Wednesday, January 22, 2014

Crypts and Things: Red Plague

Outside the city, Zardoz quickly organized a group of the city guards and a number of the city’s more capable refuges, joining them to his two members of the Eagle Claw clan of nomads and went back into the city with the purpose of re-claiming it from the hordes of undead, cultists, necromancers and wizard priests in the service of Ragnor, the demi-god ruler of the other city that had invaded his home.  Motard, Torvir, Fenngar, a warrior that fought with two short swords and a witch joined them.  The first place that Zardoz targeted was the home of the Slave master Aetius who had apparently betrayed the party by vouching for Belcore who turned out to be a disguised serpent man and who attempted to offer of the “heroes” as sacrifices to the ancient Serpent god Yigthrahotep.


Fighting zombie in the street

Taking the streets back

After fighting their way through the streets, Zardoz’s small army came upon the mansion of Aetius.  The mansion had been turned into a fortress by Aetius’s right hand man, a warrior known as Thayne Blackblade, a man armed with a magical sword made of black steel who had a reputation as the most deadly swordsman in the city. The mansion was one of the few areas of the city to hold out against the undead onslaught.  After a brief discussion, Zardoz and the characters, along with a number of their henchmen and nomad allies, entered the mansion.

Thayne informed the party that Aetius had been missing for over two weeks.  He also admitted that his long time employer and friend had been acting strangely for even longer.   With Aetius out of the picture, Thayne opened Aetius’ vault of magical items and handed over the sword of the green dragon to the party which Torvir wielded.  His intent was to use all means necessary to cleanse the city of its undead infestation.  Thayne warned Torvir character that the magical blade, much like the black steel blade that he wielded, almost certainly carried a heavy price.  Torvir would find out later…

The small army, now re-enforced by guards from Aetius’s mansion, now set out back in the city. Their first target was Zardoz’s whorehouse in the foreign district.  Zardoz wanted to make sure that his investment was intact and they would clear out any undead that found along the way.

By nightfall, the combined adventurer\nomad\guard army reached the brothel, killing and burning any zombie that they came across.  Zardoz’s brothel had weathered the undead plague rather well.  Many of the clientele were hardy adventurer types that had quickly barricaded the brothel, turning it into a heavily armed fortress that also acted as a place of safety in a city overrun by zombies.  A large defensive parameter was setup for the night and the many of the party took advantage of the “gifts” offered by the brothel’s grateful employees.   In the morning, a number of the patrons joined the small army and joined the effort to reclaim the city.
The party then made their way to home of Yazd, the white mage and healer.  There were rumors that his home had held out against the hordes of zombies that were wandering around the city.  Upon approaching the home of Yazd., the group observed that the undead did not even appear to approach the house, as if an invisible barrier had been set up.  After destroying all of the zombies in immediate vicinity, the party knocked on the door.

The man that opened the door looked like a younger version of Yazd, as well as a number of children and refugees that had sought shelter in the home of the white mage.  The young man introduced himself as Yazd’s son.  Most of the children where the Yazd’s grandchildren.  He told them that his father had cast a protection spell around the home but the task had been a tasking one and it had left Yazd in coma that for once, was no induced by his opium habit.   Realizing that Yazd would be of no help at this point, they party moved on to their home, the House of the Dragon.

As the party approached the House of the Dragon, the party was attacked by three deadly insect swarms.  These insect swarms were demonic in nature and three henchmen died horribly as they were torn to pieces. Despite the loss, the swarms were defeated and the group of adventurers entered the once grand mansion.
All of the guards that had been left behind to guard the mansion had been slain but not by zombies.  They had been killed by someone wielding a sword.  Whoever had killed the guards that he had left behind had also opened his basement laboratory.  Apparently, something large had used the zombie corpse of the captured necromancer that Zardoz had experimented as an anchor to gate in the basement.  From the basement of the House of the Dragon, the plague Red Plague of undeath was unleashed upon the city.
According to reports, the zombies had taken over ruling palace at the center of the city.  There were also reports of other things, things far worse than zombies that had taken the palace.  With most of the city retaken, and believing that Ragnor himself was currently at the central palace, Zardoz commanded his small army to attack the palace.  Zardoz would command the Eagle Claw nomads while Motard, Torvir and Fenngar would attack on the opposite of the wall.

Upon climbing the wall, Motard and company, including fifteen henchmen, encountered zombies, necromancers, priests of Ragnor and a large demon.

Taking the wall

The Plague Demon and his Zombies

Demon with Wizard Priest of Ragnor!

Motard fighting to get to the Demon

The Demon Falls


Swords flashed, arrows were fired, and fireballs cast.  In the end, all fifteen of the henchmen were killed as the fireballs cast by the priests of Ragnor inflicted heavy losses upon the player character’s forces.  Motard, due to the mark of the dark elder gods that was placed upon him all though years ago when the attempt to sacrifice him as a infant was stopped by his father and other members of his tribe, was able to harm the demon.   Torvir was also able to harm the demon with the blade of the Green Dragon but when he used it, he found the side effect of using the blade: Every blow he struck would release a cloud of poisonous gas in twenty foot radius.  While the demon was immune to the poison, neither he nor Motard were and both men were lucky to survive the encounter. Despite the poisonous cloud, the demon was slain but the remaining characters were exhausted and wounded.  Suddenly, a winged being appeared above the party and everyone was healed.  Apparently Yazd had woken from his comma.

The characters then spotted a covered litter being carried by zombies.  Over twenty Eagle nomads charged it but a blast of greenish energy slew them all. Despite the danger, Motard, Torvir and Fenngar all attacked. What they found in the litter was a Crypt Fiend a deadly and powerful undead monstrosity.

What is hiding in the Litter

Crypt Fiend raises the fallen henchmen as zombies!

The Crypt Fiend Falls!

The three warriors managed to slay it and with that, the rest of the resistance fell apart.  That battle was won but at a heavy cost.  Most of the rulers of the city were dead, among them Grey Eyes whose zombized corpse had been put down.  Of the two hundred Eagle Claw nomads, only around fifty remained.  The city would be ripe for invasion.  Also, Zardoz was missing…..