Friday, November 8, 2013

Heroes of Sandpoint: A Grave Encounter

Art By Wayne Reynolds
Our Cast of Characters
  • Alfgeir Stannisson, a Ulfen Cleric of Gorum who has traveled from the Lands of the Linnorm Kings, hoping to become a great hero like his ancestors. 
  • Fiona of Sandpoint, a Varisian Rogue who has spent most of her lives on the streets of the coastal town, doing whatever she can to survive. 
  • Jon Silverbow, an Elf Ranger who hails from the Mierani Forest of northern Varisia who has a deep hatred for goblinoids. 
  • Ongar, a Half-Orc Paladin who has dedicated his life to the goddess Sarenrae and hopes to spread her redeeming light wherever he goes. 
  • Tywin, a Half-Elf Sorcerer from the shadowy realm of Nidal who has traveled far and wide in search of vengeance against someone who has wronged him. 

Two weeks have passed since our party of adventurers saved the local sage's niece from certain death. During this time, the town's gravekeeper has noticed something strange happening in the town's cemetery. A number of graves, all surrounding a rather old mausoleum, have been dug up and the coffins that inhabited the plots have disappeared.

Fearing what might be behind these disappearances, the gravekeeper Naffer Vosk quickly informed the town priest Abstalar Zantus of the robbed graves. Not wanting to bother the town guard in case its just a couple of hooligans playing rather morose pranks, Zantus contacts this new group of heroes after hearing what they did for Brodert Quink.

Once the characters were caught up to speed, Naffer led the group to the now vacant graves and the mausoleum. While investigating the inside of the mausoleum, the party discovered a secret passage underneath an ornate coffin, leading down to a cave system underneath the Sandpoint Boneyard. After securing some rope to one of the columns inside the mausoleum, the party carefully lowered themselves down into the first chamber, a large cave dominated by a pool of murky water with three tunnels leading further underground.

Wanting to test the depth of the pool before attempting to cross, Fiona took her quarterstaff and stuck it into the water. After hitting the bottom, she quickly pulled the staff back out and noticed something odd. The end of her staff was sizzling, as if it had been dipped into acid. Figuring something might be lurking in the water and believing his ability to see in the dark might allow him to see through the murky water, Ongar moved onto his knees and stuck his head into the pool. Unfortunately, this caught the attention of the gray ooze living in the water, which quickly grabbed the half-orc and pulled him in.

Thankfully, his companions manage to pull him out of the water and the grip of the ooze before he could sustain any serious injuries. Once the paladin was safe, Tywin decided to experiment with one of his spells, casting ray of frost* onto a section of the pool to create a temporary bridge. While it worked, the bridge wasn't very stable and they had to move across quickly.

After collecting themselves and healing their wounds, the heroes moved down the nearest tunnel and onto the next chamber. As they moved forward, the group heard two creatures arguing about the "proper" way to consume a freshly dead corpse. When they finally entered the next chamber, they discovered the source of the argument: two ghouls perched atop two piles of bones. It didn't take long for the ghouls to notice the unwanted company. Luckily, the party reacted quickly and managed to take out the pair of ghouls before anyone was seriously hurt.

The group quickly searched the room for anything of value before moving onto the next chamber. When they entered the strangely well-lit cave, they spotted a ghast dressed in tattered rags with an amulet constructed from a jackal's skull. The creature named Balthazar was perched upon a throne made from bone. After summoning a pair of zombies from the coffins found behind him, the group of undead attacked the interlopers. While the battle was long and hard, with two of the characters getting paralyzed by Balthazar, the group managed to slay the creature and his minions.

After searching the room and gathering anything of value they could find, the party made their way back up to the surface and informed Zantus and Naffer about the source of the empty graves and received their reward.

*(Yes, I know ray of frost doesn't work like that. However, it was an interesting idea and I didn't want to shut him down for coming up with a cool idea. Although, I did have him make a check to see if he succeeded or not.)

((If you'd like to read the re-cap for the 1st session, click here))