Stonehell and its surrounds

Session 11 - Stonehell

"It's hard to take you seriously with that baby strapped to your back." - Town guard to Wilhelm

The band began in the sparse caves of the recently deceased Gnollish ranger Greylock, pondering what to make of the creatures last words concerning Markus the Burgomeister’s duplicity. Yuriel, Derek’s elven hireling, penned a note in elvish to Gerhadt Schiller. In the letter she informed the regions ruler of his potentially traitorous Burgomeister’s plot and to be wary of assassins. In dictating the note Derek lamented the fact that he had never worked on a cipher so he could relate messages to his father in secret. Once the note was complete the letter was sent via the first available courier back to the regions ruined capital and Gerhadt’s seat of power. There was some discussion of delivering the message personally but in the end the group felt the journey would take too long. Frank and Wilhelm pondered reacquainting themselves with Sorcha the witch but in the end the group couldn’t figure out what would be gained beyond a sordid time.

After some deliberation the group journeyed back through the woods to Drellin’s Ferry. Recruits were again on the agenda. They hired two more warriors, Brandon of the mithril blade and Derena a crossbow wielding scribe turned adventurer. Little did they know the terrible fate that awaited them in the depths of Stonehell. Hagan the fixer who arranged muscle mentioned taking his operation west as a war was brewing. Frank didn’t take the news well as this would mean their supply of mercenaries would grow scarcer.

It was at this time that Wilhelm and Frank decided to settle an imagined grudge with the local tailor. Leaving Derek at the bar the pair arrived at the tailors full of menace. Their new hirelings however hadn’t signed up for stand over tactics. They looked bewildered as Wilhelm sharpened his blade ominously before the tailor. They shifted uncomfortably as the noble demanded the tailor don the dress he had commissioned. Figuring this was probably something their new retainers didn’t need to see Wilhelm sent them back to the tavern with a purse full of coin to spend. With the hired hands gone Frank began to set fire to the place. The tailor fled in a screaming panic. Shrugging the two companions left casually as fire flared up behind them. Returning to the Bearded Goat the pair picked up their companions and set off for the village gate as people rushed out into the streets to see what all the fuss was about. Bucket brigades were hastily formed and the burning tailors attended to.

On the way out the gate guard stopped them. Their names had come up and they were to be detained. Frank looked incredulous and tried to bluster his way through. Frank insisted that he had been captain of the watch. And that they should let him pass The guard corrected him pointing out he had been a bailiff and while respected his prior post made him little more that a efficient tax collector. Not being suicidal the guards did little to prevent the plate mail wearing Frank barging through the gate.

Wilhelm was clearly frustrated and demanded they allow him through as he was a noble. The guards looked on incredulously at his claims to nobility making the point that they found it difficult to take him seriously on account of the orcish baby he had strapped to his back. Then of course there was the incident of him flying nude through the township and his predilection for wearing dresses. All of which made his claims to nobility dubious at best though one could argue they highlighted a nobles eccentricities. Wilhelm demanded a duel with the guard. Surely the brute had besmirched his honour. The guard refused knowing he was no match for Wilhelm in a stand up fight. Eventually Brandon, the captain of the guard, arrived and after some discussion with Derek Schiller things were sorted out. Ironically Derek had to part with some of the platinum he had secretly filched from the lair of Greylock. The money he had stolen from his companions he now had to hand out to make up for their arson and misadventure. With that bit of chaos out of the way the group set off on the road to Stonehell.

A ghoul

On the way a plan was formulated to finish off the gentlemen ghouls and plunder their copious amounts of treasure. It involved a silence spell from Furak the ogress shaman and a lot of charging and hacking. Making their way through the eerily empty tunnels of Stonehell the group arrived at the entrance to the gentlemen ghoul’s lair. The double doors to the lair had been reinforced since the parties last visit. With silence spell cast, the group breached the entrance and careened down the hall. Derek led the charge and plunged his short blade through the ear of an unsuspecting ghoul. Their foes had been idly chatting at the end of the long hall and noticed their doom too late. Heavily outnumbered the hardy ghouls put up stiff resistance. One landed a telling blow upon Derek sending the noble pitching forward in a state of paralysis. Unfortunately for the young rogue he would remain in this state till the battles conclusion. As the conflict wound its way to a conclusive win on the part of the hero’s, one of the ghouls vanished from sight as if by magic. Cursing their luck, though unable to hear it thanks to the globe of silence that surrounded them, the band set off down an adjoining corridor, the direction in which they thought they heard the ghoul’s hounds barking.

The band encountered a second group of gentlemen ghouls and battle was joined in their dinning room amidst the fine silver and crockery. Ghoul hound and gentlemen in faded finery battled ogre, mercenary and hero in a chaotic maelstrom of violence. Things looked grim when Furack the mighty ogress fell and grimmer still when the last of their hired help, Derene the crossbow lass and former scribe, was cut down. During the conflict Yuriel the mage, who had been attending the paralyzed Derek and contributing magic blasts from her wand, was tragically torn asunder by invisible foes. Claws racked across her frail elven form and she collapsed spraying arterial blood upon her still paralyzed employer. Yet even in this dark moment Frank and Wilhelm held the course methodically chopping and bludgeoning with axe and hammer till the last of the visible ghouls had been dispatched. The warriors then looked desperately about for their invisible foes. Wilhelm’s sharp senses spied hurried bloody footprints making their way back to the entry hall where this madness had began. The two of them, the last men standing, set off in pursuit.

In the high vaulted entry hall it seemed that the last of the ghouls were to make a final stand. They warily engaged the plate mail wearing, blood drenched hero’s. Franks luck finally ran out. The lead ghouls claws found a weak link in his armour, its claws sank into his flesh and he felt a chill spasm seize his muscles. He was paralyzed. Gritting his teeth Wilhelm held the stately ghouls back with wild slashes from his newly acquired magic axe, a trophy from his encounter with Greylock. Outnumbered three to one and tiring with fatigue the noble dropped his guard for but a moment and was torn down by the ghouls. He felt a coldness creep over his body. He too had been paralyzed. He watched helplessly as the ghouls split up searching for survivors. As they moved out of his limited field of vision Wilhelm took a huge risk willing his levitation boots to carry him into the shadowed, cobwebbed ceiling some fifty feet above him. Whatever gods Wilhelm worshipped were watching over him as he levitated to the ceiling unseen by his foes. Sadly all he could do was stare at the stonework before him in his paralyzed state. He remained oblivious, perhaps mercifully so, to the fate of his two paralyzed companions below. The ghouls would feast well.

Comments

Wilhelm has 22,747xp.

Session 11 - Stonehell
Iron_DM

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