nerdlords

Nualia
session 11

The party explore the area, discovering:

  • A storage area, more cave than building. A passage to the north leads to the tentamort cavern Rye discovered earlier.
  • Ripnugget’s harem, populated by terrified goblins-in-waiting. Bugbear-sized undergarments on the floor suggest Bruthazmus was a very recent customer.
  • A prison, currently empty of occupants. Lem finds the ring of keys in the warden’s office and pockets them, just in case.
  • The sleeping quarters of Tsuto, Nualia, Orik, Bruthazmus, and one other person. Items of interest include more of Tsuto’s ‘artistic’ nudes of Nualia, detailed notes on the Sandpoint attack, and everburning torch which Rye takes.

The party pass into a corridor containing doors to the north, east and west. The western door is a massive stone affair decorated with carvings of monstrosities being birthed from unnatural mothers. Cage identifies the artwork as a tribute to Lamashtu, Mother of Monsters. Despite this super tempting door, the party goes east. A thin corridor again leads them to the tentamort cave where Rye is finally able to dispatch the monster.

Turning back they discover their path blocked by a Yeth Hound. The creatures unholy howl sends Ilsoari into a panic. The wizard flees in terror and a second yeth hound attacks. A series of magic missiles from the north shoot Ilsoari from behind. The trio fight the dogs in the enclosed space, including a bitching wall run/ cleave combo by Rye, but are interrupted when a deep female voice speaking Abyssal calls for the dogs to Heel. The hounds obey and Lem promptly slams the door, leaving Ilsoari in the hallway with the monsters.

Let that sink in.

The now-trio dashes through the tentamort cave back to the original chamber and re-enter the corridor to find Ilsoari missing. The north reveals a sort of goblin art gallery containing a depiction of Thistletop in cross-section with a massive thirty foot goblin in a cavern in it’s heart. Pressing on, they discover a war-room for Nualia’s gang with details of the original and upcoming Sandpoint attacks,, including notes of a partnership with the quasit below Sandpoint. Most notably the notes describe a Runewell there can can create Sinspawn by via the blood of sinners. The Runewell is not at full power, but the death of Sandpoint should fully enable it.

They find and follow a staircase to the interior. The stairs twist and break revealing the slanted cant of the ‘head’. The chambers below are dusty and unlit and contain multiple statues of a stern-faced man wielding a book and glaive. Before entering a corridor Lem notices the ground is unusually clean and that a particular tile is a bit suspect. All three party members jump over the tile, but Cage lands noisily. From the far end of the corridor the same deep female voice demands their surrender or their friend will die. They decide to risk it and open a full assault.

Again: let that sink in.

Naulia awaits them. She is as beautiful as described, maybe moreso, except her exposed midriff reveals a map of scars- a symbol of a devotee of Lamashtu- and her angry red right arm, transformed now into something infernal as her metamorphosis has begun. She is joined by a trio of floating yeth hounds and a wizard called Lyrie, furious at Tsuto’s absence. True to her word, Naulia slashes Ilsoari’s throat with her saw-bladed bastard sword.

The fight begins and it’s a slobber knocker. All stops are pulled, all tricks are invoked, nothing is left on the table. Fate turns on Nualia as she loses control of her weapon. Waves of negative energy bomb the room as Lyrie fires a wand of magic missile and the hounds relentlessly attack. Through some miracle the trio are able to gain control, and soon a brutal power attack by Rye followed two perfectly placed arrows by Lem silences Nualia’s rage forever.

Still, the fight is not over; a yeth hound attaches itself to Cage’s throat, nearly killing him. Lem drives his thumbs deep into the hound’s eyes to save his friends life (he’s lucky he’s not Ilsoari) before Rye is able to land a killing blow. Lyrie, overwhelmed and heartbroken that her love Tsuto has been killed, flees the scene, leaving behind her belongings. As Lem watches her flee Ripnugget returns, sword in hand. He rushes toward the group but accidentally sets off the trapped tile and is slaughtered by a storm of swinging glaives.

Somehow all four of the party survives. They pillage the room, discovering Nualia’s journals, then take a well-earned rest and heal before continuing their exploration. They follow a recently uncovered hidden passage where mumbling from behind a door draws their attention. The door reveals a throne flanked by statues of the glaive-wielding man, as well as an illusion of the same man on the throne. The illusion is damaged and has been looping a short message for ten thousands years. It identifies the runelord as Karzoug and has a cryptic message about runelord Alaznist and a catastrophe.

Finally they discover a seven pointed star- the Sihedron rune- and place it in a relief in the massive stone doors to the south. The door slowly opens for the first time in ten centuries, revealing a massive four legged creature in a massive chamber lit by an ancient flaming pit. Not quite the thirty foot goblin they expected…

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You Shall Not Pass Away
session 10

The party surrounds the prone form of Ripnugget, intent on interrogating him. The Goblin King is no easy mark, however; he struggles and cries for help. In the courtyard, the battle between the Thistletop goblins and the warhorse Leggs has shifted tides; the horse is dead on it’s feet from dozens of cruel wounds and the goblins, now engaged in sport, think they hear something…

Fed up with Ripnugget’s howling Rye delivers a mortal wound to the King. Before he can be finished off a door leading into the island’s interior opens and a bugbear, Bruthazmus, sinks an arrow into Lem. Bruthazmus provides cover for Ripnugget who flees screaming down the steps. The party manage to wound the monster before he too escapes. he advantage of surprise is officially lost.

Cage heals the group before they descend into the island. They enter a large, unfurnished room with a polished stone floor and many doorways, a few slightly ajar. The interior structure, just like the catacombs below Sandpoint, is clearly the work of the Thassilonians. As the party attempt to formulate a plan they are suddenly attacked! Tsuto flies forward from a door, attacking Rye, while Bruthazmus again opens fire. A human warrior called Orik leaps into battle, clearly just roused as he hastily dons his helmet. Orik is able to quickly take a piece out of Ilsoari. Lem is able to finish off Bruthazmus while Rye dules with Tsuto, who disarms and mocks his foes. Cage nobly keeps the besieged party on their feet.

Orik seems hesitant to continue attacking but, fearful of a Scroll Cage is about to cast, he clobbers the cleric. Soon Tsuto’s agility begins to fail him and when it is clear that his side will lose Orik quickly kills former team mate. He guardedly explains to the group that he is a simple mercenary. He met with Nualia and her crew in Riddleport and, desperate for money, he agreed to help her. He was not then aware of her plans to incinerate Sandpoint and turn herself into a demon, nor was he aware that she would be attempting to raise some ancient evil she discovered in the Thistletop ruin. Between her madness and the sudden appearance of the group of heroes Orik decides to find the money he’s looking for another way.

Before Orik can retreat, however, Cage figures it’s a great idea to cold cock the fighter. He lands a decent smack, but is nearly killed for his trouble when Orik lashes back with his bastard sword. Orik then takes his leave. Ilsoari is able to stabilize the cleric and he is brought back to consciousness with a the aid of a few potions.

The party is at a crossroads: above them await an unknown number of Thistletop goblins; before them, an unknown number of enemies and Nualia herself, not to mention whatever Ripnugget got up to. Their presence is known to all, both casters are in need of rest, and everyone of them is wounded. Only true heroes could find a way to beat these odds…

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