The sounds of Charlotte’s boot kicking open the rotted wodden door echoes around the large cavern and the passage behind us. Everything falls silent in the cavern ahead of us, letting us hear the spaciousness of the dark, dank hole in the ground we find ourselves in.
We all see it at once, the darkness of the cave gives away to the otherworldly glow of a crystal, hanging slightly off the ground over a grating in the middle of the cavern. The glow seems to swirl around and inside the crystal, ghostly wisps of light blue pulsating smoke reaching out and around the crystal but being dragged back through its center.
A moment later we see the carnage around it. Four cultists stand around and all turn towards us at once.
Then we see the cages and bloody traces of what has gone on here.
“Intruders!” shouts one.
Ianthe hides behind Rukh.
“Get the crystal!” Shouts faceless cultist as he unsheathes his fierce dagger, they all do. Like the bastards they are.
Halion moves first however. She shoots an arrow and stays back. Charlotte hacks at one with her flaming axe. One of the cultists grabs the crystal. His friend throws a “fancy thing” (dagger) at Charlotte and misses. Another guy goes for the stabbing and also misses. The last one pulls out a potion and throws it at the doorway, causing a poisonous gas which will damage anyone who passes through it.
Rukh stumbles through the cloud and enrages, charging a cultist. The cultist Rukh approaches says “You fool!” The cultist tries to defend himself, but misses so Rukh attacks and hits.
Ianthe can’t really see past the cloud. She has no option but to run through and try to help. She casts cure light wounds on Rukh. Rukh feels energized and grunts at the enemy in front of him.
Halion grudgingly moves through the smoke, avoiding the damage from the poison gas completely.
She attacks and “bloodies” a cultist.
Avin has woken up from his shock and considers igniting the gas and blowing everyone up, but instead trudges through it to attack a cultist. He inhales a bit too hard and takes a fair amount of damage. Grumbling, he summons a Reefclaw. It attacks the cultist holding the crystal. The cultist is poisoned and grabbed.
Charlotte attacks! The Charlotte cultist shouts in defiance as the Disco Inferno comes down on him. As he attempts to block, Charlotte cuts through three of his fingers and deep into his shoulder. The cultist collapses in a bloody heap, his last breath hissing through the blood filling his mouth. Charlotte moves to help the Reefclaw.
The cultist not in battle takes the crystal from the guy who is chilling with Charlotte and the Reefclaw, but the Reefclaw sees this and attacks. It hits for a small amount of damage. The cultist who is grappled tries to escape but fails.
Rukhs cultist yells, “Fuck you!” and stabs him. Rukh laughs at the poisoned blade and shrugs it off. The cultist steps back.
A random bloke appears! He fires a fireball back from where he came. It explodes with a roar and he turns back to us. (Cool guys don’t look at explosions.)
“You’re here sooner than we thought! No matter, release him!”
Rukh attacks his cultist and hits. He is bloodied.
Ianthe stands around and wonders what to do for a while. “Does anyone need healing? No? Inflict light wounds it is!” She strolls over to the cultist with the crystal, smiles at him politely, and casts. While she does so, she has a cup of tea and asks the cultist how his day is going. He grunts and shrugs in response. When she finally casts, he steps to the side and the spell doesn’t even graze him.
Halion’s turn! She fires an arrow and misses. The cultist looks around dumbly, wondering what that whistling noise that went by his ear was.
Avin moves away and casts fire jet. It hits.
Charlotte attacks and misses. The cultist holding the crystal throws it across the room. While he does this, the Reefclaw attacks and hits. It then snaps the neck of the cultist it is grappling.
The cultist opens the lock on the grate that Charlotte and the Reefclaw are standing on. We hear a low growl.
The new guy begins a monologue. “You certainly have done it now. You do not know what you have gotten yourselves into!”
“But like all would be heroes, you do not care what we are doing, why we are doing it…what we want..”
He takes a defiant step towards Avin and Halion. He chuckles. “Humor me, please,” he calmly gestures at you. “Ask me what i want from all of this.”
Ianthe smiles, trying to distract clearly important but all too chatty guy. “Oh fine. Since you want to talk…. Tell me.”
The masked man smiles wide, so wide you can tell hes smiling under the mask of bone. “Simple!”
“THE WORLD!” He shouts.
A moment later he appears at the top of the wall, with the ladder kicked down, holding the crystal.
Rukh draws his sword and chases after the cultist he was fighting. He misses with his attack.
Ianthe backs away from the alive guy so she won’t get smacked.
