Wednesday, February 20, 2013

Chapter 11: Tegel after dark

  As night falls over Tegel Manor the party finds itself gathering around a fire and serving up Moep's specialty Beans and Bacon. Chi begins a jaunty elvish song singing to the group from just outside the firelight on an old tree stump, arms outstretched and head tilted back to the moon. Beavis begins a serious religious discussion with Alan, Emily, Farhoud, Garrotte and Alexander around the fire. Sven steps away from the others and looks back at the ominous Manor, as Bulls Zi begins cleaning his hand axe and throwing daggers and Lars and Sally settle down on their bedrolls.

  As weariness begins to overtake them and the embers begin to die, three dark shapes drop from the sky taking everyone by surprise! The large winged creatures attack, the first lunges at Chi and just misses the nimble elf! The second startles Alex, Bulls Zi and Sven. The third creature swats Emily across the face slamming her across the camp site and knocking her senseless as six of her teeth bounce across the grass!

  Sven feels the axe call out to him and loses himself in a red rage! A fierce melee ensues with Bulls Zi hurling his axe as well against the monster. Sven dispatches the gargoyle with a spectacular blow to the body!

  Sally dons a chain shirt while Lars and Garrotte cover her. From the darkness around the group red eyes can be seen reflecting the firelight. A large horde of swift moving bestial man-like creatures swarm the campsite. The front doors of Tegel Manor swing open and a host of skeletal men-at-arms come clattering down the steps, in their midst a large warrior in breastplate and helm with a sword and whip wreathed in blue flame bellows, “Bring those who would defile our Lady’s bed to their knees! They must pay for their insolence!”

  Alexander is quick to react to this new threat and races closer towards the skeletal horde, using magic he casts force manipulation while calling out “Sezrekan, I accept your offer!” and blocks the advancement of the undead horde. A regal woman in a blood red gown emerges from the open doorway. She raises her hands and attempts to dispel the magical wall but is unsuccessful. Snarling in rage she turns and withdraws with the horde back into the manor.

  In the meantime the pack bestial ghouls have been driven off by turnings from the cleric’s and Sven’s maniacal axe work! Garrotte came face to face with the gargoyle that tried to claw Chi and with the shadow blade laid it low! Brother Beavis calls forth the power of Losborst upon the third and final gargoyle. A heaven sent bucket of wine drops down upon the creatures head and it falls flat on its face. It struggles to rise and charges the group swinging its deadly claws about. The gargoyle takes wing and bashes Beavis as it rises into the night sky. Alexander uses a glowing hand of mystic force to drag the creature back to the ground. Emily swings her axe at the held foe but it shatters upon impact! Moep throws  the bean filled cook pot directly in the creatures face, just as Sven leap through the air and delivers a senses shattering blow that obliterates the creature!

  The group begins binding wounds and throwing gear into the wagon. “Should have stayed in the Mead hall.” mutters Bulls Zi while searching for his throwing axe.
“We should go, as quickly as we can.” says Lars.
Alexander moves towards the manor, “I must do something first.” Muttering arcane words and repeating the dread name Sezrekan repeatedly the doors of the manor slam shut. Then glowing chains erupt from the ground binding the doorway shut while causing it to fade from view leaving only a blank stone wall. Farhoud rushes forward and helps Alexander back towards the wagon.

  “Look out!” cries Alan pointing into the darkness, the gleam of eyes has returned. A second pack of snarling ghouls rushes towards the party.
A bellowing command of “GET THEM!” reveals the undead have returned and now flank the party having used the Tegel ballroom to get around the magically locked front doors. The moonlight revealing a horde some twenty to thirty strong marching upon them from the left, ghouls charging in from the right! A hail of arrows rains down upon the group, Emily and Garrotte are struck down by terrible wounds inflicted by the skeletal archers.
“There’s too many!” cries Moep diving into the wagon. Alexander leaning against the wagon draws a scroll from his cloak and chants the dread Sorcerers name again. Hands glowing with the fires of hell itself three blazing bolts scream forth and incinerate a handful of the ghouls.
Sally stands up in the back of the wagon and points towards the oncoming skeletal force, crying Mesha’s name she summons the earth itself to bind them in place! “We must go now!”


