Gameplay began where it had left off in Session II, with the party joining Dr. Ethan for a late-night dig party. The group travels north of the Morningstar Abbey for about an hour, where, in the mist of the night, Ethan identifies a grave that the boys must dig up. They dig and hit upon a wooden box, which they take out for Ethan, who opens it, revealing a fresh corpse (despite the fact that the grave was not “freshly dug”) with blood trickling out of its mouth. Ethan tells the boys to guard the perimeter, and not to let any creatures that should come by during his ceremony disturb him.
Sure enough, after a bit of time, the corpse starts screaming, and four wolves (possessed by some spirit or will) begin to circle the party. Guy is the first to attack, an d the wolves quickly begin fighting to get through the boys. Brix and Guy fall during the attack, but are not killed. Virgil and Floyd, meanwhile, do not do so well in the fight either. However, Ethan completes the ritual, and the wolves back off. The party burns the corpse and coffin, and they head back to the monastery. After some prodding, Ethan reveals that the man they performed the ritual on had been a vampire, but had been seriously weakened – what the party just witnessed was a completing ritual. Ethan also mentions that Viggio was hurt during the process of fighting this vampire, and it will probably take him a long time to recover. Brix asks Ethan to teach him how to do the things Ethan knows how to do, but he declines. As payment for their services, Ethan gives the boys a ring from the dead man’s finger, which Virgil keeps for the time being.
The next morning, the boys go about their business at the monastery. Guy goes to see Brother Samarid, who tells Guy that he has learned that their previous training session had been “a mistake,” and that there will be no more training from him. Guy, frustrated, finds a hiding spot where Samarid’s greataxe and wyvern-skull helmet are located. Samarid discovers this, and kicks Guy out of the spot, sealing it off by putting an anvil over the door.
Virgil has gone to the woods to read, and while he is out there, he encounters Zarin, who is carrying two very old and nice looking longswords strapped to his back. Zarin tells Virgil that he has decided to run away from the monastery. Virgil, knowing what Abbott Teris has told him, tries to stop him, but Zarin (whether from training or the power of the swords – most likely the latter) proves to be the superior fighter, and leaves Virgil bloodied and bruised and unconscious in the forest. Virgil wakes up later to find himself bandaged by some mysterious entity, but Zarin is long gone.
Virgil returns to the monastery, looking rather haggard, and Brix discovers him. After gathering Guy and Floyd (who had opted to sleep in), they track down Abbott Teris in the chapel. The party tells Teris what has transpired, but Teris does not seem exceptionally concerned about it. They boys decide to be proactive when it comes to Eric, so they find him aiding the distiller. Eric, always being a little more straight-laced, is non-chalantly weirded out by the party’s behavior, but he agrees to a tentative pact with them to share information and watch out for each other. Eric is also aware that he is not to reveal his real age to anyone else. During the course of their conversation, Eric repeats an incantation he heard Ethan say in his arguments with Abbott Teris – but speaking this incantation causes a lightning bolt to shoot out of Eric’s hand. At this point, the boys take Eric to the library, and ask Brother Elliott to let Eric try out the magic glass ball. Strangely enough, Brother Elliott seems to have no memory of using the glass ball on the boys in the first place, and when the subject is brought up of the ball’s purpose, Elliott seems to suffer a seizure and passes out.
Eric is given the ball, and taught by Virgil how to concentrate. When he does, the ball turns black and Eric’s eyes begin to glow. Eric snaps out of it, and the group heads back to their dormitory. On their way, Eric confesses to having had dreams about sitting on a throne atop many skulls. He mentions that the party is in this dream, but they look different.
Meanwhile, trouble begins to brew when a large group of soldiers led by a man called Faustarrive at the monastery. These men are from Compassgate, and they represent the new Cardinal, who’s name is Nikolai. The party immediately begins to sense trouble, and Teris tells Guy that when it gets too crowded, Brother Samarid’s choker becomes tight. Faust arrives in time to see Guy seeking out Brother Samarid, and Faust questions Guy about his age. Guy responds somewhat honestly, and then reveals to Samarid in private that he is here to remove Samarid’s choker, a proposition to which he reacts in fear and tells Guy that he cannot do that unless there is no other option.
While this is going on, Floyd and Brix have gone to Teris’ room to collect their box of stuff in the event that they have to leave the monastery that night. Floyd gets the box, and Brix also takes strange necklace (later discovered to be a phylactery) from the room as well. Virgil and Eric pack the party’s bags and go to the library to collect books. The boys reunite, and are informed that dinner will be soon, and that everyone is expected to attend. The boys head to the barn to talk to Samarind, and Dr. Ethan shows up as well, explaining that he has been instructed to get out quickly. The boys tell Ethan of one of the hiding options they’ve bandied about – the hidden chamber that they cleared out at the beginning of the first session. Ethan tells the boys he will hide there.
