As soon as you touch the door, a voice sounds in your head. It seems to be a short recording of a woman's voice.
"This is Chevalier Kiarah Saint-Germaine. Starrise Spire has been placed in full lockdown. This is not a drill. I repeat, this is not a drill. All honored Knights of Clydwell Keep are requested to report downstairs to the Sanctum of Scrolls. All honored Knights are charged to protect the Demonscope at all costs. Evacuate all citizens and lower ranked personnel to Martyr's Rest and await further instruction."
The message repeats itself in a loop for however long you touch the door. The door handles are fully locked and do not respond otherwise, though the golden runes do not cause any harm to you. You suspect a demon would not be so lucky.
"If it's not rigged, I can probably drop the chandelier on anything particularly nasty that comes bursting into the room," Val deadpans as they creep toward the tower. "But they'd have to be nice enough to stand right below it for us."
"Everything is locked down, likely funneling towards downstairs. Chevalier Kiarah left a message and warded this door. Evacuate to Martyr's Rest and otherwise gather in the Sanctum of Scrolls to defend the keep.". Ary whispers. "We may be able to bust through, but then there would be noise and demons appearing... And if they break through below and we break through here, likely bad things will happen. Ehren, is there any way you could check the other side?". Ary continues eyes and hand still on the door.
'All those evacuated were sent to their doom at that chapel.. Ary thinks, keeping the last bit to herself.
"The door would be warded to my divination likely, and I would be surprised if they did not plan to prevent someone from simply earth gliding in."
"I believe we should attempt to get to the Sanctum of Scrolls immediately. Perhaps there remain some knights holding the line. If not, it seems to have been the chokepoint on the way to the demonscope."
Ehren eyes the dangling chandelier with a frown. He doubts that the demons intentionally trapped it, but its fall would cause them harm and draw unwanted attention all the same.
"I can try," Ehren says as he approaches the door. He did not know of any demons that could earth glide, but he has a hard time believing that the Crusades would have overlooked such a possibility when they first established their defenses. Nonetheless, he experimentally presses a hand against the wall beside the massive door.
Ehren presses his stony fingers against the door. They press in a few inches before hitting a hard barrier.
You can hear a woman's voice in your head:
This is Chevalier Kiarah Saint-Germaine. Starrise Spire has been placed in full lockdown. This is not a drill. I repeat, this is not a drill. All citizens are to evacuate to Martyr's Rest and await further instruction under Ser Calain. Please remain calm. Evacuate immediately.
The message repeats on a loop for as long as you remain in contact with the door.
Ehren nods to himself, impressed by the thoroughness of the spire's defenses. At the same time, the revelation that Ser Calain was responsible for the evacuees' safety is a grim one. He could not begin to imagine what feelings must be running through the knight's mind right now.
"Isilme is right, on both accounts," he says as he pulls his hand out of the door.
Gonna move on with going downstairs since Xanderghul has had plenty of time to post and Valaria didn't vote. That makes Ehren/Isilme a majority opinion.
Passing through the broken doors without delay, the heroes head down the stairs, still invisible. The dungeon levels below the Starrise Spire were built to hold important prisoners, an arsenal of demon-fighting weapons as well as a supply of food and water in case of siege, and also to safeguard the Demonscope. For this reason, only ranked crusaders could normally pass through those doors.
Here, the passages are crudely cut directly from the surrounding strata and shored with an iron and timber framing. Torch sconces jut from the walls every 20 feet or so, but they have all been extinguished, and so there is no light in these passages. While most of the group at this point is able to see in the dark, Ary and Hinagiku cannot. Will the heroes continue escorting their blind comrades, or will they illuminate the dark passages in light?
"I can scout ahead," Isilme says, moving to the fore. "Guide Hinagiku and Ary, and keep your wand at the ready Ehren."
Song of Spheres, guide my steps, Isilme thinks, calling out to her goddess for speed. Taking the lead, Isilme gets 30' ahead of the group and moves quietly down into the darkness.
Stealth: 1d20 + 21 ⇒ (15) + 21 = 36
Perception: 1d20 + 26 ⇒ (6) + 26 = 32
Invisible and silent, Isilme creeps ahead of the main group to see what laid ahead.
