Session 4 - Ancient Mes. Campaign - Facing the Ghoul Queen

Arkobla Conn

Session 4 – Facing the Ghoul Queen

Railing against the death of Lady Maja, Raz, the Cimmerian panted in exposed rage. The walls already wore the after effects of that anger expressed in terms of heavy blows that served little more than crack pictures and mortar. Around him, Abaddon the Shemite, Belyara the Zamoran, Ajonga the Kushite and Hadrathus from the Bossonian Marches stood helpless and cut off from exit. The same massive stone that had ceiled the pit and crushed Maja blocked the way to open air.

‘She is not dead’ came a soft voice cutting through the darkness. Turning heads caught the faint illumination of the being that had proclaimed herself Ishtar in a previous dream. She was dressed in gossamer white silk and sported two large cream-colored wings. Were they dreaming now? ‘She lies at the bottom of the pit, trapped & dieing. She will die soon, without your help.’

“What do we do?” rages Raz. Beside him, Hadrathus lays a soothing hand on his friend. “Can you give us any guidance?”

“There is a Hykanian custom where a woman washes the feet of her mate when he comes home. Look to the feet” she says before fading away, the illumination persisting long after the beautiful woman disappeared.

“We have no time,” mumbled the Cimmerian and the group forged ahead and down. Twenty or thirty feet below, they came upon another chamber. This square room contained a single short pillar upon which was a black skull with gems for eyes. With single-minded intent, the Cimmerian walked past it, much to the chagrin of Belyara.

The next room was monstrous. It held many pillars, opulent floor markings and a raised dais. Upon the platform, a statue of a long forgotten god stood silently, the long swords in its hands an indication of the gods focus. Several other statues stood nearby, along with three large iron braziers. These braziers were lit to everyone’s surprise.

Creeping forward with caution, the group made it about a third of the way across the room when the door they had came through was slammed shut and the light titter of a young woman wafted back toward them. More laughter surrounded them, as the 2nd and 3rd doors from the room were slammed shut as well.

Belyara knocked an arrow and let fly, taking one of the women in the shoulder. Her reaction gave them some pause, as she burst into tears and fell to the floor. Easing closer, they were ill-prepared for the supernatural speed the women used to move in front of several of them, locking eyes and whispering incantations. Suddenly, Belyara, Raz and Hadrathus were ensorcelled and were being led to the dais while Abaddon and Ajonga were left wondering what had happened. It had all happened so fast.

Ajonga moved first and lept the four feet onto the dais only to be met by one of the women. She caught him by the neck, and held him out as if she held all the strength of three Cimmerians. Ajonga did not waste time, He plunged his spear downward, piercing stomach and sinew before feeling the tip erupt from her back. Still, she hissed and now he was much closer. Before he could let go or react, she lunged forward and bit him in the neck. A great gout of blood sprayed them as he used his incredible strength to push himself away from the vampire spawn, for she looked like a woman no longer. Pale skin, sunken red eyes and long fangs proved counterpoint to her blood soaked lips and chest.

Abaddon tried to do the same, but was met by another spawn. She was able to catch his eye and he succumbed to her charm. When she bade him attack the Kushite, he did not hesitate. Soon, the two warriors were fighting a colossal battle, with the bedazzled Shemite doing a great amount of damage to his friend, Ajonga.

Back at the dais, Raz broke free of the spell that held him and turned to face the remaining two vampire spawn. One was just lifting her head from biting the neck of Belyara while the other was approaching from the dais ramp. He fell upon them with a vicious glee that revealed his true barbaric nature. With two mighty blows, he felled the beasts and watched as they disappeared into a red smoke. As the other two warriors fought, the remaining spawn attacked Raz. This time, they were able to leap upon him and bit him in vulnerable areas, drawing blood and soaking his clothes wherever their lips touched him. Finally, he grabbed them both within his massive biceps (one under each) and began walking toward the brazier. They stuggled but could not break free, and with some help from those able to through off their mental enslavement, was able to throw them into the fire pit. One held onto his arm as they fell into the flames, pulling him partially into the brazier himself, but quick hands helped pull him out. Still, he’ll bear burn scars on his right arm until he dies.

