Badlands Session #5

Once again, the party finds themselves in the chapel at the summons of Brother Godwinn. Locking the 2 large oak doors into the temple, he beckons the party to sit with him.

For a price of a few ales, Gwan will happily spin this tale of what happened next: “It was… it… it is… The world… The world is not as your eyes see it. Imagine what you see being painted on a canvas. I see a small hole get larger on this canvas. First one finger pokes through the hole, then a second. The fingers tear at the hole, making it larger. The sound of the world tearing… it sounded like ripping a shirt trying to get to your lover as quickly as possible. Before my very eyes, a pair of long, very shapely legs stepped through. Let me tell you, those legs were not the only thing that was easy on my tired eyes. You have to believe me, she said she was over a thousand years old, I wouldn’t believe that one bit…Her black hair was long, nearly to her waist. A large owl, black as a moonless night, large eyes taking in everything sits upon her shoulder.”

She introduced herself as Arwel Arlon, and her feathered companion, Whiskers.

“Whiskers was not always this form.” – she offhandedly explains.

After listening to Godwinn’s dream, and pondering a moment, she walks to the front door, unlocking it from many paces away with a swift movement of her left hand, proceeding right through the still opening doors without even breaking stride.

Going outside, they see Whiskers launch off Arwel’s shoulder, each powerful flap of his wings, taking him further north.

Arwel pulls a crystal stone out of a pouch, and holds it out. A view of the forest from above comes into focus. You realize that you are looking through the eyes of her owl. With near full moon’s light, identifying landmarks is easy. Locating the ring of stones, and then the mausoleum, the view expands north. A pillar of light from the ground, dominates the horizon, slowly piercing through the clouds. Just as in the dream, the bright light from the moon is smothered.

Asking for a map, she pencils in the light’s origin.

“I have guild matters to attend to. I cannot afford you any more time. I am interested in your investigation – you have my aid.

Trust Godwin. I fought alongside him half century ago. You should have seen him then…. a powerful mage, rendering those before no more.

I did not think they would return so soon. 50 years of peace. The undead are not unlike a fire, very dangerous when left unattended. I’ll return when my matters are concluded. Fairwell – good luck. “, Arwel’s bluntly states as the room darkens and she steps back through her magical portal.

Deciding that investigating the source of the light should be their top priority, the party gears up to head out at first light. Half a day hard riding they locate a hill that looks it could be the source. Scrambling up the hill, Sebastian and Elvis find 3 large stones with symbols chiseled deeply in the stone. Nobody in the party had seen anything like them, including the elves.

Investigating a stone structure to the south west Anastasia pokes around. After giving the all clear, the group finds an open door to an old structure built into the side of the hill – appearing to be mausoleum.

Still investigating, Anastasia finds freshly dug up coffins along the hallways, dirt still clinging to the decaying wooden boxes. Breaking them open to search for treasure, they come across a room with many types of musical instruments sitting on dusty shelves.

A tomb featuring a large piece of red glass is noticed along the back wall.

“We already robbed a few coffins today, what’s a few more?!”, Gwan grumbles, still nursing a hangover. Confident that there were no traps, Anastasia with help, pushes the lid off the sarcophagus. A musical number escapes the lid, and the all the instruments come to life, playing as if in the hands of an orchestra. Feeling a strong compulsion to dance and sing along, unable to stop.

Attracted by singing, several undead come to investigate and are quickly dispatched. Wanting to know where these undead came from, they find in the room one over, a human cultist wearing a black robe with purple trim. He wears a talisman around his neck inset with a black stone that glitters with light as it moves.

Combat erupts. Wearing the recently deceased cultist’s robe & talisman Elvis goes exploring hoping to fit in. Anastasia, wanting to provide Elvis backup, slips into the darkness and out of sight.

Coming back and giving the party the all clear, they advance into a room with a device that has no apparent purpose. A 8 pointed star is laid into the stonework. From around that star, columns rise from the ground to the roof, looking like a cage. Under 5 of the columns, corpses are positioned with their backs to the pillars. Each column has faucet with tubes and carvings. Along the inside of the pillars are carved runes. Heads are contorted upward, open mouths positioned under a faucet. There are several wheel barrows along the wall, fresh dirt still left in the tray.

