Friday, January 14, 2022

Fanaxia: A Castle Full of Demons

 We look in on the demons, shut the door, and align weapons for Ruin, Alexej, and Martini. Martini, Leira, and Geddy turn invisible; Geddy's is temporary, but takes in everybody who isn't invisible already. Azrael turns invisible as well. Geddy adds Mirror Image, so there are now a bunch of him around.

Having done all that, Marshall turns into a snake. (He can cast spells as a snake, because he's awesome.)

The room used to be a dining hall, but it's been completely flattened and ceiling has been smashed (but is still enclosed by the energy barrier).

Azrael drops Meteor Swarm in the near area of the room, just shelling the troops from above in overlapping patterns. Tavros charges in behind and attacks the nearest Vrock, missing, and arrives just as Leira drops Sunburst into the room. Fortunately, she's aiming to include the back of the room and he's just outside of the impact zone. For the demons caught in the spell, pain and blindness ensue.

The blind Vrocks group together and start dancing; the other cast Heroism on themselves. Three of the Vrocks screech, stunning most of the party. The Vrock next to Tavros tries to infect him with spores; Tavros is immune. He tries to throw a column at him with telekinesis, but it smashes agsinst Tavros' armor.

Two of the Glabrezou cast Remove Blindness on themselves, as do the Malfetchnee. Ruin throws open the other door, but Marshall is stunned and does not move. The second Malfetchnee does an area Dispel Magic, and several of us become visible; Azrael and Martini lose their False Life effects instead.

The Hezrou, who are all blind, make a strategic retreat towards the dais. Azrael and Leira: "They're asking their masters to make them not blind anymore."

The Merrilith, who is *not* blind, drops a Blade Barrier through the doorway into the main group. Leira, Azrael, and Martini all take damage; Alexej attempts to avoid it but doesn't manage. He charges the nearest circle of dancing Vrocks, power attacking, and slams his guisarme into the thing despite it being a bit harder to hit than it should be.

Geddy is still stunned; Tavros takes down the nearest, undamaged Vrock and moves towards the nearest trio of dancing vrocks. We do not want them to finish that dance; that would be bad.

So naturally another trio of Vrocks starts dancing. Other demons are moving towards us, but several of them are blind. One Vrock moves to intercept Tavros before he can get to the dancers.

The Glabrezou... now able to see... cast Chaos Hammer into the doorway. It totally fails to affect us, as none of us are Lawful in alignment. (Ye gods, alignment is a stupid system.)

Ruin charges into the Blade Barrier, taking full damage from it, and grabs Azrael, Leira, and Martini and Dimension Doors them out.

Marshall slithers forward and casts Holy Aura on himself.

The Malfeshnee attempts to Feeblemind Leira and succeeds; the other calls lightning on Alexej. The the Merrilith casts Unholy Aura on herself.

Martini moves up to the next group of Vrocks and stabs one of them, remaining invisible; her target doesn't die, but it's not looking too good either.

Alexej attacks again, doing a bunch of damage before the Vrock dies and the guisarme is stuck, trapped in some bony cleft or other like the sword in the stone.

Azrael snaps out of his stun and drops Acid Fog over two groups of dancers, and Tavros slips past the Vrock that's blocking him and takes out a dancer from the second trio.

The Vrock grabs Alexej's guisarme and flies away. Alexej: "Hello! You are not supposed to be smart! Come back with that!"

Meanwhile several of the demons feel their way over to Marshall who is a giant snake, and start trying to claw against his scales. Marshall intercepts one as they move in, and out of all those attacks only one claw manages to do some damage. All five of them fart spores on him, but he doesn't care. Alexej, however, is not immune and is now covered in spores.

One of the senior demons removes blindness from a couple of the minions. Ruin attacks one of the blind vrocks, and Marshall drops Mass Heal and removed the feeblemind from Leira while restoring health to everyone who was injured, which... wasn't actually most of us.

The bad guys Call Lightning on Alexej, singing him slightly. One of the Demons drops Unholy Blight on top of Marshall and Alexej, which only really affects Alexej, and even that not very much.

The Merrilith is having trouble seeing around the fog; she steps aside, and spots Alexej and Marshall. She drops another Blade Barrier. Alexej takes a big chunk of damage, as does Marshall.

