A large ornate wooden door stood before them. The prints in the dust ended here, well on the other side of the door. Gibel motioned for silence as his keen ears picked up something coming from the other side of the room. He pressed his ear close to the door…
“Bow before me thrall,” he heard a youthful voice shout.
“That trinket holds no power over me boy,” said a harsh guttural voice that sounded like the wind sweeping through a graveyard.
The next thing the whole party heard was a shriek followed by a bellow of triumph, “it’s mine.”
Helm pushed past Gibel and opened the door charging through into a torch lit wide chamber supported by pillars. Six shrouded tombs were centred around the middle of the chamber. The corners of the chamber were shrouded in darkness but it was the sight of the creatures that made Helm regret his actions. Several zombies and skeletons turned to face him while in the western corner a long limbed undead creature feasted on a corpse. A further undead creature stood above the corpse of a red robed human body. It is hand it grasped an amulet which it placed around its neck. It seemed to be surrounded by a foul odour. With a snarl it spoke,
“Feed on the fresh meat my minions.” The undead lurched towards the door where the companions steeled themselves for battle. Continue reading
Already having absconded the element of surprise the party charged down the stairs and met the three zombies at the bottom head on. Helm, full of rightful wrath tore into the undead foe with a relish. Bellowing his battle cry he had downed one and heavily injured another before the enemy had time to react. Lucious noted with satisfaction at the lithe with which Gibel had evaded his enemy’s attacks and neatly severed its head. Almost as soon as it had started the action was over. It was only then that the noticed the stale dank air and foul odour that was absent in the upper level.
“I don’t like this,” said Gibel.
“Talk about stating the obvious,” chirped in Felix.
“Ouch, damn bug!!” suddenly yelled Lucious who had gone to investigate a substantial pile of rubble that lay against a set of double doors in the southern wall of the chamber they stood in. Continue reading
The Paramour Vault was easily the biggest crypt in the Dun Tonay graveyard. It was an impressive granite building that stood on hill overlooking the cemetery. The Paramours were not shy to show off their wealth and even in death this continued as a stone vault in an area where wood was the main material of construction was a luxury. It was roughly of square shape with the Paramour family crest prominent in many of the intricate carvings on the stonework. Four stone gargoyles stood guard over the massive oaken doors that were the entrance into the crypt. Their eyes were painted red and wicked looking fangs protruded from their lips. The doors themselves were embossed with two great intertwining serpents whose mouths met at the curved brass handles. The stormy weather only seemed to enhance the menacing look of the vault. Postulant Cadderely made the sign of the Father and beat a hasty retreat leaving the party alone. Continue reading
After a short, wet walk to the Temple the party were gathered in the antechamber of the Deacon of Dun Tonay, Master of the Temple of Bel.
“Who are the Paramour’s?” asked and inquisitive Gibel, his accent betraying an ancestry far flung from Dun Tonay.
“The Paramour’s are one of the most powerful families in Dun Tonay and the Head of the Serpent Clan,” replied a by now very flustered Cadderley.
Deverrey’s society was organised into a system of clans. Several families swore allegiance to one clan or another depending on their interests, be they economic or political. Each family had to provide members to serve in the religious orders and had to answer to the call of the King if Deverrey went to war. But other than that the clan held the loyalty of each family in turn. Leaving one clan to join another could set off a series of inter family wars that could last for generations. Continue reading
The Cracked Tavern was awash with customers seeking shelter from the biting wind. The local patrons sat at their usual tables, these being full of tankards of ale and plates of hot and inviting stew. A troupe of minstrels provided some music that could be barely heard above the din being made by some off duty town guards that seemed to be taking some delight and teasing and manhandling one of the wenches.
“Fine treasure map this turned out to be,” muttered Felix as he unrolled the parchment. “Its just one of those reward notices for Goblin heads that the City Guard have posted all over the city. Hold on a minutes its 10 gold a head. Hey we could really make some coin out of this…”
His ramblings were cut short by a loud female scream. One of the guardsmen had gone too far and had torn the bodice of her shirt. This was obviously met by raucous laughter and some not to gentlemanly comments on her sizable assets that were now struggling to break free.
“That’s too far,” grumbled Helm as he started to make his way towards the guardsmen. Lucious grimaced at this and followed to try and intercede. He did not want to start his Faith Quest with a brush against the Law.
He was about to grab Helm by the shoulder and tell him to forget about it when the door of the tavern swung open again, Lucious noticed that driving rain had joined in with the swirling wind but it was the person who had opened the door that had captured his attention. Standing at the door was the rather plump and out of breath figure of Postulant Cadderley.
“Brother Lucious, thank the Holy Father you are still in Dun Tonay,” he gasped. “We have need of you at the Church. There is trouble at the Paramour Vault.” At the mention of the name Paramour even Helm turned away from the guardsmen and followed the rest of the party out of the door and into the rain.
Chapter One: Of the Cleansing and Purification of the Dead.
Autumns in Dun Tonay were severe, a fore warning of the cold winter that was sure to follow. Though the woods provided a beautiful splash of different shades of brown, the ferocity of the winds and rain that buffeted this region of Deverrey, had made its folk hearty and hardy. Despite the hardships they had ploughed for themselves a decent living in this foremost outpost of civilisation.
Dun Tonay was a settlement of one thousand souls. It was built in the woodlands of the South West, the last area to be conquered by the armies of Deverrey about 95 years ago. Though no longer the savage frontier, life could be hard and some of the roads that traversed the woods were full of danger. One needed to be wary around these parts and knowing how to use a weapon was just as useful as working the plough.
The Temple of Bel was the foremost building in Dun Tonay. As the dominant in religion Deverrey, the Church of Bel wielded great power and wealth and its clergy administered to the spiritual health of the people. It also had a splattering of martial orders that added military strength to its already substantial divine arsenal. As such the Church of Bel was responsible for the security of Dun Tonay and its surrounding settlements.
The wind was howling with the fury of a banshee, and on its breath it brought the first warning of winter. Continue reading
The following post comes from a campaign story I started way back in 3.5. It was run by our longstanding DM in a homebrew world set in an Celtic Mythology background. The DnD pantheons took the place of the New Religions coming to replace the old. The story is about 4 years old and alas the campaign over. I am not a big fan of 4E DnD as I prefer my World of Warcraft on my PC screen and not in a PnP setting. I have always played a cleric and I hate the role they have in 4e!
I play Lucious, a cleric of Bel (read Pelor), a devout priest who has followed the teachings of Bel since an early age. Orphaned after an orc raid on the outlying farms of Dun Tonay (town where the campaign starts), i was taken in by the local orphange, run by the local Chapter of the Church of Bel. As a youngster i would attend services at the temple and showed an aptitude to learning the written and read word as well as a flair for the Apothecary’s art. At the age of 10 i was accepted into the order as an acloyte and by the time i was 17 i was consecrated into the Church of Bel. It is the practice of the church of Bel to pair up its clerics with Holy Soldiers of the Faith, and it was this way that i met Helm, paladin squire of the Order of the Flaming Sword. Continue reading