Songs of Erui Session 7, Part 1

Party (Level 3)
Grey; razorclaw shifter archery ranger
Grynn; gnoll artificer DEAD ^X_x^
Kegan; dwarf paladin (Strength primary)
Maev; elf druid
Sigis; goliath valorous bard
Zan; stormsoul genasi assault swordmage

The last session ended on a cliffhanger. They party had defeated a pair of bear-totem eladrin wardens, and were trying to open the door that someone had closed behind them before the fight ever started. After a bit of fumbling they managed to open it, and they heard something say, "Hello, Grynn."

What they saw, I described as such: it was about three-feet tall. The head looked like a crude wooden mask, with one eye missing and the other constantly bleeding stuff that made it look like it might be crying blood. There was no actual mouth, but what might be considered a jagged smile was carved where the mouth could be. This "mask" was attached to a wolfen head, which in turn was stuck on top of an exposed spinal column that ran into a rounded, cracked, woody torso that was oozing blood and had fungus growing out of it.
It had two arms, one that looked like a hyena leg with a spidery, wooden hand stuck on the end. It was rotting, with exposed muscles. The other arm was entirely of wood, with circles and whorls running along its entire length. It looked slightly longer than the other.
Of the legs, the front two were wooden and looked like a cross between a crab and spider, with more fungus growing out of the joints. One of the hind legs was a hyena's, while the other was a human arm (both also rotting, of course).

Before initiative was rolled, he commanded Grynn to step forward, which triggered Josh to immediately declare initiative time as Grey sprung into action....or would have if the creature hadnt rolled a 29. Its action was to simply touch Grynn, causing much of his skin to peel off (25 necrotic damage right up front).

After that Grey tried to pull Grynn to safety, and the rest of the party tried ineffectually to damage him. A new player arrived with Zan, a stormsoul genasi swordmage, managed to arrive just as combat started. He had been sent by an eladrin council to investigate who had violated one of their crypts, and took a round or two just assessing the situation (not sure who to attack).

The creature did get hit, turning invisible (this is when they realized that whatever it was, it had probably been a gnome). One its turn cycled back around, I had it teleport next to Grynn and finish him off. Since it was invisible, they just saw Grynn's head jerk up, and a black aura surrounded him. All of his skin and organs melted off, and every part of his skeleton except his skull turned into dust before getting sucked into nothing. The creature then appear, holding Grynn's skull, and attached it to a cord on its waist.

For visual effect, I had it wipe its hands as if it had just made a sandwich, and then burn an action point to summon a wall of zombies. Unfortunately, only it and Grey were on one side, and everyone else was on the other.

Grey started his turn grabbed by the zombies, and the rest of the party tried to chop their way through. This display of powerful necromancy caused Zan to declare the bizarre spider-gnome-undead-plant-thing as the greatest threat, and he ran in and started detonating zombies with his thunder attacks (showering the party with zombie guts in the process).

The creature was able to effortlessly clamber up to the top of the wall, and it blasted Kegan with a powerful necrotic bolt that also weakened him. Zan critted him with lightning lure, which accounted for one of two hits they were able to land the entire battle. The creature simply teleported away and used another wall of zombies to cut off everyone else except Maev from the exit.

With Maev by herself, she really didnt want to do anything to it. Almost no one was landing any actual hits on the thing. It walked over to the corpse of the tree god that they'd kill last session and animated it again, before booking it to the exit. Zan got crit in on the wall with an encounter power, blowing out about a quarter of it, allowing the party to usually wiggle to freedom if they didnt get grabbed. The zombified-tree-god, however, blocked the hallway leading to the exit portal, so Zan teleported through, then swapped places with Kegan. This allowed Kegan a clear shot at the creature, which he totally did not take.

Instead, they clustered around the zombie-god and beat it to death, and the creature got away.

And thats how the first encounter for the session went.

They took an extended rest and introduced themselves to Zan. He was an agent of the eladrin Winter Court, and after some...words, were traded, decided that they werent responsible for breaking into it and robbing everything. After their rest they checked out the rest of the room and found two more hidden passages. One contained six statues carved like owl totems, which Grey's sword identified as "god-houses" that were used when a spirit wanted to sleep.

Then Kegan decided to smash one, which fell on another...and another, leaving three, three god-houses. Ah ah ah ah.

The spirits looked like flowing white tendrils with white masks, a theme that they'd seen quite a bit. They'd encountered the spirits before, but they didnt really do anything except scare them. Until now, that is.

The three spirits who were recently evicted from their homes were none to happy about the whole situation, and started attacking them from the walls. Sigis and Maev wanted no part of it, and just left, and eventually the rest of the party followed suit. Thinking that everything was okay, they went into the last hidden door, which contained a massive idol of a bear god.

...with six of those white spirits that they had just angered floating around it.

What followed was a lot of dialogue as Sigis traded her magical spear for knowledge of the "weapons" required to defeat the Sleeping God in her mountain. She learned that three songs are required, but that it didnt know what or where they were. The rest of the party, except for Zan, traded items in exchange for their lives (since they'd pissed off a lot of spirits and violated a lot of graves on the way down).

With that out of the way, they started back to Dorsen.

To be continued...dun dun duuuuun...

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