The company left the Bartertown area and began a journey to locate their lost captain and chase down the slave master, Trejak. Dremnin had been given the gift of a song by the Passion Astendar which would lead him directly to Stilicho’s current location. It was a gift that might prove useful in the future if Dremnin had to find the ship, as Stilicho’s tune would bring the scout unerringly home to the Dashing Stag. The Passion Astendar had blessed him and made him one of her Questors, and in fact all the Unchained reported having been selected and honored as Questors of various Passions. Even the secretive Vridich had been selected as a Lightbearer to aid them in future endeavors. A fact which later proved critical to the survival of the Unchained.
To aid the ship in its flight, Skram used one of his new talents as a Questor of Floranuus, and after his brief ritual was completed Dremnin felt a freshened wind blowing from astern, and the Dashing Stag picked up speed as she sought her captain in the wilderness ahead. Dremnin looked up at the canvas straining under the new wind, then smiled at Skram, who was now grinning like a mule eating saw-briars, and the two exchanged a high-five as they laughed heartily. Both knew and understood the power of Floranuus, and they watched and savored his gift that now sped the ship onward.
As the song grew in intensity in Dremnin’s mind, the scout announced that he felt they had almost reached their captain. In fact, at that moment Dremnin’s sharp eyesight spotted Stilicho standing in a clearing waving at them. The captain directed the Dashing Stag to a sheltered clearing, and the ship was reunited with her captain. After being briefly welcomed back, Stilicho shared the fact that the slaver Trejak was using this same clearing and that he was due back soon. A plan was quickly hatched to provide a warm reception for him and the slave ship. All was made ready.
Soon the slave ship hove into view, and began to settle into the mooring place, as was their normal practice. Trejak was perched in the bow, scanning closely for any sign that something was amiss, but he failed. Waiting for him, neatly camouflaged in the trees by Dremnin, were two parties of seasoned adepts and fighters led by Urgral, Skram, Dagmar and Stilicho, all waiting to jump aboard the slave ship as she anchored. In addition, Suulin led a party of crew on the ground, who fired ballista bolts into the hull at the proper moment and the lines attached to each bolt kept the ship from departing. With a thunderous roar of voices, the trap was sprung and the Dashing Stag’s crew leaped aboard to deal with the slavers. It was over quickly, with the sailors giving up almost immediately and Trejak’s picked men going down in a flurry of well-aimed blows. The ship’s captain surrendered after the sell-sword guarding him went down and asked for quarter. It was then that Skram and Stilicho realized that Trejak had given them the slip when battle was joined, although 50 chained slaves below cheered as they were liberated.
The call went out immediately for Dremnin to track him and find him, so the scout applied his craft and quickly located the slaver’s footprints. It was a short trail, though, as it led directly down into the depths of the Temple of Rashoman. The scout reported back and informed the crew of Trejak’s path. Stilicho said that the Temple was currently inhabited and corrupted by a Horror, so they would have to be on their guard.
With the slave ship secured and the Dashing Stag’s crew working to deal with their prize, the Unchained headed for the Temple entrance, accompanied by Dagmar Steelsong and Grodnag, an Ork guard Stilicho had saved during his time in captivity. Dremnin led, carrying a bullseye lantern, followed by the Unchained using light crystals. The stairs led down below a floor of holding cells and directly into a stout wooden door covered in steel plates. An examination of Trejak’s footprints showed he first went off down a hallway to the north, then returned and went down a hallway to the south, then returned and went through the door directly ahead of Dremnin.
The scout checked the door for signs of traps, and seeing none, proceeded to open the door. However, he had missed a clever trap set by Trejak and was pricked by a needle on a spring. It a flash, the Horn Needle that Dremnin had purchased in Bartertown paid for itself, as its blood magic helped the scout fight off a deadly poison coating on the needle. With mumbled sincere thanks, Dremnin pushed the door open to follow Trejak’s tracks. As the scout pushed ahead into the darkness east of the door, from behind them came the sounds of stone grating on stone, as something large and heavy moved in the entrance halls north and south outside the heavy door.
