BK 600CY

The Key to Death, pt. 2

As soon as the form coalesced, it attacked Anthony, draining part of his life energy. A furious fight ensued and eventually the spectre was put to rest without anyone else having their life’s energy drained.

With Pawl’s undead body and soul both finally defeated, the heroes explored the small chamber and realized it was a small chapel dedicated to Pelor. Behind some crates, they located Parrick’s body. Upon examination, they realized that Parrick had been chocked to death by Pawl’s revenant form.

The PCs gathered up Parrick’s and Pawl’s bodies and returned to the upper level of the tomb. After re-examining Loromar’s sarcophagus, they discovered a holy mace (+1 consecrated sacrosanct heavy mace) dedicated to Pelor. Anthony and Adeipho decided it was best to leave the holy weapon with its master and the PCs left the tomb.

As they were filing out the open door, they were surprised and attacked by the berbalang. No longer relying on his spirit form, the berbalang flew off the roof and attacked Anthony, paralyzing the cleric. As the rest of the PCs attacked, they too were paralyzed in turn. Luckily, the paralysis was always short-lived and eventually the PCs were able to defeat the demonic undead creature.

As the PCs took stock, they realized that there were several battles underway in the dark cemetery. Something had awakened the undead left behind by the Iuzians and the Wee-Jasians were busy trying to prevent the undead from overwhelming them. The PCs made for the main gate, to try to help the Guardian of the Graves but, as she was fighting a huge devourer, she waved them away, warning them to watch out. As the PCs turned to look behind them, they were attacked by a wraith and a wight.

While the wight was easily dispatched, the wraith proved to be a troublesome foe as it used its incorporeal ability to hide in the earth. Very patiently, it attacked several of the PCs, attempting to drain their life, before it began attacking Grymbull‘s bear. Despite the PCs’ best efforts, the bear was eventually killed by the wraith. Luckily, the bear, not being humanoid, did not rise as another wraith and eventually the PCs were able to destroy the undead spirit after a long and frustrating battle.

By the time they were done, the Guardian’s forces had secured most of the cemetery and were mopping up the last few undead. The PCs filled the Guardian re: Pawl and Parrick’s final encounter. The Guardian then gave the PCs permission to loot the berbalang’s grave before returning to assisting her acolytes. Before she did so, however, and loathe to open the gates again, she invited the PCs to spend the night in the main funeral home’s guest chambers.

In the morning, the PC’s feasted on a divine breakfast. Anthony, who had managed to recover a bit from his life-draining ordeal, received a powerful healing spell from the Guardian which returned him to full strength. The Guardian then revealed that her morning divinations had revealed that the PCs might face danger soon so she gifted each of them a final boon by enchanting one weapon and one armor. She then asked them to give her regards to Tye Klavius and bid the PCs good day.

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The Key to Death

Nearly two uneventful months passed for Adeipho, Grymbull, Anthony, and Lireal in the city of Rookroost. Adeipho spent most of his time volunteering with the city constabulary as part of a fairly new program created by the Plar of Rookroost which encouraged adventurers in the city to spend some time shadowing with the local constabulary. As a result, he has become friendly with a corporal named Billius. Grymbull took to training animals. Anthony spent his time tending to a local shrine to Pelor watched over by the aging cleric, Tye Klavius. And Lireal spent her time performing in the city’s lower districts but has begun to make a name for herself.

One morning, when Anthony and Adeipho were both visiting the shrine to Pelor, they discovered a distraught Tye. Tye told them that the constables had visited him the night before seeking his brother, Parrick, for the murder of one of their distant cousins, a man named Pawl. Tye does not believe that his brother could have murdered anyone and asks Anthony and Adeipho for their help in locating his missing brother and figuring out what really happened. He then directs them to visit Pawl’s widow for Parrick had sought Pawl out in order to get a key from him—a key to their great-grandfather’s crypt located in the Rookroost City Cemetery. Parrick’s interest stemmed from the fact that they had just recently learned that their great-grandfather, Loromar Klavius, had himself been a cleric of Pelor and he wished to investigate the tomb for his aged brother.

The PC’s located Pawl’s widow, Marie, in her apartment in Newton. Initially wary of the PCs, for she thought Tye might have sent them to hurt her, her fears were calmed by Lireal. She then told the PCs that Parrick had visited them the night before and had gotten into a heated argument with her husband—Parrick had wanted Pawl to give him the lone surviving key to their great-grandfather’s crypt, which Pawl had refused to do. The two got into a shoving match during which Pawl tripped and fell backwards, striking the back of his head on the floor. The blow cracked his skull and he died a few moments later.

