Continuing on from last time, the players venture to old Carlston family mansion to hunt down a group of vampires, and find the final piece of the Black stone.
Playing in this episode were:
-Mike (me), the evil dungeon master of the world Lorr
-John, playing Farfal Soushard, a neutral Shade cleric of The Raven Queen
-Kyle, playing Kai Relin, a neutral human ranger
-Alistair, playing Sir Stelian Soul-eater, a neutral Vryloka Warlock Binder
Chapter 7: Entering the mansion
Upon travelling a few hours through the dark and desolate swamps, the party came upon the Carlston mansion. It was a medium-sized, abandoned and run-down house which once was home to a honourable Valdevich warrior family, but was now home to a group of evil vampires. The party contemplated climbing up to a large, broken stained glass window at the top, but thought better of it, and sent Stelian to spy ahead. Stelian decided to knock at the door, and when no-one came, went in himself.
He found a large, stone corridor with several door either side, and a large staircase going up to the next floor. He went to the staircase (after some exploring), and as he was about to walk up it, he heard foot-steps coming down it. He quickly hid, and two cloaked vampires, armed with a mace and a sword, as well as several undead came patrolling down the stairs. As such, Farfal, Kai Rellin and Bayronx attempted to sneak into the mansion, but were spotted by the pair, and combat was joined. The vampires quickly made themselves known as dangerous foes, as they separated the party to make them easier pickings. However, thanks to Stelian’s surprise attack, the battle was won, and the party kept one of the vampires alive for interrogation. He revealed to them (under the threat of being burnt to death) that Eltaen Kerrah was dead, and had died a most painful death. He also confirmed that there was a group of vampires here, a bloodline known as the Bloodstrike’s. However-they weren’t going to stay for long, as their leader had business to attend to. After this, the party killed him anyway, and continued up the stairs to the next floor.
Chapter 8: Vampiric Castes
Upon reaching the next floor, they found themselves confronted by three door: one on the left, one on the right and one in the middle. The party took the middle door, and found it led to a set of iron bars, currently lowered-the only way to get them back up was to pull a hidden lever which was no doubt nearby. They then took the door to the left of them, and found a small stone corridor leading to two doors-one made of wood, like the rest, and the other made of a strong iron. They immediately approached the wooden door, but suddenly two black spirits, both armed with spectral swords and deathly red glowing eyes phased through the walls-wraiths. However, the party had fought these creatures before, so as such were prepared for them. The only fatality they suffered was Bayronx, who was mentally shaken due to the lonely death power of the wraith. Other than this minor setback, they headed through the room, and found it to be an old store-room. They quickly looted its supplies, before picking the lock on the iron door and going in. Inside was a small study, and Stelian looked around it while the rest of the party went through the right door. While Stelian found a book describing the various Castes of Vampires (The Bloodstrikes, The Dreadspawn, The Gloom Graves and The Cairn-Dragons, each of which were detailed in a great measure), the rest of the group found a large crypt room. Stelian also discovered a lever hidden behind a suspicious book in the bookcase, and pulled it-which opened the iron bars blocking off the corridoor from the middle door. Once Stelian caught up with them, the group tried to sneak up to one of the opened coffins, but they failed, and a vampire burst out of one of the coffins, summoning his undead minions scattered around the room to attack the heroes. Despite this, the party were getting well-versed in slaying vampires, and stuck together, regardless of the undead assault. After a couple of rounds, only the vampire was left, and while he took a few more rounds to die, the party didn’t take a lot of damage from the combat. However during the combat, Kai Rellin found out that Stelian was a vampire, and a rift of distrust and unease set between the two party members.
They then ventured into the next room, and found a large statue depicting Markon Vokhiir, the creator of vampires. Stelian had read the book on vampires, and explained that Markon attempted to discover the formula of eternal life, and by doing so discovered it was possible-by drinking human blood to sustain it. He passed on his secrets to his four closest disciples, who then went and created their independent castes. With this knowledge in mind, the party took the two large red gems in the statues eyes, and carried on through the now open iron bars.
