Dex, Cultist: 1d20 + 1 ⇒ (1) + 1 = 2
Dex, Drake: 1d20 + 2 ⇒ (10) + 2 = 12
Dagger v Arianna: 1d20 + 4 ⇒ (4) + 4 = 81d4 + 2 ⇒ (2) + 2 = 4
Dagger v Eska: 1d20 + 4 ⇒ (18) + 4 = 221d4 + 2 ⇒ (1) + 2 = 3
Eska's last acid splash gives the cultist a thorough coating, and he falls unconscious from the pain. Some of the oversplash falls onto the drake. Seeing the cultist down, James instead evokes a blast of eldritch magic at one of the drakes, opening a wound glowing with blue and green in its side.
But... The party's focus on the drakes below is soon broken. Howling drakes seems to have alerted others. The sound of dozens of footsteps and mischievous laughter rings out from the west, and up the staircase funnel an endless stream of kobolds and winged kobolds!
At least, black and white will provoke an AoO from Eska and Arianna if they're holding a melee weapon
The scaled minions rush Arianna and Eska, eagerly slicing their daggers, with one managing to cut a small wound in Eska's leg. Eska takes 3
Arianna is up
Starting next round, we'll bump Arianna to act with the rest of the party to make things flow better.
Dex, Green: 1d20 ⇒ 5
Dex, Yellow: 1d20 ⇒ 8
Eska: 1d20 + 3 ⇒ (15) + 3 = 18
Brax: 1d20 + 1 ⇒ (18) + 1 = 19
Arianna: 1d20 + 5 ⇒ (4) + 5 = 9
James: 1d20 + 3 ⇒ (10) + 3 = 13
Met-Anoia: 1d20 + 2 ⇒ (9) + 2 = 11
Red: 1d20 + 1 ⇒ (2) + 1 = 3
Drakes: 1d20 ⇒ 1
kobs: 1d20 + 2 ⇒ (7) + 2 = 9
w. kobs: 1d20 + 3 ⇒ (7) + 3 = 10
Using high ground to their advantage, Eska conjures a swath of acid down at the drakes, while James fires a blast at the prisoner, immediately killing him (or perhaps saving him). The drakes raise their snouts to the ceiling, howling loud enough that the sound carries deep into the caves.
"What the? Who are you people?!" The cultist screams, clearly angry that you'd interrupted his precious ritual.
Eska, Brax, James, and Met are up
Remember that the stairs are enclosed by a set of iron bars. The ledge is 10 feet above the ground below it.
We can see down into the pit from the ledge, right? It's just the bars are on the stairs.
Yep, you got it.
Eska, if you look at the map, you'll see the drake scene/ritual is happening in the pit below. It's shadowy, but you have darkvision.
You can choose to go right past it and continue on, if you wish.
Eska manages to avoid the worst effects of the trap, and Arianna quickly heals her wounds. The party continues forward a little more cautiously.
They soon come to another ledge with a sharp, 10 foot drop off, with a set of stairs leading down. A stout cage made of iron bars surrounds these steps to a height of 10 feet.
Below are three blue-skinned dragon-like creatures, yet they're wingless and stunted, with a long, muscular build. Accompanying them is a cultist, who stands above an emaciated prisoner tied to a metal loop on the ground.
Observing from above, the party watches as the cultist grabs the prisoner by the head and pours a cup full of blue blood down his throat. "Drink, and become a servant of Tiamat," he chants. Shuddering as the last drop of liquid hits his mouth, the prisoner falls back, and becomes very still. His eyes and mouth remain open, his eyes haphazardly shifting around in their sockets. The rest of his body is completely still.
The cultist takes out a bag that seems to squirm with life, and pulls out a thick, white worm. He leans over, placing the worm on the prisoner, and steps back. Horrifically, the worm skitters across the prisoner's face as if searching. Past his mouth and his nose it squirms, until it gets to his eye and stops, as if sensing something.
The worm twists its body as it burrows deep into the man's eye. The prisoner's mouth is open as his body begins to contort wildly, but it doesn't seem he can scream.
Arianna: 1d20 + 5 ⇒ (1) + 5 = 6
1d10 ⇒ 8
Eska: 1d20 + 5 ⇒ (4) + 5 = 9
1d10 ⇒ 2
Eska and Arianna carefully make their way through the path lined with oil lamps... and as Eska traverses the path, the floor below her left foot gives in, revealing a 2-foot deep pit with a large spike in it that skewers up through her heel.
