Riphariel's Legacy

Survival of the Fittest
A party of heroes suspiciously walks into a bar...

When last we left off, our band of merry adventurers was fighting a pitched battle against a ferocious horde of Riphariel enemies. They had just been left to die by another party of adventurers who were previously battling said Riphariel enemies. Outnumbered and overpowered, they fought on against the odds, rising to the seemingly insurmountable challenge. With Maurice and Offda dug in and occupying scores of enemies, the rest of the group was able to chip away at the enemies oppressive numbers. Maurice was nearly surrounded and being battered from all sides, while Offda was holding his own against a throng of rotters and statues. Unfortunately Maurice, fearing he might not be able to hold his position much longer, made the brave but fateful decision to challenge all nearby enemies to focus solely on himself. The gamble paid off for the group, in that Maurice held the enemy focus which ultimately cost him his life.

The group barely had time to gasp when Maurice fell, and there was no time to mourn with the battle seemingly getting out of hand without Maurice’s stout shield to offer in protection of his allies. Zero gave his new allies a brief respite by allowing them to change positions on the battlefield, and Clerical called upon the holy might of Athiesmo to scatter his undead foes. Zwikt and Ahkse zipped about slashing and gouging away as usual. Crit scratched, bit, and created zones of immobility about the melee, helping to gain critical ground.

Victory would not come as easily as usual for this strong band of heroes. Battered and bruised, and beset on all sides by seemingly endless waves of enemies, our group found itself dodging death by a whisker seemingly at every turn. Ahkse was dominated and turned against the party, and Clerical went down, felled by the great club of one of the enormous obsidian statues. More spiders dropped from the ceiling to reinforce the already powerful enemy host. Just when death seemed the only respite from the madness, our weary group was surprised to see the gleaming silver bastard swords of Ossyrimon flashing through the room as he led his group back into battle.

Scattering enemy corpses in their wake, the new group methodically pushed their way into the room, giving a boost to our heroes flagging morale. With the enemies outnumbered, victory would surely be won this day, but what cost would this new party extract on our group? Were they to be true allies, or just until the common Riphariel threat was dispatched? They were exhibiting great prowess on the battlefield, and our crippled party was not keen on the idea of having to deal with them next, should it come to that.

With Zwikt, Clerical, and Ahkse fallen and dying, Zero, Crit, and Offda had all they could handle in several wights in a corner of the room. Ahkse was being wrapped in a web of spider silk, seemingly to be drug off and consumed later by the hideous arachnids. The new group was briskly pushing through enemy lines, coming to the aid of Ahkse and stabilizing his wounds. Not able to even take the time to stabilize Clerical, but now buoyed by Zwikt’s resurgence, the group pressed on against the wights. The other group, seeing Clerical’s life blood seeping away, decided to stabilize him as well, before aiding in dispatching the remaining foes.

Before the group could even catch their breath, their wariness was piqued by the way the group of mercenaries were seemingly protecting Ahkse from friend and foe alike. After a brief squabble over both sides intentions, Ossyrimon decided the best course of action was to return to town to settle things in safety and with cooler heads. The party had little choice, and was forced to let the mercenaries help carry Ahkse’ stabilized but unconscious body back with them.

Approaching town, the large group now attracted a throng of curious onlookers who helped escort the silent adventurers through the thoroughfare. Soon most of the town was present and listening to the unfolding tales and accusations bandied about by both sides. Martell and Harrington were tossing epithet and accusation alike, but in the end, the party could not deny that they had been looting outside of their claim, both in natural caverns and in Martell’s claims alike. Especially damning was the items from Martell’s hidden cache in the slime tunnels.

The party was jailed, and executions were scheduled for dawn. Maurice’s corpse was the only one who could confidently claim indifference. With the conscious group of Clerical, Crit, Offda, Zero, and Zwikt in a cell together, Maurice’s body and the unconscious Ahkse were taken away out of sight. Interrogations began. Each member of the group that could answer questions was handled roughly during any interrogations by Martell and his men. Harrington was irate, but less punchy. In the end, Zero’s offer to kill Martell left Harrington with an interesting decision. The group was told they would know by dawn whether they were to be hung or sprung.

