Adventure Date: September 8, 2006 (Xana's Birthday)
Last Updated: January 8, 2009
The level of tension and fear among the townsfolk was palpable, so our intrepid adventurers set out to their respective guilds and associations that morning to get updated on the battle against the rising darkness.
HHH arrived at the gates of the house of the Order of the Phoenix, but the usual sounds of prayer and martial training in the courtyard did not fill his ears. As HHH entered the courtyard, a young page ran forth to greet him. The page's elation drained from his face and he quickly apologized for his sudden change in demeanour to HHH. HHH asked the young lad where were the other members of the order. The page explained that soon after the destruction of Druid's Gate, the Order set forth to pursue the demons. The brigade was to have sent back word over two days ago and the lack of news was more than disconcerting.
HHH prayed at the altar for the safe return of the members of the order, then set out to purchase three lances (2 cold iron tipped and one regular) in preparation for the up coming quest to aid his missing friends.
Across the city, Ebreck entered his favourite tavern, The Axe and Hammer, but the normally boisterous patrons were unusually sombre. As he approached the bar, Thork Orcrusher’s voice bellowed from the back of the room. They greeted each other with gusto and Thork asked Ebreck if he brought news from the rest of clan. When Thork saw the confused look on Ebreck's face, he explained that the rest of the clan had departed several days ago with the paladins of the Order of the Phoenix and two of the warrior priests of The House of Heironeous to chase down the demons that destroyed Druid's Gate, but they were to have sent word of their progress more than two days ago. Thork had remained behind to aid in the defence of the city in case another horde of demons attempted to sack the city.
Agrona arrived at The House of Heironeous and requested an audience with Pope Benedict. He was told that the Pope was indisposed and he could make himself comfortable in the meditation garden and page would fetch him shortly.
Agrona entered the small sun-filled cloistered garden adjacent to the church, where he had spent many countless hours in meditation and prayer. Agrona sat quietly on a grassy knoll to meditate. It was but a couple of minutes before he was summoned to the Pope's study.
The Pope informed Agrona of the three platoons sent to chase down the demons and the many minions that had desecrated Druid's Gate.
Through scrying, they were able to detect large areas of evil energy that emanated from the Rakers and Hellfurnace.
Agrona thanked the Pope for his time and the information. Before leaving the temple, Agrona said a prayer for the missing warriors.
Nuria entered the wizard's guild to speak to her mentor about what has transpired over the past couple of days and if they could point her toward the next piece of the Rod.
PW sought out Talen for information about the demons and Dream-Mist in Leukish. Talen had heard that the Cult of the Horns of Orcus was responsible for unleashing part of the demon horde. Talen sent PW to the Black Stallion Inn to speak to Gregory about who was distributing Dream-Mist; for him divulge that information could prove to be fatal.
PW entered the Black Stallion and was escorted to a private room when he asked to speak to Gregory. Andre was there to greet him and informed PW that there were many factions that were very interested in his quest to complete the Rod of Seven Parts; some wanted to aid him and his companions, while others were out to stop them.
Andre was willing to help PW, but he would have to do small favour in return. PW quickly agreed, and Andre produced a strongbox and told PW to deliver it to Elizar. He did not personally know Elizar, but once PW found the second piece of the Rod, he would know who Elizar was.
Andre then told PW that for 100 gold pieces, the name of the distributor of Dream-Mist in Leukish would be sold to him. PW almost spilled the coins in Andre’s lap as he pulled them from his satchel. The dealer was an ugly 400-pound Half-Orc named Gwardo and a more interesting piece of information; Gwardo was also a Cleric of Orcus.
The adventurers met back at the tavern to compare notes and plan out their next move. It was decided that they should head for the tomb first once HHH received his lances. They spent the next couple of days purchasing trail rations and other supplies. They honed and cleaned their weapons, preparing for the worst.
They headed north toward their first destination, the tomb, where they would meet Elizar. The first leg of their journey was along well-traveled trade routes, and the first and second day and night was uneventful.
Overnight the clouds had rolled in and brought a cold light, but steady rain. Dark heavy clouds hung low on the horizon as they broke camp and continued their journey northward to the tomb.