As Isilme passes down the stairs, the crudely cut stone gives way to finished walls, covered in phyllite slabs that give them the appearance of wrinkled silk. As she reaches the bottom, she sees six bodies hanging gutted from the stairwell ceiling and walls, suspended by nooses around their necks. Dark demonic runes brand their flesh, and their eyes are plucked out.
The demonic runes are of the spell Animate Dead. Likely these corpses have been raised as zombies, then hung from the walls to the amusement of the demons.
The stairs lead to a large room that appears to be a storage area of some sort. Grain, timber, and other supplies are strewn everywhere. A passage exits the room to the south. It appears to have been inexpertly widened recently, giving it the appearance of a roughhewn tunnel. Within this large space a pair of babaus is roughly draggling along a wounded woman across the floor by a thick chain. The chain connects to a pair of manacles about her bleeding ankles. The woman has been stripped down to her underclothes, and she moans in pain and drools blood as the demons cruelly drag her exposed body across the rough stone.
The knight is Chevalier Ivellyn Swainheart.
1d20 ⇒ 12
Bardic Knowledge(Arcana): 1d20 + 10 ⇒ (5) + 10 = 15
Bardic Knowledge(Local): 10 + 10 = 20
"Chevalier Swainheart is alive, move quick," she whispers, leaning back and alerting the others. Having someone who had been present earlier in the battle could prove to be essential, but they would need to be cautious to avoid the same fate as with the man executed just minutes ago.
Roll 20 map is up to date. Initiative doesn't much matter.
You can continue to take additional surprise rounds if no one does anything to alert the enemies of your presence. Once the babaus are aware of someone's presence, the next round will be a normal initiative round.
Please read Isilme's spoilers for a description of the rooms.
The Heroes Are Up!
Ary wasn't willing to give up the tempo that they had at the moment, knowing that they needed to rush. Truth be told, she wasn't certain of where any of the dangers or combat was. So... she would just have to rely on the others to make some noise to draw her towards it.
"Just hurry." she whispers, voice tense.
Xanderghul creeps ahead towards Isilme and the sound of a Crusader's pained yelps. "There's something happening up here," he mutters. When he reaches the corner, he steps up behind Isilme after risking a glance down the hallway towards the babau. He calculates. To be honest, he didn't believe that one Crusader's life was worth risking detection. Not when their mission and their ability to pull it off could mean the lives of thousands.
He knows the others won't see it that way, so he just waits for someone else to make a move.
Knowing the best bet would be to distract the demons, Isilme changes her form into a dwarf similar to Harald outside. With a moment more she'd be able to change her clothes into armor and proceed to bait them into abandoning the woman.
"Get ready," she whispers to the others.
Change Shape into male dwarf. Change clothing into armor matching Harald's
Disguise: 1d20 + 22 ⇒ (5) + 22 = 27
Bluff: 1d20 + 22 ⇒ (16) + 22 = 38
Stepping around the corner, the dwarven Isilme calls out to the two Babaus flashing a golden toothy grin. "Leave her to me and get yer damned asses outside! That daft commander and her friends are outside and need a proper welcomin'. They say Bishop is already on the ground bleedin'. If'n y'want a piece of her, y'd better hurry! I'll send this one off to her god after I ask'r a few questions." She grins devlishly at the demons, pausing for a moment before adding. "Unless y'want those stinkin' birds to have all the fun that is..."
Will use Blessing of Desna on Disguise if it fails (first) or on Bluff (second) if that fails (which is less likely).
Val stops and braces herself, readying her knife to lash out at the first of the blood demons that makes an appearance in the tight hallway, or behind them, if they feel so inclined.
Prepare Attack (Heroism): 1d20 + 16 + 4 ⇒ (9) + 16 + 4 = 29
Damage (Heroism): 1d4 + 9 + 4 ⇒ (4) + 9 + 4 = 17
Perception vs Disguise: 1d20 + 19 - 2 ⇒ (19) + 19 - 2 = 36
Blessing of Desna Disguise: 1d20 + 22 ⇒ (19) + 22 = 41
Sense Motive: 1d20 + 11 ⇒ (8) + 11 = 19
Isilme's disguise is far from exact - her polymorph lacks the fine details necessary to approximate his golden teeth, for instance, and she is forced to hide her prominent starknife on her back out of sight. But the azata was blessed by Desna herself, and with Lady Luck on one's side, nearly anything is possible. And it would seem she certainly lucked out this day - the murder demons don't seem familiar enough with Harold to notice such discrepancies.
