilises Voytchek’s for the moment (he's got another kidney anyway) along with a healing potion under direction of Nymraith.
We look for a place to rest. Does this whole place smell of radishes?
Outside we find a place for Voytchek to rest, guarded by the still iffy Chita. Next morning, feeling a little better, the rest, Tûd’s second aid (238) holds Voytchek from deteriorating.
Who can stay with Voytchek while we go back in? A useless wizard? Well we're all useless. Nymraith stays – he can use a staff to keep the mythical lions away. We're going to need him.
We sneak back in.
Kam asks leadingly "What's in the well?" Chita leans over to look: and the kraken lurking below leaps up and grabs for him. It gets him by the leg, pulling him down and slamming him onto the floor. Kam and Tûd are the first onto the tentacle; Tûd (15 + shoulder broken, stunned), Kam's blade skitters off its rubbery hide, Shalbai grabs Chita to pull him, Oruro attacks another (9 + strikes through muscle -30, stunned, 3/rd).
The Kraken starts to pull but the rather heavily built Shalbai holds onto Chita preventing it from taking him.
Tûd (-134) swallows his tongue in excitement, stunned unable to parry 3 rounds. Kam (143) 21 + upper tentacle +more + stunned + 3/rd. Tûd gets a tentacled (5 + grabbed by leg – just what happened to Chita, stunned for a round). Kam is also bashed (7 + 3 + grazing side strike) and the kraken slithers all its tentacles back into the well and disappears. Tûd looks around for a spear with a crosspiece to jump on an leap after it, but can't see one immediately and the moment passes.
At a crossroads, to the left is where the apes came from, to the right is where the troglodytes came from, ahead it goes up. We reckon we should clear the sources of bad things before going on. "Everyone knock your arrows", past the lava lamp, goes up to flower arrangement of chambers.
In the first are bunks with crude drawing of two headed ape (Demogorgon) – empty now, faint bad smell ("well the radishes are working their way through"). We whip around the other rooms before searching in detail. The next room supply room. Next room has three sleeping troglodytes – somewhere there are probably awake ones.
We line up, some drink potions and start firing. Tûd 17 stuns one for too many rounds, foe at -75, through leg, etc. Kam 5 + minor thigh wound, stunned. Oruro (16 + pinned to bed through back, stunned for a while and dies). Shalbai (7 + must parry, +2 hits).Tûd leaps forward, draw and strike, with style and panache, and strikes (152) 22 + but trog's rolling away and just gets a nick, falls out of bed wrapped up in blanket (-10). Oruro steps forward and changes weapon. Shalbai shoots hers 16 + through neck +5 points.
Out of the back is a narrow tunnel heading off into the dark.
Ryz notes that we are slaughtering troglodytes in their sleep. While we think it's chaotic evil for them to do that to us.
We check for stuff (treasure, guard change times, etc) but there's nothing to see apparently. Short stabby spears etc. Ryz looks for demon accoutrements and finds plenty in his own pockets.
Single file down the narrow tunnel
Up ahead Chita notices the glyph on the floor, realises it must be a magical one as it goes off, just about saves, huge noise batters off walls but he's still with it.
We continue down corridor – can't see much ahead using only lanterns. The corridor bends around to the right gently and ahead is the red glow, at the mouth is two demonic apes. One is armoured up and everything, with a lead around the neck of the other that is frothing at the mouth and carrying a big bone. The armoured one draws a line in the ground – he can't fit easily in the corridor.
Chita drops to his knees and he and Shalbai shoot. Tûd looks anxiously over her shoulder.
(what why have we stopped? It's gone a bit dark. Are you still eating radishes?)
Chita shoots at the raging frothy one but misses. Shalbai gets one in but it's minor.
(Hey did you get that power perception? Quite a whack that eh? Must be a lot of power! I wonder what it is? Smells abyssal to me. Do you think so? Clerical radish I think)
How about a flanking manoeuvre? We could send someone around the back. Let's send Tûd that'll keep them occupied. More importantly it'll keep him occupied too and out of the way. Ryz turns him invisible and he makes his way back up the corridor at an easy lope.
