Saturday, March 26, 2011

Averlorn Campaign: Of Baked Ham, Horned Devils and Chimeras

Recap from 3/11/2011

The next day after the encounter with the Otyughs, we decided to explore the labyrinth further and try to find out if any of the rooms we had been to previously contained traps.  As we opened the door from the Cyclops’ room to the hallway with the summoning circle, an odd spectacle awaited us.  There was a sheep walking down the hallway away from us past the summoning circle!  We thought this was very odd indeed for such a place but then Gradwyn had an “aha” moment.  He speculated that the summoning circle may actually polymorph its victims into sheep or other creatures and that the proximity of the rat tunnels to the circle could serve as a “monster generator” for the complex (or a sheep generator for food)!  He surmised this because we had learned that Zingalis was actually a transmuter of great renown.

Since the summoning circle had the word “TRAP” spelled out on the floor in one of the magical languages, we decided it would be prudent to search for traps in the hallway and some of the rooms we had visited before that were suspicious.  Kaira cast the cleric spell Detect Traps and looked down the hallway.  The summoning circle was clearly illuminated in a magical blue light by her godess Athena indicating that it was an obvious trap.  The section of floor to the left of the circle, however, was not trapped meaning it might be possible to walk around the trap.

While the spell was still running we returned to the area of the Labyrinth where the oubliette was located and Athena’s power showed us that the lever on the wall over the oubliette on the right side of the room was a trap.  We also had a feeling that we were once again being watched and Taleth the Ranger noticed that there was another one of the rotating eye surveillance devices cleverly hidden in one of the upper corners of the ceiling which was moving around and following our movements as we walked through the room.  While the spell was still running we returned to the room where we fought the Otyugh’s and she didn’t see any traps in there, so we went to the room with the locked doors and the hallway with the mosaics on the floor.  She didn’t see any traps at either location but Gradwyn cast detect magic on the doors and they detected as magical.

Since the hallway wasn’t trapped, we walked to the end of the hall and found a doorway with a circular room beyond that was empty.  The circular room had a few doors in it but we returned to the previous room with the locked double doors that detected as magical.  Asclepius cast knock on the doors and the magic detection abated and we smelled a familiar smell – it was the smell of a finely cooked meal of baked ham!  That was really strange but the doors opened from the Knock spell and low and behold there was a small dining chamber within with a round table, four chairs, silverware, four full wine glasses (two with red wine and two with white), and four plates with cooked carrots and freshly cooked and savory baked ham sitting on them that was still warm as if from the oven!  The group thought that this was surely a trap or the food and wine was poisoned but Gradwyn thought that maybe it was a reward for the students of the Laughing Mage for figuring out that in order to open the locked doors, the young wizards would have to cast a knock spell on them.  Everyone else was suspicious that it was trapped or poisoned though Kaira’s spell didn’t indicate a trap was present. 

Since Gradwyn was a dwarf and was highly resistant to poison he tried it out.  He choked as if he was stricken and said this is obviously poisoned and greedily ate a few mouthfuls of ham and carrots and washed it down with the red wine.  Teth-en-Aire sat down next to him and started eating as well and then the rest of the group devoured the rest.  Somewhwere the laughing mage was cackling with delight!  We had heard he had a sinister sense of humor but this was funny in a good way which was more than a bit odd.

So we decided to return to the Shrine outside and see if we could learn some of the opening spells that were inscribed within on the walls since it would obviously make it easier to navigate the wizard’s gauntlet if we were armed with the right tools.  As we went through the oubliette room, we smelled the smell of fire and brimstone and were confronted by three Horned Devils!  Two charged us to attack and one stayed in the back by the exit and summoned forth a wall of fire right across both Lucias and Taleth!  Both were burned by the devilish sheet of flames but Lucias wasn’t burned as bad because he was wearing a ring of fire resistance.

The archers and the elf managed to kill the one that had summoned the wall of fire in the back with magic missiles and arrows from the archers that had magical arrows.  The others without spells or magic weapons couldn’t do very much but Kaira cast prayer to aid her allies.  The two combatants managed to kill one of the two remaining devils they were facing until Taleth was forced to withdraw due to his injuries but Lucias fought on despite his burns and wounds.  The last remaining devil teleported himself to the rear of the room right next to Taleth and Asclepius.  Asclepius withdrew because he had no magical weapons and Taleth fought on despite being wounded.  Lucias moved to engage the last devil and Gradwyn cast a cure light wounds spell on him which helped him recover somewhat from his wounds.  The remaining devil tried twice to summon another one of his number from Hades but was unsuccessful and the group finally managed to slay the evil creature.

