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Campaign journalby Pol GinÚs
OK, Mystara friends, wish me luck! Tomorrow I'm starting a new campaign in Madrid, my new city: new players, new characters, etc... The plan is to play every 15 days, from 21.00 to 02.00-03.00 in night.
Yesterday night I only had two players in my agenda. But this morning I won 3 more. There are two girls and 3 boys, all between 25-35 years old. One is an old friend of me, has been years without playing, used to play only AD&D. Two others are 3.5E DMs: I have told them that we are going to play Classic D&D. Another one is a veteran all-editions player. And, finally, a girl that e-mailed to me this morning because somebody re-emailed her my plead for players.
So, this is an adventure with people which are veteran but new to me... and to OD&D and to Mystara... (nearly nobody remembers Mystara in Spain: only the Red Box was ever translated, not even the GAZs nor the Expert rules...)
It is a high level adventure (1.500.000 PX PCs) for mainly Alphatian characters. They are sent by Empress Eriadna to Blackhill country, in Glantri, to retrieve the seven parts of an object... but things go strange and they can not return...
I suppose they will enjoy buying lots of potions and wands in Sundsvall in the beginning of the adventure: as high level PCs I will let them enjoy shopping... they will need it!!
I have sent them an e-mail with some info of the Vaults of Pandius:
The video introducing to Mystara.
The newbie guide page about Alphatia:
And the Thyatis against Alphatia 72hex map
OK, I will tell a bit about the first game session...
One of the players who was supposed to be a veteran kept half game asking "Which one is the dice of 20? !!!!! (But she role-played well... perhaps he had played other games). She arrived first firmly decided to be a thief sidhe with a bear friend (12th level).
Then arrived another girl who wanted to play a Machiavellian Sprite with a love for alchemy and bomb-making!!! (12th level)
Another one wanted to play a Ranger... "Ok, there are not rangers in OD&D...", but I decided to give him the "Ranger" PC class of magazine OD&DITIES #4 (small range of druidic spells as one-third his level). (21st level). He has 2 wolves.
Finally, an old AD&D player recovered for the game chose a 17th level wizard, with a long career as student in many of the Alphatian universities you can find in Pandius fan-work... He comes with an owl-pooka friend.
OD&D is a fast game... but creating high level characters with players coming from AD&D or 3E is a hard work... we needed nearly 4 hours. Everybody wanted crafty original magic-objects instead of typical and useful fireball-wands.
Keep in mind that, in this group... the healer is the warrior (the ranger). The other 3 stay behind him shooting arrows or spells. And want him to be alive to use some druidical healing objects on them...
I advised them to buy some potions and druidic scrolls for healings, but they were very mean!!
Empress Eriadna the Wise summons the PCs to a field to pass a level-test. Her advisor Master Terari, her daughter Asteriela and her guest, the hostage princess Mariella are spectators in a flying barge. From 4 buildings in the corners of the field come out 4 golems: an Iron Golem, a Bone Golem, a Clay Golem and a Stone Golem (from 3E, adapted to OD&D, immunity to magic).
The golems hit the bear and wolves and the ranger. The ranger uses "Smash" to destroy the stone golem. The sprite casts "stone to flesh" which makes the golem to become vulnerable to magic for 1 assault... but nobody has light-bolts, nor magic missiles nor fireballs to throw him!!!! The wizard casts "disintegrate" under the iron golem's feet... the monster falls in the hole. After this, the 17th level wizard simply flies from one side to another feeling useless...
After re-discovering "Haste" spell, and with "fast shooting", the sidhe archer shoots 4 powerful arrows/assault and destroys 2 bone golems (the weakest). From the buildings, another 4 golems come out... (the PCs did not even thought about blocking the buildings with stonewalls...).
Princess Mariella, daughter of Emperor Thincol, says to Eriadna: "Your Alphatian wizards do not seem so impressive, Your Imperial Majesty". Master Terari thinks: "enough is enough", and stops the fighting... The PCs understand they lack some fighting muscle and they do not fully understand their own magic spells.
They are asked to go to Blackhill, Glantri. There an Imperial agent has disappeared after creating a 50-men-strong mercenary force to obtain a magic object from a dangerous dungeon.
