Monday, July 18, 2011

Szith Rijun – The Second Fall of House Rijun – Part 1

Characters: Dusk Revin, Gallipolas & Fig, Lazbin, Narn Daergal, Rathgillian, Trizoon & Nilmith, Vindicus
NPCs: None
Synopsis: Before moving to the temple level of the drow community Szith Rijun, the Defenders reassess their tactics. Knowing that whomever, or whatever, lies deeper in the chasm knows they are present. Having just battled two revenants of the missing Divine Hammer, the group recognizes the necrotic magics manipulating the dead. With both Narn and Dusk unconscious, their stealth and divine connections are that much weaker. Gallipolas and Vindicus move ahead to scout the lower level, each manipulating his magic to sprout wings and fly towards the rushing waters of the chasm below.

The two elves find a yawning hole in the chasm wall, anchored by a stone arch engraved in runes. Standing resolute at the back end of the chamber are two drow noble guards and four of the skinless undead guarding the room’s egresses. Without hesitation Gallipolas spies the undead nature of the sentries and spews a massive burst of pure sunlight into the chamber. In an instant the flash is all the elves need to provide cover as they return to their companions above. The report is quick but detailed as the others are ready to descend.

The group returns to entry chamber to find the exploded bodies of the undead, muscles and skeletons ripped apart from the druid’s magic. But missing are the two noble guards. Lazbin easily recognizes the mist of a fleeing vampire and moves into the chamber. As the blood mage passes beneath the stone arch, he flenches as a rune ignites, burning him as he enters the sacred temple. Bracing for the inevitable, the rest of the party enters bearing the excruciating pain of the warded gate. There is no doubt that the grounds of the drow are unhallowed.

The eerie feeling of omnipresence pervades the group of adventurers as they move to the rear of the chamber. The construction of this level is of incredible quality, indicting the excesses of the noble leaders of the drow settlement. Spintering off in opposite directions, two corridors wind their way into the darkness. Light from the adventurers’ magic illuminates another large chamber just off one of the halls. Shackled to a set of manacles hanging from the wall is a female drow, almost entirely drained of life. Before any objections are made, Lazbin lances the prisoner’s heart with a wooden stake. His quick dealing with the drow didn’t beg permission and his stern look doesn’t ask for forgiveness. A smaller chamber adjacent to the guard post, once a barracks for the noble drow guards, now houses three wooden coffins. Vindicus follows suit and looses a fireball from one of his many wands obliterating everything within.

The group returns to the corridor and continues its path, finding evenly spaced octagonal chambers, numbering eight. Trizoon spies the obvious, as the previously noble house most likely worshipped the now-missing spider god-queen Lolth. In one of the halls they find an elaborately carved set of double doors. Just prior to breach, Lazbin smells a faint whisp of smoke and then spies a fine mist beneath the door. The cowardly drow are now putting flame to the temple. As the group prepares for entry they hear movement from the corridor. Ready for anything, the group prepares for an ambush that never comes. The gnome Narn and the half-drow Dusk emerge into the light to rejoin their companions.

With the strength in numbers bolstered and enough ado, Rathgillian and Trizoon smash into the room. A fine hue of gray floats on the air of the chamber, partially obscuring enormous, despicable tapestries featuring landscapes of war and death. Walking corpses are depicted marching on burning lands. In the corner a toppled brazier oozes out a flaming liquid that has set the dense rug on fire. Against the far wall is a crude shrine. But there is no one to claim the arson. Pivoting around the room in tactical formation, the group parts the whisps of smoke to draw out the temple’s inhabitants. But the inhalation becomes crushing as they begin violently coughing over the acrid fuel. The distraction is good enough as three noble guards materialize from within the haze.

As the obscuring mist grows denser the group focuses on their enemies at hand, but fails to detect two other driders drop from concealed niches in the ceiling above. The ambush is disjointed though as the vampires a significantly weakened. Dusk loudly bellows for his god Kelemvor to vanquish the undead and his spell reduces two of the vampires to ash. Gallipolas dons a pair of magical goggles and gazes upon one of the driders, turning it to stone. Rathgillian and Trizoon focus their efforts on the final combatants and eliminate the threat immediately.

The thick smoke and burning room forces the Defenders to vacate the chamber. But on his way through a stone door in the corner of the room, Dusk passes by the makeshift shrine identifying it as one devoted to the drow goddess of death Kiaransalee. The half-drow snears at the abomination and disrupts the presentation with the back of his hand. He vows to carry this siege through to the end of his disgraced kin.

Encounters: 4 quth-maren & 2 vampire drow noble guards, 3 vampire drow noble guards & 2 drider vampires.
Achievements: breached the temple level of Szith Rijun and destroyed the undead sentries and guardians.

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