Dungeons and Dragons – Session #2
The Necromancer’s Lair
Looming before the team of six brave warriors was the wide mouth of a natural, rocky cave. Together they entered the cave, Ember detecting magic as they moved deeper into darkness lit only by flickering torchlight. They avoided a simple pit trap with ease and traversed the pit using a small alcove. Deeper into the cave, Ember detected traces of necromancy in a chamber ahead in the form of six deathly figures. Four shuffling zombies swayed in the center of the chamber and two creaking skeletons hovered near the entrance, prepared to flank anyone who entered.
The team fell into a strategic formation and prepared for battle with the filthy undead. Using a light orb, Ember filled the room with light and a surprise attack on the reanimated corpses commenced. Unlike his earlier battles, Vincent struggled to take down a simple skeleton and earned some injury to his shoulder and arms. Rinehart managed one swift blow to the neighbouring skeleton, but seemed distracted following the initial attack and left herself vulnerable. Drogan, in an impressive feat of marksmanship, blew the head off one of the four zombies in the chamber causing rotting flesh and brain matter to fly in all directions.
Frihiri sent fire bolts at the zombies while Baxan breathed his icy breath over them. One particularly challenging zombie was shot in the eye socket with an arrow from Ember’s crossbow and was then impaled on Baxan’s pike. Frihiri disintegrated a zombie in one hit with a ball of acid, leaving behind an almost liquid puddle of necrotic flesh and earning a fearful respect from everyone in the team. The remaining undead were taken care of by strategic crossbow shots, fireballs and swords arcing through bone.
Following the battle, with little injury, the team noticed two tunnels which led out of the central chamber. Ember detected magic in both chambers, the right with more general magic than the left. They entered the right cavern to find a small bedroom with a mysterious jewelled necklace and a glowing red ruby, as well as some gold and silver pieces. Frihiri claimed the necklace, which appeared to have some enchantment, and Ember claimed the red ruby which was suspected to have the power to summon a fire elemental.
After a short rest, the six continued on their journey and entered the second tunnel with a sense of foreboding. The sharp, rocky walls soon widened into another large chamber containing three still bodies lying on surgical tables with a bucket full of rotting, severed limbs next to each table. This second chamber was full of the stench of rotting flesh and long-dead corpses.
Together, the team begin an attack on the three bodies. Baxan, Vincent and Drogan snuck into the chamber and began hacking at the motionless limbs of the corpses. It wasn’t long before necromancy woke them from their eternal slumbers and they began to attack. To everyone’s horror, the severed limbs in the buckets also began to shift and shuffle with grotesque signs of life.
Vincent, who was clearly having a difficult day, was wounded by a severed hand which leaped from the bucket, gripped him by the throat and left deep, bloody gashes around his neck. Baxan and Drogan took down the two zombies despite difficulties encountered by the severed hands which leapt and scurried around the room as if mocking them. Ember sped into the room and flipped the still quiet bucket of limbs over and placed her weight on it to prevent them from waking, while Frihiri sent fire bolts shooting into the room, lighting the chamber up with flashes of light.
Rinehart was suspiciously silent during the initial battle, frozen in horror at the sight of a familiar face. Everyone was startled when she sped into the room, uncaring to the fierce battle around her, and violently shook the only inanimate corpse in the room.
The battle continued as scurrying hands were crushed under boots and moaning zombies were hacked to pieces. One particularly acrobatic hand gave the team some trouble, causing further injury to the already bloody Vincent and Baxan, but was finally taken out by Drogan.
Meanwhile, Rinehart sobbed over the still corpse of her beloved husband. The team offered their condolences and support, but could not prevent an unquenchable fury igniting within Rinehart. She wanted the blood of the thing responsible.
After healing some minor injuries, the group left the scattered corpses behind to enter the final chamber. The chamber was lit by black flames glowing with an eerie purple light. At the back of the chamber was a prone body on an altar; just waiting for reanimation. At the center stood an elderly man with dank, ripped robes brandishing a scimitar. Ember knew from his garments and the presence of his holy symbol (a skull hanging on a pike) that this man was a Necromancer Cleric who worshipped the Demon God Orcis.
Furious at the inconvenience caused by killing his undead creations, the man began to exclaim, “I have done nothing wrong. I took only bodies which had been killed by the Water Weird!”
But his excuses meant nothing to the team, and they quickly began an attack. Baxan began by slicing the necromancer with his axes, while Ember used the fearsome power of Inflicting Wounds, slicing him open and causing his skin to bubble with black, infected tissue. Drogan used his unusual weapon to shoot the necromancer and Frihiri used her reliable fire bolt to light him up. Vincent and Rinehart slashed and speared him, both roaring in fury, but this man was the most powerful foe they had ever encountered and still he would not die.
Although clearly injured, the necromancer chuckled and focused his anger upon Ember. Around him an iridescent purple light glowed as he channelled his power. Before Ember a disfigured hand emerged from the dark light and hovered towards her. An unusual feeling of cold came over her as the hand approached, and she knew she could do nothing to prevent this Necromancer’s attack. The hand gripped her around the throat, icy pain shooting through her body and draining her fiery energy until she collapsed, unconscious.
Now, furious that one of their own had been hurt, Drogan and Frihiri finished the Necromancer off with a bullet and a bolt of fire. His death was satisfying to no one more than Rinehart, who felt intense relief now that her husband was avenged. Now she could grieve.
Ember was revived and the team explored the room. On a natural rock shelf Baxan located a strange glowing box. Without thought, he reached for the box, only for a dark magic to sweep over his hand, blackening it but not causing any serious damage. Or so it seemed. Ember, however, was able to take the box without danger and read its inscription.
“I wait for her blood to awaken me, and those of her ilk to find me.”
Exhausted, and ready to return to the town now that their mission was over, Drogan set fire to the remaining chamber and they returned to the mouth of the cave, only to be surprised by the presence of a huge wall of water roaring furiously in the lake. The Water Weird.
Ember, with the help of two Clerics, managed to purify the Water Weird with their magic and found the source of its dark anger; a pure black dagger surrounded in an aura of horror and mystery. Frihiri used her Mage Hand to carefully wrap and store the dagger, and together they returned to the town.
Once back at Iron Hill, the townsfolk celebrated joyously. As a reward, the six were offered letters of recommendation and gold from a somewhat insulting and arrogant Baron, but they were grateful all the same. Now, finally, they could rest, for they did not know what the following day had in store for them…