Well, that was close. Lucius had a great idea, stuffing that rug under the door. Hopefully that’ll hold those nasty roaches back. I’d need a million arrows to pick them all off. Looks like Lath is wrapping up with another powder keg trap, though he is awfully giddy. Probably safe to look at the rest of this abandoned lodge now without too much risk of blowing us up, wonder what’s upstairs…?
SMACK What the?! Did Renli just reach up and give Lath a whack? Looks like it, he’s rubbing his cheek while he looks over the door. I think a smug grin just passed on Renli’s face too, but he’s all business right now. Meanwhile Aldrick is focusing in the other direction, seemingly looking through the wall. Must be using some of his powers.
You know, the dynamic of this group I joined is quite interesting. Clearly forced to work together to eliminate the common foe, you can’t help but wonder if they’d be together under any other circumstance. Yet their discordant union seems to work. This city must be freed of the hold placed upon it. I joined in because I thought they’d lead to good adventure, but I had no idea…
What’s that, must have been used to destroy the plaza, the treachery, the infiltration? Wow Lathander hurried in there, something got him excited again, Renli’s slap didn’t last long. Oh there’s the smell, more black powder – explosion: back on the table. He needs to calm down or he’ll blow us all up. “Be cautious Lathander” Lucius bellows forcefully – a wise suggestion. Renli is headed to check out the far room, must not be much else in the bigger room. Looks like the upstairs hasn’t been used in a while…
Hmm, some magic in the middle room? Guess I’ll have a look for myself, but what in the Worldwound is Lucius bellowing about now? Bah, no bother, I don’t see anything of note other than what looks like chemical apparatus. Aldrick said it was in this corner, so it has to be in the dresser. Not there, nope… where would I hide something… AHA! A false bottom! Now where’s that lever… and what the Nine Hells is all that racket? Sounds like they’re trashing the place in there… hope they don’t blow us up…
Found it! And what’s this? A nice satchel filled with all kinds of useful things. Some books, manacles, a ring, some potions, scrolls, wands, gold. Yeah think I’ll stash this for a few minutes while we keep looking around, Aldrick’s gonna need to look at it when we have a spare moment. Looks like a woman used to call this home, but she hasn’t been around for a while. Not much else in here, wonder what’s in the third room… think I’ll have a look.
So yeah, this dynamic, well, how’s this for not-working-well together but still getting the job done…?
I hear it first, the roar of the wind, and peering in see two swirling vortices with Lucius standing square inside one. Lathander is up on a stage of some sort and Aldrick is just inside the doorway, reciting some incantation and it seems like he’s asking the vortex to serve him… But a split second later Lucius dispatches one, briefly revealing a small creature at it’s center. Everything the vortex had picked up crashes to the ground… So that was the sound from earlier! Lucius quickly steps inside the other vortex. Next thing I know Lath throws a vial in… doesn’t he know wind isn’t kind to small flying objects?… and the vortex snatches it up, bringing it around right into Lucius’ face. I can hardly contain myself, and since my arrows are worthless, I figure I’ll check out the last room before I burst out laughing.
But there is nothing of note, other than some odd symbols I don’t recognize. The sound has stopped from across the hall so I might as well regroup with them. As I stand in the doorway I can really see the room now, looks like an old theater converted into a chemical lab. Black powder dust is everywhere and shattered glass litters the floor. Only the rear table speaks to the use of this room, mostly still set-up for the creation of black powder. Crates of supplies litter the corner, and Lathander is trying to close some up with a shiny new case at his side, wonder where he got that? Aldrick and Lucius are in another corner looking at more crates…
CLICK! A door… closing! I whirl to my right and look down the hall to see a robed figure in front of the double-doors at the far end of the hall. She – it seems like a she – is backlit by the outside light of the open door we entered through, though I can’t quite make out any features. “Did Jorsal send you?” she asks, yep definitely female. “Did Jorsal send YOU?!” …or maybe not, whats with that voice? Umm.. gotta stall here, not quite sure.. not working, she’s getting angry now, shit don’t have my bow out… A thief? No I’m not a thief (not really, but I did just take a nice looking satchel full of goodies)… Leave, well, um… damn are those claws?
