Dorset Style - 06. Kingmaker

10th June session

So it looks like we’re going to rescue the kidnapped girls. We scried, they are alive, and held in a cage in a camp. There are guards on them. Camp looks like it might be right next to the tomb of the original Armag, the barbarian warlord who was champion of Gorum, the god of war. We’re calling in at the lair of chimeras on the way there. Large magical beasts, can see in dark, can smell prey coming, body of lion, plus dragon head and horned goat head, dragon head has breathe weapon (depends on colour of head – can be any evil dragon type), hateful, hungry, hunt on ground and in air, scales on body will match head. Stupid and belligerent, but intelligent enough and stubborn enough to make very poor pets. Dominant male leads group. Hunting done by females. Don’t tend to fight to the death, but they will try and flee if badly injured.

We see them coming towards us. Rena summons a celestial triceratops. Yes, really. We fight them and win.

We find their cave at the top of the hill. Several different creatures bones here, lots of horse bones. Also a bogstrider. 3 dead boggards – yay! There are 2 magic items here – bracers of armour +4. Wand of lightning bolt.

We camp overnight with no incidents, then head off towards Armag’s Tomb. Get there around lunchtime. Camp near stream, next to 50 ft high cliff, tomb is in cliff. We fight a dozen of the barbarians and win, then we move on into the tomb. There’s iron ore in here, which makes the place look blood streaked. Walls themselves are infused with ancient magics. Walls resist any attempt to manipulate them through use of magic. We are being scried upon. From the south east, 200 ft away. There is a fog in the corridor that obscures all our vision further than 5 ft away.

Corridor opens out into a room, with Kelid (Tiger Lord) men statues. No fog. There are 2 people in here. Hooded, hiding faces. Holy symbol is familiar – hag. It’s the baby murderer goddess. We kill them. Some parts of the walls have different spells on them to the rest. Some illusion sections and also abjuration. Nothing on the statues. The illusion sections are apparently doors. The earth elemental that Rena had summoned attempts to batter down the door. We go east. Another statue and a corridor to the east full of fog. Statue staring at south wall. I can spot a secret door. Find mechanism to open it, not locked. Passage unused for years, fog in here. The elemental goes in first. Runes on wall flare slightly as the elemental goes past. We are faced with a Derga daemon. Immune to death effects (Amina). (Cade) it can’t see any better than we can, immune to disease and poison, resist electricity, cold and fire, can teleport at will. The earth elemental stops in front of the daemon, we can’t see it but we can hear it. We are unaffected by its sounds. There is a fight. Come out into chamber with suit of spiked armour made to resemble Gorum himself. Its an iron golem. Needs adamantite to bypass damage reduction.. Very powerful blows. It has a breath weapon. We break the golem. Go us!

There are secret doors in here. We find them and choose the south east one. We break the door down, it opens into a corridor that is full of fog. That opens out into natural cavern. There are skeletons in here, don;t look like standard skeletons – they are bloody skeletal champions. Fallen Tiger Lord barbarians put into tomb. Imbued with Gorum’s hatred for Pharasma, they have some of this rage in them – they are ‘deathless’ – we can destroy them if they go down to 0, but they’ll get back up again an hour later. They sort of heal as well (like fast healing), also have normal skelly DR and immunity to cold. Longbow and greatsword, armoured. And not entirely surprisingly, they attack. Tehy seem prepared for us. First group draw swords, second group have bows at the ready. To stop the deathless thing, we need to find the thing they are bound to and destroy it, or we kill them in a hallowed area, or sprinkle them with holy water.

Another secret door which the earth elemental breaks down. Into another corridor.

There is a spell that has been cast on this place. Abjuration, called Guards and Wards, webs, confusion, hidden doors, all the stuff we’ve been seeing. The person we saw in the image earlier is in this room. He’s grown in size. Huge statue of Gorum, carved pillars shaped like kneeling solders. It’s spotless in here. Waterfalls at each end, carved like maidens crying. The man stands watching us silently. Takes a step back as we approach. He tells us Armag has passed the trials and is in meditation. We cannot pass unless we are deemed worthy by Gorum. He looks at the rings on Rena’s fingers. Gorum is chaotic neutral, battle, strength, weapons, followed by lots in Brevoy, all about blood, ferocity, intimidation, battle hardiness. Rena intimidates him into stepping aside and letting us pass.

Up some stairs, there’s a door which unlocks for us, into another room. 10 braziers alight in here, walls are splatted with blood, dozens of corpses scattered about. They look like they’ve been here for weeks, not years. There’s a bloke in here, it’s Armag. There are more barbarians in here. There are skeletons like the previous ones, but with different insignia on their chests. Something in the room is casting a spell. There is a glow happening around a sword, which then seems to affect Armag, he roars something at the elemental and attacks. We kill him and have to fight the skellies which don;t stop when he goes down. The priest tells us his story, he’s a shaman, administers the test of faith since the tomb and temple were created, bound to the place, he has acquired some abilities, he cannot leave, the years would catch up with him. It is what his god asks of him. He doesn’t need to eat, drink, sleep, doesn’t age. The sword…..this was the first time anyone claimed the sword since the original Armag’s death. The rings came from a tribal family, he recognises these as his ‘family’. The original Armag let his people into south east Numeria, fought a lot of other tribes. He became a champion for many of the barbarian peoples, many tribes he defeated then followed him, he became a champion of Gorum. Pride was Armag’s weakness, he boated he would live forever, Pharasma took offence, she was the one who destroyed him through a mighty red dragon. This angered Gorum, so the two gods had a fight over Armag’s soul, which Gorum ultimately infused his soul into the sword so Pharasma couldn;t take him to the boneyard. Gorum told him (the shaman) how to build this place to test for a worthy champion to succeed Armag. We passed. He kilkled everyone else. At the beginning lots of people would come, but then it went quiet. Started again recently, and Armag was the first. The sword will tolerate no second, so makes you kill your followers. That’s why Armag killed his. The skeletons are also bound to the temple by Gorum, to steal their souls from Pharasma. Smashing it up will draw the wrath of Gorum. And the shaman will stand against us. Rena says we are going to leave and consider what to do. Rena tells him he is against the souls being bound here, it’s the darkest of necromancy. Rena says that he won’t wield the sword and has no intention of letting it fall into anyone’s hands to wreak death and destruction. The shaman says he cannot let us leave, he will fight us. Rena tells him to make his peace before he tries to stop us from leaving.

We go into the burial chamber. There’s a secret door. Top of the sarcophagus has been moved, Armag’s body is in there, he’s just over 6.5 ft tall, hide armour with dragonbone and armour spikes, shield with dire tigers. Cade draws a binding circle v evil. Rena says the sword would probably kill anyone but us, we are Rena’s ‘tribe’. Cade is looking at the sword to see what he can find out. Behind secret door, there is a holy sepulchure, it’s got an enormous treasure hoard, including a huge diamond, lots of other gems. Tonnes of amazing magical stuff. We have to go to Pharasma’s boneyard to destroy the sword, whoever wields it has to find their own gravestone and beat it three times with the sword.

We put all the hoard in a bag and start to leave. We know he’s going to attack us. He does. It is a long drawn out fight but eventually we kill him. He turns to dust. We inter his dust in the sepulchre with his holy symbol, spear and armour (which are all that remain). The fog and locked doors etc disappear. We go outside. The girls are huddled together inside the cage. We tell them who we are and that we’ve come to rescue them. We explain about the changes at what was Drevlev.

We rest up for the night and head back to Freehold.

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Abinessy lynmorton66

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