Society's Demise

Synopsis for Session 8

1-13-14

insert in game date here

With such a dire warning from Engmar and the strange other worldly powers at work around us we wasted no more time. We crossed town with haste and reentered the glass works. Past the goblin corpses and the grisly scene from two days before, down the stairs into the darkness. The basement remained as we left it. Crossing to the far corner and down the darkened hallway with the cell that had held Amiko.
Further and further into the dark bowels of the smugglers tunnel. Then coming around a corner we began to see architecture. Morgrym held up his hand signalling us to halt. He leaned over to inspect the cut of the wall. He ran his fingers up and down it and even licked it once. Strange dwarves I thought as I shook my head. He turned to us, “It’s not natural. This was carved out by humanoids of some kind.”
Continuing forward we could see into a grotto that curved around to our right. The tunnel continued forward to a junction. Morgrym scouted ahead and I entered into the grotto. It swung around to my left narrowing to a point behind a small bench. I sensed something wasn’t right. There were bones scattered around the dusty floor and some kind of stain upon the bench.
Without anymore warning a Sin Spawn lept out from behind the bench his claws extended for my throat. Rolling backward I was able to avoid it’s initial attack and give my companions time to come to my aid. Helmdal standing in the tunnel portal was closest and rushed forward swinging his morningstar over his head. He slammed his weapon into the demonic imp knocking it backward. It’s blood dripped to the floor steaming.
Kiko followed quickly behind him, twirling a glowing red glaive through the air. Kiko lashed out with the enchanted weapon, but the Sin Spawn spun to the side narrowly avoiding the attack. It did not however, dodge the butt of the war hammer being swung by Morgrym. Ribs of the beast audibly cracked. Solemn’s eidolon came into the room and scuttled between everyone’s feet, but missed the spawn with an ill timed bite.
Pushing off with my feet I was able to get my legs underneath me. I drew my sword and waited for my chance. Noticing it’s predicament, the spawn slashed his claws around in circles trying to keep us from surrounding him. Helmdal reacted slowly, and the claws raked down his arm. Solemn was next into the room, moving to his eidolon’s left side keeping the Spawn from moving up.
Yu unable to provide much martial assistance in such close quarters guards our back and stands guard at the tunnel’s junction preventing us from being surprised. Helmdal swung his morningstar wide and used his controlled momentum to carry him back and away from the creature. Kiko also missed with his glaive leaving little red scorch lines on the floor. Morgrym swung downward with his hammer, the Spawn expected the attack and twisted to his right.
Morgrym used the downward momentum and tucked him legs underneath him. He rolled past the Spawn, who narrowly missed with his claws, and took up a stance behind the beast preventing it from retreating further. The eidolon stepped forward to bite the Spawn, but instead jumped to the side as it tried to slam it’s clawed feet down on the shadow.
Seeing my opening I stabbed out with my longsword, but merely nicked the beast. It tried to bite my neck in response , but I was able to easily avoid it. Solemn adopting his usual strategy, left the room to provide Yu with backup at the tunnel junction. Yu told Solemn to remain at the junction and moved back into the room and cast cure light wounds on Helmdal.
Feeling reinvigorated Helmdal attempted to flank the Spawn to the right, but did not move fast enough and the Spawn scampered around his attack. Surrounded, and busy avoiding Helmdal’s attack, the Spawn did not see Kiko, as he sliced downward flaying open the skin along it’s back. The Spawn howled with rage as more of it’s lifeblood spilled out steaming on the floor. Morgrym missed the Spawn again swinging horizontally and cracking his hammer against the right wall.
As the Spawn ducked to avoid the devastating attack, it found itself at eye level with the eidolon. In such a position it was not surprising the eidolon bit the Spawn’s face blinding it. It stood up screaming, clawed hands holding its face, blood seeping through the fingers. I impaled the beast through the gut trying to finish it off, but failing. While face to face with it, I could feel it’s teeth seeking my jugular, but not finding purchase. I shoved it back against the wall and away from me.
