Thursday, January 14, 2010

Skarwall Keep – Haunted Traps & the Chained Spirit

  • Characters: Aramir, Forkbeard, Henzio, Lazbin, Sentalial, They Call Him Carn, Trebbor
  • NPCs: Alimae
  • Synopsis: With the challenge of the main gate met and won, the group into the entry corridor. Aramir ghost steps to the far end and explores what is above the group. Before he can return to the others, he finds another ambush waiting for his companions as massive skeletal guardians are manipulating the portcullis from above. Adorned with arrow slits and murder holes, the path erupts with violence as the detectable members of the group proceed to the second portcullis. Lazbin magicks a portal to the protected archers revealing skeletal minotaur guardians. The others cannot join the mage fast enough as cold oil pours from the ceiling tearing their flesh. As the group focuses on the archers, reinforcements arrive from above via a stairwell. Fighting well as a group, the warriors destroy the guards and move upstairs to explore. A different flight of stairs leads down once again and the adventurers begin the haunted crawl. Continual light spells are aglow in all of the corridors and haunting noises permeate the stone walls. The group enters an ash-coated kitchen complete with oversized furnaces. During the investigation, a trap is sprung and the room is bathed in flame. Fire ghouls peel from the crematory ovens and attack the party. Blows are exchanged but Sentalials holy slashes destroy the first, then the second. Forkbeard moves beyond the kitchen finding more skeletal minotaurs defending a courtyard. The door is quickly closed and that ends the encounter. Another flight of stairs returns the group to the second floor where they creep through a war room, a guardian sentry post and a mess hall for warriors. Lazbin ventures beyond the group, finding the floor’s corridors twisting and turning before a soft candle glow approaches. Wizely returning to the others, Lazbin rejoins the group as they continue to a grand hall complete with blood-soaked flooring. Emerging from the shadows is a menacing spirit draped in chains that drag to the floor and seemingly pass through to the level below. The taunting begins as the group is flanked on either side by spectres. The battle erupts but the distance spirit is vile as the four chains emerge and stretch to Defenders still standing in the corridor outside. The focus is on the specters as Lazbin’s spell disables two and the warriors work to destroy them first. The chains of the spirit are exacting as each hit pulls a little piece of the soul away. After the last of the spectres are obliterated the group breaks into the grand hall and surrounds the chained spirit. After each trade of blows, the chains surge with supernatural energy revitalizing the spirit. Lazbin releases a particularly lethal blast of fire, but the mildly damaged undead continues the assault. The demoralized wizard abandons the party is search of the spirits source of power, stumbling down a flight of stairs before entering into a witch’s hovel. Hanging from a mesh sack is a halfling who praises Lazbin and begs for freedom. The halfling Alimae begs for the wizard to hurry as her captor has recently left to explore the noises of battle above. There is no chain for the mage to destroy as he extracts critical information from the prisoner. She states that he and his companions attack the chained spirit of Skarwall, but unless the sources of his power are destroyed first, he is nigh unstoppable. His friends are going to die. The attacks are unrelenting as the chained spirit targets Sentalial and reaches through the helmeted paladin, ripping out his soul from within the plate mail armor. The others attack, finding their blows striking true but each round the chains are aglow with supernatural power and whisps of ectoplasm repair the body of the spirit. As Sentalial grows weaker, they hear the shouting of Lazbin. The wizard has returned with vital information and calls for immediate withdrawal. The party complies and escapes from the grand hall, the laughing of the spirit echoing throughout the second story. Regrouping at a temporary sanctuary, the rattled Sentalial is thrashed and cannot go on without major restoration. Introducing herself as Alimae, the halfling repeats her warning to the others and can serve as a guide to help them. Any action now is going to involve an extraction from Skarwall Keep. But which way is the safest?
  • Encounters: five skeletal minotaurs, two cinder ghouls, a chained spirit, five spectres, a halfling prisoner.
  • Achievements: infiltrated Skarwall Keep, discovered sections of the first and second floors, encountered the chained spirit and learned of a potential weakness, and survived the encounter to live a few more moments.

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