Session #145 – Ithusar, the Crucified Vampire

In the morning of 2/23, Aderian came up with the idea of adding a door to seal up the room below the ruined tower. This proved an impractical task with no tools or materials. They packed up and headed back to St. Orlan and on the way hatched a plan to begin brewing that underground chamber when they returned. Down the mountain they went, past Dacha’s abandoned cabin and then skirting the edge of the swamp.

Just as they reached the ford in the south fork of the Belianassa River, giant bats attacked. Hocuspo quickly dispatched them with a sleep spell which also caught Morana and Saul by surprise. When the two adventurers woke, they found the all but one of the bats killed. Ollie packed up one of the dead bat carcasses. Jerker kept a giant bat alive, wrapped up in rope. Though weighing nearly 200 pounds, the extra weight wasn’t significant to the fighter wearing a girdle of giant strength.

Just over the river, they were surprised by four giant spiders. These were killed quickly. Having killed two groups of predators on the path between St. Orlan and the ruined tower, the way was just a bit safer than before (threat level now 1 in 10).

The next morning, Jerker took the giant bat to the market and spent half the day looking for a buyer. He met such a customer in the form of an old man with a hoarse voice who paid 100 gp for the beast.

For the next two weeks, Ferris spent time studying his alchemy book from which he learned a new recipe for making firebombs, flasks of self-lighting oil. He also spent some time brewing potions. Likewise, Tienarth attempted to enchant Jerker’s armor only to fail once again. Ollie purchased a mule, a small wagon and ample supplies to both build a door and begin a brewing ale. He also took the wings of the deceased bat to a tanner to be made into leather.

One evening, they gathered a crowd at their favored inn, The Iron Knight, to whom they described the volcano discovered north of Tosasth. The knowledge of another great volcano brought them some small measure of fame and intrigued some in the crowd over how this natural resource might be exploited. All were warned of the trolls encountered beneath the shadow of the volcano. Jerker produced the still-bloody heart of a troll.

Jerker still kept the heart that had not decayed at all after nearly two weeks. The same was observed with the toe kept by Ollie. Neither part seemed to be growing into a troll again, but neither were they fully dying. Squeezing the heart produced a few drops of fresh troll blood.

On 3/10, they left for the ruined tower again with the mule towing a wagon full of supplies. They stored the goods in the underground chamber and fetched Murder the druid to watch over the tower. The next morning, they set off for the river camp. On 3/12, they reached Tosasth itself and headed into its ruined streets. A few hundred yards down the main street they encountered eight zombies. These monsters were sliced up with no trouble.

On the next block, the looked up at the sound of a screech. A dark figure plummeted from the third story of an old commercial building, then transformed into the shape of an elf. The figure stood in the cool shadow of the building and called out to them for conversation. He introduced himself as Ithusar, admitted to being a former minor lord of Tosasth and now a vampire with an intense hunger. He begged them to give over their weakest member for his nurishment. Morana cowered behind Aderian.

The strange beast had the features of an elf, but wore tattered clothes and displayed prominent fangs. His skin was pallid. His most striking features were weeping sores on the palms of his hands, as if he’d been victim to a crucifixion. After some quizzing of the monster and learning little, Aderian lost his patience and hurled the femur of St. Jaludi at Ithusar. The vampire easily dodged the missile, which went wide to the right. The next moment, the transformed into wisps of vapor and disappeared.

With the threat eliminated for the moment, attention turned to Aderian’s bag and its ability to locate objects, gold in particular. The bag indicated gold in the very building in front of which they stood, so they marched in. Moments later, sluggish zombies rose from the debris to attack. As before, the five zombies were easily cut up. The party sifted through the rubble to find a small coffer with 1,700 cp, 400 sp and one gold coin.

They moved deeper into the city an confronted six skeletons, then Jerker kicked in a door before they cleared out a ruined tavern of four zombies. Sifting through the garbage, they found 1,300 cp and 100 sp. Talk turned to tracking down the Ithusar. The party urged Tienarth to use his crystal ball, but he didn’t want to try it inside the city. The group turned to return to the river camp, but before they could escape the ruined buildings, a skeletal figure in bloody rags blocked the way. Though generally fearsome in close quarters and in greater number, a single blood shroud was of little concern. Jerker busted it up with a hurled boulder.

Presently, they arrived back at the river camp where Tienarth settled in to peer into his crystal ball. He found Ithusar in a dark room looking out over the city from a respectable elevation. The room seemed familiar, but he could not remember the precise location. This echoed a conversation they had about how after more than two years, the memories of the city locations had faded. Perhaps Ghevont kept notes that they took with him. Exploring Tosasth will be a rediscovery.

End Notes

  • Treasure
    • 3,000 cp
    • 900 sp
    • 1 gp
  • Combat 2,280 xp
    • 9 Giant Bats 75 xp each
    • 4 Giant Crab Spiders 100 xp each
    • 17 Zombies 75 xp each
    • 6 Skeletons 25 xp each
    • Blood Shroud 320 xp
  • Sharing of volcano in hex 0600: 4,000 xp
  • Characters 682 xp each (combat plus discovery)
    • Aderian (fight) 757 xp
    • Ferris 750 xp
    • Hocuspo (avoid combat) 757 xp
    • Jerker (fight, strength) 764 xp
    • Mirana 682 xp
    • Nate (fight, smite undead) 764 xp
    • Ollie (fight) 689 xp
    • Saul and his Lion 750 xp
    • Tienarth (patient, avoid combat)

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