The Reavers – Chaos Gargoyle

The Company from Kerr is the name the Eric and Patrick’s AD&D characters was called in the land of Shahrivar. Originally the group was Jake, David, Bisonbit, and the dwarven cleric Gilden. Later they were joined by David’s henchman Sam.

After being killed one time too many, Sam retired before death became permanent. In his place David hired the druid Faraz, and Jake hired the monk Trilla. In the Giant Temple of Tharizdun they were joined by the oni noble Renki, and in the Hall of the Clerics of Tharizdun they were temporarily joined by the halfling wizard Orcanus.

This line up was immortalized by goblinoid mothers, who for the next dozen centuries threatened their children that The Reavers, as the Company was known among the goblinoids, would come and take them.

Later the Company was expanded by the addition of the dwarven rangers Lennart, Fredrick, Hakan, Mikkel, and Rolf. The cleric Racine joined them for a few adventures, as did Jake’s wife, the oni noble Ayazuna, and her father Junichi (who is Renki’s elder brother and eventually clan chief).

This is a MUCH-abbreviated telling of the Company’s initial encounter with the Chaos Gargoyle and its destruction. This took place in The Giant Temple of Tharizdun.



The group of seven moved slowly and carefully through the rough-hewn tunnel. Deep beneath the Hall of the Clerics of Tharizdun, they had defeated frost giant and human clerics, not easily but without casualties. They had an air of earned confidence that gave them strength. But the air here was different. Something felt wrong.

Ahead bright light appeared, as the tunnel opened into some type of cavern. Moving cautiously forward they saw the huge cavern’s floor was dished so the center was about ten feet below the entrance, while the ceiling above that center was a whopping seventy feet above. Niches lined the walls, probably forty of them – each containing a statue identical to the ones that lined the ledges in the above levels. The hall above contained hundreds of these statues, winged humanoid figures about four feet tall. They looked benign but everyone was suspicious.

Near the center of the room crouched a humanoid statue about six feet tall, vaguely human looking, wearing a sweeping cloak. Surrounding the statue were three frost giants and a dozen men. One of the giants chanted from a scroll in harsh tones, a language unknown to the party. The figures around the statue focused intently on it and did not notice the party. David and Renki, the ogre mage, quietly invoked spells. David’s Fireball hit the figures, instantly burning the scroll to ashes, and a few seconds later Renki’s Lightning Bolt followed.

Several of the evil clerics slapped the stone floor in a roll of death. The druid Faraz’s sling stone missed its target, but Jake’s crossbow bolt struck the giant who had been holding the scroll, piercing his arm in a spray of blood that splashed across the statue. For a few seconds nothing happened, then the statue glowed with an inner, greenish light. Inexplicably the surviving clerics ignored their attackers, ignored their dead brethren, turning their attention totally to the statue. It visibly changed, converting from stone to some type of pseudo-flesh.

Straightening from its crouch, its cloak divided and became wings. The bland humanoid face morphed beyond anyone’s worst nightmare and the hands became clawed caricatures.

It launched itself at the frost giant who had been reading the scroll, biting and tearing. As the stunned onlookers stood frozen, it tore the giant to bloody chunks. Standing erect it glowed again. In response each of the statues in the amphitheater glowed and animated into smaller versions of the chaos gargoyle.

Creatures of Elemental Chaos that had not been seen since before the beginning of known history again strode into the world.

The lesser chaos gargoyles took flight, coalescing into four arrow-shaped groups, swirling around the huge room. Faster and faster they flew, tightening the circle with each revolution. Striking like lightning they poured over the remaining frost giants and humans in the room. The screams were shrill but thankfully brief.

The party watched the carnage in shocked silence. David snapped out of it first, commanding, “Time to leave!” The party moved quickly back to where the passages to the northeast and southwest met the main tunnel.

They heard a strange creaking coming quickly from behind them. Bisonbit the cleric stopped, pulled a wand from his belt, and spoke a short phrase from a long dead language. A “V” of lesser gargoyles was nearly upon them when a violent ice storm coalesced into being, filling the tunnel in front of him. The bitter cold and particles killed some or slammed them into the wall or floor. As each died it burst into powdered rock.

But the survivors came through the storm as if it weren’t there. The gargoyles swarmed over the party, eager for mortal blood. The first chose Trilla and dove at her with razor-sharp claws and teeth. She warded off its first attack, then Jake hacked the chaos gargoyle in half with a single blow. It exploded into dust which momentarily blinded everyone.

Ugly and vicious, these monsters of Chaos would easily butcher and shred unarmed, weakened, or surprised victims like the frost giant and human clerics. Against prepared, experienced soldiers their danger was lessened but still quite real. The party killed the last of the gargoyles while, thankfully, suffering only minor injuries. Dust from destroyed gargoyles hung in the air, limiting vision, although the humans, dwarf, and ogre mage were harder to see as they were coated head to toe in dust.

As the last burst into powder Faraz turned to look down the tunnel and yelled out a warning. More were coming.

Fourteen more gargoyles arrowed out of the corridor, much bigger ones than the party had already faced, but smaller than the great one – which had not shown itself during this battle. Faraz cringed mentally. He had thought the other gargoyles were dangerous enough, but these new ones? Without consciously thinking about it he tagged them medium, large, and extra-large.

The two extra-large probably stood taller than Faraz, topping six and a half feet. These did not attack with the mindless ferocity of the small ones who went for the nearest target – these appeared to understand the level of danger and targeted David and Jake. The druid gave a mental sigh of relief that neither of these monstrosities considered him a great enough danger to warrant their attention.

