[5e] Descent into Avernus (Inactive)

Game Master mishima


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The hound is faster than Syrina, but Lucian is there to intercept. Out in the borderlands, the Hellrider often went hand to hand with wild beasts...the ranger was ready to not only take the impact but counterstrike. It was then he remembered the warning about fire breath...

Fire: 6d6 ⇒ (3, 5, 1, 1, 3, 1) = 14 ...or DC 12 Dex save for half.

Round 2:
Syrina, Malaric, Grim, Reya, Simon, Lucian, Lulu <-- UP
Hell Hounds Mono

Map positions updated/current.


Halfling Dragonslayer | HP: 33/34 | 0/1d8 & 0d6 | Disguise 1/1 | Camo 2/3 | Recover 0/3 | Fast Rit 1/1 |1st 2/4 | 2nd 1/3 | Inspiration!
Stats:
AC 15 | Str -1 Dex +6 Con +2 Int +7 Wis +1 Cha -1 | Init +3 | Perc +7, Darkvision 120 ft | Insight +1

Malaric continues to dash forward the fiery fight changing diamond for his bow. At the edge of his range, he snaps off a bolt at the pooch.

Move 30 feet to 60 feet from Hell Hound
Crossbow at 60 ft: 1d20 + 6 ⇒ (18) + 6 = 241d8 + 3 ⇒ (4) + 3 = 7
if sneak applies: 1d6 ⇒ 5


m LE half-elf Warlock 5 | HP 47/47, THP 0/8 | AC 14 | Saves: Str 0, Dex +2, Con +2, Int +1, Wis +3, Cha +7 | Perc 10 | Init +2 | DV60' | HD 3/5 | Inspiration - | Talisman 3/3 | Spells 2/2 | Invis +, Spray +, Cloak +, PoP + | -

I'm disappointed and expected more from you, Hounds. There was so much talk about you in our salons, but... Simon doesn't finish the sentence, and a new infernal chant gathers more energy from the hellish space around to bring it down on the dogs.

Eldritch Blast: 1d20 + 8 ⇒ (19) + 8 = 271d10 + 4 ⇒ (9) + 4 = 13 
Eldritch Blast: 1d20 + 8 ⇒ (11) + 8 = 191d10 + 4 ⇒ (4) + 4 = 8 


Female, Human, Rogue (Swashbuckler) 3/ Warlock (Hexblade) 2 AC: 15(16) | HP: 23/30 | PP: 14 | PI: 14 | Init: +7 | Inspiration: No

Syrina dives aside from the fiery blast of canine hell breath. The action of rolling to her feet quickly snuffs out any lingers flames attempting to get a purchase on her body or clothing. A quick glance alerts her to the fact that Cuddles lost an eyebrow, but she reckoned it could have used a trim anyway. The way hair kept growing even after a person died always did creep her out.

Shoving the personal grooming habits of her belt worn heads aside, she refocuses her attention on putting a quick end to the remaining hound. This time, both shots of eldritch energy go off without a hitch. The first acting as a guide for the devastating punch of the second.

She then ducks into the shadows and hurriedly looks for any other threats drawn by the action on the steps of the cathedral.

Save...attack...hide.

DEX Save: 1d20 + 6 ⇒ (15) + 6 = 21

EB Attack: 1d20 + 7 ⇒ (12) + 7 = 19
Damage: 1d10 + 4 ⇒ (1) + 4 = 5
EB Attack: 1d20 + 7 ⇒ (20) + 7 = 27
Damage: 2d10 + 4 ⇒ (10, 7) + 4 = 21

Bonus Hide: 1d20 + 9 ⇒ (16) + 9 = 25


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The slayers rapidly show these pups who's boss...the hell hounds infernal guts spilling from its soft belly pathetically as it struggles to survive.

1 hp left. I see now my last post was not clear at all, only Lucian needed the dex save.

Lucian and Grim to go.


Human Male Ranger (Gloom Stalker) 5 | HP 35/44 | AC 19 | Init: +4 w/ Adv. | Spells: 1st - 0/4; 2nd - 0/2 | Favored Foe: 2/3 | Passive Percept: 18 | Saves: STR: +7 DEX: +6 CON: +3 INT: +2 WIS: +3 CHA: +1 | HD: 2/5 | Conditions: Lycanthropy
Spells:
1st: Cure Wounds, Disguise Self, Hunter's Mark, Speak with Animals, Zephyr Strike; 2nd: Beast Sense, Protection from Poison, Rope Trick
Skills:
Insight + 5, Nature +4, Perception +8, Persuasion +3, Stealth +5, Survival +8

DEX Save DC 12: 1d20 + 6 ⇒ (14) + 6 = 20

Lucian avoids the worst of the hellhound's fiery breath and fires off two more arrows, but dodging the worst of the blast is more than enough to send his arrows off course.

