Castles & Crusades Diary: The Barrowmaze Campaign, Session 35.

The characters meet the spirit of Sir Guy de O’Veargne, a paladin who was betrayed and killed by his trusted right hand man Dhekeon “the Disgraced” in the Barrowmaze centuries ago as they were about to close the Pit of Chaos and defeat the Undead Cult of Nergal.

For 35 sessions the Army of the Light has made trips into the Barrowmaze, slowly making their way through dangerous corridors, restless undead in bricked-up crypts, and fighting monsters of chaos. It was in one of those first sessions that they discovered Dhekeon, a skeletal fallen paladin who had been chained up in a barrow mound and left to die, but his god St. Justus would not accept him. As he told them, “I am cursed to walk the realm for eternity as one of the very undead abominations I once swore to destroy.” He wanted to redeem himself and atone for the betrayal of his order and the murder of the leader of his order, Sir Guy de O’Veargne. Over 30 sessions many players forgot these details as Dhekeon silently followed the group in their journey through the Barrowmaze, watching their backs and helping slay monsters when needed. Tonight was his reckoning.

Leading up to this chamber, the group had been traveling through old crypts battling swift, ravenous zombies, intelligent juju zombies, flagstone golems, and escaping tripwire traps on the other side of secret doors. But when the Army of the Light entered a chamber with hundreds of burial alcoves filled with bronzed skulls, Dhekeon knew where he was. This was where centuries before he murdered the leader of his order and tossed the body in an empty alcove.

Dhekeon “the Disgraced” (from Barrowmaze Complete)

When Dhekeon said in a whisper to the group what he had done while gazing into a the narrow alcove, Cobalt, the groups paladin, walked with Dhekeon into the isolated chamber to confront the demons of his past.

Sir Guy de O’Veargne (from Barrowmaze Complete)

It was there that the spirit of Sir Guy rose above his remains. He looked upon his former right-hand-man with anger and hatred of his betrayal, but that drifted into sadness at the loss of his once dear friend. He then turned and addressed Cobalt (and the rest of the adventurers who had also entered the small chamber). He told Cobalt that he and the Army of the Light had to do what Sir Guy had failed to do centuries earlier due to Dhekeon’s betrayal: throw an artifact called the Fount of Law created by the priesthood of St. Justus into the Pit of Chaos. But they needed to beware, for the strangest and most frightening of abominations crawl from its opening. He then said that after that they had to deal with the Priesthood of Nergal, one of the dominant undead cults that had continued to grow over the centuries. The cult also had an artifact that had to be destroyed. At this point he looked at Dhekeon (who was kneeling before Sir Guy with his head down in deference), and said in a booming voice, “you know what sacrifice you must make if you are to be redeemed, Dhekeon.” Dhekeon nodded silently. After trusting that his mission might finally be completed through Cobalt and the Army of the Light, Sir Guy handed Cobalt his visored winged helmet, sighed, and his spirit ascended to join his god.

The group chose to complete their exploration of a few rooms they had bypassed on their way to this chamber, and then prepare for the big battle at the Pit of Chaos. The remainder of the rooms they explored involved more burial chambers with treasure, and then a room with a sphinx. the sphinx asked them a riddle, which they got after a long discussion, and then it offered to answer any question they had about the Barrowmaze. The group asked where the leaders of the cult of Nergal could be found. It raised a paw and underneath was a map fragment of a portion of the Barrowmaze. The sphinx said that it was there where they would find the rulers of the cult of Nergal.

Now the Army of the Light needs to discover where this map fragment fits with the other fragments they have collected. Will the Army of the Light make their way to the Pit of Chaos and take on the forces of Chaos? We find out next week!