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Arkhemedes

The Ravenloft Files Vol.12: The Shadow Walkers - The Keepers of the Vault

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Under the Baron's 'Turn the page' thread in the Gardens of Stone group, I posted the first part of the first week's review for my '04 12th Annual Running of Ravenloft. Here I will continue the story of what was one of my favorite Ravenloft groups. For convenience I will again introduce the members of the band:

Cast of Characters:

Angus Shadowborn - Human paladin from the Great Kingdom of Avonleigh closely related to Kateri and Alexi Shadowborn
Gohan - Half-elf fighter/druid from the Great Kingdom of Avonleigh
Vassago ApVay - Human bard from the Great Kingdom of Avonleigh and descendent of the people of Forfar.
Gemini - Human shaman of the Abber Nomads from the Nightmare Lands
Marco Black - Human warlock from Nova Vaasa
Felipe Blanc - Human anchorite of Ezra from Dememtlieu

Excerpts from the Journals of Vassago ApVay, Shadow Walker

Day One - At the coming of dawn, we saw that the woods around us were still heavily cloaked in a thick fog, just as we had feared they would be. Very little daylight penetrated the dense mist, and the trees around us lurked over our heads like hungry ghouls donned in funeral shrouds. It was a rather foreboding beginning to the day.

Felipe however, did not appear to be overly concerned about it. He looked around for a moment, then seemed to notice something in the fog that only he could see. With confidence (perhaps too much confidence), he pointed and said, "We go that way". Since none of us had any better suggestions, and since we could find no reason to dispute Felipe's choice of direction, we followed his advice. Angus led the way on foot with his horse Midnight right behind him.

After a while we began to sense we were being followed. It was a short while after that when we were suddenly attacked by eight ghouls that emerged from the mists, reeking of death. Felipe was quick to react though and holding out his symbol of Ezra, he was able to turn back five of the hissing ghouls, which turned and ran, never to be seen again.

The other three ghouls however, continued to advance. Angus stepped forward to meet one, not particularly intimidated by it, despite the nightmares he had had about ghouls and the fact that he had never actually faced one before. He studied the ghoul's approach and quickly concluded that the ghoul was not a very adept opponent, though it did attack with both clawed hands and a fang-filled mouth, a wound from any of which, Angus knew, was capable of causing paralysis.

Then suddenly it happened, just as Angus had feared but did not truly believe possible. Despite the difference in the level of skill between he and the ghoul, it somehow landed a lucky blow on the first exchange, and drew blood. It happened so quickly that Angus could not believe his misfortune. He immediately felt the wound go chill and numb. Then the numbness quickly spread throughout his body. Angus felt as though he were reliving one of his nightmares. And feeling just as helpless as though he were in one, he fell to the ground as the paralysis took hold of him.

To be continued...

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