Chronicles of Khaldun: Isle of Anhak

Session 2
Death Love Doom

Earthday, Wealsun 21, 552 CY

Upon their return to the surface, the group meets with Professor Jorgensen to find that he is accompanied by a tiefling in black armor. In addition to the ornate sword at his side, the tiefling wears a peacock feather in his lapel. This tiefling has a couple of thugs with him, and Professor Jorgensen looks rather uncomfortable in his presence.

The tiefling introduces himself as Mithras Vicelord, and he explains that he is prepared to make the group a counter-offer to Jorgensen’s dungeon-delving gambit. He explains that a book, The Emerald Tome of the Devourer, lies somewhere on the Isle of Anhak. He requests that the group, being natives of Anhak, go to retrieve it. He is prepared to offer 20,000 gold pieces for its return — 1,000,000 silver pieces in the native currency of Anhak, and enough for the finders to be wealthy men.

He says the deal will be brokered with Rickas Gellantara, one of Vicelord’s clerk contacts in the Vor Taluum Chamber of Commerce.

Passage is booked, and the assembled party is en route to Vor Taluum and the Isle of Anhak.

When they arrive on Moonday, Reaping 3, the group hears tale of an abandoned mansion. Aerik Sellsword, Burdwulf the Greatly Challenged, and Hilda Giblets decide to investigate.

They find a group of four thieves — Gaenbert, Helmund, Aenbehrt, and Jaenbald — assembled to do the deed. Three others also arrive showing an interest — Jarq’wei Loindeen the elf, Tuggin’ “Tuggs” Nemo the halfling, and Utne Jarlson the cleric.

The gang apparently plans to hit the mansion around midnight. A half hour’s walk outside the city — in secluded, rural environs — the Bloodworth Estate is owned by the wealthy Erasmus Foxlowe. The lanterns have been dark for a few days, and all indications suggest that the Foxlowes are out of time, their fortunes unguarded.

The group agrees to the plan. Ten equal shares.

At midnight, they make their way to the Bloodworth Estate. Surveying the site, they decide to sneak in through the cesspit. After finding the hedges and fenceline too difficult to traverse, “Tuggs” Nemo cuts some of the hedges to form an impromptu ladder. The assembled thieves enter the grounds of the Bloodworth Estate.

“Tuggs” Nemo scouts ahead and finds that the house indeed looks abandoned. There is also a lake and boathouse before the inner fence leading to the manor house proper. He returns to report and the group decides to investigate the lake. Tuggs, having noted a boat in the middle of the lake that appears to contain something, informs the others. They come to the boathouse, and finding one rowboat, ask the two of the thieves to row out to the center of the lake and retrieve any valuables. They row out to the boat and row back to the boathouse much faster — somewhat frightened, they indicate they found a young woman, partially melted and covered in tar or some other manner of black goo. She was nude, and so there was nothing to loot.

Despite the odd corpse, the group decides to press onward. Entering through the back — the back door is unlocked — the group bypasses the ground floor and takes the stairs to the first floor. Quickly, they start ransacking rooms. They find the master bedroom and start stuffing all the valuables they can find into sacks. Two muskets and some shot are found and divided amongst the group, as are the contents of a strongbox under the bed. Utne takes an idol of St. McIver found on the mantleplace.

The next room is sparsely furnished, likely a guest room. It contains nothing terribly valuable, other than maybe one of the paintings on the walls, which likewise goes into the sack. Several members of the group go to investigate the ladies’ dressing room, stuffing jewelry into Hilda Giblets’ sacks (while Jarq’wei Loindeen actually goes to the trouble of gathering the dresses as they appear to be worth something).

Meanwhile, “Tuggs” Nemo has wandered off to investigate the last room on the floor. It appears to be a boy’s room, but what dominates his vision is the mutilated boy in the corner. The boy appears dead. His arms and legs have been removed and transfixed. His stomach has been cut open and his entrails have been scattered on the floor. His tongue, genitals, and part of his intestines have been placed in a circle evidently created with the boy’s own feces. The circle has three curious marks on one edge, moving tangental to the circle; it looks very deliberately placed.

