The foyer holds two circular stairwells. each leading up to the choir level. Decorated pillars here depict symbols and scenes representative of Torm. Curtains, some of them shredded by weapons and claws, separate this area from the heart of the cathedral.
They needed a rest. But where could they rest without being disturbed?
There were areas to the west but the closest area that they knew was somewhat cleared out was the choir loft directly above them.
They checked the bodies for weapons and gear that could be used and then they made their way up the southern circular stairs.
Situated atop this balcony is a magnificent pipe organ. Its ivory keys practically glow, even as its ebony keys seem to absorb all light.
Calmers had seen the organ a few times before but this was the closet that he or any of the others had been to it. He asked the others should he play it. They were preparing for a long rest in the choir pews and someone mentioned that maybe once they all got some rest he could play it. Calmers thought that everyone that could hear the organ that were not fiend would be inspired knowing that help was at hand. But, the fiends would know that they were there and probably move to attack them in masse.
They made arrangements for a watch. Jazulon and Nym would take first watch. Tharja and Reya would take second watch with Calmers joining them after he had been in rest mode for 6 hours.
First watch went by quietly. Jazulon and Nym woke Reya and Tharja. A little before Calmers was to awake, Reya and Tharja heard movement behind the north set of curtains. Reya asked Tharja to watch her back and she crept to the southern edge of the curtain. Pulling it back she came face to face with a spined devil who immediately attacked with its spines poisoning and blinding Reya. Even blinded Reya was still able to fight and soon her and Tharja defeated the devil. They took a quick look to the north and saw a young man dressed in guard’s uniform curled up in the fetal position rocking back and forth. He was either talking to himself or an invisible creature. They decided to wait till everyone was awake to check on him. Reya used lesser restoration on herself. Tharja heard something to the south just beyond that curtain. She pulled the curtain back and saw a merregon, (another devil) trying to spy on the group. They jumped it and took out it quicker than the spined devil. Not long after they finished that combat Calmers woke up. They filled him in on what had been happening. He gave them some healing and then set up a watch. Tharja stood at the conductor’s podium. Calmers and Reya would stand watch at each of the stairs.
The rest of the rest went uninterrupted.
Calmers decided to play an anthem on the organ. He sat down and played an old one that he knew was popular with the people of Elturel. The group was inspired by the music (This song grants a bonus die, a d8, to every other player character who can hear it. A character can only receive this benefit only once, and the d8 can be added to one attack roll, ability check, or saving throw made by the character in the next 24 hours.)
Feeling inspired and hoping the others that may be in High Hall were too they went to the north turret and tried to engage the guard. Calmers got close enough to hear him whispering to himself over and over again:
“Everything’s going to be okay.”
Calmers persuaded him to stand up and that yes indeed everything is going to be okay. He listened and then he stood up and said. My name is Trevick Thantorme. You all look familiar. Wait, you all are Hellriders. So, you all survived as well when the city fell.
No, we were out of the city and have made our way back to Elturel in hopes of releasing the grip Avernus has in our city and return it and its people to its proper place.
Trevick continued: The other guards that were here ran downstairs when the attack started, only to quickly fall. I remained here curled up just like you found me. If you will have me, please let me know join you in your hunt for the devils. They agreed and he picked up a spear and a heavy crossbow. They found a couple of heavy crossbows, some silvered bolt and 17 regular bolts.
They went back to the double doors that were in the hallway between to the two turrets. They were pretty sure that this led to balcony that overlooked the courtyard that they had entered High Hall from but they wanted to be sure.
It was a balcony and from there they really could see the damage and destruction done to the city. Hym noticed several meteorites that led him to believe that Hill Hall had struck by a meteor only after it had arrived in Avernus. They could see damage to the back of High Hall and knew they would probably see more damage as they made their way through the building.
They made their way to the Center Altar room.
An altar rests on a raised dais in this broad ha ll. Made of beautifully polished teakwood , it takes the shape of a gauntleted hand clenched into a fist. A large lever stands next to the altar, suggesting that it has some sort of mechanical function.
They knew that the lever can be pulled to open the hand, so that offerings to Torm or bodies undergoing rituals can be placed upon it. They also knew that there was a way down to the Catacombs below and seeing that they had not so far seen any survivors that is maybe where they had gone. Reya said she was not yet of rank to know the secrets of High Hall but she felt this was as good a place as any to start the search. Jazulon immediately spotted a large secret panel in the palm of the hand as he tried to give an offering of silver to Torm. The panel opened easily and revealed a concealed staircase that descended into the central portion of the catacomb.
They decided to check out the rest of the main floor of High Hall before heading downstairs.
They north to check out a smaller chapel like area. These areas can be curtained off for small private ceremonies. Each of these chapels contains the bodies of dead guards, as well as the foul remains of infernal creatures that died during the initial attack on the cathedral.
The columns at the north and south ends of each area have stone altars set before them.
The did not find anything to the north except bodies of devils and guards. To the south, they found someone dressed differently. He was dressed in browns and greens so he looked out of place. Jazulon took a closer look and the man’s eyes opened up.
Reya! It is so good to see you.
Reya said Seltern I am glad you are alive. Reya said that this is Seltern Obranch, a druid dedicated to Silvanus Seltern continued: I was here when the attack took place and after being knocked down in the melee, I feigned my demise to trick my attackers. I do not know about the current state of this place, but I do know that they gave instructions to flee to the main crypts in case of an attack.
Do you know how to get to the crypts?
No, but I think it has something to do with the Center Altar. I was never told how about the secrets of High Hall. Seltern then produced several Goodberries and asked if anyone needed them. Everyone was fine then but would may need them in the future.
They then check out the curtain directly to the west of the Center Altar. Jazulon and Nym went to the northern edge of the curtain and peaked around it. They saw:
This private chapel holds a desecrated altar with a decidedly fiendish air. Once dedicated to Torm, the altar’s features have been defaced with blood, ichor, and torn strips of flesh lashed together with sinew and intestines. Worshiping before the desecrated altar was a humanoid husk, with dried skin stretched tight across its skeletal frame. It bore a fearsome skull-like head and the tail of a scorpion, and a foul odor of decay hung in the air around it. It has vicious claws and it held hooked polearms made of bone in its left hand.
It turned and welcomed Nym and Jazulon and then went into a defensive stance. Nym aimed his bow while Jazulon told the others than a fiend of some kind had desecrated an altar. He then ran down the length of the curtain pulling it open for all to see and be able to attack.
The fiend stepped about 20ft in front of the altar and waited for them to come to it. Jazulon and Reya moved to melee range to attack it while Nym, Calmers, Lulu and Tharja stayed back and used ranged weapons and spells. The bone devil would grapple one of them and pull them in close to sting them with his tail to try and poison them. While Jazulon and Reya were hit harder than they thought they would be, Jazulon was the only one knocked unconscious. Calmers cast Healing Word bringing him back into the fight.
Once the bone devil was defeated they look for a way to cleanse the altar. Calmer said that several vials of holy water would do the trick. Reya said we could pray to Torm. That cannot hurt and may be able to do something. Calmers and Reya knelt at the altar and began to pray. About a minute later Torm’s power began to wash over the altar and wiped clean the blood and other desecrating elements.
Calmers said that as soon as we have the time I am going to make as much holy water as I can.