Previously, our heroes infiltrated Codruscut castle to put an end to whatever the queen is plotting. The guards lie slain, but our heroes are wounded...

Read the first part of this campaign log here.

Razvan has suffered grievous wounds in battle. However, he is determined not to let his condition stop their mission. He employs his iron will and considerable constitution to stay on his feet.

Constitution

Razvan, specialized in unarmed combat, had access to powers like Athlete’s Constitution and Fighter’s Constitution (see Core Rulebook, pages 78 and 92 respectively). They allow characters to ignore the considerable effects of Disability Counters incurred by wounds. However, they do not restore Vitality or Stamina, and Razvan remains heavily wounded throughout this session and the next.

Our heroes discuss what to do. They know that the gate in the sewers behind them (which Kaan locked, then subsequently sabotaged by breaking off the key in the lock) is probably swamped with guards trying to break through and get to them. There is no way back, and they decide to continue the mission and proceed deeper into the castle’s undercroft.

At the end of the vaulted chamber they fought the guards in is a stairway that winds up. Bogdan and Zikan go ahead to scout. At the top of the stairs, they see a hallway. A door at the end opens, and a guard walks out with a captive man in rags. Zikan and Bogdan manage to duck away just in time. When the guard has passed, they discuss whether to continue.

The guard, apparently having heard some noise, comes to inspect. Luckily, Zikan and Bogdan are quick to hide themselves. The guard doesn’t look very well, shrugs it off, and returns through the way he came.

Let’s Hide And Then Discuss Stuff Really Loudly

This was another of those ‘let’s have a lengthy discussion while we’re hiding in the shadows’-moments that I wanted to cut short. Some player discussion is fine, based on the premise that they can gesture and whisper, but it should never be too long.

With the guard out of the way, Zikan and Bogdan quickly scout the hallway. One end leads to a door; behind it, they hear the guards laugh and talk. Light comes from a crack under the door. The other end branches off into a torture room, which has been used regularly in the past few days, and a large vaulted chamber, drawn up in black stone with green veins that radiates warmth. The wall is covered in carvings of spiders and webs, and there is a large slab of text on the wall on the far side, which seems to be a doorway. Tracks show that people have been here in the past three to four days, but not often.

Zikan and Bogdan return to retrieve their fellows. They are sure that there is a way into the castle behind the door to the guards. However, Zikan and Bogdan heard many voices, ten at least, and our heroes doubt if they can handle that many at a time and in their current conditions. They opt to explore the strange room with the black stones first.

Once there, they discover the room holds a stone doorway; it’s firmly locked and does not give. Tablets with text cover the door. On them are three rhymes. Below the tablets hangs a container. It is full of numbers (0 to 9), wrought of iron. These numbers seem to belong in two slots right below the rhymes. However, only two can be fitted at a time, and our heroes have no idea which.

Closer inspection reveals that the rhymes are riddles. Our heroes believe that solving them might open the door. They read them together and start pondering the riddles.

The First Rhyme

I begin time,

But years know me not,

Not in a line,

Yet twice if it’s taut,

Never to journey,

First to travel,

Last of the first,

Never unravel,

Contained in hate,

Twice-chained in fetters,

Part of your fate,

Twice among betters,

Your start I end,

Your end I know not,

Find in me a friend,

Among friends find me not.

The Second Rhyme

I begin eternity,

And end space,

At the end of time,

And in every place,

Last in life,

Second to death,

Never alone,

Found in your breath,

Contained by earth,

Water or flame,

My grandeur so awesome,

Wind dare not tame,

Not in your mind,

Am in your dreams,

Vacant to Kings,

Present to Queens.

The Third Rhyme

I begin nothing,

Lonely and alone,

In but not out,

I rest in bone,

No dreams I keep,

No tears I weep,

Sever me from never,

And ever you may keep,

Stand among mountains,

Not on a hill,

Count thrice in count’nance,

Not in power or will,

Forget about deceit,

Heed not the dark word,

It is not in cowardice,

but in honor that I am heard.

Read part 2 here!

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