With no way out, they decide to head back and deal with the vampire; one way or another…
…but they divert and check out one of the tombs, while Cyris watched them with a smug smile. He even manages to charm Tomlinson, who stands by his new master as Armis [played by my Dad, who is joining us now] checks out the tomb and declares it is safe. Gideon goes in first, seeing just a plain old sarcophagus. As he steps in, some hideous undead thing lands on his back!
As Gideon shrugs it off, slashing into its desiccated corpse with his magic sword– Ghostcutter, which both harms and attracts undead– Armis and Alvis enter the fray, leaving Iral to get his bow out, aiming for a clear shot. Quickly turns out that only Gideon’s magic sword can harm it, so the other keep is distracted as he cuts into it again and again. It falls dead (again), and Gideon’s minor wounds are healed by some divine magic.
Cyris is getting weary of their constant delays, and starts to threaten them. They initially ignore him, opening another tomb only to be attacked by a ghoul, which is quickly dispatched. They find some loot, then Cyris grabs Tomlinson and gets ready to kill him (oddly, the charm still holds). They reluctantly agree to help him get out, seeing no other option. The vampire takes them to another tomb, wherein another undead monster lurks, but is commanded by Cyris to keep an eye on the party. On the lid of the coffin inside is an oath, and the vampire explains that speaking that oath makes any deal binding. He threatens them again, and all but Tomlinson (charmed anyhow) and Alvis (who made himself invisible to undead and is keeping out of the way) make their oaths. Cyris mentally commands the swarming undead pounding on the doors to back off, and gets in his coffin. Gideon and Iral pick it up, and everyone heads out into the main dungeon.
There are hundreds of the walking dead. Child zombies, skeletons of priests and commoners; more than they imagined. The hordes part for them, then follow them as everyone makes their way out to the entrance shaft. Using rope and magic, they haul the coffin out into the night. Alvis goes first, and sees that not only are there lots of undead about (some fighting others), but that their camp with their horses, supplies and their loyal henchmen (Oswald and Geoff) are all dead.
They head north, carrying the coffin carefully and slowly, the undead going south under the vampire’s command. Alvis takes off ahead of them, to warn the nearest town and doesn’t stop until he reaches it just before dawn. The others make camp just after midnight, feeling somewhat disheartened.
At the nearest town (a small market town called Fallows Tor) Alvis wakes the local clergy and tells him everything. Being a cleric of the Prophet has some advantage, and soon the entire town is woken and preparing to evacuate. He then gets some holy water together, and grabs forty-winks while he waits for the others to catch up.
Next day, the rest of the party carry the coffin to the town, but despite Cyris telling them it is far enough and that they can stop, they carry on. As soon as they reach the town, they feel the binding oath come to an end.
So they put the coffin in front of the local church, in broad daylight, and armed with holy water, spells and Gideon’s magic sword, they open the lid and expose Cyris to the sun.
They gain initiative and unleash everything they have: Iral fires off a magic missile, Armis pours holy water on the vampire, while Gideon swings his sword. Tomlinson, still charmed, defends his master and attacks Gideon. The vampire, smouldering under the sunlight, tries to fight his way clear, but it is no good. A powerful magic missile hits him hard [d30 rule for damage], followed by a final and finishing blow from Armis [another d30 roll].
The vampire dies, turning to dust.
Now all they have to do is get home before 13,034 undead reach it.
End of Session
And a horde of undead have been released (see, Paths of the Dead).
Total Kills: 1 monster, 34 bandits, 1 dead man, 9 mosquito-bats, 1 giant spider, 6 ghouls, 1 troll, defeated a party of three adventurers (but let them go free), 1 gelatinous cube, 1 ape-creature, 5 ogres, 1 plant, 1 hideous undead thing, 1 vampire;
PC deaths: 1 (and 1 lost an arm);
NPC deaths: 3 (Bran, Oswald and Geoff)
Shields Splintered: 11;
Total XP: 31,549.