The Remains of War

Session 5 – 1/19/2015

As the Town Council of Ravenport concluded their business with the heroes Hope steps forward and declares that she has composed them a song as a gift. She began to sing.

The bemused faces of the council members quickly shifted as the bard sang of their wisdom and the value of their guidance in this most troubling time. And now that they were receptive she wove in the exploits of the heroes that the mayor so wisely engaged to investigate the mansion and uncover the smuggler’s plot.

The room fell to silence and a number of pleased council members thanked her for her performance as the group look their leave.

As they finished their early dinner at the Dying Minotaur the heroes’ conversation turned quietly to the Temple of Phyton. They agreed that they was recuperate this evening and approached the temple by stealth a few hours before dawn.

After dinner they headed over to Haskel’s office where Marva, Haskel’s wife, distributed their reward (Dr. Blackstone took part of his reward in the form of a 100gp value pearl). Inquiries were made about businesses in town that might sell or repair weapons and armor, and they were given directions.

The group also asked about having the four gems they’d found in the upper floor on the mansion appraised, but Marva told them they’d need to come back when Haskel was in the office for that.

Theadric visited the smith hoping to have his heirloom rapier repaired. The smith peevishly turned him away, stating that the work he was don’t to make a shovel for a local was of far greater value than the repair of the sword, and no amount of money would change his mind.

The armorer was then consulted about the sword, but said he lacked the skill to repair such a fine weapon. He did however know a sword-smith in Seaton he felt could work on the blade. Theadric left the blade with him to make the arrangements for the repair and purchase a rapier from the armorer (with a 50% markup due to the demand for steel).

Hope purchased a suit of studded leather, and Dr. Blackstone declined to purchase a new breastplate, since it was priced out of his reach.

They turned in early for the night and prepared to head out of the inn around four o’clock in the morning. As they passed through the common room to leave they encountered Misha, who stated that she intended to go with them to the temple to help save it and begin to redeem herself in the eyes of Phyton.

Concerned about a reversion Tobias asked Wizzleficks if he would cast detect magic to make certain no magic had been used unknowingly against the group.

Misha was still unmarked by the evil enchantment, and the only malign magic was the cursed stone in Theadric’s possession.

Goddard, unwell, remained at the inn, and with Misha in tow the rest of the party headed out to the temple.

They arrived at the Temple of Phyton, and found the gate to the outer wall barred.

Tobi threw his grapnel over the wall and climbed the ease of long practice. Once he made it to the top for the wall he could see two shambling forms moving about in the yard.

Two elves chose this moment to quietly reveal themselves to the rest of the part, still waiting outside of the gate.

Speaking in Elvish, which only Theadric and Wizzleficks understood, the pair of elves introduced themselves as Llywillan and Dorian. These were the names the mayor had given the group the previous day as the town’s temporary constables.

They were there to deal with the cultists, and voiced their skepticism in regard both how to treat the cultists and out group’s ability to employ stealth. And they made no secret that they didn’t buy Misha’s defection from the cult.

While this conversation continued on in tense whispers Lio motioned to Tobi to climb down the other side of the wall and open the gate. Tobi responded by signaling that he saw two figures in the courtyard and motioned for Lio to climb up first, which the warrior of Vathris promptly did.

While Lio kept a bead on the shamblers with his bow from atop the wall Tobi quietly climbed down into the courtyard and removed the bar from the door. The ill maintained hinges of the gates groaned loudly as the good doctor opened them.

Drawn by the noise four undead temple servants and a pair of undead wolves began shambling to the gate. One took an arrow to the chest from Lio the moment it turned toward the party.

The group made quick work of the undead, with only Tobi and Theadric taking minor injuries.

The temple doors were also barred, so Wizzleficks and Milo battered them with spells until they became a smoking ruin.

Milo cast light on Tobi’s shield, and the historian stepped into the nave of the lightless temple.

There was no one in the room, and the only feature of note was a gem encrusted silver chalice on the alter.

In the bright light of the Milo spell it became clear that Theadric was still keyed up from the fight with the zombies and his cuspids and hair had visibly lengthened. Concerned, but uncertain of what to do the party continued with their mission.

