Location: Under Tyr, The New Crypts & The Road of Crypts
Campaign Date, Session 5: Scorch 2, 190 Kings Age
|At the conclusion of the ritual the Ghost empowered Reoth to give his blessing of protection to an additional two people, in case his brothers were fond. As the ghost faded away there was a dim flash of pale light and what sounded like a hollow bar sliding away and both of the double doors magically unsealed. Though Reoth didn’t like the idea of leaving his brother on the crypt floor there was little he could do. The pact forbade the party from looting or assaulting any of the undead they encountered and leaving any fresh dead where they were. Reoth found himself unsettled and angry as he felt the defiling magic flowing through him and he was forced to leave the body of his brother where it had been found. His sole consolation were the rites Zyx whispered above the body and the herbs she spread across it, hoping his soul was freed and granted peace.|
The party made their way through the double doors and followed the hallway out of the great crypt. The hallways beyond were practically a maze with some leading to other great crypts and others leading to many lesser crypts. All of them were similar to the ones they had originally fought their way through. Razspark grumbled all the way, imaging the piles of gold, metal and magical items which could be just out of sight by being covered with some moldering pile of rags.
A feeling of unease settled on the party as they made their way through the maze of crypts. It was impossible to shake the feeling they were being watched. The shadows seemed to try and swallow the soft blue brilliance of Elshas light and it seemed like fleeting shadows darted back and forth at the edge of the light and always just barely seen out of the corner of their eyes. There were clanks, bangs and also the sound of shuffling heard far off in the dark, distance as the restless dead made their presence known, but minded the rule of the pact.
Road of Crypts
The hallway abruptly changed in style at the bottom of a stairway going down. The walls and floors were smoother, the stone older and far, far more worn down the the crypts above. The main hallway continued to spiral deeper, but there were many corridors that split away from it. The party made quick inspections and found that each of these corridors had doorways on each side. Each doorway led to a very small chambed which had hewn out shelves for bodies to be laid to rest in. The shelves ranged from empty to holding wrapped skeletal remains to piles of unidentified paraphernalia.
The spiral went ever deeper and still, nothing happened. The feeling of unease and dread never dispersed and Razspark grew further agitated at, what he knew, were piles of treasure being left untouched. It seemed like hours as the party made their way deeper and deeper into the older crypts when they suddenly came across a doorway which opened into a much larger passage. It was immediately obvious this was of a completely different make and style from the crypts they had just traveled through.
Campaign Date, Session 5: Scorch 3, 190 Kings Age (now after midnight)
The new passage was easily fifteen feet wide and just as high. The walls and floor were roughly hewn and obviously not man made originally. The passage of time and other entities had worn sections fairly smooth though. This area wasn’t filled with sand so much as rocks, gravel and other grit. The corridor ran north and south and there were no discernable tracks from the bothers they were looking for. After a short discussion, the party decided to head north.
The party walked along in silence, tired from having been on the go almost constantly since they originally all got together. They didn’t notice the soft vibrations of the walls or the quiet grind of rock from within them as they walked along. As they approached a section of the corridor that appeared to be a less stable state, two creatures exploded from the walls, one in front and one behind.
Razspark had heard stories about these. They were umber hulk ravagers and stood at about 8 feet tall and possessed large mandibles and huge claws capable of burrowing through solid stone. They had four eyes. The two smaller eyes provided normal vision while the two larger ones enabled the creature to see in the dark. The body was covered in a thick, natural armor which protected them from being hurt by the sharp rock and stone they burrowed through.
The party lept into action. Tearyn flew through the air and charged one. Crystaliss let loose with her acid arrows to try and burn through the armor of the other. Reoth moved and engaged one in close quarters combat. Razspark rushed forward to smash and cut at one with his warhammer and axe. Elsha called forth a void prison and trapped one in a swirling, purple void so the party could focus on a single one. Zyx summoned her spirit companion and used healing and supportive magics for the party. These creatures were tough though. The remaining one smashed into the party, blasting them back with the sheer force of its terrible gaze and paralyzing others with some sort of confusion.
The other ravager sprang free from the trap and the party laid into that one too with their weapons and magics. Both of the creatures fought relentlessly, slicing with their pincers, using the psychic power of their eyes to try and crush the resistance of their opponents and tearing at the party members with their clawed hands. The party was no longer new at working together and despite some grevious wounds, they came together, working as a well oiled machine and soundly defeated the ravagers. They then spent the next two hours scavanging the armor parts, the pinchers and even the more edible looking meat and storing it in Razspark’s duster to either sell or make use of once they were back on the surface.
The party investigated the holes that the ravagers used, but decided it was too dangerous to try and crawl through them. After resting, the party continued to move north down the large corridor, walking for hours until it veered north east. They continued to follow the tunnel and after another hour the party came into what appeared to be the demolished remains of a hollowed out building.
