Monday, June 9, 2014

Crypts and Things: End Game. Ragnor's Horde Attacks

The adventurers just barely managed to return to the city with the necessary artifacts for the ritual to summon the Angel of Oblivion:  The Angel’s Wings and the Angel’s Sword.  Also arriving were the barbarian tribes of Motard’s people.  Meanwhile, the denizens of the city had not been idle while the party had been out retrieving the artifacts.

Under the direction of Zardoz, the white magician Yazd had surrounded the city with walls of thorns that would at the very least slow down the taking masses of fanatics and undead.  The recently hired mercenaries had taken up strategic positions in the thorns where a small number of men could hold of a large number of the horde for a considerable amount of time.  As the city itself had no wall except for in the central area, barricades had been setup in the streets and every able bodied man and woman had been armed to defend the city.  With their defenses in place, the city waited for the invaders to arrive.   The city did not have to wait for long.
Over the hill came horde of Ragnor:  Human fanatics and zombie hordes were in the vanguard with necromancers and the vile priests of Ragnor as their commanders.  Worse still were the demons and undead monstrosities that were the heart of Ragnor’s army.   Colossal self-driven siege engines made up the corpses of Ragnor’s victims that could plow through the city’s defenses, undead creating plague demons, crypt fiends and even vampires were among Ragnor’s cohorts.  Even the most hardened of the city’s mercenaries trembled in fear.  It was at this point that Zardoz decided to do the last thing that Ragnor would expect them to do:  Attack!

At night, only part of Ragnor’s army had campfires going:  These areas had to be were the living members of the horde were encamped.  It would be there that they would attack and it would be there where furry of the Bull God would do the most damage….

Zardoz and his henchmen, Torvir, Nivhaca, and Motard rode through the pickets of Ragnor’s horde and attacked the encampment of his fanatical cult followers, his necromancers and his priests.  While the mounted horsemen cut down zombies and cultists, Torvir rode past the defending wall of zombies and blew the Horn of the Bull God several times, unleashing a horde of minotaurs that tore into the Ragnor’s obscene army.  In addition to the slaughter of hundreds of cultists and zombies, many of Ragnor’s priests and necromancers were also killed.

Leaving the City

First encounter of Ragnor's Pickets

Definitely the B-Squad

Have you heard of Wall of Voodoo?  Well, here is a Wall of Zombies

Evil Priests and Necromancers

Hiding behind a Zombie Wall

Evil Priests before Motard

Evil Priests after Motard 

After dealing the blow, the party rode back to the city to the cheers of the city’s guards and soldiers.  Ragnor and his horde were far from defeated but the attack certainly hurt his forces and it gave hope to the city’s defenders.  Tomorrow, the battle would begin in earnest and Zardoz, and Nivhaca would Yazd in his attempt to summon the Angel of Oblivion.

Early the next morning, the army of Ragnor attacked.  The massive undead siege engines tore through the wall of thorns, opening the way for Ragnor’s remaining zombies and cultists to move in to the streets of the city.  Then reports came of portals being opened and demons began to pour into the city.  The defenses had been breached.  The only hope was for the ritual to succeed.

Zardoz’s henchmen, Motard and his barbarian tribesmen and Torvir gathered around Yazd, Zardoz and Nivhaca as they began the ritual.  Suddenly, one of Zardoz’s trusted henchmen attacked Yazd.  Yazd held his concentration despite being struck.  Zardoz’s other henchmen and Motard immediately got between the attacker and Yazd.  He was immune to normal weapons but Motard, who has always been able to harm demons despite not having a magical weapon, killed the would-be assassin with his axe.  As the henchman fell to the ground dead, his true form was reveled:  a Face Stealer, a demon from the Other Worlds. Yazd continued the ritual along with Zardoz and Nivhaca.  Then one of the portals that they had heard about opened in the courtyard where they were conducting the ritual.

Out of the portal stepped a Nkarth: a corpse animating demon, the same kind that they party had fought during the Red Plague.  Along with it came more zombies.  The demon was defeated only to be replaced by a Crypt Thing that immediately killed most of the henchmen and re-animated them as zombies. After the Crypt thing had been dispatched, two more forms stepped through the portal.  Darius Kos and the living God himself, Ragnor, his eyes growing with an unholy light.