Martini, meanwhile, takes a step and starts attacking one of the blind demons. Alexej moves out of the Blade Barrier, drawing his masterwork scythe, and attacks one of the newly-dancing demon trio.

Geddy Suggests that all the Vrocks nearby should follow him through the door. This seems entirely reasonable to them. Several of them run through the door to go see Geddy, which takes them through the Blade Barrier (and in one case *two* Blade Barriers). This is... not healthy for them.

Azrael drops Black Tentacles but fails to trap any of them; they've clearly linked Freedom of Movement to their Unholy Blight. Tavros circles the acid fog to distract a Hezrou, and Leira drops a Freezing Sphere on the dancers -- and kills one of them, critically.

The Vrock with the guisarme presents it to the Merrilith. Two more of them screech, and several of us are once again stunned. Ruin once again murders a blind Vrock.

Marshall slithers forward and attacks one of the dancing Vrocks, grappling him to disrupt the dance. The Malfeshnees call lightning on the giant snake, doing some damage but not a whole lot.

Several Hezrou swarm Tavros, attacking, but only one claw attack makes it through even though he's stunned. The Merrilith moves back and drops yet another Blade Barrier. Alexej takes a bit more damage.

Marshall heals himself, then constricts the demon that he's grappling. The Malfeshnee throw more lightning at him, doing a bit of damage. Tavros takes a bit of claw damage.

The Merrilith casts a blade barrier across the center of the room. And Ruin's arrival has triggered two Runes: a symbol of pain which hits Ruin but not Tavros and doesn't get through his spell resistance, and a Symbol of weakness... which fails to affect either of them.

Martini Dimension Doors to the wall above the Merrilith's head. She's invisible, but these guys can see invisible things... but on the other hand, she can hide normally and they aren't looking up at the wall. They don't notice her.

Alexej shifts out of the Blade Barrier, and kills another demon. Geddy tumbles into the room, leading the demons back through the Blade Barrier. They've basically just walked into a meat grinder. Geddy is injured as well, but several of the demons are now defunct. And on that note, we stop.

Azrael drops an empowered fireball and an empowered scorching ray, and takes out a couple of Vrocks and stops their dance; Tavros takes out a Hezrou, damages a second hezrou, and drops his sword. Leira throws a Freezing Sphere and takes out two of the remaining Vrocks. Alexej attacks a Vrock that's moving in on him, and takes it down. Another one moves in and farts spores on him again. It then tries to use Telekinesis on Alexej, but he brushes it off.

The Glabrezou move next; one of them casts Mirror Image on himself. The other one drops Unholy Blight, which doesn't affect Ruin and only does minimal damage to Tavros. Ruin turns to the Hezrou beside him and cuts it apart. Marshall is wrapped around a Vrock, and continues crushing it to death. Marshall also takes a moment to reach out and heal Alexej with a sensual brush of his tail; his spores are also removed.

One of the Nalfeshnee tries to Feeblemind Leira; the other calls lightning on Marshall. Leira is once again stultified, and Marshall is shocked.

The Hezrou charge down towards Ruin. They are incredibly foul; Ruin shrugs off the stench, but Tavros is nauseated. Two attack Tavros, and two attack Ruin; they all miss.

The Marilith throws a Blade Barrier at Alexej.

Martini comes down behind the Marilith and attacks, taking her by surprise. Death attack doesn't kill her, but she still does a big chunk of damage.

Alexej attacks the Vrock in front of him (using his scythe, because his guisarme is elsewhere) and damages it. Azrael tries to disintegrate ne of the Nalfeshness, and damages it a bit; Tavros picks up his sword but is still nauseated; Leira is still febbleminded. Tavros takes two more unholy blights, and is damaged and sickened as well as nauseated.

Ruin cuts down one Hezrou and injures another. Marshall casts Dismissal on the Hezrou, who blinks out and immediately shows back up: we're standing in the place that they get dismissed *to*. Marshall: "Son of a bitch!" He continues squeezing his captured Vrock; it's nearly dead.

One of the Nalfeshnee casts Feeblemind on Azrael; he is now stultified as well. The other one calls lightning on Ruin, who dodges the worst of it. One of the Hezrou bites Ruin.

