BK
01
CH
01
SC
04

Into the Shadowhaunt
The Guardians

...continues from Book #01, Chapter #01, Scene #03

Synopsis
The 10th Day of Ches in the Year of the Sudden Journey
After accepting Blackengorge Town Council's request to find their two missing sons the party have headed to the mausoleum on a hill to the north of town. There, they have found a secret door leading down into a crypt where two hobgoblins lay in wait with traps. After overcoming the hobgoblins the party have ventured further into some caverns, where through a devil's head adorned door they have found the missing children within a magic circle. As the group step into the circle two stone statues have animated and prepare to attack!
Scene Length
This scene starts on Tuesday 5th October 2010 and is expected to be completed by the end of Tuesday 12th October 2010.
Players are expected to be able to post at least twice a day.
MAY
17

Combat
Initiative Block

I
Round #07
Combat Encounter Completed

01) [24] Zero - 1d20+4+2: 24 - HP: 30/3030
02) [24] Kireth - 1d20+6+2: 24 - HP: 23/23 23
03) [18] Tradden - 1d20+3+2: 18 - HP: 32/32 32
04) [17] Khalin - 1d20+1+2: 17 - HP: 26/26 26
06) [06] Celestia - 1d20+1+2: 6 - HP: 26/26 26
07) [01] Kidnapped Children - Special
Offa - HP: 10/27 (Bloodied) 27,10
Bailey - HP: 10/27 (Bloodied) 27,10

Removed from Play:
05) [09] Animated Statues - 1d20+2: 9
Animated Statue #01 (Dmg: 88) 0,11,17,28,34,41,54,60,69,75,88
Animated Statue #02 (Dmg: 86) 0,22,40,25,56,62,75,81,86
MAY
17

Combat
Battlemap

BM
Battlemap
MAY
17

Combat
Features of the Area

AF

All squares that contain a small triangle in the bottom right hand corner are marked as difficult terrain and cost two squares worth of movement to enter.

Illumination: Darkness, with light provided by torchlight. Visibility shown on map.

MAY
18

Combat
Zero Uhlit

01

Zero reacted first and thinking quickly decided to try to slow down one of the constructs to give the group time to get ready. His mind hadn't yet contemplated the fact that stone statues were coming to life!

He took a bead on the statue to his left and aimed for its legs.

[Unbalancing Shot]

[Primary Attack vs Animated Statue #02: 1d20+6+2: 22] - hits!

[Damage: 2d6+3: 13] plus [2d8: 9 sneak damage] plus [Slowed]

The bolt wedged in a gap between the statue's knee-joint and its lower leg causing the construct to stagger back a yard and slowing its progress.

MAY
18

Combat
Kireth Majere

02

Acting almost as quickly, Kireth threw his hands together and the sparks began to fly. "My turn," he said through gritted teeth. "Templa Koron!"

[Force Orb]

[Primary Attack vs Animated Statue #02's Reflex: 1d20+4: 21] - hits!

[Damage: 2d8+4: 18]

The force orb slammed into the body of the statue that Zero had crippled and features of stone broke off in the blast. The statue kept moving, though, almost disregarding the previous two attacks.

MAY
18

Combat
Tradden Aversward

03

Tradden's eyes had only widened marginally when the statues started to move - such occurrences were starting to become common place for him now.

He ushered the boys towards the door. "Go - behind Kireth and Zero!"

He then drew his blades. "Right then..." tested their weighting and feel as if it were necessary and charged towards the side of the already damaged statue, not wanting to block line of sight from the doorway. As he crossed the short distance between them it did dawn on him that that the thing had already taken two significant blows from his comrades but showed no obvious signs of being at all bothered. He just hoped his blades would be effective against it.

Trying to take advantage of the compromised speed of the effigy he quickly jabbed up with his longsword and then brought his shortsword under its defences as it looked to block.

[Surprise Stab]

[Primary Attack vs Animated Statue #02's Reflex: 1d20+8: 24] - hits!

[Damage: 4] and [Marked]

[Secondary Attack vs Animated Statue #02: 1d20+9: 24] - hits!

[Damage: 2d6+4: 8] and [Bloodied]

The shortsword slammed home, sparks erupting from the point where metal met stone, causing a significant chunk to fly off.

However, if the blow hurt the thing didn't show it, and it kept coming, turning towards Tradden.

"Ah," he said, flexing his arm to try and bring some feeling back into it after the force of the blow.

