Celysion - The Looming Darkness

Episode 14 - Further into the Ziggurat

Players

  • Michael (Nobby – Halfing Rogue)
  • Trevor (Trel – Human Psion)
  • Jason (Quinn – Human Swordmage)
  • Necati (Sokuyo – Human Monk)
  • Courtney (Arken – Dwarf Cleric)
  • Tylor (DM – The Black Guy)
  • Level 6

All of the Shadow Slayers continue the discussion once they’re in the room. As none of them know what exactly is going to happen, they decide to split up to best be able to withstand any onslaught that may be coming their way. Quinn and Sokuyo stand on either side of the stone, Arken and Nobby are on the left side of the room and Trel on the right side. Everyone stands on a bloodstone pillar. Quinn looks at Trel to see if he’s ready, then at Sokuyo.

“Just touch it, for crying out loud already!” yells Arken, anxious to have the battle start. Quinn nods to Sokuyo as he tightens his grip on his sword. Sokuyo bends down to pick up the stone. As soon as his hand grasps the stone stones slide out of the floor, the pillars and the ceiling. The stones begin to take shape and form various creatures: flying bat like creatures, wolves and snakes. All of them glare at Sokuyo and Quinn. Nobby attacks a winged construct with the crossbow right as it begins to take shape. The bolt flies through it’s wing sending cracks through the entire surface of the flying construct.

Quinn looks at a wolf that took shape next him and lashes out with his sword inflicting a serious wound, or it would have been had the creatures been living flesh. The wolf simply shrugs it off. Convinced of the intent of the constructs, Quinn steps off the alter and to the side of Sokuyo. The battle in the center begins in earnest as all the constructs begin to surround Quinn and Sokuyo, bent on destroying those closest to the Stone. Quinn, using his magical wards, is able to defend himself well, Sokuyo begins to be overwhelmed by the number of enemies attacking him. Sensing Sokuyo’s need, Quinn quickly gestures toward Sokuyo and speaks a magic elven word mitigating some of the damage to Sokuyo. Nobby takes aim and shoots another bolt at the flying construct brining it down in a crumple of rocks and sand. Sokuyo strikes fast at the snakes gathering around him. A snake’s head shatters with the impact of one of Sokuyo’s kicks. He finishes a whirlwind kick by dragging the other snake to his right, pulling it off the alter. Again, the creatures swarm Quinn and Sokuyo. Sneaking past magical and physical defenses alike, the constructs sink claws and fangs into flesh. The touch of the constructs dazes both Sokuyo and Quinn as screams of the victims in this room fill their minds. Unable to effectively defend against so many attackers, Sokuyo receives many ragged cuts and bites, his blood begins to splatter on the alter. Arken looks down at his friends and invokes Pelor’s grace upon Sokuyo. Divine light envelops Sokuyo and some of his wounds begin to knit together, slowing the flow of blood. Trel slams his orb on the pillar he stands on and focuses the force toward the monsters gathered around Quinn and Sokuyo, damaging some of them and pushing another closer into position for another strike. Invigorated by the battle, Trel focuses his concentration and hammers the monsters again. Snakes slither around to flank Sokuyo and attack. Fangs sink deep into his legs and the blood pours from his wounds again.

Quinn cuts and slashes at all the mobs close to him, hoping to draw their attention away from Sokuyo, but is unable to do more as the screams of the victims of past sacrifices still overwhelm him. Nobby scampers down the pillar and over the stairs. He takes careful aim and expertly fires bolt after bolt at all the constructs around Quinn and Sokuyo blinding every one of them. One of the bolts hits a wolf next to Sokuyo in a weak part of the stone and the wolf shatters completely. Nobby attacks again and shatters stone scales on a nearby cobra. Drawing determination and focus to avenge those sacrificed in this room Sokuyo centers his chi and attacks everything surrounding him. He obliterates all of the constructed wolves next to him. A winged scout drops down from the ceiling seeking Sokuyo’s throat, but Sokuyo is able to dodge the attack. Quinn, however, is not as luck and blood flows from the wound. He is also dazed again as the screams beset him. Arken attempts to rain divine fire upon the creatures, but the spell fails at the last second. Trel pulls a healing potion from his pack and floats it over to Sokuyo. “Drink this!” Then he attempts to pull a monster away from Sokuyo, but the creature is unaffected.

