Monday, November 7, 2016

Kingmaker - Part 10

Session 62 - November 6, 2016

Once Garrick had rejoined the group at their campsite beyond the environs of Armag’s tomb, the heroes from Galisat reluctantly agreed to take their four charges with them. They returned to the tomb to try to recover the member of the second group who had fallen through the pivoting floor trap.

In the hallway with the pivoting floor, San’Kari used his magic item to meld the pivoting panels and then shape an opening in the stone floor, and Landon climbed down into the space below the floor to search for the body of the four adventurers’ fallen comrade. Because the four people had been trapped in the Plane of Air for several weeks, their companion was long dead. As Landon moved to touch the body, Silverleaf peered down through the opening and spotted a magical sigil beneath the corpse that would cause excruciating pain to any who came in contact with it or even looked at it. He quickly warned Landon. Landon experienced a terrible vision of war and horror that included an image of a warrior brandishing a huge sword, but this wasn’t enough to deter him from recovering the body.

To the dwarf’s shock, when he removed the man’s body another body appeared beneath it! As Landon impatiently removed that corpse as well, yet another appeared, and another, until a dozen corpses in total had been revealed. Three of the bodies were dwarves still clutching their warhammers; four were humans, one of them a woman wearing a vest full of alchemical potions; two were half-elves; and two were some type of lizardmen. Landon was pleased to be able to recover a few still viable alchemical mixtures from the woman’s garment. One of the dwarves also proved to have a magic ring that could grant certain types of wishes, though at that moment it was empty of any power. The dwarven warhammers were all of fine quality, though it was odd that the dwarves still held them when they had no armor or other equipment.

After Landon climbed back up into the hallway, he and Garrick felt air movement coming from behind them that hadn’t been present previously. Landon sent Cyst to investigate and watched through the imp’s eyes. Cyst discovered that a double door the group had previously passed by was now open. Beyond the door the imp could see a slimy swirling thing in the center of a chamber. The room in which this slimy thing resided was located at the same orientation as the chamber that required the amber key, but it was at a higher level of the tomb, perhaps above the amber key room. Some force from within the chamber began to pull the imp toward it and Cyst had difficulty resisting. Landon ran to his familiar’s aid.

When he looked into the room, Landon observed that everything within it was covered in slime. He wondered if the chamber might be connected to a Plane of Slime. The thing in the center of the room he recognized as a green slime. He also observed that there were bones and various remains of bodies floating in the slime. Landon immediately threw an alchemical elixir into the slime that froze part of it, and it stopped moving.

Tahjah and Garrick had followed Landon when he ran toward the room to help Cyst. The pull on Cyst was still happening even though Landon had frozen the slime. Landon realized that the slime was also susceptible to fire, and shouted for Silverleaf to join them at the slime room. This left San’Kari standing watch with Amaya, Kara, and the four hapless victims of Lord Numeste's machinations.

As Silverleaf approached the room, Landon stepped inside it and was instantly engulfed by slime. He swallowed an elixir that made him resistant to the slime’s acidic nature. Within the slime the dwarf glimpsed a glowing peridot. Encouraged by Landon, Silverleaf had his staff send a ball of fire into the slime. Landon continued to push forward through the slime, realizing that there was a pocket of slime-less air around the collection of bones where the glowing gemstone was located. The bones, too, were magical, and resembled the cyclops femur the party had found which their friend Bokken had told them was part of a powerful artifact called Quiema’s Branch. As Landon entered this air pocket, he could feel a compulsion coming from the peridot. He grasped the stone and quickly put it in his alchemical component case, which held an extradimensional space. Once the stone was cut off from the slime chamber, the air pocket vanished, the bones fell to the floor, and slime engulfed Landon again. The compulsion also stopped pulling at Cyst. Landon gathered up the bones and went toward the staircase on the opposite side of the chamber, where he observed a pile of rags and many symbols of the evil goddess Gyrona.

Meanwhile in the hallway where San’Kari waited with the rest of the group, a swarm of giant army ants suddenly appeared. San’Kari pushed everyone down the corridor to the chamber where Garrick and Landon had been trapped by ice on the previous day, shutting the door to block the ant swarm. The ants began to attack the wooden door. Garrick, Tahjah, and Silverleaf rejoined their companions, and Silverleaf placed two runes in front of the door so the ants would be blasted by electricity once they broke through. Once the door burst and the ants were struck by lightning, Garrick followed by throwing an alchemical elixir that set them on fire.

During this time Landon had continued investigating the door at the bottom of the stairs. The slime creature had retreated to the bottom of the steps and was pressed up against the door, but could go no further. The slime seemed to be trying to push Landon away now. When Landon heard the commotion upstairs, he abandoned his investigation and went up to aid his friends.

On arriving in the room with the rest of the group, Landon surrounded himself with an aura of flames and walked toward the ants, allowing them to crawl on him so they would be burned. Silverleaf sent a cone of flames from his hands, then called on Sarenrae’s divine flames to shield him and he too walked into the ant swarm. San’Kari pushed the other members of the group toward the slimy room. The ants crawling over Landon and Silverleaf bit them but did little harm, and soon the flames had consumed them all.

