Kelthas Flees – Chapter Twenty Five

King Korin Ironaxe – Chapter Twenty Five

2nd Day Of The Deepwinter (January)

Level 4 - Fountains - King Korin Ironaxe
Level 4 – Fountains

King Korin Ironaxe Expells The Necromancer:

Father Tobias stood with King Korin Ironaxe resplendent in his recently acquired crown. Accompanying the king were his two Dwarven escorts with the mighty Thora whom King Korin Ironaxe had recently named his war chief. Behind them Mirafir stepped around the corner bringing the power of his new staff into the fray.

As Mirafir left the Dwarven defences with the other party members and following King Korin Ironaxe, Morri grabs his arm and says the following.

Staff of Power - King Korin Ironaxe
Staff of Power

Morri: “I did not want to believe that you were under the power of Kelthas the Dread and Gorn (Male Dwarf, 9th Level Cleric and King Korin Ironaxe’s Second in Command) has shown you do not lie. Your friends were too quick to mistrust you.”

“I will aid you now as Kira Roven once aided me on the occasion I joined her and “Maelwyn’s Adventuring Party”. *See Mirafir’s History for reference.

“You may borrow this “Staff”, it only has a few charges left, it is not the more Powerful of its kind, but you may yet be able to help your Friends and the folk of Runedardath Under Mount Illefarn.”

“The command word is ‘Barthoun’ Dwarven for Thunder.”

He tells you this while looking away, ashamed to be telling the son of one he once respected, liked or loved?

Morri: “Go…. Make you mother proud.”

NPC - Morri
NPC – Morri

King Korin Iraonaxe Arrives Just In Time:

Mirafir fired a pair of ‘Magic Missiles’ at the Orc Cleric who had just cast a Spell at Father Tobias.

In front of the swarmed the Undead Minions of the Evil Kelthas the Dread while also supported by Human Men-at-Arms.

From Father Tobias’ left lurked 3 Evil Half Elven Archers who were peppering him with Arrows which seemed to arc unerringly into him through the maelstrom of combatants. Alas the Orc Cleric had ensnared Father Tobias in foul sorcery. He was lit up so brightly that even Sir Ly the inept would have found his mark despite having had to shoot through 2 Swordfights. He had cast ‘Faerie Fire’ on me, Thora and King Korin Ironaxe.

On Father Tobias’ right 2 more Human Archers appeared out of a side tunnel. They chose to shoot at the Paladins Sir Ly and Sigune who had their backs to them, whilst across the room from him in another doorway stood the Orc Cleric who had lit up his Human target Archers so ably.

Half-Orc Plate Mail - King Korin Ironaxe
Half-Orc Plate Mail

Father Tobias engaged an Undead Orc in front of him just as King Korin Ironaxe hewed down a Skeleton, one of three foes that had pressed against him. At King Korin Ironaxe right hand, Thora hacked down a Zombie Orc.

In the Centre of the Chamber Galan had leaped up, using his ‘Ring of Jumping’, to the platform, viewing gallery, above the Pump Machinery. He was now out of sight as well as beyond the aid of Father Tobias or the other Dwarves.

Galan and Frimly, while hiding in the Tunnel leading down into the Pump Room, has seen Vicross Silverkin on the viewing gallery holding a Stave in one hand and a ‘Continual Light’ in the other. Galan ran to the edge of the Pool and ‘Jumped’ up onto the viewing gallery alongside Vicross Silverkin.

Galan, ever alert and weary, saw that the Door into the Machine Room was open and moved toward the Room intent on surprising whatever he knew hid within. Galan’s skills allowed him to stun the Halfling who hid within. He took the Halfling by complete surprise as he held out his Short Sword, dripping with some Poison Paste or other. His Short Sword and Long Sword combination dispatched the Halfling in a few minutes of sword play.

Ring of Jumping
Ring of Jumping

It was there that he had seen Vicross Silverkin standing up, holding aloft a ‘Gem of Continual Light’. Vicross Silverkin was one of Kelthas The Dread’s men but, if Mirafir was to be believed, Vicross Silverkin was perhaps a good man who had even tried to assist Mirafir during his alleged “incarceration”. Vicross Silverkin appeared very scared. He kept looking up above him almost as if he was being threatened from above.

