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Lorderl

The Dead of Knight

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Kurith had spent a good therr-quarters of an hour watching the blue lady, who seemed to be oblivious to her question. The human's muttering surprised her.

 

"Morning? Is it?", she replies to Darius' initial greeting. "I could sleep a whole 'nother day, but.."

 

Kurith pauses and redresses her question, this time for Darius.

 

"Was you havin' some kinda bad dream too?", Kurith asks him as he is yawning and stretching. She observes soemthing strange in the moments before he makes his reply. As a child, Kurith found it strangely frightening to watch humans moving about in the total darkness, how they shorten their stride, grasp the air ahead of them with flailing hands, and above all, how their pale eyes widen and passively move to and fro trying to focus as if on phantoms. Even at her present age, Kurith feels very uneasy in the presence of a blind person. She had been watching Darius. The human was looking at Tempest, and then stared straight at Kurith.

 

"Funny. I can see in the dark now. Did you perhaps cast a spell on me, Tempest?", Darius says, confirming Kurith's suspicion. Kurith cracks a wide grin back in his direction and replies. "Ain't no spell on you, mannish-boy. You got the Green-Fever."

 

As Darius continues to speculate on what things might be like outside on the streets, Kurith makes what she thinks is a helpful suggestion. "We got barrels of Irongullet's booze.. an' it all taste same as water to me. It don't kick much either."

 

At Darius' prompting, Kurith checks her own supplies for healing draughts, but finds none.

 

"Can't help ya with healin'..... maybe I'd help ya with that Green Fever... if ya wasn't so scraggly an' poor Kurith wasn't so undrunk."

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Tempest… (before sleeping)

Upon casting Detect Magic within the hidden room your senses are momentarily overwhelmed, it would seem the room itself is bathed in a magical aura.

 

The magical effects here is something I came up with, think Leomund’s Secret Chest & Shelter (from Detect Magic, PHB219: Magical areas, multiple types of magic, or strong local magical emanations may distort or conceal weaker auras. So this room has a Strong Conjuration aura DC21. I don’t want it to distort or conceal weaker auras so there’ll be a +2 DC (not factored into DC’s below) to any Spellcraft checks. I also provided a means to offset this penalty

 

1st Round: Presence or absence of magical auras.

2nd Round: Number of different magical auras and the power of the most potent aura.

3rd Round: The strength and location of each aura. If the items or creatures bearing the auras are in line of sight, you can make Spellcraft skill checks to determine the school of magic involved in each. (Make one check per aura; DC 15 + spell level, or 15 + half caster level for a nonspell effect.)

 

I’m guessing Tempest is checking the items from the backpack, to simplify matters I’m include all the info and she’ll pick accordingly as you stated. The list below is the original and some items may not be present anymore, ie… giving/taking to/by other players or used

 

Backpack Contents:

Potions and Oils: All labeled

Three Cure Light Wounds

Two Cure Moderate Wounds

Elixir of Hiding

Elixir of Sneaking

Beetle Elixir: Though label, it doesn’t mean a character knows its function. Aura: Moderate; (DC 18)

transmutation

view with Successful check or Spoiler

Camouflage Paint (Jar)

Elixir of Flaming Fist

Healing Salve (Jar)

Porcupine Elixir: Though label, it doesn’t mean a character knows its function. Aura: Faint; (DC 16)

transmutation

view with Successful check or Spoiler

Keoghtom`s Ointment (Jar)

Salve of Minor Spell Resistance (Jar)

 

Scrolls: Divine (Pick or Roll them)

Three of 1st Level

Two of 2nd Level

One of 3rd Level

 

Scrolls: Arcane (Pick or Roll them)

Three of 1st Level

Two of 2nd Level

One of 3rd Level

 

Scrolls still require a Read Magic spell or Spellcraft Check

 

 

Backpack: Moderate; (DC19)

Conjuration

view with Successful check or Spoiler

 

Map or Scroll case: no aura

 

Marvelously crafted white wooden flute: no aura

 

Small pouch: no aura, gems and coins inside

 

Trail Rations: Three days worth for two: no aura

 

Gold tipped Wand: Aura: Faint; (DC16)

Divination

view with Successful check or Spoiler

 

Leather belt, bears a platinum buckle set with three small black pearls: Aura: Moderate; (DC19)

transmutation

view with Successful check or Spoiler

 

A silky black piece of cloth: no aura

 

Piece of Amethyst, carved in the shape of a dragon scale, foggy images of runes swirls within: Aura: Strong; (DC23)

transmutation

view with Successful check or Spoiler

 

A fist-sized chunk of un-worked stone: Moderate; (DC18)

evocation

view with Successful check or Spoiler, same as one in Thor's downstairs office.

 

A shiny black leather shirt bears small golden sun and skull emblems around the collar, shoulders and cuffs.: Aura: Faint; (DC16)

abjuration

view with Successful check or Spoiler

 

A worn looking craft knife: no aura, no spell listed but its a DC18 since the description says must be 6th level to create

 

Waterskin, unremarkable, looks to be made from camel hide: Aura: Faint; (DC16)

Conjuration

view with Successful check or Spoiler

 

50’ Rope, has slight pungent odor, feels rubbery and has a complex knot at one end.: Aura: Moderate; (DC18)

Conjuration

view with Successful check or Spoiler

 

Boots currently worn by Kurith, viewable while she sleeps: Aura: Moderate; (DC20)

Divination

view with Successful check or Spoiler

 

 

Game note: I forgot to include the following portion, its readily noticeable come morning

 

Group…

Any ash residue from the black cloud that hadn’t been cleaned by Tempest spell is now gone, but not from anyone’s body.

 

Any items that had been previously found on the table, that are not on a character’s body during the night when they are asleep are found back on the table, all neatly stacked and arranged in an orderly manner and in the same spot it had previously been. So while Rothgar kept the ledger in his pack, it wasn’t on his body during the night so its back on the table, same as the backpack Tempest took, though it will still contain all its items (minus those on her person)

 

Kurith old boots rest alongside the table leg where the previous ones were, and if inspected she’d even find that they have been mended, though otherwise they are still quite worn. in the event I missed any detail, imagine a butler with orders on what to do, coming in and returning things, cleaning and such. To make things easier this also takes place during the time Tempest slept as its based on activity and such

 

Those of you that eat or drink find no taste at all to it, and it leaves you quite unsatisfied, though nutritional effects occur and your hungry will fade, that parched feeling fades etc…

 

Also, you all look like hell to one another, dull color skin tone, any open wounds look really unhealty, maybe even oozing, you would all give the walking dead a run for their money.

 

here's the list of items incase you need it, I went through it all figuring out what would reappear on the table and what wouldn't. I believe its accurate

Items on top of the table…

There are several neat stacks of coins (2-3 of each): Gold, Silver, Platinum, and a small of pile gems and some copper coins are spread about (minus the coins that others have taken, which Kurith recently acquired most of it (leaving the copper behind, though actually all of it wouldn’t fit in her belt pouches, pants and such so some of other types are back there as well). I expanded the items description wherever possible, I also listed everything separately. Read all on a successful check or spoiler.

