Super Mega Monkey Ultra Extreme
Dungeons & Dragons Edition
Recap 50 Supplemental: The Vampire That Flees No More
September 15, 2012
While most of the Motley Crew was away negotiating a treaty with the Broken Bone orc tribe, Josy spent the day working with the temples in South Luka to heal the wounded. Knowing Josy and her group would be fighting vampires, the head priest gifts her with six Restoration scrolls.
Upon their return from negotiating with the Broken Bone tribe, the rest of the Motley Crew meet with Phantar, Miles, and their advisors.
On the way back to their quarters, Flerm informs the group that he won't be holding back the next time Miles chooses to disrespect them. Snow cautions him against acting rashly when surrounded by those loyal to Miles. They were all getting tired of Miles' remarks, but they shouldn't play into his hands.
Not finding Thydor in his room, the group decides to look for him at the bar. The bartender recalls seeing Thydor the previous evening. He had appeared distraught. Then, seeing someone in the doorway, he turned white and ran out. His backpack was later found in the street.
Searching through Thydor's backpack for clues, the Crew finds a note left there by his kidnappers. To rescue their new comrade, they'd have to go back to the Tomb de Vasquez.
From Michael Vasquez's journal entries, the party knows the ghost in the tomb is connected to Maria Vargas' ghost. Alana attempts to gather some local history on the Lady in White and the Vargas estate while at the bar. There isn't much the bartender can tell them other than describing the ghost (who they all remembered quite vividly from the last encounter, thank you very much) and giving the mansion's location.
The next morning, before heading out to the Vargas estate, Flerm finds Battleaxe Harold to ask about getting an additional cleric assigned their party.
Flerm stalks off muttering to himself.
After Flerm rejoins the party, they all head to the Vargas estate. The area was once a wealthy neighborhood, but that was a long time ago. Now it is old and decrepit, marked by poverty.
At the house there is no sign of Maria's ghost. Perhaps ghosts only come out at night. In one of the rooms, they find a silver ring and a letter in pristine condition, at odds with the condition of the rest of the house. The letter is from Maria to Michael Vasquez.
As Alana passes the letter to Brecaryn, it decays. A sigh is heard passing through the house. They take the ring to deliver to Vasquez's ghost.
With no other information to gather on Vasquez or the tomb, Alana heads to the war council to request transportation to the Tomb de Vasquez from the griffon riders. Halia and Lightfoot are not entirely convinced that there is any merit in going to the cave. The mages stationed there have reported no movement from the undead into or out of the cave. In the end, Alana manages to get Halia to agree to drop the group off in the morning.
Late in the evening, the Crew gets a visit from Lord Miles' head mage Soulwind.
The group agrees that the safest place for the mirror is with them. When they inform Miles of this in the morning, they are told that they will not be allowed to enter the city with the mirror until the end of the war. Phantar supports this decision. While not entirely happy with it, mostly because the edict is coming from Lord Miles, the group acknowledges the wisdom in the precaution, though not without some muttered commentary from Flerm.
The griffon riders drop the group off at the cave entrance. Vain, refusing to ride a griffon, plows through the field of undead as he runs to rejoin Brecaryn at the entrance to the tomb. Unfortunately, due to the fog, all the party can see of this spectacle is the occasional undead getting tossed through the air.
Once inside the Tomb de Vasquez, the Crew are greeted by a head popping out of hole in the wall. He introduces himself as Etrigan, one of Halia's mages. According to Etrigan, despite having done nothing to deter them, the undead never enter the cave. Considering what the group knows of undead behavior patterns given their vast experience in dealing with them, it seems highly unlikely they would choose to ignore a group of living people right in front of them.
Tabling their suspicions for the moment, the Crew moves further into the cave and see that the barrier the Oblivion King created is still up. Josy decides to try scrying the depths of the cave as she did before, using the Magic Font spell. Etrigan, pulling the hole off the wall and pocketing it, joins them so he can report their findings. Josy can still see wights behind the barrier, but there are fewer of them. She's unable to scry too far into the cave, sensing some kind of interference.
