Session 3 Recap
It began with Aaron’s vision and the fact that sleep did not come easily for him the night prior. When the tall warrior headed into the communal eating area., he found his comrades gathered for the morning breaking of the fast.
With just the right amount of coercion and sincerity, he was able to convince his allies that a vision had indicated to him the imminent plight of a nearby village. Aaron stated unequivocally that failure to halt this madness may result in the rise of an ancient Chaos Lord. Gronn dealt with the news in a nonchalant way as Ananshael condemned Aaron further as being crazy beyond words. In spite of this, the party was galvanized to the cause, uniting on newly formed bonds of friendship and a desire to undo evil.
Aaron led them on horseback towards the village and they came upon several burning buildings and empty streets. Many, if not all, of the villagers had already been taken and, somewhere in the distance, loomed a decrepit black keep and the source of ill will. After a brief parlay with a surviving girl, the party made their way up to the keep. Along the causeway, they encountered a pair of bodies tied to posts. Horribly, these bodies were moving as vines looped in and out of their gaping orifices and flesh. Aaron went to investigate and was assaulted by several vines. Gronn leapt in and hacked to some degree of success, brandishing his own set of minor wounds. Ananshael’s sabres flashed and cut Aaron free of the veggie clutches. File fired his bow and Pender took care of the horses. The party finished off the vined horrors and emerged more or less no worse for wear.
When they at last came upon the blackened ruined keep, they took note of several key features: a gatehouse with opened portcullis and Chaos flag fluttering above; a section of the Northwestern corner reduced to rubble; a blackened chapel on the east side along a massive sinkhole. One intact tower on the southern corner stood tall and proud. They made their way in, Gronn using his massive muscles to hold the portcullis single-handedly. In fact, if it weren’t for Gronn, the gatehouse might have toppled upon the poor party. I exaggerate and digress but please note his sheer massive awesomeness.
When the party slipped into the courtyard, ground thick with old roots and tangled undergrowth, File disappeared. He well and truly vanished with nary a sound or word. For a moment, Ananshael thought they were abandoned by the poet. I mean – what kind of minstrel can fade away like that? He did fall on his ass later but for a moment he was a fucking ninja.
Nonetheless, they investigated the tower – sealed from within. They investigated the well: a proto-elemental rift of sheer Chaos. They glanced at the sinkhole, noting the evilness within. Pender at some point sent his bird to the skies to scout and recalled to the group the misty faces that hovered above the sinkhole.
Unbeknownst to the party, File investigated the gatehouse. He took note of filthy sleeping mats and a horrid stench. Clearly someone or something lives in the ruined keep.
They investigated the chapel.The double doors were marked with the words REPENT BITCHES. The floor was riddled with charred skeletons and a fountain depicting a squat, demonic toad. A foul, black ichor seeped from the toad’s face. Aaron went in along with Gronn and Ananshael. Pender began to cast some melodramatic ritual outside, humming the words to an old showtune. Maybe a Cher song? Gronn grunted and started throwing stones at the toad. Ananshael opened an iron coffer and left with Aaron. Gronn was attacked by flaming ooze that clung to the demonic toad visage. In spite of his awesome size and sheer massiveness, the ooze basically kicked the shit out of him and left him running from the burned out chapel like a screaming girl.
To the tower went the heroes! File rejoined them. We aren’t really sure where he went to but he came back with a foolish grin.
Gronn smashed in the tower door. This is due to his sheer massive awesomeness. And he went boldly inside a smelly circular chamber. The floor of the wide tower was covered in rotting hides of animal fur. A narrow staircase spiraled around the tower wall and dark forms hung from chains spiked through the wall, supposedly the kidnapped villagers. A pack of snarling beastmen emerged from the shadows and a great melee ensued! Note the various heads that topped the beastmen, adding a certain ickiness to the whole encounter. Just sayin’.
Ananshael pulled Gronn back from the threshold as the mighty barbarian was about to be surrounded. Javelins were thrown at the party as, suddenly, the earth rose up to cover the entrance. What dark sorcery was this!! Beastmen shaman evil!! No it was Pender apparently. Silly guy.
The party hesitated, considering options. From within, one beastman hollers “Stay out, muthafuckas!” And there is an awful squelching sound and a whimper – likely a beaten villager. Ananshael doesn’t like this and so she boldly strides in, briefly interacting with the illusory earth. Aaron follows with Gronn and they all engage the clutch of vile beastmen.
Aaron lands a mighty blow on the lead Beast Champion. This wasn’t just a mighty blow; it was epic. I saw it – a flash of divine power and a thunderous clash. Gronn and Ananshael slash and clash with the others. File lands a sleep spell. Pender throws his emerging arcane power and nearly drops another beasty with a debilitating ray.
Then things turn ugly. Aaron goes down. He goes down hard. Gronn follows. Ananshael is fucking brilliant. The party wins the day and are now left licking their wounds (except for Ananshael as she wasn’t hurt at all. She is covered in awesome sauce). Following a short rest, it is presumed they are to head further down the dungeon into the darkness beneath.