Gamelog for my Dolmenwood Campaign written by Maydrid the Rogue. Rogue’s Gallery:
- Marj Smith the Fighter.
- Maydrid the Rogue.
- Madrid the Rogue (twin sisters).
- Jackie-of-Many-Colors (Elven Magician).
- Spruce-Upon-Gallows (Elven Enchanter).
- Hogrid Weavilman (Cleric).
- Boone the Hunter (Hunter).
- Tassain (Minstrel).
Deciding against staying with the elders, the party retreats back to the rooms with the sarcophagi and follows the flow of water instead. The passageway continues for a while, before opening up into a large room where the water pools in a basin embedded in the floor at the center. There are two doors to the left flanking a grate where more water from the basin flows, and another door straight ahead.
Upon closer inspection, the basin cradles twelve corpses of priests, knights, and perhaps other adventurers alike floating at its surface. “They look fresh,” Boone comments, staring into one of the corpse’s lifeless eyes. “Yet bloated with rot.”
As soon as the words leave his mouth, a huge, ethereal worm rises from the floor, phasing through the stone without any damage, as if it is a ghost. “Run!” Boone yells, sprinting for the door they came from, the rest of the party close behind.
They just barely tumble into the passageway again as the worm slithers past, clicking its horrendous teeth. It seems to have lost them, and disappears into the ground again.
“Maybe,” Sprue comments, panting. “The old men were a better option.”
“A prayer room,” Hogrid observes, pulling back the tapestry and staring into the room beyond. “The same one we first spoke to a monk in.”
An altar stands at the far end with the platinum hilt of a sword resting atop it. Behind the altar is a mosaic depicting Saint Clewd rebuking the Bicorn with a platinum sword at his belt.
Two monks with their hoods down enter the room. They shoot us a strange look, before bowing before the altar and praying. After a few minutes, the altar begins to pour out wine and conjure wafers. Marje stares on, surprised.
“The power of god,” Hogrid says with a smile, before exiting through the main door to leave the monks to their devices.
There is a living complex outside – there are sleeping quarters, a mess and double golden doors that are guarded by two monks. Two corridors lead off into the distance, each corridor a mirror of the other and lined with various statues. At the end of the corridors are two more doors guarded by two more monks.
“Hey,” Jackie says, waving them over. “What’s going on here?”
Hogrid peers through the door that Jackie is holding open. It reveals rows of pews standing in front of a lectern where a monk is preaching. Several of the other monks are humming or praying, their hands clasped together.
“A sermon,” Hogrid whispers, closing the door shut. “Let’s leave them be for now.”
“Over here,” Sprue calls. “A secret door.” He pushes on the wall at a corner in the room and it swings inwards to reveal a row of jail cells. They appear empty at first, but when approached dozens of zombies lumber towards the bars, groaning and shoving their hands through in a futile attempt at an assault. All the zombies wear priestly robes.
“Gross,” Madrid says with disgust, pinching the bridge of her nose. “Oh great, there’s more.”
They pass another cell holding a dozen skeletons, but contrary to the zombie’s actions, these skeletons silently watch as they walk past.
The hall ends and splits off to two doors – one on the left and one on the right. In between the doors stands a four-armed statue of a devil holding up four candles, one in each hand.
Maydrid listens at the door to the right, and after a few seconds, cracks it open to reveal a storage room of sorts. There are several crates full of rations lying around, along with large, strange man-trappers; pronged contraptions that end in a metallic grip. She searches the room meticulously, finding a loose flagstone that she promptly lifts. There is a small cave underneath that harbors a few species of mushrooms.
“These are valuable,” Boone says, leaning over her shoulder. He harvests them carefully with a knife and stores them in a pouch. “Let’s sell them later.”
Meanwhile, Madrid successfully lockpicks the door to the left open. Beyond is a small, dark torture chamber; discoloured bloodstains are streaked across the walls and floor. An iron-maiden stands against the back wall – after a few seconds of listening, scratching and groaning sounds emanate from the metal cage.
Tightly strapped to a chair is a half-alive monk, lying unconscious. Hogrid speaks a few words and touches him on the forehead, bringing him back.
“W-who are you?” the monk manages to spit out, stretching his jaw. “You don’t look like monks.”
“We’re outsiders,” Marje answers. “Here on the abbot’s orders to close the rift.”
“Ah,” the monk sighs, leaning back in his chair. “The abbot’s orders, huh?”
“Who are you?” Sprue questions sternly.
“I’m brother Elvis Parsley. I’ve been here for quite some time now, and all because my brother and I,” here and gestures at the iron-maiden, “decided that we disagreed with the abbot.”
Hogrid raises a curious eyebrow. “How so?”
Parsley sighs again, re-adjusting his seat. “The abbey of Saint Clewd has always held forbidden knowledge in the secret library, and the abbot, one day, was arrogant enough to study that knowledge, along with twelve other monks, so I was told. With it he tried to re-summon Saint Clewd from whatever hell he was banished to from his fight against the Ataicorn, and he successfully created a rift to another world; Saint Clewd did reappear here, but he was a crazed and strange man. Unfortunately for the abbot the Ataicorn also emerged from the rift, and we haven’t been able to close it since.”
“Do you know anything about the rift that could help us?” Jackie asks.
Parsley shrugs. “Not much, I’m afraid. I know the rift causes strange things to happen – it causes coffins to bring back long-dead monks, like myself, and once resurrected the abbot forces all of us to take an oath that we will mend Saint Clewd’s mind, and not leave or die before doing so. It’s exhausting. I’ve been alive for far too long now, and my body just wants to rest. They have been trying to fix Saint Clewd for over 300 years, and he is just as crazy as the day they inadvertently summoned him.”
Parsley had informed them that the rift was beyond the giant worm, who he suspected was also afflicted with the rift’s magic. So here they are again, standing beside the pool of bodies and preparing to run.
They all dash across the room at the same time, heading for a door they haven’t explored yet. Somehow, they make it across without any injuries, and surprisingly, no sign of the worm. They all breathe a sigh of relief.
They follow the water for a few minutes before it opens up into a room with a wrap-around mosaic. It depicts the different stages of the afterlife – Heaven, Hell and Purgatory. The only thing noticeable, that Jackie points out, is that there is a dragon-shaped piece missing from one of the scenes.
“It looks like Mother Harlot’s seven-headed dragon,” Sprue says, inspecting the wall.
They continue to follow the water’s flow, and eventually the water glides down a set of stairs and into a larger pool. There is what looks like a waterwheel against one wall, but whatever it was connected to is now broken. There is a huge vault door opposite the staircase.
Suddenly, the water splashes, signifying movement, and an upside-down bull’s head rises from the water atop a long, slender neck.
“Why hello,” she says in a soothing voice, the opposite of her appearance. “It’s been far too long since I’ve had company.”
Six more heads appear from the pool, each one different from the last. They address each other with different names, but the dominant head seems to be called She-Who-Damns. She turns to stare at Hogrid with burning eyes.
“And you, my dear priest, care to stay and entertain me?”
Hogrid steps back, holding his hands up in front of him. “I would love to,” he stammers out, fearfully choking the words from his mouth. “But in order to entertain, I require props, which I don’t have on me at this point in time.”
She-Who-Damns ponders for a moment, before sighing dramatically. “Very well,” she says. “Leave me, but be sure to return sssssoon.”
“What a close call,” Madrid puffs out, breathing heavily.
“Maybe the abbey shouldn’t be our priority right now,” Hogrid says, wiping his forehead of beads of sweat. “Let’s see if Mostlemyre needs us.”