With a flourish of his blade Quinn kills the snake in front of him. A blinded cobra seeks pray, but simply attacks the air next to Sokuyo. Nobby fires a bolt at the cobra shattering more stone scales. Sokuyo drinks the potion Trel gave him. Using the renewed strength he lashes out at those enemies around him. The spirits of those who lost their lives upon the alter whisper to him where to strike to inflict the most damage. He attacks again, targeting the flying construct scout killing it with the aid of the whispering spirits. The last two scouts swoop down to attack. One of the scouts flies low to attack Sokuyo but is instantly teleported to attack the other scout thanks to Quinn’s magic. The other scout continues its attack against Sokoyu despite its injuries racking claws down Sokuyo’s back. Sokuyo breath comes raggedly as he struggles to stay conscious. Arken attempts to heal Sokuyo. Pelor’s light envelops Sokuyo once more and heals some of his more grievous wounds. Trel concentrates his powers and attacks one of the scouts, however, he had previously over extended himself and his concentration fails. Instead of attacking the scout, his powers backfire and throw him off the pillar and onto the stone benches. Hearing the thud and fearing more creatures are being formed to attack them Quinn looks over to the source of the sound. “What the …?” He wonders aloud, though he doesn’t forget the battle raging around him and cuts straight through a scout next to him.

Nobby fires at the last remaining construct destroying it. Arken bounds over to Sokuyo as fast as his Dwarven legs will carry him and implores Pelor once more to aid his friend. Quinn begins to bandage himself. Nobby picks the lock on the chest near the pillar and pulls a map and some gold from the chest. After tending to his wounds Quinn checks the Stone and realizes it’s not the real Corrupted Stone. “We wasted all that time and it’s not it?!” Sokuyo breaks the stone from the pillar and throws it away in disgust.

“Wait, that might be valuable!!” Nobby cringes as it falls to the floor.

Quinn walks over and picks up the stone and hands it to Nobby. “Throw it at something.” Trel takes the map from Nobby and stores it in his pack.

“Anyone else want any rope?” asks Nobby.

“I’ll split it with you.” Quinn responds. Nobby nods and starts climbing the rope cut it from the ceiling, but falls down after only a few feet. Quinn laughs at him and throws his sword toward the ceiling. He then directs the spinning blade to each of the ropes slicing them in turn. The sword dutifully returns back to his hand. “You finish the rest Nobby.” Again Nobby tries to climb the rope but falls to the ground again. Quinn sighs and cuts the other end of the rope strands. “There you go. Go retrieve them.” Nobby nods his thanks and brings down the ropes. Just as Nobby returns with the rope the group, against some of their wishes, decides to camp in the room. They barricade the door the best they can and setup camp. They also choose watches. Arken taking first watch, followed by Trel, then Nobby, Quinn and Sokuyo.

Sleep does not come easily to any of them, and when it does their dreams are frightful nightmares of darkness and destruction hinting toward what will befall Celysian should Tharizdun be released.

