Sunday, June 14, 2015

Session 47 Synopsis

Previously, on Phoenix Rising...
… Armed with limited knowledge of this underground library complex, they now faced a decision of either: going through the single door and exploring what is supposed to be another library beyond, or to go through the double doors and go further into the belly of the beast…

So the party decided to go through the other single door so as not to leave any places behind them unexplored. The door revealed a hallway similar to the one that led to the other library. Blackwell went ahead and checked every inch of the hallway for traps as he slowly made his way to the closed door at the end of the hall. He was feeling confident that there were no traps on the door when he opened it. But to his surprise, the entire floor gave way and opened into a deep pit. His reflexes were almost good enough for him to reach back the ten feet to the solid floor, but he narrowly missed this and proceeded to skid his way down the sixty feet to the bottom – which also had long, sharp, rusty and poisoned spikes at the bottom of the pit. He sustained some damage but fortunately the poison did not take hold of him. Asphodel threw a rope down to Blackwell so he could get back up. Then he looked around for a way to disarm and reset the floor. He found a small panel at the end of the hallway (which is where Barabass had said it would be incidentally).

After resetting the floor he was able to walk into the room beyond. He again began looking for more traps as he slowly advanced into the room with Zerak, Zola and Jobi making their way right behind him. Just as he was about to step forward, he felt the unmistakable tug of a wire on his ankle. He stopped in mid step and looked down and, sure enough, saw a thin metal wire stretching outward. He was certain it was very near the breaking point so he cautiously backed up and allowed the tension to be relieved. Then he started scanning the room trying to follow the wire along its course to find the origin of the trap. He told everyone else to get out of the room in case he blundered and set the trap off. Then he slowly followed the trip wire back to its origins and found that it led through a small hole in the wall near a corner of the room. There he began disarming the trap and soon had the false wall panel removed and saw that the wire was attached to a small ring that had two posts positioned on the top and bottom of a glowing gem. It looked like the trip wire would cause the two posts to crush the gem, releasing who knew what of a magic trap. The gem detected as not only conjuration magic but also abjuration magic as well. Blackwell was successful in removing the strange jewel and disarming the trap in general. He gave the jewel to whoever wanted it and the group studied it a bit further only to find that the abjuration part of the magic on it was most likely an alarm spell. The conjuration part was currently still a mystery. Nevertheless it was thought that it may prove useful to a room full of unsuspecting victims… uh, foes.

With the traps cleared away, Zerak led the charge to find anything that might be useful in their hunt for historical books, etc. While they did not find much in the way of historical evidence to use against Mordai Vell’s sinister plans, they did find a Manual of Clay Golems, another divine based scroll of spells and another arcane based scroll. So with this library pretty well picked through for anything immediately important, our heroes made their way back to the (broken) statue room and proceeded to open the remaining double doors into the rest of the complex. They revealed a long ten foot wide corridor that had two doors on each the left and right walls as well as a door at the very end of the corridor. Blackwell started by checking for traps along the entire hallway and doors first. Then they came back to the first door on the left which he unlocked and they proceeded to go down the short hallway that again ended in a locked and magically trapped door. This time Blackwell was able to disarm, unlock and open the door without incident. What they saw beyond the door was obviously a scribe’s workroom – complete with half a dozen bookshelves and three working tables. And all had written works in various states of completeness, but there were no people in the room. So Kel decided to enter the room and look at the open books on the worktables. There she saw that it looked like the scribe had stopped writing in mid-word, for the quill was just dropped at some point like someone was in a real hurry. Shortly thereafter, Kel found out what had happened to the scribes for a total of six scorching rays blasted into her from three different corners of the room – but there was no one in any of the corners! The damage done to her was great and she immediately began to plan her escape from the room as quickly as she could for another attack even only partially in strength as that one would surely bring her closer to Desna than she really wanted to be at this moment.

Soon the party figured out that they were battling three wizards who had cast greater invisibility spells on themselves so they could attack without breaking their invisibility. The battle was long and difficult and soon our heroes became frustrated and decided that area of effect spells were going to have to be used in order to pin them down. Zerak was not happy about the decision but went along with it since it was more important to vanquish these wizards than it was to save the papers and books within the room. First, a fireball was sent into the middle of the room by Jobi and then Asphodel used her breath weapon to breathe a cone of ice. A little bit later Kel came back in an unleashed a flame strike spell in one half of the room.

Somehow one of the wizards got behind them and sent a lightning bolt down the corridor significantly hitting Zerak, Jobi, Kel and narrowly missing Blackwell. So Zerak returned the favor with his own lightning bolt and Jobi helped out with her scorching rays to make the evil wizard take a dirt nap. Soon the other two wizards were beaten down by Zola’s and Asphodel’s weapons which they had to swing several extra times just to connect with the invisible foes and in the end they stood over three bodies and lots of ruined books and papers. A quick search through the room revealed that none of the written material had survived as everyone had suspected. But they did loot the wizards and came out with at least something for the troubles they caused.

After casting some healing on the group they made their way across the hall to the next door. The usual process of checking for traps and unlocking, etc. was followed and revealed another short hallway that ended in a door. Our heroes all got into the corridor and closed the door behind them before opening the door in front of them. This door opened into what was a prison area complete with four guards in heavy armor and another being encased in full plate armor that was as black as night itself. The guards reacted quickly and the battle began. The four guards proved to be accomplished fighters though ultimately not enough to keep from falling to our heroes. Several fireballs were cast into the room that just missed the prison cells and tried to capture as many foes in them as possible. Our heroes heard the screams from the prisoners when the spells went off and they sounded like women screaming. The first ones into the room were Asphodel and then Zola followed by Kel. Zerak, Blackwell and Jobi tried to stay as close to the door as possible so they would stay out of melee range with their enemies. As soon as our heroes had entered the room, they felt a strange and evil feeling aura wash over them:

You feel a soul-rending sensation of isolation and loss which can only be described as feeling as if the gods themselves had suddenly turned away from you.

This feeling immediately got Zerak probing his memory. It quickly dawned on him that this creature must be a graveknight and he shouted out as much. He knew they were resistant to many different forms of energy, had damage resistance, and were generally regarded as the “lich” form of powerful fighter types. If it were allowed to gain the upper hand, it could cause great harm to all of them. Armed with this knowledge the party prepared to face the creature but first they still had a few rounds of battle to go with the other guards before Asphodel and Zola were free to engage it. Zerak cast a summon monster spell and had a dire lion attack the graveknight. He watched with concern as the graveknight dispatched his summoned creature in only one round of combat. But the lion gave Asphodel and Zola enough time to advance and get the graveknight cornered. Zola’s smite evil against it succeeded and now the rest of her attacks would ignore its damage resistance. Asphodel’s attacks were powerful enough that a lot of the damage could get through fairly consistently.

But we come to another end of a session in mid-battle this time and have to bid farewell to our stalwart band. Until next week...

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