Location: North of Teras along the River Galanus
Date: Lan the 18th, 1334 Avard
Eingrim the Gold had asked the Black Feather Troupe to investigate a recently discovered ruin a half day's sail north of Teras. The troupe had found evidence of others going through the ruins, broken statues or removed statues – and a hidden prison wing to the ruins. The magics that worked in the prison wing were ancient, at least a thousand years old, if not multiple thousands of years. In the wing, they found enchanted weapons, expended magical items, the bones of a dwarf somehow turned to mithril, a swirling man-sized tornado that ate magic, and magical seals on the prison wing's cells.
Roland had gotten trapped in one of the cells, unable to leave. Hiko's spell repertoire needed changing, and so the team took a long rest through the afternoon and into the evening while the wizard swapped out arcane powers. When the elf was ready, he released Roland.
The expenditure of magical energies to free Roland helped Hiko understand several things about the prison. For one, the controls to the seals on the cells had to be remote – for there were no local magics to put up or take down the seals. For another, the seals were failing. Whatever magics had maintained the seals in the enchanted prison had been running for centuries, if not millennia.
All of the troupe looked to the swirling maelstrom that consumed magic. It was only a matter of time before it was free, whatever it was. To investigate, the familiar Fluffy was sent into the cell. Like other arcane spells before Fluffy, the familiar was consumed, with the troupe no wiser for the experience.
They felt that they had accomplished their task, and decided it was time to report back to Eingrim. They made their way back to the entrance to the underground ruins – a squarish hole in the ceiling forty feet off the ground. Their rope was gone. Someone else had been there. Someone else was up there, waiting for them.
Toox, using her enchanted boots, floated up to the hole for a reconnaissance. A tent had been set up. There were three orcs and two humans, and one of the orcs was (poorly) watched the hole. The troupe's mounts were still nearby and loaded with items and treasures from elsewhere, but the orcs were discussing how best to cook the animals.
After a hasty planning session in near silence and almost total darkness, the troop settled on a battle plan. Toox popped up out of the hole just long enough to pull the observing orc in, and let him hit the bottom. He survived the forty foot drop onto dusty earth, but Chimes ensorcelled him to sleep. One of the humans dropped a rope, held by the other orcs, and came down to check on the fallen orc.
The humans and the orcs seemed nervous, the troupe began a frightening performance of flames and terror and vroc sounds and intimidation, all to buy Hiko time to cast a 'long winded' spell.
Two of the orcs up above fled in terror, one screaming for 'Mack'. The troupe mopped up the remaining would-be ambushers, when the fleeing orc returned with help. Macintyre Duprie was a thaumaturgist of Lok Magius – the arcane equivalent of a noble baron or a captain in the Guard. Hiko had known the asinine fool long enough to know he wanted nothing to do with his self-inflated ego. Macintyre tried to use a spell to take the gryphonling, showing the troupe just who hired the mage.
Hiko's long-casting spell completed. Eight small air elementals were at his command. Chimes used her enchanted instrument to cause Roland to fly, and then she held onto his belt. Tooks took care of Cleo the gryphonling while Hiko mage-battled with Macintyre and commanded his elementals, stripping the self-righteous Mac's spell implements from him.
Up top, Roland and Chimes realized there was a whole other problem. The glowing figure of a naked woman caught their attention. She glowed with a soft white light – even her hair – and was carried by one of the orcs. Roland and Chimes rescued the glowing woman, and their onslaught – coupled with Hiko's demolishing of 'Mack', lead the remaining orcs to surrender.
Hiko paid the orcs 100gp to leave and claim 'Mack' was eaten by a troll or something, and they hastily ran down the path away from the ruins.
The glowing lady did not breathe, nor was there a heartbeat, but she kept repeating softly in the celestial tongue, “Letmego, letmego, letmego.”
The troupe realized that she was an angel. SHE was the remote system for the prison. She had been summoned, bound, and forced to guard and power the cells through arcane implements, powered by primal energy, with her divine self as the controller of the power. She had been the guardian of the cells – perhaps for millennia.
Toox and Roland wanted to free her as quickly as possible, and after a long toke of incense that guided spirituality, they decided that haste was more important than taking her to the appropriate church or temples.
Roland hefted an axe they had liberated from the prison ruins. The bearded axe had the word 'Diplomacy' written along its edge in an ancient, forgotten language that only magics could translate. The edge glowed dimly of forge light, and promised a clean cut. Roland lifted the axe high – and then beheaded the angel with a powerful strike.
There was a bright flash of light as she ascended, whole, free, and winged into the air. She said a soft, “Thank you,” and then in another bright flash, was gone.
Hiko let Toox bind the still breathing Macintyre, and stripped him of his spellbook, thaumaturgist's ring, and other items.
DM's Notes: Dinner was ham & bean soup. I chafe at the limitations of the 5E magic system, at times, so I had to make some new spells on the fly. They're listed in Hiko's collection of spellbooks, and I just hope that I don't break the game by accident at some point. I didn't give the kids the treasure list immediately, much as they wanted to know what they'd liberated from Macintyre, as I had to get Michael home and then get littles to bed.
I will decide on an appropriate non-treasure reward for freeing an angel at a later date, as that reward needs to be a bit more subtle and extended.
None to date.