Thursday, May 21, 2015

Session 26 Synopsis

Previously, on Phoenix Rising...
So they opened up the western set of doors and found another room with sealed coffins in it plus something extra - some wraiths and some shadows!

When the battle was over, they found that the four coffins in this room had already been broken into and the room's murals and art had been defaced almost completely. The wraiths and shadows were able to do some damage to the party, enough so that they decided to leave the catacombs and head back to Winterhaven to get some more supplies, rest and heal (by using their bandages of recovery while traveling), and find out if Valthruun had come up with any information for Asphodel and Zerak. And Jobi needed to look into the rituals for cleansing and re-consecrating the defiled temple and altar to Sarenrae they had found in the secret room.

The trip back to Winterhaven was uneventful and when they arrived, they all set about taking care of various tasks. Jobi and Zerak first went to the temple. Zerak had a chat with Sister Linora about his previous life choices and the fact that he was really contemplating on making changes for good, for redemption. She had some advice for him including telling him to bury and bless Boris to put him (it) to rest. Jobi and Zola agreed to help him with this task. Jobi got everything she needed for the cleansing and re-consecration ritual from Sister Linora as well.

Asphodel, meanwhile, was at Valthruun's tower. She was selling off the party's acquired items and making a few purchases which included some new bracers of armor and a larger bag of holding (and her smaller bag of holding went to Jobi). Valthruun also took some timie with her privately and told her of her research findings into the subjects she was asking about. Asphodel had a lot to think about after their conversation (but none of it will be repeated here).

Zerak also made his way to Valthruun's tower and had an even longer private chat, which, afterwards, had visibly disturbed him very deeply. He had let Valthruun do a divinatiion on Priscilla, the doll that his mother had given him. The results were astounding and certainly completely unexpected for the minute he started the spell, Zerak, Asphodel, and Valthruun were thrown across the room and onto the ground from an invisible force emanating from the doll. After that, Valthruun wanted no more part of the doll, citing that it definitely had some dubious beginnings in the necromantic arts.

So Asphodel and Zerak went back to the Wrafton Inn and began drinking whiskey to try and help ease the news they had both received. Eventually everyone else made it back to the Inn and either drank heavily, watched the others drink heavily, or just relaxed had dinner and went to sleep for the night. The next day proved to be very challenging for Zerak - hangover and burying Boris. So our heroes stayed an extra day in Winterhaven before setting back out to the Gardmore Abbey area. Again, they had a very uneventful trip back to Dragon's Roost and then descended back into the catacombs.

Once at one of the doors that they had not opened yet, Blackwell did his usual thing and checked the door for traps and found a magical glyph inscribed on it. Though his diable device ability makes him very good at, well, disabling things, he wasn't good enough for this glyph and he ended up setting it off. The entire area was filled with electricity and smoked him pretty good (everyone else had backed quite a ways away - maily from experience - and were spared any damage). After getting healed from one of the healing wands the party has, he then unlocked the door and Asphodel slowly opened the creaking door:

This enormous chamber holds the remains of the leaders of the abbey and has many stone sarcophagi in the room. Your footsteps echo throughout this enormous chamber, a mansion for the dead knights of the abbey. From where you stand, you can see at least half a dozen stone sarcophagi arrayed around the shadow-draped chamber, and more probably stand in the darkness deeper inside. A strange reddish glow tinges the shadows, apparently emanating from something near the wall to your right. There doesn't seem to be any creatures lurking about in here.

Our heroes slowly and quietly entered the room, expecting something to jump out at them. But when Zerak and Blackwell had made it to about the center of the chamber (and everyone else spread out in back of them) trying to see where the reddish glow was coming from, they didn't expect creatures to just form out of smoke right next to them, nor the shadows separating from the walls and advancing on them. They were being attacked by shadows, vampire spawn, and a true vampire formed right in front of Zerak!

The party, taken a bit by surprise sustained some substantial injuries from these monsters as they slammed into them and bit them and drained their blood and strength as much as they could. Spells were flying from both directions - the vampire was also a sorcerer and was casting some nasty spells at them, until Zerak started to counter-spell her spells. Then Jobi also did the same thing. Asphodel waded into melee with the undead creatures. Blackwell used his bow for a while, then switched to his longsword. All told, there were 3 vampire spawn, 5 shadows, 1 vampire, and then an evil priest of Urgathoa slunk out from the depths of the shadows (actually was invisible before attacking). He used some kind of power that turned Zola into stone! Jobi kept casting spells as long as she could until she was nearly brought down by the vampire (and so ran out of the room to relative safety). Zerak was casting summoning spells for a celestial rhino and a hound archon. The rhino kept charging first the vampire then the evil priest and the archon tried to stay close to the enemies in order to let its abilities benefit the melee fighters in the party. And Kel kept channeling positive energy to help heal the party and damage the undead. Once Zola turned back into flesh, she was able to continue the fight by using healing spells on the undead in addition to her mighty two-handed sword.

Then Asphodel used the Donjon card on the evil priest and sent him away for a round. And when he reappeared, naked with all his stuff beside him, the group concentrated on killing him. Zerak then used the Skull card from the Deck of Many Things against the evil priest and knocked him unconscious. That was all that was needed for practically the rest of our heroes to rush up and and deliver a coup-de-grace against the priest and kill him (if memory serves, Zola actually did this I think, but it could have been Blackwell). By this time all the other enemies had also been dispatched and the room was now theirs. If not for the powers of the cards, this battle would most likley been much, much worse for our heroes. A quick glance at the priest's dead body shows that he had sores and crystalline growths on his body, possible indications of some strange disease, though which one is not known by any of our heroes.

The pile of items left from the evil priest included the following: +1 scale mail, +2 morning star, +2 ring of protection, +1 sling, +3 cloak of resistance, 2 potions of barkskin (+4 nat AC), a gold unholy symbol of Urgathoa (that was radiating magic from part of it) and three more cards from the Deck of Many Things! The cards are labeled as Euryale, Star, and Vizier.

The southeast sarcophagus has an ancient looking bowl sitting on top of the coffin lid. This bowl matches the description that Sir Oakley gave you of the Bowl of Io's Blood, one of the sacred vessels that he requires to purify the temple. Now all you need are the other two items to do the purification of Bahamut's temple above you.

Also near the bowl is a journal or diary with the initials VC on the cover. Maybe that evil priest was actually Vadin Cartwright, the evil cult leader that the priest had mentioned to you to kill if your paths crossed. Grundelmar will be happy to hear that you slew Vadin Cartwright and maybe even give you a reward for his journal.

In addition there was a magical longsword lying on the coffin as well. When identified, it was discovered to be called Moonbane (written in elvish along the blade) and is a +2 silvered, ghost-touched longsword with shocking burst. Sergeant Murgeddin will be very pleased that you found this ancient sword.

The area that the red glowing light was emanating from turned out to be a small metal work table where Vadin Cartwright had something very unusual on it. The table had sides so it could hold a liquid about four inches deep. There is a strange looking substance on the table. It is pale red with streaks of silver and flecks of gold in it. This strange substance catches light like crystal but flows like a viscous liquid when the table is bumped. None of our heroes had seen anything like it before. In addition, they were able to find a secret door in the far corner of the room, which looks like no one has disturbed in years, maybe decades or more...

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