Saturday 25 December 2021

3 Yarthmont - I have a bone to pick with you!

 Broneslav left the entrance room and turned right this time. The bird people who had flapped around him had gone in this direction. Immediately ahead of him the corridor became a T-junction with a door on the opposite wall. Broneslav opened the door a crack and peered in.

A mummified human in plate armour stood with a halberd against the wall to his left. An honour guard of  nine skeletons surrounded the mummy. Each had a sword in its hand and each stood to attention too. Suddenly they moved. 

Broneslav dived into the fray, smashing one skeleton down with a shield charge. The skeletons responded by attacking him. It was fortunate that only a few could get to him at any one time, and he was able to dodge or block their blows. He took another skeleton down, only for one of the others to take its place. Two more skeletons fell in quick succession but one of the remaining ones got through his defences (1 DAM). The pain galvanised him and four more skeletons were crushed by his shield and smashed by his sword. One remained and it was easy to destroy without its allies.

Throughout all this, the mummy had not moved. Looking more closely at it, Broneslav decided that it would not move either. With nothing else to seize his attention, Broneslav bandaged his wound and left the room, turning right.

He followed the winding corridor until it ended at a door. Broneslav pushed the door open carefully. His light showed that the room was inhabited. Two large white apes were sitting on a large sarcophagus. Rubble and debris surrounded them, as did the bones of their meals. The walls of the room were painted with scenes of warfare. An unnaturally handsome man in armour, clearly a noble, was the central focus of all these paintings.

As he looked in the apes began to beat their chests and howl. Broneslav took the hint and backed out of the room, closing the door behind him. That left just one direction to investigate. he walked back past the room with the skeletons and reached a junction where he could either go straight ahead or to the left. There seemed little to choose between the two so he mentally flipped a coin again.

Saturday 18 December 2021

3 Yarthmont - Ghost Walk

 Being a young man with no real sense of his own mortality, Broneslav decided that he would push on while he could. There would be time to return to the Magi and rest up later. After all, his wounds were not that bad, and he was sure he could deal with anything he found.

He returned to the main corridor and turned left, still heading away from the mad bird people he had encountered before. The corridor turned right and then left and then left again. Walking stealthily and carefully, Broneslav advanced steadily until he saw something glowing ahead of him. Two human-sized shapes. He slowed his steps but continued to move forwards, prepared to fight. The figures did not move.

As he got closer he could see more details. Both figures were translucent and dressed in expensive clothes. One was a man and the other a woman. Each wore a crown.

The male figure spoke in heavily accented and antiquated common, "GO NO FURTHER OR THE CURSE OF KING ALEXANDER WILL OVERTAKE YOU!"

The female figure spoke after him, "I AM QUEEN ZENOBIA. TURN BACK, FOR ONLY DEATH AWAITS YOU!"

As the male figure spoke, fear began to build in Broneslav. As the female figure spoke, the fear built further. Suddenly, Broneslav found himself running away from them and back toward the room he had entered by. Only as he climbed the ramp did he regain his wits and stop running.

After catching his breath, he decided that following the bird-people might not be so bad after all. Even knowing the spell put on him by the two figures he had seen, he could not be certain to overcome the compulsion to run, so he would try a different route.

Saturday 11 December 2021

3 Yarthmont - Requiem for a Jester

 Broneslav walked carefully down the ramp. The walls of the room he entered were painted with scenes of a royal court. The centre of attention in these paintings is a dwarven jester. The paint was peeling and faded, but a lot of effort had been expended in its application, so the jester must have been someone important. A small, brightly painted coffin rested by the wall. In each corner of the room stood a  large brass jar.

There seemed little threatening here, and Broneslav did not wish to tempt fate, so he moved quickly to the door in the north wall and opened it. Beyond lay a long corridor. As he crept pantherlike down the corridor, he heard voices from ahead of him. Their squawk-like voices carried and it was clear they had seen his light as they rushed towards him.

From the dark emerged  four people flapping their arms and squawking. Each wore a bird mask and a feathered cape. None was armed, so he relaxed a little. As they neared Broneslav, they started squawking more urgently in a bird-like version of the language he had heard the Magi use. Not knowing what they were saying, Broneslav stayed quiet and did his best to appear non-threatening. The people flapped around him a bit and then flapped off again in disgust, throwing what must have been insults in Broneslav's direction. He had noticed this about the Cynidiceans. They seemed to inhabit a different world from him, and he had no clue what was up with them, not even those who were close to normal, like the Magi.

With the people gone, Broneslav stalked down the stone corridor of the pyramid. The people had run off to the right down a side corridor, so Broneslav kept going straight on. Soon he was faced with a choice of going straight on or turning left. He opted to turn left. He found himself in a short corridor with a door in one wall.

