Tuesday, May 20, 2014

Westmist Session #71 - More d'Amberville's

·         Waking after night’s sleep, Bjorn and Erijay see amber writing appear on the wall. It tells them that if they wish to escape from the chateau, they need to release Stephan d’Amberville from his tomb beyond space and time. The writing directs them to find the Gate of the Silver Keys.
·         Leaving the corpses of Riley and Guruuk behind, they break camp and head out to explore more of the mansion and seek the Gate. They meet a trio of adventurers (Sir Thomas Chap [cleric], Jason [magic user] and his dog, and Gort [dwarf]) who are likewise trapped within the mansion. They decide to join forces to force their way out.
·         Party goes to the room where purring was heard last time. Enter room, and find a dozen cat headed humanoids. The cat-things do not speak common, but one has a smattering of orc which allows Bjorn to communicate. The mage makes a great impression, and weird cat licking greetings are shared. Creatures agree to take the party to meet their leader, Richard Coeur de Lion.
·         Half of the cat-things lead party across hall, through a bedroom and then through a secret door into another bedroom. There they see an 8’ tall man with the head of a lion, dressed in golden armor and wearing golden crown.   The cat-things speak to him in their language, and he seems upset they have brought strangers to his secret room. He roars at the party, and all flee in abject fear. Except Jason, who beats a hasty retreat and arcane locks the secret door as he leaves. This traps the creatures inside.

·         A ruckus of hissing and yowling rises from behind the trapped door, which attracts the rest of the cat creatures. They rush over to help their trapped comrades. When the fear wears off the rest of the party, they sneak back into the cat-thing lair and pilfer a chest of gold. They transfer the contents to the secret safe in the room with Riley and Gurruk’s bodies, and then put the chest back in place so the cat-things don’t know they've been robbed.
·         Figuring it best to get away before the fur hits the fan, the party head west. They enter a room with the furniture all pushed aside and a boxing ring in the centre. Standing in the ring is a vaguely unnatural-looking man in boxing trunks. Sitting in a chair next to the ring is a man dressed in rich lace, silk and velvets, and wearing a hat flaunting a giant peacock feather. He is flanked by two armored guards, and hovering over a couple of chairs is a pair of unblinking red eyeballs.
·         The man, Jean Louis d’Amberville, challenges the party to select a champion to fight his boxer. And offers to match whatever wager they choose. After some discussion, Erijay takes the challenge and the party puts up a 1000gp bet. And hedge their bets by having Sir Thomas cast bless and Erijay, haste. They also try to bargain their way out of the chateau, something Jean-Louis cannot do. But he does promise to answer 2 questions about the chateau if they win.

·        The elf easily knocks down her opponent after only two rounds. The strange man falls to the floor of the ring, and then dissolves in a burst of flame and smoke.
·         Jean-Louis honors the bet, and answers their questions:  Can Kern/Darnorth be brought back? (Yes, but it would require a power well beyond their own). Where is the Gate of the Silver Keys? (In the dungeon below).
·         They leave through a different door, and find themselves in a richly appointed entry hall. Outside, they can see the grey mist still encircles the mansion. As they prepare to leave, they are confronted by a man dressed in amber livery. A butler or footman of some sort. He challenges them, demanding to know who they are. He doesn’t seem to like their answers, as he raises his hands and fires a lightning bolt at the party. Melee and magic follow, and in the ensuring fight, Bjorn falls to another lightning bolt. Finally, their opponent is slain, and he too disappears in a burst of flame and smoke.
·         Bjorn is not quite dead yet, just lying mortally injured on deaths door (saved by Erijay jamming a potion of healing down the magic user’s throat). They carry him back to the room with Rylee and Gurruk’s mortal remains, carefully avoiding cat-things and boxing matches along the way.  
·         They discover that, when they lay the magic user out to recover, the protective amber dome appears and covers Bjorn. And heated discussion ensures. Do they stay with Bjorn for a few weeks until he recovers, trusting that their rations will last? Or do they leave him with food and water and hope he can recover unmolested, while the rest seek the Gate of the Silver Keys? Tune in next time …

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