ADVENTURE 41: The Mace of Cuthbert
Jerry Springwater: Human Fighter-Paladin-Justicar, Level 16 LG
Jestyn: High Elf Wizard, Level 16 NG
Verrof: Earth Genasi Ranger-Foe Hunter, Level 14 LG, ECL 15
Kirian Ylestos: Human Figher-Barbarian, Level 14 CG
ADVENTURE 41: The Mace of Cuthbert: The first half of this session was spent in the city, with various minor events transpiring. Jestyn proposed to Anna Marie by placing a ring inside of his puzzle box (the one found in the dungeon.) Surprisingly, she easily got it open and found the ring. When asked to marry him, however, she was undecided. She said that she would tell him after they finished all of this Orcus business.
Eventually, the party decided to quest for Sir Kingsleys holy sword. They journeyed to the twelvth level again, and a divination revealed that the sword was somewhere beyond the curtain of dark energy. They debated how to get through it. Jestyn suggested that Verrof walk through, considering his spell resistance. He listened, and was immediately drained of much of his energy! Angry at the wizard, Verrof sulked for much of the session. The others got through by turning ethereal and walking around the curtain. On the other side was a small worship room with three statues of orcus set on rotating pedestals. This puzzled them for a while, but eventually Jerry found out the solution by rotating the statues in the right directions, opening up a secret door. This led to a viewing room blocked off by a portcullis. Many evil goblins lurked on the other side and attacked the invaders. Soon the party rusted open the portcullis, and the goblins were mostly slain. Three of them were charmed, however, and commanded to act as guides. They led the PCs through two torture chambers: the first had dead cleric in it, horribly mutilated and desecrated by her own holy symbol. One of the goblins laughed. Jerry was so offended by this that he immediately attacked the evil creature. His blow was so powerful and holy that it completely eradicated the goblin, and the PCs could barely even remember the goblin existing afterwards (he kept rolling criticals on his d20if it had mattered, it would have been a nine-times critical hit!) The other torture room contained a druid whose arms and legs were cut off and replaced with tree branches. Here, Kirian killed another goblin. After this, Kirain and Akbeth decided to wait in the main room. The others went on. In a hallway to the north they fought some more goblins, and beyond that they were led to a door. Here was the room of the high priest. A stone golem attacked them, but was soon killed. Under the bed they discovered a secret compartment, and inside of it they holy sword. They went back.
On their next trip to the dungeon, the party went to level 12 once more, to the secret staircase they had found in the temple. It lead down to a dark and evil place, littered with the bones of hundreds of peoplethe chapel of Orcus! They wandered down several horrific corridors before coming to the seven seals they had heard about before. Each one could only be opened by a certain class and alignment. The PCs themselves could only open a few, and so they had to go back to Nenkal and recruit numerous people to aid them: Sartorious, Regis the Bard, Professor Ratcliffe, and several others. They dispelled the final seal with the blood of the insane beggar who was still rotting in Nenkals jail (he appeared in my ToA game). Beyond was a simple room, with a skeleton in the center and little else. Hidden in the corner of the room, Verrof found a simple looking mace. As he picked it up, it spoke to him in a commanding voice: it was the mace of Cuthbert! It demanded that he find the last temple of Orcus and destroy it, and that he seek out any evildoers and slay them.
Suddenly, some of the heroes spotted a figure stepping out of the darkness in the room. It was their longtime enemythe man with the black armor and the wand of Orcus scratched into his skull. The mysterious being stepped forth and challenged Verrof to personal combat, wanting to see if he was powerful enough to face the chapel. He touched Verrof and the two disappeared, reappearing in a horrifying room of writhing flesh and screaming columns. Here they foughtthough it wasnt much of a fight. Verrof fumbled his first attack, knocking himself out before combat could truly begin. He reappeared, unconscious, near the other party members. The evil being appeared soon after, laughing. The others ran to attack him. Jestyn banished him with a maze, though the next turn the villain was back, stepping through a kind of planar gate and then casting a vile, powerful spell. Shadows rained down from above, and pure negative energy was hurled at them in a hellish storm. Everyone was drained of their strength and health. Some of the NPCs died. Jestyn was so sapped of strength that he could not move, and was slain by the backlash of energy. Then the villain spoke. At first they thought that he must be the undead Bodred, but eventually he denied that, though he refused to tell them his name. He said that he was no friend of Orcus, and that he wanted them to destroy the chapel and possibly Orcus himself. He even raised all of those who had been killed by his spell. Then the villain disappeared, leaving them to ponder his mysterious identity.
DM’S COMMENTS: Some fun gaming. THe goblins weren’t too hard, though they mysterious villain obviously was. Anyway, it’ll be a while before the next post, as we’re taking some time to play in BadHex’s game (which has just reached epic levels). Still, in a week or two get ready for the Chapel of Orcus!