Next Day

As Sokuyo stands watch, and the sun begins to filter into the ziggurat through the holes in the ceiling he notices a creeper vine trying to push through the barricaded door. Sokuyo wakes the others and alerts them to the danger clawing at the door. Arken leaps up and sears the vine with divine fire, lighting the whole plant in a blazing inferno. The vine reaches out and ensnares Arken around the neck, dragging him to the wall. Trel rushes forward and attempts to hack at the vine using Quinn’s ax. “Oh, give me that!” Arken chokes out and grabs the ax from Trel and cuts his way out of the vine. They both retreat back as the vine pushes the stone door open and starts making its way into the room, filling the room with smoke all the while. The small slits in the ceiling are not large enough to vent the smoke and the room quickly begins to fill the room. The adventurers quickly come up with a plan using Nobby’s Dislocation dagger. Nobby hooks a rope through a hole in the ceiling to act as an anchor point for Trel who will cut the vine and teleport it out of the building. Trel rushes up to the vine, but is quickly entangled and his clothing catches on fire. He manages to cut the vine and looks toward Nobby, sending the vine out of the ziggurat. Trel rolls around on the ground attempting to snuff out the flames. Sokuyo rushes forward and using his cloak beats out the flames. All the while Arken and Quinn stand bewildered at the poorly executed plan. Nobby climbs back down and hurries toward Trel. “Is my dagger okay??” he asks, ignoring the fact that Trel nearly burned to death.

They tear down their camp and head out of the room, passing other hallways they have already searched. They come to a door and Nobby sneaks around and down a flight of stairs. He notices a cage in the center of the room with a tiefling skeleton inside. There are also vines scattered throughout the room. Just as his foot touches the floor an iron cage clamors down from the ceiling and lands squarely over the halfling. Vines come to life forming humanoid shapes and slink toward the cage searching for new prey. Using his camouflage Nobby hides from the searching vines and nimbly dodges two spores hurled at him from the other side of the room. Trel runs up to help Nobby but misses the vines with an attempted Kinetic Trawl. Quinn seeks to help Nobby with the vines, but while attempting to attack the vine in front of Nobby he smashes his sword arm against the iron cage and drops his sword. The vine attacks the disarmed swordmage, but misses. Arken strolls up and mutters, “What a fine mess we’re in now.” Having had good success in the past with burning the vines with divine light, he again lights it on fire.

Nobby attacks the vines in front of him, and blends back into the cage. Sokuyo runs up and jumps on top of the cage attacking both vines. One of the Vine Horrors retaliates and sends vines up to attack Sokuyo but misses. The other attacks everyone with vines bursting forth from its body, restraining everyone. One of the other vines attack Trel from across the room while the other fires a spore at Sokuyo which blinds him and weeping acid onto him as the spore falls to the ground, narrowly missing Nobby. Trel attacks both of the vines next to Nobby and the rest of the group but misses both. Quinn pulls his sword off the floor, teleports out of the restrain and attacks the vine, slashing at vines and leaves, leaving traces of arcane magic in the wounds. Arken attacks with a divine blast of light which allows Sokuyo to remove the blindness. However, the radiant light from the blast is too much for his unadjusted eyes and the blindness persists.

Wielding daggers in a show of deadly speed and accuracy, Nobby attacks the other vine next to him, effectively turning it into a salad. Sokuyo attacks the vine near Quinn using his honed senses to determine it’s location and slides the other vine to be in front of Nobby and is able to dispel the blindness. The vine immediately moves to disappear into a crack in the wall. Nobby and Sokuyo attack it as it slithers way doing moderate damage. It attempts to wrap around Arken cutting him as he is being restrained. The vine next to Quinn attempts again to ensnare the adventurers but only restrains Sokuyo and Trel. Other vines travel across the room to be closer and more deadly. One slams Quinn against the wall, temporarily removing him from being able to aid his friends. Trel force punches at the vine near the stairs which slipped past them. Quinn shakes his head to clear the stars and comes back with a vengeance and kills the vine, hoping to draw the attention of at least one vine, the vine behind Nobby begins to glow a soft red. Arken attacks a vine and Sokuyo is able to muscle his way out of the restraining grasp of the vine.

