Keep on the Borderlands

11. Frozen In The Past

12/1/10: Sam and Matt helped me come up with the Curse of Clarissa, which is based on Clarissa's original marking ability.

RPGA Sanctioning #:    10-10-2499715

Eldeth - Dwarf Slayer
Hirbe - Eladrin Mage
Merric - Halfling Thief
Rolf - Dragonborn Barbarian
Varian - Eladrin Mage 

The adventurers were beneath the Keep, looking for treasure stashed by a dwarf alled Greysen Ramthane. The heroes deal was that they'd get to keep any magic items, but had to split all of the gold with Benwick and the dwarf Gorn Hammerfall.

They'd survived the two-key room, though Clarissa had cursed Varian for talking inappropriately to her.  Varian was marked on the forehead with her symbol, a flaming khopesh. He would soon learn what the curse could do...

The heroes entered the next hamber. There were shallow pits of bone, ruined statues, runes on the floor and a pair of chests on the far side of the room. Merric told Gloomhandler to go check out the chests. She was terrified but did as he said. As she flew toward the chests, she told the other heroes that if she should die, then they should know that she hoped they'd burn in hell.

As she approached the far chest, a ghost faded into view. He was the ghost of Greysen Ramthane, the dwarf who had stashed the treasure many years ago! He let out a wave of energy that animated the bones in the pits, causing them to form into six skeletons with claws on their hands.

Varian's curse suddenly kicked in. Clarissa's voice boomed out a challenge for all to take on the mighty warrior, Varian (Varian had marked all of the monsters. If they didn't attack the mage, the monsters had a -2 to hit! Also, the eladrin could teleport adjacent to them, something he desperately didn't want to do)! Two of the skeletons were lose to Gloomhandler, but once marked, they turned and focused their attention on Varian like the rest of the undead in the room.

The ghost cackled and turned invisible, while the skeletons closed in on Varian. They clawed him twice, as others tried to push past his allies to get to him. Varian stepped back and cast beguiling strands, killing three of the skeletons!

Rolf charged a skeleton as Merric destroyed another with a swipe. Eldeth charged the other remaining skeleton and cracked it's bones with a single swipe! Hirbe further pummeled the skeleton with a phantasmal assault, leaving it barely still standing. The wounded skeleton lunged at Varian, but Hirbe shattered it to pieces with his staff.

In the blink of an eye, only one skeleton and the invisible Greysen remained. The remaining skeleton came at Varian, but Varian knocked it into the shallow bone pit with another beguiling strands. Rolf jumped into the pit and hacked at the skeleton. Eldeth made a mighty leap and brought down her axe, cutting the skeleton in two.

Hirbe reached out with his arcane senses, trying to find the invisible ghost. He found him lose to Varian, and cast phantasmal assault. Greysen's old foe, a half-or he called "Bertak" appeared as an illusion. Greysen swore he'd destroy Bertak. 

Varian knocked the hovering ghost away, into the bone pit. Eldeth, Merri and Rofl losed in on the ghost. Hirbe urged Eldeth to "show him your beard"... yargghh. Hirbe continued to study the ghost, and sensed it had a weakness to radiant energy. But their ally Tornam the cleric was nowhere in sight.The ghost was insubstantial, and thus partially immune to attacks (insubstantial = 1/2 damage from all attacks). 

Greysen grabbed Rolf and infused him with necrotic cold, and then floated toward Varian. Varian knocked him back into the bone pit with another beguiling strands spell.  Rolf slashed Greysen, who howled in pain. He called for more aid. The bones swirled around and formed into four more skeletons, all surrounding Varian! They clawed the mage until he fell to the ground in a pool of blood.

Hirbe raced around the pit and cast a burning hands spell that destroyed three of the skeletons. Greysen grabbed Rolf and Eldeth and infused them with necrotic old. Rolf fell onto the bone pile, dying. The last skeleton clawed Hirbe.

Merric plunged his blade into the ghost, sending it reeling. Eldeth finished Greysen off with a huge swing of the axe. Hirbe mopped up the last skeleton with a magic missile.

The heroes healed up and found lots of treasure in the chests. Once revived, Varian considered calling on Fra for healing, but was talked out of it. The heroes began to carry the treasure out of the dungeon....