Episode 21 : The Sorceress At Last
 

We break down our earthwall and enter the tunnel proper. The smell of sulphur is near to overpowering. We continue our decent. The tunnel winds down for an hour or so. We come into an opening, another chamber presents itself. The smell of sulphur is strong here, this seems to be the snakes bed. Across the chamber is a pool with stepping stones, these stones lead off down a tunnel, the tunnel quickly becomes obscured by webs.

Stefan cast intuition and advances onto the stones. As he moves he notices that the water starts to ripple as something is coming towards him. Stefan jumps onto the next stone. From the water a huge crocodile lurches forth onto the stone where Stefan stood but moments before. Stefan jumps to the next stone. He approaches the web, he sees descending from the darkness above the dark shadowy figure of a spider, red streaks down its back. The crocodile moves back into the water. Stefan ends the spell.

Stefan cast intuition. He takes a bow and fires a firearrow across the water into the webs. In a moment fire engulfs the entire webbed tunnel. The fire lashes out from the tunnel and engulfs all who stand at the edge of the water. We are blackened and burnt but still standing. Stefan leaps onto the standing stones and jumps between stones down the tunnel. He sees the bodies of spiders burnt and floating in the water. Crocodiles are coming out of the water and eating the spiders.

We prepare our plan of attack. {He who goes unnamed} and Werner Faßenberg cast fly on everyone in the party. Gabriel Von Hendlebrodt prepares his bow and with the rest of the group standing well back he shoots a firearrow into the tunnel. The tunnel erupts in fire engulfing the spiders. The fire lashes forth from the tunnel swirling about Gabriel Von Hendlebrodt licking at his body. Moments later the fire dies down to small spot fires down the tunnel and in the chamber. The bodies of spiders bob in the water. Crocodiles set upon them in a feeding frenzy. We begin our flight down the tunnel. By keeping close to the ceiling we avoid the crocodiles and look on in fascination as they feed.

Our flight continues down the tunnel until we see ahead of us a glowing light. As we advance closer we see that there is a chamber. Before the chamber is a grill. The grill has a door which is open. On the other side of the chamber is another grill, this one has the door closed and has a glowing blue globe about where a lock should sit. In the center of the chamber is a platform raised just above the water line, just as the stepping stones are raised. Floating in the pool of water is a spider, a huge spider, the body in twelve feet across, the legs are folded beneath itself. Flames still burn upon its back. The one remaining thing in this chamber is a glowing, pulsating white sack that is attached to one of the walls. This sack is some forty feet across and stretches from the ceiling to the waterline. There is a dark round hole, in the sack, some ten feet above the waterline.

Stefan cast intuition and enters the chamber. He stops on the platform and watches as there is movement from inside the sack. A spider appears at the entrance hole. Stefan moves to the grill on the other side of the chamber. He pushes at the grill, it does not move. He looks at the glowing globe and attempts to force it open. Electricity arcs through his body, the globe remains intact. Heinz Meier comments, "Hell of a bug zapper!". More spiders have come from the sack. In the intuition the party advance in to fend them off of Stefan. Stefan examines the grill, looks at the water and descends into the water. Down five feet he goes, where he reaches the end of grill, he passes underneath the grill and surfaces on the other side. The spell ends.

Stefan informs us of the plan. "We are going to fly into the chamber, and descend into the water and go under the grill. It doesn't go all the way down. Everybody hold hands, we will only have one shot at this. There are spiders in that sack, so don't hang around. The crocodiles seem to be feasting on the carnage we have already caused so we will need to trust to luck. I didn't encounter any in the intuition. Are we ready, everyone lets go.". In single file and holding hands we fly into the chamber, into the water, under the grill, and up to the ceiling again on the other side. Behind us we see that the chamber has a half dozen spiders in it, they mournfully watch our passing, but dare not enter the water themselves. We continue our flight down the tunnel.

We have flown some two thousand feet down this tunnel and our fly spells are coming to an end. We estimate there is still some five hundred or more feet to go. The magic users start preparing to cast more fly spells on the party. They first cast fly on themselves. Gabriel Von Hendlebrodt and Wilhelm Schults look for an area relatively free of the crocodiles. There is an area ahead which only has one crocodile basking on a stepping stone. Gabriel Von Hendlebrodt descends on the beast and strikes through it's abdomen. It slides off the stepping stone into the water, the water turns red with blood. The party land. Three crocodiles one hundred feet away begin heading in our direction. Werner Faßenberg cast sudden light, one sinks below the surface. Slings and missiles are directed at the other two. They sink injured into the black and murky waters. Werner Faßenberg cast fly on the remaining party and we again take to the air, avoiding the crocodiles that remain.

We approach the tunnel's end. The stepping stones end and a passageway begins. The passageway is twenty feet wide and enters a room. Directly before us at the far side of the room is a door which is sealed with a softly glowing blue globe, the same type we met earlier. Before the door is the charred and blackened remains of a minotaur corpse. Gabriel Von Hendlebrodt and Wilhelm Schults are first in line and advance to the very edge that marks the start of the room. To our immediate right is a minotaur about to turn and strike, beyond this beast are a sorceress and a human dressed all in black, to our left another minotaur some thirty feet away.