Nobby, still in the cage lashes out at the nearest vine and destroys it. Sokuyo flies over to a vine across the room and attacks both of the remaining vines, one of them being entangled in the other cage. The Vine Horror in the cage attacks Sokuyo but misses, the other retreats and attacks Sokuyo with a spore which bursts open with lightening. Trel fails in his attempt to attack the vines. Quinn walks up to help Sokuyo, hits and bloodies the vine also making it glow red. Arken attempts to heal himself but Pelor doesn’t listen, instead he is reduced to having to bandage his wounds using some extra cloth. Nobby attacks the vine near Sokuyo and Quinn with a poisoned bolt and picks up the dagger. “He’ll probably die naturally, go get the next one!” He yells to Sokuyo and Quinn. Sokuyo misses his attack against the vine in the cage. The vine starts to wither from the affects of the poison and attempts to move. Thunder damage bursts through the vines as it moves. Sokuyo kills it and it moves away. The other vine seeps through the wall and attacks Nobby with a Lightening spore but misses Nobby.

“What just happened? Where did it go?” asks Quinn.

“Something is shooting at me from over there!” Nobby responds and points off in the darkness.

“I can see it.” Arken says.

Trel pulls a sunrod and attempts to throw it in the direction Nobby pointed, but it lands next to Nobby instead. Nobby looks and Trel and just shakes his head. Quinn walks over enough to see the vine and then charges, but the vine dodges his attack. Arken’s divine fire fizzles, he curses Pelor for not listening. Nobby shots the vine with a bolt. Sokuyo leaps over the crumbled rock on the ground and attacks the vine, but punches the wall instead of the vine. The vine shifts back and attacks Quinn, slamming him back toward Nobby. Trel attempts a force pull on the vine but he concentration wavers and nothing happens. Quinn comes back and slashes the vine, again leaving arcane energies in the wounds. Arken again implores Pelor to aid him. This time Arken’s pleas are heard, but the blast goes wide. Nobby shoots at the vine but it dodges and it bashes away the bolt. Sokuyo pokes the vine with cupped strike. A cage slams on the ground when Sokuyo attacked, having triggered a pressure plate but Sokuyo dodges out of the way. The vine moves and takes again Thunder blasts leaves and vines apart. As it finishes its movement it fires an acid spore at Nobby. Acid damage splatters him and begins to burn. Trel yanks the vines around the center of the Vine Horror and unravels the monster.

Arken attempts to knock the cage over, but is unable to. He resorts to smashing it with his war hammer. Quinn searches around, finds a healing potion, gold and a dagger for Nobby. The group goes through the door at the far end of the room. On the door it says “Embrace”.
The group decides to go down the remaining hallway they have yet to explore.

Through the dark hallway

They follow the hallway for some time using the sunrod for light. The passage goes on and on, down and down further into the depths of the swamps. They finally arrive at a set of double steel doors. Trel, inspecting the doors to the best of his ability, determines there are no traps and opens one of the doors. “It’s safe to say there’s been someone else down here, and it’s safe to say it wasn’t the Prince.” He says as he sees sets of prints in the dust. The tracks look like very large lizardfolk prints.

“Maybe they’re already dead.” Quinn hopes out loud.

“If only we could be so lucky.” responds Nobby.

Trel continues to look down through the hallway. The group descends down the stairs. Before them stretches turn and hallway one after another. The Shadow Slayers find themselves at the beginning of a massive labyrinth. Trel pulls out the map Nobby found. Trel looks at the map and consults with the group as to the direction to go. They painstakingly follow the labyrinth around making many mistakes and wrong turns. Fortunately there are no traps. They arrive at an area with another set of doors. In front of the doors are two Blackscales. They turnat hearing the adventurers and hurry through the doors. Nobby fires a poisoned bolt at one of the lizardfolk just before they slam the doors shut. As the doors close everyone hears the sound of ripping, grinding, and screams as the pair of Blackscales meet their end before an unknown attacker.

XP and Loot

XP Each: 746

  • Blood Rock, Judgment Room Encounter – 1700 XP
  • Vine Horrors and Cages – 1233 XP
  • Navigate the Maze (despite the DM’s poor foresight) – 800 XP

Total XP: 3733

Loot

  • Dagger Tiefling Totem – lvl 8 (Nobby)
  • Partial Map
  • Curved and Twisted Black Rock Key

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