Chapter 09: Those Statues Look Initiativey. Literally.

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Session Number: 9
Date: Sunday 5th October 2014
Venue: Densial's
PCs & Players:

Kyra Clr2 (3028xp) (Yeran) (kills: none)
Lem Brd2 (2113 xp) (Fergus) (kills: none)
Merisiel Rog2 (3028 xp) (Ash) (kills: none)
Valeros Ftr2 (2873 xp) (Craig) (kills: 1 skeleton)

XP Awarded: 300

Merisiel is conscious - barely. Kyra uses the healing wand on her.

"Careful," Valeros says. "That deep part over there, there are at least two more skeletons. At least two."

"Do you need healing, Valeros?"

"I'm good just now."

"Well we did come over here to do the wheel," Lem points out. "Shall we do the wheel?"

"I'll go," Valeros says. He makes his way across the centre bridge and surveys the wheel. There are no signs or inscriptions, nothing to suggest which way to turn the device. He tries gently turning the wheel. It does not budge in either direction. There doesn't seem to be anything preventing the mechanism from turning. He puts his back into it, in the clockwise direction.

"Lem, come here."

"I'm not going in that water!"

Valeros returns. "Get on my shoulders." Lem does so and Valeros ferries him across.

"We're going clockwise on three… One, two, three!" Together they turn the wheel but it still does not move.

"Are you sure you're turning it the right way?" Kyra asks.

"No."

"Could you try the other way?"

"Sure. On three, Lem. Anticlockwise."

The boys heave at the wheel in the other direction. Crack! Several spokes splinter under the strain.

Merisiel comes over. "Here, let me take a look." She examines the wheel and chain. "It's supposed to turn clockwise. When you turned it anticlockwise, you broke it."

"How the hell do you know that?" Valeros says.

"You wouldn't understand." Merisiel looks at the spokes, then retrieves some rope from her pack and starts binding the broken timbers together. She steps back and surveys her handiwork. "That oughtta hold," she states. "Try now. The other way."

Valeros sets up and tugs the wheel clockwise a half-turn. He looks up and smiles.

"Don't stop there," Kyra says. "Keep going."

Valeros grunts and strains at the wheel for a further minute, turning it a full four revolutions and making him break into a sweat. "Right, that's done."

Lem walks behind Valeros. "Onwards, steed!"

Valeros turns and eyes the halfling. "I'm not above tossing you," he states. Lem simply grins cheekily. "Alright," the fighter says and piggy-backs Lem back across. He puts him down, none too gently.

The party return to the western room with the strange magical pool. As expected, the portcullis is now open.

"What's in there, Valeros?" Kyra asks.

"The same sort of layout as the room before. More catacombs." He pauses. "I can still hear a bit of fluttering. Let's go in."

Valeros leads the others through. The passageway enters the room in its northwest corner. It is wider than it is long, and is divided into several rows of catacombs. A deep crack that runs nearly the full width of the room mars the vaulted ceiling. Thousands of bats hang inside; some occasionally shuffle around and rewrap their leathery wings around their bodies.

"Sshh!" Valeros whispers. "That's where the bats are. I'm gonna go around the edge of the wall, see what's up there on the left."

The party sneak into the room, following the left wall. Their passage is fairly quiet, but some of the bats stir at the intrusion. Valeros slows right down, but continues shadowing the left wall. He enters a passageway that leads north, then east and ends at a door. "Merisiel, you're up."

Merisiel moves to the front and opens the door.

"Look, Merisiel, if all you're gonna do is open the door, I'll do it myself!"

The door opens towards Merisiel to reveal a room. The door is in the northwest corner.

"What's in there?" Valeros asks.

Two deep pits are on the west and east walls about half way along. There is a set of brass double doors in the centre of the south wall, guarded by two stone statues of commoners with spear and shield. The vaulted ceiling shows many signs of damage.

The party enter the room, Valeros in the lead. Lem senses no magic from anything visible. There are no plaques, nothing written on the walls. The pits are forty feet deep and are not lined with blankets. Merisiel suggests closing the door in case the bats try to get in; Lem does so. Valeros asks whether Kyra has any more healing; she has a few charges left in her wand. She heals Merisiel and Valeros.

Valeros moves south, on the bridge between the pits. Merisiel and Kyra follow; Lem hangs back. The statues suddenly charge forward on hidden wheels at forty miles an hour! Valeros jumps away, Lem and Merisiel are pushed to the north wall, and Kyra is shoved off the bridge into the eastern pit. She lands reasonably lightly. The statues stop at the north wall, then return to their original positions.

