Transcending Darkness

The Necromancer's Keep

Veribellum (Josh), the elven ranger, was asked by the Fighter’s Guild to accompany Marcos Teculux (a.k.a Spear Guy) on orders handed down from Duke Christopher Rosales. They were to go investigate strange happenings at the local ruins of Fort Legend, in the direction of the port-town Lehygh.

Gathering up the other members of the group, Veribellum and gang set out. They came across the ruins of Fort Legend, the place Innoruuk (Danny) “found” his horse on the first trek to Griffonford. However, Innoruuk had veered off course from the party before they reached Fort Legend to investigate some smoke rising from the rolling hills. Without Innoruuk, the party entered the ruins, and were immediately assaulted by skeletons (charges against the skeletons are pending). After soundly defeating the skeletons, the group delved deeper. Again they ran into skeletons, which this time put up more of a fight. Continuing deeper into the darkness, the group ran into its first living occupants, a mage. Balkul (Amer) literally cleaved him in half with his great ax. After a short debate, everyone returned to the entrance of Fort Legend, and awaited reinforcements.

Reinforcements came in the form of an unknown cleric and the ranger that had helped on the mission to kill the wererat. Again they went into the ruins, and in the next room were four skeletons guarding an alter of some sort. Zeddicus (Ryan) recovered a magical sword named Spellstrike from one of the skeletons. The cleric, named Morggradd, began attempts to identify its purpose. During one of his kookily-acrobatical rituals, Zeddicus decided it would be funny to push him over. This delayed the identification of the alter as a means of teleportation. Deciding not to chance the teleportation, the group came to a fork in the tunnel.They took the left fork, and immediately ran into a mage, which they captured and interrogated. At this point Innoruuk arrived with trouble in tow in the form of Kender, and a lot of them. The party left the bound mage in the care of Innoruuk and the kender, deciding that kender would cause too much trouble if they tagged along. Not much later, a shiver went down all of their spines at the dreaded “Oops” of a kender. Rushing back as fast as possible, they discovered that the mage had escaped after telling the Kender that he wanted to show them a magic trick, which they dearly wanted to see and unbound his hands. After this setback, everyone kept together and ventured deeper down the now winding tunnels.

They came to the first set of doors. Zeddicus, using an item he picked up at the Arcane Tower, was able to pick up the soul-aura of several beings through the doors and cautioned the rest of the group. After some short planning, they burst through, and killed everything , and by now Zeddicus, the sorcerer of the group, was running low on energy. Despite this, the party pushed on, coming to more winding tunnels, these slightly narrower than the previous. Taeyla (Kittie) picked was able to decipher an echo, which let the group know that they no longer had the element of surprise. Here they were bottle-necked by a phalanx of spear-wielding skeletons and two mages behind. Two molotov cocktails were thrown, each scoring a hit. One on the mage and one on the group of skeletons. Spear Guy took a devastating hit in his gut, once the spear had ripped its way free, he tried to crawl to safety. Balkul picked him up and, as ordered by Eecks (Max) who reasoned that the cleric should save his healing spells for more important people (namely Eecks), threw him onto the phalanx, bringing down the skeletons. Thus was the end of Spear Guy. Stepping over the smoldering remains, Eecks attempted to take the one remaining mage prisoner, but was shocked by a Ring of Lightning (pardon the pun) and went into a spasm. Balkul used his half-orc strength to pop the mage’s head like a zit.

After a brief respite, the weary party continued down this tunnel and came to another door. Zeddicus picked up multiple soul-auras, this time more than ever before. Eecks organized the group into an effective fighting formation, and they opened the door. Twelve skeletons and two mages turned to greet them. A huge battle ensued. The tide turned (wait for it…) when Morggradd used his Holy Symbol to Turn Undead (lol, don’t worry that’s the last pun). Finally, two ornate doors stood in front of the group.

The ranger was the first to the doors. “All right, lets do this,” he said. Kicking the doors open, the ranger charged in with a yell of “LEEROOOOY JEENNKIINS!” The party quickly followed, and was soon engaged with a host of skeletons that easily outnumbered them 5 to 1. As soon as the whole party was within the room, the large doors slammed tightly shut behind them. Behind the army of skeletons, a lich was preparing to cast some sort of necrotic spell, and had apparently wizard-locked the doors. Josh attempted to stop this and fired an arrow. The arrow flew toward the lich and would have scored a strong hit had it not bounced off of the Shield spell that was in place. Morggradd used the last charge of Turn Undead in his staff, then engaged in melee combat with the rest of the party. The fight went back and forth, until finally Balkul was downed. With the tank of the group incapacitated, the ranger took matters into his own hands. Jumping up on a column that had fallen, he ran along its length toward the other columns that lined the walls of the room. Jumping up, he used the Jump spell just as he pushed off one of the columns and went streaking at the lich, who was coming to the climax of the spell. With one blow of his kukri blades, he severed the head from the lich, ending the casting of the spell. With their master defeated, the skeletons all collapsed and turned to dust.

Morggradd went about healing Balkul, while the rest of the party searched the room for treasure. Zeddicus and Eecks both noticed the ranger studying the alter, which was now emitting what looked like swirling black and purple smoke. Pulling on a pair of gloves he had pulled from his belt, the ranger put his gloved hands into the necrotic smoke and began mumbling incantations. Zeddicus also put his hands in, and received some frost damage. Eecks saw the lich’s head lying on the ground, and apparently his head was still “alive,” Eecks put it in a sack to keep as a pet. It was at this point that the alter began to emit a high-pitch whine and arcs of energy could be seen running along its surface, gradually increasing as the seconds ticked by. The ranger told everyone to get back and hope for the best. Suddenly, just as the whine reached its crescendo, everything went silent. The necrotic smoke and energy began rapidly condensing at a single point, forming a sphere of energy that hovered a few inches above the alter. The sphere suddenly dissipated from from view, and was replaced with a huge explosion that rocked the room and flung everyone back against the far wall.

Each of you begins to regain consciousness, and as you look around in your semi-groggy state, shapes and images start to become more defined. You recognize the stark white of the Temple’s infirmary. Sitting up, you are greeted with the image of nearly every party member who ventured into the ruins of Fort Legend. Kizmet, the assassin who struck the finishing blow against the Necromancer Leader, is not laying on any of the infirmary beds. As you look around for him, a strong figure sits on your bed, and as your eyesight focuses in, you identify her as a Dragonborn. Initially surprised by the sudden appearance of such an uncommon race, the calm in her eyes rapidly soothes your fear. “Your friend is under guard across the hall, although I know not why the guard refuses to let me tend to is wounds.” She looks again at your and notices the confusion etched on your face. “Forgive me, my name is Skariim, and this,” she says, indicating to another Dragonborn who is standing next to the door “is my traveling companion. We were the ones to find you in the ruins.” One of your party pipes up “How did you find us?” Skariim looks toward the open window a few beds away, then turns and responds “I was praying at the Wayshrine located just outside of the ruins, when I received a sudden inclination to go into the ruins. I know not what came over me, I just know that I was guided to you.” As she finishes, a crash comes from out in the hall, followed by much cursing and yelling. Suddenly the doors to the infirmary burst open, one of them almost completely off of its hinges. Rushing in comes the bruised and battered form of Kizmet. He looks over his shoulder into the smoke that now obscures the hallway, then runs and propels himself out the window. Skariim rushes over to the window, remarking “He’s going to kill himself!” Arriving at the window, she sticks her draconian head through the small hole and scans the courtyard. “Where did he go?” she says, then turns back to the rest of the group “Is your friend accustomed to leaping out of third floor windows?”

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