Monday, July 31, 2017

The Bloody Palm


Campaign: Krevborna Open Table (5e D&D)

- Kylic, half-elf life domain cleric
- Thane Ganymede, darakhul wizard
- Leonid, weretouched fighter

Objective: Locate four pieces of a glass object that Kylic saw in his vision.

Events: Kylic had been having recurring dreams of a a bloody hand print upon a wooden door, hog pens, and a journey north to the hamlet of Stenton. The most prominent feature of these dreams was a glass object that had been sundered into four pieces. Kylic knew that the pieces of this glass, if recovered, could be a powerful weapon against a force of darkness currently gnawing at the roots of Krevborna.

To draw together some companions to assist his pursuit of the vision, Kylic went to an outdoor market. He witnessed the attempted murder of an old man by a street ruffian; the would-be murderer was killed by the combined efforts of Thane and Leonid. Suitable compatriots had been found. 

(The old man was saved from the assassin's knife by a chain shirt he had been given on the streets of Chancel months ago in a previous session.)

Heading north, the party stopped at Stenton. Father Bray, the priest at Stenton's church warned Leonid away from a cave the locals believed to be haunted. Kylic learned that a farmer named Hamish lived in the vicinity, and that his hogs were widely considered to be of the best quality. Since the dream motivating their journey involved hogs, they made Hamish's farm their next stop.

Posing as a prospective buyer, Kylic distracted Hamish  (and healed Hamish's gout) while Leonid and Thane snooped about the premises. Leonid found a bloody hand print upon the door of the farmer's shed. What he found inside was worse: the body of a young man was hanging from a meathook, his blood draining into a metal basin at his feet.

When confronted with this information, Hamish tried to play it off as the body of an intruder he had killed on his farm, but ultimately he confessed that he had overpowered the man and tried to make him a replacement for his dead son. 

He also confessed to having another captive in the house, a man named Theodore who the party healed and set free. Hamish was subdued and the party decided to rest overnight within the farmer's house.

Their rest was interrupted by sounds of frightened yelling coming from the forest at the edge of Hamish's farm. The party ventured into the forest and found a cleric of the Church of Saintly Blood lying wounded against a tree. 

Her name was Vicar Dylia, and she explained that she was part of an expedition sent by the Church to find an artifact believed to be within an ancient shrine. She was convinced to take the party to the shrine.

The "shrine" was a short tower with a domed roof. Dylia refused to go inside because she was traumatized by the attack her group had suffered from the "skinless men" they had released from the shrine when they broke down its door.

Undeterred, the party entered. Inside the tower was a ledge surrounding a central pit of black water. A light spell was cast on a stone; throwing it down into the water revealed a corridor that ran beneath the water to a unknown location.

Leonid accepted the task of exploring the underwater corridor. He emerged at the other end in a circular chamber strewn with bones and debris. The domed ceiling of the chamber was painted with vivid scenes of gaunt, inhuman figures torturing and tormenting human beings.

The trio began to explore the chambers. They discovered a glass hemisphere giving off a blood-red radiance embedded in the floor of one chamber. Within the hemisphere could be seen the head of an inhuman woman whose lower face was obscured by a veil made of fine chain. 

Further exploration determined that the chamber below was responsible for the illuminating red light; the light was streaming from a gilded basin filled with inhuman blood. When Kylic swished the blood in the basin he discovered that the source of the light was a glass chunk at the bottom of the basin--it was one of the pieces of glass he had seen in his dream.

The party also found a ledge from which they could see more bones, debris, and swords lying in a cavern, as well as a statue that appeared to be the same chain-veil wearing women they had seen previously in the hemisphere. The chain veil on the statue was not a carved piece of the sculpture, and thus was duly looted--as was a chunk of gold with a blood-red gem embedded in it that had replaced one of her stone eyes.

The remaining three pieces of the glass artifact were located on an altar flanked by gaunt, monstrous statues bearing swords. Unfortunately, as the party was looting the altar a cloud of ash began to whisper into the chamber, with a sound like sand blown against stone, coalescing into two tall, thin figures bearing curved swords. 

The ensuing battle was brutal; the party took an early beating--both Thane and Leonid found themselves face-to-face with death (in Leonid's case, no less than three times), but Kylic's magic kept them alive. The tide eventually turned in the party's favor, and Leonid delivered the death blow to both of the ancient swordsmen.

Forgoing further exploration, the party left the shrine. Vicar Dylia attempted to take the glass shards from the party by force, but Kylic's last spell subdued her. They returned to Hamish's farm to recuperate. Before returning to Piskaro, Kylic killed Hamish for his murderous, cruel crimes and buried him in the family's small burial plot.

XP: 1083 xp each

- Violet garnet (90 gp)
- Gilded bowl depicted Lilituans sacrificing humans (100 gp)
- Chain veil (40 gp)
- Statue of a Lilitu noble wearing a chain veil (100 gp)
- Pouch containing 22 cp found on dead assassin

Magic Items:
Golden nugget with red gemstone embedded in it. (Once per day when you hold this item you get advantage on a Persuasion, Insight, or Deception check made against an undead creature.)

Sorrowsworn, a curved sword made of ancient metal, inscribed with runes in an elder language. (Magical short sword; inflicts an extra 1d6 damage against Lilituan descendants and vampires.)

Four pieces of magical glass, the purpose of which is currently obscure.