Lamashan 23 – 25, 4708 AR
With a secure base from which to operate, our Heroes spent the next few days healing any lingering wounds or damage and scouting the Spared’s exits, taking note of the landmarks that will guide their way as they set out from the caverns into the town itself.
The group discussed their possible options, debating whether to make their way to Karzoug’s lair high on the peak of Mhar Massif in his stronghold of the Pinnacle of Avarice or whether they should explore the city, hunting for any clues or additional items which will aid them in their inevitable encounter with the Runelord of Greed.
After all ideas were discussed, the Heroes of Sandpoint decided that they would set out into the city, itself, to discover what treasures await, unclaimed, ready to be wielded by the righteous, or Erekhil, in this great quest.
Heading, first, into the Spolarium, the long, low series of connected building where the dead of the great entertainment centers of Xin-Shalast, the Heptaric Locus and Vomarck’s Circus, were disposed of. Heeding the warning of the skulks beneath the city, our heroes prepared for ravenous undead who are reputed to dwell in the building of death.
A bitter wind blew as the group carefully and cautiously made their way from the skulks’ hidden entrance to the Spolarium. No foes emerged to impede them on their way as Erekhil safely led his comrades to an entrance. Frost and time rendered the ancient door unusable, but with deft fingers and an experienced touch, Erekhil was able to open the door, quietly, to gain entry to the buildings.
Pitch darkness and stale air greeted his eyes as his darkvision saw into the building, exposing thick walls and a hallway. Peering into the darkness behind their sell-sword, those heroes in need of light fired up magical spells or triggered magical items to light their path.
The sell-sword huffed, muttered to himself and pouted about the light betraying his presence, then petulantly headed into the darkness to discover what he could. Discovering a wide open hallway that opened onto a series of furnaces, the sell-sword was about to head deeper into the darkness of the hallway when, in the distance, his keen hearing picked up the sounds of shuffling footfalls in the darkness.
Halting his companions, Erekhil soon saw a group of red-eyed, rotting corpses ambling towards him; ambling to feed on the lifeforce of the group. Springing to action, the Heroes of Sandpoint quickly dispatched this group of foul undead with skill unmatched.
As soon as the ranger was able to blink sight back into his eye, the group headed on, deeper into Xin-Shalast’s ancient morgue, hoping to discover a hidden cache of treasure. The group had travelled for a few minutes when, again, the sell-sword’s sharp vision detected, closing fast on the group, a human-sized vision of iced death with long talons and hungry red eyes.
Moving towards this ice-coated fiend, the Heroes of Sandpoint quickly engaged it, but their confidence was soon shattered as Erekhil was carved bloody by the creature’s talons which left behind a black fire on the wound, draining life essence from the Korvosan. Arya and Deivon, countered, casting spells at the beast; Deivon’s attempt was met with derision by the Chelaxian ranger, Lindin who laughingly scoffed at the Varisian and twirled his arrow between his fingers.
Withdrawing from the melee, Erekhil traded places with Bahne who swaggered up the undead monster and took a mighty swing with his earthbreaker. The ice that covered this creature’s body acted as armor, and the dwarf’s blow thudded harmlessly into the thick ice coat.
Then the undead fiend struck with a furious hunger, clawing deep into the fighter, through his stout armor, and taking a bite out of his neck. Blood oozed from the gaping wounds as the black flame surrounding the wounds drained the dwarf’s lifeforce and the fiend’s undead body created an unbearable aura of frigid air. And as quickly as that, the fighter fell.
Without their prime combatant, the remaining heroes fought to gain the advantage against a foe seemingly beyond their abilities.
Deivon kept up a sustained onslaught of arcane might against the creature, but the arcane magic never seemed to strike true against this creature. Lindin’s arrows failed to strike his foe as Ayra used the power of Calistria to aid her comrades, protecting them from the punishing effects of their foes aura of cold.
Erekhil, bolstered by the protective ward from Ayra, sprung forward with sell-sword elan to aid his fallen comrade and used his healing wand to bring life back to the dwarf. He then dodged out of harm’s way leaving the revived Bahne Verember sprawled on the ground, in front of his ice-coated foe.
With a brutal claw across the throat, black flame of necromantic power draining the dwarf’s restored life force, the undead beast strode forward, leaving the dwarven fighter a dead pile of gore and blood, and eagerly sought fresh flesh to destroy.
The rogue, ranger, sorcerer and priestess spread out and continued their assault on the creature, keeping out of range from his cold presence and clawed hands. Ayra cast a barrier of blades to surround the creature, but that did little to stop his advance and the fiend stepped through the blades, ice and flesh tearing, and allowed his unnaturally fast healing to repair the wounds.
Not being able to land solid hits, our heroes did little to stop the continuing advance of their foe, but, the speed of the sell-sword and the ranger kept them just out of the range of the undead’s claws. Deivon, wisely, cast Fly upon himself and the priestess allowing them to fly or hover around the field of battle, away from danger.
Lindin was been ineffective against this foe, unable to score any hit against it, but, thankfully, Deivon and Ayra’s flame based spells struck true, constantly draining whatever evil force that gave life to this creature.
Spells flew and undead foe kept up his steady march towards the party. Slowly though, the creature was taking more damage than his unholy healing could mend, but, with spells running low and their dwarf dead, far behind the fight, time was turning against our heroes.
It was at that point when Lindin Vandroxan, Lord of the Hook, drew an arrow and, slowly, studying his quarry, pulled his bowstring taught, then released the projectile towards his foe.
The result was devastating.
The arrow struck true and found a vulnerable point in the undead creature’s profane body. The creature struggled for a moment, then its red eyes dimmed, and the creature was put to its final rest.
Taking stock of the situation, and taking precautions to assure themselves the creature would not rise, the Heroes of Sandpoint still standing made their way to their fallen comrade. As they hurried to where the dwarf had fallen, they could hear a cough and a dwarven curse. It seemed the dwarf’s time was not up as Torag had not called him to His Feast Hall.
They then scanned the hallway, straining to see whatever their magical light would illuminate. Seeing nothing, they then worked to heal their fighter and devised a plan to search this home of the dead.