Saturday, January 21, 2017

Castle of the Chaos Lord

Another Khamen and Candorra Adventure
Using Four Against Darkness

After their adventure of the sunken temple, Khamen and Candorra returned home for some relaxation. Alas, it was not to be. As soon as they reported to the Temple, the Preceptor offered them another job. A chaos lord had established himself in a castle in far-off Ehrlich. The source of his powers seemed to be a magical wand that he always carried. Steal the wand and his power would be broken.

They journeyed to the castle. Fortunately, the guards were very lax, and our heroes were able to sneak in through the front gate. The found themselves in a corridor (1) with an intersection.

As they approached the intersection, they could hear voices. Khamen signaled that they should hide. They pressed flat against the walls of the corridor as three robed figures approached from the right.

Khamen and Candorra try to avod detection
 Candorra tried to edge away from the passage, but kicked a pebble.

"What was that?" the cultist asked as he peered around the corner. Spying Candorra, he yelled and charged. Khamen slipped behind the attacker and stabbed him. But the next cultist struck Khamen. He stumbled back. The remaining enemies attacked, but both the heroes parried and then struck down their foes.

After the fight, Khamen turned to Candorra and said " I really thought you were good at this."

Candorra looked at him quizzically then he put a finger to his lips, indicating that she needed to be silent. She just rolled her eyes.

They turned right at the intersection and entered a room (2), where they were attacked by skeletons. After a short battle, they were victorious. They returned through the corridor (1), fending off some vampire bats.

The next room (3) featured a caged area, with seats outside the cage. Concerned that there might be prisoners, the duo crept down to the cage and opened the gate. As the hinges creaked, a looming bull-headed figure arose from the shadows.

"Close the gate!" Khamen yelled as the minotaur charged. Candorra slammed it shut just in time.

Leaving the minotaur's cell, they were wandering down another corridor (4) when they felt a sudden chill. They turned and saw an apparition pass through the wall behind them, cross the corridor, and then disappear through the opposite wall. Our heroes stood a moment, their hearts seemingly stopped. Then they shook off their fear and proceeded.

They wandered through a few more rooms and corridors (6-8), only facing some vampire bats. Then they opened a door to a small room (9). At one end was an altar of a hideous demon. A figure knelt before the altar. Lying next to him was what appeared to be a stick. Khamen realized that it was the Chaos Lord and his wand!

Trying to steal from the Chaos Lord
Candorra stood in the doorway, an arrow nocked in her bow. Silently, Khamen crept up to the wand. The Chaos Lord appeared deep in thought and oblivious to their presence. Khamen reached for the wand, gripped it, and started to slide it away.

"STOP!" a piercing cry called out. Khamen looked up. The idol was alive, screaming a warning to his worshiper.

The Chaos Lord turned, lashing out with a flaming sword that seemed to come out from nowhere. Khamen ducked, and the blow passes harmlessly over his head. Candorra released her arrow; it struck the Chaos Lord, knocking him back. Khamen backed away.

The Chaos Lord pursued Khamen, slashing at him futilely. Candorra drew her sword and rushed into battle. However, the Chaos Lord finally connected, and Khamen fell wounded. The Chaos Lord rushed to finish him. Khamen rolled and slashed his enemy's ankles. Howling in rage, the Chaos Lord forgot about Candorra. She slipped behind him and drove here sword into his vitals. The Chaos Lord collapsed.

"Let's get out of here!" Candorra urged.

Khamen reached down and grabbed the wand. Then they rushed back through the castle. However, the death of the Chaos Lord must have triggered some kind of warning. As they fled, they had to fight their way out against a horde of skeletons. They made it out, though. 

Shortly thereafter, they were riding back to the Temple.

"Well that was a near-run thing." Khamen commented.

"It could have been better. I thought you were good at this." Candorra replied.

"What do you mean?"

Candorra merely put her finger to her lips.

"It wasn't my fault! How was I to know that the idol would come to life!"

Candorra just repeated her gesture. Khamen rolled his eyes.

Once they returned to the Temple, they reported to the Preceptor and delivered the wand to him.

"Although much good it will do you," Khamen commented. "Candorra killed him."

"Actually," the priest stated, "you killed him Khamen."

"No, it was Candorra. She stabbed him through the heart."

The priest held up the wand. "Ah, but if he had this, no blow from Candorra, nor any other hero, would have been mortal. Your, ah, recovery, sealed his fate."

Game Notes:
  • I want to play the Three Rings adventure from Ganesha Games but my characters are not high enough level yet. I decided to try to level them up with an original adventure.
  • For this adventure, I used my own encounter tables. I rolled the final boss first, then choose encounters that would fit the theme.
  • I rolled for rooms as per the normal Four Against Darkness rules, although I reduced the size of the dungeon. I also ruled that the Chaos Lord would only be encountered in the back quarter of the map.
  • I'm moving along with the 6 x 6 Challenge! Here is another completed 4AD adventure.

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