Darkling

Josh's DnD: Ep06

Apr 20th, 2016
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  1. Josh: The demoness screams a bestial roar as hordes of many legged monstrosities pour off of her. The portal closes sealing her in the Prime Material. She locks her sight on the party and you all scramble to run. With some quick thinking, Reaper scatters caltrops along the ground behind the group, slowing himself down far too much as he tries to stay thorough. The rest of the party runs off leaving him and Cheslia in their wake. Fortunately the creatures seem to be in some disarray and are momentarily slowed by the caltrops.
  2. Cheslia: Cheslia spasms and shivers as she moves along, sweating profusely. She looks a little ill.
  3. Pinko: There's a hint of disgust on Sylkis' face as she's lifted, mixed in with relief.
  4. Josh: Most of the group is able to keep pace with the spiders or outpace them, Urzoga struggles to keep up with the others, while carrying two passengers. Reaper is having a rough go of it as well, as a multitude of tiny spiders swarm over him and bite him a few too many times. He's feeling weak and disoriented as well as falling behind. Rylain on the other hand leads the group out into the main tunnel with Sylkis pointing him on. This seems to be recently tunneled out by the Drow, they must have been planning to use it for a while now. It looks like a mine shaft though far too large and smooth with huge metal support beams.
  5. Josh: You run on spurred by fear and adrenaline. Urzoga finally succumbs to the added weight and trips, dropping the other two who scramble to run off on their own, Sylkis better than Illy. Reaper shakes off the spiders as best he can and with a mighty effort pushes himself to run on. As you run you begin to feel the strain
  6. Cheslia: Cheslia still looks ill as she runs along for dear life. "What do we do when we get into town? This isn't something to bring down on bystanders."
  7. Ileleste: "Gyaaaaah!" Ileleste smacks off the spiders she can on herself while running.
  8. Rylian: "I am sure we shall think of something!” Rylain yells back to them.” For now we pick up the pace!"
  9. Pinko: Sylkis jaunts away to relative safety before legging it!
  10. Cheslia: "I hear fighting." Cheslia says as she keeps on running.
  11. Josh: As you had down the shaft you get closer to the source of the sound as the tunnel opens up you can see Brattsholt under attack by a large force. Between you and the city lies an army of Drow.
  12. Cheslia: "You all looked so nice..." Cheslia says quietly with a shiver.
  13. Pinko: "Wait, wait, we're not dead just -yet-." Sylkis winces and frowns. "We can always just bolt out of here. Actually, your note, it mentioned they wanted to block out the shaft, right?"
  14. Pinko: "We'd have to sacrifice Brattsholt, but I think we could perhaps find a way to do that."
  15. Rylian: "I won't stand for condemning people to die!"
  16. Pinko: "Yeah, well, good luck dealing with a Goddess by yourself!"
  17. Cheslia: "Short of a dwarf god showing up I don't think we have a lot of choice. Do you think she's after us or after Brattsholt?"
  18. Ileleste: "Whatever is closer most likely, then the other when she's done with the first."
  19. Ileleste: "As much as I don't want to leave people to die, we really don't have a lot of options."
  20. Rylian: Rylain argues internally for a bit, then gave in. "Fine," he says begrudgingly.
  21. Cheslia: "If we can get into town without attracting a lot of attention then maybe the priests. If nothing else we can make a better stand in there instead of out here in the open."
  22. Rylian: "That would be a great option to do."
  23. Josh: With little options left as the swarm approaches you head towards the city. You hear cheers from the Drow army as a screeching Lolth and her spider minions arrive on the scene. Then screams and the sounds of chaos as she besets upon her own people. Spiders devouring surprised Drow who are now fighting a war on two fronts.
  24. Cheslia: All the encouragement Cheslia needs. She keeps on going toward the city without looking back, though she does try to avoid getting close to Drow on the way.
  25. Josh: With their attention split between the dwarven forces and their own goddess it is but a trifle to sneak your way past the soldiers, ducking under rocks and fallen siege engines. When you arrive at the gate you see that it is half open, the dwarves fighting to keep drow intruders from entering. You see the group that first greeted you when you arrived, led by Guzab and his son Jor. Just as you approach the two finish off a wave of the dark elves, Jor ripping the last of his enemies in twain with twin axes. The elder stops you. "By the Kuld what have you wrought upon us?"
  26. Ileleste stops, feeling winded from running more than anyone has seen her do before. "Spiders, big spider demon lady." She puffs out.
  27. Rylian: "The silver lining, the matriarch of the drow IS dead."
  28. Cheslia: "As best as I can tell the drow were performing a ritual to summon this avatar or whatever." Cheslia pants and stops. "We tried to stop it, but there were a lot of them. If we succeeded to any degree it made her wild and angry at everything instead of wanting to kill just your people."
  29. Josh: He stares at you deadpan. "Well that coulda gone better then. Ya come at a good time. We've got the gate mechanism all fixed n we're closing it. We'll 'ave some time before we 'ave to deal wit her if she's out fer all their blood." He jerks his thumbs towards the army. "Any plans?" He waves you in.