Circling the wagons

The Nkarth arrives

Fighting their own dead!

Torvir wanted to run.  He was injured and near collapsing.  Motard said “Run if you want.  I am going to Valhalla!” and he gripped his axe and attacked.  Torvir took heart and stood his ground.  When Motard’s axe struck Ragnor, the demigod screamed in pain and shock as the axe bit into his flesh, inflicting a ghastly wound.  The brand on Motard’s shoulder, the one left so long ago when he was kidnapped by demon worshipers and nearly scarified to the outer beings, began to glow.  For the first time since he had acquired immortality, Ragnor knew fear.

The Angel of Oblivion has Arrived!

The only ones standing are Motard and the Angel
It was then that the ritual was completed and the Angel of Oblivion appeared. A wave of destructive energy went out from the Angel, killing the remaining henchmen and barbarian tribesmen.   Darius stuck down Torvir.  The Angel moved forth and Ragnor fought desperately.  The Sword of the Angel bit into the flesh of Ragnor drew more of his divine blood.  Then Ragnor stuck Ragnor’s head from his body and the entity known as Nyogtha spewed from his body in a pillar of sickening green, returning to the nightmarish plane that he had come from.  His task complete, the Angel of Oblivion flew off into the stars.

I just killed a God!  I am going to the brothel!
With Ragnor slain, his demons returned to their home planes and the undead collapsed in the streets. Ragnor’s cultists, sensing that their god was dead, fled the city.  Darius Kos collapsed as the power that had trapped his soul and held him to his un-life was gone but his torment was not over.  Zardoz had long wanted to examine the magic that had held Darius to this life and had prepared a specific magic jar spell.  Zardoz cast the spell and Darius Kos’ soul was now trapped by the gem that Zardoz had prepared.  His torment would now continue.

Motard stood over the god he had just slain.  The exhausted and wounded Barbarian took in his well-earned victory and said one of the best lines of the campaign:  “I’m going to the brothel.”
This was the end of my Crypts and Things campaign.  Zardoz was now the “benevolent dictator” of the city and Motard, the slayer of a god, was his right hand man.  All in all it was great and satisfying way to wrap up the campaign and everyone had fun.

This all went down about four months ago and I really do miss this game.  I did run part of the Crypts and Things adventure the Spear of the Necromancers but we never did get to finish it as I got injured in March and everything pretty well feel apart.  Hopefully I can run something like this again but it sadly it will be without Zardoz as Sam, his player, moved back to Austin Texas.  Nevertheless, I loved running Crypts and Things and I hope that the people that have visited this this blog enjoyed reading about it.


  1. I've enjoyed reading the exploits of the Crypts & Things campaign! I'm a longtime friend of Sam's now living in Nebraska. He is a fun player and we get together for slinging dice every year at one convention or another (Dragon Con / Origins / Gen Con). I picked up a copy of C&T on his recommendation and hope to try my hand at playing and/or running a session one of these days. Thanks for the C&T readings!

    1. Thanks for the comment!. I am glad that you enjoyed our campaign log. It was a lot of fun to run it Sam is an AWESOME player and I was grateful to have him in my group.
      I hope that you enjoy C&T. It is a simple rule set that is very quick to learn and a lot of fun to play, particularly if you are a fan of sword and sorcery.

    2. If you get a chance to speak with Sam again, ask him about how he was the only player to successfully complete, BY HIMSELF, my "Codex" adventure I ran at Origins in 2011. It was a fantastic performance!

  2. Why thank you, Niels! I'm truly humbled by that description. C&T was a damn fun campaign, and you were the guy behind the screen making sure it stayed that way. The day we gave Adrick to Ikhtanabu during the Knife of the Necromancer is still one of my favorite bits.

    1. That was classic wasn't it? Remembering that puts a smile on my face and a song in my heart. One of these days, you have to tell me about the "Codex" adventure that Ancalagon was talking about.