North Houston Rise of the Runelords

Exploring the Catacombs of Wrath

Ancient horrors await

Oathday, 25 Rova 4707 (continued)

After defeating the Vargouille and finding the remainder of the hall a dead end, Remicus, Abiyram, and Gaithan returned to the red marble statue. They heard a faint cry for help coming from the north passage and decided to investigate. Abiyram quietly opened the door of the ancient prison and listened. It seemed that one of the cells was occupied by someone or something that was still alive. The heroes split up with Gaithan and Abiyram taking the west set of stairs and Remicus taking the east set of stairs. As they descended the stairs, two sinspawn that had been hiding under the stairs leapt out and unsuccessfully tried to grab Gaithan and Remicus. Remicus easily dispatched his sinspawn, but not before he received a nasty bite and was overwhelmed by feelings of wrath, anger and rage for six minutes from the Sinspawn’s wrathful bite. He then helped Gaithan and Abiyram with the other sinspawn, despite his weakened condition.

With the sinspawn defeated, the heroes began to search for the source of the earlier cry. They found a badly beaten, but still alive Sagittel Novathar in a cell. Fortunately, for Sagittel, the sinspawn had not relieved him of any of his gear, however his warhorse was nowhere to be found. Sagittel explained that on a drunken whim, he had decided to set out for Sandpoint from Magnimar in search of an elvin ranger who often came that way. He had heard that she was very knowledgable of the woodland lore in the Hinterlands and he wanted to learn more. The heroes immediately recognized the elvin ranger Sagittel was describing as Shalelu Andosana. As far as Sagittel recalled, the sinspawn must have jumped him in his inebriated state and taken him prisoner. He did not know how long he had been imprisoned. With some trepidation, the group asked him to join them as they explored the catacombs. Exploring the remaining cells yielded nothing but the skeletal remains of prisoners who had died a long time ago.

The group of 4 proceeded east down a hallway and entered an ancient interrogation chamber. All manner of devices designed to inflict pain and suffering could be found in the room. All of the torture devices were too decayed and rusted to be used now. On the south wall of the room, a door led to a study. Before entering, Abiyram looked inside and saw the crumbling remnants of chairs and a long table. The group entered the study and searched through the rubble. They found an intact scroll written in an ancient language. Sagittel used his read magic skill to discern that it was a scroll of flaming sphere (CL 5th). On the south wall of the study, three doors, each marked with the same seven-pointed star seen elsewhere, lead to more prison cells. In each cell, the group found a badly deformed humanoid creature. The first had three arms, the second an enormous misshapen skull, and the last had a ribcage that went all of the way down to its pelvis which in turn was connected to stunted leg bones.

After searching the interrogation room and study, the heroes (including Sagittel) climbed a dark staircase and entered a room with eleven wooden lids scattered throughout the room. Low moans and strange shuffling sounds could be heard coming from the pits. Opening one of the lids revealed that at the bottom of each 20 foot pit was a zombie. The pits were too deep for the zombies to climb, fortunately. As the group investigated the pits, a hideously mutated goblin named Koruvus attacked them. Koruvus attempted to bull rush Remicus into one of the pits but failed. A few arrows later, and a mighty strike from a sword left Koruvus lying dead on the ground. After debating several methods of disposing of the zombies, one of which included lowering Remicus into the tight space to slay each zombie, the group decided to burn each zombie using some oil and the dried timber from the pit lids. It was not long before a roaring fire raged in each pit, consuming the zombies and putting them out of their centuries long misery.

The heroes took a hallway south from the prisoner pits toward a strange red glow. Upon entering the room, the group saw several objects floating in the room, spinning lazily in space. The objects consisted of a ragged book, a scroll, a bottle of wine, a twisted iron wand with a forked tip, and a dead raven with a halo of writhing maggots encircling it. The walls were plated in sheets of red metal that gave off a faint glow. Once in a while, the walls would ripple with a silent, black electricity that formed strange runes or ancient, undecipherable words. Sagittel grabbed each of the objects, quickly dropping the dead raven when maggots climbed up his arm. Sagittel once again used his read magic skill to discern that it was a scroll of burning hands (CL 3rd). The book was written in Abyssal and appeared to be a prayer book to Lamashtu. The group returned the way they had come, tossing the prayer book into one of the still burning zombie pits.

The heroes returned to red marble statue and headed down a long hallway that branched eastward from a hallway heading south. First, the group encountered a shrine to Lamashtu. Investigating the altar in the middle of the shrine led them to the discovery of a small pool of water which they identified as the Waters of Lamashtu. The group then carefully opened some doors to room that appeared to be a cathedral.

Immediately upon entering the cathedral, a tiny female quasit thaumaturge of Lamashtu, Erilyium, rose up from behind a pool of strange water and cried out, “Daring to intrude upon the Mother’s sanctum!” With that, the quasit slashed her own wrist with her dagger and allowed some of the blood to drip into the pool. As she did, the runewell’s glow diminished noticeably and the group saw a sudden look of worry cross the quasit’s face. The drops coalesced in the pool and a sinspawn suddenly emerged. As the heroes converged on the sinspawn, Erilyium shattered Remicus’s bastard sword with a spell and broke it into a thousand pieces. Then she disappeared using her invisibility spell. Sagittel attempted to shoot cold iron arrows in her general direction, but very few found their mark. Erilyium threw all of the spells she knew at the heroes. She summoned a dire rat, a lemure and generated another sinspawn but the heroes dispatched each of her minions with relative ease.

Erilyium herself was a much more difficult foe. With her ability to fly, become invisible and damage resistance against all weapons except cold iron many of the hero’s usual tactics were worthless. Also, each time she reappeared, she seemed stronger than before. The quasit and the heroes battled to a stalemate as neither side could inflict much damage. Then Gaithan attempted to rattle Erilyium first with verbal taunts, then toppling over the small alter (which caused the room temperature to drop below zero), and finally as an ultimate insult, urinating into the runewell of wrath. While Gaithan was distracting the quasit, Abiyram used the twisted wand which turned out to be wand of shocking grasp and Sagittel used the flaming sphere to in attempt to knock her down. Filled with fury at Gaithan’s defilement, Erilyium reappeared 10 feet above the runewell and threw her tiny dagger at Gaithan. Abiyram seized the opportunity and leaped over the pond grabbing the quasit has he passed. Both the quasit and Abiyram crashed into the runewell waters and immediately took heavy damage from the bitterly cold wrath waters. Wrath surged in each and rage took over. Erilyium clawed Abiyram and successfully poisoned him. But Sagittel drove his cold iron arrow deep into the quasit’s heart and killed her. Remicus rendered Abiyram unconscious before he harmed anybody else. Sagittel dropped some remaining blood from the quasit into the runewell to generate one last sinspawn and thereby drain the runewell of its remaining power. The heroes handily defeated the last sinspawn.

Searching the quasit body yielded +1 returning dagger (tiny), a miniature tiara, miniature black silk gown and an obsidian unholy symbol of Lamashtu.

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