Etrigan announces that he is going to report to Halia and opens the hole to let out three more companions. Snow signals Flerm to check their alignments. Flerm signals in the negative.
Brecaryn immediately casts a hold spell on the wizards, capturing all but one. Snow gives the order to subdue and not kill the wizards until they know more. When she goes to knock out the wizards caught in Brecaryn's spell, they manage to touch her, draining her.
Snow: Vampires! Kill them!
A fireball suddenly appears, hitting Malouf, Flerm, Lieralyn, and Snow. Josy and Brecaryn alert the group to the hand sticking out of the wizard's portable hole still on the wall. Malouf runs over to the hole, slamming his axe into it. It shrivels as an agonized yell is heard from inside.
The one free vampire attempts to flee by turning to mist. Josy casts Raise Dead. The vampire reverts to his corporeal form and falls to the ground dead.
Lying next to Etrigan's corpse is a crystal ball. The wizard's fireball melted some of the silver ornamentation around it, covering part of the crystal.
Voice from within the crystal ball: I can feel you, but I can't see you.
After a brief exchange, Brecaryn is able to carry off the ruse and is ordered to report again when the "interference" has cleared. Brecaryn promptly drops the crystal ball into a bag to prevent any further communication.
Carefully investigating the area, they determine that no undead have been using the underground passage to the Rusty Mountains. This is good news because it means the undead army have not been circumventing the dwarves guarding the pass at the foot of the mountains.
Faced with the challenge of the barrier, Brecaryn decides to try using a Rod of Cancellation to dispel it. As she nears the force field, before she can do anything, the Oblivion King's image appears, blinking in and out unsteadily. The power of the spell has clearly diminished with the Oblivion King's destruction.
Oblivion King: Greetings, Brecaryn. I am glad *crackle crackle* own free will *crackle crackle*.
The barrier disappears! Apparently, Brecaryn had been the key all along. They could have brought the barrier down months ago, but then they'd have to deal with...
Wights emerge from the opening at a run!
Josy holds up her holy symbol, destroying many of them easily. Unfortunately, before they can all be killed, Brecaryn is touched and has her life force drained.
Moving cautiously forward, Flerm takes out the ring.
Flerm sees a shadow flicker, but it doesn't move any closer. Flerm starts to place the ring on the ground when the shadow lunges at him. It's a wraith, not Vasquez's ghost!
Josy calls on the power of Yondalla, turning the wraith. The others notice more shadows closing in on them. The party manages to destroy the wraiths, but not before Brecaryn is touched and weakened yet again.
Knowing they're bound to encounter more undead with the ability to drain their life force, Brecaryn dons the scarab pin found in the cellar of the temple in Altar. It will protect her from a single touch. To protect the others against a draining touch, Josy casts Negative Plane Protection on them.
Remembering their last visit to this cave, Snow checks the areas that were previously trapped. The twin dragon heads flanking the corridor still have active flame throwers within their maws. Flerm also notices there seems to have been recent construction in the flooring.
Easily climbing over the dragon heads, Flerm drops down on the other side. As soon as his feet touch the ground, spinning blades appear in the floor and shred his boots before he can teleport further into the cave.
He is immediately set upon by a group of large skeletons from the northern corridor. A rattling hiss comes from the south. Three giant snake creatures move into sight, their vibrating hiss nearly paralyzing the group. They are accompanied by a familiar vampire - another of the Oblivion King's escaped lackeys. Although the spinning blade trap keeps Lieralyn, Alana, and Brecaryn from joining the fight immediately, the others take care of the undead creatures fairly easily.
Fighting off more vampires and flaming skeletons on their way north,
Malouf: Look at Josy!
they finally make it to the two doors leading to the secret chamber with the Dragonkin queen's throne. Suffering a few stabs from spear traps and the like, they do manage to get into both rooms. The rooms appear the same as before - each housing a throne. Flerm and Alana each sit on one, causing the wall behind them to disappear, revealing the hidden throne.
Sitting on this throne, Brecaryn can immediately sense the Dragonkin queen and address her as a separate entity. The queen no longer struggles against Brecaryn. Realizing she cannot take over Brecaryn's mind, the queen has decided to work with her host in return for mobility.
