Last Wednesday at Pawn & Pint was the first session in three weeks. I was not dead. Nope, for two weeks I was out at sea enjoying ten days away from the internet, the phone, and most of the world. It was really relaxing and I even started seeing dragons in the sky.
In Martinique, we stop in a French bookshop and then stopped at an old library with many fabulous old books and architecture. We also wandered around the port looking at the buildings and snapping a few photos with the phone before heading back to the ship. So yes, when I am on vacation, I end up where they keep the books.
The Wednesday before last, most of the party was away for the holiday, so I enjoyed the evening as a player. As a third level elven druid, I managed to hold my own against an onslaught of goblins after I turned into a brown bear. With the help of some elven hunters, the party managed to survive.
So…where did we leave off…
The party was exploring a massive underground city (and for those of you who are reading the books, this city does not feature in them, so there are no spoilers here). They were heading toward a library, passing the remains of many dead bodies. The stone buildings along the main road, an eerie reminder of how quiet a dead city can be.
Then the silence came to an end. Ahead of them, past a fountain, the dead woman with a glowing greatsword, plate armor on her shoulders and arms, and a tattered cloak, was rushing toward them (Howl neglected to tell the other about seeing her in his vision). To add insult to injury, the bones of several of the dead were rising up around them.
Oh, and before I forget, Montel, a ranger that they seem to have forgotten about for several weeks turned up in the midst (this is how DM’s add people to a session when there is no logical way to explain their presence).
At the first sign of trouble, Elrik turns invisible and heads toward an alley. Cynder, using his connection to the energy around them, summons a ball of fire around the approaching set of bones in the armor. The dead Queen.
Montel uses his powers to focus on the quickly approaching threat. He fires a pair of arrows at her, but each shot misses its mark.
Ishen offers the blessing of Felis on Wilby, Montel, and Unferth before she moves away from the four skeletons that had risen from the ground and were approaching the party.
Two of the skeletons converge on Howl, who was leading the party to the library, and one manages to claw away some flesh. The other two skeletons attempt to hit Wilby and Quai, but both of them come up short.
Wilby disengages from one skeleton and shoots it as he retreats to a safer distance.
Quai marshals his skills and attacks one of the skeletons three times, hitting twice, but the unholy construct remains standing.
Howl uses his powers to move quickly to a nearby alley, which happens to be where the invisible Elrik moved.
Unferth slams his axe twice into one of the skeletons, breaking off pieces, but not destroying it.
Gemma tries to use her crackling energy to destroy a nearby skeleton, but both of her shots are off target.
The skeleton in armor continues to move, running right over the top of the fountain. Her feet don’t even touch the ground. Cynder blasts her with another ball of fire, but all she does is speed up her movement, covering 100 feet in a just six seconds.
Montel moves away from the four skeletons around them and shoots twice more at the skeleton in the armor. One shot bounces off her armor, the next, off her ribs.
The skeletons surrounding the party manage to hit Unferth, but the other three miss Gemma, Cynder, and Quai.
Wilby calls upon Felis and burns one skeleton in holy fire as Quai once again attempts multiple blows against the skeleton near him, though he only manages to hit one out of the three blows.
Howl, from the cover of his alley, sees the skeleton in the armor once again has her feet on the ground. Using his characteristic move, he covers the ground under her feet with grease. The pool of slippery ground impacts Unferth and another skeleton. Fortunately, Unferth retains his balance as the simple skeleton falls. The fearsome dead woman with the greatsword remains standing as well.
Unferth holds for a moment, waiting to see if the skeleton will get up. When it doesn’t, he hits the dead woman with his axe. But he never expected the tattered cloak to have a mind of its own and his axe is yanked from his hands and flung away.
Gemma, in spectacular fashion, trips just as she tried to blast a skeleton. Her shot hits a nearby building, nowhere close to her original target. Adding insult to her embarrassment, her second shot goes just as far off as the first, just in the opposite direction of the threat. (Two critical fails back to back.)
Elrik tries to cause some confusion. He suddenly appears next to Howl and changes his appearance to be that of a woman roughly the same size as the skeletal warrior.
Cynder hits her with a series of energy missiles, blowing off bits of bone.
The dead woman with the greatsword is not distracted by Elrik and she cuts into Unferth twice with her sword. Fortunately for the barbarian, his hide is thick and slashing wounds don’t bite too deep.
Montel, having moved to get a better angle, shoots the dead Queen twice with his bow as three of the four normal skeletons continue to attack the party (one keeps trying to stand by cannot keep its feet). Of the three, one tears into Unferth and another rips flesh from Cynder.
Wilby, using his bow, shoots twice, missing with the first shot, but the second one does enough damage to the skeleton his flames damaged that it crumbles to the ground.
