Post War Group - 7/4/2010 - The Assassin, The Sorcerer and the Swordmage (Part 3)

Jaeger senses a gathering evil beyond, and warning the rest of the group, prepares to enter the marble vaults.

12:42 – Jaegar goes ahead of his companions' climbing silently and hidden into the chamber, and up between the wings of the statue. From his vantage point he is able to clearly see the entirety of the chamber beyond.

The chamber is a vast burial vault, its arched ceiling some 30' high. Gross graffiti covers much of the marble in this chamber, and yet, despite the horrible desecration it has endured, its former grandeur is still apparent; mute testimony to the wealth or influence of whoever built it. At either side of the chamber stand rows of shattered sarcophagi; their contents scattered across the floor, chunks of their substance strewn about. A single doorway in the southern most corner of the chamber seems to be the only exit, but by far the most impressive thing about the vault (despite the beautifully rendered statue upon which the assassin lurks) is one large mausoleum constructed in the middle of the western wall, between the two rows of violated sarcophagi, directly across from the statue.

It is made from pale marble, and has escaped the vandalism that has marked every other area of the tombs. The soft blue radiance that fills this chamber is radiated by this structure, and from his vantage point, Jaegar can see it bears the life sized carving of a beautiful young woman, dressed in full-plate armour, who lies with both hands resting upon the pommel of a huge hand-and-a-half sword that lies along the length of her body – the burial pose of knights. Around the edge of the faux roof of the structure is elaborate scrollwork, and though the assassin cannot read it from his hiding place, he can clearly see the seal upon them – a stylized sun within which blazes a stylised sword of fire – the ancient symbol of Solum'Tassasdexes, from before his sanity shattered and he became the broken, insane deity he is today. At the corners of the structures roof are small cherubic figures, their heads bowed as if weeping, their hands together as if in prayer.

The chamber is not empty however. The reanimated remains of the sarcophagi's former tenants stand alert and ready around the place, their bones brittle and dusty, whilst two more skeletons, clad in chain armour and wielding bone longbows stand poised in the two farthest corners. The endless stream of mad poems, ranting rhetoric and weeping, screaming song is coming from a wild haired man who stands before the exit. He is openly weeping, and wears long dark funereal robes, a sword strapped to his belt, a large animal horn draped around his shoulders. A vague sense of power emanates from him as he rants, and the assassin looks back over his shoulder towards his two companions crouched in the shadows, and bids them move forwards with caution.

12:43 – 12:45 – The swordmage moves carefully into the chamber, crouching low behind the tombs in order to try and remain hidden, whilst Seren tries to stay close to the statue for the same reasons. Alas, they are soon discovered, and the madman immediately urges the undead to kill them, launching into a series of foul incantations and unholy prayers.

The skeletons are in bad condition, and are dispatched easily. Several simply collapse by being too close to the sorceress, as she radiates power constantly, which burns them to ashes, whilst even the most minor blow from sword or spell is enough to destroy the others. Of far more concern are the two skeletal archers, who's worm-eaten arrows find their marks with painful regularity, inflicting grievous wounds, and the threnodist, who's mad poems are soon shown to be spells of foul power.

At one point, both Seren and Varracuda are overcome with a nightmare delusion created by the threnodist, each believing that they are buried alive and suffocating, and all they are able to do is scream and gasp as they try to draw breath in what they believe is the suffocating embrace of cold, crushing earth. The threnodist also summons an undead spirit, which possesses Varracuda and sends him dancing obscenely from his hiding place, and out into the open, where he is shot by more decrepit arrows.

However, once the entombing delusions power has fully faded (it leaves its victims dazed for a while once the full effects have faded), the threnodist finds himself surrounded by the group. The group also discover that the untouched mausoleum radiates holy power, slowly healing their wounds, allowing them to access their innate healing ability, and granting them some small protection from the monsters attacks.

The assassin unleashes his choking mantle of shadows and covers the death bard in wounds and slowing shadows, whilst Seren blasts him with raw magic and Varracuda slices him with blades of fire, and slowly but surely, he is worn down and eventually killed.

Radiant fire from the sorceress finishes off the archers quickly, and finally, the group can rest.

12:45 – 13:05 – The three battered adventurers know that something horrible lies ahead, and with the gentle protection of the mausoleum around them, they take time to fully heal, to let the tensions of their seemingly endless encounters ease off, and to prepare themselves for whatever evil awaits.

13:05 – 13:15 – Distant sounds from back in the tombs bring all the group to full alert. Expecting only more trouble, they move to defensive positions within the mausoleum, and prepare to unleash whatever hell they can at what or whoever comes past the statue. However, they then hear the familiar muttering of the priest Grigori, and with wide smiles, relax as they emerge, alert and tense, into the chamber and join them in time for whatever final horror awaits beyond the exit...