  As the wagon begins to pull away with the group piled in, Beavis leaps from the wagon and faces the combined forces of evil.
“Losborst, you have forsaken me these last few hours. I call upon you now! Grant me the power to truly be your champion here and now!” Face to the heavens Beavis cries out for divine aid!

Alexander weakly reaches out to Beavis, “Don’t do it! Get back in the wagon!”
“Go Farhoud! Make for the fishing village, he has chosen his fate!” says Lars.
“Good luck to you Father!” cries Garrotte.
Sven prepares to leap from the wagon to aid Beavis when a beam of light shines down from above centered on the Cleric. A twenty foot tall glowing Losborst appears in front of Beavis. He looks about the battlefield and notices the wagon quickly departing downhill. “Beavis, the time has not yet come.” with a swift kick Losborst launches Beavis into the air. Halfway downhill the party is pursued by the snarling ghouls when Beavis lands in the wagon! A few well placed arrows from Chi and an assortment of hurled brik-a-brak from Moep seems to drive the ghouls off.
“That was too easy,” grumbles Lars “like they let us go. Stay wary!”
Farhoud slows the wagon but keeps a good pace headed towards the fishing village. Chi peers ahead along the road while Moep and Garrotte watch to the left and right. The Clerics also frantically work on the wounds inflicted by the undead arrows upon Emily and Garrotte which are rotting at an advanced rate. The sorely wounded Garrotte spots a group of cloaked figures lurking in the bush just of the roadside.
“My friends, there!” he points as the figures burst onto the road surrounding the wagon. The cloaked figures draw wavy bladed daggers from their belts, and cry “For our brothers!” Their featureless faces reveal them to be stragglers from the Pit!
“No More!” shouts Alexander standing up in the wagon arms outstretched and fingers pointed at the cultists! An explosion of light bursts from his fingers as a shower of mystic bolts showers down on friend and foe alike! The hooded men are slain or wounded and Chi kills one with a double arrow shot, as Alexander wide eyed and a bit haggard says “That’s right! Anybody else?” then collapses in the wagon.

  The party reaches the safety of the Trident, near Tegel lighthouse. A valuable lesson has been learned by all.

  Do NOT spend the night at the Manor.

Sunday, February 3, 2013

Chapter 10: Tegel Manor

The party has gathered outside the main entrance after the morning foray. They eat a quick lunch and swap some gear around to those who would most benefit from its use.

Felan's Axe, is given to Sven as he is the only one strong enough to wield it physically. Will he be strong enough to resist it mentally.....

The Steel shield with a snowflake emblem retrieved from the haunted armoury is given to Tyrrian.

The group then decides to head back in and explore as much as they can before nightfall. Moep elects to stay with the wagon and Farhoud.

Once back in the main foyer the western servants door is chosen and a long hall lit by wall sconces is revealed. Chi the elf-child calls the group to a halt as her sensitive ears are catching wisps of muttering somewhere nearby. When the party stops moving everyone begins to hear indiscernible mumblings all about them. A door to the south is found, Bull Zi applies all his skill and pronounces the door safe, yet he hears a strange trilling noise beyond. Sven turns the handle and reveals a large lounge with furniture a statue and a half dozen bodies covered in a layer of dust.

The lounge is figured to be a lust chamber, as the statue depicts two people in a state of ravishment. The corpses have been here a long time and Beavis starts to give last rites, as Bulls Zi "straightens" their clothing, finding a bit of costume jewelry in the process. Suddenly from the rafters above four large hairy winged things swoop down upon the party as the trilling sound intensifies! One of the winged things lands on Beavis's neck and bites him! Bulls Zi attempts to remove it by beating it with his Sap. Alexander enters the room hands glowing with mystic power and recites the incantation for "Canders superficial comprehension" thus driving the winged rodents back into the rafters. A room adjoining the lounge is opened and found to contain four large beds and many undressed corpses. The group leaves this area and returns to the "Mumbling" hallway.

