Kill the Vampires

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Adventure: Kill the Vampires
GM: Hamish Brown
Session: Summer 806 wk
Night: Thursday nights
Level: Med+ - type of game Heroic (the solutions will involve heroism and acts of daring which invite death).

Party

GM: Hamish Brown

PC: Thorn Party Leader
PC: Liessa Varden Mil Sci
PC: Basalic Scribe
PC: Flamis
PC: Veor

Mission

The spokesman for the commander of a small keep just outside Stone Boro presents himself and says "We got a Vampire problem too - we herd you lot sorted a Vampire problem hear abouts, and well Vampires have taken over the local manor house, well we think their Vampires they come out at night an' all. They Attacked us in Stone keep once an we repelled em but only just, we need some tuff guys to take the manor house back.

Scribe Notes

Turned up in the meeting room just as our party employer, Og, rushed in and told us that they were under attack right now and we had to leave as soon as possible. Vance, the Lord of the Bats, was already standing by to give us Shadowwings. There was just enough time for me to put Lessers on everyone else (I had already paid for mine) as well as Strength of Stones. Once we had the Wings on, we were off to the keep near Stoneboro, by the hills.

The keep was located 25 miles away and was 80ft square. One corner had already collapsed and it was there that the undead hordes were already pouring through. The defenders were making a valient effort but it looked bad. Og nearly smacked into the keep wall on landing Meanwhile, we landed outside, and attracted the attention of four hellhounds who blasted us with fire. Liessa tore a swath through the invaders while I shot at them with one of my fireball crossbow bolt heads. Thorn charged in and finished them off. Meanwhile the wraiths vanished into the earth. I took the opportunity to take a healing potion while Liessa went for the four more hellhounds that showed up. Flamis and I were ankletapped by wraiths reaching up from the ground so we took to the air.

As Liessa finished off the hellhounds by a means I care not to describe, we saw what appeared to be the invader's leader, wave a bone wand, uttered some arcane words (Nark Ik Crak), then the entire invasion force retreated.

So we headed into the fort and saw Commander Brack. He told us that, a month ago, the inhabitants of the local manor house vanished, the building became darker, and the keep started being attacked by a horde of undead. The bone wand had a mouth in it and looked necromantic. We wondered if someone was cursing the place by using a 'thrice uttered' curse. If that was the case, the phrase had already been uttered twice.

Brack didn't think there was going to be another attack that night, but we got the feeling that there was stuff he wasn't admitting to. So, we headed back to the Guild, along with a young lad called Jack, who Brack wanted trained as a knight. We ended up sending him to Newhaven. Meanwhile we got some Rank 16 Greaters from the Guild, (weapons and spells in my case), stocked up on essential supplies (two six packs of 10pt healing potions for me and a six pack of restoratives for Flamis) and did some research. Jack did tell us there was an old guy that Brack treated with respect, but we had our suspicions. The librarians confirmed the necromantic nature of the wand and told us it was made from the thigh bone of an elven child.

Flamis then did a 'Contact Other Selves' ritual.

"Who is Commander Brack's enemy?" - Eat some prawns or not, and they'll make you sick, or not.

"What is significant about Stoneboro?" - No answer

"What is the meaning of the curse phrase?" - All living are dead or dying.

"What is known about the wand?" - Ancient people's death curse. Baby once lived and was princely.

"What are we likely to find in the manor?" - Seek out your enemies and you will find your enemies.

"Where in the manor house will we find the best loot?" - Look up, down and within

Personally, I had the impression that this one of Flamis's Other Selves had been smoking waccy baccy. Anyway, we finally sorted out who was doing what.

2nd Meadow
We headed back out. Strength of Stones and Armours of Earth all around and the horses were Wildfired. Once we got back to the keep, we discovered that they were in the process of fixing the breech in the wall. So I summoned an elemental to help them. From what I was told, something unseen had smacked at it. There were cracks in the old blocks but there was no residual magical aura.

