Death for Any Price

Session 20: Some Call It a Curse, Some Call It a Blessing

GM Notes

PCs: Toad, Queen of Spades, Urisk
Ring of NPC: Xeal, Ms Terspungecake
Monday, 5th of Nethysta, 179th Year of the Goddess

While the majority of the party was being victoriously paraded through the streets of Iomedaea Queen of Spades was doing her best to make good her escape from the tournament grounds. Knowing that both her guise as Garny and her outsider appearance were compromised, QoS took to the sewers to avoid her pursuers. Her invisibility gave her a significant advantage against those hunting for her, letting her lose them with ease.

That was not the end of her problems, however, as the group had not designated a meeting spot if things were to go pear-shaped. QoS reasoned that the next best course of action was to go investigate the underground access to Jugement that Toad had discovered, since she was already down in the sewers. Her hope was that the rest of the group would eventually make their way down there to infiltrate the Hall of Judgement.

QoS made slow progress through the cavernous tunnels that made up the sewer system without a map to rely on. Using her limited knowledge of stonework she was able to recognise that there were three types of stonework that were present in the construction of the sewers: brick and mortar (human construction), dwarven granite and large granite boulders. By following the areas that were made of the latter two and marking her passage on the walls, she was eventually able to find a dwarven-made passage that sloped downwards.

Proceeding with caution (as all competent adventurers should) she realised that the corridor ahead seemed unnaturally clean, being bare of any sewer muck or even molds or lichen. Choosing to hang back a little, she was soon met by a gelatinous cube slowly squelching its way towards her. Seeing that the cube took up the whole corridor, QoS backtracked a little to see if the cube would follower her. It did so, and for its efforts received an acid splash to its. . . face? Faced with prey that would put up more of a fight than sewer scum sent the cube fleeing in the other direction, and allowed QoS to resume her previous path.

As she continued to wander the winding sewer tunnels her keen senses let her know that someone was attempting to sneak up on her. Readying a spell, she spun around to confront Steve Moncrieff. Steve was quick to recognise QoS and was able to let loose a few arrows despite QoS casting Hold Person on him. Unwilling to risk a potentially deadly confrontation, QoS turned invisible and fled from the ranger.

She eventually stumbled upon the chamber that she’d been searching for: a wide, domed space where the water from the tunnels ran down into a central pool. Strangely enough the water was crystal clear, to the extent that QoS could see a single silver gauntlet at the bottom. There were also three giant chains that led from the walls into the pool- a quick use of detect magic allowed QoS to ascertain that these chains were intended to move somehow.
The main feature of the room that QoS was interested in, however, was the view of the sky far up above- a clear sign she’d made it to the right place. She spent the next hour carefully examining the room to see if there was a way to climb up to the chute, chancing upon a cunningly hidden switch which allowed a user to spiderclimb their way up the wall and onto the curved ceiling.

MEANWHILE

The rest of the party arrived at Jugement and were granted access by the Judges to the Red Judge compound. Once inside the compound the Judges escorting Solomon relaxed significantly, with some leaving the group to attend to other duties (including overseeing the manhunt for QoS). Solomon congratulated the group on having won against the Red Judges, and invited them to take one item each from the Judges’ storehouse. Items chosen include:

  • a Sword of Subtlety for Urisk
  • a Headband of Inspired Wisdom for Queen of Spades (stolen by Urisk)
  • a Lesser Rod of Dazing for Toad
  • a ____ for Xeal
  • a _____ for Ms Terspungecake

While there were other potentially more powerful items that the group could have taken, the majority of these were good aligned, and the group didn’t want to risk negative levels or worse.

After being gifted with their new loot Solomon then proceeded to lead them to the main prayer room of the Hall, informing the group that is was here they would be given the blessing of Iomedae. The group were very hesitant to take on the blessing, especially when they recognised that the sword they were to be blessed with was good-aligned. Not wanting to risk themselves on the touch of the blade, Xeal was shoved forwards protesting and forced to receive the blessing of Egalite:

  • Protect the Innocent, Uphold the Law – While taking part in actions that can be considered good or lawful, 5/day the individual can choose to re-roll a d20 and take the higher of the two.
  • Lest Evil Take Root, Remain Pure in Action – If the individual takes actions that cannot be reasonably argued to be good they are subject to the negative effects of a Lesser Geas. A suitably good action or a day spent in prayer will reverse the effects.

Toad was able to identify the geas aspect of the blessing, and flatly refused to take the blessing, likening it to slavery. Urisk joined in the argument, saying that he felt this was akin to the oppression his race faced and that he would not subject himself to it. Despite Solomon’s insistence that this was a blessing, the group’s arguments won through with some very convincing arguments (and a lucky nat 20 mixed in there). Solomon then left the group to retire to his quarters, with Rognuk close behind.

Back underground, QoS decided to climb up the chute to try and get a better view of things. As she climbed she passed openings to what appeared to be old living quarters, now relegated for use as storage. As QoS cautiously approached the surface opening to the chute, she stealthily extended a hand to detect any living beings. Unfortunately for her, one of the Red Judges had heard the sounds of her sneaking up the chute, and she was quickly grabbed and held at arrow-point.This was just as the rest of the party finished up with Solomon, and there was an awkward moment where they all waited to see what would happen next.

Thankfully for the party, the Red Judge let QoS off with just a warning, making it clear that things would be more serious if she were to sneak in again. The group left separately to QoS, but both groups received a message from Emmett that there was a warehouse in Foi where they could regroup. Toad and Urisk were less than pleased with QoS being caught, but quickly got down to planning their next move.

The group knows that Solomon will come out of Jugement once more to address the townspeople regarding the damage that Felicity’s group did to the city. They also know that the third Book of Hell is kept within the Hall of Judgement’s depository of evil items and artifacts. The only thing left for them to do is kill Solomon, grab the book, and find out what 738 and 826 are…

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Garethona

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