Tylor (DM & Tsuki)
The room with the Dragonborn and chemical experiments proved unfinished. As Trel circled around the center structure in the room he noticed another magical crystal resting, charged with malicious intent. Realizing a freeze blast would emanate from it if any of the part approached the further door, he dispelled the remaining arcane charge. The Ziggurat was becoming cold, and the further door was frozen shut. Arken cleared the path of all his comrades and charged, throwing his shoulder into it. The door creaked and cracked and several ice blocks splintered, but it didn’t budge and Arken was thrown to the floor. While Arken was groaning on the ground, Sokuyo stepped over him, and lightly shoved on the door, breaking the rest of the ice and swinging it open.
“Good thing I eased it up for ya, eh Sokuyo?” Arken commented.
Before the group was a square room with a large vaulted ceiling. The chill coming from it was great. The floor had been frozen repeatedly over the centuries, and thick layers of ice had covered every inch of the floor. A circular stone tablet lay in the middle of the room. In each of the corners were large and grotesque demonic statues wielding hammers. Each of them had a massive drum sitting in front of them. Sokuyo checked the passage way for traps, and when it was clear Nobby snuck his way into the room to inspect the statues, believing them to be a trap of harmful intent. As soon as he stepped in the room, the warmth was sapped from his body and an arcane enchantment seemed to use it to activate the room. The arms of the statues began to slowly raise.
The rest of the group funneled into the room. Just as a few more of them had gotten inside, the arms of the statues came crashing down connecting their war hammers with the drumheads. A thunderous and violent noise echoed throughout the chamber, inflicting severe damage on all present in the room. Tsuki, who had slipped on the ice, began bleeding severely from the ears. Nobby devised a quick plan and nimbly ran to the nearest statue. He retrieved some of the Blackscales shackles he had been collecting, and manacled the arm to the drum head so it could no longer rise. Sokuyo sprinting across the ice, stopped dead in his tracks near the central stone tablet on the floor. Right then, a large arcane ballista formed and started blasting singing bursts of the flame at the intruders. Trel took quick action and began trying to dominate the arcane powers coming from the ballista. Arken was unsuccessfully navigating the room as every time he tried to move he was slipping to the ground. Sokuyo checked the far double doors, but a thick layer of ice stood between him and the handles. Tsuki who had been bloodied multiple times was grateful to Arken for the channeling of divine light. She kept ignorantly attacking the iced statues with a frost dagger, doing nothing.
Trel was able to make quick work of the ballista, and Nobby shackled 3 of the 4 statues. Trel then used the ballista to blast the last statue and then melt the ice on the door. He then used his force punch to blast open the double doors creating a loud crash. Victorious over the enchantments of a forgotten mage, the group moved through the newly revealed passage. Hastily, without tending to their wounds, they moved onward.
The passage quickly narrowed into a small and tight space. Single-file the group moved onward. Trel saw an opening up ahead and a rancid smell. He was the first to pass out of the tight tunnel. Immediately he was struck down unconscious and bleeding by two spine devils that had been sitting in wait. The group funneled into the room with difficulty. Before them was a crumbled and decayed room. A filthy necrotic sludge and eaten away at the very foundations of the room, and had left a few standing platforms of the original ground. Terrifying creatures were before them. Wights, with their decayed flesh and rotting sinews rushed forward to claw the heroes to pieces. Two other wights stood in the sludge near the far side of the room casting vicious spells towards the adventurers. Nobby stayed the hidden the entire battle slashing and dicing the spine devils as they flew past. Sokuyo stood locked in combat on the ground with two Wights. Arken and Tsuki administered to each others health needs and worked their way slowly to the far side of the room. Trel stood on the ledge and blasted any creature in sight.
As the rest of the monsters began to fall, the fearsome Deathlock Wights backed themselves in a corner for one last stand. Nobby jumped down from the darkness attempted to gut one of them with his dagger. Unfortunately he lost his grip and his dagger went flying. In a fierce rage he pulled back his small Halfling fist and gored the neck of the Deathlock Wight so violently, it dropped to the ground without another twitch.
After scouring the room and several items that had been engulfed by the sludge, the group found several valuable items including a mortar & pestle made from a tiefling skull and clavicle. Nobby found a golden brooch in the shape of a claw holding an emerald. A side passage led to a small storage room with no other entrances and so the group set up a small, cramped camp. Tsuki brewed them all some mint tea and they discussed much about what brought them together. The rest passed safely. The group has since lost track of time in the Ziggurat.
