Greyhawk: Return to the Classic

The Betrayal of Faith

We begin again with our heroes deciding to risk entering the watchtower in order to light the beacon and summon the Duke’s troops to the area. It is agreed that Gabriel, Yeoman Jimmy, and Peter will stand as a diversion in order to leave the rest of the party unmolested as they try to find the secret entrance in the river. The plan appears to work…For a few seconds. Soon, the archers on the tower refocus their energies on those trying to sneak in. Arrows begin to rain down, one finding a small chink in the armor of the Knight, piercing the flesh of his shoulder. Shrugging off the damage he continues to hold his shield high in an attempt to distract them long enough for the gnome to secure the entrance. He catches a glimpse of his attackers and identifies them as the scourge of the Underdark. Drow have ventured forth into the light for some nefarious purpose, and our heroes discover what it is to be on the receiving end of their bows. Eventually the gnome is successful. He finds a way to open the portal, and they dive in before the arrows prove to be fatal. After a brief swim through some murky waters, they appear in a long narrow hallway. Carefully they approach the other side and find a small hatch in the ceiling. The corridor has shrunk to the point of causing the taller of our heroes to crouch before attempting to open it. They listen and hear muffled voices coming from the other side. Deciding that the voices pose no immediate threat they lift the hatch to find themselves in a small wardrobe. After making the requisite jokes about witches and lions, they start to formulate a plan. It is about this time that the enemy issues its ultimatum. “Come out and surrender yourselves!” The heroes had been found out, and worse, the enemy had time to prepare for their arrival. So they were left with the option of abandoning their quest and retreating, or swinging the doors open wide and bringing on their doom. Of course, not being the brightest of adventurers, they went with the latter of the two options. Six drow were waiting for them on the other side. A volley of arrows nearly dropped our wizard friend riding atop the Druids war dog. But he made it through. In a vicious combat that ensued, the knight decapitated the cleric before being struck down by the blade of one of her minions. Thanks to the courage of his allies he managed to survive as they immediately took up arms to help their fallen comrade. They fought valiantly and struck down the remaining foes, then took up duties healing those who had been injured during the melee. Too injured to continue though, they sought refuge back at the scrying pool. After a quick discussion about where to go, the wizard was sent to go fetch Peter and Gabriel. While he was gone, Gabriel showed back up and informed the party that Peter had fallen in combat. But he brought news in the form of an evil, ancient skull of immense power. Called the Skull of Kas’ Might, this skull has the power to raise an army of the undead and leave them in the control of the wielder. It was then it was determined that the party needed to venture forth back into the watchtower to ensure the beacons lighting. In a turn of luck it seemed that the undead, without the control of the skull, reverted to mindless abominations. This left the tower open to the party with minimal resistance from one of Lolth’s spider minions for them to get through to make it to the top of the tower. After climbing to the top, the beacon was lit. However, much to the party’s chagrin, the Duke had already arrived! Their efforts, though amazing, were unnecessary. Their salvation had already come.
But something was amiss.
The undead were once again in formation. Had something happened to Gabriel and the sleeping Druid? Upon returning to the scrying pool the found the druid still asleep, but Gabriel had fled with the Skull. It was his power that now controlled the horde. After discovering this, the heroes ventured forth to meet with the Duke. After debriefing him, the party found that several more skulls were stored within the Theocracy of the Pale. Considering this was the same place that Peter’s Holy Symbol needed to be laid to rest, it seemed a good direction for the group to travel. And with a letter of welcome from the Duke, and four new horses, they set off into the night to find Gabriel, wherever he may be hiding.

Comments

This session saw our heroes entwined with local politics on many levels. It began the previous evening when a local priest who specialized in the history of powerful magical items came to visit them. He asked questions about the recent events that the group had gone through. It started simply enough, describing how the undead had attacked, and the skull that was responsible. However, as soon as we mentioned the armor that they were wearing, he turned pale and ran off, telling the party to meet tomorrow at the palace. A special invitation into the heart of local government was something the group could not turn down. Who knows, perhaps they would be given special commendation?
No such luck. Instead they were shunted off to a bishop who took down their story. Once again he seemed uninterested in the skull, and the weapons of the Drow took precedence. Unlike the priest he did not seem panicked. Instead he informed the party that they were mistaken about the symbols they saw on those bits of equipment. His reasoning seemed to be that the church had the artifact that creates those types of armor locked away in their vaults and it would take an act of God to remove it. Since the world wasn’t quaking, and the rivers not running with blood, he determined it couldn’t possibly be what we saw. The party knew the man was himself mistaken, but understood the potential ramifications of doing anything about it. So under some protest they agreed to keep this information to themselves.
Their silence was purchased though, bribery in the form of helping us with our original quest. They were given government assistance in hunting down Gabriel in the form of library access, magical assistance, and a page to help deliver information. They set the mage to scrying on Gabriels location with no success. Then they remembered the holy symbol that Peter wore when he died. If Gabriel had bled on it it may be used as a focus for the scrying attempt. Third times the charm for our plucky party and the scry revealed Gabriel, decked out in the armor of Hextor, marching through the underdark. Unfortunately, the location was one that would spell doom for our group should they choose to give chase, so they start looking for other options.

During the three days of downtime, Arkemus and Galdor went to pay their respects to their fallen comrade Peter. Attending the temple of Heironeous’ grange night, they fought to honor Peter’s devotion. But they did have ulterior motives. Arkemus had come to a dead end in researching the lineage of the knight who held the skull prior to the Drow killing him, so he went to the grange to find the man who had the books he needed. After conversing with the Marshall and asking his help to ask the High Marshall for the books, they went back to the palace to rest. Ruhan and Galen spent their time trying to find out any information they could about the skull. Learning about its history, why it was made, who was involved, and where they had ended up.
The day they found out Gabriels location they began to ask around to see if anyone local had ever seen him before. It was possible that he had come through the temple looking for information on the skulls. While they were waving around pictures of him, the Marshall from the previous night came up to them and said that the High Marshall wanted a word with them. Once again they found themselves singled out by individuals far above their pay grade. The High Marshall admitted that Gabriel was his son, and that he was aware that he had fallen to the worship of Hextor. His motivations seemed to revolve around his own lineage, the line of Telet, an ancient lineage from the days of the Old Empire. Having some insight to the inner workings of Gabriel, they began to plan their next move only to find that they had been left with even more questions than when they began. Where would Gabriel go since they could not follow him. Would he seek out more of his ancestry, or would he simply continue being evil for evil’s sake. No answers were forth coming, so they began to question whether they should abck off for the time being and seek out the company of the Duke. Arkemus seemed adamant that they not waste their time. Even if they cannot track down Gabriel, they needed to find something on him. Anything. If they needed to go back to the Duke when the time came, then so be it. But until then they needed to keep trying.
And so the session ends with the group scratching their heads and hoping for a lead.

The Betrayal of Faith
davarian

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