Out of sight of Father Tobias, further across the room Sir Ly and Sigune were engaging the retinue of Kelthas The Dread, the 3 Half-Elves. In addition to the Evil Wizard, Kelthas, there was a warrior, Half-Orc in Plate Mail Armour, with ‘Wartsnak’s Direlord’s vile Battle Axe’ along with 3 more Half-Orc in Plate Mail Armor. We were beginning to suspect that this was all a ruse. Despite being protected by a ‘Magic Barrier’, “Kelthas” was not casting many Spells of note. Just Magic Missiles sent in pairs to assail the Paladins. Someone of Kelthas The Dread’s Power could create far more than two at a time. Mayhap he was elsewhere in the Room plotting yet more vile deeds of evil deception.

Backing up these 5 were more Human and Halfling Archers who shot Short Bow Arrow after Short Bow Arrow into the brave Paladin duo.

Meanwhile, Galan had noticed, as the Spell ended, that Vicross Silverkin had an ‘Illusion’ cast upon himself; he was in fact gagged and tied up like a prized pig. Galan quickly untied Vicross Silverkin and began to interrogate Vicross in the little time he had.

Galan: “Where is Kelthas The Dread, You know, you need to tell me!”

Vicross Silverkin: “I don’t know, he keeps his own council. However, that being outside is not Kelthas The so-called Dread, that I can tell you for nothing.”

Galan: “Tell me where he is or how to find him.”

Vicross Silverkin: “He could be anywhere, he is a powerful Wizard. We do however; need to get of this viewing gallery as we are sitting Goblins for Kelthas.”

Vicross, with his half burnt face, seems to be flipping from one emotional state to another. What did Kelthas The Dread do to Vicross Silverkin?

Sir Ly and Sigune fought bravely as they tried to cut through the Half-Elf Archers to get at Kelthas The Dread and his retinue. While they engaged, the Half-Elf Archers to Father Tobias’ right fired a volley into the Paladins from behind. One Longbow Arrow found its mark hitting Sir Ly. Sigune heaves a powerful blow, worthy of the great St. Cuthbert himself, felling her opponent. Sir Ly missed. More drill practice whilst wearing the hair shirt of poor technique was surely required. Sigune was still under the magic infulence of the ‘Potion of Heroism’.

Hoping to catch the Orc Cleric at unawares using the power of his ‘Cloak of Elvenkind’, Frimly sneaked to the opening the Orc Cleric currently occupied. However the moment he stepped into the tunnel entrance he was ensnared in a Web’ Spell. Tendrils wrapped around him seemingly trapping him fast. They also covered the entrance to the tunnel preventing the rest of us from seeing beyond it.

Orc Cleric - King Korin Ironaxe
Orc Cleric

Frimly had to fight against the thick cords of ‘Magical Web’ to try and get out; St Cuthbert Was on his side this day as he had his Short Sword in his hand. Also, luckily the ‘Web’ Spell only covered a short section of the Tunnel, the Spell Caster wishing to trap their victim, but not so much as to not to allow access to them.

At the same time Frimly could hear the sound of Armoured feet pounding on the flagstones and heading in his direction.

Frimly: “I need to cut my way out and fast.”

In the tube we found out later that Galan had had to contend with a Halfling with an envenomed blade. Galan ably used his ‘Cloak of Elvenkind’ to surprise his opponent. He attacked with both his swords, hitting with his Longsword. The Halfling staggered back unable to attack in return as he was caught unawares.

In the Hall below ‘Magic Missiles’ crashed into the 2 Holy Paladins. They grimaced but fought on.

Galan engaged his dishonourable foeman once more. This time his second Longsword blow despatched the Halfling who fell to the floor before he could stab with his own blade.

Next to Father Tobias the 2 Men-at-Arms engaged the Dwarves but their stout Armour withstood their blows. One Dwarf then felled his opponent proving his war craft to be the greater.

At the same time King Korin Ironaxe smote down another Undead Skeleton, while Father Tobias hit a Man-at-Arms which staggered him.

The Half Orc Cleric, who had turned and was rushing toward the ensnared Frimly, advanced towards Frimly but the ever watchful Mirafir saw him. He raised his ‘Magic Stave’, and then fired 4 ‘Magic Missiles’ at the Orc Cleric. Another Dead Orc Cleric, but how did he know to attack Frimly if his back was turned? The same happened when the Half-Elves stopped firing at us and rushed over to Engage the Paladins, Father Tobias recalls.

King Korin Ironaxe hewed down another Skeleton. Thora aimed a mighty blow but at the critical moment slipped in the gore of the battle sending her blow wide. She gnashed her teeth as her axe blade crashed into the flagstones in a hail of sparks.

Across the Room, Sigune still smarting from the last Magic Missile attack, roared a Battle Hymn to St Cuthbert as she then heaved her Sword into the skull of her Half-Elf opponent, killing him instantly.

