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Rise of the Runelords #11: Airing Out the Dungeon

12 May

thistletop217th day of Lamashan, 4712 AR

The tentacled monstrosity proved to be no match for the experienced party. In its lair, they found the belongings of its previous victims, including some magical hide armor.

Sanguinia walked around the dungeon and started thinking about living in the complex.

“We could use a curtain here, to hide the fact there used to be human sacrifices here for demons and such,” she said.

“Let’s have a bridge toll!” yelled Galadriel.

“Maybe the goblin children’s room would make a good torture chamber,” Skaroband said.

“How about we deal with the monsters first,” said Courage. “I still sense lurking evil in this place.”

Jaden surveyed the rooms with his hunter’s eye.

“This place would need some major renovations.” Indeed — they would need to air out this old house before redecorating.

The party searched the dungeon further, finding a secret door in back of the room where the inhabitants had planned the raid on Sandpoint. Behind it, a dusty ancient spiral staircase led downward. Anticipating greater danger below, they returned to the surface level to gain a night’s rest before plumbing the island’s depths.

Upstairs, Skaroband cooed the goblin baby to sleep.

Daughter of Lamashtu

After a long descent of about 60 feet, they chanced upon a another complex that leaned westward. Skaroband scouted ahead, and chanced upon a room with several statues of a male figure clutching a book and a glaive sitting in alcoves. They had detached from their bases and leaned against the west.

“These statues depict Karzoug,” said Garinn. “Ancient Thassilon was divided into seven regions, each ruled by a Runelord, and each dedicated to one of the seven deadly sins. Karzoug lorded over the realm devoted to greed.”

Skaroband scouted ahead and found a corridor where the floor was covered in dust, save for one region that was strangely clean. Skaroband leaped over this part of the floor and examined a beheaded statue at the end of the corridor.

The rest of the party, not paying attention (ahem!), strode into the corridor. When Courage placed his foot on the shiny floor, two portcullises began to crash down in front and back of him. He leaped to safety just in time. Two statues of Karzoug attacked the floor where Courage had stood only moments earlier with their glaives, and seconds later a pit opened beneath and closed again! The portcullises then rose up.

Skaroband rolled her eyes.

The rest of the party — save for Galadriel — now followed Skaroband’s example. She opened a door to the right leading south, which opened to a large chamber. Courage opened a northern door and was immediately beset upon by a howling yeth hound! The party resisted the compulsion of its hellish bay, with the exception of Brutus who once again panicked and ran through the door Skaroband had just opened. As the party contended with the vicious beast, Garinn notice a grinning beautiful figure in the northern portal, a woman with graceful features, white pupils, white hair, a monstrous hand, and a glowing bastard sword in her other hand.

nualia “The party then felt a blast of cold, draining energy engulf them, sapping their strength!”

“Nualia!” cried Garinn. Here was the mastermind of the entire raid of Sandpoint!

“You have desecrated and despoiled the Mother’s Sanctum long enough!” yelled Nualia. “I summon the power of Lamashtu, Mother of Monsters!”

The party then felt a blast of cold, draining energy engulf them, sapping their strength!

Garinn took quickly to work and cast a spell that created a pit under Nualia. She leaped toward the party, but was unable to escape it.

“Aaaahh!”

The yeth hound fought the party viciously, Courage commanding the power of Sarenrae against it and inflicting much of the damage. After they had slain it, the party peered over the edge of the pit. Nualia stood on the far side, with a contemptuous sneer. Skaroband leaped over the pit and used her vanishing trick.

When the pit rose upward again, Skaroband took a blind-side blow against Nualia’s back. She countered with a vicious swipe of her bastard sword. Courage charged forward with a ranseur and landed a devastating killing blow that speared her against the wall!

The leader of the raid on Sandpoint was dead. The party grimly took her possessions and scanned the room. Among the many notes and papers, they found a Nualia’s journal. In it, she wrote about growing up in Sandpoint and being treated like an outcast and a freak due to her celestial heritage, and how the Varisian man who loved her abandoned her when she became pregnant. When her baby died during childbirth with monstrous deformities, she found herself visited upon in her dreams by Lamashtu. Her reason for raiding Sandpoint was to burn all of its inhabitants as a sacrifice to Lamashtu to win her favor so that she could transform Nualia into a demon. The sacrifice would also feed a “runewell” — of which Nualia wrote little more.

The party explored the opposite door from the trapped hallway. They found a corridor that narrowed into what appeared to be a column of coins. In the other direction was a room that looked a burial chamber. Two incorporeal shadows arose from two of the corpses and drained Skaroband and Courage of much of their strength! After their battle, Courage discovered a secret door leading out of the chamber. But they decided to return to Sandpoint to rest again, before exploring further. They showed Nualia’s notes to Hemlock, who was disturbed to discover her full plans but extremely thankful that the party had eliminated the threat to the town.

mhar-massifLater, the party returned to the chamber and its secret door. Behind it, they found stairs that went further down into a room flooded with water that had paintings of valuable objects on the walls. It appeared to be an ancient treasure chamber. Against one wall was the carving of an imposing mountain with a face carved at its peak.

Among the valuables was a large golden helmet that looked like it could fit on the head of the giant. The helmet started to turn around! It tilted backward to reveal a giant crab that immediately grabbed Skaroband in its pincers and started to squeeze. The rest of the party attacked the crab, which was impervious to most of their blows. Skaroband clawed at the creature and grabbed the pincers to try to pull herself out…

——————————————————-

XP at the end of the session:
Courage: 10,187
Galadriel: 9,000
Garinn: 10,142
Jaden: 10,312
Sanguinia: 9,100
Skaroband: 10,408

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