Tuesday, December 6, 2016

Its Hour Come Round at Last 1.12

Continued from the events in Its Hour Come Round at Last 11.

In this episode the Lamplighters and their medieval allies find the monastery and what's inside.

Once again, we have a player character death - and two near deaths.  After Episode 10 with three PC deaths, this brings the PC casualties up to four.

We used the battlemat again.  This time for the camp on the hill and the monastery chapel.

Harris Benjamin's player has moved and the character is now on NPC status.

***

Friday, September 8, 1206 - Auvergne, Kingdom of France

Riding west from the village, the group kept watch for any more Risen.  By sundown, Merriweather spotted a hill (Survival - Woodlands) he thought would make a secure camp.  They set about clearing away all brush to the tree line, then setup camp near a small cave in the center of the hill.  Because of the attack on the night before, they decided to set a watch of three instead of two.

Jeffery Llywellyn thew a rock into the cave.  Nothing immediately happened, so they began cooking supper.  Hew, who was sitting close to the cave, jumped up in surprise as he noticed three-foot long, sharp-teethed worms poured out of the cave.  The group spread out and attacked the worms.  Of the group, only McKinley was bitten by the worm.  He made a HT save to avoid any disease.

The Zoog, who was in the trees, began playing its music to bolster the morale of the group. Merriweather heard the Zoog and fired his shotgun into the trees, narrowly missing it.

After dispatching the worms, Llywellyn climbed into the cave and searched through the rubbish.  Critical success HT check not to catch a disease.  And found an old wood and iron chest.  Inside was a bone scrollcase sealed on either end in wax.

Finding nothing else but filth, Jeffery climbed back to the camp.  His clothes now stank so he stripped, rinsed them, and left his clothes to dry in the fire.  Opening one end of the case, Llywellyn gently removed the papers.  Carefully reading them, he realized they were written in Latin and described a series of events in the Roman province of Britannia during the reign of the Emperor Hadrian.  He suspected they had been copied at some point in the last millennia.

Pierre, Hew, and Loioc cooked the and ate the worms, much to the chagrin of the modern visitors.  Afterwards they rested for the night.

***

Saturday, September 9, 1206 - Auvergne, Kingdom of France

Waking early, the next morning, the party rode on toward the monastery.  Around midday, they spotted it as well as wandering Risen.  Moving cautiously, they avoided contact with the undead and finally arrived at the open outer gates to the monastery.  Seeing no one, living or undead, inside, they tied off their horses and entered.  Unknown to the group, the Zoog followed them undetected to the buildings - Stealth.

Opening the doors to the monastery, they entered with care, watching for any Risen.  McKinley noted the similarity between the Risen and the eyeless assassins who had attacked them.  He insisted that there was probably a fungus rather than necromancy involved.  That said, he noted he had no idea what the fungus could do to the living.  McKinley's player has made decent use of the Intuition advantage to help him look for connections.  Here he tired to see if he could determine what might be causing the Risen and on a successful I mentioned the eyeless men.

Entering a second long hall their torches (all but one of their electric torches failed during the past weeks), they found the room filled with thousands of tiny mirrors.  The gaze was so bright McKinley, Benjamin, Hew, and Loioc were temporarily blinded by the gaze.  HT roll.  Merriweather and Llywellyn were surprised by the use of these mirrors in the Middle Ages.  Admittedly, I had been reading X2 - Castle Amber when I wrote this episode.   As they approached a third set of great doors, they heard the sound of harpsichord playing.  Jeffery seemed surprised to hear an instrument he said wouldn't been invented for nearly two centuries.  Jeffery Llywellyn, Connoisseur (Music).

Carefully opening the third door they found themselves in the monastery's Chapel.  Both Pierre, Merriweather, and Lllywellyn confirmed at last the monastery was Catholic and Pierre noted that none of the art had been desecrated.  The chapel was a long hall with two rows of bench seating on either side of the room.  They realized quickly that several Risen sat on the benches.

To the back of the chapel where the altar should be sat what Llywellyn believed to be a seventeenth century harpsichord.  Pierre felt ill with this talk of the future. 

