Darkling

Josh's DnD: Ep05

Apr 20th, 2016
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  1. Josh: After convincing the Dwarves to help the Elves of Yggdrasil in their war with Malchizidek, our Heroes find themselves in the Underdark, outside the Dwarven city of Brattsholt. Here, the adventurers search the abandoned Caravan Trail for traces of Drow movement that might lead them to the enemy's final stronghold and the end of centuries of war to free up the Dwarven forces to reinforce the war effort above. Exhausted from searching, our heroes find a safe place to camp and rest. They take watch shifts throughout the 'night' with nothing interrupting their sleep save for the changes of shift. The final shift is given to their Dwarven warrior Alja. Upon waking up, Alja is nowhere to be found and Beans seems to have vanished, leaving her belongings behind.
  2. Ileleste looks around bleary eyed. "Wait... what?" She gets up looking around the camp.
  3. URZOGA: "Hrn? What?" Urzoga sits up from her bedroll, rubbing at her eyes.
  4. Ileleste: "Where did the uh, the little ones go?"
  5. URZOGA: Urzoga gets to her feet and looks around, soon catching on that Alja and Beans are missing.
  6. URZOGA: "Beans? Beans?!"
  7. Josh: Your words echo off the walls of the cavern but you receive no answer.
  8. URZOGA: Her attention turns to the south. "Beans!"
  9. Ileleste: "And her things are left behind?" She trots over to the donkey.
  10. Josh: The creature itself looks undisturbed as it slowly gets up. Not much of a smart animal, that one.
  11. URZOGA: "Did she disappear to that place again? The one she was telling us about."
  12. Ileleste scratches her head, then smoothens out her hair around her horns. "This doesn't bode well."
  13. Josh: From the south you see a human woman bearing a torch approach you.
  14. Cheslia: More specifically a well-dressed and blonde human woman, sporting an eye patch. She probably looks out of place, wearing a metal shirt over her dress. Seems awfully scrawny to be going around in metal armor of any kind, and overall she might present an image of frailty and sickliness.
  15. Ileleste: "We've got company" she says quietly enough that the newcomer won't hear, but her remaining companions will.
  16. Group call
  17. Missed group call.
  18. Josh: (WOOPS MY BAD)
  19. URZOGA: Urzoga snaps her attention around to the approaching blonde, taking on a more defensive posture.
  20. Cheslia: "Is everyone alright? I'm peaceful. I can direct you to food if you're hungry." The woman calls out, though it seems a strain on her to be remotely loud. She halts some distance away and has a whip coiled at her side, but otherwise looks unarmed.
  21. Rylian: Rylain, fully awake at this point, notices the woman. He casually walks up to her, grateful to see someone other than the monsters they've been fighting
  22. Ileleste stays back. This cave hasn't been exactly full of nice people.
  23. Rylian: "Well met, fair maiden!" He begins to shout in his usual loud voice.
  24. URZOGA seems content to watch as well, not so eager to approach a stranger.
  25. The_Reaper stands back to see what happens
  26. Cheslia: The woman seems a little caught off guard by the loud voice. A tremor goes through her free arm. "I greet all of you. But not so loud." She dips into a curtsey.
  27. Rylian: "My apologies, milady," Rylain replies, bring his voice down a few octaves, embarrassed. "It was just the surprise of seeing a friendly-looking person after all we've seen down here."
  28. Ileleste: "Who exactly are you, and why are you wandering around these caves?"
  29. Cheslia: "Cheslia Marnaxis, a healer by trade. I was on my way to the city to buy a few things not easily found on the surface. On the way I stopped. What of yourselves?"
  30. Rylian: “I am known as Rylain Armstrong, son of the great knight Biancorvo Armstrong!" He puffs out his chest.
  31. URZOGA: "Urzoga," the half-orc chimes in, still looking suspicious of the stranger.
  32. The_Reaper: "Reaper" The cloaked man replies.
  33. Cheslia: Cheslia stares at Rylain's chest for a while, to the point of awkwardness. Then she subjects Ileleste's chest to the same. "You're all so pretty." More arm twitching ensues. She giggles and sounds sincere about it. Maybe even a little dreamy.
  34. Ileleste: "Right...” She was pretty used to her chest being stared at, but this was a bit different from the standard drunk stare of lust. "I'm Ileleste."
  35. Cheslia: "What are you all doing here?"
  36. Rylian: "It is a very long story, full of strife and peril," he waxes poetically, oblivious to the staring. "A tale that can be properly told over that food you said you would direct us to."
  37. Cheslia: "The city shouldn't be too far from here. I don't know if they serve beans since it's dwarven, but you can ask."
  38. Ileleste: "The city yonder?" She points back along the route they came. "That is where we were coming from."
  39. Cheslia: "Brattsholt."
  40. Ileleste: "Yes, that's the one."
  41. Cheslia: "Now I'm just embarrassed. If you're leaving there's no point in going back there. Were you on your way somewhere else, then?"
  42. Ileleste: "Yes. Somewhat. We don't exactly have a destination, so much as a resolution to find something."
  43. Cheslia: "And you hope to find it here in these caverns?"
  44. Ileleste: "Indeed, that was the intent."
  45. Cheslia: "If you don't mind a little company I could come along. I'd hate it if anyone suffered a severe injury and didn't have someone handy to perform emergency treatment."
  46. Ileleste looks to the others for their opinion.
  47. Rylian: "I do not see why not, if she is fine with the danger ahead."
  48. URZOGA: "I...don't have any particular objections."
  49. The_Reaper: Reaper shrugs "it’s up to you"
  50. Ileleste: "Right." She looks back to Cheslia. "We will be headed into danger. If you are willing to share that, we'd more than welcome your company."
  51. Cheslia: "I can live with a little danger."
  52. Rylian: “I like it! Well then, we set forth!"
  53. Ileleste: "I'd ask first, did you happen to see a dwarf or a gnome from the way you came?"
  54. Cheslia: "I didn't."
  55. URZOGA: The half-orc grumbles.
  56. Ileleste: She sighs. "What did you see down there? We haven't headed that way yet."
  57. Cheslia: "Some dead creatures. The remains of a trap."
  58. Ileleste: "Which way are we headed then? Spiders back that way, some unknown ahead?"
  59. Ileleste: "Either way, I am definitely not walking first after seeing the dangers in this cave."
  60. URZOGA: "Pick a direction and I'll take lead."
  61. Ileleste: "Let's avoid abnormally large spiders for the time being."
  62. The_Reaper: "Well it might just be something worse then." Reaper says with a smile.
  63. Ileleste: "Then you'll enjoy killing it I'm sure."
  64. Rylian: "Fear not, my friends. No harm shall befall us as long as we fight with all of our strength!"
  65. Cheslia: "If it comes to violence I hope none of you are easily disturbed."
  66. URZOGA: Urzoga goes about packing up her things. "I should say the same to you."
  67. Ileleste makes quick work of cleaning up the camp and packing up on the donkey she's now claimed for her own.
  68. Ileleste: "Alright, lead the way."
  69. Cheslia: "You needn't worry. A healer is often exposed to various unpleasantries of life and death."
  70. URZOGA: Urzoga grunts, hefting her pack. "I'll lead. Watch after the donkey, someone."
  71. Josh: As you walk into the next room you see a group of Drow standing with Alja kneeled between them. She struggles in her ties and her eyes widen as you come into view. One of the Drow grins evilly. "You told us that you were alone. No one was working with you." She slams The Dwarf's head into the ground. "Dwarves never work alone." She holds a knife to Alja's throat. “But I knew they'd be after you shortly." Without even hesitating, she slits her throat and the others draw their weapons.