  30. Cheslia: Cheslia comes in quickly. "The best bet is probably a banishing spell if there are any priests around. All the little spiders... I hope they're vulnerable enough to things like fire or hot oil."
  31. URZOGA: Urzoga follows along behind Cheslia, cloak pulled tightly around her.
  32. The_Reaper: Reaper just walks along behind everyone.
  33. Ileleste: "What she said." Ileleste is starting to regain her composure.
  34. Josh: You are escorted to the temple of Moradin, the sounds of a screaming spider demon nearly drowning out the hustle of Brattsholt's defending forces. The city looks better prepared for an invasion than expected but no one could have been prepared for the colossal monstrosity that stands outside the city destroying the army there. When you get to the temple, you can see many citizens being evacuated into the lower levels and a large number of warriors standing guard. You are all healed and magically rested before being sent to the war room. It must be the center of operations because you can see a few familiar faces there including the heads of the clansmoot and the gnome who'd befriended some of you earlier, Iator.
  35. Ileleste: Ileleste looks around at the others, feeling quite out of place in a war room and around the important figureheads of the city.
  36. URZOGA: The same could be said of Urzoga, keeping outside collection of Brattsholt's more important citizens. She kept her cloak pulled tight, watching and listening but ultimately keeping quiet for now.
  37. Rylian: Rylain, mostly shaken by the transpiring events, tries to remain focused as he can be in the face of it all.
  38. Cheslia: Cheslia is a bit twitchy, but seems to be in good spirits. She waves to no one in particular. "Hello everyone."
  39. Josh: The gnome approaches you, an unreadable look on his face. "We got a message saying that you'd found the city and killed the Matriarch and High Priestess, but you weren't able to stop the ritual that caused her presence here." He reaches into a bag and holds out parchment, a quill, and ink. "I need to see what this ritual looked like and what changes you made. In the meantime,” He points to people as he speaks, "Dolgrim is in charge of evacuation and supply, Guzab is heading defense with his son Jor, Cynthia is the head of the church here. We're all doing what we can."
  40. Ileleste: "While I can remember what it looked like someone else should probably be using those." She looks to her party members in hopes one of them has used a quill more than her.
  41. Cheslia: "If you can remember it well enough I can use that." Cheslia goes for the writing materials and finds a suitable surface.
  42. Ileleste: "Alright." She describes the rune circle to Cheslia in the best detail she can recall.
  43. Cheslia: And so Cheslia draws it out as best as she can.
  44. Josh: He takes it from you and studies it for a moment. "Oh...Oh I see. It forced a separation..." He begins writing notes next to it. "From what I know, it appears that this spell resulted in creating a new being that thrives off the goddess' power without being her. If it is as powerful as it appears then I don't think killing it will be an option..."
  45. Ileleste: "But, you can get rid of it, right?"
  46. Josh: "Of course! A banishment might work. But it would take more power than I have. Perhaps a ritual of some kind."
  47. Cheslia: "Is it something that can realistically be pulled off then?"
  48. Josh: "I believe so. Ritual magic is incredibly powerful, though dangerous. It always requires a sacrifice of some kind.
  49. Rylian: "W-wait one second. Sacrifice? As in someone dying?"
  50. URZOGA: "Could be other things. Blood is a favorite of the god of slaughter. Some special item. Coins."
  51. Josh: He nods. "She is correct, sacrifices come in many forms, sacrificial death is often only the purview of the dark and evil magics."
  52. Ileleste: "Well, what do we have to do? The quicker we can start the better."
  53. Josh: "I know one spell. In order to permanently banish, the sacrifice will never be able to leave this plane. I will give up my ability to traverse the planes." Iator nods. "I am far too old to travel as I used to anyways. But I know not how to get her within range of the banishment spell once the ritual is completed."
  54. Ileleste: "Well, I hate to say it, but someone is likely going to have to be bait."
  55. URZOGA: "No small task, that."
  56. The_Reaper: "Sounds like fun ehhh?"
  57. Rylian: "I can go. I trusted Typhrodes, and because of that it ended up like this."
  58. Josh: He nods and takes you to a map of the city. "It will not be long before she finishes with them and turns towards Brattsholt. We must lure her to an open space." He points towards the market district and a large square there with a fountain in the center. "If you can lead her here, I can cast the spell as soon as she is within range. It should send her to the Abyss. I'd feel bad for whoever is there when she arrives, if they weren't all demons."
  59. Ileleste: "You shouldn't try to lure her alone." Ileleste frowns. "That's practically suicide."
  60. Ileleste: "And this ritual, can we assist in some way? Lend our power?"
  61. Josh: "It would be useful to have someone to help with the sigils and runes. Though the power of ritual magic comes from the sacrifice itself." He looks at Rylain. "She is right though, not only will she be trying to kill you, so will the spiders that she spawns."