With the sky brightening to a blood red sunrise, the weary group, who had still not rested from the last battle, heard a ruckus from outside their cell. The guards were slumped on the floor and their cell was open. Rummaging around for their equipment unsuccessfully, the group decided there was no time to waste and began to sneak through the town’s back allies to the Lozian Grand Saloon. Peering through the back door, they realized the mistresses quarters were going to be far busier than the barroom, so they made their way to just outside the front door. Making a rather large gamble, they walked defiantly into the din of the dimly lit, drowsy drinking and gambling hall. Several passed out patrons failed to notice the party’s entrance. The bartender, Dillam, was busy scraping the lees out of several dingy ale mugs, while a burly man sat in the corner disinterestedly watched for anything that would require him to leave his comfy perch on the bench.

The groups actions at this point could only be described as approximately as agile as a chunk of granite. But every once in a while, that lump of rock can gain some speed toppling down a hill once it sets its mind to it. Even so, this would not be how any onlookers would have described the group’s next move. After assembling about as suspiciously as possible in the center of the barroom, the group began to whisper and cast furtive glances about. This was even enough to rouse the lazy bouncer who was as keen to fight right now as a honey badger is not to.

Mumbling a lame excuse about needing to see Martell, the group moved aggressively enough towards the hired muscle to cause him great uneasiness, but not enough to block his escape or keep him from shouting an alarm. After dropping his weapon and fleeing through the “Champagne Room” in the back, his fevered shouts rang out in loud echoes through the back hallways. With the element of surprise completely wasted, the group sprang to action and raced up the stairway to where Martell’s office is. Hearing the unmistakable sounds of weapons unsheathing, shields being battered together in anticipation of battle, taunts verbalized, and doorknobs turning, the group knew they would now have to make good on their promise to Harrington, albeit without any of their gear. Clerical, tired from hefting his mighty girth up the climb of a dozen or so stairs, tripped and crashed through the locked door at the top of said stairs.

Just as the mercenaries from earlier started pouring out of the closest door, Clerical noticed his beloved symbol of Athiesmo atop the pile of the groups gear. At least they might have a chance to grab a weapon before they faced what could be their final battle…

[Dun-DunDuuuuuuuuun! sound effect]

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A Friendly Face is Welcomed Back
But will he be enough?

After a long, meandering trek through the slime tunnels, the disoriented party finally came upon what appeared to be an old water well with a bucket tied to a somehow still sturdy seeming strand of rope.  Exhausted, befuddled, and out of options, the group had no choice but to climb up into the midst of whatever waited above.  

Not unexpectedly, and in keeping with how things have been going lately, the group emerged into the gaping maw of a new threat – a pile of monsters including rotting zombies, jet black giant spiders, some large obsidian statues, and a hideous wight.  Things were not going all that well, when, well, up the well climbed an old familiar face – a warforged artificer they once knew named Zero to Hero.  Zero, seemingly unsure which side to choose, but actually having just been dominated by another wight in the slime tunnels, stood unmoving by the side of the well briefly.  After attacking the party while dominated, he quickly made amends by healing several party members, and launching magic weapons willy nilly about the room at the monsters, immediately turning the tide and co-leading the group to victory.

After exchanging tales of valor earned during their time apart, not to mention a much needed long rest, the group head out the only apparent exit and headed down a hallway full of thankfully inanimate statues to a set of double doors.  Beyond the doors, the muffled din of battle could be heard, rousing the group to action.  Bursting through the doors, the group surprised a large collection of monsters as well as another adventuring party who were skirmishing with the monsters near another set of large doors opposite the doors the group had just rushed through.