Next game, in two weeks. They are fey, forest-people, only one warrior, few healing... Yes, all of them are spell casters and high level, 2 become invisible to mortals at will... but in the adventure I have designed it will not very useful for them. As a new group, they will have lots of dungeon crawling to become friends and to know their PCs. More "Mystara-oriented" adventures will come in the future. I hope to use some Alphatian ideas (and Alphatian sidhe ideas) from Pandius and The Piazza.
So, we had game session last Friday, with a new player: he has been playing only 3E, he is currently playing druids in two 3.5 campaigns and has decided to play a barbarian warrior (17th level). I take the OD&D rules for a barbarian PC from OD&DITIES Magazine and give him the warrior abilities of a knight (Smash, two-attacks, parry...). He wears a leather armor+4, is a Master with javelin and uses a Javelin+3 boomerang.
This barbarian serves the High Druids of Yannivey and comes from a clan in the Yannivey Islands (it seems that Yannivey is not so a petty pathetic oppressed place... may be some freedom movement with a druidical guide could arise...). This barbarian has built up his experience hunting whole clans infected as orca-men and seal-men... But perhaps they infected him. The player wants a lycanthropic treat... and I have not time nor will to use PC4 (Creature Crucible of Lycanthropy), by the moment... perhaps, after this adventure, the PCs will be surprised if his companion becomes a were-something.
SECOND SEASON [Please, PLAYERS STOP READING if you want to play "Bonegarden" by Necromancer Games.]
The barbarian is sent by the druids to help and protect the ranger, his favourite. At Sundsvall Imperial Palace he is asked to wait in the external garden, "with the other peat animals", the rangers' wolves and the sidhe' bear. Meanwhile, Master Terari explains the mission to the heroes (a sidhe thief, a sprite, a ranger, a wizard).
An Imperial Agent located in Eriadna, Glantri, has disappeared after hiring 50 medium level mercenaries and going to a place called Bonegarden, where an old Alphatian jewel, the "Pieces of the Heart", is supposed to be. Our heroes have to find him, his men and the "Pieces of the Heart". After they do, they can go to Glantri City, to the Alphatian Embassy, and they will be teleported to Sundsvall, and Empress Eriadna will give each of them a "wish".
The PCs do not spend a single moment in Sundsvall libraries nor ask sages to investigate about the prized gem!!
The Imperial services teleport them to a multi-floor platform in a forest, very near Eriadna, in Blackhill, Glantri. This is the usual teleporting spot, with many floors to avoid high falls if a mistake happens. The place is hidden by a massmorph spell, so passers-by do not see the place.
In the road to Eriadna, they meet a strange company: a great cart with magical square wheels, pulled by yaks (they never had seen yaks), with two mounted knights, a strange man and an old woman. This is the encounter of "The Itinerant Wheel of Fortune" I described here: http://www.pandius.com/itin_wof.html
The PCs join the company, who is in journey to Eriadna. The PCs offer some acrobatics and animal show to attract the villagers to the exhibition. They are regarded as artists by Eriadna authorities. Two small groups of Belcadiz and Erewan Elves come to the show. An arrogant Belcadizan tries luck, and loses all his possessions, except for clothes. The PCs do not play. Some Eriadnans try luck and obtain jewels and money. When a last one tries and falls dead all people become uneasy and the show ends.
The fey characters feel a Immortal presence in the symbols of the "happy face/sad face" but... players do not even know that religion and immortal activity is forbidden in Glantri! (The Wheel is a joint venture by Immortals Skuld and Tyche to propagate a meditative teaching about fortune and luck in the antireligious Principalities and other countries, as well). [My players tell me at the end of session: "ha, we are experienced players, did you really believe we would try such a game?"]
The sprite comes invisible into the library of the local Temple of Rad and reads something about Bonegarden. It was founded in the Alphatian Colonial period in Glantri as a cemetery for rich Alphatian families, next to Volnay, in the other side of the river, at the foot of the mountains. Then came the independence war, and many people were mass buried there. After this, came the plague ("because of the filthy dwarves", says the book) and many ill people and dwarves were buried there. After this, came the war "of the ambitious warrior lords against the noble wizards", and many dead warriors were thrown there. Finally, it was sealed by magic.
[This is my Mystaran adaptation of "Bonegarden" module timeline].
