The Things from the Crypt

Continuing our Zweihänder game on Roll20, we investigate the crypt that the villagers had pointed us towards, where they claimed undead creatures had come from and taken off some of their neighbours. As always, Eva the Preacher recounts the tale.

It took us about an hour to make our way to the burial grounds, led by a young lad from the village. It was a warm, sunny day, and the region looked quiet pleasant. It was an open grassy area, with multiple artificial looking mounds covering most of it.

Only one of the mounds has stones capping the top of it, so we figured that this was the ‘crypt’ that the villagers spoke of. Approaching it, we saw that there was indeed a hole dug down from the top down into it, at a 45° angle. Looking down into the hole it was dark, and difficult to see much.

The burials were probably made about 400 to 450 years ago, built by the Azlanti invaders during a period when the land suffered from plague. Their garrisons built many mass graves at this time.

I decided that it was a good time to try out some of the magick I had learned, so took up a blindfold and called on the divine might of the God Emperor to grant me sight of things supernatural.

Player’s Notes: This was our first attempt at using magic, and it went surprisingly well. With one rank in Incantation, I only had a 49% chance of success. Wytchsight is generalist magic (the weakest sort), so that gives me +10%, then I have a choice to channel the power. Doing so takes longer, and has higher risk, but grants me +10% for each level of channelling. I opt for +20% (since I can’t have a total bonus higher than +30%), giving me a total of 79% chance.

I rolled.. and got 70, which was a success. Now I had to roll two Chaos Dice though (one for each level of channelling). On a 6, the result is a Chaos Manifestation. Fortunately, I got two 4s, so nothing bad happened. I have no idea what likely results of Chaos Manifestations are, and I’m deliberately not reading up on that part of the rules so that it’s a surprise when it does happen. Possibly not a pleasant surprise though.

Note that if I critical failed the casting of this spell, then the result is that I would be blinded for 24 hours. Magic can be harsh.

Looking around with my new found Wytchsight, there was some faint magic on the stonework around the mound, though no sign of anything elsewhere on the other mounds. Carefully, I made my way down the passage, until I reached a small room.

With light from Calthar’s torch, I dropped down into the room and saw stone slabs around the walls, each with friezes depicting soldiers on them. On the far long wall, either side of the door, the friezes seemed to be of high quality and depicted the life of some leader. Those to the side were possibly just for common soliders.

Part of the room had collapsed, and beside the door there was a stone carved with runes that looked identical to the one that we had found at the mine which had been used to ward against the supernatural. It looked like someone had brought it down here and tried to place it above the door, probably to keep whatever was here inside. However, it had been badly placed and had recently fallen out.

With limited time on my Wytchsight, I opened the door and looked through. Beyond was a much larger room, with a set of double doors at the far end. Nearby was some some of broken table, around which glowed an aura. Two sarcophagi lay in the middle of the room, both with a body on it. One body was surrounded by a dark aura, and it began to sit up, revealing itself to be skeletal in nature, wearing rusting mail armour. It looked at me with glowing green eyes that would have struck fear in me had the God Emperor not be watching over me. Nevertheless, I quickly closed the door and climbed back up out of the hole before it could come after me.

After a lunch of rabbit caught by Djarin, we discussed what we wanted to do and decided that heading down there and dealing with whatever it was, was probably the right thing to do. We did not know whether Calthar’s or Djarin’s weapons would be able to harm it, so I once again turned to the God Emperor and anointed Djarin’s arbalest.

Player’s Notes: Getting over confident, I tried some more magic, going for Anoint Weapon which would allow a weapon to harm supernatural creatures, just in case the undead were immune to non-magical weapons. I rolled a 92, a clear failure, so spent a fortune point to re-roll which got me a much better success. A critical failure on this spell merely adds another chaos dice to all my spell casting checks for 24 hours.

So we headed down, and carefully opened the door again. The skeleton was standing on its feet, holding a sword and shield. Djarin shot it directly in the chest, and there was a flash of holy light as the bolt struct it. The skeleton collapsed into pieces.

The crypt

As Calthar stepped forward and knocked its weapon away from it, its bones started moving – collecting themselves together and reforming into a full skeleton! Djarin shoots again, and Calthar wades in with her Zweihänder, cutting it down again. But it once again begins to reform, even quicker this time.

Remembering our lore about such creatures, we quickly scatter its bones to the four corners of the room, and it is prevented from raising itself another time.

The table near the door seemed to be an altar of some kind – though undoubtedly to some dark powers. The other body seemed to have been partially put together from the remains of the villagers who had been killed. Though their bodies were rotten and foul smelling, they seemed to be quite normally dead and not a threat.

Beyond the final set of doors was the main inhabitant of the crypt, an undead creature far more powerful than the lowly guards that had been in the central room. As soon as we opened the doors, Calthar was immediately struck with terror, unable to move. I quickly moved towards her, stuffing smelling salts under her nose and allowing her to recover some of her senses, which Calthar opened up with his arbalest.

The fight did not go well, and it seemed resistant to Calthar’s and Djarin’s weapons. We quickly retreated back to the first room, and tried to close the door, dropping the enchanted stone behind it to try and both force the door closed and hopefully ward against the creature.

However, it almost succeeded in forcing the door open. Djarin threw the last of my holy water at it, and it burst into flames, but even his holy arbalest seemed to have little effect, and Calthar’s use of burning oil only slowed it slightly.

While my brave companions tried to fight it off, I tried to lift the stone above the door. I may be a woman and a scholar, but I am not weak, but even so I found the stone too difficult to lift alone. Finally, I gave a shout to the God Emperor, and managed to lift it above the door, trying to fit it into the space above the door frame.

However, whether it was mere luck or the guiding hand of the God Emperor I will never know. Rather than fitting into place, the stone fell over the other side of the door and crushed the skull of the skeletal warrior as it tried to break though.

Player’s Notes: So I spent about two turns spending all my actions trying to lift the stone, and though I had 42% in Brawl (about average, but one of my better stats), all six rolls failed. On my third try, I shouted a prayer to Eva’s god, and the GM gave me a +10% bonus – which was enough to lift it up. Then a roll to put it into place… I got a 66 which is a critical fumble, so the stone fell down the other side of the door. The GM kindly gave me a 1 in 10 chance of it falling and hitting the undead – and I got lucky. The others had been wearing it down a bit by shooting it in the head, and the burning fire had held off its regeneration, so this was enough to slay it.

Its body is scattered once more, and peace returns to the crypt. There is talk of looting it, but the others listened to my recommendations that this might not be a good idea.

We headed back to the village where there were celebrations and I held a small ceremony in the evening to give thanks to the God Emperor. We were paid a small token in thanks, and in the morning we will take some of the villagers back to the crypt so that the passage can be filled in.

Samuel Penn