About mid-afternoon, PW noticed a slender dark humanoid creature about 100 feet ahead ambling toward them. They quickly dismounted and prepared for battle. HHH reacted first and lets a loose a bolt from his crossbow. To their surprise, the bolt just bounced off the creature’s dark shiny skin. Suddenly, some unknown force fells Xana. Ebreck launched an arrow toward it, and his shot found its mark. To end this battle quickly, Nuria hastily cast one of her most powerful spells. An awesome explosion of fire and brimstone engulfed the creature, but to everyone’s horror, it seemed to have little affect. As PW prepared to fire his crossbow, he too collapsed in a heap on the ground. HHH fierce battle cry is silenced as this unseen force also afflicts him. Suddenly several glowing arrow pierce the creature’s torso courtesy of Nuria. Agrona suddenly realized, that this evil creature is Bodak, and it is damaged by sunlight. Agrona recited an incantation and a searing beam of light sprung forth from his palm cutting the Bodak down.
Agrona explained to his remaining comrades that anyone killed by a Bodak is cursed to become one a couple of days later. They had to act quickly. They bound, blindfolded and covered the upper torsos HHH, Xana and PW, then rode like the wind back to Greyhawk. Over the three-day trek, Agrona cast Remove Curse and Gentle Repose on his departed friends.
Once in the city, Agrona petitioned Benedict to resurrect his friends, explaining the incident with the Bodak. Benedict obliged the young Cleric, but Agrona had to vow to make it his life’s work assemble the Rod of Seven Parts and rid the country of the scourge of the Cult of the Horns of Orcus.
Over the course of the next several hours, Benedict and several other high-ranking clergymen performed the Resurrection Rights on HHH, Xana and PW in the bowels of the Church.
It was late into the night when the HHH, Xana and PW finally drew breath and returned to the land of the living. Nuria, Agrona and Ebreck celebrated the news of the successful resurrection of their comrades in arms. They returned to the Inn for a well-deserved night of sound sleep.
The intrepid adventurers once again set forth toward the tomb. They rode quickly northward, avoiding any strange looking creatures that appeared on the road ahead.
It was just after nightfall on the 72nd day that they arrived at the entrance to the tomb. A stone archway was built into the face of a hillock, with a large stone epitaph block the entrance. They decided to set up camp near the tomb and wait until the light of day to face what ever lay in the depth of the tomb.
Ebreck noted that there had been some movement at the mouth of the tomb about a week prior, but nothing more recent than that. PW, Xana and Nuria searched the entranceway for traps and hidden portals before turning in for the night.
At the break of dawn, they pushed aside the stone blocking the archway to reveal a long dark room strewn with rubble. It was possible that the tomb had been desecrated and robbed. A mildewed and slime covered door was at then end of the room. They approached it cautiously. HHH and Nuria use presdititation to clean off the mould and mildew form the door.
Suddenly Ebreck and HHH are knocked prone and entangled by several vines. They struggled against the vine, but to no avail. HHH’s armour creaks and bends as the vines slowly squeeze the life out of him. Unable to draw breath, HHH passed out. Ebreck fared no better. He is rendered unconscious as his ribs cracked under the strain of the constricting vines.
Henrietta leapt into the fray and slashed at the moving piles of debris that had injured HHH and Ebreck. Her devastating attack caused the vines to loosen enough to allow Agrona to pull HHH to safety and quickly heal his wounds.
Nuria and Xana blast the creatures with several powerful spells. PW tumbles past the thrashing vines and lands the deathblows that finished off these two shambling mounds.
Ebreck is freed from the vines and is quickly brought back to health by Xana and HHH.
They decide to rest in the entrance chamber of the tomb and to prevent any nasty surprises sneaking up on them; Ebreck cast an alarm spell on the entrance of the tomb.
At the break of dawn, they prepared to continue further into the tomb. PW unlocks the door and is greeted by a frightening sight. Across the room, standing in front of the next door is huge Flesh Golem. It takes one lumbering step forward. The quick-witted HHH told PW to show the Golem the box and speak the name. PW spoke with as much bravado as he could muster, "Elizar, I have your box." The Golem stepped to side and allowed them to pass.
The door was locked, but was quickly defeated by PW’s nimble fingers. Before them lay a long dark corridor. PW signalled that he was going to scout ahead, skirting in and out of the shadows as the rest of the group followed at a safe distance. The corridor ended at another locked door. This time the trap maker was able to better conceal his poisoned dart and it struck PW as he attempted to unlock the door. Xana and Agrona rushed forward when they saw PW crumple to the ground. They administered Lesser Restoration and Remove Poison quickly in case the poison had any secondary affects.