Maurice managed to draw a large collection of bad guys around himself, while Offda did the same in the opposite side of the room.  Ahkse and Zwikt charged in and dealt blows to some of the spiders and wights.  The rest of the group waded into the frey with reckless abandon as well, just as the apparent leader of the other group rallied their comrades back through the other doors to safety by bellowing a large horn allowing them to safely reposition themselves outside the room.  As the door swung shut behind them, our bitter band of brave barnstormers began besmirchinging the bedeviling bums who had just begat them a big beatdown.

With a large contingent of foes surrounding them, the our ragtag band of heroes seems once again to be stuck in another tightening vice of peril.  Will they escape with their lives to seek vengeance on their new sworn enemies, the adventuring party which just left them for dead?  Or will they succumb to the many blows currently being rained down on them by spider, wight, statue, and zombie?  Tune in next time to find out…

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Just A Pawn In Their Game

They were in the hedge maze. He could hear them. The group of adventurers was becoming a distraction. Where had they come from? He just wanted to be left alone. He just wanted peace and quiet. But they kept walking headfirst into trouble and then fighting their way out, making all kinds of racket and commotion. When they had come knocking on his door he had asked them to find his books, mostly just to get rid of them, but it may have been a mistake. He found it hard to concentrate these days. Sometimes his thoughts left his head as quickly as they arrived. This motley crew seemed to have been sent here to vex him. How had they gotten here? Come to think of it, how had he gotten here? No matter, he had his work.

It sounded like the fighting was coming to an end. He turned his mind toward them and perceived they had indeed defeated the denizens of the maze and Cali’s followers in the mausoleum. He hoped they had found his books. Maybe they could just leave them outside the library’s door? Had he given them the phrase needed to safely pass through the houses defenses? It was unimportant, if they were killed at least there would be end to all of the fighting and a return to the quiet he so desired.

He turned back to his books, organizing and cataloguing as he moved about the room. He had misplaced some books at some point and hoped to find or replace them. He became aware of yelling outside. There were the sounds of weapons striking other weapons and of weapons striking flesh. He tried his best to ignore cries of fear and anger. Losing his patience he stepped out onto the balcony.

“Quiet!” he yelled. Emphasizing his point with a magic missile fired indiscriminately into the crowd. Nodding to himself he went back into his library. Not long after the fighting ceased.

He worked for a while in silence. He placed books on the stacks, removed books that had been mis-shelved and immersed himself in his work, the incident forgotten. When the adventurers returned and broke into library he was shocked and confused.

Who were these people? But more importantly, why won’t they leave him alone? He had to finish his work by morning.

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Carriage On My Wayward Son
Lay Your Weary Head To Rest

The company breaks camp and quickly resumes their exploration. Cresting a hill the friends view a large rundown mansion. Approaching cautiously, the group is surprised when a massive tree in front of the building speaks to them.

The old trees gnarled bark has twisted itself into the semblance of a mouth.
“The unlettered are unwelcome here,” speaks the tree in common.
“Withdraw, or perish,” it warns.

Before the group is allowed the time register what they have just heard, or act on the directive they were given, a new threat presents itself. Two large and moss covered statues that had been standing on either side of the mansions wooden doors come to life and grasp at the nearest companions, Offda, Ahkse, and Crit. Other smaller statues that had been standing in the shadow of the tree leap into action, attacking Clerical and Maurice.

Zwikt is the first to react, charging one of the leaping statues and dropping it to the ground with three mighty swings of his battle shovel. Ahkse, always ready for violence, is trading blows with one of the large statues while Crit does her best to interrupt its attacks. Zwikt, a true dynamo of action, is already on the move and has crossed the battlefield to aid Ahkse and Crit with their adversary, delivering a fatal blow.

The battle moves quickly from here with Maurice and Offda doing what they do best, each taking considerable amounts of damage and keeping the enemies engaged while their fellow adventurers focus their strikes where they are needed most. This allows Clerical to channel his divine influence into a blow that fells one of the pesky leaping statues. With the enemy numbers dwindling it is only a matter of moments before Ahkse has chopped two of the remaining statues down to size and Zwikt finishes the last off.
After the battle the group collects the bejeweled heads of the statues as trophies and searches the area for any other loot. They find a book written in elvish about herbs. The book and the heads are then deposited in their bags.

