Rise of the Runelords

Shrine to Lamashtu

30 Rova, 4707

The heroes take stock of their injuries, and press onward. They consider taking some of the water from the pool in the room, but have no empty bottles. As they move deeper into the catacombs, they discover another staircase, spiralling upwards, but they soon discover that it is blocked by a collapse. Even consulting their map of the town, the men cannot figure out exactly where such a n exit might lead.

The group backtracks, and re-enters the room with the mysterious statue of an angry, but beautiful woman. They go through the door from this room, and find themselves in a large prison chamber, standing on a rickety-seeming wooden platform ten feet above a large room filled with cells. Using Zendo’s dancing lights, the group can see that most of the cells are filled with crumbling skeletons, and not ones animated by necromancy. The group decides to explore the room, with Hikage and Zendo making their way down one set of stairs onto the floor, and Gellius and Ragnar on the other, while Corvus remains above to keep watch. As the men reach the floor, they are ambushed by two horrible sinspawn which had evidently been hiding under the platform unseen! Many of the heroes are injured by the freakish creations, necessitating the use of their healing potions and several healing spells. Ragnar again succumbs to the sinspawn’s drooling bite, and seems on the verge of nausea as he fights off the enraging visions only he can see. The pallid, unnatural beings are eventually defeated, but before the group can rest, Hikage hears something approaching from the tunnel on the other side of the room.

Though prepared for danger, the group is shocked at the sight that greets them. A huge, almost man-sized goblin with a misshapen head scampers out of the darkness. He clutches a longsword in one hand, and a sharp looking hand-axe in the other, while a third arm grips a silver dagger. The monstrosity, naming itself Koruvus, announces its intention to defend the temple from these invaders. Gellius tries to reason with it, or just delay it, but as the price of passage, Koruvus demands their heads.

Realizing there is no hope of bargaining with the beast, the group moves quickly to assail him. Hikage blocks the boardwalk, preventing Koruvus from approaching them freely, while Ragnar, using the superior reach of the ranseur, skewers the deformed goblin even across the expanse. Wounded, Koruvus belches a stream of acidic blood at the men, which Ragnar dodges, but Gellius catches full on. Nimble despite his disfigurements, Koruvus dodges the worst of Corvus’s magics, and engages both Hikage and Ragnar with his triple weapons. When the injured Hikage retreats, Koruvus presses his advantage, and strikes down Ragnar while engaging Gellius as well. The druid leaps forward into the fight and slashes down the horrific guardian.

Before Ragnar can bleed out, he is healed by the quick applications of potions and spells, and revives on the platform. He suggests that they take the foul goblin’s ears as trophies, as they know his name, and can carve it into the ears, as a token of respect to Daviren Hosk.

The disfigured creature, which people now remember was once a champion of the Seven-tooth goblin tribe, has a silver dagger, which goes to Hikage, a master-worked hand-axe which Ragnar takes, and the magical longsword which garnered Koruvus so much respect among his goblin allies. Ragnar offers the longsword to Zendo, as he has already received two fine weapons, but Zendo suggests that, for now, at least, Ragnar should wield the weapon, as his own magical training will allow him to imbue his rapier with a magical aura, should we need to fight the demon in these tunnels.

The group debates returning to the surface to rest and resupply, as their spells and healing ar all but exhausted. Ragnar, in particular, demurrs, pointing out that Tsuto’s journal made it clear that a ‘quasit’ and her ‘freaks’ were down below the Glassworks. While they have certainly encountered freaks, there must still be a quasit somewhere. The group agrees to explore further, with caution.

They enter the darkened tunnel from which Koruvus emerged, and find an ancient, but preserved, torture chamber. Adjoining that room is a small room filled with debris and tattered paper and vellum. Hikage’s keen eyes find a magical scroll amongst the scraps of paper, and the group also finds three locked doors on one wall. Zendo laboriously picks each lock, but behind each door is naught but a small stone cell, and a misshapen humanoid skeleton. One has a grotesquely enlarged skull, a second has elongated, but delicate, brittle arm bones, and the third has ribs entirely down the abdomen and twisted, shrunken leg bones.

The group moves on, deeper into the catacombs, as Hikage hears a faint noise from the sections ahead. The group moves into a large room, with small wooden ‘lids’ covering a dozen pits in the floor. The group warily approaches one of the pits, and Ragnar lifts the lid, only for the group to find a mindless zombie moaning at them from the depths of a 20’ deep hole. From the sounds around them, each pit must contain such a zombie, endlessly shuffling and groaning in a solitary confinement of unknown duration. Unnerved by the discovery, the group quickly leaves the room through an exit in one wall.

