ADVENTURE 25: Tomb of Doom
Telok: Elf cleric of Obad-hai, divine disciple, level 12 CG
Jerry Springwater: Human Fighter-Paladin-Justicar, Level 11 LG
Jestyn: High Elf Wizard, Level 12 NG
Verrof: Earth Genasi Ranger-Foe Hunter, Level 10 LG, ECL 11
Jimwise Welby: Halfling Paladin 10
Jeb Greenhammer: Dwarf Rogue 10
ADVENTURE 25: Tomb of Doom: This day the characters all awoke, thinking little of the impending horrors that were to plague their city. Verrof was the first to notice it, as a single mosquitoe got into his room, buzzing in his ear. Downstairs he saw that many of the inns patrons were suffering from annoying bites. As this was the middle of fall, he thought this rather odd. Thus he went out to try and find Jerry. Telok awoke from a great meditation, finding that he had been transformed by his faith and dedication: his skin now green, his hair made of plants and his eyes like water, Telok had transcended the mortal state and became an outsider! Jerry woke up today and also noticed many signs of mosquitoes and their bites, and though a few bit him, he seemed unbothered by them. As Verrof came running into Jerrys temple, he was covered in bites and itching horribly. The two warriors figured that this could possibly be the curse promised by the cult of Orcus, and guessed that the bites transmitted a kind of disease. They decided to speak with some priests. Jestyn, ,meanwhile, attended some business. He wished to buy a plot of land, and spent a little time dealing with a real-estate agent until his purchased was finished. Later, as he made his way back to his room, he was assailed by numerous mosquitoes, suffering many bites and starting to scratch himself horribly. He ran for the temple, intent on finding Telok.
Everyone arrived successfully at the Temple of all Gods, although they saw many people in the streets covered in bites and barely able to concentrate on anything. As they all met again, they spoke together. Teloks divination spell revealed that this was indeed some evil plague on the city, and that the mosquitoes harbored a deadly disease. Jestyn immediately ran out, wishing to warn Anna Marie and her family. He ran to their house, but fell for nearly a half hour when he was simply overwhelmed by the terrible scratchy feeling that now covered his body. Yet he arrived at the house, eventually getting inside to speak with Ronald, Annas father. Everyone in the house was fine, aside from the familys young daughter, Lisa, who was in convulsions upstairs. Jestyn quickly gathered all together and teleported them to the temple, where he and the girl were healed, although Jestyn fell into a rage right before his healing, almost knocking out Telok with a punch.
On advice from his high priest, Telok then went outside to try and catch one of the mosquitoes in a glass jar. Outside of the temple gates, writhing and itching bodies were piled, all those who had tried to get to the temple but failed. As he tried catching a bug, one of these people rose up, his eyes empty, his mouth a snarl and his skin covered in sickly green patches. The now undead man attacked Telok, and the cleric was not able to concentrate on fighting due to his own bites, not yet healed. Verrof saved him by running out and carrying him inside, as more undead things were rising from the throng of townspeople. Everybody rested for a few minutes. Then Telok cast Repel Vermin on himself and Verrof, and the two went out to fight this horrible menace. As they were preparing to do so, Jerry arrived again at the temple, from a trip to warn his own people. He slew several of the ghoulish creatures outside, before being greeted by his companions in the temple. Now protected against the cursed bites, the two warriors wandered the great city in search of whatever caused this hellish plague, slaying many undead along the waymen, women and even children who had been infected by the devils curse. After arriving at Muir and Thyrs temple, the two were directed by Sartorious to remove the bodies of the dead and save those people they could. They did just that, while Jestyn and Telok helped Anna Maries family to leave the city, teleporting them to far off Sillia isle, where they stayed for a few days at a local inn.
Eventually the clerics of Obad-Hai discovered the cause of this trouble. The source of the mosquitoes was a tainted pool of waterthe formerly Crystal Lake near the old burial halls in the valley of shrines, corrupted by the clerics of Orcus. Sartorious contacted Jimwise Welbys party, and the little paladin led a group in cleansing the pool, destroying the mosquito menace. Over the next day the last bugs were killed or driven out of the city, and the many bodies were burned. Over five hundred had been killed on that horrible day, in retaliation for the destruction of Orcus temple.
