Session Five (May 2, 2019)
After the zombie battle, Grend uses his Esoteric Medicine skills to first-aid the party. He is able to patch up and bandage them all but this only helps marginally. Gritting his teeth, he resigns himself to the Sacrifice – a prayer he knows that heals another by transferring their damage onto himself. He primarily works to stabilize Enok and succeeds in transferring some of Enok’s wounds onto himself.
The team reexamines the room: This 30’ by 30’ room boasts temple-like architecture, its vaulted ceiling soaring 15’ overhead – an impressive accomplishment for a secret room beneath a town! Three dangling lanterns light the area with daylight-strength Continual Light, blood-red in hue.
Near the south wall is a blood-red altar – the one that Enok touched and was cursed. Behind this altar is a hole blasted into the wall. On the east wall hangs a black curtain covering an arched opening. Peeking through they see a 6’ wide by 8’ tall passage that runs 60’ eastward. There are three exits in the north wall and three more in the south. All are sealed by stout doors except for the middle exit to the south which is an open archway. In the north wall of the room is the door from the magically-trapped hallway the heroes had to cross to get here. The west wall contains the 10’ by 30’ room that contained the horde of zombies.
The group decides to explore the hallway behind the curtain.
Grend takes one of the lanterns and Shae another. The group decides to leave the third hanging until they pass back through the room again on their way out.
As they enter the hallway, the light of the lanterns go from blood red to a more normal white light.
The group moves to the first door on the south wall of the corridor. This door is wooden, and covered in a thick grayish metallic paint. Pausing before this door, the group also looks at the door opposite on the north. That door is heavy iron, with no grates, windows or other openings. It appears to Drex to be designed to keep something /in/, not to keep the curious out. It, too, is covered in the same strange metallic paint.
They listen at the chosen southern door and check it for traps, and find nothing. Its locked, but Drex makes quick work of the lock and the door is opened.
Door Number One
The room itself is 15’ by 22’, with bookshelf-lined walls. A long table with two chairs per side occupies the middle; squeezing between this and the shelves is awkward. An oil lamp on the table can be lit to illuminate the room. In a conspicuous gap between shelves in the center of the south wall sits a lectern bearing an imposing black tome.
Grend, Shae, and Björn enter the room cautiously as the rest watch from the hallway. Grend leads; when he gets to the table in the center of the room, suddenly all the books on the shelves around the room begin shuddering and vibrating. The table and chairs begin to shake as well.
Finally, the books fly off the shelves, swoop through the room like paper and parchment bats, and pummel the three adventurers who are in the room. The table slides around and begins to block the door as the chairs join in the fray to hit the three. The three manage to dart to the door and leap over the table blocking it just before the table goes vertically up the wall to completely block the door.
Shaken, with only minor damage from the flying books, the party decides to push on to the last door on the south wall of the corridor, beyond the archway. As they pass they can see the archway leads to another 30’ of similar corridor ending in heavy double doors.
Door Number Two
The chosen door is also locked, which Drex opens after checking for traps. This door is nearly identical to the library’s door including the mysterious metallic paint, except with a better lock. The room is 15’ by 22’ and lit sickly green by an ominous cloud of vapor swirling in the center of the room. The area is strewn with upended furniture, while fragments of shattered glassware reflect the eerie glow.
There was obviously an explosion here! There may be salvage, however. The greenish cloud doesn’t seem to react to the group as they cautiously enter. They experiment with it a bit – throwing a rat doll
Grend has made from spider parts and webs into it to see if it reacts, or if it does something visible to the flesh. The cloud dissipates briefly, only to come back together, while the rat simulacrum is seemingly unaffected. Björn uses his shield as a fan on the cloud; it drifts away from the created draft a bit.
Emboldened, the party begins to search the room.
There are enough alchemical equipment and reagents available in the wreckage for Enok to put together the equivalent of a (cobbled together and bulky) backpack alchemist’s lab. Enok thinks he can make a few items from it and the party pauses while he works, eventually producing faerie ink and developer (for creating and revealing invisible messages), a glow vial, and a glue grenade.
Forget Opening Doors!
The party leaves the room and goes to the door across the hall. This is another iron door similar to the first one they looked at, and also has the metallic paint job. Enok casts an Earth Vision spell, which allows him to see through the rock wall of the hallway and look into the room beyond. He supplements this with a Night Vision spell so he can see better. He can dimly make out something that looks like a 10’ tall statue of a humanoid. While he watches, Shae knocks on the door to see if the figure reacts. It does not.
The group moves to the center door on the north wall, which is identical to the last. Enok (his spells are still active) looks through the wall and sees a similar statue to the previous room.
They move to the first door again, and Enok sees three human sized figures. These seem to be shifting their weight and other slight movements to reveal that they are animated, if not living, creatures.
A bit frustrated by these rooms – is everything in here a trap or a monster to fight? – the heroes decide to return to the temple area and go down the blasted tunnel that the Peshkali indicated contained Meryle.
The Last Gas(p)
As they move down the hall, a familiar cloud of green glowing gas zips past the rear of the group, and stops near the center. As it comes to a halt, expands to fill a 2 or 3 yard radius, engulfing Grend, Björn, and Enok. They begin to cough and choke as the poisonous cloud covers them.