Chapter 9: A deadly new enemy
Upon entering the next room, they found it to be the one with the broken glass window on the far side.Standing in front of the window was 3 figures-a skeletal knight, a cloaked vampire armed with two maces, and a well-dressed, black-haired and rather handsome vampire, who wore a red cloak, as well as the final piece of the Black stone around his neck. He introduced himself (in a german accent) as Zane Bloodstrike, the head of the caste, and told them that he was working for Zaggaroth, who wanted the machines for his own fell purposes. However-more than most, Zaggaroth wanted the Black stone. As such, Zane offered them a deal: give him the two pieces they had, and he would let them live. The party refused, and combat was joined. Although initially the party started out strong (slaying both the skeletal knight and the vampire by knocking them out the window), Zane proved to be possibly the toughest boss the party had fought so far. At one point, he almost killed Farfal by dominating him with his gaze and sending him out of a 200-ft window to his death. Had it not been for the guardian whistle which the party had bought a while ago, he would of died. As the fight drew on, the party kept expending surges and taking damage while Zane dished it out and regenerated his wounds. In the end, the party decided it would be better to get rid of him, so as such, Farfal grabbed the now fully assembled Black pyramid off Zane(which he had taken their two pieces during the fight, and in its completed form it was in the shape of a pyramid) and used the Orb of Far Realm displacement to teleport Zane, Bayronx and himself to the guard barracks in Courtbridge.
Upon arriving at Courtbridge, they found themselves surrounded by guards. Farfal told them to attack Zane, which the duly did, but it was in vain. He butchered his way through all of them, and promised Farfal he would get his revenge, before dissipating into white mist. Instantly, High Lord Branen Zarkovich burst in with a group of guards, and questioned Farfal on what had happened. Farfal explained what he had done, and Zarkovich was furious, warning him that if he did such a thing again, his lordship would be revoked. Farfal was not happy about this, but swallowed his pride, and accepted it. After Zarkovich and the guards left, Farfal and Bayronx bought a horse, and rode hard back to Valdvich.
Meanwhile, back at the Carlston mansion, a large explosion came from the ground floor, and the mansion began to burn to the ground. Stelian and Kai Rellin began to run out, and during it, Kai Rellin was pinned down by a burning pillar. He told Stelian to leave him, who refused, and saved Kai’s life. The two escaped the mansion, and watched it be consumed by the fire-no doubt caused by Zane to cover his tracks. As such, the pair headed back to Valdevich, as the reward ceremony was but a day away.
Chapter 10: A fortuitous brawl
The pair returned to Valdevich, where Kai bought a house, and the pair slept for the night. The next day, they found themselves before the whole town, about to be given their rewards, when suddenly Farfal and Bayronx arrived out of the blue. They joined the group, and the rewards were given out by Kya and Lord Albrecht. These included a bag of two-thousand gold each, as well as a Baldric of time, and for Lord Farfal-an alliance. As Kya gave out the gifts, she kissed Kai Rellin on the cheek, which cause Lord Albrecht to start a fight with him over her. The brawl was very one-sided however, as no matter what Kai Rellin tried to do, he always rolled poorly, and had the living hell beaten out of him by Lord Albrecht. In the end however, Kai Rellin punched him in the nuts, and Kya left him for Kai. The lord lay on the floor, embarrassed, broken and alone. The party left him, and Kai and Kya had a private moment catching up in Kai’s Valdevich home.
Over the next month, Kai and Kya got re-married, and the party got some well deserved down time, before heading back to Jingle-water. Once they arrived there, they found Ambrose, and gave him the Black pyramid to study. A few days later, they returned to him, and he explained to them that by channelling power into the stone, they can unlock its purpose. Each of the party was required to hold a metal channelling staff, while Ambrose blasted magic energy into the pyramid. As the spell went on, more and more magic flew around the room, and energy was going everywhere, until finally, after all that time…nothing happened.
The party laughed it off for a second, and then a huge beam of purple energy shot through the tower of the Leaflord, and then everything went black for the heroes, and they had the vague idea that they had been teleported somewhere, but were unsure where.
What has happened to the heroes ? What is the Black Pyramids true purpose ? Are the occupants of the tower ok ? You will have to find out next session, in which the heroes will discover a dark truth.
Until then, Happy gaming !