Last week our conquistadors finally arrived in the New World, ready to begin the arduous process of building a new life with a ship full of enthusiastic but travel-weary colonists. The land of Numenoria, long cut off from the rest of the world of D Erte is a long peninsula jutting north out of the frigid wastes of the southern ocean, a land of jagged mountains and winding fjords. Along one such fjord penetrating deep into the center of the land, the brave adventurers planned to carve out an exciting existence.
Unfortunately, the ten woodsmen and the forest of chopped lumber were not waiting for them as planned. Instead of a prepared stronghold, the ship full of colonists found a half-built dock and signs of a struggle. Much of the forest had been cleared, but the wood was missing, and a trail pointed to great amounts of lumber being dragged off to the north. After securing the colonists, the adventurers set out on the trail of the missing wood. Their lives and the lives of every colonists depended on finding and recovering the construction materials. Without the wood, they would not be able to build shelter or defend themselves from the wilds of Numenoria.It is a morbid truth in the world of D Erte that a terrible curse exists among all the good folk, the curse of necromancy. Very rarely a dark streak manifests itself in some poor soul and a knowledge and knack for manipulating the boundaries between life and death arises. Like sorcery, these skills are rarely taught, and it is only through the extreme anti-social behavior and unwillingness to cooperate with the living that has kept necromancers from utterly destroying all civilization many times over. In any case, necromancer towers spring up across D Erte with horrifying regularity, each one a singular blight on the surrounding lands, ever expanding with neromantic power. Such a terror had found its way to Numenoria used their lumber to build a freakish looming tower.
The trail led through deep primeval forest and came out at a spar reaching out from the nearby mountains, upon which the tower was built. Its base was triangular, matching the shape of the pointed prow of stone and clay on which it was built. A trench filled with the bones and offal of forest creatures moated the long walled courtyard, and the conquistadors of the New World had just been chased across that moat by the rising corpses of wolves, and barred the gate behind them. They stood in the courtyard of the necromancer’s tower.
They caught a glimpse of an ugly gnomish face pinched under a tall red hat watching them from high it the tower, but the creature quickly disappeared after taunting them. They stood in a walled courtyard, with large plain double doors leading into the tower before them, and a crude barn with closed door to their right. A smaller door entered the tower in the far left corner of the courtyard. After insuring they were safe from the skeletal wolves, the party started searching the yard. The elven thief moved toward the barn door, and saw that the door was shaking and a rattling sound was coming from behind it. She continued closer.
Suddenly the doors burst asunder and and a whirlwind of bones, claws, furs and feathers descended upon the elf. She rolled aside and barely escaped being trampled by the horrific creatures that came from the barn. The stench of decay was strong. Two enormous owlbears, one with its hide stripped completely off and its skelton held loosely together by atrophied muscle, while the other one was covered in dripping, oozing wounds, were chained to a fabulous looking wagon, crafted primarily of bone and wood. The evil gnome strode the top of the chariot, brandishing a wand and cackling madly.
A mad battle ensued, with blood flying and at least two of the heroes knocked unconscious and nursed back to health by the clerics. Then the gnome Gnar stood up to the evil gnome and demanded that he cease his attack. He was so surprised he paused in his havoc making, and was rewarded with a radiant lance to the chest by said Gnar. After creating a pool of mud under the Gnar’s feet, he disappearedin a puff of smoke. The undead owlbears were soon dealt with and the wagon burned, while the rogue searched the barn. It was empty except for a door in the back wall leading into the tower proper. The door was flimsy, and the elf could hear shuffling behind it and a moan “…brains…”
Quickly the group built a barricade in front of the door, not wanting to deal with zombies, and avoiding the main doors, entered the small door in the far corner. It led into a small storage room, that was empty except for 5 greatswords hanging on pegs. The sorcerer recognized these swords, having fought strange gallic warriors weilding similar blades the night before her departure from Shalazar. Each blade was hand crafted from a uniquely shaped piece of fine steel, and often had strange whorls, hooks, and spikes in addition to a long straight cutting edge.
Two doors led from the chamber. One way led into the main entry hall. When the rogue peeked into this chamber, she saw that the door across the room was ajar, and the shuffling of zombies could be glimpsed behind it. That cinched the deal, and they chose the other door, which opened upon cellar stairs, carved directly into the stone and clay foundation of the mountain. The dwarf inspected, and declared it to be of the worst possible craftsmanship. Each stair was a different height and unlevel, for example. They could hear the distant echo of picks sounding from below.
The wizard nominated his snake staff familiar to slither ahead down the stairs, while he looked through its eyes, and tasted the air with its flickering tongue. At the bottom two corridors met in a Y intersection with the stairs. The walls were damp and cut from raw clay and were about ten foot square. Each corridor led off into darkness. The snake scouted both directions, then they chose the right. The snake turned a corner, with the rest of the party about fifty feet behind, and then suddenly, the wizard’s connection was abruptly cut off. The last thing it saw was the corner of what looked like a passage opening in one wall. The wizard knew the snake was not destroyed but had no other knowledge .
The thief crept ahead and didnt see anything. The snake staff sat in the middle of the hall, rocking gently back and forth. Then as she moved forward, she noticed a ring hovering before her in the air, just out of reach. A gleaming gold ring. She was tempted, and raised her hand to take the ring. But behind her, the sorcerer also saw the ring, and charged forward to stick it on the end of one of her new fancy greatswords. She saw the ring catch on the tip of the blade and then the air in front of her rippled, and a transparent fist of gelatinous goo materialized in the air before her It slammed into the side of her head and then with a sickening squelching sound, enveloped the sorcerer, who floated in the gelatinous cube holding a sword in one hand, a golden ring in the other, and racked by pain as the clear acid began digesting her.
The gelatinous cube was perfectly placed and caused great pain and suffering to the adventurers, almost completely destroying the sorcerer as the others worked to save her. At one point a well hurled axe caused the cube to nearly split in two, and its wild jiggling forced it to miss an attack. It was discovered that fire caused extra damage to the cube (houseruled) and so they eventually burned it to a crisp. The session ended with the sorcerer scraping all the sickening goo off her and wondering what her shiny new magic ring might do.