The Guardians – Episode 31: Conclusion

This session’s main characters:

  • Diana – human fighter 4
  • Elfred – high elf ranger 4
  • Fredo – stout halfling rogue 4
  • Hermione – human wizard 4
  • Lavandes – high elf druid 4
  • Mistamojo – human cleric 4
  • Oracle – human fighter 4

With the phylactery sinking to the bottom of the River Styx, the demilich felt fear and desperation as it flew toward the Hellmouth. At that moment, the sky seemed to begin to clear. The darkness was starting to be replaced by sunlight peeking through the clouds. The army of the dead seemed uncertain now and started to walk back away from the centre of town.

Velith ordered the banshees to resume their attacks but they only fled out of town along with the zombies. She was now really furious at Mistamojo for deceiving her. She screamed at him, “cleric!!!”

Mistamojo tried to calm her down with words but that just enraged Velith all the more. She lunged at him with her two clawed hands. Sparks flew but her claws were not able to penetrate Mistamojo’s armour.

Down below, as Elfred was about to activate Zelirith’s transporter obelisk, she noticed that the circle below was actually already lit blue and spinning. Somebody was coming. She stepped back and Lavandes appeared in the circle.

Yobak told her which words to say to send her to where the rest of the Guardians were. Now she saw Elfred and Diana around her. Farther away, she saw a flying angry skull heading north down the cavern and Oracle with his Flametongue right behind it.

Diana shook off her fatigue and found her second wind. She took out her trusty magic dagger and charged Kranis Volan’s flying skull. She swung her dagger but missed.

Annoyed at both Oracle and Diana for getting in its way, the demilich turned towards them and let out a wail that would’ve crushed the soul of an ordinary person but they both stood their ground albeit visibly shaken.

The demilich turned and flew away. Elfred fired off a couple of fire bolts at it as it passed by. Lavandes walked to Oracle and bestowed magical resistance on him in case he’ll need it in trying to bring down Kranis Volan.

Oracle tried to shake the preternatural fear he was feeling after his close encounter with the demilich but he couldn’t get himself to pursue it. He instead threw his Flametongue sword at the creature but it easily dodged out of the way. His sword fell to the ground and the fire on its blade went out.

The demilich was no longer in sight as it went down through the narrrow passage leading to Hellmouth where Fredo and Hermione were.

At the Hellmouth, Hermione felt rushing wind coming through the pit from the Abyss underneath, as if something big and unseen was rushing toward her. She needed to seal the doors as soon as possible.

After looking around, she determined that she had two options: push the doors close from the pit-side as there were no handles on the double doors or turn the key in the right hole again.

At this time, none of the keyholes shone any coloured light. She placed the key in the nearest hole and turned it. Suddenly, electricity coursed through her body sending shock through her spine. Maybe pushing the doors close from the other side would be the better way to go.

Fredo thought it was too dangerous to guess at which keyhole to try. He wanted to use the pieces of string in his pocket to tie them to the door somehow and pull on it to close them shut.

He tried gripping the surface of the door that was hanging above the Hellmouth but he slipped. Thankfully, he was close enough to the ledge that he was able to get his balance and not fall over.

Hermione moved to behind the right door and pushed against it using the cavern wall as leverage. With some effort, she succeeded in pushing the heavy door. Both doors began to close at the same time. She continued to push at it, trying to get some momentum.

Above ground, Mistamojo didn’t want to aggravate Velith even more so he turned to go join his friends below ground. He said to Velith, “good bye, woman.”

Further enraged, she chased after him. She shouted, “come back here, cleric!”

Mistamojo entered the cavern with the transporter just as three fiery hell hounds ran into the cavern from the opposite end. The hell hounds were running towards the narrow exit that led to the surface. Towards him.

Diana leaped at the closest hell hound and plunged her magic dagger into it. It growled in pain and breathed out fire at her. Flames enveloped her and she fell to the ground unconscious and singed. Another hell hound blew fire at both Lavandes and Oracle. Lavandes was able to dodge most of the flames but not completely. Oracle jumped and tumbled away much more quickly.