Chita fires again – 10 + strike across head, stunning it briefly. Shalbai – 13 + 4 slight hit.
Ryz is telling the imp "Look out for us being snuck up aga- " uh oh. A troglodyte steps out of the rock between Kam and Anar – they are surprised and stunned. The wizards are also surprised (ah that's what that spell was!). Erlini prepares a ball and chain.
Tûd comes across a baboon coming the other way – with a necklace, hair products, and a mace.
With a tremendous double strike 286 (150 + 136!) 22 + upper leg blow + 3 + 3/rd, 19+ nicking stumbles back + 3 + 1/rd, -10 stumbles back 10' but without any killing blow, the baboon manages a simultaneous strike 16 + and shatters Tûd’s thigh, splitting his artery. Spurt spurt.
Back at the ranch, Chita nicks the frothing one again. Shalbai strikes it through the leg, it's now got fivish arrows in it and is bleeding from several minor wounds.
Kamilata and Anar make combined panic rolls vs. the troglodyte. It slices through Anar's calf – he's at -40 until it heals, stunned. Kam hits it back, slamming it against the wall.
Ryz starts his preparatory chant to summon a devil.
Back down the corridor, Tûd bounces to the wall and starts the long dark fall to the floor, and the baboon has turned and is limping a blood-trailing flee. Tûd feels a warm damp patch around his right leg; an artery is cut and he has 11 rounds to bleed to death. Back up the corridor Oruro looks down uncertainly. I thought I saw something move – isn't Tûd supposed to be invisible. There's that sound of clatter and a frustrated curse. "Scuse me guys, I'm off to see what's happened to that weirdo ilin". Trot trot, bow and arrow out.
Back at the other front line, Shalbai places another arrow next to her previous one in the ape's head. Kamilata keeps battering the troglodyte and is not quite keeping it subdued to death. Short range stabbing and knicking and grappling in the dark.
Oruro gets to Tûd and under his direction applies a tourniquet, stopping the bleeding. They keep an eye down the corridor.
Chita shoots at the armoured one, nicking it. Shalbai shoots again at her favourite frothy one; 12 + 9 + strikes through foes kidneys (sounds familiar), it goes down and will die in a few hours. The other dire demonic summoned awakened ape is now a frenzied etc – angry and upset. Still can't fit down the corridor.
Kam and the troglodyte continue to struggle messily and inconclusively.
Ryz's devil starts to manifest. "Don't break the circle!", a cramped circle in the corridor between Oruro and Tûd and the rest of the party. We would all stand back but we're busy.
Erlini is looking to come back but there's a big circle in the way ("Can I come through?" "Noo! Actually I didn't realise it was going to be that big!" we all look worried at this last bit.).
She senses a raise dead kind of spell being cast on the mostly dead frenzied ape. It'll take some time – she decides to pre-empt it - she looks around for Anar but doesn't spot him for a minute – he's lying on the floor with his hands over his head. She gives him a create undead scroll to cast at the nearly-undead frenzied ape but he (at -40 to everything) fails to get the gist and the scroll just crumples under his hands to a musty smelling dust with a hint of radish
Chita keeps shooting, wounding the armoured minkey; Shalbai manages a mortal wound on the armoured ape but it doesn't care yet. Spare a moment for the scary minkeys as the one that is dying looks into the eyes of the one that is risen undead.
Next to Ryz appears a single bearded devil. Down the tunnel the waft of sulphur and radish reach Tûd, who turns awkwardly "I know that smell - Hmm One of those. It doesn't look the same without half a dozen arrows through both ears".
Ryz's high pitched victorious laugh "I have you now!" as he forces the devil to his will and sends him off to destroy the servants of Demogorgon starting with the troglodyte round the corner and not harming anyone else.
It looks at him fiercely, but mostly for form – this is a good excuse to do something it is made for anyway. It disappears and rending noises start off out of sight.
Chita and Shalbai peer cautiously out; the troglodyte priest is slashed down and the bearded devil seems to be winning against the ape - possibly because the ape has an arrow in its neck and is bleeding copiously.
