Chapter Seven

January 22, 2011

 

            Korvinean decides that the robe might be useful, and grabs it from the rack, while the rest of us make our way down the short hall.  After opening the door and viewing the skeletal decorations, I check the floor for traps.  I don’t see any, so Ulric proceeds into the room.  I take a closer look at the skeletons, and notice that they appear to have been set into the walls while the clay was still wet.  There is a door in the west wall, which does not appear to be trapped or locked.  It opens onto a five foot wide hallway which appears to end at this door, and heads off to the south.

Just as he steps into the hallway, two skeletons pop out of the wall, and both attack me with their claws.  Three of their attacks hit me, and I drop unconscious.  (-6 HP)Korvinean steps up and hits one of the skeletons, but doesn’t appear to do any damage.  Briggette hits one of the skeletons, followed immediately by a hit from Ulric, who has positioned himself over my body to keep me from sustaining more damage.  Brianna punches twice at the skeleton Korvinean hit, and severs it’s skull from its spinal cord.  The other swipes at Ulric, but doesn’t connect.  Korvinean pulls his ascot off, wraps it around the hilt of his sword, and swings it like a club at the skeleton, knocking it to the ground.  

Briggette prays over me, and brings me around.  I still feel a bit off, but we continue on our way.  After about fifteen feet, the hallway widens out to about ten feet.  There appears to be a room straight ahead, but we can’t see all that well. 

Ulric leads the way to the opening at the end of the hallway.  This room is 40’ long by 20’ wide, with a door on the east wall and on the south wall.  The walls in this room are covered in murals of several demons, rocs, a merelith, and a shadowy figure above and behind the merelith.  These, like the one upstairs, are very old frescoes.  The demons are depicted raping and torturing humans.  To the left, there is a large banquet table with eight chairs.  To the right, we see three beds, neatly made.  There is an additional bed and a raised platform, both with leather restraints next to the door on the south wall.  We decide to take that route.  The door is not trapped, and is only locked with a simple lock.  Before leaving, however, we decide to flip the beds to look under them, and find a box which is both trapped and locked.  I disable the trap and pick the lock.  When I open the box, I turn into a rat!  Briggette picks me up and holds me up to her face.  “Twitch if you understand me.”  I twitch.  “Do you want to go in the bag or on my shoulder?”  I motion toward her shoulder.

Meanwhile, in the box, Ulric sees a silver bar and a scroll.  He puts both in his bag, destroys the platform and the bed, and we head through the door to the south. 

It opens into a ten foot wide hallway, which opens into another large room, about 45’ x 20’.  At the east end are several training dummies and an oaken door with iron bands.  It appears to lock from the opposite side.  The west end has a similar door of oak with iron bands, with a small barred window in the top.  This one locks from our side.  When Ulric looks through the window, he sees a small chamber about fifteen feet square, with implements of torture lining the walls.  There is a prison-style door in the south wall made up entirely of iron bars.  By a stroke of Cuthbert’s Blessing, there is an iron ring of keys hanging by the door.  This door opens into a ten foot wide hallway with a stone facing on the west wall.  It has six doors made up of iron bars on the west wall, and six torches lighting the wall on the east side.  These are magical torches which do not burn or put off heat—only light.  The first cell on the left is empty except for a bare bed.  The second has a bed, a desk and a chair.  At the third, as Ulric looks in, he is struck in the face with excrement.

“Excuse me!” he exclaims.

A voice calls out, “Isn’t this getting old?”

“Why, yes, it is,” Ulric replies, “This place is way too big, and so far, I’ve only found skeletons.”  He pokes the torch into the room and sees a young girl, about fourteen years old.  He says, “Are you the Billet’s daughter?  The tanner’s daughter?”  He looks through the key ring to find the right one.  “We’re here to rescue you.  You’re going to feel foolish for slinging shit at me.”

She doesn’t seem excited at all.  Briggette holds up her holy symbol, “We’re here to help you, in the name of St. Cuthbert.”

“Oh, that’s new.”  She begins to get up slowly and looks at Ulric’s shield.  “I recognize that symbol.”

“I am Sir Ulric.  I represent my father.”  Korvinean hands her some water as Ulric introduces the rest of us.

The girl doesn’t seem to quite believe us.  “This is further than usual . . .”

“We have to find the people who did this to you,” Ulric says.

“They took Katrina,” she mumbles under her breath.  “She was the Billet’s daughter.  I am Ulsa Tanner.”

