Chapter Thirty Eight- The Battle In The Catacombs X.

Chapter Thirty Eight: Spiders All Around The Crypt

Thora and Galan are in close quarters with the Skeleton Warrior near Sergi’s Crypt.

Sigune then kills the Spider!

The party re-group as best they can behind CRYPT 31.

Ireena and Sir Ly stand guard by Father Tobias and listen out for danger. Mirafir washes Father Tobias’ eyes to find them both white as snow.

Crypt 31
Crypt 31

Thora and Galan confront the Skeletal Warrior while the Shadow Demon and Shadow stand outside of the ‘Continual Light’ radius cast earlier by Mirafir.

Skeletal Warrior: “I will take back my masters Sword from you.”

Monster - Skeletal Warrior
Monster – Skeletal Warrior

Galan and Thora attack and hit the Skeletal Warrior. Yet Galan’s Mace has no effect on the Undead creature. The Skeletal Warrior reply’s by striking Galan with its Two-Handed Sword and misses with a second attack that was not expected by our heroes. This will not be as easy as they had thought. The Shadow Demon and Shadow hold their positions.

The party with the blinded Father Tobias then all hear the noise of several CRYPTS falling onto the stone floor. They hear 1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6 and 7 loud bangs and crashes. That meant seven CRYPTS doors meaning 7 Skeletons moving towards our heroes.

The two Paladins step forward, put away their weapons and begin to chant the words of St Cuthbert that would banish or destroy the unfortunate Adventurers that now serve in the Undead Army of Count Strahd.

The Paladins are both steadfast in their task and, with the grace of St Cuthbert, successfully Turn the Skeletons in their line of sight. The Skeletons turn and move off EASTWARDS and away from our Heroes.

Frimly moves past Father Tobias and Mirafir. Frimly, still ‘Flying’ and concealed by his ‘Elven Cloak’ listens out for noise in the SOUTH-WESTERN corner of the Catacombs. Frimly’s keen hearing and training allows the Thief to pick-up the sound of someone chanting or casting and a pair of feet moving slowing towards the party. Frimly spots two Vistani Archers, who in turn can’t see him, and the other Vistani Magician.

Vistani Magician: “By the power of the Dark Lord of Ravenloft let Darkness be brought forth to shroud his enemies.”

Vistani Magician: ““Qui affecto protego, mixtisque iubas serpentibus et posteris meis stirpiqu.”

Mirafir, having washed the eyes of the Priest began to search Father Tobias. Whispering to the blind Priest Mirafir says:

NPC - Barovian Gypsy
NPC – Barovian Gypsy

Mirafir: “Where is it Tobias?”

Father Tobias: “Where is what Mirafir, what is it you seek?”

Mirafir: “The precious item.”

Mirafir: “I will return it to you when you can use it or give it to someone else who can I will keep it secret and safe for the time being.”

Still searching Father Tobias, Mirafir it shocked to find that the ‘Holy Symbol of Ravenkind’ in no longer in the possession of the Priest.

Mirafir: “What……This cannot be, it was on your person and now no longer.”

Mirafir muses to himself:

Mirafir: “When the ‘Holy Symbol of Ravenkind was in my possession and I attempted to use its power against Count Strahd it did not function for me. Galan was able to ascertain its power, and possibly was able to activate the Holy Relic. Finally, Father Tobias had to attune with the item in order to employ its powers and it took but a minute to do so. Could it be Rahadin that has it?”

Magic Item - Holy Symbol of Ravenkind
Magic Item – Holy Symbol of Ravenkind

The ‘Continual Light’ disappears and all the light left is that provided by the fading torches and Sir Ly’s solitary light coming from his Flametongue.

Thora and Galan continue battling the Skeletal Warrior while he Shadow Demon, Shadow still stay hovering behind and waiting for their chance to engage. The Shadow which had escaped from the ‘Continual Light’ had now joined his allies after making its way through the Teleport CRYPT.

