10/12/13 – 50th Session – Module HM7 – The Expedition
Game Date: 9/28/900 N.Y. – 9/30/900 N.Y.
Basileus Arkonides (Chris) – domur: 65, hamingja: 1
Caelrath (Josh) – domur: – 65, hamingja: 3
Estrid (Tanya) – domur: 69, hamingja: 2
Thrand Hallsteinsson (Josh) – domur: 65, hamingja: 3
Bergsveinn Farisson (Metellus) – _domur: 15, hamingja: 1
Neferata (Jessie) – domur: 50, hamingja: 3
Kasimir (Chris) – domur: 21, hamingja: 1
Hakon Finehair the Skald (NPC) – domur: 61
Gruull (NPC, Cohort of Basileus Arkonides) – domur: 20
Bronislava (NPC Mercenary)
Solsdagur, the 28th of Tvimanudhur, 900 N.Y. (continued)
Having defeated the wyvern guardians of the temple, the heroes decided to storm the place before the enchantments they had placed upon themselves wore off. Kasimir von Schosse cast bull’s strength on Basileus Arkonides (who was already under an enchantment granting him the size of a giant) and Thrand Hallsteinsson cast cat’s grace on himself. Then Basileus tried to batter down the door to the temple, but even with his magically enhanced might, he was unable to do so. Neferata picked the lock so that the heroes could enter the temple.
Estrid Freysteinn cast spider climb on herself in order to be able to walk on the ceiling inside the temple. Then Basileus opened the doors, triggering a trap that peppered him with a hail of arrows. Bergsveinn Farisson ran up to heal Basileus as the heroes strode into the temple.
The heroes found themselves in a long colonnade, a hallway occupied by a large bull which seemed to have armored plates for skin. The temple’s Sacred Bull, this creature was identified as a gorgon, a magical beast with deadly breath that caused petrification. Behind the Sacred Bull stood a woman, Kolfrosta, the High Priestess of Jomali. She asked who the heroes were and how they dared to commit such sacrilege by invading her temple. Neferata shouted out, “We’re here to loot it!” Bergsveinn shouted that they had come to find the prisoners who had been sent to the temple, and find out why none ever return when sentenced to labor for the temple. Kolfrosta replied that her business was between her and the god Jomali, and that she would give them the chance to leave with their lives. When the heroes replied that they would not leave until they had what they had come for, the battle was joined . . .
Caelrath attempted to cast charm monster on the Sacred Bull, but the beast shook off the enchantment. Kasimir von Schosse used his bloodline power of fleeting glance to disappear, and cast magic missile on the monster. Neferata managed to slip away and stealthily approach the archway through which stood Kolfrosta. Thrand Hallsteinsson loosed a number of arrows at the beast, but pulled a muscle in his arm and had to slow down to aim more carefully and loose one arrow at a time. Estrid’s lightning storm was still in effect, and she unleashed lightning at the beast. The Sacred Bull responded by approaching the heroes, who still stood grouped in the doorway to the temple, and breathed its deadly breath upon them. The breath petrified Basileus, Caelrath, Thrand, Kasimir, and Hakon Finehair the Skald. The petrification was temporary, and the heroes might be able to shake it off, but they knew that if the monster breathed upon them a second time, the petrification would become permanent. Bergsveinn Farisson, unaffected by the Sacred Bull’s breath and knowing how dire was the situation, charged forward to try to kill the Bull before the monster could turn his friends to stone permanently!
Meanwhile, Kolfrosta used a scroll to cast a spell that allowed her to vanish. Thrand managed to shake off the petrification and maneuvered to loose an arrow at the monster. Neferata prepared a spell of true strike to allow her to hit Kolfrosta. The Sacred Bull attempted to gore Bergsveinn with its horns and trample him with its hooves, and it succeeded in striking him with a hoof. Enraged, Bergsveinn swung his mighty axe and felled the Sacred Bull.
Caelrath managed to break free from the petrification, and blasted the area near where Kolfrosta had stood with glitterdust, revealing her location as she exited a chamber to the north. Estrid blasted her with lightning, and Bergsveinn ran up to attack the priestess with his axe. Basileus broke free from the petrification and ran up to attack her, wielding Ormsbani.
Caelrath blasted the priestess with a scorching ray, Neferata tried to prepare a true strike again, as Kolfrosta took a careful step back as she prepared to run for a door to the south. The heroes noted that she tried to be drawing them to cross through the archway into the back of the temple. Thrand, having recovered from his injury sufficiently, struck the priestess with three arrows. Finally, Estrid unleashed lightning at the priestess, knocking her to the floor. Her body warped and changed into that of a horrible hag – she had only pretended to be human. But was she dead? Bergsveinn used death watch to make certain she was dead before the heroes approached her. Neferata found and disarmed a magical trap over the archway, and so the heroes could proceed.
