Before us stands the tall, luminescent figure of man, wrapped in sodden, frost touched bandages, a metal scroll tethered across his chest.
The Mummy is not armed, or armoured but I know something of these creatures and and he needs not such things.
There is no talk.
I Smite him and we sweep in.
He takes a strange martial stance.
Mahd summons a huge creature of flame and we surround him.
Then he lashes out with a flurry of blows!
Chilling, gnarled, black hands and feet, dart and strike and block with complete disregard for armour or weapon.
He stuns Wynter with a yelp, the wound seeming to fester right before our eyes.
He’s quick too, so much so, that when I finally do hit him, I nearly cry in triumph.
We slash and bite but he continues to rain blows upon us.
I can feel the necromantic energy of the creature and I channel the might of Iomadae.
He’s suddenly very interested in me!
Then a blow leaves Athene staggering…
Our numbers dwindling I look over at the rope and suddenly realise that retreat will be impossible.
There’s only victory or death down here!
So we keep swinging.
Wynter rallies (though she looks almost withered), then Athene.
A devastating strike from me, then Athene.
The elemental is chipping away…
Then the deathblow.
Rags flutter away from Athene’s sword as ash scatters, infusing with the icy floor.
We search the crypt but there’s nothing but the mummy’s scroll case.
Made of adamantium, it contains sheets of near perished parchment, too fragile to remove but apparently arcane in manner.
We climb back up the rope and out of the tomb, perplexed.
If this was not Mokmorian’s lair, perhaps it is the pit after all?
I should have trusted my instincts…
We decide to send out Athene to scout the barracks alone.
After a very anxious wait she returns safely and reports.
She discovered a large barn, with animals of some kind that she dare not enter to identify; the domicile of a Frost Giant couple (thankfully asleep); and a communal hall with some large creature scratching at the floor- possibly the Dragon Longtooth!
And finally, the pit…
The inside wall is covered by small cave mouths, the stone path actually passing by a sleuth of Dire Bears asleep in their den.
The bottom is indeed littered with carrion but it is also the entrance to a greater cave system… and a female Hill Giant sentry!
Athene did well to cover so much ground undetected, but I also suppose an army such as this would have little fear of invaders, little lone behind the walls…
We decide to indeed go down into the pit.
Athene seems keen to slay the sleeping Frost Giants on the way and under the circumstances not a bad idea, but the risk of rousing the watch before we’ve even sited our goal is too great.
I actually wonder who those Frost Giants are?
More fearsome than Hillgiants, perhaps they are the custodians of the fort?
Or maybe Generals in the army?
We creep across the courtyard shadow to shadow (myself almost giving us away) and arrive at the charnel pit.
It is dark, and foul and deep.
We toe down to the mouth of the den, where the stink is almost worse than from below. There are three and they are no less fearsome to behold than when awake.
A few whispers and we decide that Athene will deal with the Bears, while we try and reach the guard below.
Leaving her to the grim task we creep down.
A dull clunk from the cave, followed by a wet thump…
A too long a pause and then a terrible bellow!
A second wet crack from above as we scramble to reach the sentry before she raises the alarm.
A third growl and then the beginning of a terrible fight !
Then, from up high on the pit wall opposite, a heavy, grease stained curtain of animal skin is drawn aside and a mighty specimen, of a Hill Giant appears, stones in hand and hurls them!
Mahd, Wynter and I dodge aside as rock crashes around us!
Should I try and deal with him? He’s over 10 feet above. Should I ignore him then? What about the sentry? Are we too late?
I charge the brute above with a plan hatched for such situations weeks ago.
Wynter and Mahd rush ahead into the caves beyond as Athene emerges behind, bloodily victorious.
Wynter, unseen, howls…
I know that cry… Enemies are coming…
An image of molten steel between an anvil and a hammer comes to mind’ I only hope that’s a sword being forged and not a horse shoe!