Seated at the anachronistic instrument, a hunched figure played Baroque music.  Above the harpsichord, some twenty living people hung by ropes along the wall.  They writhed and cried, but their voices were silenced by the music.  As the man finished playing, he turned to the party.  They saw now that he resembled the Risen but exhibited far more self-awareness.

"Ah visitors," he rasped.  "Come to listen to Pachelbel, no doubt."  Llywellyn stepped forward and fired a crossbow bolt into the thing's chest.  The rest of the group was surprised by this, but quickly decided Diplomacy was over.  "And here we were discussing our love of music," the creature laughed.

Everyone, but Harris Benjamin passed their Fright Checks.  He crawled away, still blind, trying to escape.

It held a hand out toward one of the writhing people.  A ropy wisp of green lashed at the prisoner, then embraced them.  The screaming began again as the harpsichordist drained life from his human prisoner.

The Risen in the room rose and advanced on the cadre.

Pierre and Bertrand began fighting off the advancing Risen while Jeffery rushed toward the back wall.

The Zoog began playing a rousing tune to boost the morale of this former captors.  McKinley, Hew, and Loioc stumbled blindly.

As Jeffery Llweyllyn lowered the screaming prisoners to the floor, he was hit by an excruciating pain as a vapor from the Risen harpsichordist's hand drained his life.

The Zoog leapt from the rafters onto the Risen's hand, interrupting it.

Pierre held the Risen monks off his companions as Hew and Loioc regained their eyesight.  McKinley hung onto the doors to the chapel and fumbled for his pistol.  Merriweather unloaded his shotgun into more Risen.

Hew and Loioc drew their weapons and surveyed the room. 

The Risen harpsichordist attempted to grab the Zoog, but missed as it scurried around the body biting.

Llywellyn let the prisoners down in mass and then began hacking the rope that bound them.  Pierre made his way to the harpsichord.   Merriweather destroyed more Risen as Hew fell to a mob.  Loioc tried to save the Scot as the Risen crushed his skull.

Many of the prisoners, now freed, rushed out of the chapel.  Pierre held off the Risen and told them to stay in the monastery yard.  Jeffery rushed the harpsichordist, lightly injuring the creature.

The Risen grabbed the Zoog and crushed it in a sickening squelch.  So dies another player character.

Loioc tired to pull Hew away from the Risen only to be attacked himself and forced to retreat.  Merriweather destroyed several more Risen and yelled for Pierre to help Jeffery.

The harpsichordist swiftly drew an obsidian black sword and struck Jeffery dropping him.  Reduced to -1 HP, Jeffery failed his HT check to stay conscious but passed the Will check to avoid the sword from draining his Essence. Pierre rushed the Risen harpsichordist and struck it hard.  Having a Strenght of 13+ makes a world of difference for melee characters.

The two were locked in battle for several seconds as Pierre blocked the Risen's attacks and sliced into it.  Finally, the Risen stepped back and drained all life from Loioc, killing the man. 

McKinley's vision finally returned and he pulled his pistol.  Benjamin was nowhere to be seen.

Merriweather took numerous breaks to reload through his murder spree and at no time was hit by any of the Risen monks.

The Risen harpsichordist finally wounded Pierre enough to drop him unconscious.  Like Jeffery, Pierre was reduced in Hit Points, failed his HT save, but passed his Will save.

Bertrand watched the Frenchman drop as he finished loading his shotgun.  Merriweather and McKinley proceeded to shoot the Risen until they dropped the creature.  It crumbled in a puff of blue dust.  McKinley wondered if they were all infected with fungus.

He proceeded to patch up Jeffery and Pierre - First Aid - while Bertrand finished off the last of the Risen - including Hew and Loioc.  Harris Benjamin returned to the chapel at this point to tell them none of the former prisoners had remained in the monetary.

Deciding they needed somewhere to wait for their companions to recover, they searched the monastery and found the library on the second floor.  Barricaded with the books and scrolls, they rested.  Merriweather and McKinley decided to give the obsidian blade to Pierre.

***

Pretty heavy combat session, but we had the chance to use maneuvers and saw three player characters drop below 0 hit points.  We saw one more PC die (from physical damage and a failed HT roll.)

The story continues in Its Hour Come Round at Last 1.13.

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