Chaos Abounds

Game Night 102
Why is there so much blood?

After a quick rest, our heroes stormed the house that was guarded by all the demons.

The foundation was cracked, which was probably because of the enormous stone statue of Orcus that somehow was inside of it. It wasn’t quite clear if it appeared through a portal, or just grew up out of the blood soaked ground, but in any case it seems to have damaged the house’s foundation.

Inside were a large undead spider, an an Immolith (a fiery, undead demon, made up of other demon body parts), and some more of the carnage demon minions.

The Immolith could cause a lot of damage quickly, since it burned everything next to it. It also had a reach 4 attack that dragged victims next to it. Fortunately, it couldn’t take a lot of damage, and went down quickly under the onslaught of the striker heavy party.
The scary spider hung around a bit longer, but it wasn’t really a match for the heroes either, especially once its healer went down (the Immolith).

Loodra started bashing on the Orcus statue (as she likes to do), and Alissa sensed energy streaming out of it while she pounded on it. After a bit of investigative work, Alissa figured out that this statue was powering some portals or planar breaches of some kind in other parts of the city. She thinks they’ll probably dissipate eventually, after Loodra broke the statue.

On to the nearby slave quarters (what is it with Drow and slaves?). Lots of undead were inside, plus some more of the creepy spider legs, plus a new creepy spider thing which liked to shoot webs out and drag its victims back to it. The heroes made pretty short work of the lot of them. After a look around, they found a lot of blood but nothing of much value.

On to the Priestesses quarters. Inside were lots of silk curtains, and some statues that turned out to be Drow Vampire Spawn holding very still. Hogar poked one and it attacked. The vampires weren’t much of a threat, but the Sword Wraith and Banshees were nasty. At one point, Alissa was prone, bloodied, and immobilized at the feet of the Sword Wraith (yikes!), and Nef and Hogar both got knocked off the 20 foot ledge (Squib helped Nef, somehow picking him up and moving him towards the stairs).

And then the Vampire lady showed up. Was she the priestess? She attempted to dominate Loodra, but Loodra’s magic protection knocked it down to dazed (likely preventing her from murderizing her friends). The Vampire lady didn’t really have much luck hurting people after that, but she seemed pretty tough and hard to hit. When the rest of her allies were all dead or about to fall, she blew a kiss at Hogar and Loodra, then turned into mist and flew away. The fight was over seconds later.

In the next room was a very disturbing scene. A pool of blood had been filled from the slashed throats of 8 victims. It didn’t look like they had put up a fight. Dominated? Fanatics? Who knows.

Behind the pool of blood was a blood red portal leading…somewhere else. It appears to be stable.

The heroes found a secret room full of pillows, and are hoping they can hide in there long enough to get an extended rest.

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Game Night 101
Wandering around Phaervorul

After an extended rest in the trashed manor house (locked in one of the few unbloodied bed rooms), the heroes hiked over to the Wizard’s Keep. Squib said a Necromancer lived there.

As it turned out, it was fairly difficult to break in to, requiring both a Knock ritual and Loodra’s immense strength. It was the home of Jhaelant, a wizard. He had big containers filled with a blue liquid, and perfectly preserved bodies of various creatures (a Mindflayer, a Destrachan and a Grell). Jhaelant was pretty clear that Matron Urlvrain needed to die, and that he would perform a ritual to close the rifts to the undead realm after she was out of the way.

After some more talking, the heroes decided to strike out for the embassy, and Orontor, whose caravan had arrived the day before the attack. Squib seemed to know where he was going, and they skirted around the Fungus Farm. The embassy had been ransacked, with lots of dead bodies piled up on one of the desks. Drow Battle Wights were searching the room, and making quite a mess. The heroes attacked. A cave widow showed up after the fight started. Squib was frightened of it, but Nef put a spell on it that prevented it from attacking, and it fled after a while. The wights were tough, and sucked a lot of Healing Surges from the heroes, but didn’t really come close to killing them.

After a quick rest to shuffle around the remaining healing surges, they broke in to the bedroom where Oronotor was hiding. He was grateful they saved him, and offered them some money if they could get him back to Thunderspire safely. They took him back to Jhaelant’s keep, and the 2 wizards had a discussion about the situation. It took a while, but they eventually concurred that maybe Urlvrain didn’t need to die, but she still probably couldn’t be trusted. The heroes retrieved the slave girl they left hiding in the pantry in the ruined manor house, and she was willing to hide in Jhaelant’s place, along with Orontor.

