Chapter Twenty Seven – The Hall of Bones

The party are outside the Brazier Room at the bottom of the Kingsman Stairs not knowing that they will soon face the many numbers of Strahd Skeletons.

Kingsman Stairs
Kingsman Stairs

Despite their recent victories against Count Strahd’s Witches and others, the adventurers have taken a beating and are beginning to feel it. The decision is taken to rest and take stock, with Mirafir to be given enough time to attempt to cast ‘Identify’ the magical attributes of the growing collection of items recently found. While he does so, the warriors in the party who are not preoccupied with healing or recovery, take up their watch duties. Sigune Feldschlachter takes up a position near to the door at the southern end, her fist clenching and unclenching instinctively on the hilt of her reacquired ‘+3 longsword’. She is focused on her duty, aware that, despite a lack of rest, food and daylight there is no place for false sentiment or weakness in a location as comfortless and hostile as Castle Ravenloft. Nevertheless, as time passes, and the wizard’s chanting and mumbling blurs on the edges of her conscious thought, the Paladin cannot prevent her mind from wandering, as minor cracks appear in the unsaleable wall of her iron discipline.

This abomination of a Count, a corruption of life and all that is held good in the Holy Teachings of St. Cuthbert has succeeded in trapping us in his perverse game. Mere pawns on a checker chessboard, we move this way and that as our abilities allow, but is perhaps the outcome already determined? Are these motions simply those of mindless automatons performing their mechanical roles according to the designs of some madman? A tragic waltz across a deserted ballroom floor to the tuneless dirge of a soulless lunatic…?

NPC - Count Strahd With Sword
NPC – Count Strahd With Sword

This train of thought serves the Holy Warrior no purpose and is swiftly abandoned. She may be forced to dance to Count Strahd’s tune, but her purpose is clear: To be the living embodiment of St. Cuthbert’s Codex of justice, retribution and mercy. Despite these seemingly unshakeable convictions, doubts continue to gnaw at the edges of her convictions.

What if? But? And to what purpose?

St Cuthbert
St Cuthbert

Against her will, Sigune’s glance strays from the door she is guarding and rests momentarily on each of her trusted compatriots.

Sigune Feldschlachter

Thora, a bollard of strength surrounded by columns of contempt has single-mindedly led the party from one successive challenge to the next.

Thora Grid El

The Elven Ranger, Galan, was like a fish out of water, yet successfully adapting to an environment both alien and oppressive to his nature.

Galan Tara

Mirafir, who she has known longest of them all, an Elf of riddles and mystery – conjurer and trickster – sorely tested by Kelthas the Dread, but who has surely met his measure in Strahd and whose fragilities become increasingly apparent, his overconfidence in his own wisdom and knowledge supplying the hubris for his own undoing.

Mirafir Roven

What about Father Tobias? Castle Ravenloft is the essence of his purpose made reality: cruelty, pain, hatred, avarice – the antithesis of all he represents lay bare before him.

Farther Almuric Tobias

And what of Frimly? Arguably the most divisive and controversial of them all, if not for his single-minded and somewhat egotistical approach to resolving challenges faced by the party, he nevertheless represents the counterweight to the dogmatic inquisitors.

Frimly Greenish

And then there is Sir Ly: honour, righteousness and all knightly qualities made flesh in his form; a man whose selfless dedication to the cause had seen him lay down his own life in battle for his compatriots in what can only be described as a reckless dedication to his duty at the expense of all else. Without a second’s hesitation, Sir Ly’s radiant soul was summoned to return from St. Cuthbert’s side to continue his crusade against the ranks of death’s vile and corrupt forces of evil.

Sir Hector Ly

Yet as her gaze falls upon her fanatical compatriot, Sigune can only wonder as to what he has seen in the Golden Chambers of St. Cuthbert’s Halls of Peace and Justice. Was he permitted to piously kneel before their Lord and Spiritual Guide? Did he perhaps feel the warming hand of this glorious and righteous ruler of all that is just and honourable upon his brow in recognition of his ultimate sacrifice?

A thousand questions burn in the mind of the paladin, but the simple task of turning these thoughts into vocalized, acoustic sounds proves to be more challenging than someone of her normally forthright nature could conceive.