  72. URZOGA: "Bastards," she barks at them.
  73. Rylian: “You have no honor, you deranged wretches!"
  74. The_Reaper: Reaper frowns "Well now I will have you die."
  75. Cheslia: "Oh dear..."
  76. Ileleste has no words but considers covering the donkey's eyes.
  77. Rylian: "Quick question," he turns toward our new path member. “Can you save her if we get to her in time?"
  78. Cheslia: "We'll see."
  79. Rylian: "Then we have no time to waste!"
  80. Ileleste steps up behind Urzoga, placing a protective spell on her. "Go tear them to pieces."
  81. The_Reaper: reaper charges towards the enemy but swings wide
  82. URZOGA: The siege engine that was once Urzoga lets out a roar, body swelling with muscle growth. Somehow her green skin didn't split open as she charged forward, muscles pumping. She struck the first Drow she encountered and then took hold of him.
  83. Cheslia: Cheslia's twitchy arm sprouts a rather ridiculously long tendril that lashes out one of the drow, but swings wide.
  84. Josh: A bright light springs from Rylain's mouth and eyes for a brief moment. He is now awake, his hair a brilliant white and his eyes golden in color.
  85. Josh: The Drow waiting behind the others springs forward. She places a hand on one of her fellows and he immediately withers and dies. The one in Urzoga's arms gets a quick stab to the side with a dagger. "Come, I will help you defeat them!"
  86. Josh: The other Drow scream in their multiple languages, but you think you get the gist of their outrage.
  87. Rylian: Rylain's shimmering gold eyes catch the fleeing drow, and with a strike guided as if by an unseen hand, slices the dark elf's head.
  88. Cheslia: Another swing at the drow, though it's far off the mark.
  89. Josh: The two remaining Drow wave their arms and a wave of pure darkness bubbles up around them cutting off everyone's sight.
  90. URZOGA: Even inside the magical darkness the Teramach's instinct is to kill. Still clutching its now dead prey it swing out to strike at a foe.
  91. Cheslia: Cheslia backs away out of the darkness. Her tentacle whips around in agitation.
  92. Ileleste watches calmly, hoping things are going well, trusting to her comrades’ battle prowess.
  93. Rylian: Using an energy he had never knew he had, he produces a light that pierces the dark veil.
  94. Ileleste blinks a few times.
  95. URZOGA: The Monster, seeing an opportunity for more violence, approaches the last remaining Drow and kills him with his former comrade.
  96. Josh: The final standing Drow sheathes her weapon and raises her hands. "I surrender."
  97. URZOGA: Oh right, the female. The Monster's attention slowly turns to her. Something else to kill.
  98. Josh: She steps back, only slightly but keeps her hands held up.
  99. Rylian: Rylain intervenes, calling out
  100. Rylian: "Urzoga, stop right now!"
  101. Ileleste ignores them all, rushing over to Alja and kneeling down to check her.
  102. URZOGA: Uh oh. What ire The Monster might have held for the Drow now turns to Rylain. "NEVER CALL ME THAT NAME."
  103. Cheslia: Cheslia quickly moves over to the fallen woman and sits on the ground beside her. She spends a few moments examining and feeling around the neck wound.
  104. Rylian: "Then you are not her, I suppose?"
  105. Josh: It is clear that the Dwarf died nearly instantly.
  106. URZOGA: "YOU CATCH ON. NOW I SAY WE KILL THE WOMAN, BEST TO DEAL WITH HER NOW THAN HAVE PROBLEMS LATER."
  107. Josh: "I could show you our city. I know that's what you're after."
  108. Cheslia: "It was quick." Cheslia says quietly, closing the dwarf's eyes,
  109. Ileleste looks saddened at the state of Alja.
  110. Rylian: "That won't cut it! She needs to answer for what she did to Alja, yes. But if we kill her now, she would've died for nothing!"
  111. Josh: "I know we look similar but I wasn't the one who slit her throat. She died with the others."
  112. Cheslia: "If it affects the decision any, your dwarf friend was tortured before this happened."
  113. Rylian: Rylain presses forward. "We need to find their stronghold, and end this costly war before more get hurt!"
  114. The_Reaper: "Well the option of going to the drow city to investigate and tear apart the source of the problem sounds fun as well."
  115. URZOGA: "I'LL NOT SAVE YOU FROM HER SHOULD SHE BECOME A PROBLEM." The Monster smirks and turns away, the raging beast giving way to Urzoga as she approaches the deceased Dwarf.
  116. Rylian: "I won't count on it..." he mumbles under his breath.
  117. Ileleste stands facing the woman. "Why did you help us?"
  118. Josh: "Perhaps I don't want to die with the others. Perhaps I disagree with the choices my fellows have made. Perhaps I wish for the end of this war."
  119. URZOGA: "She should be taken to the city," the half-orc speaks softly so as not to disturb Ileleste's conversation.
  120. Ileleste: "And how do you know what we seek? You realize the position you're in, so best to tell us everything."
  121. Josh: "It was the only thing they got out of your friend. But she had only said it because we already knew. Of course the Dwarves were looking for Atvatabar. Their war is one for extermination."
  122. Rylian: "And what, pray tell, is that?"
  123. Josh: "It is the name of the last city of Drow. The hidden city of crystals."
  124. Ileleste: "You want us to trust you. Show us you mean it. Drop your weapons, let us bind you and search you."
  125. Josh: She nods slowly. "Very well." She unhooks her belt, dropping her lone dagger to the ground. Then she raises her hands back up.
  126. Rylian: "As long as we are on speaking terms, I would like to know your name, milady." He regains his composure a bit as he says this.
  127. Ileleste: "Someone secure her please."
  128. The_Reaper: "How does one go about securing someone without killing them?"
  129. Josh: "You may call me Typhrodes."
  130. Cheslia: "Only the best for our newfound murderflower." Cheslia takes a rope from her backpack. Silk rope.
  131. Cheslia: Cheslia goes through a few attempts with the rope. Clearly she hasn't done this before.
  132. Rylian: Taking the cuffs from Bean's sack, Rylain proceeds to bind Typhrodes hands
  133. Rylian: "Perhaps this would be a better fit."
  134. Cheslia: "It was a nice sentiment." Cheslia puts the rope back where it came from.
  135. Josh: "Ooh, these are nice. Will you be the one searching me as well? I hear the best way to be thorough is to strip your subject." She says with a wink to Rylain.
  136. Rylian: Rylain gets flustered at this. "I don't think that is necessary at this time."
  137. Josh: She chuckles. "Well let me know when the time is right."
  138. The_Reaper: "Have fun Rylain"
  139. Ileleste takes the time to go fetch the donkey proper and bring it back to the scene of the fight. "We should search all the bodies too. And we need to take care of Alja. She deserves better than this."