    Veor to pub patron "Do undead come in here?"
    Patron "I hope not!"
    Liessa "They probably don't serve spirits"

Next stop was the pub in the nearby village. A person there had seen the undead horde leave the manor, heading for the keep, and was attempting to drink himself into oblivion. Liessa managed to help him deal with it. We also found out that the manor house doesn't look like an ordinary building at night. Had it been cursed? Could there be a revenant involved?

So we headed to an abandoned building that gave us a view of the manor and set up an observation post. Veor was doing something really odd with ice on the floor but I stayed up in the ceiling, using a hole in the thatch roof to observe the manor.

That night, Flamis saw a shadowy undead in the hills behind the manor. Also the walls of the manor house had an odd glow.

3rd Meadow
Next morning, it was down to the pub in order to find information and breakfast, not necessarily in that order. What we did find out was the food was good as well as a rough description of the more 'public' areas of the manor.

    Liessa: What about the ones who do dark and ominous for fun?
    Thorn: I think they got gainful employment this season.

The manor had been built only thirty years ago by Lord Fald, and his wife Mary. He had then had the Keep constructed, about twn years later, to help protect the village, presumably from marauding hordes in the hills behind. He them made his own arrangements to staff it, presumably with Commander Brack, and his own troops were put in. However, I got the impression that Commander Brack and his men weren't well liked in this town, which was reinforced after talking to other people during the day, presumably because him and his men kept themselves to themselves and not mixing with the villagefolk. None of them turn up in the inn or in the local church. The innkeeper told us he had heard of one person, the gardener, who had escaped from the manor houser, the night everyone vanished but had been killed subsequently by something pulling him into the ground. The innkeeper told us that he wasn't going outside after that but staying inside was safe.

The local church was the next stop. The others waited outside while Flamis and I went in. The building had been dedicated to both Gabriel and Uriel. Also the local priest assured us that yes this place was safe and all the rituals were in place as he did it himself however, I detected no College or Pact on the man and there was no consecration in place. Again when we spoke of Brack, he seemed rather cautious at first then, as the innkeeper had done, was full of praise. Yes .. something definately odd here.

We had, however, found out from the innkeeper, that there had been a witness to what had happened to the gardener. So we went looking for this witness. Again we discovered she had no liking for Commander Brack and seemed rather concerned if we were working for him. We reassured her we were not. She them told us she had seen dark hands come out of the ground and grab the gardener by the knees. He pitched forward onto his face, and what appeared to be a tentacle, reached out, wrapped itself around his body and pulled him straight into the earth, leaving hardly any evidence. All that was left was a pair of smoking boots.

So we went up to the manor house to have a look, since the incident had occurred in the manor's gardens. I checked the walls and discovered that they were imbubed with a ritual that made them into a Necromantic Place of Power. All the windows and doors were sealed by the same ritual. The boots had no residual magic on them, and there was no magic on the ground either. Putting a Tunnelling straight down showed no caverns in the earth below. Flamis then did a flamesight ritual on one of the boots and we were able to determine that the gardener had been dragged down into the earth by one or more ghouls.

An earth elemental was called for in an attempt to bash through the manor house walls. Twice I succeeded in summoning one, and twice I failed to control it. As a result I was rather beaten up. Fortunately Flamis had a fire elemental on standby which was able, with the others help, to take down the earth elemental quickly. We decided not to go for third time lucky.

Instead we clambered onto the roof. The roof was composed of wooden tiles and were also full of the same ritual. Even magical weapons could not break or even dislodge a tile. I lassoed a chimney and climbed up to see if there was a way in there but swiftly came to the conclusion we'd need an Air Mage with Windwalking. We'd probably also need a good Namer as well .. neither of which we had.

Once back on the ground, I tried to see if there was a way in underneath with Tunellings but the ritualled walls reacted as if they were Bound Earth and the Tunnel effect would not penetrate. There were also two layers of cellars under the manor.