Chamber to the left, musty metallic smell with bed and hook (ape and master), to right chamber with three beds, a few dead-endy storage bits, clay pots of water in a large chamber.
Ryz, Shalbai, Kam and Anar at the front; Ryz concentrating on keeping the devil under control.
Erlini goes back to visit Tûd and Oruro, mostly stabilising Tûd, and returns to meet the others.
The bearded devil finishes off the ape, and disappears in a puff of smoke – probably through the double doors ahead. Through them the corridor goes left then right, and ahead there's a huge fight where the bearded devil is being battered by a huge elephant sized armoured ape. Its claw and beard is in there (beard is a weapon too!).
Shalbai shoots at the huge creature (12 + solid strike to head but bounces off +9) Chita shoots (17 + 10). Beyond is a baboon looking a bit concerned and casting spells. Ryz says "shall I redeploy it" we all look at the big ape and go "no!". Chita shoots the baboon (9). Shalbai shoots the baboon too (13 + just misses abdomen, +2, must parry – i.e. distracts from spells).
Ryz sends his imp off to sting with its tail – he's not very good but misses – only just.
The tremendous fight battering off the walls in the centre is something to keep clear of. We keep shooting at the baboon; Anar lights an arrow up and Chita fires it at the baboon – but misses. It moves out of the way but we're reducing its manoeuvre space – good artillery work.
Ryz's imp tries again – and penetrates the skin with his sting. The awakened baboon sorcerer rolls 04 – it seems to be allergic to imp stings. The imp looks up "What is it supposed to do?" We're not sure we've lost the instructions, can't find anything under S "Look up under P then – or I for imp"
It's a slaying poison – the baboon dies. We make our way past the fight carefully – not sure if we can help much or if it's best to leave it to the devil. Past them there's what seems to have been an old storage room. A glyph goes bang and Chita falls down on top of his equipment tearing some of it scattering kit everywhere and he's out for a few minutes.
(Back with Oruro & Tûd, they struggle into one of the rooms and fashion a litter)
The rest walk in – clearly a room for someone of great status. Big double-headed baboon statue again with tentacles instead of arms. There's a final set of double doors ahead (how do you know it's the final doors? The music just got more dramatic). Shalbai looks for traps, Anar looks for glyphs none are found.
Erlini listens at the door – seems to be some kind of angry conversation on the other side of the door between a boss and an underling. Probably "how come you let these people in", well you haven't given us the kit or the ape-power. "Look, I gave you perfectly good - "
We kick the door in. "You're knicked, we are the lew". More lava lamps. Big anvil. Dread forge Robinson. Big piles of armour. Evil alter. Troglodyte priest and death knight.
Death knight (very scary, leaking smoke and cold light through ancient but gleaming thick armour) "I Lord Khayven of D'racs, have no fight with you. Be gone!" Fair enough. We turn to leave and Erlini asks on the way out "by the way what are you up to?" "Well I'm a bit bored and I need the troglodyte to make something for me on the dread forge". He actually seems up for a conversation. He's a bit fed up being a death knight, he was turned into one halfway through his real life, and he reckons the dread forge Roberts can make him live and whole again. He doesn't mind if we stay and watch – it doesn't care. There's not much we'll be able to do anyway.
(He wasn't actually doing anything specifically nasty on the way here, it was all just part of the disturbance in the force as he passed over).
Ryz senses his bearded devil has disappeared. Which means one of one thing – the big ape is still there, but lying gasping on the floor.
Erlini and Ryz take up the invitation to stay and watch. The rest retire.
The two monitoring wizards are watching and taking notes – and something is wrong. The troglodyte is just siphoning off power, the ritual just looks right. They mention it. More shouting and persuading. Everyone is now involved for a day or so "hold on to that, no use the middle finger, and touch the wall with your nose" and eventually the Lord becomes mortal again. And the troglodyte suddenly shifts and takes the dread forge with him.
Wahey one less death knight! Demogorgon will have to find another... hmmm... there's a tainted knight around here somewhere isn't there?
If we give the death knight a horse, the faster he'll not be here. We do.
We retire to Nereth to write up our diary, have tea and eat medals.