The PCs do not investigate any more. Next morning, they go walking by the trail road to Volnay (the heaviest armour is the magical chainmail of the Ranger... they walk lightly). They arrive at dusk, simply sleep in the inn, and get up early and go to the famous Bonegarden... without asking nothing to nobody. I describe them the tar pits and black sands of the country, and in a depression between low hills is, covered by mist, the graveyard.
They go to the gate. The sprite enters (invisible, flying) and finds out she can not come out: an invisible barrier blocks her. The barbarian and sidhe climb up the wall, without entering. Suddenly, six powerful humanoid undead attack them with claws. The sprite summons a fire elemental.
The Ranger says: "I will fly with my magical boots". The barbarian: "I would not depend on magic, it is unreliable". The Ranger makes and attack, rolls a 1: the boots slip off... and he fails 8 m. "I told you", says the barbarian.
The heroes destroy the monsters (mainly the powerful sidhe archer). The sprite wants to say "goodbye" to the elemental, but she can not: the elemental can not return to his plane: the barrier does not allow ANYBODY to go out. Objects can come and go out without problems. She sends the elemental to a far place into the misty graveyard and cuts out the concentration... the elemental returns quite soon very angry... It is near dusk, and they find that the invisible barrier goes up 1,5 km in the air, and also under the wall.
The sprite decides to go exploring alone: she finds a few buildings and some well kept roses around an angelic statue with a gem. She casts "Detect Danger": the roses are definitely dangerous (vampire roses). She comes flying very slowly to take the gem, avoiding the roses... and fails a roll against Magic (remember, like a 10th level Elf with rings; only fails rolling a 1, which she did) and I tell her: "OK, give me your character sheet". The player is devastated. "I do not say the sprite is dead, only that you can not play her" [She has been possessed by an invisible spirit, which is the gardener of the roses, and detected her invisible movings in the mist].
It is near night, the heroes are waiting, the sprite does not come, so they go walking around the wall with a "Magic Eye" spell inside the graveyard looking for her. They find the roses and statue, but Magic Eye does not detect invisible and they don't see the faery. They decide to return to the doorgate and sleep next to the wall.
"Tomorrow we can learn "Flesh to Stone" and "stone to flesh"; something turned to stone in the inside can probably come out as an object, and then return to flesh", they plan.
The only problem is that the angry elemental of fire next to them, inside the wall, is a light in the night... and many dark things arise by night in the Bonegarden.
I want to throw against them a groups of undead Jade Dragons (great papa and two small; got trapped in the Bonegarden about 20 years ago); but I need to develop a good rule about saving throws for objects... I want them to lose half or most of their equipment, not all of it nor any of it: the saving of the PCs is very easy, objects should have its own savings...
I'm happy to tell that we have played two more sessions of "Alphatians, Yanniveys and Faeries in Bonegarden cemetery in Glantri"
The heroes are walking next to the wall of Bonegarden, by the outside. In the inside, an angry fire elemental follows them. In the night, his fire catches the attention of a family of undead Jade Dragons (Huge Mother and 3 small daughters). The Mother Dragon goes to speak to the heroes: she knows she needs help from the outside to flee from the cemetery's field camp. The PCs speak to her very respectfully ("oh, great Serpent!")... they ask the dragon to recover their lost friend, the Sprite. In exchange, they will help her to escape.
On the next morning, the Alphatian wizard teleports to the main Library in Sundsvall, and bribes a librarian (giving him a Lightning Bolt Wand) so he can obtain the best help to find all related books about the Bonegarden, built during the Alphatian colonisation of Glantri.
On the meanwhile, the other PCs return to Volnay, where they had only slept, and visit the tavern and also the two local wizards. The local and highly academic research brings them to some tales: the force field of Bonegarden is supposed to be broken if an Immortal artifact is destroyed inside the graveyard (according to Sundsvall Library). Also this could be achieved is 12 high level wizards cast "dispel something" on the field, or if 800 lesser magic-users cast magic against it in the same moment (according to local lore).
