Thursday, April 24, 2014

DCC Chapter 23: Of Life and Death in Tegel part 2

 The noon day sun beat down on the adventurers as they stood before the open gates. "Like a maw unto hell." thought Lars. The thief nobleman was none too happy that Brother Beavis had decided to personally return the two gish slave-girls back to the village proper and return before dusk for the party. Looking at Tyrrian the former smuggler crossed his arms and stated his case plainly. "You know I'm not thrilled at the prospect of reentering that place without Holy-aid."

The young warrior turned and held up his hammer, the sun glinting off the God-metal. "I have faith enough here we can stand against that which dwells within."

"I stand with the boy-warrior!" the stocky dwarf brandished his axe and winked, "I have some knowledge of the dangers within and we can use that to our advantage."

An hour later the wagon returns with Garrotte and Chi the Elf-child. Lars still grumbling about Clerics follows the lead of Tyrrian and Erwyn back into the Manor. Retracing their prior path the group now consisting of Tyrrian, Erwyn, Chi, Lars, Kyoto, Sven and Garrotte, return to the bed chamber of the Gish slave-girls.

Erwyn and Tyrrian lead the party into the North east wing of Tegel. The first chamber entered is a long abandoned lounge, layered in a thick blanket of dust and cobwebs. The water damage is evident in the musty smell and poor condition of the paneling. A single Iron door is the only other egress from the room. A cursory search reveals a patch of skin that has been tattooed, Garrotte pockets it for later. Kyoto discovers the entire south wall of the chamber is hollow behind the wood panels. Tyrrian knocks a hole in one and peers through to see an almost exact duplicate of the room they are in but done in a sickly palette of greens and browns. Also a large stuffed ape glowers at him from a open archway at the back side of the room.

Erwyn and Lars inspect the Iron door and open it with little difficulty. Beyond lies a large chamber with a sunken floor the center of which holds a 15' tall statue of a serpent with halfling fist sized emeralds for eyes!
Snake Statue
Entering the lantern light also reveals a glistening carpet of snakes writhing all around the statue!!! Lars is enthralled with the possible value of such a item on the open market and how it could be removed from here. As one the group realizes the serpents emerald gaze has entranced them all, most are able to resist the power. However Lars, Erwyn and Garrotte all drop like rag dolls and the party scrambles to drag them from the room back into the lounge.

Chi vigorously slaps Erwyn multiple times chiming, "Wakey, wakey sleepy dwarf!" the elf-child seemingly enjoying herself overly.

Tyrrian kneels besides Lars and feels for breath, it seems there is none. "I fear they may be dead."

The three ensnared companions find themselves on a vast emerald plain with no horizon. A void of green hue stretching in every direction. "Our souls have been trapped I think." states the Thief as he looks about. Erwyn produces a coin from a pocket and tosses it as far as he can and listens. The clatter of the copper sounds in the distance. Garrotte nervously grips Shadeslayer while bemoaning, "I don't like this at all."

Lars then points off in the distance, "Look there, something approaches I think." A small black dot seems to be growing and taking form as it approaches the trio. After a few seconds it becomes a humanoid shape, a halfling or dwarf perhaps by its gait. Another moment passes and a well groomed halfling in a red velvet suit strolls up to the companions, a broad smile splits his face as he draws a small black envelope from his jacket and he says, "You really should look inside, you're gonna love it." There is a pause as the three adventurers look at on another then the little man continues, "Aw, c'mon. You know you're dying to open it. TRUST me. You're gonna love this stuff."

Erwyn takes the offering and opens the black envelope to reveal a single tarot style card, turning it face up the dwarf sees the image of the Rogue. The card then disappears. The little man in red then says, "Would like to get out of here? I can help you if you'll do something for me. What do you say?"

The three soul lost companions agree to "do" whatever it takes to rejoin their friends. "Before we go, who are you?" inquires Lars of the little messenger.

"You may call me the Laughable Loon, Mr. Lulu's Brigadoon!" with a sly wink, a gyration of his hips and a snap of the fingers his voice trails of in the companions heads as they are returned to the mortal realm, "There will be a man of worms, hold him off until help arrives, that's all you need to do for me."

"We should drag the bodies back outside," says Tyrrian to the rest of the party, "it's either that or burn them here. We cannot allow them to be possessed by the Tegel curse."

Suddenly Erwyn, Garrotte and Lars stir from the death like state that held them. "Rumors of my demise have been greatly exaggerated." states Lars looking up at Tyrrian from the floor.

