Four Heroes enter the dungeon where Karlen was last reported seen. There have been no extra weapons purchased since we last saw these guys. Bretal the Elf has a lot of gold but he decided to save it up for a crossbow. My early decision to increase the cost of all equipment seems to be paying off, seeing as the Heroes are finding things quite easy and the last thing Morcar needs is these guys getting their hands on powerful weapons.
I know this quest too well to play as a Hero, so I took on the role of Morcar for this, with a new player slipping in to the skin of Rend the Barbarian. I changed the quest ever so slightly to throw off anybody else who may have had prior knowledge of the layout.
Still no sign of life as such, just these rattling undead monstrosities. Rend and Bretal send them back to the grave with no problems.
The Barbarian finds another of Karlen's brew's (potion of resilience) wheilst the elf finds a trap in the lower corridor...
...but promptly falls into another one in the next room.
Merkai tries to come to his friends aid, casting Fire of Wrath on one of the creatures. I roll a black shield and defend against the attack, laughing that stone monsters don't burn particularly well.
Grimgold retreats to allow healthier Heroes to have a go; Rend flexes his mighty muscles and pushes one of the guardians over, where it smashes on the floor!
Bretal uses his agility to unbalance the other, which also breaks apart.
The ordeal isn't over however, as two more of the creatures stand guard in the other corners around the centre room.
The Wizard makes a better spell selection this time, using a Genie to demolish one of them. Meanwhile, Bretal takes advantage of the slowness of the other and also bests it.
Shaken but not killed, the party continues. Grimgold finds a pile of gold coins beneath a creaking oak table. He loses one turn, grasping at the coins on all fours.
Rend selflessly blocks the doorway and fights the creature alone (you wouldn't catch me doing that if I was still playing the Barbarian).
The gargoyle is defeated but Rend drops to just 3 Body Points. However, the grateful Wizard uses Water of Healing to revive the heroic warrior.
Clad in his new magical armour and feeling tough, Merkai goes toe-to-toe with this mummy. The monster (a metal oldhammer mini) is destroyed without him even having to resort to using a spell.
Finally, quest's end is reached. Bretal enters a sorcerer's laboratory and slays a zombie dressed in tattered robes which bear the insignia of the Emperor himself. Notes on the desk leave the party in no doubt that the zombie was once Karlen, enticed by the dark powers and consumed by a chaos spell! Good riddance to bad rubbish, sneer the pious Heroes.
A nice quest but we are still none the wiser as to who or what the 'stone hunter' is. Was is Karlen himself, who perhaps created those magical stone guardians, or maybe the hero who defeated them and completed the quest? Answers on a postcard please...
For those interested, the mini's I used for the stone statues are from Doctor Who. I bought them originally to use as statues in wargames, but thought they would go well in this quest. They had these stats - Move 6, Attack 4, Defend 4, Body 2, Mind 1.