Episode 13 - Well Of Demons, Part I

The Well of Demons – Entry Chamber:

Phalgar

After resting for a short while, the party used the map they found and headed to the Well of Demons.

Arriving at the spot marked on the map, the party could see a large square chamber. Five columns, three set near the room’s corners and two in the middle of the chamber, stretched up 15 feet to the ceiling. Each column had the face of a leering, fanged minotaur carved onto it. They noticed a well in the south-eastern corner of the room, and two passages leading away, one to the east, the other to the south.

As they started their way into the room, voices could be heard coming from the columns. Each member could hear the message in their own native tongue, spoken in the deep tones of a powerful minotaur:

Greetings, seekers of Baphomet’s boundless glory. Those who prove unworthy of his attention Shall be claimed forever as his slaves. Those who prove worthy Shall be granted power beyond mortal reckoning. Mask, bell, blade and tome

“Wow, I wonder what that means,” asked Noluck as he sauntered towards the well. “and I wonder what’s in this well over here,” the words coming out only a moment before several large tentacles burst from the ground and wrapped around him.

It was at this moment that the rest of the party noticed two hunched figures skulking behind one of the columns. Quickly scanning the room they also spotted a pair of creatures with long arms clinging to the ceiling within narrow cracks at the top of the columns watching the party intently. Seeing that they’d been noticed, all of the creatures attacked.

Icy rays burst from Woodie’s fingertips and encased one of the creatures lurking on the ceiling. Paelias’s dagger followed right behind the icy rays and the creature fell, lifeless to the ground.

Sensing easy prey, one of the ghouls advanced on Noluck, entangled in the pit creature’s tentacles. Its claws raked down on the trapped knight, stunning him.

The second ghoul moved towards Balomir, striking him with its claws and releasing a foul stench that immobilized the strong dwarf.

Small mouths on the pit creature’s tentacles began to ooze an acidic bile that stung and burned Noluck’s skin. The creature then sent another burst of tentacles through the ground, wrapping around Tempest.

The remaining creature on the ceiling reached down with its long arms and wrapped around Sting. The creature then lifted the halfling into the air and started choking him.

Continuing its attack against the helpless Noluck, the ghoul sunk its vile teeth into the warrior’s flesh. Its foul stench and poisonous bite stunning the knight.

Seeing his comrade in the tight grasp of the ceiling creature, Paelias hurled his dagger at the beast. But the beast must have sensed the attack coming and used Sting’s body to block the weapon; the halfling feeling the blade’s bite.

Still held fast, Noluck and Tempest felt the little tentacle mouths drool their acidic saliva onto them; stinging and burning.

From within the ceiling creature’s grasp, struggling for his breath, Sting managed to slice the beast with his short sword. The thrust of his blade penetrating deeply into the creature’s chest and killing it.

Tempest’s armour flashed with a magical glow and the strong warrior was whisked out of the pit creature’s grasp. “Concentrate your attacks on this tentacled beast!” he called to his companions. The words encouraging the party and filling them with a renewed vigour.

Still stunned and held tight in the tentacles, Noluck once again felt the foul bite of a ghoul and the sting of the tentacle creature’s acidic saliva.

Rushing forward, Paelias attempted to use his dagger to push the ghoul into the well but the creature stumbled and fell to the ground at the pit’s mouth.

Even with his light step, Paelias’ movement caused enough of a tremor in the ground that the pit creature could sense the approaching threat. Thrusting its tentacles towards the surface, it caught the eladrin in its grasp.

Having caught his breath, Sting flung himself towards the pit creature’s tentacles, his short sword and war pick both striking the creature. “Hit it again!” called Tempest and the halfling was happy to oblige; sinking his blade into the creature once more.

Once again, Noluck’s flesh was burned by the pit creature’s acidic bile but with the ghoul’s foul breath no longer keeping him stunned the knight was finally able to bring his sword to bear. With one mighty swing, his blade severed several of the creature’s tentacles; its remaining tentacles fell dead to the ground.

As the tentacles fell from around him, Paelias fired his dagger at the closest ghoul. The blade struck sound and the creature crumbled to the ground.

“Good thing I’m here to protect you guys, eh?” Noluck spoke as he stepped towards the remaining ghoul. His sword slashed through the unliving flesh as the foul thing fell.

While the party took a few moments to recuperate, Paelias scouted the southern passage.

“It splits to the east and west about ten paces in”, he informed the others.

“What about this doorway to the east?” inquired Balomir, “should we nae check beyond it first?”

“I can set up a trap by these doors that will alert us should anyone pass,” said Woodie.

“Good idea,” spoke Tempest, “set up your trap then we should take the south east passage.”

Shuffling through her ritual book, Woodie prepared the skull trap that would signal her if anything tried to access the eastern doors.


