Corruption of Azim

Chapter 12

Treasure and Premeditated Murder

“Trading one noble idiot for another wasn’t what I had in mind,” Asmodeus said. He looked a bit frustrated, but then the wizard sat back and put his hands together. A smile grew across his face. “But there are ways we can use this to our advantage.”

Gaimon knew that look. Asmodeus was plotting. The elf hoped that this new bit of plotting would lead to more fighting. Working with the local militia wasn’t nearly as violent as Gaimon preferred, yet somehow he found himself enjoying the work of explaining tactics to the townsfolk.

He looked over at the gnome sitting next to him. Nock looked somewhat disheveled. He had dark circles under his eyes. Apparently he wasn’t sleeping very well during the days and it left him a little bit irritable.

A sneer from Nock led Gaimon to look over and see Dustin approaching.

“Good evening, m’lady,” Dustin addressed Elandra as he presented a flower. “What’s with him?” he asked regarding Asmodeus. The wizard was sitting with his hands clasped, lost in thought. He hardly moved, even when his raven familiar hopped from the back of the chair to his shoulder.

“Nobles and their troops are on their way,” Gaimon replied.

Elandra repeated the news that she had just given to Asmodeus. Then the wizard sat forward and spoke.

“We just need to turn these events to our favor. I have some ideas.

“First of all, Dustin you should do your best to get Renferell feeling conspiratorial. See if you can get some information out of the Corbain servant, then we’ll see about framing the Corbain family for the assassination attempt!

“Next, Gaimon and I will try to rile up the militia. We’ll tell them that they don’t need more nobles telling them how to run their town. It’s time for them to break out from under the boot of Validras! Nock can help by performing shows about tyrants and planting some Suggestion spells.

“Then, once we’ve instigated a riot, we’ll grab the loot from the mayor’s treasury. The people will rise up against the nobles — maybe even kill Renferell for us! We just have to stick around long enough to—”

“This is madness talk!”

Gaimon was surprised at Nock’s interruption. The gnome stood on his chair with his hands on the table. Snarling and a bit fiesty after too many long nights, Nock continued.

“If nobleman be coming and with army, they kill all townsmen who fight. I’s say keep to shadows. Take money, kill Renferrel, leave town. We’s no chance of winning fight with armies. This town burn altogether before we’s win.”

“He’s right,” Elandra said softly. “The nobles wouldn’t think twice about killing anyone who’s involved with a rebellion. Besides, I doubt you could get the people of this town to riot anyway. They’re scared. Scared of gnoll attacks. Scared that Renferell can’t even keep his own mother safe, much less them. An incoming army to rid them of these threats will be more than welcome.

“And I don’t know if any of us ought to be in town when the nobles show up. It’s going to be a dangerous place.”

Asmodeus frowned. Gaimon knew that this isn’t what the wizard wanted to hear, he who had long talked about ridding the town of Validran influence.

“Well, we can at least find out about this army,” Dustin said. “I can take my horse and scout the road. Or better yet, you can send your raven that way and report back on numbers and equipment.”

Dustin paused when Corbinian looked at him with head cocked to the side. The sorcerer looked slightly uncomfortable. “You know, if it can do that sort of thing.”

“I can,” the raven squawked.

Asmodeus held up his hand to silence the group. He took a long look at Nock, then said, “You’re right, my diminutive friend. I believe we should wrap up our work here quickly. The time for planning is over. It’s time to act.”

He gave a curt nod to the gnome. Then the wizard continued, “Gaimon and I will still go talk to McArthur, see if we can’t get him to trust nobles less, and tell him we’re going to be leaving soon. You would still do well to influence the key leaders of the militia, but it’s time to cut and run.

“Instead of riling the mayor up,” Asmodeus said turning to Dustin, “we need him to have a false sense of security. Help him feel safe. Once he and his men aren’t as much on guard, then we’ll be able to loot the treasury. I’m also thinking of framing Grosh for the murder of the mayor. Under the payment of the Corbain family, of course.”

“Uh, how is that going to work?” Dustin asked. “Grosh is locked up. What, are we going to kill Jake and then let the half-orc out? And with our hands full of treasure?”

Asmodeus sighed. Obviously his ideas were being stifled by details. Plans within plans within plans. That’s what he often says. But there’s not much time for that now.

“Well, let’s put first things first,” Elandra said. “How are we going to get into the fort to loot the treasury?”

“We?” Dustin asked.

“Yes, we. Don’t think I’d miss this chance at getting rich,” Elandra replied with a smile.

“Well, I assume we’d do this at night. We’ll have to be careful of the guards that walk around the walls of the fort. The front entrance is no good… too heavily guarded. But there are a few other possibilities.”

DM
I tried to incorporate as much of the previous posts as I felt fit together.

Here’s the information you wanted about the fort. Most of your characters would know the basic info anyway:

The fort is in better upkeep than the rest of town, mostly because it is mostly made of stone. But it still shows it’s old age and wear. The walls are 20 feet high all around, though in a few places there is a little bit of damage and moss growing along large cracks. Guards walk along the tops of the walls both day and night.

Within the walls there are four buildings with the center area a large courtyard. The north side is the large house where Renferell and his servants live. In the southeast corner is the military barracks. Underground beneath the barracks is the prison. On the southwest corner is a tower that gives a good view of the land all around. On the west side between the tower and the house are the stables.

The main gate is along the south wall. It is a large gate with heavy portcullises that are closed at night. There are also two other smaller gates on the east and west. The west side gate is heavily overgrown, so the portcullises stay closed and there is no guard. The east side gate is used by the soldiers and is usually guarded.

It’s very possible that you could go over the north wall. The overgrown gate is rarely guarded, but might be hard to get past the overgrowth and you’d need someone (Dustin?) to let you in from the inside. At night there are soldiers patrolling along the walls, at the other gates, and usually in the courtyard.

A distraction may be very useful. But be warned that since much of the old fort is made of stone, not just anything will burn. The stables are probably the best bet—they are made of the most wood, plus the horses would be frightened.

I know you’d like to frame Grosh for Renferell’s murder, Eryx. But you’ll need to supply some details. I’m guessing that you were planning to kill Renferell yourselves (maybe letting Nock do that), but I don’t see how you can pin it on Grosh. You’ve already framed him, now he’s in jail where it’s difficult to murder anyone.

I’d like to jump forward to when the party goes to the fort to rob the treasury (plus whatever else you do there). So let’s get the details sorted out here in the gray box. I may write up a bit more dialog, but I want to get to the meat of the next big scene. I’ll reveal the party’s plan as they go through with it. It’s currently evening, so I’m guessing you’ll want to wait until the next night (or two nights?) which gives you time to prepare.

Eryx
Asmodeus will want everybody to leave town except for Dustin, who of course is our man on the inside. It’s going to look mighty suspicious if he leaves leave the night that the mayor is killed and the treasury is robbed. I think Dustin has to stay in town for a day or two after these events. What do you think, Karasu? I’m thinking that Nock should leave immediately, maybe have one more show if he wants to, then head out to where our loot is stashed. And of course everybody should be geared up for winter traveling (buy Cold Winter Outfits on p. 129 of the PHB). It should start snowing soon, I expect.

Asmodeus will say goodbye to Mr. Latham, his family, and McArthur (trying to foster some semblance of rebellion that might germinate later-more “good luck with more idiot nobles that you don’t need” than anything). If asked why so suddenly leaving he’ll point out that he’s been in town for many weeks now, and that he never said he was staying long. Besides, a friend has asked for his help, and he wants to hit the road before it gets too cold.

He and Gaimon will leave the next morning after Nock leaves (whenever that is-they’ll be leaving one day later than Nock). Leave through the south entrance of town, then meet Nock on the North side by the loot.

Sometime during the next day or night, Asmodeus will use his gaseous form to learn two things about the fort. First, where is Grosh in the prison? Basically, if he’s got lots of guys in the cell with him, framing him is mostly out the window. Second, is the Golem alerted to Asmodeus in his gaseous form? If not, then life just got immeasurably less complicated, as he can just sneak in and load up bags of holding on his own over a few days.

DM
FYI, the chapter started on Oct 26. Asmodeus would go at night because it is safer, so the night of Oct 27 to allow for spell preparation. Here’s what he found out while using his Gaseous Form to investigate the fort:

- The prison is underneath the barracks and is really only accessible from within the barracks. There is a foyer in the main entranceway to the barracks which has stairs that lead down to the prison. Apparently the prison entrance is guarded day and night.
- The prison itself has poor ventilation. Aside from the main entrance which has door with a barred window, there are barred vents that lead up through the stonework of the barracks to the outside. There are no windows. In his gaseous form, Asmodeus could enter and exit via the vents.
- The prison has 12 cells in two rows of 6. Between the cells are stone walls that limit visibility and communication.
- Only 5 of the 12 cells are currently occupied. One prisoner is Grosh. The rest are unknown, but you suspect they are all Outcasts. They are all in the 5 closest cells to the door, with Grosh closest to the door on the left-hand side.
- All the prisoners are chained by a leg to the center of their cells. There is enough slack in the chain to allow them to move around within their cell and even reach through the bars.
- The prison also has a small room with a table and manacles. You suspect the room is used for interrogations.

- With help of a description from Dustin, Asmodeus was able to find the treasury. But down those stairs it was completely pitch black, so the wizard wasn’t able to discern much down there.
- The golem did not react to Asmodeus while in gaseous form. No glowing eyes, no movement.
- Asmdoeus used the walls to navigate the room. He was able to find the door into the treasury, but could not pass through it. He is uncertain whether the door was protected by some kind of magic or whether it was just air-tight.

Asmodeus had to use 4 castings to make his investigations. He was able to find dark, unattended corners to recast his spell and he believes he was undetected.

Karasu
So, the way I see it, we can do this surreptitiously or we can really create carnage. Given what Asmodeus has discovered, Nock will suggest the following plan:

“We’s leaves town, and sneaks back,” he says smiling. “Someones not me climb the wall and lets us insides. I kills guards at prison door, then kills the dirty orc and friends. Quickly, quietly. Elandra’s sneaky. She can comes with me. Meantimes, you three takes the gold. Mayhaps you find the mayor and Breathwaite kills him too. We sneaks back as quiet can be and leave this town always.”