Yu took a vial of holy water from his robes and threw it at the Spawn, but succeeded in only spattering the wall with faith. Solemn continued his vigil at the tunnel’s junction. Helmdal, thinking quickly, changed his morningstar into a hammer and slammed it against my swords hilt. The move drove the Spawn against the wall, and into it transforming my longsword into a nail. Pinned to the wall like a fly, the Spawn convulsed and with a last gurgle of black blood expired.
A smoky mist flowed out from around the longsword and seeped into the floor. The skin and meat of the beast shriveled and decayed quickly. The body eventually collapsed into a meat pile upon the floor. We all stared at the body in silence. No more sounds could be heard around us. Finally releasing our collective breath we each exchanged knowing glances and began moving back toward the tunnel. I stepped forward over the decaying flesh and worked the hilt of my sword up and free from the rock. Inspecting it for cracks I could find nothing and followed my companions from the room. Moving up to the junction we decided to split up. Solemn, his eidolon, Helmdal, and Kiko went down the right tunnel. Yu, Morgrym, and myself continued straight ahead.
After about twenty feet we came upon a statue in the middle of another junction with passage ways straight and to the right again. The statue was humanoid, but I couldn’t make out what kind of species. In it’s hands it held a Ranseur with a vicious blade. Yu stepped forward and reached up to the hand holding the weapon. He flexed his dwarfish muscles and crumbled the statue’s hand into dust. He deftly caught the falling polearm, and with a flourish swung it around a bit.
With a nod of satisfaction to himself, he put up his cudgel and wielded the ranseur. A door blocked the junction’s straight ahead exit. Morgrym ran up and threw his shoulder against it knocking it backward and down. We found ourselves in an old dungeon. We stood upon a raised platform along the left wall. Down below us were the individual cells along the outside of central floor area. To the right of us stairs led down to the floor.
We worked our way along the wall and began to descend the stairs. As Morgrym and I reached the halfway point of the stairs, two Sin Spawns crawled out from underneath them and beset upon us from the sides. The one who attacked me however did not see Yu still standing on the landing. He swung his ranseur down, but off balance as he was missed his chance.
The Sin Spawn responded to the attack and slashed his claws across Yu’s legs drawing blood. Morgrym swung his war hammer around and down, bashing the second Spawn on his cranium. Fangs skittered across the floor, jarred loose from the force of the blow. Seeing that Spawn dazed, I cleaved my longsword downward puncturing the Spawn’s shoulder and carving out a hunk of flesh.
Blood spurted along the blade and into the air. Everyone whom had taken the other direction of the junction could hear our struggle and began to move to our aid. The injured Sin Spawn reached up and grazed my hip with his claws tearing out a tuft of fur, but caused no further damage. Solemn’s eidolon entered the room unnoticed with the fight going on.
The first Sin Spawn, still engaged with Yu, tried to bite the dwarf’s ankles, but couldn’t quite reach the lip of the ledge with his mouth. Morgrym and myself continued our mutual assault on the second of the Spawns, but succeeding in only keeping it on the defensive. By then Helmdal had entered the room, and having readied his crossbow fired. The bolt flew true and skewered the neck of the Spawn me and Morgrym had already wounded. The bolt remained lodged in the neck of the beast, blood and smoke roiling from the wound. With a gasp the Spawn fell to the floor.
Across the room, the eidolon chose that very moment to pounce upon the first of the Sin Spawn and biting it’s exposed torso viciously. The spawn thrashed back and forth, but the eidolon remained clamped on the beast’s belly. Solemn began jumping up and down in some kind of happy dance. Kiko stepped into the room, and struck downward with his electrically charged glaive. The blade discharged itself down into the Spawn locking it’s muscles in place with arcing energy.
Recovered from the blow the Spawn scrapped off the eidolon and leaps up attempting to flay Kiko alive. The eidolon tried but failed to bite the Spawn’s hand when it was in range. The Spawn for all it’s effort could not generate enough upward thrust to penetrate Kiko’s armor.
Morgrym, smelling blood and the end of the beast, charged across the room in a power attack. The Spawn had time to see the attack coming and dodged to the side. I could not find a spot close to the Spawn to strike, so decided to rummage through some of the other cells. I could sense magic somewhere in the room, but could not pinpoint it’s location.
