Session 5: 12/06/2011
Reinforcements arrived to retrieve Rhea’s body for burial and to take Seidhr away until he could recuperate. The Lord Warden sent two squads of regular guards to back up the group: one squad to secure the area, and another to spread out and search for any other possible entrances to the underground chamber. Two mages were also sent to join Caelik’s group: a sorcerer, Tandem, and the last wizard remaining on the guard – the gnome Glymm, who had avoided being called up by the Wizard’s guild for military service by virtue of being a somewhat disreputable gnome.
The team cautiously began to explore the underground complex, beginning with the cellar. Caelik overheard voices in the room beyond, and quickly realized an ambush had been prepared. After Glymm unlatched the door with a quick and silent use of mage hand, the team debated in whispers how best to enter the room, until Aiowyn grew tired and ran at it, dropping into a low slide to kick it open. Caelik rushed in, downing several unwashed, strangely fanatical men and women led by Sanner Darr, while three robed mages fired spells at the group from behind overturned tables. One of the mages was quick to retreat, but the others died with their comrades. Sanner shouted fanatically, but was quickly dispatched by the grim guardsmen, who were eager to avenge their fallen comrade.
The team proceeded to follow the mage who fled through the other available door. The hallway beyond was shoddily constructed, with wooden struts haphazardly holding up the ceiling and dirty wooden planks passing for a floor. The tunnel took a quick bend before coming to another door – but this one seemed to be trapped somehow. Aiowyn attempted to disarm it, but although he figured out that the trap was linked not to the door, but to the panels beneath it, he could not figure out how to disable the mechanism. Instead, he recommended jumping over the panels – a ten foot jump.
Caelik opened the door and ran straight into the middle of another crowd of fanatics, taking powerful hits from their clubs before he swept his weapon about and slew all of his assailants in one powerful attack. Aiowyn teleported in after him, then threw a knife into the throat of a fanatic who stood near the door. As the body slumped down, a lever was revealed.
Tandem and Asandar also entered – though the latter only barely made the jump even with a running start – throwing spells at the three mages who stood at the back of the room, who retaliated likewise with thunder and lightning. Glymm also hurled spells forth, though he stayed beyond the trap. As they took fire, one of the mages attempted to retreat and activate yet another trap. An enormous pendulum scythe swung out from the wall, but although it came close to Asandar and mangled several corpses on its way across the room, it did no further damage than that.
This time, the group kept one of the mages alive – although hamstrung. The mage was just as fanatical as Sanner, and kept shouting about the glory of his goddess – which, from his ramblings, the group managed to identify as Tiamat. Caelik left him to die a slow death, but the mage only laughed, wheezing out with his last breath that, “The high priest… will rip out… your hearts.”
Two doors led beyond. Checking one, Caelik found that it seemed to be a filthy sleeping area, with many ragged blankets forming pallets, but with nothing of worth within. The other door led to an area that was much better constructed, possibly making use of the outside of a nearby sewer wall. It was a large-ish cave, with gold piled high in the alcoves, and a pile of corpses, partly dissolved, being gnawed upon by rats. The sound of rushing water echoed from the back of the cave; it seemed that there was an underwater connection to the river.
As the group came closer, the rats bristled at them, but didn’t attack until Glymm suddenly shouted. Caelik had time to recall the Spirit’s words – “The rats only eat the dead!” – before suddenly, a shadow loomed out of the water… revealing a young black dragon, used to strangers equalling food.
The group was blasted by the dragon’s breath weapon several times, and at times all combat ground to a halt as they attempted to figure out where it was in the clouds of darkness that it was capable of summoning – summoning, and then reaching out to maul its targets before retreating into darkness. At one point it seemed like it would attempt to escape by the river, but Aiowyn blocked it off, and finally Tandem was able to hit it with a spell that knocked it down to bleed upon its piles of gold, dying.
The group did attempt to interrogate it – after trussing it up like a turkey, with all four legs and tail and neck bound together – but it only ranted at them for their insolence. After it attempted to use its magic once more, Caelik swiftly beheaded it.
The group was left to consider the cave and the underwater entrance, and their complete lack of prisoners. Tandem in particular thought that there was more to the situation than met the eye, but Caelik had no patience for him. Eventually, Glymm used a spell to turn some of the water purple, so that it could be noted where it came out. Caelik sent off a message stating victory to the Lord Warden, who sent back a jubilant reply, stating that if they had the dragon’s head intact to display it, they could keep its hoard for themselves. Caelik stuffed the head in the bag, and after some argument, the group trekked back to the cellar entrance to go debrief with Lord Doric.