  140. URZOGA: "I agree. Be sure to look for a female amongst the dead as well."
  141. Ileleste makes her way over to the now bound woman. "I'll be doing the body search, don't mean to disappoint you."
  142. Josh: "You're fine too sweetheart."
  143. Ileleste takes her time searching Typhrodes, obviously not embarrassed to check everywhere thoroughly.
  144. The_Reaper: Reaper stands off to the side watching people mess with the dead and the living.
  145. URZOGA: "Hrn." Urzoga goes about setting out the loot and stacking the bodies.
  146. Ileleste finishes her search. "At least you sound as satisfied as I am that you have nothing on you."
  147. Josh: "Search me any time."
  148. URZOGA: "Okay, looks like this is everything valuable Ileleste, and there was a female amongst them."
  149. Ileleste: "Will there be anyone coming to look for you, or for them?" She points to the dead drow.
  150. Josh: "We were a scouting party. They'll look for us eventually."
  151. Ileleste: "What else can you offer us, other than showing us your city?"
  152. Cheslia: "Sounds like there's a window of opportunity."
  153. Josh: "What else do you need?"
  154. Ileleste: "Information."
  155. Josh: "I will tell you anything I know."
  156. Rylian: "Why are you willing to help us?"
  157. Josh: "I already said. I want to live and I don't agree with my fellows. I want this war to be over."
  158. URZOGA: "What do you know of the relationship between the Dreuger and the Dwarves?"
  159. The_Reaper: "Doesn't your war ending mean one side goes extinct?"
  160. Josh: "If there were more peaceful Drow like me...would you spare them? That is the hope I have for the Dwarves." She paused. "Though, the Dwarves aren't all that peaceful either. They enslaved the Dreugar and started this war in the first place."
  161. Rylian: "And what do you plan on doing once the war is over?"
  162. Josh: "I want to find a safe place to live and study."
  163. Rylian: "Study what, exactly?"
  164. Ileleste: "Is your city in league with Malchizidek?"
  165. Josh: "Many things. Magic, History...The Human Country? No. The only outsiders the High Priestess was willing to work with were the Dreugar. She distrusts surface dwellers."
  166. Cheslia: "Just hypothetically, what do you think the powers that be in your city would be willing to put on the table for peace? What might they want in return?"
  167. Josh: "I do not believe the High Priestess will settle for peace."
  168. Josh: "And I don't know that the Dwarves will either..."
  169. Rylian: "Will the war be over should the Priestess be usurped?
  170. Cheslia: "I agree it seems like a slim hope. But worth asking about."
  171. URZOGA: "Can we trust what she says?"
  172. Ileleste: "Not entirely."
  173. Ileleste: "We need proof."
  174. Josh: "If the high Priestess and her Coven are destroyed, there would be no war. The Drow would be dispersed. I know I can offer you naught but my word but I can lead you to the Priestess herself."
  175. The_Reaper: "So the plan is the kill the high priestess and a buncha of other people right? Sounds interesting!"
  176. URZOGA: "Whoa."
  177. URZOGA: "No one agreed to anything of the sort."
  178. Cheslia: "It seems very dangerous."
  179. Rylian: “I believe her." Rylain looks at his friends. "No race itself can be truly evil."
  180. The_Reaper: "I never said it was our plan it’s just an interest thought."
  181. Josh: "You have already searched me. I have no proof but what I can show you."
  182. Ileleste: "How far is it?"
  183. Rylian: "I think we should let her, after we give our fallen comrade a much deserved burial."
  184. Josh: "It is a day's trip to the West through a narrow cavern to the City. From there it is only a couple of hours to reach the middle tower and the Priestess' domain."
  185. Ileleste: "We will definitely need to see things with our own eyes."
  186. Cheslia: "I agree. Get in closer and go from there."
  187. Ileleste: "You understand, I can't let you out of these bindings though."
  188. Josh: "I understand. I will not even try to slip out of them."
  189. Ileleste collects Typhrodes belongings and puts them all in the sack she was carrying and secures it to the donkey.
  190. Ileleste: "Alright, here's what I think." She addresses everyone. "We check out what she says, see what we can for ourselves without getting into trouble or drawing attention to ourselves. I'm not the type that wants to fight a whole garrison. Once we do, we get out of there, and figure out what our next move is. Reporting what we've found to the dwarves, or otherwise."
  191. Cheslia: "I can get behind that."
  192. URZOGA: "I can agree to that as well."
  193. The_Reaper: "Alright then."
  194. Rylian: "As do I." He gives Typhrodes an intense stare with his golden eyes, and then allows the party to proceed forward.
  195. Ileleste: "First, let's give Alja a proper burial, and Rylian can explain why he looks like an old man all the sudden."
  196. Rylian: "I look like a what?!"
  197. The_Reaper: "What kind of burial?"
  198. Ileleste: "Your hair is as white as mine."
  199. Rylian: "It is? When did this happen?!"
  200. Ileleste: "While you were laying on the ground drooling. Does anyone know any dwarven rites?"
  201. The_Reaper: "Nope."
  202. Rylian: I do not, but I do know of a rite."
  203. URZOGA: "Perhaps a funeral pyre. It is the way kings are honored isn't it?"
  204. The_Reaper: "I think that's done with a lot more wood than we have."
  205. Ileleste: "We have oil."
  206. Ileleste: "We'll do that, and Rylian can perform the rite he knows. We'll honor her in the few ways we can." She sighs again looking at the dead dwarf. Things were much more complicated out here. "Urzoga, can you prepare her?"
  207. Cheslia: "Oil works, but be careful." Cheslia says with a sigh, seeming contemplative as she looks over the body.
  208. URZOGA: "Should we leave her armor and weapons with her?"
  209. Ileleste: "I think a warrior would be lain to rest with them."
  210. The_Reaper: "Sounds about right."
  211. URZOGA: "In here or outside?"
  212. Ileleste: "Here, I don't know how much more time we have."
  213. Cheslia: "It's a sound decision."
  214. URZOGA: Urzoga nods and moves to the Dwarf's body, arranging her carefully with her weapons and shield, taking her pack and loose items the group may yet need.
  215. Rylian: Rylain begins the rite. "In the aftermath of steel and blood, it is the lands that our tears will flood. A blessed friend is what they are, her soul has left to become a star. From the heavens she will see us live on, until the day all of us are gone."
  216. Rylian: "Now someone light the fire."
  217. Ileleste does so and backs away from the blaze.
  218. Cheslia: Cheslia stays quiet and somber, keeping her distance.
  219. Ileleste: The whole time she watches, she keeps as firm a grasp on their captive as she can.
  220. The_Reaper: Reaper watches the blaze in silence.
  221. Josh: When the body if finished burning you all feel a sense of peace. You give ourselves time to say goodbye to your friend and comrade before preparing to move on.
  222. Josh: The passage that the drow leads you down is narrow though you can see it opens into a wide cavern several stories above your heads. You feel a sense of apprehension as you slowly come closer to the Drow City of Atvatabar. After two days travel, your guide says you are close.
  223. Josh: She halts as you come to a large bed of rubble blocking your path. "This wasn't here when we came up."
  224. Cheslia: "Why would it be here? I'm guessing it was deliberate."
  225. Ileleste: She tugs on the handcuffs, jerking on Typhrodes. "Is this the only way in?"
  226. Josh: "It is."
  227. The_Reaper: "Well then what now......" Reaper asks concerned.
  228. Rylian: "Do you think someone else was looking for this place as well?"
  229. Josh: "It is more than possible. Though this passage was a secret."
  230. Cheslia: "So are there any alternatives?"
  231. Josh: "The only other path is well guarded and very open. We would be seen and killed instantly."
  232. URZOGA: Urzoga grunts, folding her arms and looking over the blocked passage.
  233. Ileleste: "So, if this was such a well-kept secret, your own people would have caused this. Why?"
  234. Cheslia: "So I don't think it's an option. Ileleste asks a good question."
  235. Josh: "Perhaps they thought it had been compromised. Or maybe they no longer feel they need it... I do not like either option.