Two mediums followed their larger brethren in attacking David and Jake. A large and two mediums slashed at Renki’s wooden armor but the enchanted wood was up to the task. The remainder divided themselves amongst the other mortals. Faraz found himself frantically defending against two of the mediums. He had displayed courage during years of fighting goblinoids, but these creations from Before Time were too much. He felt his control slipping into the grip of fear.

Mastering himself, the druid fought on, claws raking his armor and sometimes his flesh. Ignoring the pain he fought, knowing that when he stopped fighting he would die. As each gargoyle was destroyed it exploded in a burst of rock dust, obscuring the area and making the fight even deadlier.

As the battle wound down the great one flashed overhead, flying hard beyond the fight. David yelled, “After it!” and all tiredly pounded after it. Running up stair after stair to the surface, the party struggled with exhaustion, blood dripping from wounds. After an eternity they reached the first level below the main temple. They knew they were running towards an inferno – all of the hundreds of statues on the shelves high above the floor were gone, most probably animated by the beast of Elemental Chaos.

Partway up the stairway to the next level everyone could hear the sounds of combat, including strangled screams of agony from mortal throats. It didn’t sound as if things were going well for the clerics of Tharizdun.

At the top they peered around a corner. Across a forty-foot-wide hallway was the huge main temple room, filled with humans, giants, and gargoyles all locked in combat.

The scene in the worship room was a sight to fill the heart of a god of Chaos with joy. Pandemonium filled the room, masses of gargoyles attacking the human and frost giant clerics of the Chaos God. Rock dust filled the air, making vision to the other side of the huge worship room unclear. At least half of the mortals had fallen and things looked grim for the survivors. A giant smashed an extra-large gargoyle to dust.

The Chaos Gargoyle, off to the side watching the battle with obvious glee, immediately snatched a small one from the air. The great creature glowed again like it had when it first animated, and its captive started glowing as well, and after a few seconds expanded and grew. Within thirty seconds it had grown to the size of an extra-large gargoyle, and wriggled free to attack a nearby human, messily shredding the hapless victim.

Bisonbit exclaimed, “We must get the Big Bad Ugly One! It must be the key!” Renki agreed, “I have a Fireball remaining,” and she invoked the spell, the red bead flashing across the distance from her fingertips to the gargoyle, exploding just in front of it. Humans and frost giants shrieked in agony, and many of the small gargoyles burned to dust. The Chaos Gargoyle shrugged off the fire.

David invoked Magic Missiles which flashed into the creature. Bisonbit and Gilden completed their spells within seconds of each other, one Flame Strike flashing down to immolate the area followed by the second. Within that area stood only the greater gargoyle, the unnatural beast burned by the second strike.

“CIELDREN!!!” Jake screamed as he threw his sword, which transformed into the Hammer of Cieldren. As his spirit flew instantly across the distance with the hammer, Jake girded himself for the strike. The greater gargoyle turned to him – it perceived him. But that perception gained it nothing as he swung the hammer into its chest, the best and most powerful strike he had ever made.

Jake blinked and was back in his body, just in time to catch the sword as it flew back to his ready grasp. The greater chaos gargoyle transformed back into a statue and fell to the floor with a crash. All the lesser gargoyles turned back into statues and fell. Those that fell from any height shattered on the floor, rock powder filling the air. Everyone was unable to see for several minutes.

“What are we going to do with THAT,” Faraz asked, pointing to the statue of the greater gargoyle. The others nodded, they would not leave it for others to find and animate again.

Jake drew his sword and hacked at it, breaking off a tiny chip. A moment later the hole filled miraculously and the statue was whole again. Circling the statue, the party discovered that non-magical weapons had no effect upon it, and only powerful ones would damage the statue. But the effects healed quickly. Strikes upon the lesser gargoyle statues were different – they shattered like the stone they were. But there were many dozens of them strewn across this level; destroying them all might take days.

“I wonder what would happen if we dropped the statue into the ravine that surrounds this temple?” Jake wondered.

“I don’t know, but it can’t hurt US,” David quipped.

“Might not be enough to damage it,” Bisonbit ventured.

“OK.” Dropping his pack Jake rummaged through it and extracted a potion bottle. Removing the top he downed it. After a minute he smiled and picked up the statue, which was almost too much even for his great strength and flew down the hallway and up the stairway to the top level of the temple.

Trilla looked at David, who shrugged his shoulders and said, “Flight Potion.” He wrinkled his nose and added, “Let’s follow him.”

Jake did not fly fast, so the others caught up to him as he reached the surface.

“Get out of the way!,” he called as he flew straight up.

The others crossed the bridge over the ravine as Jake flew upward. Flying with the heavy statue was slow and minutes passed as Jake and the statue shrank to a pinpoint in the sky. Then the pinpoint started growing larger and after a few seconds the watchers perceived the statue falling. It struck the roof of the temple with a tremendous crash, collapsing the roof. The greater gargoyle exploded into a cloud of rock dust forty feet high.

For a few moments the cloud formed the outline of the gargoyle and then scattered with the light breeze that blew across the remains of the temple. Checking the ruins, the party discovered the top level was flattened, but the stairway down was mostly clear and the collapse had been limited to the top structure. Venturing down the party discovered that things had been shaken but not badly damaged.

However, each lesser gargoyle statue had shattered at the moment the greater one did, filling the level with rock dust. They had to wait hours before the dust settled enough to venture down.

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