Instead, her gaze is once again set upon the frame, the handle and the hinges of the door she is guarding. Instantly, it as if there is nothing else within earth and the universal heavens. The portal may offer no immediate answers to her questions, yet it represents the essence and purpose of her existence: A step along a dangerous path to defeating an abomination of nature in the form of the count and all he represents.

Galan and Thora were bitten by Giant Spiders – Thora was cured using the last of the ‘Keoghtom’s Ointment’, Galan had slow poison cast on him to delay the poison for 6 hours. For Sir Ly, things are more serious. The resurrected knight has anything up to 30 minutes before the poison affects him.

Identify Spell Results:

5 rings from the witches:

Frimly’s ‘Ring of protection +2’.

Ring of Protection +2
Ring of Protection +2

? ‘Ring of ?’ – With Faint Magic (Evocation).

? ‘Ring of protection +2’.

Ring of Protection +2
Ring of Protection +2

Frimly’s ‘Ring of the Ram’ – a magical ram-like force. 1 charge 1d6 damage 2 charges 2d6 and 3 chargers 3d6 damage. The Rings range is 30’ feet saving throws apply (12 charges). Anyone can use it.

Magic Item - Ring of Ram
Magic Item – Ring of Ram

Sir Ly’s ‘Ring of Shooting Stars’ – ring can cast ‘Faerie Fire’ (1st Level Cleric Spell – 2 times per day) and ‘Spark Shower’ (1 time per day) sizzling purple sparks 2d8 points of damage and 4d4 if wearing Armour or carrying Metal Weapons). Anyone can use it.

Magic Item - Ring of Shooting Stars
Magic Item – Ring of Shooting Stars

Galan’s ‘Luck Blade, Short Sword’ – +1 to hit, +1 damage, +1 to Save, one re-roll per day which recharges at Daybreak and a Wish!

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

? strange ‘Bag of holding’ – weighs 35 lbs, it’s weight limit is 1000 lbs and it’s volume 150 cubic feet. Anyone can use it.

Magic Item - Bag of Holding
Magic Item – Bag of Holding

Father Tobias’ ‘Dragon Shield +2, Large’ – (The Shield whispers warnings to its bearer, granting a +2 bonus to initiative).

Magic Item - Dragon Shield
Magic Item – Dragon Shield

Father Tobias’ ‘Dragon Mace +3’.

Mace of Terror
Mace of Terror

Thora’s ‘Wolf Mace +3’.

Magic Item - Hammer, Dwarven Thrower
Magic Item – Hammer, Dwarven Thrower

Ireena’s ‘Long sword +3’ named “Alexandra.

Magic Item - Sword, Vorpal Blade
Magic Item – Sword, Vorpal Blade

Sir Ly’s ‘Black Mace +1’. Dim and Faint Magic?

Magic Item - Hammer Iron Fang
Magic Item – Hammer Iron Fang

Mirafir’s ‘Ioun Stones’ – One grants an extra Level (Pale Green Prism), the other absorbs spell points of damage up to a certain amount before it extinguishes when its maximum is reached (Pale Lavender Ellipsoid).

Magic Item - Ioun Stones
Magic Item – Ioun Stones

Mirafir’s ‘Stone of Good Luck’ – +1 or +5% to Saving Throws, helps with identify + general good luck. This luck does not affect Attack and Damage rolls or Spell Failure dice.

Magic Item - Stone of Good Luck
Magic Item – Stone of Good Luck

Frimly’s ‘Slippers of Spider Climbing’ – (moderate alteration).

Magic Item - Boots, Slippers of Spider Climbing
Magic Item – Boots, Slippers of Spider Climbing

‘Crown’ – (no magic)

Magic Item - Crown
Magic Item – Crown

Thora’s ‘Gauntlets of Dexterity’ – which also grants some Thieving abilities?

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

The Holy Symbol has the following powers:

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

Hold Vampires: As an action, you can expend 1 charge and present the Holy Symbol to make it flare with holy power. Vampires and Vampire Spawn within 30 feet of the holy symbol when it flares must make a saving throw Vs Spells. On a failed save, a target is paralyzed for 1 round.

Turn Undead: If you can Turn Undead, you can expend 3 charges when you present the Holy Symbol while using that feature. When you do so, undead have disadvantage on their saving throws against the effect -3.