  236. URZOGA: "In the end there's only one other option, if she is to be believed."
  237. Ileleste: "No, there are always other options, especially since I am not walking down a path that is certain to get me killed."
  238. Josh: "If they have closed it off, it means they don't think anyone can get through here. We could dig."
  239. Ileleste: "Or we can always take you back to the dwarves."
  240. Josh: "You can if you must, but I will only tell them what I have already told you."
  241. Cheslia: "I'm interested in why they would have closed it off."
  242. Josh: "I admit my own curiosity. My plans would not have been possible to discover."
  243. Ileleste: "One of you feel like checking it out? See if we could get through it?"
  244. Rylian: "Allow me to take a look." Rylain gets boisterous as ever as he makes his way to the rubble.
  245. Josh: The rubble, as far as you can tell, must have fallen recently. It looks like it was smashed and ripped from the walls.
  246. URZOGA: "The one amongst us that could dig through this...well...she refuses. She'd rather that the heavily guarded route. More of a challenge." She sighs, still eyeballing the rubble.
  247. Josh: You look up, could be possible to climb over it. The ceiling is farther up than the walls of the trail.
  248. Rylian: "Anyone have a long enough rope?"
  249. URZOGA: "We have rope and a grappling hook."
  250. Cheslia: "I've got that silk rope still."
  251. Ileleste: "Alright, someone want to head up first and see how it looks?"
  252. URZOGA: "I'll go."
  253. URZOGA: She collects the rope and grappling hook from the mule, securing them together.
  254. URZOGA: She gets a good spin going before hurling the grappling hook toward the top.
  255. Josh: You look down and see bodies covered in rubble and some sort of metal monster emitting smoke and steam and tearing into the walls.
  256. Rylian: "Do you see anything!?"
  257. Josh: From here, you can tell the way forward past that is another climb but clear beyond. You can catch a glimpse of glowing red in the distance beyond the walls.
  258. URZOGA: She eventually turns away from whatever it is she seems. "There's some sort of machine, like a golem, attacking the walls. There are bodies too. Another collapse and a red glow beyond that."
  259. Josh: The machine seems to have noticed you yelling.
  260. URZOGA: "Back up!"
  261. Ileleste: "Machine?" She thinks. "Sound familiar?" She asks the drow.
  262. Josh: "Not at all."
  263. Ileleste: She backs up, pulling the captive with her.
  264. URZOGA: For good measure the Half-Orc picks up a stone and chucks it at the machine.
  265. Josh: The thing starts slamming into the rubble. Your feet shift slightly.
  266. URZOGA: "It's angry!" She shouts, making her way down to rejoin the others.
  267. URZOGA: Thud! Urz didn't take the best shortcut.
  268. Josh: THUD THUD THUD. Sounds like the thing is digging towards you.
  269. Ileleste winces at the fall.
  270. Cheslia: "I wonder if it's a dwarf thing."
  271. Ileleste: "We'll see soon enough I suppose."
  272. URZOGA: "I think it might try to mine us," the half-orc grunts as she gets up.
  273. The_Reaper: "Well then let’s destroy it." Reaper responds with a gleeful grin.
  274. Josh: You back up and ready yourself, as the thing digs its way towards you.
  275. Ileleste: Back against the wall she throws a bolt of magic that slams into the machine. "Don't you try anything funny." She says to the drow as she does so.
  276. Josh: "Don't mind me."
  277. Josh: The thing rears its head back and makes a horrible screeching sound. Everyone within the range of that blast has blood coming from their ears and Reaper and Rylain hold their heads in pain.
  278. Ileleste: "Gaaaah!"
  279. The_Reaper: Reaper winces as his ears start to bleed.
  280. URZOGA: The Monster, always eager for a fight, roars and laughs in delight as its knuckles connect with the metal construct with a resounding 'klang'!
  281. URZOGA: "FEEL FREE TO RUN, I CAN HANDLE THIS THING! HAHAHA!"
  282. Cheslia: Cheslia covers her bleeding ears and dashes off muttering.
  283. Ileleste wipes the blood from her ears before throwing more magic at the creature.
  284. Josh: The metal thing lashes out with cone shaped appendages, narrowly missing the Monster
  285. URZOGA: The Monster retaliated with another solid blow from its bare knuckles.
  286. URZOGA: Sensing its opportunity The Monster surges forward, fingers getting between plates and tearing a hole in the construct's metal hide.
  287. URZOGA: Only her scarred knuckles save The Monster from biting gears and jagged metal as it relentlessly pulverizes the insides.
  288. URZOGA: "YES! YEEES~!"
  289. Josh: "Well...That's disturbing."
  290. Ileleste: "But very effective."
  291. Cheslia: "Passionate."
  292. Rylian: "Just wait until you see her fight something with a pulse."
  293. URZOGA: Arms now slick with the oil blood that once pumped through its prey The Monster's eyes scan for further prey.
  294. Josh: Only allies and the dead.
  295. Rylian: "I would also stand behind me," he says to the dark elf.
  296. The_Reaper: "Well now what." Reaper says and he wipes the blood from his ears.
  297. Cheslia: "I can provide treatment for the injured, if anyone needs it."
  298. URZOGA: Eventually the monstrous figure deflates back into the familiar form of the hunch-shouldered Urzoga, quick to hide her blackened arms inside her cloak, the usual look of shame clear on her face.
  299. Ileleste wipes the rest of the blood from her ears. "I think we all might need a bit of attention."
  300. Sylkis: Something can be heard stirring out of the rubbles in the distance. It swears in Halfling, if anyone understands it, but it is clear that the female voice is outraged by an event.
  301. URZOGA: "A survivor."
  302. Josh: Anyone that sees her can notice she is clearly wearing the robes of the Malchizidek army, as are the other bodies.
  303. Josh: Now that you have time to take notice, the metal thing has the Malchizidek insignia as well.
  304. Sylkis examines the bodies for a few moments, and without touching them, judges them to be dead. Displeased, she starts moving the rubbles off of them one by one, floating the lighter ones away.
  305. Cheslia: "What a mess." Cheslia mutters. "I should mention that my treatment methods are a little out of the ordinary. So if anyone wants to opt out, just say so!"
  306. Josh: "I'll be fine."
  307. The_Reaper: Reaper shrugs.
  308. Rylian: "I shall be okay with it."
  309. Sylkis notices after a moment the voices. At least, they're speaking in common. She also spots the fresh hole dug out. Wuh oh. She cautiously approaches it, only to see the machine broken by Reaper. "Oh, no! You broke it! Ack!"
  310. Sylkis is covered in dust and blood and all kind of muck. She seems genuinely upset.
  311. URZOGA: "Hrn. That insignia."
  312. Sylkis: "That, or it was... mmh..." She considers something for a moment, taking a few steps away. "I guess you've saved me!" Despite the insignia, she's clearly a Halfling. The robes suggest she is some kind of spellcaster.