Sir Ly puts away his ‘Flametongue’ and moves behind his two comrades and draws forth his Long Bow, if Sir Ly cannot reach the Skeletal Warrior with Sword then he will attack the Shadow Demon.

Frimly ‘Fly’s’ up to the ceiling of the Catacombs and waits for the Vistani Magician to move past him. Then Frimly attempted to Backstab him. Frimly is unseen by the Vistani Magician, the Thief moves quietly behind his mark and strikes. A good hit but this Vistani Magician is a veteran who still stands and is able to cast a Spell at our brave Thief. Frimly cannot move and is ‘Held’ by the Vistani Magician’s Spell.

Vistani Magician: “A fine and Quick blade you have Thief. I will take that which is not yours for our Master; something will come to deal with you soon.”

The party with Father Tobias are then set upon by the Vistani Bowmen. Sigune screams out her Battle Cry as she charges towards the two Vistani Bowmen, drawing their fire and so protecting Mirafir the Wizard, low on Spell Points, Father Tobias, blind from the Spiders Venom and finally Ireena, protector of the Priest.

PC - Farther Almuric Tobias
PC – Father Almuric Tobias

Sigune engages one of the Vistani, who had dropped his Bow and drawn his Long Sword, while the other made room to fire upon his quarry, the fair and terrible Lady Sigune. Battle commences, while Mirafir is left frustrated that his is not able to employee his Sling to strike the Vistani.

Strahd Skeletons move WESTWARDS from behind the SOUTHERN most row of CRYPT.

Monster - Skeleton, Strahd
Monster – Skeleton, Strahd

Galan and Thora defeat the Skeletal Warrior and are then forced to face the two Shadows while the Shadow Demon hovers behind them. Sir Ly fires his Long Bow at the Demon and strikes with his ‘Magic Arrows’. The two Shadows are dispatched to the Negative Plane leaving only the Shadow Demon.

Mirafir: “Your powers are weak and useless! Why, even your most powerful magic would not even scratch me!”

Sigune is engaged in fighting the Vistani Bowmen and failed to see the Vistani Magician, who had quietly made his way around and behind Sigune. Mirafir and Ireena know what they have to do and as Ireena made her way towards the Vistani Magician Mirafir takes aim with his now trusty Sling and ‘Magic Bullets’.

Vistani Magician: “May the blindness of your faith and Priest befall you armature conjurer.”

Mirafir is able to withstand the effect of the Vistani Magician’s ‘Words’ and yet this was no Magic Spell that he had cast? Ireena reaches the Vistani Magician and slices ‘Alexandra’ deep along his side.

Sigune kills the Vistani wielding the Long Sword and then turns her measure attacks to the last Vistani Bowman, who was in the process of dropping his Short Bow and drawing his Long Sword.

Monster - Shadow Demons
Monster – Shadow Demons

Thora dispatches the Shadow attacking her as Galan steps to the side to allow Sir Ly to join the Frey battling the Shadow and Shadow Demon. The last Shadow is destroyed but again Galan suffers the Strength Draining attack from the Shadow Demon.

Sigune finally bests the last Vistani and is able to join Ireena in her duel with the unarmed Vistani Magician.

The Vistani Magician is able to cast ‘Mirror Image’ before any of the Heroes can act and 3 exact copies appear around him. Ireena dispatches one of the ‘Mirror Images’ as does Sigune, leaving one copy and the original Vistani Magician, but which is which?

This time it is Sigune that has to muster all her will to fortify herself from the words of the Vistani Magician? All this as the Vistani Magician draws forth Frimly’s ‘Short Sword of Quickness’.

Short Sword of Quickness +2
Short Sword of Quickness

The Final stand between Thora, Sir Ly, Galan and the Shadow Demon plays out. Galan, having been singled out ever since he took on the ‘Sunsword’ and the responsibility that came with it, elected to parry and protect himself. Thora and Sir had no other thought than to attack and destroy, once and for all, the Shadow Demon that had eluded all of their efforts to kill it. Fate played its hand and all members of this cast acted at the same instant.

