Musings of the Dark Powers – GM’s Notes
This was a solo-campaign that I ran for Russell.
Zurik spent two weeks as a “guest” of Sasha while Count von Zarovich recovered from the attack of a band of heroes. Sasha did not trust Zurik and let him know that he was under watch and would not be able to leave the castle.
After the two weeks, Count von Zarovich was prepared to meet with Zurik. The two had a short and direct conversation. Count von Zarovich acknowledged that Zurik had been of help during the recent attack. Zurik was lucky to have been spared by The Count. Zurik was free to keep the Necromancer’s Library as his own space. Count von Zarovich knew fully well that Zurik had stolen items from his castle and made Zurik aware of that. The Count sent Zurik to kill a half-drow paladin named Alikain Loreweaver. Alikain took something precious from Count von Zarovich during past year that could not be returned but would eventually be reborn.
Zurik was sent to the Vistani immediately to leave. Upon arriving at the encampment, the Vistani were waiting. A guide took him and his henchwoman, Serena, through the mists to the last known location of Alikain, the realm of Nidala in the Shadowlands cluster. The Vistani’s wagon reappeared in the savage mountain forests of Nidala. The guide pointed Zurik in a north easternly direction and left him to his own devices.
Rekhan, the Quasite familiar scouted out ahead as Zurik and Serena traveled towards the mountain range that crossed their path to the north. After a few hours, the terrain began to become more rocky and inclined. Rekhan reported telepathically back to his master that there was a small party of rather pathetic adventurers gathered around a campfire at an outcropping ahead.
Zurik sent Serena to interact with the humans. The three rather drunk and friendly men were happy to see the amazingly beautifiul woman join them. The three rather serious and suspcious women in the party were less so. Serena succssfully lead the band of adventurers to believe that she was a good natured adventurer that was seeking to share their campfire for the night. Unfortunately, the party she was trying to engraciate herself into was quite evil. As soon as the first hand went to a weapon hilt, Serena went to gaseous mist form, a signal to Zurik that all was not well.
As Zurik hid in the shadows, he knew not why the party had attacked Serena and quite frankly did not care. He summoned zombies to attack the party while he cast spells on them from a safe distance. Serena was quite effective in combat and Zurik delivered a few of his master’s spells to the unwary party of human evil-doers. In the end, only one human was spared for questioning.
Brianna The Bard was now the captive guide that would take Zurik and his companions through the mountains towards the capital city of Touraine, where Alikain had apparently joined up with the ruler of this land, a paladin named Elena Faithhold. She offered Zurik two paths, a short but possibly dangerous route through the mountain or a longer path over the range. Upon consideration, the short path seemed less dangerous for Zurik than most since he had an affinity for handling undead and the main obstacles in the short path were of that sort. The decision was made to take the faster route.
The short cut was a series of caves and ravines that cut through the mountain. Rekhan scouted ahead again. Serena rested out of sight during the daylight hours. Zurik lead his bound captive along by rope as his zombies followed closely behind.
Rekhan reported that he was in a room filled with many corpses. Zurik was disappointed to find that they were all broken remains of undead. The abandoned, subterrainian chapel was littered with many broken bone fragments but no treasure.
Shortly after that, a terrified Rekhan reported that a holy warrior woman was turning many undead in a hallway nearby. Zurik sent his zombies in first left his prisoner with Rekhan. The Quasit growled at the frightened human and enjoyed being in charge of another being.
A woman in full plate armor and a helm fought against the zombies in a passageway too narrow for two to stand side-by-side. Zurik sent negative energies to help his zombies while the the holy warrior sent positive energies to heal herself and harm the undead nearby. It was truly a battle of spells with the mindless zombies caught in the middle. When the warrior fell, the helm was removed and a human’s face was revealed. This was not the paladin that Zurik was seeking. The human lay there, in a coma filled with horrific nightmares. She would not suffer long before Zurik gave the order for the zombies to feast.
The woman’s journal listed her as Setsuna. The name was familiar. Uriah Heep Gerdundula, the dwarven fighter that Zurik had been using as a meat shield in his invasion of Castle Ravenloft had mentioned that he was searching for two companions lost to him after their attempt at killing Count Strahd von Zarovich a year before. Zurik devised that The Count would appreciate seeing an old friend like Setsuna again and stuffed the woman’s corpse into his bag of holding for later use.
Zurik and his personal entourage pressed forward through the caves.