The Odhirann Adventures
“The Castle of the Baroness”
Zethar: A Druid
The Time: Spring, 19 Xaul, 7 VIII
The Place: Odhirran, Dun Luzern (small town; monstrous; AL LG/CE; 50 gp limit (usually 3,000); Assets 20,000; population 1,500 (usually 2,500); authority figures: Lady Gudrun Talluth, Baroness of Dun Luzern, female human Paladin 2; The Wraith King, male wraith Necromancer 10; Important Characters: Druid Farold, male human Druid 6, assorted undead, town watch (missing)).
Zethar did not have time to waste. He needed to put an end to
the evil plaguing Dun Luzern. He briefly checked out The Lady Stones and could
not find anything of interest. They were just large stones, nothing more.
Zethar again looked up to the castle in the center of town. He thought to himself,
“The key has to be in there where the dancing dead originate from.” Zethar
then had a wonderful idea. Zethar called upon the power of nature and cast
Whispering Branches. The wind picked up and the trees told Zethar a
grand tale of Dun Luzern.
The branches told him that long ago, the bastard son of one of the local nobles sought legitimacy and acknowledgement of his heritage, hoping to gain a noble title and possibly a parcel of land. Unfortunately for him, this sort of thing wasn't done. After all, the nobles thought, noble titles are for the pure born. Led by the charismatic young baron of Luzern, the other nobles of the area drove the young man from the area, mocking his attempts to prove his family ties. The experience left the ostracized young fellow on the edge of sanity. In a moment of weakness, he allied himself with dark powers, vowing to undo his humiliation, and demand the respect of the nobles who had so mercilessly ridiculed him. He spent years of his life in seclusion, researching the perfect means of obtaining his heart's desire. His plans were not meant to come to pass in his lifetime, however, and the deranged and evil cleric died before he could find the item he longed for, the Death Dance Gate, and return to Dun Luzern. His rage and hatred were stronger than death, though, and he returned as the Undead who still hungered for vengeance. Now a curse has befallen Dun Luzern, a curse due, in part, to the late baron of Dun Luzern's actions all those years ago. Having passed away hundreds of years since, his progeny have followed in his footsteps as paladins and ruled the barony justly. The most recent baron died ten years ago, and his only child came to rule the fief and she governed well. The young Baroness, Lady Gudrun Talluth, has been taken prisoner by the Undead, and the castle of the baroness is garrisoned by these strange skeletons. The Wraith King has returned to Dun Luzern to seek his revenge. The baroness awaits rescue from her grim fate as the bride of the Wraith King. He hopes to legitimize his claim by marrying the daughter of his hated enemy. That was what the wind said.
Zethar headed for the castle thankful that it was still morning and the dancing dead parade would not be starting for quite some time. He would find Lady Gundrun and save her if it was the last thing he did!
On the way to the castle, Zethar noted all of the former townspeople out tending to their “lives”. Zethar circled around the castle to see if there was a better way in than going in the main gates like he and Bwlch did the last time they were here. Zethar noticed a slender window on the third story of the castle and decided to take the sneaky route. He easily scaled the rough stone walls of the castle and peered into the window.
Zethar saw the former hall where the castle residents would have gathered to make their last stand in the case of a siege. However, it was now barren save for two critters with rotting, mottled flesh and sharp fangs. They immediately smelled Zethar and began moving towards him. Zethar was barely hanging on and had no choice but to attack the creatures. He lifted himself completely to the window and leaped over the creatures as they reached the window. Zethar tucked himself and rolled to the center of the room where he instantly stood up and drew the new scimitar he had borrowed from Lord Bohort. “Let us see what this weapon can do.”
The creatures hissed and charged at Zethar. The battle was joined and it was teeth and claws versus Zethar and the scimitar.
Zethar slashed at the creatures removing their rotten flesh from their decomposing bodies. Zethar ducked a grab from one creature, but was bit on the arm by the other. Zethar felt the all too familiar cold of the creatures touch running into his body. He kicked the creature away from him and spun around to remove the head of the other. Before he could turn back around the remaining creature was upon him, clawing at his back and biting him on the shoulder. Again, the bitter cold tried to take Zethar’s life force from him and render him motionless, but he shrugged off the effects.
Zethar did not like the feel of the new scimitar. The power it held was obviously hurting these creatures greatly, but he was not as experienced with a scimitar as he was with his trusty quarterstaff. However, now was not the time to stop and switch weapons. Zethar swung the scimitar up into the creatures arm pit and removed its arm and head in one fell swoop. Zethar kicked the heads of the creatures to the other side of the room just to be sure they did not get back up.
Zethar looked around and noticed two doors exiting the room and two sets of stairs. One stair was spiral and ascended while the other was straight and descended to the lower levels. Before Zethar could decide which way he wanted to go, twelve skeletons rushed into the room from the two adjoining rooms which seemed to be bedrooms of some kind. Zethar quickly counted their number and sheathed the scimitar. He cast Shillelagh on his quarterstaff and he brought it in front of him. He was hurting from the other two critters, but he wouldn’t let a few skeletons stop him now! Zethar stepped forward and smashed two of them into piles of bone. However, the other ten skeletons rushed Zethar as one and shoved him toward the straight staircase. Zethar smashed one as they charges, but lost his balance and instantly knew he was due for a tumble down those stairs. He decided that if he was going down, some of them were going with him. He raised his quarterstaff over the head of two of them and pulled them along with him. They tumbled all the way down to the first landing between the first and second floors. The two skeletons that Zethar snared were broken before they went past the second floor landing.
