PCs: Xeal, Markas, Urisk, Vanir, Queen of Spades
Ring of NPC: Toad
Monday, 12th of Nethysta, 179th Year of the Goddess
The group had been a little roughed up by their encounter with Gronk but were still determined to take anything that this vampire lord could throw at them. They decided to quickly double back and find the rest of the gang before going further, reasoning that it wouldn’t hurt to have the extra manpower. In the meantime, Urisk, QoS and Vanir had made it out of the pit trap by way of a hidden door and had started following the same path as the others. The group rejoined as Urisk & co. were having difficulty with one of the puzzles, the other group opening the door to the next room just as their frustration was mounting.
With everyone back together the group went to investigate the miniature arena in which they had fought Gronk. While the sandy arena itself yielded no items of interest, they discovered two rooms that were adjacent to the arena.
The first was behind the wall that Gronk had burst through- those with a sharp eye for detail noted that it was an incredibly neat break in the wall, and those with a knack for engineering nothing that it had been rigged to break apart and reassembled easily. Stepping over the rubble they looked into a roughly hewn but large-ish room, with a troll sized coffin in the centre of the room and some animal carcasses in the corner. The group put two and two together and made the reasonable assumption that Gronk was now resting within, restoring health and still being a potential source of trouble for the party. The general concensus was that he should be exterminated with extreme prejudice, which brought up the question of how much the party actually knew about vampires. Casting their minds back to when they each had first heard of vampires, most of the party remembered that you could kill vampires with a stake when it was helpless, but that to finish it you would need holy water- not a commodity that was easy for the group to procure.
There were, however, multiple glowing runes carved into the coffin which interested Xeal. Casting detect magic on them, he was alarmed to find that they had a very strong evocation aura attached to them, and backed out of the room very quickly. The rest of the group soon followed suit upon asking him what was the matter, and took a second cautious look at the coffin from a distance. After determining that the runes were probably activated by contact, Vanir decided that he would try to fire some arrows to disturb (and thereby activate) the runes. While it was a good idea in theory, the arrows merely skittered off the stone surface and faded into the darkness. While the party wasn’t enthused at the idea of leaving a potentially deadly enemy behind them, they also didn’t want to be blown up (I believe Urisk rolled a nat 1, making disarming the trap difficult, if not impossible).
Leaving the first room, the group went to investigate the second room, found by listening for the wind coming through gaps in the wall. After entering through the false wall the group found a small armory with sets of ceremonial plate resting on stands in the corners of the room. The most interesting feature of the room was a beautiful mural on the ceiling of Lord Du Pont astride a chestnut stallion. Naturally the group looted the most expensive looking armour, then left the room.
Having exhausted all avenues to proceed further, the group retraced their steps back to where they had chosen to take the right fork. Choosing instead to take the left path, the group were treading warily on the off-chance of a bone box being present. While there were no immediate traps, keen eyes spotted two concealed passages. The party chose to go left this time, which led to a sealed room.
Urisk stepped forward to trigger the door mechanism, but the wall slid open without prompting. Furthermore, he felt a force grip his mind and beckon him to enter. As he did so, the wall closed behind him, leaving his puzzled comrades behind. He was not alone, however- stepping out of a velvet lined coffin was a lady vampire, who wasted no time in quickly draining as much blood from him as she could.
Realising that something was wrong, the more brawny members of the party rushed the wall en masse. Through their combined efforts the old bricks and mortar exploded inwards, revealing the vampire and her half-finished meal.