  313. URZOGA: "Don't be too thankful yet."
  314. Cheslia: Cheslia goes from person to person. Her fingers start to glisten and even drip with a clear fluid. Apparently her treatment, for those that take it, consists of sticking her fingers into people's ears.
  315. Sylkis raises her staff somewhat defensively! "Eek! The robes, the orcish overtone! Ack! I'm not out of this hell yet, am I?!"
  316. The_Reaper: "Probably not." Reaper swings his scythe around.
  317. Josh: "The people that bear this mark...Friends of yours?"
  318. URZOGA: "What could Malchizidek be up to down here?"
  319. Rylian: "Not exactly."
  320. Sylkis: "Wait! Wait! I can explain!" She keeps her distance still, raising her staff! "First of all, it's been -weeks- since I've last seen something friendly! Well, I -assume- friendly."
  321. Ileleste tries not to squirm under Cheslia's care. "Thank you." She manages after the odd treatment.
  322. URZOGA: "Are you one of them? With Malchizidek?" She motions to the Halfling's robe, then the others and finally the construct.
  323. Cheslia: "I'm from Malchizidek, too. Born and raised." Cheslia says, wiping her fingers off on a cloth.
  324. Josh: "And the plot thickens."
  325. Rylian: "As am I, actually."
  326. Sylkis: "Erm, yeah? Why? It's only the capital, thousands of people come from there! What's the matter with you?" She still seems pretty confused. "I'm a student of the Mage Academy working on her Thesis. Or, was working."
  327. Rylian: "A what?" Rylain is confused by the word.
  328. URZOGA: "You're unaware of the genocide Malchizidek is attempting upon non-Humans?"
  329. Sylkis: "Thesis. Y'know, when students are done with their teachings, they try to do something that culminates all their learnings. As a Conjurer, I decided to study the interactions and consequences of the planes upon the Prime Material. Weird stuff, I can tell you." She's still moving rubbles off the bodies, the hand she's wearing on a necklace around her neck glowing.
  330. Josh: "D-Did you catch that, love?"
  331. Cheslia: "Yes, I agree. I've dabbled a little in planar studies, but they're not my real field of interest."
  332. Josh: "Well, I for one find this genocide deal surprising."
  333. Rylian: "I'm trying to understand the things you are saying as words," Rylain has become even more confused.
  334. Sylkis: "Also, genocide, what?" She seems even more confused by that. "Are you high on something, miss? Gods know I wish I were right now." She holds her head as if she had a terrible headache.
  335. URZOGA: The half-orc closes her eyes and sighs, trying to center herself.
  336. The_Reaper: "Something about wiping out dwarves and elves."
  337. Sylkis: "I wouldn't know about that, our good Emperor has always been dutiful about inter-domain relations, that'd be an odd change for the old man." She dismisses the idea completely with a little laughter then locks her gaze onto the broken machine. "Oh, how will I explain -that- to my Headmaster, now..."
  338. Sylkis: She also gazes at the bodies laying close of her. "...And that. Close call, I suppose."
  339. Cheslia: "Unfortunately the issue of racism is alive and well within Malchizidek." Cheslia remarks.
  340. Ileleste: "She talks too much...” Ileleste sighs.
  341. URZOGA: Urzoga turns away from the Halfling, moving toward the donkey and rummaging through its packs.
  342. Josh: The drow watches Urzoga with interest.
  343. Rylian: "except the fact that OUR emperor had an assassination attempt on him some time ago."
  344. Sylkis seems taken back by Rylain's word. "O-Oh. H-How recently? I've... well, been out of the loop for... three months, I suppose?"
  345. URZOGA: Retrieving the scroll they'd kept she returns to speak with the new face. "Here," she says simply, holding out the scroll for examination.
  346. Sylkis refuses the touch the scroll, a hint of disdain on her face. Instead, she can feel a magical force take grasp of it. She allows it to float a few inches next of her face, unscrolling it through magic.
  347. Sylkis frowns further as she reads the contents of it. "...Upsetting. Mmmh."
  348. Cheslia: "Upsetting how?" Cheslia asks as she stares at Sylkis, noting the way she took the scroll.
  349. Sylkis: "Upsetting as in, the old cuckoo might've been, well, unorthodox at times, but as far as I know, he wouldn't have ordered such a thing. Who replaced him?"
  350. Sylkis carefully flings the scroll back at them.
  351. Rylian: "That, we do not know."
  352. URZOGA: Urzoga walks the scroll to Cheslia.
  353. Cheslia: Cheslia takes a look at the scroll now.
  354. Cheslia: Cheslia looks immensely depressed after reading it. "This is... something."
  355. URZOGA: With everyone up to date the Half-Orc goes about retrieving the grappling hook and rope from the rubble.
  356. Sylkis then shifts to them with a somewhat pleading look. "So, well, be sure that I don't care what you might be or whatever. In fact, if you want to be my assistants to help me finish my research..." She shifts her glance for a mere moment at the bodies besides her. "There's been, ah, openings. Don't worry though, the construct only went berserk -because- of what I'm researching, not because it's xenophobic or something. Must've had shadow magic or something keeping it functional."
  357. URZOGA: "We're on other business." Urz takes the rope and hook with her to investigate the other pile of debris.
  358. Josh: Equally climbable. Too bad the construct won't dig through this one.
  359. Cheslia: "I was here on other business, but it's hard for me to turn away from this now. Other races can have interesting and pretty parts. I can't stand for genocide."
  360. Sylkis pouts as Urzoga walks past her. "My name's Sylkis, by the way. Conjurer of the Academy. And, well, I know this is important for you, but I'm actually here studying the Shadow plane. I have reasons to believe there's a nexus leading to it quite close. In fact, it's probably what causes a lot of the chaos around here."
  361. Josh: "That explains a lot."
  362. Rylian: "What do you mean?"
  363. Sylkis suddenly raises her staff at the rough undercommon accent. "Eeek! A drow!"
  364. Josh: The drow nods and holds up her shackled wrists. "No need to worry."
  365. The_Reaper: Reaper walks over to the other pile of rubble just in case something else happens.
  366. URZOGA: "The rest of the way is clear."
  367. Sylkis seems to be... doubtful of that, at best. She makes sure to steer clear from her at all times.
  368. The_Reaper: "Alright then."
  369. Josh: "But seriously. You mentioned the plane of shadow?"
  370. Sylkis: "You know, my partners had supplies on them, if you wanted to make use of them, most likely... Not that I suggest disturbing the dead, but this is the Underdark. Dangerous place. And yes. I suspect the construct went berserk as a result of our proximity to the nexus. Something in it was probably powered by shadow magic."
  371. Josh: "That explains the gem..."
  372. Ileleste: "What gem?"
  373. Josh: "The Crystal city of Atvatabar. There's a reason why we chose that place. Untraceable through magical means, and the crystals provide an amazing amount of magical power. The red one in the main tower, that's what causes the red glow."
  374. Sylkis frowns at that, biting her lip. "So you're telling me that, no matter what, I was sneaking my way into Drow Central?"
  375. Rylian: "It seemed that way."
  376. Josh: "If you were hunting a nexus to another plane...It's more than possible."
  377. Cheslia: "I doubt it would have ended well."
  378. The_Reaper: "Well think about it this way, you have a better way there now. Or it could just turn out worse." Reaper laughs.