 

Top stacked Keg barrel: Aura Faint (DC16)

Conjuration

I forgot this but Tempest would have noticed it with her spell first time around

 

A pair of tankards

One golden in color: This pure gold chalice is finely worked and bears the symbol of a sun rising upon a blooming rose. Aura Moderate (DC19)

Evocation

 

 

The other is clear: Aura Faint, (DC16)

Divination

 

 

A ledger: (GM item) Aura Faint (DC17)

Conjuration

 

 

A silver ring: (GM item) Aura Faint (DC19)

Conjuration

 

 

A silver rod: (GM item) Aura Faint (DC19)

Conjuration

 

 

Anyone, DC19 Decipher Script, Knowledge Arcane, or Spellcraft DC19, when using read magic to identify a symbol

you understand that there’s a connection between the silver ring and silver rod mentioned above as you recognize correlating arcane symbols on both items

 

 

A writing set consisting of a elegant metal tipped stylus pen-quill and ink bottle: Aura Faint (DC16)

Divination

 

 

A folded sack (known to Kurith as a Bag of Holding, Type I): Aura Moderate (DC19)

Conjuration

 

 

A small silver pin, shaped like a harp, (being used a ledger bookmark): Aura Faint (DC16)

Abjuration

 

 

A bone colored mask, shaped like a skull, painted black around the eyes: Aura Faint (DC19)

Abjuration

 

 

A pair of leather bound armguards: Aura Faint (DC16)

Abjuration and Transmutation

 

These hard leather armguards look sturdy, yet flexible. They appear to be crafted from a scaly red hide of a large reptile. (these were grabbed by Darius, though didn’t state that he put them on, if placed in pouch they’re not here, if thrown in his pack they're here on the table)

 

A leather circlet, has a silver headpiece: Aura Moderate; (DC18)

Transmutation

 

This leather circlet has a silver headpiece showing crescent moons on either side of a seven-pointed star

 

Several pieces of hand wear below are all nicely stack and partial overlapping one another

A pair of fine leather gloves: Aura Strong (DC21)

Transmutation

 

Small, open hands formed of hardened leather rest upturned on the backs of each of these thin, brown gloves

 

A iron wrought gauntlet (will fit the same hand as the other gauntlet which Kurith has): Aura Moderate (DC18)

Evocation

 

 

A silver circlet: Aura Faint (DC16)

Divination

 

When worn, this silver circlet’s diamond centerpiece rests on the forehead

 

A circlet of serpentine stone: Aura Moderate (DC18)

Enchantment

 

Fashioned from a single piece of serpentine stone, this is carved to resemble a septet of intertwined snakes, each devouring the tail of another. The serpents’ eyes are tiny emeralds, and silver filigree sets off each snake’s individual scales.

 

Three small lusterless black sphere: Aura Faint (DC16)

Conjuration

 

The surface of these small, lusterless black sphere is graven with a pair of fangs. May be throw up to 60ft with no range penalties.

 

A pair of small blue serpent figurines (GM item): Moderate; (DC 18)

Abjuration

 

 

A greenish-brownish-blackish pile of folded leather

Anyone, DC15 Knowledge Nature

The hide is that of an Ophidian, known for their chameleon-like ability to help blend them into natural surroundings. This armor is common only in human communities near the Serpent Hills. DC20: Ophidian leather retains some of the ophidian’s color-changing capacity, granting the wearer a +2 circumstance bonus on Hide checks

 

 

Anyone, DC15 Leatherworking or Armorsmithing

All Ophidian leather is of masterwork quality, since preserving the hide’s chameleon-like properties requires the craftsmanship of a master leatherworker. The breastplate and shoulder protectors of a suit of chameleon leather have been stiffened by boiling in oil. The rest of the armor is softer and more flexible. DC20: Ophidian leather retains some of the ophidian’s color-changing capacity, granting the wearer a +2 circumstance bonus on Hide checks

 

 

A single quarrel: Aura Faint (DC17)

Evocation

 

 

A 2ft rod: Aura: Strong; (DC 22)

Necromancy

 

This iron-shod oaken rod is blackened and weathered, yet sturdy. Usable as a heavy mace

 

A small pile of four neatly folded garments

Vest 1: Aura Faint (DC17)

Conjuration and Transmutation

 

Vest 2: Aura Moderate (DC18)

Transmutation

 

Vest 3: Aura Faint (DC17)

Abjuration

, An elegantly styled white leather (or any other color) vest is edged in silver piping and has silver buttons.

Vest 4: Aura Moderate (DC19)

Evocation

. A black silk vest. Its heavily covered with moonstone and jacinth beadwork sewn into arcane patterns on the back.

 

A folded White Cloak, was previously in Tempest pack: Aura Moderate (DC18)

enchantment

 

This white silk garment is embroidered with a large gray spider on the back and webs radiating across its surface

 

 

edit: updated items info

Edited by Lorderl

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"Heh," Darius replies. "Green Fever, eh, Kurith? Then why do we all look so pale?" He stares at himself, inspecting his wounds, and inwardly panics at the sight he has become. I look like a @#!&ing ghoul!

 

Outwardly, he starts going about his business, checking and rechecking his gear, sharpening his sword and dagger, and rearranging his pack. "I wonder what sort of enchantment is on those items on the table," he says off-handedly, "to make them return to their original place like that?"

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Kurith, who had still been sitting on the floor almost underneath the table, gets up on her knees to have a look at what Darius is talking about.

 

"Whaddaboutit?", she dismisses his excitement with a shrug. "Maybe Tempus dont like a mess. She done it the same way she cleaned up the floors las'night is all."

 

Meanwhile, Kurith had taken more seriously Darius' other observation about her own appearance. Most of her wounds seemed to have closed, but had not healed properly, and she could never recall her skin looking quite that colour, even the time she had eaten some bad haddock and was unable to keep any food down or even leave her room for four days. She wonders if soap and water might do her some good.

 

"I'm gone to the bogs.", Kurith announces as she rises to her feet so much as the room will let her. "Don't lock me out this time neither.", she warns Darius while she is equipping herself with her belt with its numerous daggers and her sap. She then takes up her axe and moves to the door.

 

"Think they waited up for us?", she asks with a somewhat more than mischevious grin on her face. With axe at the ready, Kurith slowly eases the door open to see what is on the other side.

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Group…

Upon opening the door to the hidden room, Kurith finds no unexpected surprises waiting for here. The Underdark is as quiet as the night before. The only thing of note to the half-orc is her breath upon the cold air, and noting that she is unaffected by the temperature.

 

 

In an attempt to impart some background info that might otherwise not come about, I present to you all the below in the form of what you saw while sleeping, and like dreams, when you awaken, you can recall nothing save a few minor details which make no sense at this time.

 

Dreamscape I…

 

The watchers on the city walls did not see the dead. Although two miles off and marching closer, the dead army aroused no alarm. Guardsmen shivered in scale mail on the battlements of Castle Waterdeep. They huddled over bewitched torches that no wind could extinguish, cursed the winter weather, but raised no cry.

 

None, that is, except, "Half on from eleven, all's well! "

 

It was half-past eleven in Waterdeep, that great coastal metropolis. Proof against attack for centuries, it now slept soundly. Half an hour from ruin, the bored sergeant answered,

 

"All's well, keep on ."

 

In silence, the dead kept on. Now and then one limped, dragging its withered foot over the rocky path, shredding the papery flesh and scratching the bone beneath. Other dead jerked to the left with every step, fighting the twists of their spines. Sometimes a vampire bat flew overhead, and the dead looked up reverently.

 

"Isn't it beautiful?" said one lover to another, as they both gazed up at the sky.

 

Dense clouds blowing in from the Trackless Sea made the night powder gray. But the young man and woman pretended they saw the moon, Selune.

 

"Yes," the other replied, "pretty. And so . . . not white, truly. What is that off-white color?"

 

"Umm . . ."

 

Both fell silent as a lighter walked by, a fat youth wearing a black cap and holding a torch twice his height. The young guildsman headed for the House of the Homeless, not far off in the cemetery. At night, Waterdeep's City of the Dead is dimly lit at best, but the paupers' tomb needed new torches at all hours. In those endless catacombs, day and night meant nothing. The lovers watched the pudgy lighter, torchbearer in an arena where no living athlete competes, waddle toward the mausoleum. After he passed, they embraced. They kept talking, as though the conversation mattered. Eleven forty-five, fifteen minutes left.

 

"And so what is that off-white color, pray tell?"

 

A mile away now, the dead reached torchlight. It showed the pallor of off-white skin stretched drum-tight over rib cages, dry, sunken eyes squinting in the light, and teeth smiling perpetually without gums or lips to mask them. Among the flesh-eaters, one had gone mad. It stumbled toward Waterdeep from the Mere of Dead Men, the salt swamp far to the south. On the journey, its hands began to twitch, perhaps in eagerness. Joining the other marchers, the wraiths and zombies and clacking skeletons, the mad ghoul could not control its twitching. It clutched one hand in the other until its claws raked the skin open, but the tremors grew. It pounded its arms against a rock wall, leaving trails of powdered blood, but the tremors grew. Miles later, the ghoul's limbs were shaking violently. Like a dying animal, it knew that there was no hope, that so near to its goal, less than a mile now!, it would fall. It would not take part in Cathexis. The ghoul then went berserk. It ripped into its fellows with instinctive cruelty, slashing at eyes, tearing just under the jaws, kicking at abdomens. The others fell upon it like jackals, their response equally vicious. They dashed it against a wall, and it lay still. Such was their eagerness that none of the dead stopped to eat the carrion. Only five minutes now!

