Played a huge session over the course of a couple of days this week, so I'll break it up for readability. They truly outdid themselves in terms of being terrible terrible human beings. The dungeon they started last session and finished last session was The Burial Mound of Esur the Red, available freely here. We rejoin our 'friends' underground.
Our band of miscreants stood in a dank corridor, breathing heavily. They were surrounded by a field of bones, smashed and beaten. Pepper shook with the adrenaline dump of his near-death experience. They looked at each other for a long moment, and left the burial mound to rest up, taking careful care of the trap they had discovered. With the help of James, they got comfortable settled down to rest. Night came upon them, and the first watch passed uneventfully. The second watch was a different matter.
It took awhile for Gutch to notice it - a pale glow, getting stronger slowly, leading into the mound. Perturbed by this, he kicked his companions awake, pointing out the oddity. Upon closer inspection, they could begin to make out figures within the light, sporting arms and armour. As they marvelled at this sight, they also noticed a further trail leading round to the side of the mound, leading to the thus-far-undiscovered hidden entrance. Throwing caution to the wind, Gutch began jabbing at it with his 10' pole, yelling about someone grabbing a shovel.
Milk, however, was pre-occupied - he felt the brush of his patron's shadow pass over him, and so saw a solitary figure moving beyond the main group. A single spirit, marching further 'round the mound than the others. Wordlessly, he followed, Pepper in tow. Gutch and Tesco had at their find with shovels , excavating an entrance into heretofore unexplored areas under the mound. Milk witnessed his ghostly quarry walk through the back of the mound, passing through the earth without resistance nor effort. He briefly pondered on this before driving his ancient glowing sword into the side of the aforementioned earthworks. As Pepper looked on bemused, he proceeded to wiggle the point of the sword around - in doing so, he realised the last half-inch of his blade was not surrounded by earth. Feeling the need to do something other than watch, Pepper thwacked the tomb with his mace. Whilst satisfying, this was sadly unproductive.
Having excavated their entrance, Tesco and Gutch realised their companions were elsewhere, and wandered over to assess their discovery. And so they elected to dig out this entrance too, leaving the other untouched and un-plundered. They made quick work of what now revealed itself to be a second hidden entrance, leading to a set of downwards stairs. As the final shovelful was shifted, Pepper felt a terrible coldness run over and through him, leaving him untouched. Despite his enclosed armour, his allies could tell he was thoroughly disturbed, though his explanation was not forthcoming. Still enthused by the mystery of the entrance, the party pressed on into the darkness below the mound.
They came to the end of the stairs, having bristled with long poking implements on the way down. They saw a monolithic stone door to their right and a small dais leading to an altar. Atop the altar was a carved symbol, depicted twin crossed axes wrapped about with chains. They felt it wise to investigate the altar before pressing on, not wishing for any surprises in the case of a hasty retreat. They moved with incredible caution, the most recent dais-related experience still fresh in their minds. After some thorough investigation, however, they could find nothing untoward. And so they moved on to the door.
They pushed the door open, watching intently for anything to come flying at them out of the darkness, ears straining for the mechanical click of a trap being triggered. Nothing greeted eye nor ear. They took their first hesitant steps in, taking in the plain room marred only by the heavy stone sarcophagus in the dead centre of the space. The lid was carved intricately with a crowned skeleton, gripping a mighty blade, standing atop the crushed bodies of many an elf. Giddy with excitement, the physically unimpressive Tesco shoved the lid off, causing it to fall and smash into three large chunks, and revealing the contents - a chain-clad skeleton, crown upon the damaged dome and studded black ring upon the chest.
Moving quickly, Tesco began his soon-to-be-familiar reaction to corpses - he struck the head from the greater skeleton with his shovel. In doing so, he disturbed the ring, which fell into the sarcophagus. Though most of the party lost sight of it, a Gutchensmark is made of smarter stuff. Gutch palmed the ring as it rolled into the container, avoiding notice and Tesco began posing with his new found crown. Pepper quickly shook the skeleton out of his new chain-shirt whilst Milk eyed up the skull of this ancient king. A hole had been punched into the dome, just above the temple. Milk came to the conclusion it would make a fine new mask despite this and stashed the skull in his pack. After a brief episode in which Gutch was complimented into returning the beard-ring, the group decided to attempt to return to sleep before returning to the town of Midton.
The rest of the night passed uneventfully, and the team sallied forth without issue. This was a trend which continued for the first day and night. This peace was to be quickly disturbed, however, as they approached the final leg of their journey to Midton - they heard the sound of battle ahead on the trail. They approached carefully, piles of heavy crossbows readily available. They were met with a desperate scene - the creature which had mercilessly killed one of their horses scant nights back was doing battle with a trio of caravan guards, the caravan itself left to the side. They spied a merchant cowering within the wagon, too afraid to fight or flee. As they deliberated on their best actions, one of the guards was snatched up in the green monstrosities terrible mandibles, before being cleanly snipped at the torso. The man died screaming. One of his companions took this opportunity to strike the creature, burying his blade deep within the gut of the only half-submerged burrower. He was rewarded for his efforts by a mighty gout of digestive fluids, which eradicated him utterly. Sensing victory, Pepper and Tesco let fly with the crossbows, finishing their horse-stealing foe. Meanwhile, Tesco moved to ransack the still-occupied caravan, and a good haul too - a selection of fine silks. Milk approached the relieved guard, who turned to thank his saviours with open arms - and was met with steel. His final visions were that of Milk, face obscured by the skull of those long-dead, the looted great-sword embedded in his sternum.
As this was going on, Gutch was befuddled by a small box, no doubt some form of coinage-container. Finding himself frustrated by the thing, he tossed it to James angrily to batter the key out of the merchant. Whilst the mercantile traveller was menaced at sword-point, James set about trying his hand at lock-picking. To everyone's surprise and Gutch's delight, the box sprung open to his needle-assault. It was loudly proclaimed that James was now one of them.
The merchant was decapitated in short order, the team having already begun to formulate plans - they would present the bloodstained, torn clothes of the merchant as proof of the dangers of the gigantic insect they had now slain. Having secured the promise of suitable reward, the party would then turn in the head of the creature for said reward, in addition to the renown it would bring. Despite having abused the populace, they felt Midton to be a solid home-base for future endeavours, with a little...re-organization. It would not end quite that way for them at all.
Part 1 of like 3-4. We had a huge multi-day running session, so rather a lot to write up. The terrible, morally reprehensible antics continue it seems.