Death Blow!

Exploring the level of the dungeon we were on we encountered a rather ominous-looking door, completely black and with runes carved in to the surface. Our Paladin detected some strong evil presence on the other side of it. After the fight with the ogres and a couple of other minor skirmishes we decided that perhaps we ought not to discover what was on the other side of the door until we had rested a little and were more able to put up a good fight. Well, we rested, and thus had no further excuse not to destroy whatever evil lurked beyond.

After checking what the runes read, bypassing traps and locks, and finding out some historical information from the small but lavish foyer, we were ready to enter the lair of who knows what creature. Our Paladin was Enlarged, and being a natural defender of Good he was first to enter the room. What he found there was a single undead monster, wielding a black, runed blade. The Paladin could do little else than get in and shout back what he saw before the skeleton was upon him, smiting him for a fair bit of damage. The single hit also made the Paladin weaker, losing 1 point of Constitution from the skeleton's evil blade. The rest of us had to react fast to attain victory. The Cleric decided that now would be the best time to cast Prayer. The Rogue bravely entered the room and tumbled safely to an area where he could attack the monster. The Mage reacted last, planning on what spell to cast as it was my turn to face the evil creature.

I entered the room and found that I had little option but to dodge past the Enlarged Paladin, making me vulnerable to an Attack of Opportunity from the skeleton. His black blade bit deeply in to my flesh, finding a weak spot in my armour. Not only was I, too, weakened by a point of Constitution damage from the hit but it also took me down to below a third of my health with one hit. One hit! The fight wasn't going to last long this way. On my way in to the room, however, I readied not my spiked chain but a mace that we had found, with a Detect Magic making us suspect it could be a mace of Disruption. Knowing that we were facing undead it seemed prudent to use the mace, in case it did have this special power.

Even weakened from the mighty blow I found the strength to fight back and put all my force behind the mace as I swung it upon the skeleton before me. As the mace struck, something incredible happened: the skeleton was destroyed! It crumpled in to dust before our eyes, feeling the true force that Disruption can inflict, for it did indeed turn out to be a mace of Disruption. It was like the God of Luck was looking down on me, a single blow destroying this once deadly foe before us!

Of course, it wasn't just me who killed the skeleton, as it was teamwork that ultimately decided its fate; if the Cleric hadn't cast Prayer when she did the skeleton would have been strong enough to withstand the power of the Disruption. It may not have been so lucky with subsequent blows, had it survived the first, but it looked likely to kill at least one of us first.

After making sure the pile of dust wasn't going to reanimate we congratulated ourselves on defeating such a powerful foe, even if there was a fair bit of good fortune involved. The party healed up, and it seemed the God of Luck was still smiling on me, as the Cleric managed to cast a Cure Serious Wounds with maximum effect. We then searched for any treasure that what we knew to be a fallen, heroic warrior may have stashed away over the years. In a chest we found, amongst other things, the final poetic moment to the battle. There was amidst the treasure a Tome of Understanding, a powerful magic book that, when read, endows the reader with a permanent gain in Wisdom. If only the skeleton had taken the time to read this book rather than considering it of little value it may have made its Will save against the Disruption.

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