Sir Ly could learn a lot from her. Perhaps it was the 2 Arrows in his back or the burning pain of the ‘Magic Missiles’ but his strike was weak, missing his opponent who scornfully grinned at his hapless inadequate foe.

Another Arrow thudded into Sir Ly from behind. He steeled himself, remembering the words of his drill master as he was whipped; “Take the pain Scum!” He straightened up, ignored his wounds and then set himself. Pain reminded you that you were alive. Pain was good.

Praise-be to St Cuthbert that no more Arrows plunged into him as Sir Ly would surely have Died. But Sir Ly’s gain was his allies’ loss. An Arrow flew into Vicross Silverkin at the top of the platform hitting him in the shoulder. 2 more Arrows missed our possible confederate giving more yet respite to the gravely wounded Sir Ly. St. Cuthbert in his benevolence wanted Sir Ly alive to suffer for his sins. Death would be an escape from the pain. But sir Ly the sinner did not deserve that.

St Cuthbert - King Korin Ironaxe
St Cuthbert

So it was that either fortune or St. Cuthbert certainly smiled upon him that day.

While this was happening Frimly struggled in the ‘Web’.

Then from a Tunnel entrance to King Korin Ironaxe’s left, around 10 more Undead advanced quietly into the large pump room and making their way back to Kelthas The Dread’s Headquarters. However they were not a threat. Father Tobias could see from the way they moved that they had been Turned, or dispelled by the power of faith, probably the Dwarven Clerics. They were in flight.

They traversed the Chamber towards Kelthas The Dread and his retinue. Then they went straight past him to enter the corridor that lead to the Ramp to Kelthas’ Headquarters and where Mirafir was captured.

Next to King Korin Ironaxe, his two Dwarven Bodyguards were inspired. They both smote down the last of the Men-at-Arms they fought opening a route across the Room to Kelthas The Dread or, in all likelihood his double.

King Korin Ironaxe cut down the last foe in his way just as Father Tobias too felled his opponent. Had the Battle turned in our favour at last?

More respite from the Human Bowmen now from a hugely unexpected source. Having seen Sir Ly’s plight, Frimly finally cut himself free of the ‘Web’ then bravely charged the 2 Human Archers who he had been shooting the Paladins in the back.

What an honourable sacrifice that was?

Although his Sword failed to strike home, his surprise attack caused the Human Bowmen to cease firing and draw their Swords. Yet in their frightened haste they both failed to hit the heroic Frimly.

A most noble selfless gesture indeed, indeed?

Perhaps Father Tobias has underestimated his character after all.

Adventurers Fight On
Adventurers Fight On

Sir Ly staggered behind Sigune. He surely would have bled to Death without some kind of succour so Sigune covered him while he took out his ‘Potion of Healing’.

2 remaining Men-at-Arms engaged Sigune but their Swords sliced through mid-air as she ducked and weaved in a blur of Holy Steel. Unfortunately as she struck in return her blow crashed harmlessly against a Shield.

Back across the Room just 2 remaining Men-at-Arm blocked King Korin Ironaxe and Thora respectively, preventing them from advancing on Kelthas the Dread.

Thora swung her Battle Axe mightily into 1 of the Men-at-Arm, cloving him to the teeth to kill him instantly. King Korin Ironaxe attacked too but was parried. This man showed good discipline. Even when all his Evil comrades had been Killed he fought on alone. Brave but stupid. Futile too.

Sir Ly drank his ‘Potion of Extra-Healing’ which instantly revitalised him. Sigune attacked the two men again.

Potion of Extra-Healing
Potion of Extra-Healing

Kelthas The Dread cackled evilly then fired at Sigune. She steeled herself but the Spell is ineffective. It couldn’t be the real Kelthas The Dread.  His Powerful Magic’s would have killed her a hundred times over.

Sigune swung her Longsword but it was partially parried. It only grazes the Men-at-Arm’s forearm just below the Gauntlet.

Two Halfling Archers then appeared. They had popped up out of the culvert in the Centre of the Room. Both fired Arrows at Sigune but both missed.  Vicross Silverkin jumped down from the viewing gallery to stand beside Sigune. Despite his wounds he still wanted to fight on. Perhaps he was an ally after all. Perhaps Mirafir had been telling the truth. Were the mists of deception finally evaporating?

Mirafir stepped fully into the Chamber where he could now see “Kelthas The Dread” and his retinue. Thora having previously slain her opponent now had a clear path in front of her. Taking her chance, she courageously rushed across the Chamber towards Kelthas The Dread.