Yu bonked the Spawn on the head braining the creature. The eidolon hit the floor running and clamped it’s needle sharp teeth into the Spawn’s achilles. Solemn jumped to the floor and mumbling some magic words, enchanted his eidolon with magic fangs increasing the familiar’s tenacity. Kiko missed his second thrust at the beast. In a last desperate attempt to hurt someone, the Spawn tried to slice the cleric’s ankles but failed.
Morgrym, from behind the creature, bashed down on it’s skull and knocked out the Spawn. I scrambled upon the beast and pinned it to the ground. We woke it up, but it would not tell us anything. With a bloody swish and a thin splatter of blood, Kiko separated it’s head from it’s shoulders.
In the aftermath of the clash, we investigated the room. We found bones in some of the cells, and with a lil arcane scrutiny were able to pinpoint the magical emanations to preservation spells on the wood and metal of the various manicals. We continued deeper into the lab through the only other door in the room along the right wall. Down another hallway we went.
Another door was set along the right wall. Morgrym approached and turned the pulled it open. A chamber lay revealed ahead of us. It was covered with seven pointed stars painted in blood along the walls, floor, and ceiling. A desk stood in the middle of the room covered with log books and papers. Solemn, upon closer inspection of the symbols determined them to be originated from something other than planar magic.
Kiko began to flip through the books to discover what sort of malfeasance was afoot. He fails to be able to decipher their contents. Along the back of the room there were three doors. Helmdal checked the first of them and found a monstrous misshapen skull inside. He appraised it for two silver at least due to its uniqueness. Morgrym kicked down the second one and found bone slivers littering the floor but not much else.
Helmdal stepped over to the third one and opened it finding more misshapen remains of some sort of creature. Kiko gathered the bones from each of the chambers and made a pile on the floor. Reaching into his robes he brought out a stoppered beaker of acid. He removed the stopper and pour the acid on the bones. The smoked, but were not consumed. In fact, they appeared cleaner than they did before.
Morgrym then used his disintegration method. He pulverized them into dust with his hammer. That done we exited the room and continued down the hallway. It eventually opened up into a torture chamber. Medieval racks in the corners of the room, old and new bloodstains on the floor. It hadn’t been too long since the room had been used last. Looking past the bloody carnage we could see another door leading further in. On the other side we could hear moans and a lot of movement.
We all moved over to it. Morgrym, with a smile on his face, raced forward and slammed his shoulder into the door. It’s hinges broke off and it flew into the next room. Morgrym continued his forward momentum and jumped atop the door as it slid down some steps. He rode it down them like he was riding a mountain sled.
The rest of us emptied into the room. Across from us and beyond the bottom of the stairs stood a hissing three armed goblin. It rushed toward us, it’s neck expanding out as it came closer. When it reached the bottom of the steps it opened it’s mouth in a roar, but instead puked blood up at us. Thankfully we were all able to avoid it’s shoddy aim. Everywhere the blood landed smoke steamed upward, and I could smell the tang of acid upon the air.
I nocked an arrow and let fly but missed my mark wide. The goblin lashed out at me with one of it’s arms but I deftly avoided the blow. Kiko chanted some words under his breath and imbued Morgrym with inner strength. Shining with an inner glow, Morgrym steps forward swinging his hammer over his head and dealt a devastating blow to the goblin’s back.
Emitting a keening screech the goblin turns to engage with Morgrym. As he does so though, he missed Helmdal as he moved around to the goblin’s left flank. From there he let fly with a crossbow bolt which sailed true into the goblin’s side. The eidolon lunged down the stairs attempting to bite the goblin, but failed. Helmdal from his spot in the room was able to locate the source of the moaning to be wooden blocks scattered around the room. They seemed to be covering some kind of holding pens.
Solemn readied his rapier in a guard. I was able to hit the goblin in the back with another arrow, but still missed his vital organs. The goblin rushed toward me and tried to throw me atop a wooden block, but my build was too much for him and he stumbled backwards. Yu sliced along the goblin’s flank with his ranseur drawing more blood. Morgrym closed with the goblin and grappled with it. Able to grab ahold of his adversary, Morgrym flung the goblin through the air.