MAY
18

Combat
Khalin Grundokri

04

"Statues? What next! GAARR!!" Khalin whirled towards the first statue with a howl of fury, trying to block its path towards the youths.

He swung his warhammer at the stone behemoth...

[Melee Basic Attack - Warhammer]

[Primary Attack vs Animated Statue #01: 1d20+5: 23] - hits!

[Damage: 1d10+3: 11]

Khalin's hammer struck the statue hard, but it barely seemed to notice the impact, its stony eyes concentrating on the one who had broken the circle.

MAY
18

Combat
Animated Statue #01

05

The statue to the right of the room ignored Khalin completely, its gaze transfixed on Tradden. Slowly it lumbered past the warlord without a thought, who took the opportunity to swing his hammer once more.

[Khalin Opportunity Attack: Melee Basic Attack - Warhammer]

[Primary Attack vs Animated Statue #01: 1d20+5: 10] - misses!

The hammer failed to find good purchased against the stone.

Continuing its progress the statue strode straight through where the circle had been laid pushing past the boys, almost crushing them. Offa and Bailey pulled at their chains to try to get out of the statue's way. The statue ignored their shouts and continued towards Tradden.

[Move: ?, ?, ?]

MAY
18

Combat
Animated Statue #02

06

The statue nearest Tradden drew back its arm and slammed its fist towards the warrior in fury.

[Smashing Fist]

[Primary Attack: 1d20+5: 8] vs Tradden's AC (18)] - misses!

Tradden managed to duck before the stony fist slammed into his head.

The young fighter had seen it coming a mile off, and had plenty of time to gracefully lean back out of the way of the solid stone arm. He was feeling pretty assured about this fight until movement caught in the corner of his eye gave him cause to risk a glance behind him. His confidence started to drain as he saw the other statue had barged past Khalin and was now brushing aside the two boys and heading straight for him. In their way, its sightless eyes being transfixed upon him was just as scary as any be-tentacled nightmare he had experienced recently.

There must be a reason that the statue was crossing the floor, ignoring all others in favour of him?

A cold wave of paralysing fear passed over him - he wanted to shout to Kireth to demand an explanation as to why the circle was not completely disarmed as suggested - he wanted to shout for the boys to hightail it out of there - he wanted to shout a rousing warcry to rally his companions to his side.

As his head flicked from side to side, from statue to statue, all he actually managed was: "Erm..."

MAY
18

Combat
Celestia Gaia

07

Celestia moved quickly into the centre of the chamber within the area that the circle used to be, covering the children as best she could.

[Move: ?, ?, ?]

Raising her morningstar she struck the nearest statue for all she was worth.

[Righteous Brand]

[Primary Attack vs Animated Statue #01: 1d20+5: 17] - hits!

[Damage: 1d10+3: 6] and [Khalin gains +3 to hit Animated Statue #01 on next turn]

As she struck the statue a ghostly symbol appeared above it of Melora and Celestia uttered Khalin's name.

MAY
18

Combat
Zero Uhlit

08

Zero moved himself closer to the circle, getting a better line at the statue he had previously attacked.

[Move: ?, ?, ?]

He lined himself up, hoping to hide behind a crowd to get an advantage.

[Preparatory Shot]

[Primary Attack vs Animated Statue #02: 1d20+6: 21] - hits!

[Damage: 4] and [Animated Statue #02 grants Combat Advantage to Zero]

The bolt chipped off another piece of stone from the statue's chest and Zero crouched down ready for his next assault.

MAY
18

Combat
Kireth Majere

09

Kireth quickly calculated the various options and, for once, they seemed more limited than usual. These were constructs, they had focus and they had purpose but they had no thought of their own. Considering this, it seemed likely that the power he was burning to unleash would have limited effect on them.

Sometimes there is no substitute for reliability. Pointing his finger at the construct, the familiar purple bolt flared and on his command, "Gurtha da Sinome", struck his opponent.

[Magic Missile]

[Primary Attack vs Animated Statue #02] - automatic hit!

[Damage: 2+4: 6]

MAY
18

Combat
Tradden Aversward

10

Tradden shielded his eyes as he saw the now familiar magic missile spring from Kireth's hands, and so avoided any glare as the reddy/silver light slammed into the statue he was closest to.

The thing was now starting to look a bit worse for wear, but clearly it was not finished yet - the young fighter knew he had to do his bit to incapacitate it. He whirled his shortsword around wildly with one arm, windmill-fashion, hoping to distract it and find some advantage. He then heaved with all his might with his long sword.

