Against the Cult of Chaos

The Great Escape

Party
Game Notes

The players of Chef and Tawnka were unable to attend this session.

Session Summary

Just as Chef completed her work on the tripwires, Brother Edmund arrived! The priest apologized for his delay. He had followed the party as soon as he had arisen. Upon entering the ravine, he encountered the spirit of Haffron Hommel, who told the priest in which cave to find the group. Brother Edmund was not comfortable following the directions of a ghost, even the ghost of a hero, but he was no tracker and had no other way of finding the group's trail on the hard ground.

With the trap deactivated, the party was free to enter the chamber at the end of the corridor. The grotto was splattered with dried gore. Brother Edmund could discern that more than one creature had died in this room to leave such gruesome remains. A sickly red light emanated from the hilt of a blade buried in the chest of a burly human male in scale armor. He slumped lifelessly against a pile of rubble at the back of the chamber. The hilt's light pulsed with the eerie rhythm of a heartbeat.

Brother Edmund approached the slumped figure when he suddenly sat up and screamed, "Run! Doom approaches!" before flopping bonelessly back down onto the rock. His eyes remained wide open and his breathing was labored. Bloody spittle could be seen on his lips.

His cry echoed through the grotto and deeper into the cave system. It was answered by excited squeaking and yipping from the cave depths. The party then heard a war horn sound, loud enough to echo out of the cave and be heard across the ravine. The group prepared for combat as the priests moved to assist the dying man.

Using their knowledge of the arcane, Brother Edmund and Brother Carell could both discern that the blade embedded in the man was both protecting him as well as draining his life force. Apparently, he had managed to bond with the magical weapon before it could slay him. As they started a conversation with the wounded warrior, the party was attacked by a wave of kobolds and savage humanoids with greenish-gray skin, lupine ears, and large lower tusks: orcs! The kobolds were armed with slings while the orcs held brutal greataxes.

The priests learned that the man was Otis Druet and that he had impaled himself with the magical Chaos Blade to prevent it from falling into the hands of evil. He had been in this sustained state of agony for weeks. Brother Carell convinced him that the party's intentions were good and they wished to remove the blade from the caves, taking it back to Hommel Lane where they would attempt to destroy it. With Otis's permission, Brother Carell removed the sword while Brother Edmund tried to save the man's life with healing magic.

Meanwhile, the others battled for their lives. Both Martiris and Tarryn were hindered by their inability to see beyond the group's torchlight, leaving them unable to reciprocate the stones slung by the kobolds. Fortunately, the non-human party members were able to assist in their defense. The orcs were dispatched and the kobolds almost defeated when goblins (small, fanged, orange-skinned humanoids) armed with crude maces and bows joined the fray.

Brother Edmund's healing saved Otis's life, but he was left too weak from his ordeal to assist in the battle. Chef volunteered to assist him in leaving the caves while the priests moved to support the rest of the party in battle. The group managed to push the evil creatures back down the tunnel and began a retreat out of the cave when a new threat emerged. A giant humanoid brute, easily nine or ten feet tall, confronted the party's rear guard. Greasy hair ran down a sloped forehead to beady eyes that stared with hatred. It opened a mouth of rotted and broken teeth to utter a war cry before rushing forward with its tree trunk club. (The party would later determine that this foe wasn't a giant, but only an ogre, a smaller cousin.)

The party defeated the ogre in a large part due to the swordsmanship of Honourable Martiris. His skill with his bastard sword disarmed the ogre before it could land a crushing blow. Unfortunately, it was not the only evil creature left. The deeper caves were apparently filled with humanoid savages. As the party retreated into the daylight of the ravine, they were attacked by fanged, red-skinned humanoids, armed and armored with better quality weapons than previously encountered (hobgoblins!).

Acting as rear guard, Martiris defeated the hobgoblins quickly and raced away to join the others at the entrance to the ravine. The group had discussed the possibility of investigating the evil temple mentioned by the spirit of Haffron Hommel, but as they regrouped, they heard war horns echoing across the ravine. An unearthly violet energy suddenly poured into the ravine from the farthest point, leaving the characters' skins crawling. They then heard hundreds of rough voices chanting the same word over and over: "Miska!" Humanoid figures began to fill the ravine from the surrounding caves. More kobolds, orcs, goblins, and hobgoblins followed the party from the cave they had left. There was no choice but to flee.

As the party worked their way through the twisted trees at the edge of the ravine, a familiar spectral apparition appeared: the ghost of Haffron Hommel. He told the group to continue on their way to Hommel Lane; the artifacts they possessed must not return to the cult of Miska! He would guard them.

Their last sight of the spirit was the ghost standing off the first of the evil creatures. The foul humanoids obviously feared his ghostly blade, but as more and more gathered, so too could the heroes see the creatures' courage building. It would not be long before the mob attacked.

The group reached Martiris' horses and with little explanation to Kevin or Elmo, continued their flight through the woods. The party kept a steady pace with only short rests to avoid exhaustion and over-taxing the poor health of Otis (whom Martiris allowed to ride his horse). They saw no signs of pursuit, but did not allow themselves to relax until reaching the outskirts of Hommel Lane.

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