Grend, Drex, and Findlay run. The rest of party stands for a second undecided on what to do. How do you fight a cloud? Enok thinks about his available spells and doesn’t see anything applicable, but he DOES know the rune Úr – which covers the domain of weather. Maybe a high powered wind spell could blow the cloud away? He improvises an Air Jet spell, draws the rune and pours the required energy into the rune. He successfully creates the spell on the fly! And then he fires the jet of compressed air into the menacing cloud. To his and everyone’s surprise, this doesn’t just blow the cloud down the hall – it seems to completely destroy it!
After the attack of the green gas cloud (a toxifier demon), the heroes take stock of their condition. Again, Enok has been injured – this time by the toxifier’s poison. Grend took some amount of damage as well. They are feeling pretty beat up and have a hard decision to make – push on and try to clear the dungeon while Meryle and any allies might be off-guard, or leave and come back, giving Meryle a chance to discover the damage done to his lair and prepare?
The group decides to go back to the blasted laboratory room and take a rest while they decide what to do. While resting, the group searches the room more thoroughly. Drex finds a small locked chest, which when opened reveals 4 vials, each marked with runes for healing.
The party discovers these to be potions of Major Healing, and they use these to heal some of their many wounds.
Refreshed somewhat (but not totally), they set off once more down the blasted passage. As they pass back through the temple area, the purloined lanterns’ light turns red again, only to return to white when they leave that room to enter to tunnel.
The hole in the wall behind the evil altar in the ritual chamber is the mouth of a 10’ wide tunnel that slopes gently downward to the south and then twists out of sight. Unlike the cellar and sewers, and the chambers excavated by Meryle’s gang of sorcerers, this isn’t the squared-off work of engineering or magic – it looks as though something blasted its way out of the ritual chamber. The exposed rock emits a lambent glow, constantly changing in color.
The party descends – 200 feet, 400 feet, 600 feet, eventually reaching 1000 feet. Up ahead they see the passage get wider as if opening up into a chamber. The glow is stronger from this direction. Findlay begins to play the Song of Echoes (“Hello, hello, hello? Is there anybody in there? Just nod if you can hear me, Is there anyone at home?”) to detect anything invisible or hidden.
As the song begins to echo down the passage, the party steps out into a roughly circular area about 30’ across. The ceiling is a dome that rises 15’ above the rocky floor. The weird glow is especially intense here. In the center of the chamber is what appears to be a man in a filthy robe that still bears visible occult markings. He appears to be dancing to the song Findlay is playing. His eyes and the inside of his mouth glow with the same weird light as the walls of the cave.
Instinctively, Björn fast-draws an arrow and sends it directly at the figure’s vitals. Casually, the figure waves a hand in the direction of the arrow’s flight and it vanishes in midair with a weirdly purple-black flash.
Drex seems to disappear as he steps into the chamber. Findlay shifts his lute nervously and thinks furiously about what song he should play. He decides on Song of Command, and begins to strum out the first few notes. Shae and Grend move to confront the figure directly, Shae weighing her battle axe in both hands while Grend readies his net. Enok moves laterally in the chamber seeking a clear line of fire.
The figure pauses, points at Shae, and an eldritch blast of the purple-black light flashed towards the cat-folk. Somehow, miraculously, Shae avoids the blast.
Björn lets loose another arrow, which the figure causes to vanish in mid-air! Shae swings the axe, and just as casually the figure pushes it aside with a wave of his hand and that purple-black flash. Findlay, playing Song of Command, realizes its not working. Grend throws the net, and it too vanishes with a flash. Enok continues to maneuver to find a clear shot for a Stroke of Lightning. The figure points at Grend and the weird bolt of light jumps from his finger towards the half-ogre. Grend tries desperately to avoid it, diving for the ground, but the bolt connects and burns a long scar across his torso.
Out of nowhere, Drex materializes directly behind the figure and stabs him in the back with a dagger. It hits, but just slides off the figure’s skin as if it was thick leather hide. Björn fires another arrow – this one strikes home and draws blood! Shae tries again to connect with her two-handed axe, but the figure again parries the attack with its eldritch energy. Findlay plays Song of Humiliation with the hope of mentally stunning it. Grend gets to his knees from where he dove to the ground. The figure, apparently enraged at Björn’s ability to harm it, fires an intense bolt of energy at him, striking with such force that Björn falls, stunned, to the floor.
Drex tries to melt back into the shadows, hoping to avoid the notice of the figure. Björn struggles to clear his head, unsuccessfully. Shae, determined to cleave the figure in twain, delivers a mighty blow, which finally connects with such force, that the figure is thrown back 10’ and falls near where Drex is hiding! Findlay continues to try to stun the figure with his taunting song. Enok fires a bolt of lightning which the figure tries unsuccessfully to parry with his eldritch blast. Even though hit so hard it flew back ten feet, it is clearly still conscious and trying to get to its feet. It manages to get to its knees.
With a burst of inspiration, Drex steps up to the figure and delivers a stab at one of its eyes. He connects! And the dagger destroys the eye, extinguishing its weird lambant glow. The creature reels in pain. Björn manages to clear his head and struggles to his knees. Findlay continues, unsuccessfully, to stun the figure with Song of Humiliation. Shae runs up and pulls off the “Cody Banks” attack; she leaps into the air and as she falls brings down her axe in a flurry of blows so fast it is hard to follow. She connects three times! The damage on the figure is CATastrophic (“cat” – get it?) and the figure disintegrates into dust along with a final burst of the eldritch purple-black energy.
The figure’s clothing remains in a crumpled heap. Searching through it, the party finds a silver necklace and medallion in the shape of a snake’s fang, and a gold signet ring.