The campaign will focus more or less exclusively on Sephira for a while, so that we can catch her up to what's happening in Geoff....and because there's a specific event that doesn't occur until she gets back, which was also a driver for putting all the other groups on pause or writing then out entirely.
Review of what has gone before: still searching for the Auran Bulwark, the Lammasu that her family crest is modeled after, Sephira and company have attacked a temple occupied by yuan-ti, and have entered the obligatory prison level of the yuan-ti dungeon. They have released some (but not all) of the prisoners, so if someone wants to add another character to the party, this is a good time.
What the party is looking for is the second piece of an ankh that allegedly can be used to summon the temple of the Auran Bulwark, and thus release him from whatever imprisonment he’s in.
Having opened the first two cages, the rest of the prisoners are now trying very hard not to make a whole bunch of noise to get your attention, cause they want to get out of here too. Kara and Herzog enter from upstairs, and report that the party is being actively looked for on the upper levels.
Blank looks up and gives a be patient gesture as he starts moving to the next cage to open it.
Syl has a hand on his bow and an arrow ready to rock in case things get crazy
The next cage that has anyone in it is fourth on the left, but there are other cages down the hall. This one has….an orc!
Orc- “Hello elf!”
Blank goes up and takes his time to but stops when he sees an Orc, “ummm, hello…are you going to try an eat us if we let you out?”
Orc- “Nope! I help you kill the snake men!”
Blank, “quieter please.” then against his instincts he starts working to open the lock.
Orc, more quietly. “Ok, ok. I Thoburk.”
Blank, “I am DeBlanc, Phillin Deblanc. Hias Secret Service. A pleasure I am sure.”
Syl hears the conversation and says “I am Syl, and when you say snake men, you mean men that became snakes or snakes that are men, cause there is a big difference.”
Thoburk- “Ummmm I mean men that are also snakes. Like big snakes with arms or men with snake heads. Maybe they turn into snakes. I don’t know.”
Syl licks his lips and says “ooohhh so maybe reverse mermaid situation, snake up top, man below..”
Sephira - “How many more people do you see, Blank?”
Blank, “I cannot see into the other cells right now.” Thinking that this door is extra stuck.
The door is wedged a bit, but it is now unlocked.
Thoburk- “Good job, Deblanc!”
Blank, “You can call me Blank.” he then moves to open the cell door as quietly as he can.
Thoburk- “OK.” He look around. “Are there weapons and armor I use? I can fight.”
Sephira - “Over here, I’ve got scimitars, bows, and armor too, if it fits you.”
Blank points to Saphira, “talk to the boss.”
Syl nods in agreeance “Yeah, talk to the boss.”
Thoburk- “Great!” He equips himself with a set of masterwork studded leather, a yuan-ti longbow with arrows, the masterwork steel shield, and a masterwork falchion.
Blank starts moving down to check more cells.
Syl follows Blank with his bow and arrow ready.
As you pass the gap in the cells you can clearly see that there is a large pit, and clearly smell that this is where all the garbage goes.
Blank waves to the pit, “Syl, you should probably check that out.”
Syl and Blank both notice a tentacle, possibly with eyeballs on it, peering over the edge of the garbage pit at you.
Once he’s dressed, Thoburk introduces himself to everyone. “Hello, hobbit. Hello other elf, hello third elf. Man, lots of elfs in this group. Hello human.”
Kedri has flown over to Thoburk to sniff his head.
Thoburk- “Hello flying cat.”
Syl looks to Blank as he moves to his left, “You think that tentacle is a bad thing?”
Kedri whips her head around at the word “tentacle” and stares at it intensely.
Blank sighs, “let's find out what is watching us. I think everything is bad.” Then draws his swords and starts moving down the hall.
Syl pulls back on his bow and waits “Say the word and I’’ll shoot” he says to Blank.
Sephira, theater whisper - “What did you find? Do you need all of us?”
Herzog has also advanced a bit.
Blank, “don’t know yet.”
Sephria sees the tentacle as well when she peeks around the corner. Currently it’s just sitting there watching you.
“Kedri, please scout the cells and let me know how many people are left.” Kedri starts down a hallway, keeping her face toward the tentacle until she can’t see it anymore around the corner.
Blank can look down either hallway for the second bank of cells, some of which are empty, some of which are not.
Immediately to blank’s right, he hears someone. “Hey! Hey! On your right!”
Blank looks at Syl, “you said, say the word.” then waives towards the tentacle. Then looking towards the right, “quite, or they will come and we won’t be able to save you.”
Sephira - “Syl, keep an eye on the tentacle but don’t attack yet please. Blank, focus on getting people out.”
