The Hidden

Session 16: Harvest Festival

Posted by zero

21 Eleint (Continued)

Jack pulled the goliath’s attention off of Fritz, while the others took their positions in the streets of Barter’s Pass. Gretch’s deadly knives drew first blood and with the others occupying the bulky bodyguard, the paladin advanced on the trickster. The squirrelly man fought viciously, but he proved not to be up to the task of defeating the adventurers. With his employer slain, the fight went out of the goliath, and he surrendered. The last of the conspirators defeated, they bound him and later put him in one of Hummut’s empty storage rooms.

Fritz was in bad shape, so the heroes helped Zelda get him into his room in the Kickin’ Chicken so she could tend to him properly. The other pillars of the community came out to congratulate the adventurers on their success in ridding Barter’s Pass of the cultists and saving many lives. Still, several of the pilgrims had been killed by Gretch and his associates, and the survivors worked to bury their dead. One more sacrificial victim had been found on the altar at the Pilgrim’s Shrine, and when the group recovered the woman, her child and dead husband from the temple of Gond, they discovered that she was also related to them.

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Session 15: The Rose

Posted by zero

21 Eleint (Continued)

Interrupted a vampire toying with an infant on the sacrificial altar of the next ritual chamber. Jack charged forward to delay the monster while the others put the boneshard and burning skeletons it summoned down. The monster could not stand against their combined might, even with the ability to raise its minions back from oblivion to fight again. Returned the child to its mother, the previous sacrificial victim, in the room we’d left her.

Found the Chamber of the Rose, where four large portal were opened to other planes along with a smaller fifth portal that opened up on Barter’s Pass. The artifact, a living construct with the appearance of a woman with alabaster skin was being subjected to the cultists’ ritual. Blood dripped on her open skull from the rooms above, and three “tieflings” looking like Maurissa were upon the dais. One proved to be Gennevive, another a grick alpha, and the third a powerful sorceress. Battling the lesser gricks proved a challenge, and Gennevive escaped into the Shadowfell portal after digging her fingers into the Rose’s brain. The sorceress downed Jack, Ixtab and Tegalad, leaving Chipper and Onyx to finish her and the remaining grick alpha off. Fortunately, they were up to the task.

As the stricken party members were revived and took a minute to rest, someone noticed activity through the Barter’s Pass portal. Fritz Orgolot stood alone against the man Gretch, who’d sent the adventurers on the wild goose chase after his “wife” in the first place and his bodyguard the goliath. Though they had not yet recovered from the previous encounter, Jack rushed through the portal and the others followed behind him to come to the bartender’s aid.


Chapter 2 – Bad Moon Rising

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Session 14: Screams

Posted by zero

21 Eleint (Continued)

Through the door at the end of the curved hall, we found a locked and trapped door, which Ixtab and Chipper dispensed with in short order. A similarly trapped/locked door led us back into the other curved hallway, where we had to dispose of four wights. Two more doors with names waited for us there: Master Graagi and Master Crast.

Graagi had been a goliath with a large and wicked blade – the guardian of the ears of the Rose. From the vision we guessed that he had betrayed the temple, because an image of Thadius Markins came in and crushed him down with a large crystalline hammer. Forced to flee, Markins did not see Graagi’s vengeance, a magic circle traced into the ground in his own blood. The undead apprentices – lowly specters – fell easily enough, but it took all of our combined strength and cunning to bring the former gondsman down. Jack claimed a javelin with a fiery enchantment.

Master Crast had been a gnome illusionist, and the guardian of the tongue of the Rose. She was attended by the most servants, and had a pair of apprentices besides. In the vision, she was crushed to death by a balor – the strongest of demons, I’m told. She arose as a banshee, her apprentices as phantom warriors, and the servants as pale reaver minions. This was one of the most difficult fights the heroes have faced in their short career as adventurers, but in the end they were victorious and no one had been killed. Progress!


Chapter 2 – Bad Moon Rising

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Session 13: Echoes

Posted by zero

21 Eleint (Continued)

Behind the first door we witnessed an illusory scene from the temple’s history. Lucius, attended by servants and acolytes, was in his chamber handling a treasure shaped like a leaf encrusted with green gemstones. The second half of the scene was him running in terror, frantically searching for something before the door was beaten in. Then he and his retinue turned into spectral undead and we had to send them to their final reward.

The next door was Grenda’s room, and a similar pair of scenes played out with her holding a red sphere apparently made of twisted tubes. After the scenes finished, we had to put down the phantom warriors and pale reaver lord that remained.


Chapter 2 – Bad Moon Rising

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Session 12: Ritual Survivor
"Hey, we _saved_ someone!"

Posted by zero

21 Eleint (Continued)

Killed some more devils, then found another ritual in progress run by a succubus. Killed her minions, then send the bedeviled (heh) druid to tend to the victim’s wounds while the rest of us put the bitch down. Found a scroll written in Supernal (which none of us can read), but by a quirk of fortune (read: unlikely die roll) the lady we saved knew the language and translated for us. Onyx had some ideas about what the scroll meant, but it wasn’t immediately obvious how that helped us.

