Chapter 07: Down and Out

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Session Number: 60
Date: Sunday 25 July 2010
Venue: Fergus'
PCs & Players:

Arrian Rog1/Clr7 (Fergus) (kills: none)
Emily Ftr3/Rog5 (Tammi) (kills: none)
Feren Rog8 (Yeran) (kills: none)
Rowaine Pal8 (Craig) (kills: none)
Troll Wiz8 (Densial) (kills: none)

XP Awarded: TBC

It is nearing mid-afternoon. The party take stock and figure they need to rest up before continuing. Where? This cavern with the waterfall-covered entrance is relatively dropping-free; it seems the shocker lizards don't venture this far south. Troll uses the Pigments to draw ten sunrods. While Troll is occupied, Arrian heals Rowaine and Emily as best he can. Rowaine stows five of the completed sunrods and lights one. The other four are distributed to Shalélu, Feren, Emily and Arrian. Rowaine makes an offhand remark about Troll's backpack, sparking interest in deploying it somewhere in the area. In the keep itself? The subterranean caverns? The woods nearby? After much debate the party head north to the ravine, hoping to find a suitable location.

The alchemical light from Rowaine's sunrod reflects off thousands of crystalline facets embedded in the ravine's walls. The near-sheer drop is spanned by a 25 foot long bridge. The ravine narrows at the bottom, some fifty feet below. Troll notes that the sparkling crystals uniformly cover the ravine walls, except for an odd patch at the bottom. Arrian peers into the chasm. The sunrod light glints randomly off the crystals, but seems more coherent down below. Emily telepathically asks Blink to have a look. He flutters down. Emily can barely see him alighting on something in the dark. "Oooh, rotten food down here," Blink's voice echoes in Emily's head.

Feren appraises the walls; it looks like a difficult climb. Troll asks the rogues to check the bridge. The area is damp and the moss-caked boards of the timber structure have seen better days. Troll beckons Rowaine close as he stoops, drawing dozens of spirals on the cavern floor with the Pigments. "Rowaine, we're near a cemetery. I'm worried that the ogres have found it, pulled out the bodies and dumped them down here. If they know about this place, it's not a good choice for a portal." His magical swirls take on a third dimension and become coils of rope. "People," he asks, "where is the best place to let down a rope?"

Arrian inspects the bridge, judging that it would be worryingly easy to collapse - he wouldn't dare walk to the middle and jump. Troll hands the rope to Emily and Harley ferries her and Jakardros to the other side. Harley returns and takes Rowaine and Arrian to the bottom of the ravine while the others keep watch. There is pooled water at the ravine's base and the air smells dank. The pair see a small, leather-armoured body lying face-down in the wet debris, badly decomposed. Arrian carefully inspects, figuring the creature was a male halfling. Its backpack lies half-off the figure, one of its straps torn away. Inside are shards of pottery from a broken flask, a small rock pick, hammers, chisels and two large rubies wrapped in cloth. A short sword is sheathed in the halfling's scabbard. Arrian is not certain how long the body has lain here, but he is fairly sure that it is more than a month. He collects the belongings that aren't decayed and all return to the ledge above. Arrian reports their findings. "Why have you not been mining the gems down here?" he asks Jakardros. "We considered them worthless," Jakardros replies. "They are not sacred to the Black Arrows?" "No, not at all."

Satisfied that the ogres have not yet found this area, the party plan where to deploy Troll's portal. Harley and Rowaine station themselves at the southern end of the ravine, meaning to slowly cross and collapse the bridge should something happen. The others guard the northern passageway while Troll deploys the portal on the east wall. Two hours later the humming ceases, the portal blinks twice then disappears. Troll summons it and the party step through into Elondel.

"Why, hello," says Elondel as he appears. It is very good to see you all." Arrian asks Elondel what defensive capabilities the new portal has. Elondel explains that he can project the anti-arachtria aura through the portal and can fashion illusions around it, but not much more than that.

We consider the idea that each tower's entity has their own personality and forté: while Elondel might have a flair for illusion, Abbey (and any others) may have very different signature abilities.

Arrian asks Elondel for an imithrium longsword. Elondel smiles, pops out of existence momentarily then returns bearing the requested weapon. "Would you like some armour as well, sir? Breastplate, is it?" "Yes please," replies Arrian. "Very well. I'm afraid that armour is somewhat more bespoke than a sword, it will take 24 hrs to create. I see some of you are hurt, would you like to be healed?" At Troll's confirmation Elondel heals their wounds.

