Campaign of the Month: August 2007

Ptolus - Runic Street Boys

Possession is Ninth-Tenths of the Law

Standing in the house with the bloodied form of Dmitri the cleric in the kitchen while the Imperial Guard waited outside, Janos decided to go out to talk to the Captain of the Guard, Grayden. Grayden informed Janos that Dmitri was to be charged with the murder of Father Raimynd of the Temple of Gaen . Apparently Dmitri had walked into the temple during mass and bludgeoned the priest to death before anyone could stop him. He had returned to the house and had been traced there by the guard.

Returning to the kitchen Janos informed Dmitri of the trouble to which Dmitri responded in a different voice and with his eyes glowing red. “You didn’t really believe you would desecrate our temple and get away with it did you?” At this point, Orbick sensed trouble and fired a ray to subdue Dmitri. The battle joined Dmitri drew his suddenly glowing red mace and began to attack the group. Janos drew a sap and also tried to subdue the cleric hitting him hard but not dropping him. Khron, not prepared for combat grabbed his weapon and rushed into battle but could not hit the well-armoured cleric.

Corvus attempted to charge forward to take away the mace from Dmitri but the cleric saw the move and smashed the imp quite hard knocking the still injured Corvus back into unconsciousness with the glowing red mace. Trading blows for a time, Dmitri healed himself before seeing the guards start to arrive to assist the party. It was at that point that a glowing doorway opened before him and he stepped through, escaping the guards and the party.

Needless to say the guards were not pleased with the loss of their prisoner but they did see the party attempting to subdue the cleric so they were not arrested on the spot. Instead, the party was told they would have to vacate the premises for the night while a special magical investigator was called in to track the fugitive cleric. Captain Grayden gave Janos the card of one Dularius Mul – Sorcerous Investigations.

While the others leave to check into the Ghostly Minstrel, Janos remains in the shadows of a nearby alley to the house to watch the investigation. Near midnight he spotted a flying carpet floating over the rooftops descending when he reached the party’s house. A man clad in rather garish robes stepped off the carpet and took up his large staff with deft fingers. His shock of blonde hair seemed to stand straight up with a mind of its own and his dark goggles encompassed his face like two dark moons. A variety of jewelry glittered upon his hands as the guard’s torch light played upon the surface of the many gems and jewels.

The figure conferred with the guards for a moment never taking his eyes from the house in question but undoubtedly taking in all that was being said. Finally with a curt nod he walked into the house through the side entrance to the kitchen and disappeared from Janos’ sight. In moments brilliant flashes of light could be seen escaping the shutters and through the doorway. Mere moments later, the figure returned to the street; uttered something to the guard and then stepped upon his carpet once more. Seating himself in the cross-legged position and placing his staff next to him, he quickly rose above the buildings and flew over the rooftops towards the direction of Old Town.

Deciding nothing new would be found out at that point as the guards busily secured the house once more Janos stopped to inquire what the guards had learned when Alice came rushing down the street to the house screaming that Tommy had been taken by Dmitri. Rushing to her aid, Janos learned that Dmitri had gone to Alice’s house and she had let him in not knowing anything was wrong. He then changed his demeanor as he took her oldest boy hostage and told her to tell his ‘friends’ that they would be able to find him to finish this ‘where it had all started’. Janos immediately knew that Dmitri was referring to the Temple of the Rat God. After calming Alice down he promised her he would rescue Tommy and return him to her. The housekeeper reassured he left to find the others at the Ghostly Minstrel.

Meanwhile at the Minstrel, Orbick had gone immediately to rest while Corvus and Khron remained in the bar. There they met a strange man named Thaddeus Brown. Thaddeus was an old man with a full head of white hair that protruded off in all manner of directions and he seemed to be an inventor of sorts. They also soon learned that Thaddeus was now quite blind. Apparently he had lost his sight in an accident that had claimed the life of his young assistant, Marti. Thaddeus, however, believes that Marti will return one day.

