To Rest Or Not To Rest
While the party discusses resting Blue grows impatient and opens one of the remaining doors to the chamber and heads down the hall to another door. The group follows and they find an old prison chamber beyond the door. The jails cells all empty two other doors exit the chamber. Beyond the first door the group finds a small chamber with a workbench cluttered with tools and a ring of keys to the jail cells.
Chapel Of Lamashtu
Beyond the other door they come to a chapel illuminated by braziers emitting glowing red smoke, giving the chamber an unnerving crimson light that throws the bas-relief carvings of monsters feasting on fleeing humans into a lurid display. A black marble altar beside a ten-foot-tall statue depicting a pregnant but shapely naked woman, wielding kukri’s in taloned hands, with long reptilian tail, birdlike taloned feet, and the snarling head of a three-eyed jackal with a forked tongue. Of more importance is the pair of emaciated, hairless canines, later identified as yeth hounds. Spotting the party they advance and let out an unnatural howl, Eon is immediately striken with fear and runs away. Dann hits one with a dart that doesn’t leave a mark and his cat springs into action and loses it’s footing following a wild lunge. As the battle continues Spiff is tripped by one of the hounds. As Blue inspires the party with his bad humor Dann begins summoning a dog and spider. While fighting from the ground Spiff lands a well placed blow that doesn’t leave a wound but seems to distract the hound, Garret takes advantage and strikes with a well placed arrow. Striking with hands enchanted with flame Dann hits with a strike that surges with magical energy deafening a hound. As the battle continues Spiff tries to stand and is critically wounded and falls unconscious. Blue draws advances with wand in hand and unleashes a jolt of electricity dropping a hound. With his last bit of magical energy Dann heals some of his wounds while the last hound is defeated. With Eon’s fear subsided he returns and administers some potions of healing to Spiff. With the party nursing there wounds and resources spent they return to the large bed chamber they found and lock themselves in for some rest.
Having rested and studied, the party retraces there path to the chapel and through the double doors to a four way corridor. Proceeding left they enter a small chamber. The walls of the room are covered with crude goblin art drawn in mud, blood, and paint. Continuing through a small corridor they enter a room with a large table and chairs, and a slate board with a map of Sandpoint on one wall. The writing on the map leads the group to conclude that the raid of Sandpoint was planned in this room.
With two more doors leading out of the war room the party heads straight across the room. Beyond the door they find a dark skinned woman studying some artifacts. Looking up and spotting the party she takes a defensive stance. Spiff cries out she is under arrest for the attacks on Sandpoint. Eon opens things up with a ray of magical heat. The dark-skinned woman casts a spell a four duplicates appear and start moving through each other making it difficult to make out the wizard, she then opens a secret door in the wall behind her. Spiff charges in recklessly throwing his sword off its mark. Dann quickly summons a giant ant behind the now opened door preventing her from escaping. The ant attacks striking down one of the images. Eon sends missiles of arcane energy to two targets which eliminates two more images. As the battle continues the dark-skinned wizard disappears with an invisibility spell. A ball of flame is summoned by Eon in her last known location. She reappears as she shoots jets of flame from her fingers engulfing Spiff as Blue quickly dodges. As Spiff responds taking out the final image Garret ends the battle with a well placed arrow through her cheek. Among her belongings are a few scrolls and a spellbook, Eon grabs the book for study and a wand of magic missiles.
Tentacles With A View
Having defeated the dark-skinned wizard the party decides to clear the current level before heading down the stairs beyond the secret door. Returning to the four way corridor, the go down the long hallway that ends at a door. On the other side of the door they come to a natural tunnel. Following the tunnel they come to an intersection and go left to a small cave. In the cave they find dozens of dead bodies, the bodies are literally skin and bones as if everything else has been drained. among the bodies they find a suit of enchanted hide armor and a masterwork shortbow.
Returning to the intersection in the tunnel they take the other path and it leads to another cave with a strangely polished floor with a thick curtain of vines hanging down over a wide opening overlooking the Varisian Gulf. Eon decides to take a look at the view and spots the tentacles moving just before they attack. As a tentacle hits Eon he is overcome with nausea and feels as if some of his lifeforce is drained. The group quickly engages. With Blue telling bad jokes, Spiff charges in, Garret fires, Dann and the cat move in, and Eon withdraws. As the battle continues the creature hits Dann’s cat and constricts it. Unable to break free the cat falls limp as the creature constricts again, and then drops the cat and grapples Dann. With Dann struggling Spiff puts the strange creature down.