Halion moves so she has a clearer shot and attacks the self important bent on world domination guy and hits. He gets an arrow to his shoulder. He turns around, eyes full of hate, and yells “Fuck this!.” He will remember Halion.
Avin moves closer and decides to drop a Reefclaw on his head. The GM can’t find a rule against this, so tries. The Reefclaw falls from the ceiling and lands on the guy. The reefclaw takes a small amount of damage and the guy is stunned. Reefclaw attacks while prone and grabs and poisons the guy.
Charlotte is too tired to reach the ledge, so she attacks the remaining cultist and attacks and hits. It tries to maul the guy next to him, but fails and vanishes in a puff of smoke. The cultist attacks Charlotte and does 5 damage.
The cultist realises it is a failure and sad faces.
The guy with a superiority complex tries to escape the grapple. He succeeds. He fires off a spell. The cave lights up for an instant on the ledge and then it’s gone again. The Reefclaw is dead and the adventurers are left wondering how fair the GM is.
Ianthe replaces the ladder. Halion climbs up the ladder to chase the Master of Faggotry. He gets half way up. Avin unfortunately can’t follow because Halion’s fatass is in the way. He decides to wait.
Charlotte lifts her axe for one final attack against the cultist, bringing it down on his face. He dies, blood everywhere, Charlotte smirks.
The cultist engaged with Rukh glances at the grate and legs it. Rukh chases after him. He deaded him.
Ianthe wonders what she should be doing. She is unsettled by the pounding on the grate.
Halion braces herself to climb the last of the ladder. With one final burst of energy, she pulls herself onto the ledge. The guy has run off.
Avin has sod all to do apparently. A nap seems appealing. Avin notices that the cultists have been feeding whatever beast is down there with humans and probably has a taste for humans. By the sound of things, he is hungry.
Charlotte begins to climb the ladder. The grate swings open without Charlotte’s weight on it and Spooky Scary Skeleton Man appears! It begins to feed on a corpse.
Rukh turns around to see the SSSM and wanders over to see what’s up. He picks up his weapon when he reaches it. He is still raging so all sneaking goes out the window.
Ianthe uses a channelled spell which damages SSSM and heals us.
Halion finds a portal!
And fires an arrow through it.
Avin fires a flame jet at SSSM and does some damage. Charlotte jumps down and charges SSSM, hitting hard. Halion watches as a barrel covered in glowing runes and a guy with an arrow in his head fall through the portal. Rukh attacks, visibly calming as his enrage begins to fade. He flanks SSSM and attacks, but his sword seems slide off of SSSM’s scales. Ianthe casts her channel again, dealing a largish amount of damage to poor SSSM.
Halion considers knocking the barrel back. She rushes over and punts it square through the portal. Everything is good in the hood. Avin uses fire jet again (surprise surprise) and hits. It wasn’t as awesome as it could have been. Charlotte attacks and misses. She decides to glare at it until her next turn.
Guts and debris shoot at Halion. She pulls a matrix and avoids NONE of it. She takes a bit of damage from the debris. The portal shuts down. She can’t help but think that someone somewhere is having a bad day.
SSSM attacks Charlotte twice. It does piddly damage. She laughs. Rukh is calm and fatigued while he attacks so his sword bounces off the scales on his butt.
Ianthe moves her pretty ass next to Charlotte and casts a heal while groping the unsuspecting barbarian (Rukh misses this or he would be mad jelly).
Halion stands and moves towards the group. Avin casts flame jet yet again and does another tiny amount of damage. Charlotte hits super hard again. SSSM rears up, yells “FUCK ALL YOU GUYS” and tries to scare the shit out of us. Charlotte, Rukh and Avin avoid messing their pants. Ianthe is not so lucky. She is teleported away.
SSSM attacks Charlotte and misses. Rukh attacks and hits. Ianthe fills the cavern with happy energy. This makes SSSM uncomfortable so he flails, burns in holy fire and falls into the pit while his skin melts from his bones. The smell of pork fills the air. Rukh and Charlotte are hungry.
The cave is once again eerily quiet aside from the sounds of sizzling coming from the pit.
Rukh falls down to the ground panting and gasping for air from being fatigued.
Avin and Halion examines the surroundings and corpses. Halion is shocked to see dead shit. There appears to be a cloaked dude sitting in the cage.
“You don’t look like a necromancer…Are you the ones who caused the kerfuffle?”
He removes his cloak revealing the face of an elf, with many scars and wounds on his face.
“Who are you?” Says Ianthe.
“I do cause a little trouble now and again.” Halion beams at the man. “I suppose you want to get out of the cage.”
