Chapter 29

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          Navero, male human cleric, 4th level
          Dania, female 1/2-elf MU, 4th level
          Kortul, male human fighter, 4th level
          Razuli, male human fighter, 4th level
          Arlor, male dwarf thief, 4th level
          Kory, male elf bard, 3rd level
          Topash, male elf druid, 3rd level

     His Lordship Duke Desmod was kind enough to loan us a few horses;
they were nothing much, but faster than walking, so we left him and
his silent soldiers at dawn the next day.  He explained that the
Bloodstone was in an old keep to the south, which was now in ruins.
Following his directions, we rode southwards for a week.  The trip was

     The keep was on a broad plain, near a group of low, rolling
hills.  The outer walls and roof were still mostly intact, but the
eastern wall had a big hole smashed in it.  It also looked like it had
been scavenged for building stone in the recent past.  There was a
dried-up stream to the south, and the gates were ajar.  It was late
morning at the time, so there was no hurry to enter, and we sat to
debate our course of action.

Razuli: "Right, kids.  We go in through the breach.  Only an idiot
     would walk in the front door."

Dania: "Why not crawl in a window?  They can collapse that wall on us
    if we go in the breach."

Kortul: "Get attacked in window.  Very bad."

Navero: "Can't we sneak up when it gets dark?"

Razuli: "Navero: Undead, remember?"

Kory: "Do we know if there are any in there?"

Topash: "If the Bloodstone is within, where else would they be?
     Navero, do you detect any evil about the place?"

Navero: "Yes.  It's everywhere.  But there's a big spot under the
     keep.  I think it would be in the cellars.  Why don't we just go
     in and get it, and get away from here?  I don't like it here."

Dania: "Nav, relax.  It'll all be over soon, then we can go someplace

(As we argued, a figure is silently watching the party from the
bushes.  He asks the game master what he sees.)

Game M: Ok, you see a tall obnoxious fighter, a short obnoxious bard,
     a very short magic-user, an imperturbable-looking elf in brown
     and green, a big smelly-looking human, and a very pious-looking

Figure: "I say, you look like a party!  I think parties are bitchin'."

(Party jumps a bit.)

Topash: "Hail, fellow-skulking-in-the-bushes-over-there.  Are you a

Figure: "Well yes, but I prefer at least 3 initials myself."

Kory: "Now, now, stay in character.  (Walks up to figure)  You appear
     to be an unknown person of quite uncertain ancestry, possessed of
     poor social graces and bad breath.  I am Kory Silvertongue, soon
     to be incredibly famous and known throughout the lands.  Who may
     you be, dearest sir?"

Figure: "I may be called Meth Crystal, but I'm not quite sure.  I
     think it was something like that, anyway.  Do you party?  I got
     some killer weed here if you're into it."

Dania: "Oh, Jesus..."

Kory: "The elf with the hooters over there is our darling little
     Dania, who needs no introduction.  This slimy and disreputable
     individual is Razuli, a cheerful comrade and rear-flank warrior.
     That person over there is our front flank warrior; don't talk to
     him, he's no fun at all.  And, for comic relief, we have Navero

Meth: "Well hello there, small blonde person."

Dania: "Hi.  Who are you, and what do you do for a living?"

Meth: "Do?  Lets not talk about that right now, shall we?  Suffice to
     say... Oh shit, the sky turned colors again..."

Razuli: "It says he's a thief on his character sheet."

Topash: "Ah, good.  We've been needing a thief."

Dania: "Yeah, but are we this desperate?"

Game Master: What about Arlor?

Dania: What about him?  He's not even here 2 sessions out of 3.

Razuli: "C'mon!  I'm sure he can put it right in there with the rest
     of us!  You'd know all about that, magic-user!  Give him a

Navero: "Why are his eyes so red?"

Meth: "All the better to see you with, hey, who are you?"

Navero: "I am acolyte Navero of the Correct and Unalterable Way.  Have
     you heard of us?  Our goal is to bring the light of peace to this
     dark and confusing world and help others to shine with the inner

Meth: (Stares at Navero for a moment) "Yeah.  Right." (To Kory) "Where
     did you find this guy?"

Kory: "He appeared in this blazing beam of golden luminescence, and
     we've been trying to deal with him ever since.  Just don't get
     near him while we're in a fight."

Meth: "Oh?  One of those fighting priests?"

Kory: "Uh... you *could* say that, but I really wouldn't."

Razuli: "Kids, can we go now?"

Topash: "Yes, I believe we should.  Our quest awaits, and the balance
     must be righted.  We should enter through the breached wall.  Are
     there any objections?"

Party: Nope, uh-uh, let's go kiddies, etc. (Party walks quietly to

Meth: "Inner light?  Last time I had an inner light was when I tried
     all the Tantric stuff.  Surely we're not talking about the same

     We walked up to the keep; death did not rain from the sky onto
our heads, nor did the earth erupt and swallow us down into its
depths.  All was quiet.  Through the breach in the eastern wall of the
keep, we could see a room, empty but for a dash of debris.  Kortul
went in first, then came Kory, then everyone else.  The room was about
30 by 40 feet, with passageways in the western and northern walls.
The room seemed to have been a kitchen in the past, but nothing
worthwhile remained within.  We left through the northern passage; it
went northwards, turned east, and opened into another room with a
whole bunch of bones in it.  Most seemed to be human.

