Chaos Scar

23. Fleshwarp

2/28/11: John brought his sister to bring us up to a total of 5. The players had quite a time getting through the forest without their cart tipping over..!

Artemis - Half-elf Swordmage
Hirbe - Eladrin Mage
Merric - Halfling Thief
Rys - Elf Rogue
Tornam - Dwarf Cleric

The adventurers had the necroshard, a gem that animated the dead from miles around at night. They sped in a horse-drawn cart through the night to get to a temple where they could drain it of its' power for good. They brought along Artemis, a swordmage recommended by Elessan, and a guard whose job was to fire flaming arrows at any zombies that popped out of the woods. 

Hirbe had the necroshard and drove the cart. The two horses had special spiked barding. The horses raced throught the darkness lit partially by the lanterns on the cart. After about twenty minutes, the zombie of a lizardman shambled out into the road ahead of them. 

Tornam pulled out his sling and struck the zombie in the head. It fell over, inanimate one more. The horses seemed abou to panic, confused as to whether to run the zombie over or to veer to side, possibly toppling the cart. The heroes soothed the horses and drove over the corpse. There was a jarring bump. Artemis used her strngth to steady the cart, but almost fell off in the process.

A few minutes passed... and from the skies came zombie bats!The bats swooped down and slashed at Hirbe, trying to get at the necroshard. They cut down the wizard in short order.

Merric jumped onto one of the horses, to calm it. Tornam healed Hirbe with a spell, and grabbed the necroshard, making himself the new target. Hirbe cast a fire shroud spell from the prone position, setting the bats ablaze.

The guard took aim at a bat, and put a flaming arrow through its' face, destroying it (these zombies were auto-killed on a natural 20 - this guard rolled quite a few of those tonight). 

The bats swarmed Tornam and bloodied him. Rys ran along the wooden edge of the art and fired a flaming arrow into a bat menacing Hirbe. Hirbe leaned out of the cart an cast burning hands, scorching two bats. Rys even tried a moonsault on a bat, but ended up missing, landing on his feet and dodging a blow.

The one bat was still up front slashing at Hirbe. He looked at it and said "You're in my seat." Hirbe then killed it with a phantasmal assault spell, kicked it off the cart and stood where it was.

He turned to Rys and said "He was in my seat."

A bat swooped down and knocked Artemis down, and nearly off the cart. Merric leaned on the horse and flung a dagger into a bat, killing it. Tornam destroyed anothe rin his aspect of wrath. Rys killed the last of the zombie bats while backflipping and firing a flaming bolt from his crossbow.

The cart raced on as the heroes frantically bandaged their wounds, wary of further zombie menaces attracted to the necroshard.

A while later, a new menace lurched from the forest in the road ahead - a zombie bear. Hirbe climbed onto one of the horses and cast beguiling strands. Usig the spell he tosses the bear off the road and out of the way of the cart. As the cart passed it, Merric flung a dagger into it. 

Soon after, some familiar faces emerged from the chaos scar - zombie goblins riding zombie wolves! They were the allies of Warduke who the heroes had stepped on with their zombie dinosaur just the day before! The crushed goblins now had only one aim - to take the necroshard from Tornam's oft-greasy fingers.

The riders raced alongside the cart and flung javelins. Tornam cast a daunting light spell, blowing a hole in one rider. Another rider Pulled close and tried to climb onto the cart. Merric stabbed it right in the head, destroying it instantly (with a natural 20). Another zombie goblin climbed onto the back.

Hirbe looked at the goblin on the cart and said "He's on my cart!" He jumped from the seat onto the back and struck the goblin with his staff, sending it hurtling off the cart and colliding with its' zombie wolf mount. Both tumbled and were left in the dust. 

Hirbe looked at his allies and said "He was on my cart."

The other riders kept their distance and tossed javelins, trying to strike and kill Tornam. The keep had given the heroes extra daggers. Artemis grabbed one and decided to give it a try. She'd never thrown a dagger before. She flung it at a rider. The dagger soared through the air and landed right in the zombie's temple, cracking open its' skull, destroying it (yes another natural 20!).