The Shadow Demon plunging the Heroes into complete and utter ‘Darkness’ by the Crypt, while the Warrior and Paladin attempted to strike the Shadow Demon. In the utter darkness it was hard to determine if they had in fact struck, while the Ranger held fast waiting for the attack that was bound to come. Galan was struck and felt his very Strength being drained from his body.

Mirafir, seeing that the area behind himself and the blinded Father Tobias had turned Stygian Black, spun around and begrudgingly cast ‘Continual Light’, by the Crypt where he stood, for possibly the last time as has was now down to his last 1st Level Spell.

Mirafir: “Check….”

Mirafir: “However, not Checkmate just yet Count Strahd.”

Father Tobias: “What was that you said Mirafir?”

Mirafir: “Nothing Father, I must cast a ‘Continual Light’ Spell to counter the Shadow Demons Darkness that has engulfed Galan, Thora and Sir Ly. I fear that I have one 1st Spell left and must now be “Creative” as my Mother Kira always told me.”

As the Darkness, called forth by the Shadow Demon, is banished by the ‘Continual Light’ cast by Mirafir the Wizard, only our 3 Heroes are left standing. Thora, Sir Ly and Galan all stood looking at each other and wondering if they had finally banished the Shadow Demon for good.

Galan: “Back to the other, we must all regroup and prepare for the next meeting with Strahd’s minions.”

Meanwhile, the combat continues with Sigune, Ireena and the Vistani Magician by the Crypt. As the Vistani was in the possession of Frimly’s Sword it became all too clear that the Thief had been immobilised or even dispatched.

Sigue: “The Vistani wield Frimly’s Short Sword.”

Sigune: “Come do your worst servant of the Dark Lord of Ravenloft, you may strike me but I will avenge my comrade and you will server no one anymore.”

The Vistani Magician strikes the first blow and can be seen to hesitate as he is confronted by Ireena, who the Evil forces have not wished to attack, and Sigune, who is under the influence of Count Strahd. Sigune is chosen and the Short Sword dart out at the Paladin with the speed of a striking Fer-de-lance Viper. Sigune’s Armour and Shield once again protect the female Paladin, as both Ireena and Sigune strike and dispatch the Vistani.

Galan, Thora and Sir Ly move past Crypt after Crypt SOTHWARDS to re-join the party. They re-group by CRYPT 25 & CRYPT 26 and assess their health and attempt to listen out for more dangers.

Mirafir: “Here, Sir Ly, take my ‘Potion of Healing’ you’re in a bad way and we need all the fighting skills we can muster as my Magic is nearly spent.”

Sir Ly takes the last ‘Potion of Healing’ that the party possessed and the only thing they have left to use, the ‘Cleric Scroll’ which hold a powerful ‘Heal’ Spell, cannot be used.

Magic Item - Potion of Extra-Healing
Magic Item – Potion of Extra-Healing

Thora: “I will go and check the body of that Vistani Magician.”

Galan: “No Thora, we must band together, that way we protect the Priest.”

Thora reluctantly fall into position, By Sigune’s side, at the NORTH of the party. Sir Ly and Galan, at the vanguard, both hear the all too familiar sound of Skeletons advancing towards them from behind the final SOUTHERN row of CRYPTS. Father Tobias, Ireena and Mirafir stand between them all.

Galan: “Where is Frimly?”

Sigune: “I know not and I have not seen him. I have his Short Sword, removed from the dead hands of the Vistani Magician who must have taken it from the well-meaning Rouge.”

Sir Ly: ”I have taken much punishment and need healing.”

Galan: “Do not attempt to engage with these servants of Strahd, Parry and we will reap their empty souls father.”

Galan, with ‘Sunsword’ and Mace in hand, again begins to weave his weapon dance of death, while Sir Ly parries his foe with ‘Flametongue’ and Shield. The other hold fast and wait for the other attacks that are sure to reveal themselves.