The heroes checked the room to the north, the one in which Kolfrosta had just been, and found the bodies of the five prisoners they had seen the day before. They had all been killed, one of them recently, and parts of them had been eaten. They realized that the hag priestess had been sacrificing the prisoners and then devouring their corpses . . . and she had just killed the last living prisoner to spite them, to keep them from rescuing him. Bergsveinn Farisson nursed a cold fury against the other heroes, for he realized that if the party had listened to him and stormed the place the night before, the prisoners might still be alive. As a godhi of Forseti, a god of the Aesir, he decided to give them proper funeral rites and cremate them . . .
Before taking care of the dead prisoners, the heroes decided to make sure the temple was secure. They checked the door to the south, and saw that it was a stairway down into total darkness. Using light spells on Basileus’ sword and Hakon’s axe, they ventured into the lightless tunnels. They followed the stairs down south to a landing, then turned east down to a tunnel. The tunnel seemed to go on and on and on, until finally they saw daylight. The tunnel came out by the Vylga River, where a longship was concealed by the banks. They realized that this had been intended as an escape route. The heroes returned back down the tunnel, checking the position of the sun so that they could estimate the time and distance they had traveled. They found that the journey through the tunnel took about an hour.
Bergsveinn and Kasimir gave funeral rite to the prisoners and burned the body of the hag, though Basileus severed its head and kept it in a sack. The rest of the party searched the clearing around the temple for treasure, finding a number of useful items, including a set of pipes of sounding for Hakon. Basileus went to the guards at the gate to dismiss them, then thought better of it and decided to hire them, giving them the nicknames “Olaf” and “Anders” and offering them 3 silver pennigar per diem.
The heroes returned to the pond where they had left Gruull guarding their mounts and wagons. They went overland to the site where the longboat was hidden. Kasimir von Schosse used his tiny hut spells to shelter the party for the night.
Manadagur, the 29th of Tvimanudhur, 900 N.Y.
The next morning, they had decided to take the longship and travel down the Vylga River towards Argyropolis. Hakon Finehair the Skald said that it was bad luck to sail in a ship without a name, so they named the ship the Helgiask, and Kasimir von Schosse performed a “ribbonmancy” to try to determine if the journey would be favorable . . . apparently, the augury was auspicious. But as they prepared to sail, the heroes had a disagreement about destination. The majority wanted to sail past Inazor Obram, but Bergsveinn Farisson intended to stop there and try to do two things – find Bronislava to offer her a job, and find out who was responsible for the prisoners being sent to the temple . . . and make them pay. Bergsveinn managed to convince the others.
The heroes sailed down the river to Inazor Obram. Bergsveinn refused to sail aboard the Helgiask, having an aversion to ships, but rode his horse alongside the Vylga down to the town. The heroes were warned at the docks (and gates) not to cause trouble in the realm of Queen Ekki. They sought an inn suitable for an “imperial ambassador” (for Basileus Arkonides had resumed that cover story). They ended up at an inn called The Cauldron, where the proprietor was a dark-haired woman wearing striking white robes with silver embroidery. Her name was Erzbeta, and she casually mentioned her membership in an order of witches. They sent Gruull to find Bronislava.
While they waited, the heroes conversed with Erzbeta and learned more about the town of Inazor Obram and its “Witch Queen.” It turned out that the queen had a deal with an ancient enemy, the priestess of the temple. The deal was that convicted prisoners were sent to the temple to serve at hard labor, and then eventually be released. It seemed that the deaths of the prisoners were not part of standard procedure! Then Gruull came back with Bronislava . . .
Bronislava was glad to see the heroes! She revealed that she had tried to get a job as a caravan guard, but Dunyasha had prevented her from leaving. Bronislava mentioned that she hated Inazor Obram, and that many of the nobles who ruled the town were secretly inhuman – hags and worse! The skull motif around the town was not just for show! The heroes offered to hire her – Basileus offered her 10 gold aurar per week to travel with them. She agreed. But she had to return to Dunyasha’s house for the night, lest she grow suspicious. Bergsveinn cast status on her to keep track of her through the night. The heroes decided not to try to confront Queen Ekki . . . at least, not yet.
Tysdagur, the 30th of Tvimanudhur, 900 N.Y.
The heroes woke up before dawn at The Cauldron and had a hearty meal. Bronislava arrived in the predawn hours, as planned. The heroes debated about what to do about the head of Kolfrosta. Basileus showed the head to Erzbeta and told her to release the information as she saw fit once they had left the town. They quickly boarded the Helgiask and set sail south down the Vylga as the run was rising over Inazor Obram. Although they had been warned that the head of the hag Kolfrosta might be cursed, they decided to retain it, for now . . .
XP Earned: 16,002 (2286 each)
Total XP: 103,029 each
XP to level 10: 105,000