We enter the next room. Martini springs into the room and annihilates a barbarian bodyguard. One of the far doors open, and another pair of the guards are outside. This is a small room, and we arrange ourselves around the door. One guard steps in, rages, and hits Tavros; the other one tries to charge past Tavros to Mashall, but Tavros takes his head off.
Leira throws out a magic missile, and Martini steps up behind the first barbarian and perforates him. He goes down as well. Tavros attempts to use Lay On Hands on himself, and discovers that that doesn’t work either.
We search the room, then Martini checks over the locked door to the north. It’s not trapped, and it’s only loosely locked; it opens onto a pantry. We pause to eat the food on the table in the middle of the room, and then head down the hallway that the bodyguards came out of. There’s a door halfway down, and Martini stops to listen. She can hear something like an extraordinarily large suit of armor clanking around inside.
We set up around the door, and Martini attempts to look through the keyhole… There’s an iron golem inside. We decide to bypass that room and try the next door; it opens into a bath, magically warmed. We check the far door, and find the linen closet… we think. Geddy and Marshall have already dipped into the bathtub. Martini finds two chests in the closet, one of them not trapped and one about six traps deep. Martini starts disabling, and keeping the ones she disables: mass hold monster, energy drain… she disables the Wail of the Banshee trap but cannot keep it. We have found Vecna’s chest of jeweled sex toys. She shows one to Leira.
Leira: “Is that a golden cucumber with jewels on it?”
It’s 69,000 GP worth of stuff, unsurprisingly. We swipe the hoard and plan to sell it later. Well… we keep one as a trophy.
We continue on and find the the throne room again, and clear out another pile of treasure. 17,000 in coins and 81,000 in art objects. We continue on, to the last obvious door, which is very ornate; Martini checks it for traps and then unlocks it. It’s an extremely tricky lock, and very difficult to open silently, but Martini seems to manage.
There are definitely people on the other side. Maybe two people? Hard to be sure. Tavros opens the door, and Marshall moves in and attacks a bodyguard. Martini follows, and attacks another bodyguard. Leira moves up to the doorway and fires off a magic missile with the Formorian weapon. Geddy moves up and fires with his crossbow, also adding some damage.
Martini attacks with the Vecna dagger, and the guy – badly wounded already – just dies of its magic. She shifts over and attacks the other guy and takes him out. Martini is so done with this shit. We start checking the room, since there are desks and tables with things on them.
The far door opens and an iron golem lurches out.
Martini moves to flank the thing, and switches to just fighting with her buckler and Vecna’s dagger. She stabs it a few times, doing a bit of damage. Leira walks in and hits it with her quarterstaff. “You leave my friends alone!”
Marshall moves in and attacks, but doesn’t get past its damage reduction. “Over here! Attack me!”
Geddy shoots it with his crossbow and tries to attract its attention, but fails.
It attacks Tavros, and he – already badly wounded – goes down. Martini attacks it again, doing a pretty fair amount of damage. She moves around as she attacks, and manages to convince the thing that Marshall was actually the one attacking it. Marshall attacks again to reinforce that impression. Tavros is out cold on the floor, and about to actually die.
The golem attacks Marshall and hits him. Martini takes it down.
Geddy tries to stabilize Tavros and fails badly. Leira tries as well, and also fails. Marshall elbows them aside and manages to stabilize Tavros at the very last minute. He’ll live, but he’s out.
We finish searching the room and find a ring of Freedom of Movement, a pearl of power for a six level spell, three Flesh Golem manuals which we add to the pile, a potion of water walking which we’ll sell, dust of appearance which we’ll also sell, a scroll of Wail of the Banshee which we’ll keep. We move into the bedroom, where they ensconce Tavros to recover. It’s clearly Vecna’s bedroom, but it has been taken over by Kas Luthien. He’s left a bunch of his stuff in there. We nick about 3,000 GP worth of his stuff.
She finds a secret door, and disables the traps on it. She manages to open the lock, and finds two chests inside. She checks them over, and concludes that this is Luthien’s treasure: 53,000 GP in platinum coins, 123,000 GP, gems and art worth 210,000, and somewhere upstairs Luthien is cursing, plus 90,000 worth of miscellaneous magic items, and a ring of telekinesis that we keep.
There’s also a giant, gift-wrapped package in the middle of the room.
Marshall: “This is obviously a trap, and we’re going to open it.”
