Rise of the Runelords

Skulls Crossing Part 2 and an unlikely hero

After defeating the trolls, the team takes a bit of time to explore the surrounding rooms and wait for Ragnar to rejoin the party. With the full team of Krumpco assembled, they open the doors leading to the lower level of the Skull Crossing Dam Tower.

The group descends the long dark stairway before reaching a door at the bottom. Ragnar quietly sneaks into the room, discovering an slime covered pool. In the far end of the room, in front of large stone doors lies heaps of humanoid skulls. Before he has a chance to tell the rest of the group, a scaly water troll emerges from below the slimy water, holding a trident (or “Biden” as Tzindi later called it).

Ragnar takes the opportunity to sneak attack the hideous troll, his screams alerting the others waiting in the hall that it is time to fight!

Krumpkin flies high into the room, straight above the watery troll, as Kranoss, Ragnar and The Bastard assault the troll from around the pool. Tzindi cocks his crossbow. After lashing out at Ragnar, the creature attacks Krumpkin directly above his head dealing almost lethal amounts of damage to the gnome. Luckily for Krumpkin, his faithful follower Kicolo manages to cast a righteous healing spell , ensuring Krumpkin more time to fight (or just survive).

Just as the battle begins to swing into the heroes favour, the beast flees, disappearing under the water. Tzindi summons a shark to chase after the troll but the shark soon returns empty handed, telling Kicolo via a talk to animal spell that he must have escaped through one of two tunnels at the bottom of the pool. Tzindi instructs the shark to retrieve the Trolls viscous trident that was dropped during combat. The shark obeys.

The group decides to enter both the chamber to the east and west at the same time. While the chamber to the west proves to be empty, the chamber to the east containing a horrifying construct. A scorpion made out of skulls. Ragnar from the room terrified, grabbing Krumpkin as he flees. The doors are quickly shut and the group discuses on what to do next. It’s decided to skip the room with the Skull Scorpion and see what lies behind the door to the south.

After clearing the skulls out of the way the party opens the door and finds a narrow chamber running east to west. At each end of chamber lies an alcove enclosed by a worn iron portcullis. Inside the each alcove lies a circle of red glowing runes. In the circle to the west lies a pile of ashes while in the circle to the east lies the husk of what appears to be a long-dead pit demon.

When the heroes approach the circle to the east, the once thought dead demon begins to speak to the heroes. Begging them to release him from his bondage within the rune prison circle. The heroes agree but first pump the demon for information.

They learn that the pit demon and his dead colleague in the other circle, were summoned and captured by a man named Karzoug over 10,000 years ago. It is the pit demon’s life force that powers the dams floodgates. It was just over fifty years ago, when the last flood happened that the other pit demon died. In order to save Turtleback Ferry from being swept away, the floodgates need to once again be powered and opened.

Tzindi volunteers to make the sacrifice, despite Kronoss’s objections that this is ridiculous. Meanwhile, as this discussion with the pit demon is taking place, Krumpkin is busy trying to make notes on the rune circle, trying to copy the symbols in his notebook.

As Ragnar preps Tzindi the cleric to step into the circle, Krumpkin notices the ashes in the vacant circle and rushes in to collect the ashes before Tzindi can disrupt them with his sacrifice. By stepping into the rune circle, Krumpin inadvertently causes the floodgates to be powered. The dam tugs away at Krumpkin and the pit demon’s life force as the sound of clanking gear fills the chamber. As the last remaining life force is sucked from the near dead pit demon, killing it, Krumpkin collapses, weakened by a negative level.

The selfish Gnome has become the hero of Turtleback Ferry.

After Kumpkin’s “heroic” deed, the parties curiosity got the better of them. The Bastard really wanted to see what was in that room with the sneaked into the room. In an alcove to East was a miniture replication of the Skull Crossing Dam. Each skull was reproduced with the help of real human skulls. UNfortunately, nothing besides this curiosity was discovered.

The party returns to Turtleback Ferry to rest and spread word of Krumpkin’s sacrifice. After a few days rest the party decides to hit the trail of another lead, that of the Nymph lover of the missing leader of Fort Rannick, Lamatar Bayden.

As the party makes their way through the Shimmerglens towards Whitewillow they are approached by a frantic pixie with please to help his mistress…

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