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Chapter 2 - A Ghoulish Encounter!

Turn 3

The light of Dainn's torch illuminates the passageway before the swollen door. He stands several feet back, behind Cyvara. The stench, if anything, is worse.

Cyvara takes position in front of the door, several yards away from it. She begins to cast her spell.

To Cyvara's right stands Damien, his continual light coin back in his pocket, an arrow placed upon his bow which is pointing towards the door.

To Cyvara's left stands Circe, intently observing every minute word and gesture that Cyvara makes.

At Damien's shoulder, Malikor stands back, away from the door but ready to leap into action. [One spiked door trap and he's scarred for life! Whathave I done? :) ]

The others stand back, watching and waiting.

With a flourish, Cyvara finishes the spell. Gentle yellow light outlines the door as it soundlessly swings backwards. The light ends; the door is open -nothing has emerged.

Slowly, Damien and Malikor enter the room - weapons still ready. Cyvara, Circe and Dainn follow.

You see that the room has obviously been in a fire, its furnishings buried and ruined beyond recognition. The ceiling has collapsed for the most part, revealing another chamber on the second floor.

About 5' of the ceiling still remains around the walls of the room, forming a narrow jagged ledge. The floor is littered with beams, plaster and unknown pieces of junk. Four lighted torches line the walls, poorly illuminating the room.On the far side of the room, to the left, a door hangs off its hinges - another passageway lies beyond.

Tyrmar is standing in the doorway the others entered; Kilroy and Khoron just behind him in the passageway.

Suddenly, out of the gloom, an unearthly howling is heard. What appears to be almost a dozen figures leap from their hiding place on the ledge - their bodies decaying humanoid forms, their long tongues slavering over their inhumanly sharp teeth.

The stench of the undead reaches those in the room - Circe, Malikor and Damien remain unaffected but Cyvara and Dainn stumble, their movements slower and clumsier due to their gagging from the stink.

Ghouls! Damien recognises them and yells "Don't let them touch you!" as he unleashes his arrows. The two arrows strike a ghoul, causing it collapse motionlessto the ground.

You realise there are ten undead attacking; after Damien's strike, there are nine.

Malikor leaps forward, his quarterstaff raised. He slams his quarterstaff towards one of the ghouls, but he misses. Two ghouls attack him; he manages to evade all their attacks but the last - the second ghoul's bite which crunches into his leg with more than usual force, causing a horrible wound. [A natural 20; I'm glad elves are immune to their paralysis or Tony will think I'm singling him out!]

Another ghoul attacks Dainn; it claws him twice on his arms, but he manages to resist its paralysing touch.

A fourth ghoul advances on Cyvara; with her back against a wall, she manages to move out of the way as the creature thrashes its claws at her.

Alerted by the excessive stink, Damien spins around to discover a ghoul behind him. Still carrying his bow, he is struck by both its claws but manages to evade its bite. He feels a strange sensation, almost like a paralysing effect, but manages to resist it.

"In doing so, Damien sees another two ghouls gathering to attack him. He evades their blows, and moves so as to have the three undead facing him; his back to the wall".

Lastly, the final two ghouls attack Circe. Each manages to claw him once; some blood begins to flow from a wound on his face. Circe lets out a cry and suddenly stiffens up; he has been paralysed by the foul creatures' touch. The ghouls attacking him lick their slavering lips ...

Our status:
Circe: injured; paralyzed.
Cyvara: uninjured.
Dainn: scratched.
Damien: injured.
Kilroy: uninjured.
Khoron: uninjured.
Malikor: injured (includes healing from Khoron's spell)
Tyrmar: uninjured.

Damien watches as Cyvara's magic opens the door. "Pretty good, Cyvara, and as quiet as can be", Damien whispers in her direction. As the door opens, Damien moves forward cautiously, his bow aimed into the room. The stench is very powerful now, and there is something familiar about it. Death, is what is smells like. Damien scans the room, using regular vision then switching into the infrared spectrum for a moment, nothing ... Damien turns to Malikor ... "I see nothing, but I sense something is with us, be wary" Damien scans the ledge, thinking he sees something, then a howling sound is heard, and several figures leap down. Damien fires his bow as quick as the eye can see, the first arrow is away before the creature has hit the ground, a second arrow slams into it before it can take a step and it goes down. The stench is overpowering and Damien remembers where he has seen it before, a graveyard.. Ghouls. Damien calls out "Ghouls, Don't let them touch you, my brothers it is up to us, keep them away from all the rest, or they will be killed."

