Session #36 – Uncharming Charlatan

Characters: Tienarth/Tre, Ferris/Henry, Azrak/Nick, Ghevont/Jeff, Nebula/Audrey

The rats were dead and the party made a brief search of the wine cellar. At least one of the barrels seemed full, and Azrak contemplated opening one of them. The rest of the group argued against it.

Back in the large, square room, Ghevont unstuck the northeast door. A damp stench of rot spilled over him. So, they spiked the northeast door and went through the northwest door.

Down a cave tunnel, they found a rough hewn room containing a statue and a chest. Azrak contrived a loop of rope behind stone blocks with his grappling hook attached to the chest top. He yanked hard and flipped the chest open momentarily. Suddenly, the statue sprang to life. It stepped up to Azrak and breathed lava on him.

The rest of the party sprung forward and began bashing the statue, which was soon dispatched. They found a large quantity of copper pieces in the chest along with a potion and a dagger, obviously enchanted. Azrak stuck it in his belt.

They pulled the spike from the other door and crept into the dark tunnel. Just as the reached the center of another rectangular cave, seven ghouls lept from the shadows. Their filthy claws sent icewater through the veins of the two dwarf fighters, paralyzed by ghoulish magic. Ghevont held his holy symbol aloft and all but two of the ghouls took a step back. A moment later, Tienarth invoked a web spell in a donut shape. Only three of the ghouls were strong enough to attempt an escape, despite being turned. It wasn’t long before the party stabbed most of them dead as the webbing held them fast. Two ghouls fled through an eastern passage.

Meanwhile, the party carried the two dwarves back in the square room to wait out the paralysis. After they recovered, the entire party went back to follow the ghouls. They found a larger, better finished room with a table, on top of which a candelabra flickered. The door to the north revealed a dark hallway. The door to the east allowed a large boulder to tumble past Ghevont, narrowly missing him. The door to the south led to a small entryway and double doors. Ghevont made ready by reading from a Protection from Evil scroll.

When they threw open the doors, they found the two ghouls standing over a cowering priest. By now the turning from before had worn off. Ghevont tried again with no luck. They all rushed forward to slay the ghouls and succeeded quickly. It was then they realized a striking resemblance of the priest: he appeared to be St. Orlan in the flesh. He claimed he knew not how he arrived there or what had happened. It was a cheap lie that the party believed at first. Ghevent suspected deception when the priest shrunk from his touch. The faux Orlan turned to the rest of the party and called Ghevont false. Charming words fell flat on Azrak and Ferris and hostilities began.

Tienarth fired off a lightning bolt that passed through the false saint, confusing the party. Something very power and evil was amongst them, and it next overwhelmed Azrak’s will to make him willing give up his enchanted hammer. And soon after Ghevont was ordered to flee, with which he complied. Blows flew down on the monster, mostly missing as Azrak tried in vain to take his hammer back. Nebula struck the demon in the back, but it seemed unconcerned. It soon transformed to reveal its true shape, a shapely woman with bat wings and sharp teeth. Nebula guessed she was a vampire, but the soon knew it was a succubus.

Azrak switched to swinging his axe and made three embarrassing misses, one after the other. Ferris begged him to switch to the magic dagger, but he seemed bent on testing if the demon required magic weapons to strike. Soon after, a solid axe blow that clearly missed changed his mind.

Despair seemed to weigh heavy on the troup. They seemed resigned to bash away at the demon with little chance of damage. The demon made merry work of clawing their faces. Then she caused a magical darkness to fall. With nearly no hope of successful attack, the party attempted a retreat. Tienarth and Ferris bumped around. Azrak and Nebula quickly stepped out of the room. Nebula fled outside to find help. Azrak at first waited, then made his way out at normal pace. Suddenly, the succubus appeared before him.

Finally pulling the dagger from his belt, Azrak struck at the demon and landed a deep puncture in her heart. She crumpled to the floor and dissipated into mist.

Back in the main chamber, they found platinum coins and a few other treasures that they divided up. They rightly concluded all the priests had been under the charms of the succubus and rested easy knowing the temple could be restored.

 

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