A little further down the hallway, an ornate door is found and opened into a grand Dining Room. The center of the chamber is dominated by a long table set with silver finery and fifteen young ladies led by a Governess in the middle of a lesson on manners. The girls turn at the entrance of the party and begin giggling as the Governess stands and says, "Well, it appears we have visitors."
Tarek moves to the end of the table and brandishes the Deed, " I am Tarek, rightful owner of Tegel Manner."
"We beg your pardon Lord Tarek", the Governess motions the girls to rise from thier seats. "We ask that you join us for a toast in your honor." The girls then move them selves about the table to open seats. Tarek takes the seat at the Head of the table opposite the governess, Beavis takes a seat between the girls to the left of Tarek and Chi and Emily take open seats on the right side of the table. Bulls Zi hugs the room wall peering behind the tapestries.

Glasses are given to the newcomers and wine is poured into them. The Governess raises her glass, "In honor Tarek the most recent Lord of Tegel Manor, may your reign be as short as your life and sweet as your blood!"
The party members at the table discover they are rooted to the spot and cannot move, as the beauty of the room and the women dissolves and the horrid reality is unveiled before their eyes! The remaining party members find the chamber return to its decayed state and their friends and the women have vanished!

"Feast upon their flesh!" screams the governess as the now undead ladies in waiting tear into the surprised Tarek, Beavis, Chi and Emily!!!  Tarek is barely able to keep two hideous girl-ghouls from his face, teeth clik-clacking!  Beavis begins a chant while holding one girl back as a second takes a mouthful from his forearm putting a quick end to his attempt to turn them. Chi and Emily are overwhelmed by the girl-ghouls assault as they scream "You'll not share in our feast of Man-flesh!" Chi is wrestled out of her chair and pinned to the tabletop. Emily is held fast in her chair by one as a second hops up on the table and leans in to bite her face!

Alexander casts "Call of the Secondary Simplicity" and can now see his friends peril! Calling out commands to the rest of the group they prepare to attack the invisible undead! Tyrrian is able to Shield bash one of the creatures off of Tarek giving him an opening to slay the other. Beavis has a second chunk of flesh ripped from his body, while Chi suffers at the claws of the undead. Emily is able to break free and through Deed Of Arms, leap from her chair and split a girl-ghoul in twain with her axe!
Sven uses Felans Axe and resists the berserker rage, allowing him to control his attacks! Garrote the halfling proceeds to unleash the power of the "Black Shadow" shortsword and makes quick work of two girl-ghouls! Sally follows Alexanders commands and makes for the head of the table and the Governess, calling upon Mesha the fiery fury of Molan's Flail is revealed but she just misses her invisible foe! The girl-ghouls dropping like flies at the frantic blows of the group, the Governess begins screaming in fury and becomes visible. Lars awaiting a perfect moment hurls the "Lucky" rock and it caves in the chest of the Governess, this is quickly followed by four glowing blue magical axes that fly from Alexanders outstretched palms smashing the Governess to bits against the back wall.
                  "Not exactly the outcome I was hoping for with fifteen ladies in waiting."