Over Syl’s shoulder, another prisoner starts talking! “Hey, elf! Let me out!”
Syl keeps looking at the tentacle. “Im ready whenever. Agent Syl is on the case.”
Blank lowers his head, “Shoot it already.”
Kedri reports no one else down this hallway. She moves to the next one.
Syl lets loose an arrow!
Syl’s arrow is on target…but the tentacle moves too fast and gets out of the way.
Syl sees it move and yells “Oh yes ladies and gentlemen, we got ourselves a live one today.”
You all hear a deep growl from deeper in the hole.
Blank, “stop shouting.” takes a few more steps forward and waits to see if it comes out.
Now three more prisoners reveal themselves, also seeing as how you all are shooting at stuff. At the corner is a male human (Kaleb), just past him is a human woman, and at the end of the hall is definitely a female human.
On the other side is a male dwarf, and halfway down is a dead guy.
Kedro flies past Syl, Herzog, and Blank to check the last section.
Blank, “Sephira, can you fireball the pit?”
Syl looks to Blank, as he pulls another arrow and gets it ready, “Isn’t burning garbage, like, bad for the environment or something like that?” he asks
Sephira - “I summon things, remember? Not fireballs. Let me think if I have anything that can help.”
Blank, “it is not worse than taking advantage of a surprise. Can you summon something in the pit?”
“Want me to try shooting it again?” Syl asks
Sephira - “I’ll put another centipede in the pit for it to fight with.” She starts her spell, approaching the pit so she can place the summon in it.
Blank holds his swords at the ready and just watches.
Syl looses one more shot on the tentacle!
The huge centipede appears out of nowhere. Now distracted by the giant opponent, the tentacle doesn’t notice the second arrow coming at it. Despite being an arrow, this somehow manages to slice the end right off that tentacle, which does a neat little cartwheel and flops onto the edge of the pit. It squirms a little bit before laying still, they eyeballs rolling back. The monster roars in anger!
Syl fist pumps the air and grabs another arrow, “And the next one is going between the eyes you dirty whore!”
Two other tentacles appear from the pit, but these don’t have any eyes on them, and so are really just flailing about wildly.
Blank moves around the centipede towards the side of the room to start getting towards the back of this thing.
Blank has to fight off some pretty severe nausea from the smell of the pit, but manages to do so. He also gets the impression that the otyugh hasn’t noticed him.
Herzog, what with the giant centipede and Blank moving around the back, doesn’t so anything this round.
The centipede looks like it was about to barf as well, but manages not to. It decides to bite back by sticking its head in the hole and gnashing. It doesn’t work.
Sephira summons 3 fiendish wolves, and tells them to sit and wait.
Syl realizing he has no shot, runs up to the edge of the pit. He also fights off a wave of nausea from the smell.
The otyugh’s tentacles kind of flail around uselessly. It occurs to Syl that he blinded it, otherwise it would have attempted to grapple him.
The otyugh flails around trying to grab something and
Syl sees the tentacle thrashing, “seems to me that it can’t see if the eye is out.”
Thoburk, being a brave, if slightly foolish orc, runs up after Syl with his bow and takes a shot in the pit as well. Thoburk barfs in route, but keeps upright. He fires a shot into the pit but it richoets off the side.
Sephira notices, at the end of the hall, a yuan-ti…that she can see through. And who is gliding toward her silently, arm outstretched.
Sephira yells - “Got a yuanti ghost or shadow form or something something over here, help! Kedri, out of the way!”
Blank uses his boots of swift passage to teleport down and behind the monster. Then swings at the monster, hitting the monster once.
It’s a solid hit, but Blank notices that the tentacles now know exactly where he is!
Back in the prison the see-through yuan-ti glides over to Sephira, right through her fiendish wolves like they’re not there, and tries to touch her. She is creeped out at this, and dodges out of the way.
Herzog, having heard Sephira shouting about ghosts, casts spiritual weapon and has his weapon take a swing at it. The force staff poofs into existence and smacks the ghost upside the head.
Herzog- “One of the few times I wish that Fharlanghn granted me power over undead. Oh well.”
Sephira cheers, “Yeah, take that!” and then decides to keep to her original plan. She keeps a wary eye on the ghost thing and casts benign transposition on one of the wolves and the person to her right.
The fiendish wolf gives a disappointed whimper.
Daverov the Dwarf- “Wha…? Hahahahah!”
She then takes a step back. Kedri withdraws as quick as she can. “Feel free to bite it if you can!” she says to the wolves.
All three wolves bite at the ghost, and all of their bites pass right through it.
