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EoD 019: Terrifying Onslaught of the Shadow-Things

The party retreated—in increasing panic...
EoD 019: Terrifying Onslaught of the Shadow-Things

In short order, the remaining skeletons were slain and Polumya and Helmia used their divine magics to destroy the remaining hanging skulls from range. The party searched the chamber for treasure. Lion claimed the silver mace—actually a heavy aspergillum suitable for combat and seemingly designed to dispense holy water on successful strikes! However, Polumya who possessed some distilled holy water (perhaps unwisely) declined to fill the weapon. Meanwhile, the party also found a potion and a pair of gold earrings shaped like delicate flowers.

However, clearly, this part of the dungeon had not yet been cleared. Cold air continued to well from the south, and Polumya investigated while Elmo opened the door to the east. The door opened into a room replete with pillars carved to depict plate-clad warriors armed with battleaxes but whose ceiling was riddled with cracks—the damage seemed worse to the south, closer to the chasm. Meanwhile, Polumya had discovered the same room, but from the south. Thus, the party approached the chamber from two directions.

Their exploration did not go smoothly. Two pillars holding the ceiling aloft animated and moved to attack the intruders. The pillars moved slowly and initially failed to strike any of the heroes who gamely tried to batter them into pieces.

Theoden joined Polumya to the south while the rest of the party stayed to the north. Things were going well until two amorphous black horrors rose from the chasm and attacked Polumya who, injured, protected himself with divine protections and retreated to the north.

With no other targets, the two foul undead things were upon Theoden, and the heroic bard could not withstand their assault. Calling down his most powerful magic on his own position, Theoden damaged both creatures, destroyed the nearest animate statue and nearly killed himself in the process. 

As the shock wave from the magical explosion echoed through the chamber, the ceiling began to buckle, and stones and mortar began to fall from above. Even more worryingly, the powerful explosion summoned four more of the amorphous black shadow/wraith things.

The party retreated—in increasing panic as first Theoden, and Lion fell to the shadow-things’ onslaught, and the party’s spellcasters ran out of spells. 

By now, two of the undead had been destroyed, but Theoden was near death, and Lion was barely clinging to life—replenished as he had been by most of the party’s remaining healing magic. The creatures not only channelled the power of the grave to slay their enemies but also drained their strength. Elmo grabbed the unconscious Theoden and retreated to the east, helped by Dimble, who slammed the door leading away from the chamber shut. Meanwhile, Lion staggered to his feet, but his strength was depleted, and his heavy armour encumbered the once-strong warrior. Helmia and Polumya begged him to retreat, but the shadow-things were swift, and to Lion, his friends seemed an impossibly long distance away…

This post is a session summary from my weekly 5e D&D Edgelands of Darkness campaign set in the Duchy of Ashlar.

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