Campaign of the Month: November 2007

Varis: The Broken Land

Chapter 2: There and Back Again

9th of Equos

As morning dawns the group gathers at the Wavecrest Inn to have breakfast and discuss their goal: investigating further into the strange and dangerous Ceatharn Woods. They wait for Alleron who doesn’t show up and instead a young tawny-furred catfolk woman named Saris appears telling them that Alleron has taken ill and cannot join the expedition.

Alois goes off on his own to talk to go to the Court House and the dungeons beneath it to retrieve a dog he had kept there after knocking it out during the previous night’s harrowing encounter. He finds the dog, in the morning, to be completely normal.

Naras and Cherin wander around town in search of a expert in animal behavior named Eileen Cassidy when a group of drunken sailors throw a rock at Naras and insult him. Alois appears from hiding and knocks one of the men unconscious and orders them to stand down in the name of the Order of the Light. The sailors are too drunk or stupid to listen and they begin gearing up for a brawl when Cherin unleashes a gout of flame into the air, sending the sailors sprinting in all directions. The townsfolk also react to the sudden burst and begin crying of witchery and demonic magic.

A middle aged, olive-skinned woman comes up to them and tells them they may want to lay low and she offers her home as a refuge and as they walk she introduces herself as the very woman they’ve been looking for: Eileen Cassidy. She tells them that the people of Harborage have lost much to magic and the fear of what they do not know is strong. They reach her humble home and they talk to her about the horrific behavior of the animals and she has very little more to tell them of that. She does mention an old ruin in the heart of the forest that could have some answers. The ruin is underground and has long been blocked by a magical shield.

The group leaves her house, taking along her gift of a healing potion, and heads into the forest which is peaceful and calm during the day. By mid-day they find the ruins, barely more than a few stone pillars and arches covered in ivy. A stairway leads downwards and the group finds no magic shield protecting it. They venture down and find themselves in a small room with a fountain covered in greasy, brownish red stains. They find two hidden doors and within moments find themselves attacked by a carrion crawler on the edge of a deep pit. After barely fending it off they find a moldering library and several magical scrolls of necromancy.

They leave and go to the second hidden door and find a long corridor that opens up on a huge, shadowy chamber; pillars support the roof and the floor is covered in bones. Niches along the walls house rotted corpses. On the far side of the room is a massive altar of obsidian. Behind the Altar is a massive rotted skull, draconic in origin. They move through the chamber, bones crunching beneath their feet, and gray energy wreathes around the altar and a ghostly figure in ragged robes appears. “You trespass on holy ground, your souls now belong to the Reaper,” it says and gray energy erupts from the altar and flashes across the room to the niches in the walls and skeletons and zombies begin moving all around them.

Alois calls upon his god and Pelor’s radiance is so great that many of the undead creatures flee or cower and the group flees the hidden chamber, slamming the door closed behind them and finishing up the skeletons that had escaped. They run up the stairs to the safety of the forest and the walls begin to crumble around them.

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