Presents: Jaroen (Therai), Elena (Irann), Davide (Hardok), Philip (Varnak). Thomas was missing at this session, his character was played by Jaroen.
The group was still recovering after the fight with the skeleton in the Fighting Pit. After bandaging up their wounds they decided that the gain was still on the low side so they go on and look at the other passage. This led to another area. Once again, Cor and Irann take the lead followed by Hardok and Varnak while Therai keeps the rearguard.
Under-Tyr is mostly composed of semi-collapsed buildings and ruins made of masonry, stone or stone bricks.
The corridor opens in something like an old cellar, with vault ceiling supported by large stone columns, with passages going over in all directions, but part of the walls are collapsed and this leave an opening on the other side of the room. The atmosphere is chilling. On the other side, at the flickering light of the torches is visible a body lying on the floor. Irann at this point ears the sound of children laughing, crying and mumbling and she can see the faint shape of a child crouched on the floor on one side of the room, but the shape is darkened, like it’s shrouded by shadows.
Irann decides to investigate the apparition and approach carefully, the rest of the group move around trying to provide both light and cover if something is amiss.
From close up the child has strange feature and is sort of a ghost, Irann try to talk to the child who respod asking for coins “or they will beat me”. At the same time Cor notices another small child that appears from nowhere and is standing besides him, and ask to be hold by the hand. Cor responds a bit roughly. The child-ghost seems undeterred and simply grab his hand (through his glove apparently) and he feels his life-force being drained away by necrotic forces!
Irann quickly withdraw and the group decide that those ghosts are not so friendly after all…
Another ghost has appeared by the corpse on the opposite side of the room, and his somehow pleading the corpse to ‘get up and play’.
Irann immediately attack the ghost that is attacking Cor, Therai also try to use his psionic to distract the ghosts but is somehow ineffective. Hardok moves forward and takes a stance in the middle, trying to attract the attention of all the ghosts to allow everyone to get a better position.
The corpse on the other side of the room at the same time begins to get up, and looks around disoriented. The ghost disappear from view and reappears at Hardok’s side and grab hold of his hands, straight through his armor, he too feels the necrotic force drain his life force, but is able to shake off the damage before it gets too dangerous.
The first child sweep past Varnak and his ghostly hand hits him, Varnak decide to play on the apparent childish nature of these ghost so he drops a few coins on a side and the ghost is immediately distracted. Unfortunately he is feeling the effect of the ghost-touch so his attack is ineffective agains the others.
The third ghost moves forward, passes through a column like it wasn’t there at all and try to get hold of Irann, but she dodge and avoid the contact. Cor reacts, piercing the ghost with his sword, the hit seems to affect the ghost but in a lesser way than a real creature, in fact he refuses to let go.
Irann unleash a series of punches, that are also effective but less than expected. Hardok manage to break the ghost grip, but his attack also fail.
The shambling corpse advances and, like the undead that were met by the group sometimes before in the Elven Market, he spits some black goo directly at Irann, the goo is also giving Necrotic effects, everybody (except Varnak, but he is filled in by Hardok) begin to think that the creature could explode if “killed” and release even more of the black goo.
The fight is complicated by the fact that the ghost seems to get way less damage than normal physical creature when hit, and Therai psionic power are also less effective.
Varnak tries again the trick of tossing coins to distract the ghosts, and it seems again effective. The situation is complicated by a ghost suddenly appearing at Therai’s side and getting hold of his hands, Therai runs away but is still hit by the necrotic forces and ends fainting on the ground with very little force left.
The children-ghosts are defeated with some difficulty one by one, then the group concentrate on the big slumbering corpse, fortunately, at the last moment, Hardok manage to hit him with a concentrated slam that both sly him and toss him away, so when the expected explosion happens, the corpse is too far away to harm anyone with his release of black goo.
Immediately the group runs to help Therai, since he still has one of the healing fruit provided by the trading house for the previous expedition, he manage to get back on his feet.
Almost immediately Irann begin to hear the same sounds of children, so the group decide that is not very safe to stay in the cellar and they decide to rest a bit, inspect the cellar that is now empty, the search returns some of the coins that were dropped as distraction and it also reveal some “paintings” on the walls, that seems to be made in blood and are still apparently wet. The paintings seems to be made by children, one depict the Pit, with a victorious figure standing and holding a sword above his head in a victory pose, another one depict some kind of a monster killing the children.
Varnak by his knowledge decide that the place is influenced by some kind of necromantic power, that keeps reanimating and drawing these ghosts in, it will take a bit of time before the ghosts returns but they will eventually return.
The group, despite the damage suffered in the previous fights, decide to move forward to the next corridor, inspect quickly what’s in there and then, if nothing interesting, that is made of rough stones and bricks. Nothing suspicious but then some sound of a fight begins to be heard.
The tunnel opens into a large cave, supported by various pillars, with the remaining of walls scattered about, several tunnels goes out in various directions from the cave. The air is colder than normal. The place seems to have been excavated several time. By the looks of the remaining it looks like this was a wealthy neighborhood. in the middle a group of figures seems busy fighting each other shouting insults at each other. They look like some kind of a strike team, well armed with sword and shields, but almost certainly dead, but not for a long time. It seems there is a group of about 5 of them, some of them are on the ground, then they spring up, while others are dropped, and then spring up again in a continuous fight. The cave was in total darkness when the group arrived, so the figures can clearly see in darkness without problems.