Just then Veor discovered that it was possible to open the front door .. and it wasn't part of the ritual or even warded or trapped. That struck me as highly suspicious. So I covered the others with a loaded crossbow as they opened it. No minds could be detected inside the revealed room and we had already discovered that the ritualled walls were impervious to Telepathy. The door was removed from it's hinges and then, for some inexplicable reason, handed over to the Fire Elemental to carry off. I then Daed the walls and the three interior doors and found they were all full of the ritual magic.

We advanced into the room and .... nothing happened. The first door around from the left was locked but Flamis was able to open it. We then moved cautiously into the next room, and figures rose from the floor, a mixture of wraiths and ghouls .. and the fight was on. Even two vampires joined in. Both of them used to be male elves, and they both seemed horrified at being vampires. The ghouls went down easy but the wraiths were proving more difficult, taking just about everything we gave them, including fire spells, mental attacks, etc etc ... Thorn and I were wading into them with weapons. Liessa had to use a Quickness, and if it wasn't for her healing, I was sure I was going to go down. Flamis nearly succumbed at the end but Thorn was able to heal her in the nick of time.

As we polished off the last two ghouls, a ghost appeared, identifying itself as the ghost of Mayor Fald. We waiting in anticipation to see what it had to say .....

To summarise, there were more nasties downstairs including two really nasty ones that were some type of elvish undead. There were also the two vampires, four wraiths (well might be two now), and a collection of minor undead minions. The necromantic field in the manor was maintained by a globe in the attic and was guarded by - something. It had been four weeks ago when the vampires had arrived had sliced up him and the rest of the family. He was so annoyed at this that he was now a revenant. Also he doesn't trust Commander Brack implicitly but he is good at what he does. Finally we put Wall of Fires against the doors while the loot and bodies were retrieved. The bodies were burnt in order to ensure they could not rise again. Three of them were the Mayor's servants, including the unfortunate gardener. He had been using a rake for a weapon.

Loot to date:

  • Ring - containing three charges of spectral weapon
  • Amulet - a variant amulet of luck, made from a dragon's tooth (+2 MR +3 DEF)
  • A collection on non magical tulwars, some of them rank 10 weaponsmithed, the rest rank 5.
  • A collection of off the rack standard issue shields.

Basically Mayor Fald was now haunting us until we fixed his problem, namely removing the undead from his house. He has no heirs, at least not any that he wants installed as Mayor here. Once we had dealt to the bodies and loot, we took him off for a long chat in private, inside Thorn's tower, where we picked up much of what was summarised above. Veor drew a houseplan based on the description from the mayor.

He also thought there could be a dark force behind Brack which may be a rival to the undead in the cellar, proably why it was Brack the curse was being aimed at. There is a third power that the elven vampires had visited, located 16 miles to the north. It was located on a flattop hill and passcodes were needed to make the tower visible and to gain access. The passcodes had to be told to two crows.

Once we were done, it was getting close to evening so we headed back to the fort, just in case that they needed help with their defenses. During our discussions, we determined that Brack was neither pacted, colleged, or cursed. Also Brack had some rather interesting armour and a hand and a half sword, both made of a curious steel based alloy, and both non-magical but very well crafted. He did however have some invested hellfires in a ring. He told us both the sword and armour had been made for his father, by the elves, as a gift in return for performing great deeds during the last war. However, we suspected he was lying. He also didn't know anything about the fortress, but he could have been lying about that too.

The evening passed without incident.

4th Meadow
We headed back to the Guild. Thorn needed decursing, as she had been hit by an Evil Eye in the last battle, and we had the loot divinated. We were also told that there were three elven brothers associated with the necromatic wand. It had been made way back past the War of Tears and the brothers had been seeking to be some sort of Power. However there had been some sibling rivalry.

Flamis spent the rest of the day investing an item with four charges of rank 8 Clensing Flame. Meanwhile Veor headed down to Slippery Rock to obtain Amulets versus Evil Eye for those who needed them.

