Sunday, March 13, 2016

Wrath of the Righteous episode 2: Enemies In the Deep

March 13, 2016

Previously: The party had become separated from Aegronius while trying to find a way out of the caverns claimed by the unfriendly mongrelmen. They located Aegron tied to a table in a chamber.

Character level: 2nd

The chamber appeared to a be natural cavern. In the center stood a stone table, to which Aegron was bound. He appeared to be barely conscious. Some members of the group realized that there was something strange about Aegron and that their senses seemed less sharp here than usual.

At the end of the table, a figure crouched in an ornate chair. This person, who proved to be female, threatened the group and refused to release Aegron, even when Runa offered gold in exchange for safe passage. To demonstrate that she was not intimidated by this woman, Runa placed a blessing on her sword blade, which provoked the woman to fire her bow at Runa. Runa responded with a swing of her blade. Jiro jumped up on the table, and Uncle ran under a chair. The archer shot Runa a second time. Zosta leaped over the table, stepping on Aegron in the process, and realized when she did that there was no body there. She shouted angrily as she vaulted down and punched the archer. Asami sent a magic missile hurtling at the woman with the bow.

Jiro attempted to touch Aegron and he too discovered that there was actually nothing lying on the table. He called out, “What have you done with our friend?” The woman did not reply, instead shooting Runa again. Jiro tried to hit her with his morningstar but missed his aim. The woman then fired an arrow at him. Zosta then attempted to take the bow from the archer, but she failed. Asami took a scroll from her pack and produced another magic missile. The woman then collapsed. At the same moment, a door behind where she had fallen opened, revealing another woman standing in the opening in front of Zosta.

Through the open doorway, Zosta could see racks, tables, and two cages in the next cavern. The woman standing before her held a glaive in one hand, and a book in the other. The woman said, “You need to leave.” Behind her, Zosta observed that on two of the tables were dioramas of what appeared to be Kenabres and some wilderness terrain. Both dioramas suddenly seemed to dissolve into loose sand, which then disappeared.

Runa stepped closer, and the woman with the glaive sneered, “I’ll enjoy killing you.” The woman wore a symbol of Baphomet on her belt. Runa threatened to slay the archer. In response, the woman spoke a command word and a spiritual weapon appeared, a duplicate of the glaive she held. The glaive killed the fallen archer. Jiro announced with confidence, “There’s nothing you can do to stop us getting our friend,” but his words didn’t intimidate the woman. Jiro then took the opportunity to drink a curative potion, glancing through the open doorway as he did so. He could see that Aegron was imprisoned in one of the cages.

Zosta reached out and snatched the book out of the woman’s hand. The woman responded by saying, “You’ll pay for that!” Asami, who’s supply of prepared spells was rapidly depleting, went into the outer room to fetch Aravashniel, Anivia, and Horgus. While the led them into the cavern where the rest of the party were facing the woman, the woman’s spiritual weapon attacked Runa. Runa was now seriously injured, so she withdrew from the area, hurrying out of the room so that the spiritual weapon couldn’t follow her when she got of the woman’s sight. Jiro then stepped toward the woman, grabbed a ring of keys from her belt, and ran into the room where Aegron was imprisoned. At the same time, Zosta disarmed the woman of her glaive and flung the book away, where it was picked up by Uncle.

Asami borrowed Aravashniel’s wand of false life and used it to cast the spell on the wounded Runa, enabling her to return to the fight with the follower of Baphomet after she also drank a healing potion. The woman tried to command Zosta, but Zosta resisted her spell. Jiro ran across the room containing the cages and gave the keys to Aegron, who was in much better health than his illusory duplicate had appeared. Aegron then unlocked his cage and emerged. Zosta tried to pummel the woman but her blows failed to connect, Anivia fired arrows, but due to the number of people in the way she was also unable to strike her target. Asami used her last scroll of magic missile against the woman. The woman drew a dagger and attacked Zosta.

Jiro moved around behind the woman to flank with Zosta. The woman put her hand on the glaive that Zosta now held and spoke the command word again, producing another spiritual weapon, but also allowing Zosta to learn the word. She pulled the glaive out of Zosta’s grasp and backed into the room with the cages. Aegron struck at her with a battleaxe, and Runa moved in to attack. Uncle also followed them into the room, ostentatiously holding the book up and ripping out a page. But Zosta could see from her vantage that the monkey was actually tearing an exhausted spell scroll. Zosta followed the woman and once again snatched her glaive away from her, while Asami attempted to harm her with a ray of frost that went wide. The woman then commanded Zosta again, this time successfully, causing Zosta to flee the room, but Zosta carried the glaive with her when she ran.

Inside the cage room, the woman drank a potion. Runa swung her sword, but as she did the woman disappeared. Asami entered the room and warned her companions to be quiet in case the potion had been one of invisibility. No one heard anything, so Asami and Runa began swinging their weapons through the air hoping to make contact with the woman, though they had no success.