Eska needs a DC 10 Con save
Fail the save:
Eska is affected by confusion for 10 rounds. We should do this slowly if the confusion roll result makes you move somewhere, because where you move may make other.. things.. happen.
From here, a set of steeply descending stairs leads down to the southeast. A spear with a pitted blade lies on the floor near the top of these steps. A short, wider path lit with simple oil lamps continues to the northwest.
Another set of wider ledges descends to the northeast, each ledge dropping about 10 feet. A strong, foul smell hangs in the air from that direction, and viewing the area below from the top ledge, you see what looks like a refuse dump of some sort, yet there are glints of metal as well as parchment below. It's hard to determine exactly what goods may be in the dump without going diving in, of course.
Dagger vs Eska: 1d20 + 4 ⇒ (9) + 4 = 131d4 + 2 ⇒ (2) + 2 = 4
Dagger vs Brax: 1d20 + 4 ⇒ (11) + 4 = 151d4 + 2 ⇒ (1) + 2 = 3
Met-Anoi'a grabs the menacing scaled creature around his neck, then pulls him in and punches him in the face, knocking him out. Brax taunts the kobold who hit him, but can't quite dish it out, this time.
Only two kobolds remain, and both fumble, striking the stalagmites next to Eska and Brax with an echoing clang...
Easy peasy, this time.
The whole party is up
An ooze-like ichor erupts from the kobold floating above Met-Anoi'a as James makes it explode from the inside. Arianna and Eska blast and cut down two more kobolds, quickly thinning their ranks.
Met-Anoi'a and Brax may act
Good point. I'll just have her act with James going forward to make things run a little faster.
Dagger vs Arianna: 1d20 + 4 ⇒ (4) + 4 = 81d4 + 2 ⇒ (4) + 2 = 6
Dagger vs Arianna, Adv: 1d20 + 4 ⇒ (20) + 4 = 241d4 + 2 ⇒ (2) + 2 = 4 Extra crit damage: 1d4 ⇒ 3
Dagger vs Arianna, Adv: 1d20 + 4 ⇒ (9) + 4 = 131d4 + 2 ⇒ (1) + 2 = 3
Dagger vs Brax: 1d20 + 4 ⇒ (12) + 4 = 161d4 + 2 ⇒ (1) + 2 = 3
Brax dashes in, daring the army of kobolds to come at him. So they do. All five of them rush the party, their daggers raised overhead. One strikes with purpose, cutting a gash in Arianna's side, while another rushes Brax and tears open a comparatively small wound in his arm. Arianna takes 7, Brax takes 3
James & Haliel, Eska, Met, and Arianna may act
Oof, looks like the map got moved a bit. If anyone's accessing over a phone to move your token, let me know, I can move it for you.
Arianna draws first blood, and first kill, the kobold gurgling over in a bloodied heap, while Eska evokes two beams of crackling, blue energy that tear through the wings of another. James finishes the flying monster off with a well-aimed blast of eldritch magic.
Met-Anoi'a rushes into the fray, while the remaining winged kobold flies over, hovering above the tiefling.
Brax and Haliel may act
Arianna's arrow zips past the winged kobold and bounces against the cave wall. That, and her subsequent inspirational cry, is all it takes for the entire room to turn towards the party at once.
Of course, being kobolds, they're not exactly quick to decide what to do. Most of the party acts first.
James, Eska, Met, and Arianna may act
<30 is bad: 1d100 ⇒ 47
Left or right?: 1d2 ⇒ 1
Enc: 1d6 ⇒ 2
ARianna: 1d20 + 7 ⇒ (19) + 7 = 26
Eska: 1d20 + 5 ⇒ (2) + 5 = 7
Kobolds 8, Winged kobolds 8
The party takes a much needed short rest, and they're lucky enough that nothing else that might be deeper into the caves comes to check up on them. Afterwards, they make their way through the fungus garden into a much larger, empty room wherein the fungus trail ends. Their voices echo in here, and the rock formations jutting from the ground and ceiling in the vast chamber cast shadows of various shapes and sizes all over the walls. It's too quiet in here.
It isn't just the rocks casting shadows, though. There's also eight kobolds spread throughout the room, two of them with sinewy wings jutting from their backs. The group looks bored, and it could only be their lack of intelligence that had them not notice any sounds created from Arianna and Haliel's approach...