It landed atop a wooden block and cracked it. It continued to hold however. The eidolon crawled atop the same wooden block and cracked it more, but still failed to shatter it. Helmdal loosed a second bolt, but failed to strike the goblin. Solemn stabbed out with his rapier, but also failed to score a hit. I rushed directly at the goblin and jumped. I soared overhead the foul being and loosed an arrow point blank into the block beneath it. As my shaft slammed home and split the block apart dropping the goblin downward, I landed on my feet on the other side of the hole.
Immediately the goblin screamed. His sounds of pain were cut short; however, with the sound of snapping bone and ripping flesh. Yu cast a spell upon my sword, filling it with white light. I held it out over the darkness. It revealed to Helmdal’s eyes the sight of a ghoul feasting upon the flesh of the goblin. Leaving this scene behind us we entered the last door which led us to a dead end and a stout wooden door. I was able to hear crackling on the other side.
Ever one to avoid patience, Morgrym charged this door and it swung open easily. So easily in fact, he continued forward and up into the center of the room. He levitated there suspended from the ground. Yu and Kiko working together were able to figure out that the floating was caused by a modified levitation spell that seemed to be attached to the room itself.
Kiko more closely examined the crackling red metal inlaid into the stone walls around us. He noticed a particular thickness and strong bond that allowed the magic to travel more freely about the room, hence the crackling. Not used to being so high above the ground Morgrym began to look sick, but did not vomit. Free floating around the room were various objects.
Helmdal entered to grab a floating wine bottle. Kiko an ancient prayer book for demons. He handed the book to Yu, whom was able to translate it. Turned out to be from our enemy Lemashtu, a bestiary of his minions. Kiko grabbed another piece of parchment which turned out to be a scroll of burning hands. Helmdal, takes one of the last two items, a wand of shocking grasp.
He investigated the last item, a dead raven, but could find nothing special about the creature. Yu cast a spell of understanding upon Kiko allowing him to interpret the rage and threatened revenge scrawled upon the wall face. We doubled back to the statue that the more artistically inclined of our party informed me was a woman. We took the other passageway from this junction and came into a wide open room. On the left side of the room was a pool of crystal clear water.
Suddenly from the depths of the pool arose a monster with a wide open eye. Behind the eye splayed out leathery wings dripping water. Beneath it’s huge single eye was a maw gaping with needle sharp teeth. It appeared to be smiling. It was a Varguille. With a flap of it’s wings it rose from the ground and engaged us.
First to act was the eidolon, jumping up and clamping it’s jaws onto thin air as the Varguille gained altitude. While the demon was busy with my companions, I moved along the right flank and quietly began to tie one end of my rope to the haft of an arrow. The Varguille swooped low trying to get a bite of the eidolon but missed. Helmdal fired a crossbow bolt into the beast’s thick hide. It lodged there but didn’t seem to slow it down.
Morgrym, acting as selflessly as dwarves do, ran toward the foul thing and grabbed a hold of it’s legs. Hauling downward with great strength he was able to wrestle it to the ground. Solemn from the doorway once again cast magic fang upon the eidolon. Kiko and Yu both moved into the room’s corners from the hallway and readied themselves to strike when an opening presented itself.
Now that the Varguille was at eye level to it the eidolon had no trouble tearing a chunk out of its leathery skin, it’s fangs dripping black blood. Finally prepared, I yelled for everyone to look out and fired my make shift anchor chain at the creature. My arrow pierced the wings and held firm. I hauled backward with all my strength keeping it upon the ground. Responding to this violation the Varguille emitted a high pitched keen. The force of the sound froze several of us where we stood.
Helmdal and Solemn were only grazed by the wail and so did not take the full brunt of the scream. I was standing directly in the sounds path and such pain filled my head I cannot describe it. The pain of the blow froze me in place. Morgrym, unaffected by the wail, swung his war hammer with enough force to shatter rock and planted the head of his weapon directly into the Varguille’s central eye cutting short the sonic blast.
