After a three-month rest in Slateholm, Tienarth’s Raiders were ready for more action. The streets bustled with visitors come to celebrate spring, mostly via imbibing indulging in winter-brewed lagers.
It happened that a potion master they’d once met in Morgansfort was once again promoting a drinking contest. A crowd gathered and many put forth bids. Once again, Azrak won the right of first quaff. Down went the slimy brew, and it did not come back up. A fog of discontent spread from his belly to his brain. Some measure of his wisdom escaped, never to return.
The next day, the party found the potion master again, and again Azrak bid up beyond all others. He sipped from a silver vial and immediately fell into a trance. For minutes, we stood transfixed by a vision. He stood at a pool of muck. His armor disintegrated into nothing, then he dove into the muck. Down he swam until his hand wrap around an axe handle. He emerged from the muck holding a golden axe. After describing the vision, they wondered if it was fantasy or prophesy.
Lambasted by Lah
Standing in the street, the comrades considered where to head next. None of the pirates were seen all winter, nor was the Crimson Disgrace seen on the horizon. A filthy transient approached them with an offer to disclose the location of treasure for a sum suitable for keeping him in constant inebriation. The treasure, he claimed, was a method for converting the undead to living. Aderian paid for a map to a cave, but they could not agree to head off to explore it. Finally, they agreed to return to Lah to seek council.
When they returned to Lah’s Retreat, Lah scolded them for abandoning their quest to find the demonic city Tosasth. He tempered is criticism with forgiveness and encouragement that they could defeat the vampire from which they’d fled in the autumn.
And so, they rode to St. Orlan with no incident.
Outraged in St. Orlan
As they approached the guard tower outside St. Orlan, the guards recognized Azrak and Ghevont as the pair who’d tried to bring a goblin slave into the city. The memory was conveyed with jovial mockery. Turning serious, the guards recounted stories of several babies stolen out windows by a dark shape, adding that these incidents had begun shortly after the party left the are of Slateholm several months prior.
It was clear, at least to Tienarth and Ferris, that a vampire, perhaps the very same vampire they’d battled, had descended to prey on the weakest of the city. It was then that they swore to return to the crypt.
Back to the Crypt
They rode to the manor where they battled the zombie wizard who attempted to escape by balloon. In the graveyard, they found the heavy door placed on top of the entrance cast aside. Azrak pull open the door and they all climbed down the narrow steps.
They walked past the statues of angelic maidens with pleading faces to find the ruined coffin as they left it. Through the door past the curtain, they returned to the room where they found a ghast amongst books. A rude stink rolled out of the room and sickened them. After a short argument, Azrak attacked. Unfortunately, the ghast cut a deep gash on Azrak’s forearm. A chill set in. He was paralyzed. The others stepped up to destroy the ghast, but Azrak remained stiff, so they began dragging him out.
When they’d reached the bottom of the stairs, another undead horror appeared to their rear. Mummified flesh twisted beneath of a once-elegant robe. The skin pulled tight over her face only sneered at the beauty of a long-dead princess. Ferris and Aderian dodged and landed blows. Eventually, they defeated her and all returned to the surface to wait out Azrak’s paralysis.
To Kill a Vampire
After a couple hours, they went back down into the crypt. They found a room with a throne before a fresco depicting funeral rites. From a table, they took a potion and a scroll. Searches of the room produced no hidden doors.
They tried another door to find a gilded sarcophagus. Moments after inspecting it, a wight burst from the box, but it was quickly cut down. Inside the sarcophagus were three small coffers of coins.
Finally, they made their way back to where they saw the vampire before, past an empty sarcophagus in a room that also displayed three fine lutes. They felt their way through magical darkness to the room covered in rat feces. Azrak mounted stairs from this room and threw open the door. Before him were the vampire and a consort, both relaxing in armchairs.
The vampire bid Azrak welcome, meeting his gaze. Instantly, Azrak felt great friendship with the vampire. Ghevont pushed past Azrak and produced a mirror. The vampire recoiled and begged Azrak to snatch the mirror. Trying to balance his new friendship with his loyalty to his longtime companions, the stepped in front of Ghevont to block the view of the mirror.
Aderian rushed into fight the other figure, who looked like another mummy. Tienarth also pushed into the room and stood directly across from the vampire. A moment later, Tienarth let loose a lightning bolt that streaked over the short 25 feet to strike the vampire just below a beautiful jeweled brooch. The blot passed through to ricochet to the right where it speared the mummy. Finally, it continued on in a diagonal path back toward Tienarth, but reached a maximum length before doing further damage.
The vampire was grievously harmed, but not defeated. He instantly turned into a cloud of gas and drifted towards the exit. Azrak made to follow his new friend. Ferris attempted to stop Azrak who immediately punched Ferris.
Suddenly, scores of rats poured from holes in the walls at floor level. The gaseous vampire slipped through those same holes as the rats advanced on Azrak and Tienarth who now stood at the top of the stairs. Tienarth let loose a magical web that caught all the rats and Azrak. The next moment, Tienarth touched torch to the web, cooking the rats and mildly harming Azrak.
Meanwhile, Ferris and Aderian fought the mummy, both being scratched and afflicted with mummy rot. Ghevont poured holy water over the mummy and she disintegrated.
The battle concluded, the team rode back to St. Orlan. Ghevont’s recent acquisition of power allowed him to cure those suffering from mummy rot.
- Characters: Tienarth/Tre, Ferris/Henry, Azrak/Nick, Ghevont/Jeff, Aderian/Jason
- Azrak purchased a dog sometime while in Slateholm.