The surrounding area is a scorched office or lab, the many books and papers scattered about are all burnt or burning. The man nods “That would be a nice treat, yes. That bastard had his fun with all of us for days.”
“May I offer you a heal? Since I highly doubt you have any positive opinion about these necromancers” Says Ianthe.
Halion shrugs. “I’m bad with human locks sorry…someone else will do it though.”
“I am Thaisti. Pleasure to see some friendly faces, even one of my own kind for once.” The cloaked dude explains.
“My thanks” says Thaisti as Ianthe heals him.
Rukh gets on his feet and checks the cages that has lots of blood around them. Rukh sees the remains of captives, some bones but mostly blood.
“Would you mind telling us what on earth has been going in here? Maybe you heard something from the necromancers?” asks Ianthe.
“That I have. But I would appreciate it if i could get out first. Not that I don’t trust you, but I’ve been in here for an awful amount of time.”
The tables are covered in torture instruments, broken vials, burned books and parchments and scrolls. Ianthe searches for a key.
Rukh mutters to himself “Poor Souls” and checks the area around the bloodied cages if there is anything of use. Rukh finds a small toy, a rabbit doll in one of the cages. Rukh picks up the small rabbit doll. It has a note on the back. “Annabelle”. Rukh hugs the doll and imagines the terror this little girl must have gone through and sheds a tear for her.
Charlotte attacks the lock. It is damaged but does not open.
Ianthe cant find anything but Halion, using deft elfish vision, locates a key underneath the burned books and soot.
“A key! Neat!” Halion takes said key.
“Well, that makes it a lot easier.”
Avin doesn’t find any more of the bottles on the fellows. Just dagger and throwing knives, and a small spent bottle of poison each.
Charlotte stops attacking the lock so that Halion can try the key. Halion tries the key on the lock. “This should do it…”
The lock pops open and as soon as it does the elf gently pushes the cage open and steps outside. The man stretches with the most pleasure you could imagine. “Thank you friends, I was going insane in there.”
“Since you are all here, and not in a hurry, it seems you have bested the inhabitants of this foul dwelling. Am I correct?”
“Yes, though I am not sure what happened to the guy with skull mask. He took the crystal at least…” Ianthe answers. “I still have no clue what exactly is the meaning of this said crystal anyways.”
“One ran away through a portal and sort of uh…threw explosives at me.” Halion frowns. “I managed to roll them back through but I’m afraid it took out the portal.” She seems quite proud of herself.
The elf smiles “At least you gave them something to remember you by. This makes me happy.”
The man staggers slightly as relief washes over him, he holds onto the cage and winces before retracting his hand quickly. “Still hot”
His eyes light up and Ianthe offers him food. “Bless you!” He takes them with all the dignity he can muster and gobbles it down. He finishes in record time “So tell me…” he swallows the remainder of the food in his mouth “Are you going to finish the job?”
Rukh asks if anyone knows a girl called Annabelle.
“What job?” Ianthe looks confused.
“I would like to give the skull mask guy a good talking too about why putting people in cages is wrong so uh…yes.” Halion chuckles nervously.
“Well..” he shrugs at Ianthe “You did just attack a necromancer cult… they wont quit” The elf smiles at Halion like he would a child “You are correct on that note, kin.”
“We have been trying to find out what’s going on with that. They’ve been attacking and taking families in our town. No one seems to know anything about them. Except that they are necromancers. And these guys here didn’t exactly tell us anything either.”
“Well, I believe I can help. It seems that its not just your town. The people I spoke to here were from different part of the lands. Hell, these two were from across the seas.” He gestures to the burned carcasses.
“From what I can tell…they were killing people as efficiently as possible to fuel that..crystal.”
“Hrm. Any clue what they are going to use the crystal for?” Ianthe asks.
“No, but it was apparently not the only one. The boss here mentioned others, doing the same thing, elsewhere. Whatever it is though, I feel its bad news.”
“Too bad we can’t figure out where that portal led…”
The elf smiles and licks the rations off his lips “Ah, but maybe you can. I was going to sell or give this to someone with an army or something, but honestly I think you guys will actually do something about this.”
“I mean, its either that or die right?” He laughs slightly more maniacally than is appropriate, and he coughs to interrupt himself before pulling out a slightly burnt parchment. “I saved this from the fireball, didn’t think he expected me to survive it.”
The elf holds up a piece of parchment to Ianthe “Consider it thanks, and a plea for finishing this.”
“Thank you.” She takes the parchment to examine it. Reaction images were posted everywhere in the imaginary chat window as she responds to the parchment.