An Empress Betrayed, Episode 5.

“Hey! Get back here! Stop doing that! You little menace! No – awww, that was my favorite vase. Let GOOOOO!

The party burst through the door. Allbright was in his pajamas. The old grey wizard’s hair was swinging wildly as he waved his hands around, swatting. A hundred or so furry creatures swarmed about him like a cloud, picking up every small object they could find and dropping it on him. A crowbar lay next to an open barrel marked “Flying MonkeyBats”. A cuddly animal picked up the crowbar.

“Hep. Need some Hep! A littlehp. Ow, that’s gonna leave a mark.

This week’s session was heavy with role play, in conversations between the PC’s and Abott Pelthanis of the Brotherhood of light, Allbright the Mentor of Afton, General G’uren, and an Acid Spitting Irridescent Ooze (and its BudLings)… Pelthanis tells the PCs that there are brethren within his clergy that are scholars, and these would be the best candidates to hire for searching the Great Library for information. So the party ponies up the gold pieces, and five trusted sages head off to the library, each one searching for a different topic. Just in case they are spied upon, two of the five are given ‘red herring’ subjects to look up. The other three are looking for information about the feather piece found at the crime scene, gargoyle dust and its uses, and who would legally be the next in line to the throne. We should have an answer in about three days. (Whoops, the party forgot to research the ceremony with two left-footed steps. Oh well, maybe next time…)

Meanwhile, back at the hideout, the group discusses the fact that General G’uren admitted to blacking out for 15 minutes the night of the crime. He does not remember where he went or what he did. Hmm… Perhaps interviewing the guards that were on duty that night would reveal more clues. The party talks about this as they install the new security system in their lair. A flaming jet trap, poison needles, and a false door.

Then the group travels outside the city to the tower of the infamous Allbright, elder human wizard. He is Afton’s Mentor. Upon arriving, the group knocks on the wooden door. Inside, they hear yelling. They burst through the door just in time to grab their 20 siders and start a skill challenge: put the monkeybats back into the barrel. Unfortunately, Dear Reader, the Dice Gods frowned on the PCs that dark night, and the group only succeeded in wrangling about 50 of the 100 little critters. Drat.

Allbright was chipper and daft as ever, as he explained to the heroes that the feather was definitely of Elvin origin. Then he sold the group a Pool of Scrying for their secret hideout, so that they could keep tabs on it while they are away. Next, the PCs explain that they are on a quest to acquire gargoyle dust. The old wizard totters over to his shelves, brushes the dust off some of the labels on the cork-topped bottles, and pulls one off the shelf. “Fresh Out!” he exclaims, as he pops the top off a container marked ‘Gargoyle Dust‘. “I’ll give you 500 gold if you can manage to fill this container and bring it back to me. The stuff comes in handy every hundred years or so.” The group then decides that teleporting closer to their destination through a ‘Ladder’ (aka Magic Circle) would be easier than a week on horseback (each way). Allbright shows them his own personal magic circle, and away they go…

Coin Pile

Coin Pile

The PCs find themselves in a forest, within sight of a beautiful waterfall. A successful Nature check from Delsior reveals three sets of humanoid tracks leading from the forest into the waterfall. The heroes plunge through the wall of falling water, and step through the secret entrance to a forgotten lair…

As the heroes peered around the corner, they gasped in delight. In front of them was a treasure pile, filled with gleaming weapons, glowing armor, and golden coins. Smiling to each other, they stepped forward. Afton held her staff aloft, whispering the keyword that would cause the crystal to glow brightly. A gruesome scene causes them to look away in horror. The bodies of two kobolds lay half eaten – no, half digested in the corner of the room. Rats were nibbling on what was left. (Each character needed to have a minimum CON score or lose their lunch.)

“Wait. Wasn’t there three sets of tracks?” Delsior mumbled aloud. Just then he looks up, darting to the side, then rolling in to a graceful tumble. “Guys, look ooooouuuuuuut!”

Valcora and Afton watched the nimble Satyr, their jaws slack. “What the-” was all that could be heard as a gigantic Irridescant Ooze detached itself from the ceiling and fell, smothering the pair. The glistening skull of a kobold stuck out of it, heckling the party with its silent grin. Delsior sighed. “The Dice Gods are quite unkind to us tonight, aren’t they?”

“Mrph!”

Mrph!

Mrph!

Long story made short, the party hacked the ooze to pieces – literally. Each time the ooze was reduced to three-quarters hit points, then half hit points, then a quarter hit points, a budling minion emerged. Valcora stood right in the creature’s face (does an ooze have a face???) and hacked away at it visciously. She also took the most damage and had to use Delsior’s healing aura twice. She also used her spellscar ability to Daze the enemy, then move away, giving the party a moment to regroup. Afton blasted the minions with a lightning bolt and killed both of them in one shot. After the battle, the party managed to loot 81 gold each, plus a Magic Sword, Magic Cloak, and a Magic Shield. That should come in handy.

Next week, the party will move forward through the catacombs, and enter the Forgotten Cathedral, looking for a few teaspoons of Gargoyle Dust. All this trouble, just to save the petrified Brelia, Empress of Sarpadia…

I made these out of sculpting clay.

I made these out of sculpting clay.

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