The PCs remember the Wheel of Fortune. This must be an Immortal's Artifact!! But they just learn now that religion is forbidden in Glantri. So they go to Eriadna City, ask a meeting with the Captain of the City Guard and denounce the Wheel Company for a crime of Religion and Preachery!!! The Wheel Company is no longer there, they went south. The Captain asks them to capture the religious suspects ("they must be dangerous, we need you") and gives them a company of 20 bowmen on horse and a document that states their government given mission.
The PCs know that the Wheel Company is 4 days before them. So they let their wolves, pooka and bear in a tavern in Eriadna, and use several "Polymorph Self" spells to fly as pegasus to Huledain Village. Yes, the strange Wheel Company was here: they went to the South, probably to Soth-Kabree. Our heroes fly there. They arrive the next day... and elven archers and lancers mounted on griffons come to receive them, polite but dangerous.
Countess Alyana Nivariel, leader of the Griffon Riders, greets them politely. "You have here dangerous religious infidels!", they say. They are right, the Wheel Company is in the castle. The Captain Tichewine (secretly a cleric of Tyche) ask for a "fighting trial": "let's Fortune decide!", he says. Lady Alyana is a kind elf, she doesn't like killing people simply for being religious, the accusers come from another lord's Principality, and a fighting trial sounds good. Also, she is thinking of keeping the Wheel to herself, if only to study it.
The Yannivey barbarian and his friend the ranger fight against Tichewine and one of his paladins, and easily defeat them. At the same time, the magic-user, invisible and polymorphed as a Sprite (he had been inside a bag) comes next to the Wheel. When Lady Alyana says: "I think I will keep the Wheel", the wizard-sprite casts "Teleport Object" to the Wheel. The Elven guards of Soth-Kabree attack. Lady Alyana casts "polymorph others" to the sidhe, and she becomes a small turtle. The wizard-Sprited casts another Teleport to the Ranger. The guards do not see the sprite and attack the barbarian. Finally, the wizard teleports himself. The barbarian, alone, surrenders to the elves.
In the wall of Bonegarden, appear the ranger, the wizard, and the Wheel. They find the dragons and tell them their information: by destroying the Wheel, they can break the field. The dragons have found the Sprite, and kept her alive -but not very well- for these 4 days. She does not know what happened to her. They politely exchange the Artifact for their small friend.
So: the sprite is alive and free, tired and without spells... inside of the graveyard.
The magic-user and the ranger are outside and tired.
And the sidhe and the barbarian, are prisoners of Lady Alyana.
OK, let's remember: this is the 7th day since Empress Eriadna sent our heroes to Glantri... and only one of them has even come into the dungeon!!!! And two more are prisoners 72 miles to the south, in South Kabree. So this is...
SESSION FOUR: "LET'S RESCUE OUR FRIENDS!"
After sleeping and learning spells, the free PCs make a plan. First, they tie a rope in the sprite, then they cast "flesh to stone" to her. "Now, she is now an object, and we can take her out of the graveyard". But, no: the force field does not allow the sprite-statue to go out. "I suppose this means that he soul... or whatever a faery has.. is still in the statue", the wizard theorises. And then he casts "stone to flesh".
The Sprite will hide, invisible, quiet and in a sleeping bag on a high pinnacle next to the door of the graveyard. And wait.
The ranger and the wizard will try to rescue their friends. The elves have not even seen the wizard. So the ranger -with some diplomatic skills- will tell them a strange story: he was teleported by the sidhe, but it worked wrong and he appeared in the Broken Lands. There, he fought against many orcs (he wounds himself to make it look more real and puts mud in his clothes) and found this wizard. Together, they came to negotiate about their friends. After all, they were working for Glantrian law!
[Yes, I know this is a strange and quite stupid story... and the mud near Soth-Kabree is not like the red dust in Orcus Rex, as the Griffon Riders know perfectly... but, ey, the players can do what they like...]
They teleport near Soth-Kabree, walk to the door, and ask to speak to Lady Alyana. The Captain says she is not home know, and politely invites them to enter. Everybody admit yesterday was a mistake to fight and it is a good thing that nobody was seriously hurt. They are invited to wait for Lady Alyana in a guests room. They must leave their weapons and magic staff. The PCs obey!!!! The players need 24 hours to realise that the room is antimagic, it is sealed and their characters are prisoners!