The party made their way through the rubble of the hollowed out building and one by one stepped into a huge chamber. The pale bule luminesence from Elshas staff couldn’t adequately light the entire chamber. They had stepped into what appeared to be an old market place, only the streets were filled with gravel and rubble and all of the buildings were in complete disrepair or partly collapsed. It also appeared that sections of the cavern ceiling had collapsed down into and onto many of the buildings, leaving only tight crawl spaces between buildings in those areas.
The party made a gruesome discovery just inside, a sticky and dried pool of blood caked on the ground and it only looked to be a few days old. Reoth couldn’t quell the sick feeling that it was the blood of one of his brothers. A quick survey of the area and buildings around where they entered only showed that the buildings had long been picked clean of anything that might have been useful and there were no further signs of either of the brothers or any struggle.
After some discussion the party decided to search the buildings along the edges of the chamber first and then slowly work their way to the buildings at the edge of the collapsed areas. While most members of the party kept watch and Elsha carefully positioned for best lighting, Razspark and Tearyn searched in each building that didn’t look like it would collapse if they stepped into it. As the party closed in on the buildings at the edges of the collapsed areas they heard short bursts of skittering in the darkness beyond the edges of their light.
Knowing they weren’t alone, they proceeded carefully into the largest collapsed area and began to search the buildings. In one of the larger buildings, they found it filled with rubble and bones. They also found relatively fresh gore and bones of someone recently killed and eaten. A search of the body found the shorn robe of a monk from Reoth’s Order. Taking the insignia strip, Reoth packed it with the other he had. Razspark and Tearyn made a search around the building into some of the other collapsed buildings nearby and some kind of giant, armored insect burst from the ground and grabbed at Razspark.
Both Tearyn and Razspark recognized it as an ankheg, before it skittered back off into the darkness after being unable to grab and move the bulk of Razspark. The creature had six legs and a multi-segmented body covered in a brownish-yellow chitinous exoskeleton. The head had black compound eyes, large mandibles and long antennae. These creatures were known for burowing through loose rock, dirt and gravel and living the tunnels other creatures would make. They were capable of spitting acid if pressed and are around 10 feet (3.047 meters) long and weigh about 800 lbs (363.6 kg). It might be most easily described as a giant combination of ant, cockroach and larval antlion.
Once Tearyn and Razspark returned to the party and informed the party, everyone decided it was time to make their way back out in case the ankheg returned with more. However, a large building just on the outside edge of the collapsed ceiling area was now more visible and they wanted to be sure and check it out and so as they made their way out, they followed a route to get to the entrance of the large building in question. It looked like the ceiling had partly collapsed, but otherwise it appeared to be very sturdy.
Once inside they found the floor covered with rubble and what appeared to be a hand sticking out from under it. Razspark and Reoth began to move the rubble carefully and found the body of the last missing brother. After the momentary shock wore off, Reoth quickly checked to find him unconcsious, partly starved and dehydrated, but still alive.
Zyx moved up and opened her bag and pulled out a kit of herbs and other salves and bandages and began to work on the monk. It was long moments later when she confirmed that he would live as long as they could get him out of here and into a place where he could be cared for better. Razspark and Reoth made a litter to carry the unconscious monk and the group started to make their way out of the large ruined building and headed back through the rubble filled streets.
They barely had time to register the vibrations under and around their feet before a half dozen ankhegs burst up through the ground, grabbing at members of the party. Out of some of the nearby piles or rubble and from the collapsed areas around them swarms of smaller ankhegs rushed out, quickly surrounding the party. Razspark and Reoth had to lay the unconscious brother on the ground in the doorway of the building as swarms of insects crowded around them, biting and clawing at them.
One of the giant ankheg’s started to spit acid to cover the group, but a well timed blow from Razspark left it sputtering and dripping acid on the gravel. Ankhegs clawed and bit at each member of the party, trying to weak them so they could be grabbed and dragged off into the darkness. Elsha barely managed to teleport away and sent a large number of them into a short lived void prison. Razspark crushed and smashed the ones around him, Reoth exploded in a whirlwind of feet, fists and moved like a whirlwind breaking exoskeletons and scattering bodies in his wake. Tearyn unleashed the swirling red winds of Marax to suck the life force out of her foes and blow them around to confuse them. Crystaliss showed the full power of her bow as an entire area exploded in a yellowish acid that burned and melted the creatures, despite their acidic nature.
Despite the incredible power the group unleashed and despite the sheer number of the broodlings they killed, the number of ankhegs was almost overhwhelming and the party was being worn down by the cuts, bites and jabs from them. It was then they felt the true power of the spirits that Zyx could call on. Within moments of her chanting and calling to her spirits, the ghostly form an an ancient warrior materialized among the ankhegs, smashing them with it’s ghostly weapon. Waves of vitality poured out of her and her spirit companion and every single member of the party felt wounds close, skin knit back together and surge of invigoration that renewed their strength of will to fight!
And the rest of the ankhegs closed in.