WORK IN PROGRESS…
The party continued deeper into the ruins of Beoll-dur, still going on cryptic warning provided by the fallen metallic dwarf they encountered after finding “Dog Dick” McGirk’s hoard. While investigating, they came upon an old tome that told of the presence of infernal Salamanders that had overtaken Beoll-dur, led by their king Searazul. In an unusual display of leadership, Grunt took charge of scouting for the party and together they meandered through the halls.
They come upon a locked, untrapped door. Grum nods approvingly at his ward’s effortless lock picking. What they find behind is something they were not warned about. Inside, a corridor filled with a pile of armored skeletons rested. Grunt looks up and sees an opening in the roof above and determines that the pile of bodies must have been victims of a death drop trap. Beyond the pit was a narrow staircase descending into a 3rd level, illuminated only by the glow of red-hot magma burning from a large fissure scarring the walls. Thom and Grunt carefully affix a series of pitons to aid the party in getting down the steep and broken staircase. Those in the party wearing heavier armor start to feel encumbered by the severe heat emanating from the fissure.
At the base of the steps is another door. Thom presses his pointed ear against it and hears the sound of combat behind it: weapons crashing against each other accompanied by dry, alien grunts. Moira confirms the presence of demonic entities and readies herself. Grunt, after finding no traps, throws the door open to find two Salamanders engaged in mock combat using quarterstaffs. Abigail engages first, cutting into one of the salamanders with her glass blade. Grunt looses a pair of arcane arrows from “Hank”, one of which strikes. Lyssa stays out of harm’s way and begins to probe the injured Salamander with Mind Scan. Trisoll carefully imparts Resist Fire on Lyssa, Just as she shoos Trisoll away fearing that he might break her concentration, the pair of Salamanders attacks Lyssa. The first comes after her with a spear but Lyssa yanks the weapon from him and tosses it across the room. The second grabs Lyssa with its mighty tail and partially constricts her. Vetnik and Moira jump in to attempt to rescue her, cutting into the demon with glass longswords. Moira cuts through the Salamander’s torso, slaying it and freeing Lyssa from its constricting tail.
“Damnit, Moira! I had it.”
“I’m sure you did. You’re welcome!”
Thom stays to the back of the party, drumming for inspiration as Grum slashes (and misses) with Lyn & Slå. Grunt tries to shoot the second Salamander, but the demon wraps its tail around his foot, throwing his attack off. It lunges at Vetnik but misses. While focused on Vetnik, the Salamander slashed by Grum’s mythic daggers. Vetnik immediately follows with two more strikes of his sword, jamming his blade into the belly of the Salamander, eviscerating it spraying warm, lava-like blood all over. In the rubble, Thom and Lyssa find a rope of climbing and medallion of thought projection respectively.
They continue ahead and come upon a second door. Thom’s keen hearing detects the sound of four individuals behind. Learning from her previous encounter, Lyssa casts armor over herself. Grunt pushes the door open as quietly as possible, allowing the party to get the advantage. Moira is first into battle, using the heat and hatred of evil to help her deliver a debilitating blow to the first Salamander’s tail. Vetnik attacks a second Salamander while Grunt jumps in to support Moira, firing arcane arrows into her target’s tail, destroying it. Grum cuts into Vetnik’s target while his brother continues to drum for inspiration. Abigail jumps in and dogpiles Vetnik’s salamander, slaying it in the process before cutting into a fresh demon. Trisoll stands back and blesses the party while Lyssa takes on the final and hits it with her ghostly radiant Chillblade.
Grunt helps Abigail out by firing an arcane arrow into the Salamander’s right arm, breaking it and causing him to drop his spear. Thom puts his drums away and cuts into the demon while Vetnik moves onto Abigail’s Salamander, rushing it deathly focus. Lyssa follows up with a second attempt to stab with Chillblade but misses. Moira fells the 3rd Salamander, leaving the last one for Grunt and “Hank” to finish off. Vetnik takes one of the wooden spears for his own, while the thieves, Thom, and Lyssa search the corpses. Thom and Grum find two more ropes; Grunt finds a pair of Bracers of Defense which he gives to Lyssa (combined with her Dex grants her AC1); Lyssa finds a strange item, a large heavy digging tool resembling a 10’ long mattock. Thom determines it to be a Mattock of the Titan, which they choose to leave behind.
