Crusade Campaign – Session #5

After a peaceful rest (made uncomfortable by the dozen or so ghosts or shades standing silently nearby), and a pair of identify spells by Pandemonius to ID a few magic items (javelins of lightning, a Quaal’s Feather token of a steel ball) the party made ready to resume.  The morning was interrupted however, when Perudo began to choke and gasp over his rations, as suddenly a huge quantity of bugs and maggots began to pour from his mouth.  This continued for a few moments; he seemed unharmed after, but obviously somewhat shaken up.  Once recovered, the party continued their explorations to the east.  The spirits followed.

Not too far from their secret room encampment, the party discovered an odd fellow hidden in a room who was desperate for water.  After he’d been given some, he named himself Naathlix, an Aquatic Elf that had been swept by a storm into sea caves adjoining the monastery dungeon a few days past.  There he’d been chased by “the dead” until he finally found himself in this isolated room, lost and dying of starvation and thirst.  Though he did not care for them, he did accept and eat some of the party’s rations, as well.  The party then backtracked a little ways and, after Lune gave him a dagger, the party pointed out the way to the tidal pool and the outside world.  He then thanked the party most profusely and departed.

The party now turned to the south, taking as yet unexplored passages.  As they went, their cadre of spirits seemed to grow from time to time, not aided by entering a few rooms where yet more of these strange ghosts were found.  Now, from time to time, one would rush at either Pandemonius or Perudo.  Not every time, but often enough, the spellcaster would find that one of his memorized spells had been erased from his mind, as the offending spirit vanished.  The party tried using speak with dead to no avail, and nothing seemed to perturb or otherwise affect the almost invisible ghosts.

At one point, the party was attacked from behind by what looked like a very large seagull, albeit one with razor-like teeth and a bad disposition.  It was quickly slain. Further on, the party found a room with a lone chest sitting in the middle of it.  Jimmy checked for traps and found that it had some sort of gas trap.  He managed to disarm it, but it proved to be empty.  The party decided to search this room for secret doors, while Lune stood down the short hall leading into it.  By chance, Lune “discovered” a secret door when it opened and another of the aquatic-looking undead wights came out and attacked.  BY good fortune, it was unable to strike him before it was cut down by himself, Wulfric, and magic missiles from Pandemonious.  The wight vanished upon being slain, leaving behind a valuable gold ring and a bronze crown covered with fish and other aquatic motifs.  Lune tried it on and found it to be a Helm of Fish Command.

Further on the party came to a room with what could only be described as a living corpse.  It was not hostile but in some distress and apparent confusion.  It named itself Lothric and claimed to be the Prince of Lormyrr (a powerful realm that borders the Holy See and was once the core of the Lormyrrian Empire).  The more learned of the party knew that there was a Prince of Lormyrr named Lothric, but he had died about 15 years previously.  The animated corpse could not say how long he’d been there, only that he desperately wished to return to his homeland to rest in peace.  The party considered this for a moment then decided that this would distract from their primary purpose.  So, they told dead-Lothric that they would return for him later, knowing that it was unlikely that they would do so.

The party now continued south, only for Lune to fall into a deep pit.  But, far worse, there were two of the sea wights in the pit already.  Wulfric and the others quickly threw him a rope, but not before he was struck by one of them (for 1 level lost, out of four attacks against him — lucky, perhaps).  After pissing down on the wights, the party continued.  Bypassing a room with a weird idol of a squat frog thing, they came to a room with what appeared to be a huge throne carved of green stone with various aquatic designs on it (fish, underwater cities, kelp, etc).  The party decided to search the room for secret doors, but realized as they moved around that their lights were casting shadows from a huge creature that was not there.  Wulfric could sense a dim evil, and the party decided that it all must be an echo of some sort from the past.  They did find a secret door, but it led to a room badly infested with mold and mildew that had all but destroyed the little furniture it contained.  This room they did not enter but continued, now to the west.

In one room they encountered a large group of ghouls.  Most were turned by Perudo (and one by Wulfric)  but a few attacked.  They were quickly dispatched but a door across the room opened and another large group appeared — and were slaughtered en masse by a lightning bolt from Pandemonious (he killed 17 with one shot!)  The survivors, including a few freed from the turning, attacked.  And though few and wounded, they managed induce nausea in Jimmy (who also got a crit miss the same round and impaled himself on his spear — bad news there).  Pandemonoius and Jimmy were subsequently paralyzed by the handful of remaining ghouls (and ghasts, as the party determined) and, despite the fact this should’ve been an easy battle, proved a tough one.  Worse, as the fight went on, the ever-present undead followers began to buzz around the  party, seemingly interfering with the fight (for both sides and draining some life from each party member — a few HP each).  The party was becoming most concerned by these things.  And, given their relative weakness and paucity of spells (from combat and theft by spirits), they decided it was time to rest, though whether it would be this room (with its horrific stench, half-eaten corpses, and charred and slaughtered ghouls) or the distant room they’d used previously.

But first, they checked a few nearby rooms and passages, merely picking up a few more shades to bring the total up to 25.  It was time to decide where to rest…

———————–

– Experience:  carried over as we stopped in mid exploration.

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