Location: Kashin, Tongue Wrecker Tavern & Inn
Date: Cal 15th, 1333 Avard
The day after meeting Wellby and Mara, Beth and her friends were invited to go to a manse on the edge of town and have lunch with one of the barons of the city, the Lord of Silver Chisels. Realizing that it likely was a trap set by the wealthy patrons of the demon summoness, the team wanted to visit Norion at the Lyle House, and research other ways of finding their enemies.
Barely out of the Tongue Wrecker, the team was fired upon by crossbowmen from the nearby rooftops. Most of the crossbowmen withdrew after their first barrage of crossbow bolts – and a firebolt from Selis set a rooftop on fire.
The party dealt with the the remaining assassins and the spreading fire simultaneously. Gruck the Goliath leapt up to a rooftop and threw down one of the assassins. Mialee turned into a giant eagle and knocked another from a rooftop and down to the ground; keeping him pinned, several others helped her bind him up. As the party turned their attention fully to battling the fire and keeping it from getting out of control, one of the assassins escaped – but one remained.
Their previously captured would-be assassin was gone, and that realization made their handling of the new prisoner a bit rough. After an interrogation round involving a candle of truth, Beth took his body to a back alley somewhere else and killed him. She then dismembered him, and removed his face and genitals, and left the corpse and its parts hidden under some trash.
Eingrim had been hurt during the hail of crossbow bolts, and the adrenaline and its subsequent crash put him and the rest of the party into napping mode through the afternoon.
Later that evening, they went to the Lyle House via carriage and cover of darkness and a few disguises. There, Selis managed to copy down a new spell, and Eingrim discovered a potential way to track down the butcher woman called Zhaneesa, a known associate of the demon-summoner Ayra. Mialee cooked for Norion, who nearly attacked Gruck after the goliath decided to be playful with the demon-tormented man.
After dropping Eingrim off at the Tongue Wrecker, the team went ahead to the address listed on the invitation, hoping to scope it out before the attack. Mialee knew the manor-owner next to the address, a temple guard of the Church of Habrem, Sir Reginald. Sir Reginald let the team observe the manor next door from his fence.
Seeing candles moving about inside of the manor and knowing it had to be the demon summoness, the team infiltrated the home in a blast of chaos and disorganization. Inside, Ayra the demon summoness directed two other women in the completion of a summoning circle. The first layer of the circle was a protection wall that held living things in, and kept living things out. The women had nearly completed an enormous summoning circle that would likely be used to either kill the party or drag them to hell once it was covered with a large rug.
Mara's plate mail was so noisy that Ayra heard it from inside the manse, and she summoned a dark fog to protect her. Gruck burst in through the front door, and Ayra summoned another tentacle demon. The two women with her continued their chanting and dripping of wax, although they sped their pace up, trying to complete the next layer of the cricle.
Mialee turned into a giant spider and spit webbing at Ayra, keeping her tied up while Gruck and Mara attacked her. Selis and Wellby dealt with the tentacle demon, while Beth worked at getting the high ground in the manor. Beth's patron and mentor Ixlnb proved invaluable, showing them how to both complete the circle so that it held the summoned demon, and how to defeat the dark fog trap that had poisoned Gruck and his dire wolf pup, Silver.
Unfortunately, the party did not stop Ayra in time. A truly massive demon was summoned within the circle. Mara grabbed Ayra's body, Gruck carried an unconscious Silver, and they fled to Sir Reginald's as quickly as they could. The entire neighborhood heard the demon's inhuman rage, and saw the infernal fires of its summoning – and then the absolute silence left in its passing as the demon apparently returned to hell.
Elsewhere in the city, a visiting priest was asked to help in her old role as coroner. A body had been found, horribly disfigured, and perhaps the work of demons. The spirit of the body told the coroner what it could about its death. The last people it had seen were Mara and Wellby, but Beth had killed him.
DM's Notes: It was good to have everyone at the table for this one. There was a bit of frustration with littles interrupting every five seconds, and the dog being a pain in the butt, and hunting for Mushu only to find Michael sitting on her, and Sommer bowing out in mid combat due to stressors, and Saige being so upset over her character being wanted for murder, and…
Tactically, the battle was a fiasco. Sommer was the only one to use her animal companion, pushing her will-o-the-wisp Whoop forward to try to distract Ayra, yet refusing to use Whoop's once-a-day lightning attack of 1d8. Beth could have used the business of ferrets to steal away one of the demon summoness' items (the femur rod or the skull with crystals or perhaps even the eye she sought), Silver could have bit, and Tumbleweed could have… stealthed. Maybe. Okay, Tumbleweed is not an attacker, but, still, half the party was out of the fight. Worse, Selis had a higher-level scroll of mini meteors that everyone forgot he had.
The description of the manse likely contributed to the chaos. I assumed they understood my drawings, when most of them did not. After Sommer adjourned from the session, we clarified the floor plans of the manse, and this helped with the combat several rounds too late. I'm pretty sure Sommer would have had a very different combat plan if she'd seen the clarification.
A cool thing that happened, though. We needed more small tables for everyone to have room at the little couches for books and papers and the like. I ordered three little end tables on Amazon – and we had them within a few hours, and they took only minutes to assemble. It was a bizarre experience!
None to date.