Tried to escort the lady to the surface, discovered that the first ritual victim had been her husband, and then found out that the “way out” we thought we had was not a way out. Found a “secure” room for her and left her with her husband’s body to mourn or whatever. Drank from another healing fountain, then went down some stairs to fight some undead.


Chapter 2 – Bad Moon Rising

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Session 11: The Iron Man
The Tale of Tyno Skrat

Posted by zero

21 Eleint (Continued)

From ogres to devils in a wide curving hallway, and the rooms beyond. In a dormitory, found the body of Tyno Skrat in a wardrobe, clutching a diary. It held some insights about what had happened in the temple of Gond, the importance of Thadius Markins and the Rose, and even a bit about Tegalad’s mentor.

Followed clues left by Skrat’s contemporaries in the dining room back to the dorm to a book with a story about a man of iron would wanted to be a hero. Dispatched more foulspawn in the quartermaster’s office and found the duplicate key Skrat had made to the vault housing the Rose.

Crossed to the other side of the ogre camp and found Skrat’s greatest treasures – circle dancer gloves and a suit of artifact plate armor. Ended after killing a pain devil.


Chapter 2 – Bad Moon Rising

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Session 10: Ritual Killers

Posted by zero

21 Eleint (Continued)

Used the golden symbol of Gond to open double doors and revealed a ritual in progress. “Tiefling” woman (turned out to be a doppelganger – not Gennevive) making cuts in a live sacrifice, slowly draining his blood. Demons were hanging out, too. We killed them all and looted the place. Magic Shield!

Found a locked door Chipper couldn’t open. Went all the way back around to the door at the end of the opposite hallway. Fought another Neldrazu and a mind-controlling Needle Demon. Spanked them and looted their room. Found the key we needed.

Unlocked the door and came into a room partitioned with metal lattices. Three ogres huddled around a campfire, of all things. They wanted the shiny paladin, but the drow killed one of them with a well placed dagger throw and drew the others’ ire. The brutish creatures were easily brought down and looting their corpses produced the missing parts of another Healing Font. Once these were added, we drank deeply and were restored.


Chapter 2 – Bad Moon Rising

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Session 9: Aberrant Behavior
Gond With The Win

Posted by GnomeSplosion

21 Eleint (Continued)

After checking the ruins and finding the Font of Convalescence and using its power to rejuvenate their exhausted bodies and minds, Ixtab found a part of one of the statues contained a pouch of platinum coins. The party decided it was time to head on and made the decision to leave the foyer for the hallway on the right. They heard voices on the other side of the door and proceeded cautiously through into the path of a monstrous mass of flesh swarming with emerging and disappearing eyes and mouths that chittered and gibbered maddeningly.

The creature distracted and caused headaches as the adventurers found it difficult to get close to the source of the cacophony. At one point all around it were terrified and startled to find disturbing mouths begin to roil and emerge on their own bodies and proceed to bite their hosts. Disgusted, the team worked diligently to off this abomination to nature so that they could wipe it clear of the realm’s surface.

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Session 8: The Misty Temple
Old Man Mountain Face

Posted by zero

21 Eleint (Continued)

The heroes stopped the geonid from rushing off alone, assuring the crystalline earth elemental that they would help it rid its temple of demons. It told the adventurers that the invaders were trying to complete a ritual further within the compound. Once rested, the group pressed through the wide corridor at the back of the foggy chamber. The massive room beyond was far less misty, and contained a number of toppled columns as well as another group of demons. The geonid rushed forward and attacked one of the maw demons while Chipper covered the others’ approach with his cloud of darkness.

When the melee began in earnest, the drow and Jack focused on the bloodseep demon while the others kept the lesser demons busy. Jack couldn’t prevent it from vomiting on most of the party, but he did manage to keep them safe from its terrible claws. Once the leader was slain the paladin moved to support the elves and Ixtab, while Chipper went to rescue the geonid from the vicious maw demon. It didn’t take long for the demons to fall before the heroes’ fury.

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Session 7: Exterminators
In Which The Heroes Take Some Demons to the Old School

Posted by zero

21 Eleint (Continued)

The adventurers left the web room behind them and entered an increasingly hot and humid section of the caverns. Chipper scouted ahead and came back to inform the others of a long, narrow natural rock bridge spanning an underground river. There were a number of demons similar to those already encountered as well as a pair of a type he hadn’t seen before. They were smallish creatures but appeared to be mostly fanged maw. All of the demons were defiling the river, and some of them were bringing out a large cauldron from a lighted tunnel on the far side of the bridge. With nowhere to hide, the heroes advanced as one and took the fight to the demons.

It didn’t last long.

Onyx flung one of the blood-seeping demons from his precarious perch in the center of the bridge, and the beast was washed away by the rapidly flowing river. Tegalad and Jack engaged the maw demons at the near side of the bridge while the drow and Ixtab struck at them from range. One of the small, tentacled minions advanced on the paladin of Ilmater and exploded, coating him in sticky tendrils that restrained him, effectively removing him from the fight. Fortunately, the last of the demons fell before the others shortly thereafter.

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