Brecaryn is able to sense the presence of other dragons in the world. Gloiterwome is in the Plane of Frost, growing a new body. Brecaryn can also feel the presence of a dragon within the cave, but it is weak and diminished.
Hearing this, the Crew's fears are confirmed - Havoc Company has the hilt gem, their hilt gem.
Finished with the throne, the group moves down the southern corridor to the doorway leading to the lower level. In order to open the door, they will need to spin the dial to the correct symbol. Conveniently, a helpful someone left the one thing necessary to get the dial spinning - the tail from a suit of Dragonkin armor on the ground near the dial. Now, who could have done that?
Having spent quite some time on this the last time they were here, they remember quite clearly which symbol they want ().
Flerm, Malouf, and Lieralyn stand ready at the door for anything that might burst through and attack. Alana readies an arrow. To their shock, they are confronted by Oliver Green. This cave must be full of Oliver Green doppelgangers.
Pierced by Oliver's arrow, Flerm is overcome with feelings of sadness and depression.
Alana takes the imposter out with a well-placed arrow. Although they know it isn't really their friend Oliver, seeing his double laying dead on the ground makes them all a bit uncomfortable. They quickly move on, making their way down the stairs.
Suddenly, the door slams shut and the stairs turn into a ramp, hastening their descent into the lower level.
Lablab runs away crying out in distress. Meanwhile, the Motley Crew tries to figure out how trapping Lablab and his undead army with them is a show of favor. Shrugging, they fall back on what they know.
Flerm: Force your way north! Follow Lablab!
While Brecaryn, Snow, and Josy fight their way through a group of wights and wraiths, Alana and Flerm pursue Lablab down the northern corridor. They find Thydor locked in a cage, guarded by undead and a skeletal dragon. Various traps are evident around the room, one of which is a large, spiked ball chained to the ceiling.
Alana: (calling to the rest of the group) There's a giant ball trap in the ceiling! And bad guys!
The dragon attacks the duo, terrifying Alana. She turns and runs straight for the ramp, trying to climb her way out. Malouf tries to get Josy into the room to attack the undead, but is forced back by a barrage of traps.
Snow makes it through and kills Lablab. Josy runs between the skeletal dragon's legs to get in the room. She sustains a hit from a poisoned spear but is unaffected.
Flerm: If we ate Josy, maybe we could absorb that poison resistance. It worked with those moss things!
Ignoring Flerm's outburst, Josy raises her holy symbol towards the vampires, and cries out,
In the name of Yondalla, be gone, vile creatures!,
striking them down with fear.
Seeing the skeletal dragon making its way towards them, Brecaryn lets the Dragonkin queen take over.
The skeletal dragon turns away from Flerm and proceeds to rend the vampires.
Snow destroys a flaming skeleton and jumps on Thydor's cage, freeing him. Grabbing him by the arm, she drags Thydor out of the room past the dragon.
Wizard vampire: Masters, save us!
But instead of salvation, he is disintegrated as two portals open on either side of him. In his place is a devil.
He hurls his cleaver down the corridor at Josy, knocking down Thydor and Brecaryn in the process. Josy is filled with terror and turns to run. Luckily, her legs are short so Brecaryn is able to calm her before she gets too far.
Alana, Malouf, and Snow attack the devil but don't seem to be hurting him at all. Disengaging from the battle, Snow climbs up to the ball and chain hanging from the ceiling, releasing it. The momentum is enough to knock the devil into the open portal.
Josy dispels the magick, causing the portals to disappear.
The dragon contently munches on vampire remains until the queen sends its spirit away.
Michael Vasquez appears, bringing a chill with him. After receiving Maria's ring from Flerm, he warns them against reassembling the Sword of Cervantes and disappears.
Tags: Alana, Battleaxe Harold, Brecaryn, Dragonkin Queen, Flerm, Halia, Josy, Lablab, Lady in White, Lieralyn, Lightfoot, Lord Miles, Malouf, Maria, Michael, Oblivion King, Phantar, Snow, Soulwind, Thydor, Vain