Rappan Athuk #50: A Well-Prepared Enemy

04 Aug

The party ascends stairs leading out of the scorching salamander caverns and find a unique sort of respite… (-GM)

5th day of Kuthona, 4718 AR

After dealing with the salamanders, The Hero of No Name, our designated mapper, decided that he wanted to finish his map of this level. I remembered all the fallen souls that had contributed to our extensive maps of Rappan Athuk, as well as The Mouth of Doom. First we had the mysterious Drun Ken Sayler, then Strix, a strange bird-like creature that was quite handy with a bow. Then an amusing vanaran monk that was also quite good with a bow named Monkey, and finally The Hero of No Name, the fifth brave adventurer to hold the title of Mapper. Somehow, they have all understood the cryptic and confusing maps. Yet, they have all been able to lead us through the labyrinthine halls and pits of Rappan Athuk. They had all had one common trait though, the need to have their maps be complete, and showing all of the secret doors and traps. The Hero of No Name is no different, and so after a few long hallways, we found the door he was looking for.

The interior, for this abnormally hot level, was surprisingly cold. The source of this cold was a blue ball of ice, and according to Shia, it was a powerful spell that had somehow been suspended, and if we were to touch it, it could trigger, which would not end well for whoever had decided to disturb it. The room was a comfortable fifty degrees, and I wondered if the salamanders ever had visitors that were not as well adapted to the heat as they were.

There was one last place to go, and it was a door to the right of the room we had just visited. It revealed a staircase leading up, which we quickly went up, and I could tell we were all very glad to be out of the heat. It led up to what seemed to us to be the level above, which we had not yet found a way to enter. The stairs led us to a circular room with three doors. I felt a bit sick, and after using my Detect Evil, I realized that the omnipresent aura of evil all through this cursed place was much stronger here. Perseus felt it as well, and he became much more alert.

We checked the three doors to find two staircases and a hallway. We decided on the hallway, and tread carefully through the tunnel. It led to a junction with a passage to the left and right, and a larger tunnel in front of us. Death From Somewhere Irrelevantly Far Away heard some words in Giant to our right, and we carefully scouted the hallway. Two minotaurs decided to check on the noise we were making at about the same time as we did them, and both parties were equally surprised. We immediately attacked, knowing minotaurs to be evil. The fight was over very quickly, the minotaurs posing no challenge to our swift sword strikes and arrows. The ease at which we were able to dispatch the oversized cows worried me, however. These were not the great evil I felt, and the true foe was probably watching us from far away. More minotaurs came from farther down the tunnel, and Deckard Cain and our new monk friend Jackie Chan dealt with them quickly. The fight was over quickly, and we returned to the crossroads.

Ahead of us lay two huge carved stone doors, demon heads and all. I wondered out loud why the creators of this dungeon always had to carve demon heads into the doors to the most powerful creatures. I shook my head and started to cast some spells to help me in the fight ahead. I was rudely interrupted by the doors slamming open. A small horde of mummies, two Vrock demons, a huge demon that looked like the pictures of Glabrezu demons I had seen long ago in an old crusaders library, a golem, and dozens of skeletons scattered about greeted us. Beyond a wall of flying blades the room itself went farther than the eye could see, and at its center was a massive pentacle with awful runes and symbols carved around it. I smiled and called upon Sarenrae to strengthen me with her blessing. The mummies lurched forward, and I channeled my holy power, reducing many to foul-smelling dust. Jackie Chan and I destroyed the rest with a combination of quick punches and a few well-placed sword swipes. Perseus cawed defiantly and tore two to shreds. The Glabrezu pointed at me and uttered an evil-sounding word, and I felt as if I had been frozen in place. I saw my sword fall out of my hand, and Perseus catch it in his beak.

I saw a semicircle of hooded figures that I recognized as Priests of Orcus appear from invisibility and chant in union. Their evil power clawed at Perseus’s eyes, and I saw him shake his head and ignore it. I saw about ten more priests of Orcus appear from invisibility rush us and all channel Orcus’s power. I felt the pain of the dark energy, but still could not move to smite them. I saw The Hero of No Name cast a spell on his eidolon, and then the eidolon blast the priests with an explosion of lighting from his great maw. I saw their smoking corpses again blasted with lightning as the pair of Vrocks completed their Dance of Ruin, and lightning arced everywhere. I saw Perseus raise a wing to protect me, and I smelled his feathers burning while the semicircle of the priests of Orcus shook as their hooded forms were wracked with lightning. A powerful looking wizard came out of invisibility and commanded us to approach him through the wall of blades. I was alarmed to see 9rot succumb to the spell. He started walking forward… I saw Deckard Cain fly forth, vengeance in his eyes, and fire four flaming meteors with his rod. Three of them detonated on the wizard, leaving him on death’s door, and the fourth curved and exploded on top of the remaining priests. Deckard Cain was not done yet though, as he spoke a holy word, and beautiful holy energy appeared around the wizard and Glabrezu demon, blinding the demon, and killing the wizard.

I suddenly realized that despite all of the magic and lightning, the room was completely silent.

I still cannot move, but I will do all in my power to slay these evil creatures and make sure my allies can as well, even if it costs my life.

Valestar Ekhart (Marco)


Death from Somewhere Irrelevantly Far Away, tiefling slayer 13
Deckard Cain, aasimar flame oracle 12
Jackie Chan, oread flowing monk 11
The Hero of No Name, aasimar summoner 13
Nioveskirian, dwarven stonelord paladin 13
Shia Labeouf, merfolk bard 13
Valestar Ekhart, aasimar paladin 13

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