[Sure Strike]

[Primary Attack vs Animated Statue #02: 1d20+10+2: 14] - misses!

[Marked]

The sword simply bounced off the stone body of the statue.

MAY
18

Combat
Khalin Grundokri

11

"I have a bad feeling about this!" muttered Khalin as he hurried after the first statue. The dwarf was somewhat bemused the hulk of stone had ignored his ferocious attack. Both statues were clearly making a beeline for Tradden.

[Move: ?, ?, ?]

Despite his diminuitive stature, the stout warlord outflanked the first statue and took up a defensive position between it and Tradden. "I've got your back!" he called to his companion.

[Shielded Assault]

[Primary Attack vs Animated Statue #01: 1d20+5+3: 23] - hits!

[Damage: 2d10+3: 11]

[Grants +2 AC to Khalin and Tradden whilst adjacent]

Chunks of rock flew off the statue.

MAY
18

Combat
Animated Statue #01

12

The first statue continued its inexorable march towards Tradden, ignoring Celestia's and Khalin's attacks. As it moved away from Celestia, she swung her morningstar with the opportunity.

[Celestia Opportunity Attack: Melee Basic Attack - Morningstar]

[Primary Attack vs Animated Statue #01: 1d20+5: 20] - hits!

[Damage: 1d10+3: 6]

Ignoring the shards of stone that Celestia picked away, the statue raised its fists against Tradden.

[Smashing Fist]

[Primary Attack: 1d20+5: 25] vs Tradden's AC (18)] - critical hit!

[Damage: 2d6+3: 15]

The hulking fist crashed down on Tradden.

MAY
18

Combat
Animated Statue #02

13

The second statue continued its assault on Tradden, trying to pound the warrior into the floor.

[Smashing Fist]

[Primary Attack: 1d20+5: 26] vs Tradden's AC (18+2)] - misses!

Tradden managed to deflect the blow directing it away from his body with his twin swords.

MAY
18

Combat
Celestia Gaia

14

Celestia quickly uttered a word of prayer for Tradden as she moved to flank the first statue.

[Healing Word]

[Tradden spends a healing surge and regains 1d6+4+8: 15 hp]

She then smashed her morningstar down onto the first statue, calling out Khalin's name to strike it.

[Righteous Brand]

[Primary Attack vs Animated Statue #01: 1d20+5: 17] - hits!

[Damage: 1d10+3: 7] and [Khalin gains +3 to hit Animated Statue #01 on next turn]

As she struck the statue a ghostly symbol appeared above it of Melora and Celestia uttered Khalin's name.

MAY
18

Combat
Zero Uhlit

15

From his crouched position Zero took careful aim at the second statue.

[Ranged Basic Attack - Hand Crossbow]

[Primary Attack vs Animated Statue #02: 1d20+5+2: 22] - hits!

[Damage: 1d6+3: 4] plus [2d8: 9 sneak damage]

Great chunks flew off the statue!

MAY
18

Combat
Kireth Majere

16

Frustration boiled on the surface of Kireth's face. In this situation, the foes being what they are, he was extremely limited. Whatever the outcome, he would be better prepared for the next similar situation.

Not that it would make any difference to the outcome but "Gurtha da Sinome" was thrown with quite some venom this time.

[Magic Missile]

[Primary Attack vs Animated Statue #02] - automatic hit!

[Damage: 2+4: 6]

The energy bolt exploded into the statue, knocking off further chunks of stone. The statue kept on moving, however.

MAY
18

Combat
Tradden Aversward

17

Again waiting for the flare of Kireth's magic to fade, Tradden, feeling a little pummeled despite Celestia's healing powers, renewed his assault against the statue in front of him, wary of being caught between the two stone juggernaughts.

The combined assaults against the statue right in front of him were now telling - the construct was looking worse for wear, literally, and the young fighter realised that it simply may not be able to take much more.

Trying to hasten its demise he looked to trade power for precision, hoping that this would be the blow to see it crumple into harmless bits of masonry!

[Sure Strike]

[Primary Attack vs Animated Statue #02: 1d20+10+2: 26] - hits!

[Damage: 1d8+2: 5] and [Destroyed]

As Tradden struck the statue large cracks appeared all over it's surface and with a shudder the entire statue crumbled to dust before the party's eyes.

"Ha!" cried Tradden, whirling to face the other stone figure.

MAY
18

Combat
Khalin Grundokri

18

Khalin could see the two boys out of the corner of his eye. The poor youngsters were still cowering, frozen with fear.

