Day 31 of our continuing adventure in Toril, in the Underdark City... Soon to fall under the dominion of Necromantic Priestess Yol and Queen Veracity!
...then we D-Door out of Kurg's quarters at confounding intervals. We gather at the half-way point between the coliseum and our base.
Yol has a bone to pick with us about not synchronizing our D-Doors! Veracity apologizes for not taking Yol with her. Yol says that's not the problem. She says we should delay until SHE gives the word, or at least someone does and go all at once, cause next time it might be one of us alone with the Fire Giant and the Fire Giant could "get lucky."
Igor gets offended, "No, Fire Giant is going to get lucky with me! I'm saving myself for Veracity and Brianna!"
Veracity says, "Hah! Igor, you're only at 50% capability, so you certainly couldn't take us BOTH on."
Igor says eagerly, "I could TRY!"
Veracity rolls her eyes and mutters under her breath to Brianna, "Pathetic!"
Veracity turns to Yol and offers to veil her as the "Undead Tusk" on the morrow. Yol takes this very seriously and gives it much consideration, but finally declines, since the original Tusk is neither dead nor undead as yet and so she might attract too much attention.
So, for something else to do, Yol volunteers to heal up the men, especially Igor, whose virility appears to be the most drained. While she is laying her hands upon Igor's person (to heal him) Yol speaks with longing of having a few "undead pets" at her disposal in the near future.
Veracity is fascinated by this. With a glance over at Igor, she says, "So, Yol, what kind of undead pets are you thinking of?"
Yol: "I was thinking of ghouls and ghasts. Though, I know some people might be bothered by them...but I really like.."
Someone interrupts, saying, "I've never seen you this animated, Yol!"
Yol responds, "Yeah! This city really puts a spring in my step!"
Tebryn is eager to learn if Yol could have a Wraith as a pet.
Yol thinks about it and says, "Perhaps not yet. But I like the idea!"
Veracity asks, "What kind of services are you expecting from these 'pets?' "
Yol gets dazzling sparkles in her eyes. "Slaying our enemies, turning them to dust, and devouring their souls," she replies with glee.
Veracity, "Could they carry our luggage?"
Yol, "It depends on whether they are corporeal or not... Plus you might have trouble getting your stuff back from them in any case..."
Veracity, "So if one of our fighters dies in battle, you could turn him into our 'pet'...?" Veracity casts a sideways look at Igor.
Yol, with melancholy, "No, if it were one of our own, I'd probably just Raise him."
Igor, "Well, that's what I'd prefer!"
Veracity, "But WHY deny them what you consider to be the joy and perfection of Death?"
Yol, "Yes, death IS perfection. The perfect oblivion. That's why it's too good for them..."
Veracity shakes her head and throws up her hands.
Yol goes on to brag about her spunky, new "Zone of Desecration," as if there aren't enough rotting corpses and rubble around us already...
Yol then lures Tebryn off into a private corner with her to discuss "Wilting" in great length (so to speak ;-). Igor wonders if he's being scried. But Veracity doesn't think Tebryn and Yol are that kinky.
Veracity asks Tebryn about the possibility of US doing some scrying on our enemy Priestess. Tebryn boldly whips out his crystal ball! "My Will is strong. I can do this!" Tebryn says.
Yol whispers a hint to Veracity, our party Queen, about books and poisoning spells. Veracity lick her lips for mushroom wine and eyes the villas on the plateau above. Tebryn speaks longingly of the Shattered Tower. Veracity says, "We need to explore!"
We make it back to our hide-away without incident. Then we go and talk to our friends at the Inn.
We show their leader the sword of Kurgoth as proof of Hellspawn's death. He is impressed and pleased in a subtle, dead pan way, typical of Drow culture. He smiles after a moment or two and is becoming much more friendly towards us.
He reveals the password to us, 'Istava morthaum', to the forbiddence spell that keeps people out of the Castle of the ArchEvil Priestess. (Keyed to password rather than alignment.) "The longer we wait, the more likely the password is to change," he warns.
Tebryn asks our host about the Shattered Tower. Our host says it has been destroyed. Tebryn asks where it used to stand. "Right behind us," is the reply. Our host jerks his head towards the back of the Inn, to indicate it is right behind this very building. We are surprised, but pleased.
"Unfortunately," our host says, "the ruins of the Shattered Tower are not quite empty."
"So, now that Hellspawn is dead, what are your plans?" Veracity asks our host.
He replies, "We imagine his army will collapse upon itself soon, at which point Irae will have free rein to take over the city. So it is imperative that Irae be dealt with next."
Veracity says, "Yol and I kinda like this City. We're thinking we might settle down here, assuming everything works out and Irae is out of the way."