“Tuggs” captures the attention of the others.

After some discussion, the group decides that the cleric and the elf — both being magically-inclined — should investigate. Jarq’wei Loindeen and Utne Jarlson enter the room and the others close the door behind them. They begin poking around the room. Utne picks up the boy’s tongue and places it in his mouth. When he does this, Jarq’wei notices that the boy’s genitals, still in the circle, begin moving, inching their way toward the cleric. He shouts and alarm, and Utne — upon seeing the blasphemous thing — impales it with his spade in hand.

After this display, the group reconvenes and “Tuggs” considers getting a jar from the kitchen to gather a sample of whatever moving body parts could be found. He dashes downstairs, first entering an office — he marks the safe as valuable so that they’ll know to hit it later — and then entering the dining room.

Blood and offal litter this room, presumably from the shattered human wreckage hanging from the ceiling. A young girl has had her ribcage opened and her limbs twisted outward to form a chandelier. Lit candles are set upon her, burning her flesh. Her entrails dangle just above the dining room table. She begins screaming for his aid, and “Tuggs” again goes to get the others.

Explaining what he found, the group leaves their valuables at the top of the stair and goes downstairs to investigate. They lower the poor girl to the table and ask what happened; she explained that her father gave a necklace to her mother, but monsters came from the necklace. The big monster told its two attendants to get the lovers, which jumped on her father and one of the maids. An argument started, and in the chaos, the big monster attacked grandmother, and then grandmother came for the girl, and now she is here.

The group quickly discusses what to do, and decides to cover the girl with a sheet and kill her so as to end her misery.

The group then returns to the office. Hilda Giblets cracks the safe, and the group starts stuffing the coin and jewelry into sacks. Utne takes Foxlowe’s ledgers, as well. Having heard about a weird necklace, they check any necklaces that fit the description. They find nothing out of the ordinary.

Content with their loot, and not wanting to run into any more weird things, the group starts dragging their ill-gotten gains out to the front of the house as quickly as possible, breaking oil lamps as they go. As they escape the house and the grounds, they set the house ablaze, hoping to destroy whatever evil lurks in the house.

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Session 1
Return to the Tomb of Theronna Onyxarm

Earthday 20, 552 CY (50 AN)

Aerik Sellsword, Burdwulf the Greatly Challenged, Conrad the Black, Falrest Chisoud, and Hilda Giblets are far from home.

For different reasons, each booked passage on a ship to the port town of Sorgforge. Upon arrival, they realize they will soon be in need of work. Outside a watering hole, they find a bulletin board with a few jobs posted, among them a professor who needs a bodyguard. Inquiries are directed within.

The group goes into the tavern and asks the innkeeper. He directs them to an old, robed man, and the group goes to inquire about his job.

He introduces himself as Professor Phineas Q. Jorgensen with Morgrave University, and he explains that he needs bodyguards because he seeks to do business in a rough part of town. He’ll pay 500 gold pieces for their services, plus any hazard pay if such happens. After some discussion, the group agrees. They agree to accompany him that evening, after midnight. Until that time, they decide to get rooms and sleep.

They awaken around midnight, and prepare themselves to accompany Professor Jorgensen. As per his instructions, they are to keep him safe as he makes a foray into the Goblin Slums of Sorgforge.

They accompany him without incident. As they arrive at a crumbling tenement block, they enter and snoop around to find a room with hobgoblins. A single goblin, riding a bipedal drake-like creature, stands in the front. Professor Jorgensen and this goblin, apparently known as Big Sendak, discuss terms before making the trade — the professor gives the goblin a pouch of coin while the goblin gives Professor Jorgensen a map. Conrad peeks at the map to find it appears to be a map of the slums, and the “X” on the map marks something labeled “Ashurta’s Tomb.”

Before the goblins and hobgoblins leave, Big Sendak asks if they felt the earthquake earlier. He then explains that, as adventurers, they ought to check out the basement.

The group of goblinoids leave.

Reluctantly, the adventurers check out the basement to find that the floor has collapsed into some sort of cavern. They are interested, but decide to check it out tomorrow, after they have rested and received their payment.