It is decided that they should explore the mansion. Inside the group finds many rooms and many pieces of old dusty furniture. At times they are greeted by ghostly emanations as they enter new rooms. At other times they are greeted by dust bunnies. The mansion seems abandoned. The only area on the lower floor that produces anything of interest is the kitchen area. Another book is found, this time written in goblin and about the making of stew. So far the time spent searching this old dusty building has not been worth the effort. Eventually the companions have seen all there is to see on the first floor. The last door they open leads to the stables. Electing to give the area a once over before heading to the second floor of the mansion the companions find a new opponent to practice their skills against.

A carriage, old and dirty, sits in a stall. When approached the carriage seems to come alive, rising up on its rear wheels, its front wheels spinning crazily, it is an awful and fearsome sight to behold (or so the carriage probably thought). The carriage was proud (as far as that’s possible for an animated object), thinking itself the master of its domain. The fight that follows would have been emasculating, if indeed the carriage had lived long enough to ruminate on its epic defeat. Oh, what a poor, over-matched, and delusional, animated carriage it was.

Using a void card hard won in a previous campaign, Zwikt cleverly petrifies the carriage before it can do more than posture its ill intentions, by targeting his own party member with the card. Petrified, the carriage nearly falls prone (somehow). The party takes turns beating on the defenseless carriage. It becomes dazed, slowed, immobilized, and one would assume, confused. Crit goes so far as to dominate the carriages will, making it hit itself (whyareyouhittingyourself carriage?). The carriage struggles, even breaking free of the effects that had been heaped on it, for a time. In the end the companions are once again victorious. The once proud carriage, and its fall, would now become a minor highlight in the party’s biographies.

In the wreckage of the remains of the pitiful carriage a pair of assault boots is found. Happily they fit Maurice.

It is now time to finish the exploration of the mansion. Heading back inside, and up a set stairs, the party stands before two closed doors. Carefully listening at one of the doors, a rustling sound can be heard from within the room. Trying the door knob and finding the door barred a voice is heard from within the room.

“Go away!”

The companions have no intention of leaving. Instead they ask the voice it knows how to get home and if it knows where they are. The questions they ask are not answered to anyone’s satisfaction.

“This is my house.”
“Why are you here? Go away!”
And, “leave me alone.”

Eventually, almost against its will, the voice agrees to help the party find their way home if they first find five books that it is looking for.

With some hopefully helpful hints as their guide the groups heads back down stairs and out the back door of the mansion where the find another book behind a statue. Their next destination is in sight, an overgrown hedge maze.

The group, for some reason, announces their presence to any within the maze, calling out loudly to any nearby enemies. Heedless of danger the party begins exploring the maze. Crit takes the lead while Ahkse and Clerical strike off on their own. The agile Zwikt climbs a hedge to better survey the maze, communicating what he sees to the party’s healer.

The party has separated, sacrificing safety in their haste to explore the maze. When the ambush comes it shouldn’t really be a surprise. Crit is grievously injured in the opening moments of the encounter, while the other party members all find themselves under assault and fighting for their lives.

There’ll Be Peace When You Are Done.

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Dream Warriors
Don't Want To Dream No More

The companions wake to find themselves lying on a dirt road. As sleep dulled senses begin to sharpen, each party member becomes aware of voices whispering to them. Long dead family members, cherished friends, and honored enemies speak of another trial to be undertaken. The gods, it seems, are not done with them. There is a warning also- The laws of the waking world do not hold true in this dream realm.

A large unnatural moon, hanging in a night sky dotted with unfamiliar stars, provides ample illumination for the surroundings. A quick survey reveals the company is standing at a “T” intersection with the northern route climbing a hill into a sparse forest. Statues with gems in their foreheads stand just off the road. These statues are immediately recognized as the same found on the groups most recent adventure. An attempt is made to remove the gems from each of the statues but this proves unsuccessful (and painful).

