Loose Ends – Chapter Ten

3rd Day of the Claw of Winter: (February):

Still within the Bandits Lair:

How many more Bandits and Barbarian Warriors are waiting within for our Heroes?

Mirafir’s brief sojourn in monstrous wraith form continues as he floats along the rock filled corridor looking for the end of the blockages or any other doors or passages.

Instead at the corridor’s terminus lies a single corridor ending at a metal banded door. Within in the 30’ by 30’ foot chamber are 5 more stone sarcophagi. Also within the room is the Shadow which had retreated earlier, thankfully ignoring Mirafir whilst he is in ‘Wraithform’.

Monster - Shadow
Monster – Shadow

But with his ‘Wraithform’ spell on the wane the Wizard must return having looked inside one of the sarcophagi ad only finding the same shroud wrapped bodies.

Sigune: “Bie mae rekkenin thae collapsin in yon tunnels mussha bin bie dint a the sem earthqueck thet dun fer Runderdath!”

The Dwarf maids understanding of rock and stone runs through her psyche like a seam of quartz within granite. What remains unspoken is what or who caused this cataclysmic event!?

The distraction of this Idle conjecture must however wait it’s turn as the brotherhood continue up the long corridor ahead. A similar metal banded door in an alcove on the eastern side is, on inspection, locked.

With silent gestures and no small sense of urgency they decide to head on to the far end of the tunnelway.

Frimly though, holds back, hoping to use his subterfuge and rare skills to uncover hidden secrets. So within the first room, set with four pillars, on the eastern aspect he searches for Secret Doors and such, but to no avail.

Leading the way Thora and Galan press on past the second easterly aperture, when without a hint of warning the stone floor collapses beneath their feet.  A hinged trap, triggered by their weight would have dropped them some 30’ feet below, were it not for an unlikely moment of feline like agility from Thora and a lanky leap from the Ranger.

Trap - Pit-Trap
Trap – Pit-Trap

The Dwarf maid takes a leaf from the Thief’s book of deception and cries out as if she had indeed dropped into the pit, while Sigune reveals uncommon wit by offering to drop a rope to her.

Mirafir now casts ‘Invisibility’ upon himself, sensing an attack by the Barbarian Cleric amongst this chaotic distraction.

The adjacent door bursts inwards and outward pours four well equipped and armoured Bandit guards who surround Galan and who is now standing alone, isolated from his comrades by the inconvenience of a 30’ foot deep pit-trap.

North, on the other side of the pit-trap are Sigune and Thora are fired at by two arrows from the grate of the door behind them. Despite this distraction Sigune does not hesitate in drawing her own Longbow to assist the stranded Galan Tara.

Thora holds her ground waiting for an attack from the next door further North along the corridor, which too has a grille through which arrows could be fired.

Galan’s twin Sword skills are used in a dizzying whirlwind of parrying and countering.

Galan: “There are more of them in here!”

He shouts

Frimly begins to cautiously sneaks across the ceiling using his ‘Slippers of Spider Climbing’ to defy gravity; before, once in range, unleashing a surge of kinetic power from his ‘Ring of the Ram’. A triple bolt shot that drives one hapless Bandit into another. Both toppling unceremoniously into the pit-trap behind them, followed by indignant shrieks of pain accompanying the satisfying timbre of mailed flesh and bone upon stone.

More Barbarians emerge in a confused clique of Javelins, Hand Axes and Short Swords.

NPC - Barbarian - Blue Bear Clan
NPC – Barbarian – Blue Bear Clan

Sigune hits with her Longbow shots.

Mirafir still holds his action.

Now a door along the Western wall opens and another 4 Bandits emerge and engage the firm breasted Paladin, forcing her to fling her Longbow to the ground and to draw her trusted Long Sword.

Frimly attempts the same trick but this time his foe resists and instead he is hit by an electrically charged ‘Blue Javelin’.

Thora Dragon Headed Mace strikes a target with unnerving power, staggering her foe. Sigune too strikes with little feminine charms, half concussing a Bandit with the flat of her Long Sword.

Seeing that Galan will quickly be overwhelmed, Frimly drops to the ground, drawing his enchanted ‘Short Sword of Quickness’ in an effort to parry attacks in the crowded melee combat.

Thora’s next strike finishes one man’s life and her shrill taunt chills the marrow of another.

Thora: “Ahm gonna throw yer miserable car-cass doon tha pit ye sad ragie!”

