Getting up from the rough stone floor, Quinn, Sokuyo, and Trel were thankful they had sent the Dwarf Arken first in rushing into the unknown room. Standing at the edge of this large unnatural chasm that they nearly fell into, they began to survey the room and the endless ropes dangling in front of them. The peculiar swirling mist floating in the center of the room seemed to draw all their attention, and they decided it was best to avoid it. Sokuyo jumped with finesse to the nearest rope and began swinging around over the endless depths. Quinn was attempting to survey the ledge and chasm a bit more when a strange thing happened. Portions of a floor materialized right in front of him when he cut certain ropes. When he stepped out onto one of these pieces of floor, the rest of the group was astonished for they could not see the floor themselves. Quinn was floating! Arken took the time to fire a sling shot into the swirling mist. A moment later a strange thing happened as Sokuyo was hit on the head with a falling stone.
Sokuyo continued to swing from rope to rope, nearly falling once. Before he knew it he could hear the flapping of wings approaching him through the darkness and he warned his comrades. Suddenly, from out of the darkness swooped two hideous figures. They were bat-like creatures with massive wings, horrible faces, and long tails with razor sharp growths all over them. They began slashing at Sokuyo as he held onto the ropes. He was able to defend himself for a short time. The group rushed to his defense, Arken loading his sling and firing it into the darkness but missing by inches. The bats returned for a menacing attack and gored Sokuyo severely, causing him to lose his grip on the rope for a moment, but he mustered his strength and grabbed on just as he began to fall.
The group soon learned that much of the room was illusory and they could discover floor to walk on in front of them. As the battle continued, Sokuyo was struck finally from his rope and began to fall. Had it not been for Trel he would have fallen into the darkness. Trel was able to use his psionic powers to suspend Sokuyo in the air just long enough for him to brace himself. He soon after leaped, with the help of Arcane powers to the ledge on the far side of the room.
Arken blasted the bats with mighty divine light and they refocused their attacks. Sokuyo attempted to rejoin the fray but was so wounded he was unable to make the jump and began to fall into the depths but was saved once again by one of his allies. Quinn blasted Sokuyo with lightning, harming him further, but allowing the arcane magic to pull him to safety. Trel quickly shackled the two bats with an invisible chain instantly killing one of them. A moment later the other one tried to fly away but broke his neck on the psionic chain and fell into the depths.
When the group reached the other side safely and Trel proceeded through the door he found that he came out of the door on the original side of the room. It was a never ending circle of Arcane magic. They then redirected their attention to the swirling mist that Quinn had been able to manipulate during the fight to give them light, and shift towards him. They all leapt through, realizing it to be some form of portal.
They arrived in a dusty, and cob-web covered room, that was hidden behind a disguised doorway. On the other side they heard awful sounds of torture and of a children crying. They peeked in stealthily and saw a man stretched across a torture table and his two children shackled to the wall watching his death. The torturer’s were gone for a time. The group of Heroes filled the room when immediately the torturer came bursting into the room with his brigands right behind him. They were Shadow Callers and had been interrogating this man, a Chef in the King’s castle. They were attempting to find out more in an effort to assassinate the King. A quick battle followed where the leader was struck down in two hits. Arken slew most of the other men, and took one hostage. Two large deathrattle vipers entered the room from their hidden roost but the group made quick meat of them as Sokuyo and Trel stood back to back fighting them off.
The group interrogated the remaining Shadow Caller and found out that Zanhand had been directing them, and has been entering the ancient ritual room that was nearby. They learned of the plans to kill the king of Vandromar, and how a spy was already placed in the castle. They pierced his hands in torture and then knocked him out. Instructing the family to hide in the secret room after healing their wounds, the group continued onward. They found a note on the body of the captain that gave them the pass phrase to the ritual room.
At the end of a long hallway they found the ritual room. Trel wrote in blood in a large book fixed in the door, “May the power of the Nine Hells soak my blood in power and immortality” and the door shifted open. Inside was a horrific sight. Several raised platforms contained blood preserved by arcane magic bubbling in small basins in the center of each. In the depths below were thousands of spikes, and on those spikes the corpses of thousands of slain children. This horrific sight before the adventurers was clearly some of the remains of the awful ancient ritual that bred the Tiefling race. While the group began cleansing one of the pools, Zanhand entered the room.
He began laughing at them calling them predictable and ordering them to hand over the orb. He threatened them that he could kill them all with the power of the orb. The group refused and instead threw a flurry of attacks at him instantly. Sokuyo leapt over one of the chasms landing next to Zanhand and striking him furiously. Trel seized him with his telekinetic powers and attempted to pull him into the depths below but Zanhand held on. Furious he activated the orb and a blinding light seared from it and he attempted to make his escape. Sokuyo chased him for some time almost slaying him, but he managed to close himself in a room full of underwater vessels and escape through a waterway.
Back in the ritual room when the group purified one pool, a horrible apparition appeared. It was a Tiefling spirit that had been summoned by Zanhand’s recent rituals in the room. Trel and Sokuyo fought the heretic with great intensity, while Arken and Quinn continued to purify the room’s evil housed in the bubbling pools of blood. During the fight Trel was knocked unconscious and began bleeding to death. The apparition created seven copies of himself several times and was able to teleport around the room.
Reaching the last two pools of blood Trel purified one of them. Arken distracted by all the fury failed on cleansing the last pool and was blasted in the face by the blood and began choking and suffocating on it. He spewed it out of his mouth and with all the might of Pelor within him sanctified the pool. The tiefling’s body filled with the divine light, as did the entire room. He was vaporized in an instant as all the evil left the room and the corpses of the dead child skeletons fell into the depths below.
[Let us not forget Courtney rolled back to back 1’s, followed by a redeeming and nearly impossible back to back 20’s!]
A small chamber opened in the room and the group found a horde of treasure pieces. Also inside were several magical items laid against a shrine. There were boots, some gloves, a magical orb, and even a powerful hammer. On top of the pedestal was a tiefling skull, except the eyes, teeth and horns had been replaced with precious gems. When the skull was grabbed by the group, a darkness seemed to engulf them. The entire room got dark and all of their senses were diminished. They saw the glowing jewels of the eyes and could hear a loud thumping. Thereafter, everything was restored to normal.
They decided to proceed through one of the doors in the room leading back towards the priests camp. They managed to maneuver through several ancient traps and arrive in a large hall that used to be a museum for the Bael Turath leaders. Sokuyo climbed a wall and found a dead beholder caught in the thick webs of large spiders in the room. He also found the second of the three books Father Hargrim Riverwade wanted them to retrieve. He was unable to get it before a large spider returned to its nest. He climbed back down and told the group what he saw. Drawing their weapons, they closed the door behind them, and strode into the darkness, ready to fight the abominations before them…
XP for Each: 625
Illusion Room with Ropes: 300 XP
Shadow Hunter Bats: 300 XP
Saving the Chef and his family: 50 XP
Torture Chamber Battle: 650 XP
Tiefling Heretic & Cleansing Bael Turath Ritual Room: 1000 XP
2 Crit Fails followed by 2 Crits: A million awesome points
Evading traps in third corridor: 200 XP
Total XP: 2500
-380 gp + 1 potion of Healing
-Tiefling Skull with gems in it
-Boots of Bounding (Lvl 6)
-Orb of Unfailing Concentration (Lvl 5)
-Gauntlets of Arcane Might (Lvl 3)
-Resounding Hammer (Lvl 2)