Friday, December 4, 2020

Duendewood: There's Someone Out There

 We killed the Entropic Reaper, and Azrael was still down a wisdom point from being drained. We continue exploring, since aside from restoring physical damage there isn't much we can do for him.

We find a couple of conference room areas, then head north; there's a storage room, and then a room where someone appears to be laid out in repose. The coffin says "Priestess Thera", and there's definitely something moving around inside; we take a quick consensus and decide that it's almost certainly undead.

Ruin: "Wrap it in chains, haul outside, and throw it on a nice big bonfire."

Getty raps on the coffin: "Hello?"

An incredible banging and hissing ensues. "Right," says Geddy. "Bonfire."

Martini and Azrael are hearing voices; they appear to know we're in here. A moment after she mentions this, we hear a door close down in the barracks area.

Martini turns invisible. The rest of us just stand around like great bloody lumps. Then Ruin opens the door next to him, and steps inside with the two skinless corpses of a pair of unknown nobles -- which makes it very possible that the noblewoman on our boat is an impostor.

Geddy, meanwhile, steps out into the main room and starts tuning up his lute.

Two wizards step into the room, looking tentatively at Geddy. One of them is a dark-robed elf; the other is a half-elf woman. The elf says, "Hello there. I see you have stumbled on this unfortunate town. May we have your name?"

Geddy: "You may: Geddy Lee Geddy, famed Bard. Who're you jokers?"

Wizard: "I am Cas, and this is my companion Cassadia; we were just riding by and decided to stop for supplies and discovered the horrible things that happened here."

Geddy is -- to put it mildly -- suspicious. "That's very convenient. Do you by chance know what happened to this town? We were -- the royal 'we' told some dark villainy was going on in this neck of the woods, and they needed a hero." And then he threw in a Nickelback lyric, since they needed a hero to save them...

Martini whispers in Geddy's ear: "There are more of them outside."

Kas: "I'm sure they could use a hero; the town's in bad shape. There was a girl... an elf-lady. Have you seen her?" He starts describing Martini.

Geddy: "I'm sorry, all elves look a bit alike to me. Could you give me more detail?"

They start looking around, keeping an eye on Geddy; they don't seem to want a conflict, but he's getting kind of impatient. "So why don't you finish up your business and move on?"

Geddy: "I could use some supplies too, could you take me to the stock rooms?"

There's a glimmer of recognition in his eyes. "I did see a warehouse as we came in. These people don't need it anymore."

Geddy: "Sure! Could you help me with this box in the next room?"

Outside, deep voice: "Whaddaya mean, people are here? Do you need me to kill 'em?" Someone else shushes him.

Kaz, loudly: "Okay, we're done here. Keep playing your lute, and we won't trouble you..."

Geddy casts Haste.

Kas: "Shit. Spellcaster."
Cassadia: "Yep. Haste. Call the others!"

Azrael casts Solid Fog, blocking off the wizards. Ruin crosses to the big pile of bodies near the front door and pretends to be a corpse. Martini, invisible, move up near him. We hear retreating footsteps, and the Kaz calls out "Get in here! Bring the orcs! Oh shit, fog!"

Somebody else casts Haste. Then the front doors slam open and there are two orcs holding greatswords; the look at Azrael and chuckle, and then Rage. Martini slides silently (and invisibly) over to one side of the door.

Orc: "We're gonna tear you in half, tiny elf."
Azrael: "Fireball."

He immolates a pair of invisible mages who were hiding behind the nearer wizard. The wizard is damaged, and the two orcs are singed but relatively okay. Azrael levitates up to the ceiling.

The Kaz launches a fireball to where he last saw Geddy, but Geddy ducks under a bench and avoids some of the damage. Cassadia casts Haste.

Ruin lies in wait; Geddy casts Mirror Image on himself; there are now seven fake Geddies and on real Geddy.

The two Orcs charge Geddy, moving right past Martini and Ruin and taking a big chunk of damage when we hit them by surprise as they pass. They stumble on towards Geddy; one of them misses, and the other slices through one of the images and roars in disappointment.

Geddy: "It's tough suckin' dick!"

