Dungeon Crawling for Great Justice

The town of Sandpoint is in an uproar after the murder of one of its chief citizens by his own son, and the revelation of an impending attack. As the party trains and sorts out the spoils from its recent adventures, Ameiko tries to sort out the glass business that has fallen to her. When the sheriff shows no sign of returning soon, the heroes of Sandpoint decide that they need to clear the worrisome dungeon beneath the town before it disgorges its promised attack.

Descending into the smugglers tunnels beneath the town, they enter an ancient section, formerly blocked off. It was clearly a much older ruin, likely Thassilonian, and is in surprisingly good repair for the thousands of years it must have rested. Before they have even entered the dungeon proper, a strange guardian beast creeps from a cave, obviously waiting for intruders. The horribly warped but vaguely man-shaped thing attempts to devour Taeva, but is quickly dispatched.

The party follows the tunnel, passing up one side passage and then entering what appears to be an old antechamber. A statue of a beautiful but enraged woman wields a wicked-looking polearm. The weapon or statue does not seem magical to Balekh’s divinations, but the entire dungeon is obviously full of magics, including a significant helping of Transmutation. They cautiously take the door to the north, and surprise two more of the guardian creatures in a run-down prison room. These guardians also fall quickly, as they were surprised in their own bickering.

The prison leads to a flight of stairs, and the party proceeds quietly and cautiously, emerging into a large room with a terribly deformed goblin moaning over a series of covered, groaning pits. Stealthing into the room, they assassinate the broken creature before it can act, and then set to destroying the zombies within the holes. Inspection of the dead mutant leads Balekh to believe that this was the goblin hero Koruvus that had disappeared into the tunnels beneath Sandpoint. He even had his famed magical longsword.

Further travel leads the party to a set of blocked stairs and a strange spherical room that appears to have no gravity: a parcel of strange items float in the middle of the room as angry words in Thassilonian script flicker around the walls. The party carefully retrieves the items that seem valuable in here, then head back to the antechamber with the woman’s statue.

Proceeding south, the party finds an old, destroyed storeroom, then enters what appears to be the altar of an evil church. Unholy water sits upon the altar, and Balekh is certain that this is a shrine to Lamashtu, mother of monsters. Likely drinking the water is what mutated poor Koruvus. Haggor notes, however, that Koruvus was bigger than expected for a goblin, and considers drinking the water to mutate himself into a bigger specimen. He saves a vial of the unholy water for later, just in case.

Finally, the heroes kick in the door of the larger section of the evil church, and find themselves in a small cathedral, with an elegant, skull-filled pool and a glowing well of angry light. Within is a tiny demoness that shouts blandishments at them and then bleeds into the fiery well. Another of the strange guardians emerges, but Haggor notes that it also seems to have partially exhausted the well’s energy, to the demoness’ great chagrin. The demoness flies away and becomes invisible, and Balekh summons an obscuring mist around the party.

A stalemate begins, where neither side can see one another. Haggor rushes up to the well and eliminates the guardian quickly, and decides to spawn more of them to exhaust the well. The demoness tries to counter with a summoned serpent, but it cannot affect the monk through his protection from evil. At the fringes of the mist, Veshenga helps Haggor take out a series of these monsters, and the snake. Finally, the demoness can take no more as the light of the well is almost out, and she reveals herself by calling down a burst of sound upon Haggor and the recently-emerged Balekh.

This proves to be a crucial mistake, as a tiny creature is no match for a trained wrestler. Haggor uses her momentary reappearance as an opportunity, and flings himself through the air, grappling her and smashing back down into the fountain and mist below. The entire party moves in to take stabs at the hissing and spitting creature that Haggor has kept locked. However, the creature seems to resist earthly weapons and heal at an accelerated rate: numerous attacks barely seem to harm her. Meanwhile, she is slowly whittling away at the monk’s health with fang and claw, and he is barely holding out against the poisons coursing through him.

Finally, the monk can stay conscious no longer, and the demoness breaks free, terribly wounded and rushing for the door. The party moves to stop her, and she almost breaks free before Veshenga makes a desperate grab and catches her as well. Balekh and Taeva frantically stab as the beast clawing to be free as Haggor stiffens from paralysis at the edge of the pool. Finally, amidst furious and lucky strikes, the beast ceases to struggle and the party decapitates her. They retrieve the paralyzed and unconscious half-orc, and begin the slow struggle to the surface to make sense of what just happened.

Advertisements