[Since Adren’s player couldn’t make it I thought to write this up in a timely fashion while the details were fresh. With Longbreath rolling for Adren I expected fewer crits but if anything there were more! It just proves it’s the character who is lucky, not player.]
Before resuming their exploration, the party needed to figure out what to do with the wicked great axe. Biatch was torn—the axe was powerful but she would feel really bad if it turned her evil and killed her new-found friends. “Might as well get this over with,” she thought.
She tightly gripped the axe trying to overcome the fear and slight nausea. It was too much. She put the axe down. Again she would run from her fear—like when the halfling children threw small rocks at her when she grew to be too large, and later when the halfling adults threw not-so-small rocks at her.
“NO!” She picked the axe up. “Not this time!” She welcomed the fear and rode it like a wave. The stronger the terror built within her, the tighter she gripped the axe. When it reached a crescendo she knew it was over. She had beaten it though now she was emotionally exhausted. The axe still felt uneasy but it would not rule her. Later she would find she could channel that fear into her enemies.
The rest of the party looked on, not knowing the internal struggle taking place. Finally Biatch said, “I’m ready. Let’s go.”
In the next room they found an Eviscero demon trapped in a force cage. While they looked for a release lever, a wererat entered the room and said words to free the cage. The party was in a defensive formation and had no trouble dispatching the demon while the wererat watched. When the result was clear the ratman disappeared down the hall.
“Is everyone okay?” asked Donar. The affirmative was unanimous, everyone was undamaged. “What about that scratch, Longbreath?” Someone snidely remarked, “Compared to Longbreath’s typical wounds, that is undamaged.”
So they cautiously crept down the corridor and flung open the doors at the end. The room was revealed to be a small temple with the focus at the far end a large obsidian obelisk dedicated to Vecna that sucked the torchlight from the room. The wererat stood next to the obelisk.
“Archers take aim!” commanded Longbreath as he drew his hand crossbow. Donar grimaced and stepped closer to compensate for his poor skill. He always thought bows were a bit dishonorable.
After taking a few arrows, the wererat transformed into a dire rat and scurried behind the obelisk.
Longbreath took charge. “Let’s go get him but watch for an ambush. Biatch, you are on point.”
Biatch entered the room. “Nothing behind these first pews. Nothing behind … oh no!”
Three dire rats pounced from behind the pews biting and clawing while a goblin arcanist threw spells to daze and blind.
There was a tense moment while Biatch was surrounded but the party was able to beat down the rats. When the battle was clearly going wrong for the goblin he teleported out the door and started to run down the hall.
“Get him Adren!”
Elves are like cats. They spend most of their time relaxing in a sunbeam or watching butterflies. But when they spot prey they become the fiercest of predators.
While summoning his adrenaline Adren let loose the arrows aimed at the remaining wererat. It caught between the spinal cord and skull rendering the rat all but dead.
Adren then prepared another arrow while leaping over pews to sight the fleeing arcanist. His archer trained eyes zoomed in. His arrow stuck true in the goblin’s hamstring, crippling him. [DM’s note: Split the Tree critical for over 50 damage]
With the enemies dispatched, the party found 2 of the Brindol artifacts leaning against the obelisk.
More exploration revealed a room with another prisoner, the boy Thurann. After freeing him Longbreath tried to explain that Thurann’s father was dead. Thurann didn’t believe it and tried to flee the dungeon alone but Donar caught and calmed him.
Thurann knew where “the witch” was being held past the rage drakes. The party thought this would give Donar a chance to redeem himself from his previous encounter although Donar felt there was nothing to redeem.
Opening the doors revealed the large room littered with rubble and carpeted with mushroom and peat. Elan felt winded so she stayed back with Thurann. The rest carefully entered the room until a shrieking mushroom was disturbed.
“The drakes know we are here now,” Longbreath said stomping the mushroom. “Fan out and find where they are hiding.”
No sooner had he finished his sentence when a drake charged him with a ferocious double claw attack as another drake charged Biatch.
“I’ll handle this one. The rest of you take the other one. Let us see who triumphs first,” said Longbreath in an attempt at self-motivation. All dragonborn are motivated by a challenge and as such Longbreath put on an impressive display, nearly slaying his foe in the same time that all four party members took to take the other drake.
In the next room they found an old woman trapped in some sort of magic field. “Get me out of here!” she cried. “If you don’t free me right this instant I will turn you all into toads!”
Wary of gnomes in shadows Longbreath asked, “Is the room clear? Are any enemies hiding there?”
“Does it look like it? Stop wasting time and GET ME OUT!”
Elan stepped into the room. Or did she fey-step? Sometimes it is difficult to tell. Examining the circle she said something like, “How unwise it would be to touch that field. Millions of jewels flow through it and the jolt would be unpleasant or worse. But wait. When I give the signal slow down time to see the break. Pay attention to the locus where the triangle conjoins with the circumscription.”
Only Adren understood how to slow down time. When Elan lifted her little finger Adren focused on the triangle within the circle with such intensity that time seemed to slow. He saw one pulse travel around the triangle and another around the circle. When they met the field would disappear briefly. “I see it” he said.
“A simultaneous disturbance of the lingering flux around the conjunctions with highly resistive superstrate will deny redundant closure and the field will dissapate.”
Adren didn’t understand the words but he got the meaning “When the field goes down we need to disturb the places where the triangle meets the circle.”
Longbreath pulled three hobgoblin shields from his bag of loot. “So throw the shield s on the points of triangle when the field flickers. No problem.”
“Longbreath, the danger is potential. Perhaps you should stand back while I Mage Hand the shields. Or perhaps I could construct a…”
Longbreath had already handed a shield to Donar. “Don’t worry. Just stand back. We’ll be okay.”
They covered the points with shields and the field disappated.
“About time!” cried Zerriska. “Take me home now!” Thurann seemed to be a bit afraid of her.
The party was tired and didn’t want to listen to the old crone so they packed up the wagon and headed back to Brindol.