Wednesday, September 19, 2012
Pavelorn - Session VII & VIII - Our Demon Butler
PAVELORN - A DEMON BUTLER AND A WHITE SNAKE
Having had the troubles with the lizard cult resolved in their favor (at least for now) and not wanting to ransack the town, the cult decides to punish the treacherous cultists in the depths of Pavelorn's lost city where they were 1st encountered.
Returning to the pit, little had changed, the rooms above the lost city were still empty and the rooftop crawl, while it presented some problems with the presence of a mysterious large lizard and the ubiquitous giant bats was completed without trouble. Moving along the Northern street the party was able to avoid a band of bubble shrouded insect-like men by hiding in an alley with their lights doused. At the end of the street a rockfall appeared to climb upwards and a water source above provided a merry little stream. A large metal door, flanked by ominous batwinged statutes stood across the street, but the party had no time to investigate either as some sort of nasty crawling thing similar to a caterpillar was moving down the rubble towards them. Instead of dealing with the beast, the adventurers pushed into a door in the row houses to the West, partially investigated last session and home to lizard cultists.
Within the first room of the house the party discovered a disturbing abattoir, with the remains of several humans dressed for consumption. Listening at two doors in the West and ignoring a door in the Southern wall, Beni and his terrier Treacle detected the familiar sounds and scents of rats behind the Northwest door, while the Southwest door provided no clues. Deciding to avoid the rodents for now the party found a destroyed storage room, and the advantage of having smart wizard types along soon showed as Satyavati, playing with a ruined chest discovered that its bottom opened a secret door to the North. Gleefully the party explored the bolthole, and discovered a elf-metal saber that Sarin appropriated as one of the party's chief melee fighters and sole survivor of the 1st expedition (well Higgans was a henchman then and Bol is still alive as well). Moving on the party breached the rat door and surprised a pack of giant rodents, twins of the ones that almost did them in their first time in the dungeon. Now reliant on a hail of crossbow bolts and a heavily armored front line, only Treacle the dog was injured, though he accounted for two rats himself.
The room contained a fancy rug and the body of a cultist that the Beni looted for a map of the sewers. Removing the rug revealed a trap door and in a small chamber below containing a stone lizard idol. Within the idol's mouth a gemstone tempted Beni and Tarvis, and was freed with a gentle prod. The ruby gathered and the idol proven harmless, Tarvis smashed it with a hammer and took a chunk of the head. Beni heard chanting behind the southern door, and upon opening discovered a man in a lizard themed throne surrounded by several worshipers. Arrows and crossbow bolts pinned the throne sitter in place and when the melee commenced the only concern for the party was an obviously poisoned sword, that failed to hit. One of the cultists was knocked unconscious and the rest massacred. Leaving the survivor tied the band of blood crazed adventurers smashes the chair and Beni takes a distinctive lizard carving.
The row house plundered and its inhabitants put to the sword, the adventurers listen to the outside door and hear marching feet. Waiting a bit, the party is able to avoid an encounter with either the insect people or a pack of militarized beastmen. The caterpillar monster is also gone when the adventures return to the street, and dash to the large doors across it. The doors open without trouble, but within the party finds a disconcerting scene. Angry runes bisect the room, and an ancient robed corpse rests across them. Finding nothing of interest on the body, the party sends one of Beni's rats scurrying across the runes. Nothing happens and Satyavati's read magic reveals that the runes are designed to prevent the passage of "evil". Figuring that like a rat they aren't evil the party crosses, though Beni reflects on the rather wholesale murder he's been committing of late.
Beyond is a strange rune indicating a door, but it seems inert. Two doors exit the room to the South and East and in the Eastern room the party discovers a large demon, eyes open and transfixed by a jeweled holy sword. Despite the gleams of desire in the eyes of both clerics, the more cautious members of the party manage to convince them that a bound demon is not the right enemy to tangle with.
Moving South the party finds a crooked corner and beyond a room that appears to have been destroyed by a clawed monster of some kind. At the chamber's Eastern end is a set of large double doors made of bronze. Peering beyond the doors the party sees a pack of angry plated demonic foes who charge forward with long claws slashing the air. The Adventurers attempt to slam the door quickly, but one of the demons is quicker still and leaps into the room, slashing at Beni, but missing. While Higgans slams and holds the door the rest of the party shoots at the demonic thing. Backing away Beni manages to drive his silver sword into the monster's through, killing it instantly. Upon discovering that they are susceptible to normal weapons and not especially sturdy the party flings open the door and slaughters the remaining creatures with oil and crossbow. In the room beyond are a couple more doors and a box that contains what appears to be a severed, but still living demonic arm.
