Tuesday, August 18, 2020

Guardians of Sol Povos: Into the Tower

 Having put the Baron and his wife in their coffins and thence into the bag of holding, we prepare to assault the tower.

Springhollow had a population of about 9,000.

Tavros goes off and buys all the Cure Light Wounds Wands available - four of them. Marshall heads out to the woods to call some of the sacred snakes to him. We found Wanda the enchantress, who naturally makes wands. She tries to upsell us on a couple of things, but Tavros isn't interested.

The wizard opens the the protective shield and we edge in and then go into the front door. Inside is a huge pile of corpses. Also inside is a triceratops, probably undead, with some bizarre contraption on its back. It turns towards us, and...

Alexej moves up on it; it lumbers towards us, strange liquids sloshing in its back. It has a nametag that says "Cera" on it. Tavros moves up to flank Alexej. Leira turns invisible, and Marshall steps up: "I'm going to send this thing back t'hell!" He tries to turn the zombie dinosaur.

(OOC: this is the dinosaur that my original character, Grot the half-orc druid, was raising until he got brutally killed by a vampire, brought back as a harpy, and turned into a zombie himself.)

Alexej attacks, and the injury makes all the glass things clank together. (OOC: Oh, this is not going to end well.) It attacks Alexej, doing fairly serious damage. Tavros attacks, also hitting it twice, and in the process shatters the glasswork, which spews acid all around it.

Leira uses Magic Missile, because reliability is a fine quality in a spell, and does a decent amount of damage. Marshall throws a Wind Wall to push the acid smog away from us.

Alexej looks behind him and yells, "Beware! Velocirapture! Behind us!" He continues to attack the triceratops, but misses; Cera gores him again, and the raptors charge. Alexej hits one on its way in, damaging it and causing it to miss him. He smacks at it as well, damaging it also. It manages to bite him, though it misses with its claws.

The acid is still expanding, but the wall is holding it back from us; Tavros attacks again, trying for more damage, and misses once but hits on his second try; he does more damage.

Leira blows another Magic Missile, then moves to a different spot; she's still invisible. Marshall casts Dominate Animal on the velociraptor who's stupidly standing inside the acid cloud; he then moves up to flank the velociraptor. Alexej repositions and attacks the hostile raptor. The triceratops stabs at Alexej again, and Marshall's velociraptor goes for the triceratops.

Tavros steps back and lays a hand on Alexej, using up most of the day's healing ability to keep him on his feet. Marshall Mercy steps around to flank the hostile velociraptor, and smacks it with his scythe; Alexej moves further back and attacks hostileRaptor, who goes down. The whole back half of the room is engulfed in acid fumes, but we're safe on our side of the wind wall. The triceratops attacks Tavros and hits; Tavros steps back in and attacks it in return, hitting it twice. Leira magic missiles the triceratops, who charges forward and lightly tramples Tavros before he goes down. Marshall leaves the other raptor standing in the acid until it dissolves. The wind wall lasts just long enough to contain the acid.

We heal up using our new wands, then open the nearest door. This was the velociraptor room; it has a big chunk of well-gnawed meat on the floor. The next is barred, and Tavros attempts to smash through it, and despite being a very solid wooden door he crashes through into a kitchen.

Servant: "It changed!"

Tavros: "Surrender and I'll see that you're well treated!"

Servant: "It can talk!" Apparently they think he's an evolved velociraptor. "Perhaps Helios has sent it to save us."

Marshall: "Helios had nothing to do with this. This is all Artemhiss."

Tavros sorts out the velociraptor/half-dragon confusion, and Alexej meanwhile has found the meatlocker/freezer. He's busy eating. He convinces the servants that they're there to help.

It turns out we're facing off against a Thought of Vecna, and nine or ten Memories of Vecna. They're in the dining room just upstairs. The nearer stairwell is the servant's stair; it's safe. The other stairwell in the main room goes up to the library, and it's trapped. They said if we went up there it would immolate."

So, after determining that nobody's going to mistake Tavros for a servant, we decide to send Alexej up dressed as a servant while the rest of us follow invisibly.

So we put together a huge tray full of vegetables, because Alexej already ate the chicken. Leira drops Greater Invisibilty on Marshall, and Alexej leads the way with his tray and his polearm. He and Marshall head to the top of the stairs and hold there; there's a swinging door there. Leira makes Tavros invisibility, and he heads up the stairs; Leira follows.

From beyond the door, we can hear the sound of voices. Alexej opens the door and steps inside. "All right, all you thinks and memoirs, I have your tray!" Despite everything, he successfully bluffs his way into the room. They don't even look up; they're so engaged in their conversation. "As soon as we move west, we're going to start taking the baronies one by one."

Alexej: "I have all the best flavors--"

Thought: "Yes, yes, servant, just put it down."

Alexej stops just a little ways back from the table: polearm range. Tavros comes through the door behind him, making a huge loud crack as he comes through, and promptly clunks his way across the stone floor. Marshall, by contrast, casts Silence on himself and walks in. The door... kind of breaks off.

