Chapter 06: Evil & Good

Previous · Next

Session Number: 95
Date: Sunday 24 April 2011
Venue: Fergus'
PCs & Players:

Arrian Rog1/Clr8 (Fergus) (kills: none)
Feren Rog9 (Yeran) (kills: none)
Rowaine Pal9 (Craig) (kills: 1 unknown construct)
Tomen Rgr9 (Ash) (kills: none)
Troll Wiz9 (Densial) (kills: none)

XP Awarded: enough for 10th level

Vines and roots entwine the creature's thick limbs but they are no match for its great strength; it rips free and lumbers awkwardly towards Rowaine. There is a metallic screech and the creature raises its free hand to its head. "Arrggh!" it bellows, dropping to one knee and smacking its immense mace into the ground beside it. Feren slips free of the vines and hides amongst the writhing forest floor. Arrian casts Divine Power while his Spiritual Weapon independently presses the attack. One of its two slashes connects. Troll burns another charge from his Acid Arrow wand. The bolt splats into the creature's bulk. "Hah!" Troll says, moving his Disc directly above it. Rowaine dodges the vines and concentrates on the creature. She senses it is evil. She dismisses her petrified mount and makes her way towards the border of the entanglement area.

The creature rises to its feet. Arrian hears it muttering "Shut up, shut up shut up!" It takes a step and swings its mace in a wild circle, sundering nearby trees. Feren crawls through the hostile foliage behind Rowaine.

"When I said 'slip away…'" Rowaine says over her shoulder, critically.

"Working on it!" Feren replies.

The creature's distraction breaks Tomen's trance of fear. He marches towards the creature, swords out. Arrian's Spiritual Weapon continues to chip away at the creature's massively armoured form while he casts Aid on Troll. His confidence boosted, Troll launches another Acid Arrow at the humanoid. It joins the first, both working their ruin on the creature's metallic exterior. Troll keeps pace with the creature, hovering overhead just out of reach. Rowaine casts Eagle's Splendour upon herself, eyeing the creature but its attention is turned inwards. She steps closer to her comrades and they take heart at her presence.

The metal giant ceases spinning and focuses its attention upon the vanishingly small paladin before it. It lets out an unholy scream that threatens to shred everyone's resolve. Troll succumbs, collapsing to the concave surface of his Disc. The armoured giant then slams its heavy mace into Rowaine who cannot avoid the blow. She takes it stoically, giving no ground. Feren escapes the area of flailing trees. Tomen steps backwards and looses two arrows, the first of which lodges in between metal plates. It appears to bother the creature less than he had hoped.

"Rowaine," Arrian says in dwarven, "are you going to stay in range of its attacks?"

"Yes!" Rowaine answers, shaking her head in the negative.

"Then you shall die, paladin!" the creature snarls in perfect dwarven. Arrian's Spiritual Weapon batters away ineffectually. Although unable to act, Troll's previous Acid Arrows continue to worry at the creature's armour. Rowaine sidesteps vines and moves into dwarven battle pose between the creature's knees. "Moradin's wrath crush thee!" she shouts, swinging her axe upwards. The blade bites deep. Rowaine keeps her head amidst her righteous fury and, remembering her training, twists her axe haft minutely so the blade does not become lodged in her enemy. Her followup swing is turned by thick armour. She steps sideways, edging ever closer to the edge of the prehensile plants.

Again, the creature shrugs off the clutching plant life and shambles past Rowaine and Tomen. Rowaine takes her free hit - her axe again bites deep. The creature retaliates, but Rowaine's Arrian-augmented shield turns the blow. Feren somersaults between the creature's legs and bares his rapier, looking for an opening in its seemingly impenetrable armour. Tomen stows his bow, draws a sword and advances. His blade strikes true, but again scores less of a wound than his battle training would suggest. Arrian notices his paladin's wounds. His disembodied long sword strikes twice more, both failing to penetrate the goliath's protection. He recites his battle liturgy one more, inspiring his comrades but failing to dishearten his opponent. He then steps off his elevated platform that Troll clings to, plummeting to the ground below. The humanoid's eyes track his descent but its massive arms are not agile enough to intervene. Arrian's legs absorb the impact, wrenching muscle, tendon and sinew. His Magic Circle engulfs the creature but does not affect it. Troll sees his ally drop and raises to his knees. He adds to the acid aleady burning holes in the creature's fearsme armour and reorients his Disc above its head. "Hammer and Fire!" Rowaine shouts, lifting her feet free of the tightening loops of tree roots. Her waraxe cleaves its knee armour and it stumbles. Strangely, her blade comes away clean. Rowaine steps away from the creature, away from the entangling plants. Not far enough! The armoured giant's massive spiked mace arcs towards her, on a collision course with her head. She raises her shield, knowing that it will not be enough to turn the blow…