Elondel can heal any physical harm, i.e. hit point damage and ability damage to Strength, Dexterity and Constitution. He cannot restore ability damage to Intelligence, Wisdom or Charisma.

Harley finds a corner, circles then sits down, resting her head on her front paws. Her eyes remain open. "Shall I prepare a banquet?" Elondel asks. "Yes," replies Troll, "food would be good."

"May I have a bath?" asks Emily. "Of course, lady," Elondel says. "Guest quarters are prepared upstairs." Elondel catches Troll's eye then discreetly flicks a questioning glance towards Feren. Troll surreptitiously shakes his head. Elondel turns to Feren. "Can I interest you in a beverage, sir? Perhaps a glass of fine elven wine, or herbal tea?"

Emily asks Elondel about Blink. "Ah, yes, the pseudodragon. He's getting bigger, isn't he? Still very young… A lovely beast. Would you like him fed?" "Yes please," Emily replies. Elondel closes his eyes. "Food is prepared in your personal chamber. Blink seems happy. Take good care of him, he will likely outlive you."

Arrian says he has business at the monastery. Troll, Rowaine, Jakardros and Vale accompany him. Emily heads upstairs for her bath while Feren stays with Elondel.

The rangers look wide-eyed at the chamber they appear in. The troop head upstairs and seek out Sir Veketh. Rowaine introduces Jakardros and Vale.

"Come and have ale, it is great to see you all," the patriarch says at their arrival. "What news?" Troll explains that Fort Rannick has fallen to ogres, and describes their encounter with Lucrecia. Sir Veketh's eyebrows rise.

"I've heard legends of things such as these, never had the pleasure of meeting one myself, but it sounds like a creature of antiquity called a lamia. A lamia matriarch, I'd say. I know of two varieties of lamia: the more common take the form of a stag or deer, whereas the matriarchs take on serpentine forms. They all delight in pain and chaos."

"So we were right to kill her?" asks Troll.

"Yes, you have served our land well. Has there been any word of Enok?"

"No," says Troll. "Our guess is that he is either dead, or somewhere in the keep. We suspect the ogres are trying to breach the dam above Turtleback Ferry, which will flood the city and probably kill a bunch of people."

"One ogre nearly killed us all," adds Arrian.

"We were badly hurt," continues Troll, "especially Rowaine." The paladin continues to look stoically at her mentor. "So," continues Troll, "we returned to rest up a little, and replenish spells and supplies. We want to find out what other evil might be in the keep before heading to the dam." Troll hands Lucrecia's letter to Sir Veketh. "What do you think, sir?"

"It sounds like many lives are at risk," Sir Veketh says after a measured pause.

I am in no way unclear as to what we should do," says Arrian. "We need to save the city."

"I don't think we can," says Troll, "but I'm willing to try. So, we are going to back and save the town, then return to clear the keep. What do the rangers think?"

"Save Turtleback Ferry," Jakardros says flatly. "That's what we were always in the business of doing, keeping the area safe. Maybe someone might need to keep watch on the ogres if you are going to be away for any length of time."

"I wonder if any ogres remain," Arrian adds.

"It might be clearer than we think," says Troll. "The ogres might be at the dam."

Back at the tower, Feren asks Elondel about the history of the tower and the arachtria.

"I'm afraid I'm not at liberty to say," replies Elondel. "More tea?"

The others return to the tower and have dinner together. Troll checks with Feren and Emily about his proposed plan. All then retire for the night.

The following morning, Elondel interrupts breakfast. "Excuse me sir, I appear to be receiving a summons from the monastery portal. The individual says his name is Adrak." Rowaine, Troll and Arrian transport to the chamber under Moradin's temple. The monastery's high priest is there.

"Moradin's blessing upon you! I have been preparing these. I figure you could put them to better use than we." He hands Rowaine four potion bottles.

Four potions of Cure Moderate Wounds.

Rowaine thanks Adrak and they depart. Troll prepares spells and then Identifies Lucrecia's rapier, wand and necklace, and the halfling's sword.

  • +1 keen rapier (Feren)
  • Wand of Scorching Ray, 22 charges (Troll)
  • Necklace grants +1 resistance bonus on all saves, can cast False Life as a free action once per day (Emily)
  • +1 silver short sword (Jakardros)

Arrian asks about the group's next steps. "Didn't we decide to go to the dam?" Troll asks. "We do need to go to the dam," Arrian replies, "but it may not necessarily mean we can't see what's going on at the keep first…"

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