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Certhoa
After an epic 4 hour final encounter my groups latest Raiders Guild adventure came to end on Monday night (and Tuesday morning). A pitched battle involving the main thread 4th level characters and a side thread group of 11th level characters fought a wicked, gorgeous cultist, Vrock, Goristo, Mezzo, Carnage, Dretch and Gnaw demons and ghouls. I didn't get to run the final encounter, which is technically out of the adventure anyway and decided to write it up as a narrative instead as I want to move onto the next story.
So here it is...

As the battle in the temple dies away, you find yourselves standing in a huge chamber defiled with statues and signs of the 6-fingered demon lord Graz’zt. The demons you fought turn to vile ichors, adding to the stench of blood and burnt offerings.

With memories of the strange coffin and its horrid inhabitant you wonder at the fate of your companion Johann. The image of it sinking back into the floor as if it were part of another reality haunts your mind.

Mal is calling out to you, he has found a secret exit and babbling something about a bell and screaming. For the first time Huemuct the Paladin Lord, who has been tending to his father, seems visibly shaken as he hears the news. He silently mouths a single “No”. Then he sakes himself from his despair and tells you that the Doom bell is ringing, the bell that signals the defenses around the zombie pit and gateway to the undead Shadowfell realm have been broken. He begs you to escape the city by any means and that you take his father and the Halfling Goodruff with you. After offering what healing he can, he and his band rush out of the secret door, pledging to hold back the zombie hordes as long as they can.

You look at each other, realizing you’ve a short time to gather up the treasures the wicked cultist Thadia had taken and then you too must return to the city streets. Everywhere panicked people rush to and fro as you make your way towards the Raiders Guild safe house. To the North West you watch rays of searing light blast down from one of the wizard’s towers that dot the sky line. Suddenly terror fills the skies as a dragon of withered flesh and bone appears and breaths a vile cone of lifeless enervation on the tower, silencing those within. From the ground magical fire strikes it and it swoops down to deal with whatever spellcaster has dared strike back at it. A spellcaster you think you know.

As you get closer to the Halflings shop, a chilling tone takes to the air. Howling and moaning is beginning to replace the screams and shouts and off down a side street you get the first glimpse of the cities assailants. Ghouls running ahead of a pack of zombies are pulling people down and gorging themselves. They are too far to help and you keep running.

Finally the street appears with its brightly painted houses and the map makers signing gently swinging backwards and forwards betrays the terrors you’ve seen and heard. Deserted, you rush up and into the building aware that the sounds of the dead are growing louder about you. The shop is despoiled, maps and blood lie everywhere, Varuns body lying amongst the mess he so vigilantly fought against in life. Great tears and bite marks cover his short form. For a moment you think he may still be alive, but as his head raises you see his dead eyes and his mouth joins the moans of the dead in the street. Agragh steps forward and with cold compassion smashes the head of your reanimated friend.

Now where you ask? South, to the gates that are furthest from the mountains and the zombie pit. Once again you flee, but the dead are abroad, the citizens who have already fallen are starting to rise as zombies and your progress is slow as you dodge or destroy those in your path. Thicker now are the bands of walking corpses and it seems ghouls and worse have your scent. You feel you are being hunted and hounded until you reach a once peaceful fountain square. For all four corners come the undead, ghouls and wights leading huge bands of rotting and almost fresh seeming corpses, made all the worse for the numbers of dead children you see in their ranks. You form a square around Huemucts numb father Margus, preparing for the final fight. From nowhere leaps into the battle a ferocious half-orc, who with a wink and growl sets about the zombies, but there are just too many. Doom finally comes when a shadow falls over you from above. Looking up you expect to see the form of the dread Dracolich but a most wondrous sight instead greats you. A rope ladder, descending from the Airship you thought days way hangs above you. You order Margus up and then in a fighting withdrawal one by one ascend yourselves, telling the half-orc to join you. Immediately the ship turns and pulls away from the now dead city. You are safe, for now.

Comments

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bluekieran
Jul. 14th, 2010 03:35 pm (UTC)
The battle in the temple was certainly epic, and good fun to boot. It's just a shame we started so late; I ended up distracted by thoughts of work in the morning/sleepy ill flatmate upstairs (though both worries proved unfounded).

The amount of time between sessions was also problematic on this storyline; we did rescue Etherin Plantagius, right? I forget...
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