The Marilith attacks Martini, with her tail and her four arms and... yeah. Martini is not dead, but she's definitely out of the battle. Alexej finishes the Vrock he's fighting and steps out of the Blade Barrier.

Geddy casts Greater Dispel and takes down the Blade Barrier that's blocking the middle of the room. Tavros is still pretty well out of it, but Run carves through two of the Hezrou and nearly kills a third.

Marshall finishes crushing the Vrock, then slithers up and heals Leira. He drops a quickened Flame Strike on a Nalfeshnee and a Glabrezou.

The Marilith crushes Martini, and cackles. Alexej charges across the room and skids to a stop just in front of the glyph. Geddy dispels one of the glyphs, at least for the moment. Tavros stumbles forward, still nauseated, and Leira uses Limited Wish to remove Feeblemind from Azrael.

Ruin moves up with Tavros.

Marilith: "Fools! You should know when you are beaten!"

Marshall: "You know what's awesome about a corpse? I don't have to worry about Firestorming a corpse." He throws Firestorm across the entire back dias.

The two Nalfeshnees call lightning on Marshall. The Marilith teleports right next to Marshall. Alexej charges forward in hopes of retrieving his guisarme, and hits the Rune of Weakness but shakes it off. Geddy activates the ebony fly and heads off to collect Martini's body.

Azrael throws an empowered Ray of Enervation but misses; he follows up with a quickened Ray of enfeeblement and strips away a big chunk of her physical strength. Leira hits her with Freezing Sphere and gets through her spell resistance. It hurts her; we can see it.

The glabrezou try to cast Power Word Stun on Tavros and Ruin. Ruin shrugs it off, but Tavros is stunned. Ruin charges the nearest Glabrezou, but misses it.

Marshall, meanwhile, touches the Marilith and casts Harm; she is almost dead. He follows up with a quickened Poison spell, but she's immune.

The Nalfreshnee try to lightning Ruin, but he shrugs it off.

Marilith: "I am not returning to the Abyss as a failure!" She attacks Marshall. He has a Contingency in place -- Blindness -- but she shrugs it off. She damages him a bit, but not much; and she's barely on her feet. Alexej finishes moving forward.

Geddy swoops past the demons, taking a pincer hit to one of his mirror images as he passes. He resurrects Martini with a scroll. Azrael drops a magic missile and finishes the Marilith; Marshall eats her.

Leira throws a Freezing Sphere at the dias, hitting a Glabrezou and a Nalfeshnee.

The Glabrezou move in to attack Ruin, and one manages to hit him with a pincer. The second one tries to grab Ruin, hits him, and picks him up.

Ruin immediately Dimension Doors over next to the injured Nalfeshnee, scoops up the guisarme, and throws it vaguely in the direction of Alexej. Marshall moves up.

The Nalfeshnee attacks Ruin and misses; its buddy moves in and also misses. Martini steps over and attacks one of it, pricking it slightly. Alexej retrieves his guisarme; Geddy casts Irresistable Dance on the less-damaged Nalfeshnee.

It begins dancing.

Azrael hits the other one with an empowered Scorching Ray and takes it down. Leira moves out and throws another Freezing Sphere. The undamaged Glabrezou charges towards Martini, but tries to grab Geddy and instead gets one of his images. Marshall contines moving up.

Martini finishes the dancing Nalfeshnee.

Alexej finally has his guisarme. He moves up to flank, attacks, and hits. Geddy moves up and shouts at the one remaining Glabrezou. It dies.

We look through the portal, and see a sort of bare, lava-ish setting. It looks like maybe this portal goes to someplace under the castle, and that place has been flooded by a bit of the abyss. We stop to rest.

When we enter the lava room, a Baalor (obviously Behemoth) and a Marilith, who addresses us in Abyssal; Azrael looks at us and says, "He says Hi."

The Baalor wants us to cut a deal; Cimarron is not the leader of the dark forces in this world. He's willing to send us to go defeat the Dread Worm and then, once that lifts the barrier, turn his armies on the shadows and tear down them and all their works. Which would end with the Abyss in control of Fanaxia.

He gives us directions to the Dread Worm. He's willing to accept the hand and the sword instead of Fanaxia. There is another way out for us, if they destroy all of Vecna's servants and portals: through the Abyss. It worked for Vecna, after all.

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