Chapter Thirty Five- The Battle In The Catacombs VII.

Ireena is still alive and with the Adventurers.

Inside CRYPT 7 there is a plinth with a coffin on top. There is armour with motifs etc. on the tomb. The unseen servant takes the leather bag out of the tomb and opens the bag, which contains a pair of unusually ‘Mechanical looking Glasses’.

Mirafir tries on the lenses.

They are ‘Eyes of Minute Seeing’: In appearance, eyes of minute seeing are much like other magical lenses, but they enable the wearer to see 100 times better at distances of 1 foot or less. Thus, tiny seams, minute marks, even the impression left from writing can be seen. Secret compartments and hidden joints can be noted and the information acted upon. The effect of wearing just one of these crystals is the same as that given for eyes of the eagle.

Magic Item - Eyes of Minute Seeing
Magic Item – Eyes of Minute Seeing

Thora, Father Tobias, Sir Ly and Ireena stand ready, between CRYPT 18 and CRYPT 19, listening out for danger. The Paladin, Sigune, is by herself a little bit further EAST by CRYPT 15 and Galan is by CRYPT 13 keep an Elven eye on Mirafir and Frimly, whilst also being close to the main group of Adventurers.

The Heroes, and Ireena, regroup and they discuss their next attempt to assail Sergei’s Tomb, where they know Count Strahd to be. By herself, she has too much area to cover and fails to her the sound of padded hairy feet moving closer towards her from the NORTHERN area of the Catacombs. The Undead Giant Spider covered with, the now partly regenerated, Brown Mold was once again hunting for a Heat Source.

The Adventurers deliberate on their next move. Galan suggests possibly an assault by the whole party SOTHWARDS down the WEST side of the Catacombs, past the Hollow Towers Stairs where Mirafir had cast ‘Fireball’. Thora proposes another attempt to attack through the Teleport Alcoves in Count Strahd’s Tomb. There are further talks on what they will encounter in the SOUTHERN part of the Catacombs’. The Paladin returns to the group once they have finished and she is signalled to re-join the party.

It is at this point that she spots, out of the corner of her eye, the Brown Mold and Giant Spider scurrying towards her.

Monster - Brown Mold
Monster – Brown Mold

Sigune: “The Mold Spider has recovered and is moving this way.”

Thora: “We should have dealt with the Spider when we had the chance, cures our luck again.”

Mirafir: “Only the most resilient creatures are employed by Strahd, Regenerating Creatures, Undead and those created by Magic and remain under servitude to Count Strahd.”

Frimly: “Great, now you tell us Wizard.”

Frimly: “I also suggest you run Thief.”

Thora: “To Strahd’s Tomb, on the double. The Spellcasters first and those with Missile Weapons prepare to attack it.”

Lady Sigune, seeing that her fellow Adventurers, and Ireena, would get caught by the Mold Spider, runs WESTWARDS drawing the Mold Spider away from the others. She intends to lead it up and out of the Catacombs and along the Tunnel corridor, which connects the Catacombs to the Brazier Room.

The main group head towards Strahd’s Tome, with Galan and Sir Ly entering first, then the Spellcasters and Ireena followed by Thora and Frimly.

Frimly enters and heads towards the lever which controls the Portcullis with the intension of unjamming the mechanism.

Tomb of Strahd Von Zarovich
Tomb of Strahd Von Zarovich

It’s at this point that the fair Lady unfortunately realises her oversight, the NORTH-WEST section of the Catacombs are in complete and utter Stygian darkness. This is a result of the Gargoyles wings putting out touches and the ‘Unseen Sergeants’ who also put out several touches in the same area. One being Count Strahd’s and the other Mirafir’s. The situation became worse as She could not see any light from torches that were lit previously in the Tunnel corridor, which connects the Catacombs to the Brazier Room.

The Paladin summons all her courage and continues down the corridor, counting off her paces as she runs hoping to guess correctly. The fair Lady Knight knows that the trap is in the middle of the Tunnel corridor and hopes to jump clear over it. The female Paladin had thought to use the Spider Climb ability of the ‘Cloak of Arachnid’, however, her she would not be as fast as the Mold Spider that was catching up with her.

