Shadows: Part 2

Session 34

Turning round to face the attached Shadow, Jacob cut a large swathe of it away with his magic two-handed sword, leaving Alf to finish it off with his spear. The remaining ogre fell to Callum’s arrows, and the last fir darrig corpses fell, releasing their Shadows.

At this point, Ratkin took the full skin of water from Willow and used it to douse the fallen corpse that was still on fire and providing the necessary light for the Shadows to survive. He poured out the water and stamped out the embers, plunging the corridor into darkness, and destroying the Shadows. Magnus spots one more ogre corpse, still in the light from fires in the adjacent corridor where the monks’ cells were, and saw it vanish around the corner.

The party, out of combat for the moment, rallied outside the door to the hall and briefly interrogated the monks inside: they told them that a gang of fir darrig broke in and unwittingly (or maybe on purpose) awakened an evil spirit from an artefact they were meant to be protecting. The artefact was correctly identified as one of the raven statuettes, which Magnus thinks might have been carried down by some of the fir darrig corpses when they first entered the building. They convinced the monks to stay put while they sorted things , refilled their water-skins after dousing all but one of the bonfires in the corridor and approached the stairs leading to the shrine/cellar below.

Throwing caution to the wind, they advanced down the stairs, Alf leading the way, and spread out into the shrine: columns leading to a statue wrapped in deep shadows, several fir darrig corpses, the ogre that Magnus had seen vanish, and something vaguely man-shaped wrapped in coiling and twisting shadows, emanating evil power. The enemy immediately moved in to attack, while Alf threw water over the closest bonfire. There were several others in the room, throwing out lots of smoke that make the heroes eyes water and sent them into coughing fits as they struggled to breath the fumes. Some of the corpses walked through the fires, setting themselves alight, providing more illumination for any Shadows.

Willow sent an arrow straight into a fir darrig, ripping its rotting body apart and releasing the Shadow inside. Ratkin scurried across the wall and ceiling, and once above a bonfire he doused it with one of the skins he carried. Callum shot another corpses, releasing another Shadow, while Alf and Jacob sent more arrows into the ogre as it lumbered towards them.

Then, the Shadow Man uttered some arcane words that hurt the ears, and tendrils of shadows pulled free from around the corner of the room where the heroes were, wrapping around their legs and preventing everyone except Ratkin and Magnus from moving!

Magnus, having his light lit (from the Ring of Many Colours) realised that if he snuffed it out he could plunge the corner into darkness, did so, removing the entangling shadows and destroying the Shadows already released. This proved a momentary relief, as the corpses on fire that moved into range, illuminating that side of the room once more, and providing enough light for more tendrils to reach out: this time they wrapped the legs of all but Willow, who had moved ahead to take on the ogre. Magnus felled it with a burst of magic missiles, allowing Willow to hack it to pieces before it rose again; the Shadow pulled itself free.

Meanwhile, Ratkin (hanging from the ceiling) fired off arrows, as did Callum, and another corpse crashed to the floor, its Shadow pulling free; Alf felled one of the burning ones, but before he could stamp out or douse the fire, its Shadow crawled free. Magnus used his last spell to magic missile the Shadow Man, pelting it with wounding spikes of arcane energy. The creature hissed and promised to kill the mage.

Alf, weakened and trapped, slid his spear over to Willow, who grabbed it and used it jab at the Shadow near him. Magnus threw a ball of fire using the magic ring, aiming for the Shadow Man, but the coiled shadows around it batted the fire away.

Alf and Callum found themselves attacked by corpses, scratching and biting. Ratkin felled another corpse, and yet another Shadow pulled free. Alf managed to grab his skin of water and douse the fires nearest him, blocking attacks with his shield. But then the Shadows latched on to both Alf and Willow, slowly draining their life! Still, the doused fire allowed Alf, Callum and Ratkin to be freed from the entangling tendrils, which was something of a relief.

Magnus, using the last power in the ring, sent the Shadow Man into a frenzy: sadly, this did little more than distract him for a few rounds, but it at least prevented the creature from attacking them.

Callum rushed over to Jacob, who handed him his water-skin, while Alf took down his opponent, releasing one more Shadow into the fray. That Shadow leapt out and attached itself to Magnus! Willow exchanged blows with the last standing corpse, which then fell to an arrow from Ratkin’s bow.

With his borrowed water-skin, Callum doused another fire, plunging some of the room into darkness, freeing Magnus from the tendrils and also destroying the Shadow attached to the mage. Alf retreated into that dark spot, pulling his Shadow along and destroying that one too. Willow handed over his water-skin to Magnus. More fires were doused, another Shadow was destroyed, and then the Shadow Man was freed from its frenzy and retaliated with a blast of burning shadows that struck Jacob, Callum and Willow. Callum rolled with the blast and took minor burns, but the already weakened allies fell to the fiery shadows!

Magnus grabbed hold of Willow and Alf and Callum grabbed Jacob, and everyone retreated as quickly as they could. Luckily, the pools of light didn’t reach to the stairs any more, and the Shadow Man could do nothing more than watch the heroes escape up the stairs.

End of Session