The babaus immediately stop torturing the poor knight and regard the dwarf before them with cocked heads.
"Bim... Bim kroshik shokhi amp bi kúsh. Bam num pik nu."
Abyssal: Vrocks... Vrocks cannot have all the fun. This does not do.
"Ik im thrump. Bam uti shom durzibi dishag."
Abyssal: It is well. This one has become boring.
Urusk throrb bam uti ashdakhi. Ik shom dush skig, arz shi im shúsha.
Abyssal: Urusk wants this one alive. It has been long, and he is hungry.
Am, am. Shi im thrab bi ukur thri shokhi kroshúshuzg. I thrâm bag shul gu shah.... ul lúshul sham kâgh gushul."
Abyssal: Yes, yes. He is with the others we have captured. I would bring her to him.... or suffer his foul temper.
Urusk, also known as the Iron Turtle, earned his name for his preference for heavy armor and shield. However, what he became famous for was his insatiable love of humanoid flesh. A disciplined warrior and a fervent warpriest of Deskari, Urusk was captured by the crusades a year ago when he made the mistake of preying upon a traveling troupe of gnomes in Ustalav, who, with a series of clever illusion magicks were able to outwit him and subsequently turn him in for judgment. He has since held for questioning, in hopes of finding the location of a hidden cultist stronghold somewhere close to the Ustalavic border. However his stubborn willpower has prevented even the Lord Inquisitor from prying useful information for him.
Moments later, they vanish.
"Don't you dare touch me, you monster," snaps Chevalier Ivellyn from the ground, a fire blazing in her eyes despite the torments she has endured. She immediately starts writhing on the ground, trying to free herself from the ropes binding her wrists together.
Reverted to drow form.
Bardic Knowledge(Local): 1d20 + 11 ⇒ (12) + 11 = 23
"We have little time," Isilme says, reverting her form to the drow one she'd had previously and striding towards the fallen Chevalier. "They will soon discover there is no battle outside. Are you well enough to fight? Val, did you not have extra suits of armor and shields in your bag? Ary, do you have a weapon for Chevalier Swainheart? We should hurry to deal with Urusk and then on to the demonscope."
Isilme waits for the others to come around the corner and takes a moment to channel energy, hoping to close some of the chevalier's wounds. Channel: 1d6 ⇒ 3
The chevalier cannot see Isilme at all in the darkness, but confusion crosses her face as she hears her voice change from male to female. Then, as the positive energy washes over her, staunching her bleeding, she seems to comprehend what is going on.
"Ary? Ary Bishop, Lord Commander of Drezen?" she asks, faintly. She pulls herself up until she is seated against the stone wall of the storage room. "Would that it were better circumstances to meet such esteemed heroes. You are right, there isn't much time. They captured so many of us... there was a prison break... and then all descended into chaos."
Striding into the room, Xanderghul casts dancing lights, and fills the room with a dim but warm yellow light - at least in comparison to the blazing light of Ehren's daylight spell. "Can you stand and walk?" he asks first, and then, "Do you know which way to the fortification's basement? I believe that we're trying to get to the heart of the defenses here. "
Thanks to Ehren's guidance, Hinagiku easily makes it to the basement and past the hanging bodies, where she whisper a mental prayer to their souls. When Xanderghul finally lights the corridor, the monk gives her partner a gentle tap on the back, and quickly makes her way to the knight's side.
Just like Isilme, Hinagiku calls upon the power of the gods to heal the knight before she helps her up.
channel: 1d6 + 4 ⇒ (3) + 4 = 7
"Who else escaped?" Val asks as they come forward to join Isilme and the injured knight. "Knowing who we need to look out for is probably a good idea." She stands back as Daisy and Isilme release pulses of healing energy, trying to stay out of the way while the healers do their best to aid the injured crusader.
Are you guys breaking Invisibility? It's a standard action per dismissal. Only the caster can dismiss.