Grunt leads them south down a long, meandering hallway. A half hour into their walk, they decide to set up camp to heal, re-up on spells and identify the ropes (Thom determines them to be a Rope of Constriction and a Rope of Entanglement.) After resting, they continue to another door. Behind the door, Thom hears strange clanging but not that of battle. Grunt checks for traps and locks, neither of which he detects. They happen upon a solitary Salamander grunt moving equipment around. Lyssa urges them to not kill him so that they can extract information, but the Grum ignores her and plunges Lyn & Slå into him and causing a lightning bolt to burn the creature from the inside out. Vetnik knocks the demon out with the blunt of his sword. Vetnik finds a necklace hanging from its belt and pockets it. Lyssa and Moira pair up to wake the Salamander and Lyssa begins to Mind Scan it, searching for any clues as to what waits for them. She gets a general layout of the 3rd level, but before she can extract more information about Searazul, she is shut out. Vetnik beheads the demon and together the party moves on with a better understanding of the layout of the 3rd level, making their way to Searazul’s throne room. On the way, Thom identifies the necklace found to be a Necklace of Strangulation.
Continuing down the hall, they hear the distinct sound of footsteps following them. Grunt stops, realizing that the Salamanders have tails and therefore would not be the ones to create the sounds. Thom pinpoints the source of the footsteps: “These are our own footsteps echoing back at us.” Trisoll casts Silence 15’ over the party, allowing the party to move quietly.
“Sure, I can cast it, but what will our signal be in case you need to cast?”
Lyssa cocks her head and gives him the finger.
The party silently continues down a winding series of hallways for about an hour before encountering another door. Thom hears nothing, and gives Grunt the greenlight to open. He does so, revealing an unlit room. Grunt takes his torch and tosses it into the center of the room. As the fire touches the ground, it reveals four inky black Shadows gathered together, all of which rush to attack the party. The first Shadow touches Moira and she feels her strength immediately sapped. A second Shadow attempts to strike Grunt but misses, but he falls prey to a third. Trisoll is the last to be attacked. Vetnik rushes in to defend both his partner and his best friend, splitting his hits between the two attacking Shadows. Grunt tries to fend off the Shadows attacking him but stumbles and falls. Lyssa draws her Wand of Frost and conjures a cone of cold, freezing a pair of the Shadows and destroying them. Abigail follows Vetnik and splits her attacks as well, killing the first but missing with the second. Thom extends his hands and casts burning hands, obliterating the final Shadow. Thom stumbles upon a secret door while the party searches the room for treasure. Grunt detects traps and just barely disarms a deadly acid trap. After disarming, he unlocks the door to reveal a gem and chip stash (12k gp, 16 whole gems, 10 pc jewelry, a Ring of Water Walking, Potion of Fire Resistance, Rod of Negation, a scroll with 4 spells and 3 ivory goat figurines.)
After successfully raiding the chamber, they move on and eventually come upon a large stone gate. Grunt tries to break in but is unsuccessful. Lyssa and Trisoll search their spells while Vetnik tries to pull open the structure. Vetnik asks Moira to help but she worries that she’s still drained from the Shadow attack. Trisoll steps forward and begins to cast stone shape while the couple pry open the doors, and they just barely manage to pry it open and a completely empty room and a corridor. They travel west up the corridor until coming upon another closed door. Grunt opens it up and immediately sees a trio of dazed hobgoblins transfixed by floating, glowing lights. Their presence seems to break the hobgoblins from their trance, and they immediately flee past the party. They choose to ignore the room and instead travel down the other hall, another winding corridor that opens into a double-wide hall ending in a door. His patience worn thin, Vetnik kicks the door down after Thom and Grunt confirm the door’s safety and finds 6 resting Salamanders. The party slays them (with Vetnik breaking the neck of one with his bare hands) and they move onto the throne room of Searazul, where they find him waiting, sitting upon his throne. Before he can react, Lyssa telekinetically yanks King Searazul right off his throne and drags him closer to the party. Grum breaks his left arm with an arcane arrow. He tries to flee, but Lyssa concentrates her telekinesis and binds him to the throne room floor. After several rounds, it is Moira who slays the demonic Salamander King. They find a Brazier of Sleep Smoke and a pair of Gauntlets of Ogre Power.