Syl, who can see the monster and is in range, lets loose three arrows at the monster!
Syl puts three arrows down the otyugh’s gullet, and it immediately stops moving.
Thoburk- “Wow! Good shooting, elf!”
Syl nods to Thoburk “Told ya, right through the gut, cause it was a dirty whore.” he says with a smile.
Thoburk- “hahaha it funny cause it a joke with multiple meaning!”
Blank teleports back to the top of the pit and starts moving around to see what is happening now that the thing in front of him is laying dead.
Thoburk- “That disgusting, and I orc saying this.”
Blank, “yeah, it is not that great…smells really bad. Also, we should check on Sephira, she did call for help.”
The ghost moves forward to touch Sephira again. She doesn’t quite dodge out of range and feels a bone rattling chill as she suddenly…can’t quite think straight.
Herzog has his spiritual staff smack the ghost a couple of times, but it doesn’t really notice.
Sephira thinks to herself - “what was I doing? Right, change people with wolves.” She casts another benign transposition after taking another step back.
The centipede turns around, but can’t really do anything.
Daverov- What? A ghost!? Aiieeee!
Kaleb- “What!?! Oh shit, a ghost! Aieeee!” He runs to the far end of the hallway.
Syl moves to Herzog, and then shoots one arrow at the ghost. It passes right through the ghost and bounces off the bars behind him. “Aw shucks” Syl says
Thoburk- “Ughhhhhh the ghost is bad.”
Blank continues his way back to see what is happening.
The see-through yuan-ti, now in what might be called a target rich environment, furrows his brows and touches the wolf in the cage. It collapses.
Herzog has his spiritual staff smack the ghost a couple more times. He hits once. Then he grabs Sephira and moves briskly away from the ghost. “Stay over here, will you?”
Sephira - “Wait, I gotta do the spell!” She switches orange guy with the last free wolf.
Rollin- “Agh! The ghost! Aieeeee! He also runs to the end of the hall.
The centipede moves a bit closer to the ghost.
Syl lets loose two arrows at first, then waits.
The ghost dissolves!
Thoburk just tries to stay out of the way.
Sephira - “Hey! Free people! I’ve got weapons and stuff for you!”
Once the ghost dissolves everyone cautiously heads into the open area, but there are still voices down one of the hallways. “Hey! Hey! What about me!”
The centipede looms over everyone, looking around like it’s not sure what to do. The wolves who are now in cages bark.
Blank, “anything else, or how many more people do I need to let out?”
Female Voice- “Me! Right here!” Blank can see a human woman waving at him.
Sephira - “Kedri said… I don’t remember.” Kedri flies cautiously over to Sephira, and rubs her head against Sephira’s.
Herzog- “Are you okay?” He examines you, all doctor like.
Another female voice- “and me down here!”
Blank heads down the hall and goes to open the first cell containing the female.
Syl is too busy being full of himself and is just head in the clouds of how hard he worked today.
Sephira - “I feel like I’m missing something. And cold. What was I doing?” Kedri yowls at Herzog. She sounds concerned.
The human female in the cell is overjoyed at being released. She jumps at Blank and gives him a big smooch. “Oh thank you thank you!”
Blank returns the kiss in an extreme bond like fashion, “oh you are welcome, but I have more work.” Then moves down to check the last cell.
Blank sees that this last prisoner isn’t actually human, but is a yuan-ti pureblood. She looks at him evenly.
Blank looks back at the yuan-ti, “and why are you in there?”
Yuan-ti- “Does it matter? Just let me out.”
Blank, “Oh it absolutely matters. It is the difference between you getting out and Syl filling you full of arrows right there.”
Sephira comes over to the end of the hallway, while pulling weapons and armor haphazardly out of her bag and dropping them on the floor. “Whatcha talking about over here?” The wolf puts its head through the bars to get petted when Sephira is in arm’s reach. She obliges.
The yuan-ti woman huffs. “Fine. Everyone else was too concerned with my business and how I did things, instead of just leaving me alone.”
Blank, “That still doesn’t tell me anything. I am now concerned with your business. If you want to be free, I need to know what your business was and how you did things.”
Yuan-ti Woman- “The leadership here can’t have any deviation from how guard duties are done, it’s their fault for not being flexible.”
Herzog and Thoburk are handing out weapons and armor to anyone who wants them. Daverov the dwarf is trying to get the hometowns of everyone in the party; apparently he’s offering to send all of you a 200 gp reward for his rescue.
Sephira - “What! There’s a …yu…snake lady in jail too! Are you gonna try to kill us?”
