Wednesday, May 25, 2016

The Taking of the Bridge of Bones

The Taking of the Bridge of Bones

Being a continuation of the journal of the stout-hearted Green Knight Jack Summerisle and companions various and sundry in the subterranean realms of Eberron known as the Kyber.

As luck would have it, we had survived an encounter with a foul, undead-summoning witch that seemed to have been locked in time, and had, to the best of our abilities, disrupted the eternal ritual that eldritch fiend was engaged in. Calling upon the power of the Greensong, I was able to detect the direction of a strange contraption known as a "cat bus" belonging to an erstwhile ally, and our party set off in caverns in that general direction.

A great shaking of the eberron left us trapped past a wall of stone, with no way to return the way we had come, and in pressing on, we [my companions being the resourceful Jade the Half-Elf Ranger, Rhea the Human Witch (who, while useful, I find distasteful for her ties to the Far Realms and her vulgar behavior), Mahlgoth the Orc Barbarian (a stout lad in a fight, if also uncouth), and the serious and taciturn Thia the Elf Storm Cleric (a more lovely companion than the previous two)] encountered a deep chasm, with a bridge of some monster's bones being constructed by ghouls.

A duergar covered in strange devices was the foreman of the expedition, and a strange human covered in dragonmarks (I've never seen anyone with more than one before, yet he seemed to have all the ones I had encountered in my travels and then some!), and an undead orc as a bodyguard. After a brief discussion, the bulk of our party remained out of sight while Rhea went to parlay. They rebuffed her attempts at a bargain, and so we engaged in combat to slay the foul enemies and cross in safety.

Cassius, my giant cave weta steed, delivered me into the fray, where I smote the undead orc, yet still it stood. Such unholy power as it possessed delivered unto me knowledge that this beast must fall lest it plague the lands of men, dwarves, elves, and all good creatures above, not to mention our gnome, rock man, and sundry other allies we had made below. Not only that, but the dastardly creature retreated from me, and shot me with a poisoned arrow, weakening me. Luckily, while I struggled with poison and an entangling weapon thrown by the duergar tastmaster, my brave companions made short work of the ghouls and set in on the orc and tattooed human, who was mumbling in an eldritch and insane language the whole time.

By the time I had recovered from being poisoned not once but twice, the orc was near to falling from Mahlgoth's huge axe and Thia's spells. But the dragonmarked one had cast some sort of spell to make the bridge come to life! And beyond that, Rhea had summoned a demon! While the demon was a distraction to the duergar, and was damaging the bridge, I knew I could not let it go free, and would need to slay it ere the battle was won.

But first, the dragonmarked mage was between me and the demon. As weapons and spells all seemed to be of limited use against that one, I picked him up bodily and pitched him over into the chasm. The bridge began to settle back into place, yet the mage still lived! What foul enchantments allowed it to survive such a fall I know not, yet he crept away to nurse his wounds. I expect to cross paths with that one again, some day.

The duergar taskmaster, likewise, seeing all of his cronies dispatched, fled the encounter. Having to put down the demon, we were forced to allow that one to escape. I only pray that likewise we shall cross paths again and I may deliver the justice of the natural world to the artificer.

Having done what we could to destroy the bridge from the far side, and stopping a pursuit of us by ghouls on the side we had come from, we rested and then set out again, finally making it to safety after a day's march through the caverns. Our next step may be to find some way to defeat this ghoul-emperor, or perhaps seek out the prison where Jade's father lies prisoner.

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