 

"Five minutes and not a moment longer. I told my master I would be back at the guildhall before midnight. And here it is five minutes away." The lovers huddled closer as they walked. The crypts in the City of the Dead could not block the biting wind. They wandered toward the lights around Ahghairon's Statue.

 

"I just wish we-ahh! " The man started back. "Look out, it's a grave."

 

"What, in a cemetery?" she laughed. "By the gods, call the watch at once! "

 

"No, in truth, this looks fresh. They never bury people in the ground here, do they? There's no marker-only a pile of dirt by the path, just under this tree."

 

"Then how do you know it is a grave? And if it is, what of it? As they say, 'The City of the Dead hides many secrets."

 

"Yes, but-" The man had spent hours walking among a hundred crypts, but to him they were just buildings. Now he stared at the grave, fascinated.

 

"Come, now,'' the woman said, pulling him down the path.

 

In the torchlight at the base of the monument, they kissed. He thought his love could never weaken. Two minutes until midnight. The lovers walked slowly toward the gate, to that gray street called The Coffinmarch. On the path ahead, near the entrance to the House of the Homeless, lay a pile of cloth. They neared it and both realized, with such suddenness that they felt almost calm, that this was the lighter, the stout boy with the black cap. He lay motionless, except for the rhythm of his slow breathing. His cap lay to one side. And the torch was gone. The woman knelt beside him.

 

"Assaulted?" the man asked.

 

"No," she began. Then she looked up, and stopped.

 

From the crypt wall billowed a cloud of gray smoke, thick in the doorway, and rapidly thinning to invisibility as it approached them. The smoke seeped through the crypt wall, spread like oil across the path, floated as high as the leafless trees, and moved deliberately, the word came to the woman mind unbidden, toward the gates to the city. From the torch lit tunnels beneath the mausoleum, the armies of the dead moved deliberately toward the surface. Those who could think barely controlled their excitement. Now! They thought. Now, life, destruction, vengeance, Cathexis! Everything is exactly right!

 

Something is wrong, the woman thought. She and the man stepped back as the smoky vapor approached, and the thought nagged at her: What is wrong here? Then she knew it. The wind was blowing in off the harbor in icy gusts. Yet this smoke drifted rapidly toward the buildings below, against the wind.

 

"Run!" she cried.

 

They turned and ran as though pursued by dragons. But the vapor flowed over them easily, curling under their nostrils almost lazily. She smelled vitriol, and her nostrils burned. and then came an overwhelming odor of decay. She choked and fell, but kept going, crawling. She could no longer see her lover. Crying now, she realized how the torch lighter had fallen, and how he had managed to crawl away from the mausoleum. Her fingers tingled, then she couldn't feel them at all. Lights danced in her eyes, and sounds played in her ears. Then, worst of all, words seeped into her mind, even as the vapor seeped into her lungs. It spoke to her, or seemed to. “The Effluvium”, said the voice. “Do you like it? It is our weapon of vengeance. All who live are helpless in its influence. We could have killed you, and can yet kill you, as well as all others alive in Waterdeep. But that is not justice. Sleep now, and the Effluvium will provide your nightmares. Sleep until we waken you, in time to see your city ruined, demolished, your precious city walls a caldera. Then you will die, and we will live. That is the justice of the unliving.”

 

The woman reached the base of Ahghairon's Statue. Others lay on its steps, lovers and city watchmen and rogues. In the distance, a monument to the city's warriors, a scene of heroic battle, of triumph over hordes of barbarians, hobgoblins, and orcs, loomed through the smoke. Then the Effluvium billowed up stronger than ever, eclipsing her view. A pit gaped wide in her mind. She fell into worse torture than pain or numbness, the torture of nightmare. With her last conscious thought, the woman despaired. No one alive can fight this, she thought. What hope is there? Who can protect us now?

 

 

Dreamscape II…

 

Life is gone, death not yet come, so you wait as the scenes of nightmare pass by

 

The creature cannot taste the dirt that clogs its throat. It barely feels the moist trails of worms that coil about its fingers. With no coffin to shelter this unliving burial, it cannot move to hear the rustle of leathery skin against armor, nor smell the root-choked earth in its nostrils. Yet it senses life above, envied, precious life! It senses the light, rapid footfalls of children, lovers on slow strolls, the halting gait of city elders. It yearns for the life pulsing in their veins. Even the grass over its shallow grave seems to throb with life. Farther above, their life spirits shining in its awareness like fireflies, a birds soaring. But below them. half a ton of earth weighing on its chest, it suffocates, and waits.

 

In the first weeks of its burial. It learns to adjust time. It speeds its perceptions so that sparrows slide forward in midair, as though swimming, and it has long moments to savor their every heartbeat. Then, slowing its perceptions, it watches a plant writhe and grow, while the sun and moon drop across the sky in turn, like beads down a string. All the while, it wait. Once, the dirt falls away from its left hand. Air, is that air? it thinks.

 

Clawed feet touch it, the first contact its had with living flesh in how long? There's an electric touch! Teeth nip at its flesh. the tainted flesh no worm would eat. It's a weasel! More dirt falls away. It can move its hand, now. The animal crawls onto its bodv, the weasel heartbeat as loud as a drum in its ears. It hasten its awareness, it seems to slow. When the weasels paw trembles like a flower following the sun, it strikea! Its fingers clench on matted fur. The weasel shrieks, twists, bites, but the creature feels nothing except its own desperation. Life! Here is existence, treasure above all! It thinks. It cannot bear to let this living spirit depart! Yet, it did it no harm, though it slows time until each day crawls by like a century, in the end, the weasel's life escapes it, even when its body could not. So fragile! It once possessed that sweet, fragile gift of life. Or rather, it kept its custody, until that sweetness was taken from it. The weasel lives no more, but it cannot bear to release it. No others come. Waiting, it speeds time to a headlong pitch. Slow thoughts grow like trees in its mind, while real tree roots squirm past it. Groundwater, seeping down from seasonal rainfall, hits its undecaying flesh, and it feels the impact like hard rain. The creature distantly notes that the weasel is now only a skeleton. Then the weasel speaks to it.

 

"Quiet down here. isn't it?"

 

Remarkably it feels no surprise. So, it thinks, here it is at last. The darkness, the suffocating closeness of the earth, the endless solitude and paralysis, the constant thirst for a breath of air, at last these tortures have twisted its mind upon itself. Its own subconscious mind speaks. It's fearsome to think how easily its spirit, disciplined for decades in a great cause, shatters after the isolation of what, five years? One year? It tries to recall the nature of that great cause.

 

"You can ignore me," says the weasel, "but I don't see what good it will do."

 

This is madness! And yet, why not give into madness and talk to itself? Why should half a ruined temple stand apart from the other? It means to speak, but soil traps its tongue. It does not matter, for thought serves as speech.

 

"What are you?" it ask.

 

“Just a weasel."

 

"How can you speak?"

 

"I don't. You just make me talk in your mind. I guess everyone needs a friend."

 

"I, I cannot believe that my mind would speak so. This is magic."

 

"Maybe so," says the weasel. "Maybe some of your magic seeped into me. Does it matter?"

 

"Magic of mine?"

 

"Sure. It imitates what you were in life. You must have known you have it. The magic of the undead."

 

So, here it is it reflects again. The creature avoided thinking the word for so long. How it loathed them, vampires, ghouls, ghosts, zombies and all the rest most feared of monsters, animate corpses and hideous spirits, travesties of life. Now it lays with their silent legions. Their lifelong foe, is now one of the undead. Numb with horror, it reins in its coursing thoughts. Perhaps it can slow its perceptions and avoid facing the truth. But no, clouds and stars hurtle across the sky like meteors, yet it can only draw out the torment. The most dreadful torture is not knowing why.

 

"How did it happen?" it scream silently to the weasel, to anyone.

 

"Don't remember, eh?"

 

It does not. The past hangs there, foglike, just out of its reach. Does its amnesia spring from the trauma of death, or from its own mind's refusal to confront its behavior? Perhaps some curse has driven away memory, the same curse that keeps its own death at bay. It must be the toy of some malicious deity. Yes! A deity. There was a god! It served him. It was a great warrior in the cause of justice, a paladin, known for purity and courage.

