Wednesday, June 17, 2009

The Story So Far... Part 3

During their first night at the Comeback Inn, Wahleed used his magic to entrance one of the serving girls, named Aleena. For the remainder of their stay in town, she followed him around at a distance, flirting and being coy.

The party spent the next week in town, during which they learned the following facts about Borderville:

The mayor of Borderville spends most of his time throwing parties for the social elite. The town guard run the day to day operations, including all illicit activities.

The proprietor of the Comeback Inn, as well as the employees of the moneychanger and the blacksmith are former members of the town guard.

The head of security at the moneychanger's vault is the brother of the captain of the east gate.

The party attended the auction, and bought both the slaves (one of whom - Hren - they allowed to travel with them) and the silver daggers. They rented a house on the Street of Two Dogs for a year and freed the slaves they purchased, putting them to work as housekeepers for pay. They requisitioned full plate armor for their cleric, reprovisioned, hired four mercenaries (recommended by the captain of the east gate as "guaranteed dependable") and made their way back to the tomb...

...Only to find it occupied.

The entrance to the tomb had a pack of mules, marked with strange arcane symbols, tethered at the entrance. In the second chamber, they found a dwarf that had been torn in half, and had crawled back to this area before dying. Following the blood trail, the adventurers found an unconscious spellcaster, and the body of a warrior whose flesh had been torn in strips from his body.

The spellcaster, once revived, identified himself as Alaric, and told the party that he and his companions had heard of platinum being found in this region, and had travelled here to set up a mining operation. They had not been prepared for the level of danger in the tomb, and most of them had been slaughtered. The mules outside carried provisions and mining equipment the group had planned to use.

Alaric was sent back with Hren to the provision carts, only to find that Aleena had followed Wahleed from town. Leaving the spellcaster with the serving girl and the guards, the party returned to the mining location where they had last battled the Shaft Wights.

The chamber beyond the mine's entrance was blocked by a cluster of stones that stood about waist deep. Ielenia ventured into the chamber (after some difficulty with the slick surface of the rocks). The chamber was flooded, with water rising up to waist deep. The floor dropped off after about ten feet, giving way to a deep pit filled with water that looked around twelve feet deep. As Ielenia turned to head back to the party, a cold dead hand reached up from beneath the water and pulled her under.

The Shaft Wights had returned.

As Ielenia activated her ability to breathe underwater, the Shaft Wight dragged her further from the surface, biting into her neck and coloring the water with thick, black rivulets of blood. The rest of the party leaped into action, as both Meatwad and Hren made for rocks. Wahleed sent his Gen over the rocks with a lantern in an attempt to locate the fallen comrade. The Gen peered into the pool, and had barely enough time to shout a warning before more Shaft Wights rose from the water and scrambled onto the floor close to the rock wall.

Meatwad attempted to scramble across the rocks, but couldn't cross, becoming bogged down in the slippery stones. Hren vaulted the wall without hesitation, pole-axing the closest Shaft Wight with her quarterstaff, and attempting to make her way toward Ielenia. For all her bravery, she was alone against creatures far beyond her ability. Seconds after vaulting the wall, she was pulled down beneath the water as well.

Hinda brought forth the symbol of the goddess Ghen, the holy light causing several of the creatures to shrink back beneath the water, and away to wherever they came from.

Beneath the water, Ielenia fought desperately with the foul creature at her throat, but was unable to get leverage on it. The Shaft Wight tore into her again, polluting the water with more half-elven blood. Finally, the creature's claws found her heart, ending her life.

Thus perished Ielenia Galanodel.

Desperate to save both women from the undead, Meatwad attempted again to vault the rocks, but stumbled and failed the leap, toppling back onto the floor. In desperation, the Gen struck one of the Shaft Wights with the lantern. Finally, Wahleed managed to get the last creature into his line of sight, and struck them down with his magic.

One the battle was over, Wahleed retrieved Hren from the water, and Hinda revived her in short order. She was frightened and half-drowned, and her wounds from the Shaft Wight's claws still festered, but she was alive. The same could not be said for others. Hren wept for the half-elf that had set her free, and vowed to avenge her death and honor her memory.

The party skimmed the bottom of the pool after the battle, and found some more platinum nuggets and a few uncut gemstones. Meatwad was at first upset, believing that there was no way forward to the platinum he felt lay in the rocks below, but then he remembered Alaric and the mining equipment...