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Page history last edited by Azeari 9 years, 5 months ago

By their fourth night in Laveril, news had spread that Lukwind the orator and Thiro the acrobat were in town. The theatre was packed with people eager to see an extraordinary performance from the Amazing Chicanery Troupe. Afterwards, a messenger arrived with a letter addressed to Lukwind, scented with perfume. It was from Maria Malibran, the most famous and adored bard of Laveril. She had heard that Lukwind had been performing in Laveril and seemed mock-offended that he hadn't invited her to share the stage. She suggested that he could make it up to her by buying her dinner.


It was the middle of the night by the time that Lukwind returned to the guildhouse. His head had barely hit the pillow before Garyn woke him up. His detect scrying spell had alerted him to the presence of an invisible magical sensor, but he managed to dispell it. A few seconds later, both Martok and Elsa felt spells being cast on them. Elsa resisted, but another invisible sensor appeared above Martok's head. Garyn asked Lukwind to do something about it.

"Who is this Lucky you speak of?" he replied. "Oh, I see what you are trying to do! Yes, yes, lets see what Lucky, I mean what I can do. However, the scrying spell only lasts minutes, and they can only see a 10 ft. radius. So we just have to sit here for several minutes, not mention anything or do anything that will give us away. And we will be right."


So the party went back to bed and waited for the scrying spell to end. 11 minutes later, a many-armed serpent woman appeared in a ball of flame, slightly singed. She said, "I have a message from the high priestess of Kiaransalee." 

"This would be why I wanted you to do something," Garyn sighed.


Rohit tried to spring attack the marilith through the doorway, but missed. He tumbled back out of reach. Garyn cast a couple of buffs on himself. Elsa drew her sword and attempted to intimidate the 9ft tall demoness, to no effect. She also readied an action, in case the marilith cast a spell. Helena and another bard cast buffs on Lukwind, then he moved into the hallway and attacked the marilith with his whip. The demon's six arms whirled into motion, like a threshing machine. With her true seeing, she ignored Lukwind's mirror images and attacked him four times with her primary sword. Helena took half of the damage, due to the shield other spell, which was enough to drop her to negative hit points. Next she turned her attention to Elsa, attacking with her other five arms and doing 68hp damage. She grabbed Elsa with her powerful tail, crushing her armor like a tin can, along with several ribs. Elsa lost consciousness.The demoness looked at Garyn closely. "I do not know you, puny mortal," she said, "but you would be wise to stay out of this. My instructions are very specific." Rohit swore loudly. Martok ducked down behind the bed and shot the marilith with a vitriolic blast, but it didn't appear to do any damage to her. She smiled. "I was told to expect that from you," she said.


Rohit drank a potion of protection from evil from his bandoleer and spring-attacked again, but missed again. The marilith was wreathed in a malevolent darkness, which protected her from harm. Garyn cast arcane sight and saw that there were four magical auras on the marilith herself. All six of her weapons were magical and she wore a ring on her finger. "So, why are you here?" he asked. "What have these people done to incur your wrath?" 

"I'm just doing a favor for an old friend, who asked me to reap some vengeance on her behalf," she replied.

"Well, I'll just stay out of it then," Garyn said. "They don't seem like bad people, what did they do to your friend?" 

"They murdered her daughter and her son."

"Glad it wasn't me then, because if you were after me I'd be running as far away as possible." 

"Who exactly is supposed to have murdered who?" Martok interjected.

"Have you murdered so many that it's getting difficult to keep track of?" the marilith asked him. "I know the feeling. Permit me to remind you, then: Dorina T'sarran, priestess of Kiaransalee, and her brother Zedarr. Both of them died in agony, burned by your nasty acid attack that you have also just fired at me." 

In the other room, Rohit and the bard had healed Helena and brought her back to consciousness. She cast delay death on herself. Lukwind used his boots of big stepping to teleport beside Elsa and the marilith. He took only a slight amount of fire damage from travelling via the Astral Plane, since he went less than 30 feet. In a somewhat belated attempt at diplomacy, he said, "I am so sorry, I was just defending my home. Please don't destroy this house. I was only letting these people stay here. Don't destroy my home. This is my only livelihood."  The marilith dropped Elsa's unconscious body and grabbed Martok with her tail, squeezing him in her scaly coils until he passed out. Ignoring Lukwind and Garyn, she squeezed down the hallway towards the other bedroom.


