Tempest Rising

Or-- Stealth Boomahs

4e_dnd_orcs_by_ralphhorsley.jpgFollowing the battle on the edge of the dam, many of the companions felt spent. So it was decided the a few of our heroes would creep forward to see what other dangers might lie ahead.

Boomah, Dremahl, Saerin and the dwarf Corbel were chosen to scout. They quickly learned that the tracks of ogres, lizards and smaller creatures were plentiful on a side path climbing a rocky peak nearby.

The quartet followed an obvious garbage-strewn path up toward the steep outcrop. Beyond the immediate rise was a second peak, violently split in two. Boomah thought that the shadow he saw last night on watch came out from behind this peak.

As the climbed, they noticed that the landscape had been subtlety altered to allow overlooks and ambush points down on the path. Luckily nothing was taking advantage of them — and it was obviously not ogre work.

Climbing up on one of these high points gave them a direct eyeline back to the gate of Gilt Hall, and up to a ‘natural’ crack in the hillside. The also got a look at the marshy high ground that was once Loch Nura and the the narrow valleys running below. Boomah even spotted another opening on the valley floor that seemed to have been cleared of underbrush.

Dauntless, they moved to check out the opening in the hillside. As they approached, the ranger spotted heavy hides hanging inside the darkened entrance. Inching closer, he saw them ruffle as if from a wind. He continued to approach and two black spears shot of the darkened opening, one striking home.

Boomah followed close behind and lobbed a fiery bomb at the two crouching figures he spotted with darkvision. The flames revealed two large dark orcs and a stack of nearby spears. Two more came out from behind the hide curtain and rained spears at the two. A violent horn blast centered on Saerin from nowhere, pounding his eardrums.

Corbel the dwarf cast Stone Call and filled the entry with flying stones— hampered their motion. One orc defied the others and charged out into the sunlight, leaping on a rock and bellowing a challenge to the ranger. Facing his ancient enemy, the elf saw fear and stepped back.

Dremahl was standing by, and struck the orc with a hold person. Saerin overcame his fears and slammed the beast twice with his great sword — toppling him.

Corbel followed with Grease, further slowing any escape from their foes. Boomah took advantage of the grease and set it ablaze with more bombs. Our heroes stepped up to the entry and faced the remaining orcs. Boomah felt a strange compulsion to strike the unsuspecting dwarf, but he fought off the urge for now.

The ranger soon felt at home slaying his ancient enemies, and the burned, stone-pounded, greased orcs could not overcome the invaders.

Boomah saw a figure that had been lurking in the rear move to escape, and lit her up with a bomb. She fled, but could not match his alchemically-enhanced speed. He found the orc around a bend in the cave passage, preparing to cast. He tossed another bomb before she could recite her spell, and he collapsed in a fiery heap.

The group gathered in the entry, and decided to hold this area and bring up the others. Boomah set off on quickened feet to gather the remainder of the group before whatever lives further in these caves realizes what has happened and mounts a defense.

Dam Ogres
Or-- Really should've been trolls

forest_ogre_by_guzboroda-d4mj5xj.jpgOn the ledge overlooking the shattered dam, our heroes hunkered down for the night. They took this opportunity to review some the items they had gathered on their journeys, and distribute them among themselves.

In the middle of the night watch, a dark shadow crossed the waning moon. Boomah was awake, but only caught a winged ‘living’ shape drop into the vale. He woke the elves, but no motion followed this first vision. People went back to sleep, and Saerin spotted a flying shadow as morning approached as well.

As the sun began to climb, the group set out across the dam. About halfway across, they had to pick their way across the broken rubble. So they tied a rope to one another and clambered over the rocks. Further on, they came to a rough rope bridge with some kind of banner mounted on the far landing. As they started to move, an ogre came out from the rubble and challenged them.

When our heroes refused to pay the toll, the ogre launched spears at them. He was quickly joined by another. Luix charged the pair, and was rapidly downed by the brutes’ mighty blows. Dremahl followed close behind and brought the big northerner back from the brink.
Boomah crossed as well, and lobbed bombs at the ogres. Luix struck out from the ground, and brought one down. Another —even larger — ogre appeared atop a large rock and fired his crossbow at the goblin.