Next stop, the Barracks. The doors were barred from the inside, but another Knock ritual opened it up. There were some stealthy Drow hiding inside, but Nef spotted some of them, and they started up a conversation with the leader, Commander Zaknoril. There were also a Bladedancer and 4 soldiers in the room.

They got some more info about various structures:

  1. The temple was still intact, and appeared to have withstood the attack.
  2. The templar knights were probably still holding the chapel.
  3. The villa of Lareen, the head priestess, seemed to be the source of a lot of undead. There might be a portal inside it.

The heroes said they’d signal from the temple (with fireworks) when the commander should come to their aid (or when it was safe? I can’t remember).

Next they moved to the next building, just above the barracks. It had cracks in the foundation, like it had been picked up and slammed into the ground (or something big had been dropped onto it). It was also being guarded by 4 bug like demons with pitchforks. A fight broke out. The 4 mezzo demons were joined by a swarm of Carnage demons (just minions). They weren’t much of a match for the heroes, and one of Alissa’s fireballs took out nearly all the minions.

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Game Night 100
Zirithian is not impressed

Our heroes tried to blockade themselves in the guard tower of the slave quarters, and take an extended rest.

While they were sleeping (or trancing), a thick mist poured in around them rapidly, then swept back out, leaving them in a throne room with a dragon statue above the throne.

On the throne was a Drow warrior with an impressive looking sword. He was spattered in blood. He also looked like he might be a vampire (pointy fangs and pale skin are a dead giveaway on a Drow). He claimed they were now in “Deadhome”.

He didn’t seem threatening, and was fairly polite, at first.

Nef decided to go wandering off (possibly thinking it was all an illusion?). He promptly vanished, so maybe he was right.

After a bit of banter with the remaining heroes, he challenged them to impress him.

Loodra attacked him, but he didn’t seem to be threatened by her attack at all. Everyone did their best to impress him, and there were some successes. But in the end, there were too many failures, and Zirithian dismissed them with a wave of his hand. Alissa did figure out that they were summoned to this other plane of existence via a ritual, but they were only there mentally. That is, it was really just a shared dream…they weren’t physically there.

They awoke, rested, back in the slave’s quarters.

Next, they crossed the bridge to investigate the manor house that belonged to the noble that owned the slaves (at least according to Squib). It was filled with various undead and demons, and a lot of very grisly remains (including what appeared to be the Troll and Minotaur from the previous battle). They also found a slave girl, Zaelin, hidden in a trapdoor in the pantry. She was scared, but once she decided the heroes weren’t going to kill her, she gave them all the info she had (and some treasure that was hidden in her hidey hole), in exchange for some food from the pantry, and their promise to return for later if they managed to defeat the undead army.

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Game Night 99
A wizard joins the group (and a goblin too)

Wynne finished scouting the house and keep, and came sneaking back to the party. But she wasn’t alone.

Trailing after her was a wizard that had managed to escape the slaughter that has come to most of Phaervorul. His name was Leru.

After a bit of discussion, they decided that they were all on the same team (not-undead, not-demon), and planned to infiltrate the keep together.

Their attempt to sneak up to the door didn’t go well, with shouts from the goblin guards on the wall, followed by the roars of Savage Minotaurs and a War Troll named Gort.

Gort charged out of the keep, and the battle was on.

Loodra and Hogar engaged Gort and the Minotaurs head on. Wynne kept to the shadows and shot bolts into the fray. Leru attempted to deal with the goblins on the wall (and eventually set them all on fire), and Nef debuffed and healed.

Everything seemed like a fairly typical fight…and then the Mindflayer showed up.

As it turned out, the Mindflayer didn’t do a whole lot of damage (in the grand scheme of things), but caused a lot of scurrying about as people tried to avoid it. It did manage to get ahold of Loodra’s head with its tentacles, but it was finished off just before it could start eating her brain.

The Troll caused some problems. He was hard to hit in his plate armor, and the heroes forgot that you needed to use fire or acid to kill it, so it got back up once. But eventually they set him on fire and he stayed down.

One of the goblin slaves survived the fight (he hid after the wizard set the rest of the goblins on fire).

His name is Squib, and he now belongs to Loodra.

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Game Night 98
Spider legs without bodies are creepy

After a relatively peaceful night in the Drow guard post, the heroes set out for Phaervorul.
They found their way to a bridge across a seemingly bottomless chasm. The bridge appeared to be held together with magic (and webs underneath, as they would later discover).