Dustin will politely disagree: “It’ll be too hard to keep everyone silent. We need a distraction,” he says flexing his flame-calloused fingers. “On one of my visits, I’ll get Jake a little drunk, then go out for some air and make the stable a tinderbox. In the confusion, I’ll go to the west gate, which is unguarded. You four be ready on the other side. I’ll burn the vegetation and together we’ll force it open. Perhaps our lord of the ninth hell has a spell to force to open, or Elandra can use her talented fingers to pick the lock. We should all go together, forget the half-orc. We need to pool our manpower to take the treasure, not to mention our skills if it comes to fighting guards or a pesky cleric. With the choicest items in hand, we’ll be on our way before the stable burns completely. On the way out, I’ll take the rearguard, make sure that fort has seen better days. In a word, burn everything that takes to fire.”

Nock and Dustin look expectantly at Asmodeus and Gaimon, perhaps to settle their disagreement.

Eryx
Gaimon will be in favor of Nock’s plan, even though he wouldn’t personally kill Grosh. However, the elf will be overridden by Asmodeus.

“As much as I would like to see the half-orc suffer more, he’s not our main objective. I’m sorry Gaimon. I know you wanted to see him dead, but that’s just not going to be possible. I expect you’ll get your fill of violence, though.”

For the first time anybody else in the group can see, Gaimon genuinely objects to Asmodeus. But the wizard is able to talk him down. They will go with Dustin’s plan. However, killing the mayor and Jorn aren’t just sidenotes. Asmodeus reminds the group that they are short two people. Tyrus and Shandra are gone because of Jorn (we’re pretty sure). “I have several spells in mind for our Cleric friend.” This is going to be more smash and grab. Get in, get violent, steal stuff (maybe even turn the Golem on the guards! haha) and then get out!

If opportunity presents itself, would Dustin be willing to stay behind?

Asmodeus is hoping to kill at least one guard in the mansion relatively close to the mayor and leave a dirty note in their suit. “Kill the mayor tonight. We’ll provide a distraction, since the incompetent Outcasts seem incapable of finishing the job !” It would be a good idea to make it look as if the guard crawled to try and burn the note to get rid of the evidence, then died trying.

Dustin would stick around and “help put out fires.” After finding all of this carnage, the mayor dead, a dead guard with a note, and hopefully a dead Cleric, “First rule of assassination,” he remarks over the dead guard, “kill the assassin. I want no part of whoever hates your family enough to have Jake killed and who can muster the manpower to do something like this.” Then Dustin can leave town in a hurry without looking as suspicious. Any injuries he sustains he can say he got trying to fight fires in the mansion. He should torch his own room to add to the story.

If Karasu doesn’t consent to Dustin’s staying (and he doesn’t have to until the last moments of the caper anyway so he has time to mull it over) it shouldn’t matter for the next portion of the narration.

Oh, and if you can do anything to get Jorn or the captain of the guard drunk as well, that would be nice, Karasu.

Everybody should bring enough bags, saddlebags, whatever to not be encumbered as far as speed. We have one (two, does Elandra have one?) bags of holding. That’s MORE than enough to make off with a substantial amount of platinum or gold or whatever. We don’t need to get greedy, though Asmodeus would like to try to find the magical items Dustin detected in the treasury. Dustin should cast Detect Magic in the treasury again and wait the three rounds so he can detect the exact items that are magic while the rest of us stuff the bags full. Does Dustin want the painting with his mother?

As they approach, Asmodeus will cast Mage Armor on Gaimon. Corbinian will be flying above the fort, watching for Dustin to make his move. I’ve updated my spells, and Asmodeus will have the staff of fire and will be wearing the magic gauntlets. Gaimon will be using the electric greatsword.

Let’s get this show on the road!

Edit: To be clear, we’ll be killing first, looting second.

Second edit: Here are the questions for Karasu:
1. Can you try to get Jorn and the Captain of the guard drunk?
2. If opportunity presents itself, would Dustin be willing to stay behind?
3. Does Dustin want the painting with his mother?


Karasu
1. Dustin can try to get Jorn drunk. He’ll certainly offer him some good wine, but given the fact that Jorn has never really trusted our intrepid nobleman, it’s not very likely. I’m not sure if Dustin is on good terms with the captain of the guards, but he’ll be invited to the party too.
2. Honestly, Dustin would be loathe to stay behind. He’ll resist that notion.
3. The painting, much like Drusilda in the flesh, engenders disgust and love in Dustin. He’ll probably decide he doesn’t want it, then pick it up last minute because he can’t help himself.

(Also, Eryx, please don’t roleplay Dustin. It’s great if you want to offer suggestions in terms of what he should do (because Asmodeus or Gaimon would), but providing monologue for him is a bit much.)

Eryx
Sorry, Karasu. I wasn’t clear. IF Dustin were to stay behind, it would be to do something like my dialogue. I was merely posting it to give you an idea of what Asmodeus wanted Dustin to do, but since Dustin’s not going to stay behind, it’s a moot point. Asmodeus would not press the issue.

Edit: We’ll be bring all our wands and potions. Nock has the healing wands, since he’s the only one that can use them. Asmodeus will give everybody Bull’s strength as they try to get the portcullis open, and then keep it up on Gaimon and Dustin the entire time in the fort.

Edit: After we escape, we’ll make a beeline for where we left the horses and then travel by torchlight/sunrod hard that night (won’t be terribly far from the fort, but not parked right outside either). Get as far away from the town as possible. Inque will stay behind and guard the horses during our assault on the fort.

Nock was the first to offer up a plan. “We’s leaves town, and sneaks back,” he said with a smile that had wiped away his irritability. “Someones not me climb the wall and lets us insides. I kills guards at prison door, then kills the dirty orc and friends. Quickly, quietly. Elandra’s sneaky. She can comes with me. Meantimes, you three takes the gold. Mayhaps you find the mayor and Breathwaite kills him too. We sneaks back as quiet can be and leave this town always.”

Dustin shook his head in disagreement. “It’ll be too hard to keep everyone silent,” he said politely. Then he held up his hand and stretched flame calloused-fingers. “We need a distraction.

“On one of my visits, I’ll get Jake a little drunk, then go out for some air and make the stable a tinderbox. In the confusion, I’ll go to the west gate, which is unguarded. You four be ready on the other side. I’ll burn the vegetation and together we’ll force it open. We should all go together, forget the half-orc. We need to pool our manpower to take the treasure, not to mention our skills if it comes to fighting guards or a pesky cleric. With the choicest items in hand, we’ll be on our way before the stable burns completely. On the way out, I’ll take the rearguard, make sure that fort has seen better days. In a word, burn everything that takes to fire.”

Nock grimaced. The two then looked expectantly at Asmdoeus and Gaimon to settle their disagreement in strategy.

* * *

Gaimon looked with disbelief as they approached the west side of the large fort walls. Dustin had said the gate was overgrown, but the Elf hadn’t expected this. The gate was hardly even visible behind all of the shrubs and vines.

“No wonder this gate is unguarded,” he muttered. “Is it even passable? I think they’ve forgotten it even exists.”

Elandra shrugged. “A least it affords us a place to hide.”

“We’ll make it work,” Asmodeus said curtly. Then he shushed the group and pointed to a guard walking his patrol on the wall above.

In truth, Gaimon wasn’t concerned with getting in. His bad mood was only due to his disappointment about leaving Grosh alive. He had sided with Nock’s plan but was vetoed by Asmodeus. For the first time in months Gaimon objected to the wizard and it surprised everyone.

At least the plan includes some killing. Gaimon wasn’t interested in a discrete theft of treasure. Gold and money had never interested him. But luckily Asmodeus hadn’t been content with a mere theft either. Renferell and Braithwaite were to be killed. And anyone else who gets in the way!

Once the guard passed their position, the group quickly rushed ahead into the heavy vegetation to reach the wall. A few branches and twigs snapped as they forced their way through, but nothing loud enough to be heard twenty feet above.

Gaimon took up his position along the wall a few feet from the gate. The outer portcullis was entwined with vines and bushes, so he crouched down waiting until noise at the gate announced Dustin’s arrival. Heavy metal clicks and squeaks were heard as Dustin unlocked the gate and opened the heavy wooden door. Then the sorcerer used his signature flames to burn and loosen the plants.

“The lever is jammed,” Dusin said as the group crowded around the gate. “Can you lift it?”

With a heavy grunt, Gaimon strained against the heavy metal portcullis. Although his desire to get inside and start killing was already beginning to feed his bloodlust, he wasn’t able to raise the barrier. Dustin tried to help from his side, but it still wasn’t enough.

“Here,” Asmodeus said as he reached into his robes and pulled out the wand of Bull’s Strength. Gaimon felt the magic flow through his muscles as Asmodeus tapped him then Dustin with the wand. Thus enhanced, their second attempt was successful. After the others were inside, Gaimon let the metal gate slam down behind him. Elandra cringed as it dropped, but on hitting the dirt the only sound it made was a soft thud.

It wouldn’t have mattered anyway. Now that they were inside they could see that Dustin’s distraction was already well in progress. Wild, panicked horses were heard inside the stables and soldiers were crying “Fire!” while trying to quickly draw water from the well in the center of the courtyard.

Running along the inner wall, Dustin led the group to a back door into the mayor’s kitchen. The servants had long since gone to bed. Quietly they moved along the stone hallways toward Renferell’s room.

“There should be two guards up ahead,” Dustin explained as he approached an intersection. “Jake’s room is the one at the end of the hall. Jorn’s is the last one on the left.”

DM
You are at a T intersection. A left turn leads to Renferell and Jorn’s rooms, as well as 3 other rooms and a small alcove where one guard should be posted. The hallway is about 60 ft. long with the alcove halfway down.

A right turn leads to the second guard who should be patrolling the way to the main front door.

How will you deal with the guards?



