While exploring catacombs, the adventurers battle a wraith and a vampiric undead. Endur “the Thick” – a fighter – is struck by the wraith and sees his warrior memories and experiences pulled from him in black, wispy strands of energy that are absorbed by the undead, rendering him a 0-level character!
We began the adventure with the group descending from the main level of Rodemus Keep into their burial catacombs where Galen, the young son of Arlen and Sarah Rodemus entered when their keep was taken over by the Black Fist mercenary group. The adventurers had taken care of the Black Fists, and with Arlen and Sarah brought to a safe location away from the keep, the adventurers descended a rope ladder onto the stone floors of the catacombs. The floors, walls, and ceilings of the catacombs were made of granite, and they soon discovered that the doors were cast iron around the door frame and across the center where the locking mechanism was located, with only some of the interior portions made of wood. This meant that if they couldn’t open the locks on the door, then (a) breaking through them would be difficult only allowing a small individual such as a hobbit or gnome to make it through the wood portion that could be broken through, and (b) it would make a lot of noise. Unfortunately for Juhraveal the rogue, the first door they arrived at she failed to open, and she not only failed her check, the half-elf rogue broke her tools in the lock! They left that door and went to the next. She again failed, but this time at least her tools didn’t break! The third door proved lucky, and they entered the room, only for Endur “the Thick”, a human fighter in the party witnessing a dark and gloomy incorporeal spirit emerge from outside the range of their torchlight to strike him. He failed his Constitution save versus energy drain and witnessed his memories and skills of being a fighter pulled from him in black tendrils by the smoky fingers of the wraith, reducing him temporarily to 0-level (in the instance of this type of wraith, he would have to later make another save to see if this would just be temporary, a save in which he would sadly fail). Spellcasters launched magic missiles and the melee combatants learned they needed enchanted weapons to be able to harm it. Fortunately, because of melee combatants like Rok, the half-orc fighter, they wore it down with their blows, and it was finally struck down by the mighty hammer of Thorthic, my supportive NPC dwarven barbarian/cleric of Thor. The elves discovered a secret entrance out of the room with a pit trap in front of it. They decided this was now a good, defensible room should they need to hunker down and recover.
Moving to the next room they came upon three coffins, two were empty, but the third had some bits of dirt around the boundary, and there was a sweet, fragrant smell in the air, which reminded them of an encounter they had on the first level several sessions back where they encountered a type of vampiric undead. One elven cleric, Anne, cast protection from undead and bless, and the half-elf cleric Eliam held up the Rodemus family symbol – a dragonfly necklace – which doubled as an enhanced holy symbol to turn undead. The coffin lid was lifted and as the vampiric-type undead rose to attack they descended on it! Magic missiles began flying, great axe blows from Rok, and hammer blows from Thorthic beat it down. As it’s limp body slowly began to mend from the blows, they cut of its head and hammered a stake through its heart. Examining the coffin, they discovered over 3,000 gp of treasure – the largest haul they have yet encountered in this campaign! While part of the group took the treasure to the underground safe-house nearby, the other members took the vampiric undead to the surface to a running stream near Rodemus Keep to allow the running water disperse it’s body (something they had done to the previous vampiric creature they had encountered).
When this was all done and they reunited in their safe room, they managed to enter another room and battled some skeletons. However, by this time the clerics and wizards were running out of spells and they decided to spend the night resting to recover their resources, it was also sadly during this evening rest that Endur failed his second saving throw, meaning that when we get together in two weeks to continue this adventure, he will effectively be a 0-level human. In Castles & Crusades terms, he will still have the human prime attributes he chose (Dexterity and Constitution), but he will lose his prime attribute in Strength, since that is associated with the Fighter class and he will have to complete an adventure before he can re-enter that class and begin once again to build up his experience and knowledge of the warrior arts.