Loose Ends – Chapter Twelve

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

Vicross Found In The Bandits Lair:

Vicross, oh Vicross, where art thou Vicross?

..and so the tale of adventure rumbles on

Far below the risen sun in ancient musty dungeon

Our noble warriors caught in traps and spells,

Curious illusions do befuddle their brave souls.

Some seem ancient some are new, cast

From boney necklace, ring and gnarly staff

But now mercenary bandits and savage hill men

Lay slain upon the stony floor…our heroes killed ‘em.

but what foul poison has wily Thief been dealt?

No swooning sickness or paralysis yet be felf

But what is this now? what ails dear Frims eyes

Tis ze blinding and my staff heals it, Says Sigune to much surprise

A search of chests finds many things but just two Potions

What they need is to raise portculli, Thora notions.

So Frimly sets upon this task of finding mechanism

While THora and Galan groan as gates be risen

The thief he hears clank and grind and follows yon sound

Along long corridor until the end but nowt be found

Until our mage does feel about and unseen door be at hand

It’s stout and barred with rusty grille

Where mystery arrows before did spill

Frimly cocks an ear and hears black birds a yonder

While tracks of Assassin’s feet doth Galan ponder

Magic Item - Gauntlets of Dexterity
Magic Item – Gauntlets of Dexterity

So Thora tries with Dexterous Gloved hands and her Lockpick

Into dim lit chamber she opens door but unlike Frimly, e’er so quick

Sigune searches for evil forces while magic is the mage’s raison

Upon a table are two caged crows or are they ravens?

Mirafir now seeks some answers using spellcraft

And reveals an ‘Illusionary Wall’ spell has been cast.  

Tis very specific and also permanent.

So who has cast it and what was their intent?

Mirafir the Mage now turns and faces rustic table and sleeping cot

Lo, emenations of necromantic magic and something in furs wrapped he spots

As the rest pass through the doorway ear-splitting screech of ‘Glyph’ with ‘Alarm’ cast apon it.

Pummels ears with…..

Thora: “Frimly!! By St Cuthbert’s cudgel will ye nae hush yerself and yin daft poetry!? Yes there was a hullabaloo en all….but nae tae fuss aboot!!”

Thora: “The ways ah sees it…we had to cover them kawing infernal burds…hoo kens hae coulda bin scrying curtasy of em!?Ah member Sahgunee eyeing sem wee jars and such ona teble and one botta wes epen an she….”

Sigune: “Yez Zora, you are indeed correct, I zspied small trazes of a powder, vhich Galan azzumed was for invisibility and rezently snorted by ze hooded thieve! Zhen vee Klick vhy he shtayt invisible despite everyzing.”

Frimly: “While I unwrapped the furry package left upon the rustic cot.”

Inside a fine ‘Longbow’ of Eleven craft and nearby quarrel I did spot.

Magic Item - Longbow, Elven
Magic Item – Longbow, Elven

Upon the table stouthearted Thora began to search some parchments,

And came upon diagrams and maps and lists of names but no enchantments.

Thora: “Aye, they didnae mek no kenning tae me, but ah keptem anyrood.”

Mirafir: “Yass and whilst the others set about turning the place upside down I moved on to the bandits dormitory where I miwaculously discovered sevewal Daggerford militia badges! So no wonder that folk were suspicious when we used ours to identify ourselves. Those wotters had no doubt been bwandishing them willy-nilly!”

Mirafir: “They pwobably used them to gain entwy to the keep in Daggerfowd and twied to fwame Agwain….but I don’t think the hooded Thief was not the Assassin as he used an Elven Longbow not a Cwossbow!”

Thora: “Aye…an while ye were galivantin aboot I kem upon ah concealed durr in amongst ah heap ah crates brimming wie fine wines an vittals.”

 A fine small Chest with bands of iron and lock so fine to pick my ask,

 But no Traps I found so twist and turn of locks proved a tricky task.

But finally when tumblers clicked and lid was lifted hidden blade sliced down,

Missing Frim’s fingers by a whisker – the ‘Fool ‘em Twice’ trap of renown.