Lady Alyana is not here. The old wisewoman Skuldluba, cleric of Skuld, and a member of the Wheel Company, had a dream and tells it to the elf countess: an elven rider on a griffon, flying over a graveyard, he is trapped inside, it is in Bonegarden.
[YESSSSS... according to Necromancer Games module, that really happened... I only had to decide that, playing in Glantri, he was of course one of Lady Alyana's warriors]
Old Skuldluba says that there is also the Wheel: she can feel it. So Lady Alyana takes 20 griffons, old woman Skuldluba, Tichewine the Tyche cleric, the PC sidhe and the PC barbarian as prisoners and flies to Bonegarden in a two days trip. She wants to rescue his knight. When they arrive, Tichewine and the PCs are offered freedom if they find the lost elven rider inside. The PCs tell Alyana that there is afield force that prevents anyone from coming out. She promises to investigate in Glantri's Great Library how to take them out... and throws them into the Bonegarden. The sidhe was screaming and fighting to avoid it!!!
[I had never had such a hard time to put the PCs into the dungeon!!! Over 12 hours of playing!!!]
The PCs taunt the Elves: "you, cowards, we will find your lost friend, but what are you doing for him?" One of the griffon riders, a cousin of the disappeared knight, comes into the graveyard: "I will go for my cousin!"
Lady Alyana teleports to his castle... to find that she has two more prisoners, waiting there for 2 days. She tells them the situation, and they agree to enter in the Bonegarden to look for his disappeared knight. She gives them a document ("these men must be respected... as lon as they enter in Bonegarden") and teleports them to the entrance of the cemetery. The 20 elven riders guarding the door politely read the document and the PCs are invited to enter. And, finally, they do.
So, the whole group, now with Tichenor ("ey, now we finally have a cleric") and the elven volunteer start to explore the graveyard.
Near a tower-mausoleum, they are attacked by 5 gargoyles (constructs) which they easily defeat. And, immediately, by 7 spectres... which seem to be nearly unaffected by Tichewine clerical turning, and strangely strong and fast.
[There is a +3 "bless" on all undead in the Garden... which will become +5 by night; this is not in the official module, is my house rule to make even skeletons able to do some damage...]
When a spectre hits the barbarian and sucks him 2 levels (from 19th to 17th), the players get scared, very scared!!!
-What, two levels? Without a saving throw? - says the player
- You, 3rd edition fluffy players, stop crying... this is OD&D, no saving throw, your levels are nothing to me, hahahha... -evil DM answered.
- Magic-user, cast all your artillery!! Sidhe, were are your magical arrows? - suddenly the players were aware that the dungeon was a dangerous place...
Destroying the spectres was the first serious fighting they had in this campaign... and the last action for that session.
OK, let's remember: this is the 9th day since Empress Eriadna sent our heroes to Glantri... an Alphatian wizard, a sidhe, a sprite, a Yannivey barbarian and a Yannivey ranger. They were looking for an imperial agent and his mercenary force, and also for the Pieces of the Heart, an artifact. Lady Alyana Niraviel from Glantri has asked them, also, to return her the Wheel of Fortune and a missing Griffon Rider that is lost inside the Bonegarden. Tychenor, cleric of Tyche, and Ardel, an elven griffon-rider, go with the PCs.
SESSION FIVE: "Flee, you fools, that was a 20 diced fireball!!!"
The PCs enter in some kind of mausoleum: their first dungeon in the game. There is a wall with 11 coffins standing up in it. All around, an strange black mass in walls and ceiling... which attacks. These are 6 undead black masses and they surround and swallow the sidhe and the ranger, inflicting them a horrible life-draining cold. The ranger breaks out by strength, and the sidhe by "Escape Artist" skill. It is a good fight and players start to learn about their high-level PCs habilities and potential: they have learnt to cast "Haste", for instance.
The sprite summons a fire elemental, which causes extra damage to these cold based undead creatures. The elemental is also useful as a walking torch and to burn dead pieces of black mass: they think it will prevent it for a possible regeneration.
After the victiory, the sprite commands the fire elemental to put fire to the wooden coffins; some coins flow from one of the coffins, so they think this is a good way of inspecting them. But two coffins later they put fire to a magical bow and destroy it (it was a +3 longbow sticks to arrows). They now try the classic method of the barbarian great axe against the wood coffins. There is a strange little blue bird alive inside the chest of an skeleton. There is also a book in Alphatian tongue: an Encyclopedia of Insects. Unknown to all, burrowing small insects from this coffin enter in the ears of the wizard: he will feel it 10 hours later.