Misha and the constables stayed in the nave while the rest of the party moved cautiously through the temple to the stairs to the upper floor.

The door to the stairwell locked, as they would find nearly every door in the temple. And when the door was opened they were assaulted by the stench of decay.

After ascended the stairs and arriving at another locked door, Hope was unable to pick it. Nor was Tobi able to get good purchase with his crowbar. So, they stepped to the sides of the door and Milo and Wizzleficks battered it to flinders with an eldritch fusillade.

As the smoke cleared and the light from Dr. Blackstone’s shield entered the room, they were confronted by a dozen skeletal warriors wielding bows and swords.

Wizzlefick cast a spell of protect on Tobi to ward him against undead and then the good doctor shoved his way into the room, Lio quick on his heels.

As the undead crowded in around the warrior, Milo unleash a wave of flame, roasting the skeletons to brittleness, and leaving them easy targets in the melee. The battle turned quickly in the heroes favor at that point, and soon their foes were nothing but a pile of bones at their feet.

As they searched, Theadric found a scrap of paper that appeared to be torn from the journal of a madman that made reference to a book.

Aurelio tried to open the furthest door from the stairwell, but as usual it was locked. Tobi and Lio popped it open with a crowbar, revealing a small library.

The group searched the room hoping to either find the book or the journal from which the page Theadric had found had been torn. They found neither, but did find a few more pages of the journal.

One of those pages mentioned a silver chalice.

The party rush down to the main room of the temple to find Llywillan standing over Misha, chalice in one hand and weapon in the other. Dorian was looking on in disbelieving horror.

As Llywillan’s blade descended Misha called out for Phyton’s protection and a bright light deflected the elf’s blade. (Since her rescue, Misha had been unable to channel her deities’ power.)

Thwarted, Llywillan dropped the chalice and fled out into the predawn darkness. Blood spread out from the silver cup onto the floor.

Wizzleficks collected the chalice into a cloth, being careful not to touch it. Even so, he could feel its call for him to drink from it.

Dorian was sent to get help from the guards.

The heroes returned to the second floor, this time bringing Misha along to wait at the top of the stairwell.

Hope was able to unlock the door, revealing a small room. The search of which uncovered another page from the madman’s journal. At this point, they group was able to determine that Fr. Abrams was the madman in question.

Another locked door lead from that room which they forced open by crowbar. This lead to a small hallway, and a room with four goblins.

Tobias and Lio rushed forward to harry the goblins, who were armed with bows. They biggest, clearly their leader, used one of the smaller goblins as a shield to protect itself from Aurelio’s lethal blades.

Secret doors opened in the hallway and the previous room, out of which poured a goblin ambush, cutting off Lio and Tobi from the back ranks.

Hope and Theadric’s rapiers gave answer to the goblins trap while Milo’s chaotic magic inadvertently saved him from an attack.

Wizzleficks, trusting in his arcane ward to protect him, ignore the goblin trying to slaughter him and instead sent the three smaller goblins fighting the paladin and the academic into a magical slumber.

Seeing the tide turn the boss goblin slipped out of reach of sword and spear, ran for the door at the back of the room, and began fumble with the lock on the door.

The Spear of Vathris would have none of that. Lio leapt the big goblin and calling upon the might of Vathris’ vengeance he ran it through.

Tobi ran back to the hallway to aid Milo and Wizzleficks, while Hope and Theadric slew the rest.

Milo took out the last of the goblins with the butt of his staff as it tried to flee back through one of the hallway’s secret doors.

Now that they had a key, Lio made sure the door that the goblin boss had been about to open was locked, and the heroes withdrew to the library to recover from their wounds and make certain that Dorian and Misha were unharmed.

Somewhat recovered, they unlocked the door and entered an ill-constructed room, its walls covered in blood and refuse and more pages scattered about the floor.

From what could be pieced together, Fr. Abrams’ wife, Penny, had left him and he made a deal with some entity to get her back. The deal went poorly.