Once done, we headed back to the fort. Again, nothing happened during the night.

5th Meadow
After breakfast, we headed north to find the fortress in the hills, all the way keeping an eye open for crows. Finally we saw the flat topped steep hill, surrounded by low scrub. The crows appeared and Thorn gave them the pass phrases. Once she did, they flew off towards the hill. Once we got to within 200 ft from the edge of the hill, we could see the cylindrical keep which was made of steel on the bottom half, and stone at the top. Strength of Stones and Armours of Earths were put on and we advanced.

Liessa had also mind linked us all and, as we started going up the hill, an evil presence entered the link. He identified himself as Lord Morgaan and had been here since the War of Tears.

We walked in the tower, and went up the stairway to the next level. Waiting for us was an elven male with fair skin, dark hair, and wearing expensive clothing and twin swords. He exuded presence and we could immediately tell this was a vampire.

He told us that the two vampires in the manor house were called Veor and Velan, and it is hought that a mortal with the same name would be instrumental in their undoing. Fhey had been around since the War of Tears. As for the wand, he wanted it back. His brother had double-crossed him and taken it but he wanted it back so he could be an elf again. As for the third brother he was now one of the Powers of Darkness, specifically Samigina, the Maquis of Dead Souls. The curse of the wand changed the target to an undead that could only be seen as such under moonlight, as well as anyone under his or her command. Also there had to be two weeks between each curse utterance. Finally he provided us with a box in order to keep the wand in as it's mere touch turned the person touching it to a zombie. Lord Morgaan also gave Veor a short sword.

Armed with this information, we headed back to the Guild to get the box and sword checked out. From what they could tell, there were no hidden surprises.

6th Meadow
After breakfast, we went to see the Duke in an attempt to rotate Commander Brack out of the keep and somewhere else, Regar's Keep perhaps. That should slow down the implementation of the curse. We also saw the elven ambassador from Alfheim. Both told us to come back tomorrow for their answers.

Flamis also did another 'talk to her other selves ritual'.

"What is Commander Brack's actual relationship to the Marquis of Lost Souls" - Mortal Partner

"What would be the result of using the wand to ritually undo its own use in making an entity undead?" - What is the sound of three hands clapping?

"What is Lord Morgaan's true intent regarding the wand?" - Many things are already unclear pertaining to this evil person with goodwill.

"What is the name and current nature of the brother inhabiting the manor house?" - Bad. Name not known. Logaan?

"What is the Generic True Name of the entity guarding the Orb?" - Air Elemental

"How may the Orb be safely destroyed?" - How may the moon remain in the sky during an eclipse.

"Where are the vampire's coffins?" - There are no coffins.

Maybe not so much waccy baccy this time. Liessa also recommended that we get silvered weapons so I went to the Guild weaponsmith and paid out 950(?)sp for a silvered estoc (rank 6 +1th +1d). I also asked for a silvered glaive but he didn't have one at the moment. Might have one tomorrow. Should really remind Flamis to make one as a backup for my magical one.

The next stop was the Temple of the One Horned God as we were on the quest for Holy Water. After some 'difficulties' we finally paid 624sp for a barrel of the stuff as well as a phallic shaped holy symbol.

7th Meadow
I have to admit, I was itching to head back to the manor house and destroy undead but there were other things to do first. So we headed back to Castle Chilton. There, the Duke told us that he might be able to transfer Brack out by the end of next week. He also gave us a writ to employ any stray Church Knights we came across.

As for the ambassador, he spoke about a civil war that resulted from a missing prince, a thousand years before the War of Tears. He also wanted the wand as well. When asked about Veor and Velan he said that they were most probably brothers.

Finally headed back to the village. Everything seemed normal when we arrived and there was time to put Strengths of Stones and Armours of Earth up before lunch. Veor then put an Armour of Ice on me.

Just then an old man and four manticores showed up. Turned out it was the Maquis of Lost Souls himself and, guess what, he wanted the wand too and wasn't prepared to take 'no' for an answer. After some deliberation, we told him no anyway so him and his manticores, now six, attacked.