The Cassadia outside the door casts Phantasmal Killer; thanks to Death Ward, Martini's effectively immune to the instant death, though she's convinced that the specter is real and is slightly damaged. The Cassadia gapes at the lack of dead assassin in front of her.

Martini moves in and stabs her twice, staggering her. Azrael, from his position on the ceiling, casts Scorching Ray at the orcs, tagging each of them once. He follows it up with a quickened Magic Missile. One of the orcs is only still alive because he's raging, and even then only barely upright. The other one is damaged, but functional.

The original pair of Kaz and Cassadia have come charging around the outside of the building intending to get the drop on us; they run straight into Ruin, who had the same idea in reverse and greets Kaz with his falchion.

Geddy steps back out of reach, and  promptly fumbles his attack; but he recovers and attacks again, finishing one of the orcs. ("Dodge this!") He attacks the other orc but misses.

Martini manages to shake off a sleep spell and stabs the Cassadia in front of her to death. Meanwhile, a new enemy has appeared with a bow and a pet wolf waaaaaaaaaaay out on the pier.

The Kaz and Cassadia who were coming around the building step back and the Kaz tries to cast Phantasmal Killer on Ruin but utterly fails to affect him; Cassadia's Dominate Person, on the other hand, affects Ruin just fine. Ruin attacks Martini, hitting her once but not as badly as he could have.

Geddy finishes off the last Orc.

Martini disengages and runs up the side of the building. The roof is slate-covered and angled; Martini gets herself out of sight.

Azrael drops Black Tentacles on the two wizards. They're grappled. (Technically, they can still cast spells... as long as those spells only have a verbal component. )

Ruin, still Dominated, turns around and puts an arrow in Azrael. Martini sneaks back to the edge of the roof with her bow. She puts an arrow in the remaining Kaz, and takes him down. "The lady I saw through the eye..." he gasps, and then falls dead.

Cassadia tries to tear loose, but fails completely. She takes some damage as the tentacle squishes her, and then Azrael sends a Scorching Ray her way.

Ruin scoops his sword back up, steps over to the Cassadia, and slaps her silly with the flat of his blade, knocking her unconscious.

Geddy steps out the door, and fails to spot Azrael (above him), Martini (on the roof), and really much of anything else; he drops Rainbow Pattern in front of the building, covering a substantial portion of the town.

The wolf is unaffected; Ruin, Martini, and the archer all stop to stare at the pretty lights. Azrael has seen this sort of thing before and resists it.

The wolf charges Geddy, and just mauls one of his mirror images...

Azrael considers spells and range attacks, and casts Cloudkill around the archer. He survives the initial assault, but his health is seriously affected. (OOC: -4 Con damage. Ouch.) He pushes through the nasty green fog and shoots Azrael.

Ruin: "O my friends and Allies, behold the pretty pretty lights."

Geddy drops concentration on the spell, and drops a flare on Ruin's butt; the wolf tries to attack but misses. Ruin, at least, is no longer dazzled.

Azrael follows up cloudkill with Stinking Cloud, but he's wary and holds his breath. He fires off an arrow at Azrael, and hits.

Ruin slaps his injured butt, then charges the wolf and takes a pretty solid swing at it, but doesn't connect as solidly as he usually does; it survives.

Geddy slides back, and the wolf tries to attack; the wolf rips the throat out of another image. Geddy puts a crossbow bolt in him and he goes down.

Azrael drops Black Tentacles again, and catches the guy; he tries to break out and just barely fails. Ruin had moved back over near his bow to attack the wolf; now he scoops it up and puts an arrow straight in between the guy's ribs. Martini has also been scorched out of he bedazzlement, and she whips out her bow and put an arrow in his throat. He disappears into the sea of tentacles.

"Hey! You! Get us out of here!" There's a maybe eight-year-old girl in a cage; there's a ruddy-looking guy who looks like he's about to run.

Ruin: "Don't run, you'll just die tired."

"Ahhhh I'm just the carriage driver, I'm nothing to do with these people."

Ruin: "You didn't try to kill us, you get the benefit of the doubt."

"I'm a bit shaken. This was my home, these were my people."