  379. Ileleste: "We need to be careful regardless or this will turn out poorly for all of us. We should get moving soon."
  380. URZOGA: "I have no interest in actually entering the city, but it's a group decision."
  381. Rylian: "If we can end the war here and now, it'll save more lives." Rylain tries his hand at logic.
  382. Cheslia: "IT would be nice if we could."
  383. The_Reaper: "Well let’s see what happens. But no matter what happens blood will be shed." Reaper says in a more serious tone than usual.
  384. URZOGA: "How will this be less deadly than the heavily guarded entrance we didn't want to take?"
  385. Cheslia: "I'm with Ileleste on this anyway. Let's move on, observe what we can."
  386. Josh: "For one, no one has turned us into walking pincushions."
  387. Josh: You move on, crossing over the last barrier and traveling towards the opening in the tunnel. When you arrive, you become the first outsiders to see the Crystal City.
  388. Sylkis: "There'sstufftheseguyscarry-well never mind!" And with that, she follows on.
  389. Josh: From your position, you can see the city itself, fairly well. Though something seems...off about it.
  390. Josh: "Hmm."
  391. Josh: The Drow seems disturbed.
  392. Sylkis: "Well, I can say that there's something -odd-, to say the least." She wrinkles her nose, staring at the odd clouds.
  393. Rylian: "What is wrong, milady?"
  394. Josh: "It's empty."
  395. Sylkis: "It's like Shadowstuff leaking into our plane."
  396. Josh: Typhrodes stares at the Halfling as if offended.
  397. Josh: "The clouds aren't important, where are the Drow?"
  398. Ileleste: "You're telling us the entire city is deserted? And you can tell that from here?"
  399. Sylkis: "How are they NOT important? Who knows the consequences of long term exposition to the Shadowstuff? You've -seen- our construct go berserk!"
  400. Josh: "This place was teeming with life and movement when the scouting party left."
  401. Josh: "I don't see a single person."
  402. Sylkis frowns at that, suspicious. "Mmmh."
  403. Rylian: "How long ago did you leave here?"
  404. Josh: "Nearly four days ago."
  405. Cheslia: "This is creepy."
  406. Sylkis: "Maybe the same thing that made our construct go berserk made the town disappear?"
  407. URZOGA: "More reason not to enter the city I'd think."
  408. The_Reaper: "Well this makes it all a bit more complicated..." said with a frown.
  409. Sylkis lifts a finger, tutting. "No! You'd be insane not to! Do you -not- see this as an amazing opportunity? We could raid ourselves a temple of Lolth and get away scott free if everyone's really gone! That, and, I guess, I'd really like to examine that Nexus, see in what way it's tempering with our plane, before it eats up -everyone-."
  410. Ileleste: "You need to be quieter." Ileleste says down to the Halfling. "I for one do not want to tramp off to impending doom."
  411. Cheslia: Cheslia nods in agreement with Ileleste.
  412. The_Reaper: "Sounds boring to go into a temple just to take something."
  413. Sylkis shushes her mouth for a moment, grumbling, before opening it once more. "Well excuse me if I'm still reeling from the death of my companions and trying to gauge what's proper and improper to do with a group of strangers that I've just met and know nothing of, who happen to lug around a drow in shackles like it's nothing."
  414. Josh: "Does anyone care what I think about this?"
  415. Cheslia: "I do."
  416. Sylkis: "I care little for the deceivers of Lolth."
  417. The_Reaper: "Never said anything about not caring."
  418. Josh: "I think, that perhaps the temple has everything to do with it. Considering that the temple is that large tower there."
  419. Sylkis: "...Or, trust the words of a Drow, not like their entire society is built upon backstabbing each other or anything! Though, props for at least agreeing with me."
  420. Ileleste: "You're really bad at being quiet."
  421. Sylkis: "Fine, then. I'll keep my mouth shush until I get to say, 'I've told you so'."
  422. Rylian: "Typhrodes is right, though. We need to at least confirm that something's there. If there are, we go back. If not, then there's an actual problem here."
  423. Sylkis rolls her eyes with a hint of discontent.
  424. Ileleste: "Agreed. But I don't want to rush off. We agreed back when we met Typhrodes we would take caution and find out what we could without risking our necks. I still think that's the safest option."
  425. Ileleste: "Besides, we might not be the only ones targeted for a genocide, if the city truly is empty. Even if she's in handcuffs, Typhrodes has a right to know what happened to her people."
  426. Josh: Typhrodes nods to Ileleste. "Thank you."
  427. Sylkis gives a simple 'whatever' shrug.
  428. Cheslia: "I can get behind that."
  429. Rylian: "It would bring great shame upon myself to refuse the request of a fetching lady in her hour of need." Rylain is trying hard to play it off cool.
  430. URZOGA: "Not the head you should be thinking with, knight."
  431. Sylkis can't help but crack a huff at that.
  432. Ileleste stifles a smirk.
  433. The_Reaper: "huh?" Reaper cocks his head in puzzlement for second but shrugs and gives up.
  434. Josh: You all head towards the city, carefully picking your way over a rope bridge held up over the swirling clouds. When you get there, you find that there are indeed a few Drow in the city, but the few you find are dead.
  435. Rylian: "Well, that is foreboding." Rylain whispers.
  436. Sylkis steers clear from the bodies. A clear look of disgust on her face. What sort of injuries do they have?
  437. Josh: These appear to have no injuries at all, as if they just collapsed.
  438. Cheslia: "This is strange..."
  439. URZOGA: Urz frowns, pulling her cloak a little tighter.
  440. The_Reaper: Reaper shrugs and keeps on moving normally.
  441. Rylian: "Are you alright?" Rylain asks the dark elf.
  442. Josh: She nods slowly, an unreadable look on her face.
  443. Josh: You pass a few more bodies as you move on. None of them look prepared for an attack, they seem like simple citizens who died going about their daily lives. With no one to block your path, it's not long before you arrive at the temple, unscathed.
  444. Ileleste looks about and then up at the temple looming in front of them.
  445. Sylkis tries to count how many spider ornaments she can spot, just for hilarity sake.
  446. URZOGA: "Movement inside the temple, voices too. Something is going on."
  447. Ileleste: "Shall we try and have a closer look?"
  448. Rylian: "We came this far."
  449. Sylkis fully PANICS as she spots the large one! As if second nature, she conjures a patch of slippery grease, causing him to fall with a surprising thunder!
  450. Ileleste steps up behind Urz, enchanting her since she'll be once more in the midst of all the blood and destruction.
  451. Josh: Typhrodes slips free of her cuffs and tosses them to the floor. "Will someone please hand me my dagger?"
  452. Ileleste: "Promise not to stab any of us in the back?"
  453. Josh: "I could have done that at any time in the last few days sweet heart."
  454. Cheslia: "I believe you."
  455. Ileleste: "Alright. Don't make me regret it, I was beginning to like you."
  456. URZOGA: While Urz has been reluctant about the whole trip The Monster is more than eager to continue its rampage. Urz is lost to blackness as the monstrosity inside takes hold and charges the largest enemy with abandon.
  457. URZOGA: The already fallen foe seems to be an easy kill for The Monster, his own ribs used to spear his internal organs. "WAAAGH!"
  458. Rylian: "Like I said, milady. Entirely different story when she fights living foes."
  459. Josh: "Glad I'm on her side then."
  460. The_Reaper: Reaper charges for them and cleaves one of the enemy in two.
  461. Cheslia: Cheslia moves in closer to the front lines, extending her combat tentacle.
  462. Rylian: "I apologize for this, truly I do," Rylain says as he generates celestial light in his hands and launches it.
