Adventure Date: April 14, 2006
Last Updated: January 6, 2009
Day 18 (cont'd)
After Triple "H" and Pennyweight have had an opportunity to update the rest of the adventurers on what they have discovered in the sub-basement of the Church of Nerull, and the rest of the group have had an opportunity to update their two "right-sized" companions on their infiltration of the Church, it is decided to search the four rooms immediately outside the torture chamber. The adventurers estimate that it is somewhere around 2:00am of the 19th day of the adventure.
Pennyweight attempts to check for (and where necessary disarm traps) and where necessary unlock the doors, starting with the two doors on the left (facing our from the torture chamber) and then moving to the two doors on the right.
Pennyweight discovers that all four doors are locked with very good quality locks and is unable to open any of the doors.
Pennyweight does discover a needle trap on the left hand side door farthest from the torture chamber and sucessfully disarms it, but unhappily for him, does not fare as well with the needle trap on the right hand side door farthest from the torture chamber. Fortunately for him, ministrations from a wand-wielding Xana prevent the poison from doing any serious damage.
Triple "H" pours a vial of acid into the lock of the left hand side door farthest from the torture chamber to try and disable the lock and open the door, but to no avail.
The party decides to explore the sub-basement, via the secret passage behind the iron maiden in the torture chamber.
Sub-basement of the Church of Nerull
The adventurers work their way down a hallway. There is a door on the left (which opens up into the room that Triple "H" and Pennyweight had their encounter with the "killer pool of oil") and a door slightly farther down the hallway on their right. No one can hear anything from the other side of this door. When it is determined that the door is not locked or trapped, Pennyweight opens the door. It opens up into a room best described as a library, with desks with ink wells and shelves full of religious books. Agrona and Triple "H" are able to determine that the books do not pertain to the Church of Nerull and that they describe ritual sacrifice and the undead. Nuria collects all the ink vials she can and in the process finds books on arcane magic.
The party continues down the hallway and eventually comes to a T-junction.
To the right, the hallway continues on for some distance and to the left, the hallway ends with a door. The party decides to explore to the left first. Just a little ways down the hallway, the party members notice a door on their left and a short corridor that ends in a door on their right, in addition to the door at the end of the hallway. The door on the left opens into a garbage room and Triple "H" is attacked by rot grubs (which are eventually burned out of his flesh using a torch) when he searches through the piles of rubbish for something of value. Once again, ministrations from a wand-wielding Xana helps put things right.
It is decided to examine the door at the end of the hallway next. Pennyweight and Ebreck, who are leading the party down the hallway trigger a pit trap, which Pennyweight avoids, but Ebreck is not as fortunate - enter Xana with the wand to make it all better.
The adventurers make their way around the pit trap to the door. Pennyweight does not find any traps on the door, finds it unlocked and opens the door. Pennyweight is greeted with three magic missiles in the chest. The door opens up into an alchemist's laboratory - tables are filled with flasks of foul and exotic smelling liquids bubbling over open flames - but it is the four fighter types and a wizard looking fellow which draw the adventurers' immediate attention. A pitched battle ensues during which a number of the adventurers succumb to their wounds - enter the wand-wielding Xana.
In the end, the occupants of the room are defeated with one of the guards surrendering. He is bound with shackles and interrogated while Xana heals her fallen and wounded comrades. However, four more guards interrupt the "healing/interrogation" process. Three of the guards are vanquished and one escapes down the hallway. During both battles, Xana brings to "bear" (actually twice and the black variety) her formidable magical abilities.
Nuria decides to chase the escaping guard to prevent him from raising the alarm, but in her haste, she forgot about the pit and promptly stumbles and falls to the bottom. The guard runs past the T-junction up the other arm of the hallway, eventually disappearing around the corner as the hallway turns sharply right.
After her unconscious corpse is raised from the pit and revived back in the alchemist laboratory, Nuria reports that the guard escaped. Ebreck goes to the T-junction to set up a watch.
Though the adventurers paid a hefty price in defeating their foes, the reward was not insubstantial:
Nuria and Agrona take 10 crossbow bolts each to replenish their supply of missiles.
Pennyweight, after being ministered by Xana, the wand-wielding Druid, move up the hallway to keep Ebreck company.
As Pennyweight moves up the hallway, a guard peaks his head around the corner and exchanges "fire" with Ebreck.
Nuria joins Ebreck and helps pin down the guard at the corner with a couple of well placed crossbow bolts.
Pennyweight sneaks down the hallway and sucessfully sneak attacks the guard as he pops out from around the corner to return "fire" at Ebreck and Nuria.
While this is happening, Triple "H" makes his way down the hallway, pausing at the last unexplored door to see if he can hear anything from the other side, but he hears nothing.
