Uktar 12th, 1372 DR The Year of Wild Magic
Day 33 – Midmorning
The Well of Demons: Flesh Pillar Room
After retrieving the blade we decide to take a short rest and recover from our wounds. As we sit and contemplate what may have become of the contemptible tieflings, a small semi-translucent flying imp glides down the corridor on silken wings. We quickly make to engage the beast but it holds up its hand and speaks in a clear imperious voice.
“Stay your hands warriors for I mean you no harm. I am the messenger of the Well and I have come to warn you of the perils which await you within. I will answer but three questions so think carefully on what you would ask.”
Not quite knowing what to make of the creature we take it at its word and formulate our queries:
What effect is the passing of time having on the task we have come here to perform?
“Already Maldrick is within the ritual chamber and begins the summoning. You have but 24 hours until he will be finished. If you seek to stop him then you must enter the chamber and defeat him before dawn on the morrow”
How do we complete the trials?
“You must place one of the objects on each of the circles of power simultaneously”
What is behind the main door and how do we deal with it?
“Maldrick attempts to summon Yeenoughu, Demon Prince of the Gnolls. If he succeeds then Yeenoughu will invest great power in Maldrick and send him on a rampage of terror and destruction. If you wish to stop this then you must enter the chamber and defeat Maldrick and his followers before the ritual is completed, for if you are late then your pitiful strengths will be as nothing before the might of the Demon Prince. Once you complete the trials the chamber doors will open for 24 hours only. You must enter the chamber, proceed through the mists and battle with Maldrick to the death. I then advise that you depart as quickly as possible so as not to be trapped inside when the doors close again.”
Upon saying this the imp departs as silently and mysteriously as it arrived leaving us pondering upon the meaning of its words.
Refreshed by our rest we decide it best to press on and locate the last object of the trials; the Bell. Passing through the remaining chambers we find them all empty and so we make for the southern doors beyond which we have not seen. Upon opening the doors we are assailed by a noisome stench and are sickened to see several pillars seemingly made of writhing rotten flesh. The columns reach from the floor almost to the ceiling and appear to be made of densely packed bodies, or at least parts of bodies for we can discern no real individuals among the mass of clawing limbs and torsos.
Choosing to exercise caution we attack the pillars from a distance with bow, dart and fire but none have any effect. Whatever wounds we inflict heal almost immediately. Seeing no other course than to proceed Happy, Bashful, Cymbalta and Robb enter the room and move to explore its reaches. However after only a few steps arms reach out from the pillars an attempt to grab at the warriors as they pass by. Nimbly we avoid capture, but before we can congratulate ourselves several Barlgura and Evistro demons step out of the pillars and move to engage us in battle. Even before they can act though a horrid wailing is heard from the pillars and each of us, noble warriors and frightful demons alike, finds ourselves transported to another part of the area.
As luck would have it Happy appears in a room containing an altar upon which rests a golden Bell; no doubt the artefact we have sought. Grasping it he moves to escape back to the entry but finds his path blocked by one of the large Barlgura. Thrusting the bell into his sack he gives the Barlgura a slow menacing smile and then proceeds to laugh like a maniac as he pounds it into the ground (thus proving that he isn’t called Happy just because he gets squiffy after a few drinks). Meanwhile Cymbalta makes a mad dash for the exit, Bashful finds himself cornered by a demon and Robb throws Id Moss powder at the second Barlgura hoping that it will cause the beast to attack its allies instead of us.
With Cymbalta out of the way an opening presents itself to Sneezy who, using the power of his newly acquired shadowfell gloves, blasts as many of the creatures as he can with a wave of necrotic damage. With their resistances now stuck on necrotic damage Sneezy is then free to let loose with his flame based attacks.
With a grin on his face, blood pumping through his veins and a bulge in his sack Happy continues to beat away at the Barlgura as Bashful attempts to extricate himself from a rather precarious predicament (i.e. being next to Happy’s bulging sack) and Robb moves quickly, but stealthily, towards the exit (nothing to see here). Just then disaster strikes as the pillars again fire and teleport everyone around the rooms once more; Robb is cast deep into the demon’s lair next to the altar while Happy and Bashful are no better off. Fortunately Robb is not under attack and uses the opportunity to give the altar a quick look and finds some booty stashed inside.
Meanwhile at the doorway concentrated fire from bow and spell has cut down some of the Evitro demons and cleared a path for the others if they can extricate themselves from the Barlgura. An opportunity for this comes when the pillars next activate and send out pulsating waves of pain that affect friend and foe alike. With the demons distracted Robb and the dwarven brothers make good their escape and the reunited party is quickly able to topple the gorilla-like beasts.
With all the components of the ritual retrieved the party decides to rest up before attempting to summon the guardian and make our way into the ritual chamber to take on Maldrick. Keeping a wary eye out for the deceitful tieflings we look for an unoccupied chamber to recuperate and plan for the battle ahead.
Bell (properties unknown – held by Happy)
Haggis : TBA (level 8 Uncommon)
Sneezy: Bracers of Defence (Level 7)
Barlgura, Evistro, Flesh Pillars