Tantalus

Third, Fourth and Fifth sessions

The group sprang into action. Raz, Creighton, Sonya and Corby charged into the hobs taking them out. A fireball was cast on the group further down the tunnel. They chased the forms deeper into the mountain until the corridor came to a T. Corby heard noises from the right side and saw two hobs duck around a corner down the way.

When he got there, he saw no hobs, but the corridor was collapsed with a lot of rubble strewn on the floor. The rest of the group had come into the T to support and were hit with a lightning bolt from the other side. The caster was surrounded by several hobs.

During the fight, Corby recognized the caster. It was Valstald, a noble New Baronage who was involved with a plan of overthrowing the Baron. After the fight was over, there was another soul sent to Hell to spend eternity with Wilhelm.

The party moved down the corridor and entered a large ceremonial chamber. Four chanters were stationed around a summoning circle. The bodies of the villagers were hung on the walls, their blood running down the walls, over the floor and into a pit that surrounded the circle. Slender bridges crossed the pit to the circle.

Stepton cast silence on two of the casters to stop the summoning. The results stunned the group. The two remaining chanters who could talk could not maintain the summoning and all four began to bleed from their orifices. Blinding flashes of light interchanged with Depths of Hell darkness were interspersed with glimpses of the horrors that could have breached into their world.

An explosion rocked the party and brought clouds of smoke to fill the room, cloaking what, if anything, had been summoned.

Most of the party moved cautiously into the room, Creighton and his amazing flying carpet scouted ahead into the cloud. Somewhere he met something that made him blurt out “Oh crap”.

A round later the smoke cleared and the group saw a beholder, Creighton on his knees atop his carpet in front of the beast. It trained its main eye on the group and every source of light, every magical means of darkvision was extinguished. The group did its best to get to Creighton’s aid, but were fumbling in the dark. There were brief moments of light when the members of the group were not affected by the eye, but were affected by the smaller eyestalks.

Corby and Stepton had made it over to the circle and were harrying the beast with Creighton. Right as the carpet warrior killed the orb, sending it into the depths of the pit, part of the circle lit up. Adrianna ran into the room shouting for the group to get into the circle before it was too late. She started to run to something she called a control pedestal.

By spells and hustling the group got into the circle before it fully lit up. A flash of light, a feeling of being drawn thin and the group found themselves in a wooden room.

Facing them was a humanoid monkey sitting cross legged in front of them, calmly waiting for the group to gather their wits. Shockingly everyone in the group had changed. Stepton was human again, Corby was a rat, Gavin a monkey and the rest of the group were various spirit folk. Behind them was a painting of someone who looked like Adrianna.

The monkey introduced himself as Kazu and said that he is the keeper of the Gate of the Winds. He and his predecessors had been waiting for the group to arrive to fulfill the prophecy to slay a great evil. The woman in the painting is The Lady of the Winds and she is the temple’s patron spirit.

A couple of days was spent meditating and getting used to the new bodies. Kazu taught the group that they could shift back into their original forms. It took a long time and they were exhausted afterwords.

This taken care of, they packed up, left the temple in the hands of the apprentice monk and headed down to a fishing village where they would take a boat to a port city. On the way they were attacked by a group of Oni (Ogre Magi) in the marches.

A day later they came across a refuge camp. The villagers said that a year ago a ship with the plague had come ashore south of their village. The proper funeral rites were not performed so on the anniversary of the wreck undead came into the village, causing the villagers to abandon their homes in a hurry.

The group traveled to the village, found that it was half burned down and swarming with undead. They were quickly defeated and the PCs headed towards the shipwreck site. As they approached the wreck many pus covered undead rose from the sand. With some turns and fighting the group took care of all of the undead before anyone was touched.

Gavin put a Consecrate around the ship and between him, Stepton and Kazu the proper rites were performed. The group brought back food, water and supplies to the villagers. There was a celebration and the villagers agreed to take the party to the port city.

