Stones of Morality

Chapter 2 Bloodstained Home

Lord Barringer's Mansion

The mob charged through the night, shouts echoing through the brisk air. Jarrek looked over at the three warriors and gave a quick nod. Rushing off to the front, he gave orders to get the battering ram ready as they approached the main entrance to the mansion. Ten men charged on smashing in the door on the first swing. In came Eeeagle, the mission at hand made him hesitate, but the sight of a large ornate chest quickened his pace considerably. The goliath quickly shouted out to the ranger. “We save the loot for later, we have a mission to complete first!” With a bit of disdain and some embarrassment, the shapeshifter closed the chest (which didn’t carry anything of interest anyway) and carried on. Jarrek and his boy decided to head up the dual staircase and on to the second floor. However, the three men went right, and headed into the first room. A staircase swung down into the basement. Rohan decided the basement should be secured before moving forward. So they went, Deva, Goliath, and Shapeshifter, plunging into the depths of Lord Barringer’s mansion.

The boots of the shaman touched down lightly on the stone floor. In front of him was a long, quiet corridor. Down he went, carefully watching his steps. A soft, “click” was heard, and the shaman felt the searing pain of an arrow pierce his rib cage. He took off in a sprint, barely dodging the next two clicks. Down he went into the corner of the first bend in the corridor. The goliath seeing the traps, dropped his shield and ran through. The arrows deflected harmlessly off his shield and he quickly made his way to the other side. Eeegle made his attempt to jump down the hallway. However, he misjudged the last trap and was also struck down with an arrow. The large goliath went to work healing the wounds as best he could. On the men went, down another hallway. However, the men noticed the triggers to the traps down this stretch of hall. The only problem was the number of the small buttons on the floor. There was no getting over them without stepping on one. The goliath decided to go first. Holding his shield up, he ran through expecting to feel collision of arrow to shield. Instead the goliath could smell sulfur, then an extreme heat rolled over his body as he was engulfed in red flame. On he ran until he made it to the other side. The other two followed staying as far from the flames as possible. All three felt the sting on their skin as they made it through. The goliath was not so lucky. He suffered grave burns to his arms and face. He quickly decided he needed to seek aid, and made his way back, further from the flame this time. Out he went, leaving the shaman and ranger behind. Rohan and Eeeagle looked at each other with weary determination, though they wondered how they would get through without the big warden.

Not long after the goliath’s departure, footsteps could be heard from the entrance of the stairway that the two men had entered from. “Who goes there?” shouted Eeeagle.

“Who goes there?” Shouted a voice from down the hallway.

“I asked first!” Eeeagle quickly countered.

“It is I, Warlord Kentorr.” said the mysterious voice.

Rohan cracked a slight smile and added, “Quickly, make your way down the hallway and give us aid!”

Footsteps could be heard along with the click of arrows and finally groans from the mysterious intruder. Around the corner came the draconic man as he hit the far wall, his body leaning on the stone from two hits of the arrows. Three more clicks could be heard but no groan followed. A smaller gnome rounded the corner unscathed for the arrows simply brushed the hair on his head. “Hmm did you feel that slight breeze?” the gnome sarcastically replied. The little creature went to work dressing the dragonborne’s wounds.

The shaman spoke out down the hallway to the two men, “Sorry we forgot to tell you about the traps. Beware though, this hallway is even more dangerous. It breathes fire hotter than the breath of a dragon.”

“My name’s Kentorr, and this is my companion Ku. We heard the ruckus of your mob and decided to see if anyone needed aid. We ran into your big friend the goliath. He said you may need assistance down here.

“Were always accepting the aid of friends.” Eeeagle spoke out approvingly.

Ku dropped down on his belly and crawled up to the first triggers to the fire. He peered over them, then decided it may be best if he could jump over them. Kentorr, quickly picked him up and threw him as far as he could. However, he didn’t get enough leverage and ended up throwing him three quarters of the way. The little gnome landed hard on the triggers, and flame spat forth with no remorse. Ku quickly went into a head roll, and landed on the other side of the hallway and out of the flame. On came Kentorr charging furiously through the flame, his thick scales barely scathed by the hot breath of the fire traps.

The four men shook hands and looked on at an iron door. Rohan slowly opened it and peered in. At the end of a hallway, lay a corpse. Eeeagle seeing danger ahead, entered with caution. He slowly crept up to the smelling body and inspected the wounds. A bloody hand quickly shot out and grabbed the ranger’s leg. Down the shapeshifter went, struggling with the corpse on the ground. Rohan quickly reacted to the distress of his comrade. The shaman lifted his hands and summoned his panther next to the zombie corpse. The sleek cat quickly went to work tearing and slashing at the dead flesh. However, two more zombies rounded the corner of the hall, and bore down on the beast.

Before the other two adventurers could enter the room, the iron door slammed shut locking itself from both inside and out. Kentorr tried to open it ,but it wouldn’t budge. He begun slamming into it without concern for his own safety. On the inside, Rohan tried to open the door and it would not budge. Soon the flow of liquid could be heard. Dark red streaks poured down the walls, filling the room with what couldn’t be mistaken for blood. “We need to get out of here fast!” screamed Rohan. Eeeagle finally untangled himself from the zombie, making sure to keep the jaws of the creature away from biting range. He quickly rolled back and leveled his bow. An arrow erupted from the string and buried itself in the closest zombie. The panther went into a frenzy, chewing dead flesh at every opportunity. Another spell let loose from the deva shaman, and one Zombie was put down. Blood was flowing in strong, easily filing up to the men’s ankles.

