Lights in the Darkness

The East Wing of the Ratman Stronghold and the End of Bigarm

Sessions 13,14,15 & 16

Urien writes into his diary:

We pushed into the right-hand part of the lair after a short skirmish with the creatures who emerged from that side just when we finished our rest.

We found another statue of the swan lady and a trap that made us fall asleep when crossing the room. Luckily, no ambush followed, and we moved forward till we came to a chasm with a bridge guarded by a handful of the creatures.

We charged across the bridge as they tried to cut the rope. They were no match for our warriors, and the other side was secured quickly, but then they used a hidden entrance in a side room for a foray against our rear. Maurice and one of the giants drove them back quickly, but they were too eager and pushed too far resulting in both of them being separated from us when the door closed.

It took us too long to figure out how to twist the three pairs of statues to face their mates. When we finally stormed into the chamber beyond, our companions were already defeated, and we couldn’t do anything to save them. It must have been quite a shock for Osric. I saw the anger in his eyes: he was very proud of his strong friendship with Maurice. The Muscle will be missed.

We were chasing the creatures away when we were attacked by an animated drop-front desk and a candlestick holder! The rest of the room was just as strange. Two cauldrons were in the room’s center: one flaming brightly as it emitted an oppressive heat and another filled with a clear fluid in which floated sparkling motes of light. When we dropped something into the flaming cauldron, the whole room darkened in a strange way. When we did the same with the clear one, a strange chest appeared above the pool. We then rested a bit and found many destroyed books and a heavy chest under something that must have been Bigarm’s ragged throne. We decided to rest soon, but wished to first secure the next room.

It was a bad mistake! They were waiting for us. Guilbert and our only remaining giant fell in the resulting fight. We successfully withdrew and managed to hole up in the big room again.

Something about Osric concerns me. He was not healing our wounded in the morning and was rather evasive when I asked him about that. I wonder what happened? Is the Maker angry with him? But why?

We moved out again and destroyed the bridge, cutting the bridge on our side before returning to the weird chamber. We encountered no opposition in the next room where Guilbert fell. It must have been some magical laboratory with a weird glass bell or dome suspended under the ceiling, a mirror on rails (that we covered up just in case), and lots of strange runes on the wall. The remaining exit led us through a secret door into the former crypt of the temple complex, it seems. There still were many “traps” where people were put under strange spells, but we figured that out only later after the final fight agains the remaining warriors and Bigarm himself.

Bigarm and his last band of followers ambushed us in the tunnels, employing these “stored” magical effects to attack us while trying to place a wedge between the front of the party and the rear using small side passages. Xenocrates and Haakon fell in the ensuing battle, and horse-headed Agapetos nearly lost one of his eyes. In the end, we managed to kill them all though! Fraegr and Mauger even fought at the front this time, quite a surprise for otherwise rather shifty individuals.

We cleaned out much of the remaining complex now and certainly will continue tomorrow as well. We now have to think of how we can move all these goods over the treacherous swamp back to our camp on the island to the north. We will see if the Widdigmen who stayed outside will attempt anything, but maybe we can work out something with “Strongsmell” and “Splitclaw,” the two Widdigman warriors that we freed in the prison.

I am slowly beginning to suspect that something is wrong with Osric. He fights differently than before, much more recklessly! Might it be the sacrificial mace we found, and that he took from Maurice? I don’t think anything else has changed otherwise. Thinking of it, I heard no prayer or verse from Osric since we lost the last giant, but it was pretty chaotic so maybe I just missed it. I pray we go back to Hewflore soon.

Comments

A great summary of the past several sessions! I particularly like Urien’s commentary about Osric!

Hardrada

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