Week 36 - In the Crypt 3

They spent the night on the ledge, in the fresh air and away from the foul stench of the hell pool not all that far below them - then in the morning Robert worked his spells as best he can. First trying to restore his wisdom and the restoring the life energy that Hebrin had lost to the spectre.

Then back to the fray - this time they spent some time searching for secret door and found one in the Balcony Area wall. The door slid sideways and they threw a shard of bone, which was glowing brightly with one of Roberts’s spells into the room beyond - to discover the room with the water elemental pool. Quickly they slid the door shut and prepared from combat. However when the door opened again tha water elemental was formed and waiting and took a massive swing at Ox who was working the door. Robert tried to dismiss it, but somehow it managed to resist the expulsion and started to flow through the door. Rudy took control of the moment by summoning his bagpipes and playing loudly - which seemed to fascinate and delight the monster. Then kept it up for nearly and hour (if you believe Rudy) while the rest snuck around the back to head further into the dungeon.

The next chamber was a surprise for the, A small stream ran through the middle of the room to another pool, surrounded by headless kneeling bodies, their guts spread out in front of them. Their heads were tastefully arranged around a shrine to the Horsemen of the Apocalypse, and sitting on a large throne was an undead Cyclops with a glowing red gem for an eye. It was reading from a stone tablet, but started talking to them as soon as they came into view. He even spoke to Cassandra, who had taken the trouble to make herself invisible first.

Battle ensued with Ox charging into the fray, and Larran following quickly afterwards. A tactic that managed to disrupt Vordakai’s spell casting and may well have saved the day. Eventually though, he did get a major spell to work, and Robert fell dead in the middle of the room. By this time they had discovered that their swords weren’t affect him, so they switched. Larrana fighting with a ham,mer and shield, Ox with a morning star and shield - and they discovered those worked.

Cassangra was getting frustrated because she couldn’t get a fireball off in away that wouldn’t catch her own folks - so she tried a lightning bolt from a wand - only to watch that dissipate harmlessly. She was reduced to casting magic missiles whilst trying to strategically hide behind a stone bench. Hebrin, tried to rescue Robert, but was hit by another spell which suddenly made him incredibly clumsy.

Then Vordakai disappeared.

Then Rudy started to back into the room, closing the doors behind him. Even Rudy knows he can’t really keep the thing fascinated for more than a minute or so …

Just then a strange humanoid creature, glowing with an eerie purple light and holding up a black leather bound book, featuring the face of a screaming demon, appeared next to Robert. It took a while or two for them to realise that he was actually a half-elf, who was trying to be friendly. Apparently he had been travelling on the Paths of the Dead when he noticed Robert’s soul pop through - looking aghast and shocked and surprised. So he had stopped by to have a look.

Leaving the rest of his story aside for the moment, they decided to trust him enough to let him try using their only raise dead scroll on Robert – which worked out quite well.

In the meantime, Cassandra and Ox had found another room - circular and filled with glowing glass jars, each containing a wisp of smoke. The strange half-elf indentified them as sould jars, and when Cassandra opened one of them, the wisp of smoke twirled and expanded, took the shape of a made and finally solidified into one of the farmers, called Giles, from Varnhold.

Then Vordakai popped back into existence and started attacking again and Rudy was forced to release the water elemental from its fascination. The born-again Robert was able to hold the water elemental back for a moment or two, and prevent it getting behind those attacking Vordakai, while Rudy cast haste and Cassandra dug the water elemental gem and passed it to the severely weakened Hebrin – who threw it onto the ground in front of the water elements - to summon a smaller water elemental to help block its path. The two flowed together in combat, and the puny two-legs were ignored, as the fought for superiority.

This time the battle was easier - Vordakai seemed to have used all of his most dangerous spells, and at least one paralysis attack was foiled by Larran’s new ring of free action.

Finally the battle was over, Vordaki defeated, the two water elementals fought to a stand still and the original larger one left as easy meat for a final magic missile from Cassandra.

It was time to sort out what had been going on and gather the loot. While Ox was chopping of the head of the now dead Cyclops, Rudy went to explore the chamber with the jars. Taking another of the jars and he shook it around for a bit before releasing a ten year old girl called Jenny. At which point Rudy went into a series of statements about cats, and not adopting them, which seemed to go right over Jenny’s head. Fortunately, he was retrained from opening more of the flasks before they decided how to get everyone home.

There were books, tomes and scrolls stored behind a stone bier, and although most of the books need some restoration work the scrolls and tomes were in readable condition. Detection spells showed that the tomes were protected by some sort of evil magic, whilst a quick perusal showed that they dealt with the worship of the four horsemen. Robert wanted to destroy them, but the new man, Peter, said he would like them. Which prompted a whole serried of detect evil spells on the newcomer - and when they didn’t detect any evil they allowed him to take the tome he wanted.

Fortunately they discovered a portable hole, on a shelf behind one of the soul jars, and that gave them a way to carry all the soul jars, the stone tablets and the stacks of coins and treasure they found behind Vordakai’s throne.

Then it was time to take stock before trying to head home. It was then they remembered that they had not found the centaur woman they had been searching for and realised that there was another temple to Charon they had not properly explored ….

Time for another night on the ledge before they continue the search ….

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