Eryx
Asmodeus will indicate to Nock and Elandra that they are to take out the guard to the left, in the alcove. Dustin and Gaimon will take out the guard on the right after he goes around the corner (checked with the DM to see that there is a corner and that he will go around it). Nock can go invisible and poke his head around to say when the guard on the right has moved around the corner and that’s when they will make their move. I imagine that Nock should do an invisible Death Attack while Elandra is nearby, ready to spring to action to help. Gaimon and Dustin should try to be quiet, but there’s a reason Asmodeus is sending them away from the mayor and Jorn’s rooms. Gaimon has mage armor, so he should go first. The guard on the left is the one we’ll want to try and frame, as stated in the previous gray box.

Asmodeus will give everybody Bull’s Strength except himself. He really isn’t going to do much with these guards though. He’s saving his spells for the confrontation with Jorn.

Gaimon will be sneaky until he rounds the corner and then will simply rush the guard while activating the greatsword’s enchantment. I authorize the DM to make necessary Move Silent rolls or whatever.

As per the DM’s instructions, I will roll a surprise round, initiative, and then 3 rounds of combat in case we need them.

Surprise Round: To Hit: 19 (roll) + 13 to hit = Oh, he’s going to die!
Damage: 12 (max weapon damage) + 4 (roll) + 4 (roll) + 1 (roll, shocking) + 8 (bonuses) = 29 total.

Asmodeus Initiative: 19 (roll) + 3 DEX = 22 total. Gaimon Initiative: 3 (roll) + 3 DEX = 6 total.

Gaimon Attack 1: 9 (roll) + 13 (bonuses) = 22 total.
Damage: 4 (roll) + 1 (roll) + 3 (roll) + 8 (bonuses) = 16 total.
Gaimon Attack 2: 17 (roll) + 5 (bonuses) = 22 total.
Damage: 2 (roll) + 2 (roll) + 6 (roll) + 8 (bonuses) = 18 total.

You know, I’m going to stop there. There’s no way the guard’s going to be alive at this point . . .

Karasu
It would appear that Nock and Dustin are each saving their strength in their own way. Nock shakes off the idea of casting invisibility. He wants to do things the old-fashioned way. Using all his stealth, he peers around the corner, ready for the moment when the guard is looking away or has his back turned to move in and deliver a sneak attack, if possible. If no opportunity presents itself, he’ll simply fire his crossbow at the guard.

Nock attack 1: 15 (roll) +6 (bonuses) = 21 total. Shortsword damage: 2 (roll) +1 (bonus) +4 (sneak attack) = 7 total. If Nock can’t sneak attack, then 3 (roll) +1 (bonus) = 4 total.
Nock attack 2: 15 (roll) +6 (bonuses) = 21 total. Shortsword damage: 2 (roll) +1 (bonus) = 3 total; or, Crossbow damage: 5 (roll) +1 (bonus) = 6 total.
Nock attack 3: 12 (roll) +6 (bonuses) = 18 total. Shortsword damage: 1 (roll) +1 (bonus) = 2 total; or, Crossbow damage: 5 (roll) +1 (bonus) = 6 total.


Dustin looks bored as he fires three volleys of magic missile into the guard, ceasing as soon as the unfortunate man crumples to the floor.

Magic missile 1: 4 (roll) + 1 = 5 total
Magic missile 2: 4 (roll) + 1 = 5 total
Magic missile 3: 2 (roll) + 1 = 3 total
Magic missile 4: 3 (roll) + 1 = 4 total
Magic missile 5: 4 (roll) + 1 = 5 total
Magic missile 6: 3 (roll) + 1 = 4 total


Eryx
As Nock peers around the corner, Asmodeus gets a look of exasperation, taps Gaimon, and then jerks his hand to the left. Gaimon is to attack the man in the alcove. [And just because Asmodeus is exasperated doesn’t mean I, Eryx, am.]

Quietly Asmodeus gave out instructions while tapping the group with the wand of Bull’s Strength. “Nock and Elandra, take out the guard on the left. Gaimon and Dustin, you’ve got the one on the right. Nock, you should go invisible… Nock?”

Nock wasn’t paying attention. He was already peeking around the corner to the right. Then, relying on stealth rather than magic, he slipped around the corner.

Asmodeus tapped Gaimon on the shoulder. The wizard had a look of exasperation as he jerked his hand to the left. Gaimon understood the order; his target had just changed. Not that he cared as long as someone was to die.

Not wasting any time, Gaimon moved around the corner. Light was coming from an alcove in the hallway ahead. Gaimon tried to move quietly, but he was a little too eager. His heavy plate armor clinked against the stone floor. He cursed under his breath, but knew he just needed to hurry and take out the guard. With greatsword in hand, he rounded the corner. A whisper of the sword’s command word caused the blade to spring to life, crackling with electricity.

The guard was asleep in a chair.

Gaimon paused for a moment in surprise. The adrenaline rushing through his system combined with his sadistic tendencies and he knew what to do. Indeed, what else was there to do? He leveled his greatsword at the man’s heart, then tapped the guard hard on the shoulder.

The lazy soldier woke and immediately took on a look mixing surprise, fear, and confusion. Before the man could move or even speak, the elf thrust his greatsword into the man’s chest with all his might. The chair toppled over with the force of the attack and carried the fresh corpse with it.

“Intruders! Murderers! Help!”

The other guard! The voice was loud and full of fear. Quickly Gaimon ripped his sword out from the chest of his victim. This left a spray of blood in an arc across the wall. He turned around just in time to see Elandra already darting off in the direction Nock and Dustin had gone. Gaimon followed.

Mentally he prepared himself. He knew there was a good chance that guards would be on their way and their prey would now be awake. Unconsciously, Gaimon grinned wolfishly as he imagined the fight they’d have on their hands. Asmodeus won’t be happy, but at least it wasn’t my fault! Nock will probably get chewed out for this—I’ll have to make it up to him later if we get a good fight.

Down the hall Gaimon saw a flash of light from Dustin’s hands as he cast a spell. Then he heard a faint cry and the sound of metal landing in a heap. Rounding the corner he saw Nock lowering his crossbow. The little assassin had just finished off the guard who had turned tail to run.

DM
Gaimon’s crit was super effective! Unfortunately, Nock and Dustin weren’t as quick in dispatching their foe. But they did take him down in just three rounds.

Dustin cast two of his Magic Missile spells after Nock started the fight with his sneak attack. The guard tried to fight Nock: his first attack missed, but the second hit to deal 4 points of damage. Then when the guard tried to run, Nock finished him off with a crossbow.

By the by, Nock could use a magical weapon or two to help his damage output. Just something to think about for the future. The Gnome is currently at 21/25 HP.

Asmodeus is still near the T junction. The rest of the party is on the right side where Dustin and Nock fought their guard.

What’s your next move?

Eryx
Asmodeus points at Gaimon. “Mayor. Now.” Gaimon will immediately obey and head for the mayor’s door. As he’s walking past, Asmodeus will continue. “On the bed, if at all possible.” Gaimon will nod.

Asmodeus will follow, pausing momentarily at the dead guard Gaimon crit to death. He’ll look at Nock. “Next time, let’s let the guy who can kill people in one shot take out the patrolling guard, eh?” Then he’ll indicate the mayor’s door. “Go help.” Asmodeus will listen intently for sounds on the other side of Jorn’s door, staff at the ready, the words of a Darkbolt spell in his mind if the cleric comes out. If Lady Isley comes out, he’ll whirl and launch a Burning Hands spell into her room, yelling “Stay in your room!” and slamming the door shut. Nothing to do now but see how everything unfolds now.

Gaimon will head into the mayor’s room and kill him on the bed if at all possible. He wants to get the mayor dead so he can get to the real fun—people who will fight back.

They want to try to make it look like the mayor was killed in his sleep. After he’s dead, they’ll move on to Jorn, if circumstances don’t dictate a change in plans, which they likely will.

Edit: I want to reiterate that ASMODEUS is slightly irked at Nock for not even deigning to try to follow his instructions. He just kind of assumed he was in charge. I, Eryx, am not at all irked, and don’t make the same assumption about who’s running the show. Just playing the character.

Pausing for a moment Gaimon listened to hear if any more guards were on their way. Faintly he could hear cries from outside. The fire must be keeping them busy. Then the group headed back to Asmodeus.

The wizard pointed at Gaimon. “Mayor. Now.”

Gaimon nodded and headed toward door that Dustin had previously described.

“On the bed, if at all possible,” Asmodeus instructed.

The group followed the elven warrior down the hallway. As he neared the mayor’s door he heard Asmodeus speaking. “Next time, let’s let the guy who can kill people in one shot take out the patrolling guard, eh? Go help.”

He loves being in charge. I bet he’s irked that Nock didn’t follow his instructions.

Gaimon flung the door open and charged into the room. The mayor started from his bed. His face was white with fear.

“Wh- who? Who are you? What do you want?”

But Gaimon answered nothing. With sword drawn he approached the mayor.

“Oh no! No! The assassin! Help!” Renferell squealed.

Looking back slightly Gaimon saw that Nock had followed him into the room. The gnome had a cold look in his eyes and Gaimon realized that Nock wanted to finish the job he’d failed at a month ago.

“Oh, that orc was right! You must be the ones responsible for Lady Amberly’s disappearance! Stop, no!”

Gaimon was slightly taken aback by this statement from the mayor, but he wasn’t about to let it interfere with his work. Putting down his sword he shoved Renferell down onto the bed. With one hand he pinned down a shoulder and with the other he covered the mayor’s mouth to muffle his cries.

Nock climbed up on the bed and knelt over the victim. “I’s finish it,” he said and brought up his dagger. A swift strong strike plunged the blade into the mayor’s heart. Renferell jerked hard once, but then grew still with death. But that didn’t stop Nock from stabbing him several more times in the chest.

With his target slain, Gaimon returned to the hallway where he saw his companions watching the doors. Asmodeus was standing with his ear at the door of the cleric’s room.

“It’s done,” Gaimon announced.

DM
Asmodeus can hear someone moving quickly about in Jorn’s room. He believes it to be the cleric.

