The Darkness Between

Chapter 3 : The Temple of Orcus

Wherein, the Companions ascend to freedom through a crumbling temple of the Blood Lord...

Before the adventurers could puzzle out the appearance of these figures high above, several of the unknown arrivals began plunging down toward them!

 Time seemed to slow as the falling creatures neared. The missing ranger, Coatillian, tumbled into the cavern. The brooding elf was locked in combat with a snapping, bloated zombie! Several more walking (or in this case, falling) dead raked at him as they plummeted alongside…

 Thinking quickly, the wizard Teraldar whispered words of power, engulfing the ranger in a spell. Coatillian’s fall was slowed to the speed of a gently floating feather. The zombies, however, were not so lucky…

 Coatillian’s foe, along with four of the other dead things, struck the stone floor not unlike ripe melons thrown from a high tower. Two of these zombies actually rose to continue the battle! They appeared to be different from the other undead encountered in the portal chamber below…these zombies appeared “fresher” than those desiccated husks, and seemed to carry some sort of infection in their deadly bite!

 After dispatching these ravenous cadavers, the party prepared to ascend to the level above. Climbing a rope to the lip of the opening, they entered a large chamber lined with hundreds of burial niches. 

By the condition of the room, no one had disturbed this place for hundreds of years…at least, up until a few weeks prior! Apparently, the ritual Kalarel began a month prior had drawn the restless dead to the Shadowrift below…

A section of the wall had been torn out by bony fingers (according to the dwarves keen knowledge of all things stone) and allowed access to a natural passageway that led down into the earth…and most-likely to the Portal cavern. This explained  where all of the dead guarding the Shadowrift had originated from.

 A search of the large chamber found sealed bronze doors with no keyhole…only a disk of black metal etched with the likeness of the Prince of the Undead.

 The moldering journal of a priest of Orcus was also found…the skeletal remains of the author slumped over it's rotting pages. The book told of an invading force that battled and slaughtered his fellow acolytes and drove this cleric of the Demon Prince down into the catacombs.

He wrote of “resetting all of the temples defenses and wards” while locking all doors behind him with something called the “Blood Key”. This key worked only if a “proper sacrifice to the Blood Lord” was made…



The halfling rogue, Trin, discovered a statue of Orcus in a dark recess of the chamber. It held a brass bowl sealed by a black metal grate which only her small hand could fit through. Inside the blood-stained bowl was a strange key of black metal with a needle sharp point.

Since it was too large to fit through the metal grate, Trin grasped the key and enacted a ring of teleportation to free the odd piece of metal.

Touching the Blood Key angered the foul spirit of the dead priest. The Seething Wraith flew into their midst, it’s very touch burning with chaos and death!

To make matters worse, the hulking zombie from the Rift chamber below lumbered into the catacombs through the breach in the wall…and it had brought friends!

 Two rotted-winged undead harpies clumsily soared into the room, followed by a walking skeleton that burned with an unholy conflagration…

While the dwarves, the rogue and the warlord took on the evil dead, Teraldar and Coatillian sent magicks and arrows into the nearly-insubstantial wraith.

After their foes were vanquished, the Companions set to the task of unraveling the mystery of the Blood Key…

To Be Continued…

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