Part 6 – Endgame, or Real Tomb Raiders Have Braids
We come back to searching the huge debris filled room. There are several side chambers with sarcophagi along the walls, presumably belonging to the seven barbarian kings that fell under the sway of the ancient demon. A few of them have already been disturbed. Thinking that one of them might contain the demon skull we must find and destroy, we start searching the various coffins.
Each coffin becomes an individual adventure. We acquit ourselves well, I think, but its rough.
The first one we come to has two wolf “statues” in the back. Yeah right – would you believe mummified winterwolves guarding their undead savage king master? Zander calls on the power of Fharlanghn to repel the unholy creatures. It works and Finbar and Fletch make short work of them while they cower in the corner. Carefully uncoiling the gold rope that binds the sarcogophus, we release the undead savage king within. I’d say damn them all but demon-allied undead barbarians come pre-damned.
The next tomb, this one bound in a strange greenish rope, is another hazard. The rope animates and almost kills Fletch while the undead barbarian comes out. Once again the power of Fharlanghn prevails against the creature, while the power of magic longswords dispatch the strange rope.
Still no fair-day goose. Notice that there is never a ruby-encrusted demon skull around when you need it.
The next tomb has a raven and a wolf statue over it. I smell trouble.
We open the tomb and the hideous undead thing actually grabs Zander and pulls him into the stone coffin! Panic now! Finbar keeps cool and grabs him out but before we can get to the creature it disappears! A moment later we find that it has released another undead creature from the last undisturbed tomb and now we have two to fight!
Zander uses the last bit of Fharlanghn’s might and chases the horrible things off down the hallway. Fletch chases them down, comes to a forked passageway and a pit. And inside the pit is a lizardman.
Instinct? Fletch sees the lizard man stuck in the pit attempting to call for help and feels pity. He lowers a rope down. We establish that the lizard man, called something like Endurek, is fighting on the same side as us. With gestures and broken common we come to an understanding; he will help us in our fight.
Which is a good damn thing because a few seconds later the two undead barbarians return.
Melee! We win . . . okay, Finbar pretty much wins, beating the undead barbarians into stewed prunes with his flail. That’s my bad ass dwarf homie!
So at this point we have searched all the tombs and found diddlysquat of demon skulls. There is more exploring to do.
We travel down the passageway, creeping and wending our way. After a few twists and turns we find a room with several lizard men – one of whom is must be their king!
We beat down the guards and some kind of shaman with overwhelming force but the king runs off. Searching for him, we find a slick and water filled passageway that leads to a dead end. We do a quick search – sure enough, there is a secret door leading to . . . the big treasure room!
And there on the wall is the demon skull! Pay dirt!
When things look this simple its time for complete caution. There is a veneer of black moss and whatnot over almost everything. Zander casts a cure disease off his magical prayer beads on the black moss stuff, to no avail. After much ceiling checking, hemming and hawing and paranoid speculation it is decided that we’ll just cowboy up and go into the room and grab the skull.
We weren’t paranoid enough! Halfway across the room Finbar screams and grabs his head. We grab him, drag him out into the hall and revive him.
Once he is away from the skull he reports that he felt like something was trying to take over his mind. Note to all demons: Suck it. Suck it long . . . and suck it hard.
Okay, we decide that we’ll come back to this room. Who knows, perhaps the lizard king running-ass bitch has some kind of talisman or something that makes him immune to the skulls power. Anyway, that’s our hope.
We take the other slippery passageway. Its so slick that we decide to anchor a rope to use as a safety line as we make our way down to the stairs.
We find a water filled chamber with four dragon statues in the corners. There is a dais on one wall, and on it is a huge throne with a barbarian king with an onyx blade. And there is the lizard king! And he looks scared. Ah yeah.
Fletch asks his new lizardman buddy to translate: Surrender or Die! And rather than do either the foul thing transforms into Superlizardkinglightningman!