"Are you OK, Kyra?" Lem asks.

"Urgh."

Valeros tosses down an end of his rope and helps pull Kyra out. He then gingerly walks behind the statues. They remain motionless.

"Merisiel, how about you come across?" he says. "Maybe you can stop these statues from doing that again."

Merisiel fixes her rope to the door and drops the end into the western pit. She climbs down and up the other side using the rope Valeros tosses her. Lem follows.

Valeros first tries pushing one of the statues over. It does not budge.

"Are you done? Shall I take a look?" Merisiel says.

"Go ahead."

Merisiel fetches some wedges from her backpack and jams them under the statues, lifting them off the floor. "They are disabled," she says.

"Go test it," Kyra says.

Merisiel walks backwards across the bridge. At about half way, there is a whirring sound from the statues that pauses and starts again, then they fall quiet. She looks down and perceives a section of floor that has depressed under her weight.

"That's that, then," Valeros says. "Let's open the door."

"Hang on a moment," Kyra says, touching the healing wand to her bruised legs. The party then station themselves at the southern doors. They open towards them. Merisiel does the honours.

The room beyond is lower, reached by a bannisterless set of stairs that descend into its middle. On either side are four pairs of pillars with statues before them, similar to those in the previous room. Opposite is a dais with a sarcophagus whose lid lies nearby. Atop the lid is a motionless female, asleep or unconscious. Behind it, on the wall, is a lit torch. Kyra does not sense any magic.

"That torch," Valeros says. "I bet you anything you like that's the flame."

"Let's go in," Merisiel says.

Valeros looks around. "All hell's gonna break loose when we do, you know that," Valeros says.

"We're gonna go in either way…"

"But can we get out? Hang on, I have an idea," Valeros says. He ties one end of his rope to one of the brass door handles, loops the rope around the statues, then ties the other end around the other door's handle. "There you go, the door will now stay open."

The party cautiously enter, Valeros and Merisiel in the lead. As the pair finish descending the stairs, a dry, mirthless laugh echoes from the dark recesses of the tomb. "So, Kassen's heroes have come to fight me again! You will make fine minions for my army of the dead. Come and meet your fate!" A figure strides out of the darkness, tall and skeletal with burning blue eyes. It wears polished mail and carries a greatsword. Four more skeletons emerge from the corners of the room.

Initiative:
Skeletons: >20
Merisiel: 20
Valeros: 20
Lem: 15
Kyra: 14
BBEG: <14

TOR1
"Standard funnelling procedure, people!" Valeros says. The skeletons converge on their position and attack Valeros and Merisiel, missing. Merisiel withdraws, provoking an AoO that hits for 4 damage. She stops past the doors. Valeros does the same. A skeleton swipes at him but misses. Lem withdraws and sings something inspiring:

"You make me feel, You make me feel, You make me feel like a natural warrior…"

Kyra also withdraws.

TOR2
The skeletons take chase up the stairs; one hits Valeros, another misses Merisiel. The elf retaliates with her rapier and hits well but doesn't do the damage she was expecting. Valeros attacks twice: AC21 hits for 10 damage; it dies. AC19 hits for 2 damage that did nothing. Lem sings and slings; the bullet misses. Kyra readies an action to slash at anything that closes with Valeros. The armoured skeleton obliges. Kyra's attack misses. The skeleton's attack does too, its heavy blade sparking as it hits the ground.

TOR3
A skeleton swings at Merisiel and misses. Merisiel retaliates, AC20 hits for 4 damage that does no harm. "Haaaaar!" Valeros yells in the skeleton's face. "HAAAAAAR!" it yells back, more convincingly. He attacks: AC18 misses, AC21 hits for 6 damage (very little). Lem slings a stone and misses. Kyra attacks BBEG with her wand: nat1! Kyra strains her shoulder taking 1 dex damage. The BBEG flicks its sword at Valeros' two blades, disarming him of both.

TOR4
A skeleton attacks Merisiel and hits for 4 damage. Merisiel attacks back: nat20 unconfirmed does 4 damage, i.e. nothing. Valeros dives for his swords, provoking an AoO from BBEG that hits for 11 damage. Despite the solid hit, Valeros manages to get hands on both swords. He attacks: nat1 and a miss - he narrowly avoids being stunned. "Kyra, heal Valeros!" Lem says as he slings another bullet towards the skeletons. It misses. Kyra uses her wand to heal Valeros for 6hp. The big skeleton attacks Valeros, hitting for a further 10 damage.

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