Venturing north along the road and up the hill the party find the road blocked and an ambush waiting for them. An archer peppers the group with arrows while figures with lupine features move towards the road from the forest. Zwikt quickly engages the archer, while Ahkse dashes towards the next closest adversary. Two of the ambushers are quickly dispatched by Clerical and Crit, while Zwikt finishes the archer. When the creature Ahkse is fighting falls it lets loose a howl filled with anguish and pain.

What seems like victory quickly reveals itself to be just the prologue to a larger engagement. The wolf-like beast had alerted nearby allies to the heroes presence with its final breath. Always ready for more Ahkse charges the new arrivals, becoming ensnared in cleverly hidden traps on the forest floor, opening himself up to attacks from the monsters in front of him. The rest of the group seeing his predicament hurries to his aid. This leaves only Offda to cover their flank against a second group of creatures appearing from the darkness of the forest. The wicked bite of the new arrivals leaves a taint on any who feel its pain.

The battle rages for some time. Maurice, thick in the melee, kills one creature and earns the attention of the beast’s comrades. At this point the heroes rally and the tide turns. By the end of the fight everyone is indebted to Clericals deft, healing hands and Crit’s quick thinking and actions.

In the aftermath it is decided a rest is needed to heal and gather strength. A restless and unsatisfying sleep is all that the companions are able to accomplish.

The bright, bloated moon still sits in the sky, unmoving. Will the party find victory while trapped under it’s perpetual gaze?

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Self Restraint
Or rather, restrained by a dark priest

Welcome back to this month’s installment of “Oh crap we’re dead! Oh wait we won again”… Last time our heroes managed to overcome a gaggle of murderous animated chains spanning Yet Another Pit of Vile Darkness, only to be confronted by a strange and dangerous Dark Priest, some archers, and some skellingtons. Naturally, the fight looked tough, and when the going gets tough, our band of adventurers gets worried.

This session resumes the battle with the Dark Priest and his dark allies, and immediately the Dark Priest starts stunning everyone with a burst of negative energy, stealing away their will to fight. To make things worse, Crit is restrained by the arrows launched from the archers in the back of the room, and poor Clerical, who is left alone with the Dark Pact Beastie, is rendered unconscious, causing him to be unable to sustain his buffs (including his much needed damage resist.) Things are not looking good…

Being the team player he is, Offda comes to the rescue and heals Clerical, giving the party a much needed boost of confidence. Adding to that, Crit crits the Dark Priest adding to the party’s increasing swagger. Not to be left out, Ahkse goes nuts, wallops the priest , charges the Dark Pact, and then charges the priest again, scoring some solid hits and eliciting a rousing cheer from the group. This boon is short lived, as the group starts to realize that melee attacks are not damaging His Darkness as much as they’d like.

Meanwhile, Offda is tanking the priest while Maurice is stunned for what seems like forever. The priest heals the Dark Pact, and sends his black swarms at Offda again, slowly sapping his strength and seemingly boundless determination. Clerical gets bitten by the Dark Pact and falls unconscious again. Zwikt, who was hanging out in the back of the room, becomes unstunned and gets ready to go apeshit.

Ahkse, thirsting for blood, again charges the Dark Priest with all his might. The Archers respond by restraining Ahkse in a corner, effectively taking him out of the battle. That jerk of a Priest keeps his swarm biting and bothering Offda, and the Skellies keep bursting and flailing anything near them for consistent, solid damage. Unfortunately for one of them, they get too close and Ahkse is able to kill it while still being restrained.

Suddenly, and without warning, Zwikt jumped over the entire battlefield, landed, and charged a skelly, doing great bodily harm to it. The Archers, meanwhile, begun pelting Ahkse with arrows. Clerical, broken and bleeding on the floor, took one step closer to death by failing a death save. Maurice is still stunned somehow. The Dark Priest again starts spewing negative energy and stunned most of the party, and then directed his swarm at Offda for good measure. Needing a new target, the Dark Pact chose Crit as she was the nearest party member, but he’s unable to harm her.

