Ghost Town by Iiandmrak

From Fizzle’s Diary: Chapter 3

From the ongoing saga of Fizzle’s and his hired companions.
written by David Pettit, Fizzle’s player
Featured image Ghost town by IIDanmrack

Earlier Fizzle Chapters:
From the Diary of Fizzle: Chapter 1
From Fizzle’s Diary: Chapter 2

Chapter 3

2/23/2019

The next morning we eat some more of Kromnak’s goat, and prepare for our day.  This morning Kromnak manages to actually get up and stay on one of the horses. He names his horse, Horse.  Fizzle and Tholin share the other horse, Matilda, with Fizzle driving.  

Close up of
Ruins of Amara location on the Briarstone Map

We approach the ruins of Amara midafternoon. Tholin’s keen eyes discern possible movement on some of the ruined towers of Amara, so we vear to the west (inland) to some light tree cover.  There we leave the horses in a small clearing with plenty of grass to eat and Kromnak picks some wild garlic (which turns out to be dandelions) to ward off vampires. We move closer to the tree line to observe the ruins and take cover behind the trees, except for Kromnak whos idea of hiding is to pose as a tree.  Fizzle convinces him to actually hide behind a tree, where he amuses himself playing with his flame sword <sigh>. 

Hand-drawn sketch of the Ruins of Amara
The Ruins of Amara
(I drew this map in August 2018 and have been wanting use it in game ever since.)

It is about 50 yards from the trees to the broken city wall.  Tree cover is sparse near the ruins and the trees appear more and more dead and petrified the closer to the walls you get.  We can’t see much from cover so we decide to send Tholin in closer for a look, as he is better at stealth than Kromnak or Fizzle. After Tholin leaves Fizzle tries to get the concept of patience and waiting quietly across to Kromnak with some limited success.  At least he puts out his sword.

Tholin gets right up to the wall without being seen.  He peaks around a gap in the wall and has a good view of the northern section of the ruins.  He sees several groups (2-5) of ghosts roaming about in no discernible pattern. They don’t ever pass outside the walls, leading to the conclusion that the walls might be a barrier to them.  Returning to us, he passes on what he has learned. We decide to wait until nightfall to make our entry to the ruins, hoping to avoid detection. We take a short rest.

When night arrives Tholin dons the Circlet of Protection. We stealthily make our way to the walls of Amara. Before entering we peak around the gap in the wall and make sure the coast is clear.  It is. Tholin uses the circlet to cast protection on each of us which will last 10 minutes. We hope this is enough time to make it to the path down the cliff that the old man told us about.  Based on the map we have and the old man’s story we think the path down the cliff should be somewhere near the top of the cliff overlooking the only cove depicted, which is near the northern part of the ruins.  This is why we chose to enter at this northern gape in the wall.

A section of the hand-drawn map from the Ruins of Amara
Red line shows the adventurers’ path taken through the Ruins of Amara

Avoiding that ghost we see another group approaching and move down the row and into the end house before they spot us.  Leaving Kromnak Mor to watch the door, Tholin and I look around for anything that might be of use to us. All I find is a rusty knife in the kitchen, but Tholin finds a book of some kind and, in the bedroom of the house, a ghost of a girl child.  We all join him and Kromnak is able to persuade her to help us in return for the book Tholin found. She guides us across through another broken down house to the cliff edge, avoiding more ghosts along the way. There we find the beginning of a steep narrow path down the cliff.  Kromnak sends our ghost guide home and I cast some healing on Kromnak whose interaction with the ghost cost some health.  

We tie ourselves together to minimize the danger of one of us falling and begin our descent.  Fizzle in the lead and Kromnak anchoring the end. We make it down uneventfully. We make our way through some boulders (it’s a tight squeeze for Kromnak).  Tholin leads us as we sneak across the cove to a large boulder near where we think the entrance to the caves is, Tholin having heard some voices. We decide to have Tholin use the Chime of Opening to open the entrance to the cavern as we don’t know exactly where it is.  (This uses up one of our five uses.) The guards mistake the opening for their leader coming back, so we take them by surprise! (Also this might confirm the leader is out.)   

We take out the guards.  Ha. Thought I was going to describe it, didn’t ya.  Well I will. Tholin and I keep to cover and take shots with my crossbow and his bow while Kromnak goes in with a frontal assault.  He manages to miss every blow while taking every shot the two guards can dish out. I plug one of the guards full of bolts and Tholin fills the other with arrows.  Then Tholin moves in and finishes both of them with his sword. Kromnak is a pin cushion and down, so we use one of Kromnak’s healing potions on him and he comes around.

We enter the cavern which funnels down to a 3 foot diameter hole in the rear wall about two feet off the floor.  It is completely black and we cannot see inside. When Kromnak sticks his lit sword into it the light disappears. The same thing happens when I try a torch.  There is some kind of dark enchantment on the hole. Tying a rope to myself, I crawl into the hole and head straight back. Coming to the end of my rope without coming out of the darkness, I go back and tie on another length.  Heading back in I stay to the right this time, and eventually emerge from the darkness into a cavern lit by glowing moss or something. The cavern contains a lake with a waterfall and an island. The only way forward seems to be through the lake.

Pencil sketch of cave
David Pettit’s sketch of the waterfall cavern

Kromnak, of course, immediately jumps into the lake and starts swimming for the island.  Tholin and I look around a little first before jumping in and spy a ledge we want to check on.  We swim to that, but have a little trouble climbing the wall up to the ledge. We are soon surrounded by quipper fish, which want to eat us.  We climb the wall! On the ledge we find bones all arranged neatly by type, creepy, but nothing else. Kromnak having reached the island and found neatly arranged weapons and armor, throws us a rope, attached to a javelin.  

Kromnak, of course, immediately jumps into the lake and starts swimming for the island.  Tholin and I look around a little first before jumping in and spy a ledge we want to check on.  We swim to that, but have a little trouble climbing the wall up to the ledge. We are soon surrounded by quipper fish, which want to eat us.  We climb the wall! On the ledge we find bones all arranged neatly by type, creepy, but nothing else. Kromnak having reached the island and found neatly arranged weapons and armor, throws us a rope, attached to a javelin.  

I try to cross hand over hand on the rope and slip.  The quippers close in, and Tholin throws me another rope. Climbing back out with the help of the rope h, I manage to make it across on the second try, taking the end of the second rope with me.  Tholin ties the second rope around himself and crosses over too. Now we are all on the island. Kromnak throws a spear at the waterfall to see if its open behind it. It is not. We take a short rest.

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