The morning that Dremnin told us we were close to Stilicho the skies were clear and blue. The wind was with us and the Stag was moving at top speed. The crew was called to general Quarters armed and armored. We did not know what we would find so we were ready for anything.
The first thing that we saw was an old stone temple in ruins on top of a hill with a crop of trees next to it. There was an old cart path leading up to it. I was standing next to Quinn at the front of the boat. The old human was looking out in front of us towards the temple. His eyes were sqinted almost closed. He pointed out at the road in front of the temple and shouted, “Stilicho is on the road!” I jumped up on to the railing and grabbed on to the rigging with my left hand, shielding my eye with my right from the sun. It was almost 2 minutes before I could see Stilicho and another figure standing in the road.
Stilicho was waving us over to a crop of trees and showed us where to anchor the ship. We slid down ropes to greet our missing friend. He told us a quick tale of being taken as a slave by my hated enemy Trejak. Stilicho introduced us to an ork named Grognad, who told us that Trejak would be back soon with another ship load of slaves.
Stilicho laid out a plan that he had come up with. We were going to use some of the ballista off the Stag to shoot bolt with ropes tied to them in to the sides of the ship. This would keep the ship from leaving. We would form two boarding partied from the unchained and the crew. We would jump on to the slave ship from the trees they would anchor next to.
We carefully hid the two ballista, one in a tent in the camp and one in the bushes, and waited. We hid the ship over on another hill in some trees. When we saw the slave ship coming we climbed in to the trees to hide. Dremnin had covered us in leaves and twigs. He made me take of my bright red cloak and cover my armor with a burlap cloth. I understood the hiding part of this plan but it is hard to look good covered in a burlap bag.
We watched the ship pull up next to the trees. I could see our prey at the front of the ship, Trejak. His scared face was looking back and forth checking everything. I was sure that he looked right at me, but his gaze passed over me and he said nothing. Two men jumped off the boat and set the anchors. The sail had been furled and the oars were banked. The ship was fully anchored that was Sulinn’s queue.
I heard the first ballista bolt slam in to the starboard side of the ship, followed by the other crew shooting a bolt clear threw the port side. Men on the boat started to scramble about and I heard a battle cry fill the air as his group leaped on to the front of the ship. All of the ship’s crew man turned to the front and started to move to the bow. Then I lead my group on to the rear port side of the boat. I shouted “Victory for Florannus!” as I flew through the air. I smashed one of the unarmored crewmen to the deck with my hammer as I landed.
I moved to the back of the boat to capture the captain. A well armored sell sword moved in to defend him. I could tell that he was a low circle sword master with more bravado than skill. I showed him a halfhearted attack with my hammer towards his head. Respecting the size of the hammer he moved to block. I spun to his week side and slammed the tail mace in to his groin. He doubled over and I hit him in the back with the hammer driving him to the deck. He did not move. The captain seeing what happened threw his sword to the deck. I collected the sword and pushed the captain to his knees.
Within moment we had taken the ship. The crew of the dashing stag gave a cheer. All of the slavers were being bound and slaves were being released. The unchained realized that Trejack was not on the boat any more. We, the unchained and Stilicho’s new friend Grognad , left the crew of the Stag to finish securing the boat. Dremnin tracked Trejack in to the temple. We enter.
There was not much to the temple but one main room, two cells that was open and empty, and a large set of stairs going down. Stilicho said that he had left an ork in one of the cells that he thought was horror tainted. At the mention of the word horror Urgral perked up. He yanked his sword from its scabbard to see the blade glowing red. Stilicho ran back to the boat and got a couple of crew man to guard the door of the temple so that Trejack could not double back on us.
We went down stairs to find a small room with halls going off to the left and right and one door. Dremnin looked over the door and decided it was safe. He opened the door to find out he was wrong. Trejak had hidden a spring needle trap. The needle shot out and when right through Dremnin’s glove and stuck in to his finger. He pulled his sleeve up to look at a bone embedded in to his fore arm. It slowly turned black and Dremnin smiled. He looked at us and said that the bone had taken care of the poision. We started to step out in to the hall beyond the door when we heard what sounded like falling stone coming from the hallways. I moved to the one on the right and saw a stone statue coming down the hall way. I yelled “For Florannus!” and charged forward. It did not even raise it’s weapon in deffence. I slammed the hammer in to the side of the statue. It did not react at all. All I could think was “OH this is bad!”
I could hear battle behind me as Urgral and Stilicho attacked a second one in the other hall. Dagmar joined me on my left and slammed his troll sword in to the statue. I could see that he had chipped the statue and there was a small crack. I went to work bashing it with the hammer and tail mace. I could tell that I had hurt it that time, but not much. Then the statue finally reacted to us. It swung its giant sword faster that it should have been able to catching me in the side. It slammed me in to the wall and I bounced off the hallway wall on to the floor. I jumped up on to my feet and slammed the hammer on to the feet of the statue they cracked a bit but it kept coming at us. Dagmar and I kept bashing at it taking more care to not get hit.
Dremnin started yelling that he was going to need help as we were about to be attacked on a third side. Dagmar told me to go, that he could handle the statue. I took a final shot and ran. Dremin was pointing down a hall through the door he had opened. I ran down to an unopened door. As I arrived I saw the metal door dent with a fist like impression. “Shit, more statues.”
Vridich yelled that he had a protection spell ready by the door and we should fall back to it. So Dremnin, Grodnag, Urgral, and I fell back to the protection of the circle. Before I could turn the corner in the hallway the metal door was blasted completely off of its hinges by two more blows from a living statue. I watched as a pair of walking stone statues pushed their large bodies through the door. I quickly caught up with Urgral and we took a position inside the glowing circle we could see on the floor.
