Dramatis Personæ

Brother Mendel (Herodian)
Dane Sardock (Winston)
Gabriel Auditore (Rigil Kent)
Gestlin the Unpredictable (CommJunkee)
Magnifico the Clown (Feste)
Merasiël Alethmist (Melissa)
Rainald North-Hammer (Gigermann)


Of Paradox and Pursuit

13 May 2014

The Heroes proceeded through the archway and down the darkened hall, where it opened into a large, bizarre room, full of stairs and arches leading up and down in all directions, on the walls and ceilings; upside down, sideways and all points between. After some long moments of stunned amazement, and confusion at how they might continue, Magnifico took a chance on a Seeker spell to locate Persephone, and succeeding, pointed to an archway or two across the room. Gabriel was the first to test the strange room by attempting to climb “down” the nearest flight of stairs, and found that the customary downward pull of the earth fell in concert with the stairs and landings, such that one could walk up and down the walls and ceilings as if its orientation were perfectly natural. Gestlin activated his magical harness and took flight into the center of the room, and also found that “down” was not where he expected. The Heroes cautiously crossed the room to the archway on the other side indicated by Magnifico, with his guidance, Dane’s keen sense of direction, and Gestlin’s flying overview to direct them; Gabriel used his magic sai to cut marks in the stone along the way to indicate their path. Through the archway was a long natural cavern that twisted and wound in seemingly random directions, oft in the direction of their quarry and away from it, and after some time, as the tunnel ended, they found themselves back at the room full of stairs, at the same archway they had started from. This time they examined the room more closely, and determined another archway to be oriented to match the starting position, and made their way across the room once again to enter it.


Again, the archway led to a long natural cavern-tunnel, but this time it opened into a vast marsh, foggy, waterlogged and choked with trees and undergrowth. Magnifico’s spell effect seemed to indicate that they must cross to reach their quarry, so they set out cautiously, testing the water’s depth and finding it suitably shallow. Gestlin cast a Walk on Air spell upon Rainald at his suggestion, and Magnifico also, before himself taking flight—the tree canopy was quite high; those airborne followed along with the others. They passed near to a still pool, wherein they saw beneath the surface many faces, corpses of the long-dead though seeming somehow preserved; the Heroes did not give in to fear, but pressed onward.

bs-swampskellieAs Gabriel lead the way, he leapt from one “dry” spot to another, but slipped in the mud on the other side and fell to his hands and knees there. Just then a skeletal hand reached forth from the water behind him and ensnared his foot, using him to pull the rest of its terrifying self wholly out of the water. Just then the other Heroes saw many more of these reach forth from the water as well, rising all around them, naught but muddy, rotted bones held fast by some evil will; in moments, they were beset on all sides, as the undead grabbed and bit at whatever flesh was exposed. Rainald, wielding Gramjarn, knelt in the air to smash the emerging creature holding Gabriel, even as Gabriel attempted to wrest free of it; some grabbed Rainald’s legs and climbed up him to reach his face, but he smashed them all with the pommel of his hammer. Brother Mendel and Dane fought back-to-back near a large tree, smashing and slashing, struggling to free themselves from the creatures’ grasp, Dane with his shortsword and Brother Mendel with his staff; Dane fared rather badly, bitten many times upon the face and neck, and Brother Mendel cast healing spells upon him lest he should fall. Gestlin was greatly unsettled at the sight of the creatures, and flew up higher out of their reach, even as they leapt to seize his feet; from above, he cast a mighty Fireball and blasted one of the enemy to ash. Gabriel and Merasiël broke free and felled some numbers with their blades as quickly as the creatures arrived. Magnifico had risen up out of the creatures’ reach and found himself to be of little aid to the others, and so he called out to Persephone to appear and answer for this maltreatment of guests in her realm. A nearby tree suddenly sprang to green life, and the goddess stepped forth from it, though only so tall as a “normal” woman; Magnifico began to approach her, still airborne, and chided her roughly for her “rudeness,” such that she was taken aback at the brashness of it, and stood dumbfounded. Magnifico intended the others to attack her while she was vulnerable, but the undead did not cease to rise from the waters and set upon them, such that Dane now cried out to fall back to the barely-visible archway beyond, lest they be overwhelmed, and they all did so (though Magnifico was reluctant to give up the opportunity to attack).

Those still airborne were able to remain out of the creatures’ reach as they fled; Rainald picked up Brother Mendel, the slowest among them, to carry him, before Gestlin cast a Walk on Air spell upon him as well. Dane, Merasiël and Gabriel continued on foot, being the most nimble and quick, all the while pursued by the creatures; though Dane fell and was immediately caught up and attacked, the others came quickly to his aid, and they were able to evade the creatures all the way to their intended exit. Once through the archway, the undead no longer pursued them, but returned to their watery rest.

The tunnel leading from the archway opened into another large chamber, filled with mist and lined with stone columns. Amongst the columns were many stone statues of men, arrayed for battle, of such exquisite craftsmanship that one might have supposed them to have been at one time living flesh…


  • The “Escher” room is obviously inspired by the Labyrinth movie, as has been so much of this area; we had a bit of a time trying to justify how the characters might proceed, though their players knew (roughly) how it worked
  • The GM was thinking of Game of Thrones regarding the skeletons, which made them a little scarier than standard Fantasy fare; they were quite fast (Move 7), which made the decision to run away difficult—they’re faster than most of the party. Individually they weren’t so bad, but en masse as they were, someone was gonna die
  • There was a bit of a pause at the “decision point” of the fight, as we waffled between running for a more tactically-sound position, or attacking Persephone while she seemed vulnerable, or some compromise between the two; in the end, the decision came down to Dane’s in-game leadership, and his tactical instincts that were screaming, “Get un-surrounded!”—he’s supposed to be the “fight boss,” so we deferred to him in this case
  • We all know what’s coming next session, but given the characters’ general lack of knowledge on Greek mythology, we’re not sure how we can overcome without losing a few of us, at least, to a more “statuesque” future