"Take heart, young bucks of Blackengorge - the first golem has fallen!"

[Inspiring Word]

[Failure! Bailey has no healing surges left]

As his rallying call echoed he swung his warhammer at the remaining statue - hoping to finally shatter it once for all...

[Melee Basic Attack - Warhammer]

[Primary Attack vs Animated Statue #01: 1d20+5+3+2: 19] - hits!

[Damage: 1d10+3: 13] and [Bloodied]

Great cracks appeared in the body of the remaining statue.

MAY
18

Combat
Animated Statue #01

19

The remaining statue put both fists together and smashed them down onto Tradden with great might.

[Knock-Down Fist]

[Primary Attack: 1d20+3: 17] vs Tradden's Fortitude (18)] - misses!

Tradden managed to duck out of the way just in time.

MAY
18

Combat
Celestia Gaia

20

Celestia crashed her morningstar against the statue's cracking body.

[Wrathful Thunder]

[Primary Attack vs Animated Statue #01: 1d20+5+2: 8] - critical miss!

Unfortunately she missed by some margin!

MAY
18

Combat
Zero Uhlit

21

Zero kept low down, trying to gain as much advantage as he could.

[Preparatory Shot]

[Primary Attack vs Animated Statue #01: 1d20+6: 9] - misses!

His shot went high and wide, though.

MAY
18

Combat
Kireth Majere

22

Kireth jogged to the side to get a better view of the remaining target. "Gurtha da Sinome!" he called as the missile flared into existence and sailed into the intended victim. It might not be much at this stage but at least it was something, something that hit.

[Magic Missile]

[Primary Attack vs Animated Statue #02] - automatic hit!

[Damage: 2+4: 6]

The missile struck the statue once more, causing minor puffs of debris to fly up from the statue's chest.

MAY
18

Combat
Tradden Aversward

23

The fight was starting to take its toll on Tradden - sweat was visibly pouring from his brow with the effort of continuing attacks against the stony targets combined with the ducking and diving involved with avoiding their deadly blows.

Nevertheless, he gritted his teeth and carried on, deftly spinning with the hope of catching the statue with a backhand swipe.

[Melee Basic Attack - Longsword]

[Primary Attack vs Animated Statue #01: 1d20+8: 17] - hits!

[Damage: 1d8+6: 9] and [Marked]

More chunks flew off the statue.

Tradden managed a tired grin as the combined assault of the group really began to tell. However, the grin faded as the statue pulled back its fist ready for another strike...

MAY
18

Combat
Khalin Grundokri

24

Khalin fired off a tight smile at the flagging Tradden before his mouth curled into a snarl once more as he swung his hammer at the golem again.

[Melee Basic Attack - Warhammer]

[Primary Attack vs Animated Statue #01: 1d20+5+3+2: 26] - hits!

[Damage: 1d10+3: 6]

Khalin struck the statue on the legs and moved ready for another strike.

MAY
18

Combat
Animated Statue #01

25

The remaining statue put both fists together and smashed them down onto Tradden with great might.

[Knock-Down Fist]

[Primary Attack: 1d20+3: 8] vs Tradden's Fortitude (18)] - misses!

Tradden once again deftly moved out of the way of the encroaching statue.

MAY
18

Combat
Celestia Gaia

26

Celestia smashed her morningstar down onto the first statue, calling out Tradden's name to strike it.

[Righteous Brand]

[Primary Attack vs Animated Statue #01: 1d20+5+2: 27] - critical hit!

[Damage: 1d10+3: 13] and [Destroyed]

As she struck the statue a ghostly symbol appeared above it of Melora and the statue crumbled to dust.

MAY
18

Combat
Encounter Complete

27

[...Combat Encounter Completed...]

MAY
18

Combat
Short Rest

28

[...SHORT REST...]

MAY
18

Storyline
Mausoleum

29

The dust left over from the statues began to float slowly downwards and settle on the floor. The group were silent for a moment, catching their breath, trying to comprehend how stone statues could move, let alone attack.

Zero was the first to move, slowly returning his crossbow to his hip and heading over towards the stunned boys and checking their manacles. Within moments he had released them from their chains and began to collect his bolts from the rubble and dust.

"T-Thank you," stuttered the older boy, his eyes drawn towards the broken stone of the former statues. "Is it safe to leave the circle, now?"

