Saltmarsh Journal

Journals for the Saltmarsh RPG Campaign

Another one bites the dust

Nursing our wounds and bleeding eardrums, and carrying the unconscious Nailen, we return to Kendra’s, who puts Nailen to bed and tucks him up.  But not before Rufus judiciously shares out his power of healing such that a good nights rest and a day off will do the rest for all of us..

The next day we ponder the 5 artefacts. Nailen attempts to divine them again; this time the flute has no power, the holy symbols give the weakest sensation, the axe and hammer next strongest and the spell book is the strongest.  We go to discuss the holy symbols with the holy man of Helim with a view as to how to destroy their power.  We suggest melting them down and turning them into an artefact of Helim to use against the evil spirits, but he is uncomfortable with the idea of blending consecrated metals of many sources into one artefact. He would be happy to take the Helim token, but the tangle of necklaces prove more difficult to separate and resistant to physical force than first looks.

So concluding that like the flute, the artefacts must be used against the owner to destroy both, we prepare to return to the prison the following day.  Reviewing the map and notes of the 5, (and we deduce now 4) bad dudes, we deduce there is nothing/little of interest on the upper floor and it’s to the Oubliette we must go; Mahan takes an interest in the Axe; time meet its maker.

Day 20 in this Helim-forsaken backwater (note: tonight it will be 4 days since the last letter writing)

We descend into the lower reaches of the prison, and return the hall where we battled the skeleton horde. Silence, punctuated by the sound of dripping water and the flicker of our torches, echoes off the blackened walls which seem to suck the light away.  We steal towards the opening marked ‘Oubliette’ and peer round the corner.  A black sooty passageway extends north beyond the reach of our light source.

We venture in, (Mahan and Olsen taking point, Mahan hefting the bloodied axe). On our left a door appears, and as we approach, the door suddenly opens and a flaming headless skeleton wielding an axe charges out.  <At this point Toby showed me the module picture and Nailen did a little poop in his trousers on my behalf – but stood firm>

It attacked, Olsen and Mahan attacked back, Olsen beautifully foxed it in its demented rage on attack and Mahan and Olsen took advantage. The axe bit deep and good into the skeletal form, shattering its rib cage. Mahan smiled – this was a powerful weapon. Olsen was able to take it’s next attack on his armour and dealt a telling blow. Maybe the loss of its ribcage had weakened it but the skeleton was failing to hit now and Mahan cleft it asunder with a mighty blow. Damn fine axe – almost as though it hits them twice!! The shattered bones fell to the floor, flames extinguished.

Buoyed by their victory the party explore the room; a small room with two cot beds on the far wall and a table and chairs.  On one wall a winch and a chain extends to the ceiling. They decide to leave alone and carry on up the corridor.

10 ft further on we see a raised portcullis in the corridor roof. The winch we deduce.

We carry on and reach a large 30’x30’ room with 3 cells on each wall. In the centre an 10’ square hole leads down (the oubliette?) On the far side a hinged iron grid lies – the hole is open.  A rope is tied to the grid and trails down into the darkness.  The party notice that the soot is only on the upper part of the walls; smoke damage rather than direct scorching. 

As they step into the room to inspect the cells a blood curdling screech announces a ghostly apparition appearing from the hole wielding another axe – this time it has a head and isn’t hanging about and attacks!!

With the Executioner’s Arms fresh in his mind Rufus quickly deploys a Helim SunStick and the chamber is filled with the brightness of a summer day. As the light fades, we can see the ghost pressed against the far wall. It shakes itself and press back for attack, skimming across the room.  As the party deploys for defence/attack, Nailen deploys a spirit jar – a flash as the jar opens and a blue mist is drawn from the ghost. It withers slightly, but only, shakes itself…. And attacks.

The battle was a whirl of Axe and Sword and Dagger and Sword. The ghostly axe seemed unimpeded by our armour and would cut neatly through our skin. But the bleeding would turn to smoke and float to join the ghostly maniac and strengthen him. Only those with magical repair were able to withstand the damage, but they were weakening with each hit. Rufus took near fatal blow to his stomach, but was able ot heal himself quickly. But Mahan’s mighty axe appeared to be getting the better of it’s former owner, and while Mahan’s was feeding the ghost, he was taking back in spades.

Olsen succumbed to magical draining; Rufus was holding his intestines in. And then with a final swinging Mahan caught the ghostly form and pow!!!! The apparition dispersed with a crackle and a flash; a whiff of sulphur and ozone hung in the air. The axe in Mahan’s hand felt heavy and clumsy, the bloodstains faded, the steely gleam faded… Bad Guy No2 was down!!!!

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