Meth: "Oh, must be somebody's pantry!"

Topash: "Or garbage heap."

Dania: "Or dining room."

(Suddenly, the bones start moving.  Ten skeletons spring up and attack
the party, rattling their shaky bones.)


Navero: "AAHH!!  Go away, evil nasty icky things!" (Rolls a 14 on

Undead: (All of them turn around and run away.)

Kory: "Nav!  You did something!  I'm shocked speechless!"

Navero: (Is also shocked speechless.  Stares at cowering undead.)

Dania: "Hey, good going, Nav!  Lets check out the room."

Navero: (Still staring at cowering undead.)

Dania: "Nav?"

Razuli: (Looks in Navero's ear) "I don't think he's home right now."

Navero: (Drops to knees) "Oh, Lords of the Correct and Unalterable
     Way, the way of Light and Life, Caretakers of All, I KNEW you
     hadn't forsaken me!!  Oh, thank you thank you (the rest of the
     party goes to look at the room) thank you thank you thank you
     thank you thank you!!  I am blessed to stand in your joyous
     radiance and shine by the reflection of your divine love!  I walk
     in darkness but for thy divine radiance which illuminates my way
     and I do GOOD!  Yea, my faith may flag, I shall always follow the
     radiance of your goodness as I can!  Look upon your unworthy and
     grateful servant (the rest of the party has finished with the
     room; nothing interesting) who rejoices in the light of life
     under your flag, now and forevermore!  Oh Lords, (the rest of the
     party is waiting impatiently) though I may fail to bring about
     your works, forgive my weakness, and reward me with..."

Razuli: "Navero?"

Navero: "...your divine...  Yes?"

Kory: "'Icky'?"

Navero: "Uh...  well, they are icky.  I mean, uh..."

Dania: "Nav, let's go.  There's another entrance over here."

Navero: "But I must thank the Lords for their divine mercy and
     goodness in allowing me to be the instrument of their work."

Topash: "It might not occur to you that now is not the time.  Tell you
     what: why don't you remember everything the Lords do for you, and
     then thank them all at once later, Ok?"

Navero: "But..."

Topash: "Very good.  Let's go now."

     The hall went east.  We immediately ran into a bunch of zombies.
Again, they fell back before the wrath of Navero.

Razuli: "Don't get cocky, kid."

Navero: "Cocky?  No!" (Hums short ditty, looks pleased with himself.)

     The first door on the north opened onto an empty room.  The
second had a stairwell going up.

Razuli: "I think we need to find stairs going down, kids."

Topash: "Perhaps we may find a secret entrance on the upper story,
     which will lead us to our goal.  The witch, if there is one, will
     also be up there, should we choose to deal with her."

Dania: "Oh, just get up there and see if we can find any money.  And
     magic items!  She should have lots it she's got the Bloodstone."

Topash: "All of which will be used against us in any battle."

Kortul: (snarls, tromps upstairs.)

Kory: "I think the decision has been made by a higher power.  Shall we?"

Dania: (grumbles)

Undead: (Green skeletons charge from above.)  RATTLE  RATTLE  RATTLE

Kory: "Oh, Nav?  There are some people up here who'd like to see you."

Navero: "By the Light of the True Path, Begone!!" (Rolls a 6.)

Undead: (Blatantly ignore Navero and attack)

Topash: "I knew it couldn't last."

Navero: "Lords?"

(Generic combat sounds, screaming, etc.)

     The Green Skeletons proved tougher than the normal sort, but were
vanquished without serious loss.  At the top of the stairs there was a
locked iron door, with some kind of runes in the surface.  Dania did
not detect any magic, but Navero thought they looked disturbing.  Meth
got the lock, and a fine wire at the bottom, which he disconnected.
Inside, there was a small room, with big worm-like things writhing in
a layer of slime on the floor; each had a distorted human face.

Kory: "Oh, yuck, I think I recognize these things."

(The things wriggle through the door and attack, maliciously biting
everything.  They are all killed shortly thereafter.)

Navero: "Those were Larvae, the souls of evil people housed in forms
     more fitting to them.  But those are supposed to be in the damned
     place, not here!  Who could have brought them here?"

Dania: "We'll probably find out.  Any treasure?"

Razuli: "Nope.  Lets go back down and look for the cellar stairs."

(Suddenly, the other door in the room opens.  A hunchbacked, vaguely
female figure looks in, grinning maliciously.)

Navero: "AAHH!  That's not a witch!  That's a Night Hag!"

Dania: "FuckingshitjesuschristKILLIT!!" (casts Magic Missile)

(The missiles hit the Hag and fizzled out.  It grinned more
maliciously, and snapped its fingers.  The ceiling collapsed on
Kortul, knocking him out.)

Hag: "The rest of you can go now."

Daniel Parsons                                "Oh, shit.  We're dead."

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