Khoron steps into the room and quickly realizes what the group is up against. He reaches under his tunic and pulls out his holy symbol. With a deep breath the dwarven priest's chest bulges outwards making him appear even larger than he is and in a voice of authority and strength he says, "In the name of Moradin the Soulforger I banish you! Begone foul beasts of death and return to the graves from which you crawled! Begone from the world of light and return to your world of darkness!"

Cyvara smiles proudly at Damien's compliment, and looks at Circe briefly as if to say "see, I did it!" She shuffles forward with the rest, excited to see what lies behind the door she opened. The stench strikes her almost physically, and she staggers back against a wall coughing.

Through her tear drenched eyes, she spots a horrid beastman coming for her just in time to duck out from beneath its slashing claws. Acting instintively, the words of magic shoot from her mouth and she points a single fingernail at the ghoul attacking her.

Moving into the room, Dainn notices a peculiar smell. It is almost familiar, but he cannot remember when he would have had a chance to smell anything like it. As he is looking around to see what it could possibly be, the ghouls attack.

Nearly gagging at the stench, Dainn leaps back as one of the ghouls slashes at him, and he finallyremembers the smell - that of death.

Finally able to get a handle on the situation, Dainn sees that they are outnumbered by the ghouls, he looks at the one that is attacking him and concentrates his mental powers on it (and concentrates on keeping his lunch down from the smell)...

"A McHauven to the rescue" screams the Gnome. He brandishes a sling and lets fly with a stone at the closest ghoul.

Turn 4

The fight against the ghouls continues ...

Unable to breathe properly, Dainn attempts to focus his powers upon the creature attacking him - but with the creature swinging its claws at him, he can'tconcentrate and nothing happens.

Cyvara, her back to the wall, lets go a little cry and extends her finger towards the advancing ghoul.

With a hiss, two bolts of yellow energy fly forth from the finger furiously and embed themselves in its chest. The ghoul veers backwards and collapses to the ground, smoke emanting from it.

A cry goes up from the doorway - "A McHauven to the rescue!" - as Kilroy and Tyrmar enter. Then, the stench of the undead hits them ... Tyrmar begins to choke and gag, but Kilroy manages to resist and lets go a sling stone at one of the ghouls assaulting Circe - it strikes the ghoul in the head.

Noticing the gnome and the elf for the first time, the ghouls attacking Circe stop and begin lurching towards the two. With short swords drawn, Tyrmar advances upon them - but both his swords miss theirmark.

Khoron enters, shrugging off the putrid stench, and raises his holy symbol aloft. In a voice of authority and strength, he says, "In the name of Moradin the Soulforger I banish you! Begone foul beasts of death and return to the graves from which you crawled!"

Each of the undead turns their eyes towards the dwarf. Slowly at first, all the creatures but the one attacking Dainn and the one that struck Damien move backwards away from the dwarven priest. "Begone from the world of light and return to your world of darkness!", he bellows and six of the undead retreat out of the door on the far side.

Damien drops his bow and launches forward towards his solitary attacker, drawing his long sword in the process. He strikes the undead, cleaving off its leftclaw with a mighty blow!

The ghoul attacking Dainn lunges forward to claw him - and strikes him with its left claw causing a bad gash. Dainn feels his arms and legs become leaden as he too is paralysed.

Damien's ghoul slashes at him, but he seems to be not wounded by its claws.

Sensing Dainn's trouble, Malikor moves to attack the creature with his quarterstaff - and thumps it solidly in the chest with his bronzewood staff. The creature stumbles backwards from the force of the blow.

Tyrmar attacks Damien's ghoul - his first short sword missing its target, but his second striking the creature perfectly! As he withdraws his sword, the creature collapses to the ground lifeless.

[If this were the KODT, I'd say Hoody-hoo!]

Then, from Cyvara, another two yellow bolts of energy come forth and strike the last remaining ghoul in the back. Khoron moves over to where Circe remains petrified, checking on how badly wounded the mage is.

As the ghoul staggers under the attack, Kilroy fires his sling again at the ghoul - the stone missing the creautre. The solitary remaing ghoul, smoke emanating from where Cyvara's energy bolts struck it, starts moving back from the paralysed Dainn. Both Malikor and Damien advance on it, the moon elf striking out with his long sword, damaging the creature.

Twirling his quarterstaff, Malikor assaults the ghoul - striking it and causing it to collapse to the ground, destroyed.

The other ghouls have retreated out of the far door and the stench has cleared ... but a low human-sounding moaning can be heard from the ledge/upper chamber from which the ghouls leaped.

[Well! An excellent turn by Khoron, I must say ...