Gabriel Von Hendlebrodt looking to the right sees the sorceress and shouts, "Leaping.". Werner Faßenberg immediately cast leaping on him. He is beside the sorceress. The minotaur at the corner turns and strikes at Wilhelm Schults, knocking him from his feet. Werner Faßenberg faces the minotaur towering above him. He raises his Wand of Ice Bolts to chest height and fires. The blast seers through the minotaurs chest, emptying the cavity, and sending the body sprawling backwards. Werner Faßenberg sighs a sigh of relief. The man in black uses leaping to appear where the minotaur once stood. Sweat again pours from Werner Faßenberg's face.

The minotaur to our left runs directly across the face of battle towards the sorceress, it cries, "Mistress!", as it passes. Gabriel Von Hendlebrodt strikes twice at the sorceress, she flicks her hands to each side and Gabriel Von Hendlebrodt's blows are turned aside by bladeturn spells. {He who goes unnamed} cast darkness and envelops in total blackness the area where the sorceress and Gabriel Von Hendlebrodt stand. The man in black attacks Wilhelm Schults as he stands up, hurting his upper left arm. The sorceress leaps out of the globe of darkness to the other side of the room and then vanishes. Gabriel Von Hendlebrodt follows her in a frenzy across the room. {He who goes unnamed} cast illusion and has the entire ceiling appear to fall. The sorceress is outlined by the falling dust and mortar. Gabriel Von Hendlebrodt rushes at her, his sword plungers through her upper thigh, severing both bone and artery. The sorceress drops unconscious and a pool of blood quickly expands about her.

Stefan and Wilhelm Schults are in a hand to hand fight with the man in black. Stefan stuns him. Werner Faßenberg steps between the two fighters, lowers the Wand of Ice Bolts and fires. The Ice Bolt knocks the man in black down. Yiros Fetta Uzo stabs at the man in black, he hits the thigh and once again a bright red steam of blood spills forth from the wound. The remaining minotaur having escaped the darkness finally sees it's mistress and charges across the room at Gabriel Von Hendlebrodt. It bellows, "My Lady, My Lady!", and rushes headlong at Gabriel Von Hendlebrodt. Gabriel Von Hendlebrodt turns and catches the minotaur in the lower back severing the spine and with his other sword he cuts off a leg from under the minotaur. It collapses in a heap and is propelled by it's own momentum into the wall.

We make sure that all are dead. Wilhelm Schults cuts the head off the sorceress and puts it into a bag for safe keeping. We check their equipment. Their magical possessions were a cloak with stun relief, a ring with stun relief, a longsword that is made of a cold white light, a staff, a broadsword, boots, buckles, tridents, and some black leather armour. While sorting through these things we hear a muffled thump from behind the door. {He who goes unnamed} examines the cold white longsword and says that it is a dancing sword which only does cold criticals and no impact damage. Gabriel Von Hendlebrodt takes the cold white longsword and strikes the soft blue globe that holds the door fast. The globe dissipates and we are able to open the door. There are stairs going down.

Stefan cast intuition and races down the stairs. He races through an illusion of the stairs onto the floor of the chamber below. The spell ends abruptly. Stefan shouts out, "Don't shoot, don't shoot, we are friends.". Words return through the stairs ahead, "Friends, you say, what of the sorceress and her minotaurs?". "Dead, dead, we have despatched them all. Do you require proof?". "I think I have proof enough.", the illusion of the stairs vanishes to reveal a tired and dishevelled old man standing in a chamber. The old man is looking the worst for wear. In the opposite wall of the chamber is another passage with more stairs continuing downwards. Set in the middle of the stairs is a snap frozen large lizard or very small Dragon. Gabriel Von Hendlebrodt speaks, "I have been sent to you by the High Priest of Axraam, I understand that you are the only person in this land who has the power to return us to our home world. You are Aristotle the Wiseman?". "Yes, I am he.". Werner Faßenberg then passes Aristotle a scroll of introduction given to him by the head of the Maguskôl, Yikshak Scroogestien. As Aristotle reads the scroll he mutters to himself, "Oh, what troubles your group has caused me these last few weeks. Yes, I can send you back to your home world and this I will do.".

{He who goes unnamed} asks, "Did you put those locks in place.". "Yes, of course, quite effective aren't they.", replies Aristotle. "What is further on?". "Oh, further on, the staircase leads down to the Temple of Shaam. It has a pentangle in it through which I could send you back if that is your desire. There is only one problem with that course of action, and that, of course, is how to move the Dragon that is sleeping upon it.". Werner Faßenberg asks, "Would amongst the Dragon's treasure be the Lord Mage's Staff?". "I believe it is there, but I have no need of such as that.". {He who goes unnamed} asks, "What happened to the witch's globe, we looked but could not find it, it is one of the items we were sent to recover.". "Oh, yes, that.". Aristotle pulls out a large two foot diameter globe, "Well, I took it for safe keeping. I wasted a really good staff of fire to get it. I should have grabbed more but then I had only such a short time. This is quite good in itself, almost adequate compensation for my staff.". He eyes {He who goes unnamed} momentarily, then puts the Ice Globe back.

Gabriel Von Hendlebrodt asks Aristotle about his shortsword that does electrical criticals. Aristotle replies, "Well, as with most things some are too good to be true. That one is a doomed weapon, every once in a while it will deliver the same critical to you as it does to your victim. It is not a weapon to stake your life on as one day it will take it from you.". {He who goes unnamed} asks about the dragon below, "That stupid drake. Can't even cast magic itself. It has a real ego on it that one, its ego is almost as large as the chip on its shoulder.".

 

 
(c) 2000 Hammerstein Rolemaster Campaign Journal by Ross Stopford  
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