Participants: Ash, Barundar, Myles and Renaldo [Boooo work engagements, Cameron]
When we last left our party, they had just entered an ominous chamber in a long abandoned temple in search of a golden chalice that is said to be able to cure the illness that’s plaguing the local Lord’s daughter Penelope. Magical flames had just lit a number of skeletons that stand chained to pillars in the middle of the room and a portcullis just blocked Renaldo and Ash from being able to enter the room and had gravely wounded Barundar…
After the portcullis slams shut behind him, Myles rushes into the room and confronts the nearest flaming skeleton and stands next to the grate on the ground. Looking down, he notes that there is a nondescript liquid at the bottom of a 10-15′ shaft. Resting in the liquid is a number of weapons and pieces of armor. Sensing a trap, he stops short of crossing the grate and he attacks and easily wounds the nearest skeleton, cutting one of its arms off.
As Renaldo realizes that his way is blocked by the portcullis, he notices that a small pathway leads to the North from his side of the gate. Figuring that he can’t really do much else, he decides to wander off into the darkness. Down the corridor he finds a small room that has a handful of dormant skeletons positioned around a table. In a most unbarbarianly fashion, he sneaks past the resting skeletons and out of a door to the East.
Ash reaches through the portcullis and, with a touch, heals Barundar’s wounds. Shouting his thanks, Barundar takes a shot at a skeleton with his crossbow, but misses.
As Myles gloats over how he de-armed [heh] the skeleton, he notices a most peculiar thing. The skeleton’s flames burn a bit brighter and flames erupt from his severed shoulder. To Myles’ surprise, the disembodied arm springs from the ground and reattaches itself to the skeleton how now has a free arm and is attacking him! Myles is able to avoid the skeleton’s attack as another of the chained skeletons strains against its bonds and attempts to attack him but also fails.
Myles frantically discusses the arm’s reattachment with Barundar, who reveals that, at the same time the arm reattached, he had noticed that one of the sconces on the wall flashed a bit brighter. Myles breaks free from the skeletons’ reach and runs up the stairs along the north side of the room. Approaching the northernmost sconce from above, he pours his waterskin on the flame. As he does this, the skeleton’s arm that had previously reattached falls back off. He calls this news out to the party.
Ash heals himself and, assuming that moving the portcullis by hand will be too much of a challenge, begins to search for a switch. As he turns around he notices an unlit torch on the wall behind him. He pulls on the switch and the portcullis opens slightly. He manages to squeeze through the opening and moves into the room with the skeletons.
As all of this goes on, Renaldo continues to wander around in the hallways to the North. He finds a doorway to the South and emerges on the raised platform near a very surprised Myles. Quickly surveying the scene, he throws himself off of the platform and uses his greataxe to down one of the flaming skeletons.
Barundar sees Myles’ success with trying to douse the sconces and runs up the stairs to the South and positions himself above the southernmost sconce as he searches for something with which to douse the flames.
The skeleton that Renaldo had downed rekindles its flame and, with a flash, rises from the ground lacking both arms and bites at Renaldo, wounding him slightly.
As Barundar positions himself above the sconce, the two skeletons to the South turn their attention towards him. Their flames burn brightly and, opening their toothy maws, the skeletons both shoot flames at Barundar who gets slightly singed [after two 1 damage rolls from Nathan].
Having exhausted his water supply, Myles decides to switch tactics and he dashes across the room towards the chalice. With the last of his speed he dives towards the chalice and knocks it from the pedestal, hoping that removing it would dispel the skeletons’ magic. Unfortunately, they seem unphased.
After the chalice is removed from the pedestal, Ash begins to notice something strange happening with the pits in the center of the room. Drips of a green liquid seem to be shooting up from the pits and congealing on the ceiling, almost like they’re falling against gravity. He makes everyone aware of this strange occurrence as he steps forward and casts Turn Undead, affecting two of the skeletons.
Renaldo notes the green liquid, decides to continue his attack anyway but misses.
