Legend: Champions of Geram

Into the Darkness III

Finding themselves trapped in a dungeon labyrinth, the party starts to explore their surroundings. The walls and floor in this dungeon are cleanly worked, with well-trimmed vines along the lower half of the walls that are thorny and that seem to move to follow anyone that gets too close to them, but that are also obviously trimmed and well-maintained by someone.
They find more traps and quickly come across a pack of starving wolves and, hidden in a pit trap, a grotesque, tentacled scavenger of some sort. All the while, the party has to deal with occasional archer squads that come after them with powerful longbows made of a black wood and whose arrows made a bright flash when they fired and tore through stone walls like paper.
While exploring, the party comes across a simple locked chest made of wood. Wary of traps, Zaku inspects the area surrounding the chest before he moves in to inspect the lock. He unlocks the chest skillfully, but the chest hides a second trap that springs out at him when he opens it! The blade deals little damage, and the heroes move in to inspect the contents of the chest: a small, rectangular package wrapped in paper. Curious, they pick the package up, but have trouble determining what it is. Julian takes the package and unwraps it to reveal a bar of soap—but he has little time to admire the irony of his discovery, for the bar was laced with a powerful contact poison that made him violently sick. He threw up his dinner and the alchemical potions working in his stomach and stumbled away, cursing the villagers under his breath.
At a dead end, behind a decayed corpse with an arrow in its back, Julian found a secret door that led to a bare tomb with a lone sarcophagus resting on a dais. The party took the room as a refuge and decided to encamp within its cramped walls for the night, but Julian wasn’t satisfied.
What was the odd room? Was it really a tomb? What was hidden inside the sarcophagus?
And what were the strange lights that flashed out of the sarcophagus onto the back wall for less than a second before disappearing without a trace?
Stretching his magical senses, Julian determined that there was something unusual about the pedestal, and with a wave of his hand he discovered exactly what it was: for the pedestal wasn’t a sarcophagus at all. As he focused his will on the pedestal and interacted with it, the relief of the dead man melted and a map of the dungeon level rose out of the stone to replace it.
Julian played around with the map, finding several hidden rooms they’d missed and opening a portal to another part of the level that had been hidden before.
One of the hidden rooms, which opened off the first room into which the bandits dropped the party, proved to be an armory, with suits of arcane field plate forged from a dense white metal and mail as light as leather. This room proved to be hidden and defensible, and the weary adventurers decided to spend their next night here.

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Into the Darkness II

Before they leave town, Julian goes to look for a mapmaker that can help them find the tiny hamlet home of the bandits. His inquiries lead him to the Nobles’ District and to the painter Zinra, whose works are reputed to have mystical powers. Although the painter is foppish and standoffish, Julian commissions the work and agrees to come back the next day.
Meanwhile, Tholt finds his own lead when Senshan directs him to the lady Belinda, a strange old trinket dealer that runs a booth in the town square. She seems confused and more than a little crazy, but when she understands what Tholt wants she falls into a hazy trance. “Behind the butcher’s shop in a town with no name,” she drones, “you’ll find a cellar where they cure no meat. In the back of this cellar, in the wall to the right of the bones of a bull, there lies an entrance to the base where the men of this village hold the boy whom you seek.” But that wasn’t all. She continued, “Beware, for a curse lies upon the village. It consumes the flesh of the young and withers the hearts of the old.”
With that ominous advice and the rich painter’s magical map, the party set off to find the lair of the nameless bandits. On their way out of town, they found a pair of fellow adventurers headed in the same direction and agreed to travel together: Dante, the priest of Maleta Sini, and Ettrigan, a vagabond and skilled thief.
They were about two hours into the forest near the village when the party found themselves being followed by an evil presence, cloaked within a cloud of darkness. Dante blasted the specter with beams of light, which seemed to frighten it off without a serious fight.
The party made it to the hamlet without any further resistance, and they found the homes and shops there eerily deserted. Tholt made his way to the butcher’s shop in the old woman’s prophecy, where he found the cellar and the dark passage, just as she’d foretold.
At the end of the passage, the party found a series of underground rooms with worked floors and walls. This complex was obviously more than the work of a group of thugs.
They came upon a group of men herding two giant scorpions, and a battle broke out. The men proved no match for the adventurers, though, and they easily dispatched all of them save one, whom they offered his life in exchange for taking them to the bandit leader.
The wounded man agreed to their terms, and he led them through a living chamber and deeper into the complex—when they reached an armory, however, the man bolted and left the party standing on a pit trap!
Dumped into an underground chamber with two exits at the far end, the party had to fight for their lives as vengeful archers rained arrows down upon them from above. They made it to the doors only to find deadly traps waiting for them, and the adventurers hobbled away from the deathtrap to lick their wounds and regroup.
But what foul things watched them from the darkness?

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Into the Darkness I
The Nobleman's Son

On their way back to the city of Telobi to sell some loot, the party came across a dead guard and a pair of wheel tracks running off the road to the north. They followed the tracks to find a stripped noble’s carriage abandoned, with more dead guards filled with arrows on the ground around it. After a thorough search of the area, the adventurers found a jeweled silver comb on the ground under a thicket. They managed to find some tracks leading away from the site, but when they tried to follow them, the tracks led to a clearing where they stopped abruptly.
Back in town, the party noticed a large crowd of mercenaries centered on the Fighter’s Guild and learned that a noble’s son had gone missing en route to town. His father was offering two gold pieces each to anyone that went to search for him. The adventurers took the opportunity to sell their hard-won weapons and armor from their wagon in the town square.
Later, Senshan Drafas, the guild leader, took Tholt aside and advised him that the noble, one Galarius Adventon, was offering a hundred gold pieces to the person that brought back his son. He gave Tholt the most likely location to find the boy and warned him that the bandits that captured him were ruthless and highly dangerous.
Apparently, he had the notion that Tholt’s company was the best bet for the Guild to recover the noble’s son quickly.

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