After this encounter we returned to the Cyclops’ room and the clerics cast healing spells on both Taleth and Lucias.  We decided to rest up for the night rather than risk finding the lair of the Horned Devils to find their loot, since we were pretty badly chewed up at that point and needed to recover spells.  The next day, Gradwyn wanted to explore the shrine with its hidden secrets that he had heard so much about, so we left the labyrinth and returned to the shrine to deal with the Chimeras that had taken up residence there.  We formulated a bold plan – Lucias and Teth-en-Aire would get their attention at the shrine doors while Asclepius cast slow on the creatures, and we would try our skirmisher tactic once again to pelt them with arrows, magic missiles, and other ranged spells while the two at front fell back as necessary.

It seemed like a good plan at the time but immediately started to unravel as is often the case with plans – no good plan survives first contact with the enemy!  We thought there was one or possibly two Chimera in there but there turned out to be three, and only one of them was slowed by the spell since the other two made their saves.  To make matters worse, one of the ones that wasn’t slowed went after Teth-en-Aire, while the slowed one and another one went after Lucias.  Teth-en-Aire tried to withdraw but the creature followed sensing desperation and the dragon’s head breathed fire on the stricken elf.  Since he didn’t have his Frost Brand drawn at the time (I’m not sure why – it was part of why he was up there in the first place) he took full damage from the fiery breath weapon.

Meanwhile, Lucias managed to slay the non-slowed Chimera with the aid of the arrows and spells of the rest of the group but he got burned a bit when he was breathed on by the dragon head’s breath but was otherwise holding his own.  Teth-en-Aire wasn’t so lucky – as he tried to withdraw again, it again followed him and attacked with its five attacks (three bites and two claws).  He was hurt badly at this point and getting desperate.  Gradwyn wanted to cast lightning bolt on the evil creature but would have killed the elf so he and the others continued pelting it with magic missiles and arrows but it got another round of five attacks on the hapless elf and he went down before the group finally managed to kill it.  Lucias finally overcame the one he was fighting as well and was hurt but not too badly.

Teth-en-Aire was mortally wounded at this point however, but took a long time to die (50 minutes per the death and dismemberment table).  He said, “I… feel… so… c-c-cold” and then said “I see a light up ahead” and we told him to “walk away from the light”.  He then got delirious and passed out for a while.  Then he awoke again and kept saying "I... have... plans".  First, he told Lucias to take his spell book and sell it and have the Surgeon’s Guild raise him from the dead and if that wasn’t enough money he told him to sell his Frost Brand Sword for the transaction.  Later he said “I… c-c-can’t… feel… my… legs” and then he died.  It was overly dramatic as is usually the case with our young and aloof Elven ally but he went out in style and his comments were hilariously funny for such a sad moment.  We decided that the shrine could wait and that we had to return him to Medea’s Gate to have Raised before we ran out of time for the spell to work.  Asclepius cast Wizard Lock on the Shrine doors after we determined that the Chimera had no treasure, since they had only recently taken up residence there.

We returned to Medea’s Gate and contacted the Surgeon’s Guild and Marut once again came to see us.  He said that they could raise him for a price and that we would owe them another favor as well in return, unless Teth-en-Aire would join the guild.  Since we weren’t sure if he wanted to do this, Gradwyn cast Speak With Dead and asked him.  When he asked Teth-en-Aire’s spirit if he wanted to do this, he said in a ghostly voice “NO”.  Since Teth-en-Aire had been a reliable and faithful ally since we had been adventuring, we decided to use the loot we found form the orcs on the way to the tower to pay to have him raised. 

He was returned to life by the Surgeon’s of Hechate with no problem and very happy to be alive.  We celebrated by doing some carousing in Medea’s Gate while we were waiting for him to recover.  Nothing too bad happened as a result but Taleth got involved with some local woman who wanted him to marry her right away but he successfully rebuffed her entreaties.  Renna ended up getting in over her head with some gambling debts and Kaira had to help her out with her debts.  Everyone else who took part in the carousing did so without any mishaps from the carousing table.


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