 

"then, pretty obviously, something happened," says the weasel.

 

The creature almost crushes the weasels skull in frustration. The recollection lingers so close. yet out of reach. In its absence, another idea arises. It could pull the skull to its neck, saw away with its sharp teeth. Dare it end this unlife? Would it even work?

 

"Give it a try," says the weasel. "Couldn't hurt."

 

How many days flash by above while it mustered its courage? Even in its slowed perceptions, its hand inches up unbearably slowly. For a moment, it experiences a stream of sensation, faces and sounds, but dismiss it as hallucination. Now it digs at the dirt, and the skull's teeth scrape on its breastplate, over its collarbone. It digs away at the dirt about its neck.

 

The earth on its chest lightens. In its clogged ears, it hears something trumpet like, blaring, urging it up, up! Like a wakened sleeper, it startled in surprise, and its senses slip back to a normal time rate. The dirt of the grave is lifting away. Dust falls on its dry cheeks. At last, its long wait nears an end!

 

Deep, hollow cracks resound about it. Tree roots, as big around as its arm, snap like the wings of birds. Earth flies up in a mass, and it feels vertigo while gravity bends. It rises from its grave, armor clinking and joints creaking.

 

“It’s dark, why can't I see anything? Have I gone blind?”

 

Clutched tightly in its fist, the weasel's skull murmurs, "You've got dirt in your eyes."

 

“Oh, of course”. it thinks, having no other rational explanation of its own.

 

Magical energies deposit it on a bed of soft grass, it reaches up with its free hand. Gloved fingers scrape dust from its dry eyeballs. It looks up to see a cloudy sky, a leafless oak, and a lich! Click Here for picture

 

The creature shy’s back in horror. A lich, a skeletal wizard sustained by necromantic sorcery, most evil and powerful of the undead!

 

While it lies frozen in fear, the lich gestures with its desiccated arms. Magical words echo in its mind as though it hears the mage chant them. Its robes, once luxurious but now threadbare and rotting, hang like old curtains. Except for some rattling, the rustle of the robes with every gesture is the only real sound the lich makes.

 

It locates the sound. It comes from a small carved box strapped to the lich's bony upper arm. Inwardly it shivers to see the phylactery, the telltale sign of the lich's pact with dark forces. That simple box, holding a few strips of parchment marked with runes, sustains the wizard's unlife.

 

The undead wizard completes its spell, then speaks into its mind.

 

"Your will is mine," it begins. "Do as I tell you."

 

"You are in the cemetery of the city of Waterdeep," it says, "the graveyard called the City of the Dead. It is the winter solstice in the Year of the Prince."

 

How long had it lain below? The creature thinks, but it remembers nothing.

 

"I am called Abraxa," the lich continues. "I have raised you to serve me. Not long ago I attempted to secure a magical weapon known as the Staff of Waterdeep. In touching it, I triggered its defensive enchantment. It broke apart into its twelve components, and those pieces flew across the city, returning to the points of their construction. They have reverted to their original forms, and I cannot locate them.”

 

"Along with some others, I am engaged in constructing, shall we say, an artifact beneath the city." the lich says the word "artifact." in a sardonic tone.

 

"While so occupied, I appoint you to search the city and find as many pieces of the staff as you can."

 

Questions fill the creatures mind, but as in the grave, it cannot speak them through its dirt-clogged throat. Thinking its words, it says

 

"What artifact? And why choose me? Why-"

 

"Silence," says the lich, cutting off its thoughts. "Attend to what I choose to tell, and no more. My collaborator, Haurrant, also seeks the staff, but like me is unable to leave the artifact. His undead agents seek the pieces, as will you. Unfortunately, Haurrant has more power to spare than I, so his agents outstrip you in strength and numbers. I do not trust Haurrant, and you must not trust his agents. Yet if chance offers, acquire those pieces of the staff that they have found.”

 

"I believe Haurrant has already secured some of the pieces, so you cannot gain them all. But the more you find, the better you serve me."

 

Bewilderment exceeds hatred in its mind and its feels compelled to ask, "But how can these undead wander the streets of the living?"

 

The lich sounds amused. "Look around you."

 

The undead creature looks about as instructed and sees bare trees and shrubs, marble crypts, wide walkways of mortared brick, it finds that it recognizes the City of the Dead.

 

"But what is that gas?" it asks as clouds of vapor curl as though alive, even permeating the walls of crypts.

 

"The Effluvium," says Abraxa the lich. "A magical gas that now sweeps over the city, sending all who live into nightmarish sleep. While they slumber, our legions ransack their homes for every magical possession. These items power our construct, far below."

 

"But-" it begins to say hesitantly since it has never heard of such magic, and its mind reels. "But if you can do this, what more could you desire? What can your artifact give you that this powerful sorcery cannot?"

 

"Life! Life, and death! The unliving for a thousand miles around, ten thousand approach Waterdeep to join us. To offer the ultimate reward and the utmost revenge upon the living. In one stroke, we gain true life, and in the same moment, we destroy this city!"

 

For the first time, the lich's words ring with passion. Awestruck, the creature realizes that this monster is quite insane, yet it believes without question, that the lich speaks the truth.

 

The lich continues, "But the Staff of Waterdeep holds the power to destroy our plan. Serve me well, bring me the pieces of the staff, and you too, may return to life. Have you a fonder wish?"

 

As if in reply, its chest burns more strongly with the need to draw a breath, its eyes scrape within their sockets, it feels the crunch of graveyard dirt in its mouth. Yes, life, sensation, the pulse of blood through its veins, the tastes of apples and cinnamon and ginger, the scents of fog and roses! Life above all, or if not life, then final rest from the longing for it.

 

"I will search for the staff, though I have nothing to help me find its pieces, and no weapon with which to fight for them. But I swear to pursue my mission to its end, or die the final death in the attempt."

 

Watching that hideous skeletal form, those unnatural trembling movements, Abraxa pulls several strange objects from its robes.

 

"These will aid your search," the lich says in its mind. The monster rests a heavy bastard sword point first in the dirt by the grave, while its other hand holds up a shrunken head.

 

"This cerebricule will locate and analyze magical energies," says the lich, indicating the shrunken head. "It is most valuable. If you endanger it, you will suffer my wrath! "

 

The undead knight reluctantly takes the "cerebricule" by its wisp of hair. "Is it alive?" it ask, examining its wrinkled, dried-apple skin.

 

"Not enough to matter." The lich continues. "This sword is magical, and will strike down any undead creature, except myself," it adds, while handing over the sword.

 

“Search for the pieces of the staff around and outside the city," it says, then continues. "It is now midnight. You have until next midnight, when you may join us at the underground artifact and see how our plan commences. There I will give you a further assignment, but for now you need not know what.”

 

"If you have trouble in your search, you may find me at the whirlpool in the harbor. However, I expect results before I will offer you aid."

 

"Whirlpool? But" it begins, but the weasel skull whispers, "Don't push your luck. Ask something important."

 

The undead knight sorts through a hundred questions, then ask, "What shall I do when I have collected the pieces?"

 

The lich's dry chuckle echoes in its mind. "The cerebricule shall take care of that. Or seek the artifact in the House of the Homeless, nearby. Now, time hastens. What further items or details do you need to perform well in my service? Ask, for I grow impatient."

 

“how would I use this thing” the undead knight says, holding the shrunken head up

 

"Hold the cerebricule close to any item you wish to learn about," says the lich, "and let it sniff the odors of magic. It will tell you of the object's function. The head also has some psychometric gifts."

 

"What does that mean?" it ask.

 

"An item's history clings to it like trailing cdbwebs, the personalities of those who own it, traces of strong emotion felt in its presence. The cerebricule can sometimes tell of such things. Speak for your owner, cerebricule."

 

The shrunken head opens its mouth. Its lips flop like rubber. The baritone voice that emerges, a real voice, not telepathic like the lich's, amazes the undead knight. " 'Z ver' nize to meet you. Will zerve you well."

 

"If it speaks to loudly," the lich continues, "tuck it inside your armor. Take care of it, and do not let it drink alcohol."

 

Experimentally, the undead knight holds the cerebricule near the blade of its new sword. The head's withered nose wrinkles, sniffs, and its wide mouth opens.