Kallius and Saerin moved across, and the magus went invisible to avoid the crushing blows. Unfortunately, the group did not know where he was when Corbel caused the stone of the landing to rise up violently, and was buffeted by the dwarf’s attack. Saerin dropped his bow and moved into the melee, sword in hand.

The ogre captain moved into hand-to-hand as well, hampered by bombs, vomited swarms, and all the aid the spell casters could give the warriors. Boomah even spit a stick mass at one the of ogres in an attempt to slow it down.

In the midst of this battle, a large rock lizard scuttled up the side of the dam and jumped into the fray. Many blows were traded, and the divine power of the two priests was taxed, but in the end the ogres were felled and our heroes triumphed.
They found a trail leading toward a nearby stony outcrop, as well as the fading dwarven road leading south. They also came across a crude enclosure where the ogres had camped, and what little ‘treasure’ these hulks had collected.

Worms, wards, and what lies beyond...
Or-- Back door men

ant_queen.jpgFresh from dispatching the ankheg queen, our heroes discussed possible uses for their heads. Boomah suggested that they were delicious, but in the end they decided to leave the carapaces behind and look for treasure elsewhere.

Then they turned on their dwarven guide Corbel. They demanded to know why she did not aid in the combat, and if this was how she was going to continue to act. She told them that she had been ordered to ‘observe’ the party, to gauge their strength and determine whether or not there was any credence to the wild claims they had made before the Hallitae-rihm. She added that she thought the group handled themselves admirably, and perhaps were ‘heroes’ after all. Celeste told her that may not all be heroes, but the job held a better life expectancy than her career with the Wychtport Serachle.

They retold their tale, and she told them that the Faelit Vale has always been known for ancient magic, and strange creatures not seen elsewhere. This may indeed be where the wizard they were chasing has gone.

They widened their search for treasure, and the goblin alchemist even extracted acid from the beasts themselves. Peering into the gap left by the appearance of the ankheg queen, they saw something shine in the chamber beyond. Corbel launched her chain across, anchored by a tiny beetle-shaped earth elemental. The beetle dug in, as did the dwarf, to create a way across the water than ran along the passage. Luix, Saerin, Celeste and Boomah shimmied across, and Boomah looked into a chamber beyond with his torch. He saw that that far wall was covered with ankheg eggs — a goblin delicacy — secured by some sticky goo.

He lobbed a flask of oil at the clutch, and it dribbled down the wall of eggs, sending their contents into motion. Celeste followed with oil of her own, and when it shattered against the egg clutch, the securing mucus gave way. This sent hundreds of eggs down the wall and into the small chamber, bursting open and sending small ankheg larvae at the party.

They tried to back away from the writhing swarm, as its tiny teeth and acidic ooze burned about their feet. Celeste lit the oil, and Boomah followed with a fiery bomb, but the mass kept moving toward them. As they scurried across the chain, Corbel exploded the rock wall of the chamber, but it still did not stop the advance.

It toured out of the chamber and across the body of its queen as the group continued to pull back. Kallius stepped up and sent more fire at it, and even Dremahl tried to crush the larvae with his mace. When Kallius cast burning hands a second time, the swarm abated, with the remaining larvae dropping into the waters below. Only a few were scooped by the goblin for later use.

Searching about, the decided that this was simply a birthing chamber for the ankhegs and not the creatures’ nest. So they continued on.

After hours more of marching, they came to a magnificent entry hall of the dwarves. it was flanked by statues and dominated by a large double door wide enough enough for the largest caravan cart. The door itself was barred, and runes warned of danger to anyone who forced the passage without permission of the dwarves.

They asked Corbel if she could get them past, and she said no. The rulers of the dwarves had not given her the words of passage, as he never really expected them to get this for. Nor was he that interested in their success. She tried the passwords she did know, to no avail.