  62. Rylian: "Alright then. If anyone wants to assist me, I will not turn down the offer."
  63. URZOGA: "Perhaps it should be the Monster and I. We're faster."
  64. Cheslia: "A group effort is probably for the best here."
  65. The_Reaper: "I wouldn’t mind helping out luring it."
  66. Ileleste: "Alright, we have a semblance of a plan then."
  67. Ileleste: She doesn't look none too happy with the idea of it all though.
  68. Josh: "Alright, we best get to work then."
  69. Josh: As the magic users and Urzoga head off to prepare the ritual, the rest head over to the tallest building in the market district. Iator had made sure to get them crossbows from the armory in order to draw her attention. Once they arrive they can see that the bulk of the Drow have either been killed or escaped in the confusion and the monster has set her eyes on the defenders of the city.
  70. Josh: The bait group sends volleys of crossbow shots at the creature, most of them hitting their mark. The bolts bounce off of her as she strikes down soldiers and siege equipment, her spiders swarming through the streets of Brattsholt. They finally grab her attention after a third volley and she reaches out to crush them.
  71. Josh: Rylain and Cheslia fall to the ground as her hand smashes the wall of the building you're on. You feel a tremble run through the entire structure as it starts to collapse. Reaper manages to roll to safety. She roars when she sees you live on. And spiders begin heading in your direction.
  72. Josh: The three of you haul ass, running as fast as you can away from the swarms and the giant demon. You manage to outpace them though the ground trembles beneath you as the demoness climbs onto the city behind you. She makes another swat at you but misses, destroying a city block before you can make it into the square. When you arrive, the others are there surrounded by glowing runes. They cast the spell when she gets into sight and she collapses in upon herself, forced into the realm of the Abyss.
  73. Josh: The beast screams, her voice shattering stone and your ears as she is sucked away from the plane. The ground trembles beneath your feet and rocks fall from the ceiling below. As you begin to lose footing you see the edges of the cavern rising. It hits you just before you black out, the city is falling.
  74. Josh has renamed this conversation to "Demon Queens & Desolated Darkness"
  75. Josh: You wake up, one after another to find the collapsed ruins of the Dwarven city. You can hear the cries of the wounded among the shattered stone buildings. It is a testament to Dwarven Craftsmanship that you can even recognize the piles of rubble as buildings. Luckily, you all landed in a relatively clear space and within shouting distance of each other. All but the mule which broke its neck in the fall.
  76. URZOGA: Urzoga rose to her feet, dusting herself off as she took in the scene. Her gear and the items The Monster had insisted were strewn about nearby but the condition of the dwarven city was slightly more pressing.
  77. Ileleste: Ileleste picks herself up off the ground, shaking dust and rubble out of her hair as she staggers over to the poor dead donkey, before she starts salvaging what she can out of the cart.
  78. Rylian: Rylain, extremely disoriented from the fall, takes some time to get his bearings. As soon as he gets them, he calls out, "Is everyone alright?!"
  79. The_Reaper: Reaper gets and makes sure he's in one piece before looking around to figure out what exactly happened.
  80. Cheslia: Cheslia stands and coughs up... sludge. She stares at it like it held some sort of enlightenment for some time. "Wow... what's..." She twitches and shivers, then stares some more.
  81. Josh: As you salvage your equipment you look around to see pure devastation. You can hear the calls from dwarven search parties now and the cries from those trapped but still breathing.
  82. Cheslia: "We've got to help out with this." Cheslia says as she staggers around.
  83. Ileleste: "We do?" It's hard to tell if that was an actual question or a complaint.
  84. URZOGA: "Those injured or needing to rest can wait here, no judgment."
  85. URZOGA: "Those that want to help are free to."
  86. URZOGA: The half-orc grunts and rolls her shoulders, heading for the ruined city.
  87. Rylian: "O-of course!" replies Rylain as he makes his way there as well.
  88. Cheslia: Cheslia isn't far behind.
  89. The_Reaper: "Might as well help." Reaper follows after.
  90. Ileleste sighs, not wanting to look unhelpful and follows.
  91. Pinko: Sylkis doesn't seem to be too hot about the idea, tutting a bit. "I'm not sure I like the sound of that."
  92. Josh: The six of you head into the city. You manage to find a few pockets where people managed to survive under the rubble and dig them out. You deliver them to the first Scouting party you find and they in turn direct you all to an encampment to the south of the destroyed city where the surviving citizens and soldiers have begun to build temporary fortifications. There you are able to get a map of the known surroundings. There is a huge cliff face to the north and west sides of the ruins and a solid wall bars the south and eastern edges save for in one corner where rubble has crashed into some strange, smooth tunnels. In the North East corner there is said to be a door, impossible to open, set into the wall.
  93. Pinko: Sylkis is holding the map up - well, rather, she keeps it floating before herself with the mage's hand. "What should we be doing now?" She points a finger to the north eastern part of the map. "Personally, the sound of a door that can't open is intriguing."
  94. URZOGA: "Not much use if we can't open it either."
  95. Pinko: "Yeah, well, there's a lot of 'can't' that I figured would never happen in the last few days, if you get what I mean."
  96. Ileleste: "I wouldn't mind finding a way out of these caves, and seeing a town that isn't crushed. Finding a nice hot bath...” She sighs again
  97. Rylian: "That might be our only option to get back to the surface."
  98. The_Reaper: Can we break the door open?"
  99. Pinko: "Well, there's also the more obvious and suspiciously smooth passage." She points to Northwestern segment of the map.