Magic Item - Sword, Sunsword
Magic Item – Sword, Sunsword

The Adventurers then spot another Strahd Archer and two Strahd Skeletons in-between CRYPT 36 & CRYPT 37, the final row of CRYPTS in the Catacombs. Thora pushes her way past her fellow Adventurers, SOUTHWARDS, towards the Skeletal Archer.

Crypt 36
Crypt 36
Crypt 37
Crypt 37

Thora: “We can’t allow that abomination to fire upon us un-challenged. I will take on this wee task and clear a path to Sergei’s Tomb.”

Thora rushes out and straight towards the Skeletal Archer who fires and misses the Fighter, yet the Arrow flies past her ear and lands near the party. Thora is now engage in melee with the 3 Skeletons.

Ireena looks down at the accursed ‘Bone Arrow’ and crushes it beneath her healed boot.

As suspected, the Four Strahd Skeletons are not the only surprise our Adventurers have to deal with. As Galan continues his fight with the Strahd Skeleton’s and Sir Ly Parries and Thora is engage with the Skeletal Archer and the two Strahd Skeletons, Sigune spots two bright red glowing eyes, at the far EASTERN end of the darkened central corridor. The creature is a Hell Hound and it is known to the Paladin from her Clerical training. It resembles a large hound with rust-red fur and red, glowing eyes. The markings, teeth, and tongue are soot black and it stands two to three feet high at the shoulder.

The Hell Hound has a distinct odour of smoke and sulphur. They make baying sounds which has an eerie, hollow tone that send a shiver through any who hear it.

Sigune: “I see a hound like creature with red glowing eyes and its heading directly towards me and Ireena.”

Monster - Hell Hound
Monster – Hell Hound

The Hell Hound, who had raced down the central corridor, stops some 10’ feet from the Paladin, opens its jaw and unleashes a burst of Hell Fire at its chosen victim. Ireena has been once again not been targeted and Thora was first in spotting this and she is to play a major part of Count Strahd’s plans. Sigune, wearing her ‘Ring of Fire Resistance’ is able to save against the Hell Fires full effects, yet the very origin of the fire means the Paladin still suffers from its Hellish burning. For several rounds the battle continues, Sigune not managing to beat the Hell Hounds speed as it continued to breathe Hell Fire. Yet the fair Lady Sigune was better able to withstand the Hell Hounds attacks than her comrades and was triumphant in at last sending the Hell Hound back to whence it came from.

Galan continued in his endeavour, dispatching another Strahd Skeleton while Sir Ly blocked the thrust from the Spear of the Strahd Skeleton. Again, compete victory was sullied as the last two Strahd Skeletons faced Galan and Sir Ly, they both saw an Undead apparition emerge from CRYPT 38, at the SOUTH-EAST corner of the Catacombs. It did not venture towards our battling Heroes, but just stood and watch them intensely.

Crypt 38
Crypt 38

Sir Ly: “It’s a Wraith Galan, with your diminished Strength you will be no match for it and it will drain more of your Strength if it does touch you Ranger.”

Galan: “The task at hand Sir Ly, then we can determine our next move. Remember, you too are much injured.”

Thora spends her time dispatching of the Strahd Skeletons, while keeping an eye on the reaming 2 Skeletons in the SOUTH-EAST corner of the Catacombs. Also, she had not seen ‘hair nor hide’ of Frimly and was becoming concerned about his safety.

Mirafir, seeing that Sigune and Ireena had everything in hand, informed the blind Father Tobias as to the current state of play, while also trying to play back in his mind the previous events to see where or when the ‘Holy Symbol of Ravenkind’ could have been taken from the Priest.

Mirafir Roven

Between Sigune and Ireena, they kill the Hell Hound, but not before Sigune is subjected to several more attacks from the Hell Fire, on one occasion she was unable to avoid its full burning effect.

Sir Ly, still parrying, and Galan, fight with the last but one Strahd Skeleton, hear the Wraith let out a low shrill screech as it called forth another of these Hell Hounds and then see that a Hell Hound, with rust-red fur and red glowing eyes, had moved to sit by Wraith.