Everyone is invisible, so the knight cannot see the people who are talking to her, save for Isilme...who is currently a drow, still wearing illusioned cultist trappings. She appears alarmed and on edge, though gratitude flashes across her face at the sudden appearance of lights. She stumbles somewhat as Hinagiku attempts to invisibly pick her off the floor, then falls back down - her legs are too tightly bound by chain and then locked shut for her to stand.
Rather than respond to the many questions, she inhales and focuses. "If you are who you say you are, you won't mind if I screen you. I fear I've said too much already." She frowns and darts her eyes as she can hear the horrific screams of someone being tortured echo down one of the hallways.
3 rounds per Detect Evil since she cannot target it. 2 rounds to completion of first cast. Let me know if you want to stand and wait for her to finish screening you.
"Val, can you free her? We can keep moving while she screens us," Isilme says. "The longer we wait, less people we'll be able to save."
"I will scout ahead," she says, and moves ahead quietly to ascertain what awaits them down the hall, trying to make sure she remains in line of sight of the paladin for screening.
Perception: 1d20 + 26 ⇒ (7) + 26 = 33
Stealth: 1d20 + 21 ⇒ (15) + 21 = 36
Ehren cannot fail either check.
As the only other person in the party who is not currently invisible, Ehren emerges from the ground and steps into the light, where he is in plain view. He looks to the knight who, in spite of her miserable state, sounds no less willful and defiant.
"Scan me if you must, Chevalier, but we are short on time," he says, his eyes tracing the myriad paths of footprints passing through the area. "A great many demons have passed through this area. We do not want to be here if more come through."
Ehren waits on Swainheart's response before moving any closer, intent on determining the extent of her wounds, and whether the demons have caused any more severe underlying damage.
Diplomacy: 1d20 + 10 ⇒ (19) + 10 = 29
Heal: 1d20 + 18 ⇒ (15) + 18 = 33
"Ehren, you should scan her as well." Ary says as she steps invisibly into the light. "But I'm afraid we don't have three minutes to scan everyone here. We likely do not have thirty seconds before the babau return. Protocol must take a back seat, this time, I'm afraid." She says as she removes, and then replaces Faith from her arm. She places a Crusader Cross before the Chevalier. The braided copper is still warm from its location always pressed against Ary's forearm, though it has changed since her friends last saw it, now containing tiny emerald pieces of polished stone - some of the remnants of Faith's blossoming - woven like leaves amidst the copper. "My name is Chevalier Ary Bishop, and we must press forward if we're going to save the Demonscope... and apparently contain a prison break."
Ary pauses for a moment, "What are the chances that Urusk brought the Son of Perdition with him into the Keep?" then pauses once more, "Others are still being tortured up ahead. Please hurry, Val."
Diplomacy Aiding (Herograzed): 1d20 + 5 + 4 - 1 ⇒ (14) + 5 + 4 - 1 = 22
Perception (Herograzed): 1d20 + 16 + 4 - 1 ⇒ (2) + 16 + 4 - 1 = 21
To assuage the fears of the paladin below them, Xanderghul snaps his fingers and dispels the invisibility spell on Ary. She wouldn't be too likely to be able to hide anyway. "Here, Lord-Commander Bishop appears before you," he says.
"Sorry, I'd forgotten the spell. But it is not under my control. I will stay right by your side, though." Hinagiku whispers succinctly, there was no point overwhelming the chevalier by adding to what the other had said. Just like them, she knew they needed to exit the room before the babaus came back.
"Shouldn't be a problem at all. Chains are one of my specialties." Val fishes out her tools and fiddles with the bindings for a few moments while the paladin screens the group, taking the time to get her safely out of her bonds.
Disable Device (Heroism, Tools): 1d20 + 20 + 4 + 2 ⇒ (15) + 20 + 4 + 2 = 41
Ivellyn switches from conal Detect Evil to targeted on Ary.
Chevalier Swainheart raises both eyebrows in amazement as a talking, crowned stone-person emerges from the floor itself before her, but when Ary appears, her mouth hangs open in amazement. She takes in the heroine-knight before her - her family armor intricate and polished as if new, her beautiful golden sword inherited from the hero Yaniel, her spiked crimson red shield. There was no way a demon could come close to replicating the sight.