  100. Pinko: "So our bets are either a passage that is too good to be true, or a legendary door that has never opened or something. Geeze." She flings the map towards Urzoga, huffing a strand of red hair away from her face. "I still need to return to the capital to make my report, too!"
  101. Ileleste: "Well, nothing stopping us from checking out this door first before we go through the tunnels."
  102. URZOGA: Urz grunts, rolling up the map.
  103. Rylian: "I agree," Rylain says, wiping a bit of rubble off one of his shoulders.
  104. Cheslia: "Let's go for it."
  105. Josh: After a walk through the ruins you approach the door. It is immaculate, covered in runic designs that seem to shift and swim the more you attempt to look at them. When you step up to it, you feel a buzzing sensation roll through your bones and you feel a sudden but easily resisted urge to flee.
  106. Cheslia: "This feeling... it might explain why the door has never been opened. I wonder why all this security."
  107. Ileleste: Ileleste keeps well back from the door.
  108. Pinko: Sylkis approaches the door and examines it closely. She doesn't exactly though it, and somehow she doesn't seem to be too well versed with whatever this could be. "Mmmh. Strange." She tries to fiddle with the runic pattern on the door.
  109. Josh: When you reach out to touch the runes, a brief flash of light escapes your fingers, blinding you all for a second. When your sight returns, the runes have straightened and though they are not in any language you speak, you can understand them.
  110.  
  111. "You cannot see it. You cannot hear it. You cannot touch it. It is behind the stars. It alters what is real. It is what you FEAR. Close your eyes and it comes near."
  112. Pinko: "That's a riddle if I've ever seen one." Sylkis considers the words for a moment, shuffling on the spot. "I suppose the door activates with some kind of... password?"
  113. Cheslia: "Could be. Or it's meant to bait us into closing our eyes and summoning a horrible monster to try to kill us."
  114. Rylian: "I’m not good with either of those."
  115. Cheslia: "Maybe the password is fear. I could speculate a few other possibilities, but they don't seem as strong a prospect."
  116. Ileleste: "I don't feel like this is something we should be trying to open in any case."
  117. Josh: When you suggest fear, the door creaks ominously.
  118. Pinko: "No, no, think simpler. I'm willing to bet it's so simple people never even thought of it before." She then clears her throat. "You cannot see the dark. You cannot hear the dark. You cannot touch the dark. Darkness is behind the light of the stars. Darkness shrouds reality. Darkness is the fear of most. Closing your eyes brings the darkness."
  119. Josh: A spark of light crawls its way along the edges of the door and with a pop, the door slowly opens.
  120. Pinko: "Not only that, but people with Darkvision would never figure that solution, would they?" She wrinkles her nose.
  121. Cheslia: "Well, too late now."
  122. Pinko: She seems a bit stunned for a moment, as the door seems to open before herself. "I... Mmh. That was odd."
  123. Josh: As the door swings open you peer inside to see, nothing. Even those with Darkvision can't see anything within. A strange black mist swirls out from the doorway around your feet.
  124. Pinko: "Oh. Ooooh. It wasn't a riddle. It was a warning." Sylkis gulps at the true darkness before herself.
  125. Pinko: "You know, maybe we should've asked around what this door was." Assuming it is much too late now, Sylkis ventures into the shroud of darkness.
  126. URZOGA: "Can we close it back up?"
  127. Ileleste: "So, we shut the door with the Halfling inside?" Ileleste suggests.
  128. Rylian: "Call her back?"
  129. Cheslia: "Not with Sylkis in there." And so Cheslia heads inside, but with more reservation. "We might not want to go in here yet!"
  130. Josh: The two of them head inside, feeling the smooth walls as they inch their way forward. Eventually the pitch blackness softens and you feel as though with a light source you might be able to see something.
  131. Ileleste: Ileleste looks at the others. "This really can't be a good idea." Casting light on herself, walking forwards.
  132. Pinko: "Hey! It's not so bad deeper in there!" With that, she casts light on the mage's hand she's wearing around her neck.
  133. Rylian: "Curse my inability to leave a maiden in trouble!" Rylain says as he follows the three already through the door
  134. The_Reaper: Reaper sighs following after them "Well this could turn out to be fun."
  135. Josh: Your light spells flicker slightly as if fighting to dig through the darkness. As they light up some of the room you feel...things, mostly unseen, but sensed on the edges of your vision- perhaps the very edges of reality itself, like a half-remembered twilight between dream and nightmare- scuttle out of sight like cockroaches... Except you're not really sure what they are, or if they were really there at all.
  136. Cheslia: "Ugh... how gross..."
  137. Pinko: "Darkness alters reality." She remarks with an uncertain tone, trying to get a bearing.
  138. Cheslia: "Let's keep close to each other anyway. Maybe even stay in physical contact..." Cheslia looks around often.