Mistamojo walked to Diana and with his divine power healed her. Velith then entered the cavern, standing in the way of the advancing hell hounds. One hell hound breathed fire at Velith. She was singed as she stepped aside but it did not seem to affect her that much. Her eyes were still locked on Mistamojo as she rushed towards him.

She swiped at him with her clawed hand, wounding him. Then she tried to bite his neck but he was able to duck away. She sneered when she saw that Mistamojo was bleeding. Mistamojo responded, “I’m just glad you got some satisfaction out of that.” Upon hearing this, Velith scowled.

However she realised that her cause was lost. She decided to retreat. As she flew away, she shouted back at Mistamojo, “I’ll get you next time, cleric!”

Meanwhile, the rest of the heroes in the cavern started running toward the Hellmouth just in case they would be needed there.

At the Hellmouth, Fredo and Hermione have nearly closed the doors when Kranis Volan’s flying skull came flying through the remaining gap between the two doors. Hermione saw that the demilich just continued flying down the deep pit into the Abyss below.

The gap further narrowed and the doors were almost closed with Hermione hovering on the wrong side of the massive doors. She peered into the narrow gap, looked at Fredo and then vanished in a puff of smoke. Instantly she reappeared behind Fredo as the doors closed completely.

There was a loud clunk and the doors to the Hellmouth were sealed once more.

The Lich Kranis Volan and his phylactery had been trapped in the underworld. The world was safe once more. The town of Landseal celebrated the victory of their Guardians.

The town started to rebuild their homes and community. As per the heroes’ instructions, the passageway that led to the Hellmouth gates had been collapsed and buried.

A new monument had been erected on top of the old passageway to commemorate the heroic act of the Guardians. It was a dark stone wall with a bas-relief of the heroes looking on to the distance and the words “LEST WE FORGET” etched at the bottom. They also built a cottage within the town walls to act as the Guardians’ headquarters.

The site of victory against the Lich King had drawn in visitors from across the kingdom. Some have settled in the town permanently under the protection of the heroes that vanquished Kranis Volan and his army of the dead. Landseal grew and prospered.

Oracle was made the new Captain of the Guards after the death of the previous one during the Battle of Landseal.

Diana was made the new Quartermaster, in charge of training the local militia.

Elfred headed the remaining young couple of rangers that protect the nearby Andren Forest.

Fredo decided to follow the lead of the voice in his head promising of great riches.

Lavandes went in search for other druids in an attempt to rise in the druidic ranks.

Mistamojo became the bishop of Landseal and headed the local church after it had been rebuilt.

Kheldratus, the Warden of the West, met with Hermione and dubbed her (Hermionith) the new Warden of the East and she inherited Zelirith’s Tower (The East Warden’s Tower).

The end. For now.

——

It had been a great pleasure running the slightly-over-year-long campaign with these guys. I hope they enjoyed playing it as much as I had running it for them.

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The Guardians – Episode 30: The Hellmouth

This session’s main characters:

  • Diana – human fighter 4
  • Elfred – high elf ranger 4 (NPC mode)
  • Fredo – stout halfling rogue 4
  • Hermione – human wizard 4
  • Mistamojo – human cleric 4
  • Oracle – human fighter 4
  • Yobak – goblin NPC

The army of the dead have overwhelmed the remaining four town guards. Hermione and Diana ran for the hole under the monument that led to the Hellmouth. The town guards thought that the safest option was to keep close to the Guardians of Landseal and ran after them both. The banshees overhead flew toward them with great speed and easily caught up to the guards.

Elfred who was closer to the monument saw Hermione, Diana and the guards running for it. Behind them yards away she saw the zombies parted and gave way to an extremely pale woman in a black heavily embroidered gown holding on her left hand a large glass cylinder containing a floating skull swirling in green mist. Her striking face didn’t show any emotion as she virtually glided slowly toward them.

Not wanting to wait another moment, Elfred ran for the underground passage and climbed down the hole. She saw that Oracle had activated Zelirith’s transportation circle and kept his hand on the obelisk to maintain its power. The runes on the ground lit a bright blue and swirled quickly clockwise around the circle. The dozens of helpless townsfolk looked on at the magic circle in awe and wonder.

