Some heroes rise up as icons of the hopes and dreams of their community, others are forged by nightmare. This is a tale of the latter.
Without understanding how or why they were experiencing it, Klemnon Melk, Tim Woodsfellow, Drengy, and Feral Jackwagon found themselves inexplicable sliding down a steep stone ramp which deposited them unceremoniously in a small rectangular chamber. Ominous blue flame prevented exit up the shoot, and no other way out of the room was apparent. However, the room had other occupants- disoriented and terrified men, women and children from the distant village of Fishkill. And the room had three other worrisome attributes: blue runes what seemed to pulse or feed on the anguish and fear of the occupants, a wall covered with dried blood, and grooves in other walls suggesting that a far wall may move in like a vice.
That the walls in the chamber began emitting a horrible mechanical noise and compressing the adventurers and civilians was not nearly as surprising as when the bloody far wall opened up so the whole group was deposited into a huge, circular room. More blue runes lined the room’s edges, and dissected the floor walls and ceiling like the spokes of a wagon wheel. In the center of the room rest a huge obelisk, covered with arcane runes, made up of a perfectly black and flawless obsidian stone, and topped with a huge glowing gem.
Feral began examining the obelisk, with the same success that a caveman would have understanding quantum mechanics. Klemnon began calming the panicked civilians and drawing them closer to him for their protection. Tin began calming the panicked civilians and drawing them closer to him for his protection. Drengy calmly surveyed the situation and did what any insane, ex-cult member githzerai would do, he shot the obelisk’s glowing crystal with bolt of magical energy.
Activated (or infuriated) by Drengy’s attack, the dark obelisk sunk into the floor only to be replaced in a flash of blue light by a towering tentacled horror. According to the group’s best knowledge check (which wasn’t too good) it was half-undead, half-construct, half-Lovecraftian abomination, and all trouble. The unspeakable multi-eyed horror couldn’t be flanked, it grabbed and crushed its immobilized victims with long necrotic tentacles, emitted waves of psychic energy that injured and pushed, and spat acid luggies. The only place the beast couldn’t reach was the runed edge of this Chamber of Horrors – runes which now infected anyone who touched them with necrotic decay. And like some kind of hellish Simon-Says game, different segments of the room randomly began flashing with necrotic power, ruining anyone standing in the area.
The heroes tried to save the villagers, but between the column horror’s bursts of psychic torture and the room’s flashing necrotic floor, all perished. The adventurer’s fought on, exhausting all of their powers and abilities, but began to fall. Only after Klemnon and Drengy lay unconscious bleeding out did Tin and Feral change tactics to disable the runes which fed into the column horror’s base, but it was too little too late. When both were finally caught in the almost inescapable, crushing embrace of the monster, Tin and Feral began to black out…
Klemnon and Feral awoke on the floor of Waterdeep’s Pelor Temple, covered with bruises and injuries, the institution’s Father Caspian hovering over them with concern. Caspian recounted that the pair had been seen walking out of the church when a blue flash emanated from their pocket and they fell unconscious, during which time they began having injuries materialize on their bodies as if they were being battered by an invisible force. Tin similarly awoke on a distant street and Drengy in an alley. Although the injuries faded away and their strength returned, each was not fully rested following the experience.
Was this experience real or illusory, a vision of the future or a warning of what could be? None were sure, however each manifested in their head a psychic draw, a summoning, insistently beckoning them to something in the north of the city.
Traveling in three groups towards the mental summons each had developed, Feral and Klemnon, Tin, and Drengy begin to converge on the North section of the city. In different parts of the city, mysterious assailants with the ability to cloak themselves in darkness and shadow jump from one area of shadow to another ambushed the groups.
Tin choose to fight the Shadow Assassin that confronted him in an alley, and did so while loudly proclaiming to passing residents his ongoing legal right under Waterdeep law to ax driven self defense. He used an everburning torch to counter the concealment and shadowjumping powers the darkness gave his enemy. Although the assassin boasted that “You will learn to respect Athola,” the only thing Tin respects is a sharp ax – which he used to brutally put down his attacker.
After horribly injuring (but not killing) an irrelevant human pipsqueak who had pickpocketed his magic amulet, Drengy used his breaching armor to take shelter from his attacker in a dark, enclosed home. He used a sunrod to illuminate most, but not all, of the small dwelling. After he announced that he won’t shoot a man when he’s down and invited his prone ememy to get up to be shot, Drengy almost died when the shadow assassin took advantage of the pause to shadowjump next to Drengy and deliver a perfect blow to the shocked Seeker. He recovered, however, and went all sickhouse on the assassin- perforating him with a veritable swarm of magical arrows.
Klemnon and Feral choose to fight in the open street, and used a sunrod to fully illuminate the dark alleys from which the attackers sought to conceal themselves. Klemnon dazed and cursed the shadow warriors with divine energy, while Feral used his primal nature’s energy to keep his foes in the light with restricting vines and quick sword blows. While both adventurers were repetitively injured, they finally took down one attacker. The remaining shadow assassin ran off rather than face the enraged Feral and unflappable Klemnon.
Although the Shadow Assassin corpses quickly faded into darkness, among the fallen robes the adventurers found some small jars full of dark soil from a shadowfell grave, and three necklaces displaying a creepily flawless obsidian stone unavoidably reminiscent of the cursed obelisk which had dominated their disturbing vision of the Chamber of Horrors.