The Mercenary Queen

The Adventure so far

(It’s been a little while, but the campaign has been moving on. Here is the latest of what has been going on with our intrepid adventures.)

The Adventure so far …

Okay, Aislynn, Bran, and their Elven companion are still in the throne room. There is the door at the far end of the columned hall and a small wooden door to the left of the throne. There is also a dvergar body kind of sitting on the steps before the throne. He holds a book in his skeletal hands. What are you two going to do?

Aislynn looks around,m “Okay, treasure is secured….Wait, where did that book come from.” She walks up and looks at the cover, not touching, trying to see what she can of the book.

As she looks at the worn, faded leather cover, the first thing she notes is the intricate steel framework that edges the voluminous book. The other thing she notices is that the title is written in Dvergari (Dwarvish) and is written in silver. The book is extremely large, approximately six hundred pages of parchment bound in leather and metal. There is a metal clasp that keeps it closed with a simple lock on the front, but the lock is unlatched and hanging open.

The cover of the book reads, “Annals of King Seahammer and the Dragon’s Horde”.

As you are looking at the cover of the book you hear voices echoing through the caverns. One of the voices sounds like Aloranna’s. The other two voices are gruff and gravelly, like your two “favorite” Dvergar. You also hear a sound closer to you, a scratching sound like … bone on stone.

“Hey Bran, have you ever heard of a book called “Annul of King Seahammer and the Dragon’s Horde”? Also can you hear that, I think I hear Aloranna, but also I think our skeletal friends lying around on the ground might be waking up." Under her breath she says, “Damn! Us with no priest, this will be fun.” She sighs.

The scratching noise is getting closer.

“Bran, I hope you are ready with a blunt object.” Looks around to see where the scratching noise is coming from

As suspected, the skeletons once at peace have now risen. All different sizes of humanoids are represented here from tiny Nissi to towering Jotunn, each bearing the arms that they possessed in life. The voiceless mouths open and close, the creaking of the bones and paper dry sinew the only sounds as they lumber forward, raising their weapons in preparation for the fight. The skeleton on the throne struggles to raise, then starts to look around for its missing head.

Not too far away …

Aloranna, Salaius, Haran and Ed have materialized in a large, dark chasm. Though there are no real sources of light present, all of them manage to get a decent view of their surroundings. They are standing on the wooden deck of a ship which the deck is the only thing wooden on other than some railings. The cannons fixed to port and starboard are wrapped in heavy cloth and the two giant turrets to front and back have enormous guns whose’s muzzles have been capped. Off in the distance there are four other ships, though these are wooden and obviously sailing vessels from the wooden spars and masts that spring up from their hull. They have been left in stone dry docks, lifted out of the water where it is obvious at one point they were undergoing a refit.

The enormous ironclad ship is itself sitting in a stone dry dock nestled up against a stone quay that follows along the edge of this underground harbor for nearly a third of its circumference.

“Other than being a little darker than the last time, it doesn’t look like much has changed since we last left here,” Aloranna says, her voice seeming to boom off the walls of the cavern.

“No, a wee bit darker, that’s for sure, lass,” Salaius replies.

“You’ve been here before?” Haran asks, frowning at the two of them.

“It’s been a while,” Aloranna says non-noncommittally and walks toward the gangway down.

Salaius grunts and follows after her, “Not long enough for some.”

Ed quips a little teasingly, “So, care to elaborate a bit for us newbies or do we have to go in half blind?”

Aloranna looks at Ed and smirks, “Just reminiscing.” She motioned toward Salaius with a shrug of her shoulders, “Sparky there used to be a Pirate King and this used to be his lair.”

“Until she came and introduced herself with the pointy end of her sword,” Salaius forced a broad smile. “She can be quite convincing when she wants to be.”

“As convincing as a heart attack,” Haran grumbled.

Ed grimaces, “Point taken. S-o-o-o are these hunks of metal still able to function or are they only here to look pretty?”

Harlan puffs up his chest, “These my friend are genuine Dvergarian manufacture!” He smiles broadly as though he has announced something stupendous motioning to the cannon next to him, “I would dare say they could sit here for an entire millennium and still be working when you found them.” He reaches out and slaps his hand down on the cannon as he continues his delivery, “This here is the finest …”

BOOM!!!!

The cannon goes off. As the could of smoke clears you hear the unmistakable whistle of artillery as a cannon ball rockets toward the tall stone doorway at the top of the stairs across from where the ship lays in berth. There is a clang in the distance as the cannon ball hit something and then loud crashing and clanging before the ball comes bouncing back out the doorway and bounces down the stairs, rolls across the stone quay to where it hops the edge and drops into the water.

“Oops!” Haran grins sheepishly. “Someone forgot to unload it before they left.”
“You Dull whitted nincompoop!” Howls Salaius, “You could have killed us all!”

Ed says with a hint of mirth, “Haran, I’m guessing you’re not much for the element of surprise?” Looking towards Aloranna, Ed says, “anything down that way we should be worried about.. you know, big, mean beasties and the like? Only reason I ask is that our intrepid little friend here probably woke up anything and everything that could be sleeping in these caverns and I’d rather not get my butt handed to me on a platter if they don’t appreciate his style of ‘wake up call’.”

Aloranna grimaces and looks toward the doorway, “Well, as long as no one brings that talisman we left hanging around the skeleton we sat in the throne, we’ll be okay. If someone does bring it through the door …” She trailed off and her grimace intensified.

Meanwhile…

Bran readies his pistol and takes aim at the pelvic bone of the skeletal king and fires.

BOOM!!!!

The explosion is far louder than it should have been and Bran finds himself looking down the barrel of his now smoldering gun in amazement and quietly remarks, “I only put a hundred grains of powder in there, damn it!”

Coming from behind Aislynn and Bran comes a booming echoing voice “Insolent fools! Don’t you know that you awaken the entire castle from removing that amulet?”
A young priestess of light appears from behind. “I had a feeling to set camp on the far side of that dreaded lake and here you come making so much noise. All that aside name is Satidiana or Sari for short if you wish. Now for what I was waiting to do.”

Sari throws Bran a vial of holy water with a wink saying “Soak your bullets in this and get ready.”

Sari readies turn undead.

The sound of an object rocketing through the air at subsonic speeds draws all their attention toward the far door at the end of the hallo. Some of the skeletons actually stop and look back over their shoulders with a wordless cry. A 30 pound cannon ball comes bursting through the door, demolishes the throne and ricocheted off the throne. Shards of bone and skeleton go flying everywhere.

Sari dodges out of the way of the rocketing iron death as it bounces off the vault door, putting a huge dent in it and smashing the pin lock wheel before tearing back toward our intrepid adventures. The thundering gong of the ball striking the metal door reverberates through the throne room. What damage had been done by the shot’s passing is now magnified tenfold as the sonic vibration shatters the remaining skeletons and leaves our living adventures with one hellacious headache. They also find that hearing anything that anyone else is saying is difficult at best for at least a couple of minutes.

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Mudwyrm

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