Her eyes drop down to the Crusader-Cross before her, then after a moment she focuses her divine sight on Chevalier Bishop, and finds not a trace of evil on her form.
"Forgive me, Lord-Commander. You are right," she says. She shakes her head vigorously until a small silver chain dangles from her neck, from which hangs a simple pendant of the sword-cross of Iomedae. "Take this. Within the holy symbol is the master key for the keep. It will unlock any door... save for the warded doors of the Sanctum of the Holy Sentinels nor the Sanctum of Scrolls." She closes her eyes, listening to the distant Thoom. Thoom. Thoom of something heavy smashing echoing down the halls from somewhere far away. "I don't understand... they said the Demonscope falters. But clearly they haven't managed to breach the Sanctum. How can it be so?"
She returns to the previous questions, speaking more quickly now as she feels Valaria free her from her restraints, even before she could offer her the key to her own manacles. "We had but three charges... two recent. The mad Urusk the "Iron Turtle". Kurhn Bonecrusher. Thanegar the Maimed."
Kurhn Bonecrusher is a massive one-eyed fiendish half-orc known for his incredible brute strength. He wields a statue of Iomedae as a club.
Thanegar the Maimed is a cultist enchanter. He lead a small traveling cult known as the Doomsayers that attracted new proteges interested in gaining arcane power, or who were otherwise swayed by its charismatic leader.
Thanegar the Maimed killed Elan, after young Li'an took it upon herself to slay the famed cultist leader after learning of his hideout just beyond Kenabres. After Elan's death, Li'an had learned that Thanegar was captured by the Crusades. She had presumed him executed long ago... it is surprising to you that he was alive, all this time...
"That way," she points to her left, through the narrow 5 ft hallway that Isilme was headed down. "Leads to the prison cells. That way," she points to her right, to the larger tunnel, though it appears it was forcefully widened. "Leads to the Sanctum of Scrolls. Beyond that is the Sanctum of the Demonscope... but only the Holy Sentinels are able to access the chambers beyond. Many knights traveled that way... but... curiously," She cracks her neck as she flexes her stiff muscles, now fully free from her restraints. "Thank you," she adds, staring in the wrong direction, since she can't actually see Valaria or Hinagiku. "Anyway... curiously, I saw Ser Jormal run past, just before everything went wrong. It is very, very rare that he leaves his chambers. He was shouting, asking if I saw a tall, blonde bearded man run by..." She frowns. "Then, the prison break happened. He ran off to the cells to assist. Then waves and waves of demons assaulted us here.... we fought so many....killed so many.... but they kept coming. We were overwhelmed. And that man... that man in the black armor..." She closes her eyes, then opens them as the tortured man screams once more. "Please. I know that you are in a hurry but... do you have any weapons... any armor I can borrow? I..I..." She stands firm, brow furrowed. She is a true knight, despite the horrors she endured in the past twenty minutes. "I will not surrender those under my command."
Ary has a +4 to the below check due to her rank as a crusader.
Ser Jormal the Devoted is one of the three current Holy Sentinels.
As she speaks, Isilme creeps off down the hallway the screaming is coming from.
Dretch perception cannot beat Isilme's rolled stealth, even on nat 20.
As you move carefully down the hall, you can hear the fiendish giggles of demons, and sure enough, four of them come into view down the hallway. Rows of small, iron-barred cells line the walls, while two more rows of cells sit back to back running down the center of the room. Many of the bars splay outward, torn and twisted to form larger cells. Within these cells, half-dead warriors, their naked bodies covered in lesions and wounds, pitifully scratch at the stone floor. The dretches march through the corridors, spitting on their prisoners or just poking at them through the bars with their claws. At the furthest end of the corridor is a barred cell. A single dretch stares into it, laughing at its occupant, whose convulsing form is barely visible at the fringes of Isilme's vision.
As if to punctuate the knight's statement, a cry for help rings through the halls. "PLEASE. PLEASE. NO! PLEASE, I HAVE A SON..." His pleas are followed by deep, mirthless laughter in a masculine voice. She swallows. "Ser Isembert..."
Roll 20 map updated. Dancing Lights can be moved by Xanderghul.