She told Oracle and Mistamojo that Hermione and Diana needed help above ground. Mistamojo left the circle and started to walk back to the above-ground exit. Oracle let go of the obelisk. The magic lights on the circle dissipated. Oracle walked back toward the surface as he yelled out to Yobak to come back to the obelisk and transport the people out of there.

Yobak, unsure if he should continue down the passageway toward the Hellmouth, waited for Fredo to pass by him and take the lead. But when he heard Oracle call for his help, he shouted back, “I’m coming back, Oracle!”. He then quickly ran back to the obelisk, leaving Fredo alone.

“So now I’m by myself?!” Fredo said in shock. “Nice support. Thanks.” Torch in hand and with the phylactery and the key to Landseal in his pocket, Fredo pressed on ever deeper.

He turned a corner and saw before him two tall iron-wrought doors about two storeys high, ornately decorated with bronze and silver vines, leaves, trees and clouds. Up above, at the very top of the doors were three key holes with light shining out of them. The left-most keyhole shone red, the middle keyhole shone green and the right-most keyhole shone white. He would have to climb to the keyholes to turn the key.

He dropped the torch on the ground and took the key out and put it in his mouth. He then climbed up the door toward the green hole, using the wrought iron decorations as hand holds. When he came upon the middle keyhole, he inserted the key and turned it.

Electricity surged through his body but he was able to maintain his grip on the door and hang on. He then saw the lights on the keyholes changed. They now shine red-white-green from left to right.

Unfazed, he started crossing to the left. He wanted to try the key on the red keyhole this time. Unfortunately, he lost his footing and he fell to the floor.

Back on the surface, Hermione had reached the monument and started descending the passageway. The guards yelled, “don’t leave us!”

They ran after Hermione but before they could take a couple of steps, one banshee let out a blood-curdling wail. Suddenly, two guards fell on the ground dead. Diana, too, fell dead. The other two guards managed to run away and join the rest of the townsfolk around the magic obelisk.

At that moment, Mistamojo and Oracle came out of the hole. Mistamojo cast Protection from Evil spell on himself as he prepared to try to talk the undead. Then the two banshees went for both of them trying to claw at them with their skeletal hands. Both of them were able to dodge the undead attacks.

Elfred joined Mistamojo and Oracle on the surface. Seeing Diana down, she ran toward her to see if she needed help. Elfred touched Diana’s forehead and cast Cure Wounds on her. Diana was conscious again.

Diana stood up and shot her longbow at a banshee but missed. Elfred also shot a longbow at a banshee but her arrow only grazed it.

Oracle took out his Flametongue sword and yelled out “fuego!” Flame engulfed the sword’s blade. He swung his sword at a banshee but somehow managed to utter “apagalo”. The flames on the sword went out and he missed.

Mistamojo summoned a spiritual axe and threw it to a banshee. It struck true but it only affected the undead a little. It was looking like it will be tough to beat these banshees with the weapons they had.

Meanwhile, the pale woman in black carrying a skull in a glass cylinder had walked very much closer to them. Mistamojo said to the woman, “Hi. How are you? Can you help us out?”

The woman looked at all of them in interest and said, “maybe I can. I’m Velith. Maybe you and I can come to an agreement.”

Meanwhile underground, Hermione ran toward the Hellmouth gate sensing Fredo would need support. She crossed paths with Yobak who was running in the opposite direction toward the obelisk surrounded by the townsfolk.

Yobak placed his hand on the slot under the obelisk and spoke the words to activate the transporter. Once again, the runes around the circle on the ground began to swirl clockwise and glowed a bright blue light. A few more moments and they were gone. Presumably, they were safely transported back to Zelirith’s tower.

Hermione continued to run down the passage until she finally reached Fredo by the gate. They look up and saw the lights on the keyholes changed again. This time it was green-red-white.