Quai, frustrated with the skeleton, managed to finally destroy the one he had been working on before turning to hit another one.
Howl, not seeing other magic he can use, pulls out the crossbow he carries and attempts to hit the dead woman, but his shot goes long.
Unferth pulled out his magical sword, but both of his swings are deflected by her armor and the cloak.
Gemma, suffering the disgrace of the double miss, blows the head from last normal skeleton on its feet. Bone flies everywhere in a spectacular hit (crit hit after the two crit fails).
Elrik turns invisible again and moves out of the alley.
Cynder summons daggers of energy into existence and swirls them around the dead woman in armor, sending bits of bone into the air. However, the woman’s cloak rips some of the daggers from the air. The dead Queen then swings at Unferth. Perhaps distracted by the daggers, she misses with the first swing, but connects with the second one as she moves out of the swirling energy.
Montel continues to shoot his bow at the dead woman. He wants to knock the sword from her hands. His first shot hits her bones, the second bounces away. Neither disarms her.
The normal skeleton continues to try to stand while Wilby tries to shoot the dead Queen. Neither is successful.
Quai has moved closer now that the other skeletons are destroyed and tries to hit the dead Queen three times, hitting only with his last blow.
Howl’s crossbow misses again and after Unferth finally connects with his sword, the tattered cloak rips it from his hands. He pulls a smaller axe and attempts a second blow, but that one fails to connect.
Gemma is now doing 50/50 with her crackling energy, but the dead queen continues to fight on.
Elrik, invisible, grabs Unferth’s great axe and carries it over to him. The weapon hovers in the air above the skeleton that finally gets back to its feet.
Cynder holds his attack as the dead Queen swings at him twice, hitting once and missing the second time.
Monetel shoots two more arrows, hitting once and missing once.
Wilby calls upon Felis’ power again and burns the skeleton in armor with holy fire.
Quai tries three times to hit the dead woman, but each attempt fails to land a blow and Howl shares in Quai’s luck, missing with his bow.
Unferth grabs his floating axe and strikes the normal skeleton that just got its feet, destroying it with two solid blows.
Then, as is her character trait, Gemma hits the dead Queen with crackling energy, adding yet another finishing blow to her list of accomplishments.
The party, jubilant at having killed the powerful skeleton, pauses a moment as nearly all the lights in the city dim and some even go dark.
A bit of chaos sets in as Elrik rushes forward and quickly rips the armor from the dead woman and rushes toward another alley. His mind is immediately assaulted by the armor and he feels immense guilt over all the wrongs he has committed in his life.
Wilby takes a moment to heal Unferth.
Elrik tries to strengthen his mental defenses and then he tries to identify the powers the armor has. All the while he touches it, he continues to feel more and more guilty. However, he discovers the armor is not complete. It needs other parts to fully function. With all of the parts, it can absorb negative energy and use that power to animate things, such as skeletons as well as power the city. It also has a very active defense in the form of the cloak.
Wilby notices that Ishen, who had been silent after the initial attack began, has picked up the great sword and is trying to conceal it behind her back.
Elrik starts asking others if anyone has nothing to feel guilty about. Both Quai and Unferth are uncomfortable around the armor. Wilby has no interest. Howl and Gemma have started to investigate other buildings nearby. Elrik grabs his own cloak and puts the armor and helmet in the cloak so they can be carried.
In the distance, where the castle and the large six-legged creature was, a loud rumble echoes through the city. Everyone quickly heads to a building. Howl and Gemma had already entered a different one and Howl has started to summon his special hut.
After a short discussion about staying or fleeing, Ishen insists that someone goes in search of Howl and Gemma. Wilby is watching her, as she does not seem exactly herself. When Ishen gets the chance, she takes the armor and quickly puts it on.
Elrik tries to identify the sword that Ishen is holding. The armor again assaults his mind, but he is able to hold it off to confirm the sword is part of the set of armor and highly powerful itself. Together they can sustain the life of the wearer.
Ishen tells them that she can only hold back the armor from her mind for so long. The prior wearer of the armor had died long ago and it needed a replacement host and she was compatible with it. They all must leave now before the armor demands she silence them to prevent anyone from releasing the world eater. She is the only one that can keep the world eater in check by draining away its power.
She also tells them to make sure the Senzar never find the city.
Unferth doesn’t want her to sacrifice herself, but she assures him that the armor will sustain her for a very long time.
They quickly rouse Howl and Gemma from the hut and everyone heads out of the city (doing some minor looting on the way). Back at the waterfall to the drainage tunnel, Elrik using his power to break open doors against the loose rock and they end up blocking the tunnel they used to get into the city.