Sunday, June 14, 2015

Session 50 Synopsis

Previously, on Phoenix Rising...
… The devil once again trapped Blackwell in her tentacle cage and by this point had nearly bludgeoned him to death – one more round of these attacks from her and he would die in this forsaken place – something he was not relishing. But there was some hope for him for Asphodel, Zola and Kel were all within striking distance of this devil and maybe, just maybe they would do enough damage to her to kill her before she killed him…

But the bludgeoning attack came too quickly and Blackwell felt his life being squeezed out of him by this infernal bitch’s tentacles. Then everything went black as he passed into unconsciousness.

Zola and Asphodel looked on as the devil automatically pummeled Blackwell into what looked like death for the human. But then she teleported away and left Blackwell in a heap on the floor where they both had been just moments before. The handmaiden then reappeared in back of Zerak who was standing in the room near the far wall. So now Asphodel and Zola had to figure a way back through the black tentacles to reengage the devil.

Meanwhile Zerak decided the best alternative was to flee from the devil as fast as possible and ran to the other corner of the room. Kel took up a position near Jobi to protect her if the devil decided to go after her. And the devil came into melee with Kel almost immediately. The tactic of grabbing onto her opponent and forcing them into her tentacle cage did not work on Kel because of her faith in her god’s liberation domain and clearly frustrated the devil. By this time Asphodel used a dimension door spell and popped back into the room and was able to get an attack on the devil about the same time that Zerak’s summoned dire tiger appeared and pounced. But both attacks were only marginally effective and the devil once again teleported back out of the room and right next to Zola. Blackwell fortunately had been revived by Zola a short time ago and he was able to move further down the hallway to get a chance to drink some more healing potions.

With the black tentacles still being an issue, Asphodel decided maybe the direct approach was best and enlarged herself. Then she rammed into the stone wall of the room that separated them from the main hall. She hit it very hard and damaged it significantly causing bricks to dislodge as well as dirt and mortar from the ceiling, but she didn’t break completely through the wall. So Zerak stepped in with a shatter spell and finished the job. Now the gaping hole in the wall gave them access to the hallway. At the same time Kel remembered that she could give freedom of movement to her allies within a certain distance from her. She activated the ability which then let Jobi escape the black tentacles and retreat further into the room since there was not really anything she could do against the devil because most of her spells were centered on fire, which devils are immune to.

Asphodel came running out and closed into melee distance with the devil as Zola positioned herself to flank. With those two attacking along with Blackwell shooting at it and Kel also in melee, they finally defeated the devil when Zerak’s magic missiles penetrated her spell resistance and dealt the final lethal blow. Everyone let out a sigh of relief and commenced to patching up wounds.

Zerak then investigated the lab and after using his mask of a thousand tomes he was able to discern that most of the alchemical ingredients were rare with some not even of this world and most had to do with the creation of that foul brew used in capturing people’s souls, or dominating them, or, well he wasn’t quite sure how the liquid worked. He did know that all of it was highly toxic and not something to be casually messed with. But he also found 3 cure critical wounds potions in the lab and those would most definitely be useful.

After they had patched themselves up they were ready to explore the last door in the main hallway. Nothing had come out of it yet, even after all the noise of breaking down the wall occurred. So maybe there was no one in there – more likely though a trap had been staged by whoever, or whatever was behind that door. Once again Asphodel opened the door which revealed as no surprise another short hallway ending in a door. Once again Blackwell searched and unlocked and opened the door revealing another large room. This one had many large wooden crates in it – some not closed with what looked like books and papers sticking out of them – definitely not a place for fireballs or any other type of fire source if Zerak wanted to keep whatever knowledge was written on them intact. But there was a nasty looking creature near the back of the room – he had many razor sharp spike growing out of his body at all angles. The party identified him as a barbed devil, one that used its spike effectively against all who entered melee combat with it. This was going to hurt.