Lukwind cast cure light wounds on Elsa while other members of the troupe rummaged through her possessions, looking for healing potions. Garyn said, "We need more help, we can't take this thing by ourselves. Oh and by the way, all its weapons are magical and it is buffed to the hilt. You may want to do something about that if you are staying to fight."


"Get help as quickly as possible," Lukwind replied. "Will try to stall as much as I can." Garyn cast expeditious retreat on himself and ran out the back door, down the alleyway and across the bridge to the temple of Oghma. He only hoped that he could return with reinforcements in time.

In the other room, Helena pulled out a candle of invocation and lit it from the fireplace. She used it to cast a gate spell and summon a huge air elemental from the inner planes. The marilith appeared in the doorway and the elemental attacked, but missed. The marilith struck the elemental, doing 22hp damage. Rohit tumbled past the elemental and the marilith, attacking and missing as he went, and ended up in the room with Elsa and Lukwind. Using their guild sign language, he communicated to Lukwind, "Take Elsa to Helena. I will lead the bitch the other way."


Lukwind responded in sign language, "It will be quicker for Helena to get to Elsa. We still have a few rounds left. I think Helena was also trying to give you a bit of time to escape as well."


The marilith followed Rohit back up the corridor and stabbed at him through the doorway. Her unholy sword did 29hp damage to the vanara. Having found Elsa's potions of cure moderate wounds in her belt pouch, the other members of the troupe began feeding them to her one at a time. Rohit tumbled down the hallway again, past the marilith and the elemental, back to the other room. "Come back here, you little flea!" the marilith shouted.


"You will have to earn this kill," Rohit replied, then drank a healing potion from his bandoleer.


The marilith teleported outside the guildhouse to cut off Rohit's escape. Rohit noticed that she was no longer carrying Martok's unconscious body around with her. Helena ordered the air elemental to transform itself into a whirlwind, which sucked the smoke from the fireplace into itself and tossed all of the furniture about the room. Indoors, it was only 10ft high, but when it moved outside it grew to a height of 50ft. The area around it was obscured by a cloud of debris, so the marilith was unable to see Rohit tumble to the other end of the room and throw a tanglefoot bag through the doorway at her. They heard a sound like dozens of axes were simultaneously chopping away at the western wall of the guildhouse. This was accompanied by the sound of breaking glass. Rohit heard a telepathic message inside his head. She said, "there is no escape."


"You'll have to catch me first," Rohit thought to himself with a chuckle.


When Helena and the other bard moved into the hallway, they found Martok's body lying there. Helena cast cure light wounds on him, then they picked him up and carried him into the dormitory, setting him down beside Elsa. Rohit came into the room as well, shutting the door behind him, just as they heard the sound of the whirlwind tearing the entire western wall off the guildhouse. "I so hate Dorina and her mother!" Lukwind exclaimed. Helena cast magic circle against evil, hoping that the marilith was a summoned creature, and hadn't been brought to the material plane with a calling spell. The apprentice performers and the cook continued to feed healing potions to Elsa. Rohit handed each of the apprentices a vial of holy water to throw at the marilith if they got the chance. The other bard said, "Sit down, kids, and I'll tell you a story. It isn't really a story to inspire courage, like the stories that Lukwind tells. It is more like a story that will inspire you to shit your pants.

    "Mariliths are generals in the Blood War, that eternal struggle between the forces of evil and the forces of 'just as evil, but more organized.'  The chaotic evil drow have long been allies with the denizens of the Abyss, probably since even before the other elves cast them down from the surface world, to live forever in the Underdark. Historical documents refer to mariliths as 'type V demons' but these days that term is considered archaic. It is thought that the original four multi-armed demons were named Aishapra, Kevokulli, Marilith, and Rehnaremme. Of these, Marilith was the greatest, so much so that all demons of her lineage now bear her name. She is said to be three times as tall, and three times as powerful, as an ordinary demon of her kind, towering close to 30ft in height and weighing several tons."


    "Although they are strategists and tacticians, Mariliths love physical combat when opportunity presents. They size up any combat before getting involved and take full advantage of terrain, obstacles, and the opponent’s disadvantages. They can attack with each of their six arms and constrict a victim with their snaky tails, as well. Mariliths secretly feel that they are the true force behind the Blood War; that the Balors have their place only because of their great power, and are otherwise unnecessary. They may be right, but the power of the Balors remains unchallenged."