The group discuss a bit the next step, Irann tries to sneak to the next passage along the wall, but is immediately noticed by the figures, that cease their fight and start asking questions.
Fig#1 – Who’s there over there? Who’s this? Who sent you? Are you here for the cube? Have you stole it?
Irann – just trying to find the exit, don’t mind me… basically we are more or less lost, definitively we are not interested in the “cube” because we don’t even know what the ‘cube’ is.
Fig #2 – Who’s this? What kind of nonsense is this? do you know how dangerous is in here? Who gets lost in here?
Irann – Yes, we know, in fact we just met a bunch of ghost kids… and… they didn’t even notice that they were dead…
Fig #1 – Ghost kids, ghost kids… Those bunch of annoying brats! They are not the problem.
Fig #2 – If they hurt you pretty bad, what are you doing down here! There are things that are a lot worse than these, I suggest you get out, we have been here for quite a while and we know it.
Hardok (to Irann) – Maybe they can suggest a better way out from here…
Fig #3 (lying on the floor) – She’s lying! They want to pass us and reach the treasure before us!
Fig #2 – We had the treasure already but you back stabbed us and stole it!
Fig #3 – Oh, you’re right…
Fig #2 – Anyway, the only way out is the way you came, because all the other ways…
Fig #1 – SHUT UP!
Therai (bluffing) – I think I saw the “cube” with the little kids!
Fig #1 – Little kids? They have the cube? That’s ridiculous…
Therai – Why not? they are small… they steal things!
Fig #2 – This is ridiculous, if they had the cube it would be in the pit…
Therai – They have strange drawing on the wall, maybe you should check out on that.
Fig #1 – That’s an interesting suggestion, except that we can’t go check out because we can’t leave this area, so why don’t you go check out and then came back and we can give you something valuable.
Therai – So what do you give us in exchange?
Fig #1 – A treasure.
Varnak – Do you even have a treasure? You can’t leave this area you said.
Fig #2 – Yes, the treasure is somewhere else. There is plenty of stuff around here, we were interested in one specific one.
Therai – We can get the cube for you but first we want to see the treasure
Fig #1 – No deal, we don’t trust you.
Fig #3 – I think they’re lying on us!
Therai – Yes, it’s really in your best interest because you can look for the cube for eternity!
Fig #1 – No cube no deal!
Fig #2 – If you said the cube is with the kid, then the cube is in the pit.
Therai – We’ve been in the pit and isn’t there
Fig #2 – Yes but you have to win the fight 3 times before you get the prize.
Therai propose to fight the pit 3 times, but the rest of the group isn’t really enthusiastic about the idea. Especially in the current situation. So the group decide to withdraw from the area and reorganize. As soon as they leave they can hear the fight beginning again in the cave.
The group crosses again the cellar were nothing as changed and safely reach the abandoned warehouse without incident and emerge again in Tyr.
They decide that in order to get back they need better preparation and more information. A map or an idea of where interesting things are is a start, and a way to get there is also a “must have”. So they decide to visit “Athas Revealed” in the Noble District, an information and map broker to see if they have any information about the pit and the general area they just visited and also if it is possible to sell back the information they have acquired (first hand).
The Noble District seems more guarded than ever before, bristling with men wearing the uniform of the Scarlet Helm, Noble’s private army. Accessing the district doesn’t pose any trouble in any event. In fact, the group decide also to walk along Hardok’s old security company and ask why the increased security.
The group enters the information broker’s shop and talk a bit with a clerk. During the discussion it emerges that the area just explored was part of the old Noble District and is nearby some kind of an old Armory, with lots of valuable in it. But it seems peoples have trouble finding the place and getting back alive because it seems that the monsters in that area are very powerful, the place was used to a lot of violence and the link with the dark side is very strong. Also, the excavation have weakened the structures, so the passage now and then collapses. There are a lot of maps but not all of them are really useful. After a bit of dealing, Therai manage to acquire a map of the area and to arrange a preliminary deal with the shop on returning useful information in exchange for money.
The group then move to the Smith District to talk with Duroc (the boss’ right hand) at Hardok’s old Security Company, he confirm that the city is getting more rowdy, with lots of monster coming out of Under-Tyr at night and not leaving during the day, the liberated slaves are complaining that there are not enough job and they are not getting fed either by theirs no-longer-owners and resort to thievery to survive, the ex-slave-owners also have trouble replacing the workers they just lost by freeing the slaves, the rebels are still rebelling (even after the Sorcerer-king is dead).
Also, Duroc comments that the “job” the group dropped last time ended up in a total disaster and everybody got killed, but nobody seems to know for real what happened there. It also seems that some “idiot” adventurer going to Under-Tyr in search of fortune, getting killed or leaving the door open so nasty things can came up. And mostly they are either not completely dead but turning to undead as soon as they get up.
Also, they decide to buy some healing fruit from Rhey’s Apothecary (this brings the balance of the expedition in the negative at -57 coins).
Therai also inquire at the Golden Inix about rumors and voices in the street, but nothing specific emerge. He pays some 25 coins in advance to get information about possible trouble and to clear up eventual “misunderstanding about what we do”.