We try to give her the key to her cell, and she insists that she doesn’t want to go in there again.  After some discussion, we discover that Katrina was taken only an hour ago, most likely to be sacrificed.  She points the way the girls are usually taken out.  Finn takes her to lead her back to the surface.

Korvinean begins to try tracking the culprits.  He finds five sets of tracks along with those of a large dog.  The tracks leads into the iron door in the center of the room.  It is locked, and again, by the luck of St. Cuthbert, one of the keys on the ring opens it.  As we unlock it, we hear a noise from the door in the east wall of the room.  We turn to see that a man has entered through that door.  He has a light shield, and is wearing a chain shirt.  He seems shocked to see us there.  “Who the fuck are you assholes?”  He draws his sword.

Brianna sidles up to him, then strikes him out of nowhere.  Korvinean tries to find a place to get a shot off, but can’t do it safely with Brianna in the way.  Ulric charges the man, and chops his head off in one stroke.  As we examine his fallen body, we find that he has a city guard’s tabard.

We examine the room he came from, and find that is a small closed off room.  It contains a four poster bed that is completely draped, and a wardrobe on the east wall.  The north wall has iron manacles on it.  On the south wall, there is a black mirror.  We make certain no one is in the bed or the wardrobe, then return to the door in the center of the room.

Through this door, we see a ten foot wide hallway that continues about twenty-five feet, then opens into a huge stone cavern.  It appears to be a natural formation, with two natural columns in the room, and a ledge off to the east side of the room.  The room is lit with an eerie purplish light, but we see no discernable light source.  In the center of the back of the room, there is a raised dais with a table on it.  On the table, there is a young girl lying naked and strapped down.  There is a large mechanical device which has a spear on the end slowly clicking at regular intervals down toward the girl.  It appears that the spear is directed to enter her nether regions, where it will enter her as a man should, then continue to tick slowly into her, ripping her open slowly and methodically.  There is one man standing at her head, uttering what seems to be a prayer or some sort.  Several other men are scattered around the room, and on the top of the ledge, there is a woman standing.

Korvinean steps into the room and fires his bow at the man on the dais.  The arrow hits his chest solidly, but bounces off.  “I told you Cuthbert would have your head!” the girl on the device states with malice and satisfaction.  Brianna throws two shuriken toward the gears of the mechanism, but they bounce off.  I run across the room and see two of the men start to shamble toward me; they appear to be rotting corpses.  The woman on the east side of the room drinks a potion, and a shimmering blue suit of armor appears over her.

Korvinean fires twice more at the cleric saying the prayer.  This time, the arrows find solid ground, and appear to injure the man.  One of the other men hides behind a column, and another man—one we had not previously seen—steps out from the other column next to the ledge and charges down the slope toward us.  Briggette meets him halfway there.  He swipes at her as she runs by, but the blow glances off her armor.

The largest man points at Ulric and says, “Come, Little Man!  I will enjoy bending you over the altar!”  Ulric charges for him, as well. 

“Lay down your weapons and surrender!  May Cuthbert have mercy on your pitiful soul!”  The man brings down his axe, and Ulric just barely makes the block with his shield.  He swings his longsword, and finds purchase, dealing damage to his attacker.  “For St. Cuthbert, the Arch-duke, and my father!”  A man appears behind him, and makes a wild stab which bounces off of Ulric’s armor.  “Vile rogue!  I’ll deal with you in a moment!”  The rogue attacks once more, but yet again, he misses Ulric.  The larger man brings his axe down again, barely scraping Ulric, who swings and hits him in return.  The thief slashes at Ulric again, missing once more.

Brianna steps up to the man who swiped at her sister, and begins to grapple with him, and begins to twist his arm.  She breaks his arm, and stabs him with his own dagger.  He uses the free hand to swing at her with his sword.  She hits him again, and deals more damage.  Continuing to grapple with the man, Brianna punches him twice more.  He swings at her and misses.

I scurry on toward the dais, and climb up to her body.  She is nude, and has obviously been tortured and raped.  I jump on the priest and bite at him, but I am unable to get a good hold on him.  I bite him through a chink in his armor, right on his jugular, and he collapses.  He is trying to cast, and I bite at him again, and he falls unconscious.

