Chaos Scar

22. The Necroshard

2/21/11: Well this was a nutty one... Joe jumped in to give us a total of four players, and helped the heroes survive the night in the temple surrounded by zombies.

Hirbe - Eladrin Mage
Merric - Halfling Thief
Rys - Elf Rogue
Tornam - Dwarf Cleric

The heroes were in a tainted temple of Clarissa (now devoted to the ancient demon lord known as Obox-Ob). Outside were a thousand zombies, all trying to get into the temple to get at the necroshard - a gem that attracted the zombies and fueled their power. 

The heroes rested for a few minutes as the zombies outside stopped trying to get in... but that lasted mere minutes. For hours and hours, the zombies relentlessly pounded on the walls and dug into the tunnel, determined to get at the shard and the heroes brain (this was a skill challenge).

Rys raced over to a cracked wall and propped up a broken piece of pillar to block the zombies entry. An arm reached through another crack - Merric ripped off the arm and stuffed it into the crack, blocking it up.

Hirbe heard movement in the hole, where the heroes had tricked a gravehound into falling in. He fired a series of carefully-placed magic missiles, caving in a portion of the hole and eliminating the entry point. Tornam called upon his deity for aid.

Rys created some makeshift fire bombs, and handed them to a zombie reaching through a crack. The dumb zombie wandered around outside, catching fire and burning other zombies as well. A zombie leaned in through a fresh hole in the wall - and Merric stole its' torso and stuffed it in the hole.

It was hours of this relentless shoring up. The heroes were weary and wondered how much longer it would be until the sun rose once more. At last, the zombies wore the temple down. Zombies burst in from two different areas of the temple. Among them were corruption corpses (who flung necrotic filth), zombie soldiers and a bunch of plain zombies.

Merric stabbed and injured a soldier. Rys began lighting his crossbow bolts on fire and firing at the undead horde. The zombies converged on Hirbe, who was holding the shard. The mage was quickly bloodied, and teleported away from them. Then he cast a fie shroud spell that killed three of them. 

Then he had an idea. He used his mage hand spell to cause the  necroshard to hover in the air 25 feet above. Tornam heard more zombies trying to get in via the pit. He dumped boulders into it, squashing ht einvading zombies. Tornam then healed Hirbe with a spell of his own.

Merric flung a dagger at a corruption corpse, causing it to explode in a burst of necrotic energy. Rys crept about, keeping to the shadows and firing off bolts. 

The gem was up near the ceiling. Suddenly, the ceiling began to crack open. A massive, undead tyranosaurus rex head burst through and snapped its' teeth at the hovering gem! Hirbe cast ghost sound to distract the t rex, who pulled its' head out of the hole. Then he lowered the shard and threw it to Tornam.

Now, if you remember, Tornam had spent the last three months eating everything put in front of him. So when he saw the gem flying at him.. he swallowed it. He felt funny as it went in. The zombies turned into shard zombies when they touched it. But when he swallowed it, he became a shard dwarf! Gem-growths burst from his skin! He felt the power to fire lightning from his hands! He even felt that he could command the undead and summon his own minions!

A shard zombie and zombie allies burst into the temple from another run-down wall. Rys tipped over a brazier, burning three zombies. Shard Tornam faced off against the shard zombie. He called upon his god and hammered the zombie, sending it hurtling 15 feet back. Merric slashed into the shard zombie and a nearby soldier.

Rys was attending to a wall, trying to prevent even more zombies from bursting in. But he could see through the crack that the zombie t. rex was about to press its' head through! He backflipped behind a brazier as it roared and bashed its' head through the wall, sending several zombies flying. It let out a bone-rattling roar. 

Hirbe destroyed four zombies with beguiling strands as the heroes decided on a daring plan. Tornam used his shard power to command the t rex to obey him... and then the heroes climbed onto it! On the way out, Merric killed a soldier and a shard zombie in one swift motion. All of them made their way onto its' neck. Then the t. rex stomped onpiles of zombies, and rampaged into the chaos scar with the heores holding on tightly.

Up ahead, they saw a camp of goblins and wolf-riders - allies of Warduke! They decided to pay the goblins a visit. The t. rex leapt into the air and landed on all of them but one! The final goblin awoke, and screamed. The heroes told it to go tell Warduke what they had done. 

They made their way to a cliff, intent on forcing the t. rex to jump off. But the t. rex began to fight Tornam's control! The heroes jumped onto the cliff and stabbed at the t. rex. It clawed its' way up after them... but then the sun rose! The t. rex fell apart. The heroes had survived the night. All of the zombies were once again mere corpses.

The adventurers returned to the temple, where bodies were stacked 10 high. The heroes burned them all. By the time they were done, they realized night was approaching and raced back to the keep. They didn't like the idea of dead rising to slay them while they walked through the forest, but they certainly weren't going to stay in the temple again.

The heroes got back to the keep and woke Elessan, the head cleric of Clarissa. Tornam couldn't hold it any more... It was time to poop out the necroshard (in an epic skill challenge, of course!).

Merric turned his back as Tornam squatted over a floor mosaic depicting Clarissa's face and fiery hair. Tornam leaned over and screamed.. Hirbe used mage hand to pull the shard through the poor dwarf's bowels! Rys urged on the dwarf, telling him to think of the children. Tornam called upon the gods to aid him (and rolled a 20!). tornam saw a vision of Clarissa's consort, Irongrad, who actually knew something of these things! The ghostly orc helped talk Tornam threw it... and out popped the necroshard!

Hirbe cleaned it up. He told Elessan that he planned to re-consecrate the church. Elessan was overjoyed. Elessan studied the necroshard, and saw that it was still radiating energy. It would soon attract hordes of zombies to the keep! Elessan knew that to shut down the necroshard, the heroes would have to return to the altar in the church, re-consecrate it, and perform a ritual on the altar!

The heroes grimly nodded. They could not wait even one moment. They prepared a horse-drawn wagon, and hired on two guards. They'd have to race through the night right away, fight through any zombies the shard may attract, and get back to the temple to end the evil of the necroshard for good!