Blank, “ok, they are not flexible, and what did you do that was not within the limits of your post?”
Yuan-ti Woman- “Taking a nap while all these prisoners are locked in their cages is just too much.” She looks at Sephira- “Of course not! I just want to get out of here.”
Sephira - “But like we’re gonna kill all the other yu…yu… snake people though. Won’t you be lonely?”
Yuan-ti Woman- “Oh, nope. I’ll be fine.”
Blank can clearly tell that she is saying whatever she thinks will get her released.
Blank, “The only thing you did was take a nap while guarding these prisoners? If they have people guarding the prisoners, why is there no other yuan-ti down here?”
Sephira - “WAIT WAIT WAIT. I needed to talk to a snake person for… something. I had a question.” She yells down the hall “HERZOG WHAT DID I NEED TO ASK A SNAKE PERSON????”
Blank looks over his shoulder to Sephira and then back to the Yuan-ti, “you are not convincing me that you are being truthful. Sly, want to see if you can shoot a tail of a snake?”
Herzog- “Ooooh, ahhh, oh yeah. What do they know about the Auran bulwark’s temple, and how to unseal it. OR where’s the piece of the ankh? Also, stop shouting!”
Sephira whispers - “Sorry.”
Blank, “and at this point let me do the interrogation please.”
Sephira - “I should do it! I just feel kinda… um… not right, so fine, you do it.” She goes back to pulling armor and weapons out of her bag. Kedri lands next to her, walking gingerly in the grime, and leans against her protectively.
Herzog comes over. “I’ll cast restoration on you tomorrow and see if that helps. If that was a ghost he might have drained some of your intelligence, it looks like.”
Blank looks to the Yuan-ti, “well there is that for you. We will let you live until tomorrow at the least. Doesn’t mean that I still won’t let Syl practice aiming at your tail.”
Yuan-ti- “Well are you going to let me out, or leave me in here?”
All of the other civilian types are armed and armored as much as they want to be.
Blank, “You have not convinced me you are telling the truth. I think you are giving me just enough to maybe let you out. So no, I am leaning towards you being a pincushion for Syl’s arrows.”
She crosses her arms and huffs. Clearly she thinks your threats are empty.
Blank whips out a dagger and flings it at her tail.
She screams in pain. “AAAAAAH dammit! What the fuck!?!?”
Blank looks her over trying to determine how much more of that she can take, “That is nothing, Sly starts shooting at you and you probably won’t make it long.”
She looks like she could take a few more hits.
Syl nods, and moves up to the Yuan-ti woman and shoots her once. She falls over dead immediately.
Blank glares at Syl, “now you want to help.”
Syl glares back, “I thought you had it the entire time”
Blank, “I do have it, we are not trying to kill her.”
Herzog- “Hey, are you guys executing unarmed defenseless prisoners?”
Blank, “Syl is not controlling himself, so we might be. Can you please come keep her from dying.”
Syl looks to Blank “Last time i checked, there is no international law or agreement that says I can’t execute an unarmed prisoner. None at all, no law or convention from a neutral city in a neutral country that says that specifically.”
Herzog- “I can look.” Herzog comes down and with a glance. “Haaa, no, she is super dead. Also, she would do the same to us in a heartbeat, so looks good to me. Also, also, a slaver, soooo Fharlanghn says she should die. Good riddance.”
Blank sighs, “I know, but I wanted to ask Sephira’s questions first and actually get honest answers.” Then he unlocks the cell and goes in to retrieve his dagger. Once inside he also checks to make sure there is nothing of intelligence value on her body.
Blank finds nothing of value, intelligence or otherwise. Blank notes that Syl and Sephira match that finding at the moment
When you get back to the main area, Thoburk has put himself in charge of the other ex-prisoners, who aren’t arguing cause a) he looks like he halfway knows what he’s doing, and b) hasn’t tried to attack anyone.
Sephira - “We should get out of here. This place is sooo dangerous and I’m out of spells.”
Blank, “there are a few rooms in this next area we should check, and then maybe we can fortify ourselves in the rooms and rest the night. That way you and Herzog can get spells back.”
Thoburk- “I take these weak wimpy people out and lead them to safety. I meet you in the village by the sea, okay?”
Sephira - “Oh yeah, that’s what we were doing with prisoners, getting them outside. Thanks, Thoburk!”
Thoburk- “Welcome. Kill all yuan-ti for me, OK? I also grab other prisoners and take them, and if any still in village, them too.”
Sephira - “You bet!”
Thoburk directs the others out at a run, exeunt stage left.
Sephira - “My centipede and wolves are gone!” She looks sad.