Episode Thirty-One: The Chornicles of Klarn: Your Bhut Is Showing (3/09/06)
[Featuring Aerdaluna, Lorel, Smitty, Silent Pete]
Chronicles of Klarn
From the Journal of Aerdaluna
3 Planting 592
When we stepped off the Bridge To Anywhere we found ourselves on a mountainous
slope. Lorel guided us through mostly trackless wilderness. Occasionally we
were able to follow some animal trails to speed our journey, but usually we
were forging through untraveled scree-filled slopes.
5 Planting 592
After the last day of hiking, the monastery was a welcome sight. We had
picked up a stone trail of sorts leading to the monastery. We were arriving
at the end of the day, tired from our travels. We had noticed a distinct lack
of animal presence shortly before encountering the building and so were looking
forward to the company of other living beings.
The monastery was a very large compound surrounded by a tall bamboo wall.
The front gate was flanked by two large statues—well formed men, one holding
a sword and the other holding a spear.
Calling out as we approached the gate, Lorel knocked to announce our presence.
Shortly a cowl-draped figure parted the gates and beaconed us inside. The monk
was of few words as he ushered us into the inner courtyard.
The first courtyard was about one hundred feet square and in the corners
were large braziers burning sandalwood. Three other monks awaited us and as
a group they took us to a second courtyard. We asked to see Master Dravin and
they indicated that he was involved in a ceremony that would not be finished
for a few hours yet. We opted to take them up on their offer to rest in a small
guesthouse and greet Master Dravin in the morning.
As we settled into the bamboo guesthouse and, true to our suspicious adventurous
nature, were searching the building to make sure we were along, I took the opportunity
to test my newly developed power to sense the minds around us. I was fully expecting
to find out that we were surrounded by humanoid minds. I was shocked to find
that the monks who had ushered us in were if fact intelligent undead. I quickly
alerted my companions to this fact and reported that the four of them were quickly
moving to and fro around our building.
Lorel snuck out of the building and into a nearby copse of trees. The creatures
he saw were horrific. Seeming him they began to fly over to his location and
he quickly ran back to the “protection” of the hut. At first they
didn’t appear to be interested in entering the hut and attacking us, but
eventually they tired of waiting for us to exit and they passed through the
bamboo walls and attacked us by relative surprise quickly retreating after a
sudden strike behind the protection of the walls. Their appearance was so horrifically
fearsome that I felt the little strength I have flee from my body. Others were
similarly affected by their presence. I fell helpless to the ground. Smitty
quickly called upon the powers of his god and restored my inconsistent strength.
Their incorporeal nature would make defeating them much more difficult.
Having gotten a good look at them, Smitty was able to identify them as creatures
called Bhut in his dwarven tongue. These were the same creatures that attacked
his home and I could see the fury in his eyes. I had been cautioning against
taking the attack to them, but realizing that they were not prevented from entering
we were about to take the fight to them when suddenly the door burst open and
more of the monks entered threatening us.
Silent Pete, Smitty, and Smokey meet them at the door preventing them from
rushing in en mass. They were unnaturally tough as they were animated by more
of the Bhut like those that had attacked us moments earlier. Seeing that we
were soon to be outnumbered, I called upon the arcane energies in my command
to haste my companions.
While the animated monks posed little threat themselves, we were devastated
to discover that destroying the dead body only worsened matters. The Bhut that
animated the bodies burst froth from their corporeal shells like a dragon ripping
free of its egg. Again the creatures’ presence unnerved us, myself in
particular and Smitty again had to heal me to restore my lost strength.
Restored somewhat, lying on the ground, I whispered the words of power
to call down upon the undead monks the powers of acidic doom. A burst of acid
appeared in their midst causing their flesh to smolder and melt. Two of the
creatures burst open again to reveal the animating Bhut inside. I was prepared
for their abrupt appearance this time though and while somewhat shaken, was
able to throw off the weakening effect of their appearance.
The Bow of Corellon that Lorel wields with such skill was invaluable in
the fight. The bolts of force Lorel can fire from it were fully effective against
the incorporeal Bhut. The others were only partially successful, sometimes striking
true but many times missing what would otherwise be a successful blow.
I noticed that Cicily switched from using her eldritch blast to deftly
dismembering the foul monks and the smoky spirits. The sword didn’t seem
to be much more effective at striking them, but she was landing numerous blows
on them making up for the misses with an increased numbers of attacks.
Not having many spells memorized for dealing with undead I used the few
spells that could affect them to good effect. I backed out of their immediate
area, not so far as to be unable to affect them, but so as not to be as affected
by their frightful appearance. Again my orb of force was especially effective
and the scorching rays were useful in disrobing the Bhut from their fleshy clothing.
Many of our less experienced companions began to fall to the ground as
the fight progressed, weakened by the creatures’ foul aura. Slowly, between
might and magic we were able to turn the tide and destroyed most of the creatures
and those that remained fled deeper into the compound. I am proud to say that
Charley fared as well as the more martially oriented members of our group though
he was reeling from the poison that one of the creatures had managed to inject
with its foul bite. Smitty used his stronger restorative magics to return Charley
to full health.
Smitty will be able to restore us, should we survive the night. We relocated
to the larger courtyard where the creatures would not be able to use the cover
of the bamboo walls for protection.
Smitty’s spells of restoration that he had cast upon me not only
restored my strength but have left me feeling relatively refreshed and I will
be standing guard this evening, using my mental powers to detect any of the
creatures should they attempt to approach us again giving Lorel and the others
time to weaken and perhaps destroy them before they can even get to us.
The Silent Companions
Dead monks possessed by Bhut
Equal Share = ?? gp