- November 29, 2015
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- The Red Knight of Damara (Saga of the Vaasan Knight #1)
- Prestige Class - The Wild Guardian
- Prologue: City that Never Sleeps
- The Road Home (Saga of the Vaasan Knight #2)
- Hunter in the Darkness
- A First Lesson (Preludes #1)
- The Mistress of the Cross-Trade
- An Unlikely Visitor (Preludes #6)
- Rogues Gallery - Alyanna d'Thuranni
Legacy Tales - Hell's Basement
Constabe Dreng filled the party in on the situation at the jail, and told them they could keep whatever they found securing whatever was down there, and a base fee of 10 GP each, supplemented as appropriate for 'hazard pay.'
Accepting the deal, the heroes descended into the darkness of the deep shaft in the floor of the watchhouse's lone jail cell. After an eighty foot drop, the shaft opened into a large chamber that looked like it had once been part of an underground cellblock. Water seeped through the ruined walls, settling into dark murky pool in the middle of the room. The remains of a destroyed lift and winching system lay strewn about. As they explored the room, the space was suddenly filled with a cacophonous roar of screams and howls, echoes of the cries of those prisooners who burned to death in this room. The unsettling manifestation intitially caused no harm, but an instant later, the surface of the dark pool of water began rippling around the ruined lift and two ectoplasmic spirits rose up, dripping and horrible, to attack.
After the fight, the party moved westward through an open doorway and into what would prove to be the entral chamber of an old, abandoned underground prison. Both this main room and the chamber they had emerged from showed signs of a great fire having occurred in the past, with suit stained walls and scorched materials everywhere. Four wings branched out from this room, each with a faded bronze plaque announcing each wing's name- "Hell's Basement" for the eastern wing from which they'd entered; "The Oubliette" to the north; "Reaper's Hold" to the west; and "The Nevermore" to the south.
As they looked around, they were beset by a large pack of skeletons who appeared to have once been prison guards. After only a few moments of combat, the skeletons burst into flame and exploded. Upon detecting the explosions, their captain joined from a nearby guardroom down the northern passage- a headless flaming skeleton wielding a greataxe. During the battle, Bondisario leapt into a deep well in a corner of the room to escape the wrath of the flaming skeleton, who had proved a perfect foil to his aquatic nature. Finding a set of keys in the captain's room, the party realized they had found an important tool.
Rather than continuing north and risking more flaming skeletons, however, the party instead went west into the Reaper's Hold. As they explored the guard rooms at the front of the wing, they encountered a particularly nasty haunt that later research by Brother Markus would identify as "The Mosswater Marauder," a ghostly dwarf with a horrific and tragic tale. The Marauder was accompanied by three ghostly severed heads, who attacked the party in earnest.
Upon overcoming the Marauder, the party searched the guard rooms and found a locked secret door. They tried the keys they ha obtained, but soon learned that the captain's keys only worked on the mundane doors in the prison. After failing to force the door open, they moved into the cellblock proper.
Reaper's Hold proved to be the largest block in the prison. To its south was a large torture chamber, silently watched over by a grim and foreboding iron maiden. On the wrack the party found the skeletal remains of the warden, who had clearly been tortured to death. His warden's badge was wedged into his jaw and used to shatter his face. His set of keys rested inside his pelvis. As Logrash used his field medic's skills to inspect the remains, the body revealed the grisly truth of the warden's demise, including broken bones, severed hands, dislocated hips and shoulders, a shattered jaw, and numerous long, thin needles that had been driven into his ears, eye sockets, elbows, hips, and knees.
As the party continued to search the room, Logrash succumbed to the spirit haunting the "Mourning Maiden," throwing himself inside and believing himself to be impaled by ghostly iron spikes. Even as Twitch and Bondisario tried to free him, they were in turn attacked by crawling claws that sprung out of a bloodsatined basket near the wrack- clearly the severed hands of the long-dead warden.
After freeing the half-orc, and disposing of the claws, they searched the room and found another locked secret door. Trying both sets of keys,they were disappointed to learn that none of the keys fit. After unsuccessfully trying to force their way in, they decided to go back to the other secret door they had found and try the keys again. The warden's keychain had the key to unlock the first secret door, which was the entrance to the prison armory.
Inside they found several high quality suits of armor and weapons, as well as an enchanted mace and potions of healing and a magic rope.
Moving on, they then entered the Oubliette. True to it's description, there was a wide, thirty foot deep pit in the center of the cellblock with an iron grate fixed on top. As they approached, a ghostly wraith sprang from the pit, floating in midair and striking at them with its massive greataxe. This proved to be the most difficult fight so far, as members of the party dropped one at a time, and were brought back by administering healing potions. At one point, Twitch spotted several shinies at the bottom of the oubliette, including a magical sword and another set of keys! Using his new magic rope, he descended into the pit and came back out, tossing the sword to Logrash.
In the end, the party had triumphed, but at great cost. Already suffering from the consitution draining effects of the Mourning Maiden, Logrash had absorbed quite a bit of negative energy from the attacks of the wraith. Each of the party members had been grievously wounded, and yet there still remained one more wing of the prison to explore. Later research, again by Brother Markus, would identify their wraithlike attacker as a hideous former prisoner known only as "The Lopper."
Choosing to wait and catch their breath, the party prepared to go back and check the second secret door before clearing the last part of the prison...
TO BE CONTINUED