Taking the arm the adventurers return to town and rest up for a week.
The next expedition to Pavelorn centers around the debate to pull the sword out, or wait until the mansion is completely explored and looted. Caution wins over priestly avarice, though both Tarvis and Sarin have dreams about the sword, while Higgins dreams about the demon. Beni also has prophetic dreams, though his are brought upon by spending over 200GP on strange substances and bad liquor. Regardless of its source Beni is visited in a waking dream by a six armed rat, the embodiment of the rat spirit he occasionally and 1/2 seriously asks for luck. The six armed entity, which Beni has decided to refer to as 'The Mother of Thousands" only informed him that is was aware of Beni, and had plans for him. What those plans are is yet to be seen.
Entering the Pit the party is shocked to find the first room occupied by no less than six armored figures clustered around seven body bags. The figures respond to a command to drop their weapons with bestial roars and raised crossbows. Beni puts a poison arrow through one of the attacker's throats, while careful crossbow shots take 3 of the others down. The two survivors grab a bag and run into the dungeon, where they are last seen dragging the body bag down the subterranean boulevard towards the lion statute doors. Beni is able to scratch one with a poison arrow, but fails to kill and the two beast make their escape.
The beastmen appear to be a strange horned variety, and the body bags contain living, but drugged men, who appear to be bandits. Returning the men to town with some difficulty the local healers determine that they have been drugged and the local guardsmen recognize two of them as known bandits. After a day's rest the drugged bandits recover and tell a tale of how they and there group of thirty were ambushed by shadowy beastmen and they fell to a poison. The conflict with the beasts has raged for a few weeks and accounts for the last of raids on merchants. Rather than keep the bandit imprisoned or execute them the party brokers a deal with the town where two of the six will be released to return to their encampment and offer truce terms with the guard of Zorfath so that the war with the beastmen can be better prosecuted by both the town and the men of the woods. The other four bandits, including an insane one and the two wanted men, will remain as captives to ensure good behavior of the freed bandits.
The next day the adventurers return to the vaults and make there way across the roofs, but are forced to detour because of a dead giant lizard on the roof of the necromancer's villa, which is being devoured by a pack of horrible giant bats. Cautiously proceeding along the boulevard the party is startled by a group of shadowy figures rushing from the darkness. Beni puts a poisoned arrow into the neck of one, while Satyavati throws a dagger into another's leg. When the figures get closer they are revealed to be pitiful emaciated wretches, humans who have been captured by the beastmen behind the lion doors and forced to mine. After convincing the party manages to rush them back to Zorfath, outpacing an obvious beastman pursuit. The captured men also tell that the beastmen have some object to get past the fire breathing statutes, perhaps a star sign, like the symbol found on the pack of beastmen killed by the party earlier.
Feeling quite the heros after rescuing 11 people, but broke, the party again returns to the pit a third time in a single play session and manages to sneak to the statute flanked door without incident. The halls are almost silent and beyond the room where the demons were killed, the adventures discover a chamber containing a fallen chandelier with a body beneath it, and a jade idol. When Beni pulls at the body the chandelier shatters and transforms into three glass figures that attack. Several blows strike the creatures and pass through, and a favorite henchman is brutally lacerated. The party retreats, fearing the monsters, but not until Beni, thinking the idol connected to the creatures, shoots it and shatters it.
In the rooms beyond the adventurers discover a fresh brain in a bowl and three mysterious boxes, labelled "dreams" "memories" and "fears", but searching dreams and memories reveals nothing and the boxes will not interact with the brain. A fountain room is also discovered with an elaborate trap door, and it contains two basins lined with gold and platinum. The platinum and gold can't be easily removed so the party continues on, finding a cabinet containing lungs and a heart. Along a collapsed hall another room is found, with a library's worth of ruined books on the floor. The literate types search the mass and Higgans discovers a scroll case, while Satyvati is bitten by a poison centipede. Beni gives him antidote and the party continues from the library into an operating theater where a strange metal table hold a partially dissected demon. Replacing the demon's missing parts it comes to life and telepathically communicates.
The Demon will join the party and serves Beni when he wrongly explains he is the party's leader. Naming the creature Tangle the party sets out with it in the lead. Tangle knows a bit about the building, having been part of an invasion force many years ago with orders to kill all the non-demon creatures within.
The party descends through the trapdoor in the fountain room, and below finds a chamber with a deep well. While investigating the well Beni is attacked by a huge blind albino snake, which despite its menace is quickly killed with crossbow fire. Skinning the snake and taking its poison glands proves to be some of the best treasure of the night. Beyond the snake room is a cliff and over it a larger cave, but the party decides not to investigate further scared off by the strange fungus growing from a cave from a side passage.