On the outside, the warlord and gnome were hard at work trying to break the door down. Kentorr swung furiously, his large bastard sword sparking off of the iron. Ku said with a sly wink, “move aside.” A few quiet words were whispered and a huge black blast erupted from the fingers of the gnome. A powerful eldritch blast struck the door. However, the iron threshold stood solid.

The blood was up to the knees of the two men desperately fighting for their lives in the room. One zombie grabbed the ferocious feline and ripped its throat out, dismissing the beast from this realm. Eeeagle fired shot after shot into the flesh of the dead. Rohan lifted his hand and re-summoned the panther. At the same time he lifted his other hand blasting one zombie in the chest with another spell. The ranger finished one zombie off with a perfectly aimed arrow to the skull. One zombie stood but the blood was filling fast. Rohan’s panther was now swimming rather than walking. The men attacked furiously dropping the zombie after moments of fighting. Loud bangs could be heard as the men outside of the room worked furiously to knock down the door. The gnome shot blast after blast and the warlord swung with great power. The door began to dent and their progress revealed only boosted their efforts. On the inside, blood was well over their waists as the men searched for any clue as to shutting the blood off or unlocking the door. Eeeagle searched with great attention to detail but it seemed the room was nothing but stone. The gnome hit the door with another blast, followed by the shoulder of the dragonborne. One final swing of the sword, and the door dented in, spilling blood over the men’s feet. They worked with great speed and soon the door was knocked off the hinges, blood flowed out so fast, it knocked the little gnome from its feet. The men inside understood the room to be a dead end and decided they had to head back up. Instead of taking the fire tunnel, the men all went to work breaking through the easier stone that lead to the entrance of the basement. A hole was soon made and the men went through and exited the basement.

Up they went onto the first floor and then the second. As they reached the summit of the second level, the men looked at a sight of horror. At least five mob members lay dead, their blood spilt from many wounds. The only thing the lofted room had in it was an altar with four statues. The men walked in, weapons ready. Rohan heard a voice and saw an injured Jarrek on a far sided staircase. The man lay flat on the steps pointing to the statues. The deva could make out the words, “look out.” At that moment the statues all turned their heads towards the injured man. They stepped off their platforms and slowly walked on. The four men jumped into action. Rohan and Kentorr went straight for the statue closest to Jarrek. Ku and Eeeagle took on two others from the opposite side. The men fought on dodging the slow swings of the animated statues. Kentorr decided to make his way to the third floor to see if there were anymore statues to worry about. One stood lifeless in the middle of the room. The warlord charged in not taking any chances. He swung using his most powerful attack to take out the stone knight. The thing was hit hard, slowly tumbling to the ground. Kentorr raised his hand in great victory, “Heeeyaaaaa.”

Below, the men fought hard, finally crushing the other three statues to the floor. Rohan healed Jarrek and they proceeded to the top level. Kentorr looted a chest outside of the double doors entering the main chamber. He found a copper ring. The men entered into the room, the quickly noted two statues on the far side of the room. In the middle perched a coffin on an ornate stone stand. Behind it stood a pale faced man in a black cape.

“Welcome to my mansion. I hope the statues weren’t too much trouble. Ah and I see you have had a good blood bath. They really are my favorite. You see I get so few visitors, and my blood room keeps me satisfied. Did you meet my wife, she is such a nice lady. No matter, I will see to it you don’t make your way out of here, alive anyway.”

The vampire raised his hands and two streaks of light shot forth, striking the two statues. They instantly came to life, stepping off there platforms. A third streak shot towards the men. A burning skeleton begun to animate. It charged forward towards Rohan, but the shaman sidestepped it and the thing tumbled into the wall behind it. Eeeagle turned and put an arrow through the skull for good measure. Kentorr charged the right statue, its bastard sword hitting the shoulder of the stone knight. Ku shot forth an eldritch blast as the panther animated behind Lord Barringer. The vampire walked forward and pointed at the dragonborne. Kentorr quickly turned and charged Rohan. The sword come down on the shaman, gashing his right arm. Kentorr quickly came to, and bore down on the vampire. All four men ignored the statues and focused there energy on the undead creature. Lord Barringer found himself on the defense, and was soon backed into a corner. The panther racked at Barringer’s legs as an eldritch blast missed its’ mark. The vampire raised his hands and all the lights went out in the room. This made it almost impossible for Eeeagle to his with his arrows. However, Kentorr came on with fury and rage. The vampire could defend the draconic swings and the lightning that shot forth from the dragonborne’s mouth. The vampire went down in a scream. The statues quickly stopped and the torches lit again.

The men searched Lord Barringer finding some gold and an ornate black cape. Kentorr took the cape and tried it on for size. The concealment cape was a perfect fit. In walked Jarrek happy to see his men win the fight. “Good work men, I know the Duke will be happy to see what we’ve done here.” Kentorr quickly tackled the man.

“What do you mean “we?’” the dragonborne spat.

“Come on now,” said Eeeagle. "We don’t need anymore problems, lets just get back to the inn and go to the Duke in the morning.

“What so this little rat can gather up the reward?” said Kentorr.

“The dragon has a point.” Rohan put in.

Ku nodded his head in agreement.

“Look guys I don’t mean a thing by it. I gots a family at home. We all did our parts in this here fight though some were a little more fierce than others. I mean I fought them there statues too. I think you hairy friend there has a point. We’ll go to the Duke tomorrow morning and collect our reward.”

“Our reward?” Kentorr hissed.

In one swift motion, the dragonborne lifted his bastard sword high and stabbed him through the heart. Eeeagle turned his head in disgust, as a small smile made his way to Ku’s face. Rohan drug over the body of Barringer, making it look like Jarrek was killed by the vampire. The four men walked out of the chamber, ready to collect their reward.

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Delphian

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