"We have no idea what's going on with the demonscope either, just that we needed to do something." Val tucks her lockpicks away in her bandoleer again and pushes herself back to her feet, before slipping the manacles into her bag. They may need to restrain a few prisoners later, if they're still alive by the end of this mess. "But you might need these." She digs down into her bag of holding and shuffles through the mess of armor, loot, and knick-knacks she's collected over the years. "Here we go..." She pulls out a silvery suit of mail and a matching shield.
Bardic Knowledge(Local): 1d20 + 10 ⇒ (14) + 10 = 24
Bardic Knowledge(Local): 1d20 + 10 ⇒ (3) + 10 = 13
Bardic Knowledge(Local): 1d20 + 10 ⇒ (5) + 10 = 15
Isilme recognizes Kurhn Bonecrusher's name, a crazed half-orc of fiendish heritage who preferred to deface Iomedaean statues by using them as his personal arsenal. A problem, to be sure, but she had no doubt her friends would be able to dispatch him along with Urusk.
The mention of Thanegar the Maimed causes Isilme to pause, however. She almost calls out in response to the chevalier's revelation, but catches herself before alerting the dretches to her presence. That the cultist responsible for the horror inflicted upon Li'an and the death of Elan had been captured and not executed was criminal. But now he was here and free, likely inflicting the same horrors upon others.
The anger welling up within her was something she hadn't felt since she'd awoken, and found herself suddenly filled with a desire to drop everything and hunt him down for retribution.
The pleas for mercy bring her attention back to the present. There was no place for vengeance now, she had others depending upon her, and running off to stalk down Thanegar would do nothing to aid their situation or save the demonscope.
Looking at the dretches down the hall, Isilme takes a step further and shifts back into the dwarven form she had assumed before. She waits a few seconds, listening to Val and the others give Chevalier Swainheart some gear before she begins.
"Bushi ashi snishi búlkogur gu bom imbu bi krum, gluk snikhag i skosha nubim. Amp unk i gluk ak bushi pim!" she calls down the aisle full of dretches, pointing out towards the area outside the cells where her allies await.
Bluff: 1d20 + 21 ⇒ (18) + 21 = 39
Changing shape and then bluffing the next round. Will ready an attack for any dretch still near me when fighting starts (in the next round), assuming they all make it past me out into the alcove with the others.
K. Local (v. Cultist #1): 1d20 + 11 ⇒ (15) + 11 = 26
K. Local (v. Cultist #2): 1d20 + 11 ⇒ (17) + 11 = 28'
K. Local (v. Cultist #3): 1d20 + 11 ⇒ (12) + 11 = 23
K. Nobility (v. Ser Jormal): 1d20 + 12 ⇒ (4) + 12 = 16
Xanderghul has heard of all of the cultists, but doesn't care for news about Crusaders. He is especially annoyed with the Doomsayer, whose exploits apparently include snatching up promising young arcane recruits. All would be easy to crush, as a group.
Invisibly, Xanderghul stretches his fingers and cracks his knuckles as he prepares for combat, moving up towards the paladin.
Ehren does not recognize the names of the escaped prisoners, but when he hears the description of the man Ser Jormal was looking for, his brow furrows. While many men in Nerosyan would meet that description, only one had been impersonated by a glabrezu on this day. A friend he thought must surely be dead, given the circumstances. "Hrut...?"
Just as he was predisposed not to prematurely mourn the man an hour ago, he pushes the rest of his assumptions aside for the time being. If Ser Jormal still lives, he could shed some light on the situation. But before that, they all had more fighting to do.
As soon as Ehren hears the shouting from down the hall, Ehren begins to cast a summoning spell; nothing quite as dramatic as the huge beast he summoned in the cathedral, but a creature suitably vicious nonetheless.
Ehren will take a five-foot step and start converting eagle eye into summon nature's ally II as a full-round action. He will summon a dire badger.
