DAY 7 – 3rd, Midsol 6th
As Lynn slowly turns around, she sees a floating skeletal apparition appear from the far wall. Panicked and frightened, she does everything in her power to halt the approach of this ethereal menace, but ultimately it wasn’t enough. In one icy grasp, it drains her life force completely, with her last action a desperate scream as the air leaves her lungs and her body hits the floor.
Meanwhile, Marta and Ander face their own spectre in the street, as it does it’s best to drain Ander of his strength. In the room adjacent to Lynn’s, Marven and Belarius face off with a different kind of enemy, as Marven’s own shadow rises up and saps Belarius of his life. Back outside, a similar blackness slithers up the porch, robbing Haeden of his consciousness.
Fighting transient phantoms on all fronts, the Cask Away Crew valiantly survive the encounter, powering through their resistances, with Marta’s spiteful side providing assistance. No member of the party made it out unscathed however, and the rag tag band weren’t lucky enough to rest; as soon as they regrouped, the raging bonfire Ander had lit was quickly snuffed out, as if by itself.
Peering out the window, Belarius and Ander see a visage of death, imposing and necrotic in nature, this gilded corpse appears from nowhere on a flaming steed, corrupting the ground it stands on. Commanding its mount to leave as it arrived, the new arrival turns its attention to the Crew, situated in the second floor bedroom, and starts to approach the abode.
With little time to formulate a plan, the majority of the party decide to bail out of the window, back down on to the street, some more elegantly than others. Lynn and Leon in the next room opt for a more subtle form of defense, concealing themselves behind an illusory bookcase. Ander, wanting a piece of the action, stands strong willing to face this otherworldly creature, who promptly incapacitates Ander effortlessly with a single word.
Out on the street, the majority of the rest of the crew don’t get far before this being appears before them. Marven flippantly and facetiously dares to respond to one of its rhetorical questions, the response he gets is agonising pain, as all his nerve endings light up simultaneously, overloading his brain turning him into a fitting, drooling shambles on the sand. The being follows this up by exhaling a large amount of muddy-coloured gas, seeping in to the armour and skin, through their pursed lips and clamped shut eyes, until the rest succumb to coughing and vomiting fits, removing them of control of their bodily functions.
Its final act of arrogance is to, almost half heatedly, dispel Lynn’s illusion with a flick of the wrist. Informing the only two standing adventurers that “nothing they’ve done has saved this town”, that it had got what it had came for, and was long finished with the place. Lynn and Leon rush downstairs, just in time to see it remount its incandescent mare, before disappearing just as quickly as it arrived.
Leon quickly repairs the well as best he can with the tools at his disposal. Collecting fresh water, he and Lynn care for their companions, trying to make them as comfortable as they can be, one-by-one migrating them back into the bedroom upstairs.
DAY 8 – 4th, Midsol 6th
After spending the night attempting to sleep off the effects, the crew awake to find themselves with the mother of all hangovers. Aching, weary, and sore, they take stock of the situation, filling each other in on what happened.
Lynn, being fortunate enough to have a formal and private education, recalls a being such as the one they experienced the night before, in one of her sorcery books. It most closely resembled what is commonly referred to as a Lich. Formerly a magic user such as Lynn, a Lich has transcended mortality, sacrificing its humanity in the process.
With this knowledge, and a chance to analyse the events of the night before, it would appear that in the Lich’s arrogance, he was seemingly pulling his punches with the group, merely toying with them.
Disturbed by the power of the creature, and depressed by its ill omens, the Cask Away Crew debate their next steps.
Author: Danilo (DM)