The first of the statues tried to step in to the circle but could not. Dremnin stuck an arrow in its neck. I also took advantage and smashed the hammer and the tail mace in to its body. This time the statue tried to strike me but as I was in the circle it could not hit me. I laughed and shouted praise Florannus and attacked without a care to defend myself. I swung and spun the tail mace and hammer slamming in to stone. Urgral was next to me, his sword glowing and taking chunks out of the other stone statue’s body. Then the circle failed.
Bam! I took a large stone sword on the top of my right shoulder. My vison went black and seconds later when I could see again I was laying on the ground at the statues feet. It raised its sword above its head and swung down. The sword came to a stop mid swing. Vridich was behind me mumbling his magic. He had raised a new circle of protection saving me from being splattered on the floor.
I jumped up and thought a quick prayer to Florannus. I swung the hammer Striking the statue, power surged in my arms. I felt the initial blow and then a give in the resistance. I swung through the statue. It exploded in to dust and shards of rock. Urgral and I turned our combined attention on the second remaining statue. Dremnin shouted that he was going to help Stilicho and Dagmar.
Just after Dremnin left someone shouted that Dagmar was down. Urgral said he was going to go help and ran through the door. I swung hammer and mace over and over. It was like trying to hurt a mountain. After many swings cracks started to form in the statues body. One of the arms crumbled and fell to dust, but the statue just kept trying to hit me.
I heard a victor cheer from Urgral and the sound of falling gravel. I swung again, my arms were getting tired. Was this thing ever going to fall apart?
Dagmar came through the door in to my hallway. He was leaning on Suulin and looked bad. Dremin, Stilicho, and Urgral shouted again, as the sound of gravel hitting the floor drowned them out.
A few more well placed shots and the statue crumbled to the ground. I fell to a knee to catch my breath. My shoulder was throbbing and my arms felt like soup noodles. I went back in to the first room we were in to find the rest of the party looked worn out too. We decided that we could not push on. Dagmar fixed the door that the statues had beeten down and we sealed it so that Trejak could not get out.
Dremnin and I stood guard on the door while other members of the unchained were taken to rest and recover. While we were down in the temple Dremnin discovered that the heads of the statues were made with rare ingredients and were worth several silver coins each. We placed them next to the stairs so that we could take them out later.
After two we were prepared to move on. We pulled the door and moved in. Dremnin and Urgral lead us down a hall where we found a door and a stair way. Dremnin said that Trejak went down the stairs so we followed. We came to a large open hall with two rows of tall round columns. The floor was in disrepair a hole had formed about 20 feet in to the room.
As we moved up to take a look, the room seamed to spin and became dark. We were separated somehow. There were spider webs all around us. The silk strands were as tough as wire. I was alone and in the dark. I pulled my light quartz out. It was on a string around my neck. Just as I started to move forward I could hear Grodnag screaming. We were not alone!
I rounded a right hand turn trying to make my way to the screaming. A large spider leaped out of the web and tried to bite me. It was a Jahuthra, a horror. I stepped out of the way and slammed the hammer down on it. The jahuthra, the size of a large dog, took the hit and hissed at me. Urgral came rushing out of the dark, his sword glowing red, and slashed his sword in to the back of the spider. It ran up web and disappeared before we could kill it.
We stayed together and moved to Grodnag, who was still screaming like a little girl having a nightmare. I found him lying on the floor his spear several feet away. There was a jahuthra standing over him. Grodnag had several bite marks and was losing a lot of blood. I hit the Jahuthra and hammer slammed it to the floor and went right through it colliding with the floor causing a loud BOOM!!! Black ickor splashed over all three of us. I pulled Grodnag up off the floor. I asked him if he was okay and he wearily said yes. I turned to walk away and he fell over. I checked Grodnag to find that he was dead. The Juhuthra must have had a serious poision.
Urgral and I left his body on the floor as we heard battle sounds coming from our left. We moved in to the next open area to find the rest of our friend fighting two more Jahuthra. We moved in to help Dremnin fight the one after him. The dwarf and I took the spider down quickly. The last one did not last long either. Stilicho and Dremnin were wraped in icy webs, but were quickly removed. TheUrgral told us that good Jahuthra webs were worth money so we found four webs that we could collect and keep in good shape. We left Grodnag’s body there in the room. In my opinion it was a good death for a slaver.
There was another set of stairs going down so we followed them. When we got to the bottom there was one large long room. Dremnin said the Trejak had passed this way and went towards the other end of the room.
We headed after him but when we got a little father in the room we saw a woman on a stone stage dancing slowly. She did not care that we were there. As we got closer we could see that she was transparent with a slight bluish glow.
Urgral and Dagmar started whispering with each other and then told us that they thought she was a Spectral Dancer. To release one you have to dance with it, but doing so causes great pain. Urgral being a Horror Stalker had a trick to keep it from causing him damage so he went up on the stage and danced with her till she bowed and then disappeared.
We followed Trejaks through an open door. Dremnin was first followed by me. It was a small room and Trejak was in there on the left side of the room. He dropped his weapons and told Dremnin that he would surrender. My blood boiled and I burst past Dremnin. You had better pick them up I said. The look on his face was calm and peaceful, even as I bashed him to the ground with a blow from the hammer. He just laid there on the ground. He presented no defense or resistance. I kicked him over and bound his arms and legs. We had done it we had caught the famous slaver. Trejak was the man that had captured me on my second day away from my Nial and sold me to the orks to work in the mines.
Urgral came in to the room with his sword drawn, looked around and said where is the horror? We all looked around. I had forgotten all about it apon finding Trejak. Both Vridich and Urgral looke around with astral sight and made a discovery. The horror was in Trejak!