Kiko finished his spell and released a bright, burning flash towards the creature, his spell however missed and managed to char the wall behind it. Yu moved into a better position to provide group backup in case we needed it. The eidolon moved in closer and tried to bite the Varguille, but couldn’t find adequate purchase. The Varguille skritched it’s high pitched wail again slamming the sonic attack into Kiko and Helmdal at full force, the eidolon received a glancing blow.
Morgrym, seeing us all frozen in place, becomes enraged, swinging his war hammer down with great force. The blow landed above the eye. Bones could be heard snapping under the hammer’s force. Solemn, finally shaking off the effects of the wail, readied his crossbow. Yu, thinking smartly, stuffed his ears with fabric.
Then the Vaguille did something unexpected. It scrambled across the ground and tried to give the frozen Kiko a kiss. Kiko was able to avoid the diseased lips, crab walking backward from the Varguille and my rope holding it at bay. Morgrym finished his grisly work breaking open the Varguille’s eye with the butt end of his war hammer. Puss poured from the wound and all over the floor. With the Varguille’s death we were able to move again, all of us.
The tunnel ended at another dead end past the pool of water. Once again we doubled back to the only tunnel left to explore. At the first junction where we had originally split up. The members of our group that had already gone this way said they found an obsidian altar stained with blood and a large door blocking further egress. We found the room much as they left it.
The altar had some sort of brackish water inside a sunken bowl atop it. Solemn instructed his eidolon to drink from the bowl to see it’s effects. Almost immediately the eidolon began to vomit the stinking liquid back up smoking upon the floor. Needing no further evidence of the foul deeds committed upon the altar we moved on to investigate the door.
Helmdal checked thoroughly for traps and finding none gave us the go ahead to open it. We pulled open the door and Morgrym rushed inside looking for an enemy. The room had the look of a cathedral used for dark magic purposes. We could all see our breath as the room was far colder than the rest of the labs. Here truly evil deeds had been done.
A female demon blinked into existence up upon the pulpit, wings splayed wide behind her. Looking at all of us in turn she smiled. Then screamed at us and flourishing a knife, slit her wrists letting her black blood flow down and into another altar bowl beneath her. Solemn attempted to reason with her, but she merely laughed in his face. She refused to reveal her name to us and with another shriek magic flew out of her and pooled upon the ground. Black ooze rose from the spot and coalesced into another Sin Spawn.
With a final cackle she said, “You will fall to the minions of Erylium!” Then she vanished. Helmdal, having held back behind us all, slunk into the room and around the side. He loosed a volley from stealth at the Sin Spawn and lodged an arrow into it’s backside. The eidolon rushed forward and missed biting the spawn’s leg. Erylium, sensing that Kiko can find her when she is invisible with his magic sensing aura, becomes enraged and summons a demon wolf.
Solemn, thinking quickly, attempts to thwart her summoning with a counterspell, but her magic is too strong and it fails. I threw my ink bottle at Erylium’s feet in an attempt to follow her movements when she is invisible. I met with dubious success. Meanwhile, the Sin spawn attempted to slash Morgrym with his claws only to meet the haft of his warhammer. The wolf lunged at my throat, but I neatly scampered out of the reach of his teeth.
Yu finally entered the room ready to help any of the injured. Morgrym advanced upon the laughing witch atop the altar, but took a swipe from the Sin Spawn’s claws in the process. He swung his hammer with a mighty strike for the witch, but she blinked out and back in to existence dodging the blow. Solemn, tried to fire a crossbow bolt into the Sin Spawn’s back when it was turned, but failed his aim untrue.
Helmdal, taking advantage of the distraction provided by Morgrym, fired his own bolt toward the witch taking her in the leg. She keened in pain. Kiko slammed his glaive into the also distracted Sin Spawn penetrating deep into it’s natural armor. The eidolon ganged up on the Sin Spawn as well biting off it’s toe. Erylium, sensing her danger, cast a stronger than normal fear spell upon us and took flight. I missed her with my next arrow.