“No we are not reinforcements” thank you Cayden, stalled just long enough… Lucius is bellowing again as he strides past me to confront her. He mentions we were sent by Hosilla, that bitch servant of Baphomet they said we were after, and oddly enough she hisses at the name. Perhaps this isn’t going to be a fight after all, although Lucius is still advancing, circling like a predator. Her voice keeps changing, almost sounds.. Demonic on occasion. Yep definitely claws, she’s ready for anything. Oh great, Lucius just invoked the name of the Queen, and she looks like she’s ready to defend her home. Lucius is relentless, shouting, but she is tenacious as well. Then Aldrick steps forth with a more even tone. I find it remarkable he can stay even-keeled in his delivery, but regardless he seems to be making some progress with her. She hasn’t let down her guard yet, but we’re getting somewhere now.
Thurl, the Dwarf leader of this lodge, had escaped through the basement some time ago. She reveals there are many horrors down there and pulls back her hood, revealing a stitched-together head… well several heads… or more like several head pieces to form one head. Part is human, but the other parts look Demonic… so yeah, that explains the voice… and here we go again with these guys. Lucius and Aldrick now… one about ready to cut her in half, the other ready to have tea with her. Sheesh. She still wants us to leave, can’t we take a hint? And now Lath wants to heal her? Yeah Aldrick’s right, use some common sense…
“What is your name?” ok, yeah, that’s common sense, that caught her off guard. Good question Lath. “Val…” So I suggest why don’t we leave this place like she asks, we’ve got a lot to report on the black powder and such. Wow that opened a room of Demons, back to bickering again, and she still wants us to leave… Oh I get it, Lucius was being clever, Hosilla ‘sent us’ because of the letter they found. Val seems to buy that, she’s a little more agreeable now that it appears we’re fighting for the same team.
Val further reveals that Hosilla is somewhere in the basement but is beyond her power. Now how in the Worldwound did Aldrick do that? He just politely let her know we would kick her ass in a fight, and she’s not pissed off! Furthermore, she’s concerned about the reputation of her group, he gives his word we’ll keep what we see secret, and she believes him! Because he’s a Devil worshiper no less! Well, what an interesting group this is… ‘The Chemist’ was here too, and he also disappeared into the basement, with the rest of his chemists disappearing on that fateful day. And finally, she was turned into this creature by Thurl because she was suspicious of him. But no more until Hosilla is dispatched!
Now how to get to the basement past those roaches… What is Lath doing? He deserves getting his hand cut for giving her that potion, Aldrick warned him. Basement, still not a good idea to burn stuff… What’s he handing her now? A holy symbol of Seranrae? Yeah, cut again and the symbol is shredded. What a group… a hothead, a full-on diplomat, and an idiotic pyromaniac… still need to figure the rest of em out, but this ought to be fun! What’s that Lath, a secret passage under the stage? Well why didn’t you say something sooner? (Did someone mention idiot…?)
We head back to the chemical lab, and Aldrick heads towards the crates. He’s talking to another of those creatures who seemed to escape the earlier battle but looks terrified of Lucius (Did someone mention hothead…?). Huh, Aldrick just convinced it to jump into a powder keg?! (Did someone mention diplomat…?) Yet again, what a group… I manage to activate the door and inside there is a ladder down, Hosilla, here we come…
clutter-filled room but in middle circular raised platform made of ivory-inlaid wood in pristine condition
brass bull (Baphomet) and Iron Dwarf (Torag) locked in battle, appears Torag winning but Baphomet has an opening.
“In my name is the strength of my history, my tradition and my people. Speak your name into my ear and I will judge your worth.”
Aldrick and Lathander explore portal, noting magical effects – alarm, lie detection, and that circle pivots across the floor
Lathander tries to speak the name “Thurl” but gets blasted with green gas from the bull’s nose. He coughs but is ok.
Aldrick then tries and is successful, platform moves, revealing spiral staircase down.
