Friday, January 27, 2017

Session 22: Clearing out the stockade

Following the flight of Markessa, the party considered resting to be the better part of valor. While they camped, they met a roguish fellow named Mattick, whose own hatred of the slavers led him to want to work with the party. The first door they opened led to a suite of rooms. They entered the first room on the right, and found it contained an alchemist busy at work. "Hello, I am Volodemir," they greeted him, and he turned around with a quizzical look. "Aye, and what be ye wanting?" "We are looking for Markessa. Do you know where here rooms are?" "Nae, no sensible creature would be wanting to go there willingly. But I think they may be to the south." Volodemir thanked him and left.

They went south, all the way to a natural cavern, where they saw drow loading up a caravan. They backed away slowly, and instead entered one of the doors on the east side of a hallway. There was a busy kitchen behind it, and the chefs didn't seem to take notice of the party. Turning to the other side of the hallway, they entered a nicely appointed room, occupied by none other than Markessa! They moved to attack. Markessa managed to get off one volley of magic missiles before she lay dead at their feet. In the rooms that followed, they killed a beautiful elven male in a training room, and eventually came to a secret door. They couldn't open it, so Gyfli smashed it open with his mighty shoulder.

Behind the door was a lavishly decorated room, where clearly no expense was spared. In a corned was a wall safe, which Mattick was able to pick. Inside, there was some treasure, largely in the form of expensive jewelry. They found another secret door, but were unable to open it. To the north of this suite of rooms, they found the slaves. The slave pen had three rows of five-foot cells, and three larger cells on the north end of the room. All except the very northwestern cell were filled with slaves, and orcs oversaw the slaves from a platform on the western end of the room. Gyfli charged forward while Lynnya and Mattick loosed arrows, and the orcs were swiftly slain. The party forced the chefs in the kitchen to provide them with food, which very few of the slaves threw up. From there, they left the stockade the way they came in, and traveled back to Darkshelf.

On the way back to Darkshelf, however, they paused. Some sort of thunder, or an earthquake, was making everything quiver. Volodemir was the first to spot it -- a stone giant, lumbering towards them through the hills. "Hello, I am Volodemir," was the first thing out of his mouth, though he couldn't avoid a slight quaver.

"Hello, children of men. I am Rodimus."

"H-hello, Rodimus, what brings you out of your mountains?"

"I seek the rod of seven parts."

"A rod?"

"Yes, it is a potent symbol of Law. In the first demon war, Mishka was one of Hadeth's great generals, a powerful leader of the armies of Chaos. Soren smote him with the rod, and imprisoned him in limbo. Only the rod can free him, and only the rod can slay him. His minions, the demon spyders, are here seeking for it. So I also seek it, so that Mishka might be slain and chaos weakened. Will you help?"

At the mention of Law and Chaos, Gyfli perked up, and now speaking for the group, "Of course, just tell what we must do." "Go to Darkshelf," Rodimus replied. "There visit Arquestan, an elf who has been working with us to find the rod. He will guide you." There the party took their leave, and made their way back to Darkshelf.