Ruin: "We have a few survivors, help us out and we'll be pleased to count you among them."

"The Hierophant Malefar took us south with three wagons, but it was slow going in the forest and he sent us back for supplies. And... there was a map! He gave it to one of these guys!"

We search bodies and collect 15,500 gp, bracers of armor +3, and a +2 headband of intellect. The ranger has 2,000 GP; lesser bracers of archery (which we turn over to Martini). Rolf the Peasant is just sure there should be a map... but we haven't found one.

Martini: "Empty your pockets."

Rulff: Empties pockets, hands Martini his treasured piece of cheese.

Martini tosses the cheese over her shoulder. "WHERE IS THE MAP?"

Rulff: "I saw the map, I did, that Kaz had it."

Martini: "Fine, go get your cheese."

We did spare the Cassadia, who has now been searched quite thoroughly.

Geddy, to the girl in the cage: "Hi, little girl!"

She can almost stand up in the little cage. "You let me out of here right now, Mister."

Geddy: "What's your name?"

Ava: "Well my name is Ada, and I made the mistake of getting too close to these... a-holes." She looks very convinced that she's said a very naughty, grown-up word.

Geddy: "So how'd you get here?" He plays at opening the lock.

Ava tries to obfuscate, and while Geddy doesn't quite believe her he's not sure what she's obfuscating. She seems lonely, and excited about being Geddy's friend. Geddy promptly gets his finger stuck in the lock trying to open it.

Geddy casts Detect Magic while pretending like he's casting something to open the lock. He would have bet there was some sort of magic there, but he doesn't detect anything. "Hey Martini, come over here please?"

Martini comes over to find that Geddy has his finger stuck in the lock. She yanks his finger out and twitches the lock open.

Ava: "Oh, finally! I mean it, those guys were *not* nice. But I'm with you guys now!"

Azrael: "Quite."

Ava: "Well, let's go get 'em."

Azrael: "We need a map."

Ava: "Well, if they have a map maybe it's in the carriage."

Martini searches the carriage. "But I don't take orders from you either, Azrael."

The carriage is pulled by four skeletal horses. It's giant carriage, and there's a bunch of stuff inside. Arrow slits, a ladder leading up to the top; it's wet-ass... um, posh-ass carriage.

There are almost no supplies, but it's a *very* nice way to travel. There's a chest, a lockbox on a shelf, and a cryptic-looking book on a small built-in table.

Martini turns the whole place. The lockbox on the shelf is trapped; Martini disables it so thoroughly that she can put the trap back in place when she's done. Inside are 310 PP and 3,240 GP worth of gems.

The stamp on the PP are from Lamarque; it probably came with the Vecna-ites.

The chest was neither trapped nor locked, and was basically travelling supplies and small +1 falchion worth 1,000 GP and an unused wand of Cure Light Wounds. The book on the desk is a book on the history of Titan's Reach. Titan's Reach is considerably further south of us; it was rumored to be the location of a Titan city thousands of years ago; the ruins are sized for large creatures. This book explains that the likelihood of that is minimal; it was probably just ancient Elvish extravagance.

Tucked inside the cover are two folded pieces of paper. The first is a map through the forest towards Titan's reach, with

And a note: "We expected always some sort of upward-facing structure; a hand cupping the sky or reaching up the sun, perhaps a tree. This may have been our mistake. Look for a penninsula extending into Mar Dentro with five fingers reaching into the water; what we seek may be there, deep underwater." Mar Dentro is known to be extremely deep, far too deep for a natural lake; think rift lake.

Ava, meanwhile, is doing her best to talk Geddy to death. Geddy: "Sleep now." She ignores the spell: "Oh, and the birdies are soooo pretty!"

Ava puts forth a strong argument that she's coming with us to chase down Malefar, framed mainly as "You're not leaving me behind!"

Geddy's in favor of bringing her along. Ruin, after a bit of back-and-forth, is also sold. Martini is perfectly, completely appalled. And Azrael is, well... Goth.

Ava apparently knows quite a bit about the forest and what lives in it. We're taking her with us. And Rulff will be driving the cart. We'll send the boat on around the coast while we make our way overland; the forest is slow going.

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