What next? I know Eryx was keen on killing Jorn and perhaps having some dialog with him. If you are going to enter his room, please provide the order of who goes in first.

Eryx
Asmodeus’ eyes will alight with glee and a smile spreads across his face. The mayor is dead, and they’re about to confront the Cleric who sold one of their friends to the Darkrunners. The last month is finally paying off . . . but first there’s still work to do! He will indicate to Gaimon to precede him into the Cleric’s room, with the sword deactivated (in case Jorn recognizes it). He’ll say “follow my lead in conversation” to everybody.

Asmodeus is hoping for a chance to dialogue with Jorn. The points Asmodeus would like to make:

1. Asmodeus will indicate that “Enjelica” had been very excited to date the mayor. An opportunity for a better life, if she and the mayor hit it off. Then betrayed by the mayor’s chief advisor! Luckily, Dustin was able to alert them to what happened. Hopefully their other friend has caught up to the Darkrunners and freed her. If Jorn at any time tries to tell the story she gave him, Asmodeus will say something like, “close enough to the truth, she obviously trusted you a little, but not completely. Guess she shouldn’t have trusted you at all.”
2. Asmodeus will accuse him of selling someone to the Darkrunners that, quite frankly, didn’t deserve it. “But that’s how you nobles and rich folk deal with your problems. Sell people into slavery just because you don’t like them.”
3. But now that Jorn has sold her to the Darkrunners, the rest of the group are now here for revenge. i.e., if Jorn hadn’t been a jerk, he wouldn’t be about to die.
4. “Ruining people’s lives simply because you dislike them. I fear, my Cleric friend, you ought to trade your white robes for black ones. But that’s between you and your God.” Then, as dark magic crackles from the wizard’s fingertips, “Your arrogance has come back to bite you this time.”

Then they’ll kill him.

In short, he wants Jorn to second guess his previous actions, and hopefully himself, and then die. Feel free to shorten or condense if you can think a better way to get this all out in the open.

Gaimon will be pacing the entire time, watching Jorn, waiting to activate the sword and spring into action. His tension will have built up and he will immediately cut loose the moment he’s let off the leash.

If you want me to do rolls, DM, I can do that too.

Karasu
Nock takes no chances and casts invisibility on himself before slinking into the cleric’s room. He’ll study Jorn for three rounds, preparing a death strike while Asmodeus talks if the situation should require it. If some backstabbing looks likely, he’ll also cast true strike on himself.

Dustin takes a cue from Gaimon, mimicking him to the point that it would all be comical if they weren’t expert swordsmen carrying naked blades.

Eryx
As the two of them pace, Gaimon glances at Dustin and grins at him. This is a surprising side of Dustin. A fellow warrior, obviously.

Asmodeus eyes lit up with the news and he rubbed his hands together in a gesture that Gaimon recognized as one of pleasure. Then the wizard beckoned him over to a door which he had been listening at. It was the cleric Jorn Braithwaite’s room.

“Deactivate your sword for now. You’ll go in first, and I’ll follow,” he instructed. Then addressing the rest of the group, “Follow my lead in conversation.”

Then once Asmodeus gave the nod to go ahead, Gaimon threw open the door and walked in. The room was well furnished, though not as lavishly as the mayor’s room had been. A small bookshelf, a couch, bed, and dresser occupied the room. The cleric was standing at the dresser, and apparently was just finishing pulling on a tunic. He spun around to face them.

“Jorn Braithwaite, the betrayer,” Asmodeus began.

“Intruders! Murderers!” Jorn cried out. But it was more a cry of accusation and alarm than one of distress. The cleric grabbed a heavy-looking morning star that lay on the bed within easy reach.

Gaimon took his place in the room at the far side from the door to allow the others to enter. His muscles were tense with anticipation while he waited for Asmodeus to give the signal to attack.

On the other side of the room Dustin entered. He gave the cleric a wry grin, but said nothing. Instead he mimiced Gaimon’s movements and stances.

Meanwhile, Asmodeus continued to address the cleric. “You pathetic low-life. You’ve gone and sold someone to the Darkrunners who frankly didn’t deserve it, haven’t you?”

Jorn raised a hand and opened his mouth to say something but Asmodeus spoke over him. “But that’s just how you nobles and rich folk dea—”

A bright light and a loud roar suddenly filled the room as a column of white hot fire descended upon them.

DM
Apparently Jorn wasn’t willing to talk it over. The column of fire deals 20 points of damage to Asmodeus, Gaimon, and Dustin. Each of them may attempt a reflex save. A score of 18 or better will reduce the damage by half (10 points instead of 20). Luck has favored you somewhat though, as that spell could have done significantly more damage.

Nock and Elandra haven’t yet entered the room, but Nock has just cast Invisibility on himself.

Your characters have seen enough battle that you can guess that Jorn has opened with one of his most powerful abilities. You are certain that he can’t dish out that kind of damage consistently, but he does appear to be a formidable foe. You also guess that he’s prepared himself somewhat with spells before you entered.

Please post the following: your reflex save attempts, a (new) roll for initiative, and 3 rounds of actions. Of course, your save roll may help determine your next moves.

Eryx
Maybe we’ll get to more dialogue later. For now, it’s time to kill.

Asmodeus Reflex Save: 18 (roll) + 2 (bonus) = 20. Saved! Asmodeus is at 18/28 hitpoints.

Gaimon Reflex Save: 14 (roll) + 2 (bonuse) = 16 total. Full damage taken. Gaimon is at 25/45 hitpoints.

Asmodeus Initiative: 15 (roll) + 3 DEX = 18 total.

Gaimon Initiative: 20 (roll) + 3 DEX = 23 total.

Asmodeus immediately casts Drown on Jorn, then will unleash a hail of Magic Missiles. If the first Drown spell fails, he’ll cast it again. Also, he wants to identify the spell Jorn just cast.

Asmodeus Spellcraft: 15 (roll) + 16 (bonuses) = 31 total.

Magic Missile Attack 1: 1 + 3 + 4 + 4 (rolls) + 4 = 16 total.

Magic Missile Attack 2: 2 + 2 + 2 + 1 (rolls) + 4 = 11 total.

Gaimon will activate the sword and just go merrily swinging away. He gets +11 on normal attacks and + 5 on full-round attacks. I don't know if he has Bull's strength or not anymore. Wears off after 2 minutes. If he does, add + 2 to all these rolls.

Attack 1: 15 (roll) + 11 (bonuses) = 26 total. Damage: 4 + 4 (rolls) + 6 (shocking) + 6 (bonuses) = 20 total.
Attack 2: 16 (roll) + 5 (bonuses): 21 total. Damage: 5 + 5 (rolls) + 1 (shocking) + 6 (bonuses) = 17 total.
Attack 3: 12 (roll) + 11 (bonuses) = 23 total. Damage: 5 + 5 (rolls) + 5 (shocking) + 6 (bonuses) = 21 total.
Attack 4: 1 (roll) + 11 (bonuses): 12 total. Damage: 1 + 2 (rolls) + 3 (shocking) + 6 (bonuses) = 12 total.
Attack 5: 8 (roll) + 5 (bonuses) = 13 total. Damage: 3 + 5 (rolls) + 3 (shocking) + 6 (bonuses) = 17 total.
Attack 6: 14 (roll) + 5 (bonuses): 19 total. Damage: 5 + 2 (rolls) + 1 (shocking) + 6 (bonuses) = 14 total.

DM
Eryx brought to my attention that we have forgotten to specify how Dustin has been making fire during this chapter. My assumption is that at the gate he used Burning Hands to get rid of the vegetation. As far as lighting the stables ablaze, I’m open to the possibility that he used a non-magical means. But if it fits his character better, he might have used a spell (not to mention that it would have been quicker).

So Karasu, please let us know what you think on that. I bring it up since we’re in combat now and may very well affect the number of spells you have available.

Also, Asmdoeus’ Spellcraft check was sufficient to know that Jorn cast Flame Strike.

Karasu
Knowing Dustin, he would probably have used burning hands twice already, once to help at the gate, one to light fire to the stables.

Dustin Reflex Save: 7 (roll) + 4 (mods) = 11 total. He’s down to 12/32 hit points.
I’m assuming since Nock wasn’t in the room, the spell didn’t get him.

Dustin Initiative: 4 (roll) + 3 (Dex) = 7 total.
Nock Initiative: 20 (roll) + 1 (Dex) = 21 total.

Nock will proceed as planned, preparing true strike and studying Jorn to deliver the killing stroke. Dustin, really pissed (no one hurts him with fire), will unsheathe his weapons and enter melee with Jorn, merrily power attacking.

Attack Roll 1 (longsword): 7 (roll) +4 (BAB) +2 (Str) +1 (masterwork) -2 (two-weapon penalty) -4 (power attack) = 8 total. Damage: 8 (roll) +2 (Str) +4 (power attack) = 14 total damage.

Attack Roll 1 (sickle): 8 (roll) +4 (BAB) +2 (Str) -2 (two-weapon penalty) -4 (power attack) = 8 total. Damage: 11 (rolls) +5 (fire) +4 (power attack) = 20 total damage.

Attack Roll 2 (longsword): 20 (crit roll!) +4 (BAB) +2 (Str) +1 (masterwork) -2 (two-weapon penalty) -4 (power attack) = 21 total. Damage: 8 (roll) +8 (crit) +2 (Str) +4 (power attack) = 22 total damage.

Attack Roll 2 (sickle): 4 (roll) +4 (BAB) +2 (Str) -2 (two-weapon penalty) -4 (power attack) = 4 total. Damage: 8 (rolls) +4 (fire) +4 (power attack) = 16 total damage.

Attack Roll 3 (longsword): 12 (roll) +4 (BAB) +2 (Str) +1 (masterwork) -2 (two-weapon penalty) -4 (power attack) = 13 total. Damage: 1 (roll) +2 (Str) +4 (power attack) = 7 total damage.

Attack Roll 3 (sickle): 13 (roll) +4 (BAB) +2 (Str) -2 (two-weapon penalty) -4 (power attack) = 13 total. Damage: 10 (rolls) +2 (fire) +4 (power attack) = 16 total damage.