Once again, Fredo easily climbed toward the middle red keyhole. He inserted the key and turned it. Electricity surged through his body again. He was hit harder this time and fell to the ground.

Back above ground, Velith spoke to Mistamojo, “can we come to an agreement? Hand over the phylactery and you and your friends could live.”

Mistamojo looked Velith and then to the skull in the cylinder she was holding. He then remembered reading a book on Liches at Zelirith’s tower. If a lich could not regain its phylactery, it would turn into a demilich — a less powerful form of lich — and all that would remain would be its skull. That must be what Velith was carrying.

“What would you do with the phylactery?” Mistamojo asked.

“With it, I’d be able to revive my master, Kranis Volan,” said Velith. “And finally bring peace to this land. Under his rule, all things will be at peace.”

“Well then, remove these banshees first,” said Mistamojo.

Velith considered it for a few seconds and said, “very well.” She snapped her fingers and the banshees floated back 15 feet away from the heroes.

“What’s our guarantee that if we hand you the phylactery, you won’t harm my people or the people from this village?” asked Mistamojo.

“I didn’t say anything about the people of this village. Just you and your party,” replied Velith.

Diana uttered out, “oh.”

Oracle didn’t like it one bit. He readied his sword and said, “fuego” to light it up.

Diana and Elfred backed off and then went down the hole. Elfred went straight for the obelisk and placed her hand in the slot. She figured that if she activated it now, it will be ready to transport by the time her friends reach the circle.

Meanwhile at the gate, Hermione looked at the keyholes and thought about what Fredo had tried so far. She figured something was up with the colours of light from the keyholes. Fredo had already tried a green-lit keyhole and a red-lit keyhole. Hermione was sure they had to try the white keyhole next.

She asked Fredo to hand over the key and the phylactery to her. She then levitated toward the white keyhole, inserted the key and turned it.

There was a loud clunk and the two doors began to slowly. Electric sparks flew from its surface as opened outwards with an ear-deafening creak.

Dark shadows escaped through the doors overhead and below, a few flaming Hell Hounds burst out. They just ignored the two heroes on their way out. Something they’ll just have to deal with some other time. For now, they had more pressing matters.

Hermione hovered above the gaping hole on the ground just behind the gate. It must be the Hellmouth. It was a deep rocky pit that fell into the abyss. Below, she could faintly see what looked like rushing water. Under the water were ghostly figures flowing with the current. It must be the River Styx, she thought.

Fredo was considering what to do next when he heard the voice in his head again. It said, “No! Step away from that right now!” Since Hermione had the phylactery, there was nothing left for him to do there anyway. He glanced at Hermione and she motioned for him to start running now.

He turned and ran back toward the exit as fast as he could.

Meanwhile above ground, animated shadowy smoke burst out from the hole behind Mistamojo. The smoke formed into six cloudy tendrils and then split off in random directions.

Velith was visibly shaken when she saw this. The fools opened the gate. The skull in the glass cylinder that was the demilich moaned out, “No!”

The demilich burst out of its container and desperately flew straight to the hole.

Oracle was ready for this, he raised his Flametongue sword and slashed the demilich from behind as it went past him. Though visibly affected, the demilich just continued to fly toward the Helllouth at great speed.

Back above the Hellmouth, Hermione held out the Lich Kranis Volan’s precious phylactery over the pit and then dropped it into the watery abyss below.

It plunged into the water and slowly sank into its murky depths.

It was done.

To be continued…

The Guardians – Episode 29: Is this how you fight?

This session’s main characters:

  • Diana – human fighter 4
  • Elfred – high elf ranger 4
  • Fredo – stout halfling rogue 4 (NPC-mode)
  • Hermione – human wizard 4
  • Mistamojo – human cleric 4
  • Oracle – human fighter 4
  • Yobak – goblin NPC

Hermione created a loud thunder wave aimed toward the monument. The monument cracked and dust fell to the side. The block beside the opening that Fredo created last time crumbled from the force of her Thunder wave spell.

Mistamojo convinced Yobak to go into the small opening that Fredo had created and explore what’s underneath the monument. Yobak went down and shouted back that he saw an obelisk in the cavern underneath. It looked like the very same obelisk they used to transport in and out of Zelirith’s Tower.

