Chapter 16: On Fire

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Session Number: 216
Date: Sunday 31 August 2014
Venue: Densial's
PCs & Players:

Breg Rog3/Clr10 (Fergus) (kills: none)
Calico Drd13 (Yeran) (kills: none)
Lionel Rgr6/Wiz1/ArcA6 (Ash) (kills: none)
Rowaine Pal13 (Craig) (kills: none)
Troll Wiz13 (Densial) (kills: none)
Violet Drd13 (Tammi) (kills: none)

XP Awarded: TBA

The party is at the T-intersection. No one knows which way is north. Lionel pushes on the bricks within the outline of the archway on the wall behind; they don't move.

"Come on lads, let's go!" Violet says.

Breg inhales deeply. There cannot be much fresh air entering this place, for the smell to be so pungent. It is familiar… Aromatic. Volatile. His eyes widen. "Troll, I think this black sludge may be flammable," he says pointedly. "I'm not sure it'd be a good idea to ignite it." He then moves into the corridor. There is a 'click' as a section of floor settles under his weight. Breg freezes. Nothing seems to happen as a result. "Bugger."

Breg checks the floor around him. The pressure plate spans the corridor's 10 foot width, and is 5 feet long. It now sits a quarter inch below the rest of the floor.

Lionel checks the wing to the right, looking for hidden passageways. He finds none, but spies a word written on the floor in a language he does not recognise.

"Anyone know what this says?" he asks.

"I don't know the word, but I know the character set," Troll says. "That's infernal."

Violet floats towards the arched ceiling, avoiding the cobwebs hanging there. They seem to be created by normal-sized spiders. The walls are crudely worked and fractured. She does not see anything noticeably dangerous.

Breg concludes that the area of floor ahead of him is safe, and steps off the pressure plate gingerly. It stays depressed. Ahead, the floor stonework is a little irregular. The floor flagstones follow their usual pattern, except for a foot-wide area beside the right-hand wall that runs for 10 feet. He is immediately suspicious of the remainder of the adjacent floor.


Breg confirms his suspicion: the majority of the floor before him is a deadfall, the exception being the foot-wide strip on the right which seems solid enough, albeit difficult to negotiate because of its narrowness and proximity to the wall.

Breg knocks in a piton into the wall beside the ledge, uses it to stabilise himself and repeats the procedure. Four pitons later, he has successfully traversed the gap. Rowaine makes the crossing; Violet floats behind on her carpet. Breg cautions the others to wait until he has checked the floor on the far side of the ledge.

Rowaine peers down the corridor. "I don't sense any evil."

"Well that's good," Breg says, then resumes searching the floor ahead. The sludge continues to drip from the ceiling and run down the walls, pooling on the floor ahead. He dips the end of a piton into the sludge. It is dark, not that deep, a little more viscous than lamp oil, and doesn't seem to be damaging the piton.

"I don't really want to step in this stuff," he says to the others.

"Burn it," Calico suggests.

"I'm just not sure how much air that'd leave."

Calico moves forwards and determines that the sludge is nonmagical. Breg casts Resist Energy on himself, keyed to fire.

"Troll, do you have another of those Discs?" asks Breg.


"Why don't we hop on one of those and have a look at this statue?"

"You don't want to touch the floor?"

"Not particularly."

"The problem is I would have to go down there as well. And I quite like where I am at the moment."

"Alright, I have another way." Breg casts Fly upon himself.

"Just to confirm or rule out the possibility," Calico says, "could we get some of the sludge, take it around the corner and get Troll to blast it?"

"If it's not flammable," Lionel muses, "then we can shoot the statue from here."

"And if it is flammable, then we know that being on Discs isn't going to help if it all lights on fire."

"Sure," Troll says, "but it wouldn't matter whether it was oil or mud: there'd be nothing left afterwards."

"You can have this piton," Breg says.

"Here," Rowaine says. "Borrow my tinderbox. And use this, not the piton." She takes a strip of cloth from her backpack, tears some off it and soaks it in the sludge. She then tosses it and the tinderbox across to Calico, who takes it back around a corner. Sparks from the tinderbox catch immediately and the rag bursts into flames.

"It's definitely flammable," Calico confirms.

"We could bottle this and sell it, right?" Troll muses.

Rowaine covers the statue with her bow as Breg flies over the sludge towards the statue, stopping about 15 feet away. The cloying stink of overly sweet perfume is very strong. The statue appears to be a very crude depiction of the devil lich herself, fashioned with sharp angles and exaggerated features. The light gleaming from the shard makes it more apparent that the end of the hallway is in poor repair. Small patches of mildew and mould cling to the puddles collecting in the gaps between floor tiles. The tiles are uneven and many are cracked. The ceiling sags slightly with more cracks tracing their way from the ceiling to the floor along the roughly hewn walls.

"There's magic on both the statue and the shard," Breg says. "No surprises there. Troll, I'm going to try and take the shard of metal. I think this might wake the guardian. If it does, light the bastard up."