Sigune: “So my stride equals 1 and ¾ yards, hold on is that outside or in a Dungeon?”

Sigune: “Never mind that now. So, one and ¾ divided by the square of the hypotenuse is equal to the sum of the squares of the other two sides. That can’t be right.”

Sigune’s Mind: “Now…..”

Sigune’s: “What?”

Sigune’s Mind: “JUMP…”

Sigune: “Oh Scheiße”

The amazonian leaps and miraculously lands on firm ground and with both feet firmly planted. That ground however, gave way and Sigune falls, down, down a 10’ foot by 10’ foot slopping Marble Slide.

You fall into a chute of polished black marble and slide into the darkness, yours hands sliding off the slime caked walls as you try desperately to  slow your decent.

The chute plunges from the trapdoor in floor of the corridor through a one-way secret door into a flooded cell. Characters that slide all the way to the bottom are deposited in the cell, but take no damage. The slide contains no hand holds and is too slippery to ascend without the aid of Magic.

North Dungeon - Items
North Dungeon – Items

The Mold Spider, unable to follow our hero down the slide, slowly turns and returns to find more sustenance.

The Adventurers take up their positions around Count Strahd’s Tomb. Frimly is working of the Portcullis Lever, Galan and Sir Ly guard the Incoming Teleport Alcove, Father Tobias and Ireena stand by the bottom of the Stairs, Mirafir’s and his ‘Unseen Servant’ stand by the Outgoing Teleport Alcove and Thora stands by the open Portcullis, using her Dwarven Infravision to look for any signs of danger or Sigune.

There our heroes wait for Frimly to unjam the Portcullis Lever and to see if Thora can see or hear anything. Nothing comes through the Incoming Teleport Alcove, strange that they haven’t attempted a rear assault. Frimly is unsuccessful in his endeavour to make the Portcullis Lever operational again. Thora eventually hears what she believes to be the Mold Spider, returning back through the Tunnel corridor, and in no hurry to do so. Had it managed to overcome the Paladin?

Thora: “That foul wee beastie is making its way back, archers take up positions and I will try to attack its flank.”

Galan moves out of Strahd’s Tomb and heads EAST trying to cover the NOTHERN most corridor and the entrance which the Mold Spider would need to use. Sir Ly stands in the corridor by the open Portcullis, as he needs to put away his ‘Flametongue’ to draw his Long Bow, he now realises there is no light for him to see by. Galan too is limited to the 60’ feet of his Elven Vision.

Magic Item - Sword Flame Tongue
Magic Item – Sword Flame Tongue

Mirafir: “Hold my friends, I will send out the ‘Unseen Servant’ with the ‘Continual Light’ gem to provide the light you both need.”

Mirafir moves to the edge of the Tomb’s doorway, allowing Sir Ly and Galan clear sight of the corridor and to allow him to see where to command the ‘Unseen Servant’ to move to. The Mold Spider eventually emerges through the doorway and Sir Ly fires his Long Bow first and hits his target. The Mold Spider then swerves SOUTH, taking cover behind CRYPT 2.

Crypt 02
Crypt 02

Galan and Thora, believing that the Mold Spider was attempting to escape or move around to gain an advantage to its attack, both move SOUTH and WEST trying to cut off the Mold Spiders movements. However, the Mold Spider had taken cover in order to charge towards the ‘Continual Light’ gem and whatever was carrying it. Galan loses the range advantage that he had by moving while Thora was able to throw her ‘Magical Spear’ at the Mold Spider. The Mold Spider charged out and leaped at the ‘Continual Light’ gem, resulting it in falling to the ground, Sir Ly was then able to fire his Long Bow at the creature and Thora her Spear.

The battle continues with the Mold Spider, intent on feeding on the heat of one of the Heroes, rushing headlong towards the remaining Paladin, Sir Ly. Galan had now got into position and was able to fire at the Mold Spider; Thora held her action and Mirafir moved back and away from the oncoming Mold Spider. Sir Ly was then face to face with the Mold Spider and could feel it draining him of his warmth.