With the last of the spawn dead, the group searched the dais and found a trapdoor near her feet, as predicted by the cryptic clue from Ishtar. It took long moments to open the door, but finally the method was discovered when Belyara pulled the swords from the statues hands.

Down below, the group finally found the lair of Nikhartha. She was still lovely, her breasts bare and her lips red despite her pale appearance.

‘Even now, your friend lives. I can smell her, I can feel her feeble heartbeat slowing as she gasps for breath.’ She says to the group.

‘How do we save her?’ asks Hadrathus.

‘Take the amulet from my neck’ she answers.

‘Why should we do that?’

‘This amulet has turned me into a vampire. I am trapped and cannot lift it from its place myself. I want freedom from this bane.’

‘Tell us how to save Maja, or we’ll walk out and leave you here for another 1000 years’ states the Cimmerian, bluffing, but willing to take the bluff far further than the rest of the group. As he stormed out of the room, Hadrathus moved forward and lifted the amulet from Nikhartha’s neck with the tip of his sword. A fine red line was left from breast to cheek as she was cut, but did not bleed. As the Amulet slid down the sword, Raz came back into the room, glared at the Bossonian and demanded ‘Now, How do we save her?’

‘Lift the top of the urn off and pull the lever’

Moving forward, Belyara checked the urn for traps and found one. Turning to Nikhartha, he said with derision ‘You didn’t mention the trap’. ‘You didn’t ask,’ she replied with a smile. After disarming the trap, the urn was opened and the lever inside was pulled. A deep rumbling from high above could be felt more than heard as the heavy stone was lifted from it’s place. ‘She is a lucky woman. The large stones at the bottom of that pit fell there decades ago as the earth shook. It was pure luck she fell between them and there was enough room and air for her to last this long. You are dismissed’

‘I don’t think we should leave you free. I don’t trust you’ said Raz. Around them, coffins in the alcoves began to open. ‘You do not want to do this’ warned the ghoul queen. She still appeared beautiful and pale and evidenced no physical change since losing the amulet. ‘I think we do’ said the barbarian before leaping at one of the spawn coming out of the nearest crypt.

The melee was ferocious and bloody. Nikhartha tried to mentally dominate Hadrathus while the others dispatched the five spawn that attacked. The spawn fell to the ground, hewn into quivering parts before Nikhartha was felled. Instead of collapsing, she disappeared in puff of red vapor; a faint and skin-crawling laugh permeating the room and clinging to them long after the vapor had disappeared.

Rushing back up, the group came to the pit where Maja fell, moved to the exit side, triggered it and retrieved the grievously wounded, but still breathing Maja. With a weak smile, she collapsed into Raz’s arms and he carried her out of the ziggurat.
Thanks Bjorn.

I'm trying to keep the game fresh and moderately paced, which is why you'll see a dramatic change for my next session installment. In essence, the Anchient Mes. portion of the campaign has ended, and like all good heroes, the PC's have moved on to other parts of the world. The sotry of Raz, Maja, Hadrathus, Belyara, Ajonga and Abaddon, however, will continue.
I dont know Arkobla...I can't decide which is better . Role playing your sessions or reading about them.
Always fun both ways, however the write ups need more of the exploits of Hadrathus....the guy who cannot even spell his own name correctly(see author) but who's deeds speak for themselves(ask Maja)!
Thank you Bjorn... I really like this character so I'm glad my fellow rpers found a way to help me out. :D

I second what Raz said.. its fun rping but its a blast to see your own characters exploits written up in black and white! Go on.. feed the ego!

Hehe.. funny Ajonga. I don't mind as long as YOU DON'T DROP HER!!! OUCH! She had just gotten all healed up. Jeesh! :p

*bats eyelashes innocently* Deeds? What deeds Hadrathus? I'm afraid I don't know what your talking about. I plead the 5th.