Longbow: 1d20 + 5 ⇒ (4) + 5 = 9
Damage: 1d8 + 2 ⇒ (5) + 2 = 7

Extra Attack - Longbow: 1d20 + 5 ⇒ (2) + 5 = 7
Damage: 1d8 + 2 ⇒ (5) + 2 = 7


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Attack: 1d20 + 5 ⇒ (18) + 5 = 23
Dmg: 1d10 + 3 ⇒ (10) + 3 = 13

Reya tumbles out of nowhere decapitating the thing effortlessly "See how easy the corrupted evil fall before us! Heh, there is nothing to fear friends, they will ALL fall before us!!" raising her silvered sword to the sky with the fallen betrayer companion adding a dramatic cracker of lightning.

Combat over.

Sauntering up the steps, you find a quartet of plate-mailed fallen with their faces mostly eaten...a prize for the recently deceased hell hounds now mere mince meat waiting to be consumed by devil spores. Their wounds are clearly canine, but on closer inspection it appears a mix: slashing and thrusting weapons contributing as much to the murders as bite wounds. Beyond this tetrafecta of mauled guards, the cathedral door hangs wide open...a bright and welcoming aura gleaming from inside.

Glancing right and left at the tops of the stairs, an archway opens into a long hall containing eight columns. Some of the columns have been carved to represent Torm, but the infernal magic of Avernus has warped the others to represent likenesses of a winged female devil wielding a luminous sword...Zariel.

I'll post a fog of war map shortly for exploration. edit: posted. With a peek through the main doors...

The entrance foyer contains a few circular stairwells leading upwards to a sort of choir level complete with a grand looking pipe organ. Decorated pillars represent Torm's greatest hits, the God mounting his wondrous dragon in campaign after carefully recorded campaign. Obscuring this humongous space (Note, map is 10 ft sqaures, not 5) are thick and heavy curtains, obscuring the main worshipping area except where shredded with weapon and natural claw...the heart of the cathedral remains beyond.

The squiggly lines on the map are curtains. Purple star is current party location. Doors (white rectangles) are essentially not there, ignore.


Halfling Dragonslayer | HP: 33/34 | 0/1d8 & 0d6 | Disguise 1/1 | Camo 2/3 | Recover 0/3 | Fast Rit 1/1 |1st 2/4 | 2nd 1/3 | Inspiration!
Stats:
AC 15 | Str -1 Dex +6 Con +2 Int +7 Wis +1 Cha -1 | Init +3 | Perc +7, Darkvision 120 ft | Insight +1

Malaric looks around for clues, because those plated guardians didn’t appear to die by dog. ”Reya, you’ve probably been here the most, right? Besides the obvious artistic changes of the statues, what else is different? What should we expect behind that curtain?”. The halfling asks while looking at untouched surfaces, even high ones only assessable by wings.

Investigation for a clue: 1d20 + 10 ⇒ (19) + 10 = 29


AC18(20) |HP 38/[40]| Str+3 Int+1 Wis+6 Dex+0 Con+2 Cha+2|Init + 0|Percept +6|Insight +6|Invest +4| War Priest Attacks 0/[3] Inspiration [Y] Channel Divinity 1/[1] HD 2/[5] Male Human Doomguide Acolyte of Kelemvor Cleric (War)/5

The warrior priest watches the perimeter.


Female, Human, Rogue (Swashbuckler) 3/ Warlock (Hexblade) 2 AC: 15(16) | HP: 23/30 | PP: 14 | PI: 14 | Init: +7 | Inspiration: No

Perception: 1d20 + 4 ⇒ (1) + 4 = 5
Stealth: 1d20 + 9 ⇒ (2) + 9 = 11

Hell was taking it toll. Days...weeks of fear, death, hunger, thirst, and filth were all catching up with the bounty hunter. Her mind, never the most stable of places since her hanging, was loosing its edge and probably its sanity. She barely glances about before walking into the catherdral, her jerky movements some kind of bizzarre pantomime of a rogue moving from shadow to shadow when in fact, a blind beggar could've spotted her.

Just walkin in....


m LE half-elf Warlock 5 | HP 47/47, THP 0/8 | AC 14 | Saves: Str 0, Dex +2, Con +2, Int +1, Wis +3, Cha +7 | Perc 10 | Init +2 | DV60' | HD 3/5 | Inspiration - | Talisman 3/3 | Spells 2/2 | Invis +, Spray +, Cloak +, PoP + | -

Simon grimaces like he ate a lemon when he sees the statues of Zariel. Otherwise, he does not hurry forward and lets the allies go to investigate.


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The party of hell-weathered heroes and survivors shuffle cautiously into the spacious cathedral. The holy light within is at first a welcome glow, a number of magical sconces illuminating the sanctum. However, on closer inspection, hell appears to have warped the continual flame magics...causing them to appear as something precious (ie. your parents or pants) on fire.