Eska: 1d20 + 3 ⇒ (12) + 3 = 15
Brax: 1d20 + 1 ⇒ (8) + 1 = 9
Arianna: 1d20 + 5 ⇒ (5) + 5 = 10
James: 1d20 + 3 ⇒ (16) + 3 = 19
Met-Anoia: 1d20 + 2 ⇒ (10) + 2 = 12
Kobolds: 1d20 + 2 ⇒ (8) + 2 = 10
Winged kobolds: 1d20 + 3 ⇒ (8) + 3 = 11
Haliel: 1d20 + 3 ⇒ (1) + 3 = 4
Hey, GM? I think there's only one path here. It looks like that's a tunnel going under where we are now.
Evidently you're better at understanding maps than I am, no sarcasm. I thought that room had a connection to those other two, but you're right. It's a tunnel. There's only one way forward, so let's go that way.
1d6 ⇒ 3
Met'Anoi'a and Eska soon rejoin the party. Just as Eska steps on the same set of stairs that the others had traversed (or fallen over), the stairs collapse into a ramp, causing her to stumble face first into the fungus garden below. While she looks largely unscathed, when she pokes her head up, her eyes are glossed over.
You begin to hallucinate, and for the next 5 minutes, everything you see and hear suddenly becomes really, really, funny. Kind of like Hideous Laughter, but you can still move.
There were several options from here: the paths through the fungi to the left and right, a path leading directly ahead, where the fungus seems to thin out, or leaving the caves entirely, and leaving Frulam Mondath and whoever - or whatever - else was in these caves left to their own devices...
Frustrated with Mondath's fleetness, Eska grabs the map off the table, and has a more thorough look around the rooms. The smaller chamber to the north contains a bed and a trunk containing Mondath's clothes, as well as another trunk containing her Cult of the Dragon regalia. It isn't just a robe, it's a matching purple and gold shirt, pants, a robe, boots, and a belt buckle with a seemingly unique pattern etched into it.
A peek down the chute, which appears to drop about 30 feet, reveals a rope ladder fixed to one side.
Are Eska and Met returning to rejoin the rest of the party and pressing on, or checking out the chute?
Thanks Adam. I had felt a little uneasy about the topic coming up, and I'm glad you're speaking to it here. Never know when sensitive topics like suicide may cause unnecessary stress for other players.
Regarding Arianna as a character, I think we'll see her naturally develop over the course of the adventure, just as she has so far, whether that's through interactions with Brax, Met, James, and Eska, or with named NPCs. Already we've seen her come from what she was when Greenest was under attack - frightened, yet very heroic and bold - to facing her past all at once and ending up near-catatonic. How she develops from here is ultimately up to you, and could go several ways. The important thing is to make her the character you want her to be: one that you enjoy playing and writing as.
Hoping to continue our game this evening, but I believe we're waiting on Brax's response.
Eska slumps down, unconscious, while Met'Anoi'a takes stock of who's left of the party. Both Arianna and James' angel, Haliel, are nowhere to be seen.
But for anyone taking a look around Mondath's chamber, they note the following. Spread open on one of the tables is a simple map of the Greenfields area showing the villages the cult attacked and looted. An arrow is sketched in from the Greenfields toward the west and the town of Beregost on the Trade Way, where the arrow turns north. A separate sheet of paper that is covered with numerals in columns contains the note, "Everything must be freighted north to Naerytar. Rezmir allowed us to keep some pearls, a ring, and a handful of small stones."
Other papers are of less interest; most of them have bad poetry about dragons.
Pausing here, since Arianna's in another room, and Eska's unconscious. :) What will you guys do?
1d6 ⇒ 6
1d6 ⇒ 6
As his wounds close up, Met-Anoi'a's confidence surges, and he vows to end Frulam Mondath. He brings his greatsword down across her. It tears through her chain mail, and blood pours from the wound. She coughs and heaves.
"Bah. I have worked far too hard to meet my end here!" Mondath reaches for a bottle hanging from her belt and tosses it down her throat. As the bottle empties, she fades from visible light.
Eska and Met-Anoi'a watch as the carpet at the top right corner of the room shifts, and falls through a chute revealed below it.
Arianna and Haliel:
Meanwhile, Arianna runs straight down a set of stairs and into a larger chamber, where she curls up on the ground. The cavern below is carpeted with a profusion of glowing, colorful fungi ranging from a few inches high to nearly as tall as a human adult. Two paths lead through the fungi: one on the right and one on the left.
Unlike Pathfinder, taking out a potion next to someone doesn't provoke. Given Mondath has fled, we're technically not in combat. If you give chase and enter the chute, I'll keep us in rounds. If you don't, I'll take us out of rounds. Everyone is up, though.
