The Gauntlet, The Backwater Gambit, Campaign Diary 22

The Gauntlet
Chapter 21

 

Teleporting into the Usurer’s Tower ahead of the witchhunters (who are two days behind on foot), the party arrive in front of the prison cells where they first met each other. Jorg takes the lead as they make their way down into the depths of the tower to the treasure room where they first encountered Maise Pegoram. Now on the dais in the center of the room stands an upright dark iron coffin with chains around it. There are slits at certain points where blood stains having been poured into to keep the Coven Horror alive if just barely. Every so often the coffin shakes but the monstrosity inside is well secured.

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Not wanting it to look like they’ve been there, the party discuss how best to kill the Coven Horror. Realizing the creature is weakened to the point of near death, Roben puts his Sun Blade up to the top slit. He can see the still hooded creature and activates his sword instantly killing it. There is rush of black shadow out of the coffin as the group hears the sound of an object hitting the floor of the metal coffin. Unable to see what the object was, John uses Mage Hand to grab it and try to pull it out through the slit. It is a black gemstone too big to be pulled through so Asher uses his Shadowstep to enter the coffin, retrieve the stone, and Shadowstep out. The object turns out to be a Heartstone, which will cure any disease. Suddenly three scrolls appear hovering in the air. John reaches out to take them hearing the voice of one the sterner Sparing Ones say “And with that, our bargain is complete.” There are three spells, two that John can cast Suspend Death

A living creature you can see who has fallen to 0 hit points or less seems to turn to living stone putting it in a state of suspended animation with 0 hit points but not needing to make any saving throws. When the spell ends, the creature automatically regains 1 hit point.

While in suspended animation, the creature cannot be damaged and any damage suffered will effect the caster. For every hour of concentration, the caster takes 4d6 necrotic damage. If the creature was unwilling or hostile, then the caster takes an additional 4d4 psychic damage (DC 18 Charisma saving throw for half damage).

If the spell is still in effect when the target is subjected to an effect that would kill it instantaneously without dealing damage, that effect is instead negated against the target, and the spell ends.

and Spike Stones:

Causes rock to shape itself into long, sharp points. It is effective on both natural and worked stone. The spell can be cast from a range of 90 feet and effect an area of up to 20 feet. The spike stones serve to impede progress through an area reducing movement speed by half while inflicting 1d12 damage for as long as target is in the area.

and one for Nym, Plant Door

Using a piece of charcoal, the caster draws an opening on or over a tree, undergrowth, thicket, or any similar growth creating a magical passageway. The caster has a 50/50 chance of the passageway leading to a place they already know (player rolls, DM decides). For others to enter the passageway, they must be touching or connected to the caster. The spell also allows the caster to enter a solid tree trunk and hide there (multiple persons can hid in a medium or large tree but a small tree will only accommodate the caster). If the tree is cut down or destroyed, then all within it are as well. If the tree is damaged, each person within takes the damage of the attack.

The group then all lay their hands on John as they teleport to Bas Eldritch arriving at Wand’s hideout.

Suffering from dimensional sickness, the party takes damage and decide to have a rest. During this time, Wand takes Nym to a nearby cemetery where she carries out the ritual for her spell Change Wand or Staff. Worried they might be recognized by the City Guard, the party stay hidden however Jorg goes to a nearby tavern to see if he can find out some information. There he runs into a shady looking dwarf who after playing a couple hands of cards offers Jorg a job roughing up a corrupt Pelorian friar later that night. Jorg heads back and lets the group know the lay of the land. 

The next morning, Wand leads the group through the sewers to the Merchants’ Guild. Here, the party meet with the Guild Master, Amalyn Duskroam, hoping to find out more about the Pelorian monastery (where Wand is sure Kolo is hiding). Duskroam informs them the City Guard have been nearly totally occupied with trying to find and stop the rogue bulette that’s been rampaging through the city. Nym mentions she road that bulette and Duskroam is impressed and confused. Apparently, news of the incident in the arena moved through the wealthy viewers to the middle class, commoners, and peasants where the story got very convoluted. The current story everyone seems to believe is that a half-dragon or dragonborn, a wild albino half-orc, and tall, muscular tabaxi unleashed the bulette as a means of escape. The party realize their handiwork has been obscured and that their wanted-ness by the local authority may be low. He also reveals the City Guard have all but run out of its anti-magic potions and casters and are panicking. He tells the party he’ll pay them handsomely to get rid of the Drow. He also wouldn’t mind discrediting the corrupt Pelorian high clergy, but tells the group any further information they’d want would be in the Pelorian library.

The party depart as Wand leads them through the city via secret passages to the Pelorian Monastery. The group slip into the monastery relatively easily as Wand takes them first to the library. There Asher discovers a couple of books of history revealing the backstory of the Margrave. One of the books seems to be a lost personal possession of Kolo Illrym himself. The party leave before they are discovered as Wand takes them deep into the foundations of the monastery until they reach a huge open doorway. There is a long corridor where a variety of traps have been sprung–swinging blades, fire, and wall spikes. Wand explains why he’s nearly certain this is the only place Kolo could be, at the  room at the other end of the gauntlet. The party tell Wand to stay here and attempt to get through.

John uses Dimension Door to take himself and Jorg safely through the corridor. Asher uses Shadowstep to get to the other side unharmed. Roben decides to weave his way through discovering there’s a passageway underneath. He jumps down and as he moves successfully avoiding the traps, he encounters a Roper. Nym transforms herself into a lizard and scurries along the walls and ceilings avoiding the traps and following Roben down into the passage.

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The roper’s tentacles latch on to Roben as he and the beast struggle with the creature doing significant damage to him. Roben gives as good as he gets but can’t seem to get out of the creature’s reach. Nym, still in lizard form, scurries to get help from the others. As she does, dropping from the cavern ceiling are several Piercers. Nym makes it through, though does take damage losing her animal form, to a series of pillars leading to where the others. However, he presence alerts a second roper. She transforms back into a lizard and is able to avoid the monster to get to safety alerting the others.

Asher Shadowsteps down into the cavern passage to assist Roben. Meanwhile, John, Jorg, and Nym with advantage over the second roper attempt to kill it. They also discover a huge iron door with a series of runes on it similar to the teleportation and planar gateways they’ve encountered in the past. There is also some kind of puzzle lock on the door they’ll have to figure out in order to open it.

Roben and Asher are finally able to kill the first roper. They move to join the others to take out the second one. With all five party members attacking the roper, they are able to overcome the slow moving creature after a rather drawn out battle. With everyone now safely on the ledge before the iron door, the group decides to rest as they are very certain another fight awaits them on the other side…

 

Some more images of The Gauntlet set I made:

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