Ok! Now for continue with epic, hooray! Get paid lots for this.
Sated not with battle, thirsty for victory Jope entered last bane portal to darkness bourne, lightswallower and foe of life. Companion swiftly stricken, yet he doughty handed scrupled not to sorcery submit and made match for his bony foe belaboured, he and his, until arcane thews severed, foe dismembered, its task undone and ended.
Swiftly returned he to mortal sphere, foe-hedge at last sundered, and swore to slay. Devil quick and sly quailed with fear, trembled before him – golden battle standard, prover of life – and fled to its wretched home, wise coward thing. Remained two, witches they, pussiant with unholy might, but no match or even fair challenge for hero Jope, and falling rendered up their precious, precious loot.
And so all seemed done, yet not so: Morgana warning gave – these three urgent, yet petty evil, echo and shadow of greater which east lay. Jope troubled was, for swordlords grim had laid geas on him, to the east rumour of danger and death to seek and vanquish. Yet for now must content the world be with edge-deeds bright and brave, and hero give place to ruler for a time.
Giacamo’s retelling of events is … not always 100% accurate. Any action by Jope’s bondmen counts as being done by Jope, according to him. Rainor tends to do most damage in awkward terrain – which is what this was – the bad guys getting swiftly pincushioned. Thanks to Morgana’s blindness spell, Switch got a very fun hit on one of the witches. She gets only one attack per round, but Gravity Bow + Sneak Attack + +1 bow + PB Shot = 20 points of damage. I picture her drifting towards the floor (we were coterminous with the astral plane at the time), leisurely lining up just one nasty, nasty shot.
As for the devil – DM’s call, I suspect. We probably could not have handled it.
The loot was a very nice cauldron – a minor artifact, in fact – and a means by which Morgana might perform a wide variety of harmless practical jokes.
Then we go back to castle. Trip is boring. Scaly brothers for joining the Fredonia marshals – is good, everyone is very happy. Jope is very fine duke! Then back to castle, which is big, good castle. Jope says is bad that they don’t have head for trophy-room, but is not too bad because trophy room pretty full. And they finish something for ships, which is very expensive, so should write something.
So home to happy hall: Tuskwater! Or minionfall, or Jopedale, or by whatever name stout defence and weary-hero welcome. Vassals many, their lord to greet, board laid with glad return-feast for thane wise and moderate. Jope far-sighted and even-handed, wavehome built for those who ply trade, guesthouse and hand of law. Yet burden-mindful he, swordlord geas to the east, of silenced land from whom no news or word for moons had come. And so his lands in good order took up his halberd he, journey to make, hard-faced to east did venture.
Many a mile waxing grim with each mile told journey’d quest-commanded faithful thane from Fredonia to wild east, settled barely by rival but not yet foe, unknown neighbour. And found he no trace of welcoming hearth or home, but yards untended, gates unlatched. A guard tower deserted, yet everywhere footprints – man-step shuffling and milling. Toward horizon-sighted city he and stout companions journeyed, and took refuge in deserted home but an hour from unknown gates, their preparations to make the morn to greet neighbour-lord and perhaps ally – or to face what’er morn might bring.
The night bare begun, first watch bringing alarm. Outside, milling and shuffling corpses condemned to walk the earth. Now no more mere shadow or echo of evil, but evil itself – a score outside, and beyond a score of scores, quick and lively, avid hasty thirst for brain-of-man.
Their mounts lost, Morgana did mount winds and with fire clear their way once and twice, winning bare moments. But noble Jope, strong right hand and cunning artificer of weapons did stand and wield his mace Blackheart – undead bane and worthy weapon to belabour the dead and hem them away while his companions each did swift magic make and flee, to run until dawn.
Oh grim city! Wail and woe – what fate withall within your walls? Will noble Jope suffice to save and redeem the evil befall you?
Again – not quite the way it actually happened. I think Rainor and Jope took down the bosses, but that didn’t affect the main horde as we hoped. Switch – a utility caster and rogue – wasn’t much use except maybe to soak a little damage.
As matters stand, we are running from an entire city turned into zombies – and it’s going to be a long, long night for the characters.