 

"Maaagic," says the head, in an astoundingly deep voice. "Hitz 'gainzt undead monzters. Ver', ver' bowerful."

 

"Did it say powerful?" the undead knight ask the lich. "What is the power of the blade?"

 

"This sword's native iron," says Abraxa, "was mined from under the northern ice, forged in dragonflame, and quenched in more than the usual quantity of blood. I carried it, still smoking hot, across the borders of the universe.”

 

"There is another reality, known as the Negative Material Plane. A pitiful name for that maelstrom of energy! This world and all others could vanish into it and vaporize in the tenth part of a second. These living spirits" the lich looks past the walls of the City of the Dead to Waterdeep, "can never know how thin the revetment that stops annihilation. I journeyed to that plane, the source of undeath. In a node of calm magic, I bound a part of that realm in this blade, with a sheath of such force that it can cleave the least substantial phantom. Naturally, a sword of this kind grows intelligent after long use, one could go mad, but you will wield it for only a day or so.”

 

"Enough of the sword. What more do you wish?"

 

The undead knight points to an unadorned gold band on the lich's finger. "Perhaps that ring might aid my quest," it says, and holds the cerebricule close to determine its power.

 

The shrunken head sniffs, then speaks in a bullfrog voice. "Znogood," it says tersely.

 

Paper thin flesh peels back from Abraxa's teeth in a grin. "And you suppose, then," the lich asks, "that you may avoid trouble by displaying the wedding ring that my husband placed there?"

 

"That ring is a sign of misjudgment, nothing more," the lich continues. "In life, Haurrant attracted me, and we wed. Such foolishness is the curse of the living, even for a sorceress such as I. This misjudgment carried itself beyond life. But do not think I regard the Haurrant of today with more respect than I would show a misshapen barnacle. You will learn much more of him when I disclose your next assignment, beneath the ground. Have you anything else to ask?"

 

"Would that carved ring on your finger help me serve you?" it asks Abraxa

 

For a long moment the lich peers at its servant, then Abraxa speaks. "Very well. I suppose a good warrior looks for any weapon to help his cause. Lose this and you perish."

 

With ragged, dark fingernails, the lich removes the ornate ring and hands it to the undead knight. Testing the cerebricule, it holds the ring under its nose. The head sniffs, its eyebrows lift, and it speaks in a deep, gravelly voice. "Ver' , ver' maaagical ring! Putz up invisible zhield, makez wounds lezz."

 

"You are taking much of my time," says the lich.

 

"Perhaps your crown could help me in my task," the knight says hastily, holding the cerebricule up near the lich's crown.

 

"Head," it says, testing the shrunken head abilities, "what can you tell me of the crown's powers?"

 

The head sniffs. "Moz' bowerful devize. Lets wearer zpeak with-"

 

"Silence," says the lich quietly.

 

"-the demAAAWGGH!" The shrunken head squalls and jerks in the undead creatures hand. As it pulls it back. Abraxa murmurs a few words, strange words like two voices speaking at once.

 

"I think maybe you've bungled this one." The weasel whispers "Magic," the weasel warns.

 

Then the same force that pulled it from the ground picks the undead knight up like a doll and suspends it in midair! It hangs helpless as the lich brings its glowing eye sockets within a few inches of its creation own eyes.

 

"Perhaps you need instruction in the decorum of servants. For example, servants do not casually brandish their trinkets in the faces of their betters. Listen closely. You are not alive, yet you can still feel pain. Do you wish me to demonstrate?"

 

"No. No demonstration needed. I, I apologize."

 

At once the lich sets the undead creature on the ground. Having asserted its authority, it carries no more grudge than one would feel toward a mosquito.

 

"Great wizard, how did you defeat the forces that protect Waterdeep?"

 

Names float out of the darkness of amnesia. "Khelben Arunsun, the sorcerer called 'Blackstaff.' and the secret lords of Waterdeep, and…"

 

"I know the names better than you ever will," Abraxa says, cutting it off. "All have been neutralized, or will be before another moon rises. Khelben and the other mages have been decoyed on a dozen wild hare chases through other realities. The rest of the powers of the city, for all their abilities, are merely the living. The Effluvium has sent them a sleep from which they will not waken for some time. Or our undead armies will defeat them through strength of arms."

 

"It sounds so simple," the knight says.

 

"Simple!" the lich exclaims. "It has been the work of centuries! You cannot imagine how long we have planned this day, what resources we invest, what powers support us. Not ten magicians in all the Realms could bring this large a scheme to fruition. So regarding, time presses, and I must go.”

 

Abraxa raises an arm, its fingers twist curiously, and the burning odor of phosphorus fills the air. Lights form at the lich's fingertips, feet, and crown. In an instant they flicker the length of its limbs and down its robed body.

 

"Remember," says the lich. "True life shall be yours. Life, and glorious destruction." Then in a flash, Abraxa disappears. With a soft whuff, air rushes to fill the space it occupied.

 

The undead knight stands alone. A cool breeze blows in from the harbor, driving the dust from its hair. It holds up the Cerebricule toward the City of Waterdeep and mentally asks

 

"Cerebricule, where is the Staff of Waterdeep?"

 

The shrunken head dangles by its filthy hair, twisting slowly in the breeze. It inhales deeply in every direction. Finally it speaks. "Ad leazt one pieze thad way”, then continues to drone a long list. There seem to be pieces of the staff in most wards of the city, along with several in the harbor and countryside.

 

The undead knight then moves forward in its task of recovering the lost pieces to the Staff of Waterdeep.

 

 

Dreamscape III…

 

Please download, Kaladrax, Dire Drake Guardian of the Dragon Kings Graveyard, from HERE. This is a small portion of Casket Works 7

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Darius follows Kurith's example, and begins to get his gear together. With a sigh, he leaves his old bow lying by the crates, and ties his new one to his pack, a quick release knot so he can get the bow ready in a hurry. His old quiver is emptied and left by the old bow, and the arrows placed in the new one. Don't want to break up the set, he thinks.

 

He leaves the room a few minutes behind Kurith, and immediately notices that something is out of place. The air fogs in front of him when he exhales, but he feels no cold. This is a puzzle that the ranger does not have the energy to solve at the moment, as he is aware of his own biological needs, and wanders around, looking for a chamber pot.

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Kurith, once having found the lower level of the Underdark Tavern to be free of any apparent threats, sets to finding herself the means to take a bath.

 

She recalls a dishwashing pail being used by that bouncer the night before, but upon finding it is disappointed that it had been turned over in the fray. All that remains of the dishwashing soap is a damp bar towel and the residue of the soap. Undaunted by this, Kurith seeks out a water supply. Back at the Corner, there had been a cistern on the roof that collected rainwater and supplied it to the kitchen by means of a long and rusty pipe. The water was not fit for drinking, but was more than good enough for dishes and laundry.

 

Kurith searches for a water tap near the bar, but finds none. She guesses that she will have to go to the upper floors where the food is actually cooked to find fresh water. Rather than risk any undue encounters with more undead upstairs, Kurith decides to make use of some of the Underdark's supply of potables. From the store-room she collects three large bottles filled with a clear liquid throughout which tiny bubbles hang suspended. To her it looks potent, but following her most recent experiences with the potions and with the bottle of Olaf's, Kurith imagines that it will taste like water, and so it may as well be used in place of water. Three bottles of the stuff are enough to half-fill the pail, which Kurith takes with her into the store-room so that she might have extra privacy.

 

Poor Toldin is still where she had left him, sprawled out flat on his face in the doorway. Rather than step over him again, Kurith sets down the pail and moves him out of the way. She hopes that if she were in his position that somebody might do the same for her.

 

Kurith disrobes completely except for the small knife which hangs from a leather thong round her neck. All the while she listens. The thought of being seen naked does not worry her near so much as the thought of being caught unawares and unarmed by the enemy. She is careful to keep one dagger unsheathed and well in reach while she washes herself.

 

The dirt and grime comes away easily even without a proper cake of soap, but Kurith soon realizes that something else is wrong. Her skin is no longer its usual shade of tawny-green, but more of a sickly grey. A few of her wounds, which she had believed to be healing, now appear as white scars. Others seem to have healed poorly. One is still weeping a little.

