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024 In Search of Dennan

The party rested--they were in no shape to mount an immediate rescue of their fallen companion. Their rest was not without incident, however.
024 In Search of Dennan

The party rested as they were in no shape to mount an immediate rescue of their fallen companion. Their rest was not without incident, however.

Before he rested, Horsa transferred his familiar’s consciousness into a bat. This was to prove a wise move. During his rest, Horsa became aware of his bat feeling worried and scared. There was something near the camp, the bat didn't like. Transferring his conscious into his familiar Horsa hunted down the strange thing–a tiny invisible creature lurking near the ruined bridge spanning the Murkwater.

Horsa and Artur–the two heroes on watch–rushed forth and before the thing knew what was going on Horsa cast sleep on it. As it collapsed, Artur leapt forward and grabbed it. So angry was the paladin that he literally tried to bite the thing's head off.

It squirmed in his mouth, and suddenly Artur was afraid. However, the paladin's iron will saw him through his momentary terror, and the thing was revealed as a tiny bat. The pair suspected this was the quasit they had seen earlier and set about slaying the tiny demon. This they eventually did (Artur accidentally giving the demon protection from Horsa’s attacks), and the rest of the night passed without incident.

The next morning, the heroes made their preparations and returned to the Wailing Citadel. All seemed quiet on their approach. Horsa transferred his consciousness into the bat and searched the lower level for sign of Dennan. He found none, but did discover the party's stores (and third boat) and been smashed and despoiled. Angry at this discovery, Horsa flew upwards to the second level.

Being careful not to enter the Star Chamber, he searched much of the upper level. All he found were three drenches shambling aimlessly about the Star Chamber.

With this intelligence in hand, the mage returned to the party. Determining to slay the dretch, the party pushed up the stairs. Cunningly luring the dretches out of the chamber by making lots of noise the heroes quickly slew the beasts.

The balance of the level seemed unoccupied and there was no sign of Dennan or the larger demons–the barlguras.

One small room to the south of the Star Chamber held a secret, though. A secret door–probably unopened for decades–pierced one wall. Luther found the door, but Grand Silvertognue was the one who found the door's mechanism. At his friends' urging, he opened the door...and set off a powerful magical cold trap that badly injured him, Artur, Colza and Luther. Several of the heroes required urgent healing after this near-disaster, and the party took a few moments to gather themselves.

Fortified with Hell'en's healing, the heroes dared the secret door and the cramped spiral staircase beyond. Dust lay thickly on the floor here, and it was clear nothing had been this way for a long time. The stair spiralled upwards and ended in a blank wall at the end of a short hall. Another secret door was found, and Grand Silvertongue was again called upon to open it. The brave bard then set off another trap–this time of magical fire. Luckily for the bard, the trap was set on the other side of the door to blast the area beyond.

Opening the door the party discovered a long, narrow room furnished with four low stone altars. A sigil on the front of each altar suggested each was dedicated to one of the four elements.

Colzo was convinced treasure must lie in the passageway and at his urging the party backtracked. The warrior was right--a small secret niche lurked in one of the walls. Opening this, the party discovered much mouldy, decayed parchment and a curious bronze amulet which combined the four elements' sigils into a curious design.

With this treasure in hand, the party backtracked back up the stairs and prepared to scour the upper level in search of their missing friend...