Again out heroes attack the Mold Spider and as this was happening Father Tobias and Ireena moved out of Strahd’s Tomb and stood by the doorway.

Father Tobias: “Stand strong, I will attempt to TURN this foul creature.”

Sir Ly: “Be quick as I don’t know how much I can take from this creature.”

The heroes all attack but it’s the Priest that acts first and utterly destroys the Giant Spider that was acting as the transport for the devastating Brown Mold. The Brown Mold was then dispatched by the remaining Adventurers and Ireena.

Monster - Spider, Giant
Monster – Spider, Giant

Thora: “We need to go and aid Sigune, St Cuthbert only knows what dangers await her below.”

Mirafir: “I will go, I can ‘Fly’ down the shaft and give Sigune the ‘Potion of Flying’ that was found in the Wight’s CRYPT. Then we can fly back up the shaft together.”

Frimly: “Don’t waste the ‘Potion of Flying’ just for that, I’ll go down, via the Brazier Room, and get Sigune out of the Flooded Cell.”

Frimly takes the ‘Chime of Opening’, lent to him by Galan for this mission, and heads down the Tunnel corridor, jumps over the Trap and down the stairs to the Brazier Room. As he expected, the door into the Brazier Room was open, left so by the Adventurers or ‘Unseen Servant’. Frimly stops to listen for any noise.

K78. Brazier Room
K78. Brazier Room

Frimly then climbs up onto one of the Iron Golems and plucks the RED Stone, which he then throws into the Magical Blue Flaming Brazier. The door opens and Frimly stops to listen for any noise. The Thief then leaps down onto one of the many torture items lying under the flooded area and moves on down the Flooded Corridor, avoiding the Teleport Traps and finally arrives at the Cell containing the Paladin.

During her time in the Cell, Sigune attempted to find the Secret Doorway from which she was ejected into the filthy, black stinking water filled Cell. As the Secret Doorway was hidden from the Cell side, the area was in complete darkness and Sigune could not see and to top it all off under water, Sigune had little to no chance. After spending several minutes looking the fair Paladin then turned her frustrations on the bar to her Cell and begun to pry them apart. Sigune was eventually successful however, with her Armour, Weapons and other Equipment; unless she took them off she would not be able to squeeze through the gap. Mayhap it would aid one of her comrades that were sure to come and rescue her.

K74. North Dungeon
K74. North Dungeon

Frimly succeeds in opening the lock to Sigune’s Cell and as quick as he could have done so under better conditions. Our 2 Heroes then make their way back down the corridor, through the Torcher Room, past the Balcony, into the Brazier room and finally up the stairs which leads to the Tunnel corridor and back into the Catacombs. All the way back Frimly maintained a constant lookout and both Adventurers used their ‘Spider Climbing’ ability’s to avoid the Teleport Trap and the Flooded Rooms.

Magic Item - Lock Picks
Magic Item – Lock Picks

The Heroes and Ireena are now all back together in Strahd’s Tomb and they debate what course of action to take next. They finally agree on sending Thora and Galan through the Teleport Alcove in Count Strahd’s Tomb.

Thora and Galan’s Teleport:

Thora and Galan volunteer to go through the Teleport Alcove in Strahd’s Tome again. The ‘Faerie Fire’ had ended and Thora steps through the portal first, Dragon Shield and Mace in hand. Galan follows up close behind holding forth the Sunsword as a detector of any Undead close by.

They find that the Crypt door has been replaced, and although the Sunsword was glowing pale Blue, there was no obvious enemy within CRYPT 32.

Crypt 32
Crypt 32

Thora signals to Galan that she intends to kick down the Crypt door and brace for the expected attack from the Strahd Skeletons. Galan holds close behind Thora, waiting for her to force her way out of the Crypt doorway and so allowing Galan to engage with the enemy.

