Using Aron’s map, we easily found the hidden door to the outer vault. This was a false vault, designed to fool intruders into believing that there was nothing to be found. The map pointed us to the secret door within the false vault that led into the true vault. Within the vault were 4 human sized statues, each clad in a suit of full plate armor. At the end of the room was a large sized statue and an altar. A banner hung upon the opposite wall. A quick check revealed that it was a false banner. However, I did discover that one of the suits was in fact highly enchanted. It turned out that the armor was tailor made for paladins. We took a few minutes to help Emp don his new armor.
We continued exploring the SE section of the citadel. The next room that we explored turned out to be a nicely stocked armory. After helping ourselves to the gear, a lot of which was magical, we then continued on. The other rooms in the area were uninteresting. Most were empty storage rooms or abandoned quarters.
At the end of the hall, we found an old bunk room. Within, there was a stack of bodies. The other side of the room held a pile of heads. They appeared to be Kellish from the looks of them. A female barbarian challenged us. I’m not sure what she said, but I’m fairly certain that she spoke something unflattering about Emp’s parentage. At any rate, she wasn’t much of a conversationalist. For she moved to attack a moment later.
Ram was the first to reach her and attack. His blows struck, but didn’t seem totally effective. She and Ram went toe to toe, but he ended up taking more hits than she and went down. While she was beating up on him, Emp and the others had been chipping away at her. Just after Ram dropped, Emp was able to put the angry lady down. Luckily, she was just unconscious and after slapping some manacles on her, we were able to get her stabilized. Emp got Ram back onto his feet and while he healed himself, we roused the wench. Her name was Jestak, she was of the Kellid peoples from the Real of the Mammoth Lords. She took service with the demons simply so as to have someone for whom to fight. Pathetic.
After speaking with Jestak, we offered her a chance to take service with us. She agreed and provided us with some intelligence regarding the Citadel. It seems that the demons had constructed a dungeon level beneath the citadel. The Sword of Valor was held down there and guarded by a shadow demon! She also told us of Staunton’s brother Jorun. He has become dissatisfied with conditions here and might be willing to turn on his brother should the right opportunity come along. Interesting. With this information in hand, we took Jestak and the loot that we’d recovered and returned to our encampment outside the gates. After securing her, we got some rest before heading back inside.
After some rest, we hit it again, going north this time. Most of the rooms were empty. We found an unused dining hall where we destroyed some graven guardians and a handful of brimoraks. We then killed a handful of ghouls in an abandoned barracks. There were several bodies present as well. I wonder what had killed them all?
The next room that we inspected held an amazing find! We discovered an imprisoned crusader, it was Maranse Delaskru! I’d heard of him back in Kenebras. He’s a famous swashbuckler who went missing in the Worldwound over 2 years ago. He looked to be in rough shape. He was shackled to a bed and dressed in rags and tattered armor. This is excellent! I was hoping to be able to rescue more crusaders, however, after the incident with “Iomedae” in the chapel, we had to be careful. Emp examined Maranse and discovered that he was radiating evil! This poses a problem. I suspect that he might be under some charm or compulsion that is causing him to radiate evil. We are also aware of a shadow demon here in the citadel. They can possess their victims! Could Maranse be possessed?
During all of this, Maranse begged to be released. We attempted to discern what was afflicting him, but to no avail. Then, Emp got the idea to see if his holy blade would damage Maranse and thought that attacking him could discern any deception. I’m rather certain that that action would violate several of Emp’s vows as a paladin. It seems that Iomedae agreed, for Emp’s phylactery prevented him from acting on this notion. In the end, we decided that it would be best to leave Maranse here, where he couldn’t harm anyone or himself. At least that was the plan before Emp gave him back his rapier. Sigh. We promised that we’d return for him once this level was cleared. When we have the time to properly discern Maranse’s affliction, we would then be able to help him. This all turned out to be a moot point. As we moved on, we secured the doors to the room so as to ensure his safety. Before securing the last doors, we checked on Maranse to discover him gone! It seems that this wasn’t Maranse and, his ruse having failed, he departed. Perhaps we will see him again.
The next chamber was a guardpost. Several arrow slits in the outer wall gave view to the courtyard. Within, 3 Thoxel demons awaited. A handful of elementals took care of one while the others dispatched the remaining 2. From her we have 2 avenues. 1 leads to the area that was indicated by Jestak as leading to the lower levels. The other leads to the tower. We decided to clear the tower 1st.
The tower room was revealed to have been the quarters of a high ranking priestess of Deskari. She’d abandoned the chamber, but from some notes that we found within, we discovered her plans. She’d retreated to the dungeons where she planned to work a ritual that would destroy the city! It seems that we are still on a clock here.
We began our ascent. The next level held a nice pile of treasure. This must have been Soltengrebbe’s lair. We helped ourselves as he no longer needed any of this. The top of the tower contained an old summoning circle. It no longer functioned, but it seems that it was used by the crusaders to summon angelic aid. Once we’ve driven out the demonic taint, perhaps we can restore it.
We then began to move into the citadel interior. The inner rooms were guarded by 2 fiendish minotaurs. They died swiftly. The next room was a study of some sort. The back walls were covered with maps of the Worldwound and surrounding countries. They looked out of date, but seemed to show potential invasion routes. This could be useful to the crusade, we need to make a note to retrieve these. At a table, a dwarf sat. He was reading from a book of prayers. 3 babau’s hovered nearby. Once we entered, they attacked!
Bas slipped over behind the dwarf, whom we assumed to be Jorun. The rest of us engage the babau’s. I summoned a pair of hound archons to help. Together, they managed to kill one right away. Jorun attempted to blind Bas, but the charm had no effect. Bas then proceeded to beat Jorun down until he dropped his weapon and surrendered. Between the rest of us, we took down the remaining babau’s quite speedily. It is a good thing too, for we hear the sounds of footsteps running from the next room. I believe that we are about to have more company.
Bring the Jubilee
Campaign Journal of Nik the Crow - Session 9
Adventures in the Worldwound - Session 9