Stilicho went to investigate the noise to the north, and came face to face with a giant, animated stone statue with a huge axe in hand. While the ork stood at the doorway, Urgral joined Stilicho in the fight to the north, while Skram moved to face the statue to the south. The battle on the north side traded blows back and forth, with Stilicho dealing continuous minor damage while the statue missed him. To the south however, the statue connected two massive blows on Skram, which wounded him grievously. Dagmar Steelsong then leaped in to allow Skram to move away and heal. Suulin tossed daggers at the statues, then switched to bolas which were much more effecting. From his location, Vridich placed magical attacks on the statues, occasionally causing them harm. Both battles raged, with our heroes making little or no headway, while the statues continued to land blows that battered the party.
Then from inside the Temple, Dremnin noticed that something large was slowly approaching the door he guarded, and he called out to let the party know that trouble was approaching. By this time, Skram had healed himself a bit and he rushed to take the point in front of Dremnin. The ork, Grognag, took a position also backing up Skram and Dremnin, but his knees kept knocking due to fear. The door ahead of this group suddenly shattered and two more stone statues entered the hallway. This was when Vridich decided to use a Lightbearer power which saved the entire party. He stood in the first doorway and called forth a Radiant Barrier, a circle of power against Horrors and their constructs. Now any construct would have to match their willpower against the power of Vridich’s Barrier before they might enter or attack.
The forward party had given ground in the passage, and now occupied an area of hallway just before the main door where Vridich had cast his magic. Skram and Dremnin held the passage within the light of the Radiant Barrier, and could attack with impunity. However, Dremnin could not land a blow that made any difference. With Stilicho holding his statue at bay, Urgral decided to move into the hallway to assist Skram in facing the two new statues, so Dremnin yielded the front position to the Horror Stalker and backed off to use his bow. His first shot actually damaged the statue facing Skram, but subsequent shots proved impotent. The party had now determined that no hit, regardless of how solid, would cause an armor defeating hit on the statues. Their stone skin always kept them from all but the greatest damage the party could inflict.
It was at this point in time that Dagmar went down as a result of well-placed blows from the statue in the south hallway. To her credit, Suulin backed into the light of the Radiant Barrier extending into the hall to the south and continued to engage. Dremnin, realizing that frontline help was needed outside, moved quickly into the south hallway to help. Vridich stood within his Radiant Barrier and sent magical darts into the stone statue, which was beginning to show signs of collapse. In short order, the first stone statue fell apart, releasing Dremnin to then rush to the north to relieve Stilicho. The scout arrived just in time, as the statue connected with a huge blow that knocked the captain to the ground. It was at this point that the two statues in the hall to the east broke through the Radiant Barrier and it collapsed!
However, Vridich was standing in exactly the right spot and again called forth another Radiant Barrier, which proved stronger than the first! Bolstered by the new assistance, Skram soon struck a crippling blow and the statue ahead of him fell into rubble. To the north, Stilicho and Dremnin gave ground to allow them into a better defensive spot with support from Vridich if needed. Dremnin kept the spot in the Radiant Barrier behind him open for Suulin while Stilicho hammered the statue to their front. It wasn’t long before the last two statues went down, and the battle was over. The party quickly thanked Vridich for the Radiant Barriers, which had probably kept the party from being killed.
Victorious, but beaten down and bloody, the party decided to have Dagmar replace the broken door in the hallway with the entry door, and Dremnin stood guard there with Skram while the party recuperated. The scout evaluated the remains of the stone statues, and determined that the heads were very valuable. The group allowed two days rest before continuing into the Temple. They had Trejak trapped, but needed to restore damage and wounds, as well as Karma pools. And so they rested…
5th Circle Scout Adept
Questor of Astendar