Martini checks it over, then motions for Leira to open it; Leira is very excited to have a present.
It’s a badly charred elvish corpse. Leira: “This is a really bad present.”
Marshall grabs the book off of it and unwraps it.
It’s Azrael’s journal.
A little note falls out.
It's from Kas Luthien.
Marshall grabs it and reads it, then reads it out loud – carefully. Because’s Martini’s expression has gone full homicidal.
“A gift for you to show my appreciation for all the fine work you did getting me to this point. Whatever happened when Lilly destroyed the Staff of Magus sent his soul somewhere else.” The archdemon tried to search for his soul; Behemoth was badly scarred and his army destroyed.
Martini manages to act unaffected by this. She takes the note and the book and looks at them herself, noticing a strange little string hanging out the back of the book. It definitely looks like a tampon string. She pulls on it, and… it’s Azrael’s entrance to the Nine Halls, his Magnificent Mansion, and it’s so metal that it will still work in the Tower of Vecna.
We go back and gather Ruin, Tavros, and Ruin, and pull them into the Nine Halls. It’s a ridiculously goth mansion, staffed with invisible servants. Our magics still aren’t working, but at least we have a safe place. In Azrael’s room, in his personal collection, six Cure Light Wounds wands carved with demons and skulls and whatnot… and they’re so dark and macabre that they still work.
We start healing people up.
It uses 2 ½ of the six wands, so we pass the three full wands to Geddy, Ruin, and Marshall, and hand the half-full one off to Tavros. (He has 20 charges, everybody else has 50.)
We decide not to rest, and move up the stairs to the fourth floor. Ruin and Martini scout ahead, coming up on a balcony on the outside edge of the tower. There’s a hulking corpse on the balcony, but it completely fails to notice us.
We slip over to a door, and listen; there are things shuffling around inside, most of them medium sized but at least one large; we can also hear thumps that sound like books being knocked off shelves.
Martini drops a Mass Hold Monster trap – the one linked with the Incendiary Cloud – on the door.
We’re pretty sure that what we’ve heard so far is all Undead. So… as we circle around and find another door and another door, and another hulking corpse beyond; Martini drops Mass Hold Monster on that door, and we retreat before the Hulking Corpse can find us.
We bring the whole party up the stairs, as quietly as we can, and then Ruin moves up and attacks the hulking corpse. Geddy steps up and just fires over the railing at the back of the stairs; he fires off three bolts and hits once; the hulking corpse attacks Ruin, hitting once and trying to grab him; he tears loose.
Ruin attacks again, but to much less effect; then he fumbles and drops his sword. Tavros hits a couple of times and does a ton of damage, then drops his sword as well, possibly in a show of solidarity. Martini tumbles past and stabs it; it is wobbling on its feet.
We have been deliberately loud; a dread wraith phases through the wall behind Ruin, and another emerges behind it. The corporeal undead in the nearest room throw open the door, triggering the linked trap that Martini left for them: Mass Hold Monster, and Incendiary Cloud.
Marshall is still in range of the spell, but shrugs off the Hold Monster effect; some of the undead ignore it as well, but none of us can really tell as the Incendiary Cloud kicks in immediately afterward. The cloud begins to spread outward, and Marshall moves to the center of it as it spreads out in a ring. He attacks the Morg that opened the door. Leira uses her staff to cast a super darkbolt at the un-held Dread Wraith.
Ruin picks up his sword, and the Hulking corpse tries to hit him but misses, trips, and falls over. It is now prone. Ruin finishes it.
Geddy also moves to the center of the cloud of fire, and tries to shoot the morg but misses.
Tavros moves up to the next Hulking Corpse and slashes at it, which is not the most effective form of attack – it’s more vulnerable to bludgeoning – but does a pretty good job anyway because Tavros has specialized in Falchion and is ridiculously strong. Martini tumbles past the thing.
A Devourer shakes off the Hold effect and tries to drain his essence. He takes some damage from an Angel of Decay, but he thinks he’s just shedding his skin and he’s okay with that. The Morg tries to slam him and then tries to tongue him, and succeeds but fails to do any damage.
The hulking corpse bites Tavros, claws him, and tries to grapple; Tavros catches his hand on the way in and shoves it back. A hulking corpse moves up behind Geddy. The incendiary cloud continues to spread, and Ruin, Tavros, and Leira find themselves enveloped by it. Leira blasts the Hulking Corpse behind Geddy, and very nearly kills it.