Stunned, Marie had begun shrieking for help while Parrick had taken the key from Pawl’s body and fled. Several minutes later, the constables arrived, took her statement, confirmed that Pawl was dead, and carted his body off to the City Morgue for an autopsy.

After speaking with Marie, the heroes decided to investigate the cemetery. There they hoped to find Parrick at his great-grandfather’s crypt. After exiting the city via the Funery Gate, they headed north to the cemetery. There they were surprised to discover Suel warriors and clergy wearing the regalia of Wee-Jas. During their journey to the cemetery, Lireal had filled them in that the cemetery was now guarded by the Guardian of the Graves but they had not realized how total her control was.

After speaking with the Guardian, the heroes asked for permission to examine Loromar’s crypt. The Guardian gave her blessing but informed them that, a) she had no spare key to the crypt, b) they had one hour before sunset at which time they would have to leave the grounds.

The heroes were then shown to the crypt and examind it—and realized that two humanoid creatures had been near it recently. However, the lock proved to be too tough for Grymbull to pick and, as the crypt itself was solid marble, they had no way of entering it.

Stymied, the heroes decided to visit the city’s morgue to see what they could learn of Pawl’s death. Once there, Adeipho was greeted by Corporal Billius who informed them that Pawl’s autopsy had revealed that he had died of a cracked skull due to falling backwards and hitting his head on the floor. However, Billius also told them that Pawl’s corpse stood up and walked right out the door several hours after it arrived. Thelocal soldiers attempted to stop it but they were no match for the newly undead’s strength. Undead Pawl then headed towards the Funery Gate.

The heroes hurried back to the now closed cemetery to warn the Guardian that a powerful undead creature had likely managed to sneak into the cemetery during the previous night. Reluctantly, she opened the gates and allowed the PCs in, urging them to hurry and find undead Pawl while she restored the gate’s wards.

The PCs hurried to Loromar’s crypt, now armed with a crowbar. As they were turning their attention to forcing the door open, they were ambushed by an incorporeal winged humanoid. The undead spirit attacked Anthony first, draining some of the cleric’s life force. However, before the spirit, identified as a disembodied berbalang, could do more harm, Adeipho and Anthony blasted it with holy energy.

With the berbalang’s spirit driven off, and with much effort, Grymbull and Adeipho were able to pry the stout iron door to Loromar’s crypt open. A short flight of stairs led down into the darkness. Grymbull moved ahead, triggering a pit trap. After being pulled out, he saw that the crypt contained a desecrated altar to Pelor and two sarcophagi, one wooden and one stone. The wooden sarcophagus contained the undisturbed body of Loromar’s wife. The stone sarcophagus contained the vandalized remains of Loromar. Nearby, the heroes discovered parchment and wax crayons; used to take etchings of the stone sarcophagus’s elaborate carvings.

The PCs then discovered that the altar hid a ladder that led further down into the darkness. After Grymbull went down the ladder, he was ambushed by a figure somewhat matching the description of Pawl—except clearly undead. The creature quickly knocked Grymbull unconscious. The rest of the PCs jumped into action and, after a furious fight, eventually’s Pawl was defeated. During the fight, the PCs had also noticed that Parrick’s body lay in a corner.

As the party recovered, they noticed a strange gathering of negative energy swirling around Pawl’s remains. As the energy intensified, Adeipho and Anthony channeled positive energy into it, disrupting some of the gathering energy. However, their fears were soon realized when a spectral image of Pawl rose from the undead’s remains and shrieked in anger.

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Return to Rookroost

After exiting the ruined Temple of Hextor, Adeipho and Grymbull dug a deeper grave for Deacon Ash’s body and left him resting in peace near where he had fallen. They then returned to Artonsbrueck with Lireal’s and Eliab’s bodies, as well as the loot earned from their explorations.

Upon returning to Artonsbrueck, the pair filled in Captain Holt while the local bursar, a minor cleric of Zilchus, cast gentle repose upon the bodies. After explaining how Tyderius nearly defeated them before he escape, the pair rested. The next morning, they escorted their friends’ bodies, along with a cleric of Pelor named Anthony, to Rookroost. During the trip, Anthony told Adeipho of a small sect of Pelorites who lived in the city and promised to introduce him to his mentor.