Barundar is finally able to find a pot in his pack and, reaching down towards the sconce, uses it to successfully smother the flames. As the does so, one of the skeletons that had previously spit flames at him seems to be burning significantly lower. Barundar runs towards the chalice to secure it, but the green liquid on the ceiling reaches out and burns him with acid.
The skeletons attack Renaldo and Ash, criting and missing respectively.
Myles notices that the liquid on the ceiling seems to trying to get into the chalice on the ground, and spotting Ash across the room, attempts to punt the chalice to him. As he does so, a small amount of the liquid that made it into the cup already splashes up and burns him, distracting him from the kick. The chalice lands between the two pits, about halfway to Ash.
Ash bites the bullet and runs across the grate. Dodging the acid droplets flying through the air distracts him and [rolling a 1] he kicks the chalice across to the other grate where it teeters above the pit. Before it can fall, Renaldo dives across and grabs it, taking a significant amount of acid in the face as he does so. He grasps the chalice and, struggling to his feet, places it on the ground upside down and steps on it triumphantly.
Barundar is still standing on the raised area and uses his pot to extinguish the sconce to the East, again, one of the skeleton’s flames burn lower.
The liquid on the ceiling is still attempting to get into the chalice and, seeing Renaldo as an obstacle in doing so, drops a large blob directly from the ceiling onto his head. The acid proves to be too much and Renaldo falls from the damage. As Ash sees his friend fall to the ground, a skeleton rears up behind him and crits, almost dropping him as well.
Myles leaps from the raised area, dives through the acid and, grabbing the chalice from the fallen Renaldo, runs straight for the door while calling to his friends to flee. He squeezes through the portcullis and stops in the chamber outside.
Ash scrambles through puddles of burning acid on the ground to get to and heal Renaldo before following Myles out of the door. Barundar and the now healed Renaldo follow suit and soon all of the party members are near the door.
Before Ash is able to get through the portcullis to relative safety, the acid reaches down and wraps itself around his face and neck. The pain is too much for the cleric and he is soon reduced to a lifeless, smoldering heap on the floor.
Myles doesn’t know that his friend has been downed and continues his sprint towards the exit, making it to the main chamber in which the party had battled skeletons earlier before turning around and seeing the sad state of the party.
Renaldo quickly catches up with Myles and snatches the chalice from him, resolutely stating that he’s “ready”.
Barundar is the closest to Ash and, whipping out his healer’s kit and stabilizes Ash [returning him to 0 hp] before dragging him a few feet down the hallway.
To Myles’ horror, the acid once again reaches down from the ceiling and engulfs the cleric [crit!] dropping him once more [to within 2 points of totally killing him!]. Knowing that this is more likely than not a do or die moment for Ash, Myles calls upon his warrior’s resolve to sprint back down the hallway, heave Ash’s lifeless body onto his back and run as quickly as possible for the exit.
As Myles runs, he passes a stalwart Renaldo who has also turned and is walking back down the hallway towards the acid with the chalice held out in front of him. In response to pretty much everyone asking what the fuck he’s doing, Renaldo states that he’s going to “punch the acid.”
Barundar knows that Renaldo needs to be stopped but, with his friend dying in front of him [“Doing his best Jackie Kennedy..” I joked, wherein I was informed that it was “too soon” for this joke.] tends once again to Ash’s wounds as he and Myles escape.
The slime drips from the ceiling and into the chalice. [Damien asks, “Is it enough to punch yet?” which spurs quite a long conversation between pretty much everyone coming in against Damien’s plan to punch the acid]
As Renaldo stands in the chamber alone, he hears his friend’s cries becoming more distant. He looks up and surveys the scene. Flaming skeletons still tug at their bonds beyond the chalice. Acid still drips up from the pits, it is still sliming its way across the ceiling to coalesce at the tail of the acid ooze that’s now looming above him. Tendrils of acid reach forth from the ooze, longing for the cup. And here he is, considering punching it? “Even barbarians have limits,” he seems to think, “in fact, this slime clearly wants me to fight it, it wants this cup… It has become clear that the most barbarian-ish thing one could do when faced with this situation would be to deny it those luxuries.” And, shaking the acid clean of the cup, he turns and follows his friends in beating a hasty retreat from the ruined temple.
