Death for Any Price

Session 26: Bewitched, Bothered and Bewildered

GM Notes

PCs: Xeal, Markas, Queen of Spades
Ring of NPC: Toad, Urisk, Vanir
Tuesday, 12th-13th of Nethysta, 179th Year of the Goddess

The group burst through the wall in a shower of rubble and dust. The vampire stopped, needle -like teeth centimeters from Urisk’s throat as she took in the group assembled against her. Weighing up her options, she opted for heaving Urisk into the capsule occupying the main space in the room, then taking a step back and eyeing the group warily.

Taking in the room, the group saw it was quite small but comfortably furnished. There were velvet curtains draping the wall, and a coffin standing ajar directly opposite the door. The most interesting features of the room were the capsule that Urisk had just been placed in and a small altar. The capsule was similar to a humanoid sized stone sarcophagus, save that it had a glass lid. Attached to the inside of the glass lid were a variety of needles (which were now placed dangerously close to Urisk) that fed out through tubes to assorted flasks, as well as a large metal keg. The altar was a humble affair, but Xeal and QoS were quickly able to identify it and its religious symbols as belonging to Lamashtu.

The party had obvious reason to believe something was up, but opted for diplomacy over an outright attack. Through their short verbal exchange they learned that the vampire’s name was Alessandra, and that she claimed she was working on a process that would create a super vampire. She claimed that Urisk was to be a test subject for this, and would be returned to the group without any harm. Despite the group’s automatic distrust of her, her sly words convinced them, and they chose to leave Urisk in Alessandra’s clutches. Markas was not as easily convinced, and opted to stay and watch the procedure. As soon as the others were out of sight, however, Alessandra quickly set about bending Markas to her will, and under her telepathic onslaught even the dwarf’s mighty mental resistances were overcome, leaving two of the party’s members at the vampire’s mercy.

In the meantime, Xeal and QoS cautiously ventured down the corridor where they had left off. QoS’ sharp senses alerted her to the presence of a set of swinging axe blades. With Urisk still in the clutches of Alessandra, the two had to depend on QoS’ abilities with traps. Sadly at this particular time those skills were lacking, with the blades moving in deadly arcs, cutting into QoS before she could dodge back. After two consecutive failures with the axes QoS opted to dodge between them before they reset, leaving Xeal on the other side.

Given that they were separated at this point, QoS ducked into the shadows before the next door, ensuring that she would enter as stealthily as possible. Opening the door just a crack to see into the gloom within, QoS saw two coffins placed centrally in the room. Given the group’s luck with rooms with coffins, she quickly closed the door and backed up to regroup with Xeal.

One set of axe swings later and the group was together once again (albeit somewhat diminished). By this stage the group had decided that they were very much lacking in strength, and needed a rest before Du Pont threw any other challenges at them. It was then that they walked past the concealed entrance to Alessandra’s room and QoS felt a prickling on the back of her neck- a deep sense that something was wrong. Taking initiative and charging in, QoS found Alessandra feasting on Markas’ blood. QoS quickly put a stop to this by changing to her combative form and slashing away. While this did distract Alessandra, it also drew her ire, with the vampire striking at QoS with necrotic energy.
Xeal tried his best to join in the combat, but with few spells left to his daily limit he was forced to send Alan forth to do battle in his stead. Even with the full might of the party (minus Toad) the fight did not seem to be going in the group’s favour- the magic that Alessandra wielded alongside her unnatural vampiric abilities seemed more than a match for them. Only Xeal’s scorching rays eventually dissuaded her from continuing the fight, fleeing through the broken wall in the form of a cloud of mist.

Thoroughly exhausted, the group decided to use this as an opportunity to rest and regroup. Quickly reviewing what they knew about vampires, the group quickly sealed up the cracks in the hidden door with what silver they had on hand, then strung up the holy robes that Xeal had bought in Iomedaea over the entrance to Alessandra’s lab. They smashed the more delicate instruments and flasks connected to the capsule, reasoning that whatever purpose it had ran counter to their survival. The altar to Lamashtu they left alone, reasoning that they didn’t need to potentially earn the enmity of another god.

And so the group settles down for a restless night’s sleep, unsure of whether their wards are suitable for lasting the night. . .

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Garethona

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