After returning to the city, Adeipho and Grymbull dropped their friends’ bodies off at the Temple of Zilchus. They then spent the rest of the day, accompanied by Anthony, dealing with treasure-selling and equipment purchasing issues. During this time, the acolytes of the temple determined that Eliab’s soul desired to rest in peace.

All was not peaceful for the trio, however. As they made their way through the city, they were attacked by a demonic assassin. Covered in acidic slime, the assassin nearly felled Adeipho before the group could react. However, even though the demon, a babau, summoned another of his kind to help him, the trio were victorious. After searching the assassin’s body, they were disturbed to find a note which described Adeipho and Grymbull and which also contained instructions for their elimination. The note was signed “”/wikis/the-eye" class=“wiki-page-link”>The Eye".

When Adeipho and Grymbull returned to the temple that evening, they watched as the priests raised Lireal from the dead.

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The Ruined Temple of Hextor, pt. 6

Suddenly alone and in a dark chamber, Lireal crept backwards, away from the monster. Thus she was startled when the next sound she heard was that of the door slamming shut. A moment later, she heard the sounds of battle, but she knew not from where.

Luckily for the three, Pelor was with them as all three were randomly teleported in the same direction. As a result, all three arrived in the same chamber; a chamber in which they were startled to see Zarishen, Kormick, and Bazin Peiper. The PCs had stumbled upon the villians’ lair! A furious fight ensued; Zarishen immediately planted two arrows deep in Eliab’s chest, almost killing the cleric. Kormick and Bazin began screaming for Tyderius, who was apparently holed up in another room nearby. It was these noises which Lireal began to hear.

During the fight, the PCs realized that Kormick had been standing next to a secret door, looking through a peep-hole. Kormick tried to escape through that same door; when he opened it, the PCs realized that it opened out into the main temple chamber. The villians had been aware that the PCs were nearby for quite some time and had had time to prepare accordingly.

With the secret door open, Lireal was now able to join the fight and soon the three evil-doers had been knocked unconscious despite the appearance of Tyderius and his summoned monsters and swarms.

However, Tyderius was merely biding his time, softening up the PCs so that they would huddled around Eliab for healing. When Eliab, Adeipho, and Grymbull were all close together, he unleashed his most powerful spell, Evard’s Black Tentacles. The three were squeezed by the spell’s tentacles while Lireal watched helplessly. Worse, Tyderius summoned a stinking cloud upon the grappled PCs.

With the 3 PCs in distress, Tyderious turned his attentions to Lireal. Targeting her with scorching rays, one of the bolts from his first casting blasted through the bard, leaving her barely conscious. Unable to flee, and attacked by Tyderius’ pet imp, Lireal was unable to flee before Tyderius targeted her with another casting of the spell. Adeipho, Eliab, and Grymbull watched in horror as Lireal fell to the floor, burning and dead. Soon after, Eliab followered her into the afterlife as the tentacles, the spell having been re-cast by Tyderius right before it expired, squeezed the life out of him.

Enraged by their deaths, Adeipho was able to free himself from the tentacles and confront Tyderius. However, the summoner had no desire to face the paladin in a melee and so he cast dimension door and disappeared. Realizing that the mage could be anywhere in the complex, or even outside, and realizing that they couldn’t continue to explore the ruins with Eliab and Lireal dead, Adeipho and Grymbull decided it was time to return to Artonsbrueck to report their findings, and losses, to Captain Holt.

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The Ruined Temple of Hextor, pt. 5

Despite their many battles, the PCs decided to explore a door they had found in a nearby cavern. Upon opening it, they were greeted by the sight of over a dozen rime-covered humanoid skeletons. Standing behind these was a more impressive skeleton; this one arrayed in the ancient garments of He of Eternal Darkness. As the skeletons attacked, leaping forth through the door and into the PCs’ ranks with undead speed, the chamber crew deathly cold.

Although the skeleton champion cleric was powerful, and although he had more frosty skeletons enter the fight from another room, the PCs were eventually victorious. Sadly, however, Eliab’s cat, Grymbull’s bear, and the new hobgoblin all perished in the fight.

With the fight finished, the PCs took a moment to examine the cleric’s quarters and nearby environs. It was then that they had realized that they had stumbled upon some sort of underground temple to He of Eternal Darkness, one which the Hextorites must have stumbled upon while carving their complex out of the bedrock. Exhausted from the long day of fighting, saddened by their losses, the PCs exited the evil complex and returned to the hobgoblins’ quarters to rest.