Mistamojo used his Gauntlets of Ogre Power to rip apart two stone blocks at the base of the monument making a big enough hole for a person to walk down to the passageway underneath.

Oracle continued to fight one of the two flesh golems. The golem managed to stay on its toes even after Oracle’s fiery attack whilst Diana also stabbed at the same golem with her magic dagger, focusing on the same enemy for now.

Meanwhile, the zombies have punched through the north wall and have started pushing themselves to the south. Just behind the zombies were two flying creatures wearing tattered robes just circling behind them. These were the two creatures that had carried and dropped the flesh golems into town earlier. Mistamojo gazed at them and could now recognise them as fearsome banshees.

The guards at the town gates had fallen back to the centre of town as the zombie horde advanced. They were struggling to hold the line as the townsfolk who had not evacuated started to flee southward toward the heroes. A few townsfolk also returned from the south side with sledgehammers. “We’re back! We have the sledgehammers!”

Fredo looked around and heard Dime’s voice inside his head again. “There’s an opening! Go in! Go in! Let’s get out of here!” it said. He considered fighting for a moment but then decided to follow Yobak underground. He grabbed both the Key of Landseal and the Phylactery from Elfred and then descended into the hole. He too saw Zelirith’s obelisk in a round cavern below.

Back outside, Elfred summoned a Fog Cloud between the marching zombies and the fleeing townsfolk. The zombies got lost inside the thick fog.

The two golems continued to advance southward but Oracle stood in front of them with his Flametongue sword in hand. He slashed the weaker golem again across the chest with his flaming sword. The golem fell down on one knee but quickly stood up again. Oracle took a deep breath in disbelief. It was still alive. And he was barely staying on his own feet from his own wounds.

Hermione then fired off a Thunderwave spell at the two golems. Due to her skill at manipulating magic, the wave just went around them as it slammed against the golems. The tougher golem was pushed back but the weaker one managed to plant its feet firmly to the ground.

The stronger golem looked around at something to attack and saw Diana and her shimmering cloak. It tried to punch her twice but she just easily avoided both attacks. The second golem slammed Oracle right in the chest which sent him flying a feet off the ground. He fell to the ground unconscious.

Meanwhile beneath the ground, Yobak went past Zelirith’s obelisk and continued down another passageway. It was dark and it was going downwards. He could exactly see where it went. He guessed it was toward the gates to the hellsmouth. Fredo followed close behind him despite the voice’s protestations.

Back on the surface, Diana leaped at the golem responsible for Oracle’s fall. She plunged her magic dagger right between the golem’s eyes. The golem sank to its knees and fell on its side, still smoking from the burns it sustained from Oracle’s flaming sword.

Mistamojo saw Oracle needed help so he walked toward him. He gave the unconscious warrior a swift kick on the butt first and said, “is this how you fight?” Then he knelt down, pulled the healing potion from Oracle’s belt and then poured it down Oracle’s throat.

In a few seconds, Oracle’s eyes opened. He’s conscious again but still weak. Elfred ran to Oracle and healed him with her elven magic. This was enough to get him back on his feet.

Oracle stood up angry. He held out his Flametongue sword and yelled out “Fuego!” The sword’s blade was suddenly engulfed in flames. He ran toward the remaining golem and struck it from behind with a mighty blow. The golem sustained a large wound that was instantly cauterised by the Flametongue. It then fell to the ground motionless.

The people with the sledgehammers approached the monument and started pounding on it, quickly widening the hole that led to the underground passage. The rest of the townsfolk continued running toward the monument as the heroes seemed to be trying to get underneath it.

The remaining guards continued to hold back the zombie army away from the rest of the people. Hermione stepped toward the zombies and unleashed another Thunderwave. The first row of zombies staggered back but there seemed to be an endless number of them coming from the north.

Diana and Elfred shot at the zombies. Diana shot an arrow at one and killed it. Elfred shot out a Fire Bolt at another and also killed it.