Our host says, "Oh, how nice! I'm sure you would enjoy it. And we'd be happy to have you here."
We hope his answer is sincere. ;-)
Yol keeps plucking at Veracity's sleeve and nagging about getting on to the Shattered Tower. She craves to get out into the stagnant air again, resplendent with the stench of rotting flesh and decay.
Veracity wants to wait a night to regain more spells. Yol lowers her eyes coquettishly and defers to Tebryn. Veracity picks up on this and makes reference to, "Yol's crush." Yol accuses Veracity of "babbling with giddiness in this stimulating environment."
Veracity asks if Igor is feeling fit enough for battle?
Igor checks his buttocks for firmness and says, "Sure thing!"
Yol makes a few remarks which indicate she obviously has "sexual battles" on her devious little mind. But Veracity ignores this, since she must pull back now and make wise decisions as party Queen, ...er... "Leader."
Veracity takes in the mood of her companions and announces, "Well, I feel that you all are itching for battle, so let's check out the ruins of the Shattered Tower today. But let's do it cautiously and with flanking and possibly retreating in mind, if we find ourselves overwhelmed. Igor, don't run into a horde of monsters on your own!"
Igor, "Well, I like to take out the spell casters first."
Veracity, "That's commendable, but we need to make sure someone helps you. I say this as much to myself as anyone. Cause I feel I should have come to your aid sooner and formed a flanking position a few days ago against the Mind Flayer."
Yol and Tebryn nag us all to start lining up. Our marching order today is double file: Igor & Veracity in the front, then Tebryn & Brianna, then Yol & Hazen, then Kress by himself in the rear guard.
Before we leave, Igor offers Yol the loan of his Rope of Entanglement, which she graciously accepts. (Perhaps Igor is Broad-ening his horizons beyond Veracity and Brianna. ;-) ;-)
Magical energy sparks from rubble of the Shattered Tower as we approach. It walls of stone used to look aesthetically cracked, but now it is all truly cracked into pieces and lying in a heap.
We go forward cautiously in the low, moonlight-type light. We are prepared for action!
Before us, two incorporeal creatures rise from the ruins.
Veracity, "Psst, Yol," in a whisper, "some 'pets' for you..."
But Yol's attention is elsewhere...cute, spacey, little thing that she is... ;-)
A ray shoots towards Veracity. (Ranged-touch attack from the Incorporeals.) An acid arrow whizzes by her. She casts a Haste on our whole party [thank you, co-player, big hugs!]. And she can still see invisible from the earlier battle at the coliseum.
Igor rushes forward, unheadful of Veracity's advice, thinking, "Hmnnn, didn't someone tell me not to do this...?" as he does so.
One of the Corpor's senses Igor's "invisible" presence and does a Spellcraft and figures out Veracity has cast Haste. The ghostly critter hits Veracity with an Acid Arrow for 4pnts, plus extra each round.
Tebryn retaliates with Magic Missiles aimed at Veracity's attacker.
The other Noncorporeal Dispels our Haste - except for Hazen and Igor who are outside its range.
Veracity take 2pnts of acid damage. She does an Expeditious Retreat to haste herself another way and move up and use her Sword of Kas as defensive rather than Offensive weapon.
The Intelligent Sword of Kas is being wielded by Veracity currently as a Defender with +6 bonus.
Yol, meanwhile, is busily trying to either Rebuke or Control Undead...the idea of pets having finally dawned on her! :-)
One of the Noncorporeals cowers at Yol's feet, so to speak, since Yol's feet are rather far away...but perhaps it would creep to her feet if beckoned.
Kress copies the spirit of Yol's spell and does a Command/Control on the other Noncorporeal with his ring of Necros. Kress succeeds and commands it to attack it's friend.
Hazen and Igor attempt to finish off the Noncorporeals. Tebryn watches from a distance in fascination.
Veracity takes 3 pnts acid damage. She is fighting two handed now with her Sword of Kas and Sword of Life Stealing. She does respectable damage with her trusty Sword of Kas, but keeps missing with her rusty Sword of Life Stealing. Igor helps. Eventually we dissipate both the Noncorpols.
Veracity expresses concern over Igor's rash charge at the creatures. Igor counters that he was distracting them on purpose, so they wouldn't keep lobbing arrows. He was protecting her!
Veracity thanks Igor for protecting her, but says she deserves credit from "Sugarwart" in return - for coming up and helping him flank.
Igor says, "Gee! I'm smarter than you give me credit. My plan worked. You need to modify your thinking..."
Veracity grudgingly concedes somewhat, but says she still worries about Rash Igor Dearie.
Meanwhile Hazen locates a set of stairs going down.