 

Kurith examines her chest area, thinking that she will find a large patch of scarred flesh of the sort that results from a poorly healed burn. Instead, she discovers an elaborate and deliberate pattern of scars on the upper part of her left breast. She immediately recognizes the image they depict as the dragon which had appeared on her axe's head. This might have actually come as more of a surprise to her had she not already long since noticed the scars on her hands. The right one she had shown to Darius. He was a warrior like her and was not troubled in the least by the rune's presence. The mark on her left hand, however, was another matter altogether. She knows the rune well, for her mother had venerated it. Being such as it was, she had kept the mark a secret from the others all the previous night, a precaution for which she now feels somewhat guilty. Her mind wanders back to memories of home and of the North. It was such a cold place. It took rare fortitude to disrobe in the dead of winter, and it took a degree of insanity to then wash away that layer of dirt and oil that protects one's skin from the cold and the winds. To take a bath was to catch one's death.

 

Then something strange dawns on Kurith.

 

Although she is naked, she is not in the least bit cold. She is in fact almost comfortable, and yet she can see her own breath in front of her. As a sort of experiment, Kurith chooses an unopened bottle from one of the nearby crates and breathes on it. Her warm breath turns to vapor and then manifests itself upon the glass bottle as thousands of miniscule drops of water.

 

An idea comes to Kurith's mind as she contemplates this strange new discovery. Later she would not be able to say whether she had thought it, recalled it from a dream, or that it had invaded her own recollections like a mite invades a sack of grain. The idea frightens her. She fears there will be more in its wake if she does not suppress it, but even she cannot deny its validity.

 

She had imagined herself a rotting corpse in a shallow grave. Her throat was clogged with dirt which she could not taste. Her body was surrounded by damp earth whose coldness she was immune to. Her living senses had departed with her flesh, yet she still was. Kurith's mind finally makes the connection.

 

Without taking time even to dry herself, Kurith pulls on her underclothes, jumps into her trousers and runs bare-footed and dripping wet back toward the secret chamber. She spots Darius, who she guesses is either going to or coming from the privvy.

 

"It won't wash off, Darius!", Kurith exclaims, her eyes wide and the stubbly hair on her neck and forearms standing up as though she had seen the gates of Hell. "Can ya feel it's cold in here? An' whaddabout the booze all tastin' like water...an' the potions? Whddabout them? They don't work right on us no more. Look at me. Look at you!

 

Kurith lowers the waistband of her trousers and hitches up her linen undershirt enough to reveal the white scar of a wound she had sustained while fighting one of the skeletal goblins the night before. The flesh around the scar is grey.

 

"Don'tcha see it?! We're turnin' undead!"

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"Tempus?", Kurith whispered to the lady. "B'fore, when you was up there in the floor...", Kurith indicates by pointing toward the trapdoor. "... didja have one o' those bad dreams?"

Tempest eyes met that of the female half-orc when she glances over at Kurith. Her pale bluegray lips part for a moment as if she were going to say something, but she does not. Being of the same gender she believes Kurith would or could relate to her experience, but a small nod of her head is the only reply Kurith receives on the topic.

 

 

 

"Funny. I can see in the dark now. Did you perhaps cast a spell on me, Tempest?" Darius asks as he pushes himself up into a more comfortable sitting position and rummages in his pack for some rations.

“No, I did not. I’m not in the habit of casting spells on others without consent simply because I can.” Tempest says without even bothering to look away from what she is focused on.

 

 

 

Finding an apple and some stale bread, Darius begins to have a meager breakfast, and offers some to his companions. "I was thinking that before we leave, we should find a source of water in case there isn't any on the surface. I mean, we really don't know how bad things are up there, do we? Everything could be scorched to the ground, or changed into desert, or .... anything, really."

The wizard from Calimport doesn’t even acknowledge Darius offer of food but he does get her attention with his statement of what the conditions outside of their temporary shelter might be.

 

“At the moment, all I can say is that there is no knowing what to expect. Strix is a Vampire Queen, and her atrocities are beyond words. I thought her to be merely a myth until I came across mention of her in a journal.” she pauses, evidently her expression shows that she is recalling the story but she doesn’t go on about it, but only adds “I once even heard that she was rumored to still exist below, down in the Underdark beneath Waterdeep.”

 

 

 

"and what are we going to do with all the bodies down here? Eligos is beginning to look horrid, and we can't leave them all to be re-animated if there's a necromancer about.”

“why ask me what to do with the corpses? From what I saw above before coming down into this death pit and from what we’ve experienced, it safe to say that the rest of the city has suffered much of the same. I dare not think on what might have befallen any others whom resisted this, this, Effluvium!” she says practically spitting the word out. “If there is a necromancer involved, there will be ample corpses throughout the city to re-animated. Though from the number of undead we’ve encountered, I would hazard to guess that re-animating others isn’t necessary as the city is likely infested with Strix’s minions. Your lost friends here will make little or no difference.”

 

“What would you suggest anyways, perhaps you’d like to dismember them or maybe set the establishment ablaze when we are ready to depart?” she adds a bit callously as she tries and maintain her focus on concentrating on her active spell.

 

 

 

By the way, do either one of you have any curatives you could spare me? I feel rather awful just now."
At Darius' prompting, Kurith checks her own supplies for healing draughts, but finds none.

 

"Can't help ya with healin'..... maybe I'd help ya with that Green Fever... if ya wasn't so scraggly an' poor Kurith wasn't so undrunk."

“I gave Rothgar a jar of Keoghtom`s Ointment earlier. I’d check his belt pouch or backpack, and I still have a healing potion or two as well that I found in that backpack” he motions to the pack on the table.

 

“I also recall Rothgar mentioning that a keg barrel in here possessed some curative properties, and as my spell reveals the top one as being magical I’d say that’s the one your after.”

 

“now, if you don’t mind. I’m trying to determine the nature of these various magical items in the hopes that they’ll be of some use to us. Though I fear it will come down to donning them on individually and simply hope for the best. Not all magical items are suitable for use you know.”

 

 

 

Outwardly, Darius starts going about his business, checking and rechecking his gear, sharpening his sword and dagger, and rearranging his pack. "I wonder what sort of enchantment is on those items on the table," he says off-handedly, "to make them return to their original place like that?"

Tempest informs you that the items had been there when she had awaken as well and simply thought that Kurith had reconsidered her actions and replaced those items. She does inform you both that the room itself is permanently enchanted as are all of the items on the table.

 

 

 

Group…

Still dripping wet from her wash, Kurith rushes out into the common room of the Underdark tavern, she hears a low, deep, resounding moan. As she draws a little closer to the entrance of the banquet room it suddenly stops and Darius appears from one of the stalls with a relieved look upon his face.

 

"It won't wash off, Darius!", Kurith exclaims, "Don'tcha see it! We're turnin' undead!" this portion is restated simply as a marker where Darius and Kurith left off

 

 

When Both Kurith and Darius return to the hidden room, Tempest shares with them what she’s learned of the various magical items that are on the table and the items that are in the other backpack (which she originally came across), thus she informs you of the strength and school(s) of magic that the item radiates

 

Items that are in the backpack

The Backpack: Moderate; Conjuration

Map or Scroll case: no aura

Marvelously crafted white wooden flute: no aura

Small pouch: no aura, gems and coins inside

Trail Rations: Three days worth for two: no aura

Gold tipped Wand: Faint; Divination

Leather belt: bears a platinum buckle set with three small black pearls: Moderate; Transmutation

A silky black piece of cloth: no aura

Piece of Amethyst: carved in the shape of a dragon scale, foggy images of runes swirls within: Strong; Transmutation

A fist-sized chunk of un-worked stone: Moderate; Evocation (looks the same as the one in Thor's downstairs office)

A shiny black leather shirt: bears small golden sun and skull emblems around the collar, shoulders and cuffs.: Aura: Faint; Abjuration

A worn looking craft knife: no aura, anyone DC18 to know that this knife is used for Craft (Bowing)

Waterskin: unremarkable, looks to be made from camel hide: Faint; Conjuration

50’ Rope: has slight pungent odor, feels rubbery and has a complex knot at one end: Moderate; Conjuration

 

 

Items on top of the table

Top stacked Keg barrel: Aura Faint; Conjuration

A golden tankard: This pure gold chalice is finely worked and bears the symbol of a sun rising upon a blooming rose. Aura Moderate; Evocation

A clear tankard: Aura Faint; Divination

A ledger: (GM item) Aura Faint; Conjuration

A silver ring: (GM item) Aura Faint; Conjuration

A silver rod: (GM item) Aura Faint; Conjuration

 

Tempest also informs you that she’s found a connection between the silver ring and silver rod mentioned above, as she was able to recognize correlating arcane symbols on both items.

