Borderland of Adventure #11: A Noble Offer

At the end of last session, we left the PCs about to open a stone door that seemingly had not been opened for many decades or even centuries.

BoA

 

Beyond lay a short corridor, which ended in another door. Krorz dared the corridor, but fell prey to a hidden arrow trap. Injured by its sudden attack, he attempted to disarm the device, but failed (and was shot twice more for his efforts!) Eventually, the cunningly hidden trap was disarmed and the party reached the next chamber.

Within, more dust lay thickly on the ground. The room was empty but for a single statue of a coiled dragon. When Krorz approached the dragon, it spoke a riddle which the party quickly answered. When the correct word was uttered, a hitherto unseen secret door opened – leading deeper into the complex.

The door opened into another chamber – long abandoned like the last. Statues of Bakluni warriors stood along the walls and at the far end of the room an open pit protected a further room beyond in which stood a single massive stone sarcophagus.

Belivar deployed a collapsing plank and ladder he carried with him for just such eventualities. Kemmo was, of course, the first across. However, disaster struck as a small winged demonic creature – later identified as a quasit – appeared out of thin air and pushed the brave warrior into the pit (which was spiked). As his comrades burst into action, the creature flew across the pit and attacked Krorz. Quickly, he struck back at the creature, although it seemed resistant to his attacks. As the party began to surround the creature, it disappeared shouting that the party had freed it by waking the sleeper. Belivar and Klara then had the excellent idea of hurling the room’s dust about in an attempt to locate the again invisible creature.

They did this for sometime, but eventually decided that the creature had fled.

After a brief discussion – which resulted in the strong suspicion that something lurked within the sarcophagus – the heroes advanced into the room. The sarcophagus’ lid was held down with six great clasps which took a lot of effort to remove. Eventually, however, the party managed to free the lid and push it off. A flash of green light momentarily dazzled them and revealed a thin, emaciated troll lying on a pile of coins and scrolls. Sadly, the creature seemed very much alive and as it rose to battle the intruders, Kemmo leapt into the troll’s lair and battle commenced.

Kemmo struck it several mighty blows and although he grievously injured the beast eventually it laid him low. However, his brave sacrifice enabled the party to surround the troll and for Krorz to land several devastating sneak attacks. As the troll climbed from the sarcophagus, the party’s attacks intensified as it advanced on Krorz who backed cautiously away. However, the flurry of attacks proved too much for the beast and it quickly fell. Klara continued to hit the beast and a recently revived Kemmo beheaded it and hurled the head into the pit.

The party looted the sarcophagus, but found the troll had only minimal treasure. Remarking that it was a strange creature to find in such a tomb, they continued their search and although they did find a few more secret rooms and ancient inscriptions, they found no additional treasure.

Having explored the entire area, the party retreated from the Sunless Citadel. However, as Adoven climbed from the ravine the rope suddenly went slack and he fell to the ground. Above them, the party heard a demonic cackle and the flutter of leathery wings. Adoven quickly urged his eidolon to climb up but when he reached the surface, the quasit had fled. Retying the rope, he guarded it as his companions climbed cautiously out.

Their mission finally complete, the party returned to their ruined home. Kemmo – suffering from  his near death experience – needed to rest for a week or so and afterwards he travelled to Oakhurst to return the family signet rings to merchant Hurcele. She was glad to have them, although obviously distraught her children were dead. She paid Kemmo the agreed reward and also told him that one of her business contacts – the great House of Vorloi – were searching for honourable men and she had suggested Kemmo. The Vorloi are one of the fourteen great houses of Ratik and association with them would bring great honour and status to the heroes. The head of the family was a Sword Lord – one of Lord Baron Lexnol’s trusted councillors.

Interested, Kemmo returned to his friends to give them the good news. After a discussion, the group decided to head north for the winter to meet with the Vorlio, hopefully beating the snow that even now fell upon the Rakers. Gathering their possessions, they headed north staying in a series of boring, dreary villages at night. In one such locale, they met a wandering knight – Sir Valio Ilmonen. the man was a snob, but obviously a good warrior. Krorz took an immediate dislike to the man (as did Klara) but Kemmo took some time to speak with him. Sir Valio decided to travel with the group for a while, in search of honour and adventure. Strangely the party suspected him of being evil, but magical detections revealed no hint of malice within him.

Heading further south, the party quickly came upon a horrible scene. The bodies of six humans lay strewn about an obviously ransacked wagon. It transpired that only two of the humans were the dead – the others were simply badly wounded. Adoven used his magic to heal them, and the party spent much time helping bury the slain, recover their possessions and such like. Afterward, Kemmo hitched his horse to their wagon and the party escorted the family to a nearby town. Once there, the party amazed the survivors with their generosity giving them almost 100 gold pieces to restart their life. The family were incredibly grateful and promised the heroes a warm welcome in Ratikhill if they should ever pass that way.

As the party sat in the inn that night, they vowed revenge upon the bandits…

Creighton is the publisher at Raging Swan Press and the designer of the award winning adventure Madness at Gardmore Abbey. He has designed many critically acclaimed modules such as Retribution and Shadowed Keep on the Borderlands and worked with Wizards of the Coast, Paizo, Expeditious Retreat Press, Rite Publishing and Kobold Press.

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