The wolf continued to try to close with me. I ducked and zagged dodging each of it’s blows deftly. Yu moved toward the altar to try some sort of holy purging, but the Sin Spawn reacted quickly and slashed him while he past. Having a break in the fighting, Morgrym pulled out a health pot from his robes and drank it quickly, wiping the excess from his scraggly beard. Solemn, ever a poor shot, misses the Spawn with his next bolt.
Kiko continued his assault upon the Sin Spawn, ravaging the beast’s arm. Solemn’s eidolon ran away from combat taking attacks of opportunity from our assailants. Erylium vanished from view during the scrum. Turning to the wolf I fired point blank into it’s side drawing first blood with my attacker. The Sin Spawn pissed at our success, ducked under Kiko’s guard and clamped his jaws onto the mage’s side. Blood flowed from around the teeth hot and gushing.
The wolf tried to trip me, swiping at my legs, but I jumped over the feeble attempt. Yu poured his silver into the basin. His try to purify the water there failed ;however, due to the strength of the dark magic there. Morgrym changed his target back to the Sin Spawn again and with a series of blows, broke through it’s defenses and brained it upside the head. Solemn fired his crossbow from across the room and nicked the wolf’s underside causing little damage. His eidolon continued to run in fear out of the room while everyone exchanged blows with their opponents, none gaining the upper hand.
Erylium reappeared then and cast a hold spell upon Morgrym. Morgrym’s hardiness saved him preventing the spell from taking effect. Closing with the wolf, I jumped and kicked off the wall somersaulting over the hulking beast. At the apex of my leap I shot an arrow downward directly through it’s spine and pinned it to the floor. Across the room the Sin Spawn still clashed and swiped Helmdal viciously gouging his hip.
Yu tried to slash upward and hit Erylium, but failed to score a hit. Morgrym once again advanced on the witch, taking a glancing blow from the Spawn, but missing with his own attack hitting only air with his blow. Solemn tried to daze the Witch, but she resisted his magic. Helmdal finished off the Sin Spawn with another bolt through the back which pierced through it’s rib cage and with a grunt of pain it fell dead where it stood.
Kiko flourished his glaive upward in Erylium’s direction but she leaned aside easily avoiding the blow. The eidolon continued to flee down the tunnel away from his fear. The Witch tried to take control of Kiko’s mind with a spell but he denied her. I shot another arrow at the demon and penetrated her shoulder armor drawing her ire. Yu unnoticed upon the altar cast animate rope and brought his piece to life. Like a lash vine back home, it struck out with aim straight and true, wrapping itself around one of Erylium’s legs and holding her fast in position.
In anger Erylium threw her dagger at Yu, trying to break his concentration, but only scratched him. Morgrym pulled back his hammer for a killing blow, but threw himself off- balance and fell on his behind with a crash. Solemn again attempted to cast Daze, this time inflicting a distracting pain upon Erylium. Not used to a non- moving target, Helmdal missed his mark with another bolt. Kiko charged his glaive with electricity and with a cry thrust it into Erylium. The magic had no effect, she was apparently immune, but the blade did and cut her deeply causing more blood loss.
After that the rest of the fight was cleanup, we exchanged blows back and forth and the eidolon ran so far away that Solemn lost control of it due to fear. We all connected with various attacks wearing down the vile Witch. With a clang of finality I pierced her through the heart and pinned her to the back wall. More of the sickly smoke drifted out from her body and sank into the floor. A floor that seemed to be whispering to us as we trod upon it. Kiko and Solemn investigated the runes upon the walls and found more hatred and revenged painted in the grisly tableau.
Solemn summoned another eidolon and had it investigate the waters upon the altar. They poisoned it, it writhed in agony in it’s death throes, a dark magic upon it the likes I have never seen. Taking a flask, Helmdal tried to collect some of the vile liquid thinking it a possible boon in later adventures. Alas it evaporated his flask as if it were made of paper and dangled over a fire.
With the tunnel laboratory cleared of tangible evil, if not the taint left behind by it’s experiences and occupants, we left to return to the surface.

(End of Session)

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