Game Session: 7/29/2012
Ruined Keep of The Blood Marsh, Hampshire, England.
Kyrs lit a torch and descended the iron ladder carefully into the dark unknown. The air was thick with moisture, and the smell of mold was heavy in the air. The walls were carved stone blocks, the floor damp riverstones. It was dusty and filled with cobwebs. To the south, steps lead further down into the shadows. Kyrs waited as the members of the party climbed down the ladder one by one. Beldet was last, he did his best to try and cover the trapdoor with soil and rubble before closing it. Elora lit a torch herself as they waited.
They begin to walk slowly down the steps, every movement they made echoed off of the walls making them louder than they were. Along the walls were hundreds of strange sigils marked with by a white chalk.
Elora’s eyes suddenly widened and she grasped her torch tightly till her knuckles turned white, “There’s something very bad down here. We need to leave. We need to leave now!”
Kyrs looked at her, realizing that something was wrong with her, “What? What is it?”
“I suddenly felt a cold chill, and a breeze from nowhere.” Elora clutched onto her amulet with her other hand, “You know I don’t get cold, something is wrong.”
Beldet, still being in front of the ladder said, “We’re not going back up there.”
“We’ll be fine,” said Geddren as she put her hand on Elora’s shoulder.
Kyrs continued on downstairs, past the wall of sigils. At the foot of the stairs was an archway that lead to a chamber. It was a room thirty feet by thirty with a vaulted ceiling to the height of about twelve feet. In the center of each of the four walls were another arched doorway, the south and north doorways held large wooden doors. The room smelled of damp stone, and the northern wall was stained by rust and water that collected in a stagnant puddle on the floor. As they walked in, they noticed there was broken black glass about the floor. On the wall was a dark wood frame with shards of broken dark glass still held within.
Sasha, Elora and Keldon stayed in the large chamber with the broken mirror, while the rest investigated the room to the south. The door leading into the room was stuck, but with the massive combined strengths of Beldet and Morsight, they were able to muscle it open.
Beyond the door was a room approximately thirty by sixty feet in size. The ceiling was vaulted to nearly ten fight. The room smelt badly of rot, and was filled with various crates, bags and barrels – all of which were rotting, damaged or sprouting tiny pale violet mushrooms, yellowish mold and the like. The walls in this room were all damp to the touch, and there were puddles all along the riverstone floor. The party began to search and scavenge, searching for anything useful. A small metal shield was found, it had little rust on it and was still quite usable. Geeddren claimed it as her prize. Kyrs began prying open some of the wooden crates and discovered a cache of copper plates, engraved with beautiful scrollwork. He began to pile and appraise the worth of them, putting them into the magical cloth. A sack of coins was also found. While searching through the refuse, Madmorsight ended up touching some type of strange mold, sending out a cloud of spores into the room. Everyone coughed and struggled to get out of the room, afterwards, some of them felt very lightheaded and weak.
Still feeling fine, Beldet and Morsight opened the door in the north wall, this one stout with a window with iron bars. Beldet opened the door, it creaked loudly as it opened. There was a room, nearly twenty feet square. A light patch on the floor near the north wall was on the floor, indicating that something was once there, above the patch on the wall were iron pegs. Empty sconces near the door once held torches, but were now long empty. To the east was another door, with a large sliding bolt on their side. They removed the bolt and opened the door with a loud creak that echoed throughout the underground halls.
Carefully, Beldet walked into the room with sword in hand. Madmorsight was behind, holding The Sword of Anitawa and a torch to light their way. The light clawed and fought away the dark to reveal a long and low hallway with iron-barred doors hanging open on both sides. Darkness shrouded the end of the hallway. Morsight and Beldet bravely continued forward into the hall that reeked of rot and corruption. As they walked by each cell they saw decomposed human skeletons and remains, some still wearing their rotten and tattered clothes. They made their way to the end of the hallway to find the last skeleton, collapsed against the wall, garbed in a suit of mail that was more powdered rust than metal and held a short sword. As they inspected the skeleton closer, the sound of a creaking iron door opening was heard from behind them.
To their horror, out of the cell climbed a shambling skeleton. It’s thin wicked fingers wrapped around the cell door, eye sockets dark and empty. Another cell door flew open and more of the rotting figures emerged out into the hall and began shuffling towards the two brave fighters. Morsight unleashed his fury first, cleaving bone and decomposing flesh. Beldet followed suit and hacked off the femur bone of one the horrors. Then, from behind they were attacked by the skeleton wearing the mail and brandishing a sword. They quickly realized that they were trapped in the hallway as the decomposing prisoners swarmed them.
From within the center room, as he was counting coins, Kyrs heard the battle shouts of his friends and the sound of sword splintering bone. He dropped the gold and rushed towards the cacophony as he pulled his own blade. As he rounded the corner and came to the door of the cellroom, he was met face to rotting face of several horrid skeletons reaching their bony fingers towards his throat. Kyrs swung his knife as he backed away from the repulsive sight. As the skeletons crossed the threshold of the cellroom, they collapsed into a pile of bone, dust and powder. The three left the hall together shaken, and returned to the fellowship.
Elora stood in the room, her arms raised to the air, drawing energy to herself while speaking strange words. The broken mirror began to glow while the shards and bits of black glass scattered on the floor rattled. A small flash erupted and suddenly, the mirror on the wall was once again whole. Before the mirror stood Elora, with Beldet just behind her, captured within the reflection. They both looked to the mirror and saw a forest of ice, like silver sculptures glittering in an ethereal mist. Elora was within a block of bluish ice, clear and perfect. Beldet stood behind her, frosted and decaying, trying to break her out of her frigid prison. A frosted face looked from above with burning blue eyes, laughing. The reflection of the mirror then faded away to a black nothing.
Elora put the mirror into the magical cloth, not mentioning the visions she saw within and unknowing what meaning it held. With only one doorway left to explore, the party carefully entered.
The chamber was nearly twenty feet wide, fifty feet long and vaulted to about twelve feet. Dominating the room, along the western wall, was a great relief – several knights with intricate scrollwork carved into the stone. Empty sconces, fashioned in the likeness of human skulls were bracketed on either side of the great relief giving the chamber a sinister likeness. The wall seemed to be damp, water seeped through the ceiling and across the relief to puddle on the floor. Otherwise, the room was empty.
The party searched for anything in the room that was out of the ordinary. They ran their fingers into the cracks and crevices, hoping to find a trigger or key to an unknown door. Finally, after searching for over a half hour, Kyrs pulled on one of the skull sconces, and it moved downwards as a lever. Stone scraping on stone grumbled as the the relief opened slightly, revealing a secret passageway into the dark. From the darkness, the plink-plunk of dripping water and the murmur of a stream could easily be heard.