Lucian would also be quick to note the entire vibe of the place has twisted radically. Once decorated with beautiful paintings, statues, and other works that depicted the strength and valor of Elturel's people, the cathedral seems to have been magically transformed...perhaps when Elturel was pulled into Avernus. Now its artwork is a testament to the devils' superiority and strength, showing scenes of mortals succumbing to temptation, dying at the hands of fiends, and of course suffering eternal torture. The images animate, obfuscate, swirl and tease you when you get too close...as if forming a bulwark against the influence of Torm.

Reya was enraptured by the image of her childhood crush being burned alive when Malaric probed for details. Turning slowly to regard the halfling, the transition from pure vengeance to polite smallfolk chatter was quite noticeable on her face "...well hmm. I don't know what this place has become, living in the shadow of the Betrayer. But a cluster of Torm's altars lie beyond those curtains...the largest of which is equipped with a trick mechanical hand. It used to terrify me when I was younger." she smirks to herself, now hardened way beyond such innocent reveries. "More importantly the stairs to the upper residential levels are further that direction...whatever is left of them." still hopeful they might find something of note in Kreeg's former room. She pauses though, glancing behind her a moment to regard a bundle of golden pipes stretching some 40 feet to the ceiling up on the balcony. "I've never been in here when that organ wasn't playing..."

The party senses no immediate threats, but curtains are torn, windows are shattered. Some windows include heavy iron defensive screens, the majority of which are shuttered with what look like ramshackle guard posts now vacated. There are certainly signs of struggle here, and recent. Bloodstains, dropped weapons, pools of mysterious black substances. A little hasty bonfire dwindles in the corner, consuming the holy written works of Torm.

The two spiral stairs go up to choir level with organ, or forward through curtain to altars?


AC17, touch 14, FF13, DR2, HP 19/[22], Init: +4, Cond: Healthy, F:+2 (0 vs Poison/Disease) ;R:+7 ;W:+0, Init +4, Perc +5 (+6 vs Trap) Sen Mot +5* Sword Trances 0/[0] Civilized Taikangian Male Unchained Swordmaster Rogue

Let us see to the holy altar and pray that it is, as yet, beyond corruption.


m LE half-elf Warlock 5 | HP 47/47, THP 0/8 | AC 14 | Saves: Str 0, Dex +2, Con +2, Int +1, Wis +3, Cha +7 | Perc 10 | Init +2 | DV60' | HD 3/5 | Inspiration - | Talisman 3/3 | Spells 2/2 | Invis +, Spray +, Cloak +, PoP + | -

Why am I thinking about the Aliens movie and motion detector... which we don't have.

Tearing his gaze away from an illusionary scroll of pedigree burning in the fire (feeling his own in his pocket and exhaling contentedly), Simon moves on, trying to stay away from the walls and columns. He constantly looks up, as if expecting danger to come from above. Or fall.


Female, Human, Rogue (Swashbuckler) 3/ Warlock (Hexblade) 2 AC: 15(16) | HP: 23/30 | PP: 14 | PI: 14 | Init: +7 | Inspiration: No

Syrina had never spent much time praying to Torm or really given the stoic, firm handed god much thought period. Prior to her conversion to the Raven Queen, she'd subscribed to the ways of Chauntea as a child and Tymora or Selune as she grew older. Truth be told, she was ever a fickle follower until she found herself dangling from the end of a rope beneath that old willow tree.

Even so, the sight of the twisted statues, the burning holy books, the overall desecration of Torm's temple disturbed her right down to her inner core. Even the Raven was quiet looking upon the downfall of one of the most well known places of worship in all Faerun.

A simple grim nod is her only response when someone suggests checking the central altar. The whole thing has her shaken and out of sorts as she attempts to quietly make her way across to the curtain. For a moment she hesitates before pulling it aside to look beyond. Knowing the altar probably harbored the worst that hell's denizens could create in their twisted minds for revenge against a god who had always challenged them at every turn.

Stealth: 1d20 + 9 ⇒ (3) + 9 = 12 Okay last three rolls are...1, 2, 3. Guess I've only 17 more to go before a nat 20. :)


Human Male Ranger (Gloom Stalker) 5 | HP 35/44 | AC 19 | Init: +4 w/ Adv. | Spells: 1st - 0/4; 2nd - 0/2 | Favored Foe: 2/3 | Passive Percept: 18 | Saves: STR: +7 DEX: +6 CON: +3 INT: +2 WIS: +3 CHA: +1 | HD: 2/5 | Conditions: Lycanthropy
Spells:
1st: Cure Wounds, Disguise Self, Hunter's Mark, Speak with Animals, Zephyr Strike; 2nd: Beast Sense, Protection from Poison, Rope Trick
Skills:
Insight + 5, Nature +4, Perception +8, Persuasion +3, Stealth +5, Survival +8

Lucian shakes his head in more disappointment than disbelief, he was in Hell after all, at the sight of the current state of the cathedral.