On the other side was the settlement of Phaervorul, apparently still in a state of chaos, with sounds of fighting in the distance. Many buildings were still smoldering, and a few were actively burning. A large spider shaped building in the center appeared to be intact. That was probably a temple of Lolth.
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As they crossed the bridge, the heroes could hear scuttling coming from underneath the bridge behind them. They continued across, hoping to make it to the other side before they were attacked. Unfortunately, as the neared the end of the bridge, a huge spider came out from below and blocked the entire bridge ahead. At the same time, 3 medium sized spider-like things scampered up behind them. They were nothing but furry spider legs, no bodies, no heads, just a mass of legs, and when they died it was like an explosion of spider legs. chwidencha.png

The initial charge of the Chwidenchas was a bit of a shock, particularly as it was Wynne and Nef that took the brunt of it, while Loodra and Hogar dealt with the big spider. The heroes kept tossing the Chwidenchas off the bridge, and they kept coming back (as it turned out, that was because of all the webs below the bridge, which was a good thing for Hogar later in the fight).

They eventually tossed Hogar off the bridge, but he managed to grab on to the webs below.The big spider retreated under the bridge at about the same time, and Hogar decided to take it on, solo, while hanging from a web by one hand. That may not have been the best choice, but he managed to finish it off, and still had a little health left.

A bit of searching below the bridge turned up a little treasure on a dead Duergar, including a magic ring (which makes the wearer feel a bit more agile, but without an arcanist in the party, the exact function remains a mystery).

After a quick rest, Wynne started casing some buildings to the right of the bridge. One appeared to be a fairly nice house (at least before the door was kicked in). Wynne saw blood and gore on the floors and walls, and could hear eating sounds from around the corner, but she decided not to stick her head in.

The other building appeared to be some kind of keep, perhaps a guard house. It was well lit, and there appeared to be shadowy figures on the battlements, and people talking from inside, apparently in Goblin (although Wynne couldn’t understand it).

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Game Night 97
Underdark standoff

After a nice restful(?) sleep in the volcanic lair of a recently deceased Beholder, the heroes continued their trek through the Underdark.

After a while, they walked into the middle of a standoff. On one side, a Drider Fanglord and his Drow allies. On the other, a bunch of undead, which would eventually be revealed as Drow Battlewights and an Abyssal Ghoul.

The Drow were trying to stay back and snipe at the wights, and the Drider was impossibly quiet for something that large. The ghoul was also way stealthier than he should have been.

The heroes joined the Drow and attacked the undead (although Loodra probably would have charged whichever side she saw first; thankfully the Drow were stealthier than the Wights).

After the battle, after a bit of negotiation, the Drider identified himself as Ingarl. He and his squad were all that remained of their guard post. The city of Phaervorul has been overrun by undead and demons.

Ingarl doesn’t seem to have a plan, other than staying alive, but he does warn the heroes not to trust Matron Urlvrain (the leader of the Drow). He says she’s definitely not on the side of the Undead, but she’s also been know to kill her own followers if she feels they are too powerful.

Ingarl inked a symbol on Wynne’s hand that identified her as an ally of the Drow. After a rest in the outpost, they’re ready to head for the city.

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Game Night 96
Out of the house of despair, into the fire.

After a bit of exploring (and setting off a few traps), the heroes managed to find their way out of the House of Despair.

They traveled through the Underdark shallows for a while, and saw some strange stuff, but nothing terribly threatening.

Then they started getting a bit deeper into the Underdark.

They stumbled across one of the “King’s Highways” (tunnels carved out of the Underdark by Torog, the crawling god)

Later, they came to a fork in the path. The map wasn’t any help.

One way sloped down, and was slightly warmer. The other way sloped upwards.

The heroes chose down.

After another hour or 2, they came to the source of the heat: A room full of lava and boiling mud.

In the lava, were Magma Brutes (large, fiery, elemental type creatures), which attacked as soon as the heroes entered their area.

Joining them shortly afterwards was a Beholder! A Beholder Eye of Flame to be exact (one of the lesser varieties of Beholder…less eyes and less deadly powers).

After being submerged in the lava by Nef, the Beholder flew above the combat, firing random eye beams at people. He kept tossing Hogar into lava, but Hogar has a lot of movement abilities and managed to keep jumping/flying/teleporting out of the lava and back to solid ground (fortunately).

The beholder also kept making people vulnerable to fire, and lighting people on fire, and making people run away in fear.

The Magma Brutes weren’t tricky at all. They just pummeled on anyone close to them.

After the heroes took down the Beholder, the 2 remaining brutes ran away (or melted into the lava?).

