The party returns from Ravenscraeg exhausted from the fight with the strange goblin-esque spellcaster.
Christina is talking with Caleb, who has returned, and is now dressed in Tien style black robes. He does not explain where he has been but seems keen to reunite with the party and be of service. “We are still….aligned…” He smirks.
It is explained that Takeo has become a Scion. Caleb touches Suishen briefly to introduce himself to the sword and gain the knowledge of the Oni. He withdraws his hand quickly and does not ponder the sword any further. The party rest and recover.
There is an absence of bird song when they wake up and take the winding journey back to Ravenscrag. The castle is eerily silent as the descend back into the dungeon, searching for Ulf Gormundr. They find their way along the dark corridor at the bottom of the dungeon to find two jade doors emblazoned with dragons.
Mug puts his sword on the ground and it skitters away. He calls an oath but ignores the sword choosing to retrieve it later. He claps his hands, starts murmuring. He rubs magic warpaint on his hands and face, the orc now looks larger and more menacing somehow.
Two bronze warrior statues lie on either side of the dragon doors. Kaltharnus detects faint magic on the statues. As he raises his hands to complete the spell one of the statues attacks. It brutally wounds him with a swing of its stone sword and the wizard backs away. Battle commences but the things seem impervious to physical harm and Mug damages his weapon attempting to hit one.
The party retreats up the stairs. They realize that Kaltharnus is the only one who doesn’t have a Jade Raven Statue, so that must be why the living monoliths are attacking him.
They reach the wooden bridge over the small river running under the rock floor. Takeo trips and falls into the water, the statutes walk over him but he is unharmed. Mug attempts to jump over but miscalculates and falls in too right on top of Takeo. Caleb walks over and murmurs “…stop messing around..” and disappears leaving a Raven Statue behind him. Mug gets up and runs with the statue back upstairs to give it to Kaltharnus.
Caleb slips back down to the basement and slides the dragon doors open a sliver to see what is inside. A woman in white sits on a chair in the centre of the room, smirks at Caleb, he smirks back. This must be Thorborg Silverscore.
Caleb walks in the room arrogantly, trying to bluff and intimidate her. She responds by turning into a monstrous form and shooting two fire arrows into him. He is suddenly surrounded by ninja and taken by complete surprise. The Chelaxian has no response and is quickly defeated.
She says “Submit!”, Caleb pauses briefly and a light within him dies. He replies “I submit. She fires a final arrow into his head. He uses the sheer force of will not to return to the darkness waiting for him and his healing abilities pull him slowly back from the abyss.
Kaltharnus leads the statues back into the main hall and finally evade them by receiving a Jade Statue from Mug.
The Party reforms at the dragon doors in the basement. Mug opens the door, Takeo moves in behind him and Kaltharnus takes up the rear. The large room is empty initially with just a slight trail of what the party assumes is Caleb’s blood. The Inquisitor is nowhere to be found.
As they all enter and the last foot has crossed the threshold they are ambushed. “Get em boys!” the demonic Thorborg Silverscore shouts and a burst of frost cripples the men before they can begin to fight. She is flying twenty feet off the ground near the center of the room.
The party rally themselves while more ninjas appear from the shadows. They alight silently on the ground near the party only to be shocked and intimidated by Mug’s dominating war-paint and savage battle-cries.
A trail of blood leads behind a black lattice screen. Kaltharnus advances towards it and casts web on the ceiling of the room. Mug and Takeo dispatch a few of the ninjas with powerful blows from Suishen and Mug’s barbarian blade.
The Oni curses at Takeo for wielding Suishen and the sword burns brighter in the Samurai’ deft hands. For a second she seems worried and casts sleep on him and Mug. The fighters are too powerful for the magic to take hold and they fight on.
“I don’t like your arrogance Samurai…”. Thorborg Silverscore fires two arrows at Takeo from the webs.
“Fools, I alone control the Frozen shadows and the Rime Runners Guild!” She bellows at them. Combat with the ninjas continues while she flies above with a bow drawn. “Even the linnorm kings must bow to the will of my masters!” she boasts.
