Sunday, December 5, 2010

Hall of the Crimson Whip (11/28/2010)

After last week's tardiness issue I was resolute that I would get my blog posts done early this week but instead I got sick and spent two days in bed and two more in some sort of head cold induced fog. But despite all the external family and health issues it is comforting to know that no matter what happens I'll still make it to game night. Mark will miss this week end the next two on his trip to southeast Asia, so for the first time in a long time we will be playing without his friendly voice on the phone.

After having found the Face of Baphomet last week the party was looking to find the remaining three artifacts necessary to reveal the secret of the Well of Demons. After a brief rest they stated down the western facing hallway before coming upon an unlocked door. Hearing no noise on the other side, the party opened the door and stepped into a vision from the abyss.

From a small platform the party stood before a pool of blood. The room was cut in half by a room wide platform, but then another pool of blood filled the back half of the room. In the middle of the each of the two pools was a platform that contained truly huge statues of a minotaur wielding some sort of whip. But most importantly in the back two corners of the room were two small platforms, one containing a blade and the other a hilt. There were steps that led in and out of the pools of blood to the main platforms, but the pools looked to be around six foot deep so any kind of movement through the blood would likely be inhibited.

Further inspection of the room revealed that the statue had articulated features and could likely move. It wasn't clear whether or not the statue could actually take steps, but the dried blood on the whips barbs revealed a more sinister warning. Nothing could be seen moving in the pool of blood, but the dark red color didn't provide much a viewing advantage.

Most importantly the second member of the artifacts was clearly on display, so it was just a matter of figuring out how to retrieve them. The idea was made to attempt to destroy the closest statue first, and then see of the party could somehow jump from platform to platform and retrieve the artifacts without gaining further damage. The ranged attacks began and the statue did take damage, but initially there was no response.

And then all of a sudden the minotaur statue swung into action. With a quick flourish the whip (reach of 7) lashed out and struck almost all the party members that stood on the platform near the door, knocking several party members prone and sliding Jenneth and Krstic into the pool of blood. With the ensuing chaos the party members didn't see any of the ripples in the water and several creatures began to approach the Jenneth and Krstic as they floundered in the pool of blood.

The adventurers on the platform gathered themselves and continued their ranged assault on the statue. Oester took a running leap, landed at the feet of the statue, and began to apply his damage more directly. Jenneth managed to climb out of the pool of blood, but Krstic was able to use his height to grab a gulp of air and took a defensive position before attempting another further advancement. He immediately found himself flanked by two dark, misshapen bodies that attacked him with claws, although there was little doubt their bite could be equally dangerous. After the attack Krstic then decided that perhaps discretion might be the better part of valor and he too clambered out of the pool.

And then the statue attacked again. With a mighty metallic groan and a swing of the lash ... nothing. The statue had become damaged to the point where it had been disabled. Several more party members were able to leap across to the statue platform. Akta had circled back around to come through the other door into this room, but with the statue disabled and the mysterious creatures in the pool of blood lurking in the depths somewhere, things looked to be safe for now.

Jumping directly to the middle platform from statue platform was too much for anybody except Oester, so Jenneth and several others took a running start and jumped into the pool of blood at a point close to the set of steps that led out of the pool. Even with the reduced movement they would be able to climb out of the pool before inviting any additional attacks. As this was going on the ranged attacks on the statue at the back of the room commenced, and as before it appeared to take damage but no attack yet ensued.

Jenneth devised a plan to use her Tenser's Floating Disk to ferry Oester to be able to grab both the hilt and the blade without getting into the second pool of blood. Similar to the first statue when the second statue attacked it instead groaned to a halt from the damage it had already taken. Once acquired, the disk was used to ferry members back to the statue platform and then eventually out of the room. As the party took a five minute rest Oester was able to fit the hilt and the blade together successfully, creating a very nice magical dagger.

For having overcome the traps and defeated the monsters therein each member of the party earned 250 XP for the encounter. The adventurers had also found the second of the four artifacts they were looking for, a knife called the Bloodhorn Dagger.

The party then decided to try the room down the south leading hallway. As before no noise was detected from the inside so the door was opened and another vision from the abyss appeared before them. As rolls of wet, warm air spilled over them the party saw a room carved out of the blacked of rock and supported by several pillars. No mirrors here though, but instead the pillars were made of the still living bodies of different people. Lips moved, eyes darted, fingers waved, flesh twitched, and a tremendous collective moan filled the air.

From this vantage point three of the hideous pillars could be seen, but there appeared to be a back corner of the room that was not yet visible. Several party members launched ranged attacks at the closest statue, but with no attack otherwise forthcoming the party members decided to mover into the room. Slipping past the pillar of quivering bodies didn't invite an attack, so the party members began to further explore the room.

Just as the party members took up their new positions the statues did attack, with several sets of hands reaching out and successfully grabbing whoever might be close.

And we'll pick it up there next week.

Score Card: With the completion of this encounter the party had accumulated an additional 64 GP and 0 GP in gems. With the 250 XP earned during this encounter the party had accumulated 8570 XP (10000 needed to reach Level 7). Including this encounter Renny was sitting at 5690 XP (5500 needed to reach Level 5).

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