The Skellies are unable to attack, and Zwikt punishes one for it’s inaction by slaying it. Crit blasted the priest and a Skelly, which is looking vulnerable. Maurice unstunned! Can you believe it? Maurice is unstunned! I’m stunned just reading what I just typed. Zwikt lands a mighty blow and kills both the Dark Priest and the Dark Pact. Maurice kills a Skellington! He’s really in a groove now… The archers try one final time to stem the tide which is quickly turning on them by attacking Offda and Clerical, but ultimately the party is able to mop the floor with the remaining enemies and claim victory!

After throwing the final switch in this area of the dungeon, and taking a short rest, the party prepares to see if they are finally able to leave the complex, or what new way is now unblocked that they can try. As they cross the chains and head down the hallway towards the entry room, they see another kickass party not unlike themselves. Included in this kickass party are a lithe Elf woman with a rapier and wearing leather armor, a Half Orc with a massive ax and a penchant for charging, a robed Human with a brass rod and brandishing magical powers, a Minotaur with spiked armor, a battle shovel and a thirst for bug blood, a female Human with gleaming plate armor and a long sword, and a sneaky Ninja with a scimitar. Good times.

Faced with this new party, our group feebly attempts to parley (which is better than their usual attempts with is usually described as pitiful). Unfortunately talks break down when the ugly robed man with the brass rod demands the group surrender all dweomer gems. A good old fashioned donnybrook ensues between the two groups. After a few rounds of fighting, the new party falls back to the entry room, and our intrepid band of mercenaries follows them back into the room, noting that the blue force wall that was blocking the door out is no longer active. Has our group found the way out too late? Or will they dispatch this other group and earn their freedom? Tune in next time to find out.

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A Room With(out) A Pit
I guess the owners ran out of pit money...

In this episode, the group finished fighting the strange animated chains guardians in the Yet Another Vile Pit of Darkness Room without anyone succumbing to the dark pit’s vile ways. After a brief rest, they entered the next room, which appeared empty save for piles of bones and a couple of statues. Suddenly a booming voice directed the party to “Leave”. This was confusing as the party could not leave due to the shimmering blue impenetrable force field barring the front door. Offda wanted nothing to do with scurrying away, and managed to enrage/offend/taunt the owner of the voice into summoning his wrath upon the party. Soon, the rear wall of the room disappeared and a fearsome Dark Priest, and archers were visible, while skellingtons rose from the piles of bones scattered about the room. The priest sent swarms of black shadows and bugs flying to Offda, biting and stealing his soul.

The party tangled and wrangled with the priest and his minions for a while, and things were not looking good for the party… This is where we end this chapter.

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Yet Another Vile Pit of Darkness
Fun at the bottom of a pit

We left off with the group split, broken, and bleeding. There were no conscious strikers in the chamber, and the healer not able to gain entry to the room due to a large bronze sentinel blocking the doorway. Ahkse is unconscious atop a tall ledge, and there’s a razor sharp needle hedge in between him and much of the party anyway. To say things don’t look good is an understatement. Of course, you never want to count this group out until every last party member is dead (ie. not until all of their corpses have been dropped down a well)… Immediately starting off the abbreviated session, Offda wades through the sea of obstacles (including a very pointy hedge which basically mauls him) and heals Ahkse from below. Clerical and Zwikt still can’t get into the room and have to do a little dance to try and help out from the hallway. A suddenly rejuvenated Ahkse cleaves the two east ledge archers and somehow manages not to attempt a flying, jumping, and probably splatting maneuver in order to try to charge the other archers across the way.

It doesn’t take long for the party to then kill the blocking sentinel and allow Zwikt and Clerical to join in on the fun. And by fun, we’re certainly not talking about the sentinels Mind Lock aura, which is described as " definitely more annoying than fun". Not wasting any more time, Zwikt teleports up to the top of the west ledge and starts gouging the adjacent archers. Crit decides that’s the cool place to be and climbs up and attacks from side of ledge in a daring gambit which she may regret. The inanimate hedge almost kills Clerical who stepped into the room for a brief moment. Seriously, he almost died. From a hedge. A fucking hedge. It almost killed him. You can’t make this shit up.