In this corridor, they find another stairwell, spiralling downward deeper, though when Hikage investigates it, it turns out to have collapsed inward at some point in the past. Past the blocked stairs is another door, and beyond, a surpassingly strange sight. The room beyond the doorway is spherical, roughly 15’ in diameter, and lined with strange metal plates. Black, crackling ‘lightning’ coruscates across the plates, seemingly forming spiky runes almost too fast to read. Floating in midair in the center of the room is a rotting crow, replete with maggots, a tattered book, a scroll, a relatively new looking bottle of wine, and a twisted iron wand with a forked tip. Corvus, with concentration, is able to identify the sporadic words as being Thassilonian in origin, though they do not seem to form coherent sentences, but instead convey general expressions of anger, wrath, and revenge.

The group is curious about the conglomeration of artefacts in the room, but all are loathe to enter the strange chamber. They seem to be at an impasse until Hikage expresses surprise that neither Zendo or Corvus has any magical means of manipulating the objects. To the embarrassment of both, Zendo and Corvus both realize that they know such spells, and quickly fetch all of the objects, except the rotting bird. The wand, upon examination, turns out to be a wand of Shocking Grasp, which goes to Corvus as the only person capable of using it. Zendo seizes the bottle of wine, finding it to be of relatively recent vintage. The scroll, which contains a spell of Burning Hands, also goes to the wizard, and the book, which seems well-read, is written in a script which only he understands, though the pictures of horrible monsters inside give a hint to all of the contents. The book, written in the foul Abyssal tongue, is a ‘prayer book’ to Lamashtu, Mother of Monsters.

The group decides to press onward, going back to explore the one passageway they had bypassed before. Down this long corridor, the walls open up into a small vestibule, complete with some sort of altar, featuring a block of black stone, the top of which is worn (or carved) away to form a shallow font. Inside is a still pool of filthy water. At the other end of the small room is a large set of double doors. Hikage can hear a high-pitched, scratchy voice screeching in some strange tongue he cannot understand. The heroes fortify themselves (Corvus with a protective spell) and open the doors.

They find a large underground cathedral, the walls covered with spiky runes increasingly familiar to Corvus as Thassilonian. In the center of the room is a large pool of water, with tall stone spikes rising from the center, each spike adorned with a humanoid skull. Stairs rise on each side of the room to a stage or pulpit on the far end, featuring another, smaller stone font, which bubbles with glowing yellow fluids. The room is exceptionally cold. A tiny demonic creature flaps her wings above the elevated pool. She is a small, scaly demon, clutching a small black dagger in one hand, and wearing a tiny tiara and black silk gown. She glares at the men malevolently, and announces that she is Erylium, the queen of the catacombs, and they are intruders in her Mother’s temple!

The quasit, evidently prepared for the intrusion, scrapes the blade across her wrist, and her demonic blood oozes into the bubbling golden pool. A glistening sinspawn begins to crawl out of the pool, but Zendo notices that the glowing fluid now glows much less brightly, and the demon seems concerned about that development. She quickly flies to the center of the room, dozens of feet about their heads, and becomes invisible! The heroes quickly spread out across the room to reduce her mobility and close the door. They can hear Erylium’s voice chanting an incantation, and though they all feel sure they know roughly where she is located, her small size and rapid flight make it impossible to target her effectively. Her spell is revealed when she summons a giant centipede to attack!

The following fight is a frustrating one for the heroes of Sandpoint. Many of Corvus’s remaining magics cannot harm the demon, nor can Gellius’s lightning, as her ilk are very resistant to both fire and lightning. Neither Hikage nor Ragnar have an enchanted weapon capable of reaching the flying demon, and Zendo can only shoot her with his arcanely imbued arrows when she become visible to cast a spell on them. Her summoned monsters are quickly dispatched, however, though the tiny viper she summons does bite both Zendo and Corvus before dissipating. As Zendo, using his bow, and Corvus, using his magical missiles, have the best chance of hurting her, Erylium focuses her spells on those two, sending Zendo into a magical slumber before using her enchantments to force him to disarm himself. Corvus is much more resistant to her magical wiles, and escapes largely untouched. The wounds that the wizard and bard do inflict on the tiny demon seem to slowly heal themselves, to the group’s despair. The sling bullets launched by Ragnar and Gellius seem to do only the slightest of damage to her tiny frame, bolstered as it is by her demonic nature.

However, at long last, the barrage of magical bolts launched by Corvus and a lucky shot by Zendo severely injure the demonic witch. She is forced to fly lower to the ground in order to flee from the heroes, and Hikage makes his move. He rushes after the tiny witch and snatches her out of the air, intending to hold her until Ragnar can slay her with the magical sword they took from Koruvus. However, despite her queenly regalia, the minute demon is a veritable hellcat, and her spitting, squirming form seemingly consists of claws and teeth, and he is unable to hold her for long. She frees herself, and darting past the monk and wizard, flies into the darkness of the tunnels.


Damn quasit

Shrine to Lamashtu

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