Veor fell down after the first volley of manticore spikes but Liessa succeeded, somehow, of turning the demon to quivering jelly. Meanwhile I put up a Wall of Hands of Earth in attempt to use them as shielding and see if they could grab approaching manticores. Well ... it has been a while since I last used that spell.

The manticores charged to the attack and we basically let them have everything we had. Liessa took down one of the ones I has having trouble with, freeing me up to help Thorn take another down and she was then able to help Flamis who was looking in rather dire straits. But, once the fight was over, we were the ones left standing. Thirty manticore spikes were able to be retrieved and we were speculating on the best uses for them. Spear tips were popular although I wanted to turn two of them into lance tips. So yes Thorn, I guess I'll be learning stabbing pole arms as well as one edged swords after this, specifically lances and tulwars.

The demon's physical form was also finished off leaving up with two magical rings. Another trip to the Guild (isn't it great to be adventuring within easy reach of the Guild?) told us that they were the following

  • Ring containing 4 charges of fire college r15 hellfires
  • Ring containing 4 charges of fire college r15 weapons of flames

I also checked with the weaponsmith and paid 6000(?)sp for a silvered glaive (+1D r5 WS). It will do for now until Flamis can make a better one. There was also talk about making anti-stun potions but I'm not sure that actually happened. Flamis also created another Weapon of Flames investment.

8th Meadow
Purification, and the usual spells all around and we were ready to go out again. As we were saddling up in the Guild stables, a spectre rose out of the courtyard, pointed the bone wand at us and uttered the curse phrase. OK. So this is how it is going down is it? Liessa attempted to detect it but it got away. Right in the middle of the Guild Stables as well ... Guild Security may need to look into this.

Headed out to the village and got there in time to find a bunch of Church Knights in the bar and a lady attempting to convince them to help her rescue her little boy that had fallen down the well. They refused, stating that "they had been to Masada" and such tasks were "beneath them". I was very tempted to go in there and give them whatfor for behaviour unbecoming someone who is suppoed to be fighting for Good, but decided that rescuing the boy was more important. Arrogant sods! So I set up climbing rope and descended down into the well, Thorn not too far behind me. Meanwhile Liessa was able to detect the boy on telepathy. Flamis started summoning a fire elemental.

The bottom of the well was full of water, but there was no sign of the boy. Suddenly a ghoul popped up and tried to drag me under. Thorn drew her axe and hacked at the ghoul causing it to retreat. She then went in the water after it while I made sure I was secured to the rope as well as creating a new belaying point.

Thorn found a tunnel under the water angling upwards so she went up it and found the boy huddled near a large iron door at the end, above the waterline. When I found out about that, via Liessa's mindlink, I punched another tunnel downwards to intercept with it so Thorn and the boy could climb out without getting further wet. The woman was very pleased to see her son again and, while the obnoxious Church Knights were sent to clean out the manor, the rest of us, along with Flamis's new fire elemental, descended down the well to explore what lay beyond the iron door. To make things easier, Veor froze the water in the well.

The door looked like it was opened by a large iron wheel .. which was stuck. It was concluded also that the door was of elvish origin - maybe back before the War of Tears. However, before we took more drastic action, Flamis checked for traps, and deftly extracted one containing dragonflames, triggered when it contacted truesilver. We stored it for later use. It was then decided to heat up the door but, apart from it turning cherry-red, there was no other effect. Veor then decided to put up a Wall of Ice right next to the hot door. I created a side tunnel for us to retreat into but Veor decided to back off down the main tunnel. The resulting explosion splattered him against the ice in the well as well as showering him with ice and iron shards. I was rather concerned for his wellbeing when I went to rescue him but, miraculously, he survived without permanent ill-effects.

We headed down into the resulting tunnel which soon expanded into a large cavern. As far as I could tell we were under the hills behind the village. The walls were granite and the floor was littered with rubble, presumably from the ceiling but, closer inspection revealed much of it to be masonary.