Hearing voices coming their way, the party shelters in room. Elvis and Anastasia volunteer to keep an eye out.

Returning to the room of corpses, a grisly scene unfolds. A human cultist, wearing a black robe with purple trim, complete with medallion is chanting in arcane tongue, precise crisp hand movements leaving trails of light. His assistant loads another two corpses against the pillars, opening their mouths and positioning their heads.

When satisfied, the chanting intensifies, growing in volume. A burst of light shoots from the floor, piercing through the roof of the structure, staying for less than a minute. During this time, thick red liquid flows down the channels cut into the pillars from the ceiling, out the faucet into the awaiting mouths of the dead. Groaning, the dead begin to rise, each gathering strength and standing. The assistant leads the undead out the door, closing it behind him. The cultist, face drenched in sweat, leaves the room to the south.

Reporting back, the party decides to explore further. They find a large room with a massive tomb, richly adorned. Taking everyone to push the lid off, they are rewarded with a skeleton wearing a silk robe. A massive 2-handed maul rests beside the bones. The hammer is beautifully crafted, with black leather wraps, and gold runes hammered in.

Exploring deeper, the party holes up until Elvis can scout ahead. Walking with great confidence, avoiding undead, he opens a door to find a room corpse on the floor with a silver shallow bowl on their chest. It is filled with liquid. A red circle is drawn around the corpse, candles placed every few feet providing light. Upon gazing at the silver liquid, Elvis is transfixed. A voice echoes into his mind, probing Elvis for answers about his reasons for being here.

Focusing his mind, Elvis breaks free from the gaze, feeling mentally violated. Along the wall are large, clear glass vessels. The glass is stained red.

Returning back the party, everyone moves out and spots a group of undead. Coming up with a creative plan involving a protection from undead 10′ and flasks of oil and holy water quickly dispatches the undead.

Elvis, ever confident in his disguise proceeds to scout. He runs into a cultist that looks like he is the leader. Striking up a conversation with the leader, Elvis pretends it is his first day on the cultist job.

Meanwhile the party tries to open up more coffins and tombs. Some yield treasure, others dust. While Anastastia was investigating a tomb with the same red transparent stone, Gwan impatiently pushes her to the side, lifts the lid, and triggers a loud alarm – so loud it deafened everyone for several minutes.

“Named Malahazzar. Not much for chatting.” Elvis boldly states. Knowing that their protection scroll was still active, they decide to hunt out the undead. Advancing ahead, Anastasia locates a group of 6 skeletons. Between turning the undead and the protection scroll, the undead are put down, but not before the lead cultist joins the fray.

“That’s him! That’s Malahazzar! Be careful, he wears leather under those robes!” – Elvis shouts over the sounds of melee.

Malahazzar pulls a scroll out and invokes it – dead rise up animated. Pulling out another, reading with a calmness, his image is fractured into 5 mirror images. The fight is punctuated by Elvis landing a massive haymaker – knocking Malahazzar dead.

Looting all the corpses, they pile them up in the musical instrument room, using the instruments as kindling. After the fire takes off, Sebastian adds the elixir – the flame turning a deep green as it burns cremation hot. Like before, deep black clouds of smoke begin to choke the party out. Dropping to their knees they head to the exist, as timbers begin to catch and the sound of the flame consuming behind them.

Badly exhausted by their combat heavy adventure, their clothes wet with blood, they head back to town, greatly needing rest and healing.

While heading back, Apoqulis examines one of the scrolls found. Figuring it to be a treasure map, upon arrival at town, Apoqulis grabs some tools. A few hours later, covered in dirt and mud, he hauls up a sack full of loot.

“Turns out this is a treasure map. The symbols are combined. – the treasure was only a few miles from here – I grew up near here. I knew exactly where to look. I played there as a kid.”

Wore out, the party sends word to Godwinn that they have returned, and rent rooms for the night.


