Chains Unbound

Enclave of Demons (Hanzo's Story) pt. 2

Tormented Shades; the party lands in a tight spot

As Hanzo and Ella caught their breath from the battle with the slumber demon, their allies awoke from their slumber and tumbled out of the Bodybag of Holding. Hazarak, Thargor, and Tempest joined the group and were quickly brought up to date. They took a brief look around and learned about the kidnapped citizens of Myth Dranor that were stuck in the Shadowfell somewhere in the mansion. The group then delved deeper into the mansion.

The group passed through a door one by one, and thus fell into an obvious trap. They found themselves in a 40′ × 50′ × 30′ room, with vicious-looking spikes lining the walls. Impaled at irregular intervals along the walls were the corpses of humanoids, obviously former adventurers, with coins and gems falling out of their tattered purses. Unfortunately for most of the group, the entire room was shrouded in darkness, and only Hazarak could see unaided. Hanzo quickly thought back to his last fight, and realized that some of the shades could see in the dark. Reasoning that their darkvision worked like an inverted version of regular vision, he took out a sunrod and tinkered with it briefly, then lit it. He told the group that he modified it so that it would blind any shades that they would encounter that had darkvision. Thus armed, he and his allies ventured to the door set into the wall opposite of the one they entered.

Everyone nervously examined the door, and after confirming that the hinges, knob, and lock were not trapped, Ella proceeded to pick the lock. As soon as she unlocked and Hazarak opened the door, the group found what triggered the trap: a short bar, bolted to the door, that pulled out a brick in the wall immediately behind the door. This brick was the only thing holding the triggering mechanism open,and when removed, it caused the spiked walls to slide closer together. As if attracted to the scent of imminent death, four tormented shades wailed and moved through the walls to attack the group. They were immediately blinded by the magically enhanced sunrod in Hanzo’s hand, which he immediately dropped in favor of his bastard sword.

Hazarak and Hanzo both noticed a note scrawled on the wall behind where the door was, but neither of them could read it. They then took swings at the shades, and Hanzo managed to kill one. It let loose a blood-curdling scream as it faded away, which scared Ella and caused her to stumble into the wall, impaling herself on the spikes. She then extricated herself from the spikes and moved up so that she could see the writing. She read the Elven script, which said, “The blunt spike…” then trailed off in a splatter of gore. She yelled out for everyone to find a blunt spike on the wall, which was no easy task on two long walls full of spikes, then made her way over towards the opposite wall to search it.

Hanzo somehow set fire to the shades and turned to help search for the spikes. As he turned his back, all three shades screamed and vaporized, which caused both him and Hazarak to flee from them. Safe for the moment, a few party members continued the search for the spike, while others attempted (with varying degrees of success) to hold the wall back. Just then, a new complication arrived, in the form of another slumber demon, who immediately phased through the wall and hit Ella with a somnolent wind, which caused her to stagger and fall asleep.

Around this time, Tempest awoke and fell out of the Bodybag, and, seeing Ella unconscious, picked her up and moved towards the south end of the room. Fortuitously, Hazarak found a blunt spike, and tweaked it a bit, which made a section of the spike wall swing out, revealing a sturdy iron door with three locks in it. Thargor, Hanzo, and Tempest took turns slapping Ella, until she finally awoke. She was set to the task of picking the locks, while the rest of the party alternated between killing the slumber demon and holding back the walls.

The party, in a fit of desperation, unleashed their most powerful attacks, and threw themselves against the demon in an attempt to destroy it. Kerrick, who had awoken while Tempest was carrying Ella, unleashed a blast of radiant energy that should have obliterated the demon. Unfortunately, a combination of resistance to radiant energy, a sloppily-made attack, and the demon’s own insubstantiallity caused the demon to barely pause in its lazy assault (42 damage, halved by the miss, reduced by 10 for resistance, then halved again by insubstantial = 6 damage). Fortunately, the demon was brought low by the combined attacks of most of the party, with Hanzo landing the killing blow. With that threat out of the way, the entire party focused on staying alive long enough for Ella to pick the locks and hopefully let them escape.

Ella picked one lock easily, but thanks to Tempest’s clumsy attempt to “aid” her in picking it (with his sword), the lock was jammed badly, making it harder to pick. He then proceeded to panic, and go through the four stages of accepting death. Hanzo ran over behind him, and, while still hidden, punched him in the back of the head, knocking him out. Meanwhile, Ella frantically picked at the locks, with everyone else helping to hold back the walls and shouting (and threats) of encouragement, but it seemed that her tools kept slipping under the pressure of being responsible for saving the entire party’s skin. After what seemed like forever while stuck in that quickly narrowing room, Ella managed to pop the last lock and open the door, letting her companions through to safety just as the walls clanged together with a loud, low ringing sound.

The group managed to barely escape a holey death into the service tunnel behind one of the walls. At the other end of the tunnel, a dark portal glowed and crackled with baleful energy. The group decided to catch their breath here and steel themselves against whatever horrors might await them through this portal…

We will continue this adventure in November. Next week will begin October’s themed story, “Sins of a Father”, DM’d by Kimchee. Looking forward to it!

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Aikanaka

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