Toilday, the 5th of Desnus, 4715
Beaxite opens the door.
Beyond is a large room. At its center is a depression filled with sand. There are runes written in the sand. Two large female ogres stand between us and the depression. Behind the circle stands three copies of a large male ogre; each coated with a fine dusting of electrical sparks. They are waiving a wand in our general direction.
The air in the doorway begins to waiver and there’s a sulfurous stench. From the black miasma comes the leathery beating of large wings; a bat with a 9’ wing span, body size of a dog. The orcs three puts their wands away, encants with their other hands and tries to launch a bolt of fire at us, but it goes wide and roils through the room.
Beauxite hides in the doorway. I surge out of the floor and Shamus casts haste on the party.
Tira and Sif focus on the bat, rendering back to its sulferous smoke before it can hurt anyone. Beauxite and I focus on one female ogre, while the other pushes her sister aside to throw a javelin at us. It goes almost straight into the floor before spinning off into a darkened corner.
The male ogre fires off a bolt after bolt of energy at us; fortunately, his aim is very bad.
What damage we do, the ghostly Dwarven legionnaires add to with ephemeral shields that strike with great strength. The ghostly legionnaires unnerves all of our opponents.
Sif rolls into the room and trades blows with the second female ogre, making quick work of her before she can crush Beaxite with her tree-trunk of a club.
Tova steps up beside me, winds up her chain and slams it out, over the giantess’s shoulder, cracking her jaw as it passes by. With a deflt flick, she wraps the chain around the giantess’s neck, and with a mighty yank, pulls the giantess down onto the floor, shattering her nose and knocking her out cold.
The male ogre pulls out a javelin shaft that lengthens and turns into a bolt of lighting. As it leaves his hand, it becomes a blue-white shaft of lightning that blows through Beaxite, Sif, and Tova.
As I move into the room, I recognize the runes in the sand as relating to the Demon lord of Blood and cannibalism. She is the vampire queen. Unfortunately for the ogres, the runes are amatur and are not sufficient for summoning anything from the abyss. I saddle up to Sif and take back my Lucern Hammer.
Shamus webs the male ogre, making him far easier to hit. Sif charges the ogre and rams him threw as he screams his hatred at her. Her dwarven legionnaire steps up and slames the male ogre. Tova steps forward and the head of her hammer dives into the webs, but ends up getting snagged half-way through. She spends the rest of the round trying to pull it out.
The male ogre tears himself free. We focus all our talents on the male ogre and bring him down. At the end of the battle, everyone notices that Sif’s crystal sword is growing reder and reder with each combat in which it draws blood. We’re not quite sure what this means.
Shamus dismisses the web spell with a snap of his fingers. And the male ogre’s body collapses on the floor. There’s a pile of bones in the centre of the floor. It’s a mostly complete skeleton, missing its skull and a few finger bones and vertebrae. We think it’s a human (medium sized, male), middle aged or so, and of a decent girth, standing some 6 feet. The bones seem old (well, at least not fresh).
The male ogre has two scrolls in his belt along with the wand he was using. The scrolls are actually just two copies of the same spell. (speak with dead (necromantic)); Tova takes it. His wand is for monster summoning III (8 charges remaining); Shamus takes it. The ogre also had a red-fanged skull symbol made of brass with a few pieces of bone embedded into it (not magical). He has a belt strapped around his forehead that’s magic. It’s a headband of alluring charisma +2. Tira takes it. The symbols etched in his skin are also radiating magic. His staff is decorated with blue ribbons and has some skulls in it, but it’s not magical.
It would seem that the male ogre was trying to speak with the male skeleton. One of the finger bones has a gold signet ring and a gold chain of office. Tira can’t quite figure it out what they represent.
The weapon and armour racks in the room are empty. On the wall is a painting on canvas that’s been cut out of its frame. The top is looped through a rod, affixed to the wall. We take the painting (Shamus is carrying it). We can’t figure out who it is, but we assume it might be Castelan Tamand Vrias; the last commander of Red Lake Fort.
The depression was probably a sparing pit at one point.
We take the bones with us, with the intention of burring them later. Tova says a nice prayer over them. As I move the bones into a sack, I feel a deep sadness. When I search the area for evil, it emanates from the cauldron in the next room. We gather around it. Sif flips the cauldron and starts rocking it back onto its feet.
Tira and Shamus smell something truly rancid. The cauldron rights itself of its own volition and it begins filling itself from the bottom. Steam starts wafting out of it and the rancid smell of foul meat cooking. The bubbling stew has bits of meat and gristle floating around inside: Fingers, a foot, a hand, some ears…
Suddenly we are overwhelmed by hunger and we can taste it in our mouths. Tova and Beaxite are staggered by feelings of revulsion. The rest of us are overwhelmed by a sense of hunger and we start gnawing on ourselves, damaging ourselves. Tova and I work to stop the others from further injuring ourselves, and of us all, it is Sif that takes the longest to revive from this bizarre madness. When it finally passes, we heal up; eating dangerously into our supplies.
We head out of the room, glad to put the cauldron behind us. The party waits at the foot of the stairs while Shamus and I head up. At the top of the stairs, Shamus opens the doors to the right and peeks in, its the well access. He then opens the doors to the north. It’s living quarters full of junk, piled up mats, hides, and two hill giants at the opposite side of the room. They are not facing us and so don’t notice.
I head down and inform the rest of the party. We gather at the door at the top of the stairs.
Shamus sneaks in with Beaxite, and I go below the floor. The giant notices him, and Beaxite rushes forward and slashes him with his tale as the giant tries to warn his companion. And Beaxite lights up the giant with electricity.
The two giants are a difficult fight, but they fall to our combined might. Then, we hear several someones coming towards the door on the other side of the room. It would seem we’ve got more to do.
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