K(Local): 1d20 + 2 + 4 - 1 ⇒ (11) + 2 + 4 - 1 = 16
K(Local): 1d20 + 2 + 4 - 1 ⇒ (3) + 2 + 4 - 1 = 8
K(Local) (CC, Grazed, Ary): 1d20 + 2 + 4 - 1 + 4 ⇒ (17) + 2 + 4 - 1 + 4 = 26
"Ser Jormal is one of the Knights that Hrut was to be joining today." Ary says, frowning as the description of Hrut is given. How... strange, but she reaches to her bag, regardless. Skullgrim's massive axe, and his cultist's scythe and crossbow still hang from it - why she hadn't ever removed them was someone else's guess. Perhaps she'd grown too busy, or perhaps she'd simply known that eventually someone would have need of them. "I have an oversized axe, a normal sized scythe, a heavy crossbow, and if you're staying nearby, an adamantine Lucerne Hammer. We... may have need of it in the near future, though." she says as she takes the Holy symbol in hand. "I'm afraid that if you're looking for one-handed weapons, all that I have is an evil priest's aspergillium, reinforced for battle." she says, taking a mental account of what was in her bag. She should likely dig out the healing potions as well... but there was never enough time.
Not for the first time, she wished Anevia were here.
As soon as the manacles are off, Hinagiku gently rub chevalier Ivellyn's shoulder before helping her up. "Here we go." she whispers to let the woman ready for her help.
Flinching slightly at the sound of the cries for help, she turns toward the others, still holding on to the chevalier's elbow and arm, and under her breadth she whispers:"Should we go toward the Sanctum of Scrolls to armor you?"
Hinagiku will follow Ivellyn's direction unless Isilme mentions a nook where she can hide with her ward.
"I probably shouldn't complain about hordes of easy to cut down chaff, but do they have to stink so much?" Val mutters to herself as Isilme attempts to set up another bluff. Considering the average intelligence of a dretch, it shouldn't be particularly difficult for the spy master. "Let's just get this over with so we can go after people who are more dangerous."
Good to go
A portly little dretch rounds the corner, driven into moving by Isilme's loud scolding, though still not motivated enough to really shuffle much faster than normal. As it arrives into the light-filled room and stumbles upon the sight of Ary Bishop and Ehren Ferron however, its over-sized bat-like ears perk up in surprise and it makes a strange, strangled gurgling noise of alarm.
You can hear the simpering voice of a dretch in your mind: "Ary Bishop im shushi... Ary Bishop unk Drezen im shushi... arz bi Ashuzg? Kribi, kribi bum!"
Abyssal: "Ary Bishop is here... Ary Bishop of Drezen is here... and the Archdruid? Come, come quick!"
Further down the prison halls, and out of Isilme's sight, comes a loud scream that gradually sounds further and further away. Then, another cry for help. "IT'S EATING ME ALIVE! OH GODS! OH, GODS, NO. PLEASE, PLEASE, SOMEONE HELP! AHHHHH!" The screams continue, horrific and agonizing.
1d20 ⇒ 8
Roll 20 is up-to-date.
Valaria is up!
Val shifts her position and sends her knife hurtling at the first demon out of the hall, the enchanted blade cutting into it's flesh.
Attack (Heroism): 1d20 + 16 + 4 ⇒ (5) + 16 + 4 = 25
Second Attack (Heroism): 1d20 + 11 + 4 ⇒ (5) + 11 + 4 = 20
Damage (Heroism): 1d4 + 9 + 4 ⇒ (1) + 9 + 4 = 14
Second Damage (Heroism): 1d4 + 9 + 4 ⇒ (2) + 9 + 4 = 15
So, Hinagiku didn't get to walk the chevalier to a "safer" location?
"I'll go and help." Hinagiku whispers for the benefit of chevalier Ivellyn.
With agility, Hinagiku invisibly weaves herself past her allies and rushes at the dretch. As she closes the distance, she gathers threads from the ley in preparation for any other Dretch that may come. With her hands now full, she jumps up and brings down her foot toward the oni who only has time to see a disembodied foot appear above its head and descent upon it.
attack(m.hero,evil): 1d20 + 16 + 4 + 2 ⇒ (6) + 16 + 4 + 2 = 28
dg(m.hero,evil): 1d8 + 7 + 4 + 2 + 2d6 ⇒ (5) + 7 + 4 + 2 + (5, 4) = 27
The chevalier will not abandon her friends in need, it is against her paladin code.