Mistamojo saw the futility of fighting all the zombies and decided that they just needed to get the people out of harms way. He ordered the people to go down the passageway underground and followed them in. The people started gathering around Zelirith’s obelisk and stood inside the magic circle around it.

Oracle walked in behind the people and went straight for the obelisk. He placed his hand on the slot under the obelisk and said, “Nunquam non paratus!” Suddenly the circle around the obelisk and the people lit a bright blue as the runes on the circle started crawling clockwise. The people exclaimed in surprise by the display of magic.

Mistamojo yelled out, “Come here! Run!”

Diana, Elfred and Hermione heard Mistamojo’s faint cry and realised that the rest of the team had already gone underground. Just at that moment, the two banshees that were just hovering behind the zombie army started to descend toward them.

To be continued…

The Guardians – Episode 28: Get sledgehammers!

This session’s PCs:

  • Diana – human fighter 4
  • Elfred – high elf ranger 4
  • Fredo – stout halfling rogue 4
  • Hermione – human wizard 4
  • Mistamojo – human cleric 4
  • Oracle – human fighter 4

Standing in front of the large stone monument in the town square of Landseal, they considered the possible ways they were going to go through it. Meanwhile, outside of town, they could hear the marching army of the dead getting closer and closer.

Note that the map on the top left was not drawn by me. It’s from the Basic Fantasy RPG adventure module JN1 The Chaotic Caves. The rest are my map drawings of the close-up of the area near the town hall. See #12 in the town map.

Just as they were about to take a closer look at the monument, a group of townsfolk approached them with a young bearded man at the lead. He was complaining about being asked to leave their hometown, that they weren’t afraid of an army of the dead and that they would rather die than leave. Mayor Noah Pritchard walked to them in an attempt to diffuse the situation.

The heroes tried various ways to dismantle the monument. Elfred tried looking for possible keyholes on or around the monument. She found three holes but none of them turned out to be a keyhole that worked with the Key of Landseal. Diana tied a rope to the top of the monument with the intention of pulling it down but found that it was too sturdy for that.

A few of them tried pounding on it with crowbars but they did not make a dent. Mistamojo abandoned talking to the unsettled townsfolk to try to push at the monument with his Gauntlets of Ogre Power. Unfortunately, he could not find a solid footing that would have allowed him to budge the stone pillar. Hermione cast a Fire Bolt at the monument but only managed to singe it.

Frodo tried his hand at chipping away at the monument when he heard a voice urging him to get out of there. Fredo looked around but could not find where the voice was coming from. It seemed that none of his friends could hear the voice either which troubled him even more. The voice introduced himself as Dime. Fredo focused on the task at hand and decided to ignore the voice for the time being.

Up in the sky, there were two flying things that looked like loose black tattered robes carrying a huge humanoid each. They swooped in to the town square and dropped off two large humanoid creatures that looked like they were sewn together from spare body parts. Hermione quickly realised that these were Flesh Golems and they would be unaffected by mundane weapons or charming magicks. And there was definitely no reasoning with them. One of the golems struck a couple of townsfolk who were standing nearby and bloodily killed them both.

Oracle ran toward the flesh golems, his new Flame Tongue Sword in hand and yelled out, “fuego apagalo!” Immediately, the sword lit up in flames and then went out. He was surprised for a moment and then realised that “fuego” ignites the sword and “apagalo” extinguishes it.

Standing in front of the golem, he raised his sword again and shouted out “fuego!” The Flame Tongue Sword ignited once more. He then struck the golem dealing it a searing blow to the chest. However, the golems were tough creatures. The golem that Oracle attacked didn’t seem too affected.

Diana shot an arrow right to the chest of the same golem but the arrow just bounced off its thick skin. She set aside her bow and instead pulled out her beloved magic dagger which glowed bright blue when unsheathed. She ran toward the golem and buried her dagger deep into its arm.

As for Hermione, she raised her Wand of Magic Missile at the creatures and fired off four bolts of force energy. The missiles unerringly hit the two golems.