Gaimon had nowhere to dodge away from the flame and so it poured down upon him, searing his exposed flesh and heating his armor. It looked like Asmodeus dodged some of the damage, but Dustin was also caught in the flame.

“I? I a betrayer?” the cleric asked with indignation. “Then what does that make you, Dustin Ashe, so-called friend of Jacob Renferell?”

Gaimon spoke the command word that electrified his stolen greatsword and moved in to attack. He swung the sword in a wide horizontal arc. Jorn didn’t appear to be armored, so it surprised Gaimon when the cloth he wore resisted like metal. Magic armor?

But it didn’t matter, the force of the blow was significant and the cleric winced in pain. Then bringing the sword to bear again in a downward arc, Gaimon forced another blow to the enemy’s shoulder which left a long gash.

“Ruining people’s lives simply because you dislike them,” Asmodeus taunted. “I fear, my cleric friend, you ought to trade your white robes for black ones. But that’s between you and your god. Your arrogance has come back to bite you this time.”

The cleric paused for just a second as Asmodeus cast a spell, but then responded to Gaimon’s attack in kind. The heavy morning star he wielded struck Gaimon on the side of the face. Sharp spikes cut into his cheek causing blood to flow down his jaw. Then pain briefly clouded the elven warrior’s vision as the weapon struck home a second time against his chest.

With sword and flaming sickle in hand, Dustin joined the fray. But the cleric deftly parried the blows, one of them with his somehow-armored arm. Gaimon found himself impressed by the display. Penetrating his defenses was difficult enough without the Mage Armor that Asmodeus had cast on him. Yet this Jorn had managed two successful blows. Here’s a worthy fight!

“My service is to the Isley family,” Jorn retorted, “and that’s what the gods empower me to do! You think I’d feel remorse for a tiefling? Although my lovesick master never would have understood it, I did him a great service! And I’ll do him another by killing you and raising him!”

As Jorn spat his reply at Asmodeus, he left himself open for an attack. Gaimon took the opportunity to strike. Electricity arced off his blade as he lacerated the cleric’s leg. The enemy staggered. Gaimon could tell that Jorn was badly hurt.

“More soldiers!” The voice was Elandra’s coming from the hallway.

With a yell the cleric wheeled upon Gaimon. The elf gasped for breath as a vicious blow struck him in the stomach. Then the spikes ripped free and Jorn brought the weapon around for another strike. Pain coursed through his wounds with every beat of his heart which was now sounding like a drum. Gaimon knew he was as bad off as the cleric.

Gaimon tried to dodge out of the way, but the enemy was too quick. Everything went black as the morning star slammed into Gaimon’s helmet. For a brief moment Gaimon was aware of a powerful throbbing and the sensation of falling. Then the world disappeared into unconsciousness.

DM
Gaimon has been brought down! He is now at -3/45 HP. Jorn was able to hit him four times despite the elf’s high AC. But right after Gaimon went down, Dustin landed his critical hit to kill the cleric. Jorn Braithwaite is not just bleeding out—he is dead.

FYI, Jorn saved against Asmodeus’ first Drown spell, and then the second casting was resisted via spell resistance. Asmodeus would have recognized these two things. Apparently Jorn had buffed himself up with spells before you entered.

Only two rounds were needed to kill Jorn. But now there are soldiers in the hallway which Elandra has alerted you to. You don’t yet know how many there are or how close. Also, your Bull’s Strength has worn off.

Please give me three new rounds of actions.

Karasu
Nock walks over to the fallen elf and plays two musical chords of healing in his ear, effectively casting cure light wounds twice. With any remaining time, he’ll unsling his crossbow and stand ready to fire at the first soldier to walk through the door.

Nock crossbow attack 1: 7 (roll) +6 (bonuses) = 13 total. Damage: 5 (roll) +1 (bonus) = 6 total.

Without a word, Dustin strides into the hallway and sends a flaming sphere in the direction of the advancing soldiers. If there are soldiers coming from two directions, he sends a flaming sphere in each direction. Then he unsheathes his weapons again and assumes a fighting stance. His face is set hard as stone. He won’t advance but will attack any soldier that draws near.

Attack Roll 1 (longsword): 1 (roll) Miss!

Attack Roll 1 (sickle): 9 (roll) +4 (BAB) +2 (Str) -2 (two-weapon penalty) -4 (power attack) = 9 total. Damage: 4 (roll) +1 (fire) +4 (power attack) = 9 total damage.

Attack Roll 2 (longsword): 9 (roll) +4 (BAB) +2 (Str) +1 (masterwork) -2 (two-weapon penalty) -4 (power attack) = 10 total. Damage: 6 (roll) +2 (Str) +4 (power attack) = 12 total damage.

Attack Roll 2 (sickle): 7 (roll) +4 (BAB) +2 (Str) -2 (two-weapon penalty) -4 (power attack) = 7 total. Damage: 1 (roll) +6 (fire) +4 (power attack) = 11 total damage.



Eryx
Thanks for the heals!

Once up, Gaimon will bound up in full en guarde, see the dead cleric, ask who killed him, give a Nod to Dustin, then rush out to the hallway to help (I’m assuming that he can hear fighting by then). The DM can roll for him if he gets in combat in the next three rounds.

Asmodeus will spend one round grabbing anything he can off of Jorn, looking specifically for rings and pendants. Anything that doesn’t burn him (and he’s having doubts that Jorn was of a good alignment) he will take. He’ll also give the room a cursory glance for anything that looks like it might be of value, specifically on the bookcase. Spellbook, maybe?

Search Roll: 19 (roll) + 4 (bonuses) = 23 total.

Then it’s outside to help with the fight, Staff of Fire at the ready. Fireballs, specifically, will be used on soldiers in the hallway, depending on their numbers. Again, I authorize the DM to roll for me if Asmodeus gets in combat. If anybody gets in single combat, it will be magic missiles.

Asmodeus is also looking for an opportunity to stash the pre-written note on the guard outside that Gaimon killed if there are no guards that can see him. Asmodeus had been hoping to make it look like the guard was trying to destroy the note in the fire that Dustin will be using to burn the fort down. This is what the note says (a more complete version than the one from the basic plan outline above):

Kill the mayor tonight. Those idiot Outcasts overstepped their bounds, and won’t be able to finish the job they botched the first time anyway. You’re the last chance to get Renferell dead before our employer comes into town shortly. Don’t worry about your reward. You’ll get it from some associates who will be in town for just a few days. They’ll make sure the Isley family’s pet cleric doesn’t heal the mayor up. We can’t have him ruining our plans again.

Edit: Also, what does Corbinian see from his vantage point above the fort? Are the soldiers outside alerted to the goings on inside? How’s the fire going in the stables?

The next thing he knew, Gaimon thought he heard a chord of music play. A wave of energy flowed through him and dulled his pain. As he opened his eyes and lifted himself of the floor he saw Dustin yank his sword out of the back of the fallen cleric and flick the excess blood away.

Gaimon gave Dustin a nod of approval. Without a word, the sword-fighting sorcerer strode out the door into the hallway. The guards! Gaimon suddenly remembered. How long have I been out? Can’t have been long at all… just a few moments? Cries of battle then began to sound from the hallway.

As Gaimon sat up, Asmodeus stepped over and started pawing over the body of the cleric, searching for anything of value or interest. A second chord of music played and again Gaimon felt a surge of healing energy course though his body. He looked around, but saw nothing. Nock? He must be invisible.

Grabbing his sword, Gaimon stood up and hurried out the door. Five soldiers were in the hallway. One was quickly advancing with sword in hand while the other four lingered behind with light crossbows. A Flaming Sphere was also in the hallway, rolling toward the guards. One man looked like he’d already been burnt.

Then suddenly a small glowing streak of light flew toward the soldiers and detonated in a burst of flame and a low roar. Glancing back Gaimon saw that Asmodeus had emerged from the room with staff aloft. Two of the guards fell to the floor from the fiery attack, and the other two looked phased.

The ball of fire then rolled onward, overtaking one of the stunned guards. The man cried in pain and scrambled away from the glowing sphere. As soon as he could gain his feet he fled, disappearing around a corner.

Gaimon knew that the fleeing guard would bring more trouble, but he was too far away to do anything about it. Then something clanked against his armor. One of the two remaining guards had hit him with a crossbow bolt which was unable to penetrate his armor. Meanwhile the other guard had moved into melee range and cut Dustin with his shortsword.

With a swell of bloodlust, Gaimon brought his massive weapon to bear. Two solid strikes dropped the soldier in a bleeding heap. Then a stream of magical energy passed by him from behind. The Magic Missiles flew unerringly into the last guard who twisted in agony and fell with a soft thud onto the floor.

DM
Gaimon received healing from Nock. Dustin took two grazing and one critical crossbow hit. Here’s the current HP situation:
Asmodeus 18/28
Gaimon 19/45
Dustin 3/32
Nock 21/25

Four of the five soldiers are dead or bleeding out on the floor. One fled down the hallway. He was at the very end of the hallway shooting crossbow bolts, so he had a good 80+ feet head start on his run. You suspect that he’ll inform others about your presence.

Asmodeus knows via Corbinian that most of the soldiers outside are still trying to deal with the fire. They’ve gotten horses out of the stables, but haven’t been able to douse the fire yet. The bird hasn’t noticed anything that suggests the people outside know of your presence yet.

Nock is no longer invisible due to him firing his crossbow.

It would take more than a round (or three rounds) for Asmodeus to do a proper search of the room. So instead I used his Search check for checking the body and glancing around the room for items of interest.

Jorn had several holy symbols on his person for various gods. He did wear a small pendant on a chain around his neck, but no rings or bracers. You suspect that he was wearing glamered armor which appeared as a a nice servant’s robe. Nothing else of interest was on the body.

Looking around the room, there were some shelves and a dresser which may contain valuables, but there wasn’t anything that was immediately apparent. The bookshelf was caught in the Flame Strike and some of the books were singed. Without spending time at the books you don’t know if any of them are spellbooks. But Asmodeus does know that clerics don’t use spellbooks, so if there are any they wouldn’t originally have belonged to Jorn.