Father Tobias, recognising at last Frimly’s Nobility, rushed over to his side. As he did so, one of the Archers got through Frimly’s defences to land a grievous blow. Then Father Tobias got beside him to lend some timely aid.

Helm of Brilliance
Helm of Brilliance

After King Korin Ironaxe’s Bodyguards felled the remaining Men-at-Arms, King Korin Ironaxe drew upon the power of his Crown. He unleashed powerful Magic at Kelthas The Drerad and his retinue. Mirafir later explained that this was a ‘Prismatic Spray’ Spell.

The Halflings immediately disappeared from our sights. A wide Blue Beam of Powerful Light blasted the Kelthas’ Group. Despite the ‘Magic Barrier’ which still Protected him, the Beam still staggered Kelthas The Dread and his Guards but some who were very near to him stayed on their feet. The other 2 Guardsmen were further away. As they were unprotected by the ‘Magical Barrier’ they were eviscerated in Clouds of gore. The Shimmering Beam then made Kelthas The Dread disappear as it changed Colour.

When the spell finally dissipated only 2 of the 5 Enemy remained.

Prismatic Spray
Prismatic Spray

At Frimly’s side Father Tobias smashed his Mace at an Archer but was parried. The other Archer was in turn parried by Frimly.

Sigune killed a Men-at-Arms in front of her as his comrade took aim with his Longbow. He fired at her at point blank range before drawing his Longsword.

King Korin Ironaxe was surprised by 2 Undead Orcs who suddenly lunged at him from behind. They had appeared out of one of the Western Corridors that lead up to the Dwarven Headquarters.

He was saved by 2 Golden Lions who rush out of a Tunnel behind him. They savaged the Undead destroying them utterly. Could the Lions be the same Magic used by King Korin Ironaxe’s Illusionists? They were similar to the Eagle he created once before, or was it something else?

Figurine of Wondrous Power - King Korin Ironaxe
Figurine of Wondrous Power

Morri, Mirafir’s Gnome Illusionist friend, then appears from the same Corridor as the Undead Orcs and the 2 Golden Lions.

The ‘Web’ across the Passageway which had entrapped Frimly disappeared. A pair of Armoured Half-Orcs came into view from behind it.

Mirafir spied Galan reappearing at the top of the Viewing Gallery

Galan had watched Vicross Silverkin jump to the aid of Sigune and had made-up his mind to make sure there was nothing else of danger in the Machine Room. The Door to the Pressurised Shaft, lead to the Pool in King Devin Ironaxe’s Secret Area, was Open and so there was no water, foul or otherwise, inside it. Checking that no one was hiding in the shaft Galan decided to close the Door, Pressurised the Shaft and fill it will Water.

Frimly parried 1 Archer whilst Father Tobias smote at the other. Father Tobias landed a telling blow but the Archer fought on. One more blow would do it, St. Cuthbert willing.

The 2 Dwarf Bodyguards rushed to King Korin Ironaxe’s side. The ‘Golden Lions’ advanced past him.

Next to Sigune, Vicross Silverkin wielded a Quarterstaff with great skill and hits Sigune’s opponent. He swung it hard. Having seen Kelthas’ Retinue get hit with the Spell, Thora changed direction to aid Sigune. She rushed the Men-at-Arm swinging her Battle Axe which caught him in the midriff killing him instantly.

The 2 surviving members of Kelthas retinue charged at King Korin Ironaxe.

At the top of the Viewing Gallery Galan was hit by ‘4 Magic Missiles’. As he was unable to see who cast them because they swept around the main column, Galan leapt down to stand next to Vicross Silverkin and Thora.

Sigune saw that Sir Ly was still bleeding from Arrow wounds so she laid her hands upon him. The ‘Potion of Heroism’ she had taken augmented her Healing Power enabling her to fully heal Sir Ly.

At the corner of the Chamber Mirafir was then attacked from behind by a Burned Woman and another Male Wizard, both appeared to be wearing similar clothing. He turned around to face them. Mirafir called forth power from his new Magic Stave and fired 4 Magic Missiles at the woman, Karri the Witch. She died instantly. A howl of anger or remorse erupted from her male companion, Duggwell. Enraged, he cast a spell, Sleep, at Mirafir but Mirafir resisted so that there was no effect.

Karri, Female Wizard
Karri, Female Wizard

Father Tobias and Frimly continued to fight the last 2 Archers. Frimly parried once again but Father Tobias let his defence fall so was stabbed in the thigh. In pain he missed with his Mace. St Cuthbert would not be impressed.

