Tuesday, December 12, 2023

The Necropolis of Omera

In last week's Savage Krevborna game the characters set off to find the Brineblade, a fabled weapon associated with the monstrous "goddess" Scylla. They had obtained a map to the sword's island location from a Polnezna seer, but the Isle of Omera was an obscure and largely forgotten place. The most likely location for the sword was the Necropolis, an ancient tomb complex that has been long sought-after by explorers and treasure hunters. Either no one has found it or no one has returned to tell the tale.

The Characters

Pendleton Torst, rogue anatomist

Catarina Redmoor, prioress of an unusual convent

Geradd, dissolute swashbuckler 

Panthalassa Laurentide, a very weird orphan

Raoul Carathis, necromancer

Daytona Midnight, dhampir gunslinger

Asudem, a drowned antiquarian brought back from the dead


Before setting off for Omera, the group decided to gather as much information as they could. Raul and Daytona visited a tavern, where they ended up drinking with an old soldier who told them that when Port Omera thrived in the past, it was the fiefdom of a bandit king and his retinue of knightly mercenaries. The bandit king was legendarily consumed with sin and known to be a collector of obscure items. He possessed a mania for hoarding items he thought would bring him immortality and power. 

Catarina visited her convent and discovered that there were a number of teachers there that she didn't hire; they were sent by Belle Silva to properly indoctrinate the younger sisters of the order into the cult of Scylla. She also found out that some of the older girls had been sent by Belle on a "mission" to establish the faith in Piskaro. While at the convent, Catarina learned that though there were a few churches in Port Omera, the Church of Holy Blood exerts no real power on the isle. There are rumors that cults operate with little need for secrecy in Omera; indeed, cults that are usually in opposition sometimes work together on the island. 

While researching the Brineblade, Raul met Asudem, an antiquarian scholar who felt a force drawing him toward the sword. He joined the expedition as the group set off for Omera. Once in Omera, the group split up to get the lay of the land. 

Catarina and Daytona went to a bath house run by Magra Govashank, a burly former pit fighter. According to Magra, a fellow gladiator told her that the Necropolis was "filthy" with morbid, skull mask-wearing dwarfs. 

Others went to see the statue of the "Old King," who was depicted as having a dragon-like head and a halo of flame. The king's name has been forgotten, lost to time. 

Raoul was surprised to discover that his disgraced cousin, Raymond, was the governor of the island. Though their meeting was mostly convivial, Raoul suspected his cousin was capable of betrayal.

Asudem heard an interesting sea shanty down by the docks that told the legend of five swords: the Brineblade, the Chain of Reckoning, the Corruption, the Boneblade, and the Fang of the Worm. The group quickly figured out that each of these swords was associated with a different eldritch entity they had encountered in the past.

Armed with as much information as possible, the group traveled though Omera's deep woods for a week until they reached what Asudem believed was the entrance to the Necropolis. They were confronted with a three-sided stone obelisk in front of a sheer cliff. Beyond the obelisk were two tunnels burrowing into the rock. Gargoyles were perched on narrow ledges above the entrances. Daytona cleared vines and moss from the obelisk; these words were inscribed upon it: "Beware trespasser, for you stand before the prison of the King Who Craves, He Who is Crowned with Fire Undying, the Lord of the Five Blades." 

Raoul's undead raven scouted the area, discovering a third possible entrance to the Necropolis. Meanwhile, Pendleton picked the lock of one of the previously found entrances; the door was made of ancient wood and looked like an arrangement of puzzle pieces that slide aside as the door was opened. Inside was a stone slab whose sides were carved to resemble screaming skulls. There was a bronze disk in the center of the slab, but the group declined not to mess with it, instead opting to open the door that Raoul's familiar had spotted. 

As they traversed the first corridor, they triggered a trap that spat poisoned darts at the party. Catarina, Panthalassa, Raoul, and Pendleton were all hit and rendered sluggish by the poison now coursing through their veins. The hallway ended in a giant stone dragon skull, the interior of its mouth was concealed by a supernatural darkness--which was soon dispelled by Raoul. A tunnel continued beyond the dragon's mouth.

The winding tunnel brought them to a burial chamber. There were alcoves near the ceiling holding a number of muddy human skulls. A pit in the center of the chamber held a stone sarcophagus. There were also three chests, one of onyx, one of rusted iron, and one of silver, on pedestals in the chamber. Geradd climbed down into the pit to get a better look at the sarcophagus while the others fooled with the chests. Daytona determined that the chests weren't trapped; however, that didn't mean they weren't cursed with powerful magic. Raoul had conjured a zombie to open the onyx chest, which triggered an explosion of necromantic energy that shredded the zombie and wounded everyone but Geradd, who was shielded by being down in the pit. 

Inside the sarcophagus was a bandage-wrapped mummy holding a crystal mace shaped like a skull crowned with spikes. Panthalassa took the mace and smashed the mummy, but it was an inert corpse, not a potential foe. 

Having located a staircase going down into the next level of the Necropolis, the group continued to explore. The group found a secret door that opened onto a narrow tunnel. At the end of the corridor, they could hear the sounds of rhythmic machinery, the occasional release of steam, and the sequel of pigs. Geradd found the spring that unlatched the door to the chamber beyond. The room was cluttered with chains, gears, caged rats, surgical implements, and basins of meat. There was an iron maiden-like device connected to glass cannisters of blood by tubing. 

The source of the swinish squealing was also uncovered: there were a number of skull-masked dwarves in the chamber, each emitting a weird, high-pitched squeal. At the sight of the interlopers, the dwarves drew hand axes from their belts and charged! The resulting melee was bloody, with the dwarves hacking away at the party and inflicting some grievous wounds. Daytona wisely shot the tubing connected to the iron maiden-like device, which caused it to open and disgorge a half-formed corpse golem. Once the group managed to kill the dwarves, including one who tried to flee, they were badly in need of rest and medical attention. 

We paused there for the evening.