After searching the beholder’s den, they found a portable hole, with some treasure in it. They also decided that a beholder’s den in the middle of a lava pool was probably about as safe a spot as they were going to find in the Underdark, so they decided to rest there.

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Game Night 95
Undead Slime? Seriously?

The heroes decided they needed a rest, and decided to sleep in the haunted temple (inside the House of Despair).

The rest did not go well.

Less than an hour into the first watch, large floating cloud monsters flew silently out of a pit and tried to eat everyone.

As the fight continued, it became apparent that the clouds were ghostly slimes or oozes of some kind. Apparently, undead slimes are an actual thing.

They were also insubstantial, phasing, flying and really hard to hit.

And they caused weakness when they hit.

Oh, and they split into two clouds when they were bloodied (apparently that’s how undead slime reproduces?).

Nef cursed one to prevent it from attacking until they’d killed the first one (two?). He also used his stream of life to keep everyone healed up to a decent level (apparently by spraying blood all over them).

Once the heroes switched to attacks that targeted Fortitude (those that could at least), they started hitting a lot more.

Also, at some point Ven noticed that the door they entered the room through was no longer there.

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Game Night 94
Return to Thunderspire

After thinking it over a bit, our heroes decided to use a Linked Portal ritual to teleport to Thunderspire instead of trying to wander 40 or 50 miles (as the Umber Hulk burrows) through the Underdark without a guide or a map.

Once there, they visited the custom’s house and managed to gather a little bit of info.

  • Orontor, the Mage of Saruun that they had interacted with previously, was on a diplomatic mission to Phaervorul.
  • The guard on duty had no idea of any of the troubles at Phaervorul that the heroes were going to investigate.

After that, they visited a few shops, did a little buying and selling, and then had a peaceful night’s rest at the Halfmoon Inn.

Then, it was off to the House of Silence, where their map began. Nothing of interest happened until they got to the House of Despair (as indicated on their map). They explored a bit, and managed to find their way into an old temple (probably to Moradin, judging from the altar and remains of a Dwarven priest they found later). But, it was haunted (guarded?) by 4 Watchful Minotaur Ghosts.

The ghosts were insubstantial, and caused a lot of psychic damage, but once Ven marked them (and started refelecting damage to anyone else back to the ghost), they concentrated most of their attacks on him, which left the rest of the group free to wail on them.

And now, time for a nice relaxing nap in the haunted temple.

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Game Night 93
Underdark is dark, umberhulks are hulky

After a bit more exploring in the abandoned Temple of Tiamat, our heroes decided to clear the caved in tunnel (at least enough to squeeze through it), and start exploring the Underdark.

They found a vast natural cave. A very dark cave.

After a while of wandering vaguely north, Loodra got bored and started calling out to the darkness.

Something large heard her, and started making loud footsteps in their direction.

When it finally came into view, it was quite a sight to behold: and Umber Hulk!

And apparently, it was making a lot of noise to distract the party while another hulk snuck up from a different direction (but Nef noticed that one anyways).

Umber Hulks are very confusing to look at, and most of the party was dazed for at least half of the combat. Ven was so confused, he just wandered off back towards the entrance tunnel.

After some initial pummeling of Hogar (86 points of damage from 1 umber hulk in 1 round!), the fight started for real. Hogar went down pretty quickly, but Nef woke him back up the instant he hit the ground. He stayed prone for quite a while after that, making mostly ineffectual attacks from the ground.

And then a mind flayer showed up, and mind blasted every one. He was a particularly sneaky mind flayer, and actually vanished from sight entirely to anyone that was dazed or stunned.

Loodra tried to ignore the Mind Flayer at first, but it latched on to her as she charged away from it, and wouldn’t let go until it was dead (which, fortunately for Loodra, was before it got to start burrowing its tentacles into her brain).

After the Mind Flayer went down, the combat became a bit of a slug fest. The hulks were able to dish out a lot of damage, but Nef was more than capable of keeping everyone conscious (although Hogar did spend a lot of time on the floor).

Eventually, Loodra managed to finish one off with the follow through of an attack, even while being grabbed by the other Hulk. It then dragged her away for a bit (the Umber Hulk wanted to eat it’s food in private), but everyone followed, so he gave up on that and just stood toe to toe with Hogar and Loodra.

Eventually, Hogar got off the floor and started dishing out a lot of damage to the remaining Hulk. That combined with Wynne’s constant barrage of arrows, and Loodra’s axe cleaving took it down.

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