  139. Ileleste: Ileleste finds her way forwards almost grabbing onto Cheslia. "Probably a good idea to keep close."
  140. Josh: Those of you with darkvision are unnerved by the lack of sight even with the light spells.
  141. Pinko: Sylkis makes a comment about how she'd rather not be touched, if possible.
  142. Josh: Urzoga and Reaper are the first to see it, considering their proximity. They point out a Mural on the wall that stretches out as far as they can see covering it in its entirety.
  143. Cheslia: "Wonder what this is supposed to mean..."
  144. Ileleste: Ileleste takes a few steps forward to illuminate it more.
  145. Rylian: Rylain begins to get strange thoughts in his head. Dirty ones, but manages to realize it and steel himself, shaking his head in the dark.
  146. Pinko: Sylkis is far too busy making sure no one is actually touching her to take notice of them. "Eh? What is supposed to mean what?"
  147. Josh: As you get closer you begin to get an idea of what you're seeing. This section of the wall seems to depict several humanoids shining brightly standing opposite monstrous...things on a blank background.
  148. Josh: Moving further along, the next section has a circle of light amid the figures and blank background. Standing atop the circle are even smaller figures standing side by side.
  149. Ileleste: Ileleste hums to herself as she moves along the mural.
  150. Cheslia: Cheslia keeps close to Ileleste, taking a good look at the mural. "What do you think of these smaller ones? Maybe something like dwarves or gnomes?"
  151. Ileleste: "Or just something less important?"
  152. Josh: The large figures in the background are fighting the monstrous ones in this next piece while the smaller figures have split themselves up into groups. In the center of the circle a dot of black has appeared.
  153. Rylian: "What on the blue earth is all of that?"
  154. Ileleste: "Huh?" She turns to look at what he pointed out.
  155. Pinko: Sylkis takes a closer look at the entire mural. She tries to figure if she can recognize a pattern in the monsters or groups, and, casting detect magic, if the central dot is of significance.
  156. Josh: Sylkis gets a closer look and begins making out the finer details in the dark. The smaller figures have flags above their separate groups but she doesn't really recognize the insignias. Her knowledge of the arcane gives her some idea that the larger figures fighting in the background are most definitely not mortal because the way they are depicted fighting could only be magic far from the mundane means of simple beings. When she casts detect magic she is surprised but manages to keep from being blinded by the brilliant display throughout the entirety of this room. Everything glows with powerful magic, even the air itself.
  157. Pinko: "Mmmh. This doesn't make much sense to me. I'm not entirely sure what this represents." She then points to one of the larger figures. "This, as you may have guessed, though, is most likely not something mortal. A creature of the planes? I don't know."
  158. Ileleste: "Maybe it represents a god?"
  159. Pinko: "Perhaps? I wouldn't know. I didn't want to hazard that much of a guess."
  160. Rylian: "I have the worst of feelings at the pit of my gullet." Rylain barely makes out.
  161. Pinko: "Mmh. Gods they are." She seems doubtful about the whole ordeal still.
  162. Ileleste: Ileleste moves away from the mural, looking to see if there is anything else in the room.
  163. Josh: All she manages to see is more mural, this one shows a furious battle above and below as the gods fight the monstrosities and the creatures that must be mortals fight each other. The black dot in the center seems to have gotten bigger.
  164. Pinko: Sylkis pays further attention to the black dot. She seems to have her doubts about it.
  165. Cheslia: "I imagine that dot isn't good..."
  166. Ileleste: "No," she says giving it her attention. "Probably not. Any idea what it is?"
  167. Ileleste: Because asking what anything in this room was so far has worked quite well for them.
  168. URZOGA: "Metaphorical growing darkness?"
  169. Rylian: "I think it was some sort of war," Rylain says through rubbing one of his temples.
  170. Ileleste: Ileleste wanders further down into the room.
  171. Pinko: Sylkis, against the best of her judgement, examines the central dot. "Shush! This is my thesis in the works!"
  172. Josh: The Mural ends here, blocked by a closed door.
  173. Ileleste: "There's another door over here." She calls.
  174. Pinko: Sylkis then takes interest at the door. "Something tells me that there's another riddle, and that we should guess before that dot gets too big."
  175. Cheslia: "This might be our way out. Or a really bad thing to open..." Cheslia says as he looks at the door.
  176. Ileleste: "Is the other door still open?"
  177. Josh: The other door is behind a wall of darkness, so you're not sure. But the door you are currently examining is a plain wooden door.
  178. Ileleste: "Should we check it?" She asks Cheslia.
  179. Cheslia: "It seems plain enough that I don't think it's going to bite us. Why not?
  180. Pinko: Sylkis is on her guard still. "Oh, no riddles? Well, alright then..."
  181. Josh: The southern wall has another mural as you approach you can make it out. This one shows devastation as the groups of mortals have shrunken plainly in size as the gods and monsters continue their battle unabated. The black dot has grown thrice its original size now, covering much of the circle and pushing the groups of mortals to its edges.
  182. Josh: The door is locked.
  183. Pinko: Sylkis then ponders for a moment Urzoga. "You see to have broad shoulders." She simply remarks.
  184. Ileleste: "Hmm. Well then." She taps her chin pondering.
  185. URZOGA: The half-orc shrugs.
  186. Pinko: Sylkis seems annoyed by the lack of action. She investigates the door for a moment, though she's no locksmith.
