Posted on August 5, 2011
The Acts of The Lords of Rannick, XXVIII.
The Black Mummy wasn’t like that. He was a bona fide dungeon encounter, He wasn’t doing anything else, other than waiting for people to come visit him and then trying to annihilate them. James Jacob, head flavour-explainer at Paizo said of him, “…the basic idea is that he’s a bully. As long as that comes across in his battle tactics..” Yup, kind of a douchebag; we can only imagine what he would have been like in life.
Wyvern Cave to the Black Tower of Jorgenfist.
The survivors of the fight with the Wyverns had been healed by Don, who relayed the events and their situation to Dagfinn and Albedon who were still in the Deathweb cave. As Corwin and Kerplak descended the cliff face to the canyon floor, Albedon and Dagfinn took the 300ft of rope and descended via Feather Fall. The plan was to hike down to Lake Muschkal, then back up to the Storval Plateau and back to the area of the hidden encampment.
Some recon by Percy and Don, however, revealed that the valley was crawling with patrols of giants and ogres, with mounted patrols on Mammoths roaming back and forth as they scoured the valley for intruders. The giant patrols never approached the area between the fortress and the cliff face, however.
The hike went as planned, punctuated by some brief hiding while a Roc patrolled the skies. Returning to the sawtooth ridge that Torgor had led them through, they made a break for it across the plateau, shrouded by Dagfinn’s Invisibility Sphere. The plain leading to the valley had small platoons of giants searching, so they were keen to stay out of sight.
This long hike had essentially taken all day, but that worked to their advantage because they had a few hours to rest before night fell and they could make their way to the tower. Under cover of darkness, but again protected by Dagfinn’s Invisibility Sphere, they left the safety of the ridge and scurried to the tower, passing the gatehouse on the way.
As they did so, they caught the faint sound of a maddeningly beautiful song. Kerplak and Corwin went glassy eyed for a second and turned towards the gatehouse, but Dagfinn was quick off the mark to Countersong, singing a song about how great it would be if everyone could stay focused and get their shit together. Kerplak and Corwin snapped out of whatever momentary trance they had found themselves in and the party began stuffing their ears with… something. That was never really specified, so I assume it was the ends of their cloaks. Looking good, Lords.
At the base of the Black Tower, they could examine it a little better. Carved in the ancient style to which they are starting to become familiar, but ornate and sinister looking, even for monumental Thassilonian. The tower has many thin buttresses, a sharp flanges, giving the impression of blades. The doors were ridged in iron, but when Corwin pulled one open, it swung open easily enough. They made their way inside, careful to stay close to Dagfinn.
It was dark inside, and cold. The smooth stone floor coated in a thin layer of ice. As the last of them crossed the threshold, the door closed behind them and pale green illumination gently flared high above. The stairway led up to a single room, the roof far beyond the limit of sight in the gloom. The sole fitting in the room was a carved rectangular pedestal, 15 feet wide and 4 feet high, upon which rested a steep-sided stone sarcophagus. While all the horizontal surfaces were smooth, the vertical surfaces of the walls, pedestal and sarcophagus were carved in great detail, swirling, feather-like shapes, with the suggestion of eyes, never fully revealed.
Corwin stepped up onto the pedestal to look at the Sarcophagus. There was no lid, simply a smoothly carved stone trough, roughly human shaped, entirely empty. As he looked into it, there came the chirping cacophony of a swarm of bats, echoing through the chamber as they descended from somewhere on high. Amidst the high-pitched, piercing noise, Dagfinn heard the ancient tongue of Thassilon, a frantic repetition of “…the green light, the green light, the green light…”
Albedon waited, the words of Burning Hands hovering on his lips as the bats descended, but Don cast Gust of Wind at the swarm, sending it back into the darkness above them, killing many of the shrieking creatures. Past them descended the Black Mummy, a dread variant of your Common or Garden Mummy. Wrapped tightly in black bandages and clutching some sort of wide tube to his chest with one hand he floated down towards the floor.