Zethar picked himself up and channeled the healing power of nature into himself, he was still hurting badly. When he looked up, he saw the nine remaining skeletons charging down towards him. Zethar moved up the stairs to meet the skeletons. He shoved his quarterstaff into the mid-section of the first one running down the stairs and flipped it over his head and it shattered against the wall of the stairwell. Zethar then backed up to the wall so they could not flank him. Zethar tried to parry the stabs from their swords as best he could while he continued to smash them to pieces with his enchanted quarterstaff. Zethar finally finished them off, but he was bleeding badly from all of the pricks and slices he had on his body. Zethar had exhausted his healing powers, but he still had one incantation he could use. He cast Cure Minor Wounds on himself. It helped, but not much. He had to continue, he would not rest until Lady Gundrun was safe!
Zethar looked down the stairs to see what was down below just as three skeletons in chainmail and wielding longswords started to run up the stairs. He knew he could not take them in his current condition so he turned and bolted up the stairs looking for someplace to hide or a fortified position to fight them from. The staircase was not such a place.
He arrived back at the second floor landing and noticed a door that he had not had the opportunity to see as he fell down through here the first time. He decided to try this door in case there were more skeletons in the third floor room. Zethar quickly ducked into the room and shut the door behind him and slid the locking bolt across. When he turned around, he realized that this room was a barracks. The room was evidently several smaller rooms, but all of the doors and walls had been removed to make one large room. He quickly counted twenty skeletons lounging around in the room. Three of the skeletons were already lumbering towards him.
He quickly destroyed two of the three with two lightning jabs from his quarterstaff. The third one swung at Zethar with its sword and Zethar twisted out of the way. As he twisted around that deadly blow, he noticed a door around a corner and he saw four more of the skeletons stand up and lumber towards him. Zethar bolted for the door as more of the skeletons began to rise from the rotten cots they were laying on.
When he got to the door, it was locked. “No time for a key!” he thought. He reared back with his quarterstaff and jabbed it hard into the area where the keyhole was and smashed the door in. He quickly went in and slammed the door shut. Luckily, on the other side of the door was a place where a block of wood could be placed to bar the door from the inside. Zethar jammed his quarterstaff into the brackets to bar the door. He turned around and put his back to the door as the skeletons started to claw and pound at the door.
That is when he noticed he was not alone. The room was poorly furnished with a stool and a bed made of straw and rags. An ancient, moth eaten wedding gown hung limply on a wooden hook on the far wall. The wedding gown was apparently meant for the woman coolly regarding Zethar from the far side of the room.
Dressed in a simple white robe that had seen better days, she said, “So, has the vile creature that would claim my hand has now gained the services of the living as well?”
Zethar was awestruck. She was incredibly beautiful despite the dirty clothing she wore and the dirt on her face. All Zethar could muster was, “Lady Gundrun?”
She spoke up, “Yes, that is I.” Then, she noticed the scimitar stuck in Zethar’s belt. “Where did you get that?”
“You could say that Lord Bohort loaned it to me. I am here to save you, but there is a room full of skeletons on the other side of this door and they are not happy I am here. Here, take the scimitar." Zethar pulled out the scimitar and shoved it across the floor to Lady Gundrun.
Lady Gundrun picked up the scimitar and it immediately began to glow with a powerful light.
"It did not glow for me," said Zethar, who was surprised the weapon was glowing.
“I am a paladin. It is a holy weapon, and belonged to my ancestors, and was lost.”
“You must be the worthy one then, from Tollerath's poem.”
“Tollerath left a poem?”
“Aye.” Zethar quoted Tollerath’s poem for Lady Gundrun. “'To find the arm he had us hide, you must go to the hall of the lady blessed. There, under that which never lied, he found a place of rest. By the place where the fair nymph pointed, a place of honor was decreed. There behind the stone anointed, you will find the work you need. Only then one worthy shall, cast away the spirits foul. The storm will wash away the lie; May you have better luck than I.’ Perhaps, together, we will ‘wash away the lie’.”
“Thank you, Druid, for your help. Let's go kick some undead butt.”
Zethar smiled, “That is why I am here.”
Just then, the brackets on the door began to give way.
Current Adventures in Inzeladun | Chronology of the Write Ups | The Lady Stones | Inzeladun Updates
Lady Gudrun Talluth, Baroness of Dun Luzern,
Female Human Paladin 3: CR -; Medium size Humanoid (5 ft 9 inches tall); HD
3d10+3; hp 28, Init +2; Spd 30 ft; AC 12 (touch 12, flat-footed 10); Attack +4
melee (1d3+1 subdual, unarmed strike); SA Smite Evil, Turn Undead; SQ Detect
Evil, Divine Grace, Lay on Hands, Divine Health, Aura of Courage, Remove
Disease; AL LG; SV Fort +7, Ref +6, Will +8; Str 12, Dex 14, Con 12, Int 14, Wis
15, Cha 16
Skills: Heal +8, Diplomacy +8, Knowledge (nobility and royalty) +4, Knowledge (religion) +5, Ride +8
Feats: Blind Fight, Iron Will, Weapon Focus (scimitar)