- Fighting off more gnolls, hyneas, and a Barlgura
- Asking a few questions
- Looting and the tome
- Mirrors and disappearing men
As the group was relaxing to catch a breath after freeing and calming Veronica as well as interrogating a gnoll, a loud bang was heard on the door that had Hold Portal cast on it, and suddenly it burst open. A large demonic beast (Barlgura) lumbered through and stopped in the hay bales which hyenas and gnolls flowed in from the other door. Narata and Sabin leapt quickly to action but Lia sized up the situation just as quickly, instructing everyone to conserve their most powerful attacks and fall back to the hallway. Reeyith teleported across to the door the Barlgura had come through to prevent anything else from coming through and was met by two tieflings, one of which disappeared in front of his eyes.
The group fought and slowly fell back into the hall, but once one of the tieflings made its way into the room Narata forgot the battle plan and charged. Fortunately the team was ready to let loose their most powerful tactics and attacks, and gnolls and hyenas fell one after another. The Balgura responded to each attack in abyssal that no one could understand. Lia took an opportunity to teleport everyone further into the hall to shore up their positions, using the brief tingling sensation of the spell on Narata to briefly overcome his single-minded effort to slay tieflings. It didn’t take much longer to bring down the rest of the enemies, though there were many.
After this the group knew they had to rest, but time was running out on asking the 2nd and 3rd questions of the hand of fate. As they were contemplating their options, a quasit appeared before them. The small demonic creature identified itself as a spirit emissary of the den of Yenowa and Baphomet, willing to answer 3 questions for a price. No one quickly offered their gold, but Narata immediately gave up a healing surge when the quasit suggested that as payment. The questions asked related to the Sun Sword, slaves, and tieflings, and the answers were all, “To the southwest!” The quasit disappeared and Lia questioned the Hand of Fate to ensure the quasit was not lying. Indeed it was not, though with a final question Lia asked whether worthwhile treasures lay in the other direction, and it confirmed that there were some.
So the party went looting, and determined as they expected that all of the monsters from the other halls and rooms had come for them. On the way they found a fair amount of gold, some nice treasures, Shadowfell gloves, a cloak of resistance +2, and a tome entitled “Book of Wrath Unveiled”. This was likely the tome mentioned by the faces on the columns in the first room. Then the mask, bell, and blade remained to be found.
It was quite late and everyone was rather tired, so Lia cut a large hole in the wall with the Exodus Blade, and the group settled down for a long rest. Lia cast fastidiousness on Veronica before entering to deal with the smell. It would be close quarters after all. Half an hour in a spectral minotaur appeared and disturbed their rest, but after that everyone was able to get a full rest.
The next morning Lia cast Comprehend Language with abyssal in mind in the hopes of understanding what the Balgura had said and possibly in preparation for similar creatures ahead. The group continued southwest into the as yet unexplored section of the Well of Demons and were met suddenly by 3 ghosts: a female elven mage named who called herself Mandara, a dwarf paladin of Pelor named Sir Terrace, and a human cleric of Kord named Valdrog. The ghosts explained that they had come to rid the Well of Demons of the threat of Baphomet, but had ultimately failed. They demanded the adventurers prove themselves worthy in return for aid. Arioch responded that the heroes were there to save the world, though with a fair bit of condescension. Reeyith remained somewhat haughty, Sabin attempted to intimidate the ghosts, and Malagar and Lia were simply at a loss for handling the situation amidst the chaos of the moment. Attempts were made to prove themselves, but ultimately the ghosts were none too happy. They decided to give a few hints but no more, saying that all 4 items, blade, bell, tome, and sword needed to be placed on the runes at the same time, and good luck with it, and they disappeared.
The group decided to go East first, finding a blood trail and an alter with two figurines representing Baphomet. There was also a circle of runes on the floor, likely one of those mentioned by the ghosts. The group went back to the central room, searching for evidence of where the blood came from, but found nothing of note. They then continued north.
When they opened the door, they found a black curtain. Narata and Reeyith were the first to enter the room. Both immediately disappeared, though Reeyith could be heard farther away in the room. Lia suggested Arioch go in with his eyes closed, which he did. Sabin followed as well, but then decided to attack one of the mirrors he had caught a glimpse of, thinking they might be responsible and thus best destroyed. Before he could complete his attack, he too was teleported away, fortunately right next to Reeyith. Malagar and Lia closed their eyes and followed the walls to either side,
Reeyith found himself back where he started and mentioned something about mirrors and leering faces on the columns above them. Arioch attempted to open his eyes but keep them on the floor, and suddenly he was gone. Reeyith decided to try Sabin’s idea and attacked a mirror. He was again teleported to another part of the room, but succeeded in smashing the mirror where he appeared. Lia and Malagar continued along the walls. Reeyith found himself looking at a curtain across the room where he stood. He ducked under and found a table with a mask, and on either side a bone shard skeleton. Reeyith attacked and froze one in place, taking a hit from the other. However he took the mask and ducked back under the curtain expecting to be teleported back to the start of the room. Instead he disappeared along with the others, finding himself in a room with Narata, Arioch, and a gnoll.
The gnoll was dealt with quickly enough, but the 3 could find no way out of the relatively small room. This was rather disconcerting. At the same time, the freely moving skeleton was making its way towards the others in the room. Hearing the shouting of Reeyith the others were ready when they heard the clanking of bones approaching. Lia decided to open her eyes and cross the room towards it to turn it away with he power. Sabin also went to attack it, though he was less lucky and found himself with Narata, Arioch, and Reeyith. Only Lia and Malagar were left in the room with the skeletons. They struck at the skeletons hard, particularly as the second one caught up with the first, backing up and slowing the creatures down. Malagar was being hurt by the magic of the mirrors though, and it was anyone’s guess when either might disappear. The skeletons they could probably handle, but unless they could solve the puzzle of the room, they would likely find themselves elsewhere. Of course they didn’t know how bad elsewhere was, a place certain to lead to a slow, painful, and thirsty death…