PCs: Toad, Xeal, Markas
Ring of NPC: Vanir, Urisk, Queen of Spades
Guest PC: Fleur (Claire)
Monday, 12th of Nethysta, 179th Year of the Goddess
The cover of the pit slid smoothly shut, separating Xeal and Vanir from the others. While Vanir tended to his critically injured leopard, Xeal quickly used a Message spell to see if Urisk was able to trigger the trap to open the pit again. After a few moments he was answered by the satisfying click and whirring of the mechanism as the pit opened up once more (but with no-one falling in this time). A rope was lowered down into the pit, and Xeal made to climb out of the pit first. In his haste he didn’t grab the rope as securely as he could have, tumbling back into the pit. He was much more careful the second time, though, and made it up the rope successfully.
With the group now reunited the next priority was to check the hall for anything they might have missed. With the chandelier no longer lighting the room Toad summoned some Dancing Lights so that the party could better assess their surroundings. The long wooden table had been flipped in the battle with the crystal golem, wrecking the sumptuous feast that had previously been laid out before them. Toad and Xeal took the time to examine the shards of crystal and appraise them (Toad being more successful in doing so). Each of the large chunks they had found were worth roughly 50gp each, but also had the more interesting quality of being from the elemental plane of Earth. Toad discerned that they would work well as arcane focuses and decided to pocket some of the larger chunks (with Xeal following suit).
Although the room had not been fully pillaged the group decided to prioritise finding and killing Du Pont so that they could claim the manor as theirs. Having been discouraged from going to the upper levels, the group decided to try their luck with the lower levels. Urisk and QoS went first, striding in confidently with the knowledge that there were no traps- only to be dropped into a pit and be cut off from the others. Recognising that Urisk had a pretty good chance of getting out of there by himself, Toad and Xeal decided to head down the stairs, carefully skirting around the edge of the pit.
In the next room they were greeted by the sight of two prisoners chained to stone pillars. Both were garbed in basic homespun robes and securely fastened to each pillar. One was a lithe, attractive half-elf woman and the other was a well-built but somewhat wiry dwarf. Upon realising the party were not vampires, both clamoured to be released from their bonds. The party were their normal paranoid selves, of course, and huddled in a corner to discuss which of the prisoners was likely to be a trap. With not enough info to go on, they reluctantly freed both of the prisoners. This turned out to be advantageous as Fleur was not only a rogue, but had navigated her way past many of the traps before she was caught.
As they were releasing the prisoners from their bonds, Xeal put on his most winning smile and tried to charm Fleur. However, something must have disagreed with his stomach because as soon as words started leaving his mouth the contents of his stomach followed suit (natural 1). While Fleur avoided the worst of it, she hasn’t deigned to respond directly to Xeal since.
With Fleur’s help the group quickly made their way past a variety of traps. Following the corridor to their right led to a small arena built into the rocky walls. Although the group smelled a trap from the start, they still chose to go forwards. As Toad stepped into the amphiteatre (going as close to last as possible, as usual) a portcullis slid shut behind him, separating Fleur from the rest of the group. Torches around the room flared into life, illuminating the pallid faces of Elias’ vampire court. Elias stood from his massive stone throne to greet the group and congratulate them on making it this far.
Du Pont spoke for a little while about the nature of vampires, and the nature of the curse (or blessing). It was in doing this that the group were introduced to Gronk the vampire troll, the culmination of Du Pont’s siring programs.
The battle against Gronk was brutal but quick, and after a combination of fire, roiling water and hacking blades Gronk disappeared into the air, a ghostly laugh on the wind. Elias looked at the group with the beginnings of respect. He challenged them to continue on their exploration of the manor, with the promise to challenge them once more at some point soon…