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Rise of the Runelords #6: Catacombs of Wrath

14 Mar

3rd day of Lamashan, 4712 AR:

Erylium

Erylium

Sanguinia stood in the darkness with her awkwardly-angled limbs and considered fleeing the horror befalling her friends beyond the double doors. Desperate screams of battle echoed through chamber. Finding a last ounce of resolve, she grasped her rapier with her one good arm and limped through the portal.

She found her friends scanning their eyes about and pointing towards the ceiling.

Suddenly, a small, scaly demon with wings appeared out of thin air, her sharp claws pointing down toward Courage trying to gain a grip on his mind.

Courage buckled under the quasit demon’s mental assault, panicked, and ran out of the room.

Jaden closed one eye and trained his masterwork longbow on the demon and nocked a cold-iron arrow that entered her leg. She recoiled from the blow.

“How DARE you invade the Mother’s sanctum!” the demon, Erylium, cried. She yelled at two deformed sinspawn that stood near a glowing, orange pool on a raised platform above the room.

“Attack them! KIIIIILL them!” She hovered near the room’s ceiling, out of reach of most of the party’s weapons. She began casting a spell that caused the air in the middle of the room to shimmer.

Finding an opportunity, Garinn brought out his sling, started to swing it, and flinged a stone at Erylium. It hit her but bounced harmlessly off her scaly hide.

She laughed as she concluded her spell.

“See what you do with THIS!” she cried, as a gigantic ant materialized next to Jaden and accosted him with its pincers.

Galadriel and Skaroband joined the battle, attacking the giant ant and the sinspawns. The sinspawns clawed at the party, assaulting their wills with waves of anger whenever they made contact. After one of the sinspawns descended the stairs, Sanguinia limped behind and backstabbed it, felling it to the ground.

Courage, having overcome the mental thrall, ran back in the room and charged into the fray. After having destroyed Erylium’s minions, they followed her around the room as she flew near the ceiling.

Then she disappeared!

“Not again!” Jaden cried.

The party looked, and for a while searched blindly before Skaroband alighted upon an idea.

“THE POOL!” yelled Skaroband. “When she called forth the sinspawn, the pool dimmed and she looked worried. GO TO THE POOL!”

Skaroband and Garinn ran up to the pool and, remembering what the quasit demon had done, cut themselves and dripped their blood into the strange orange liquid.

The pool started to bubble, froth, and swirl, and two mounds of malevolent flesh formed and began to warp into the shape of two more sinspawns.

“NOOOOO!” Erylium shrieked as she reappeared near the ceiling. Before Skaroband knew what happened, a glowing dagger entered her back. It jumped out on its own accord and leaped into the waiting claw of the quasit! Soon the sinspawn focused their blows on Skaroband, who shielded herself from their fury.

The rest of the party, led by Jaden and his well-aimed iron arrows, inflicted blows on the quasit. But her flight, agility, ability to disappear, and her ability seemingly to recover magically from her wounds proved frustrating.

Galadriel’s eyes brightened. She took an extract out of her backpack and drank it, lay down her belongings, and bounded forward, jumping supernaturally-high into the air toward the quasit!

Erylium sneered, flew to the side, and Galadriel hit the waiting wall. Bruised but undeterred, Galadriel readied herself for another pounce.

Garinn, Brutus and Skaroband, having dispatched the new sinspawns, joined the collective assault on the demon. Garinn sent his eidolon Brutus back to his home plane, and summoned a flying eagle to directly engage with the quasit!

However, the quasit avoided the eagle as well.

Garinn strode boldly forward and assumed an air of command.

“SURRENDER, DEMON!” he bellowed. “THE MOTHER sent us here because you have FAILED in your duties!”

The quasit hovered, and a shadow of doubt fell over her slitted eyes.

“Why, the MOTHER would never—“

Promptly she was speared by arrows from Jaden and Sanguinia, who had stood ready and taken advantage of her hesitation.

“NOOOOOOOOO!” She spiraled down to the ground dead, and the party exulted!

Skaroband strode forward and took the demon’s magical dagger, admiring its craftsmanship and feeling its weight in her hand. She threw the tiny blade into the nearby corpse of a sinspawn and waited. Seconds later, the enchanted blade dislodged itself and flew back to her.

Erylium's dagger.

Erylium’s dagger.

“Nice,” she said.

The party ascended the steps to the orange pool, which now had shrunk down and was barely-glowing. Garinn dripped more of his own blood into the pool. Once they killed the sinspawn that formed out of it, the strange pool was gone.

“This pool is spent, and so am I,” said Courage. His companions agreed, smarting from their injuries. “I think we’re done… for today.”