The door and the end of the corridor were soot-blackened. The image of a human-sized humanoid form on the wall marred the otherwise perfect sootiness of it. The door itself was open a hand's width. It was dark within, as far as Broneslav could see. Figuring that anything within would have been alerted by the light from his torch, Broneslav kicked the door open.

The walls of the room within were covered in murals depicting a priest performing ceremonies. In this room, the priest was clearly the focus of the paintings. The priest was also clearly the focus of three humanoid creaters with grey skin and long claws on their fingers. As Broneslav stepped into the room, they looked up from their grisly repast. His injuries from the day before still bothered him, and Broneslav only nicked one of the ghouls. The three hideous monstrosities immediately leapt towards him. Despite his best efforts, one of the ghouls raked his arm with its claws (1 DAM) and another bit him (1 DAM). A cold like the chill of the grave started spreading through his veins. Mustering every ounce of determination he had, Broneslav willed himself to keep going (Defy death after failing to save versus paralysis, 1 DAM).

This time he was able to behead the ghoul he had wounded before, but it was clear his wounds and burns were bothering him. The eldritch poison that the ghoul's touch injected was really not helping either. Fending the monsters off was proving hard, as one of the ghouls raked his body with its claws once more (2 DAM). Once more the ghoul's poison chilled his body and slowed his movements. Once more Broneslav mustered every ounce of willpower to keep going (Defy death again, 1 DAM).

Drawing on everything he could, Broneslav fought on and skewered a ghoul to leave it twitching on the ground, while knocking the other one back. It renewed its attack, but with just one ghoul left, Broneslav was able to fend it off easily and to ripost with a stroke that cleaved it from shoulder to waist.

Breathing hard, he looked around to see if any new challenges had emerged. Seeing nothing around, he closed the door to the room and bandaged his wounds. Searching the room, he found a valuable necklace and a pair of valuable-looking bracelets. He put them in his back, being all in favour of highly portable wealth.

Where to now? Should he return to the Magi and rest up to heal his wounds, or should he risk carrying on a bit further?

Saturday 4 December 2021

3 Yarthmont - Welcome to the Magi

 Broneslav awoke in a room full of snoring people. It took him a moment to realise where he was.

"Well," he thought, "At least I wasn't murdered in my sleep."

He left the room and returned to the chamber where the ritual had taken place. Auriga was there already.

"I hope you slept well, initiate," Auriga greeted him, "I have your ring here. Wear this ring and the Magi will recognise you as one of their own. This means that they may call upon your services, but it also means that you may call on theirs too. You may always return here to rest, if you need to. Consider this a safe haven for you, but beware of the treacherous Brotherhood and Warrior Maidens. They will take advantage of you, if not worse! Now, I shall show you out of here. If you can journey further into the pyramid and weaken them, then we Magi will be able to deal with the Demon Zargon who stole our home from us. Now, let me show you the way out of here. The other rooms of this tier are the homes of the Brotherhood of Gorm and the Warrior Maidens of Madarua. It might be unwise to antagonise them, although we will always be happy if you weaken them."

Auriga showed Broneslav to a door with a button beside it. The carving beside this one was different from the last one he had seen. Auriga pushed the button and a familiar grinding noise was heard. When the door opened, Auriga explained that this was a revolving corridor. Each of the eight buttons inside the corridor corresponded to an exit. Pushing the right button would turn the corridor to that exit so that Broneslav could head off in that direction. Broneslav memorised the symbol for this exit, and spotted the symbol from the door where the room with the statue was. He did not recognise the other six.

"This button here will align the shifting corridor to the route to Zargon's realm below," declared Auriga, "Follow the corridor to the room with the shifting floor and you will be able to enter the tier below. Any damage you can do to Zargon will be rewarded."

Auriga bade him farewell, and Broneslav pushed the button Auriga had indicated. He felt the revolving corridor kick into motion. Then it stopped and he opened the door at the other end. The corridor beyond ended in a T-junction. Auriga had failed to mention this detail so Broneslav mentally flipped a coin. Right. He turned right and followed the corridor to where it turned to the right again. There was a door here. He could here nothing through it so he entered the room carefully. It appeared empty.

Looking around, he saw an old chapel that had clearly been trashed at some point in the past. Something was scrawled on the wall. It seemed to be words to Broneslav but he did not recognise the language it was written in. One area of the floor seemed clearer of rubbish than the rest. He went to investigate and found that it tipped gently downwards as he stepped on it. This was the way to Zargon then. He hitched his sword belt up and walked down the ramp.

There are a few issues with it, but here is a higher resolution map of the whole of Tier 3 of The Lost City. I'm still getting to grips with aspects of CC3+ which I had not touched since last I played this solo Scarlet Heroes campaign ages ago and which I had never mastered, so I shall continue learning by mapping the next level down, and hope that Broneslav does not die so that I have a reason to keep mapping the dungeon.