After completing the level the party decends the stairs beyond the secret door and come to a small pillared room with alcoves to either side that contain damaged statues of a robed man clutching a book and glaive. The chamber has a strange slope rising to the other side with the statues leaning in the alcoves. Beyond the chamber is a hall with a pair of statues to either side depicting men wielding glaives, a pair of doors and another alcove with a damaged statue. Spiff leads the way, hearing a click from a pressure plate as he steps between the statues and jumps forward just clearing the portcullises as the drop with loud clang, seconds later the statues begin slashing at the air in the space he just vacated. Moments later the floor opens up into a pit, before resetting itself. Garret steps up and examines the floor, pulling out his tool kit he pounds a wedge under the pressure plate so it doesn’t depress as the group crosses it.
Choosing the door on the left they enter a circular room with ledges of red marble running along the walls of the room. Opposite the door is a fountain of blue frothy water, the room is lit by burning skulls, but more importantly they spot the rooms occupant. A beautiful, silver haired, shapely, female Aasimar, with a demonic left arm that ends in a taloned hand. Armed with a bastard sword and wearing breastplate with a bare midriff revealing scars across her belly. She immediately attacks, Dann moves in and Spiff detects her evil aura and calls on the power of his deity to smite the creature. Blue starts off with an enchanted joke that she doesn’t seem to understand. Garret steps in and calls on his new arcane powers and calls forth a misty vapor making it difficult to see and Eon calls forth a ball of flame on her. The Aasimar steps forward and strikes Dann with a mighty blow dropping him to the ground. While telling jokes of questionable humor to inspire his companions he calls forth a spell of healing to help Dann. Dann tries to crawl away leaving a opening she takes another mighty swing and Dann begins bleeding out. Eon lets loose with missiles of arcane energy that unerringly hit there target. As the battle continues Spiff stays engaged in melee while Garret fires arrows from the concealing mist of vapor. She moves out of the ball of flame and strikes Spiff with a mighty swing while Blue administers a more potent potion of healing to Dann. With her focus on Spiff Dann calls forth a dog that attacks, it’s starting to become difficult to maneuver. Spiff gets struck by another mighty blow and Blue steps in with some spells of magical healing as Spiff’s wounds are starting to add up. Thinking he is clear Dann tries to stand and is dispatched with a mighty blow that leaves him once again in a pool of his own blood. With her exit blocked she calls on divine magic and Spiff and Garret are unable to bring themselves to attack. Eon begins to wonder out loud if staying and fighting is a good idea. With Eon blocking her exit she steps forward and stumbles missing Eon with a mighty swing breaking the enchantment preventing Garret and Spiff from attacking. Garret’s misty vapor is beginning to also hinder the party as Spiff misses again and Blue is unable to connect with his wand of shocking grasp. Eon begins retreating from room and the woman with the demon hand follows. Garret attempts another shot while blocking her exit before he falls to one of her mighty swings. As she follows Eon down the hall she spots the wedge Garret drove in the pressure plate and knocks it out as she passes dropping the portcullises to delay the party pursuit. While laying in his own blood Garret stops bleeding becoming stable.
as the group treats their wounds enough for travel Eon returns. With some of his wounds heals Garret Disables the pressure plate again and the group returns to Sandpoint.
Return to Thistletop
After a few days of rest, healing and re-suppling the group decides to return to Thistletop. Back at Thistletop they return to where Nualia escaped. Heading through the other door they find a L-shaped room with a set of double doors at one end, the other end narrows to frame a strange circular pillar carved into what appears to be an immense stack of gold coins that rises from floor to ceiling, upon examination they find a small coin sized slot. The group decides to place a gold coin in the slot and it vanishes before the pillar noisily grinds down into the floor revealing a T-shaped chamber with three sets of double doors.