When Grim suggests checking the altar, the ranger nods, draws his blade, readies his shield, and moves forward.

Stealth: 1d20 + 5 ⇒ (9) + 5 = 14


Halfling Dragonslayer | HP: 33/34 | 0/1d8 & 0d6 | Disguise 1/1 | Camo 2/3 | Recover 0/3 | Fast Rit 1/1 |1st 2/4 | 2nd 1/3 | Inspiration!
Stats:
AC 15 | Str -1 Dex +6 Con +2 Int +7 Wis +1 Cha -1 | Init +3 | Perc +7, Darkvision 120 ft | Insight +1

Malaric pats Reya on the shoulder in camaraderie and follows his companions into the main altar area that he thinks is probably a kill zone. So obviously, he hides behind someone big.

Stealth: 1d20 + 6 ⇒ (5) + 6 = 11


AC18(20) |HP 38/[40]| Str+3 Int+1 Wis+6 Dex+0 Con+2 Cha+2|Init + 0|Percept +6|Insight +6|Invest +4| War Priest Attacks 0/[3] Inspiration [Y] Channel Divinity 1/[1] HD 2/[5] Male Human Doomguide Acolyte of Kelemvor Cleric (War)/5
"Shang" wrote:
Let us see to the holy altar and pray that it is, as yet, beyond corruption.

Ooops, Shang is Grim. My bad


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Cautiously peeling back the curtain, the party is immediately hit with the smell of drying blood and rotting internal organs. The visual scene is no less shocking, the bodies of multiple men and women strewn up like festival lanterns...defaced and mortally humiliated. More lie flung about on the white alabaster tiles in fancy arrangements that hint at some diabolical ritual. However, the brutal and unrestrained carnage extends to hell's citizens as well...foul devil corpses are littered among them.

The centerpiece of this area is a massive altar of Torm, shaped like a faceted gemstone some 40 ft across! Made of what looks like polished teakwood, an intricate gauntleted hand clenched into a fist rises from the dais. A large lever stands next to the altar. Reya explains while pinching her nose, tactically avoiding the spilled intestines near her foot "...that lever. The priests would use it to open and close the hand. When open, it makes a platform for the target of rituals to lie upon." she offers with a shrug.

North and south of this main altar are 2 smaller altars in private chapels. They seem to be able to be curtained off, but both are open at the moment. These secondary altars are the rectangles with 2 dots on them on the map. Map updated.


AC18(20) |HP 38/[40]| Str+3 Int+1 Wis+6 Dex+0 Con+2 Cha+2|Init + 0|Percept +6|Insight +6|Invest +4| War Priest Attacks 0/[3] Inspiration [Y] Channel Divinity 1/[1] HD 2/[5] Male Human Doomguide Acolyte of Kelemvor Cleric (War)/5

Sacrilege most vile, Grim says faintly, shocked.

Could... could opening the hand and attempting some sort of cleansing ritual work? It hardly seems worth it while this lies within hell but this wounds the heart and soul, and the thought of leaving this as it is is abhorrent to me.


m LE half-elf Warlock 5 | HP 47/47, THP 0/8 | AC 14 | Saves: Str 0, Dex +2, Con +2, Int +1, Wis +3, Cha +7 | Perc 10 | Init +2 | DV60' | HD 3/5 | Inspiration - | Talisman 3/3 | Spells 2/2 | Invis +, Spray +, Cloak +, PoP + | -

Demons. Simon looks at the dead devils. I'm sure they're still here. And they are not as attuned to conversation as that vrock philosopher.


Female, Human, Rogue (Swashbuckler) 3/ Warlock (Hexblade) 2 AC: 15(16) | HP: 23/30 | PP: 14 | PI: 14 | Init: +7 | Inspiration: No

In fer a copper, in fer a gold. Syrina thinks as she skirts around the altar doing her best to ignore the gore. Her eyes stay fixed on the next set of curtains beyond the altar.

"Might as well see what they tucked away behind this lot of drapery." She says moving forward and shoving aside the next set of curtains.

Stealth: 1d20 + 9 ⇒ (9) + 9 = 18


Halfling Dragonslayer | HP: 33/34 | 0/1d8 & 0d6 | Disguise 1/1 | Camo 2/3 | Recover 0/3 | Fast Rit 1/1 |1st 2/4 | 2nd 1/3 | Inspiration!
Stats:
AC 15 | Str -1 Dex +6 Con +2 Int +7 Wis +1 Cha -1 | Init +3 | Perc +7, Darkvision 120 ft | Insight +1

"Maybe something's in the fist? Reya, do you want to open it?" Mal asks Reya. He stays out in the open expecting an ambush everywhere.


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The drapery did not resist. Syrina immediately wished it had.