Thora kicks down the door and there is an almighty crash as the slab smashes onto the ground. As before, 2 Strahd Skeletons appear from either side of CRYPT 32, the first engages Thora with its spear, whilst the other pulls away NORTH slightly keeping an eye on the 2 invaders. Thora attacks first with the aid of the Dragon Shield and Mace, the Shield whispering a warning to Thora of the imminent thrust coming towards her right thigh and the Mace with its Magic’s. She delivers a might blow but the Skeleton is just about on its feet. The Skeleton misses. Galan moves forward as Thora forces her opponent back the few feet needed.

Both now have a clear view of where they are, unlike the last foray into this area, especially Galan who has been mapping the dreadful Castle Ravenloft ever since they first walked in. They could clearly see CRYPTS 25 to CRYPT 28 directly in front of them and the small corridors leading to CRYPTS 24 (WEST) and CRYPT 29 (EAST), CRYPT 29 being the one that was inhabited by the Brown Mold and where Galan acquired his ‘Luck Blade’. This meant they were one row NORTH of CRYPTS directly in front of Sergei’s Tomb.

Thora and Galan stood side by side and fought the foe they both had in front of them. More Strahd Skeletons were moving in to join the fight, they appeared to have been hiding behind and to the side of the row of CRYPTS 30 to 34, maybe even from the row below too, CRYPT 36 to CRYPT 39.

Crypt 36
Crypt 36
Crypt 39
Crypt 39

This is where Count Strahd intends to make his last stand. The adventures had one foe before them each and engaged in combat.

Again our heroes attacked first, Thora dispatching hers and Galan did the same but was struck, by a lucky jab of its spear, by one of the advancing Strahd Skeletons. Then there were 3 loud thuds as our heroes made out 3 CRYPT doors falling down onto the ground, CRYPTS 27, 28 and 31.

Crypt 27
Crypt 27
Crypt 28
Crypt 28
Crypt 31
Crypt 31

Galan and Thora continued to battle the Strahd Skeletons and they in turn advanced towards the 2 adventurers. Thora and Galan now had 2 Strahd Skeletons upon them and to make matter worse Galan’s keen Elven eyes spots hairy large Spider legs tentatively feeling the area around the top of the entrance to CRYPT 27.

The Ranger and Fighter resume their combats and again strike first, dispatching of another 2 Strahd Skeletons, while the Strahd Skeletons all miss their intended targets. The Spider emerges from CRYPT 27 and hangs above it. This species of Spider is unlike the ones previously encounters by the Adventurers.

The fight continues but the Strahd Skeletons have changed tactics now, is it because the Spider has emerged?

One of the Strahd Skeletons attacks our heroes while the other parries our heroes. Another Strahd Skeletons is destroyed but Galan has to attempt to avoid the Spiders attack. Not a lunge or webbing, as Galan may have expected, but a Green Viscus Jet of Venom shot out from the Spider mouth. Galan throws his arm up and across his face but some of the Poison hits the Ranger directly in the face and Galan desperately attempt to resist the effects of the Spiders Venom.

Crypt 06
Crypt 06

Unfortunately, Galan is unsuccessful and this is even with the aid of the Blue Gem found in CRYPT 6; which appeared to grant greater ability to resist the effect of Venoms and Poisons.

Skeleton Guards
Skeleton Guards

Then Galan remembered his ‘Luck Blade’ and its ability to allow him another chance. Galan closes his eyes and tightly grasps the hilt of the Luck Blade. Whatever happened, Galan may not be able to explain to his comrades but he felt like he had been pulled back in time to the same point where he had to save against the Venom and this time he was successful.

Monster - Wolf Spider
Monster – Wolf Spider

Galan: “Pull back Thora we need to retreat back to the others.”

Thora: “Aye, ye go first and I’ll keep these beasties back for ya.”

Magic Item - Short Sword Luck Blade
Magic Item – Short Sword Luck Blade

Galan retreats back into the CRYPT as Thora blocks the entrance to the CRYPT standing there with her ‘Dragon Shield and Mace’. Galan steps through while Thora swings her Mace at one of the Strahd Skeletons. Thora retreats into the Arched Teleport Alcove as no Strahd Skeleton follows her into the CRYPT.


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