Sunday, March 20, 2016

[Pathfinder] Wrath of the Righteous, episode 3: Escape From Below

March 21, 2016

The small band of survivors decided to descend the iron ladder in search of the exit from the subterranean caverns. Aegron dropped a sunrod down to the bottom of the ladder and descended first. He was almost immediately attacked by a trio of unusually large rats. Runa climbed down to help him, assisted by the ring of climbing she now wore. Aravashniel summoned a badger to fight the rats as well, and Zosta vaulted down the ladder shaft to join in the battle. Jiro lay down on the ground at the top of the ladder to see better and used the wand of spiritual weapon he had just acquired, which in his hands produced a tetsubo of force. To Asami’s surprise, her familiar Kirara jumped down the ladder shaft also, bounding off the summoned badger and then pouncing on one of the large rats. Asami couldn’t see what happened, but Zosta witnessed the small white cat slashing out the rat’s eyes.

When all three rats had been slain, Jiro determined that they were not ordinary dire rats but some unusual variety. Like other dire rats, they probably carried disease to inflict on those they had bitten. But the group had only one scroll of remove disease and would have to wait to see if anyone had been infected.

Once everyone had climbed down the ladder they continued on down the narrow passage that led away from it. Aegron took the lead again after consuming a potion of darkvision. Ahead he saw another barricade of salvaged materials, manned by two mongrelmen. The mongrelmens’ overheard conversation indicated they were stalling for time. Aegron also heard other voices beyond them. Jiro and Zosta attempted to convince the mongrelmen to let the group pass, trying to intimidate them by demonstrating that they had taken Hosilla’s prayer book and glaive, but the mongrelmen replied that Hosilla had commanded them to kill the intruders. Then two people emerged from a room behind the barrier. Asami and several of her companions recognized that one of the new arrivals was a cultist of Baphomet, while the other was a follower of another demon lord, Deskari. These two new arrivals warned that there were several dretches left by Hosilla beyond the barrier. The recognition that both people served demon lords provoked Jiro, who suddenly attacked them with another spiritual weapon.

One of the two cultists cast a spell that caused Aegron and Zosta to drop their weapons. Asami attempted several times to target the enemies with ray of frost but failed to hit anyone. Zosta and Aegron recovered and joined Jiro and Runa in attacking the two mongrelmen and the two cultists. One of the cultists channeled negative energy and succeeded in injuring several members of the group from the surface. When the mongrelmen fell, the cultists started to retreat through a doorway behind them, but one of them was slain before he could escape. The second cultists fled.

After the cultist vanished from sight, Jiro and Asami quickly searched the bodies of the fallen and found two potions of cure light wounds. Then the group entered the chamber beyond the barricade. Suddenly a noxious fog filled the chamber, causing several members of the party to become nauseated. Asami identified the fog as a stinking cloud spell. She ran back out past the barrier to get away from it, while Jiro, Runa, Zosta, and Aegron ran farther into the area that lay beyond it. Something in the cloud caused Zosta to become frightened and she rushed back out of the room, dodged past Asami and the rest of the group, and climbed up the ladder before anyone could do anything to stop her.

Meanwhile the rest of those in the chamber encountered two dretches, which they slew, but not before one of them summoned a third dretch which cast another stinking cloud. It also caused Aegron to flee as Zosta had done. Fortunately the effect on Aegron didn’t last as long as that affecting Zosta. When Zosta recovered she returned and entered the area of the cloud, finding and attacking one of the dretches.

After all the dretches had been slain and the stinking cloud dissipated, the group learned that the room beyond the barricade was a small labyrinth, probably constructed by the followers of Baphomet. They made their way through the maze and emerged into a tunnel that appeared to be an old sewer tunnel. A short time later they came to a series of iron ladders leading to the surface.

As they emerged once more in Kenabres, they found the city transformed. Clouds of black smoke hung overhead and the streets were filled with rubble. They saw few signs of people. The ladders had led them into the city far south of the compound where they hoped to find Cennami and Zosta’s parents safe. They had agreed to escort Horgus to his home for a payment of a thousand gold pieces. Anivia also wanted to find her wife, Irabeth, and Aravashniel wanted to be taken to a place called Blackwing Ruins. Since Aravashniel’s destination seemed closest and they needed a place to rest and recuperate in safety, they decided to go there first. Everyone was hurt, they were nearly out of spells, and they had only a single curative potion left.

They had hardly begun to make their way toward their goal when Jiro saw something he never expected to see in Kenabres: several kami, which seemed to be anxiously beckoning for him to come to a nearby shop. The group followed Jiro to the shop, where a man conducted them inside, explaining that he had opened the door because something had written the message “Unlock the door” in the dust on the countertop. Then they heard music from outside. Zosta and Runa peeked out through the cracks in the shutters and saw an unusual group of people, led by a floating woman playing a flute. Jiro’s companion Uncle the monkey appeared terrified. Another message appeared on the counter, this time written in Tian: “Beware what’s outside.”

When Asami and Jiro joined their comrades at the windows, Jiro was shocked to recognize one of the people in the street as his half-brother. The group outside had clearly come from Tian Xia. Then Jiro was suddenly possessed by several kami, which allowed him to perceive that his brother had also been possessed, by an eight-tailed fox demon! But even more shocking was the realization that his brother had willingly accepted this possession. At the same time, Asami recognized that the people in the group were probably members of the Order of the Black Orchid Lotus, a group diametrically opposed to the aims of the Riftwardens. The Black Orchid Lotus wanted to bring chaos to the world and had to be stopped.
Loot acquired:
2 potions of cure light wounds
Masterwork glaive
Masterwork scythe

Characters are now 3rd level

This is the last session of Wrath of the Righteous for a little while. Next month we return to Mummy's Mask.

Next: Episode 4

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