She warned them that the doorway was certainly trapped in both magical and mechanical means. To test this, Dremahl summoned a celestial pony to charge the door. When it made contact, a huge guts of air came up and sent the pony to the ceiling, and dropped it the floor. As if that were not enough, the floor opened into a huge pit filled with a noxious gas.

Two minutes later the floor reset, and Celeste sent more summoned ponies toward it. They were electrocuted by magical runes, before being dropped into the pits. Again, they waited and summoned two more ponies. These were merely magically put to sleep before being dropped into the pits.

Noting a lessening in lethality, this time they summoned a giant ant, boosted it with bulls’ strength, and sent it toward the door. No runes exploded, and it managed to climb itself out of the pits quickly. It did not take long for the creature to lift the bar, but it still could not force the door open before it vanished.

Investigating, Dremahl determined that the door was arcane locked, and successfully dispelled it. From there, the ranger could disable the physical locking method and the gigantic doors sighed, ready to open smoothly.

stonewrought_dam_by_mullinsthegreat-d30zzu9.pngBefore exiting, they asked the dwarf what she knew about what was beyond and what happened. She explained that the Gilt Hall dwarves were very supportive of the humans at the beginning of the lats war. And when the invaders turned on them and marched up the Faelit Vale, the humans came to their aid. There was a pitched battle in the valley below the dam, and it did not go well for the defenders. When it became obvious that the invader would overrun the humans and dwarves and take the dam, Meera (wife of Hallita Jotahj and niece of Stonelord Vanha) commanded that the dam be blown up and the water released. This wiped out all the troops in the field —human, dwarf, and invader alike — and wreaked havoc on the forests below. Jotahj was so upset by the loss of his wife that he sealed the south gate and it has not been opened until now.

They sent the goblin out into the opening to explore. Twilight was descending on the mountain valley, but he could see that this was a walled platform directly above the broken dam. The empty bowl of Loch Nura sprawled off to the east, with rivulets of summer runoff meandering through. To the west lay a series of narrow valleys filled with broken vegetation and strange evening mists.

WSban.jpgDirectly across the dam, past two gaps and one roughly-built bridge, stood a red banner flaked by two curved posts. He could not make out details, but the lens of seeing showed him that some large living creatures were in a rubble lean-to beyond.

They held the dwarven gate open slightly with the bar, and decided to stay put until morning. They were keeping double watches and weapons handy, hoping for rest but preparing for the worst.

Gilt Trip
Or -- Meet the beetles

caio-monteiro-the-ankheg-queen-caio-monteiro.jpgAfter a brief discussion, our heroes accepted the Lord Mayor Bikkel’s ‘kind offer’ of having his man copy the plans of the mining machine, with the full knowledge that spreading this info will seriously alter both mining and siege warfare in the future.

While they waited, they made full use of his hospitality and got some much needed rest after their long night’s work.

Afterward, they returned to the dwarven enclave of Gilt Hall. Celeste maneuvered their way through the outer guards and to the desk warden of Rakken-Taija. They plead their case, and Celeste offered the nervous attendant Ragnil a tonic for his weariness — which he eagerly accepted.

He passed them on to the Hallitae-rhim council, who agreed to restore the goblin in exchange for the plans to the machine.

They also warned the dwarves about the troglodytes, undead dragons, and threats to their land. The dwarven leader Jotahj told them that what they claimed was impossible, dragons could not mingle their blood with anything. He did agree to let them go through Gilt Hall to south gate to try and follow the wizard Menso. However, he required them to clear out a menace that has taken up residence on the far side of the broken dam out said south gate. Finally, they were to wait until the auspicious pre-dawn hour for the priests of the forge-breather to fix Boomah and bless this undertaking.

They were escorted to chambers on the edge of the ridge. Concerned and not that tired, the kept double watch. Around midnight, they heard a loud thud on the balcony. Leaping up, they found an old heavily-armored dwarf who seemed to half-stone.

His name was Vanha, and he had come to warn them that they had been lied to. The ‘true’ translation of the lore books says that dragon blood “must not mingle” rather than “can not mingle.” He added that there were legends of a gold-dragon-blooded dwarf hero from the old world.