Before promptly delivering a blow of critical power

Poisoned Arrow
Poisoned Arrow

Sigune downs another but then takes an Arrow to the back of her neck from an unseen assailant, thankfully resisting the effects of the unfamiliar noxious gunk that it had been dipped in.

Sigune: “You vill neffer break ze  will of Zaint Cussbert  vhile his mighty cudgel fills my soul!”

Both the Barbarian and Bandit Chiefs emerge on Galan’s side of the pit to survey the state of the battle.

While on the other side Barbarians pour forth from a doorway on the eastern side, as Thora had expected, armed with Short Bows.

Sigune’s exchange bloody and equal blows with her stubborn foe.

The pit-trap swings back into place as the mechanism is reset by Barbarian Chief, it seems.

More non-Magical Javelins are hurled at our duchesses of duelling, but miss, which they do not, despite the vain parrying of their enemies. More Barbarians step forth and now 6 foes surround the madchens of mayhem. In a rhythm of brutal blows two foes drop to the floor.

Mirafir can wait not a moment longer and begins to cast ‘Mirror Image’, causing multiple ‘Invisible’ likenesses to whirl about him.

Now Galan is enveloped by the grasping hands of the Barbarians slowly forcing him to the ground by sheer weight of numbers.

Frimly still parries, unable to provide more aid.

Multiple Mirafir’s cast many ‘Magic Missiles’ upon the myriad Barbarians and slays at least one.

The dames of doom down more dolts as Thora….implores Sigune to aid Galan using her ‘Clock of Arachnid’ to cross the treacherous pit. While she stands toe-to-toe with a brutish Bandits exchanging lavish blows.

Galan at last throws off his foes that had held him down, while Mirafir cast another fearsome volley of ‘Magic Missiles’ on Frimly’s opponent, allowing Frimly to finish the job.

The pit-trap flips downwards once again and Sigune is shoulder charged by a wanton Barbarian warrior intent on running her into the unlit hole below her, but she dodges the charge and strikes a meaty blow.

Galan kills another Barbarian as Sigune slays the last enemy in the corridor. Longbow arrows now fly out of the pit-trap but with an acute angle and shifting targets, they miss.

Mirafir quickly casts ‘Haste’ on Frimly, Sigune and Galan.

Frimly spends several minutes extinguishing lit torches, in the event that ‘Web’ may need to be cast.

Galan seizes the moment to leap into the chamber where the Bandit and Barbarian leaders have retreated back into. His aquiline Elven nose twitches at the ferrous scent of spilt blood in there.  While also catching sight of primitive pictograms and runes painted into the stone walls.

Magic Item - Ring of Fire Resistance
Magic Item – Ring of Fire Resistance

Sigune follows him, but despite using the cloak of spider abilities, she sets off another ‘Glyph’ that unleashes a ‘Wall of Fire’, dealing only a portion of fiery damage as her ‘Ring of Fire Resistance’ once again aids our maid.

However, she is now trapped behind the impenetrable curtain of flame with both leaders and no allies. The ensuing battle is brutal, uncompromising and littered with expletives, profanities and explanations of the virtues of bowing to the might and right of…you guessed it…St Cuthbert!

Powerless to help, Galan instead turns his attention to the two fools in the open pit….their lives end in the gloomy pit.

Thora and Frimly wait for the others at the far end of the corridor, before investigating a billet with four cots, chests and merchandise of middling quality.

A search of the Barbarian leader reveals a large pouch, within which are two Blue Feathered Baldrics (belts) with dried blood stains on them. They look to be like those worn by the Lizard men in the Lizard marshes, the one who attacked Cromm’s Hold.

Sigune scratches her head but can offer no explanation for this curious mystery.

NPC - Barbarian Cleric
NPC – Barbarian Cleric

The Sigils, in what appears to be the Clerics chapel, are scraped into the floor in the form of 3 parallel lightning  bolts, liberally caked in congealed and dried blood (though no clues as to the source of donors for this ritual. Mirafir reasons that this must be the source of electrically charged, ‘Blue Magical Javelins’.

Only a cursory look at the rooms on either side  of the corridor is undertaken, for now there are more pressing matters to attend……the whereabouts of the wily barbarian cleric.

Thora then thinks aloud….Thora: “tha wee Cleric!! Hae musta escaped doon a secret toonel tha gins tae wer yon tapestry be! Hae cannae hev tee spells noo! Let’s gae affer haem!”

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