Zwikt being Zwikt, he starts flying all over the place, stabbing, mantis clawing, chittering, et cetera. Despite his near death experience with the room’s shrub, Clerical keeps everyone healed up right nice. The final guardian falls, and there was much rejoicing. FTW!

After a brief rest, our heroes enter what can only be described as “yet another vile pit of darkness” room (YAVPoD). First and foremost, the group notices more archer statues across a yawning pit which they assume is filled with acid, spikes, razor hedges, or probably all three. And fire. Probably splinters and papercuts for good measure. The only apparent way to the other side is a set of large chains just like in the Acid Pit of Death Room (APoD). Realizing the jumping distance is not insurmountable, Maurice, Crit, and Ahkse take the leap, with Maurice and Ahkse making it to the other side, and Crit making it to the bottom of the pit without much trouble. To make matters worse, some of the chains are not inanimate, but rather living, pummeling creatures. Naturally, they swing from side to side of the pit without issue, wrap up and immobilize the party, and basically smash and drop people into the pit. Oh joy. And the archers don’t mind shooting at anyone, grabbed or not grabbed. The party is in yet another pickle, with many grabbed and dangling over the YAVPoD. Luckily Maurice hollers “Get Over Here!” to the chains and pulls all the chains to himself, breaking the grabs that they had on the rest of the party who are able to fall gently to safety on one of the ledges.

Will Crit survive the trials at the bottom of the YAVPoD? Will Ahkse somehow charge across the chains recklessly? Will Clerical enter the room? Tune in next time to find out!!!

So ends this chapter.

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Battle Royale, Round 2
Ready! Fight!

We rejoin this session having completed one round of combat between the group and several large bronze sentinels, a gaggle of skellingtons, and 2 rogues. Crit was able to sojourn to the Feywild in order to escape from being surrounded by enemies and cut off from the party. The party bravely retreated back to the room with the collapsing ceiling. With the enemies not following, the group fell back to a safer spot and was able to successfully long rest. Refreshed, invigorated, and with the scent of lilies wafting from their pantaloons, the group went back for another go at it.

After some initiative manipulation, Maurice teleports into the midst of the enemy combatants and slaps them each roughly with his sword. Not one to miss out on the fun, the shadowy Ahkse rushes in passing through enemy and stone wall alike to strike one of the rogues. Using the opportunity to take one of his standard three standard action turns, Ahkse attacks again before charging one of the skellies back in the hallway. The remainder of our merry band follows suit and begins to fight to the death. Maurice impresses with his tanking of many enemies due to being so far into the room and virtually surrounded. Clerical prays to his porcelain God, Crit happens, and Offda comes off the bench. Zwikt was never not a giant bug with a sharp spear. The enemies, of course, find all this out the hard way as they are dispatched. All the fear and doubt over the uncertainty of this battle which had lingered in the parties minds, quickly washed away. There was much rejoicing. Never again would this group fear a seemingly pitched battle, I can assure you of that!

After a brief respite, the group double checked their maps, decided they had fully explored this section of dungeon, and returned to the still-magical-field-blocked entrance to find the other, previously locked door now unlocked. After some tentative door checking, knob turning, and door slowly opening, the group discovered a short hallway to the east which soon widened and turned to the North, continuing out of sight.

Following this new hallway, the group noticed two large doors to the North and another door leading East. The eastern door was unlocked, while the two large doors to the North were not. Suspecting yet another lever lay behind the door to the East, the group warily peered into the room. They were able to see several large Bronze statues, which looked dissimilar to the ones they had been fighting, as well as a large black unnatural looking hedge full of razor sharp needles barring easy entry to the southern portion of this large room. This southern portion contained two high ledges with granite statues, and more Bronze Statues. Luckily, a lever in the Eastern wall was easily accessible without traversing the spiky hedge. After a moment’s deliberation, Crit, Offda and Maurice decided to enter and check out the lever.