After searching the area for valuables, and at one point hearing strange howling noises from beneath the floor, they backtracked out of the ancient catacombs, found the smuggler’s tunnel, returned to the Glassworks Factory cellar, and ascended into the light of Sandpoint. It was an unusually gloomy day for autumn; wet clouds hung over the coastal town, laden with moisture.

The party took up Ameiko Kaijitsu’s offer to stay at The Rusty Dragon, where they recuperated and awaited the return of Sheriff Hemlock from Magnimar. He arrived the next day, accompanied by the Fists of Justice and a retinue of reinforcements from the city.

As for warning Sandpoint about the plans of a larger raid they had discovered in Tsuto’s journal, the party hesitated. Instead, they debated whether to explore the remainder of the catacombs, or to hunt down the bandits leading the goblins in the Hinterlands who were named in Tsuto’s journal. They restocked on supplies, pooling their money for Galadriel to purchase a healing wand from Savah’s Armory. Sanguinia was relieved to find that her body recovered over the next several days from the foul water she had drunk in the Catacombs. Garinn took advantage of this respite to steal away a few hours with Shayliss Vender.

9th day of Lamashan, 4712 AR

Once they were well rested, Courage took the initiative and declared he was going into the Catacombs, saying there might be more dangers to vanquish and treasure to find. He led them back to the Glassworks Factory, through the smugglers tunnel, and back into the ancient chambers.

They first visited Erylium’s chamber, and found a disturbing sight: the corpses they had left behind had disappeared, apparently by another inhabitant of the Catacombs. They went down an unexplored passage and found themselves on a balcony above a room full of cells. They stepped quietly through this area and found a closed door to their right. Behind it, they found three cells in which lay three deformed humanoid skeletons: one with an abnormally-large head, another with three brittle arms, and another with a rib cage that went all the way down to its pelvis. Courage then led them down a narrow staircase to a large room, where they were immediately attacked!

Waiting for Courage at the bottom of the steps were three sinspawn and an abnormally-large goblin with three arms! He wielded three weapons: a glowing magical longsword, a handaxe, and a silver dagger. This was Koruvus, the champion of the Seven Tooth tribe the ranger Shalelu had warned them about at the Rusty Dragon. He seemed to have assumed a command of a new tribe, directing the sinspawn to attack! Courage, being at the head of a column and physically in the way of his companions, bull-rushed forward and pushed one of the sinspawn backward, who promptly fell through a wooden board into a pit! Sanguinia rushed in the room from behind, but in her eagerness to backstab the mutated goblin found herself stepping into a pit as well. She stumbled down and fell into the waiting arms of a hideous zombie!

koruvusSkaroband bounded through toward the far side of the room and attacked the sinspawns with her magical returning dagger. Jaden nocked off arrows at the goblin, and Galadriel used her keen bombing abilities to harm the sinspawns and goblin while avoiding her friends.

As the battle wound down, Galadriel heard Sanguinia scream from the pit for help. She ran over and found the zombie feeding on Sanguinia’s unconscious form! But before it could eat much of her, Galadriel shot a sling stone and hit the zombie, causing it to redirect its attention to Galadriel.

Koruvus lay unconscious, his monstrous, bloated body twitching in its death throes. The party killed the last sinspawn that had fallen down a pit, as well as ten zombies more that lay in various pits throughout the room. They lifted Sanguinia out of her pit, and Courage with his holy energy and Galadriel with her healing wand were able to bring Sanguinia back to consciousness.

As they did this, Garinn noted some strange writing the wall that he had not noticed before.

But as he approached to examine it, it disappeared.

After healing from the tough battle, the party proceeded down a short adjoining hallway, finding a spiral staircase leading down that was blocked entirely with rubble. Around another corner, they found a strange, spherical room in which the walls rippled with silent black electricity that seemed to coalesce into strange runes before dispersing. Various objects floated within: a dead raven surrounded by a halo of floating and writhing maggots, a bottle of wine, a scroll, an elaborately-decorated ancient book, and a twisted iron wand with a forked tip.

Sanguinia entered and found herself floating through the room! She was soon joined by Garinn.

Together they collected the strange items, wondering who had left them here and why…

——————————————————-

XP at the end of the session:

Courage: 4,073
Galadriel: 3,923
Garinn: 3,953
Jaden: 3,923
Sanguinia: 4,023
Skaroband: 4,073

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2 responses to “Rise of the Runelords #6: Catacombs of Wrath

  1. Dan Hyman

    December 16, 2013 at 11:18 am

    Great writeup, keep up the good work! Love reading about the adventures here. I am the chief bad guy (co-GM) of a large group just about to head into the glassworks basement a few steps behind.

     
  2. Shockwave

    April 8, 2015 at 1:13 am

    LOL, it’s quite ironic that the guy named “Courage” gets taken out by Erylium’s fear attack first. 🙂

     

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