Wednesday, September 06, 2006

The Tale of the Last Captain (part2)

The Baron of Hornsdeep

November 21, 2004 (10 AM to 6 PM)

The Tower of Hornsdeep is a maze of dark corridors, stairs and rooms where torches spread a dim light on old withered walls and tapestries. After following the Chorrim for a while, Blu, Jezabell, Mandingo, Nuwah-Kawah and Jezabell enter a vast vaulted throne room. There, many goblins affected by the same strange disease that infected the villagers outside stand along a large corridor leading to the throne room. There, on the stairs climbing to the elevated throne, sits the Baron, and behind him, half-hidden by the shadows in the room, there is the translucent form of ghost. As the Baron stands to greet the newcomers, the ghost laughs at him and begins to taunt him, and our heroes see for the first time the extent of the madness that took over the Baron’s life.

They learn throughout the discussion that the Baron in fact usurped the throne by killing his elder brother. Since then, his spirit remains and taunts his betrayer. The Baron slowly fell down the pits of madness where he remained till this day.

Treating with the Baron isn’t easy. His shifting, alienated behavior prevents them from getting their point across for a while, but ultimately they do. They struck a bargain with the Baron: he gives them back Daena Sabertooth and all the other survivors of the sack of Skullcape and they bring back a cure to the “Green Plague”, the disease affecting the inhabitants of Hornsdeep. They accept and swear an oath with the help of the Baron’s éminence grise, a Mojh going by the name of “The Metarex”.

Daena and the other pirates are freed. The Metarex then asks another favor from our heroes: one of his apprentices attempted to transform into a Mojh but failed. His twisted body is preserved in a levitating metal coffin. The Metarex wants them to bring the coffin to one of his dear friends, in Laelith. They agree to his request, and off they are, back to Skullcape (Daena had the two last TempleCrystals on herself. How she succeeded in hiding them from the guards of Hornsdeep, one may just wonder).

A few hours later, they are back to the temple of Skullcape. Daena uses all four crystals to open a magical dimensional gate to the temple’s catacombs. There, she says, they would be able to seek the Last Captain of the Trireme of the Doomed, the last remaining ship moored at the Altalus’ mouth.

Next: Our heroes explore Skullcape's catacomb system.


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