Floyd decides to open the box and the party views it’s contents. At this point, Brix shows the party the necklace, and they discover that it can twist. Brix twists the necklace, and a loud explosion comes from the library. Virgil realizes Brother Elliott’s secret – he is an imprisoned evil caster, explaining his confusion. The boys have accidentally set him free. The party makes for the library, where they discover a now-lucid Elliott, who remembers everything. He quickly disappears. Also attracted by the explosion, Faust and a few soldiers show up. Virgil speaks for the party, and he lies poorly about his name (“Um, what’s that? Mike?”). It is now time for dinner.
The party heads off to dinner, and they sit very near to Brother Art, Faust, and Faust’s primary assistant, Barris. At dinner, Abbott Teris welcomes Faust and the soldiers, but makes the mistake of not remembering to address Nikolai as “Cardinal,” a point Faust is quick to correct. Guy has trouble controlling his temper and his mouth, and Brother Art, embarrassed, and frightened, kicks the boys out of the mess hall and tells them to go to their dormitory. Floyd takes this opportunity to lie to Faust about his name and age.
The party (Guy, Brix, Virgil, Floyd, and Eric) wait in their room, when Art comes in and tells them they have to see Abbott Teris quickly. They are whisked away to his room, where they discover him very ill and ready for death. He asks that the boys perform a killing ritual on him which binds the spirit of Teris to the boys. Floyd is insistent that Teris name his successor, despite the fact that the monastery appears to be breaking up. Teris names Brother Art. Outside, Floyd attempts to tell Brother Art about what happened inside, but they are interrupted by Faust, who, seeing them, puts on a gauntlet and begins to apply rings. Though there is some disagreement about whether to stay and fight, Floyd refuses to leave, and the rest of the party stays together. Knowing that their best chance is to attack quickly, they do so in an attempt to daze Faust or knock him off his feet. Eric is the most successful, briefly halting Faust with another lighting bolt, but the magic is too powerful for Eric, and the backlash takes him out of the fight.
Guy goes to get Brother Samarid’s help, as Art and Faust grapple with each other. Virgil and Floyd push the two down the stairs, as Floyd informs Art of his promotion to monastic leader. Guy, meanwhile, finds Samarid, and quickly removes his choker, which unleashes a hellacious rage from Samarid. Samarid promptly throws Guy away (perhaps in an attempt to protect him?), but Guy and Brix lure Samarid into the hallway (after getting him his weaponry and helmet) to where Faust and Art are fighting. Immediately, Faust braces himself for the fight with Samarind. Art tells the boys that Abel the ranger is waiting for them outside of the monastery, and that they have to go. Floyd pleads with Art to keep the order together in some semblance.
The boys escape out the library window and make their way to Abel, who is waiting with a wagon. He tells the boys to go South, then East, to the Twilight Lands, where they’ll come across a tavern / inn called the Warriors’ (need name here), and to ask for Murdoch when they arrive. Soon the boys are off, but they find they are being followed by soldiers in chariots and on horseback. A thrilling chase / fight ensues, in which Guy learns that he really should let Floyd drive. The boys dispatch the chariots, and the horsemen are dispatched by the kobold spear throwers in the pass, (the wagon provides cover that protects the boys). Virgil uses his last arrow to kill the kobold with a spear who blocks their path.
The party arrives at the inn, which turns out to be a converted old burial ground. They find Murdoch, who informs the party that they will be broken up for two years to make it harder for them to find, and so that they can obtain some much needed career training. Murdoch apprentices the boys as follows:
Virgil – Virgil decides to seek the career path of the ranger, and is apprenticed to Murdoch himself.
Brix – Brix chooses the path of cleric, and is put under the guidance of Arturo, a traveling paladin.
Guy – Guy chooses to study the art of being a barbarian, and he is joined with Marcus, a fellow who knows the art. Occasionally, he and Virgil see each other, as Marcus and Murdoch are friends.
Floyd – Floyd chooses to study the bardic arts, and he is assigned to Titus, who plays the Twilight Lands and Verl’s Crook on occasion.
Eric’s choice is a mystery to the others, but Murdoch assures us that his path will be similar to ours.
When game play resumes, a period of two years will have gone by, and the PC’s will be 18 years old.
End of Session III
Experience: The party gains 700 XP for the session, bringing their total to 1000, which is turned in for 2 ability scores, rolled randomly. The party advances to 1st level, and XP is reset at 0.
Contents of Teris’ Box (receivers in parentheses):
10 Potions of Cure Light Wounds (spread out among the party, 2 per) A Cloak that grants the wearer +10 to Hide (Virgil) Gloves that grant the wearer +3 to Open Lock (Floyd) A ring that increases a spontaneous spellcaster’s 1st Level Spells by 3 (Floyd) A ring of Spell Storing – Level 1 for Memorized Spellcasters (Virgil) A Necklace that grants a bonus to Undead Turning (Brix)
Floyd kept the box itself, and uses it to store his thieves’ picks.