Late, I know, but there you go!
12:05 – The group get chance to quickly catch their breaths (they get to spend 1 healing surge), before more enemies burst into the chamber.
Anticipating their arrival from the spiral stairs that descend from the far end of the chamber they are in, the group form a tight formation there, ready to stop and slay anyone entering.
This works at first as four ragged humans, dressed in tattered shrouds and wielding flails soaked in their own blood, bound screaming and giggling, madness blazing in their eyes, from the darkness, and onto their weapons. However, things quickly get messy when more foul beings (a dark cleric dressed in armour made from human bones, accompanied by two more Ghouls and two more axe wielding soldiers) come from behind (these were stationed in the shattered tower that rises above the ruin).
The battle is complex, but the group win out.
12:07 - As the final blows are being struck however, a pool of shadows seems suddenly to deepen and coalesce into the robed and hooded form of a humanoid wielding a blade of darkness.
The human attacks and slays a Ghoul and a soldier, ending the battle, and suggesting that he may be an ally to the group
Gorthias is reluctant to accept this dangerous appearing stranger into the group, putting it to the party that he seems to wield tools similar to those used by the Ravensoul Cabalists. However, the rest of the group instantly dismiss the warden's concerns, putting it to him that this stranger – who calls himself Jager – has already proved himself an ally.
12:15 - Though the warden is not happy about it, the group accept this newcomer into their group.
Jager states that he “seeks something” in this place, and to put Gorthias' mind at ease, suggests that he will go at the head of the party.
12:18 - The group catch their breaths, and then move down the spiral stairs that descend deeper under the ruin.
12:19 - About half way down, the group spot a recently scrawled message on the wall “The Eight Were Here!”
All are rankled, for the Eight (Adrielle's Eight) are a rival adventuring party from Greenford.
Jager explains that a group of adventurers had torn through the ruin, slaying bandits and leaving with a number of items a couple of hours before the undead arrived – a fact that sends Gorthias into a silent rage after all his earlier warnings about not getting on with their main objective.
12:21 - The group do not tarry long however, for strange, wet, metallic screams, as well as more bestial roaring reminds them that something horrible awaits down below.
12:23 - The assassin slips ahead, seeming to meld with the darkness, whilst the rest of the group creep along as quietly as they can a little way back.
12:24 - Jager finds that the stairs lead to a vast, crumbling cellar, illuminated by pale beams of slanting gloomlight coming through cracks in its wall, in which nightmare things torment a weakly struggling figure.
A circle of flagellants and dark bandaged soldiers stand amongst the chambers crumbling supports, watching as a monstrous thing; taller and broader than any man, pallid, with a great head that bears tapered bat-like ears, a bat's snout and the wide, fanged mouth of a wolf (or serpent, for it soon shows itself capable of opening to impossible size, and bears a forked tongue), slowly dismembers a warforged it holds aloft against the ceiling with the same ease a normal man would hold a feather.
“Where is the sacred phial” it gurgles to the mutilated living construct, playing with its entrails as it speaks...
Jager also spots silent, shrouded forms posted around the outside of the chamber; thin as a whisper, humanoid, wreathed in black bandages and wielding no weapons, for they have elongated bony fingers, tipped with razor edged claws...skeletons of some sort.
The assassin plans on getting a better view before returning to the group. However, the wofl/bat fiend (a vampire of the Ravensoul Cabal) senses him, and its terrible head snaps round, its eyes turning to the colour of blood. It howls with fury (and is identified as the source of the horrible baying the group had been hearing). Thick fog sweats from its grey, hairless flesh, and it drops the mutilated warforged to the ground, bounding towards the assassin with a horrible scream.
12:25 – 12:27 - A battle ensues. The group form a tigh formation by the entrance of the chamber, repelling waves of flagellants and skeletons (who are highly mobile, dancing in to strike, before withdrawing out of harms way).
The barbarian seems cursed as he finds himself repeatedly rooted to the floor by the skeletons' chilling touch, whilst the vampire is dispatched with little effort, the warden smashing it prone, where it is all but obliterated by a potent spell thrown by Seren (it is finished off by the priest, who pours searing, holy light onto its melting, mewling form).
The Flagellants harry the group, and the soldiers (more of the dark warriors who wield executioners axes and imbue their blows with terror) prove slightly trickier to dispatch.
However, the battle is won, and the group, now exhausted after the days trials, slump to the floor to try and catch their breaths.
The chamber is awash with the gore of the battle, but also with smashed crates, and the bodies of bandits slain by either The Eight, or by the cabalists.
12:28 - Jager moves towards the Warforged lying on the floor, and with a cold smile, sinks his dagger into the dying bandit leaders skull cap (he explains to the group that this is Athame, one of two warforged who lead the bandits, the other being a mage called Quicksilver)
He then rips a plate of metal from the warforged's skull, and after checking something on it, stuffs it into one of his pouches.
12:29 – 13:45 - The group begin a search of the chamber. They discover that the components they were sent to recover have been taken, almost certainly by Adrielle's Eight.
However, they also discover a secret chamber, in which various treasures (mostly non magical) have been stored.
In this chamber two items of interest are found. One is an ancient Dundorin battle standard that seems to thrum with inner power. The other is a mottled phial of alien metal, covered in powerful runes of high magic, apparently of a warding nature.
The assassin reveals that he intends to hunt down Quicksilver. The group ask for more information, and he tells them that the warforged went AWOL from the Unified Order armies at the end of the Aelwyn wars instead of obeying whatever their next assignment orders were.
According to Jager, Quicksilver fought in the front lines of the Aelwyn wars, and was a potent war mage. However, as a renegade, he has a high price on his head, and the assassin intends to collect it.
13:45 – 21:00 - The Group Rest...
The group agree to help him take the renegade out, though they insist on resting first. There is much discussion about getting revenge on Adrielle's Eight for their “theft” of the items they have been sent to recover.
At one point, Emmiven suggests the group ambush and kill their rivals, but this horrifies several members of the group – Gorthias being the most vocal – as this constitutes base murder.
A decision is made that the party will try to sully the Eight's victory by pointing out that they left the bandit leader alive.
Whilst resting, the sorceress attempts to engage the assassin in conversation, asking him if he is allied with the Unified Order. She is told to mind her own business...and replies that if he is not with the Order, she will not be happy, and might well let them know....Varracuda looks uncomfortable, and tries not to make eye contact (for he is not affiliated with the Unified Order)
As the group rest, outside, it begins to snow heavily
21:30 – 01:00 23/3/1472 - After eating, the weary and battered group conduct a search of the ruin and then local area, spotting a number of vital clues that lead them to an ancient aelwyn tumulus site about half a mile from the ruin
As they approach this, they hear horrible, agonised screams echoing through the night, and see strange, greenish, flickering lights up ahead. Could this be Quicksilver? There were signs he may have been wounded, and several party members fear he could have become undead...a woeforged...