At once the four dragon statures spit lightning at the king, who glows with its power and rises into the air. Then he waves an arm and the wall collapses – out come four animated statues, intent on dismantling us.
I don’t care who you are – hovering lightning-imbued lizardman king from hell will make you stop and assess.
But we are heroes with a job to do. And now we know where the frickin’ skull is! There is no way we are backing down, not with the safety and future of all the local tribes at stake!
Fletch unlooses arrows at the lizard king, scoring hit after hit. Zander uses his scroll to summon a tiny earth elemental – he first sends the thing after the dragon statues, hoping to smash one and weaken the lizard man, but when that is obviously not working he redirects him at the statues.
Meanwhile, our lizardman buddy charges with his trident, scoring a hit. He takes a nasty lightning bolt to the chest but proves himself a real man by refusing to back down.
Finbar charges into the fray, hampered by the chest-deep (for him) water. When he finally gets close he realizes that he can’t reach the hovering bastard – Fin is just too short! The resourceful dwarf climbs the dais, unceremoniously dumps the old king out of his throne, drags the chair back and stands on it to hit the lizard king.
The lizard king is throwing lightning bolts like he was giving out candy. He hits our lizard man pal again – the poor heroic thing dies. Damn the demon and his machinations! He shoots another at Zander, who dodges it.
Meanwhile, the earth elemental goes down and the statues attack Fletch. Fletch has been peppering the lizard king with arrows the whole time and now has to deal with the statues. He hits one with a dispel magic and it goes inert. The remaining three corner him on the stairs, punishing him with their terrible stone fists. He manages to shove one down the stairs but they keep coming. He draws his magical wooden sword and fights defensively, waiting on the proverbial Calvary to arrive.
And it does! Zander, who earlier had cast a spiritual weapon (his very last spell!) charged the lizard king and got into melee with his short sword, having to leap every time to strike the floating lightning-infused bastard. But its Finbar who deals the death blow with his flail! The pair rush to the aid of Fletcher, who is barely holding on against the onslaught of the living statues.
A few rounds later, Finbar, Zander, and the spiritual quarterstaff manage to take out the statues. And now its time to deal with the skull.
Its a prolonged effort involving folks tied up with ropes, subduing dominated friends and fighting every foot to the Maw. But we do it – we destroy the skull and throw it into the Maw.
At which point the evil surround the land physically disappears! The ground quakes, buildings fall, the sun shines down from the clouds. We did it! We destroyed the demon’s influence on the land of the Savage Kings!
Endgame: we travel back to the friendly barbarians who put us up on the way in. Fletch composes a song which tells of everything that happened there, including our shame at failing to rescue the slaves and the destruction of the demon skull. There is much rejoicing! The tribe throws us a big affair with food and music and dancing.
Now its time for the long journey back to Havenor, and dealing with the most difficult challenge of all . . . Escobar, our merchant contact who will undoubtedly rip us off when we sell him all the neat stuff we found if we don’t keep a careful eye.
THUS ENDS THE LEGACY OF THE SAVAGE KINGS!
Out of Game: The Legacy of the Savage Kings rules! This was a great, multi-faceted dungeon with all kinds of secrets to find and interesting settings to adventure through. And what a satisfying ending! A total blast. Talk about bang for your adventuring buck!
Huge thanks for Duane Waldrop for running an excellent game!
At the end of the Dungeon Zander had used every spell in his repertoire, all of the uses of his magical prayer necklace, every allotted turning attempt, all of his potions and two of the five spells he had saved up on scrolls. Now that’s down to the damn wire!
After Fletch shoved the statue down the stairs (and learning a lesson about how Bull’s Rushing works by way of three successful attacks of opportunity from the animated bastards) he had six hit points. He went full defensive and managed to hang with the trio of statues for the three rounds it took for help to get to him.
It’s my turn to run a dungeon! We are going to do XP and treasure this week – I predict that the guys will wind up 8th level, possibly 9th. I mean to run another DCC – any suggestions?