1d20 + 1 ⇒ (13) + 1 = 14
C: 1d20 ⇒ 2
"Of course I sent the ogre," Mondath shouts as Arianna runs out. "And you stopped him, did you? Why not put that power to better use! Bah." The cult leader balks, slamming her halbred into the hard cave ground, annoyed as the elf leaves.
Then she turns to Eska. "As for you, are you going to just stand there?" The taunt comes just as Eska unleashes a loud thunderous burst, but Mondath digs her metallic violet boots into the ground, bracing herself against the force.
Yet the spectral dragons that were just there have faded away, Mondath's concentration broken. She grunts as the thunderwave subsides, only to be zapped by another witch bolt. She wavers on her feet momentarily, but it's not enough to stop her for good.
Met & James still have their actions for this round
Likewise. I'm really enjoying helping fill in Arianna's forgotten past in the most tragic and sinister ways I can think of. I was a little worried I might cross the line, given I don't want to write anything about your character's past that you wouldn't agree with, but thanks for letting me kind of just run with it for now. Excited to see how it ends up turning out.
And! This villain and her interactions with Arianna has also allowed me to communicate setting, history and character lore when the adventure had been light on it/more oldschool DnD otherwise.
Necrotic vs Hayliel Eska and Met: 3d8 ⇒ (5, 5, 6) = 16
Necrotic vs Brax: 3d8 ⇒ (2, 7, 5) = 14
The translucent zombie dragons flit about Hayliel and Met-Anoi'a, biting their skin and draining their energy away. Eska manages to swat away a few of them, but even she takes a few bites, as does Brax once he comes charging into the fray. Hayliel and Met take 16 damage, Eska takes 8. You can act as normal, but have your speed halved. Brax takes 7.
"Ah-hahahaha!" Frulam's cackle is more like a banshee's shriek. "What have you done, you ask? Do you really not remember? You were just like us. A member of the Cult of the Dragon, operating out of our citadel in the Sunset Mountains. You and your people would gather intelligence of neighboring cities. Then we'd raid them, and collect a nice hoard for our venerable dragons and dracoliches. Just like we did with Greenest." She stares into Arianna's soul. "That's right, hero. You've killed what you call innocents just as we have. Seeing as you already well understand our operation, and have once served us before, it would be nice to have you back. As a Wearer of the Purple, I would even take you under my own wing!"
Eska, Met, Arianna, and James still have their actions for this round
Frulam Mondath steps forward, her eyes glowing bright purple. She holds her halbred out, and from its blade fly a dozen translucent undead dragons that flit about Met-Anoi'a, Eska, and Hayliel's heads. The distraction is unnerving and the three suddenly feel sapped of strength, but for some reason, the fiendish creatures all but avoid Arianna.
If you are within 15 feet of Frulam Mondath (excluding Arianna) your speed is halved, and you will need a DC 14 Wis save on your turn. Roll your saves first please. If you enter within 15 feet of her, you'll also suffer these same effects and need a save.
Everyone is up!
Frulam looks sidelong at Arianna, studying her face. "Ah... Could it be? I'd not forget that hair, even after all this time." She cackles again, this time even more sharply, as if filled with purpose. "Your parents were cunning. Determined. Yet perhaps too devout. Thought they'd been summoned to this world in service to Tiamat - bless Her - Herself. They'd tried to ascend to such a level in the Cult that they'd be granted a dragon mask," she scoffs. "You don't get that far up without taking a few names. They'd left my associates and I with quite a predicament, not wanting to weaken the cult by... removing others. Even still, what does one do when their rivals plot to surpass them?" She spread her arms proudly. "Easy. Kill them before they kill you."
Frulam stumbles, Eska's bolt causing her skin to smoke. Still, she grins wickedly, still focused on Arianna. "How about rejoining us? I happen to be looking for another lieutenant," she laughs, leaning away to avoid the eldritch blast barreling through the room.
I think Arianna still has an action here? Or am I wrong?
I've moved the rest of you ahead to the drunken-cultist chamber, and moved Eska along with Arianna as the two scout ahead.
Perception: 1d20 + 4 ⇒ (20) + 4 = 24
Arianna stalks forward into the next room: a chamber that contains a writing desk and a stool, several tables with books and papers, and a mirror on a floor stand. Light comes from two oil lamps. Thick rugs completely cover the floor.
It also contains a person.
