After almost drowning in a whirlpool trap, Gorstag, accompanied by the Mad Priest, soothed his nerves with drink within the Bag of Holding. As he crept into safety, two figures emerged from the remnants of the whirlpool, and insisted on calling it a “were-pool”. Oddly enough, our heroes took a very short time to welcome these newcomers, a changeling with psionic powers named Gin and a minotaur barbarian named Godfuck, into the fold. Beyond the door ahead came a smell so putrid it was like to curdle milk. The party bashed in the door and began an onslaught.
Waiting within, a horde of zombies, gravehounds, a few ghouls, and an homunculus awaited. Our heroes immediately began tearing their already melting flesh from their already dusty bones. Godfuck and Thorir took the fight to their faces, as most of the others held back fro ranged support. Sunny switched into melee mode when needed, and Aurora stayed versatile as ever. Dak and Gin especially held the rear with a series of ranged attacks. The hounds knocked our heroes prone and the ghouls tried to eat of their flesh and drink of their blood, but in the end, after a long- and hard-fought battle, our heroes prevailed.
Gin searched for loot, but found nothing but half-eaten corpses and the rotting remains of their foes. She noticed a small tunnel, through which she found a room likewise filled with death. However, in this smaller chamber she managed to find a Deep Pocket Cloak, which she immediately donned for her own comfort and protection. Satisfied with her discovery, Gin returned to her allies.
Our heroes took a brief respite, and continued down a large staircase which led to larger doors. Through these doors, they found a small area, separated from the rest of a larger hall by a series of short walls, and a red carpet at their feet. Ahead, the homunculus which had fled the other room stood waiting. It began to flee, but before it could take a step, Aurora planted an arrow in its back and Sunny finished it with a stab of her shortsword.
Dak decided to poke around the area in an attempt to peek into the chamber. What he found would have made a lesser being piss himself. Tall blue pillars glowed brightly, illuminating a sacrificial chapel, complete with an altar pouring blood onto the floor, into which a visage of Orcus was carved, at the mouth of which a grate drank up the flowing blood and led into another chamber 50 feet below. Vampires littered the hall, along with five men dressed in red robes and wielding scythes. At the altar, another man, a priest, with a tattoo of a ram’s skull upon his face, muttered chants and prayers to the altar. Dak stood amazed for a moment, then lined up his shot and sent a bolt to turn a vamp to dust.
The priest turned at the sound and yelled to his allies, “We cannot allow them to disrupt Kalarel’s ritual! Kill them!” The battle had begun, and Godfuck made his presence known by charging into the fray and facing down two of the robed acolytes. Thorir followed and took two of his own. Gin joined Dak to provide ranged support. Sunny, in an amazing show of her assassin skills, crossed the hall in one swoop and engaged the priest in melee combat, thus preventing him from firing a single spell. She poisoned her shortsword with her maddening elixir and kept him at bay.
The vampires fell quickly, and the priest stayed ineffective, but the acolytes gave our heroes a fight for their life, especially Godfuck’s and Thorir’s. A fifth had cornered Gin, who responded by repeatedly force punching him in the face. With tactical maneuvering to have Thorir and Godfuck fight back-to-back, as well as several well-placed shots by Dak and Aurora, they slowly but surely fell. The priest was consumed by the poison, and lost his mind entirely. Sunny added him to the collection of crazy priests in his Bag.
After the foes had perished at their blades, our heroes stuffed a couple in the altar to stem the flow of blood, and Thorir, Aurora, and Dak made their way down into the pit. Sunny used her ninja skills to climb down with ease, while Dak took the slow and steady route using rope. They bid farewell to their strange companions, and prepared to face the prey they had so long been pursuing. Kalarel awaited.
Have our heroes arrived in time to stop the ritual? Will they be able to slay the evil necromancer, Kalarel, or are they doomed to die a hero’s death? How many mad priests will Sunny collect? Find out next time!