The PCs keep on looting the coffins with the violent axe method... and lots of spores fly around the room, bringing hard damaged to the wizards constitution... and still worse to the elf knight, nearly killing him. But the cleric of Tyche takes him apart, they speak about "Fortune" and "accepting tides" and "luck as a guide to your destiny" and the elf becomes a follower of Tyche; Captain Tychenor, patriarch of Tyche, heals him.
In the rear end of a coffin there is a door to next room, which is flooded in a strange black thick liquid. The fire elemental can make it to slowly create a black smoke, bad for breathing. The sprite (an alquimist aficionada) takes some small bottles of the substance. The Yannivey warriors walk into it... the substance will become hard and slow them (-4 to hit).
They find stairs into the deep inside of a cript. In a big underground chamber, there are 15 skeleton horses. They are still... until the PCs attack them. It's a good fight (yes, they are only 3 HD, but remember the +3 blessing to undead, and they have 2 hoof attacks). The PCs win quickly by casting another "Haste" and players have a good time.
The ranger and the sidhe thief can hear the sound of a pipe organ. They suspect that they will find one of the famous Glantrian vampire lords. "Why do you take for granted that the pipe organ player is a vampire? He could be a zombie. You are so prejudiced", says the Int 9 barbarian.
In a room at the end there are some flowers (a small underground garden), some pure water, a vampire girl playing the creapy pipe organ (pipes made of bones) and an undead warrior with a huge bastard sword, ready to fight.
- We don't want to damage you - says the Yannivey ranger, which has some Diplomatic skills... but the way he says it sounds as a menace.
- Be welcome to my domains. This is for you... - answers the undead warrior, and throws a shining gem to the ranger's feet. He takes it and says thank you and starts talking... until the gem explotes as a Delayed Fireball (20 dices).
[Is this spell missing in 3ed? How is it possible none of the players thought about it?]
The two warriors are really damaged by the fireball... and the sprite is reduced to 0 hit points (and she passed the SavThrow!). The scared players run away in 3 different directions. The invisible, fast, non-armored sidhe takes the light, small, invisible sprite and runs. The elf becomes invisible. The ranger flies with his flying boots. The barbarian runs. The PCs are lucky, the undead warrior master is busy destroying the angry fire elemental that the sprite controlled.
They return as fast as wind to the surface and out of the mausoleum and use some magic objects to save the sprite. But they have left behind the Tyche cleric.
Tired, wounded and scared, they return to the entrance of the Bonegarden. There, a squad guard of Griffon Riders allow them to sleep to try to regain spells. Also, old woman Skuldluba casts some healing on them. At 2 o'clock in the night, the wizard stands up shouting in pain and pressing his hands against his head: "You have lost 3 more CONs, and now 2 more, you are going to die". The PCs cast "Heal Venom", but it is useless. Finally, old Skuldluba, cleric of Tyche, casts "Heal Disease", and the illness (produced by a burrower insect in the brain) stops. If they had been without this spell... At that moment in the night, an undead horde comes against them for a hard fight.
The dangerous undead warrior has come against the PCs. The spectres they had defeated, and the skeleton horses, come with him: somehow, they are active again. There are also some skeleton warriors and half a dozen ghouls, and about 8 wights.
The players think that the DM simply wants to kill them and start a new campaign. But this is not so. The PCs use their magic and objects to fly; the sidhe thief climbs up to a funerary pinnacle: from there she savely can shoot her deadly arrows (remember; Master in longbow, 3d6 each arrow, quick shooting, 4 arrows/round with Haste). Wights and skeletons are useless against flying characters, and so is the Undead Liege. The wizard casts a fireball to the leader: the monster mocks of it, he is quite fire-invulnerable. So the 17th level wizard casts him a lightning ball and a Ice Storm: too much for the undead.
