Monday, 12 March 2012

The original Tomb

The Dog Leg gang make a hasty exit from Royal Forge, just as the smelly stuff hits the fan. The King dies, the Queen rules as regent, and Jervis is "on a quest". Prince Nicos becomes persona non grata, but fortunately both sides just can't be bothered to fight another war. All that is in the news, however is the huge Melee scandal: the Port Blacksand Buccaneers have been suspended from the league, the coaches and Captain Quintus Thunderhammer all arrested for embezzlement of league funds - a trail leading back to a theft of 75000gp from the Courts of Justice evidence hold. Oh, how they wished that the celebrated jurist Lord Talmir "Chops" Deathblow were on hand to preside over matters - sadly he had just that morning left town.

The journey is more about "getting out of the Capital" rather than any pressing need to visit Skull City, but Chops does express a desire to have his Drow statue repaired. Crow is behind in her deadlines (again), Squid is appalled that she is married to a thief, and needs her own space, and Thelonius is apparently convinced that the Grandmaster's Office is bugged.

Skull City is in ruins, but not quite as bad as it sounds. The areas controlled by the Faithmarked are as pleasant as they can be for a shadow-touched metropolis. Certainly, the undead seem to experience an enormous sense of well-being there. The suburban areas are quite like Putney for dark mages, where the overriding concern is where middle-class necromancers can find a decent state necromancy school for their children. There are rumours that the schism between the Faithmarked and the Black Disciples actually has its roots in a quarrel over cheating on a private school entrance exam*, rather than any ideological dispute over the fate of arch-lich Acererak.

A fight with some of the less amenable Black Disciples turns nasty with the intervention of a Black Heart, although the party do capture a certain Hazon Skullcaterpillar, and trade him with a group of human "survivors" known as the Skullbreakers.

The Skullbreakers give the gang some insight into the Original Tomb, and after a civilised dinner party, they set off.

It's actually quite sad. The old tomb has seen better days, and years of neglect has led to the secret doors falling off, the mosaic discolouring, the Stone Juggernaut has been traded in under the scrappage scheme, and damp has gotten into the Spheres of Annihilation. None of the old traps work - but something new is a planar crossover, and deadly manifestations of souls inhabit the old chapel. Although there is the potential for great harm, Crow pulls out the move of the day knocking one out stone cold, whilst the rest of the party develop a new tactical manoeuvre known as the "Dog Leg Special", which consists mainly of one character laying a debilitating effect on an enemy, the others surrounding it and beating it to death.

Hilarity ensues as the party display their absolute ineptitude at anything other than violence. Trapped in a mummification lab, with extremely dangerous undead rising around them, their best chance is to complete a number of rituals on the corpses, whilst some party members hold the tide back. Red and blue powder, bandages and myrrh fill the air, as well as another Dog Leg Special on the final mummy.

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