The final rider pulled up next to the cart. Tornam grabbed it and threw it under the wheel of the cart, which tore the zombie in half. Victorious, the heroes rode on.

They rode over a hill, and could see the church in the distance! They were almost there. But a new threat lumbered into the roadway - a zombie giant! It was holding a boulder over its' head, hoping to crush Tornam with it...

Merric and Rys plunged arrows into it, causing it to stagger back. Artemis threw her sword into its' neck. It stepped back, reeling. The sword removed itself and flew back to Artemis' hand. Hirbe cast beguiling strands, sliding the giant off the road and tripped over rocks! The giant fell, and the boulder it was holding landed on its' chest, pinning it to the ground. 

The cart rode by, and the guard took aim. He fired a flaming arrow... (natural... 20...) right into its' head, killing it! Rys had asked the keep for their best archer, and the heroes were pretty sure they had gotten him.

With that victory, the heroes made it to the temple. They rushed in, leaving the cart and the guard by the hole that the dinosaur created. Hirbe grabbed books and scrolls from the shelves (many included details on obyriths, the demons that predated the current tan'nari demons).  Rys used some supplies on the art to begin repairing the walls. The heroes also headed into the basement to get body parts of Doran and his daggers, in the hopes of raising them from the dead.

The heroes then set about re-consecrating the altar. It had been recently used for horrible rites devoted to Obox-Ob, an ancient demon lord. Hirbe set about re-devoting it to Clarissa, infusing it with her radiance. The huge statue of Obox-Ob loomed over the altar. Some of the heroes thought they saw its' eyes flash.

Once that was complete, he placed the necroshard on the altar. He offered up a prayer to Clarissa. Suddenly, the statue of Obox-Ob moved! Beams shot from its' eyes, summoning two massive, horrible Sibriex Flesh Crafters! They were floating brains with skull faces that dripped slime. Their limbs were chains ending in horrible blades. They hovered above the ground, and telepathically commanded the heroes to join them...

Rys fired a flaming bolt into one of them and ducked behind rubble. Merric joined him. The crafters wrapped their chains around Artemis and Tornam, immobilizing and slashing them. Hirbe cast fountain of flame, scorching the abominations with fire. The area remained ablaze for the rest of the battle.

Tornam was bloodied from the chains. He slipped free of the chains and quickly patched up his wound. Artemis slied into one,causing blue blood to seep from the wound. Rys crept over to the bookcases to aim his shot.

The flesh crafters let out psychic pulses that wracked the heroes' brains and began to transform their bodies! Hirbe watched in horror as his hands and forearms were covered in black scales. Each finger ended in long, white talons. He cast a fire shroud spell, scorching the crafter. Merric's skin turned grey - he began to resemble an imp of Zev!

Tornam healed Merric and then charged his axe with lightning and hacked into a crafter with thundering steel. Merric flanked, his dagger charged with lightning. He plunged it into the badly-hurt crafter, nearly killing it. Artemis slipped out of the chains and charged it. She plunged her blade into it. It fell to the ground, and became a pile of blue goo that dissipated in mere moments.

Rys stood in the flames created by Hirbe and fired his crossbow at the remaining crafter. It let out another psychic wave (the power recharges on a 5 or 6.. I kept rolling sixes, heh heh).  Tornam was hit, and saw that his belly had become a demon's maw with sharp teeth and a long, hideous tongue. Merric was transformed further - he was now identical to an imp of Zev, save for the wings. And he was still as tall as a halfling.

Tornam hacked into it, and the crafter bled. The crafter telepathically urged: "Join us!". Merric sliced it, but then the creature let out another wave! Artemis was transformed, gaining horns, fangs, and flaming hooves for feet!

The heroes sliced and pelted it, whittling it down. The thing finally succumbed to Tornam's radiant aura, plopping to the ground. It beame a blue mess, which faded away quickly...

Tornam knew right away that the adventurers had a new problem. They'd been infected by a demonic disease - one that might transform them into demons utterly subservient to Obox-Ob! There was not much time before the disease spread. They had to return to the keep at once!