AiS #029: Vampire in the Well

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Without warning, the vampire dryad emerged from her tree in gaseous form and flew down the well—straight toward poor Orithur, who until moments before had felt relatively safe as the battle raged above. Although the rest of the party tried to stop the creature, their weapons and attacks were ineffective against the foul beast’s insubstantial form.

As the vampire floated down toward helpless Orithur, Johann appeared atop the well and shot a silver arrow at the beast. Terrifyingly, the arrow passed though the creature with no apparent effect and almost struck the dangling druid. This development caused consternation among the party. As the vampire floated closer—Orithur—sawed desperately at the rope holding him aloft and tumbled into the well’s black, fetid water 30-foot below.

Meanwhile, above, the party had not been idle. With a battle cray, Wrag hurled himself head-first into the well. Amazingly, the homicidal dwarf managed to catch the rope just above the vampire and avoid plummeting to a watery death. Thangrimm followed after his companion and Alice—now alerted to the near-suicidal brave of her companions—-cast feather fall on the dwarf to arrest his descent. Thangrimm floated down gently toward the vampire but as he got close Alice’s spell failed and he had to quickly grab the rope to stop himself falling.

A cramped, confused—and ultimately futile—fight broke out in the well. With so much food to choose from, the vampire transformed back into corporeal form and it was then the party discovered her amazing climbing abilities—abilities they could not match. Luckily, the vampire was so weak she could do little but paw at Wrag and Thangrimm ineffectively, but Thagrimm did end up falling into the water below—narrowly missing Orithur who was wisely hiding under the water. (Orithur would later declare he was searching for useful items the party were throwing into the well as by now a silver holy symbol and Wrag’s new cold iron waraxe has fallen, been dropped or been thrown into the water).

Frustrated he could not kill the vampire, Wrag again launched himself at the creature, and knocked both of them into the water at the bottom of the well.

By now, the vampire was badly injured and she quickly clambered out of the water—and out of the three dwarves’ reach. Returning to gaseous form she began to float back up the well shaft as the three brave dwarves tried to climb out of the water. Sadly, without a rope, the walls were too slippery for quick, easy progress.

Eventually, Orithur and Warg managed to gain a handhold on the wall and Thangrimm had drawn forth from his backpack a grapple hook and rope. Using these the dwarves slowly began to climb upwards. Meanwhile, at the top of the shaft a somewhat rejuvenated vampire emerged into the gloom of the night. Having finally realised the fallen tree must serve as the vampire’s coffin, several of the party began to hack at the massive trunk.

Still badly injured, the vampire floated away in gaseous form to continue her regeneration. She was not gone long.

A minute or so later, the three wet, bedraggled and injured dwarves emerged from the well and began to help their companions hacking at the tree. This development brought forth the vampire who tried to use her fell enchantments to entice several of the party away so she could feed on them.

Her attempts failed, and thus is seemed the final confrontation was drawing near…