They pass through a zigzagging hallway that ended in a room with a few tables and a pile of boxes. As they entered, two zombies, Bertram and his cook Snigrot, shambled out from behind the boxes.

The undead were put down quickly and dismembered. The boxes were searched, and appeared to only contain rotten vegetable matter.

Wizzleficks discovered a secret door at the back of the room. When they entered, it revealed a bizarre tableaux.

Three misshapen stone statues array before them. In the center of the room, were two zombies: Laurel and Penny. Along the right wall, near the back of the room was a divided cage. The near side contained a bedraggled girl, the far a crocodile.

Along the back wall from left to right was Fr. Abram, and man holding a rope, and a large jade statue of a naga. The rope the man held went to a pulley attached to the ceiling, and from there to the divider at the center of the cage. His hand was this only thing keeping the divider from falling and allowing the hungry crocodile to eat the child.

Fr. Abrams rambled madly and Derrick, the man holding the rope, demanded they allow him and Abrams to escape, or else the woman would be eaten.

It was at this point Abrams inconveniently ordered the zombies to attack the heroes, cutting short the parlay.

The madman then called upon his dark goddess to banish Hope from the world. She found herself briefly on the frozen plains of Stygia, and naked form called to her from within the ice below her feet. It said, “Hope, you should not be here!” Then, she returned to her companions by sheer force of will.

Theadric charged forward, leapt atop the cage and jammed a dagger in the eyelet to which the rope was attached to the divider so that it could no longer drop.

Lio, Hope, and Tobi rushed the zombies while Milo struck the mad priest with a bolt of fire.

Wizzleflicks cast a spell of sleep on Fr. Abrams, to which he succumbed.

Derrick let go the rope (to no effect) and fled to the back right corner of the room, where he dropped down through a hidden trapdoor to the room below (Misha’s, it would turn out).

Theadric, overcome with rage leapt from the top of the cage and dropped down through the trapdoor in pursuit, leaving the others to finish off the zombies.

After the zombies Dr. Blackstone moved over to the lip of trapdoor, intent to follow Theadric. That’s when Fr. Abrams supine form began to levitate off the ground and rotate so that he was upright.

When Abram’s eyelids opened, it was not the mad priest that looked out from black-on-black eyes. The creature spoke using the priest’s tongue and called on Orcus to summon four demons to attack the heroes. It then exited Fr. Abrams body through his mouth as a black cloud and flew past Tobi and down through the trapdoor.

Hope pronounced a thunder note, causing two of the demons to tumble back.

Wizzleficks placed a spell of protection on Aurelio, and the paladin charged forward into the line of dretches while Tobi attacked them from behind. Soon, the vile dretches went down to a hail of spell and steel.

Tobias stepped to the door of the cage, intending to release the captive woman, but was blinded by a magical glyph. The others were able to find a key to the cage on Abrams’ person and freed Cirilli, putting Abrams bound and gagged form in her place.

Theadric returned, unsuccessful in his hunt, and filled with rage. He shoved the jade statue through the trap door, smashing it to pieces before Tobi and Lio could stop him.

Wizzleficks hid the evil chalice in the iron maiden, and the party returned to the nave, where they found Dorian with two town guards. The heroes left them to explore the rest of the temple for danger.

In the meditation rooms, they were ambushed by three monks, two originally of the Scarlet Brotherhood, and one whom Wizzleficks recognized as Arisel!

They heroes took quite a battering from the monks before they could be subdued, taking two of the party down with them.

Lio slit the throats of the Scarlet Brotherhood monks while Wizzleficks and Misha tended to Arisel’s injuries.

In the last cell, they found a secret door beneath the rush mat. Heavy furniture was placed over it they left for the mayor’s house leaving Dorian and the guards to watch over the temple.

At the mayor’s, they found Ash Tidecaller tending to Bethany. Ash removed the enchantment from Arisel while the heroes discussed what they found to him and the mayor.

At some point during the session we figured out that the magic of Theadric’s heirloom sword was suppressing certain changes that it’s bearer might undergo.

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EVaessen ccwilms

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