MAY
18

Storyline
Mausoleum

30

"Kireth?" asked Tradden, standing up from the bent-double position where he had been catching his breath. He raised an inquisitive eyebrow at the mage. The tone of his voice clearly conveyed his feeling over the circle being "safe" the last time...

MAY
18

Storyline
Mausoleum

31

Kireth held his arms out before him, clenching and unclenching his fists as though crushing two small balls. He watched intently as small blue strands of energy danced over his fingers.

Something had clicked during that last encounter, he felt stronger for it, he felt... he smiled a secret smile beneath his cowl.

"Kireth?" the fop's voice pulled his thoughts back.

"Yes? Oh, yes, I believe so."

MAY
18

Storyline
Mausoleum

32

Tradden looked far from convinced, but on balance still trusted the mage.

"If Kireth says it is safe, it must be. Look..."

With that, Tradden walked into the circle, jumped up and down unnecessarily, and then proceeded to walk back and forth over the barrier.

"See?"

Tradden looked back at the doorway.

"Right. Seems to me there are two ways to go - either deeper into this complex through that passageway we saw to the north-west, or back the way we came. As we came here with the sole purpose of finding the young fellas here, I suggest we do the latter and head back."

He beamed at the boys, trying and failing to be 'in with the kids'.

"I don't know about you, but I could do with a really good meal!", he winked at them.

MAY
18

Storyline
Mausoleum

33

The older boy tentatively stepped over the area where the circle used to be and onto the main flooring of the room. He stood still carefully for a minute or so in silence.

When nothing untoward happened, no cave-ins, no statues animating, he relaxed and motioned for the other boy to join him. Both the boys seemed to have grown in confidence watching the party coolly dispatch the statues - it was clear they were under great protection.

"There's an elf somewhere," said the boy, his voice now level. "He's the one who captured us with his goblin friends. He was going to kill us, he said. He seemed to be taking great delight in it - he went off to prepare some sort of ritual."

MAY
18

Storyline
Mausoleum

34

"An elf?" Khalin raised an eyebrow in mock surprise. He moved over towards the others, subtley taking himself out of earshot of the youngsters.

"Seems to me that getting the boys safely back to the town should be our main goal here. That's what we pledged to do, and so honour demands. We can be back here within the hour to hunt for the... kidnapper," he cracked his knuckles in frustration as he almost spat out the word. "Much as I'd love to give the rascal what for as soon as possible!"

The dwarf's confidence had grown almost exponentially this past couple of days, and he could feel the lust for vengeance burning in his belly.

"Still," he continued in conspiratorial fashion, "we could have a wee peek round the corner before we go."

MAY
18

Storyline
Mausoleum

35

The debate continued for a while, with the group spilling back into the antechamber so as to ensure that at the very least no one was entering or leaving from the way they had come.

The discussion became quite heated in places, but essentially the party was split - Tradden and Zero were more of the view that they should take the boys back immediately, whereas Khalin and Celestia leant towards a bit of further exploration on the basis that it was better for the mysterious elf to be found.

That left only the mage, who had stood to one side throughout.

"Ok, Kireth, what is your counsel?" asked Tradden.

MAY
18

Storyline
Mausoleum

36

Kireth paused before answering. He knew his mind but had to be careful not to upset the companions' delicate morals.

"To kill these poor children would have been easy for this 'elf' and his underlings but he chose not to, needing them for a ritual." He walked towards the boys feigning grave concern on his face. "Rituals involving the sacrifice of innocents I think we can all agree can never be a good thing and, in my experience, are some of the most powerful evils." He stood with the boys on either side of him. "As much as we must return these young ones, we must press on and locate this evil without delay or risk it slipping away."

He placed a friendly hand on each of the boys shoulders. "Besides, what an adventure you will have to tell tales off, eh?"

[Prestidigitation]

[A warming glow spreads through the boys' bodies]

The boys' spirits seemed uplifted as they looked up at Kireth, colour slightly returning to their cheeks.

MAY
18

Storyline
Mausoleum

37

Tradden nodded. His instinct was to get the boys back to the town, but the mage spoke sense that the young fighter could not dispute the logic of.

Coming to a decision, he stalked over to Zero, whispering in his ear. What followed was a short, but again heated discussion between the two, inaudible to any of the others. Tradden's body language seemed to indicate he was asking the rogue to do something, whereas his fellow human displayed more provocative signage, ranging from "why?", to "not bothered" to "no way" to "on my own?" to "well, yes, I am great", to one action which the others could only speculate was an over the top impression of a ghost.