The next morning, the PCs returned to the main temple area. The chamber was massive and contained many stone pews. A dark stone alter, fairly reeking of evil mystical energy, stood at the head of the chamber. Behind it, hanging on the wall was a dark tapesty which depicted the odd story of a massive dark dragon rising from the earth.

Although the PCs wished to destroy the altar, they realized it was just too sturdy to damage. When Adeipho turned to examine the tapestry, he was surprised when it came to life and attacked him. He was engulfed by some sort of cloaker!

After killing the cloaker, the PCs saw a door standing where the cloaker had hidden it. When the PCs opened it, they saw a strange zombie-looking undead creature hiding in the darkness of the revealed passageway. Before the PCs could react, the creature waved its hands and three of the four companions (Eliab, Grymbull, and Adeipho) were teleported away against their will. Only Lireal remained behind!

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The Ruined Temple of Hextor, pt. 4

After spending the night in the hobgoblin’s room, which appeared to be one of many in a complex that may have formerly housed the Hextorite soldiers, the PCs looted the hobgoblin dead of their weapons and treasure. As they were exploring, a lone hobgoblin came down the spiral stairs; before the PCs could kill him, he had introduced himself and told them that he wanted to help them as he had been exiled by the hobgoblin tribe the PCs had just defeated. When he had seen the refugees streaming from the ruins, he had snuck in to see who or what could have driven his kinfolk away. When Adeipho determined that the hobgoblin was not evil, the PCs decided to let him join them…for now.

As they were exploring, they were ambushed by a dessicated wight who had heard the fight with the hobgoblins.

Although the undead was tough, he died quickly—but not before he could warn his “boss”, a diabolical minotaur. All seemed lost as the brute charged…until he wildly swung and hit the ceiling instead of cleaving a PC’s head off. Seizing their chance, the heroes quickly swarmed the minotaur, felling it.

After exploring the mintaur’s room, which must have been some sort of holding area of prisoners too large or too dangerous for the level above, the PCs discovered a room inhabited by a nearly-naked human male. After asking the PCs for orders and passwords, the man became enraged by the fact that they were clearly not Hextorites. In a shocking display, the man’s form morphed into that of a man-sized underworld dragon! With lightning breath and adamantine claws, the dragon attacked the PCs.

Despite the lightning severely wounding several of the party, and despite the dragon’s fierce melee prowess, the party eventually prevailed. While looting the dragon’s chambers, they were able to surmise that the dragon, too young to be of use to the Hextorites when the Iuzians had attacked, had remained in the ruins awaiting the return of a Hextorite. In the meanwhile, it had conned the hobgoblins, dessicated wight, and infernal minotaur into thinking that it was an avatar of sorts of the Herald of Hell.

With the dragon dead, the level was cleared out the PCs were free to explore a barred iron door which bore goblin words of warning and danger written upon it in chalk. As the bar was on this side of the door, clearly it was meant to keep something out. However, even after removing the bar, the PCs were unable to open the door as it was locked, stuck, and magically held fast. After getting it unlocked and unstuck, the PCs were finally able to break the magical seal as they continued their quest to find Tyderius and his crew. However, when they did so, an intense blast of unholy energy and fire rewarded their efforts.

After surviving the trap, the PCs discovered a large, straight staircase descending deeper into the earth. Upon reaching the bottom of it, they saw a strange creature trapped inside a powerful magic circle. The circle, which was large enough to prevent anyone from passing without going through it, was the prison for a large, brown-furred, bi-pedal, hooved, horned and ape-headed ceustodaemon. It begged, pleaded, cursed, and threatened—all in efforts to get the PCs to free it from its prison where it had been left by the Hextorites many years before. And in talking to it, the PCs realized they were on the right track! The daemon revealed that it had spent many hours recently conversing with Tyderius—who had promised to free it after he had learned all he could from it.

With this information, the PCs grew tired of the creature’s bargains and bellowing and released it from its prison by breaking the magic circle’s perimeter. Immediately the daemon attacked, breathing a scorching cone of fire at the PCs. The creature was very powerful but, in the end, the PCs prevailed.

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The Ruined Temple of Hextor, pt. 3

After defeating the darkmantles, the PCs were attacked by wave after wave of hobgoblins. Included in the waves were an ogre and a handful of leopard.