The old dwarf told them that his niece was the wife of Jotahj, and it was her idea to destroy the dam and flood the invaders. He, too, was there, and that he was crushed almost to death.

He went on, saying that the vale beyond is steeped in ancient magic, but few have ventured through it since the dam was broken. He also warned that the dwarves had not been maintaining their own domain since that day, and areas had fallen into disrepair. He agreed to send his ward Corbel along with them.

The next morning they set off before dawn. They traveled most of a day as the passages became less well cared for. Large areas of unworked stone, and even collapsed dirt began appearing.

A sour smell began creeping up, causing them to speculate what might be causing it. Suddenly, the ground gave way before Saerin and two insects the size of ponies boiled out — slashing with long mandibles dripping with acid. Another burst up at the other end of the group attacking the magus.

As our heroes started fighting their way through the giant insects, another opening appeared across a narrow gorge that paralleled the path. A huge bloated ankheg was beyond, and it spit a line of acid down the length of the group. Boomah tossed bombs at it, and Celeste sent an air elemental to attack, but the monstrous insect proved resilient. It spit again and the crawled across the gap to sink it claws into the ranger.

Two more of the smaller ankhegs scurried out of the gap and dropped from the ceiling onto the party. Large as they were, they could not stand before the blows of our heroes. Even the queen eventually succumbed to their attacks and collapsed into the rocky floor of the passage.

The air thick with the smell of blood and acid, our heroes stopped to take stock of their situation.

Making friends in low places
Or-- Let's Make a Deal!

When our heroes got to the end of the darkened passage, the goblin was nowhere to be found. Not seeing any sign of foul play (beyond their previous combat), they continued their search.

When they got to the small illusion-shrouded sign shrine, Boomah once again joined them. He claimed that the cultists only wanted to ‘talk’ and that they should follow.

So they did, and returned to the large underground temple that had fled a few minutes before. They were greeted by the tall, pale Vauchis ren Acero who appeared to be leading the group. She was flanked by a a shifty little man, and a bound goblin, who was obviously Boomah.

The goblin that was with out heroes transformed into a large, plain woman without explanation. As tensions rose, Vauchis suggested that this evening need not involve any more violence. She asked the party what it is they wanted.

Celeste told her that they had been sent to ‘disrupt’ the group for Lord Mayor Bikkel — who had offered to give them access to the dwarves in Gilt Hall.

She responded that that it seemed clear that they had fulfilled their duty and were free to leave. She offered them the head of the cadaver lord from the bedroom, claiming that the man was a spy for the mayor, and that he could have him back. The burly woman cast an enchantment on the preserved head before giving it to the group in a bag.

Our heroes also asked about whether Menso had been here. She admitted that he had been, caused quite a stir with his pronouncements about his powerful new blood magic, and left with a few of their members. All she claimed to know is that he went south through the mountain toward the Faelit Vale.

Considering this exchange a success, the group fled the darkened temple to the Veil.

Their next stop was a tavern controlled by the Lord Mayor. They were met by two of his burly guards in a curtained banquette, and led through narrow passages between buildings to his throne room.

The Lord Mayor was satisfied with their work, and told them of a Rakken-Taija gate keeper who had a mother’s milk addiction and needed to impress his superiors. He gave them a small amount of the drug to get the dwarf’s attention, and told them to use the drilling machine plans to gain access.

He offered to have his people make a copy of these schematics, so the party would not be left without — as he was sure the dwarves would take them.

Mike was only a devil for about 10 minutes, then they came face-to-face with two Boomahs. The only one committed to righteous violence was the barbarian, and everyone else told him to shut up. Maybe I have too pragmatic approach to evil, but I’m not sure how much repercussions there would be to simply allowing a devil cult to continue to exist in a town where slavery (and prostitution) are legal. And the devil never really unmasked itself.

Basically, at his point there is not upshot. They got the name of a dwarf with career/addiction issues whose buttons they can push to gain access to the real Gilt Hall. They learned that their enemy Menso somehow got through the mountain and went south. They’re looking to follow.