Just then we found the top of a cathedral sticking out of the ground. It was dedicated to an ancient elvish deity, Varda. Hmm .. Ithilmor will be interested in this I bet. The roof tiles were holy so we carefully removed some in order to gain access to the interior. Flamis was going on about silver trees and we did find representations of gold and silver trees on the walls.

The building was hexagonal in shape with alcoves in the walls. One of the alcoves contained a consecrated book and a statuette of a woman holding an orb. Veor thought the woman looked like Isil-Eth. Flamis then said words that she had heard Ithilmor use and the orb glowed with light.

We decided to take the statuette and book with us, as well as a few of the roof tiles.

Further on, we found the top of a tower. We were also detecting an odd feeling in the local mana .. as if it was getting stronger, and the source seemed to be somewhere in the tower.

  Basalic - What is it with mages and towers anyway?
  Liessa - Heard the reason once but it was a fallacy

The easiest way in was two arches, one facing in the direction of the cathedral, the other on the opposite side. However, they were blocked by an invisible force, probably similar to a Bubble of Force. So, I summoned an Earth Elemental and successfully controlled it, asking it to find us a way inside. This one created a tunnel which spiralled down around the tower, went around the building below it, before reaching the front door. The door wasn't bound but it took us a while to figure out the opening mechanism. Once we did, the door opened into a receiving area.

The building and the bottom level of the tower was accessable to us, but attempting to reach the levels above in the tower were blocked by the same wall of force. However we were able to retrieve a set of magical pots and pans as well as a silvered throne which gave the ability of Bardic Voice. Both of these were conveyed back out.

Nothing else of interest was found in the chamber so we made our way out the way we came in. It was late afternoon by now so everything was taken back to the Guild for examination. A secret compartment in the throne had maps and documents in it. The orb on the statuette gave forth Holy Light (-10 to undead's base chance) while, in the right hands, the Book, which was written in an ancient elvish language, possibly Eldaran, could be used to invoke a blessing.

9th Meadow
Again it was the usual spells all around and we headed back to town. When we got there, we heard chanting from the church. A Michaline priest had the original trapped in a cage while preaching to him. Another was in the church sanctifying it. As far as I was concerning the Michalines had a really perverse way of converting people, especially since the cage also had spikes, pointing inwards. We left them to it ... for now.

More Michalines were found sieging the fort, if you call five Michalines a siege. Maybe they thought there was undead in there. Certainly one of the people on the palisade had a greyish complexion, but, as far as we could tell, he was human. So we took three of them with us up to the manor house. On the way, I summoned the bear. Flamis already had a fire elemental so she enhanced the Michaline's weapons with 'holy' fire. Meanwhile I got an ice armour off Veor.

Five more Michalines were outside the manor house when we got there. Together we went in the door. The idea was to the cautious, carefully checking all the time but the Michalines just charged to the front and poured into the next room, right into a collection of undead including one casting dragonflames and another with whitefire. They were battling four giant skeletons by the time we got there and were doing reasonably well. There was also a vampire, two wraiths, and an unknown type. We helped take down the skeletons then went in to fight the remaining undead. Thorn was working on the wraiths while Flamis and I were charged by the unknoewn type. We took it out with two, well aimed blows. It turned out to be a baby lich - one that had been formed within the last few weeks. Meanwhile Veor attacked the vampire ... and it unexpectedly vanished while Thorn and I finished off the wraiths.

We were down to two Michalines at the end but a quick search proved that the entire ground floor had been cleared.

Actually, it was three Michalines. One of them was barely alive. Between Thorn and myself we healed him up while Flamis created another fire elemental. While we were doing that, a ghoul hand reached up out of the ground and grabbed the knight by the foot. I attempted to slice the hand but managed to slice the foot as well still ... it did the trick. Veor then created an ice floor for us to recover on. Meanwhile the bodies were placed in the Bag of Holding.

