Thursday, January 11, 2018

Frostgrave RPG Campaign: The Summoners' Tale - Chapter VI - Lair of the Lich Lord

After resting for the night with the Rangifers, the party set off toward the receding glacier.  The area through which they traveled was lightly wooded but soon opened into what had once been an area of wealthy estates on the edge of old Felstad.

They were guided by Braanx the Rangifer.  Now that Atlantia was a wizard in her own right, she summoned an animal familiar.  This was a wolf that she named Chuck.

The party soon came to an ancient temple still half buried in the glacier.   Chuck the Wolf was sent forward to reconnoiter. They had placed on him one of the treasures they had gained on the wreck of the Dracolyth, the Eyes of Amoto, a pair of amulets that let the wearer of one see through the eyes of the wearer of the other.   

At the entrance to the temple, a half dozen cultist, led by a cultist Templar, were unloading a large ornate casket-like box from an oxen drawn sled.

The party moved quietly through the ruins of a nearby estate, hoping to surprise the cultists and force an entrance to the temple.

The walls of the old estate proved excellent cover as most of the party moved into position.

All that is, except An'varr himself who stubbed his toe on a fallen rock and let out an involuntary shout. Garamond the Treasure Hunter rushed to his aid, forgetting the danger from the nearby cultists. The demon-possessed Greg the Bear proved surprisingly adept at hiding himself from observation after his master's error.  

An'varr used the error as an opportunity.  After being shot at by the alerted cultists' bowmen, An'varr feigned that, as a Summoner, he was seeking to join the forces of the Lich Lord.  Four of the cultist went forward to disarm An'varr and Garamond and lead them cautiously into the temple.  As the majority of the cultists were now out in the open, the party decided to spring their surprise.

Captain Bozydar opened the attack by performing an amazing trick shot, striking the Templar with an arrow through the visor on his helmet, killing him instantly.  The other archers in the party reined more arrows down on the surprised cultists.
The rest of the party dashed out and quickly struck down the remaining cultists.  The doors to the temple slammed shut from within, those cultists inside obviously alerted but taking no obvious aggressive actions.

 With the momentary lull, the party drew the sled off to examine the strange casket.  It proved to be a stasis chamber of great age.  They were able to open it to find the body of a pre-Cataclysm man within.  Much to their shock, the man was still alive.  Speaking Old Lloroi, the language that was the basis of the modern Common Tongue, the man was, with difficulty able to tell them that he was Shafri, 3rd Storm Warden aboard the treasure galleon Dracolyth, out of the port of Manapor in the Fortunate Isles.  They had brought a cargo of tribute to the Lloroi Emperor that including a small firkin of water from the great Crystal Pool. Shafri said that they had just arrived in port when a huge wall of ice and snow rapidly descended on the city; he managed to get to the captain's cabin and flung himself into the stasis chamber there before the ship was engulfed.  This was the last he remembered.
The party explained to the shocked Shafri that 1400 years had passed since then and that the treasure had been seized by the Lich Lord.  Putting aside the horror of his predicament, Shafri said that the waters were highly magically and must not fall into evil hands.  The party then moved to assault the temple.

Bowmen and spellcasters formed up outside the door.  The rest of the party positioned themselves to attack as soon as the doors were forced open.

Inside another half dozen cultists led by a Knight awaited the assault. They were unprepared for the havoc that was about to be unleashed upon them.

Redmaine cast a grenade spell that blew open the doors.  Immediately after that An'varr and Atlantia hurled Elemental Bolts into the chamber.  Shafri then brought up a wind to interfere with any return fire.  Half of the cultists were brought down in the initial attack.  The members of the party waiting by the door rushed in and wiped out the remaining cultists.  They saw a small door at the side of the chamber.

Garamond confirmed there were no traps on the door and was able to easily pick the lock.  It opened onto what had once been a library.  A zombie shambled out from behind a bookcase but Garamond supported by Braanx easily dispatched it.
While Garamond checked to see if the bookshelves were trapped, An'varr rushed over to a large book on a lectern.  When he opened, he was sprayed by a cloud of gas that left him cover in phosphorescent glowdust, making him an easy target for anyone shooting at him.

The next room, a small alcove, contained another zombie.  Braanx destroyed it with glee.
The alcove led to a curved hallway divided by two large pillars.  A wizard and Wraith Knight lay in ambush.  Chuck, who had been sent forward again with one of the amulets of Amoto, was crushed when the wizard crumbled a pillar onto the poor creature.
The enraged party charged forward, Atlantia killing the Wraith (her third now) and Greg avenging his fellow mammalian companion.

The party then came upon a set of stairs descending into a dark passage below. Garamond was able to disable a large swinging axe that had been set as a trap.
The came across an abandoned shrine to some forgotten dark god.  They had just about crossed the room when a valporine sprung down from the ceiling, attacking Ril.  The ape-like creature was incredibly fast but proved no match for the combined blades and claws of the party.
Beyond the shrine, they could hear the dull thumping of some type of large machinery at work.  They burst into the next passage where two cultists briefly tried to stop them.  They came to a door behind which the thumping sound seemed to come.  Casting an invisibility spell on Greg, An'varr sent the still demon-possessed bear, now wearing the amulet of Amoto, into the room.

An enormous wheel of bones rotated slowly in the center of the room, powered by arcane forces.  The desiccated bodies of wizards bound to each arm seemed to be providing the power. Bolts of energy arced from the wheel to a large gate-like structure at the end of the room.

A number of wizards and apprentices, including Redmaine's Thisbe, were held prisoner in one corner, awaiting their turn on the wheel.

Presiding over it all was the grim form of the Lich Lord, sprinkling water from the firkin of Crystal Pool upon the wheel.

Slowly, a huge glistening, pulsating, bloated, multi-legged abomination oozed its way through the gate.  The Lich Lord had opened a portal to a dimension of horror.


Caliban said...

Great story. That thing coming through the gate looks most impressive.

Marc said...

absolutely brilliant stuff.