  • Elvis – Bishop
  • Anastasia/Sebastian – Sarah
  • Morgane/Gwan – Mimi


  • 322 xp human / 293 XP Non-Human
  • Purple silk robe, human sized (unidentified – magical)
  • Copper ring (unidentified – magical)
  • Maul +2 “Heavenly Vengeance” – Black Metal with black leather wraps. Symbols are stamped & embossed in gold up and down the shaft.
  • Shield +1
  • Leather Armor +1
  • Ring of Protection +2
  • Short Sword +1
  • Wand of Magic Missile (9 charges remain)
  • [mage] Scroll of Stoneskin
  • [mage] Scroll of Invisibility
  • [mage] Scroll of Slow
  • [mage] Scroll of Knock
  • [mage] Scroll of Fireball x2
  • [cleric] Scroll of Stone to Flesh
  • Spell book [web, invisibility, ventriloquism]
  • Protection from Evil
  • Protection from Undead
  • [cleric] Cure Disease
  • [cleric] Resist Cold
  • Potion [unidentified]
  • Potion [unidentified]
  • Gems (if sold): 2,840 g
  • Jewelry (if sold): 1,932 g
  • 1,820 g, 600 p

Badlands Session #4

After a long day of back breaking work repairing the repealed undead attack damage, our adventures are found feasting & drinking in their favorite (and only) tavern. “Brother Godwinn would like to see them at first light!”, the young boy proclaims from the tavern doorway. Upon noticing sheer number of empty mugs on the table, adds – “If yee remember this at all!”. Gwan half jumps up, knocking beer all over the table, shouts back, “We’ll be therrrrrrrree”.

Meeting Brother Godwinn just as the sun rose starts to break the horizon, pleasantries are exchanged. He immediately launches into a very dynamic reenactment of his reoccurring dream. “My Lord is speaking to me… I don’t what it means.”

“There is a hill illuminated by a full moon. A bright column of light pierces the sky – all the way to heaven. Once the light passes through the clouds, symbols fly out of top of the hill like bats escaping a well. I do not recognize the symbols though – they feel ancient to me. The symbols morph between colors and shapes – sinister looking – a feeling of dread. The clouds turn black – the moon even darker – darker than blackness. I always wake up drenched in sweat, heart racing, feeling like my soul has been tainted. I should have told you earlier, but I didn’t want to send you on a fool’s errand. Does this mean anything to you?”, the priest asks.

After a few minutes of discussion, this dream didn’t lead to any clues like the previous. “Maybe my Lord will deliver unto me more direction with more intense fasting and prayer. I keep thinking about that full moon. A full bright moon being swallowed into complete darkness. The next full moon is just 3 nights away!”

“Between not sleeping, I sent word of the town’s fight against the undead, undead that I thought we destroyed long ago. How destroying the black altar seemed to turn the tides of battle, to my old guild, The Order of Flame. I just received a message from them. Turns out the surname Starlis means something. They were a very old family that lived in this area as best they could tell ~500 years ago”, he says as he hands you a map. “Here is a map of where their mausoleum should be, according to old tax records. Head this way (as he points with his finger), then when you see a big circle of stones, head due west. “

As the party mounts up to ride out, the priest reminds them, “Remember, a full moon is soon. Time is most precious! Here are some potions to help!”, and hands the nearest rider 3 healing potions. “These are special healing potions – their healing power decreases a little each day – within a week they will be rendered inert!”.

Along the road, the party encountered 2 wagons that had a peculiar payload. The payload was a young boy, wrapped up in canvas. The parents tell a sad story that the party listens to: their son a few days ago developed a fever and passed away. Before the child was able to be buried, his body started to move. Convinced that an unholy spirit had inhabited the body of their son, the family wrapped the boy in a large piece of sailcloth to prevent him from clawing at them, and are traveling to the nearest priest – Brother Godwinn in Old Morgansfort. Story told, each party continues their way, not wanting to tell the grieving family that the boy was now undead, not possessed by a spirit. Undead have not been seen in this area in more than many generations – parents tell children of undead as a way to get them to go to bed.

After following the map, they come across an old mausoleum in fairly poor condition. The front stone doors had been smashed in, broken into many small pieces. It appeared some amount of activity had recently been happening based on the trampling of foliage. Inside, there were many sarcophagi – many with the covers smashed in, some with the lids slightly ajar, and a few with the tops securely attached.

The party decided to explore the unopened coffins first. Taking 3 strong people lift it enough to slide it off, a pungent sickening smell escapes, nauseating all, forcing them to their knees, coughing spastically. During the coughing spell, the lid dropped, and broke. A necrotic ooze blobs out of the coffin.