Sunlight: As an action, you can expend 5 charges while presenting the Holy Symbol to make it shed bright light in a 3D-foot radius and dim light for an additional 30 feet. The light is sunlight and lasts for 10 minutes or until you end the effect (no action required).

Sir Ly suddenly starts to get cramps and paralysis from the Giant Spider poison. Within an hour later Sir Ly has all but recovered.

Back up to Rahadin’s chambers the adventurers go through to the Hall of Bones. Strahd Skeletons alnoe with normal Skeletons lie scattered across the floor.

Thora steps into the room.

Thora: “All you’re good for is feeding plants!”

Father Tobias feels weakened. Nobody likes being in this room full of Strahd Skeletons.

Office of Vengeance
Office of Vengeance

They reach the other side of the room without incident and the door appears to be locked.

Frimly “Maybe you want to do this yourself, Thora?”

She hears nothing.

Frimly unlocks the door. The whole room seems to radiate unpleasantness and the adventurers will be glad to leave it. After he unlocks the door, a Skeleton rises up:

Skeleton Warrior: “You shall not leave!”

Hall of Bones
Hall of Bones

Suddenly darkness fills the room. More Strahd Skeletons and Skeletons are animated. The adventurers attempt to fight in the darkness, some with more success than others. Galan strikes one of the Strahd Skeletons, as does Sigune, Irina and Thora. The Strahd Skeletons and Skeletons strike back and hit Sigune and Thora.

Mirafir casts ‘Continual Light’ to dispel the darkness. On the other side of the room the Shadow Demon can be seen. The Strahd Skeletons and Skeletons open the doors following a gesture from the Skeleton Warrior.

Monster - Shadow Demons
Monster – Shadow Demons

The Shadow Demon, and all the others, closes in. Father Tobias attempts to turn one Strahd Skeletons and one Skeleton and manages to destroy the Skeleton.

Sigune strikes one of Strahd Skeletons fighting her. Mirafir casts another ‘Continual Light’ and drives away the Shadow Demon. Father Tobias casts ‘Slow’ from Wartsnak’s ‘Ring of Spell Storing’.

Ring of Spell Storing
Ring of Spell Storing

Combat continues with the Strahd Skeletons and the adventurers finally start to get the upper hand. Sigune fells a Strahd Skeleton. Ireena also hits taking down another Strahd Skeleton with a crushing blow after Thora had also smashed one.

Mirafir casts ‘Stoneskin’ from a Magical Scroll and absorbs a hit from a Strahd Skeleton.

Monster - Skeletons
Monster – Skeletons

Frimly quickly drops another Skeleton, Galan hits and fells yet another as does Sigune. Ireena kills another and so does Thora!

A Strahd Skeleton hits Mirafir, but the blow is absorbed by the ‘Stoneskin’ Spell. Father Tobias also takes a hit. Sigune chops another, then Thora crushes another for a 5th successive strike!

A hag, Barovian Witch, appears and casts ‘Magic Missile’ at Mirafir! More combat! Galan strikes another as does Frimly.

The number of Strahd Skeletons and normal Skeletons has been greatly diminished… The hag fires another ‘Magic Missile’ again and hits Father Tobias! The hag then casts ‘Mirror Image’ and Mirafir casts a ‘Magic Missile’, dispelling all the copies. Sigune charges through towards the hag and slices her down!

Monster - Skeleton, Strahd
Monster – Skeleton, Strahd

Father Tobias, now parrying, has been taking a battering from the Skeleton Warrior, which suddenly turns on Ireena! It misses! After all those blows that it delivered to Father Tobias? Not possible!

Mirafir casts another ‘Magic Missile’ and downs the stubborn Skeleton Warrior.

Frimly checks through the other doorways that nothing is coming while Sigune closes the doors to the kitchen area, dragging in the body of the Barovian Witch.

Sir Ly comfortably dispatches another Strahd skeleton. Mirafir checks the body of the Barovian Witch and finds a ‘Ring’ and a ‘Pouch’.

Ring of Protection +2
Ring of Protection +2

Whatever the future holds for the adventurers, their spirit has remained unshakeable in the face of such determined Evil. Count Strahd may hold all the best cards in this game, but his complacency and sheer expectation of victory may yet be his undoing or leading into the Brazier room.

The PCs realise they can’t retrace their steps down to the Catacombs as they flew up and down the Elevator Trap Shaft previously.

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