  187. Josh: That is definitely one locked door
  188. Ileleste: "I mean, we could try to break it down," she doesn't sound convinced that is a good idea.
  189. Pinko: "Pretty please, my strong knight?" Sylkis turns to Rylain, shuffling awkwardly on the spot. A sudden change of personality that denotes her fake enthusiasm.
  190. Ileleste: "Well, while we wait for that." She moves along further down the mural
  191. Josh: The wall ends there, opening up to another doorway, this one lacking a door.
  192. Ileleste: Ileleste peers through the opening of the doorway.
  193. Josh: More openings, one to what looks like a hallway, the other to another room.
  194. Rylian: Rylain has gone from rubbing his temple to clutching his head. He seems to be focusing on something before turning to the Halfling. "My apologies, what did you ask of me?"
  195. Ileleste: "Well, there is a way out over here, if that door doesn't budge at all."
  196. Ileleste: She waits there with Cheslia to see if the others are going to do something about the wood door or join her.
  197. Pinko: "I need a valiant knight to charge through that door or something." She points to the wooden door.
  198. Rylian: "Hmm? Yes, certainly." He makes his way over to the door to attempt to open it.
  199. Josh: With a heave Rylain shoves open the door into a new hallway.
  200. Josh: You all can hear a chant in some unknown language spoken by many voices echoing down that hallway.
  201. Ileleste: Ileleste watches from afar, waiting for an imminent explosion.
  202. Rylian: "The doorway is now open, young lass," Rylain declares loudly.
  203. Rylian: He now goes to peer through the now opened door
  204. Pinko: Sylkis follows in shortly after, intrigued by the cants. "Uh. Well. I guess that can't be too bad?"
  205. Ileleste: "Guess we're going that way." She says to Cheslia and takes her hand leading her over that way now. "Let's not get split up from the rest."
  206. Rylian: Rylain now heads onwards
  207. Pinko: Sylkis stays close to Rylain as much as possible - the last thing she wants is something catching her off guard.
  208. Ileleste: Ileleste follows a few feet behind them.
  209. Josh: The path you take is a narrow hall with smooth walls. You take two rights, following the chanting as it gets louder, though you still cannot recognize the language.
  210. Pinko: Sylkis keeps close to Rylain, trying to figure anything about what she's hearing. "Doesn't sound like anything I know." she remarks, not helping the situation much,
  211. Rylian: Rylain stops and turns to his fellow adventurers. "We may need to exercise caution from here on."
  212. Ileleste: Ileleste doesn't point out that they should have been exercising caution this whole time.
  213. Ileleste: "You just stay safe up there in front of everyone."
  214. Rylian: "Duly...noted." His hand goes back to his temple.
  215. Rylian: And he continues down the hallway
  216. Josh: As you approach you see a small being that seems to be made of pure shadow step out in front of you. In a small, high pitched voice it declares "Turn back."
  217. URZOGA: "Hrn."
  218. Ileleste: "Eep!"
  219. Ileleste: She clings tighter to Cheslia and hides behind Urzoga.
  220. Rylian: Rylain stops dead in his tracks, staring awkwardly at the strange creature
  221. The_Reaper: "Why?"
  222. Josh: "Turn back. Turn Back."
  223. Pinko: "Hello, little guy." And, as if it were the most natural thing, Sylkis approaches. "You don't need to fear me. I am a student that only wishes to understand you better."
  224. Josh: It steps back, you think you notice it shake its head. "Turn Back.”
  225. Pinko: "Why?" She tilts her head with curiosity. "Are your masters over there?"
  226. Josh: Again it shakes its head. The chanting has stopped. “Don’t come. Turn Back.”
  227. Pinko: She tempts fate, and tries to speak to it in different languages, including elven, orcish, and a few others. "Are you sure? Maybe we can help?"
  228. Ileleste: "Doesn't seem to be helping, whatever you are trying to do."
  229. Cheslia: Cheslia pats Ileleste a few times, looking baffled at the little shadow.
  230. Josh: It looks at you at an odd angle but doesn’t respond until you finish. Then it says simply. “They come for you.”
  231. Ileleste: "Well. I don't like the sound of that."
  232. Rylian: "Who is coming?"
  233. Cheslia: "Neither do I. What are they?”
  234. Pinko: "Well, we might as well turn around now then. Mmh." Sylkis seems a bit disappointed. "I thought things could go smoother. My bad."
  235. Rylian: "Agreed."
  236. Josh: “They do not want the chosen here. It is too late.”
  237. Josh: It steps back
  238. Ileleste: "The chosen?"
  239. Rylian: "The elder from before was talking about that, of course!"
  240. Cheslia: "So what are we going to do now?"
  241. Josh: You are attacked by more of the creatures that step out of the shadow in front of and behind your group.
  242. Rylian: "The only thing we can: fight our way back."
  243. Ileleste: "Guess we're going to have to fight either way now."
  244. Ileleste: With that, she turns around, firing two blasts of force magic into the closest creature.
  245. Josh: It collapses with a cry coalescing into an amorphous shadowy blob.
  246. Cheslia: Cheslia lashes out at the next little thing, but her tentacle slips. She silently curses the little thing.
  247. Pinko: Sylkis mumbles and projects cantrips further into the hallway, helping a potential escape. A plume of smoke can be discerned.