Aiding the wounded the party quickly regroups and turns their attention to a pocket door in the northwest corner of the room. The portal leads to a large kitchen in shambles a very large rat is seen dragging a rotting side of beef from a partially opened pantry doorway. Bulls Zi hurls his javelin at the rat and pins it to the side of meat. Sven steps boldly into the kitchen just as a swarm of crockery is hurled at the party standing in the doorway! A booming voice begins shouting over a ghostly din of kitchen sounds,"You call that food? That is bloody Shite! And you lot, get out of my kitchen!" A barrage of knives, cleavers and assorted cutlery begin hurling themselves at Sven who beats a hasty path across the kitchen and into the pantry just dodging a cauldron of boiling sludge that flies after him.
"How the heck do we handle a ghost chef?" asks Tarek out loud.
"It is your house," states Alexander "I think you should fire him." flinching as more crockery smashes in the doorway. "Let me help you." waving his hands and intoning mystic words Alexander creates an archway magical force to provide cover for Tarek from the irate spirit.
"Look here!" bellows Tarek holding up the Deed. "I will tolerate no more of your foolishness, you will vacate the premises as your services are no longer needed!"
At that the cacaphony of cooking noises goes dead followed by a somber voice saying, "Well, I guess that's it then. I'll be off I guess." A presence is felt by all leaving the kitchen.
Meanwhile in the pantry Sven ducked in just narrowly escaping being scalded by the contents of the cauldron only to come face to face with four of the largest vermin he has ever seen.
"Hunh, ROUS's, I didn't think they exist."

Sven is knocked to the floor as the creatures rush him in a mad dash for fresh meat!
The strangled cry from the pantry causes the group to spring into action to aid Sven. Tyrrian, Beavis, Chi, Bulls Zi and Emily rush to open the door. Sven lies under a pile giant rodents barely holding them from his throat! Tyrrian and Beavis rush into the room and Tyrrian slips and falls face first to the floor causing Beavis to falter as well. Chi and Emily kill a rodent as Bulls Zi also dispatches another. The last two so ravenous from hunger battle to the bitter end and are put down by the group.

After a short break, the party moves onward. They discover the bound corpse of a maid servant hidden in a trunk whose ghost keeps appearing and screaming in her room. They take the corpse outside and burn it after Beavis gives it last rites. Returning they see the spirit has moved on. With only a few hours now before dark the party moves quickly through a group of adjoined chambers belonging to head staff as deemed by the furnishing and clothing found. A gem encrusted chalice is discovered in an old footlocker and Beavis promptly puts it to good use!
The Master Butlers room is found to hold an odd pool of slime and many coins scattered across the chamber floor. Most unusual is the animated jade green hand that scuttles about the floor trying to get to a golden ring in the center of the slime puddle. The hand is placed in a box and brought along after the ring and coins are gathered up. Exiting this chamber into a long lit hallway Tyrrian, Tarek and Chi are confronted by a singing swordsman that charges them! Tarek puts an arrow through his face to no avail! The ghostly swordsman proceeds to "Slime" the three adventurers before disappearing through a wall at the end of the hall. The three adventurers return to the Butlers room and use old linens from the bed to de-slime themselves.

The "Singing Swordsman" hall is discovered to branch off towards the south, but closest is a pair of grand double doors. The party chooses to open these doors and reveals a VERY large Mead Hall. This chamber is decked out to look like a Jarls great hall of the Skandiks from the north. The chamber has been undisturbed for some time as the amount and thickness of the cobwebs shows. A soft thumping noise is heard emanating from deeper in the room, and the late afternoon rays of sunlight beam through the high set windows of the north wall. Pushing through the webs and making towards the sound the party finds six ancient Skandiks in mouldering furs seated at the long trestle table running up the eastern wall. The hollow eyed warriors turn in the direction of the party and one of them can be seen bashing a rat upon the table repeatedly. Beavis steps forward and rebukes the foul creatures causing two of them to falter. Sally then rebukes as well and the remaining zombies cower away from the group. The zombie Skandiks are put to rest and the Mead Hall is found to contain a grand Jarls throne and six Statues. The statues depict the following dieties: Odin, Thor, Mosinylo, Hei, Beytnorn and Coriptus.
The party discuss the benefits of staying within the Mead hall or going back outside to the waiting Moep and Farhoud. Finally it is agreed that the group will go and camp upon the doorstep of Tegel manor for the night.