Forgotten Realms Artifact Hunters: Reassembling The Avatar of Torm

10. The Banish Threat Inside the Earth Mote (Part 2)

We encounter the queen of this cult

The following morning, we awoke from the hobgoblins quarters on the second level of the dungeon. Making our way back to the descending spiral staircase, we could only imagine what more terrors Bane had in store, and what pain had been wrought upon the poor genasi.

We were dozens of feet below the surface when we had reached the end of the staircase. The final landing lead to a mossy floor covered in slippery fungus. The large iron doors before us were locked tight. It took the teamwork and focus on Morigan’s thieve’s tools to unlock the bitch, and the combined strength of Sleepy and George to slide the massive doors open. As we peered through the crack, we spotted a small array of open coffins, and four harbingers of death standing at alert attention. The smell of rot filled the air.

1x Battlewight Commander (700xp, MM1)
2x Wight (200xp, MM1);
1x Deathlock Wight (175xp, MM1)
4x Vampire Spawn Fleshripper. (50xp, MM1).

As thine final beast lay dead in final silence, we began to search this lair. Inside the coffins we found 22 PP, 216 GP, and a Shroud of Revival. The various tables and bookshelves in the room seemed to offer nothing of value, for all the pages were damp, torn, or rotting away. The far end of the chamber split in two directions, one hallway heading north and one leading to the south. Peering through to the north, we saw an end in rubble, and a small golden idol tucked in the corner. Talindra Seryth, ensnared by the golden glint of ancient treasure, lurched towards it, unable to notice the weaknesses in the structure above. The sexpartite vaulting descended down upon her, but she was able to survive the the falling debris by retreating safely out of the corridor. When the stones fell their last, Morigan carefully headed down to retrieve what was, upon closer inspection, a worthless copper statue of a scarab plated in gold.

Morigan angrily tossed the statue at us and sauntered off towards the south hallway. Luckily, her wits were with her as she noticed a Spear Gauntlet trap before it was too late. We slowly made our way down the hallway, testing and inspecting each individual floor panel before finally being able to deactivate the trap proper. finally, we were once again faced with another, albeit smaller, descending spiral staircase. From below, we hear the echoing voice of a woman humming a south-eastern tune.

At the bottom of the stairs, we were once again presented with a door. This time, the door was slightly ajar, as if inviting us to enter. When we passed through the threshold, we entered a long hallway that made way to small flight of stairs which lead to a large open room. Marek the Silver continued onwards first. In the distance he reported seeing a large pile of dry bones, and past that, a large, plush throne upon which sat a beautiful red-headed human, humming to herself. On either side of her were a pair of braziers, the fires in which blazed with rage.

“You may approach, heathens,” she said slyly in Elven. “Tell me, what has brought you here?” She urged us to approach, offering complaints of her interrupted meal and the disgusting sound of common and dwarven. It seemed, though, that once she noticed the Scathebeast sliding into her chamber, she began to salivate. “I haven’t had ”/campaign/artifact-hunters-the-avatar-of-torm/wikis/scathebeast" class=“wiki-page-link”> Scathebeast in so long," she said. “Would you care to join me for dinner?” Gavail, with bluff, stealth, and speed was able to launch an attack at the woman in defense of his pet, but it failed to land.

I looked like a battle would ensue, as this beautiful woman, whom before writhed with class, now writhed with beetles, dissolving before our eyes. The fight was diffucult, and strained much of our health and abilities, but finally she was put down as Morigan charged into one of the flaming braziers and burnt the last of her scurrying mass into ashes.

1x Lamia (1400xp, MM1)

We caught our breath and looked around. Once again, a large set of iron doors placed behind the throne stopped our advance. A large symbol of Bane, at least 7 feet wide, had been painted onto the surface. From what we could tell, no lock held these doors shut, but there were large swaths of blood and palm prints all over it. Consulting his knowledge of evil cults, Gavail recalled stories of divinely placed locks that required personal sacrifice to open. In order to open the door, you need to cut yourself and press your blood against it. Gavail Pontiff obliged, and summarily contracted Cackle Fever, but not before opening the door.

Behind the large doors we found a dank area where the walls were lined with cells and devices of torture. Many corpses populated these cells. Hiding under a pile of rotting corpses and entangled in there entrails, Marek saw something shifting. A little brown genasi hand twitched. Asking for his identity and coaxing him out, the creature hidden beneath death sprang to life, throwing the corpses off of him.

“You’ve come to rescue me!” exclaimed Manganese. “Pull the elver on the far wall, over there, to unlock the cell. It was terrible, every time those beasts would touch me, my skin would crawl. The evil woman told me that she needed my skeleton- that no one else would do. She kept saying ‘Soon, my prey, soon I will be whole, and soon you will be as I.’ By the primordials’ will, you have saved me!” We accepted the genasi’s gratitude and explained our mission, introducing his place in it. “Please, take me home- I sure can use a stiff drink.”

We had no trouble returning to the surface, deciding to momentarily investigate the small trapped door that we had previously bypassed. Within it, we discovered a very lengthy ladder cut into the walls of a deep descending well, leading to a landing nearly at the bottom tip of the mote. At the end, a small pair of bracers hung from a hook on the wall. Using these new magical implements, our climb back to the cliff was rendered much simpler.

Soon we made your way back to Airspur, proud of the destruction we had visited upon Bane’s temple. As we entered Gaia’s Bosom, Shale and Manganese rushed into each other’s arms and exchanged a big hug. Gregorio, who was sitting at the bar when we entered, slammed his drink on the bar and said “Praise the gods, our friends once again come to the rescue.” He wrapped his wide dwarven arms around the brothers, smothering them both.

As the night continued, stories were told of the horrors wrought on the poor genasi and we told him that we are headed to Cimbar. Manganese explained that he is familiar with the area, and that he would love to be our guide. He also wanted to research the motes that fly over the ruins, for he always wondered why those don’t stay put while others do. And finally, as a valiant
thank you, he offered us some gifts for saving his life (Bracers of Defense and a Sustaining Cloak).

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Rustyham

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