Temple of Doooooom
Or-- We don't need no stinkin' zombies

Meph-statue.jpgOur heroes jumped immediately into the fray. Shambling cadavers crowded around the walkway, and more were climbing up to fill any gaps left by the warriors’ blades.

Saerin shared the knowledge of his sworn enemy, and Dremahl chanted a prayer for victory. Celeste summoned an eagle and sent it down into the pit to slash at the bloated, devilish horrors.

These moved away from the looming statue of the Veil and joined with the cadavers in the assault. The warriors pushed back, sending several enemies to the ground each turn.

The stones of the walkway were getting crowded with the fallen, when one of the shadowy trio at the far end of the massive chamber fired a stinking cloud into the melee— filling the area with a thick, wretched fog. Kallius, Celeste, and Saerin were stricken by the miasma and had to break off from the fight. Boomah shook off the stench, but led the retreat, weaving through the group and down into the passages below.

Looking down the passage toward escape, he spotted a dark, shadowy creature crouched in the darkness. So he turned the other way and fled. When he reached the old guards post, another of the stealthy canines leaped from the shadows and tore into him. Quickly recovering, he smashed a fiery bomb on the creature and set the beast ablaze.

The others followed the goblin out of the sickening haze. Luix spotted the larger of the tow shadow hounds and rushed in to face it. Dremahl moved toward the goblin, and the others followed his radiance.

The light of Nox made it difficult for the creatures to lurk in the shadow, helping our heroes strike true. Saerin came in to fight alongside Boomah, and the two quickly dispatched the beast.

ZombieFog-small.jpgMeanwhile, the remaining cadavers had stumbled out of the cloud and continued to assault the group. Boomah lobbed a fire bomb down the passage and struck one, splashing fire on the undead and party members alike. After being freed from the sickness by Dremahl, Kallius cast burning hands and damaged the large portion of the horde. The priest followed by channeling his holy might and the creatures fierce energy went out — sending them slumping to the floor in fire and ash.

The cadavers had been defeated, and the cadre of lemure devils never came out of the fog to menace the group.

Without immediate foes, Boomah began searching about. He creeped doen the long hallway leading to the bed chamber and the chapel, and noted that the far end of the hall was shrouded in a darkness beyond the normal. He moved as far as the chamber of chained slaves and peered in.

The room was empty, the chains lay on the ground. Not seeing obvious threats, he stopped to listen closer. He heard whispered chanting — and then he was gone.

The others, not hearing the goblins continued commentary, feared for the worst. They regrouped, and led by Saerin and followed quickly by Dremahl and his Noxian daylight, hurried to the salve chamber.

But when they arrived, there was no sign of the tiny alchemist.

Looting, and a little light bondage
Or-- Yanking their chains

05e4a3e970dafe659d64732eb1d6e0ef.jpgWith the corpse in expensive bed-clothes freshly returned to non-moving status, our heroes searched their surroundings. The room contained a small table littered with bottles and jars, and a screened-off sleeping area.

The bed had expensive coverings, but hid nothing of value. Wall pegs nearby were also empty. The table contained cosmetics far beyond just beautifying, and could be used to aid in creating disguises. A perfume atomizer proved to be filled with an enchanted liquid, that gave the user the effects of an eagle’s splendor spell. Boomah discovered a hidden compartment in the table that contained (in addition to a poison trap) and magical tome used in the creation of flesh golems.

Moving on to explore the next chamber, they found a small shrine to Mephitas. The sanctuary was covered by an illusion spell, but Boomah pierced the magic and found a cabinet in the base holding a large quantity of gems and jewelry. Concerned about further magical danger, they left the objects where they were and moved on.

They noted a passage leading out of this chapel and stairs leading up, but decided against going any further in that direction.

Going back to the door where they had previously heard hushed whispers, Luix burst into the room. There he found a handful of well-built young slaves shacked by long chains that led up into the shadows.

Suddenly, the chains flew off of a few of these slaves and tried to envelop the northerner. He lunged forward into the room, grabbed the free chains and pulled as hard as he could — bringing down a fearsome clip-winged gargoyle who had been perched in the ceiling vaults.