Sir Ly now invigorated, advanced with Sigune. They engage the 2 Half-Orcs in Plate Mail.

King Korin Ironaxe beheads one of last remaining Guards of Kelthas. His Dwarven Bodyguards combined to despatch the other Guard.

Just ahead of him the Golden Lions stopped, then sniffed the air. What had they detected?

Galan yelled out

Galan: “Kelthas The Dread is in here!”

Then he rushed beside King Korin Ironaxe.

1 Half-Orc hit Sigune hard but she never even broke stride. The other Half-Orc missed Sir Ly. Both Paladins then struck back wounding the Half-Orcs.

Vicross Silverkin went over to the Tunnel down which the Undead had earlier fled. He pulled the Door to. Then he cast a Spell upon the Door sealing it, ‘Wizard Lock’.

Thora surmised that the 2 Paladins could handle the Half-Orcs on their own. She was needed elsewhere. She saw that Frimly had taken several wounds so rushed to his side to aid the brave Thief.

The enraged Female Wizard attacked Mirafir, catching him in a ‘Web’ between Floor and Ceiling. Making the ‘Web’ 20’x10’ feet at ground level and extending it up the Wall to the ceiling, 60’ feet up.

Mirafir: “Impressive, didn’t think webs worked like that. It was very clever spell casting.”

Frimly was again struck before Thora could aid him. Father Tobias was hit too but wouldn’t leave his comrade. He swung his Mace but his foe ducked under the blow.

The other Human Archer had no such luck against the Battle Axe of Thora. Her blade smashed into his midsection nearly cutting him in half as he fell Dead.

Sir Ly saw his blow parried. However Sigune’s next Sword strike slew her Half-Orc.

With Thora into the fray, Frimly turned and ran to attack the Female Wizard who had trapped Mirafir in the ‘Web’. Unfortunately he too was ensorcelled. He fell over motionless, as if in a deep ‘Sleep’.

While Frimly was down and out, the Male Wizard stabbed him with his Evil Dagger. The Male Wizard had no honour at all! None of them did. All must pay with their lives for such ignoble deeds.

NPC - Duggwell Wizard Human
NPC – Duggwell Wizard Human

Father Tobias and Thora team up on the final Human Archer. Father Tobias parried a blow that might have taken his head off. While the Human Archer was busy attacking Father Tobias, Thora chopped her Battle Axe straight through his Helmet killing him.

Meanwhile Mirafir tried to cut his way out of the ‘Web’, but was stuck fast and could not reach his Evil Dagger.

Sigune and Sir Ly teamed up on the remaining Half-Orc. Sir Ly missed again but Sigune struck true, Killing it.

Galan was standing next to King Korin Ironaxe. He remained wary. He looked about him but could not see or hear any sign of Kelthas The Dread, either Visible or Invisible.

King Korin Ironaxe called Morri, the Dwarven Illusionist, to his side. They spoke briefly.

Morri begun to look up and in doing so the ‘Golden Lions’ became passive and were sniffing the ground. Yet he must be somewhere. Where had the ‘Magic Missiles’ come from?

As they finished speaking, the ‘Golden Lions’ sprang forward, immediately pursued by the 4 Dwarves.

With both his current foemen now despatched by the mighty Thora, Father Tobias took a moment to drink a ‘Portion of Extra-Healing’. Like Sir Ly, several Sword and Arrow wounds had left him perilously close to Death.

Looking over to where Kelthas the Dread had been blasted by the Power of King Korin Ironaxe’s Helm we now saw that there was no sign at all of him, or whatever it was. The ‘Anti-Magic Shell’ was still in place though.

Having triumphed at least momentarily against both Mirafir and Frimly, the Male Wizard now faced Vicross Silverkin, his former ally. Vicross Silverkin rushed him wielding his Quarterstaff. Vicross Silverkin smashed it into the man’s head knocking him out.

The Door Vicross Silvrkin had locked was Reopened. King Korin Ironaxe unleashed another Blast of his Powerful Magic through the Door, ‘Prismatic Spray’ Spell, destroying all of the Undead beyond it. We heard some Human, or Humanoid, screams too from further down but later found only the slain as we later proceeded along it.

All our foes in this Chamber had now been Killed.

Helm of Brilliance
Helm of Brilliance

We all took a few moments to regroup or bind our remaining wounds before we headed down the Ramp to the Lair of Keltahs The Dread.

To Be Continued…….

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