DGA16.02: Red Hand of Doom Part V – the Cavern Between

The level 16 Vale Heroes for this session

Seck, rogue/Scout, wielding Maelsauga and Red Whisper;
Phoenix, barbarian/Sea Eagle, wielding Mocair;
Ulric, paladin/Vengeance, wielding Kinslayer;
Cat, warlock/Titania, supported by Dis his familiar

randomly supported by Leucis of Asmodeus

The vale heroes begin 7235xp below level 17 and END ON LEVEL 17!

As the last guardian abishai falls the heroes draw breath. Seck catches the sound of the great bronze entry valves slamming open.

“That secret passage is calling…”

Alas the 20′ sheer stone ascent to the bay, behind which lies the passage, proves impossible to climb! Only Cat can make the distance, by means of Levitate. He bears Ulric up, and the paladin scrambles across, prone.

As Cat descends to the others clustered below, Tyrgarun arrives at the temple and sends a searing electric arc into all save Ulric!

Luckily Tyrgarun’s breath is classed as being from a Young Blue, 27 damage on a success is no joke. Only Seck is able to avoid it completely.

Inits: Seck/Phoenix, Tyrgarun, Cat, Leucis, Ulric

Cat Seck and Leucis take cover by dropping down into the worshipers’ choir, except for Phoenix, who using his Flitting Step to arrive next to Tyrgarun at the entrance! Tyrgarun proves to have a handy-dandy little shock-wand, and Phoenix takes a couple of jolts from that as well as from Tyrgarun’s breath and sword. Cat uses Repelling Blast to drive the dragon back up the stairs.

Tyrgarun retreats further, and the heroes have a couple of rounds to come up with a plan while the blue dragon swigs some Superior Healing.

Eventually using an Arcane Eye to work out that Tyrgarun is in the Council Chamber, Cat signals [with a good Performance Check] its whereabouts. Seck dashes past, wounding it with Maelsauga. Enraged, Tyrgarun charges after Seck! The others catch up and fell the dragon. Cat takes his ruby back.

Loot: Belt of Giant Strength [STR21+attune]; Ring of Free Action [+attune]; Luckstone [+attune]; Wand of Shock Bolts [3/day, 60′ range attack, d10]; Great Sword of Lightning [+d8 Lightning dmg]; Cloak of Resistance [Adv SV+attune]

Now they fall back into the Council Chambers, and beyond into the quite-comfy guest quarters, and can really take a

Long Rest

After which, and having assured the Liberator that things are still on track, they retrace their course, mount the hard-right bay in the temple, and ease the secret panel open. Darkness, total darkness, lies beyond.

Ulric leads the way along a perilous path. This section circles and mounts above a bottomless pit! And from above another Green Abishai attacks, intending to push Ulric off!

Inits: Phoenix/Ulric, Cat, abishai, Seck

Cat squeezes past Ulric and uses Repelling Blast to fling the creature back out of sight. Meanwhile Phoenix (who can’t see) asks Leucis (who can see) for an update. This takes some time…

The abishai returns to the attack and slams home! Ulric teeters and Cat grabs him.

“Haven’t we done this before…”

Ulric just clings on for dear life, then rights himself and cuts back at the green. Seck creeps forward and delivers a devastating Sneak Attack, and Ulric smites the creature. Phoenix struggles to see anything other than flashes as the creature casts some kind of spell. It flails at Ulric with claw and sword, but the paladin has now his balance, and he fends it off easily.

Phoenix grabs the scared tiefling and marches up with him tucked under one arm. Leucis wails and repents, calling on Tiamat to forgive him.

Cat finishes the creature off, with a Shocking Grasp, before Phoenix can actually help.

The path leads round the the fearsome drop: it sags pit-ward the whole way.

Ulric, as the least able to creep and balance, is Levitated by Cat and the two of them pushed round the trail, by Seck.

The party clambers down into a tangled wilderness of stalagmites and fungi. The weird and vast chamber reminds them strongly of the underdark where they claimed the Liberator.

Two more abishai hurl Confusion out of their hiding spots among stalagmites. Phoenix is affected, but at first gives no sign of it. The abishai decide that up-close attacks are needed and swoop in! One casts an illusion to put Phoenix off his defense, and the battle is on!

The fighting is fierce, and Cat loses all of his temporary health, and gains a level of exhaustion as poison grips him. Ulric slaps Phoenix back to his senses, tricking the abishai into thinking Ulric is prey to the Confusion spell!

At last, both abishai fall. The non-poisoned team members search the tangle of stalagmites, finding a lair where icons of Tiamat are propped up for worship. No other loot is to be found.

“I recognize that outcrop,” Leucis explains. “That is where the flights land, and from there, we would walk along a broad, well-lit passage to the place of worship and sacrifice.”

“I have one final potion of Vitality!” Cat announces, “let’s climb the last section and rest a few minutes, away from the fungi.”

“And I shall use my powers to heal as we go,” Ulric adds, bringing up the necessary Aura, as the session ends.

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