 

A writing set: consisting of a elegant metal tipped stylus pen-quill and ink bottle: Aura Faint; Divination

A folded sack (known to Kurith as a Bag of Holding, Type I): Aura Moderate; Conjuration

A small silver pin: shaped like a harp, (being used a ledger bookmark): Aura Faint; Abjuration

A bone colored mask: shaped like a skull, painted black around the eyes: Aura Faint; Abjuration

A pair of leather bound armguards: Aura Faint; Abjuration and Transmutation. These hard leather armguards look sturdy, yet flexible. (these were grabbed by Darius, though didn’t state that he put them on, if worn or placed in a pouch they’re not here, if thrown in his pack they're here on the table)

 

A leather circlet: has a silver headpiece: Aura Moderate; Transmutation. This leather circlet has a silver headpiece showing crescent moons on either side of a seven-pointed star

 

A pair of fine leather gloves: Aura Strong; Transmutation. Small, open hands formed of hardened leather rest upturned on the backs of each of these thin, brown gloves

 

A iron wrought gauntlet (will fit the same hand as the other gauntlet which Kurith has): Aura Moderate; Evocation

A silver circlet: Aura Faint; Divination. When worn, this silver circlet’s diamond centerpiece rests on the forehead

A circlet of serpentine stone: Aura Moderate; Enchantment. Fashioned from a single piece of serpentine stone, this is carved to resemble a septet of intertwined snakes, each devouring the tail of another. The serpents’ eyes are tiny emeralds, and silver filigree sets off each snake’s individual scales.

 

Three small lusterless black sphere: Aura Faint; Conjuration. The surface of these small, lusterless black sphere is graven with a pair of fangs. May be throw up to 60ft with no range penalties.

 

A pair of small blue serpent figurines (GM item): Moderate; Abjuration

A greenish-brownish-blackish pile of folded leather. radiates magic but I don’t know what the school of magic is for a standard “+” numbered item

 

A single quarrel: Aura Faint; Evocation

A 2ft rod: Aura: Strong; Necromancy. This iron-shod oaken rod is blackened and weathered, yet sturdy. Usable as a heavy mace

Vest 1: Aura Faint; Conjuration and Transmutation

Vest 2: Aura Moderate; Transmutation

Vest 3: Aura Faint; Abjuration. An elegantly styled white leather (or any other color) vest, is edged in silver piping and has silver buttons.

Vest 4: Aura Moderate; Evocation. A black silk vest. Its heavily covered with moonstone and jacinth beadwork sewn into arcane patterns on the back.

A folded White Cloak: was previously in Tempest pack: Aura Moderate; Enchantment. This white silk garment is embroidered with a large gray spider on the back and webs radiating across its surface

Boots currently worn by Kurith: viewable while she slept: Moderate; Divination

 

let me know if I’ve missed anything as I tried to answer previous questions asked and the items I figured were on the table and such.

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Kurith looks over the items as Tempest prattles on about magical auras and schools of magic. She tries to guess at which of those items might somehow benefit a fighter like her. From Tempest's discourse, Kurith learns that the boots she is wearing and the iron gauntlet which she had picked up are also magical. It would not matter to her if neither were magical. They fit well, and in her own opinion suit her taste in dress nicely.

 

"So all this is magic then.", Kurith sums up Tempest's observations. "We better not leave none of it here for them to get at." She pauses a moment and tries to rationalize the notion that had entered her mind for the benefit of the two more rational people in the room. "I dreamed it, but it may be true too. I forgot most of it, but they wanted all the magic things so they could use 'em..use the auras that Tempus can see.. use 'em to feed some kinda dragon or monster or somethin' like that."

 

Kurith looks to Tempest for answers, having only limited exposure to the actual workings of magic. "Like I sed, it was just a dream, an' things work diff'rent in dreams, but then sometimes dreams tell me things...like things that happened or are gonna happen."

 

Kurith takes the glass tankard and gets a very small sample of whatever is in the uppermost keg. While doing so, she remarks about the strangeness of the lower keg.

 

"Shouldda put it on a pallet. The tap's almost right on the floor."

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Darius, after taking care of his personal business, kneels beside Rothgar's corpse and rummages in the dwarf warrior's pack until he finds the tin of the curative ointment. "Sorry about this friend," he says quietly, "but as it'll do you no good now, maybe you won't mind. Anyway, I gotta stay alive long enough to exact a proper revenge from whomever it is that has done this to us, right?"

 

He places a dowe of the salve upon some of his wounds, wincing a bit at the burning sensation as the mystical ointment works its way into his wounds. When he returns to the hidden room, he sees Kurith trying the keg, and pulls out his own tankard from his pack. "That's a good idea, m'lady," he says as he fills his own cup. "Cheers!" He tilts his head back and drains the cup in one, thinking all the while that it is foolish to drink something from a magical keg, but at the same time, hoping it will do a sufficient enough job that he can save what's left of the ointment.

 

After swallowing the strange liquid, he looks at Kurith. "About what you said earlier, I don't think we're becoming undead. You have to be dead before you are undead, I think, and as far as I know, I'm still alive. Maybe it's just a side-effect of the mist, or the ash, or a combination of both. Anyway, I think we should check outside and see what's going on."

 

 

 

OOC: lorderl, please let me know what Darius' current HP are. With leveling up, and the curatives he has taken, and natural healing, I lost count.

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Kurith tries to let Darius' words put her at ease, but she cannot. That fragment of a dream keeps coming back to her. She feels as though she is wasting valuable time. "I gotta get somethin'", she tells Darius, and then leaves the small room. A slim minute later she is back, this time properly attired for whatever mayhem awaits.

 

"We can't stay down here in this tomb.", Kurith says as she once again starts gathering up the various items which Tempest had been studying. She begins by putting the smallest of the items back in the bag of holding, followed by the soft items such as the vests and cloaks, until it seems the bag can hold no more. What remains she tries to fit into the backpack, which she volunteers to tote herself unless Darius insists on taking the burden himself. She also gives the ranger the chance to equip himself with any items he thinks might be of use to him. "That circlet gonna make you look like a fancy-boy.", she observes mockingly as she holds up the skull mask. The expression on Kurith's face can best be described as contempt for the thing. Nevertheless, she shakes her head grimly and stuffs the thing into the backpack.

 

"Better get Rothgar's axe too.", she reminds the others as she finishes packing up the items on the table. She purposefully leaves the waterskin out so that she (or somebody else) may fill it up.

 

"That keg got anything good in it?", she asks Darius. She had taken a few casual glances in his direction amidst filling the bag and backpack, but had so far not noticed if he was healing up properly or scratching himself or turning any greyer. "If there's more we better bring it... an' whatever's in that other one too."

 

Kurith leans down and raps a few times on the end of the bottom keg. She listens, trying to find out how full the keg is.

 

____

 

(OOC)

 

GM, I don't even know where to start at guessing how much of the stuff will fit in the bag or backpack. IF there isn't enough room, Kurith will take whatever time necessary to search the pub for a suitable sack. If a sack cannot be found, she will rig a makeshift bundle using clothing. She is not above looting the dead, even if it involves seeing a dwarf nekkid.

 

Also, how much is left in that keg?

 

Oh, and while she was collecting her gear from the store-room, she looted the reposed body of poor Toldin.

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Darius…

When the ranger from the Dalelands had first tried on the bracers his skin toughen and had taken on a very faint reddish hue to it, though in his current condition the reddish hue isn't visible.

 

 

Group…

As Kurith pours a small sample of the top kegs contents into the glass tankard, she notes that the tankard takes on a translucent red color, but the liquid inside looks and smells normal (or whatever is normal for the finest Dwarven ale)

 

also, earlier I don’t know if the screwed up with the posts concerning other liquors or not, but sense of smell still functions

 

 

Darius starts going through Rothgar’s pack looking for the ointment. Though he doesn’t find it there he does find the items below

 

inside Rothgar’s backpack

Sack (x2)

Flint and steel

Rope, silk (50 ft.)

