Further exploration lead them into a long room with octagonal burial alcoves along the walls. They were filled with broken bones. Near the eastern wall was a stone statue, chipped and broken.
The pirates stationed Bargle to keep watch near the entrance, while the torch-bearers provided light for the rest to search the alcoves.
Bargle’s screams disrupted their search. He was cut down by skeletons that moved silently into the chamber. They bore shields and carried swords. When they raised their weapons and advanced a gem embedded in their foreheads glowed a deep blue.
With Bargle dead their previous strategy of filtering adversaries through a doorway was shot to hell.
Kay: I have Hengest. He can turn them.
Hengest held up his holy symbol, but the powers of chaos in this place were draining. The skeletons did not halt their advance. Hengest was cut down, before he could cry out to the god that failed him.
Baz: We’re dead.
Sea Axe: Let’s go down fighting.
The weapons of the undead clashed against the weapons of the living. Bones cracked on both sides. It seemed the tide was turning, but in who’s favor?
Tess: Only two left.
Kay: Are the gems in their foreheads worth anything?
As the rest of the party battled the two remaining skeletons, Krisella approached one of the fallen bone warriors. There was movement to her left. She looked over. One of the skulls was watching her. Its sapphire gem lit up and it began to click and clack back together with its other bone parts.
Sue: You’re kidding.
Baz: Now we’re dead.
The girls decided to run, but based on their position we determined that the Sapphire Skeletons would get a chance to strike at them. Three strikes, per character. They were extremely low on hitpoints already, but this was their best shot.
Krisella: It’s the gems! It’s what keeping them alive!
I neither confirmed nor denied this.
Krisella: I’m digging out the gem from the skull in front of me.
DM: You’re not running?
Krisella: No. I’m digging out the gem. I shout and call attention to myself, so the others can get away.
Tess and Sue didn’t say anything. They wanted to live.
DM: Kay, your distraction will have all strikes meant for those running directed at you.
Krisella: Yep. I’m still going for the gem.
DM: The odds are against you on this.
Krisella: There is always a chance.
My first roll for the Sapphire Skeletons was a natural 20.
Krisella was dead before she could even touch the gem. The others were able to escape as the Sapphire Skeletons hacked and cut the halfling thief apart. The halfling’s dying gaze focused on the gem embedded in the forehead of the skull, before the last Sapphire Skeleton drove its sword into her eye.
DM: Odd. You saved them. It’s usually the other way around.
Kay: Meh, I thought the gems would be worth something.
Sue: You didn’t have to roll the rest of those strikes.
DM: I wanted to see what I would get.