This...this is desecration. Like a merchant's bundles apassin' through the Anauroch, holy relics and reliquaries were wrapped in the skin and organs of the men and women of the previous slaughter. A stranglehold of blood, ichor, and torn strips of flesh lashed together with sinew, intestines, and the burly bristles of some exotic fiend's nethers...such is the texture that has been papered to the sacred nexus of Mercuria, the Loyal Fury's Trueheart.

Its influence is beyond Syrina's base senses.

She feels a tickle at her face, a little puff of wind that draws her attention to a corner near the altar...an odd shape in the shadows, like an upside down face. The three-eyed cat notices it too, starting intently and unblinkingly...slavering its lip-less kitty jowls and murmuring ancient feline curses of death and murder.

The shadows stare back, motionless.

~~~

"Huh? Oh yeah, lemme give it a yank...*hwaaAAAAAHHH!!!*" contrasted to Reya's efforts, the polished wooden contraption is remarkably smooth and silent...as if maintained by some force outside the corrupting influence of hell. The fist is dexterous. The fist unravels with grace. The hand opens up expectantly, wondering what you have to offer. Somewhere you hear the dingdong of a silver bell, and the gentle warbling of waterfowl.

But here too, there is a magnetism beyond mundane senses. Of course Torm, unknown to any mortal, was the master of a horde of prisoners bound to eternally walk the edge of the Realmspace crystal sphere. Each wears the same styled hand as a marking brand...their task is to open the portals to other realms. Such is the stride demanded of His gold dragon companion. What mortals can comprehend, the odd translation of this influence to the unbeknowing is like that of a promise. No, stronger than that. As if given a pledge of loyalty by a beloved acquaintance.

There is a sense that a service has begun.


AvernusArt 2Grid

Map updated. Also, apologies, I didn't notice some things marked on my map that were not marked on the player map. I will put little green squares to represent the smaller (not-hand) altars. Syrina's is the west one, north and south ones are scattered with guards and devil bodies that appear motionless.


Female, Human, Rogue (Swashbuckler) 3/ Warlock (Hexblade) 2 AC: 15(16) | HP: 23/30 | PP: 14 | PI: 14 | Init: +7 | Inspiration: No

Syrina's stomach flip-flops like Waterdavian councilman running for office as she stares at the carnage beyond the next curtain. Barely managing to keep the rat and biscuit and peaches of her last meal from coming back up, she slips her blade free of its scabbard. Her eyes watching the shadows watching her and Cat. The fact that Cat was picking up the same uneasy feeling from the dark corner of the gruesome menagerie was both a comfort and a curse. On the one hand, it wasn't just her mind finally cracking. On the other, what in all the heavens could be lurking in the blood soaked scene.

"Anyone else see somethin' lurkin' in the shadows of this filthy, bloody mess?" She asks over her shoulder, not taking her eyes from the darkness even as the altar behind her starts to uncurl.

Perception: 1d20 + 4 ⇒ (20) + 4 = 24


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Syrina, with focused intense look, you become certain there is nothing physically there in the shadows. Ordinarily, that kind of absolute certainty would be a comfort and a relief. However, in this case it only adds to your uneasiness...sure there is nothing, yet an unmistakable sense of some sentinel force remains. One choosing, perhaps, not to reveal its intentions just yet.

And again despite this certainty the watchful nothingness endures, granted when a flare in the continual flame magics sheds a glimpse into the dark corners and proves their vacancy. But try convincing Cat. Cat still believes despite this empirical evidence there is something there... In other words, Cat has chosen to believe something besides their three eyes. Will Syrina?

I encourage you guys to roll some skills for the various scenes here. You could also explore the upper levels I suppose. Or something else?


m LE half-elf Warlock 5 | HP 47/47, THP 0/8 | AC 14 | Saves: Str 0, Dex +2, Con +2, Int +1, Wis +3, Cha +7 | Perc 10 | Init +2 | DV60' | HD 3/5 | Inspiration - | Talisman 3/3 | Spells 2/2 | Invis +, Spray +, Cloak +, PoP + | -

Religion or Arcana: 1d20 + 4 ⇒ (17) + 4 = 21

Simon looks with horror at the scenes of sacrilege and massacre. He saw a lot of things while he was or pretended to be a cultist, but what is happening now is clearly too much for the psyche of a young nobleman. And yet... Was there any sense in this ritual? Is there any way to reverse it? What really happened here?


Human Male Ranger (Gloom Stalker) 5 | HP 35/44 | AC 19 | Init: +4 w/ Adv. | Spells: 1st - 0/4; 2nd - 0/2 | Favored Foe: 2/3 | Passive Percept: 18 | Saves: STR: +7 DEX: +6 CON: +3 INT: +2 WIS: +3 CHA: +1 | HD: 2/5 | Conditions: Lycanthropy
Spells:
1st: Cure Wounds, Disguise Self, Hunter's Mark, Speak with Animals, Zephyr Strike; 2nd: Beast Sense, Protection from Poison, Rope Trick
Skills:
Insight + 5, Nature +4, Perception +8, Persuasion +3, Stealth +5, Survival +8

"Thought there was something there...just not sure now."

Lucian quietly skulks around the chamber, looking for any sign of a guardian of any sort.

Perception: 1d20 + 8 ⇒ (1) + 8 = 9 And doesn't see his own damned feet...


Halfling Dragonslayer | HP: 33/34 | 0/1d8 & 0d6 | Disguise 1/1 | Camo 2/3 | Recover 0/3 | Fast Rit 1/1 |1st 2/4 | 2nd 1/3 | Inspiration!
Stats:
AC 15 | Str -1 Dex +6 Con +2 Int +7 Wis +1 Cha -1 | Init +3 | Perc +7, Darkvision 120 ft | Insight +1

Malaric wanders around the abattoir chapel looking for anything interesting. He inures himself to death and tries to see past it for a story about happened.

Investigation: 1d20 + 10 ⇒ (9) + 10 = 19


AC18(20) |HP 38/[40]| Str+3 Int+1 Wis+6 Dex+0 Con+2 Cha+2|Init + 0|Percept +6|Insight +6|Invest +4| War Priest Attacks 0/[3] Inspiration [Y] Channel Divinity 1/[1] HD 2/[5] Male Human Doomguide Acolyte of Kelemvor Cleric (War)/5
GM Infinity wrote:


