When we last left the party, they had just reached the center of the Badlands, defeated a couple of demented gargoyles, Darius narrowly avoiding death and explored a strange, desecrated temple…
Ash looks around the building and realizes that this building is the exact location of many of the legends he had heard while training, an abbey erected hundreds or thousands of years ago to house things of great power. He recalls stories about there being a number of such structures scattered about the land.
Every few minutes, the ground underneath the party’s feet shakes a bit and energy rises through the walls, briefly lighting up runes in the walls and surging into the air above. This energy seems to be pooling above the building, creating the storm above the abbey.
Amon and Ash are both intently inspecting the floors for a source of the trembling as they search through the rooms. The two [each rolling 1’s] bonk heads right as the next power surge comes up and they miss it. Amon tells the group that, with each surge, he feels a wave of ecstasy pass through his body. Through shudders, stammers and heavy breath, Amon explains that this likely means that the power surges are great waves of arcane power.
After checking that he’s flaccid and his pants are clean, Amon searches for the power surge. He’s led to the room with the stairwell and the party descends into the darkness, Winston leading the way, dual wielding torches.
The party is greeted by a pair of shut doors. As Jack pulls out his lockpicking tools, Amon begins to grind against the door, rubbing the runes with his fingers. He traces over a complex symbol just as Jack is about to begin poking around on the door. His finger tracing proves profitable and the door unlocks. Amon wanders into the chamber in a haze as the power has begun to build in the catacombs. Myles attempts to grab him but Amon slips out of his hands.
After a discharge of energy [throughout which Amon wails in pleasure, much to everyone else’s disgust…] Ash, eyes averted from the pelvic-thrusting Wizard, notices that the life sized crucifix statues along the walls have glowing eyes that change colors [like LEDs]. In his altered state, Amon reaches out and touches one of the statue’s eyes and a slight jolt of energy courses through his body. He pulls a dagger and begins prying the eye loose from the statue.
Qian Ban scouts ahead and finds a few more doors. As Amon pries the eye loose, a blast of energy fills the hallway and he takes heavy [for a wizard…] damage [but receives ADV on an attack and a free spell recharge in return for essentially mainlining arcane energy]. Darius informs the group that when the energy shot out into Amon, all of the statues throughout the hallway also shot beams of light out of their eyes.
Amon – 1 small gem [Nathan did not assign a value]
Jack unlocks a door to a store room and inside the party finds normal goods and provisions and 180sp. As the bulk of the party searches the room, the energy discharges. Darius was standing guard in the hallway and got caught by some of the energy for minor damage.
180sp – 36sp each
As the party moves on, Ash and Amon approach the next door. [Amon rushes ahead the rest of the group but explains, “I’m high on light right now!”] Myles proceeds down the hallway and catches sight of a room full of skeletons that appear to have crystalline veins and muscles, some of the skeletons are half-melded into the walls. Myles springs into action and attacks one of the skeletons that was set into the wall, severing one of its arms. Amon rushes past and throws out a thunderwave, striking Myles and shattering many skeletons, sending them all flying [and alerting the entire dungeon to the group’s presence].
Barundar runs through the cacophony and attacks both of the remaining skeletons with his scimitars, killing one. As the last skeleton goes to attack Barundar, it lurches forth and impales itself on Barundar’s extended scimitar, killing itself [after rolling a 1]. Darius, never one to miss out on getting his [and many others’] share of killing things, runs up with crossbow raised just as the combat ends.
Barundar and Myles then move to the South and shove open a door, revealing a loose clay and dirt floor with cobblestone tiles. The group rushes in to avoid another discharge. Myles stops next to a large hole and a giant snake jumps out at him!
Myles’ quick reflexes serve him well as he strikes out and hits the snake and also performs a dirty trick, granting the next physical attack on the snake ADV to attack. Amon hits with magic missile and Barundar slings a bolt into the snake’s brain, leaving its corpse to slide back into its hole. Darius again runs up to the fight right after the fight ends [prompting speculation that, at level 4, Darius will likely be taking the “Alert” feat to avoid missing killing opportunities due to shitty initiative rolls].
The party continues down the hallway and finds another snake hole, Myles takes the opportunity to lob a Molotov cocktail of lamp oil at the snake, igniting him in flames. Ash rushes down and piles on the fireworks with a Sacred Flame.
[Cameron waffles for a moment on whether or not to “just” cast his ranged cantrip or approach the snake and cast shocking grasp… Everyone chimes in that using a spell slot doesn’t seem like that bad of an idea and push Cameron to move Amon into range. As Cameron is soon to find out, peer pressure is a fickle bitch.]
Amon bravely walks up to the flaming snake in order to perform shocking grasp. Unfortunately, the snake writhes around in pain from the flamess and Amon is unable to grasp its target. Darius shoots the snake with his crossbow before hiding.