"I don't think that's a good idea," Violet says.

"I do," Lionel says.

"What if it sucks all the air out of the hallway?"

Breg floats forwards. The statue stands up. Its shoulders and the shard in its hand scrape against the walls, causing showers of sparks. Booom! The sludge ignites and half the hallway explodes into a hellish conflagration. Breg evades the blast. Smoke from the tremendous pressure differential fills the rest of the hallway. The sludge on the floor burns brightly.

Violet 21
Rowaine 19
Statue 18
Breg 17
Calico 16
Troll 12
Lionel 7

Violet moves to the threshold of the flames and casts Create Water, dousing an area of floor in a line towards Breg, damping down the flames but not extinguishing them.

"Breg, can you make it back?" she asks.

"I think I can," Breg replies.

Rowaine drops to one knee and fires three arrows at the statue. One glances off its shoulder, taking a chip of stone away with it. It raises its fists and slams Breg: AC23 hits for 21 damage, AC27 hits for 20 damage. Breg flies back 8 squares, incurring an AoO. AC40 hits for a further 23 damage.

"That thing hits like the side of a mountain!" he cries, then casts Recitation.

"Did you get the shard?" Troll asks.


"You only had one damn job! That's all you had to do!"

Calico considers casting a spell to increase wind strength, but is not absolutely sure how that would manifest in this confined area. It could potentially fan the fire, spreading it throughout the hallway. He thinks better of it and Creates more water, dousing the flames closest to the party. Troll casts Acid Fog, filling the end forty feet of the hall with caustic fog. The creature is swallowed up in the fog and fades from view. He then backs up. Lionel stays at the T-intersection.

Violet floats closer to the flames and fog and casts Dance of the Unicorn. The ensuing damp mist clears the smoke, making breathing and vision easier, but does not remove Troll's fog. Rowaine stows her bow and readies her axe.

"Take your time," Troll says. "No hurry. It'll take some time for the statue to get here."

Somewhere from within the fog come the sound of heavy footfalls. Breg Cures himself 27 hp. Calico readies a spell if he has a clear shot. Troll and Lionel wait.

Violet uses her Cure wand on Breg, healing 34 damage. Rowaine stands ready. Suddenly there is a rumbling from above and the ceiling gives way; a deluge of rocks, stonework and rubble rain down upon the T-intersection and half the hallway, filling it close to waist height. Troll, Calico and Lionel are in its path, but Lionel half-dances up the wall and avoids injury. Not so Troll and Calico (52 46 damage); Troll disappears under tons of rock. Breg senses Troll's physical condition and location by way of his Status spell; he flies over to where Troll lies and starts moving boulders. He reveals part of Troll's battered chest. Calico fares better. He sees Troll, moves over to him and casts Greater Vigor (4hp/round for 23 rounds). Troll's crush wounds stabilise. Lionel looks behind him. Two or three very large slabs of rock totally block the end wall where the archway is. He waits.

Violet somersaults off her carpet next to Troll and taps him with her Cure Critical Wounds wand, healing him for 25 hit points. Troll's eyes flutter open, then harden. "Fucker's gonna pay for that."

"Is the situation under control back there?" Rowaine asks.

"Troll's OK," Breg answers.

Ro readies her axe. She hears the thump… thump… thump of heavy footsteps. Breg keeps removing rocks off Troll; he is almost free. Calico turns into a blink dog, Blinks to the fire threshold and readies a spell. Troll Dimension Jaunts upright and the rock that was on top of him clunks to the floor. Lionel readies an arrow should he get a clear shot.

Violet hovers behind and above the front rank and readies a spell. Rowaine stands guard. Thump… Thump… Thump… Breg casts Bless Allies.

"Do you want me to hold it in there?" Troll asks. "With a Wall of Iron?"

"If it keeps bringing down the roof, it might not be a good idea," Breg answers. "It might be better to let it come out and kill it."

"If it stays in the fog, it'll take a whole bunch of damage. Assuming of course that the acid is damaging it."

"True. We haven't seen."

"But we'll know before it comes out of the fog."

"I think we may need to get the thing in its hands."

"Yeah, but we just leave it there for the fog's duration and then I'll just remove the wall. With more acid."

Breg nods. Calico readies a spell. Troll casts Stoneskin on himself. Lionel keeps his bow trained on the fog.

Violet and Rowaine keep their offensive actions at the ready. Boom. Boom. Boom. The creature's outline appears in the fog. It appears etched and pock-marked from the cloying acid, but it still marches on. Violet casts Crumble. She expects to see the stone deteriorate before her eyes, but the statue remains unaffected. As it moves forwards its shoulders scrape against the sides of the hallway, leaving arcs of sparks. Calico casts Vortex of Teeth: dozens of piranhas made of pure force appear and disappear as they circle throughout the fog. Troll conjures a Wall of Iron, three inches thick, that seals off the corridor and traps the statue behind it in the lethal fog.

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