Sunday, August 14, 2016

The Lord of Lance Rock - Princes of the Apocaverse - Session Two


The Chapters and Cast of the Ballad

Two choices lay before the eclectic band,
Narrow passages north and south,
Splitting from boulder stained by bloody hand,
Leaving behind the cave's mouth.

Peeking left and glancing right,
The party made its choice,
The paladin led, expecting a fight,
And others muffled voice.

A chamber of corpses stored for later,
Appeared before the disgusted heroes,
Bodies numbered twelve, no greater,
And the tiefling's stomach violently rose.

Mystra's servant suggested holy fire,
But the locksmith protested the loss,
Hesitantly the band agreed to no pyre,
In case of treasure amidst the dross.

In cautious memory of the first body,
Talindra set her stance and tapped a corpse,
Spurring motion from dark bones in armor shoddy,
Skeletons born of necromantic warps.

Blades in the hands of bony finger,
Clattered against the bulwark of Talindra,
The half-elf slashed and did not linger,
Opening the path by choosing to withdraw.

The monk stepped into the place,
Spear and fist removing one foe,
In a burst of bone dust coating her face,
And clattering shards to the ground below.

The locksmith's dagger lodged in a spine,
Then the man of Two-Seventy-One,
Ran back down the passage in a line,
To help arrange the skeletons some fun.

Two skeletons still wielded swords in hand,
And sought to sheath blades in fleshy bits,
But the narrow passage favored the band,
And the undead could land no hits.

A parting flurry from the Fennel's blows,
Weakened the structure of another creature,
In pursuit the blasphemous animation flows,
Only to erupt under Mystra's holy feature.

A last skeleton charges out of the passage,
Into a formation of heroes prepared,
The skeletal warrior found no advantage,
And fell under a hail of blades bared.

Now to the south, the party did creep,
To find zombies three dressed in costume,
A lady, a bear and a jester they did peep,
An undead theater the fiend did exhume.

They danced and cavorted in horrible display,
As the heroes crept back to the chamber before,
An arrow loosed unfortunately did stray,
The paladin and monk led them over the floor.

As before the corpses were drawn back,
Through sacred fire and blades of cold steel,
One by one they lunged to fall in a stack,
And the stench did cause Marle yet again to reel.

Lohn Slaf observed the undead stage
And warned that sounds within would carry beyond,
Then did the monk felt his was a well spent wage,
And thanked the paladin for the strategy to abscond.

Two more passages they had to search,
The paladin and bard held watch on the west,
While to the east Fennel and rogue did lurch,
And a cavern was unveiled for which they had no zest.

Three boulders they saw in makeshift mortuaries,
Attended by dark hooded aide,
Shuffling among baskets of severed pieces like cherries,
Twitching hands there laid.

In the far back, a puttering dark man,
With four skeletal guards and his back turned,
Muttered madly about his plan,
A kingdom of death to raise over those who spurned.

Quietly the scouts did slip to the others,
And impart their discovery of the tragedy's architect,
They knew this task was not another's.
The other passage a mere trap when they checked.

Stealth was chosen and blessings were laid,
Save for cleric who choose to remain in the rear,
In one fell swoop assistant and hands were unmade,
Finally the Lord of Lance was aware and did fear.

"How dare you accost me in this place,"
He demanded with shrill and angry voice.
"I dare with a spear coming for your face,"
Was Fennel's witty phrase of choice.

Lohn moved swiftly and threw his dagger,
End over end it tumbled and flew true,
Striking the self-deluded "Lord" into a stagger,
So that behind his skeletal guards he flew.

Elivia Moonsilver reached out with Mystra's aid,
A chill hand to guide these souls to the grave,
Merle's wings unfurled and into the air she was conveyed,
Talindra's shining arms and armor sought the knave.

The skeletons fell before the assault,
And the necromancer fled deeper into the cave,
Locksmith and bard were first to the pursuit,
Hurled daggers keeping the madman from turning brave.

The paladin did surge valiantly to the fore,
And green plague from the villain did soar,
Though through her shield it did not bore,
And from the name-lost's mouth fear did pour.

A crown of twisted madness he tried to cast,
But shattered upon Mystra's blessing,
And paladin's resolve to hold fast,
Into mist the fiend fled stressing.

Locksmith took an alternate route
Seeking to cut the coward's escape,
While paladin again pressed the rout,
Another failed spell the villain did shape.

To the lost one's study they pressed,
And there he found no exit in sight,
To escape those Mystra had blessed.
He stood beside a pedestal of evil light.

"Can't you see the Eye? Don't you fear it?"
He demanded in desperation,
Before he acquired a monk's dart,
A painful new flower for which he had no abjuration.

The necromancer's hand was shrouded in red,
And the tiefling knew the touch vampiric,
The mad-mage did fail to grasp his enemy's head,
And Lohn savaged him with a dagger's prick.

Under tiefling wing, and Mystra's fire,
 A monk's art, and a paladin's valor
A rogue's blade all five did make him a liar.
And the Lord of Lance rock's face took deathly pallor.

The cowardly villain's luck had failed,
Every spell he'd cast had been in vain,
For fate had put the dice in the hero's field,
And wisdom had fled his mind insane.

Now the heroes did seek the supplies remaining,
With the insistence of the man of Two-Seventy-One,
Everything was looted with no one feigning,
Each chest and tool and old rusty sword they had won.

A wand was found for Mystra's representative,
And a floating lantern for night-blind allies,
Once spells insured no evil for those who were tentative,
These and gems were found in the final prize.

Next the heroes set eyes back to town,
For a brief stop to divest the encumbrance,
And seek other rumors to track down,
But that story will be told of hence.

The Chapters and Cast of the Ballad

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