After this act of bio-terrorism, the heroes were furious. To retaliate they decided that the temple in the burial halls had to finally be destroyed. They marched down the now restored holy road, to the purified twin shrines where they met Welby. The halfling offered to help them, going himself and taking along several men. He led them onward, through the cleared forest and into the burial halls. Jimwises cleric took down a wall of stone that had been placed before the entrance to the blood fountain, and the characters went on.
Blood-spawned skeletons oozed from the fountain, running out and killing one of Sir Welbys paladins before Jestyn could surround the font with a wall of force. The party went on, through some desecrated tomb areas before seeing a hallway filled with an eerie red light, where a demonic rune glowed evilly. Telok simply greater-dispelled it, and it was gone without doing any harm. Beyond it was a secret door that led to a spiral staircase. At the bottom was the first room of Orcus temple.
Here, in a small complex of rooms, they were attacked by several groups of lesser priests and zombies, all of which were an easy fight. Thinking the rest of this place was so weakly guarded , they went on, charming a single cleric who directed them towards the direction of the actual temple room. In a great cavern they battled more low-level priests, killing them all easily, and destroying a stone statue of Orcus that they found there. The cleric opened a set of double doors for them, and they found themselves in a huge chamber, split by a chasm and dominated by a perverse shrine to Orcus, where many priests stood chanting around an evil altar. Their leader was a black skinned Orc who called himself Korashaag, wielding a wicked spiked mace and wearing a cloak that made him appear to have demonic wings. A fight quickly broke out. Jestyn thought he had the villains contained by a wall of force, though Korashaag simply flew under it, disappearing for several rounds with another priest. The battle started getting rough when a Vrock demon appeared, almost killing the unprepared Verrof, and managing to summon one of its brothers. Though the acolytes, zombies and ogre guardians were easy kills, the demons were not. Verrof eventually killed one, the other was banished by Telok, but not before doing much damage to the party. It was then that the evil high priest appeared again, buffed up with powerful spells and ready to fight. A spectral hand from him was able to touch Jerry, slaying the paladin instantly. The battle raged on, a long and difficult fight. Korashaag kept using his teleport ability, and when he was wounded he simply drank a potion or teleported back to his remaining clerics. Eventually the wall of force was cancelled and the other priests slain, but their leader wasnt so easy. Few spells could pierce his magic resistance, and fire and electricity seemed poor weapons against him. Soon, however, the PCs thought they had him surrounded. He laughed, taunting them and saying that they would never defeat him, and that soon Orcus would arise and destroy all of them. Some harming spells and a strike of Korashaags mace brought down Verrof, and the ranger soon bled to death on the floor. A similar fate soon greeted the diminutive Welby, and then Telok. As Korashaag stood amidst a pile of bodies, only Jestyn stood ready and able. The fight was close, but Jestyn still had his stoneskin and some mirror images, and thus was a hard target. As the evil orc laughed, the wizard used his wand magic missiles to finally bring him down. Yet as his body fell, Korashaag disappeared. After the battle, Jestyn and the henchman Jeb tried healing the rest of the party, although they werent able to get to any of them in time. Both Telok and Jimwise passed away.
After this bloody battle, Jestyn and Jeb gathered the bodies of their friends and put them into their portable hole. They then explored the temple of Orcus, finding a secret door on one side. Before exploring it, Jeb looted a few valuable gems from Orcus statue. He then put togethered pulley system designed to bring it down. It worked not at all, for every time the characters tried pulling at it, the rope broke, or they lost their footing and nearly fell into the chasm. The statue resisted their every effort to destroy it. Thus they briefly explored the rest of the area, finding a room with human-skin cloaks hanging from hooks, along with several priests rooms, and a chamber where an woman was strapped to a bed, her body covered in ritualistic carvings, her arms amputated. She seemed to be alive, but in so much shock that she could say and do nothing. Jestyn took her along, feeling compassion. Then he teleported back to Nenkal, rushing for the temple and the healing that hopefully awaited there.
DM’S COMMENTS: Ouch. This one was truly painful. For them, of course, not me. :evil They totally underestimated the temple. Basically they figured that since they beat most of this dungeon a while ago that they could take this place easy. They were dead wrong. Everyone but Jestyn sort of forgot to use preperatory spells on themselves, and as they got quite a bit overconfident in the first few temple rooms, I knew they were in some trouble. As you see, most of the temple was easy, but Korashaag himself was utterly lethal. Hopefully, this taught them to never underestimate their foes.