September 26th, 2010

St George

The Ongoing Adventures of the Juma Gang, 19th Session: Cadavra's Revenge

Here’s what happened in this afternoon’s game. Each PC gets 725 xp.

4th Iunius

After searching the rest of the windmill, the PCs head back to Parsantium to the Dev’shir estate in the Grand Ward. There, they are surprised when Lady Patricia herself answers the door, obviously in some distress. Apparently her loyal butler Falco went down into the cellar and didn’t return. In fact, Lady Patricia says she has heard terrible screaming coming from down there in the last few minutes.

The PCs hurry down into the cellar with Hrothgar and Sora in the lead. Falco lies dead in a pool of blood in the centre of the room; his blood has been used to paint a large, eldritch symbol on the floor. The middle of the chamber where this symbol is inscribed seems somehow darker and colder than the rest of the room which gives the PCs pause. As the party move forward, undead minions of the witch Cadavra appear from behind the curtains at the back and from a doorway. The rubbery-skinned dread zombies and the scythe-wielding reaper move into the middle while the two blazing skeletons hang back, flinging their flaming orbs at Ulthar and Gil. Sora charges the reaper but ends up bloodied by his scythe and his evil gaze as the undead creature fades away, moving out of her reach. Juma is grabbed by a zombie but teleports out of its grasp and attacks the reaper. Gil throws a fireball into the room, catching all the undead, but then the monsters are reinforced by two groups of zombie rotters that move in to engage Juma, Hrothgar, Sora and Ulthar in melee.

As the battle continues, the PCs realise to their annoyance that the dread zombies get up when they’ve been “killed” and it takes two death blows to put them down permanently. Meanwhile, Ulthar is in a bad way, having been set on fire repeatedly by the skeletons. Sora overcomes her fear of the reaper to finish him off with radiant delirium and then kills the last dread zombie; Hrothgar destroys the last skeleton.

Before there is time for a short rest, the PCs hear a scream from upstairs - something is happening to Lady Patricia. The party rush back up with Gil bravely taking the lead, having hung back in the first fight. In the hall of the mansion are four vampire fleshrippers and beyond, Cadavra is threatening her mother, Lady Patricia.

The witch blasts the PCs with chilling transfer, slowing them down and reducing Ulthar to -17hp. Then, the vampires close in. These minions are despatched swiftly but Cadavra is a much more tricky opponent as she keeps moving and uses her magic to slow down or freeze her enemies to the spot. Gil shouts out to Lady Patricia to run away and the noblewoman doesn’t need to be told twice. Sora brings Ulthar back round with a potion and the inspirational warlord is able to give much useful tactical advice, using seize the upper hand & inspire belligerence to help his comrades do extra damage to Cadavra. The necromancer is cornered by Juma and Sora while Hrothgar is too leaden-footed to get into melee and is reduced to throwing javelins. Eventually Juma delivers the killing blow!

The party explain what’s been happening to Lady Patricia, how Cadavra escaped from the asylum, took up necromancy and was out for revenge. Hrothgar is a bit too explicit but Sora and Ulthar are able to calm down the noblewoman before she faints. While no one is watching, Juma steals a small but valuable rug, shoving it inside his shirt. Ulthar advises her ladyship to spend the night at the neighbours until the PCs have laid Dugesia’s ghost to rest and the matter is considered closed.

5th Iunius

The PCs (minus Juma who is off selling the stolen rug) return to the Forest of the Dead and to the Dev’shir mausoleum where Ulthar explains to Dugesia that the party are there to grant her peace. The PCs replace the brick with Dugesia’s name in the wall depicting the family tree and put her body back on the bier in her tomb. When they do this, her ghost fades away as her spirit heads off to the afterlife.

The party also visit the sacristy of Mormekar in the cemetery. Here, they tell the priests about the Cauldron of Illserves beneath the Old Mill - the undead-hating clergy promise they will have the dangerous artifact removed and destroyed.

Returning to the Grand Ward, Lady Patricia pays the PCs 2,000 gold bezants for all they’ve done for her. Ulthar takes charge of the party treasure and divvies it up.

6th-9th Iunius

Gil studies his new ritual book, learning four new rituals. He also upgrades the enchantment on Ulthar’s armour to +2.

10th Iunius

Just as the party are contemplating an expedition to the desert south of Parsantium in search of the Karak Lode, a messenger snake arrives with tickets to the theatre, sent by the dramatist Dulicitus. Hrothgar is a bit confused by the concept but agrees to come along.

At the Theatre of Aymara, the PCs enjoy a performance of Iancu Petronas’ play, The Fey King of Darkwood, and meet Dulicitus, Vetranis and Gerontius – three conservative dramatists who want to hire the PCs to find out what Petronas is up to. The prize-winning playwright is rumoured to be connected to the Golden Scimitars so the PCs agree to take the job (although Gil is worried that hanging round the low dives of the Poor Ward might lead Juma into the temptation of gambling).

After the play, Ulthar speaks to Iancu at the stage door. The Urskovian is very charming and makes a good impression, but the playwright and his friends are keen to get going and head off after chatting to their admirers for a few minutes.

The PCs follow Iancu and his acting troupe to the red-light district in the Poor Ward where they head inside a brothel called the Winking Vixen on Grape (aka Gropecunt) Lane. Juma and Hrothgar follow them inside, with Gil and Sora a few minutes behind them. Meanwhile, Ulthar waits outside and talks to the dwarf bouncer.