As the party breaks the surface of the pit, they cry out to the townsfolk to fill in the hole as quickly as possible. Ash still smolders as Myles and Barundar are finally able to stabilize him.
Rector approaches and frantically inquires about the status of the cup. Renaldo, once again [and hopefully for the final time] acts the part of Lord Darius McFoggle asks Rector one question, “Do you remember what I told you I was, Rector?” Rector stammers in response when Darius/Renaldo states for all to hear, “YOUR SAVIOR!!” as he produces the cup from behind his back.
As he and Rector discuss the status of the ruins, Darius/Renaldo quickly claims all glory and renown available, even claiming to have rescued Ash from the grips of death himself! Myles and Barundar momentarily consider slitting Renaldo’s throat but Ash spitting up blood brings their attention back to tending for their friend’s wounds.
As the party takes a moment to rest, Darius/Renaldo and Rector begin to discuss the transfer of the chalice and the bargain that the party had made in regards to its return. Now that the has been recovered from the ruins, Rector’s willingness to absolve the townsfolk’s debt seems to be waning. In hushed tones, to avoid the peasants from hearing, Rector makes a case that he cannot absolve all of the debt, to which Darius/Renaldo responds in a booming tone, “It is a shame, Lord Rector, that the documents to free these folks from their debt have not been drawn, how will we save your daughter without the documents?”
Much to Rector’s dismay, Barundar and Renaldo rile up the peasants – and even some of the guards – to urge him into absolving the debt. “Damn you McFoggle.” Rector says through gritted teeth before angrily calling for his scribe to prepare the documents absolving all of the debt of the people on Lanmis.
Myles, Barundar and Ash head directly to the Smoking Ogre, not wanting to take part in any more of Darius/Renaldo’s shenanigans as Renaldo heads off to the Rector estate alone.
As they enter the estate, Jeeves springs from out of nowhere and attempts to notify Rector about Darius/Renaldo’s previous transgressions but Rector brushes him aside as he hurriedly fills the chalice with water and goes up the stairs towards his daughter’s room.
Not even noticing the splintered wood strewn about the hallway and bedroom, Rector offers the cup to his daughter. As she drinks, the ashen blue boils that once marked every inch of her skin evaporate, leaving nothing more than a cloudy grey smoke that lofts into the air before dissipating.
Rector, tears in his eyes, calls for his seal to mark the debt notes before turning to Darius/Renaldo and stating that, “The people of Lanmis will never forget your great deeds, Lord McFoggle. Please, send an envoy from your lands and we will prepare a celebration that will be noted in the annals of history! The name Darius McFoggle will be known across the lands!” Suddenly bashful [or at least knowledgeable enough to know that it won’t take long for his ruse to be discovered], Darius/Renaldo turns down any public acknowledgement and attempts to sneak away.
Renaldo makes his way back to the Smoking Ogre to reunite with the party. Inside he finds Barundar and Myles in the center of a great celebration. The two point back to where the party’s rooms are located and inform him that, for taking all of the credit for their deeds and for endangering all of their lives, he is on “Ash-duty” for the remainder of the evening and the great Darius McFoggle shuffles away.
Barundar approaches Kisha Greyfoot and informs her of her of the safety of her father and her new found debt-free status, news that causes Kisha to launch herself over the bar at Barundar. Their mustaches touching for the first time, the two scramble into a back room and are not seen for the remainder of the evening.
Myles continues to celebrate a (mostly) successful raid on the abandoned temple, the saving of Rector’s daughter and the freeing of the town from the figurative and literal manacles of debt long into the night. As the party thins, he is left with the twin Tiefling barmaids, Ti-ah and Ki-ah. The barmaids extinguish the torches around the bar and escort Myles back to his room, wherein they form Myles that they intend to continue the celebration in a more intimate setting….