What will you do next? You suspect that you don’t have a lot of time before more soldiers come. By the way, Elandra is keen to get to the treasury rather than fight more guards. Will you search around or just move on?

You are out of combat, so you can give your next actions in general rather than specific rounds of actions.

Eryx
Asmodeus will ask Dustin to light the alcove on fire, probably using the Flaming Sphere that is still active (according to IMs with the DM, “in the alcove there is a chair, a little side table, a pair of tapestries and a painting of a landscape). They’ll want to make it look like the guard from that alcove was trying to burn the note, but didn’t quite make it (the note should be singed a bit, but not illegible). To do this, he and Gaimon will drag the guard and make it look like he died a few feet away, and then crawled back. Asmodeus will be in charge of dipping the man’s hand in his own blood to create handprints on the floor, and will then run in the room, cast Death Grimace on Jorn, and yank the pendant off of the cleric’s neck. Jorn’s right eye blackens and shrivels, leaving a gaping hole in his skull. Then he’ll cover his face with his robe, burst into Lady Isley’s room, and cast Reality Blind on her, keeping the spell up for just a few seconds.

If anybody objects to his taking time, he’ll remark that taking a few moments here will pay off in the long run.

On to the treasury! Edited: Asmodeus will note that it might be that they are the only ones with the password, but the possibility exists that others in the base might be able to actually control it. They should move fast and see if the Golem will obey any commands of theirs. It would be nice, unlikely, but nice, if they could actually control the Golem. Sick it on any soldiers that come to fight.

Gaimon will laugh out loud at that comment and the thought of the soldiers being squished by the Golem. Asmodeus will grin at him, but then put his fingers to his lips. They should still try to be quiet. People may be alerted to their presence, but that doesn’t mean they shouldn’t try to be stealthy.

Can Nock keep healing as we move? Dustin’s looking pretty bloodied up.

Karasu
Nock will retrieve his Wand of Cure Light Wounds and heal everyone to full strength as Asmodeus prepares the bodies and they walk toward the treasury. He’s peeved about the guard that got away, so he’ll quietly scowl as he goes.

As soon as the guards were dispatched, Dustin flicked his sickle to extinguish the flames. His cavalier attitude returns and he laughs as he shakes out his arms. “I’d say this old fort is beginning to reek of smoke and cured meat.”

Dustin is anxious to get to the treasury and fidgets a little while Asmodeus casts his spells. While he loves gold and a heist, the more he thinks about it, the more he knows he’s most anxious to get another glimpse of the portrait of his mother. He hasn’t quite decided whether or not he wants it, but is almost sure it merits closer inspection.


Dustin flicked his sickle and thus extinguished its magical flame. His serious battle face gave way to his more humorous, cavalier attitude. “I’d say this old for is beginning to reek of smoke and cured meat,” he jested as he shook out his arms.

“All the more reason to grab some treasure and get out of here,” Elandra said. “I didn’t come here to fight.”

“And really, you haven’t so far,” Dustin teased.

Elandra gave him a smug look with a hint of a smile. Dustin was right, she hadn’t fought any of the guards. However, the daggers at her side indicated she was prepared for the possibility, if things got to close quarters combat. Asmodeus and Dustin had taken most of them out from a distance.

Meanwhile Nock was scowling as he stowed his crossbow and exchanged it for a healing wand. Then he began using the wand to heal his companions.

“Dustin,” Asmodeus began, “before you extinguish your Flaming Sphere, do some damage to this alcove here.”

Dustin shrugged, then the ball of fire rolled over into the little room. It ignited a chair and tapestry hanging from the wall before winking out of existence.

Following the wizard’s lead, Gaimon helped drag the alcove guard along the ground to make it appear that he’d crawled a few feet before dying. Asmodeus dipped the dead man’s hand in his own blood to make hand prints along the floor. Then he pulled out a small piece of parchment, singed the edge with fire, then tucked it into the man’s hand.

“That’s the note?” asked Gaimon. Over the last few days he’d seen Asmodeus writing and pondering over a note that he was writing. He’d even dirtied it up while they were at the camp.

“What does it say?” Elandra asked.

Asmodeus read the note quickly. “Kill the mayor tonight. Those idiot Outcasts overstepped their bounds, and won’t be able to finish the job they botched the first time anyway. You’re the last chance to get Renferell dead before our employer comes into town shortly. Don’t worry about your reward. You’ll get it from some associates who will be in town for just a few days. They’ll make sure the Isley family’s pet cleric doesn’t heal the mayor up. We can’t have him ruining our plans again.”

Asmodeus smiled smugly after reading the note. But no one seemed as impressed as the wizard was with himself. Dustin and Elandra just shrugged with slight nods. Nock was still scowling.

“Nevermind,” Asmodeus said, “there’s still a few minor tasks to attend to. A few more moments here will pay off in the long run.”

Gaimon followed his master back over to Jorn’s room and watched from the doorway as the wizard cast a spell over the corpse. Jorn’s right eye blackened and shriveled away, leaving a gaping hole in his face. Then Asmodeus took a pendant which was hung on a chain around the cleric’s neck.

While Asmodeus was thus occupied, Nock stood nearby muttering. “I’s kills da guard, no running away. Gets in trouble of wizard. But him lets guard get away, not sorry.”

Gaimon smiled at this and gave his short companion a friendly clap on the shoulder.

Then Asmodeus left Jorn’s room, covered his face with his robe, then began speaking the strange language of magical incantations. Quickly he flung open the door on the opposite side of the hall and burst into that room.

But the wizard stopped short. Through the doorway he could see his master looking all over the room. Gaimon stepped inside, but there was no one there.

“Lady Isley is missing,” Asmodeus stated, more to himself than in explanation.

“Can we get going?” Elandra asked from the doorway. She was clearly losing patience. “More guards could show up any minute.”

“Fine. Yes, we should move on,” Asmodeus replied. Leaving the room he addressed Dustin. “It might be that we are the only ones left with the password for the golem, but there could be others here in the fort that could actually control it. We should move fast and see if it will obey any commands from us, specifically you, Dustin.

“It’s unlikely to work, but worth a shot. I would love to sick it on any soldiers who come to fight.”

Gaimon laughed out loud at the thought of Renferell’s soldiers being squished by a golem. The wizard grinned in reply, but then placed a finger to his lips. Gaimon understood. Stealthiness was still important, even if their presence had been made known.

Dustin shrugged in his easy-going way, then whispered, “Follow me.”

Quickly he lead them back down the corridors they came from until they passed the kitchen. Then onward they went until he stopped at a door near the back of the fort. Dustin opened the door and motioned everyone inside with a flourish.

In the dark room Gaimon was able to see a flight of stairs that seemed to descend quite a ways. Asmodeus pulled his everburning torch to light the way and they closed the door. Gaimon took point and carefully walked down the stairs. He stopped as they reached the bottom. Asmodeus’ torch only dimly lit the large room, but Gaimon’s elven eyes could distinguish the large form of the golem at the end of twin rows of statues.

“So do we each have to say the password, or how does this work?” Elandra asked.

DM
Nock used 13 charges of the wand in healing the group, which should leave you with 11 charges remaining. Dustin was brought up to full, but Asmodeus and Gaimon are both 1 point away from full (I figured you’d stop there rather than spend 2 charges for only 1 point each). Also, you guys are free to make your own healing rolls, if you are so inclined. If not I don’t mind rolling them; just reminding you that you can take destiny into your own hands! :)

Please provide detail of what each character will do as they go to enter the treasury. If you are going to try to control the golem, be specific in what you try, say, and do. Golems have no inherent intelligence, so they just follow their orders explicitly. Therefore exact phrasing can be important.

Also provide info on what each character will do once they enter the treasury. Once you are inside I can give you more detail on the items inside, but refer back to Chapter 8 for the general idea.

Karasu
“I think just one of us has to say the password,” says Dustin. “But when I was down here with my last girlfriend we both said the secret passphrase. Maybe we should all say it, just so no one gets hammered.” He thinks about the empty room where Lady Isley should have been. “So, do you think the old woman is down here in the counting house counting out her money?”

Dustin offers to speak the passphrase first. He has no clue how to control the golem. “I don’t know much, but I’m fairly sure only the creator can control it. Unless you, Lord of Hell,” he says over his shoulder to Asmodeus, “know of some spell to bind it to you.”

Nock repeats the name he hears Dustin say, but in a high-pitched squeak. The golem seems to have intimidated him, perhaps because it’s three or four times his size and outright unnerving.

Once inside, thinking of all the poisons he can buy, Nock will fill his pockets with as many coins as possible. (Did we get any bags of holding? I can’t remember. If so, please fill them up. Nock will be only too happy to help.)

Dustin will take the painting of his mother in his hands. If there are no complications in the treasury, he’ll study it for a long while. He seems to be about to put it down, then reconsiders, then stands there perplexed. A lot of emotions wash over his face, mostly anger, confusion, and disgust. At the last moment, he’ll hastily take it out of its frame, roll it up, and stuff it under his shirt, a trifle embarrassed if anyone is watching. “Just an old flame,” he’ll explain.

After that Dustin and Nock are fully ready to beat a hasty retreat and get out of Fallerun. Nock is satisfied knowing he’s killed Bernard Isley’s nephew. Dustin is ready for excitement outside this small town.

Eryx
Asmodeus replies to Dustin, “I do not. Just see if you can get it to, say, guard the front entrance of this room after you say the password.”

If that works, he’ll grin malevolently. If he doesn’t, he’ll just shrug, say the password, and move past. Once inside, he’ll ask Elandra to check for traps and cast Detect Magic. Any magical items should be taken.

Gaimon will also say the password, and then just start stuffing money in the bags, filling the Bag of Holding first and starting with jewels and platinum coins as much as possible and deliberately NOT including the gold coins with Renferrel’s face on them. We’re not sure how much it’s capacity is, so he will be careful in filling it up. However, the smallest Bag of Holding’s capacity is 250 pounds, which would hold roughly 12,500 coins, (PHB, p. 112), and I don’t think we have the time to take that number of coins. After finding the magic items, Asmodeus will help.

