Wednesday, 3 September 2014

Chapter Eight: The Vault Of Viktor Volkov (aka The Hunt For Margesh Blackblood, part two)

In This Week's Thrilling Episode: Our Heroes Face A Pair Of Animated Stone Statues...

[After an extended break, gaming resumed for the Tuesday Knights yesterday with the return of Clare to our table for the first time since the birth of baby Bettany]

Picking up from the end of the last session, Pete's character, Kirchin the healer, had gained the confidence of Jerron, Margesh's number two, who offered him a chance to 'prove himself' by running a little job for the gang.

Jerron told him of a little "honeypot" his men had found in the Huldre Forest but hadn't had time to explore. He gave Kirchin directions to the old mausoleum and suggested he get a group of friends to help him haul out any treasure they found there.

The loot would be split 50/50 with Jerron, then Jerron would introduce him to Margesh who would have the final say over whether he could join the gang.

When Kirchin met up with his travelling companions - Harry Cobblethwaite (Simon), Davian Battlebeard (Kevin) and Imogen (Meredith) - to tell them about the job, he discovered they had found Imogen's friend Marigold Meaver (Clare), assistant to their old pal, Peter Entwhistle, the wizard of Bendwyn.

Following the directions they had been given, the group entered the forest and soon became engulfed in a strange smelling mist which stirred vivid memories in most of them (Kirchin recalled an incident from his time with the army, Davian a flooding incident from his days as a young miner, Harry remembered the time he turned his back on his father to follow his musical dreams and Marigold recovered a repressed memory about Syrius, the sage of Horst).

[By improvising these stories at the drop of a hat, the players earned 'cards' - thank you, Paizo for the Plot Twist: Flashbacks cards - that gave them a one-off bonus for use at a later time of their choosing]

Before reaching the entrance to the "dungeon", the group had a passive encounter with a wandering brown bear and came upon a tree with strange carvings on that only Marigold could read.

She couldn't quite make out all the letters, but Harry had a vague idea that it might be a word from an old song.

Finally arriving at the door of the mausoleum, the adventurers cautiously entered, discovering - and disarming - a number of traps before finding themselves in a tomb being attacked by a pair of animated statues. Incredibly - using teamwork [and a bit of the 'reality-altering' bonus gained from the Flashback cards] - they managed to push both the statues back into a pit and contain them there.

The party then opened the sarcophagus and found a skeleton clutching a shiny sword, which Kirchin went to pick up and was zapped with the memories of its former owner: a virtuous paladin called Viktor Volkov, who had been part of a team responsible for sealing a gateway to Hell.

Exploring further into the tomb the group found a closed door with fanciful engravings depicting horned demons carrying human souls down to Hell (seeing a theme here our heroes decided to shy away from that door for the moment), but while checking another section of the corridor the team of Harry and Imogen (the group's two "thieves") discovered a concealed doorway.

Behind this door was a short passage with a strange chest in it. The heavy chest - which turned out to be made of silver - had three movable handles on top. Harry realised it was trapped and although the trap kept resetting after he "defused" it, he methodically ran through all the combinations before Imogen pointed out there was a concealed keyhole on the back of the chest.

Harry picked the lock and the team were delighted to find it full of silver ingots.

To be continued...

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