Friday, April 27, 2018

To Destroy a Cult ... Part 1

In the lowest level of the complex, Undead claws scratched away at the lives of the Ivory Scimitars. Their numbers seemed unending, as wave after wave of the departed Troglodytes were slain and some recovering from destruction, only to haunt the living a second time. Were it not for the raw power of faith applied by the Warpriest, Grissom, they might have been overrun by the ghastly hoard. Channeling this faith through his warhammer, he drove the walking corpses back to enable the barbarians, Malark and Korrik, to drive forward through their ranks.

When all the dead truly laid at rest, there was eerie silence. An ominous feeling of stillness radiated from the unopened door to the North. Soft chanting broke the stillness, adding to the sense of unnerving dread. The party split into three units; two on either side of the door consisting of fighting men, and the other group back from the door some thirty to forty feet consisting of wielders of magic. Time seemed to slow as the Scimitars waited for the coming attack; but ultimately it did come in the form of spell throwing cultist. Black fir rained down upon the wizards of the group as white robed men burst in through the door. Blood sprayed upon white robes, as Axe and Sword found these cultist.

The Necromancer strode into the room calmly and prepared with spells as blades slid off his Mage Armor; the common greeting given to Lizard Worshippers by The Ivory Scimitars. He blasted the magic users with a foul smelling cloud of hell, which choked them and caused the to stumble in their spellcasting. Acolytes of The Lizard God fell one after another as the Necromancer ignored his followers' plight, focusing keenly on killing those who cast spells against him. He weaved a deadly curse that would surly destroy them, but Malark turned his murderous rage upon the practitioner of the Black Arts and caused the death spell to be spoiled. A lone Acolyte cast his final spell, one of Sanctuary upon his master - and sensing that the fight had turned against him and him alone, the Necromancer attempted to flee. Despite the protective magics, he did not get far.

The chamber to the North was a hall of horror. Snakes by the hundreds filled this room, lying or slithering upon the floor, pews, and all manner of furnishings - so much so that it was difficult to discern what other furnishings there were. The Altar in the hall was obvious, however, as an ornately carved pulpit marked by a strange snake-man hybrid statue suspended from the ceiling above it.

Upon the altar rested a small leather pouch, and when investigated, it held a deck of card within. Stephon drew a card from the seemingly simple item and to his astonishment, summoned a spectre of death, which he fought bravely and slew. This was no ordinary deck of cards, but a collection of powerful magics. Intrigued, Stephon drew another card, this time increasing his might. He placed the cards he drew back in the deck and handed the item to Malark, the Barbarian - who immediately hoped to ply his luck. He, too, had to do battle with a spectre of death. Malark was defeated, but somehow cheated death, as the spectre vanished upon his unconsciousness. A strange fever overcame the Ivory Scimitars, as draw after draw from the deck was taken, and boons were given ... and taken away. Only Manjores, the Paladin, refused to draw - the randomness of the deck offending his principals. The fun turned serious when Malark and Korrik both vanished, only their belongings remaining ... Roldrick drew an odd card that promised to grant him a solitary wish ...

... Then she reached into the center of them, all huddled around the deck. She picked up the item and flirtatiously winked at them all with a smile, all the more accented by her boyish haircut ... and they were gone.