The Well of Demons – The Caged Boar:

Dire boar

Once they were ready, the party moved down the hallway to the south, turned east and came to a set of double doors.

Getting into formation and opening the doors, the party could see that the walls of the chamber were covered with faded murals depicting minotaurs in combat. The images showed minotaurs fighting each other, as well as battling demons, dwarves, humans, and dragonborn. In all the pictures, the minotaurs lacked weapons and armour. They used their horns, teeth, and bare hands to rend their opponents from head to toe.

Several dog-like humanoids wielding bows stood behind a barrier of hay bales that divided the room. In the northern portion of the room, a large boar was chained to the floor inside a pen. Arrows jutted from the trapped creature, and the floor around it was covered with splatters of blood. Hyenas encircled the pen, trying to bite the boar, One by one, the hyenas became aware of the party and turned their attention in their direction.

Charging towards the gnolls, Tempest and Noluck were peppered with arrows.

Woodie, Sting, Paelias and Balomir engaged the hyenas. With a thrust of his dagger, Paelias killed the closest hyena before the snarling dogs could react.

Closing ground between the doorway and the gnolls, Tempest and Noluck vaulted over the bales of hay, their swords swinging into the gnoll ranks. Noluck, with a storm of blades, brought down the first dog-man.

As the hyenas lunged towards the adventures, Balomir’s axe cleaved through the shoulder of one, dropping it to the ground.

With arrows jutting from his shoulder, Tempest, manifesting his elemental heritage, slipped into a wave of water and slid across the room. Returning to solid form, he called out, “I will not be stopped by these puny arrows,” and his wounds were magically healed.

Choosing between the brave knight and fearsome blue warrior’s swords, or the robe-wearing wizard, some of the gnolls turned their aim on Woodie; striking her with their arrows.

To make matters worse for the eladrin, she was also surrounded by several of the snarling hyenas. With a fey step, she flashed out of existence, reappearing 10 feet away atop the bales of hay. Taking aim with her wand she blasted the gnolls archers with missiles of magic power.

Circling around behind the hyenas, Paelias’ dagger flashed out and cut down another of the cursed dogs.

Feeling the blast of her magic, the gnolls returned fire with their bows, striking her twice. Stung by their arrows, she paused to catch her second wind before once again blasting the gnolls with her wand, killing one of the creatures.

With his short sword and war pick, Sting launched himself towards the hyenas; landing devastating blows that killed another.

Having tasted eladrin blood, the last of the hyenas jumped onto the bales of hay and sunk its teeth into Woodie’s flesh. Another well placed arrow from the gnolls struck and the wizard was knocked down.

Seeing their comrade fall, Sting and Balomir jumped atop the hay bales. Sting’s blades drove into the beast. Balomir reached down to the fallen wizard and, calling on Kord’s favour, channelled healing energies into her limp form. Turning back towards the hyena, his axe slashed out and brought down the last of the beasts.

No longer at death’s door, Woodie got to her feet and continued her missile assault on the gnolls, killing another.

Standing amidst the fallen gnolls, Tempest’s blade struck sound, dispatching another gnoll. Moments later, Noluck’s blade rang true, killing the final gnoll.

With the threats eliminated, Sting moved towards the caged dire boar and readied a bolt in his crossbow.

“What da ya think yer dae’in, laddie?” asked Balomir.

“I’m going to put this poor creature out of its misery,” replied Sting.

“Poor creature?” Balomir spat. “That’s nae poor creature, that’s a fine, noble beast. Look at it chained and sufferin’ there.”

“It’s suffering shall end when it meets the Raven-Queen,” came Sting’s reply as he stepped closer to the cage.

“What kind of a coward slays a defenceless beast?” Balomir barked as he grabbed Sting’s arm, “Yer nae better than them bloody dog-faced bastards.”

“Are you calling me a coward, dwarf?” Sting spoke slowly and deliberately.

“Whoa! Hey, fellas, c’mon.,” Tempest said, raising his hands and stepping between the stubborn dwarf and proud halfling, “nobody’s calling anybody a coward, we’re all friends here.”

Taking a deep breath, the dwarf continued “I’ll no let any mair harm come tae the thundertusk. It’s obviously been trained, ya kin see the marks where a saddle’s rubbed aff its fur.”

“Hey, look at that, he’s right. You know, I’ve seen the same thing on the horses back home. If I had a coin for every time I’ve woken up in a stable, staring straight up at a horses belly, well I’d be quite a rich man,” said Noluck.

Rolling her eyes, Woodie asked “how can we calm it down, won’t it attack us?”

“I think I kin calm it doon but I’ll need help,” Balomir replied, “Sting, will ya help me?”

Episode 13 - Well Of Demons, Part I

Terror of Nagash AndyH