Alexej attempts to bluff: "I am big man! I make door swing back and forth many times. So sorry."

Alexej panics and starts rattling off vocabulary words: "Mango! Avacado!"

Leira takes a moment to make herself invisible, and walks through the now-broken doorway with no issues.

Alexej: "Almond... peanut... cashew... Tomato with the chicken sauce and cooked in oven, with the grill..."

The Thought of Vecna throws a fireball at the door, engulfing everybody except Alexej.

Alexej says, "Holy shit! Why are you killing the servants! They are trying to bring you a z-zu-squash!"

Only one of the memories is fooled; the rest of them all magic missile him. Squash is flying, peas are everywhere... Alexej staggers back towards Leira. Tavros moves away from the door and beheads one of the memories. Marshall moves forward as far as he can. Leira drops greater invisibility on Alexej, then gets the hell away from the door.

The Thought casts a spell, centered on where Tavros did his killing. Tavros falls asleep, invisible. The memories promptly respond by turning themselves invisible. Marshall ignores the guy turning invisible beside him; he wants the Thought.

The double doors on the south wall swing open, giving us a view of some sort of horrible magic circle.

Alexej moves up and does a whirlwind attack, basically sweeping his guisarme in a broad circle around him. He takes out a couple of guys who had just reached the doors, skims off Tavros' armor ("No orizons today, mom...")

Marshall takes that additional step up and uses Slay Living to take out the Thought. Leira drops a fireball of her own and three smoldering figures drop to the floor.

The ring on the floor in the next room starts to glow, and some sort of demon spider bursts into existence.

Alexej shuts the doors and bars them. Marshall moves up to the door and says, "Open it on my command." (They can't see each other, obviously.)

Alexej: "Got it."

Alexej hears a voice in his head. "It's scary," says Alexej, confusing everybody who's still awake.

At that moment, a pair of spikes stab through the door as the spider-demon tries to rend the door. The door comes apart. Leira tries to drop Baleful Polymorph on the spider-demon, but it manages to resist the spell.

Alexej moves to another area of the room and does a whirlwind attack. The demon smells him moving off and tries to attack, but Alexej slips aside. In the course of this, Alexej steps on Tavros and wakes him up; Tavros climbs to his feet, takes in the situation, and waits for the demon to move into the room.

The spider-demon hurls a Web into the room, entangling Leira. He starts to move into the room, realizes Marshall is in the doorway, and stops.

Leira drops a Silent Image right beside Marshall. Tavros moves up, and Marshall successfully Dismisses the spider.

Marshall moves in and finds that this is the library; the hell-circle has collapse, quiescent, its energy expended. It's not charged, but it's still prepared.

Tavros smashes the circle, and then we search the bodies and find 6,000 GP worth of equipment.

-fox's cunning,
-cat's grace,
-eagle's splendor

scrolls: invisibility, see invisibility, darkvision, calm emotions, flame arrow, resist energy, haste, and a bag with 130 PP.

Tavros moves down the hall, and stops beside the first door... but there are strange sounds coming from the hallway just past the door, so he moves and finds another door that appears to be the source of the sounds.

Tavros busts into the room: "Stop! Why are you hurting... wait, what are you doing?"

They immediately leap up in the flimsiest possible outfits and come rushing over to molest him. He is... not overcome. Neither is Alexej: "Tavros! These are not victims, they are vixens!"

Women: "Oh, what a wonderful accent! You should come and rest with us; we have a bed right here."

Tavros: "Nope. Too perilous." He closes the door.

Marshall walks past them, throws open the door, and... also is not overcome. He turns undead.

"Oh! Did you see that! His snake sigil is sooooo big! I've never seen a snake that size before! And look how strong he is, he's sooo big!"

Marshall: "Ladies! Let me comfort you." He walks over to the bed, puts a hand on one of the women... and Slays Living. "Goodbye."

She dies, and her companion is now trying to kill us.

Leira just walks in and starts trying to open the treasure chest; the women have shown no interest in her. The chest was already open and has been emptied.

Marshall: "Give me one good reason why I should not do to you what I did to your harlot sister?"

Girl: "Our mistress, miss Frazzlehair, has been kidnapped! If you could rescue her, we could go back to where we came from."

Marshall: "Not good enough." He attempts to slay her, and she dies. Tavros is... aghast.

Alexej: "Guys! Up hallway, more ladies."

We check over the room, but everything here has been ransacked already.

We head up to the next room, and find two more women. Leira, irritated, drops a fireball into the room. One of them dies; the other survives and looks really pissed. Marshall dismisses the remaining woman and moves up the hallway in case there are more of these wicked temptations ahead.

The woman gives Leira the stink-eye, but Leira blows it off. Her face falls and she starts begging. Alexej walks inside, and is blinded by her beauty. Literally. Alarmed, he swing his guisarme wildly at where the woman was standing, but misses; Tavros strides in after him, realizes that Alexej is blind, and cuts her down.

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