"If you really wanted to sneak up on me after that noisy murderfest you just carried out, you might've tried an invisibility potion," a woman calls. The voice is a massive frozen sea swell that washes over Arianna, chilling her to the core. It's so familiar to her, just like it was when she heard it a few days ago. Even Eska recognizes that standing in this room, halbred in hand, is Frulam Mondath.
She holds her weapon out, standing with a narrow bearing, her eyes fixed on the passageway. "We spared you once, but to come into our caves nosing about? Foolhardy, all of you. I'll see to it that you, too, take the worm after we're done here. It'll be so sweet to watch you all birth kobolds in the coming days. Perhaps you can choose names for your scaled children of Tiamat before I kill you."
She throws her head back, cackling. "Let me show you what it feels like to fight a woman... imbued with the spirit of a dragon!"
Eska: 1d20 + 3 ⇒ (19) + 3 = 22
Brax: 1d20 + 1 ⇒ (7) + 1 = 8
Arianna: 1d20 + 5 ⇒ (16) + 5 = 21
James: 1d20 + 3 ⇒ (11) + 3 = 14
Met-Anoia: 1d20 + 2 ⇒ (20) + 2 = 22
Mondath: 1d20 + 0 ⇒ (12) + 0 = 12
Eska, Met, Arianna, and James are up
3x Chain Shirts @ 20 lbs each, 3x Spears @ 3 lbs each, 8x robes @ 5 lbs each. Split between all of you, it should be within your carrying capacity, but something to keep in mind when looting enemies clean. :)
While James starts stripping bodies of equipment to help resupply Greenest, Arianna leaves and starts exploring. She comes upon another room that's mostly empty, save for a few overturned boxes, broken items, scattered coins, and small gems. The coins total to 16 gold.
Leaning back on a box is another cultist, drool trickling out of his mouth, snoring loudly. Several empty bottles of wine are propped up against his arm.
Met-Anoi'a, Eska, and Brax sweep through the remaining three Tiamat-worshiping cultists, the cavern now in an entirely gruesome state.
Out of combat
Looking through the bodies while avoiding puddles of spatter, the party finds that the guards had ordinary equipment, save for their scabbards, which are decorated with dragon motifs. It's likely that they could be sold for more than an ordinary scabbard, or perhaps there's another use for them? The guards also carried coins and small gemstones totaling to 120 gp.
... And the usual mundane equipment (spears, chain shirts).
Unarmed vs James: 1d20 + 3 ⇒ (20) + 3 = 23
Unarmed vs James: 1d20 + 3 ⇒ (18) + 3 = 21
Arianna's weapon hits the cultist hard enough that her body suddenly goes limp. Gravity quickly takes over, and she collapses in a heap, her eyes rolling back in her head.
Two cultists near James take turns throwing punches at him, and both manage to land hits, lightly bruising the warlock. James takes 3
Eska, Brax, and Met-Anoi'a are up
"Your pact is through this angel, is it?" The white-robed cultist grins. "Imagine how weak you will become if it should... die." He throws his head back as if he's about to laugh, and then stops suddenly, his eyes dimming below the lance now protruding from his head.
Arianna is up
1d20 + 3 ⇒ (17) + 3 = 201d6 + 1 ⇒ (1) + 1 = 2
His chest cut open, the blue-eyed guard falls at Met-Anoi'a's feet with a horrifying death cry. Brax and Eska wound two more cultists, but it doesn't seem enough to stop them.
The remaining guard steps south and strikes at Met with his spear, grinning wickedly as he pokes a hole in the paladin's leg. Met takes 2
Arianna and James are up
Black, Unarmed vs James: 1d20 + 3 ⇒ (5) + 3 = 8 1 dmg if it hits
Purple, Unarmed vs Eska: 1d20 + 3 ⇒ (11) + 3 = 14
Pink, Unarmed vs ESka: 1d20 + 3 ⇒ (20) + 3 = 23 Crit
White, Unarmed vs Eska: 1d20 + 3 ⇒ (4) + 3 = 7
Hayliel's words (and the tone of her voice, probably) are enough to throw off the cultist's guard, and James smokes him in the chest with eldritch magic, taking him down. Unfortunately, Arianna's blade clangs off the guard's chain shirt.