We have our Bag of Holding and I think Elandra has one. Also, there are bags on the ground (as said in chapter 8) so Gaimon might grab one of those as well. As he’s looting, he’ll ask what’s going to happen if they’re identified.

Asmodeus will state he hopes they can get out quickly, and hopefully any ensuing battle will be chaotic enough that they won’t be easily identified. Gaimon will look at Nock. “And you have those cards. Those could be useful.”

Asmodeus perks up. “That would certainly help create enough distractions to make identification dificult. Once loaded up, we should just get out as quickly as we can. I have magical options to bar the way behind us if we need that.”

How are the guards doing outside? What does Corbinian report? Asmodeus would tell the group what’s going on outside as they stuff their bags.

As Dustin has his drama with the painting, Asmodeus walks over to take a look at it. He raises an eyebrow as Dustin says “just an old flame,” but doesn’t press.

The DM said that to identify what’s going on with Dustin, and see who’s in the paintings and correctly identify those in them and notice the family resemblance, I need to roll sense motive, spot, wisdom, knowledge.

Asmodeus
Sense Motive: 17 (roll) + 1 (bonuses) = 18 total.
Spot: 8 + 1 (bonuses) = 8 total.
Wisdom: 7 (roll) + 1 (bonuses) = 9 total.
Knowledge: 14 (roll) + 4 (bonuses) = 18 total.

Gaimon Sense Motive: 2 (roll) + 1 (bonuses) = 3 total.
Spot: 10 + 3 (bonuses) = 13 total.
Wisdom: 10 + 1 (bonuses) = 11 total.
He would not know Bernard Isley by sight, so I’m not rolling the knowledge check for him.

Also, all these picture of Bernard Isley, and Nock doesn’t go slash his face in each of them?

“I think just one of us has to say the password,” said Dustin. “But when I was down here with my last girlfriend we both said the secret passphrase. Maybe we should all say it, just so no one gets hammered.”

“Your last girlfriend, you say?”

Dustin only smiled at her teasing and changed the subject. “So, do you think the old woman is down here in the counting house counting out here money?”

“If so, you can make her your next girlfriend!” Elandra jested.

Gaimon loved a good fight, but didn’t know what to think about this golem. It didn’t feel pain, so violence against it would just be like fighting a stone wall. Not very entertaining, but extremely dangerous. I single blow from such a monster could ruin one’s day.

“Well, I’ll go first. As for what you asked earlier, I don’t know much but I’m fairly sure only the creator can control it. Unless you, Lord of Hell,” Dustin said with a glance over his shoulder at Asmodeus, “know of some spell to bind it to you.”

“I do not,” Asmodeus replied. “Just see if you can get it to, say, guard the front entrance of this room after you say the password.”

With a slight nod Dustin strolled over toward the Golem. As he passed the first set of statues the eyes of the stone giant lit up. Once Dustin got a little closer he called out the name “Elizabeth Isley”. This caused the stone giant to move. A few ground shaking steps later it was clear of the treasury door.

“Golem,” Dustin addressed it, “Go guard the stairs over there.”

The golem just stood there motionless.

“Elizabeth Isley says, raise your arms!”

No reaction.

“Smash that statue, I order you!”

But the golem did nothing.

Asmodeus just shrugged and then moved toward where Dustin was opening the door to the treasury. Gaimon and Elandra followed suit, each saying the passphrase as they approached. The golem just stood there with glowing eyes.

Nock followed last, slowly approaching. As he got close he repeated the name, but in a high-pitched squeak as his voice cracked. The gnome gave the massive guardian a wide berth. Gaimon didn’t blame him. That thing must be four times his height, after all.

The party then entered the treasury. Asmodeus held his torch aloft and in the flickering light they could see the reflection of a great horde of treasure. Elandra lit a sunrod and immediately set to work inspecting the fortune for traps.

“A lady appreciates being taken to nice places,” she joked before beckoning everyone forward.

Asmodeus turned to Gaimon. “I’ll find the magic items. You and Nock start loading the bag of holding with gems first then platinum and gold.”

With that the party set to work. Gaimon held the bag of holding open as Nock scooped in gems and some small items of art that were together on a stone dais. Then Nock gleefully moved over to the large piles of coins and helped take possession of them as well.

Standing nearby, Elandra was seemingly picky with what she took. She placed two large, heavy gold bars into the pouch slung across her waist. Must be another magical bag, Gaimon thought. Then the lady elf proceeded to scoop up coins. After a moment she paused and held up a golden coin.

“Here are the ‘limited edition’ nobles you told me about, Dustin,” she said.

“We’ll want to avoid those, I think,” Asmodeus replied as he examined a ring. “No need to tie ourselves so directly to this heist by taking coins bearing the face of our dearly departed mayor.”

“What will we do if we are identified?” Gaimon asked.

“We get out quickly and hope that the chaos of fire and battle is enough that no one will remember us clearly.”

Gaimon turned to Nock. “And you have those cards. Those could be useful.”

Asmodeus perked up. “That would certainly help create enough distractions to make identification difficult. Once loaded up, we should just get out as quickly as we can. I have magical options to bar the way behind us if we need that.”

Gaimon and Nock looked at each other, then continued their labors while avoiding those coins with Renferell’s face on them. Gaimon wasn’t sure if they’d accidentally put any in already, but he didn’t think so, nor did he want to dump out the bag just to find out.

Elandra moved over to some bolts of textiles along a wall. She unrolled several yards of fine fabric then cut that section away with her dagger. Several sections of different, expensive-looking fabrics disappeared into her pouch in this manner.

Meanwhile, Asmodeus was locating the magic items around the room. Moving from one location to another he closely examined various items before adding them to his collection. As Gaimon watched, the wizard stopped to inspect a fine looking longsword.

“Here Dustin, this might be a blade you’d be interested in,” he said. “Dustin?”

Dustin was staring at a single picture which he had pulled down from the wall. Apparently he hadn’t heard his name called. He seemed about to put it down, then reconsidered, then stood looking perplexed. Has he just been staring at that painting this whole time?

Finally the sorcerer hastily removed the portrait from its frame. Once done he rolled it up and stuffed it into his shirt. Then turning around he seemed a bit embarrassed to see Asmodeus and Gaimon watching. The wizard had drawn near to see the portrait before it was rolled up.

“Just an old flame,” he explained while scratching of his head. Then he took a look at the sword and helped with the treasures.

“Let’s hurry,” Asmodeus said. “Corbinian is watching the fort from overhead. Apparently some soldiers are coming inside. They’ve got much of the fire under control now, but the stables are destroyed.”

Being careful to not overfill the bag of holding, Gaimon grabbed one of the other sacks of coins. He dumped some of the coins out to make it lighter and easier to hold. The group was nearly ready. Surveying the group, Gaimon noted that everyone had hands full of loot.

“Murderous thieves!”

The voice gave Gaimon a start. It was a woman’s voice, trembling with rage and followed by a sob of despair. It came from outside the treasury, probably near the stairs for it was muffled despite her shouting.

“You killed my son!” the voice came again. “You killed him, and now you’ll pay! Golem, kill anyone who exits that treasury!”

DM
Dustin recognizes this voice as Lady Isley’s. Now you’ve got a problem. You’ve got most of the loot you can carry ready, but you’ll have to get past the golem. If you can get past it, then you may be able to run behind a row of statues for some cover.

Please specify what you’ll do to exit, the order of people exiting, etc. Any spells, items, etc. that you’ll use. Be careful. The golem can hit like a truck, but won’t be able to attack everyone at once. I cannot recommend fighting it; your characters would have a pretty good idea that such a fight would end very badly for them.

From your current positions you cannot see Lady Isley, nor tell if there is anyone with her.

The sword that Asmdoeus found appears to be a magical longsword. It is elaborately decorated, but functional. It has red rubies with gold trimmings in the hilt, plus red etching along the blade in a motif of fire. Hence why Dustin might be interested.

Asmodeus also found the following magical items: 2 rings, a heavy steel shield, a light crossbow, a single leather glove, a staff, and a bottle of some sort. The staff is white with silver runes.

Asmodeus was able to determine that Dustin’s special interest in the painting was due to knowing the woman in it. Asmodeus identified Bernard Isley in the painting, but didn’t know the woman nor recognize her resemblance to Dustin. Gaimon only saw a pretty face.

If there is anything else that you wanted to specifically take or leave behind, now is the time to specify.

Eryx
Gaimon doesn’t hesitate to stride forward, his greatsword is sheathed, and take the shield and sword from Asmodeus. He’ll look at Nock. “I got your back, but you must keep me healed up while everybody else runs past.” If Dustin wants the sword, Gaimon will trade for the sorceror’s.

Asmodeus will nod, give Gaimon the two rings (and give him Bull’s Strength), the glove to Elandra, and the crossbow to Nock. As he hands it to Nock, he’ll say, “please, go invisible and keep him healed. The big wand.” Gaimon will be surprised that he said “please.” The elf will put on the two rings. Asmodeus grabs his share of the loot, tossing the white staff and the bottle into the Bag of Holding, and moves into position to run right after Gaimon. He’ll be doing his best to cover his face once he gets out of the treasury. He will want to go first, flexing his fingers in a way that Gaimon recognizes as “warming up” for spellcasting. Lady Isley is going to have a difficult time of it when he gets to her. If she has friends . . . fireballs. He will run behind the statues to give himself cover.

Gaimon will be the tank for the group in this instance, going first but doing nothing but using total defense. He’s not all bloodlusty here. Once everybody is past, he’ll run like hell.

Inspire Courage from Nock? Gaimon is going to need it.

Karasu
Wide-eyed with fear, Nock plays the inspire courage song and then immediately goes invisible. He’s going to run as fast as his little legs take him, not stopping until he’s on the far side of the room. Then he’ll whirl around with the Wand of Cure Light Wounds and use it as often as Gaimon needs.