Trap - Chest-Trap
Trap – Chest-Trap

The chest was placed in Galan’s ‘Bag of Holding’.

Along with bandits wages of coins a Golden.

Galan the Ranger searches for and finds levers for both portcullis and opens both for possible escape.

While wee Frimly opens the Cleric’s chest and in amongst the Cloaks and bric-a-brac he finds a pouch with Uncut Diamonds just like those found in Castle Ravenloft’s Crypt where a foul Demon was released from its entrapment….a strange coincidence, Frimly thinks not. He remembers that they were told that Diamonds such as these were to be found in a Northern Dwarven mine now occupied by Trolls and Orcs.

Behind Thora’s Secret Door a square shaft rises up into the darkness and metal rungs are set into the wall. Using their ‘Cloak of Arachnid’ and ‘Slippers of Spider Climbing’, Sigune and Frimly ascend nearly 120’ feet emerging into the cool night air, pushing through a wall of dense magical foliage that yields to their touch.  An emergency exit, but built by whom? For it is certainly of more recent construction.

They look around but can see no sign of the once crazed Druid and Mirafir’s father….how fortunate they did not require their assistance!

In the corridor far below, Mirafir casts ‘Detects Magic’ again on the heavy door set with a single warding ‘Glyph’. Then the Wizard casts ‘Wraithform’ upon himself to bypass any ill effects.

Inside is a poor wretched soul, chained up and in a terrible and pitiful state. A small table in the makeshift cell holds a Staff, Ring clothes and personal effects.

NPC - Vicross Silverkin
NPC – Vicross Silverkin

Mirafir lets out an involuntary gasp. It is Vicross, the Magic User from Runedardath, under Mount Illefarn, who clandestinely aided Mirafir in his escape.

His face is burnt, he is disfigured and seems mentally deranged and shell shocked from the tortures inflicted upon him. After much futile persuasion Mirafir leaves the cell and heads down the corridor ramp to the magically warded stone door. The trio of ‘Glyphs’ discharge….one of blaring ‘Alarm’, one unknown and another a ‘Wall of Fire’. So seemingly set by the resident Cleric.

Despite his ‘Wraithform’ Mirafir takes a deal of damage though avoids more serious injury. He then attempts to pass through the stone door while still in ‘Wraithform’.

The room beyond is a Chapel or some such. Inside are many ancient skeletons and terrible scenes of long past destruction. There is a large altar and also doors in the SE and SW walls.

When he finally returns, Mirafir reveals that an apparition in female form flew at him, screeming at a terror that followed he and that finally must have caught her as she was unable to pass the stone door. Thankfully he had the strength of mind to resist the powerful instinct to flee in ‘Fear’.

Mirafir: “What hust have happened here to have created all this slaughter and the anguish on that poor girls face.”

Frimly searches the still ‘Invisible’ corpse of the hooded Thief and finds a set of keys. But for his own safety the party elects to leave Vicross where he is.

Instead they search more rooms and within the four pillared room where Frimly heard water dripping Sigune lets out a dull grunt as she kicks at a crate in the middle of the room, the items have been hidden by an ‘Illusion’.

Frimly feels more of these wooded boxes and creates stacked one upon another and starts to cautiously climb the stack that rises over 50’ feet above them. Once at the apex, Frimly decides to push one of the crates to the floor. It crashes down, splitting open and now visible, is revealed it to be a heavy wooden crate that contains well-made mining equipment.

Location - Bandits Lair Crypt Illusion
Location – Bandits Lair Crypt Illusion

Another box cascades to the ground and within are saddles. So the Illusion is of an empty space that hid the crates and boxes, cast by a Wizard unknown that conceals a wealth of stolen plunder, literally many crates. A Bandits horde taken on the southerly trade route, it would seem. No other secret entrances are to be found, though the Clerics dead body is stripped of ‘Magical Boots’, ability yet unknown…but perhaps of silent passing….Frimly conjectures.

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