The golems pushed forward toward the heroes. One golem slammed Oracle very hard that caused him to stagger back a little. The other golem tried to strike at Diana but she shimmered and avoided all the blows thanks to her Cloak of Displacement.

With the golems coming closer to them, Fredo spoke out loud directing a question to the mysterious voice in his head. “What should we do?”

Dime the voice replied, “What should we do? We should get out of here! We’re going to die here!” The voice was starting to sound desperate.

Fredo asked again, “how do we get inside the thing? Under the monument?”

“I don’t know. Smash it to bits with a sledgehammer or something!” replied Dime.

Fredo relayed back that a voice in his head said to use sledgehammers.

Mistamojo faced the townsfolk and shouted at them to get away from the town square and to also bring them sledgehammers to help them demolish the monument. The townsfolk were easily convinced by the charismatic cleric and quickly dispersed, even the hard-headed bearded young man who was arguing with the mayor.

After the people started fleeing, he summoned a magically divine axe from thin air and hurled it at the golems slashing both of them.

With all the commotion going on, Fredo took his crowbar at a stone block at the bottom of the monument and tried to pry it loose. He chipped away at the side of the block and was able to pull it out. Underneath the block he removed was packed earth. They would need to do some digging once they clear out a few more stones.

At that moment, they all heard the wooden town wall in the distance up north fall. The army of the dead punched through the town’s northern defences.

To be continued…

The Guardians – Episode 27: How do we get to the Hellmouth?

This session’s PCs:

  • Diana – human fighter 4
  • Elfred – high elf ranger 4
  • Fredo – stout halfling rogue 4
  • Hermione – human wizard 4
  • Mistamojo – human cleric 4
  • Oracle – human fighter 4

The heroes spent the next 3 days recuperating in Zelirith’s Tower. There were 8 bedrooms in the tower which they’ve divided among themselves while they were there. Martha, the female entity tied to the tower, made them feel right at home. She would conjure food in the hall at the bottom of the tower. She also tried to answer all of their questions to the best of her ability.

They were wondering what to do next now that they were well-rested. They asked Martha if she knew where the Hellmouth was. She replied that she didn’t know where it could be. They asked her if she knew anything about phylacteries. She walked over to a bookshelf and pulled a large tome on liches. The book explained that a phylactery allowed a lich to regenerate if it was ever killed.

Shortly after, they felt rumbling underneath them. Martha stared blankly at the ceiling for a second and then informed them that there were intruders in the tower. Then she vanished.

Yobak realising that he might actually be in danger by staying in the tower, he asked if he could leave them now. As a sign of appreciation, he left his magical folding boat at the library for them to have. Note that nobody actually took it and just left it there.

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The heroes went downstairs to investigate. They found that the noise was coming from the transporter room at level 2. The stone door to the room was shut. Fredo tried to open the door by shouting out “open sesame” but the door didn’t budge.

Martha then appeared beside Master Fredo along the stairs. They asked her if she could open the door. She said that there were still skeletons in the room and that she was dealing with them.

They considered just leaving the tower behind as they felt that the the lich’s undead minions would just continue to come through the transporter. Just as they were about to go down the stairs to leave via the front door at the ground level, Martha opened the stone door to the transporter room.

Oracle stepped inside just in time to see the two earth elementals recede back to the floor on the opposite ends of the room. Mistamojo patted one on the head as a sign of appreciation as they sank to the floor.

They looked around the room and saw that there were crushed bones on the floor. Likely crushed by the elementals. While inspecting the room, it was the first time they noticed that there were plaques on the top of the wall around the room with strange writing on them:

  • Cogito Ergo Sum – Andren Forest
  • Vincit qui se vincit – The mausoleum
  • Igne natura renovatur – The Town of Landseal
  • Nunquam non paratus – Only the word “RON” could be made out while the letters before and after it have been scratched beyond recognition.
  • Sic semper tyrannis – Only the word “LAN” could be made out while the letters before and after it have been scratched beyond recognition.

Oracle concluded that they could speak the words and the transporter would take them to the destination written under each of the strange writing. The strange words were like a direction to a specific address. But where to go?

