The Great Game, Harvester 17, 596 CY (Day 5 – continued)
The group had met with the Baron Zaro, lord of the area called Pottsylvania, in the hope to secure an answer to their search for a vampire called Staad or a way to return home. After meeting the Baron, he offered to lodge them and send messages to his contemporaries regarding their search. While waiting for the Baron in a lounge after a midday meal, members of the party were insulted by the personal, sexist views of a servant. The servant was to be punished by the Baron for his indiscretions, possibly even including death. Giraud found that to be rather off and attacked the Baron with his weapon.
With Giraud assailing Baron Zaro with little notice, he surprises just about everyone. His first attack with his magical sword goes awry. The Baron gains the upper hand but cannot connect with Giraud, or anyone else around him. Riko, Killian, Paxalor and Hannah go on the offensive while Fezgil, Morton and Shoshana turn invisible using their various methods of spell or magical device. Zeke begins to remove his clothing, baffling the remainder of the party.
Giraud once again initializes combat with the Baron, who is now turning physically less human and more vampiric, solidifying individual thoughts that he is more than human. Striking the Baron for the first time, things then become more chaotic. Paxalor starts to beg the Baron to stop while Zeke moves to a lounge chair and sits seductively, mostly undressed. The Baron charms poor Paxalor into a lull and then fails a further attack. Fezgil, in a fit of self-preservation, casts Protection from Evil on himself. At a call from Hannah, Zebediah-Obadiah joins the battle, swinging his massive maul. Morton calls upon his magical might to summon a pair of sabretooth tigers, which are then able to strike the now fully vampiric Baron Zaro. Others in the room bring themselves to bear, but are unable to move within a strike zone.
The tigers are able to strike the Baron again as the servant that started this whole debacle enters the fray, missing Killian. Fezgil casts Fly upon himself, remaining invisible and protected from evil. The Baron disappears from sight just before Riko moves to strike, but he is positive the Baron has turned invisible, as his magical sword does connect with something. Zeke and Paxalor are sent away from the combat, to the corner of the room. Morton attempts a Dispel Magic on Paxalor, but fails. Riko is able to strike the invisible Baron again, as a number of servant-zombies enter the room through another doorway.
Giraud and the summoned tigers continue to batter the invisible Baron, while Fezgil Detects Invisibility to direct combat for the group. Hannah moves off to assist Killian, defending her from the attacking misanthropic servant. Morton summons more tigers to assail the oncoming rush of minions, as Zebediah-Obadiah, Gerrit and Graham find themselves swarmed by the same minions. Henna Tallowleaf steps in to defend her employer Paxalor from any on comers.
Giraud’s empowered weapon leaps from his hand to attack on its own power. Fezgil tells the group he sees the Baron turn into a “cloud of smoke”, which leaves the room through a doorway. He yells out that he’s following it, leaving the room after. Zebediah-Obadiah attempts to call upon the power of the god Pholtus, to turn the evil minions away, but fails. The sabretooth tigers continue to do mass damage to the minions, allowing most of the party to follow Fezgil, who continues to call out to them as he follows the invisible, gaseous form of the Baron. All eventually disengage from fighting the minions and find themselves at a hallway dead end. Fezgil tells the others that the ‘smoke form’ Baron moved through a crack in the wall to escape. A brief discussion of how to move beyond the wall is held once no doors of a concealed or secret nature are located. All are aware that Zeke and Paxalor have been left behind but are not concerned. Henna Tallowleaf, Paxalor’s hireling, seemingly remained behind with him.
Killian casts Shape Stone to bypass the wall and the entire group follows into the dark passage beyond. Light sources are brought out for ease of travel and a large, curving stairwell is found a short jaunt from the wall, leading down. Everyone moves down the stairwell, with more than one missing their stealthy friends Yip, who remained behind at home, and Randy, who died just a few weeks prior.
At the bottom of the stairwell, a huge room filled with funerary sarcophagi and tombs is entered. The light sources from the party cannot penetrate the gloom of the entire room, keeping most on the stairs or just inside the entryway. Fezgil uses a magical wand on himself, believing it to provide some form of resistance to attacks. He then flies about the room to locate where the Baron might have gone. He then tries to Detect Magic, in an additional aid in locating their enemy. While doing so, he is struck by a winged, humanoid creature. Retreating, he spots a number of these winged creatures flying near the domed, high ceiling. The creatures don’t move from their position for a brief period, then dive towards the gathered group in a screeching attack.
A new battle commences. The creatures swoop in, striking Giraud, Killian, Graham and Hannah as they defend themselves. The fight is fast and furious, with Riko, Giraud, Fezgil and Zebediah-Obadiah proving they have much mettle in combat. Unfortunately, Hannah Fury is struck down by numerous blows and lies bleeding out on the stairwell.
“I need to roll low for a saving throw, right?” ~ A. Player, December 28th, 2015