The creature commanded the chains like living things, flailing out in all directions. Kallius and Saerin stepped in to aid the burly warrior, and the magus struck hard with his electrified, rapier. The monster could not withstand their combined assault, and quickly crumbled to rubble.

Looking over the cowering slaves, they told them to free themselves from their remaining chains and escape this place as quickly as they could.

Continuing to backtrack, they returned to the stairs where the human cultist had tried to flee. They heard nothing behind the door at the top of the stair, but a feeling of unholy dread pervaded the area.

Celeste summoned an air elemental and sent it through the flagstones to explore. Immediately the sounds of combat were heard beyond the door.

They burst open the door. From the light of Dremahl’s Daylight spell, they could see the small elemental in battle with two shambling corpses. Many more of the dead were around it, and began to move toward the door with with evil light burning in their eyes and fueling their momentum.

They were on a walkway that seemed to surround a large open chamber. Dominating the lower area was a 20-foot-tall statue of Mephitas, surrounded by a group small, bloated fleshy abominations. They, too, turned toward the group and started making their way toward the door.

The ranger and barbarian waded into the fray, beating down the first two of what would prove to be many, many foes.

Dungeon Crawling
Or-- How to move 120 feet in three hours

67732a5bc66b541c5d06e3b2281a262a.jpgAfter defeating the two defending cultists and setting fire to the ‘Curtain Club’, our heroes decided to explore deeper into the underground chambers.

The first exit they tried was where the defenders came from. Down a hall they found a spartan bed chamber, with a suit of enchanted armor laid out for repairs, and a small bag of platinum coins and a gold necklace hidden under the bed pallets

Then they went down the central hall and found three doors. The first was a set of double doors that smelled of animals, and they decided not to attempt it. Boomah tied the two rings together in hopes of slowing anything that tried to leave through that way.

The hall ended in another set of double doors, wide and carved with Mephitis symbols, so they kept away from it as well. The third was barred from the other side, which intrigued the group. Boomah used a combo of fire and ice bombs to shatter the hinges, and they moved past the now-broken door.

Kallius took the lead in exploring the narrow passage, and soon came to a heavy, undecorated door. Boomah and Saerin examined it, and found no traps. However, they overlooked a glyph inscribed in the portal and a burst of electricity shot out, followed by a darkness that even the goblin’s site could not easily pierce.

Dremahl summoned Daylight to counter the darkness, and the party saw two figures hiding behind an opening down the hall. The two fired crossbow bolts from hding, trying to pin down our heroes. Undaunted, they charged. One of the cultists tried to get around them, but they cut him down as he tried to escape up a stair down a side passage. The other fared little better, and was soon felled as well.

Leaving the door the fleeing cultist was heading toward, they continued on their previous path. They found a side door and heard whimpering inside. They let it be.

Continuing to the end of the hall, they saw an opening to a chamber, but nothing moved and no danger presented itself. Entering, they found a well-appointed bed chamber. Boomah was suddenly attacked by a swift moving corpse from behind the entrance. The creature was tough and its claws sapped our heroes’ strength, bbut their greater numbers soon prevailed. They noted that the mangled corpse had a very pretty face and expensive bed clothes. They began to inspect the furnishings in the chamber, in hopes of loot and in preparation for more danger deeper down these corridors.

Curtain Call
Or-- Smoke and Mirrors

annihilating_fire___mtg_by_damascus5-d5f8ws3.jpgLeaving the locked slaves in their cells, our heroes sneeked through the concealed door and down beneath the Acero complex. With Boomah holding a torch as Saerin led the way, they spotted a prayer to Mephitas carved into every third step.

Boomah recited the prayer as they descended, and was spared from the the strength-sapping spell that gripped the ranger. The others followed the goblin’s lead when they followed behind.

They came to an intricately-carved double door at the base of the stair, covered with images of smoke or curling blades. After they searched for any booby-traps in the area, Boomah pushed the door open ‘just a little’.

Unfortunately, far enough to set off a string of bells that hung behind the door. The party readied for action as the doors flung open revealing a crowd of skeletal figures with flesh hanging loosely over their skulls. Dremahl channeled divine power, and several bodies collapsed to the ground.