Albedon lashed out with a Scorching Ray spell, one ray searing away bandages and charring flesh. Dagfinn quickly enclosed him in another Invisibility Sphere. The Mummy responded by opening his mouth and breathing forth a foul mixture of tomb gas and ice crystals, covering the area where Albedon had been spotted. The cloud of unlife conferred temporary negative levels on almost everyone. Corwin struck back with his spear, which the Mummy batted away with ease, while Don cast Flaming Sphere and Albedon launched a Fireball at him. The fire seemed to effect him, but he was adept at twisting out of its way.
The Mummy retaliated by freeing his right hand and delivering a punishing sequence of blows to Albedon, dropping him to the ground, unconscious and bleeding. Next, he turned his attentions on Dagfinn and Corwin, dropping Dagfinn and stunning Corwin with his lightning fast thousand-hand slaps. Dagfinn succumbed to the Black Mummy’s terrible rot, the rot quickly covering his body and reducing him to mouldering ash. Corwin and Albedon also fought to keep the black moulder from their bodies. The Black Mummy took a turn to focus his Ki, burned flesh regenerating.
Don closed on Albedon and revived him with an Empowered spell, allowing Albedon to launch more Scorching Rays as Kerplak splashed the Mummy with acid and then launched bolts fruitlessly from his crossbow. Corwin’s spear was equally unlucky, as was the Flaming Sphere. Albedon – still prone, I think – let off a desperate burst of Magic Missiles, and in doing so broke the millenia old enchantments the held the babbling Black Mummy together. It sank to the ground and turned to dust before their eyes.
Terribly weakened and one bard down, they assessed their situation. Those that had contracted the variant Mummy Rot struggled to fight off the fast moving death and in the end, only Dagfinn had succumbed. Don shaped the stone around the door to prevent anyone from disturbing them as they set to recuperating. Corwin and Don worked on preparing the oils for reincarnating Dagfinn, while Kerplak seized upon the large tube the Mummy had carried in his left hand.
Without their resident linguist, they were unable to read the Thassilonian runes on the side of the scroll tube, but Kerplak figured out that the spinning segments of the tube casing were a form of combination lock. Recruiting Albedon’s help as a linguist, they tried to figure out what each spinning segment said and once they had an idea, Kerplak tried to line it up with the next segment. They slowly deciphered the first three segments, each of them clicking into place as Kerplak manipulated them back and forth. As they did, runes on the side gave off faint light. The fourth segment had them stuck however and they debated back and forth what it may mean as Corwin and Don rested. The dawn presumably came and went outside and when Don woke up, he set to curing what he could of the various ills the Black Mummy had transmitted to them. Using the oils, Don called Dagfinn’s spirit into a new body using Reincarnate. As everyone held their breath for what manner of race would host Dagfinn’s spirit… Dagfinn reappeared, looking pretty much like he always does. Human, it turns out, was what Dagfinn was always meant to be.
New Dagfinn, casting his now gold-flecked eyes across the Thassilonian scroll tube was able to help break the impasse, and revealed what the rest of the runes meant. With the last two segments clicking into place, the scroll tube hissed open and the bard carefully withdrew the ancient wyvern-skin vellum from within. There were 18 scrolls inside, nine solely Bestow Curse variants and eight other powerful spells. The last piece of paper described a library within Jorgenfist and gave the password to allow passage past the ‘Shining Child’. Whatever that is…
After all the time in the goddamned world, they also set to searching the remains of the Mummy and found a Belt of Giant Strength and a Ring of Protection +2. Don ended up with the ring, I think while Corwin ended up with the impressive belt.
And then they continued to rest…
The Compleat Adventurer this week goes to Sean for cracking us all up. After explaining that the consequence of losing all your points in Constitution that you die, Rolland asked what the consequence of losing all your points of Charisma would be. Sean’s theory was that the rest of the party suddenly wanted to kill you. It was funny.
There is no consequence for being at 0 for the other ability scores, you just fall unconscious.