- To the Well of Demons
- Battling some strange creatures
- Vision of the Abyss
- Calling upon the Hand of Fate for guidance
- We found Veronica!
- Trouble is coming…
After defeating the tieflings and bronze warden in the cavern, the group rested and discussed next steps. Arioch cast a silence ritual and Malagar played lookout. Lia decided to dig a fill a hole, marking it with an arcane mark, to possibly trick someone into thinking the Skull had been hidden there. It wasn’t much, but it was something.
They all then decided that they must go next to the Well of Demons which one of their maps led to. So they walked back to the 7 Pillar Halland to the southwest entrance to the Labyrinth. After less than an hour they arrived at a place where the cave walls opened up, and Narata was the fastest to react to the scene. Several of the others saw the ghoul hiding behind a column, but Narata was the only one who saw the sneaky cavern chokers hiding in holes in the ceiling above columns. The columns themselves had faces carved into them from which they spoke, “Seekers of Baphomet’s glory, you shall be claimed as slaves, but those worthy will be granted great power…” and something about “mask, bell, blade, and tomb.” Of course Narata didn’t hear any of that; all he heard was the blood pumping through his body as he charged and leaped into the air to jab one of the chokers which wasn’t quick enough to withdraw. The attack cut into the choker and blood dripped down the column.
The ghoul ran to attack Narata as he was landing, but what everyone noticed was the vibrations in rock. Suddenly several tentacles rose from between cracks in the rocks, and Lia was able to recognize it as a phalagar. The tentacle creature and the chokers were frustrating, but the team rallied. Arioch sent the phalagar in fear back into its hole and the others struck out at all of the enemies. In the end one of the chokers got away, but all of the rest were slain (1050XP).
During a short break to catch a breath, everyone had a dark vision of the Abyss. It shook Lia’s will, but with some help from the others they were able to piece together the details of the place. The Well of Demons was a monastery to Baphomet, demon lord of berserkers. A series of chambers was designed to challenge those who came, kill the weak and give power to the worthy. The division between the place and the Abyss was thin, explaining the vision which was unlikely to be a one-time occurrence.
Knowing that they had best get through the place quickly, Lia for the first time called upon the Hand of Fate which would answer 3 questions within 10 minutes about what they should do next. The hand pointed them to the southern exit of the room rather than the eastern exit, so they followed it. The passage split, and the group decided to check the eastern door before using up another question.
Malagar listened and heard the sounds of nasty voices, arrows, and the squeals of a very large boar. The group didn’t need to ask the Hand any questions to know that must be Veronica, the dire boar belonging to the owner of the Deep Gem Mining Company. They burst into the room and found hyenas around a cage containing Veronica, and 4 gnolls firing arrows at it from beyond hay bails. The battle was not exceptionally dangerous, but one of the gnolls escaped out of one of the doors (1300XP).
After the battle Lia and Malagar attempted to calm Veronica, calling its name, making boar-like motions and noises, and providing it some food. As she calmed down they let her out of the cage. Knowing others might try to come in soon since the gnoll got away, Lia cast Hold Portal on the door he had escaped through. She then gave a try mounting the boar, which worked rather well and would give her an excellent position from which to cast.
Arioch, Malagar, and Sabin questioned the one gnoll they had allowed to live. He would say nothing but when asked about the slaves and where the mining was going on, he couldn’t help but occasionally glance to the southwest from where they had come.
The group needed a short rest, and they hoped they’d get it before the certain response came. Another vision appeared, this time not so troubling. A minotaur specter appeared and seemed to be chanting, worshipping Baphomet given the way it was dressed. While this wasn’t enough to disturb their rest significantly, it wasn’t but a minute or so before there was a loud bang on the held door. It did not break or open, but more hyenas streamed in from the second door. The group would have to engage battle again, potentially against much worse odds this time, or else flee the room…