After several intense rounds of combat, the goo was put down, and the coffin was checked. Treasure was found. The remaining 3 unopened coffins had similar goo waiting them as well as treasure in each one. Holy water was effective. These goos, when hit hard enough, would split into two smaller goos. The clerics in the party could not turn the undead goo, but felt that they were indeed within the presence of undead.

After dispatching all the goos, and most of their spells, the party decides to check out the coffins with the lids slightly ajar. These lids were even heavier than the sealed sarcophagi. A thick metal band ran all round, with braids of copper adorning the fancy ornate glasswork.

Legs braced to push with all their might, the lid just barely budges a loud “click” is heard. “Oh shit!”, mutters Morgane, as a powerful electrical charge arcs from the metal band, blasting everyone back a few feet. Taking lots of damage, the party divide up their healing potions and imbibe. Searching the resting place, they indeed find treasure. The subsequent sarcophagus again dealt them a fierce shock. Getting tired of being shocked, Sebastian asks, “What if we insulate our hands with some sort of cloth?” – a few minutes later – the lid slides off, even though they heard the click. Each coffin yielded treasure, magical and monetary.

Exhausting all spells, and healing potions, Gwan, being touched in the head, decides to explore the final unchecked tomb. It is the largest sarcophagus, and the most ornate. Getting on his knees and brushing the dust off the name, he makes out a name. The first name was not readable but the letters “arlis” was easy to read. Gwan continues to dust off the stone looking for more clue. A ghastly presence is felt – followed by a ghostly being rising directly through the cover of the tomb.

“Who are you?!? This is my place. This is my family’s place. You are not a Starlis. You do not belong. Trespasser.”, as a bony looking finger is raised and pointed over the party.

“Who are you? My name is Sebastian – we intend you no harm”, asks Sebastian.

“I haven’t spoken to living soul in so many generations. I am the 15th of the house of Starlis. Mauta is the name given to me…”

“We are not trespassers. We are trying to stop an undead invasion. We are trying to help….” Morgane gasps out between waves of fear at seeing this specter.

“You are the first living being I have felt in more than 500 years. You are robbers! I was buried with my shield. It has protected me for so long. Where is it?” as he points to an indention where something rested on the sarcophagus’ top. “You are grave robbers. Give it back to me!!!!”, Mauta’s ghostly voice echoes, and begins to scream. As the scream gets louder and louder, the ghostly body starts to look more solid. Flesh seemly starts to grow on this ghastly body.

Fleeing for their lives, the party runs out of the tomb as quickly as possible.

“Get to the horses and ride!” someone screams during the exodus.

“Zombies!!!”, someone yells.

“Careful! They are everywhere!!!”, another yells.

A sicking scream echo off the hills. Peering over shoulders, galloping at full speed, the party sees Bork pulled off his horse by the pack of undead . Even more disgusting is the silence that quickly follows. Knowing that Bork is gone, the party decides the should find a safe place to camp. Taking turns at watch a few hours of restless sleep is acquired.

Hoping to find the body of their comrade to give him a proper burial (and prevent him from rising as undead), a brisk ride brings them back to the sad scene. The body of Bork is partially chewed on, being loaded onto a sled. The sled carried two large glass vessels with a dark red thick liquid.

A plan is laid out, and executed. After the dust settles, all the undead, plus Bork are burned to ash. Not wanting to tangle with Mauta Starlis, ghost or not, they ride back to tell Godwinn what they found.

Treasures found:

  • Gems/Gold/Jewelry: 1727 gold (if sold)
  • A small wooden figurine of a horse (magical)
  • Chainmail +1
  • Mace +1, +2 vs Giants (named “Giantsbane”)
  • 17 +1 arrows
  • Potion of Healing
  • Mage: Scroll of Stoneskin
  • Any: Protection from lycanthropes
  • Cleric: Scroll of [Remove Fear, Speak with Animals]
  • Mage: Scroll of [sleep, protection from evil]
  • Cleric: Scroll of [Protection from Evil, Sleep]
  • Cleric: Scroll of [Bless, Remove Curse]
  • Small Map
  • Bronze Ring (magical, unknown)
  • Recipe book with unreadable symbols/codes