The Sprite shouts to the Yannivey: "bring down your defences, I'm casting you a spell". She casts 2 Polymorph Others and each Yannivey become a 17HD Gold Dragon... with Haste, and a myriad of kick and claw attacks. The sidhe shoots to the spectres... but one of them takes 2 levels to one dragon-ranger. The Griffon riders help them shooting magic missiles an 6dice fireballs to spectres. The dragons quickly clean the area destroying the lesser undead. It is a great victory and PCs (and players) feel confident: for first time in the game, they understand that, as a team, they are really powerful.
They take the bastard-sword with an entangle spell out of the cemetery wall [a great idea: it was evil, and also this way his lord will find his power very diminished when he returns to un-life next night... as all undead in Bonegarden...]. And loot his platemail +1 and Protection Ring+3. Heroes feel well... by now. [next chapter... in 3 weeks or so]
[In the last session... the Sprite an the magician polymorphed the ranger and the barbarian into two golden dragons; attacked by an army of undead and unable to fly awy, trapped in the Bonegarden, the dragons help our heroes. A Haste spell makes them really fearsome and gives them victory... but...]
In my campaign, I have houseruled that Haste spells produce exhaustion for two-three hours after the effect. Whiler the PCs are tired, more undead attack (6 HD12 bhuttas -raging undead that were murdered-), they had defeated them easily the first day in the main gate, because monsters could'nt cross the wall, but now the bhuttas fight really hard, also helped by the extra strenght that night gives to undead in the Bonegarden (+5 to hit and damage and Saving). Their strong claws cut across the dragon flesh, the sidhe is seriously wounded, and the PCs -tired and penalysed- begin to fear their enemies. Finally, the heroes win... and sleep. Not all of them: nightmares plague some of their dreams.
The pale sun rises, all grey ashes clouding him. Old woman Skuldluba, cleric of Skuld and warden of the FortuneWheel, prays for them across the wall and heals most of the group. The party leaves the sidhe thief hiding and resting next to teh gate and the friendly Griffon Riders and return to the Mausoleum of the undead black masses.
IT IS GOOD TO HAVE FIRE BREATH WEAPONS!!
The oozing creatures have raised again to unlife, but now the PCs have a new strategy: incite them to go outside, and use fire dragonbreath (remember: 2 gold dragons) and summoned fire elementals to destroy them while flying from a save distance. They succeed greatly. It's good to be a gold dragon. Even better: a gold dragon can take human shape, so they can come into the dungeon under the Mausoleum without problems.
There, they follow the pipe organ music and find Tereza, the vampire woman. She is a sad and peaceful lady. She explains them that all is vain and useless in Bonegarden: at dusk, all destroyed undead come again to look for revenge. His beloved, Warrior Karthe, will return; he is already involved in a eternal fight with an old friend who was a traitor to him, called Ristiko, back in the Alphatian colony times. When the PCs ask her about "our friend the priest", Tereza explains that Karthe gave him to the Blood Governor as a good will present. The Blood Governor is a powerful undead who rules over the Bonegarden. After telling this, she takes her gas cloud shape and goes out.
SOMEBODY IS ALIVE!
Behind the pipe organ (a "bone organ", made of human bones) the PCs find a secret corridor to a strange chamber lighted by two torches of black fire. It's smoke is slowly poisonous. In a deep hole in the ground there are some human prisoners, alive. Using magic and ropes the PCs take them out. Five are children who came from Volnay, to "play who is most courageous". Karthe captured when they entered in the cemetery.
The other prisoner is a Darokinian wizard who was captured when his adventuring party came looking for treasures some months ago. Most of his fellow adventurers were killed, the others we allowed to escape with promises of coming with a way of liberating Karthe from the magic field. The wizard has lost all his spells and his book. When the PCs tell him about their priest friend, the wizard reveals one of the great secrets of the cemetery: if a priest prays to his deity while touching the magic field, the Inmortal let him cross the invisible wall... along with anyone touching him. This is true only for living creatures, not undead.
The PCs return with the liberated prisoners to the gate and test the fact: it is true, old Skuldluba can pray and enter and exit from the Garden with anyone. The children and the wizard cry in happiness, they are free and outside the cursed cemetery!!!
But... what will the 2 golden dragons do now? They do not remember their former life as Yannivey warriors. Will they look for the savage freedom of clean and blue skies? Is anything tying them to that cage of death and ash called Bonegarden?
The adventure continues next friday...