The other two Michalines were fetched from the keep and 'blessings' and other enhancements were performed on those who needed it. Two rings had also been retrived. From what we could determine, and was later verified, one contained four charges of R20 Strength of Stone, and the other was 4 charges of R20 Armours of Earth.

Once we were ready, we went in. We already knew where the stairs up were, so we went straight there. There was a cupboard under the stairs which Veor blocked off with an icewall and also a skeleton of an old lady in a rocking chair. As it posed no threat, we left it alone.

I had also created an elemental and both of them were in front, followed by the four Michalines, as we headed up the stairs. The stairs turned into a hallway which went down the length of the building. Several doors were on each side, so we worked down the corridor with the elementals smashing down the doors and the Michalines charging in. I had to be amused at their close order combat tactics. After all of that, nothing was found on the second floor.

We then headed up to the attic. When we got there, we discovered that the area was encased in magical darkness. The elementals stepped off the stairs .. and vanished. A quick DA showed a magical area which contained a built in Banishment. Flamis invoked the Light from the statuette and some of the darkness was driven revealing four more of those large skeletons although these ones still had some flesh attached. The Michalines and Thorn charged in .. and .. as they stepped into the attic itself .. some of their protections dropped off. I resolved to bypass that area when I made my move. Instead, I provided covering fire. Meanwhile we could hear chanting in the darkness.

Flamis found she could not maintain the statuette's Light and trigger the required Quickness at the same time so she was forced to put the statue down, trigger the Quickness then reactivate the statue after placing it under the stair rail. That meant we were all literally fighting in the dark for a while. Hellfire blasted into the Michalines and Thorn. When the darkness we lifted again, Veor the Vampire had joined the fight.

We could see another wraith in the process of casting so Flamis used her goop wand to put it in a really sticky situation. Another one was hit with it's own hellfire while the lear leapt into combat, using me as a springboard. Thorn and the vampire duked it out while Veor sent a hellfire out, dropping two of the giant 'zombies'. Flamis then sent a Bolt of Fire at the vampire while Thorn hit it again, causing Veor the Vampire to fall down. This time, it did not vanish

The wraith then knocked Thorn down so Veor (our one) smacked the it back. The remaining three wraiths had given up casting and rushed towards Flamis, presumably to turn the light off, and right into a spray of dragonflames. Meanwhile I had picked myself up and tossed a Trollskin at Thorn.

Finally, the Michalines finished off the last of the giant zombie/skeletons and Veor ran the wraith through before finishing off his namesake vampire. Flamis was being attacked by the remaining wraiths so I threw a trollskin on her then charged in to help finish them off.

We rested up, and healed up, with the help of more Trollskins then, once everyone was ready, we moved the statue to the center of the room. Now we could see a dark sphere on a pedestal, located at the end of the room. I wanted to shoot it off the pedestal but we ended up knocking it off with rope. The sphere rolled across the floor, which now seemed to have a rather disturbing lean. It rolled into a corner, sat there, then cracked ... as the earth shook.

Veor caught the sphere in a cloak as it was painfully obvious that the underground cavern had caved in. I had part of the roof fall on me while Veor got his foot caught in a crack. I helped him extricate it, then started to carry him out. Meanwhile the others had found a way out.

  Thorn to Veor when he complained about his swollen ankle - "Put an icepack on it"

Once everything had settled down, we could see that the manor house had sunk into the earth with only the roof and part of the top story showing. Landslips were all over the hills and, in some cases, the hills themselves were gone. Getting into that underground mages tower now was going to be extremely difficult.

Among the loot we gained as a black, hand and a half, sword which the vampire had been using. It was highly magical, and deeply evil. According to the divinators, it would corrupt the wielder turning them into a berserking psychopath .. an anti-hero.

  Basalic - "We go berserk with forward planning"

Everything was taken back to the Guild, including the Michalines, for healing and divinations and, in some cases, resurrections.