The three days of rest must’ve made them forget that they were meant to go to the Town of Landseal to find the hellmouth under the town. Hermione and Elfred went back to the library to find clues as to where they should go next. Oracle, Mistamojo, Fredo and Diana remained in the transporter room to discuss what to do next.

Hermione found an old history book about the region that could help. Centuries ago, dark spawn roamed the earth as they could freely travel from the underworld through an interplanar portal dubbed as the hellsmouth. One day, heroes came and sealed the portal and the land above it became a settlement. They only need to remember which settlement it was.

Oracle and Mistamojo wanted to try the Sic Semprer Tyrannis address as it had the word “LAN” on it. They suspect it could mean Land, as in the land where the hellsmouth was sealed. Before they could try it, the circle around the obelisk lit up and its runes started to spin. Oracle tried to stop it by punching a shovel on the circle. The magic of the circle repelled him with such force that he flew across the room and slammed on the wall.

When the circle’s lights went, they saw four skeletons standing in front of them. But before they could act, Martha summoned the earth elementals again. The earth elementals made quick work of the four skeletons. After crushing the undead intruders, the elementals once again receded to the floor.

They were going to try to activate the transporter again but this time, they remembered that the hellsmouth was supposed to be at the Town of Landseal. With help from Martha on how to properly pronounce Igne natura renovatur, they activated the transporter. Yobak saw that they were about to go to the town and so quickly joined them.

One moment they were in the tower, the next they were out in the open again with trees around them. The sky was dark orange and the air smelled of smoke. To the south they saw the familiar town of Landseal and its town walls where they drove out raiding goblins weeks ago. To the north, were crashing and moaning sounds from a distance. There they could also see like tattered robes flying in the air circling like vultures waiting to scavenge the recently deceased.

The heroes quickly walked toward Landseal.

The guards at the gates saw them coming and recognised them. “It’s them! The Guardians are here! They’ve returned! Open the gates! Open the gates!”

Mayor Noah Pritchard greeted them with open arms as the heroes walked through the town gates. He was very happy to see them as there were reports that an army of the dead was slowly marching toward the town and he believed that the Guardians would be able to save them from certain doom.

They had something else in their minds. They asked about the hellmouth and the settlement where it could be found. Mayor Noah was a little confused but answered that Landseal was that settlement. Centuries ago, the hellmouth on the land they were standing on was sealed and over time, it became a settlement called Landseal.

They asked if the mayor knew how they could find the sealed portal. The mayor said that he did know where it was but couldn’t understand why anybody would want to know or open it. The heroes insisted so the mayor acquiesced. The mayor led them to the town square where a large menhir stood in the middle on top of a bricked up round platform. Under the structure was the passageway to lead them to the sealed portal. It looked like they will have to dismantle the monument to get through to the passage.

Wisely, they all feared that opening the gate into hell could release evil entities into their world. They asked if there was an alternate way to go to the underworld. Mayor Noah offered that maybe a very powerful sorceress like Zelirith would be able to do it. They told the mayor that unfortunately, she was already dead.

Maybe somebody else in town knew how to go to the netherworld, somebody knowledgeable, maybe someone very old. The mayor said maybe Old Man John the hermit could help them.

Old Man John’s shack was at the opposite end of town. Mayor Noah accompanied them there and knocked at his door. He was very grumpy but he still opened the door to let them in. It was ultimately a dead end. He only reiterated that the only possible way he knew to go to the netherworld was through the sealed portal under the town.

It seemed that their only real option was to open the sealed portal. To get there though, they needed to first dismantle the monument in the centre of town and that would take a bit of time. Meanwhile, the army of the dead was getting ever so close to the town.

They encouraged the mayor to evacuate the town right then. The townsfolk were in grave danger from the undead that’s coming or whatever infernal entities might come out of the portal once they unseal it. Or both. The mayor agreed to arrange the immediate evacuation of the town’s women, children and the elderly. A few strong men and women will have to stay in town to defend it.

With that, the heroes started taking the monument apart brick by brick.

To be continued.