Wham! The barrel-sized business-end of the creature's weapon slams into Rowaine's arm, twisting her around and threatening to throw her off-balance. But it comes nowhere near her head. It should have… Arrian could swear that the behemoth pulled its near-perfect strike at the last minute, turning a possibly fatal blow into a survivable one. Then… Slam! The creature's left hand punches out, catching Arrian full in the chest and forcing him a step back. Feren spies a blind spot and moves towards it. His two thrusts are deflected by thousands of pounds of metal. Tomen activates his Boots of Haste, unsheathes his second sword and goes to work. Two of his six strikes foil the creature's considerable protection. Each blow still catches metal, blunting its full power. As Arrian's holy sword dances its justice upon the giant's head, Arrian dances between sentient foliage and petitions his deity to restore Rowaine to health. Corellon Larethian answers in force. Troll renews old acid for new, continuing the merciless attack upon the giant's upper surfaces. Rowaine settles into one of her standard attack routines. She is somewhat surprised when her first attack blasts through the creature's weakened chest armour. It topples backwards, lets out a maniacal laugh and does not rise.

Troll descends and pours Acid on the back of the creature's motionless head. The metal dissolves and the acid bubbles into the earth underneath. The helmet is hollow! Arrian looks closer, on the alert. Their damage seems permanent… and there seems to be something… no, someone, inside the armour. He can see a shoulder, the side of a head, an arm, inside the creature's torso. Troll splatters the creature's breastplate with more Acid. Rowaine Detects no more evil about the remnants of the battle. "Troll, stand down!" she shouts. Tomen extricates the figure from the armoured torso, a human man, very old, frail and unconscious, but alive. His breathing is light and his heartbeat weak.

"Might he have been imprisoned inside this suit of armour by evil magic?" Arrian asks.

"If so, perhaps it was he who saved Rowaine from the armour's last blow," Tomen says. He pulls out a length of twine and binds the man's hands in front. His clothing is little more than rags.

Troll inspects the fallen armour. Its previous sheen has disappeared. There are no longer any glowing red eyes in the ruined helm. A Detect Magic spell shows no dweomer still in place.

Arrian determines that whatever is causing the man's unconsciousness, it is not from any physical injury that he can see. Besides appearing malnourished and of advanced years, the man seems fine. Arrian puts him on a bedroll and covers him with a blanket. He then dips a cloth into water and squeezes some into the man's mouth. He drinks.

"Could this be Lawmeron?" Rowaine asks the others. "He's about the right age. The statues in Ashhope - I remember their poses, but I don't remember the face…" Tomen walks over and looks at the man. "It could be," he says. "There is a resemblance."

Arrian stabilises the man's condition as best he can, warning against moving him further - at least for a time. The party have lunch while they decide what to do. Troll looks at the man and agrees with Tomen's assessment. Arrian tends to the remainder of Rowaine's wounds. Rowaine asks Troll to investigate the creature's discarded mace, wondering whether it might be Lawmeron's hammer. Troll performs a destructive test involving Detect Magic and acid. It seems to be a simple mace, albeit a very large one.

Arrian reassesses the man's condition after lunch. Colour has returned to his face, but he remains unconscious. The party decide to take him to Ashhope. Rowaine and Tomen rig up a stretcher and assist placing the man upon it. They then place the stretcher upon Troll's Greater Disc, strapping it in place. Arrian unbinds the man's hands, thinking him incapable of running, or even of walking quickly, should he regain consciousness.

