GM: Jason Cordova
Fillion Don Dillion, the Thief (Isa Wills)
Fiona the Volatile, the Fighter (Robert Ruthven)
Ibid the Adaequatum, the Wizard (Dylan Knight)
Mange Dirt-Eater, the Druid (Eadwin Tomlinson)
Our party had been sent to a castle by our adventuring guild to try and figure out the secret behind a cave of doors in the citadel we use for our guildhall. On the way, they were set upon by an ankheg. Fiona engaged it, briefly losing her sword and having to pull off some acrobatics to avoid acid vomit from the creature. Luckily, Fillion was able to toss the sword back to her and she slew the beast, unfortunately rupturing its acid sac in the process and getting slightly singed by the resulting spray.
They soon reached the castle, finding the portcullis shut on them. After a bit of recon (during which she found another mystery door hanging in the air outside the castle's west wall), Fiona decided to just pull the portcullis open with her amazing strength (and a bit of aid from Ibid). Inside, they caught up to Mange, who had transformed into a beetle to get inside and had come across a screaming baby manticore. The manticore's father soon arrived and started screaming at them. Mange set fire to the bushes near the baby, hoping the elder manticore would be distracted by the danger to the baby while the party made their escape. Fiona had another idea however.
Drawing her bastard sword, Ruin, Fiona charged the manticore and engaged it in battle. Deciding not to leave her to face it alone, the rest of the party returned to join the fight. Ibid got hit by a couple of poison spines and Fiona took a direct blow from the manticore's tail before the furious warrior lopped off the offending appendage. She and Ibid made short work of it after that and, after shaking off the manticore's venom, Fiona kept the severed tail as a trophy. After some arguing over Ibid's cowardice (or Fiona's recklessness and needless violence, depending on who you ask) the party started exploring the castle.
While exploring the castle tower, Fiona spotted a large group of people with torches approaching the castle from the other side of the bridge and informed the others. Mange transformed into an owl and flew out to do some recon on the newcomers, and Fiona and Ibid jammed the portcullis shut to secure it against the approaching mob. They came back to find Fillon in conversation with a lady called Urbina Castafiel who was occupying a cell/sitting room in the castle. Though the cell seemed unlocked, she was evidently incapable of leaving. She made Fillion a wager: if he could beat her at a game of chess, she would give him something she had in her pocket and also explain the secret of the doors to him. If she won, then she would be allowed to feed on him. (It was at this point that she revealed herself as a vampire by baring her fangs.)
They initially turned her down, but after Fiona returned from further recon of the castle, she found Fillion sitting in the cell playing chess with the vampiress after all. Vexed at this foolishness, Fiona sat herself in another seat in the cell and made a show of sharpening her blade while she watched them play. The vampire scoffed at the veiled threat, but also seemed to recognise Fiona's blade: a bastard sword with geometrical patterns etched into the blade and ancient writing on the hilt, which Fiona had recovered from the abandoned castle of the vampire mage known as Eldrad the Eternal.
Fillion defeated the vampire, and she gave him a stone that created a black hole in whatever it struck, sending whatever entered it into oblivion. She also handed a red stone with the word 'bloodthirsty' carved into it to Fiona, claiming it would help her become an even more fierce warrior than she already was. (Jason explained that he now had 3 hold on Fiona, which he could spend to encourage her to excess violence. If she followed through on the suggestion, the hold would be spent and I'd get an XP. If not, he would get another hold.)
Around this point, Mange returned, having identified some religious symbols on the approaching mob and also that they were here to find a specific 'dreaming door' they believed was located beneath the castle. The vampiress identified them as the cult of Reekeesik, the Rat King.
She also explained the secret of the doors. They could only be accessed from the astral plane, and in order to use them the party would need to perform a ritual involving some incense which would put them to sleep and allow them to enter the astral plane. She directed them towards a room in the castle basement which had the proper incense and also housed one of the doors. Upon entering the room, we found the incense and another dreaming door, this one depicting rats crawling all over it. Before we could do anything else, the door burst open, unleashing a flood of rats which soon filled the room...
TO BE CONTINUED...