When last we left our heroes (and I use that term loosely), Noxital was being held in place by tendrils of blood flowing from a large rune trap on the floor. He tried hacking at the tendrils, but two more formed and took its place. Gurt used the Wand of Cold against them, which slowed their rate of growth, but not by much. While Gurt hacked at the blood tendrils to keep them from enveloping Noxital, Noxital made an unorthodox use of a ritual to create holy beer to turn the blood into beer, (hopefully) negating the spell.
As he prepared the 5 minute ritual, the door across from him swung open and armed skeleton warriors attacked the party. The managed to fight them off while Noxital finished the ritual and turned the blood to beer, breaking the magic trap. The room held little, save for a pair of Gloves of Agility.
Further down the upstairs hallway, the party found the door to the wizard’s bedroom locked and trapped (which Sanora discovered by taking an electric shock upon trying the handle). Noxital attempted to bash the door down with Gurt’s help, though only succeeding in shocking themselves. The party had the idea of getting Splurg to open the door, since he had displayed some skill in that area previously.
Of course, Sanora calling Splurg a thief and implying that because he was a Goblin he was of course a thief did not sit well with him. He stormed off and demanded an apology of Sanora. She gave one, though quickly and through her teeth.
Splurg opened the door with relative ease. The bedroom was unremarkable (though Sanora took some fine silk robes anyway). The one interesting feature of the room was the locked heavy oak and iron door to the west. Splurg attempted to open it but only managed to break a lockpick. This lock was magical, and only a specific key would open it.
There was one more door at the end of the hallway to explore. Clara informed them that it was to her father’s tower. They opened the door quietly and snuck in to observe two mages of the Cult of the Dragon talking to someone outside, saying things like “Yes, lord… We’re still looking… We haven’t found it yet…”
After whomever they were talking to through the window left, they turned to find the party watching, and a fight ensued. One of the mages and two undead were defeated, and the other mage was knocked unconscious and dragged back to the bedroom where she was tied down and interrogated harshly. Sanora slapped her around and Noxital smashed her kneecaps then healed her. (Splurg sat down to watch and eat jellybeans, saying “Oh, this ought to be good.”) They got little useful information from her, and Sanora slit her throat.
The party explored the rest of the downstairs area, finding only a couple undead (which Noxital made short work of), a Sunblade, a couple bodies and a finely made lute and an ornate gold bowl. Splurg, of course, stuffed his pack with food from the pantry and silverware.
They then decided to check out the basement. Clara had said it was just used for storage, though she also said she rarely went down there because it was dark and musty. The stairs down led to a small basement room with 2 storage closets. The room was filled with old barrels and crates, surplus coal and wood, bricks and mortar and other supplies for carpentry and masonry. Noxital noticed a wall in the south storage closet that had been moved recently, and he could not manage to find a way through it. Splurg inspected the wall and pointed out that humans just loved to install secret doors in their buildings and put them in obvious places though he could never figure out why. He felt around for a few seconds and triggered a latch, swinging the door open. He shrugged and went inside.
The secret door led to an old cave with natural stairs down to a heavy wooden door, lit by magical braziers of fire of either side. Noxital laid a hand on the door to test it but the door swung open and looked as if it’s lock had been shattered. The entered the door and went down the stairs to a much older dungeon area.
The first door they came to in the hallway they emerged in was locked, but the second led to a room with large faces on the walls. They almost found out the hard way that those faces were trapped as the first breathed fire across the room as Noxital stepped too far inside. Fortunately, Gurt had tied a rope to him to pull him back just in case that sort of thing happened. They managed to break the 3 stone faces and proceed into the next room.
As they rounded the corner into the next room they saw 2 cultists enter a door on the far side and close it behind them. Unforuntately, two trapped statues lay between the party and the door. The first shot Xirric with a bolt of force and knocked him across the room. The party smashed the jewel in each statue and negated the magic in them. They proceeded to open the door on the far side, and were ill-prepared for what they found.
4 cultists stood around a vortex of other-worldly energy that pulsated and swirled around an abomination chained to two stone pillars. The abomination had blue-grey skin and barbed tentacles for arms and legs, and it howled.
After Noxital used a divine command to force one of the cultists into the swirling vortex, the party engaged the cultists, making quick work of them despite their magical defenses. The abomination manged to break one of its chains during the battle, which saw the raging energy vortex toss both cultist and party members around, randomly knocking some prone and teleporting others around the room.
The creature pulled at its bonds with all its might. Noxital smashed the chain locking it to the pillar to see what it would do. He found out quickly enough when it breathed a prismatic burst at him, wounding him with fire, ice and lightning. Now the party had a real fight on its hands…
DM notes: While it’s true the cultists had already weakened the bonds. why the hell he would purposely break the chain holding the abomination is beyond me. If anyone dies during the next session, it’ll be a good chance to get my players familiar with death and consequences of dying in my game. Resurrection is expensive and a major pain in the ass, much more so than before the Spellplague.
Fellow Dungeon Masters take heed: Your players will do dumb things. They will be ignorant of the rules, yes, but also be ignorant of common sense, and they will assume that because they CAN carry swords and toss around magic it somehow makes it alright to do so with wild abandon. It is your job to school these little bastards, to show these punks that you mean business. Teach these witless upstarts that NOONE is safe from the icy hand of death, and you’ll kill a character as easily as you’ll eat a cookie. And I like me some cookies.