Dustin, stunned, starts to protest: “So, you don’t want to try diplomacy? Maybe I could seduce the old…” Dustin grimaces, “Bleh, never mind. I’d rather be squashed.” He unsheathes his weapons and prepares to follow behind Gaimon like a frightened little girl.

Eryx
I would really like Nock to use the Wand of Cure Moderate Wounds . . . we bought it for a reason, and I can’t think of a more appropriate time to use it.

Karasu
Oops, didn’t realize we’d acquired one. Alright, then Nock whips out the Wand of Cure Moderate Wounds and uses that instead.

For just a moment the party stood motionless, all looking at each other as the gravity of their situation sunk in. Even a single strike from the golem could be lethal.

“Lady Isley,” Elandra said quietly.

Gaimon knew what he needed to do, so he tossed the bag of coins he was holding onto the ground to free up his hands. Then without hesitation nor explanation he walked up to Asmodeus and took the shield and sword. Then he turned to Nock.

“I got your back, but you must keep me healed up while everybody else runs past.”

The gnome was wide-eyed with fear, but nodded affirmation.

Dustin had a stunned look on his face. “So, you don’t want to try diplomacy? Maybe I could seduce the old…” His voice trailed off as a grimace involuntarily crossed his face. “Bleh, never mind. I’d rather be squashed.”

Asmodeus quickly distributed some of the magical items he’d collected. He gave two rings to Gaimon. Who knows what these do, but I’ll take whatever I can get! A simple yet elegant glove went to Elandra. A crossbow was handed to Nock.

“Please,” Asmodeus began in unusual solemness as he handed the weapon to Nock, “Go invisible and keep him healed. The big wand.”

Gaimon was surprised that the wizard said ‘please’. Typically Asmodeus was more prone to give orders than make requests in these sorts of situations. Gaimon knew that the wizard didn’t want him to die needlessly, but still the sentiment of that simple word resonated with him.

As the group made their final preparations Nock played a short song on his gittern. Bardic magic helped steel the group for their task. Dustin had sword drawn and looked ready to run, though Gaimon thought he detected a slight bit of panic in the sorcerer’s eyes. Elandra looked nervous as well. Asmodeus was flexing his fingers in a way that Gaimon recognized as warming up for spellcasting. I guess he’s none to happy with that lady.

Nock then turned invisible. Everyone was ready. Holding up the shield and taking his best defensive stance, Gaimon stepped out of the treasury.

A crushing blow sent the elf sprawling forward. Dizzy from the attack, his ears began to ring. Pain throbbed through his body. Gaimon knew the attack would be bad, but still he hadn’t been entirely prepared for it. Then a wave of healing energy flowed over him and he thought he heard Nock’s frightened quick breathing.

Quickly Gaimon regained his footing as the rest of the party poured out of the treasury. But his body suddenly felt sluggish. Am I that badly hurt? he wondered. But then he saw that his companions were moving slowly as well and realized it must be some kind of magical effect.

The golem hadn’t turned its unnatural gaze from Gaimon. Stepping forward it brought down its fist for a strike. This time Gaimon was better prepared and met the blow with his shield. The force of the blow sent a shudder through his arms and pushed him back a few feet, but he was uninjured.

The other fist was coming down as well, but the far arm was a little slow to connect giving Gaimon the chance to dodge out of the way. The golem’s arm smashed into one of the nearby statues sending fragments flying everywhere.

Gaimon backed off toward the stairs. He was moving as quickly as he could while still under the slowing effect. He could see his visible friends running behind the rows of statues for cover. Asmodeus seemed unaffected by the spell and quickly outpaced the others. He reached the stairs, but then hesitated as he looked back.

The ground shook with each step the golem took chasing after Gaimon. The elf raised his shield to defend himself from another strike, but it was no use. The golem’s massive arm came down right on top of him, crushing the elf under shield and armor.

Scrambling, Gaimon backed further away from the golem. He was more than half way across the hall now, but the distance seemed too great. Where’s Nock? I need healing. I can’t take another hit like that!

The golem continued to single-mindedly follow Gaimon as he retreated. Unwilling to try another defense with the shield, the elf dove out of the way as the next strike fell from the massive enemy. The blow missed, landing on the stone floor where fighter had just stood. The stone tiles cracked and sent another wave of debris everywhere.

Almost there! The rest of the party was already at the stairway and had started to ascend. Fighting against his aching and weary body, Gaimon ran with all of his might. The golem was right behind him as he reached the stairs. Quickly he jumped up the steps. The golem smashed into the wall behind him.

Everyone was breathing heavily as they climbed upward. Another tremor and the sound of stone breaking caused Gaimon to look back. The golem was attempting to follow them, but it was having trouble fitting into the smaller space. Its head and arms were scraping against the ceiling and walls, thus slowing it down.

Moving as fast as they could, the party soon reached the top of the stairs. The door was wide open and there was no sign of Lady Isley nor any guards. The golem was still struggling to ascend and they had made some distance from it. The party stopped to catch their breath. Gaimon propped himself up against the corner of the room and held onto sword and shield with arms that felt like dead weight.

DM
Congratulations, you’ve escaped the treasury without anyone being killed! Supplementing Gaimon’s normally high AC with the magic shield and items was just enough to allow him to survive. But he did take quite a bit of damage: he’s down to 11/45 HP.

Nock did heal him for 15 HP that one time, but then the slow effect from the Golem prevented him from being able to heal while fleeing. Asmodeus was the only one who saved from the first slow effect, but then he failed the save the second time the golem cast it.

As you exited the treasury, Lady Isley saw you coming and fled up the stairs. She had a head start which gave her some distance from Asmodeus. By the time he reached the stairway she was already at the top. Since his companions were all still far behind (due to slow), I determined that he’d hesitate for just a moment to see if they were going to make it. By the next round he was also slowed, so there was no catching up to the noble.

The party is now at the top of the stair. They can’t afford to wait long. The golem is still making its way up and guards may be on their way. There’s no new info from Corbinian.

What will you do next?

Eryx
Run! Time to go! Heals on Gaimon as we go would be nice.

Karasu
Dustin claps Gaimon on the back heartily as he hustles up the stairs, “They will sing songs about you!” Under his breath he adds, “I will at least. Every day in the bath. Gaimon, the elf harder than stone who saved my skin.” As soon as he is within range of the old woman, he will cast magic missle.

Damage roll 1: 2 (roll) + 1 = 3 total.
Damage roll 2: 3 (roll) + 1 = 4 total.

Nock follows as quickly as he can. He’ll be using the wand on Gaimon as he goes. His terror is slowly being replaced with a lust for vengeance on the old woman who would make him feel that much fear again. He’s fingering a random card from the Deck of Illusion; should they run into a group of three or more guards, he throws it down.

Eryx
It didn’t occur to me that we might be headed in the same direction as Lady Isley. I suppose I should give some “ifs” here too. If Asmodeus sees her, he’ll cast Wrack. Really, I think we should just book it out of here. If we run to escape and happen to run across Lady Isley, cool. If not, time to go!

Edit: After talking about it (on facebook no less) we’ll try to take her down on our way out of the fort. She’s just ahead of us, we think.

Appearing out of thin air, Nock approached and used the magic wand on the elven warrior. His aching body rejuvenated and weary arms regained their strength. Then Dustin came over and clapped his hand on the Gaimon’s back.

“They will sing songs about you!” he exclaimed. Gaimon then heard him mutter under his breath, “I will at least. Every day in the bath. Gaimon, the elf harder than stone who saved my skin.”

A loud crash reminded the party that the golem was still making its way up the stairs. Their brief respite was over. Leading the way, Dustin exited the room and made his way down the hall. Gaimon heard shouting within the fort, but no guards were to be seen. Nor was Lady Isley for that matter. Before long Dustin had led them back to the kitchen.

“There they are! Over here!”

Gaimon spun around. A guard was standing and pointing at them from the far end of the hallway.

“Run!” Elandra said, and the group followed her.

Rushing out the kitchen door, the group broke into full-speed running along the long stretch of space between the outer fort wall and the inner wall of the mansion. Glancing backward as he turned the corner, Gaimon saw guards exiting the kitchen to chase after them.

Ahead they could see the stables — or rather, what was left of them. The building had collapsed in on itself. The fire had died down, but was still smoldering. The party rushed toward it and soon reached the gate by which they had entered.

Gaimon cursed as he saw more guards standing near the front of the stables. With a cry of surprise, the four guards drew their swords and started to charge. Nock drew a card from a deck of cards that he was holding and threw it toward the oncoming guards. Gaimon realized that this was not an ordinary set of cards, but rather Nock’s special Deck of Illusions, so he was not surprised when a large ogre mage materialized.

The guards, on the other hand, hesitated in their surprise. One of them even lost his footing and fell.

“Gaimon!” Asmodeus called. “You’ll have to lift the portcullis again!”

Nock and Gaimon rushed into the gateway under the wall. Once the party had crowded in, Asmodeus cast a spell which conjured up a wall of woven, spiked chains across the entrance. Then with the help of Dustin and another use of Bull’s Strength, Gaimon lifted the heavy metal portcullis and let the party out.

Guards were yelling and striking their swords against the wall of chains, but they were trapped behind it. Gaimon let the portcullis fall behind him with another loud thud. A pair of archers on the wall above began to loose arrows, but none of their arrows struck the party.

Running through the thick vegetation, the party soon disappeared into the night.

DM
Thus ends the chapter.

Took the liberty of having Nock become visible to make the narration slightly easier. Nock used 2 charge of the Cure Moderate Wounds wand that he already had out. That brought Gaimon up to 39/45 HP before leaving the room.

I also took another liberty in having Asmodeus cast his Wall of Deadly Chains spell. I think that’s basically the use that Eryx intended.

Lady Isley was not just in front of you. She had quite a head start on you, so you didn’t catch her in the hallways. Therefore I had the party just leave rather than try to search her out (as per discussion over IM w/ Eryx).

Asmodeus, Dustin, and Nock all receive 3,070 XP for this chapter. Gaimon receives 3,650 XP (a little more due to his lower level).

The next chapter will be up shortly.

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