Aegron found that the occupant of the other cage was still alive, barely, and released him. Jiro suggested that Aravashniel summon an earth elemental that could sense the positions of any creatures nearby, but unfortunately no one in the group could speak the language of earth creatures. Jiro was still able to make himself understood by the creature, which pointed toward the outer area from which the party had entered the room with the stone table. Then Zosta heard the woman’s voice curse her and everyone heard rapid footsteps. Somehow the woman had been able to creep past everyone searching for her and she now ran out of the cavern toward the rope ladder leading up.

Everyone ran after her, but they were unable to catch her before she could ascend the ladder. Jiro then decided to tie a pot and spoon to the ladder to act as an alarm in the event she returned. To Zosta’s surprise, a compartment suddenly opened up on the glaive shaft and ejected a wand. That explained how the woman had been able to cast spiritual weapon from her glaive. Asami examined the wand and determined that it still contained seven charges of the spell.

Aegron learned that the other prisoner’s name was Garvin, and that he was a veteran of the crusades. He estimated he had been a prisoner in the cavern for a week. The followers of Baphomet had kidnapped him and questioned him about the locations of various things in Kenabres. The party members told him what had happened in Kenabres a few days earlier, including the apparent death of Telendrev. They also searched the dead archer, finding two potions of cure light wounds, a wand of longstrider with 10 charges, a masterwork shirt of chainmail, and a masterwork longbow. Asami also appraised the woman’s book, which Uncle had not damaged. It was a jeweled book of prayers to Baphomet worth 50 gold pieces.

After determing there was nothing else of use or value in the rooms where they had fought the woman, the group went on to explore another side room. This one held a desk, chair, and fur-covered bed, as well as an iron lockbox. The lockbox key was on the ring of keys Jiro had appropriated. Within the box they found a leather pouch containing an assortment of gems, a scroll case holding two scrolls, and a golden longsword that radiated magic. When Runa attempted to examine the sword to determine its properties, she suddenly fainted.

Her companions were startled and confused by her sudden collapse, but Asami assumed she had merely been overwhelmed by strong magic, and she began to examine the sword herself. Her mind was suddenly filled with information: this blade was Radiance, the legendary sword of the great demon-slayer Yaniel. It had been held in the Gray Garrison, but had recently been stolen by the Templars of the Ivory Labyrinth. The followers of Baphomet had likely intended to corrupt it for their use. Its powers had gone dormant after Yaniel’s assassination, but it was still a powerful blade of cold iron. The experience left Asami with a headache.

When Runa revived a few minutes later, she was able to glean some of the same information from the sword. As Runa was a follower of Iomedae like Yaniel, her companions encouraged her to take the sword, though it lacked a scabbard and would be awkward to carry. They looked through the papers they found in the desk and were rewarded with a bounty of information. One report told the woman, Hosilla, to go to three safehouses in Kenabres: Nyserian Manor, Topaz Solutions, and the Tower of Estrod. Horgus recognized the signature on the missive as that of Staunton Vhane, the traitorous warden of Drezen, who had been exposed by Anivia’s wife, Irabeth. He knew that Vhane had tried to make arrangements to buy Irabeth’s sword, presumably after having Irabeth killed. It now seemed urgent for the group to reach the surface and warn the temple of Iomedae of the infiltrators in the city as well as to warn Irabeth.

They climbed up out of the caverns safely, finding no sign of Hosilla. Next they opened another door they had bypassed earlier, finding beyond it a cavern filled with shelves of preserved creatures such as dire rats, and two unoccupied bedrolls. They also found an iron ladder leading downward and another door. When Aegron listened at the door he heard the sound of running water. He opened the door, which was unlocked. It led into a hallway into darkness. Jiro peered into the passage and spotted an open shaft with a knotted rope hanging down into it.

While the rest of the group waited at the top of the shaft, Aegron, Jiro, and Zosta descended the rope. Aegron noticed something peculiar across the pool of moving water that lay at the bottom of the shaft. The three of them waded into the water to investigate, and Aegron was suddenly bitten by an albino cave gar. He and Zosta quickly killed it, as well as a second gar that swam up to them. Aegron and Jiro then entered a cave beyond the pool, which held an old, dusty chest. As Aegron started to approach the chest he realized that there was a trap in the floor and managed to jump out of the way, but Jiro was too slow and fell into a pit, wounding his leg on one of the spikes set into the bottom. After Aegron helped him back out, they opened the chest. Within it they found 250 gold pieces, a wooden shield, a twine ring of climbing, two potions of darkvision, a scroll of identify, and a scroll of magic fang. All of the magic items were examined by Asami.

Having found no exit near the pool, the group members realized they would have to descend the iron ladder.
Loot acquired:
2 potions of cure light wounds
Wand of longstrider, 10 charges
Masterwork chain shirt
Masterwork longbow (given to Aegron)
Wand of spiritual weapon. 7 charges (given to Jiro)
Gems: 3 lapis lazuli chips, 10 gp each; 2 bloodstones, 50 gp each; Citrine 50 gp; Pearl 100 gp
Scroll of bear’s endurance
Scroll of remove disease
Radiance - +1 cold iron longsword (given to Runa)
250 gp
+1 wooden shield
Ring of climbing
2 potions of darkvision
Scroll of identify

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