  463. Sylkis takes a few steps forward, chanting another conjuration! Caltrops spring from her palm and land under the feet of one of the drows, threatening them were they to simply stand there! Meanwhile, a smoke cloud before before her as a consequence of her spell cast!
  464. Ileleste throws a bolt of magic at the other female drow, the spell fizzling out ineffectively.
  465. Ileleste: "Son of a bitch."
  466. URZOGA: Still clutching onto the corpse of its first kill this combat, The Monster charges one of the Drow priestesses. How did The Monster pick its targets? It didn't matter, in the end the female Drow is crushed beneath the dead Duergar.
  467. Sylkis: "Oh, erm, by the way, try not to step into the foggy cloud that smells bad. It's about as pleasant as you'd expect." She warns from behind her fog.
  468. Cheslia: Cheslia moves off to support Reaper, flailing but missing.
  469. Rylian: Rylain takes a swing at an occupied duergar, wounding it.
  470. URZOGA: As more enemies approach The Monster turns slightly, instinctually backhanding a Drow trying to flank her. Too bad for the Drow the strike is powerful enough to snap his neck.
  471. Sylkis conjures up yet another patch of grease, before quickly retreating to Rylain's side!
  472. The_Reaper: As one of the enemy tries to crawl away reaper swings his scythe and takes out 2 of them cleaving them both in 2.
  473. Josh: "We've got more incoming." Typhrodes points up.
  474. URZOGA: "HAHAHA! LAMBS TO THE SLAUGHTER!" The Monster's eyes light up with sick glee.
  475. Sylkis’s optimistic smile suddenly dims. "Boccob's insight, I did -not- sign up for this. I don't think the Academy will cover -that-!"
  476. The_Reaper: "Well then TIME FOR MORE BLOOD TO FLOW!" Reaper says with a sick grin on his face.
  477. Sylkis: "Y'know, I thought, all things considered, we were here to stop a war, not fight it ourselves!" Completely forgetting the fact she was the one that started the thing with her patch of grease.
  478. URZOGA: Still laughing The Monster picks up the dead priestess and turns her attention to one of the males. It's difficult to watch and it still ends with a dead Drow but did she really need to shove part of the priestess up inside the male?
  479. Ileleste: Thankfully Ileleste was looking up at all the newcomers that she did not have to witness the atrocious insertion.
  480. The_Reaper: Reaper charges towards the stairs to take on the new enemies
  481. Josh: Rylain finishes off the Deurgar in front of him.
  482. Pinko panics and shuffles left and right as crossbows are pointed down at her, hearing the dozens of feet hurrying to their position.
  483. Pinko: "Oh gosh oh no I did not sign up for this?!"
  484. Sylkis is flailing around in panic, having lost her wizardly cool.
  485. Sylkis then shouts something. "Creeper! Don't run into the stairs just yet! I'll try -something-!"
  486. Sylkis doesn't actually know the name of the robed guy with a Scythe.
  487. URZOGA: The Monster seems to have a renewed vigor at the sight of more enemies, quite happily beating another Drow to death with her fists.
  488. The_Reaper: Reaper just starts his journey up the stairs trying to run into the stairs.
  489. Sylkis: "...Well, whatever! Your sacrifice will not be forgotten!"
  490. Cheslia: Cheslia moves in closer to the stairs. "Why is everyone so eager to charge into danger?!"
  491. The_Reaper: "There are heads to reap."
  492. Sylkis swears in Gnomish before summoning a patch of grease on the stairs!
  493. Ileleste places a protective spell over herself and takes cover so she isn't a sitting duck.
  494. Josh: The Drow at the very top of the stairs shouts in Undercommon and then runs out of the room. Typhrodes translates. "She's telling them to hold us off until the ritual can be completed."
  495. Rylian: "What ritual?"
  496. Josh: "Good question."
  497. Josh: One drow decides to run down the side of the wall, landing gracefully at the bottom of the stairs.
  498. Cheslia: "No ideas at all?" Cheslia asks.
  499. Josh: "Could be something to do with the crystals or all the dead Drow. Either way, I doubt it's good."
  500. URZOGA: The Monster looks ready to charge for the stairs, muscles tense, when another Drow hits the floor. She looks different. Better beat her face in to be sure. Picking up her fresh kill she charges.
  501. The_Reaper: Reaper continues to run up the stairs towards the enemies.
  502. Josh: The two drow in the grease slip off their feet and begin plummeting down the stairs. One manages to stop himself but the other only stops when his neck snaps.
  503. Sylkis panics some more as she conjures MORE CALTROPS.
  504. The_Reaper: Reaper charges up the stairs to one of the drow that fell and cuts off his head sending it towards the center of the room.
  505. Josh: The drow on the steps fire their crossbow bolts at Reaper but the bolts bounce harmlessly off his armor.
  506. Sylkis pops out for the briefest moment to do the thing where she does magic!
  507. Cheslia: Cheslia heads up the stairs, paying rather close attention to Reaper and looking a little exasperated.
  508. Sylkis hears someone falling down - wait, that was different than the sound the drows made earlier. Woops.
  509. Sylkis: She sinks out from underneath the stairs and just takes a potshot with her crossbow, standing out in the open! She even taunts the drows! How uncharacteristic!
  510. Cheslia: Cheslia moves in closer to Reaper and sticks her fingers into Reaper's crossbow wound and leaking clear goo from the other hand over him, smiling really happily all the while. Somehow this makes him look better off.
  511. Josh: Another Drow tumbles down the stairs. They start regretting building a tower in the first place
  512. Rylian: As the drow makes his way past Rylain, he takes a swing, sending him to the ground dead. "To get to them, you'll have to go through me!"
  513. Sylkis eeks as she sees the drow she shoots slump over dead in the grease! She never actually -killed- a sentient being before! Is that how that's like?!
  514. Sylkis eeks again as she commits her second murder!
  515. Josh: As you begin the ascent to the top of the tower, you see several Drow bodies fall from a circular hole in the roof. Looking up you also see a faint blue glow emanating from the edges of the hole and a bright red glow from the crystal above.
  516. Ileleste: "Well that can't be good."
  517. Sylkis: "...Just what's happening anyway?" Sylkis seems rather upset, shivering ever so slightly.
  518. Rylian: "We have to hurry."
  519. Cheslia: Cheslia falls over, muttering profanity about drow.
  520. Josh: Typhrodese touches the closest Drow and she shrivels and dies.
  521. Rylian: "That was impressive," Rylain remarks, slightly awed and dumbfounded.
  522. Rylian: "Rylain makes quick work and finishes the last drow with one fell swoop.
  523. Sylkis: Sylkis watches the two collapsed comrades, and actually begins undoing her belt in a haste. "I'd rather not have them die right now." She throws the belt to Rylain. "Fit this around... Cheslia, right?"
  524. Sylkis is actually pathetically weak. It flops shortly before herself.
  525. Rylian: "alright then..."
  526. Ileleste: "Is that all of them?" Ileleste calls up from looking over one of the drow.
  527. Josh: "I imagine we've got more trouble upstairs
  528. Sylkis then speaks a Command word as the belt is fit around Cheslia!
  529. URZOGA: The Monster paces, twitching with irritation.
  530. Ileleste makes her way towards the others.
  531. Cheslia: Cheslia gurgles a few times and slowly opens her eye. "Oh... what happened and why do I feel like I need to touch myself?"