Xana and Agrona, joined by Triple "H", make their way to the far end of the hallway, where Nuria, Ebreck and Pennyweight have engaged the enemy. As a side note, the guard was incapacitated and "placed" in the pit trap for safe keeping.
When Xana arrives at Ebreck's position, he relieves her of the wand so he can cure himself before entering the fray. Xana summons more of her furry friends - of the wolf variety this time - five in all - to aid us in the battle and aid us they did. It is clear that without the timely intervention of the wolves and the well placed summoning (as a living and breathing barrier) of a light riding horse - thanks to Nuria - the outcome of the battle would have been very different. As it was, the adventurers were hard pressed to win the day.
Initially, the adventurers were opposed by four guards and a magic user. Eventually, two more guards and three other spellcasters appeared through a set of double doors at the end of the hallway and joined the fray. They were obviously being directed by another figure which appeared from the double doors. He appeared to be a head cleric - hanging back, impacting the pitched battle with well placed spells.
Despite their best efforts and using every tool at their disposal, from alchemy fire and smokesticks to the afore-mentioned pony and wolves, the adventurers realized that the magical barrage from the foes combined with their superior numbers was almost too much. Magic missiles initially decimated our ranks and then two fear spells were cast against the adventurers. The first time, all the adventurers were able to resist - some might say due to the channelling of some deity by a "right-sized" individual or some such nonsense. The second time, it appeared disaster had struck. Nuria, Pennyweight and Agrona succumbed to the wave of fear and ran from the battle - leaving a stunned Xana (stunned by an unfortunate and untimely bow misfire), the heroic Ebreck and Triple "H". Triple "H" quickly scooped Xana into his arms and raced after the other members of the party. Ebreck taking up the rearguard position was holding the enemy back when he was frozen by a hold spell and captured.
NOTE: See maps for layout of sub-basement of the Church of Nerull
The rest of the party ended up in the original corridor with the secret door and appeared to be trapped. Thankfully, the effect of the fear spell and the stun ended (a reluctant Triple "H" released Xana). One of the foes pursuing us, a spellcaster, foolishly demanded our surrender, to which Xana replied with an arrow through his right eye, instantly killing him. Nuria attempted a similar feat of accuracy and screamed at our foes "Crossbow bolt to the face!" Unfortunately, the crossbow misfired as she was loading it and she wound up shooting herself in the face, felling her once more to the ground. Spurred on by Xana's prowess with the bow, and the need to release Ebreck, the party quickly dispatched the rest of the pursuers, but Agrona fell in the process, joining Nuria in a crumpled heap on the ground.
Pennyweight and Triple "H" decide to go after Ebreck. Triple "H" drinks the invisibility potion and takes a magic ring and magic rabbit's foot from the dead spellcaster. The party finds another 37 gold pieces on the bodies. Pennyweight takes the other potions, as well as another magic ring and a magic dagger from the unconscious Nuria.
Triple "H" and Pennyweight race to the double doors through which Ebreck was taken. A diabolical laugh and the smell of brimstone emanate from behind the doors. Pennyweight, with the blessing of Olidammara and despite the yammering of Triple "H", is able to unlock the double doors and using two of the dead guards as shields, the two would-be rescuers burst through the doors. Just as they enter the room they see a demonic figure disappear. The head cleric, the other two spellcasters and the guard have obviously sacrificed themselves. Ebreck is near death, draped across the unholy altar - a summoning circle enscribed in the middle of the floor. Triple "H" rushes to try to save Ebreck and Pennyweight notices that one of the spellcasters is also cligging to life and for a split second, thinks to save this vile being so that more can be learned of this cult's plans. He then realizes that Ebreck would surely die left to Triple "H"'s ministrations. Pennyweight, once again by the blessing of Olidammara, stabilizes Ebreck enough that Triple "H" can find the wand of curing, which Ebreck was carrying, and bring Ebreck to the land of the living. Ebreck goes to heal the others while Pennyweight and Triple "H" search this Altar room.
The adventurers note the unholy symbols worn by the priests and collect them as further proof that the cult has returned.
They heal up and decide to explore the other unopened doors. The first door down the hallway from the set of double doors is unlocked and opens into a small change/sleeping chamber. Pennyweight and Triple "H" take two of the robes so as to "blend in".
Pennyweight attempts to unlock the next door down the hallway, but is unable to open it.
The third door (unlocked) opens into a room with a large cage on its side and two bodies, one with no head. Whatever was in the cage is long gone.
The adventurers return to the door across from the garbage room and discover a 20 x 20 room full of skulls in niches in the walls.
They finally return to the alchemist laboratory to collect the alchemy books, and thus ends this session.
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