~~~

"Huh? Oh yeah, lemme give it a yank...*hwaaAAAAAHHH!!!*" contrasted to Reya's efforts, the polished wooden contraption is remarkably smooth and silent...as if maintained by some force outside the corrupting influence of hell. The fist is dexterous. The fist unravels with grace. The hand opens up expectantly, wondering what you have to offer. Somewhere you hear the dingdong of a silver bell, and the gentle warbling of waterfowl.

But here too, there is a magnetism beyond mundane senses. Of course Torm, unknown to any mortal, was the master of a horde of prisoners bound to eternally walk the edge of the Realmspace crystal sphere. Each wears the same styled hand as a marking brand...their task is to open the portals to other realms. Such is the stride demanded of His gold dragon companion. What mortals can comprehend, the odd translation of this influence to the unbeknowing is like that of a promise. No, stronger than that. As if given a pledge of loyalty by a beloved acquaintance.

There is a sense that a service has begun.

The slaughter in service to the basest of blasphemy and sacrilege rocked him to his core but the opening of the Altar and the manifestation of divine will, even here in hell, was like balm to a greviously infected wound to the priests troubled soul.

Moisture in a desert, by Kelemvor, but water none the less!, he kneels briefly, praying in gratitude and Torm even gets an honorary mention or two. He rises and adds two of Kelemvor's funerary coins to the centre of the hand, and readies one of his very rare holy waters.

Give me a moment friends, there is a positive connection here. One I need to re-enforce.

Religion 1d20 + 6 ⇒ (3) + 6 = 9 and Investigation 1d20 + 6 ⇒ (16) + 6 = 22

He didn't study so good when it came to matters of Tormite faith :). Hopefully his investigation led to some insights on the altar and the room itself...

He busies himself walking around the altar, blessing it in a ritual not of consecration but of protection as he sprinkles it and the surroundings with holy water.


AvernusArt 2Grid

Reminder you found some more holy water and a few unIDed potion back at the zombie werewolf fight.

The wooden mechanical hand seems uninterested in Grim's coins, perhaps transcendent of material wealth or neutral regarding the symbolism of Kelemvor. Grim does however notice, with his close investigation of the palm, a number of large teakwood plates constituting the palm. One particularly large sized one seems loose.

Mal and Grim turn to chatter, prodding here and there at the many corpses laying about. It seems pretty clear that a force of devils took on the guard of this sanctuary, and both sides lost.

Malaric and Lucian wander farther towards the altar wrapped in human skin and entrails, uncertain or uncaring about whatever Syrina and Cat are concerned with. Passing only a few steps beyond the curtain, they both feel a sudden weakness in the core of their bones...a dryness to their cracking musculature, and a very, very strong compulsion to DROP TO THE FLOOR AND KNEEL IN WORSHIP OF ZARIEL, ARCHDUCHESS OF AVERNUS.

However as forceful as it is, this is not a saving throw, but a 'choice' to comply. Decide if your character would like to bend the knee or not.

*spittle wheez*

Meanwhile one of the corpses near Grim suddenly draws breath. "...water...please..." the zombie with a very good uncorrupted human disguise pleads.

For the noble's part, Simon considers the massive central altar...its purpose, its status, its rank. There are the tell-tale signs of holiness, inspired twinkling sounds of peacefully babbling brooks, a warm comforting breeze at the nape, the giggles of distant naked virgins. The undeniable presence of such good and holy things leads Simon to take a more hands on approach to the contraption, but the moment he touches the altar a miracle happens! Simon glows briefly as if his skin was now made of pure red, unoxidized copper. You can almost smell the choir of loyal maidens as they recite the undying promises of that paragon of loyalty, Torm.

