Remnants of Thassilon

Angry Birds

If a monster falls in the mist and there is no one to hear it, does it make a sound?

Over breakfast Amiko describes her attempt to get some information out of her brother Suto. She had limited success. He spoke of his planned attack on Sandpoint, not giving up a specific time but only the impression that preparations for the attack were not yet finished. He also seems to be expecting to be rescued from the town prison.

Based on this information, the heroes decide that the best course of action would be to continue to explore the caves under Sandpoint, to clear the monster threat from below and perhaps get more clues to the nature of the phantom menace. After readjusting the positioning of the town’s guards, already stretched thin, the heroes go into the caves to resume exploring.

The caves have plenty of tourist attractions. Behind one door the party finds a pair of sinspawn play fighting. Some real fighting then breaks out. A sinspawn is repeatedly tripped by dogs and whips. Zephyr loses a few feathers, but Dharma takes care of it by laying her hand on his mottled head. Kaielea and Dharma perfect a new sinspawn slaying technique – a shield bash to the head knocks it down, a sword to the throat coups it out of its gras.

The room the fighting took place in is, or rather was, a prison. Holding cells line up against the walls but they are empty save for some very old bones. There are more rooms to explore. A staircase leads down to a room with several pits, and a gravely voice that scares granny Squall quickly back up stairs, yelling at her to stay out. The heroes block the door with a heavy table. Another room has three stone doors that open to small cells, containing the remains of monstrous deformities. The doors are inscribed with the mysterious Thassilonian star symbol. Another room apparently used to be an arcane library, as evidenced by the tattered remains of ancient books.

In a small room with a central circular pool there are blood smears on the walls. As the heroes move across the room a green fleshy head with ear-wings flies out from behind a drape and shrieks. Everyone is startled, but unharmed, and a blow from Olga‘s hammer and Kaielea’s shield knocks it down. The poor thing coughs blood, tried to bite someone, and falls dead.

A spiral staircase goes up a short length then is blocked by collapsed walls.

Back in the room with the altar with evil looking water. Olga suspects it’s un-holy water. Large double doors open to a large room with torches on the walls, spiked runes of rage everywhere, doors on either side. A pool in the center with skulls on spikes. Stairs lead up to a pulpit area where a small winged creature wearing mage robes stands next to a small basin of churning water muttering angrily in Thassilonian. As the heroes enter the creature cuts her own wrist and drips some blood into the basin. Suddenly it all makes sense. A cathedral of senseless rage, blood magic and insane ramblings? It’s the church of PMS-ing bitches!

Before the heroes can offer sympathy however, the clawed hands of a sinapwn appear out of the basin. It’s time for a fight.

Squall springs into action. She rides her dog to the edge of the central pool, picks up a skull from one of the spikes, then rides up the stairs to the basin, jumps off and starts splashing freezing liquid everywhere, stopping for a moment only to cast a big cloud of fog that obscures half the room. The angry bird-bitch meanwhile takes to the air and, hovering like a hummingbird, starts casting spell after spell. An oozy creature is summoned next to Dharma and Kaielea, and a big toad is summoned next to the basin, where Olga and Squall, and Squall’s dog, are fighting the sinspawn. The angry bird peeks out of the fog, sees Dharma, and casts a spell that shatters Dharma’s sword to a thousand pieces. Unfazed, Dharma pimpslaps the goo monster to dazeness. Olga makes toad juice with her hammer and Dog has a taste of toad shank. Seeing that the basin cannot be emptied by a bailing skull, Olga and Squall decide to use good old fashioned sacrifice. When the toad is dropped in, a sinspawn climbs out and is unceremoniously dispatched.

The ooze monster disappears to its home plane. Dharma chucks spears, nowhere near the bird, then catches a fear spell in the face and runs around screaming for a few seconds. Out of spells and out of summoned allies, the angry bird floats out of reach throwing around a boomerang dagger. Squall dismisses the obscuring mist and sends Zephyr to “fetch” the magic dagger. Then sends Dog to attack the evil spellcaster flying away. The dog leaps off the balcony, jaws agape, but can’t quite make it and falls to the lower floot. Zephyr wrestles the dagger out of the evil bird’s hand and brings it to Dhamra.

Olga COMMANDS the angry bird to drop down and give her twenty, and it works! The heroes converge on the tiny prone creature and proceed to pound the floor around her with savage blows, stabs, jabs, and bites. Suddenly something connects! Dharma jabs the creature with its own dagger, hard. The wounded bird scratches Squall and her dog with poison claws and takes to the air again. Hovering above Dharma she loses her lunch on the young Paladin’s face, mutters a few magic words and vanishes! Dharma quickly throws the dagger towards the bird’s last known whereabouts. The dagger flies true and, with a thud, comes to a stop in mid air. The heroes follow the invisible creature’s blood trail out of the room as Zepher tracks it.

REDUX

Kaielea’s long legs are barely long enough to let her keep the flying creatures in sight, and she follows Zephyr, who is hopefully following the angry-bird, down the narrow corridors, back through the prison room. On her faithful riding dog, Squall follows closely, while Dharma and Olga lag behind, the Paladin moaning under her heavy armor, the Dwarf’s comically short legs moving fast but advancing slow.

As Kaielea and Squall enter the prison chamber, both birds are out of sight, but there is only one way out of the room. They rush into the torture chamber to find their makeshift barricade of the door to the lower levels disturbed but still standing. The demon was not strong enough to move it. She must be hiding in the next room, from which there is no escape! Seeing that the demon is cornered, Kaielea waits for the others to catch up. Squall arrives and rides her dog to battle. She opens the door and the angry-bird, visible again, attacks. No more spells, no more rituals, not even a flying dagger, but the demon’s poisoned claws are still plenty dangerous. Squall gets two more scratches and two more doses of poison. By the time Dharma gets to her side, the old druid is slumped on her dog, barley able to lift her head. Olga stands in the doorway, blocking the only escape route, while Dharma and Kaielea engage the angry-bird. The bard uses her whip to trip the flying demon and Dharma dives at the prone creature, dagger first. In the Good paladin’s hands, the blade seems to slip right through the demon’s tough hide, and she is mortally wounded. By now the heroes have learned to expect the ability of foul creatures in this dungeon to heal themselves quickly, so just to be sure, Dharma removes the evil bird’s head.

Turning around in triumph, the fighters find Olga busy treating a sickly looking Squall, a grim expression on her face. Amazingly, though the druid is barely able to move, she is busy taking care of her dog’s poisoned wounds. A few seconds later the Dwarf sighs in relief and informs them that the little druid is not in immediate danger of dying any longer. However, Squall is still very weak. The rest are also tired. The heroes decide to call it a day. This level is essentially clear, it’s time to go back to town.

Before going up though, they stop once more at the un-holy temple to deal with the sinspawn portal. It is almost out of whatever fuels it. Throwing a few foul smelling entrails into the basin, they quickly dispose of the emerging sinspawn, and see that the basin is now empty. One less thing to worry about.

Bruised and dirty, the heroes return to town and go straight to Father Zantus. He agrees to prepare some spells to fix their broken druid, taking in payment only the un-holy symbol looted from the demon priestess, which he says is the symbol of Lamashtu. The party then meets with the mayor to discuss the town’s defenses, and retire for the evening.

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