  532. Rylian: "Who's still capable of going on?"
  533. Cheslia: "We've come this far. We should see it through, hopefully before they do whatever ritual."
  534. Ileleste stops over Reaper. "Our maniac is unconscious."
  535. Sylkis: "Perhaps, but, I'm out of magic for the day, more or less." She shifts on the spot slightly. "That belt should still be good for two more charges today, by the way, if you wanna fit it around the scythe wielder."
  536. Cheslia: Cheslia rubs slime from her hand over her injury. Then she wipes her hands off on a fallen drow's clothes before she removes the belt. "Thank you. Does it help much against poisons?" she asks, sounding groggy.
  537. The_Reaper: Reaper gets up and starts muttering curses under his breath.
  538. Sylkis picks up the belt with the mage's hand, a grossed out expression on her face. "Not as far as I know."
  539. Josh: You head up the rest of the stairs and find a group of priestesses around a ritual circle. They are all chanting with raised arms pointed towards a female Drow in a ceremonial gown and floating below the giant red crystal. When you come out, they turn, their eyes black like coal.
  540. Josh: Three Duergar stand guard as well, prepared to fight you.
  541. Josh: Typhrodese runs in and stabs the first drow she sees
  542. Cheslia: Cheslia extends her tentacle and wraps it around one of the drow, but alas, the thing is too lubricated.
  543. Sylkis: Sylkis seems a bit panicked as she fires a bolts. "Oh Gods, why am I even here?"
  544. The_Reaper: "You better wash your necks because I’m coming for your heads!" Reaper shouts out as he charges at the nearest enemy.
  545. URZOGA: The Monster is more than eager to fight more of those dark-skinned WHORES. Even it knows that magic was a bane to the warrior so it approached the first Drow female and took her by the throat.
  546. URZOGA: "WE'RE GOING TO HAVE SOME FUN."
  547. Rylian: Rylain strikes the enlarged duergar, hitting him at least.
  548. Josh: As her enemy falls to the ground Typhrodes calls to Sylkis and Illeleste. "Halfling, Hornsy, come her we need to figure out this circle and ruin it."
  549. Cheslia: Cheslia lashes out at a duergar, but it recoils. Maybe it has an aversion to old looking guys.
  550. Sylkis fires her crossbow at one of the Duergars out of panic before moving. "Comiiiing!"
  551. The_Reaper: Reaper moves around to attack the enlarged druegar.
  552. The_Reaper: Using his scythe he cuts off his head.
  553. URZOGA: While that's going on The Monster approaches the Drow matron with the priestess still in her grasp. "WAAAGH!" is her vocalization as she swung!
  554. Josh: Typhrodes points out two different points on the circle. One looks like a U, the other is a straight line. "I need you both to draw a straight line through these runes. We can't stop the ritual but this might help."
  555. Sylkis: Sylkis sounds annoyed by the idea. "Draw with what? Do I look like I carry cray on myself? I had -someone- to carry it for me!"
  556. Josh: "Then use a blade."
  557. Sylkis rolls her eyes. While it might be much faster to just do the job herself, she does the lazy wizard thing of scraping a bolt across the circle. This'll take a while...
  558. Ileleste skirts around the edge of the rune circle, finding one of the runes Typhrodes described.
  559. Cheslia: Cheslia mutters as her tentacle slips away from tripping a duergar.
  560. Sylkis notices the thing she scrapped at wasn't -exactly- the rune she was looking for. Cursing in Hin, she mutters a little spell and speeds through the room, threateningly holding up the bolt!
  561. The_Reaper: Reaper swings his scythe around "Your heads are MINE!" Cutting off the heads of the 2 enemies nearby.
  562. Josh: The Matriarch takes the hits and falls to her knee. "You. Will. Not. Destroy US. She has claimed us and soon she will claim you!"
  563. Ileleste takes out the rapier she's never used before and scratches a line across the rune.
  564. URZOGA: The Monster grins down at the defiant Drow. "BRING HER OUT HERE SO I CAN SHOVE YOU UP HER ASS."
  565. Cheslia: Cheslia gently caresses an Urz wound. Seems rather cautious about it, but it does lighten the injury a touch.
  566. Sylkis slams her bolt across the drawing to scratch at it!
  567. Josh: Her dying words are smothered as you crush her underneath the carcass of her acolyte. But the priestess floating in the circle screams in pain. It looks as though the ritual will soon be completed.
  568. Ileleste: "Well, that's interesting. Time to bring out every little bit I have." She holds out her arm and her viper crawls down it, spitting out a wad of acid at the priestess, covering her in the burning liquid.
  569. Rylian: The hit from the large duergar is all he feels before losing consciousness
  570. Cheslia: Cheslia moves over to the fallen Rylain and subjects him to some serious slimy fondling.
  571. The_Reaper: Reaper turns around and swings his scythe at the giant druegar killing him and cutting off his head "Another head hits the floor."
  572. Rylian: Rylain feels himself brought back as quickly as he left. "Thank you, friend."
  573. Josh: As the last body drops the Priestess cackles hysterically. "YOU FOOLS. SHE IS HERE NOW!" Suddenly her body begins to deform and twist. "WAIT, WHAT IS THIS? SHE-NO MISTRESS YOUR MIND! WHAT HAVE THEY DONE!?" And with a final bloodcurdling screech she is ripped to shreds and a dark hole opens where the skylight had been.
  574. Josh: Typhrodes takes the moment to laugh. "Well, that went better than expected. A suggestion to all of you?" She points towards a large chamber to the far side of the city. "Run." With that she bows and vanishes.
  575. URZOGA: "BETRAYAL!"
  576. URZOGA: "COME BACK WHORE!"
  577. Sylkis produces a small sketchbook, and swiftly begins tracing the sight she has, only a doodle, only for a few instants.
  578. Sylkis: "Well, how odd."
  579. Rylian: "We have no time. We have to get back to the dwarves."
  580. Sylkis: "But my thesis! This could be a breakthrough in planar studies!”
  581. Josh: From the hole comes loud shrieks and clicks and a monstrous roar. One huge spidery leg comes out, then two, three. Then all at once you see a sight more terrifying than you could have imagined.
  582. Rylian: "By all the gods!"
  583. URZOGA: The Monster growls, making sure to grab the dead Matriarch. "IT IS TIME TO LEAVE. HATE CAN NOT KILL THIS DEMON WHORE."
  584. Ileleste: "Yeah... it is definitely time to leave."
  585. Rylian: "Quickly!"
  586. Cheslia: "This could also be a breakthrough in a creature's culinary preferences! Don't be the one that inspires it to eat more Halflings!" Cheslia says as she starts to vacate.
  587. Sylkis: "Oh. Oooh. Maybe science can take the occasional break." She flips her notebook shut, tiny Halfling legs running away.
  588. Josh: The woman is nearly three stories in height and continues to grow. Part spider, part Drow, this can only be their demon goddess herself. She screams an unearthly roar that splits the crystals in the city like glass. There is no intelligence in her eyes only madness and hate.
  589. The_Reaper: Reaper clicks his tongue "Wish I could kill that but ... oh well" he turns and follows the rest running.
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