From the hall they entered the lounge through, a door opens and closes. The party sees a group heading their way. Erwyn's eyes go wide as Tyrrian cries out "SLAYERS!"
A group of five dark warriors march upon the party, the lead pair launch bolts of energy from their spears then spin them to use in melee! The bolts a strong and give both Tyrrian and Erwyn pause as they deflect them with their shields. "A shield wall!" cries Lars, "Let's form up!" the thief looks to Tyrrian.

 "I do not wait for the enemy to come to me, I strike with fury!" the scarlet cloaked warrior charges into the oncoming threat followed by Erwyn and Chi all letting loose battle-cries! Tyrrian hammers at his foe but his efforts are parried by the dark one, Erwyn suffers an unfortunate bout of armor-seizure and finds himself unable to move, "Look-out, they have a Freeze-ray!" yells the dwarf. Chi deflects a blow that would have wounded the dwarf and is knocked to one knee by the blow! Sven then rushes to the aid of the dwarf and elf and knocks the Slayer back a few steps giving everyone a moments respite. Like a bat in the night Lars leaps over the heads of his companions, flipping and drawing himself into a ball as he bowls through the ranks of the black warriors. Gaining his feet like a cat the thief then turns to face his companions and meld into the shadows of the darkened hall. From between Tyrrian's legs Garrotte springs out and slashes wildly at the creature facing the young warrior.

From the doorway of the lounge the Sorceress of Karak calls out words of power in an ancient tongue as a multitude of mystical bolts in the form of glowing foxes blast into three of the five dark-ones as they scramble to pick themselves up off the floor. Tyrrian taking advantage of Lars tactic smashes his hammer into the face of the slayer as a high-pitched wail issues from the creature and a bloody worm-like thing shoots from the cracked head only to burrow into the stone floor!

The last Slayer stands and prepares to fire upon the heroes when Lars emerges from the dark and delivers a skull shattering blow to the vile thing!

The remainders are burned to ash by a second volley of fox-fire from Kyoto, and the party regroups in the lounge while Sven collects three unused Slayer spears.

Taking a few moments to catch their collective breath, Lars then relates the bizarre tale of their out of body experience. Then the group decides to brave the Snake chamber once more and investigate the pair of doors that lead elsewhere in that room. Taking precautions to avoid meeting the gaze of the emerald eyes, they make to the unopened portals. Sven impatient with living a mortal life again rushes past and forces open the furthest door with a swift kick. He sees a trophy room adorned with animal heads, tusks and teeth all mounted or displayed for view. The back wall of the chamber is adorned in a large tapestry depicting a knight slaying a red dragon, flanking this on either side are a set of Green dragon-hide armor and a Red
dragon-scale shirt.

Sven is taken with the shirt and removes it from the stand upon which it hangs looking it over. In the back of his mind race the memories of the curse of Felan's Axe and he wonders if the same dangers could await one who dons armor that once belonged to others.

Lars takes in the sight of the tapestry and is consumed with how he could get this out of the manor with the least damage. Garrotte spies a finely carved wooden box on a side table, opening it carefully he discovers what at first he thought were silvery coins are in fact a few score small loose dragon scales. The halfling quickly tuck the box into a bag.

Erwyn and Chi both remove the Green dragonhide armor from the stand, and look it over. The dwarf knows he could not wear this but remarks that it would be quite the find for the tiny elf-child. Chi then proceeds to doff her animal hides and strap on the wrymhide.

Sven starts to open his pack when Erwyn inquires, "Sven, if you're not going to don that scale shirt may I?" An agreement is made between the two companions and the dwarf sheds his former armor for the fiery hued scale.

The party then tries the last doorway out of the Snake chamber. Lars and Erwyn give the portal a once over seeing that it is water damaged as well and swelled into the frame. Lars finds no trap or lock so he forces it open. The musty stench almost overpowers the noble thief and he let's his friends know the area beyond may be infested with molds and such.

Tyrrian, Chi and Sven elect to head back into the lounge and cover the hall the party first entered this section of the Manor through. Lars, Erwyn, Kyoto and Garrotte elect to stay and investigate the musty room. Lars opens the door slightly to get a peek inside with the light from Kyoto's lantern shining over his shoulder. A very dilapidated and water damaged bedroom is revealed as well as a huge shambling thing! Cat-like
the thing in the room
reflexes allow Lars to shut the door before he is struck by an enormously powerful tentacle that almost knocks the door from its hinges. "There is something very nasty in there!" exclaims Lars as the door begins to splinter from a second hit. Another strike shatters the door, but the thing does not leave the room it is in. the sound of the tentacles lashing about can be heard. "I think Kyoto should give it a taste of Foxfire!" says the dwarf with a grin.

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