Zola rushed into the room to the attack as did Blackwell and Asphodel. Blackwell made sure to stay well out of the way and used his pistols against the creature. Even though the damage dealt back to each of our heroes was significant, it was not enough to keep them from melee combat with the devil. Then another threat appeared – invisible imps, about a dozen of them materialized and swarmed in groups of four around some of the heroes. The imps were not a huge threat but they did have a poison stinger and could potentially cause damage to them. The most they did however was drain away resources that could have been better spent on fighting the barbed devil and they knew it and worked in unison with each other to keep the party from concentrating on the devil. Zerak used a see invisibility spell and shouted out the locations of the imps so that the rest of the party would not always end up surprised by the little devils when they attacked.

Close to the end of the battle, the barbed devil teleported outside the room in the main corridor, right behind Zerak. This caused a shift in where the main battle was taking place but soon Asphodel, Zola and Kel were out in the hallway battling this creature toe-to-toe. Suddenly, two bearded devils ran out of the wall at the end of the corridor and closed within glaive range with Kel and struck a couple of nasty blows against her. Looking where those devils came from, they only saw a blank solid wall but nevertheless they were now there and fresh for the fight. By now all the imps had been killed and Jobi was able to come up and heal Kel just in the nick of time for she had nowhere to retreat to without provoking attacks from any of the three remaining devils. The bearded devils’ glaives had caused some very nasty bleeding wounds on her that would have surely dropped her in a few seconds had Jobi not been there to help. Blackwell came up and used his pistols against the barbed devil as did Zerak with more force missiles. That coupled along with Asphodel and Zola beating on it, the devil finally fell and left the field open for Zola and Asphodel to advance on the two newcomers. With ranged support, the two bearded devils fell very quickly without anyone else in the party falling from injuries.

Now that the battle was over, Blackwell headed over to the “wall” and did indeed discover it was an illusion and the hallway continued further along. Soon everyone had dis-believed the illusion and saw that the corridor went for another twenty feet or so and ended in a pair of large wooden doors that were banded in steel and silver and had ancient symbols etched into their surfaces. But since they were closed our heroes decided that they would be better served if they investigated the room with all the crates and possibly even holing up in there to rest for a while. Even though they it had not been long since they were fully rested, they had taken a fair amount of punishment in a pretty short time. And no doubt that the last door they knew of promised more of the same. Plus it would take a long time to go through all those crates to see what was really important in them.

After several hours of searching, our heroes found the following items contained within the crates:

Artwork items totaling 20,000 gold pieces – 12 small statues in marble, 24 small to medium sized paintings, 10 crystal vases, 6 crystal pitchers and 30 crystal glasses 3,000 gold piece worth total in various coin denominations

The Documentation contained in the crates consists of the following:

A notebook written by Alira Vond contains notes and partial explanations of the documents here but also makes note that most of the original texts have already been removed from the site. By using this notebook and the documents still here the following details are able to be discerned (but actual proof will need the other missing original texts):
The true lineage of Lord Nasher Alagondar:
…This names Ashmalia Ruunleit as the wife of Lord Nasher’s second son, Belthor.
…Ashmalia was the sister of Lucretia Ruunleit
…Lucretia is Zerak’s great-great grandmother
…There is a note that states that Ashmalia’s family changed their name to Brunleaf shortly after the wedding since it was about to be discovered that the Ruunleit’s had a history involved with Thay.
…Just after the Spellplague hit, the Alagondar family name is changed to Sommset for some unknown reason.
…This lineage follows straight to Telliann as being a direct and the last living descendant of Lord Nasher Alagondar himself – she is the real heir to the Neverwinter crown and is a target for their soul capture ritual or target for death if that doesn’t work for some reason.

A page has notes on Zerak:
…has been looking into the Orpheus stone
…a direct descendant trying to make a play at the throne
…target for death.
Some notes state that the Orpheus Stone was stolen and taken to Luskan in an attempt to bring down the Neverwinter throne a few of centuries ago. The cult seems to think that it may still be in Luskan since that city was decimated without any prior warning when the Spellplague hit. The Ashmadai cult has sent a team of investigators to Luskan to see if they can find the stone amongst the ruins of the city.

And this is where we must leave our stalwart band of heroes for this session has come to an end. Next week we’ll see what they make of all this new information and what manner of evil lurks beyond the steel and silver banded door…

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