Veracity wants to go back and recharge spells overnight. Tebryn wants to plow ahead. (One more acid damage to Veracity for 5pnt for total of 14. 87 - 14 = 73.)
Igor comments that now that the defenders of the Shattered Tower are defeated, the place might get looted before we come back. Veracity admits to being greedy enough to want to go forward under those circumstances. ;-)
Hazen is suddenly excited about the possibility of using his old Staff of Moving Earth and Stone.
Tebryn, not to be outdone, says, proudly, "I've got a scroll with that too." They talk long and excitedly about how to clear the stairs of rubble.
Hazen brags about having spent 30,000gp to recharge his "rod." All the boys go off by themselves, comparing rods and staffs, while the women avert their eyes. Igor turns invisible, so the girls won't peak through their fingers at any staff or rod of his.
Finally, Hazen and Tebryn get down to business with their rubble-removal spells and clear out the stairs for us.
We see a fairly large basement. Uninteresting layout: pantry, root cellar, little dungeon cell, a few torture instruments. We are looking for Sneaks's laboratory.
Veracity suggests we search for secret doors and passageways. Hazen seconds this motion. Igor thirds it. Finally we get down to searching. We don't find any secret doors or passages after about an hour. But we do find a closed crate. In the crate are half a dozen unbroken bottles with corks.
Veracity, "Yahoo! I hope this is mushroom wine." She sniffs the debris of the broken half of the bottles in the crate... "It is obviously mushroom wine!" She picks out the unbroken bottles, being careful not to cut herself. We put the bottles in the portable hole - where they won't be jolted or the sediment shaken.
Veracity looks more closely at the torture instruments... "Wow! These are masterwork!" There is a Jaw-breaker and Flenser (used to remove skin from body).
Hazen to Veracity, "You could take those home and hang them on the wall, as a kind of conversation piece..."
Veracity to Yol, "Stop by sometime and we'll play with these together." Veracity winks. Yol scowls.
We find nothing else of note. Pantry just has rotted food stuffs.
We head back to our base. We speaking fondly of the villas on the plateau and a temple, etc. We decide to gather our stuff together and go check out the villas later today to try to find more comfortable digs.
Tebryn feels stronger and better (pops) as we return to our base.
Yol whines about our D-door tactics.
Veracity: "Yol, would you like to look like the undead Tusk, today?"
Yol: "Tusk is not undead. Yet. But, that reminds me. I should create some undead servants to help us out."
Igor: "How about some curing, first?"
Veracity: "I don't think of Yol as being a spontaneous sort of person."
Yol: cure serious for 28 points to Tebryn.
Veracity: "Done? What kind of undead can you create, Yol?"
Yol: "Shadows, Wraiths, Ghouls, Ghasts, or Mummies."
Veracity: "What tasks would set them to do?"
Yol: "Attacking our enemies. Devouring their souls."
Veracity: "So, if one of the fighters fell in battle, you could turn them into a pet?"
Yol: "I think I'd just raise them."
We head back to our headquarters. Igor, Veracity, Brianna, and Hazen are invisible. Yol, Kress, and Tebryn are visible. We encounter nothing of interest on our way back.
"Should we drop our veil before visiting Hamadh?" says Tebryn.
"Yes," agrees Veracity.
We cross over to the inn and drop our veil before knocking.
"Hail," says Hamadh. "Any news?"
"Yes," says Tebryn. "Hellspawn is dead."
Hamadh looks at us and shows almost no visible reaction, but after a while, he smiles. "Impressive."
"You said you could tell us about Irae's defenses?" asks Veracity.
"I understand that Irae has a magical forbiddence The most recent password I have learned is 'Istava morthaum', but I cannot guarantee it is current."
Tebryn ponders. "We'll go there soon, but there is something else I want to check out first."
"The longer you delay, the more likely Irae is to change the password," says Hamadh.
"Oh, we'll not go today, but, we don't expect to delay long. I came because I was seeking the Shattered Tower. Have you heard of it?"
"Yes," says Hamadh. "It is quite its namesake now. It always had that name because its walls were decorated with cracked masonry, purely for aesthetic reasons."
"Where is it?" asks Tebryn.
Hamadh looks at us amusedly and gestures over his shoulder. "Right over there." It's across the street from the back door of the inn. "However, I believe it is not quite as empty as one would like."
Veracity: "Now that Hellspawn is dead, what are your plans?"
Hamadh: "With Hellspawn gone, we expect his army to collapse. At that point, Irae will have free reign in the city. Therefore, it is urgent that you deal with her, soon."
Veracity: "You know, Yol and I were thinking of settling down here in the city, after we crush Irae."
Hamadh: "How wonderful."
We go back to our own headquarters and plan.
"So, off to the Shattered Tower?" says Igor. "I'm ready."
