The date was set for a routine mapping of the first floor of Stirrot Castle. The level, having been combed over and picked to the bone by numerous adventuring parties, having been rid of the menace of Garzee, having had its various trolls and goblins vanquished, suggested no challenge. The only challenge to the mapping that anyone might have suspected was the sheer size of the place. Our players in this most routine and tedious task were Luggard Luddox, Jeremias, the thug known as Thug, an astute member of the noble guild of cartographers… and… yup… Boromir.
As the group ventured into the castle by the main entrance their weapons were slung haphazardly in scabbards and sheaths, the ease that comes with familiarity written on their unconcerned faces. This state of affairs would be short lived. The cartographer began his scribbling, and the party ventured in their familiar northward direction.
It was at that first section, a left-turn that formed a familiar T-junction, passed countless times before, that Jeremias noticed something strange. He explained to his compatriots that the wall to their right seemed to him to be quite off in color. Lug fumbled around at the wall, until suddenly it swung open in its entirety. The T-junction had become a 4 way intersection, and the newly revealed path was odd to say the least.
Staring down the path they saw the floor was an incredible blue color, and they saw no less than 7 doors on their right hand side. The castle is full of surprises.
Now at this point they had mapped perhaps 50 square feet total, not even a tiny part of their mundane mission. However, something seemed to draw them to adventure, as inexorably as a glutton to a feast. No argument was raised when Lug directed them down the hall to the first door in the blue area.
Behind the first door was found a shattered table and a decrepit bookshelf. One learns quickly in Stirrot Castle to look more closely at all things. Subsequently a passage was discovered at the back of the room behind the book shelf. This small passage lead the party to a corridor line with murals of horrific torture and countless bones scattered all about. Heading down the corridor and turning right they found a door. Beyond which they found another corridor obscured some ways down by a thick unnatural black smoke. Adventure is not unlike a snowball, and the momentum had crossed that invisible threshold when recklessness takes over. Lug did not hesitate and led the party through the smoke.
As they breached the smoke on the other end they found themselves facing an undead skeleton sitting on a throne in scale mail and carrying an intimidating battleaxe. Jeremias, carrying Sacrimace, was well aware that the the very purpose of his weapon was to vanquish the undead. The rest of the party were equally stalwart, they being fueled by the love of a good fight and the thirst for glory… they charged.
Jeremias clutching his holt symbol turned the wretch. It ran in fear, and unable to go anywhere was struck hard by Sacrimace, which glowed, almost in satisfaction of fulfilling its purpose. Recovering and rabid in the heat of battle the skeletal foe landed an early telling blow on Jeremias, who, unarmored, went down convulsing. The others quickly realized that even the strongest blows from their mundane weapons did scarcely anything to the horror. Lug took Sacrimace to continue the battle and held his ground for over a minute of intense combat; dodging, weaving and striking. When Jeremias came to Lug was astonished to find that the mace had disappeared from his hand and appeared in Jeremias’. The young cleric-in-training was able to finalize the victory of the thugs despite his wounds.
Having made such a detour of the mission, and brutally injured, the brave adventurers sought the surface. They handed over what they had found at the desk and returned to the Salty Dog to share their tale.