The snake strikes out at Amon [and crits!], dropping him to the ground dealing massive damage on the bite and through poison [dropping Amon to -15 out of a potential -16 points before instant death…] Barundar uses his turn to stabilize Amon as Myles launches himself over the Amon’s near-lifeless body to decapitate the snake.
The party takes a short rest to recover [and discovers after playing with it for 4 months that the latest playtest packet has revised this time to an hour].
They proceed South and find a sinkhole seemingly caused by a massive root system. Darius ties ropes together and descends over 70’ into the hole. Barundar climbs down as well and, using his climbers kit, ascends the other side and finds what looks like the hallway from earlier. Behind a locked door he finds that the hallway continues to the West. Crucifixes again line the walls, eyes glowing in the darkness.
The party continues on and finds a set of double doors. Barundar and Myles rush forward and kick in the doors as quickly as possible to avoid the statue’s blasts which are now coming more often.
The doors break in and the party finds themselves standing outside a large antechamber. Three evil-looking paladins, two acolytes and a priest stand before a sarcophagus performing a ritual that is creating energy waves.
Ash cries out in shock that the paladins present are supposed to be the guards and that the priest and acolytes should be tending and protecting this site, not performing dark rites.
The party rushes in and Darius bloodies one of the paladins with one shot from his crossbow. Ash summons the [phallic] hammer of Lathander to bash in the evil beasts. The dark paladins march forward and attack Myles and Barundar. Myles deflects an attack and causes the paladin to strike down one of his comrades [“COUNT IT!” Paul yells as he adds a kill to Myles’ kill count].
Darius continues his rampage and shoots another paladin as Ash blesses the party. Barundar hacks at the wounded paladin with his scimitar.
The dark priest [anti-]blesses the enemies, but Myles and Amon make quick work bloodying the last remaining paladin. However, a tainted acolyte steps forward and heals the paladin with necrotic energy.
Ash’s magic hammer finally finds its mark on the dark priest as Ash casts Silence centered on the sarcophagus. Barundar utterly destroys the last remaining paladin with a crossbow bolt to the balls [for the THIRD genitalia joke in the write-up!].
The dark priest slides out of the cone of silence and attacks Ash, causing his skin to split with a Cause Wounds spell. Amon casts Burning Hands but the priest is able to avoid the bulk of the flames.
The acolytes focus attention on Myles, but one is immediately killed by a crit from Darius. The second acolyte gets knocked by the Hammer of Lathander. Ash then casts Sacred Flame on the dark priest.
The priest attempts to sneak away from Myles, but Myles cuts him in half with his opportunity attack. As the priest’s body slides off his legs and lands in a burning crate, Myles meets Ash’s gaze and says, “Looks like he had to… Split.” Myles then spins around and stabs the remaining acolyte in the heart. Running low on catch phrases, he says, “Uh…..him too!”
Amon rushes to the dark priest and pulls his top half out of the fire. He then runs to the sarcophagus and inspects it closely. The lid appears to be somewhat ajar and, he breathlessly explains that the symbols designate his arch-nemesis [?] the Sand Master. He looks inside the sarcophagus and sees a canopic jar, which he assumes holds one of the Sand Master’s organs.
As a reminder: The Sand Master is an undead, lich-like wizard far to the South of Redmark. Amon understands that to destroy the Sand Master all four canopic jars must be gathered together.
As best as the group can deduce, the magical seal meant to enclose the jar was flawed and dark energy eventually leaked out and corrupted the priests and guardians meant to protect it.
Darius finds a remarkable longsword on the bodies of the paladin guards. The hilt is wrapped in a tough, black leather and a shimmering ivory claw of some sort protrudes from the pommel. Amon is able to uncover that its markings show that it is especially proficient in fighting dragons. Myles quickly lays claim to the blade.
546 sp – 109 ea.
+4 vs. Dragon Longsword “Trogslayer” +1 vs. everything else – to Myles
Canopic jar containing evil demi-god’s pancreas… [Amon would be warned that prolonged exposure to instruments of great evil has been shown to have grave side effects, including; insomnia, night terrors, restless leg syndrome, tentacle rape, unlucky dice rolls, interdimensional portals and death… if you experience any of these symptoms, consult with your DM immediately.]
As the party heads back to Otemshire, they see another great crowd at the Hanging Tree. Twilia Ravenwood a famous bounty hunter is touting that she has finally caught the infamous Tyson Always [Myles’ doppelganger that looks a lot like Nic Cage]. As the party passes by, Myles lifts up his mask, revealing an identical face that is marred by concern and confusion. He looks at his friends and says, “I don’t know what’s going on here, but that’s NOT Tyson… Apparently there are three of us, and that unlucky chump got plucked for it.” Putting his mask back on, Myles says gruffly, “I’ve got to get to the bottom of this and figure out why there are so many of me running around…”