They heard the whirlwind move away from the guildhouse, off to the north, then the chopping sounds began on the north wall. Lukwind ordered his apprentices to move back while he, Rohit and Helena stepped forward. They were careful not to leave enough space free inside the room for a large creature to teleport into. Lukwind altered himself into a crucian: a reptilian humanoid with a shell like a turtle, native to the Goblin Wastes.

Shortly, the wall disintegrated into splinters, revealing a magical barrier of spinning blades. In between the blades, they could see the large, dark courtyard at the back of the guildhouse. The elemental whirlwind was now about 150ft away. Just then, Elsa woke up, spluttering as healing potion came out of her nose. After taking a brief look around the room, she asked, "Where is the beast? And Garyn?"

"Excellent question," Rohit replied. "I'll be back in a tick." He tumbled through the blade barrier, unscathed by the razor sharp edges of pure force, then disappeared around the side of the building. Soon after he left, the familiar chopping sound began on the eastern wall.

With his bardic knack, Lukwind knew that the guildhouse would become very unstable if it lost its exterior walls. It would only be a matter of time before the roof came down on their heads. "Welcome to hell," he said to Elsa, then filled her in as best he could on what had transpired while she was unconscious. He cast dispel magic on the blades and everyone moved out from underneath the roof.

Rohit had climbed on top of the roof, to survey the situation outside. The marilith was standing near the bridge, about 100ft to the southeast. He thought that she might have spotted him briefly, before the elemental whirlwind caught up with her and she disappeared in a cloud of dust. Sure enough, the marilith teleported right on top of the roof, which was unable to bear her weight. Rohit dodged nimbly out of the way, but the demoness fell straight through and was buried beneath the timbers and tiles which collapsed on top of her.

The elemental flew in and attacked the marilith, doing a little damage before returning back to the Plane of Air as the gate spell had expired. Lukwind tried to remove some of the marilith's buffs with dispel magic, but his caster level check wasn't high enough. Helena cast flame strike, which did a great deal of damage to the debris from the roof but didn't harm the marilith at all. Fortunately, the heat from an instantaneous spell is too rapid to set anything on fire, otherwise the guildhouse of the Amazing Chicanery Troupe would almost certainly have burned to the ground. Rohit finally managed to hit the marilith with a sneak attack, but took 4 temporary strength damage from her unholy aura.

Elsa activated her boots of speed and her ring of avoidance and moved closer to the marilith, taking damage from an AoO. The marilith remained prone and full attacked, scoring two more hits even with Elsa's AC of 47. Elsa used her counterstrike bracers, but wasn't able to hit the marilith. Just then, Martok woke up and Garyn returned from the Temple of Oghma. Helena hit the marilith with searing light and Rohit tumbled past with a spring attack. This time, however, he succeeded on his fortitude save against the marilith's aura. Elsa full attacked, hitting the marilith twice, then Lukwind took a 5ft step and activated his boots to teleport Elsa to safety. Martok fired his eldritch blast, scoring a hit, and Garyn shot an arrow, which missed. When the dust settled, the marilith was dead.

Lukwind turned to the sensor above Martok and said, "If that is the best you have got, you are in so much trouble!"


Everyone within 10ft of Martok heard a whispered message, responding, "next time ..." 


Garyn told them, "The high priest of Oghma said that he would come and help us in a few minutes' time, once he got his armor on. I decided not to wait for him." He also showed them a piece of parchment:


5000gp reward


This alien invader from another planet is considered extremely dangerousApproach with caution.

by order of His Imperial Majesty, the Immortal Emperor Drakus Coaltongue


"Looks like we aren't the only ones looking for Clicker," Garyn said.


"Should we wait for the reward to get higher?" Lukwind asked.


Helena contacted Clicker via sending, "Stay put. Don't mention us to anyone. Where are you?"


He responded, "I'm in the swamp, held captive by a covey of hags. Help ..."


The party decided that they needed to have 8 hours of rest to recover from the battle, before heading out to search for him. That would also enable the spellcasters to prepare for a rescue mission in 200 square miles of estuarine mangroves, cypress swamps and salt marshes. Garyn, Elsa and Helena headed straight off to bed, but Lukwind, Martok and Rohit stayed up to speak with the clerics of Oghma. While they waited, Martok & Rohit identified and appraised all of the marilith's belongings.


By the time that the priests of Oghma teleported in, 4 minutes later, a crowd of townsfolk had gathered, curious to discover what had caused all the commotion in the middle of the night. Lukwind regaled them all with the thrilling tale of their battle with the demoness and their quest to prevent the Great Revenance that the Kiaransalean drow intend to inflict upon the surface world. The audience was so impressed by his tale that many of them offered to help clear away the debris from the half-demolished theatre.