As Briggette moves toward the woman on the ledge, she sees that the woman has pulled out a scroll.  The woman drops the scroll and a small disc of light appears in front of her.  Briggette calls out, “By St. Cuthbert’s mighty hand!”  She slams downward with her sword, which bounces off of the magical armor.  Upon closer inspection, the woman is horrible to look upon, with pock-marked pus-oozing skin, and ears that stand at ninety degree angles from her head.  She steps back five feet, and lifts her hand toward Briggette.  She releases a spray of acid directly toward Briggette.

Korvinean continues to shoot at the priest.  One arrow appears to hit, while the other does not.  The man continues to pray, healing himself.  Korvinean fires again, and this time, both arrows hit solidly.  A large Rottweiler wearing red leather barding leaps from the dais by the priest and charges Korvinean.  He bites into the elf and whips him to the ground.  Korvinean breaks the dog’s grapple and stands up.

Briggette calls out to St. Cuthbert and steps forward to attack the woman, once again to no avail.  Once again, the caster steps away from Briggette and calls forth her power.  She grows about one foot and her skin becomes scaly.  Her skin puts out a horrible stench that almost makes Briggette vomit.  She calls out, “Oh, St. Cuthbert, give me strength to kill this evil wench!”  She swings and misses.

The large fighter hits Ulric, but the rogue misses again.  Ulric swings for a solid hit on the big man, and turns to face the rogue.

Brianna punches for the man’s face and knocks him out.  She turns to see two of the zombies closing in on her slowly.  She throws a shuriken at the head of each one.  As they continue to close, she focuses on the one closer and punches him twice in the head.

I continue to chew on the man’s jugular until I am certain that he is dead.  Then I begin to search for a way to disable the device.

The dog lunges for Korvinean again, just as one of the zombie-like creatures approaches.  Korvinean is knocked down, but Finn shows back up just in time to cut the dog.  Korvinean breaks the dog’s hold once again and stands back up.  Finn brings his sword down again, and severs the dog’s head, before moving toward one of the zombies.  He continues to slash at it until it finally goes down.

The troglodyte lady attacks Briggette, who notices a collar appear around her opponent’s neck, then break apart and fall off.  Briggette swings, but is once again thwarted by the magical armor.  She turns to Briggette and says, “Thank you!” before disappearing.  Briggette looks around for any sign of the woman before turning to join the fight on the main floor.  She charges the zombie attacking her sister and slices into him as well.

Korvinean turns toward the rogue who has been attacking Ulric, and drills two arrows into his back, killing him instantly.

Ulric drops his shield and charges the machine, wielding his longsword in two hands.  He brings the sword down with all his might on the spear as it inches closer to the girl.  It gets about halfway through the wood.  He places his leg between the end of the spear and the girl, then lifts the sword to swing at it again.  His sword bounces off a piece of the metal.

The large fighter stands up and charges toward Korvinean.  Korvinean steps back and drills two shots into the man.  He then takes his sword out and chops off the man’s head.  He turns to charge the zombie fighting with Finn.

Brianna steps back and tries a different tack.  She rears back with her halberd and slashes into him.  He swipes at her drunkenly.  She swings the halberd again and slices him in two.

I finally find one of the shuriken Brianna threw earlier, and I jam it into the gears.  It stops, but continues to shudder and try to keep moving.  Korvinean comes up with the steel rod we found earlier, and, with Ulric’s help, jams it into the gears.

 

            Korvinean searches the body of the cleric for a key to the manacles.  He finds it on a string around the man’s neck, and cuts his head off to get at it.  He hands the key to Ulric who unlocks the girl.  She looks around in shock, and covers herself as well as she can.  “Thank you, Sir Ulric.”  Brigette gives the girl her cloak. 

Korvinean picks me up and puts me on his shoulder.  We search the place thoroughly and find, among other things, an exquisitely wrought shortsword with a silver hilt and a matching dagger, several potions, a set of half-plate and a large steel shield that have been crafted by a master artisan, and a fine black silk cloak.  In some of the cells, we find bodies that appear to be in the process of being prepped for reanimation.

           

As we search the remaining structure, we find that one of the ways out leads into a small secret room that opens onto the sewers.  One leads to Walden’s warehouse.  The last leads into an area that was razed, but used to contain a house purchased in cash by an ugly woman who matches the mage’s description.  She apparently bought the house from Walden.

            We go to the city watch and state that we need Walden arrested, however, as we’re continuing to bring out the bodies, one of the guards points at a body and says that that is, in fact, Walden himself.  They seem shocked at the body of the city guardsman we bring out, and don’t understand how he could be involved.