While the pair is talking with Thaddeus, Janos arrives and informs them of what has happened to Tommy. Quickly they make their way up to their rooms to gather their gear as well as Orbick. Thaddeus follows them and informs them that he has heard through is connections that the rat creatures have gotten their hands on some sort of a construct. He would like to have a chance to examine the device if at all possible but he also has access to some of his old equipment which he keeps in his room at the Minstrel. After rummaging for a bit he manages to find a tanglefoot bag along with an experimental potion that simulates a night’s rest for a wizard to recharge. The problem with taking it is that the wizard will have to sleep twice as long once it wears off in a deep slumber to counteract the effects of the potion. Orbick, tapped out from the fight with Dmitri and without a full nights rest takes the potion and recharges his spells.

As Orbick studies, Janos heads down the stairs to look for another sword arm since the group is down a member. He finds a dwarven cleric named Thorian Hammersong. Thorian agrees to join the group but will not take anything less than an equal share of the treasure. Reluctantly, Janos agrees to his terms and the party heads off to the temple to face the unknown.

In little time the group is once again outside the back entrance to the Rat God Temple preparing for another assault. The door is opened to reveal the same layout as before with the statue at the end of a rectangular room on a raised dais. However, this time there are two rows of lit black candles seated upon tall candelabra lining a 10-foot wide path leading up to the stairs of the dais. Carefully making his way to the dais, Corvus proceeds to push the statue back after finding the activation method. Unfortunately he realizes too late that the movement of the statue will cause it to knock over one set of candelabra. It hits the floor and erupts in a fiery blast catching the imp in its radius. Scorched and somewhat angry the imp has little time to deal with the injuries before several ghouls come climbing out of the room below and attack. The group makes short work of the foul undead and makes its way down into the cellar area of the temple. They find that the walls have seemingly been altered. The hallway of darkness remains but the secret room off to the right has been eliminated and there is now a wall at the end of the darkened hallway instead of a blade trap. As they are searching for an exit, a click is heard as the statue above slides back into place and water starts to pour into the chamber through the many rat holes opening into the chamber.

The threat of drowning puts new life into the party as they divide into two groups: one works on trying to move the statue while the other looks for a secret door or some way to turn the water off. As they search, Orbick realizes that the water actually has a sizeable amount of oil mixed in with it so decides not to blast his way out. Corvus finally decides to push his way through the water coming through the rat holes and disappears out of sight. Meanwhile, Khron and Janos take turns trying to move the statue with no luck. Khron actually activates the rune upon his arm and with a feat of great strength almost moves the statue but falters at the last minute. However, his move inspires Janos who screams; charges up the stairs to tackle the statue and manages to spring the locking mechanism on it. Together he and Khron manage to move the statue and the group escapes except for Corvus who was making his way through the rat holes.

Corvus finally found one hole that broke off from the others that did not have water going through it so he took it and found himself in a hallway that he hadn’t seen before. Figuring out where he was in relation to the group he quickly found a trap door to the room the group had been trying to get to in the first place. Opening the door, he found himself confronted by 4 rat brutes and a monolithic looking construct of a minotaur that has a monstrous drill for a hand. Metal and flesh meshed into a powerful looking abomination that Corvus knew he could not defeat alone. Behind the construct in the far corner of the room lay poor Tommy. The boy was unconscious but relatively unharmed. Behind the construct directly stood Dmitri. The cleric’s eyes glowed a crimson red as he spoke with a voice of another. The voice said that Corvus had lost his way and that the forces of those of the Sleeping Ones had to take matters into their own hands. If Corvus wanted to save those who had been possessed and captured he would have to willingly take the amulet from around Dmitri’s neck. The entity that controlled the cleric would then take control of Corvus and the balance would be restored so that the Night of Dissolution could continue as long foretold. If he did not agree he would be destroyed and another less suitable candidate would be chosen to take his place. It would not be ideal but one such as Corvus could not be allowed to work for the other side in such an important time.

Fearing that he had no other way to save the others from the watery death as he did not know they had escaped, and wanting to free Dmitri and save Tommy, Corvus agreed to the entity’s terms. Stepping forward he knelt before Dmitri and the amulet was placed upon his neck with his full agreement. The entity had gotten exactly what it wanted….

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