After a long and furious fight in which a hobgoblin fire-tossing shaman almost incinerated the heroes, less than a dozen hobgoblin soldiers, led by a lone surviving corporal, survived. Retreating, the hobgoblins gathered up their women and children and fled to the surface.

The PCs, themselves grievously wounded from the battle, locked themselves on one of the hobgoblins’ rooms to rest.

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The Ruined Temple of Hextor, pt. 2

After resting, the PCs explored the construct crafter’s empty chamber, after being blasted by an order’s wrath trap, and looted it before destroying the valuable lab equipment—the PCs were worried about another construct being crafted while they explored the ruins.

The PCs continued to explore the level—when they discovered and opened the jakes, they were attacked by an otyugh which had taken up residence therein. Covered in filth, the PCs killed the monster.

The PCs eventually found themselves at the end of a hallway standing in front of a sturdy stone door. This was unusual as all the other doors had been wooden. When the PCs opened the door, they were attacked by an ochre jelly which had grown from the moldy food left behind when the Hextorites had been killed by the Iuzians. After accidentally causing the monster to multiply, the PCs eventually figured out how to kill it.

With the level fully explored, the PCs realized their search would have continue in the next level. After making their way back to the stairs, they carefully followed them down. Several revolutions later, they found themselves facing another landing. As the stairs continued downwards, they choose to explore the second level first.

As they exited the stairs, a magical darkness descended and several darkmantles, who had been lurking on the ceiling of the chamber, fell upon the PCs. A furious battle, in which most of the PCs were blind, ensued as the darkmantles, led by a larger-than-normal specimen, attempted to engulf and eat the heroes.

As the noisy battle raged, the PCs could make out the faint sounds of alarm from nearby. Apparently, they had stumbled upon a hobgoblin community! As the PCs finished off the darkmantles and toss their bodies down the spiral stairs, discovering that a cave in blocked their way down, they could hear the approaching boots of a small hobgoblin army.

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The Ruined Temple of Hextor, pt. 1

After searching the area and entombing Deacon Ash’s body in a cairn, the PCs who were there, Ephezen, Adeipho, and Kendrick, elected to rest before further exploring the ruined castle. In addition, they hoped that Lireal and Eliab would arrive to help them.

The next morning, Adeipho and crew were relieved when Lireal and Eliab arrived—and they hadn’t arrived alone. Accompanying them was the half-orc druid Grymbull. Enraged by Tyderius’ attack on the town, Grymbull had offered to help Captain Holt deal with the evil spellcaster. Holt then introduced the druidic adventurer to Eliab and Lireal—who then agreed to bring the druid with them on the road south.

After filling them in on Deacon Ash’s death, the group entered the ruins via the large spiral staircase they had discovered. After several revolutions, the stairs opened into a landing room before continuing down into the darkness. If not for the PCs, it would be completely dark. However, it wasn’t silent as the PCs heard a low moaning/babbling noise coming from the open archway ahead.

The PCs moved forth to explore the first dungeon level of the ruins and discovered a huge prison chamber with a dozen 10 ft. square stone cells in it. The babbling grew louder and the PCs were soon having to fight off the effects of two allips’ babbling. As the allips attacked, nine skeletal warriors emerged, one by one, from prison cells and moved to attack. Without Ephezen’s ability to channel positive energy, the PCs would have been in serious trouble—with it, the undead were no match for the party.

The PCs continued to explore the level and discovered several rooms which indicated that the level used to serve as a prison of sorts for the Hextorites. While defeating a strange plant-creature that used spores to induce hallucinations in its prey called a basidirond, one of the PCs fled from the hallucinations into a nearby chamber. In that chamber stood a man-sized, six-armed marble statue of Hextor. As the PC attempted to flee past the statue, it came to life, clubbing the PC. Suddenly the heroes were fighting two foes at once and things looked dire!

With a bit of luck, and after shrugging off the hallucinogenic spores, the PCs were able to defeat both the plant-creature and the animated statue. After tending to their wounded, the PCs continued to explore and discovered a lab devoted to building constructs. Worse, lying on a table in the middle of the room was a man-sized creature fashioned from flesh, leather, and mismatched body parts—a flesh golem! The un-thinking creature rose and attacked but, in the end, proved to be no match for the heroes.

Although there were many rooms left unexplored, the PCs, low on resources, elected to rest to regain their strength. As of yet, they had found no sign of the summoner or his lackeys.