In typical fashion they start on the left. Beyond the doors the party finds a dias with a marble throne flanked by statues of a man clutching a book and glaive. Upon the throne is a ghostly image of the man depicted by the statues, he seems to be speaking to an audience and keeps repeating a short message in a strange language. Eon identifies the language as Thassilonian and translates, “…is upon us, but I command you remain. Witness my power, how Alaznist’s petty wrath is but a flash compared to my strength. Take my final work to your graves, and let its memory be the last thing you…”
Continuing through the next set of doors, they find a small room with three tables, their tops covered with strange tools. The room also has a strange collection of bones near one of the tables, to many bones to be from one body but not enough to be from two. Upon examination the skeleton seems to be from a two headed man with a partial skeleton of a smaller man growing out of the small of its back. on one table they find a seven pointed star made of gold and silver; one surface studded with nodules and blades, with the other side featuring a curved blade. The group takes the strange device and all the tools found through out the room.
Coming to the final set of doors in the chamber, the group finds a set of doors made of stone with no handles and a indented seven-pointed star with hollows and slits where the handles would be. They grab the star with the curved handle they found in previous chamber and find it fits perfectly and with a turn the doors open. Inside the chamber is lit by a ten foot long pit of flickering fire with the smell of burning hair. In the two corners nearest the doors are wooden risers each holding several dozen golden candles that are burning without melting. Blue moves in to investigate the candles and is attacked by a large cat that appears out of no where and starts blinking in and out of existence. As the group jumps into action the giant cat, identified as a greater barghest lets out a roar and then unleashes a spell like ability and Eon, Blue, and Dann’s cat are overcome with great sadness. Garret begins a barrage of arrows but can’t seem to time the impact with when it’s on this plane. Dann orders his cat to attack. Spiff wades in and with the barghest blinking continues to struggle with landing a meaningful blow. The barghest lands a severe blow hamstring Spiff slowing his movement. Eon connects with missiles of arcane energy. Dann calls forth the power of flaming touch to his companion which wades in with paws of fire. Just before landing another crushing blow on Spiff the barghest blinks out giving Spiff the opportunity to call on his deities power to help smite the vile creature and finally lands a devastating blow before Eon puts it down with a ray of intense heat. Searching the rest of the room they find two hidden alcoves in the wall opposite the doors, within them they find a ring that calls forth a shieldlike pane of force.
Returning to the L-shaped room the party opens the remaining set of double doors, revealing a domed chamber supported by pillars with several dark alcoves containing standing sarcophagi. In an alcove in the far wall a statue of a stern looking man wielding a glaive and holding a book. As they move through the room vaguely humanoid outlines of shadow writhe forth from the walls. Touching Spiff he feels cold as his strength is sapped. Eon recalling incorporeal creatures susceptibility to force magic begins launching missiles of arcane energy from his wand. Garret fires volleys of arrows that just pass through their forms. Spiff wielding an enchanted blade seems to be inflicting harm on the forms sometime. Eon destroys one of the forms as Spiff again calls forth his deities power to destroy another as his strength continues to weaken from the creatures touch. Having seen his arrows are just passing through there form he calls forth his new found power and conjures a dart of acid that destroys the final shadowy form.
With resources running low and Spiff’s strength drained they carry on beyond the room to where the hall splits. Both halls they quickly discover meet at the same chamber so they split up. In the chamber the sound of sloshing water fills the room, which has almost entirely collapsed into a large tide pool. What walls remain bear carvings of incredible treasuries and one depicts a towering mountain, its peak carved in the shape of a stern face above a great palace. Below, the side of the mountain’s valley cradles a immense city of spires. In the water is the glitter of precious coins and rusted armor and weapons. Most impressive is a large coral-encrusted helmet the looks nearly five feet wide. After a few seconds the helm starts to move revealing the giant crab that makes it home. Spiff charges into the water in his weakened state, Garret Fires some arrows while Blue inspires the group with his bad humor. Dann’s cat wades in and misses badly while clumsily tearing a muscle impeding his movement. Eon makes use again of the wand of missiles. After a short battle the cat finishes the crab. Among the stash of submerged coins and gems they find a amulet that toughens the wearer’s skin. The group decides to take the giant crown. Having completed the final level of Thistletop they return to the Rusty Dragon in Sandpoint with the giant crab. They give the crab to Ameiko who prepares it for a feast. The group they decides to take some down time for rest, research, reflection, and restocking of supplies.