And yet the service has not reached its end.

Simon, you instantly gain the benefits of a long rest complete with max hp and 3 HD restored (1 more than normal). Others can attempt the same with a DC 15 religion check. Grim, since you mentioned Torm in your prayer and because of the philosophical connection of your deity with Torm (or more of a historical connection via the Cyric saga), you can take advantage on the religion roll (rolling once more to supplement your 9).

edit:
Grim, the holy water certainly seems to have the intended effect, bolstering the dwindling connection of this Mercurial nexus against the encroaching influence of Avernus. However, beyond Syrina's curtain, you see an altar in much greater need...


m LE half-elf Warlock 5 | HP 47/47, THP 0/8 | AC 14 | Saves: Str 0, Dex +2, Con +2, Int +1, Wis +3, Cha +7 | Perc 10 | Init +2 | DV60' | HD 3/5 | Inspiration - | Talisman 3/3 | Spells 2/2 | Invis +, Spray +, Cloak +, PoP + | -

Simon takes a step back, slightly shocked that such a force did not crush him for his connection with a terrible patron from Hell, but still confident that such a solid deity as Torm should respect and recognize the real aristocracy and if anyone should be given a blessing in this squad, it is to him, Simon of Eltans, the Worthy.

Even the Gods dare not argue with the fact that I am the chosen one, I am the savior, I am the one who is blessed first and the one who leads. Simon exhales noisily, and then looks around at everyone from behind his upturned nose. His voice, strong and domineering, full of charisma, sounds loud and solemn. While we spend time admiring the scenes of desecration, people in this city are dying. Every minute spent without the purpose of searching for an infernal contract is not only new souls of innocents forever doomed to endless suffering, but it also carries the risk of our death, and if we die, Elturel will die. This cannot be allowed. Let's look for this damn-literally-contract.

Another deep breath of a man-thinker, a man responsible for others. A man who did not want this heavy burden, but who is simply obliged to take it for the benefit of others. Reya, where could Krieg have hidden such a document? Did he have private quarters here? Let's go there immediately. He nods calmly, full of self-respect, as if agreeing with himself and as if this agreement alone was enough to accomplish great things.


Female, Human, Rogue (Swashbuckler) 3/ Warlock (Hexblade) 2 AC: 15(16) | HP: 23/30 | PP: 14 | PI: 14 | Init: +7 | Inspiration: No

Syrina's blade flashes up protectively as the booming voices rattles her bones and assaults her ears. Still keeping an eye on the shadow filled corner, she can't help but notices the various viscera rippling with each word demanding supplication to some hellish archwench.

She didn't bend her knee to whatever fool ran the city before it was sucked into hell, she wasn't going to do so now. Her folks always said she was too stubborn for her own good, but she wasn't in a mind to change her ways at this late date.

So she simply stands, sword at the ready trying to figure out what kind of trickery might be happening. She didn't have much training in the arcane arts, but she'd enough experience with wizards and warlocks, not too mention her own fickle patron, to have a chance of knowing when someone was messing about with the threads of arcane power or what might be lurking within that shadow.

Arcana: 1d20 ⇒ 14


Human Male Ranger (Gloom Stalker) 5 | HP 35/44 | AC 19 | Init: +4 w/ Adv. | Spells: 1st - 0/4; 2nd - 0/2 | Favored Foe: 2/3 | Passive Percept: 18 | Saves: STR: +7 DEX: +6 CON: +3 INT: +2 WIS: +3 CHA: +1 | HD: 2/5 | Conditions: Lycanthropy
Spells:
1st: Cure Wounds, Disguise Self, Hunter's Mark, Speak with Animals, Zephyr Strike; 2nd: Beast Sense, Protection from Poison, Rope Trick
Skills:
Insight + 5, Nature +4, Perception +8, Persuasion +3, Stealth +5, Survival +8

Lucian scowls.

He fought too long for and died for what he thought Eltruel was. He sure as Hell wasn't going to bend the knee to some infernal b%%%#.


Halfling Dragonslayer | HP: 33/34 | 0/1d8 & 0d6 | Disguise 1/1 | Camo 2/3 | Recover 0/3 | Fast Rit 1/1 |1st 2/4 | 2nd 1/3 | Inspiration!
Stats:
AC 15 | Str -1 Dex +6 Con +2 Int +7 Wis +1 Cha -1 | Init +3 | Perc +7, Darkvision 120 ft | Insight +1

Malaric audibly scoffs at the request to kneel before anyone but Shar. We flies away from the speaking zombie letting Grim manage that request.

If no one is checking the plates in the palm of the giant hand, he’ll go investigate.