The rest of the party rushed in, slashing at the skeletons or firing spells to disrupt them. After a few noisy moments of jingling bells and clashing blades— the party found themselves alone in the entry chamber. Their fallen enemies all wore the preserved faces of individuals, but none of them were familiar to the group.

They listened at each of the three exits from the chamber, and heard furtive noises to the left and right. They chose the left, and burst open the door. Inside they found a lavishly appointed room filled low furniture, gauzy hangings, and a handful of people in various states of undress.

A haughty, half-dressed man (whom they recognized as a slave merchant they saw earlier in the day) confronted Kallius and demand he leave immediately. The merchant told them that this was most inappropriate and there would be consequences. Considering this, Boomah threw a bomb at the man, setting him and his two escorts ablaze.

Fire spread to the hangings and there was a lot of screaming and crying. Meanwhile, the other door burst open and a thrown axe flew into the room thrown by a man in dark robes veiled by mirror image. The warriors spotted another concealed figure lurking behind. Luix fell to a murderous command and brought his flail down on the magus.

Boomah continued to throw bombs at the slavers and cultists, and a ghoul came out of the shadows to attack Saerin. He shook off the paralytic bite, and slayed the enemy in a single blow.

The warriors were slashing their way through the illusion-shrouded guard, when the one in the rear vanished from site. But not from the arcane vision of Celeste, who pointed out the enemy as it tried to crawl along the ceiling. Kallius reached up with his enchanted blade, and struck true. The roof lit up as the cultist appeared, limned with eldritch flame along with its multiple shadows.

They all turned on the priest as it clung to the ceiling supports. He tried to turn them with murderous commands, but could not withstand their concerted attack. Soon he dropped like a swatted fly.

Boomah quickly tried to collect personal items form those he bombed, weaving through the flaming fabrics. The party regrouped and prepared to continue their investigation of these dark, secret cellars.

Up on the Rooftop
Or-- 'Zat you, Santa Claus?

hound_of_tindalos_by_manzanedo-d5m0fhq.jpgAfter a long evening of drinking and scouting, our heroes left their bar stools and scattered around the marketplace. Celeste, covered by the elves, summoned an air elemental and sent it to push over every orc in the bar. The small whirlwind took to its task, even upending a small goblin and dropping on a table.. This caused the ruckus they were looking for, and they moved to the darkest corner of the courtyard, in the shadow of the Acero building.

Meanwhile, Boomah had gone invisible and levitated to the roof. He then dropped a smoke bomb and rope to cover the others’ climb. With the orcish bar brawl the elemental causing a stir a few hundred feet away, it seemed that no one was paying attention to this strange cloud..

Once on the roof, Dremahl used divine clairvoyance spy down through the roof vents and chimneys. They found a room of sleeping guards, some secured areas and one open storage space down a chimney. Invisible, reduced, and protected from fire, Kallius repelled down the chimney. Only to come face-to-face with a sleepy guard staring at a rope dangling down.

He jumped through the fire, a slashed the surprised enemy with an empowered shocking grasp through his blade. Needless to say, they fight was over.

The others followed and they took note of there surroundings — a storage area on the second floor overlooking the market. They peeked into the guard room, and saw four awake guards playing dice on the far side of the room and doors going further in. Then they remembered that murdering everyone was not their goal, and crept down into the open market.

Saeren led, and was nearly surprised when a catlike shape leaped from the darkness. It slashed at him, but his return blow struck through the shadows. His elven comrade struck as well — outlining it with the magic of his limning blade.

Two more creatures pounced from the shadows; one stumbling and crashing into a stack of boxes along the curtained wall. Bombs were thrown, spells were cast, and the three warriors made short work of the shadowy felines. Once more silence reigned in the Acero compound.

They quickly moved behind the curtain and found two cells where slaves were kept, but the slaves stayed huddled and quiet in the corners. A large stone wall separating the two cells drew their attention, and they quickly discovered a secret door leading into a narrow tunnel carved into the stone.

The stepped into the darkness as the curtain fell on the evening.


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