We follow down and enter a rectangular room. Stale putrid liquid on floor, bugs, simmering stench
Far corners two man-sized glass vials with more liquid in them, and a ladder that can move between them so one could climb up to gain access to the tops of the vials. Two doors, one left, one right.
Lathander climbs the ladder to “test” the liquid, nearly gets ill and as he gags creature reaches up and pulls him inside.
Lucius charges in a shatters the vial, spilling the liquid, Lathander and a man-sized flesh golem out.
DM Note – Lathander failed saving throw
We all spend the round nauseated as the creature stands up.
We quickly dispatch, Lucius delivers killing blow and beheads it.
Discussion about wasting time/tactical decision to explore here, Lucius/Aldrick dynamic.
Creature long dead in other vial, we shatter it from the far side of the room and move on.
Left door has the stench of death, leads to a diabolical torture chamber full of hundred of machines and implements, dried blood everywhere, with a dead man on the table
Lucius takes the body down, Lathander gives him rights.
Aldrick notes he thinks Val was created here.
Lucius opens only other door in room, appears to be a “meat locker” with all kinds of body parts from many types of creatures, some have been around for a long time (Lucius recognizes one at least 6 months).
Take wand from doorway (cold spell on room).
We go back and take other door, head down stairs, hit a landing with putrid-smelling water on one side (decaying bodies), continue in only other direction down the stairs further
We enter a dark library with many demonic books, crate under a desk, a reading area, and two doors on west wall.
Aldrick & Lucius flip through some books, note we need to come back to restore some information (Demonic anatomy, etc).
Lathander opens the crate, wooden Holy Symbols of Iomadae, he grabs one and is poisoned.
We check first door, small room with concentric circles, red glow, is a summoning circle, not used recently
There is gray chalk on the wall and writing on the way in Abyssal. Conversation about prices.
Appears to be Thurl and a Daemon, over a long period of time.
Most recently Daemon offers Noticula’s Butterfly for Hepzamirah’s Nahyndrian Crystal. Thurl says steep price, needs to call in a favor from Staunton. Daemon says hurry, offer isn’t his exclusively.
We check other door, is a hallway with Abyssal Larvae in glass enclosures, shrunken for sale most likely. We start to shatter cases and they pop like a balloon as they expand. Lathander mildly objects.
Enter door at end of hallway into another room, on an elevated landing. Room opens out in front of us, stairs down to both sides, iron grate in front and a large boiling cauldron hanging from 4 chains. Smells similar but not as bad as the first room we came down to – more flesh golems?
We hear Hosilla’s horn and a Schir demon materializes on the grate and hits Lucius.
I pepper it with arrows, Aldrick stuns it, Lathander bombs it.
Second sounding of the horn, I sidestep the blow and shoot the stunned demon, Aldrick drops obscuring mist, Lathander fumbles and drops weapon.
Artie gets hit, then takes the head off the first demon with a pair of arrows. Footsteps down below.
Lathander gets hit
DM Note: Artemis & Lathander both failed saving throw
Hosilla appears near Aldrick and makes him cower in fear (castigation).
Lathander throws holy water, hits Lucius in face (again).
We whale away at the demon
Aldrick trips Hosilla, but she gets right back up and backs off.
Lathander finishes off the schir demon with a holy water.
Artemis moves down and finds Hosilla, lands an arrow
Aldrick ends obscuring mist
Lucius jumps down, trading blows with Hosilla
Hosilla delivers a devastating blow to me, but Lathander comes to my aid.
I miss with two arrows
Aldrick attempts to suggest but fails (magic circle vs lawful), note: made DM re-roll with DP, still failed
Lucius gets up and manages to avoid Hosilla’s blow, but he can’t land one of his own as a result.
Hosilla glaives Aldrick in retaliation.
Lathander heals me again
I switch to holy arrows and aim more carefully, slamming both home, she falls… (-2) and is stabilized by Lucius who also puts the manacles on her.
We explore room at end, full of maps, hand-sized fiendish statue, lockbox.
Hosilla has: +1 Glaive, holy symbol of Baphomet, prayer book, 2 antitoxins, 2 alchemist fire, tanglefoot bag, scroll, wand, cure moderate, used potion vial (invisibility).