"Oh, I used a lot of spells," says Veracity. "Should we wait until tomorrow?"
"Nah," says Tebryn. "I think we have plenty of spells. It's not even noon. Let's go today!"
"What shape are you in?" asks Veracity.
"Oh, I'm all out of spells," says Igor.
"No, physically!" says Veracity.
"I'm in great shape," says Igor. "Very firm!"
"Ah, but isn't her butt firmer?" says Hazen. "I think she's clearly asking you to check and compare again."
Veracity is notable silent.
"Fine," says Veracity. "But since some of us are low on spells, I want an exit strategy."
Veracity gives Igor much needed advice on flanking and not being flanked.
"Hey, Miss V!" says Hazen. "You are forgetting the sticky regurgitated flower dust."
"OK, flower child, " says Veracity to Hazen.
"I like to take out spellcasters first. And I like to maneuver to flank them. Opponents are unlikely to flank me."
Igor discusses letting Yol use his rope of entanglement. She likes the idea. He hands her the rope.
We line up and go the Shattered Tower.
The air seems to crackle with magical energy, emanating from the rubble. No stone lies on another unturned.
Hazen 24 (Spots) Veracity 16 (No Spot, but foresight) Yol 16 Kress 16 Brianna 13 Igor 11 (Spots) Tebryn 4 (Spots)
Two incorporeal creatures rise out of the ruins as we approach.
Hazen calls: "Hey! undead!" He draws his dagger. Undead 1 shoots an acid arrow at Veracity. It goes flying past her. Veracity casts haste on her whole party. Igor moves up invisibly adjacent to both of them, drawing his greatsword as he approaches. Undead 2 casts acid arrow at Veracity. It hits her and deals 4 points of damage to her. Tebryn shoots 5 magic missiles for 11 points at Undead 1.
Hazen goes invisible. He moves up 60 feet. Monster 1 casts dispel magic attempting to target the haste. Kress, Veracity, Yol, Tebryn, and Brianna are no longer hasted. Veracity takes 2 poitns of acid damage. Veracity casts expeditious retreat and moves forward 60 feet, drawing her swords. Yol steps forward and rebukes the undead. Monster 2 cowers in awe of the mighty death priestess. Kress moves up 30 and attempts to control undead using the power of the mighty ring of Nekros against Monster 1. "Kill that undead!" he commands. Brianna starts to sing. Igor swings at the cowering Monster 2. He hits for 22, hits for 28, misses, misses. Monster 2 cowers. Tebryn moves up 60 feet and watches in interest.
Hazen moves to flank Monster 2 and hits for 7. Igor takes the opportunity to hit for 26 points. He destroys it and Cleaves through to miss Monster 1. Veracity takes 3 points of acid damage. She steps forward 5 feet. She strikes Monster 1with the sword of Kas, hits for 15, hits for 13, misses. She strikes with her life stealer, missing, and missing. Yol casts disrupt undead against Monster 1 and deals it 1 point of damage. Kress watches with awe and self importance. "What are you, anyway?" "I am a Silveraith," it responds. Brianna sings. Igor attacks Monster 1. He hits for 24 points. It falls.
Veracity talks to Igor about running forward.
Tebryn stands and looks at the rubble. "Rats. Hard to tell where the stairs would be!"
Hazen saunters up and (Search 46) points to a spot. "Right there!"
They are completely filled in.
Veracity wants to withdraw. Igor points out that now that the defenders are gone, that it may be looted before we return.
Hazen pulls out his staff of earth and stone. "Mr, T! How about this?"
Tebryn smiles. "Good thinking, Hazen!" He takes the staff.
Tebryn invokes the power of the spell to move the rubble out of the stairs onto a pile by the side.
"Lets go!" he says.
We descend. Large basement. Pantry, root cellar. Dungeon cell. Torture instruments. No evidence of a Lab or anything.
Hazen and Veracity suggest we search for secret doors and passages.
Yol detects no magic. We spend an hour and find no secret doors.
There is a damaged crate in one of the rooms. It looks like a case of wine. There is space for 12 bottles, but 5 are smashed. 7 bottles are intact. It is unambiguously mushroom wine.
We put the bottles into the portable hole.
Veracity examines the torture instruments. They are masterwork items! There is a jaw breaker (like a reverse thumb screw). There is also a flenser (a set of knives used to remove the skin from a body).
We stash the torture instruments as well.
We decide to go back to our HQ, gather our stuff, and go up to the villas to try and find more comfortable digs. We will go to the Castle tomorrow.
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|Copyright © 2005 by Brianna Sollandry <brianna at hambo dot com>||
Ph'nglui mglw'nafh Cthulhu
R'lyeh wgah-nagl fhtagn.