  248. Josh: Shadelings appear from the shadow to attack the party. They fight skillfully, damaging urz and reaper. The bow carrying one fighting Rylain disappears into the shadows.
  249. Ileleste: Ileleste cast a protective spell over herself, feeling uncomfortably surrounded.
  250. Cheslia: Cheslia's tentacle grabs the nearest shadowbaby around the ankle, yanking it to the ground and then lashing it again across the chest.
  251. Pinko: Sylkis figures a swift contingency for the creatures that hide, casting a glitterdust which coats them in sparkling glitter!
  252. Rylian: Rylain's blade strikes into the creature in front of him. However the being seems to remain living after the slice.
  253. The_Reaper: Reaper swings his scythe and cleaves one of them in half.
  254. Ileleste: Ileleste blasts the next closest shade, magic tearing its shadowy body apart.
  255. Cheslia: Cheslia twirls and then extends her tentacle past Urzoga to slap a shade on the face.
  256. Josh: As the last of the shadeling dissolves into liquid shadow the hall grows silent. At least until the chanting starts echoing through the hall again.
  257. Ileleste: "I think we should stop that chanting sooner rather than later." Ileleste says to the others. "I have a feeling it is going to bring more of those creatures to us."
  258. URZOGA: "CAN'T CHANT IF THEY DON'T HAVE JAWS."
  259. Rylian: "I agree. The more we wait, the more chances we might be attacked"
  260. Cheslia: "It's some sort of worship. Doesn't seem like it's a summoning or really a ritual." Cheslia mutters. "I can't make it out exactly."
  261. Ileleste: Illy tries to take a look at the shadow creatures’ remains, maybe they left something useful?
  262. Ileleste: She pulls out her waterskin, empties it, and scoops up some of the remains into it, as much as will fit anyway. Then grabs two of the daggers and one of the bows.
  263. Pinko: Sylkis uses her mage hand to raise some of the goop from the ground, depositing gently in a vial. "Could be useful." She tilts her head and ponders.
  264. Pinko: "You know, these could fetch a pretty penny. Recoup my losses. You broke my digging robot, after all." She nudges towards the weapons.
  265. Ileleste: Illy to the fore of the group, pushing them along so they aren't standing in that spot any longer.
  266. Cheslia: Cheslia keeps close, retracting her tentacle along the way.
  267. Pinko: "So, just so you know, the chanting is not really ritualistic to a summoning or anything. It's just worship." Sylkis carefully follows their steps.
  268. Ileleste: "That's good to know at least."
  269. Josh: As you move down the hallway you see another door in front of you. This one has chains across it that have a padlock hanging over the center of the door. The chanting is coming from the hall to the right.
  270. Ileleste: "What brave soul wants to poke their head out and look?" She looks back at the others
  271. Rylian: "I will do it."
  272. Rylian: Rylain goes to peek his head out
  273. Rylian: He whispers back to the others, "Nothing so far."
  274. Ileleste: Ileleste follows after him.
  275. Josh: The small hallway opens into a larger room, the chanting is much louder here.
  276. Josh: The unnatural darkness of the hall and this room seem...lessened. Your torches carry farther and the air feels less fetid and stale.
  277. Ileleste: She nudges Rylian forwards more.
  278. Rylian: Rylain obliges, albeit nervously.
  279. Rylian: He motions forward into the room.
  280. Pinko: Sylkis seems pretty passive about the whole deal, helping herself walk with her staff.
  281. Josh: You see several more shadelings. Genuflecting, bowing towards the front of the room. They do not quite react to your presence but to halt their chants. None move except for the one in front. It slowly stands, greenish eyes pointed in your direction.
  282. Josh: “You did not turn back. But you overcame the heretics.”
  283. Ileleste: Hearing voices Ileleste peers over Rylian's shoulder to see what's going on better.
  284. Josh: They murmur in their whispery language as they catch sight of more of you.
  285. Pinko: "Oh, hello. We're not here to cause trouble." Sylkis seems more confused than anything else, truth be told.
  286. Rylian: "What is this place? Who are all of you?"
  287. Cheslia: Cheslia moves ahead as well, bumping into Ileleste. After a muttered "sorry" she moves back just enough to bow once in the general direction the shadowthings were bowing. "Hello."
  288. Josh: The leader speaks. “We keep this place. Or we did.”
  289. Josh: “Hasshiir. The keepers of the Shadowdark.”
  290. Ileleste: "Shadowdark?"
  291. Josh: It gestures around, its hands had to see among the flickering shadows of the torches.
  292. Ileleste: She steps out further to get a better look at the room.
  293. Rylian: Rylain stays close to the ladies in the room, in case he has to shield them from something
  294. Josh: They are all kowtowing to another mural. A host of silhouetted warriors, their forms masked by some bright light set behind them. This mural, unlike the others, is painted, well kept, and glossy.