"It isn't about seeing our flesh, you fool. These robes bring us power," the cultist snaps as he rushes back at James, throwing a not-so-powerful clumsy fist. The rest of the cultists surround Eska, one managing to land an uppercut, bruising the sorceress. Eska takes 2
Eska, Brax, and Met are up
Spear: 1d20 + 3 ⇒ (8) + 3 = 11
Spear: 1d20 + 3 ⇒ (16) + 3 = 19
Brax and Met-Anoi'a rush into the fray, hoping to defend their less armored companions.
Eska's bravery pays off, as she brings one of the armored guards to his knees with her next stab. Her second strike tears open blue's wrist, the guard grunting as he nearly drops the spear. He strikes back, the metal tip bouncing off an invisible, magical shield that appears just in time to negate the damage.
Arianna and James are up
@Eska, yep, sure.
The cultist tries to swat Hayliel out of the air, and in doing so doesn't see Arianna winding up another strike. He slumps over as the blade slinks through him.
Going to just redirect James' attack to another cultist, in this case.
James blasts another cultist with eldritch magic, and she turns and runs to the corner of the cave, the other cultists joining her as they move to cover themselves up. Then they face back towards the party, fists raised. "Surround the white-haired witch and pound her down. What we lack in arms, we will make up for in numbers. For Tiamat!"
Eska, Brax, and Met are up
Thunderwave's radius is a 15 foot cube, and the point of origin is a face of that cube (PHB p. 204) rather than centered on the caster. You can't be included in the radius. From where Eska is standing, that's probably to the left to be able to hit the most foes.
Con Save, Cultist 1: 1d20 ⇒ 14
Con Save, Cultist 2: 1d20 ⇒ 5
Con Save, Cultist 3: 1d20 ⇒ 10
Con Save, Green: 1d20 + 1 ⇒ (18) + 1 = 19
Red vs Eska: 1d20 + 3 ⇒ (13) + 3 = 161d6 + 1 ⇒ (2) + 1 = 3
Blue vs Eska: 1d20 + 3 ⇒ (10) + 3 = 131d6 + 1 ⇒ (2) + 1 = 3
Green vs Eska: 1d20 + 3 ⇒ (6) + 3 = 91d6 + 1 ⇒ (6) + 1 = 7
Eska enters the disturbing chanting circle, carefully stepping around the naked cultists, and then calls down a cube that booms with deafening thunder and crackles with white hot sparks. The cube throws three of the cultists and the guard back against the wall, two of them crushed by the force alone.
The chanting quickly flares into a cacophony of confusion, angry scowls and horrified screams.
"K-kill them!" The cultists demand of the guards as they scramble away towards their robes.
Meanwhile, Arianna rips open a gouge in one of the cultist's side.
The guards stumble through the cave as the thundering cube subsides, all three training their spears on Eska, yet only one manages to hit the evasive sorceress. Eska takes 3
James and Arianna are up
Added a token for Hayliel, James, but feel free to swap out the image (not that it can really be seen given its size). I've also grouped the cultists and guards together here to make things flow better.
Perception vs Stealth (Eska/Arianna):
Eska 20 Arianna 23
Guard Perception, Chanting Penalty: 1d20 + 2 - 5 ⇒ (18) + 2 - 5 = 15
Guard Perception, Chanting Penalty: 1d20 + 2 - 5 ⇒ (18) + 2 - 5 = 15
Guard Perception, Chanting Penalty: 1d20 + 2 - 5 ⇒ (18) + 2 - 5 = 15
Eska and Arianna get close enough, the chanting cultists now in plain sight. They can also see the guards a little more closely, the three guards still facing away from the cultists, and take note of their scabbards which appear decorated with dragon motifs.
With no one noticing their approach, Eska and Arianna find themselves with the advantage of surprise...
Eska: 1d20 + 3 ⇒ (2) + 3 = 5
Brax: 1d20 + 1 ⇒ (4) + 1 = 5
Arianna: 1d20 + 5 ⇒ (8) + 5 = 13
James: 1d20 + 3 ⇒ (8) + 3 = 11
Met-Anoia: 1d20 + 2 ⇒ (8) + 2 = 10
All Cultists: 1d20 + 1 ⇒ (10) + 1 = 11
All Guards: 1d20 + 1 ⇒ (18) + 1 = 19
Eska and Arianna are up
Looking at one corner of the room, the party can see a pile of robes not unlike those they had seen during the raid on Greenest. Whatever strange touching ritual the chanters are involved in doesn't seem forced from what Eska can tell. Their eyes are closed and their words are accompanied by breathy whispers and moans.
I haven't yet put their tokens on the map yet, but it sounds like Eska's moving in to start the fight?