  Flamis to Guild Security - "Leave those Michaelines alone - They're ours"

I was keen to go straight back out and finish the job but it was decided to wait a night as there were Michaelines to resurrect, curses to remove, and items to divinate. So we rested for the night and prepared to head out in the morning.

10th Meadow
We headed back out along with the Michaelines in tow. The village was a bit of a mess with a fissure running from where the well was to the manor house. Some of the buildings were teetering precariously on the edge. The manor itself was mostly underground and a real wreck. There was a bit or an argument between the caverns ranger and the ruins ranger about who would go first but we compromised on both of us near the front. I even managed to get an earth elemental to come with us, as well as the bear.

A little while later, we reached a pit that descended straight through two floors to the cellar, presumably where the stairs were. I set up a clinbing rope to faciltate our descent then we headed down. Flamis firearced me, the bear and her to the bottom, while Thorn slid down the rope. The earth elemental oozed off to find another way down.

Down the bottom was a tunnel leading off into darkness. I slid into position by the entrance with the bear on the other side hoping to catch the opposition in a crossfire. Unfortunately the wraiths decided to come through the walls. Veor put a Wall of Ice down the tunnel. Meanwile we were blasted by Blackfire. The bear went very wary and hid behind me while I was frozen. I didn't snap out of that until I was hit rather hard by the wraith next to me. Thorn rushed in to help me finish it off.

Meanwhile the rest of the wraiths were exchanging magical spells with Flamis and Veor. Some of the wraiths were also backfiring on themselves. The returning dragonflames etc finished off three of them.

As we recovered, the rest of the Michaelines and Veor reached the chamber. We then prepared to go down the tunnel to meet whatever was down there, presumably the other vampire.

So we headed down there. As we did, a wraith came out of the wall behind and showered the rear half of the party with dragonflames. I could feel the heat of it behind me. Meanwhile the front line had entered another cavern with some spiders, four more wraiths and two vampires waiting. A giant spider showd up a short while later.

The spiders were relatively easy to deal to even though they were wrapping people up in webs, including my earth elemental, but a few doses of fire magics and applications of cold steel took care of those. The giant spider was more elusive as it was bouncing around the battlefield, knocking people over.

The Michaelines were doing really well against their opponents and was resisting the wraiths magics, making it really hard for them. Flamis put up a Wall of Fire to block off any reinforcements. Blackfire had caused my earth elemental to have a panicked reaction for a while but it didn't take long until it was back to pounding spider. Just then it disappeared. Something had stepped through the Wall of Fire and banished it. This one was male and a short while later, a female one stepped though. Both of them were smoking from the effect of the Wall. The male one gave Veor a real dirty look. That was when we noticed he was carrying the bone wand.

Thorn split a vampire from head to crotch while three Michaelines fell nearly similtaneously. Veor killed a spider, just as the two unknowns teleported right across the cavern. Veor hit one of them then Thorn stepped over and sliced the remaining vampire's head off. The creature screamed then a blinding white light came out. Thorn felt really good as the vampire collapsed. The spirit was joined by the spirit of the other vampire and both sank into the earth.

I was casting trollskins about my now. The first one was on myself, the second on Flamis and the third on Thorn. I was kn ocked down before I could do Veor. By now we were out of Michaelines. Flamis was busy riposting the female unknown - doing rather well for herself too. It then vanished after knocking Flamis down.

Thorn made the male one fall down as the female one appeared and sliced Veor's arm off. The giant spider had been taken down and Thorn was close to falling down too. However I was regaining conscious so I reached out and stabbed the female one. She fell down.

I slugged down a healing potion then realised Veor was down. Unfortunately it was a bit late by the time the Trollskin went off. Oh well - I guess that's one way to get rid of a deathcurse. So him and the Michaelines were packed for resurrection.

The bone wand was carefully put in the box provided. I also DAed the two dead unknowns. Their GTN came back as Lich Lord - and Lich Lady.

Now it was time to examine the loot.