Eventually however he skulked off back towards the room with the sarcophagi, grumbling at first but then going very silent indeed as he rounded the corner.

[Zero Stealth Check: 1d20+12: 27] - success!

As Zero got to the southern end of the chamber he seemed to disappear completely into the murk with not a part of him to be seen or heard.

MAY
18

Storyline
Mausoleum

38

"Right," said Tradden as Zero quietly made his way back the way they had came.

He fished around in his pack for some of the food the town folk had provided them with prior to setting out. "You must be hungry no matter what!" He tossed the two boys his canteen and some of the food - it was no better than basic rations really, but it would do.

As the boys chomped away, after a short while the group heard faint scrapes and bangs from down the corridor, and were just about to go and investigate when a strange sight appeared back around the corner.

Presently a strange sight appeared - it had Zero's legs, but was otherwise a ball of metal, leather and chain and other oddities. Before anyone could comment, the junk fell to the floor, revealing a very red faced and perspiring Zero, who took the opportunity to put his hands on his knees and take some deep breaths.

"That will be two gold, delivery charge, sir," he managed to cough sarcastically in Tradden's direction.

"Excellent!" beamed Tradden. "Thank you Zero - right, let's see what we can do..."

Tradden then spent a few minutes fitting Offa with what he could from the armour collected from the creatures that had defended the sarcophagi. Seeing what he was doing Khalin started on Bailey, and by the time the two warriors had finished the two boys were lightly armoured - they had been forced to discard the heavier pieces, but had managed to put together a passable set of defences, including the helmets, which the boys struggled to keep from slipping over their eyes.

Tradden stood back, inspecting their handiwork. Now he saw them, their helmets continually slipping over their eyes, we was not so sure his idea was that great. Armour was one thing, but there seemed little point giving them one of the wicked, heavy blades used by the creatures - if the boys actually came toe-to-toe with an enemy it wouldn't make any difference to the outcome. That said, he didn't want to leave them completely defenceless, and if for no other reason he wanted them to have something in their hands to give them some level of confidence - he knew he would rather have a weapon than not. He looked again at the pile at his feet, noting two wooden points sticking out at odd angles.

"Hmm, can either of you use a bow, and if you can do you think you are up to firing them?"

[Tradden Insight Check: 1d20+3: 20] - success!

The boys nodded. "Sergeant Valino made us do training, like the rest of the guard," said the elder. "We've both been hunting before, so know one end from t'other."

They sounded bold and brave, but Tradden could sense they were uncertain. It's one thing hunting down some rabbits with short bows compared to hobgoblins or worse. Still, they seemed to be willing and able, and although there was uncertainty, they would do.

MAY
18

Storyline
Mausoleum

39

"Hmm, good enough for me. Try to stay back, close to Zero and Kireth if there is any fighting, and do what they tell you. If things get really nasty, hightail it out of here and back to the town as fast as you can. Otherwise, stay close!"

With that, the group moved onwards. If there was anyone else further into the complex that did not know they were there, the clanking of the boys' makeshift armour was now a certain giveaway.

MAY
18

Storyline
Mausoleum

40

In the northwest corner of the room the antechamber came to a smaller passage, a faint glow coming from beyond their sight. The passage entrance was strewn with rubble, and it took a little care to climb over.

Zero led the way, carefully and quietly trying to pick his way through.

[Zero Stealth Check: 1d20+12: 26] - success!

The passage opened into a large chamber. An eerie green glow emanated from the top of a ten-foot high platform in the middle of the room, mist floating up from its surface. A parade of rampaging devils was carved into the side of the pedastal, shadows flickering over their hideous faces from the dancing light of the green glow.

A sinister-looking elf in dark robes stood atop the platform next to a towering skeletal figure. The elf looked up from a dusty old tome open in his hands as the party entered the chamber, as though drawn from deep contemplation, the noises of the boys attracting his attention.

Zero backed off, slinking into the shadows.

MAY
18

Storyline
Mausoleum

41

Noticing the children at the back of the group he glared with pure malice at the intruders.

"Your blood will aid in my work, interlopers!" he screeched, pointing at the party.

With his threat still floating in the air, a quartet of skeletal warriors stepped out from behind the platform, drawing rusty longswords from tattered scabbards. The towering skeleton turned to stare at the party with empty eye sockets and drew his shining blade.

MAY
18

Storyline
Mausoleum

42

[...Continued in Book #01, Chapter #01, Scene #05...]