However, their rest was interrupted when the PC on watch was attacked by two hobgoblins, an archer and a swordsman, and their two pets—a leopard and her nearly full-grown cub. After the archer failed to take out the PC quickly, he retreated—leaving his pets and the soldier to guard his back. While the PCs were able to defeat the cats and the solider, the archer was too fleet of foot and his made his escape deeper into the complex down the large spiral stairs.

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The Summoner's Cellar

As the PCs moved down the fire-damaged stairs into the basement, the stairs gave way—making the going treacherous. Upon reaching the bottom landing, the PCs found the cellar door closed.

Upon opening it, the PCs saw that Tyderius had hastily abandoned some sort of summoning chamber/lab. A wooden partition, serving as a portable wall, prevents the PCs from seeing farther into the chamber. However, as they moved into the room, they heard a moaning noise coming from behind the partition. When one of the PCs poked his head around to see what was making the noise, he was surprised to see Argus Peiper lying unconscious on the floor, an air elemental floating in the air above him.

Before the PCs could react, the three missing earth elementals rose out of the earth in the PCs’ midst and a fierce battle ensued. Luckily for the PCs, the elementals had sustained various amounts of damage during their attack on the town and were not at full-strength. While things looked dire for the heroes, the PCs prevailed in the end without any casualties.

As the PCs explored the cellar, they discovered a number of arcane summoning circles etched out on the floor in burnt silver powder. In addition, they discovered a locked chest which they hoped would contain hints as to why Tyderius had summoned so many elementals to attack the town. When they opened it, they triggered one last gift from the summoner: a powerful black tentacles trap.

Although the trap was dangerous, the PCs were able to outlast it and at last they searched the chest. Among other various minor treasures, they discovered a note which read, "The power to summon beings from other planes should not be taken lightly. Before attempting such, be sure to learn the language of the beings you wish to call, otherwise you will not be able to command them. —Cranzer"

With a rescued Argus Peiper in tow, the PCs returned to the surface and briefed Captain Holt on what they had found. They also learned that the town guard had discovered tracks they believed belonging to Bazin near the outside of the western wall. Oddly enough, five more sets of tracks, belonging to three booted humanoids and two equines, appeared out of nowhere. The PCs quickly surmised that Tyderius had used magic to flee the burning building, bringing several accomplices with him—one of whom was most certainly Varishen. The group had then ridden south on magically summoned steeds and somehow had crossed the river.

Captain Holt asked the PCs for help in capturing Tyderius. Due to the casualties inflicted by the elementals and the need to send to Rookroost for reinforcements, Holt was unable to send any of the town’s soldiers after the spellcaster. Holt promised to have his men escort Amira and her wagon back to Rookroost, thereby fulfilling the PCs’ obligation to Ahren. With that, most of the PCs agreed to give chase although Eliab decided instead to stay behind in the town to give care to the wounded and dead. Not wanting him to be alone, Lireal elected to remain behind as well.

The rest of the PCs, given horses by Holt, crossed the river via Argus’s ferry and began tracking Tyderius and his men. Several hours later, a merchant traveling north from Kinemeet reported that a group matching Tyderius’s description had attacked him by casting a black tentacles spell. Luckily for the merchant, the evil wizard had not stuck around to enjoy his handiwork and the merchant’s terrified but stout draft horses had been able to pull themselves and his wagon, with him in it, free of the spell’s area. The merchant advised that he was pretty sure Tyderius and his group were making for the Abandoned Temple of the Herald of Hell.

The PCs continued along the road south, eventually seeing a ruined castle in the distance some ways off the road. Realizing that this was the abandoned temple, they approached cautiously. Just as they could tell that the castle’s upper floors had all been destroyed and collapsed, a bearded devil appeared ahead of them, blocking their way, and demanding a password before allowing them admittance.

Snarling in disdain, the demonic tiefling Deacon Ash refused to discourse with such a creature and a fight ensued. The bearded devil was a vicious fighter and soon Deacon Ash was lying in the dirt, his life’s blood pouring from grievous wounds. Despite their best efforts, the PCs could not staunch the flow and they watched in horror as Deacon Ash perished for the second time.

Despite the loss, the remaining PCs were able to defeat the fiend. Plenty of loose rubble allowed them to build a cairn for Deacon’s body as they searched the area. In the remains of the old keep, they found an old cellar door and a set of large steps leading down into the quiet darkness.

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