The party travel south on foot. As night falls, before the chill sets in they pitch camp, eat and sleep. Upon the morn the man is still in the same condition. They resume their travel and soon see the ruin of Piltover in the distance. Rowaine and Feren enter the town to inform the guards that threat has been dealt with, pointing them towards the battle site. The others circle around the town.

Shortly after leaving Piltover, the old man shows signs of consciousness. His eyes flicker open. "Where am I?" he asks in a deep, husky voice.

"You are on a stretch of road," Arrian replies. "We are taking you to Ashhope."

"How long have I been away?"

"I don't know. What do you last remember?"

"Something about being in some sort of suit of armour," the man says, looking around. "Who are you?"

"Arrian. And you - do you know who you are?"

"Uther."

"Uther Lawmeron?" Rowaine asks.

"Yes."

Uther Lawmeron's recollection of events is sketchy at best; the one thing he knows for certain is that he has been inside the armour for a very long time. Rowaine tells him the current year. Uther shakes his head and asks whether his family is still alive. They used to live in Ashhope. Arrian offers Uther a cautious amount of food, which he wolfs down voraciously. Arrian notices his condition is improving rapidly, more so than he would expect. A Detect Magic spell reveals a low amount of magic about his entire body. He asks Troll to confirm; the man's whole body issues a light amount of containment magic that is ebbing away. Both he and Arrian think Uther is younger than he appears.

The party continue on their southward trek, camping between Piltover and Zorn. Uther's recovery continues - he appears about sixty years old - some thirty years younger than when first encountered. The physique portrayed in the statues is gradually returning. The magic about his person continues to fade. He politely evades the party's questions, saying he needs to think. Arrian and Rowaine believe he is not intentionally withholding anything; rather, he is simply trying to make sense of the senseless.

The party venture around Zorn in much the same way as Piltover: informing the officer about the destruction of the creature responsible and quietly slipping past. The group carry on towards Carthenage, pitching camp a few hours away, The next morning, Rowaine Feren enter the city to buy a horse and cart. Uther now looks about fifty and is walking on his own now, although like one who is relearning how. After the pair leave, Uther pulls Arrian aside and tells him that he believes he was imprisoned in the armour in a tomb south of Zorn. He also says that has a brother, Umbrage, who he believed died in the village fire that took his parents. He believes Umbrage was in control of the armour. Uther thinks that he and his brother are twins. They were both subsequently told that to redeem the name Lawmeron, the legendary hammer must return to the family and that the first brother to possess it would forever be remembered as the beloved Uther. Arrian tells the man what the suit of armour has been responsible for in recent times. Uther says that the hammer is south of Ashhope - he knows this because Umbrage told him while he was trapped in the armour. Umbrage taunted Uther, saying he was going to show him who was the better brother.

Feren and Rowaine complete their task and rumble towards the south gate in their new horse-drawn cart. Rowaine does not see Jimmy or his benefactors. Once reunited, the party continue on towards Ashhope.

After a night in the open, the party near the capital city. Uther now looks in his mid forties and is walking no worse than any of the others. Arrian Detects no further magic about him. Before entering, the party urge Uther to travel inside the cart, out of sight. Uther complies.

Entering Ashhope, it is immediately evident that the city is in the grip of some sort of festival - colourful flags line the streets, entertainers perform tricks to massed crowds and the air is thick with the sound of party noisemakers. Tomen takes the lead and asks a passerby what is happening.

"Haven't you heard?" the man says. "Uther has returned! He's over at the city hall." Tomen catches up with the others, making their way through the throng towards the prince's residence. He tells Uther and the party what he has heard.

"My brother is here?" Uther asks.

"So it would appear," Arrian replies. "He must be brought to account for the things he has done."

Uther's face hardens. "If what Umbridge has been telling me while I was inside the armour is true, then he is a very evil man."

Tomen offers Uther his Hat of Change Self to obscure his identity. He emphasises with the threat of violence his desire to have the hat returned.

Previous · Next

Unless otherwise stated, the content of this page is licensed under Creative Commons Attribution-ShareAlike 3.0 License