Thursday, October 24, 2013

K16 - The cystic mire

The company of dwarves had barged into an obsidian cave.  In this cave, a statue of the now dead green wizard towered over an orc's nest. Drolf jumped down and hit an orc hard that the orc expired on the spot. Kalin and Vadek engaged the two other orcs that had once worked by the mud pit.  The orcs didn't last for long.

The tactical map of the cave as used on roll20.

What caught Khazek's eyes was a massive metal double door at the back of the cave. Strangely, the door was locked using a heavy latch on his side, which meant that the door itself was locking things out of the room from the space beyond. Khazek assessed the tracks in the dirt: This way hadn't been used in a few weeks at least. Of course, he should have waited for the rest of his companion, but this is not how the ranger rolled: Khazek pushed the latch off and cracked open the door. A whiff of bad air blew in his face. This air wasn't the kind that explodes, but rather the kind that snuff candles. The danger wasn't immediate, but in order to proceed beyond this gate, there would be a need for engineers to pump fresh air from the surface. His ear caught some expression of disgust amid some other noises coming from the ceremonial mud pit.

Kalin looked upon the dead orc and summarily went over the content of the table. A rusty sword, a scrawny quill and a piece of parchment on which a series of 6 tick marks were inscribed. He walked to the mud pit to inspect its content. Donarik was already knee deep into it, hacking at one of the six cysts writhing near its surface. A pool of dark orc blood gushed from the gashes that the axe left. His attention was rather drawn by a trickle of light colored blood coming from the base of the pillar against which he was leaning. Drolf joined him, and attempted to understand where the blood came from. Finally, Vadek arrived. The grumpy sergeant pulled the obsidian rod from his belt and poked at the pillar. To his surprise, the pillar appeared to be hollowed. Kalin had by then joined in the fun and was busy slashing at another cyst. The trickle of blood from each pillar seemed to be feeding the cysts.

Uneasily, Drolf took upon himself to attempt to smash open the pillar near its base. He expected it to be filled with blood of some kind. The pillar was made of rather thin pieces of slate: a fist-sized hole was made by his mace. Inside, he spotted something that looked like a ribcage, and smelled a horrible stench. Vadek pried the slate off using the handle of his hatchet. When the slate gave way, the sorry body of an elf slipped out and flopped on the ground. The elf, still alive, was staring into the void and waved his hand feebly. A dagger of high quality and unknown make was thrusted into his heart. The trickle of blood came from that wound.

The other dwarves  followed suit and freed the 5 other elves. All were in the same sorry predicament. The dwarves couldn't bear to see such suffering, and as they established that these elves were beyond first-aid care (!), Drolf decided to end the suffering of the elf that was the closest to him. His axe fell on the elf and caused a giant flash of green light that blinded all of them for a brief moment. The shockwave of light was felt through their bodies, was unsettling.  Donarik felt something inside tear. From the elf's body, a vaporous shape was defining itself and getting upright. The dwarves recoiled for a moment as the wraith, apparently oblivious to them floated up before turning around gently.

The wraith towering over the orc's nest.
The wraith's attention zoomed on Donarik. The wraith descended and extended a hand towards the ranger. Donarik, remembering the wraith incident in Thranduil hall, pulled his elven sword in hope to scare the spirit away. The wraith was specifically interested in the elven blade, unfortunately. It grappled the sword at the hilt, which sent a nauseous and icy wave through Donarik's body (a mere 2CP on the sword). Donarik, not a dwarf to let go, yanked back. He managed to regain control of the sword but at the cost of a longer exposure to the wraith. Donarik was woozy at that point, and certainly not fast enough to dodge the final embrace of the wraith which left him unconscious.  The shock had been such that he even suffered from internal organ failure (4HP damage spilling over from FP damage). Donarik wasn't there anymore to see Khazek and Vadek charge and hit the wraith hard enough to make it give and take off away from danger. In the process, Vadek did establish that the obsidian rod was capable of hitting wraiths. The wraith meandered away from the dwarves. It quickly seemed to become oblivious to them all over again. Khazek waved his elven blade up in the air, but the wraith was already well on its way to exit the cave through the passage heading to the surface.

Khazek and Drolf got particularly interested in the dagger stabbing the elf's heart. The dagger seemed to be very old and of the highest quality. Kalin, a master armorer, assessed it and concluded that the alloy used were so ancient as to be unknown to him. Drolf wiped the dagger and sheathed it under his belt.

The dwarves decided to give peace to another elf, but this time, they staked around the corpse, with either elven blades or obsidian rods at the ready. Drolf pulled on the dagger and beheaded the elf in one combined action. The shockwave hit Gimvar hard and forced him to move back. As the wraith was separating from the body, all sorts of magical weapons were swung into it. This caused a new conflagration which was withstood by most dwarves. Most of them except for Gimvar, who was now about to collapse of shock.

The dwarves decided that they couldn't afford mercy to be granted to more elves. Gimvar pointed out that there could be some 1000 orcs running down the tunnel to meet with them at any time. Donarik was unconscious, Gimvar was winded, many of the warriors were tired or wounded. They decided to slip out before things got too difficult.


  1. Just FYI, I know that Khazek had grabbed one of the ornate daggers as well.

  2. Yes, you have the second one. The other fours are still doing their job downstairs.