Sir Ly: “May St Cuthbert watch over us, that my good friend is a Hell Hound.”

Suddenly everyone hears the yelping sound of the Hell Hound as it is removed from the Chessboard by Sigune and Ireena. What appears to be Anger, flashes across the Wraith’s face as it raised its arm pointing in the direction of Sigune and Ireena. The second Hell Hound races off towards the two fair maidens. The Wraith advances towards Sir Ly and Galan at no great speed.

Frimly can suddenly move and, seething that his trusted blade was taken from him, ‘Fly’s’ back NORTH to his pals. As Frimly moves away he can make out, by the light of the torches, two lone Strahd Skeletons standing in the SOUTH-EASTERN corner of the Catacombs.

Frimly re-joins the party, circling around NORTH, and joins the other heroes.

Frimly Greenish

Sigune was only allowed a brief moment to gather herself before another Hell Hound was baring down on her and Ireena, unharmed and steadfastly holding by the Paladins side. More Hell Fire is directed at Sigune as She and Ireena race to confront the beast. More fire damage is taken by the Paladin who in turn delivers one crushing blow after another. Ireena also making her presence count.

Thora had now felled the Skeletal Archer and the 2 Strahd Skeletons. Her first instinct was to look up at the two lone Strahd Skeletons in the SOUTH-EAST corner, they had not move an inch.

Thora: “They’re obviously waiting for or protecting something.”

Thora moves to the corner of CRYPT 37, looking back NORTHWARD in the general direction of the other Adventurers. At that exact moment she realised what she had done wrong. Use to having a comrade at her side, Thora inadvertently turned her back on the Portcullis and stairs leading down to the Tome of Sergei. Before she had the chance to even turn her head, she was stuck by a Spell for which she heard not chant or incantation. Thora was ‘Held’ by the Spell, by the corner of CRYPT 37.

Tomb of Sergei Von Zarovich
Tomb of Sergei Von Zarovich

Mirafir continued to assess the situation, reserving her last Spell for the best possible result. Father Tobias also continued to attempt to listen out for danger or the command to cast one of his last Spells.

Sigune and her Sister-in-arms, Ireena, had dispatched the last Hell Hound and were allowing themselves a brief rest as they served their surroundings.

NPC - Ireena Kolyana
NPC – Ireena Kolyana

Galan was finally faced with the last Skeleton, which was engaged in Melee with Sir Ly, and the on-coming Wraith. Choosing to protect the Paladin, whose life blood, could now clearly be seen running down various joints of his Armour. Galan’s attempts to move past the Strahd Skeleton and engage with the Wraith were thwarted by the Skeleton as it moved in the Rangers path. This left the Paladin to face the Wraith on his own.

Frimly, not being able to aid in the fight, opted to ‘Fly’ SOUTHWARDS in search of Thora.

Upon reaching the SOUTHERN most corridors of the Catacombs, Frimly could see Thora standing opposite of the entrance to Sergei’s Tomb. Thora was facing NORTH, looking toward the other party members. Frimly could also now see 2 lone Strahd Skeletons in the SOUTH-EAST corner of the Catacombs.

Monster - Skeletons
Monster – Skeletons

Frimly quietly ‘Fly’s’ towards Thora while listening out for any and all conceivable dangers. This is when he realises that Thora is not moving and her short shallow breaths are all that emanate from her person.

Frimly: “Another of those Vistani Magicians has cast their Spell on her like they did to me.”

Frimly approaches his closest friend but then suddenly stops dead in his flying tracks.

Frimly: “This is a trap if ever I’ve seen one. Bait for the tarp is poor Thora!”

Galan attacks the final Strahd Skeleton but it is still on its legs. Sir Ly attempts to protect himself from the chilling effect of the Wraith but must be fatigued as his guard was too slow and the Wraith struck the Paladin clear in the Heart. Sir Ly lose Strength from his limbs but bites down and is intend of completing his task at hand.

Monster - Wraith
Monster – Wraith


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