The next room contained three sarcophagi, and there were also three wispy ghost-like creatures floating about the room. Agrona recited ancient incantations to repel and possibly destroy the undead. The incantation worked, the incorporeal figures were held at bay. PW attempted to unlock the next door as the others quickly searched the coffins. They found 80 gold pieces and one white and one black pearl in the respective sarcophagi.
Beyond the last door, there was a dust laden triangular room. There were decaying bookshelves along the walls and what seemed to be the remains of a small writing desk and burned out lanterns.
A skull with jewels in the eye sockets sat on the floor on what seemed to be a pile of bones. PW produced the box and spoke the name, "Elizar."
A mysterious voice filled the room. It instructed PW to pour the contents of the box onto the pile of bones before him. As PW turned the box, the lid opened and a heart fell out. As the heart landed on the pile of bones, a mystical energy filled the room and the dust swirled about the room in an unnatural manner. A voice cackled from the haze of the dust cloud, "I live again!"
A man wearing a dark robe now stood before them where the skull and bones once were. He spoke to the room, "I have waited almost a millennia to seek my revenge against Orcus; he imprisoned me in that state of the undead, my soul unable to find peace." From beneath his robe, he produced the second piece of the rod. "Here is what you seek. Leave Now!"
They hastily exited the tomb and were greeted by the warming rays of the mid-afternoon sun. They began the return journey to Greyhawk, excited to have the second piece of the rod, but also weary that there were force out to stop them as well.
As they approached the gates of Greyhawk, they encountered a merchant caravan. There were two open wagons laden with produce and wares and one covered wagon in the rear. There were several heavy armed guards escorting the caravan.
There was something suspicious about this caravan, so Agrona and HHH approached the lead wagon in the guise of being friendly and to share advice about the road where they had just come from. While all this was happening, PW slipped away unnoticed and began to snoop about the covered wagon. He carefully peered through a gap in the canvas, and to his surprise he saw an ugly overweight Half-Orc lounging in a well-appointed wagon. PW noticed some small bags and glass jars filled with sparkling powder.
PW flew into a psychotic rage screaming, "Die you mother-*uck**!!"
PW then slashed open the side of the covered wagon and leapt at Gwardo swinging his rapier wildly.
At the front of the Caravan, this small incident did not go unnoticed. Nuria cast Mage Armour, Xana summoned three dire badgers and HHH summoned Henrietta. Ebreck drew his bow and fired several arrows at the nearest guards.
Gwardo was amazingly agile for his size and un-athletic appearance and was able dodge PW’s initial attack. Gwardo cunningly threw a generous handful of Dream-Mist at PW. Suddenly PW’s demeanour changed radically, he was calm, almost serene, chasing a small blue butterfly as flitted by.
Nuria saw PW as he casually frolicked away from the covered wagon, and she realized that he must have been dosed with Dream-Mist. She cast a fireball at the covered wagon, hoping to take out as many guards and the leader of this caravan.
Several glowing arrows pierced Ebreck’s armour. The drivers were not common-folk, but wizards or sorcerer’s. He commanded Rhodesia to attack the nearest driver. In mid-stride she was caught is sticky magical web. The web had also caught most of the team except for Deus, HHH and Henrietta.
Deus and Henrietta nimbly leapt up to the driver’s seat of the first wagon and with a flurry of claws and the gnashing teeth, they had almost dispatched with the first driver. HHH landed a crushing blow with his Hammer-Hook that sent the driver to meet his God in the after-life.
HHH and his two furry fighting machines were about take on the second wagon, when Gwardo burst forth through the roof of his scorched wagon. He flew out to a safe distance on black leathery wings, while his guards and the drivers got into formation in front of him.
Gwardo Bellowed, "Let us pass and your transgression will be forgotten, or die!"
Seeing the dire situation they were in, Agrona spoke, "We shall let you pass."
The web that entangled them disappeared and they all stepped back away from the roadway. With a crack of a whip the caravan continued on its way.
They found PW dancing like a wood nymph not too far off at the edge of clearing. It was clear that another session in detox would be required.
Return to the Journals of Old Greyhawk and the Founding of NewHawk City
Return to David's Dungeons & Dragons page