The Setup Crew: Rise of the Runelords

The Catacombs of Wrath pt II

Battling the hordes of Lamashtu!!

Having felled the devious Quasit Elyrium and made their way into the prison chambers of the catacombs beneath the glassworks, the 4 heroes found themselves ready to continue exploration after dealing with yet another pair of bloodthirsty Sin Spawn. Journeying down the eastern halls brought them to what had once been a torture chamber/interrogation area, though the tools and devices there had long since corroded into decay from time and non-use. Adjacent to this area was the remains of a study/lab area with three holding cells, solid save for some view slits near the top. Glancing inside one showed Szarali a mutated humanoid with a third arm protruding from its chest cavity. Zirul nearly threw his back out trying to give the hefty Grunyar a boost to check the next cell, which contained a skeleton with a massively warped head. Gene checked the final cell and found a body that had been rendered completely devoid of a normal lower torso. It looked almost if it was meant to now move by slithering….

Leaving this chilling area behind, the team headed further east and came to another large chamber. Here the floor was lined with wooden doors, from which came many low pitiful moans. Another creature made its lair here as well. It might once have been an ordinary goblin, but some twisted power had warped him, made him larger and granted him the use of an additional arm. Wielding a dagger, a handaxe and a glowing red sword, the freak pushed a nearby switch and released the occupants of the cages: 11 shambling zombies!! Already weary from their previous exploits, the team still managed to hold their own. Grunyar and Szarali’s blades proved the heroes’ best asset, with the dwarf hewing down zombies like saplings, while Szarali worked away steadily with her Kukri. Gene and Zirul tried their best at range, but the zombies merely absorbed the impact of bullet and arrow. The mutate proved exceptionally quick for one so deformed and quickly made its way to the heroes, belching acidic vomit and hacking away with his sword. Keen tactician that he was, Zirul realized that if they didn’t break ground soon, the group would be overwhelmed on all sides and so, he cleverly had his comrades retreat into the west hall, bottlenecking their enemies and ginsuing them as they proceeded one by one d own the narrow halls. As their enemies fell, the group’s fighting spirit returned and soon a counting contest was under way for the highest tally, but even as the last zombie was cut down, their mutant shepherd barreled into the corridor in a berserk fury, cutting down both Grunyar and Gene and hacking into Szarali before the gunslinger was able to bring him down.

Following this epic battle, the team divvied up the mutant’s cache of weapons, with Zirul claiming his glowing sword and Szarali his dagger, while Grunyar took the handaxe for himself. Further exploration revealed a strange meditation chamber affected by anti gravity magic. Using her grappling hook as a claw, Szarali netted some fine treasures, including a ancient tome written in the demonic tongue, a wand of Shocking Grasp, scroll of Burning Hands and a bottle of wine for Gene and a dead bird for Grunyar! The team also came to a bathing chamber where Szarali was able to indulge in a quick bath, after Grunyar (Inspired by the tiefling’s unbound bosoms) and Zirul had removed its floating demonic guardian.

Returning to town brought rewards and thanks from Sheriff Hemlock and Father Zantus, along with a 200 gold reward. The priest was also disturbed to hear that the group had come across a minor runewell, a potent evil artifact from the age of a man named Karzoug… But at mention of that name, Zantus grew tight lipped and would say nothing more, save that his acolytes would seal the area from further intrusion. The group now had a chance to catch their breath and relax after a job well done and a day well saved. But what of this man Karzoug and the device called a runewell? These things would bear some future investigation…

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