A few minutes later, the paladins of Athena rode in on horseback. All geared up for demon slaying, they actually seemed somewhat disappointed that there was nothing for them to do. After hearing the story of what had transpired, they insisted that all of the marilith's weapons must be destroyed. Mariliths cherish their weapons: if one is lost or stolen, the owner will go to great lengths to retrieve it. The aura of evil will linger on the weapons for days, so it won't be difficult for her to track them down.


"I don't want you guys to go out of your way to destroy these items," Lukwind responded, using glibness to disguise his true intentions. "We will destroy them first thing in the morning." The holy warriors reluctantly accepted the compromise.


It was the middle of the following day by the time that Lukwind had slept for 8 hours and regained his spell slots. The scrying sensor was still hovering over Martok's head, observing everything that he said or did. Garyn made a couple of attempts to dispell it, but didn't have any success. Rather than destroying the marilith's weapons, as they had told the paladins the night before, the party decided to sell them to the assassins' guild in Laveril.


Garyn refused to accept his share of the proceeds, since these evil weapons were the antithesis of everything that he strove for. While "Hobwind" & "Rohob" visited a speakeasy in the ghetto to speak with their underworld contacts, Garyn waited outside and guarded the rear exit while Martok hovered, invisible, out the front. A group of minotaurs in sharkskin armor walked by, but Martok didn't think anything of it (he was on the run from the Inquisitors when the rest of the party encountered the pirates of Knossos - see session #31 for details).


By late afternoon, they had finished all of their shopping and were finally prepared for a rescue expedition. Helena tried casting circle dance, but the spell failed. Garyn spent an hour casting scrying on Clicker, but wasn't successful either. Martok returned to the Temple of Oghma and paid the high priest to cast dispel magic on the scrying sensor, but even he was unable to get rid of it. It had already lasted more than 14 hours, meaning that Dorina's mother was a powerful spellcaster indeed. The priest suggested to come back in the morning and he would cast greater dispell.

Having spent several hours looking for information on a covey of hags in the lagoon, Lukwind was finally told that he should speak with the monks of Shinsei. There was a Shintao monastery in the lagoon, about three-quarters of a mile from Laveril. Those enlightened Rokuganis would know the location of the covey, if anyone did.
Helena cast wind walk on herself, Elsa, Rohit and Garyn. Martok preferred his usual mode of flying and Lukwind altered himself into an avariel. The monks were understandably unimpressed to have visitors drop in on them in the middle of the night, but Lukvariel managed to smooth things over diplomatically. They'd had the occasional clashes with the greenhags themselves, particularly the merrow and scrags with whom the hags associated. After some consideration, the monks pointed them in the general direction and wished them the best of luck. The hags dwelled inside an island that had a single oak tree atop it. The hags are tricksome creatres, however: it might appear that there is more than one oak, but in that case approach with care, Sometimes a tree is more than it seems.

By now, not much less than 24 hours later, the greater scrying spell finally ended. Martok was free from Kiaransalean scrutiny, for the time being at least. He removed his Greater Chausuble of Fell Power and instead donned an amulet shaped like a key. He hoped that it might ward him from scrying and other divination spells.
As they flew towards the covey, Rohit spotted a black dragon, almost completely submerged in the brackish mire. It still bore the scars from their last battle, It would take the rest of the party 5 rounds to change from cloudlike vapor back into their physical form, but in the meantime Martok surrounded the dragon in chilling tentacles and Lukwind began to inspire courage. The tentacles were unable to hold the dragon and it launched itself into the air, spraying Martok with its acid breath. Martok fired his eldritch blast, but the dragon resisted. He flew vertically at his full speed, using his perfect maneuverability to best advantage. Uncharacteristically for him, Lukwind attacked the dragon with wail of doom and his gloves of endless javelins.

Rohit and Elsa used the last rounds of wind walk to fly after Martok and the dragon, drinking potions of fly from their bandoleers as they solidified, and then attacking. Once again, the dragon quickly lost its will to fight once the battle turned against it. It dove towards the water on a 45 degree angle and disappeared into the swamp. Martok flew to the spot and tried to find it with detect magic, but didn't pick anything up. When Lukwind arrived, he cast locate creature and briefly got a sense of the direction the dragon had swam before it moved out of range.

Elsa and Garyn returned to cloud form and wind walked in that direction. In the distance, they saw an island with a single oak tree atop its summit...

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