Farthing, Faun Wizard
Noide, Celestial Cleric
Phelix, Cat-folk Swashbuckler
Again the group rested up and set back out to the castle. They had no issues reaching the point where they had left off (deciding to take the new entrance that was a bit harder to get to, but better concealed). Once in they followed the hall north to a door. Beyond they could hear something but were not sure what it was.
Opening up they found several small rock-mites that rand at them and a gravely voice calling out from the darkness telling them to leave that that they were trespassing on the lands of Von Dunkle. Von Dark once again proclaimed his lineage, but the voice just repeated itself.
As the group defeated the first set of rock-mites, the moved in to find two stone golems. they also noticed a set of glowing red eyes that appeared on the far wall. They fought with the golems and mites till they had defeated them, but not before Gaz (being uncharacteristic bold and attacking from the side) took a fatal blow. Then another voice (coming from the eyes) told them that they would be killed if they continued on. After this the eyes closed and disappeared.
They went through the next door and found a long hall, halfway down it, they tripped a wire which send two fireballs from each end of the all toward them. Everyone ducked and got through without more than some singed hair. The voice also returned, now encouraging that they continue on as this would be entertaining.
The next room held had two large square columns and a floor covered in some sort of sticky fluid. The party had to use all their strength just to take each step. Once they all got in the door behind them slammed shut and one of the pillars began to move. They had to “run” as quickly as they could to avoid being smashed by the column as it moved toward the wall. Several time Farthing had to be pulled by one of the others in order to avoid the pillar.
Eventually they made it across the room and took a breather. The traps here were far more cunning (and deadly) than anything they had encountered before.
The next section took them through a twisting hall that eventually ended in a 4 way split. One of the passages had a door so they too that way, and found a large room with several cells in it. The voice returned and asked why they wanted to get into the castle.
Again they explained that they had Von Dark, the rightful heir. The voice laughed at the frog but offered to test him. It asked that they place the frog in a ring of glowing ruins across the room. The party declined, so the ring erupted with several Void Brutes.
The cells made the space narrow and they had to battle the Void Brutes in a very tight place, but still they were able to fend them off. While this fight was going on a Eye of Death also emerged from the portal and started to gaze at the melee (killing one of the injured Void Brutes.)
Once the Brutes were dealt with, they went after the eye, but found that it could dodge up just out of reach and avoid their attacks. Farthing started to put up areas of smoke that blocked the eye and forced it to move, but this only slowed down its attacks. They also discovered that it was very fast.
Eventually they got it cornered into one of the cells and it was done in with a single attack. After, the voice again asked that they place the frog in the circle, but they refused and continued on. There was a door on the south wall and as they went through they heard screaming then silence.
The next area held several cells there were converted to a sort of barracks. In each they found orcs that had recently died in a variety of ways (one burned, one melted by acid, one impaled by spikes that came from the ceiling. At the end of the hall was a sort of dining room that was filled with a deadly gas and more orcs and an ogre.
The voice again insisted on the frog as a ring appeared on the ground. Again the party refused and moved on after some purify air spells were casts.
In the next area they found they had entered the lower part of the castle. Here they found more cells and some storage, but quickly were attacked by orcs in the shadows. They had no problem taking out the orcs, but it seemed that more were advancing each turn. Again the voice spoke and told them that the whole castle would soon be upon them.
This time they decided to throw the frog in the ring that appeared (much to Von Dark’s displeasure). Then the voice said the he was the heir and asked the others to enter the ring. They did and the rest of the castle was filled with poisonous gas. When it cleared, the castle was free of orcs.
The heroes had freed the castle and set Von Dark back in power!
Notes: I had decided that this was going to be the end of the “Castle Von Dark” arc one way or another, so I really wanted to finish up. We ran a bit late (it was around 1:30 a.m. when we finally finished), so the ending was a bit “press the win button already!” I don’t think anyone minded.
The traps and mocking voice seemed to be entertaining and keep everyone on edge. The fights were ok, with nothing too easy or hard. I had hoped to get in a bit of “players must make a clever plan with the castle helping them to retake it” but like I said it was really late so things ended up quickly.