Once the ants were dealt with, Landon showed his comrades the giant bones he had found. He also revealed that among the items in the slime he had found a key that was surrounded by amber. Could this be the amber key the iron golem had told them of, that was supposed to be in the possession of the current Baron Drelev? The party members went to the slime chamber. From the top of the stairs, Garrick hurled a dagger of ice at the slime, and Tahjah seared it with holy light. Then both Tahjah and Silverleaf summoned holy weapons to strike it, and after that the slime slumped to the floor and spread out like a pool of liquid, its acidic form burning their feet as it flowed beneath them. Its demise deposited gems, gold and silver coins, and a magical onyx gem on the floor.

With the slime out of the way, Landon set to work studying the heavy door of fused iron that stood at the bottom of the staircase. There was no visible keyhole, and Landon determined that the door was heavily warded with protections to ward off good creatures, runes that would explode, and darts that would shoot out to wound intruders. Garrick joined him and used his ability to see through stone to peer into the room beyond the door. On the other side he saw a circular room with a brazier of fire in the center. He could make out several shadowy figures that seemed to be dancing around the fire, but he couldn’t determine how many or what they were.

Landon took out the amber key while Garrick was still viewing through the stone. As he did so, Garrick observed that the figures stopped moving and seemed to look toward the iron door. Landon told his companions to move back. When they had done so he touched the key to the door. Five keyholes immediately appeared on the door’s surface. Tahjah reached out to examine the magic of the door and sensed that the fourth keyhole had a very strong aura of magic. All of the keyholes exuded an aura of necromancy. The first keyhole at the top of the door seemed to be connected to some type of sending spell, perhaps an alarm. The fifth keyhole’s aura made Tahjah feel ill. Silverleaf stepped up beside her and conducted his own examination, feeling something very unpleasant from the second keyhole that threatened to drive one mad, a destructive aura from the third keyhole, and an unholy aura from the fifth.

Armed with this information, Landon put the key in the top keyhole. Immediately four darts shot out and struck him. He sensed that they were poisoned, but through his alchemical experiments he had become immune to all poisons. He then inserted the key in the third hole. This time he felt a force pushing him back and blast of sound energy. Tahjah activated her ring to fly down to him and cast a spell on him. Next Landon put the key in the fifth hole, and was rewarded with a mass of decayed flesh suddenly burying him. But this did not trouble the dwarf in the slightest, even when Tahjah realized that all of the lumps of stinking flesh were undead.

Undaunted, Landon inserted the amber key into the fourth hole, and withstood the vision of madness that attempted to twist his mind. With the final lock released, the doors swung open to reveal the circular chamber that Garrick had seen, populated by four or five fire elementals and four Black Sisters. As soon as the Black Sisters saw Landon, they released a wave of negative energy.

Landon surged forward, drawing his dagger, and stabbed the Black Sister who stood nearest the entrance. Silverleaf and San’Kari descended the stairs to the doorway, and Silverleaf called on Sarenrae and Nethys to protect his companions. Then one of the Black Sisters sent a blast of magic toward the door, but it had no effect on the two elves. Another of the Sisters activated an aura of madness, which Landon, Silverleaf, and Garrick all resisted, but San’Kari was affected by it and became confused. A fire elemental standing before him tried to attack him and he attacked it in return. Another fire elemental moved up to attack Silverleaf but missed its aim. From the top of the stairs, Amaya gave a battle cry that heartened her comrades.

Tahjah, still flying, poked her head through the doorway above Silverleaf and smote the far side of the chamber with divine power, harming several of the elementals. Silverleaf followed her example and used the same divine energy to smite the same area. His spell overcame the resistance of the Black Sisters, temporarily blinding two of them. One of the elementals was absorbed into the fire brazier in the center of the room, which then transformed into a larger fire elemental. A Sister tried to harm Landon with negative energy but it failed to affect him. Amaya extended a blessing to everyone, and San’Kari recovered from the confusion that had fogged his mind at the same moment that Landon slew one of the Black Sisters.

Free of mental disturbance, San’Kari moved to attack one of the remaining Black Sisters, while Garrick hurled two throwing axes and a frosty mug at another Sister. Silverleaf summoned an ally of force to attack a Sister, but was unable to overcome her resistance to magic and his ally vanished. One of the Sisters who had remained at the far side of the room moved forward, her aura of madness enveloping everyone, but this time all of the heroes resisted its effect. Then the Sister emitted a terrifying banshee wail that shook everyone to their bones. Silverleaf and Tahjah both collapsed on the floor, lifeless. Amaya raced down the stairs and tried to heal Silverleaf with a wand, but it had no effect on him.

Enraged by the Sister’s action, San’Kari killed one Sister with his axe, and then slaughtered the remaining fire elementals as well. Garrick slew the last of the Black Sisters. While the surviving members of the group stood looking down in grief on their fallen comrades, they realized that Silverleaf had possession of a magic pearl that would restore him to life in time. Once the elven priest had recovered, he would be able to use a spell scroll Garrick had acquired to restore Tahjah to life as well. The others quickly searched the bodies of the fallen Black Sisters before carrying their companions out of the tomb, for they feared that if the Black Sisters had been able to access this chamber there might be more of them elsewhere within the tomb complex. They did not want to face more Black Sisters without the aid of Silverleaf and Tahjah.

Loot:
4 masterwork breastplates
4 +2 keen daggers
4 unholy symbols of Gyrona
540 gold pieces
200 silver pieces
Assorted gems worth 750 gold
8 pearls worth 100 gold each
2 potions of 'haste'
Potion of 'cure serious wounds'
Onyx with a red hourglass symbol – 'gem of poison immunity'
Ring of 'limited wish' – empty
3 masterwork warhammers

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