Religion: 1d20 + 4 ⇒ (8) + 4 = 12


AC18(20) |HP 38/[40]| Str+3 Int+1 Wis+6 Dex+0 Con+2 Cha+2|Init + 0|Percept +6|Insight +6|Invest +4| War Priest Attacks 0/[3] Inspiration [Y] Channel Divinity 1/[1] HD 2/[5] Male Human Doomguide Acolyte of Kelemvor Cleric (War)/5

Advantage Religion: 1d20 + 6 ⇒ (1) + 6 = 7

Typical... sheesh

GM Infinity wrote:


*spittle wheez*

Meanwhile one of the corpses near Grim suddenly draws breath. "...water...please..." the zombie with a very good uncorrupted human disguise pleads.

The priest goes to the greviously wounded man immediately and provides water... the dead are rarely thirsty after all.


AvernusArt 2Grid

Reya regarded Simon's inquiry with extreme suspicion, squinting her eyes in concentrated analysis a beat before "...right. The suites, his personal residence." pointing towards the other side of the desecrated altar. She is motioning towards the 2 staircases on the west side on map. "Perhaps the offices as well...I want to check both."

Syrina believes she hears voices when all others hear nothing, the unsettling aura about the corrupted altar still playing tricks on her senses. Her limited experiences with magics could hardly constitute the lexicon of a true wizard, but still some things are obvious here. Some great power has overshadowed Torm's connection to this altar, and the result is a mockery of human flesh and waves of psychological games...mind f*ckery not even a feline is immune to, apparently.

Lucian and Malaric, even closer to the altar, seem to wrestle with some decision ever so briefly before standing tall and defiant. Motes of pitch-black soot begin to appear and magnetize to their skin. Their bodies take on a soft red glow. Inside their minds they hear the screams of an eternity of souls locked in extreme suffering and forced into twisted, shameful pleasures. Ever have chapped lips? Similar fissures begin to erupt across their entire epidermis. The earlier sensation of weakened bones intensifies. Clumps of hair fall from their scalps in tiny handfuls. Soon it seems as if the must lie down, as their skeleton will be too weak to support their weight.

For this unfortunate pair of wizard and ranger, the source of their newest malady is obvious. But their concentration is numbed, their reactions slowed. They both want to get the hell away from the stolen altar of Zariel as quickly as possible...but fear tearing their flesh apart if they move too quickly.

Lucian and Malaric, you gain Vulnerability to all damage.

As precious as fresh water was in hell, the Doomguide did not hesitate to sacrifice his own for a total stranger. A stranger who has seen better days. "...oh gods...where did you get this...t-thank you friend." leaning up at his waist. Clearly this is not a zombie or dead man after all, but another survivor.

Rubbing the back of his head, where there is a bloody but not serious blunt force trauma wound "Did you kill them all? Oh no...where are all the others..." he stands up too fast and passes out for a second, almost falling completely over but catching himself. This is a very tan half-elf, wearing the druidic symbol of Silvanus and carrying a polished club of what looks like yew.


Halfling Dragonslayer | HP: 33/34 | 0/1d8 & 0d6 | Disguise 1/1 | Camo 2/3 | Recover 0/3 | Fast Rit 1/1 |1st 2/4 | 2nd 1/3 | Inspiration!
Stats:
AC 15 | Str -1 Dex +6 Con +2 Int +7 Wis +1 Cha -1 | Init +3 | Perc +7, Darkvision 120 ft | Insight +1

Malaric flies quickly away from the altar of Zariel and onto the palm of the open fist of Torm. Only his faith in Shar keeps him from scratching his flesh bloody.

After recovering his internal compass, the former rumor monger attempts to investigate the plates of the palm.

Investigation: 1d20 + 10 ⇒ (7) + 10 = 17


AC18(20) |HP 38/[40]| Str+3 Int+1 Wis+6 Dex+0 Con+2 Cha+2|Init + 0|Percept +6|Insight +6|Invest +4| War Priest Attacks 0/[3] Inspiration [Y] Channel Divinity 1/[1] HD 2/[5] Male Human Doomguide Acolyte of Kelemvor Cleric (War)/5

The priest gravely considers the elf them offers him one of his two healing potions.

Here, drink this. A healing draught.


Female, Human, Rogue (Swashbuckler) 3/ Warlock (Hexblade) 2 AC: 15(16) | HP: 23/30 | PP: 14 | PI: 14 | Init: +7 | Inspiration: No

Syrina stares a bit longer at the altar with its gruesome decorations and shadow dwelling squatter. She'd hitched her cart to these folk not to get involved in the scuffle between Torm and Zariel, but to find a way out of hell. Better to leave dealing with things like...whatever was going on with this altar...to those more'n the know.

When a actual survivor of this blood bath is discovered she reaches out and grabs Lucian by the shoulder, giving the ranger a gentle tug away from the corrupted altar.

"Come on." She whispers to the former guardian of the fallen city. "Others have found someone who thought it was smart to live through all of this."

Waving to Cat she turns to join Grim and the others standing around the revived elf.

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