5/2/16-30 Session – Rehash (This rehash encompasses two sessions)
Trapped in the black tower, with the green vapors slowly poisoning them, our heroes faced a grim, ignominious end…
Below in the swirling green vapors, they could see the movement of the undead denizens of the lower levels, purposeless until they sighted one of the brave band…then striking out as one with their pitiful corroded weapons, their empty eye sockets locked on the steady, fearless gaze of our stalwart adventurers who for the moment have full eye sockets.
The choice was clear, and all the party had to lose was their lives. These were quite coincidentally doomed already by the green vapors. With a variety of tactics, the skeletal fiends were destroyed or driven back. The battle culminated in a brash charge by Archimedes, who let his blood-chilling battle cry of “…” fly as he charged down to the ground floor, where he found the source of the green vapors…a large fountain, upon the sides of which glowed sickly green runes that produced an aura of evil magic in the room. Of more immediate interest to the brave wizard though were the twelve skeletal warriors who sipped at the fountain, their bones glowing with the same green aura as they drank…Archimedes expertly retreated back up the stairs at an appropriate rate. His first spell covered the stairs with a foul grease, causing the undead fiends to lose their footing…a following blast of flame ended the existence of all but one as the grease ignited, and our heroes’ might soon terminated the survivor, which Archimedes cleverly led into range by running in circles around the tower. The tower was theirs.
But would it be their grave? The foul vapors still emanated from the fountain, adding to the smoke of the battle that threatened to choke out the lives of our brave band even in the moment of victory. Some improvisation with the staff that Entwhistle had provided lifted the curse from the fountain, and the waters proved to be sustaining and healthful, leaving only one danger…death from boredom, or at each other’s hand. An examination of the tower’s contents revealed a chilling journal of the last Yrken attempt to retake Tristram and other odd items, including a large black gemstone seemingly of the same material as the tower. Our stalwart band applied their mind to the gem, perhaps it was the key to this odd tower? Covered with indecipherable runes, the gem seemed a puzzle that would be difficult to unravel, but our heroes’ minds had been sharpened by their adventures…three days, four nights and umpteen spells later, the brave band had found the means to unlock the door without immolating themselves.
As they exited, they found a much changed environ…mighty Entwhistle had departed, along with the trees that had choked the tower, as he vowed. Church somewhat sadly informed everyone of the end of the Duke’s man Brax at the hands of one of the trees, which he’d had the audacity to strike when a limb brushed him. Further, the sight of a soldier flying through the air in this wilderness had attracted a traveler, who turned out to be none other than Seanee, one of the many (legitimate, though less numerous than the illegitimate) sons of Count Caw of Stratchclyde, long thought lost in this land. Lost as in dead, not lost as in having little clue of where he was, where to go, or what to do, a definition that Seanee’s state satisfied quite accurately.
Despite some initial tension between Farmer Dross and the devout Ambrosian, internecine warfare was avoided for the moment. Our brave band determined that to forego their oath to assist the noble Entwhistle would be such a stain on their honor that tens…indeed, hundreds, of washer-women would be needed to erase it. The question of whether washer-women were indeed known to restore or further degrade the honor of dishonored adventurers was left as a topic for philosophers and other non-productive types.
Setting out to the east, our heroes shortly came upon what Entwhistle had depicted. In the midst of a meadow studded with tree stumps was a moderately large ship, crafted to resemble a swan. The keen minds of our intrepid band soon determined that given the lack of rigging, sails, and more importantly, a large body of water…the nevertheless beautiful ship was quite useless. Following a trail of deforestation that would give pause to even the stoniest-hearted lumberjack, the adventurers discovered more craft…a ship in the shape of a large fish, a massive sea-going raft in the form of a turtle, a collection of small sloops joined to resemble a sea snake…and disturbingly, a craft that vaguely resembled a well-fed pig. Only two things were clear…the Eldren that Entwhistle had described in troubled undertones was a master shipbuilder and artist. It also appeared it was quite daft.
Following the sounds of axe striking timber, our brave band courageously crept up on the shipbuilder, who appeared to be busily crafting planks from a recently felled tree. Bashing upon the head of a war axe with a wooden stave did not seem the most efficient means to split planks, but given the previous evidence of artistry on the builder’s part it did not merit much discussion. Indeed, our heroes seemed far more impressed by the disheveled blonde hair, disheveled gear, and most importantly the disheveled pointed ears of the demonic Eldren.
Confronted by the nightmare stories of their youth, the intrepid adventurers schemed…Farmer Dross displayed his odd shape-changing abilities yet again, taking the form of an Eldren demon. The gambit was wisely considered down to the nearest detail and for a moment, the Eldren demon was baffled. However, the Eldren’s first words forebode what would come. In it’s own evil tongue the fiend said “Hello, nice day for building a ship, isn’t it?”…Dross, proving the purity of his soul with the inability to speak the tongue of the demon Eldren, resorted to hand gestures, charades, and general flapping of his appendages. The demon was not fooled, and responded by offering his staff to the imposter. As Farmer Dross grabbed the end, inch-long thorns sprouted from its length, piercing his hand. A quick sweep to the back of his legs deposited him on his heroic derriere, and our courageous crew leapt to the attack.
Displaying the unholy powers for which they are legendary, the demon responded with a dazzling display of might and magic, springing from the ground into a tree branch ten feet above the ground. Our heroes had no time for polite applause however, as with it’s next move the demon blasted a foot wide hole in the chest of sturdy Church with magical bolts…
As the smoking body of Church hits the ground, our heroes face a demon from their nightmares…will their journey in the Wounded Land end at the hands of the Eldren fiends, as has befallen so many thousands of Yrken? Stay tuned…