Date: Mirtul 2, 1491 DR
They found some amount of goods and coins the bandits had amassed in the small cave, and took the money and some useful gear, as well as some kegs of beer which they put in the cart. No point in leaving good beer, Hufflepuff said. Or bad beer, added Natas. Esplen and Khadgar were concerned about leaving the mule behind as well. Khadgar had cast a speak with animals spell and ascertained the bear had been caught in a trap after awakening from hibernation, which explained much of his half starved appearance. After ascertaining they were not a threat to each other, they let the bear go.
The party decided to have a long rest and then move on to Lance Rock. Ulryn and Esplen had taken some wounds during the battle with the bandits – Esplen from being crashed into by the heavily built bandit leader who went flying due to Ulryn’s thunderwave spell. They rested overnight, and bound and treated their wounds. Hufflepuff and Cedric were overjoyed to be reunited and they cuddled and played happily.
Date: Mirtul 3, 1491
The next morning was as cold as a winter’s day, a chill wind blew in from the west bringing dark clouds and light snow with it. The party ate a quick breakfast, courtesy of the bandits’ stores, and headed off to Lance Rock. They took it in turns to ride in the cart, which they decided to bring with them along with the draft horse to pull it. Hufflepuff happily rode on the back of his rescued pig.
An hour or so later they saw what could only have been Lance Rock, a grey slab of rock sticking out of the ground at a sixty degree angle. The party decided to go see this person who was accepting bodies from the bandits, expecting him to be some kind of necromancer.
As they got closer Windypop noted that Lance Rock was unusual in that it was a chunk of granite and was sticking out of the ground where all the rock was limestone, as if it had been dropped from the sky and embedded itself in the ground. Later in Red Larch they would hear that this was exactly what everyone believed had happened – there was a local legend that a dragon had been carrying the granite and dropped it when it had to fight some other flying creature – probably another dragon. Another story was that the dragon had been trying to chase and squash some creature that had made away with something from its hoard and there was a valuable gem or piece of jewellery under the rock along with a flattened skeleton.
There was an old path that led towards Lance Rock which dipped into a ravine. There was a sign at the start of the ravine saying:
“Come no closer
lest you catch
the disfiguring plague
that afflicts me!
The Lord of Lance Rock”
As the bandits had indicated they had contact with the “Lord of Lance Rock” the party decided to ignore the warning.
The path continued into the ravine and stopped at a cave entrance. Esplen disliked caves and being underground and so elected to stay outside, looking after both Cedric and the mule and cart. The rest entered, intending to pose as bandits delivering more bodies should they be challenged. They came across a body that turned out to be a zombie and despatched it. Ulryn scouted ahead, discovering two zombies on a ledge over the entrance to another cave, ready to drop a box of rocks on any unsuspecting intruder. Ulryn snuck through without alerting them, and signalled back to Natas. He then used a minor illusion to create the sound of someone coming through and the zombies dropped the box of rocks, then leapt down to attack. They also were quickly despatched, although it was hard to put one of them down, he kept getting back to his feet no matter how many swords were thrust through his body. Eventually though, he was too badly damaged to move.
Another cave led to a body storage area, guarded by skeletons, and yet another room had three zombies in costumes enacting a play. They were all despatched. About this point Esplen decided she had had enough of missing out, she could hear the sounds of battle and wanted to support her comrades, and she joined them. Besides a light snow was falling outside.
Ulryn found a room with two chests, he tried to open one chest with a crowbar, but it triggered a trap and the ceiling collapsed on him. He managed to clear the room just in time, but took some damage. After the rocks settled a voice echoed through the complex –
“You dare to pit yourselves against the Lord of Lance Rock? Death is your reward!” and then some cackling.
The party found a huge cavern area, with skeletons and zombies blocking the party’s advance and behind them was a wild looking man with a wand. The skeletons had bows and shot them at Farideh who happened to be in front. The man was the Lord of Lance Rock, who called himself Tim the Necromancer. He was also guarded by a swarm of severed zombie hands. The battle was fierce and the necromancer had many spells. Hufflepuff and Natas being knocked unconscious by magic missiles and Windypop was mind controlled into attacking Kallista, who looked very much like she wanted to strike him back. However after a while he was able to shrug off the spell, and the party resumed the attack. Khadgar and the bards had used up all their healing magic to keep the party on their feet.
Finally the undead were overcome and Tim fled into another cave, where he hid behind a tapestry. This room was lit by a driftglobe a magical light source that could be ordered to follow someone around. Above the driftglobe was a magical eye symbol.
“Can’t you see it? It’s the Eye! It sees your every move! Don’t you fear it?” Tim yelled.
Windypop did know the eye, it had been a part of his visions for many months.
Without undead to guard him, Tim did not last long against Kallista and Hufflepuff in his face and the others firing their bows and crossbows.
The party took what coins and gems he had, as well as a wand of magic missiles which the party decided Farideh should have.
They had a long rest in the first cave – they were going to camp outside, but the snow was the deciding factor – and headed off the Red Larch in the morning.