Circe: injured (badly); paralyzed.
Cyvara: uninjured.
Dainn: injured; paralyzed.
Damien: injured (just).
Kilroy: uninjured.
Khoron: uninjured.
Malikor: injured (just).
Tyrmar: uninjured.

Cyvara sighs and relaxes a bit upon seeing the smelly rot-men leave. "Thank the gods! Is everyone alright?" She looks about the room, realizing how foolish her question was at seeing her wounded (and immobile) comrades. She starts to head towards Dainn when the sound of the human moaning reaches her ears.

She stops and listens for a second. "Sounds like somebody's hurt. Maybe I should climb up there and see..."

[Damien]

Damien sees two more Ghouls coming towards him "Good come to me, you foul fiends, I will be your death" Damien drops his ivory bow and backs away from the two ghouls, evading their grasping claws, The ghouls and the Ghast follow him towards the wall. Damien stands there with his long swords in hand. preparing to destroy the undead.

Damien hears the deep voice of Khoron as he calls out to his god for power, The ghouls and the Ghast turn as Khoron's voice calls to them, the ghouls flee but the Ghast remains.

Damien lashes out with one of his swords lopping off the Ghast's left claw. "You should have left when you had the chance"

The Ghast slashes at Damien, but as the claw slices through his shirt it is turned aside by the gleaming chain mail underneath.

As Damien prepares to strike with his other sword, Tyrmar moves in and strikes the killing blow. "Well struck friend Tyrmar" Damien looks around and sees the final ghoul taking a lot of punishment but still standing. Damien moves towards the ghoul, longswords at the ready. Bolts of energy cross Damien's vision as Cyvara casts another spell, they strike the ghoul, leaving smoking holes, Damien strikes the ghoul a glancing blow with the longsword, Malikor swings his long staff and destroys the final ghoul.

Damien looks around and sees no other danger, but hears a moaning sound from the ledge where the ghouls came from. Cyvara speaks "Sounds like somebody's hurt. Maybe I should climb up there and see..."

Damien looks at the others, "I do not know how long the paralysis will last." Then turns to face Cyvara "I will accompany you" Damien sheaths his swords, and retrieves his bow, knocking an arrow. "I am ready"

[Khoron]

Khoron checks over Circe's wounds and shakes his head. He mutters "damn ghouls" as he places his hands upon Circe's wounds. "Now just relax and let the warmth of Moradin cleanse your wounds." He bows his head and quietly grumbles a few words in dwarven as Circe feels the warmth spread out from his hands and into her body. "I am not sure whether the power of my god can overcome the paralysis of these foul beasts but just relax and we will see." The dwarf stands up and looks around. "Someone watch her while I see to Dainn."

Khoron leans over Dainn with a smile. "Well now my friend just relax and let Moradin help you." As the dwarf repeats his efforts with Dainn he also feels the warmthness spread from his strong dwarven hands. "Now relax and I'll make sure none of those batards gets a swipe in while your down" Khoron grunts and puts his ornate gauntlets back on his hands and retrieves his two handed warhammer. "Now lets see what's up there."

[Malikor]

Seeing the foul beasties retreat through the far door, Malikor quickly eyes the group to see if anybody is severely injured. He notices the odd stillness of Circe and Dainn. This being his first ever encounter with ghouls, the wood elf has no knowledge of the nature of their attacks, and is thus confused by the stillness of his companions.

Wondering at the strange turn of events, and sensing the current vulnerability of the motionless humans, Malikor takes position near Dainn, the closest to him of the two. Though the elf's knowledge of the undead is sparse, experience tells him to always prepare for a counter-attack whether he thinks one is forthcoming or not. Malikor eyes the area of the ledge where the moaning is coming from, holding the back of his hand in a vain attempt to ward off the stench of the ghouls.

As his companion's move off to help the stranger, Kilroy attempts to staunch the bleeding of Circe and Dainn. "Care for our fellows first then look to the stranger" he calls after Damien and Cyvara. After his companions are attended to, Kilroy looks about the room (OOC :What do we see?). Seeing so many of the others looking for the source of the moaning he heads off to the other end of the room, to the far door, to see what is behond. He carries his sling at the ready.

Damien looks to Kilroy: "I will wait, I have no skill at healing though, but I can remain here to defend against the return of those ghouls, or worse. Whatever left them here, may now be aware we chased them off"

Damien stands in a position to cover Cyvara and the doorway that the beasts came through. "Cyvara, from here I can still protect you if there is anything on the ledge, but perhaps we should wait a few moments and give Khoron time to tend to the injuries."

Damien will wait until Khoron is done with the worst injuries, and will wait until the paralysis has worn off, then if there are no objections he will check out the ledge with Cyvara.

Chapter 3

Chapter 1