Takeo casts enlarge person and crouches behind the web reading a blow with his long staff. The Oni responds by flying up further to the roof mocking him with a cackle. Everything the party tries is immediately countered and every blow struck seems to heal quickly. The situation seems bleak.
Still looking for the missing Inquisitor, Kaltharnus opens up a hidden door in the south west of the room. The party tactically retreat into the small opening to get some shelter from the deadly fire arrows. Unfortunately something else appears to be deeper in the passage waiting for them. Kaltharnus hears a familiar low guttural growl. They are trapped.
The Oni re-appears and clubs takeo in the face. His Samurai will is the only thing that keeps him on his feet. In response Mug quick draws his black composite bow and looses an arrow of evil outsider bane. It buries itself angrily into the foes chest with a burst of black smoke. Thorborg seems about to collapse, but a reserve of fortitude the party has never witnessed before allows the creature to drag the arrow out. The wound knits and heals over depressingly quickly.
Kaltharnus, now desperate, advances away from the small secret room and retreats back towards the entrance to the dungeon. Fire leaps from his hands as he tries to provide cover and immolate the webbing dragging around the Oni’s feet.
The creature seems uninterested in the wizard and concentrates on the severely wounded Takeo. “Where is your will now Samurai?” she mocks and pounds Takeo again in the head with the giant club. He falls to the ground.
Mug fires arrow after arrow in desperation, raging silently now. A stern look of determination and single-minded bloodlust combined. The Oni is just too strong for him alone. She turns towards Mug and hits him with the club, as Takeo, his body broken, can only look on. The mighty Orc falls from terrible blow to the chest. His tattooed runes fade.
Kaltharnus backs away down the corridor, and tries in vain to summon more magic, or find the right scroll to reverse this debacle. Unable to help his friends and unsure what else to do he starts backing towards the main corridor.
Takeo sits up, spits out blood and teeth and issues a final death-rattle challenge at the Oni, his one last act of honor. He takes a final gulp from his Sake bottle. The club head finds his broken body before he can finish and he slips into unconsciousness.
Kaltharnus flees back up the stairs to the main rooms and then down the cliff side. All the while The Oni’s unearthly cackling echoes behind him in the dark. He stumbles back to camp and wakes Christina and Ameiko explaining hurriedly what happened. They ride off back to Kalsguard for help.
Takeo, Mug and Caleb awake in a cell with their hands chained to posts. A body of a stranger lies nearby.
Thorborg Silverscore is in the room with them. “For every day I wait for reinforcements, one of you will die.” “Now…..where is Ameiko?” The party say nothing, she smirks and leaves them alone in the cell.
Three odd little creatures about three foot tall emerge from a small pool at the other end of the room. They croak a little “mep…mep” sound when startled and emit a blinding light from their eyes.
Caleb breaks his bonds using his inquisition powers and Takeo brakes his through using Samurai technique. They work on freeing Mug too while the weird halfling creatures try to blind them.
The stranger awakes and reveals himself as Ulf Gormundr. He agrees to take them across the spine of the world in return for getting him out of this dungeon.
They manage to free Mug but the powerful Oni comes back into the room with a massive winter wolf. This was the growling, snarling beast they had heard during the battle.
Despite the wolfs terrible stare and Thorborg Silverscores warnings the Inquisitor starts casting a spell. The winter wolf’s response is instant and its ferocious frost breath kills Takeo and puts Mug down again. Caleb is still barely alive as the sounds of fighting echo down the hallway and the Oni leaves the room to investigate. The Inquisitor looks over at Takeo and watches dumbly as the samurai’s eyes fade and his soul leaves the world of men.
Kaltharnus has brought back the Kalsguard watchmen using evidence from Lute Hagersly and the notes about the forged orders from the Rimerunners guild. The guards kill the Oni and free Caleb and Mug. Christina rushes into the cell and quickly performs a ritual to preserve Takeo’s body.
With the Oni dead and Ravenscrag fully cleared, the party and the guards take the loot back to camp. Kaltharnus insists on rewarding the guards with a silver bar each for their help.
Caleb: +2 (Bonus for the in-depth write up)