Mystara: The Journey...
It Ends with Blood
|Adventures in Faerûn||Tyranny of Dragons||Murder in Baldurs Gate|
The Heroes arrived at Mordacai’s Mansion in the early evening as the invite requested, and were quickly impressed with the owner as well as the enchanting atmosphere of his home (self-opening doors, illuminated rooms, animated violins and serving trolleys).
Upon engaging discussion with Mordacai, Mills began to suspect something afoul about the place and their host. It became further evident when he noticed the dust upon his hands after holding a clean liquor glass. Informing everyone they were victims of an illusion, the conversation between Mordacai and the Heroes entered a more serious tone as the façade faded away and the truth of the invite became known.
Mordacai wished to bring back his deceased wife who had been killed as a result of one of his experiments decades ago. Bhaal had promised him this was possible if he could once more rise to godhood and attain his portfolio of Death – all he had to do was eliminate the Heroes. Mordacai, did not truly trust Bhaal and understood that the fallen deity must have feared the Heroes to make such a bargain and so therefore asked if they instead could perhaps assist in the resurrection of his wife.
After some negotiation an agreement was reached between the parties and as the adventurers were about to take their leave when the true threat revealed itself, the Mansion.
The spirit of the Mansion, personified itself as a little girl wearing a white dress and refused the Heroes leave. Mordacai surprised at Her betrayal, attempted to reason with Her, but She had made up Her mind and ghostly figures began pouring out of the walls into the room lunging at the Heroes. Namshiel suffered a few attacks at the touch of these spectres, life draining from him. A swift Banishment by wizard removed the immediate threat, while a well-placed Wall of Fire took care of the spectres. However the damage was already done.
Mordacai informed the adventurers that, although the destruction of the spectres had severely weakened Her, the Banishment would not hold keep Her away for long as a portal to the Shadowfell existed within the basement of the Mansion. The party decided to evacuate the Mansion before Her return.
Out on the streets of Bloomridge the adventurers recuperated and weighed their options.
Entering the Mansion again, the adventurers found the room setup changed. As they began inspecting the foyer area and beyond the Heroes found themselves falling upward as the house shifted around them. Aidan quickly cast Featherfall on the party negating most of the negative effects of the Reverse Gravity spell.
The Heroes slowly descended into a darkened room. A light spell allowed the characters to see that the only entrance was a set of wooden stairs leading upwards. She stood at the top of the stairs and then the room was cloaked again in darkness.
Croaker suddenly began to feel the moisture and vitality draining from his body. Mills lit a glowstick hoping to illuminate the room as Aidan utilised his Gem of Brightness to counter the magical darkness; both attempts were countered.
By the time the party was able to dispel the darkness, a black oil-like substance was seeping down the stairs and the girl with the white dress was in the room causing much havoc.
However, with the room now awash with light, Croaker and Mills were able to unleash their full attacks on the Mansion’s spirit and even as the girl fell to her knees pleading mercy, a defiant Mills finished her off. Her destruction allowed the return of Mordacai who was able to inform the Heroes Bhaal’s/Imbralym’s recent whereabouts; The secret underground laboratory of Seskergates which was accessible from the many hidden passageways and corridors beneath Mordacai’s Mansion. It is during their conversation with Mordacai that the party first hears the howling winds and rolling distant thunder coming from outside the mansion.
The portal to the Shadowfell, which merely resembled a black gaping hole that shied away from light, gave the party an idea of how to deal with the continued threat of Bhaal and his curse.
Recalling all he had heard about the Shadowfell, Namshiel realised that this portal could be used to banish the once God of Murder. As the Shadowfell was a parallel plane from which necrotic energies and shadow magic stemmed, being a bleak desolate place full of decay and death, and its inhabitants being predominantly dead and undead, it would not be able to feed the Curse.
Trapping Bhaal within the Shadowfell seemed like the best idea yet they had for defeating him; And then they could worry about closing the portal.
The corridor meandered and turned, numerous offshoots appeared to their left and right, but they followed the directions as given to them by Mordacai, keeping to the path. At times various puddles had formed in sunken grooves along the floor, they avoided those with ease. The corridor along most points remained 10 foot wide but at times it narrowed to just under 5 foot, requiring Mills to temporarily squeeze carefully through, to avoid damaging his armour. The air hanged heavy and hot as the passageway became less and less polished, reflecting unfinished edges on the walls and ceilings and as natural outcroppings began to become more the norm.
The party observed many of the offshoot passages now ended in dead ends. They estimate, given the distance and time they had travelled they must be nearing the Seskergate’s undercellar. The light ahead reflected an oily darkness coming forth from one of the narrow points when their attention was suddenly disturbed by some falling debri as a stalactite bearing an opened maw and large eerie eye dropped from the corridor’s ceiling. They realised, somewhat too late the slug-like stalactite directed its fall towards Namshiel.
- Three rock-like shells each encasing a singular red-eyed slug with an open maw fell from the corridor ceiling one successfully catching Namshiel in the shoulder;
- A large stalagmite with a singular red eye, an open razor-tooth maw and six long sprawling tendrils bursting out of nubs came climbing around the corner from one of the corridor offshoots. Several tendrils wrapped around Croaker, as hair-like growths from the tentacles penetrated his clothing and flesh, sapping his strength. Within moments he found himself reeled in towards the maw of the beast;
- In an attempt to avoid the tentacle beast Namshiel transposed himself with Mills who was at the front of the formation, only to find himself threatened by a large mound of black sludge which was propelling itself through the 5-foot narrow corridor up ahead.
Croaker and Mills dispatched the Roper, while Aidan and Namshiel dealt with the Piercers and Black Pudding. Namshiel successfully Levitated the ooze allowing Aidan to continuously Firebolt it before it split in two; But these two smaller black puddings were easily dealt with.
In the Seskergates undercellar, the party surprised a group of thugs counting monies from their recent scores, the latter having taken advantage of the mayhem that had transpired within the city this last week. The thugs quickly overcome by the abilities of the heroes, and realising that the party was not there from the money withdrew from the fight.
The thugs, the party later found out, had taken residence within the old mansion this last week.
The party made its way to Gond Gate which led to the Upper City, only to see that the Gate had been broken in, the metal bent and the Watch soldiers who were on duty, lying murdered on the ground, except for the one whose body hanged on the broken bars of the Gate. The streets were deserted except for the trail of death they followed.
Finally the Heroes arrived at the Hall of Wonders to find the guards similarly laying dead along the entrance steps, inside more death followed as murdered Gondsmen lay scattered throughout the museum. The doors and chambers to private rooms, never open to the public, now lay open.
The spill of blood led all they way to the secret passageways leading beneath the building. Once again following the trail, ignoring all order corridors, offshoots and storerooms the party eventually came across a large set of stone doors with depression in the door at shoulder height.
As the Heroes approached, writing in the common tongue suddenly appeared across the top part of the doors, above the indentation.
To pass beyond, 4 numbers are needed, each digit different from the rest
It begins and ends with odds, the middle is evens, best be correct or lest…
Gonds champion will determine whose combat best
And for those true friends of Gond, one final clue remains for you factly
The numbers 19 and 519 go into it exactly.
Moments later a panel slid open in the corridor’s wall behind the party, some 50 feet away, and a massive towering giant, humanoid in shape wrought of heavy metal resembling armour, stepped out and began walking towards them. With each clanging step shaking the earth beneath its feet.
Welding an enormous blade in one of its hands, the large creature filled up the entire passageway.