Cautiously, the three entered the chamber, and positioned themselves near the lever. With no signs of life or opposition, Crit decided to pull the lever. Immediately, however, several of the statues sprung to life, ready to defend this chamber against the intruders. The large sentinel statues began hammering at their foes, pushing them into the needle hedge. Ahkse was able to rush to one of the ledges and climb up, but was absolutely devastated by arrow fire from the archers on both ledges, and was quickly rendered unconscious. Zwikt and Clerical were blocked from the room by one of the large, seemingly unpushable sentinels, and Clerical took some mighty blows as well.

At this point, the group is split, broken and bleeding, and has no conscious strikers in the chamber. The healer cannot reach the unconscious Ahkse, and basically things have gone to hell in a hand basket. Whatever happens next may well dictate the fate of our intrepid heroes.

So ends this chapter.

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Battle Royale
Ready! Fight!

After a whole lot of high fives following the trial by acid room, the group took a long rest to prepare for the horrors they were sure were coming next. Crit remembered the large crystal dweomer pendants suspended from the ceiling over the acid fog, and convinced Zwikt to fly up and snatch them. He was able to do so without much trouble, and the group marveled at the size of the things. “We are so getting paid” they all thought in unison.

Since Ahkse had pulled the lever in the acid room prior to pulling his mad jump charge stunt, the group guessed correctly the next door would be open down the long south hallway. Entering the now unlocked door, the group saw a menagerie of baddies in the form of 4 Guardians, 2 Shadows, and 3 Skellingtons. Ready! Fight!

Without hesitation, Maurice and Ahkse charge into the melee, which resulted in Maurice being completely surrounded by marked enemies. Not a bad start for the tanks. Blow by bloody blow, he was slowly beaten bloodied, however, but thanks to some timely heals by Crit and Offda, he was in good shape and ready for round two.

The fight was complicated by an unstable ceiling which begun collapsing in random sections on the monsters and party alike. Between the rubble from the collapse, immobilization from the enemies, and the black shifting sands conjured by the guardians, the groups movements were hampered making the donnybrook more difficult. Not too difficult for our fearless troupe of adventuring heroes, of course, but difficult nonetheless.

At the end of the fray, with the party standing victorious, the group begun moving to a safer spot outside the room and it’s weak ceiling. Zwikt, however, was caught in another collapse, and found himself immobilized and near death. With most of the party moving to safety, Offda thinking quickly, throws Zwikt a rope from his canvas sack, but Zwikt was able to save vs immobilized and make his own proud way out of the room unassisted.

To the south of the room, a door led further into the dungeon towards certain peril. This time, the peril took the form of skellingtons, shadows, and a large bronze sentinel resembling a titanesque statue. Not wanting to be blocking yet another room from the rest of the party, Offda opens the door and charges in to begin the battle, but the rockfall in the previous room strikes unrelentingly at the remainder of the party before they can join him.

Despite their best intentions, Offda becomes yet another logjam at the room’s entrance. Again Ahkse and Maurice use their phasing and teleportation powers to gain access to the interior of the room, not to mention the thick of the scrum. A slow battle of attrition ensues, with party members immobilized and dazed frequently. While daunting, the large sentinel does not pack as much of a wallop as imagined.

Again we find our heroes emerging victorious, yet fatigued, and a well-earned rest is taken, after which the ceremonial pulling of the newest lever commences. This gains the group access to another locked door, this time East of the rockfall room.

A hallway south past the now unlocked door leads to a new room full of 2 of the large bronze Sentinels, a couple of skellies, and 2 rogues. Crit gains initiative and runs in only to get quickly blocked in by enemies, leaving her no choice but to go on one of her Feywild Sojourns to go talk to some bunnies or sparrows or something. With skellies and guardians choking the hallway, our intrepid heroes fall back to rockfall room hoping to fight on better ground.

End of round 1. So ends this session

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