When they rose again they pressed further on. A long spiral staircase led down to a hidden chamber accessed only by a small grate in the floor. Inside was a warming light, and the smell of incense. Sokuyo and Nobby dropped down attempting to hide, but Nobby was spotted. Selyth, the Betrayer stood near the far end of the room. A large pale green lizardfolk, he was the same one that Sokuyo met on the hill above the Well of Melora. He was swaying back and forth and chanting a dark ritual. Upon hearing Nobby enter the room he stopped and spoke in his crackly voice, “Ah, it is good of you to finally arrive. Go ahead…invite your friends out to join us.”
Nobby threw a stone and caused a quick distraction, hiding himself behind some of the pillars. Directing his attention towards the pebble sound, Selyth continued, “I don’t have time for games Halfling. I didn’t expect any of you to live this long. Invite your friends out. You have either come to help me finish the ritual, or disrupt it, so lets let it begin.”
When Trel, Arken, and Tsuki heard this, they dropped through the opening. Arken smashed on the ground in a forceful thump. Sokuyo then emerged from the shadows as Nobby snuck to the portion of the room that was Selyth’s camp.
“We have come to stop you, and recover the heart of Tharizdun!” Sokuyo spoke boldly.
“Recover it?! For what purposes?” Selyth demanded.
“To destroy it of course!”
“It is because of ignorant fools like you that I have been here for weeks. I will recover the Corrupted Stone so that I may protect it!” Selyth monologued. Tsuki then jumped in realizing her moment,
“I have no quarry with you and your silly ambitions. But you know of a group of Pelorian worshippers for which I am searching. I will not assist these adventurers if you will give me the location of the worshippers,” she interjected.
“Ah yes, I’ve been to meet with the mighty Vangothazen to learn more of opening rifts. I met many of those of whom you speak, and they are west, and they are weaklings just as yourself. Your presence here is folly. Assist me in this ritual, or depart,” Selyth replied.
“We will not let you have the heart!” Sokuyo challenged.
At that moment smoke began to funnel in from Selyth’s camp. Nobby had found some important scrolls and Selyth’s tent and he had lit them all on fire. Selyth, enraged spoke and then lunged at Sokuyo, “So let it begin.” A vicious fight followed. Sokuyo chased Selyth around the room as he tumbled between pillars. Trel had a difficult time managing his arcane powers in such a situation. Tsuki and Nobby darted in and out fire bolts and arrows at the Blackscale Leader. Arken brought forth his mighty hammer and came to Selyth and took a surprise swing. The blow landed violently on the lizarfolk’s spine delivering a critical blow. Selyth continued to cast multiple primal spells that involved vines and poisonous jungle rain. The Shadow Slayers made quick work of him. Tsuki hit critical areas on one of his arms twice, and Arken repeatedly slammed him with his hammer. Tsuki called out that she did not want them to kill Selyth so that she could question him more but what it was already too late. He fell to the floor dead.
The party quickly circled the lizardfolk and inspected his fallen corpse. The mangled and awful attire of a Tharizdunian cultist made his already horrific figure look more psychotic. Tsuki found a map and journal recounting his travels and she then knew the location of the Pelorian worshippers. Arken inquired about it, and out of indebtedness for he saving her life she shared the information with him, and then she departed from them. The party found the weird casket-like casing on the ground that Selyth had been inspecting and performing the ritual over. Nobby soon found that the twisted black covering required a key, and he believed he knew just what one.
Pulling the mangled key from his satchel he quickly found the slot that required it. With a small turn, the tumblers and mechanics of the covering activated and it twisted open to reveal a very small tunnel leading into a dank and cold room below. The party scrambled down the opening and into the cold and musty room. All that was in there was a large sacrificial table with a stone tablet. Nobby realized it could be moved and the whole group came together to push it off. Their hearts rose with excitement as they peered inside, but also the looming darkness weighed on their spirits. There before them was a marble chest that was blacker than night. A low frequency beating sound came from within. Nobby spent a moment working with the locks and flipped it open. The Shadow Slayers had found one of the six beating hearts of Tharizdun lying before them. After so much sacrifice they had found it….a mangled pile of decayed mess still throbbing and beating, pumping energy ever into Tharizdun’s dimension, strengthening him to break his bonds. Nobby attempted to pierce it and was stopped short by a force surrounding it. Just then billowy shadow began to spew from the arteries and fill the room around them. The party stepped back a couple steps as the dangerous mist formed a cloud above them.
Suddenly from within the cloud appeared Quinn’s visage that looked tormented. “Help, help me! I am trapped within! Help!”
XP Each: 1065 XP
-Ballista, Demon Drummers & Ice: 1550 XP
-Necrotic Ooze Encounter: 1825 XP
-Selyth the Betrayer: 1750 XP
-Located the “Corrupted Stone”: 200 XP
Total XP: 5325 XP
-2pp, 224gp, 758sp
-Tiefling Bone Mortar & Pestle (Appraised 175gp)
-Golden Brooch holding Emerald (Appraised 1500gp)
-Lvl 8 Darkleaf Armor