Admittedly, the fact that Professor Jorgensen offers to pay them for any archaeological finds sweetens the deal.

The next day, they awaken and talk terms. Professor Jorgensen will give them another 500 gold pieces for surveying the site — likely a ruin, he expects — and returning with a reasonably accurate map. He’ll grant bonuses if the map is particularly complete, and he’ll also give bonuses for any artifacts that are recovered.

The group goes to the market to outfit themselves, largely to buy some more rope, some paper, and a couple of healing potions. They also decide to hire a linkboy and two laborers to carry anything they find. Properly outfitted, they return to the goblin slums with Professor Jorgensen and return to the building.

After using a torch to determine that the room descends roughly fifty feet into water, they manage to secure a line to the stairs and cast it to dry rock. They descend into the dark passages.

They find themselves in a large room. A single torch flickers beside a hallway leading into darkness — Burdwulf determines it to be an Everburning Torch, and grabs it. An empty fixture for another torch stands on the other side of the hall. The other side of the room is dominated by a huge statue, a dwarf carved from the rock itself. It plunges a sword into the bubbling water. Once everyone is assembled, they decide to travel down the hallway.

After a short distance, the hallway opens into another room. Bas-reliefs line the walls, and tunnels radiate outward in four directions. The center of the room is dominated by a statue of a dwarf woman holding a hammer. The hammer is constructed of a different material than the statue. Two corpses with smashed heads lie at the statue’s feet, and the hammer is bloody. The corpses appear relatively fresh, likely less than a day old.

Burdwulf indicates that the bas-reliefs describe Theronna Onyxarm, evidently some sort of folk hero who vanquished the giants. The group decides to ignore the statue, particularly since they cannot determine the mechanism that causes it to attack people, and they move to the right.

Another enormous chamber leads to a room with two everburning torches (both are grabbed). It dead-ends at a large statue carved from the rock; this depicts a dwarf laboring over a forge. Real lava appears to bubble in the forge, although the heat is not so intense as one might think. The arcane runes around the edge of the forge’s mouth may have something to do with that. Finding nothing of interest, the group returns to the previous room and goes to the right, being the chamber directly across from where they entered.

This room has an opening on the other side, and a statue carved from the stone of the chamber sits in the middle of the room. It depicts a dwarf laboring over an anvil. The group proceeds through the opening, traveling up the stairs.

At the top of the hallway, they find several corpses, which apparently attacked each other. Examination indicates that these were not adventurers but laymen in the tomb; they bear only a little silver and a few random items. The group notes an ornate door ahead of them and a plain door to the right. The ornate door depicts Theronna Onyxarm with her hammer held aloft. They decide to go right. As they open the door, they see a long room stretching past the light of their torches. The flickering light illuminates a few more corpses, apparently battered and bashed by an unknown force. As the group enters the room, they note several suits of armor depicting dwarves with hammers. The hammers are bloody.

The group begins to walk through the room, and make it part of the way through before the suits of armor move to attack. In the melee, Conrad falls, although he is revived by his comrades, and one of the laborers is killed by the animated armors. The three suits of armor are destroyed, reduced to scrap. A fourth pile of scrap sits near the rusted, broken portcullis that marks the exit of the room.

As the combat ends, the linkboy bolts, but Falrest manages to talk him down and keep him with the group (even after Hilda threw a knife at him, although he didn’t quite notice it).

The group exits into a short hallway. It stretches ten feet to the left before ending. It stretches ten feet to the right before splitting into two passages — one which doubles back, and the other which dead ends. The group moves to the left and begins searching the wall for secret passages. They find nothing, but as they are content that there is nothing hidden within the wall, footsteps mark the approach of several shambling, rotting corpses that clamber into the hallway.

The group prepares for the assault, and they fight well. Falrest manages to force four of the creatures to flee with his holy symbol and an invocation to the god Ragnock, while the other six are swiftly killed.

The group decides to return to the surface with what they have, taking a few of the armor pieces for Professor Jorgensen. Without incident, the group returns to the surface.

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