  295. Cheslia: "So what changed here?" Cheslia asks, looking at the mural.
  296. Josh: “We grew too few...Splintered...Drove back...Only a few rooms are ours now, and if you are here...We leave.”
  297. Rylian: "Why is that?"
  298. Josh: “You will end...the need.”
  299. Ileleste: "What need?"
  300. Josh: “To remain. No need to keep this place...anymore.”
  301. Ileleste: "So because we are here, you're just going to leave?" Illy scratches a horn confused by the nonsense.
  302. Josh: “You will finish, what you started.”
  303. Ileleste: If no one else was going to ask, "What did we start?"
  304. Josh: It cocks its head to the side and gestures around again.
  305. Ileleste: Illy looks to Cheslia to see if she understands more than what she does.
  306. Cheslia: "I guess this mural is something like a prophecy?"
  307. Josh: It shakes its head. “Past, not future.”
  308. Ileleste: A brief moment of insight in Ileleste's eyes goes away.
  309. Cheslia: "Well, we're really not here to invade if we can help it. We're just trying to get back to the surface."
  310. Josh: “You cannot go. Finish what you started. Kill the undying.”
  311. Rylian: "Undying? You mean the undead?"
  312. Ileleste: "Where are these Undying?"
  313. The_Reaper: "What do I need to kill?"
  314. Josh: “In the Shadowdark. There is only one...but its army...grows. You must finish before it...” It shrugs helplessly.
  315. Ileleste: "And what is it, exactly?"
  316. Cheslia: "The more we know about what we're getting into the better."
  317. Josh: “If it gets out...The darkness will destroy, everything. Like so long ago.”
  318. Ileleste: "Well, that doesn't tell us what it is. Just makes it sound a lot more dangerous."
  319. Rylian: "I would just like to know where it is."
  320. Josh: It shrugs. “We have only these few rooms left. It has the rest. We have only the story preserved, and the door. We...do not know its form...not anymore.”
  321. Ileleste: "So, that locked door back there, does that lead to it?"
  322. Josh: “Among some others.”
  323. Josh: “That leads to the story, and the aspects.”
  324. Rylian: "And that is...?"
  325. Josh: “You do not know?”
  326. Rylian: "There are a lot of stories I've heard of in my life. Might be one of them."
  327. Josh: “The aspects, of the Chosen. Your...You...” It seems at a loss for words.
  328. Ileleste: "Oh it's this Chosen stuff again." She says, mostly to herself as she tries to piece it all together.
  329. Rylian: "Oh, I do remember being told that. Fairly recently now that I think about it."
  330. Cheslia: Cheslia's arm drips while she considers this.
  331. Ileleste: "So, we're Chosen, you say we're meant to kill this thing, you can't tell us what it is, and it has an army?"
  332. Josh: It nods. “You could not kill it before. Left it. It grows in the shadowdark, kills us, breaks us, we are tired. You must destroy it. Undo your mistake.”
  333. Ileleste: "But, we just got here." There's that confused look again. "We didn't make any mistakes."
  334. Josh: It simply points to the mural.
  335. Cheslia: Cheslia stares. And drips.
  336. Ileleste: "Can we rest here?"
  337. The_Reaper: "What about this mural?"
  338. Josh: It nods. “We leave, this place safe, especially now with heretics gone. Its power tied to its army. But it will grow again...with time.”
  339. Ileleste: Illy finds a place to sit down, leaning against the wall.
  340. Ileleste: "Is there any kind of boon you can give us? Something to help fight this Undying?"
  341. Josh: A few murmurs and it nods. “We can unlock doors. And give you our weapons, and supplies.”
  342. Ileleste: "Thank you." She smiles from the ground, before getting up so it doesn't seem insincere. "We appreciate anything you can do."
  343. Cheslia: "Thank you. I don't suppose you know why we just left this undying thing unfinished the first time around, do you?"
  344. Josh: It looks down as if ashamed. “You were defeated. Broken, betrayed, and destroyed. The last of you sacrificed much, just to trap it here. And now, the city above fell. Opens the way for it to escape, but it does not know, not yet. You can finish what was started.”
  345. Ileleste: "Betrayed?"
  346. Josh: “Evil always corrupts. Even the Hasshiir. Even the Chosen.”
  347. Cheslia: "Huh. Thank you." Cheslia nods, taking on a thoughtful look.
  348. Josh: It nods. “We go, unlock the doors and open the way. Give you our weapons and supplies. Then, we leave. Our service, completed.” It bows and the others stand and bow as well, before they vanish one by one.
  349. Ileleste: Once they are all gone Ileleste goes on ahead to see what they unlocked for them
  350. Rylian: Rylain follows after her
  351. Cheslia: Cheslia does too.
  352. The_Reaper: Reaper just follows after them
  353. Josh: You walk through what appears to be a common area for eating and sleeping then you find an open sliding panel, filled with goods. On the far right is another common area. When they leave they drop their bows and daggers. 9 of each.
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