Upon finding that it would take 9 days, Gavin suggested that Stepton cast Wind Walk and they could get there in a day. Also, the group said that they would buy some supplies in the town and send it back to the village.

When the party got to the port city island and the Lady of the Wind told Stepton that he had not properly requested her permission to travel by the winds. So Air Walk and Wind Walk were not available to the casters anymore. So it was on foot the rest of the way to the town.

They got to the city and had to get passes. They were going to get silver passes when Kazu mentioned that they were The Heroes of the Gate of the Wind. This got them gold passes. Which didn’t mean anything at all.

After spending the night in a very nice inn the group ran around town buying the supplies that were to be sent to the villagers, the next they went down to the docks and found out that they needed an exit pass to get out of the city.

They spent the day at the offices before seeing someone who could get them the passes. He said that it would cost 10 gp per person. Corby stated that seemed like a lot and the official started babbling the reasons why it cost that much.

Corby barked “Shut up. Here is the money” and slammed the coins onto the desk.

The official started in shock and left. The group could not find anyone to get the passes from. It was decided to leave Corby back in the inn the next day.

Very quickly the next day the group found an official to give them passes and Stepton negotiated him down to 5 gps. They had to come back that evening to pick them up.

One of the group mentioned that this time that they knew what to say this time since it went so easily. Stepton mentioned that the thing they knew not to say was “Hey Corby, come along with us”.

When they came back, they were taken to another office and seated down in front of another official. He stated that the official who took the bribe was in error and the group could not get their passes that way. He placed their gold on the table.

He did say that if they would do the Mantis Clan a favor, they would be taken to the mainland on a specially charted ship. The group got assurances they were satisfied with and took the mission. They had to spy on the Mantis Clan spymaster who was suspected of selling Clan secrets to other clans. They were given a list of places that she would go normally and a basic itinerary.

The group made plans and had Corby and Kazu follow the woman. It was a boring day until after dark. She went to a dilapidated house and entered it even though there were no lights on in the building. Corby tried to sneak into the house, but tripped a trap calling out the guards. Kazu and Corby hid for about an hour until the guards were satisfied there was nothing out there.

The next day they decided to raid the house. Corby snuck in, scouted that the rest could come in safely and then the mayhem started. Six guards were taken out, one being charmed by J’har. They were told and showed where the woman enters a tunnel hidden by a secret door. They headed down the tunnel, meeting a stone golem along the way which demanded a password. Raz shouted “Here is your password” and wailed on it with his great sword. It eventually accepted the password and they moved on.

They popped up outside the city’s walls in an abandoned inn. The group fought a group of wererats, some of them spell casters. Corby was bit, but didn’t get infected. It was full dark by the time they finished searching all of the papers and finding the damning information.

They discussed it and decided that they didn’t want to go back through the tunnel, didn’t want to meet up with the spy mistress. They contacted the official and he was very excited about what we found out, disgusted that she was dealing with were creatures.

They were given rooms in the official’s building and slept well, keeping watch incase the woman decided to attack them for revenge. In the morning, the group provided breakfast to the official and he said that the woman was killed with many losses. Seems she was not human, some fiend with tentacle hands.

They were brought in front of the Mantis Clan Lord, honored, given some gems for a reward and told they could ask the Mantis Clan for a favor.

Within a couple of days, they were on a Mantis Clan ship headed for the mainland. The overly complicated rules for engaging another ship were explained. This done, another clan’s ship threw down the gauntlet and challenged the ship.

Even with the insane rules of what can’t be done to the other ship and being outmaneuvered, the Raven Clan ship’s captain surrendered before too many of his crew were slaughtered by the Celestial Griffons that were summoned by Stepton and Kazu, the Mantis Samurai that were healing all of their wounds, or Raz and Corby running amok on the other ship’s deck. The main casualties of the battle were the enemy spell casters who were taken out long range by Gavin.

The Raven Captain turned over the ship and committed seppuku. Corby and Gavin had a problem with this. Dying in combat was one thing, killing oneself is another.

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