Climber`s kit

Tindertwig (x20)

 

Not finding what he sought in the pack, Darius moves his attention over to the dwarf’s body and continues his search and finds…

 

Seven vials inside a masterwork potion belt, the bottles are labeled as so…

Cure Light Wounds (x3)

Antitoxin (x2)

Endure Elements (x2)

 

Finally he searches a belt pouch and find a sealed parchment with dwarven inscriptions, a signal whistle, and a round jar about 3 inches in diameter and one inch in depth, its labeled Keoghtom`s Ointment. Opening it he sees that it has been used but there looks to be four more applications of the salve left. Enduring the effects of the salve he finds that his wounds look as if cauterized.

 

Darius watches a Kurith proceeds to help herself to the keg barrel which is suppose to have curative properties as well. With the ordeal that he just went through he could use a drink. Without waiting to hear Kurith’s findings he downs a tankard full. A moment later his gut feels as if someone had stab him through with a dagger and began twisting it, cutting through his organs.

 

As he suffers through the experience he cannot help but ponder on Kurith’s words that they may indeed be turning undead. His new found vision, the lack of a secondary effect from the toxic black cloud, these could be explained by such a transformation. But he was sure he recalled that to become undead one must die first, though of course there was the unexplained Effluvium! The rangers mind reels back as he now recalls something that had happened prior to his passing out earlier the night before.

 

He had sat across from Vargos and saw streams of vapor filter up and snake into the paladin’s nostrils, while two strand of the opaque fumes twisted and curled, he could swear they look as if they‘ve taken on the shape of two undead fingers, then they seeped into Vargos eyes. Only now does Darius fully understand why Vargos had given him a dreadful glare, the same experience had happened to him!

 

The memory trace passed, Darius knew he wasn’t a bloody undead, but maybe they had become something in-between the living and the undead! If that was the case, had the transformation stopped or would it continue?

 

Darius felt sick, but not from the drink. If Kurith was correct and if their condition worsened, they would soon join the ranks of the unliving. Unless of course they found a way to put a stop to it.

 

 

OOC Info: What has happened to you all is an unforeseen effect the lich’es did not take into account, as they hadn’t planned or believed anyone would be able to resist the Effluvium.

 

 

Kurith…

You steadily gather up the items and place them into the Bag of Holding (holds 250lbs)

 

When you grab the pair of small blue serpent figurines, they seem to come to life before your very eyes. They leap and each slithers onto one of your forearms, where they bite down. After the experience Kurith finds a pair of leathery snakelike bracers on her forearms. Coiled around her wrist is the serpents tail. The upper part of the bracers look like a serpents open mouth about her arms and a pair of tiny fangs are embedded into her skin. The fangs quickly fill with the source that will power them, but Kurith only feels a moment of uneasiness from the blood loss.. Serpent Bracers damage

2 hp loss

 

The serpents look to be alive on her forearms, breathing, eyes moving etc... Kurith DC17 Will

she will see the living serpents as an illusion, though the serpents design is part of the bracers

Read upon Successful save or Spoiler

 

After the queer experience, Kurith finds that her armor is less restrictive and nothing more. Removing the serpent bracers is no problem (whether or not the above save was successful)

 

She continues a bit more hesitantly placing the remaining items into the magical bag, but with no further surprises.

 

Tempest does inform her that the backpack, like her own, is a Heward’s Handy Haversack and will hold much more than its size portrays.

 

the waterskin is one of the backpack items and is already full

 

Rapping on the bottom keg barrel Kurith determines that it sounds relatively empty. Her curiosity aroused as to why would the dwarves keep an empty barrel inside a hidden room, she gives it a hearty shake. Though there is not the slightest splashing sound from within, she’s pretty sure she heard something.

 

 

 

below are the other items that would be found on Rothgar as well, either by Darius or Kurith.

Signet ring

Gold and various Gems

 

Weapons:

A Mithral Dwarven Waraxe, polished to a mirror like finish (useable as a small mirror)

A Dwarven Waraxe

Masterwork Composite Shortbow and 40 Arrows (20 x2)

Warhammer

Kukri

 

Armor:

Mithral Shirt (useable by any medium sized creature)

Mithral Heavy Shield

 

 

 

Keoghtom`s Ointment curative EFFECT on Darius. use the link as a Spoiler

Magical Keg Barrel damaging EFFECT on Darius. use the link as a Spoiler

 

Unglef, I’ll get Darius current HP’s total to you, just wanted to focus on getting the post complete and posted first.

 

 

Also, how much is left in that keg?

If the keg in question here is the top keg, then its nearly full

 

 

Oh, and while she was collecting her gear from the store-room, she looted the reposed body of poor Toldin.

I’ll see which of the other character sheets I have. I’m thinking to just post a link to those, and from there you all can view and post what items you take from them.

Edited by Lorderl

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Kurith is momentarily surprised to see the two miniature serpent statues appear to come to life and wrap themselves around her arm. It would not be the first time she had experienced that sort of thing, although on this particular occasion, she had not consumed any akar-wahyu. She winces as she perceives the pain of their bites, but tells herself that the pain is not real and that the two snakes will probably go away in a few hours.

 

Kurith recalls the way the glass tankard had changed colour when she sampled the contents of the uppermost keg. She could not rightly recall whether the change had taken place before or after she had swallowed the liquid therein, but concludes that the contents of the keg are somehow responsible for the hallucination of the snakes.. She points to the keg and gives the others a due warning. "That some baa-aaad stuff! Best bring it with us."

 

__

 

{OOC}

If there is only a very small amount left, Kurith will fill her empty healing-flask with it. The flask normally would hold 5 doses of healing potion.

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Items on other characters...

The character sheets linked in the Waterdeep Notebook thread are fine, though of course any magical items listed, weapons (look like Masterwork quality) and such wouldn’t be known as magical. Masterwork items are seen as such. All potions are labeled. Below each name is a list of additional items pc’s acquired, also there’s additional info about items.

 

 

Eligos….

He is wearing two gold band rings (includes the one listed in sheet) one on each hand.

A small ornate curios box (looks like a cute small chest), has a dull gray Ioun Stone crafted into its center

A pair of thin, six inch long pieces of wood. Likely wands, one is pearl tipped, the other gold tipped

A pair of gold wristbands/bracers

 

 

Quintilas…(weapons listed below are the only ones remaining)

Short sword (cold iron)

Silver dagger

A light crossbow and quarrels

2 potion belts, one normal and the other masterwork

2 potions of Healing (Cure Light Wounds)

1 potion of Hiding

2 Bandoleers, 1 normal and the other masterwork

 

 

Vargos…

Only has a dagger, short bow and 20 arrows for weapons

4 potions of Cure Light Wounds

 

 

Toldin, Bellrose, Brundha and other npc’s in tavern …

You find nothing of interest or value on them, other than a small varying amount of coin

 

 

Thor Irongullet…

A belt pouch contains gems and several platinum coins, also a money belt which contains a small varying amount gold, silver and copper coins. There is a dagger strapped to his right leg and he is wearing two rings. The ring on his left hand is gold and has an insignia which likely can be a family crest. On the right hand is a white band ring.

 

 

I will say that a rough estimate of time when all the looting and searching is done and you a ready to leave the Underdark, it will be between 10am-11am. This time frame includes anything currently unresolved and also allows for any additional stuff.

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ok, I overlooked something, here’s the fix…

Kurith had left the golden tankard out on the table, figuring that Darius would use it to get his drink since she had grabbed the clear one for herself. afterwards, at some point while still in the hidden room she grabbed it to place in the bag with the other items. When she held it in her hand the golden tankard began to transform and glow with a golden light.

 

Kurith face went blank as she recalled a portion of the previous night dreamscape.

 

"I am called Abraxa," the lich continues. "I have raised you to serve me. Not long ago I attempted to secure a magical weapon known as the Staff of Waterdeep. In touching it, I triggered its defensive enchantment. It broke apart into its twelve components, and those pieces flew across the city, returning to the points of their construction. They have reverted to their original forms, and I cannot locate them.”

 

When her senses returned, she held a six inch long cylindrical piece of solid gold in her hand.

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