Ivellyn graciously accepts Ary's aspergillum, though she wrinkles her nose in distaste at the unholy weapon. But in the end, a weapon is but a tool, a tool that she could use for the greater good. Meanwhile, attacking from the demon's blindside, Hinagiku descends upon it like the shadow of death. It melts into a puddle of ichor, just as yet another dretch rounds the corner in her direction.
Book keeping: Hinagiku kills dretch #11 with 27 damage.
Ary is up!
While it would be effective to dart forward and destroy the insolent dretch who had driven to the fore, in her state, it would be imprudent to do so. Certainly, she could utterly destroy the dretch as her allies had... but she did not know what was coming along with them, and holding the line while defending her allies was of much more value. "Hold still for just a moment, Val." Ary says as she digs into Valaria's bag, searching for and eventually pulling out the mithral shield stored within.
"What can you tell me of each of the cultists that were captured and held here?" she asks as she helps the other Chevalier to get as armored as is reasonable given the short time that they have. After she finishes, she focuses her attention on the upcoming battle, watching her ally's positioning and ensuring that any of the paths-not-taken don't immediately burst with demons surrounding her friends.
Texted Isilme a question that I need answered before I can fully resolve the enemy turn. Things should be moved to Ehren's turn sometime this evening.
While Ivellyn helps strap the shield to her arm, she answers Ary in a low voice. "Kurhn's the worst of the lot. Massive orc, nearly 10 feet tall. Unruly and violent...his execution was planned for next week. Could barely get food n' water to him without causing an altercation. No tricks except smashing things, dumb as the rocks he flings about."
"Urusk's the smarter one of the two... they were caught together, I think. Completely raving insane, of course. Warpriest, gets scary when caught up in his battle-lusts. Think he's got ogre blood in him... sickening to think about how such a monster would be conceived. Gets his name for the armor he liked to wear - jokes on him, bastard's bare as the day he was born now..."
This is sufficient for full knowledge of the Ogrekin statblock.
The result of an unfortunate union between an ogre and a humanoid, the ogrekin (or half-ogre) is cursed with horrific malformations due to its tragic ancestry. Shunned by both parents, ogrekin tend to form unstable clans of their own, often resorting to inbreeding to sustain the collective. While good-natured ogrekin are not entirely unheard of, they are far and few between.
Ogrekin tend to be strong, but deformed. Their massive maws are full of crooked, but sharp teeth, though their weak minds are easily befuddled by most forms of magic.
"Last one, Thanegar... Thanegar's been here for awhile, traded information for a life in prison. Model prisoner, really, docile, polite, eager for simple conversation. We confiscated his magic books and other random arcane knick knacks way back then... you know, newt eyes and spider webs and all that weird stuff wizards carry around. He's old, thin and frail, and pretty powerless without all that. Some of my men pitied him... talking about asking the higher ups for a pardon, or at least to move him to somewhere more comfortable." Her face darkens. "He never fooled me, though. Evil son of a b@~$!, I read his report. What he did to that girl and her father right before we found his cult was horrific. That kind of person never gets better, mark my words."
Around the corner strides an enormous, mishapen man, naked save for a loincloth around his waist and an eyepatch across one eye. His body is covered in enormous, pulsing tumors, and across his chest he has carved the unholy symbol of Deskari into himself with bleeding, ragged wounds. He bears a glassy tower shield on one hand, its surface polished so that its appearance is that of a mirror. In the other hand, he bears a light mace, its head made of gleaming cold iron. He regards you with a simple nod, then strides past you with a growing grin across his face. A trickle of drool streams down his chin as he begins murmuring a prayer to his vile god.
"Skim Deskari, bomb sni bi rishul gu nushi al otubum. Skuk sni hulki am gu i ai bom unk kroshorbi, ai loshobumb unk buzg."
Abyssal: "Lord Deskari, grant me the power to destroy your enemies. Let me raise up to you a psalm of carnage, a sacrament of blood."
More and more dretches start to stream down the hallways after him, their fat bodies quivering with each step. Agonized screams continue to echo down the hall from the direction he came.
Isilme is up!
Isilme simply nods back as Urusk passes and then moves back slightly to allow the dretches to pass, continuing to point in the direction they were to head.
Delay until the 5 visible dretches have moved.