Recap October 23, 2020

Jazulon named his new rat friend, Jinky.

The group took a minute to go through the treasure they found in the room with the thin woman:

Two gold necklaces worth 25 gp each, a blackened gold ring with a white pearl set in it, worth 125 gp, 2 healing potions (2d4+2), 1 jar of Keoghtom’s Ointment, 102 gp and 64 sp.

There was also a note on the thing woman: Slowly, murder and mayhem HAVE increased since it was excavated 6 months ago. No small thanks to the Duke.

It seemed to be part of a longer letter but they did not find any other writings on her or in the room.

They checked out the stone altar but did not find anything. They then looked at the rubble and bones but did not find anything there either. They continued down the stairs to the east and then moved north down another set of stairs:

The ceiling of this flooded room is supported by numerous wooden beams. The air here smells like rotten eggs, a putrid stench that carries beyond the room.

Tharja and Nym said “Gas, probably flammable gas. No fire.” They saw a door to the west but did not check it out and continued north into the gas filled room. They gave a final look around the room and then took the passageway to the east.

The gas was still strong but the further they went south the less they smelled. They came to another set of stairs going up and into a corridor at least 60ft long(that was as far as their darkvision reached out). There were several passageways or rooms every few feet down the corridor. Jockrates picked a random passageway and found a closed door. He did not find any traps and seeing that the door was not locked, he opened the door:

An open sarcophagus stands at the back of this dusty crypt, its heavy stone lid lying on its side between the sarcophagus and the south wall. The north-facing side of the sarcophagus bears faded frescoes of spear-wielding warriors charging across golden plains on horseback.

Jockrates slowly moved across the room to take a look at the sarcophagus. At first he only sees nothing but dust and a few scattered humanoid bones in the bottom of the sarcophagus. Then he noticed that it has a false bottom made of plaster to look like the stone that the rest of the sarcophagus was made of. He slammed his first through the plaster but brought his first back up really quick when he realized what was below. Below the plaster layer was a cavity underneath it that contained a human mummy floating in a shallow pool of red brine. In the place of its eyes were two moonstones. Jockrates left the moonstones and the mummy alone. He went back to the group and told him what he had found. Jazulon took a brief look and then they left. While Jazulon looked at the door opposite the mummy room to the north, Nym went to the door to the west. Jazulon opened the door before and saw a cave-in. He did not find any secret doors so he shut the door. Nym checked the door in front of him for trap. He did not find any so he opened the door:

Much of this room has fallen in, with the debris field mostly burying a stone sarcophagus that was looted years ago. Nothing of interest remains.

They all went down the door directly to the east from the first door they entered. It was not trapped or locked but Jockrates could hear faint humanoid moans on the other side of the door. He opened it:

Six moaning humans with rotting flesh shamble about this dusty crypt, which reeks of death. An open stone sarcophagus rests against the back wall, its shattered lid lying in pieces on the floor around it.

The zombies moved to attack Jockrates. Jazulon with Jinky on his stepped into assist him. Nym covered them with his bow while St. Calmers and Tharja gave support from the rear. Jinky would get a few bites in. The zombies hit hard with at least one of the group being knocked unconscious (cannot remember if it was Nym, Jockrates or Jazulon). Once the group got their groove on, the zombies fell quick.

Jockrates checked out the sarcophagus. The sarcophagus had been plundered long ago, and the interior yielded up only a jawless human skull and a few bone fragments. But he did see that carved into the north-facing side of the sarcophagus were ghastly images of human cannibalism.

They left the room and went to the door at the end of the hall to the east. It was not trapped or locked. They opened it:

The walls and floor of this room were covered with streaks and splashes of dried blood. Two dangling bodies were shackled to the east and south walls. One was an elderly male human; the other, a young female tiefling. Both were covered in bloody gashes, and neither were moving. In the middle of the room was a sturdy wooden chair with a bloody whip draped over it. A bucket half filled with salt sits on the floor nearby.

Tharja checked on the two victims. The man was dead, probably for at least a day. The tiefling was alive but unconscious. Tharja took out the key ring and unlocked her shackles and and slowly brought her to the floor. Calmers healed her and she slowly came round. She was startled at first that she was healed. Thinking she was to be tortured again she looked resigned to her fate. The group spoke to her and convinced her that they were not going to harm her. She began to speak:

I am called Vendetta. I was attacked in the Lower City, knocked unconscious, and brought here to be tortured. I need to leave. I fear the patriar family I worked for is in grave danger. Under interrogation, I gave my captors information regarding them and their security arrangements. They are called the Oathoons and I need to get to them. But I do not have the strength to do so alone. May I travel with you until I can leave this dungeon? They agreed and she joined them. She then told them something interesting:

During my incarceration, I heard what sounded like a heavy stone door scraping open and closed from time to time, accompanied by the sound of splashing footsteps. The noise came from the north.

They checked the door to the north for traps. Finding none they opened it. The passage curved to the east and as Jockrates moved forward he saw a flash of something to the southeast. Then he heard pounding on a wooden door and someone yelling intruders at the top of his lungs. He rushed to attack the Fist of Bane. As soon as he was in melee combat, the door opened and four more Fists of Bane entered the fight. When up close, the Fists of Bane attacked with maces. When at ranged, they attacked with longbows.

The Fists of Bane hit hard and they were difficult to be hit. Calmers stayed back with Vendetta to make sure she was not harmed. Soon, the Fists of Bane were defeated. They did a quick search of the room:

The room was lit by two sputtering torches in sconces on the north and west walls. A stone sarcophagus in the middle of the room stands empty, its lid half buried under rubble on the floor behind it.

They moved on to the door to the northeast. It was not locked or trapped so they opened it:

Jockrates saw:

Four flickering torches in wall sconces light this partially collapsed crypt. An open sarcophagus in the middle of the area was filled to the rim with blood, with spillage streaking the sides of the sarcophagus and pooling around its base. The sarcophagus lid lay half buried under rubble behind it.

Peaking around the side of the sarcophagus Jockrates saw an older woman. She asked if they were there to kill her. They said no and then asked if she too was kidnapped and tortured. She replied:

I am Nebra. I am a florist from the Lower City and was captured by members of the Dead Three and brought here to be their slave.

They said come with us. We will help get you out of here. She then said I have seen them using a secret door just down the hall. Come, follow me!

She led them out of the room and back towards the torture chamber. She stopped at the elbow and began searching for something. She then said Got it and the secret door opened revealing:

a ten-foot-wide flooded passage was braced at regular intervals by wooden beams. Old torch stubs floated on the murky water. At the point where the tunnel bends west, they could hear echoes of a battle unfolding.

They decided to wait to go towards the fight. Instead they checked out the door to the east. Opening it they saw:

a flooded room that was once a cellar, with the collapsed eastern passage marking a staircase that formerly led up to a residence in the city.

Jazulon entered the room and immediately four animated human skeletons rose up out of the water and moved to attack.

The skeletons did not stand chance but the old woman had disappeared. Suddenly St. Calmers was savagely stabbed in the back. He turned and saw the old woman standing with a nasty looking dagger and a wide smile. He pulled out his rapier and gave her a solid attack back. Once the skeletons fell, the group assisted Calmers against the old woman. She she fell from their attacks, the Disguise Self spell wore off and before them was a young man dressed in the same black clothes as worshipers of Bhaal.

Searching here they found another note:

We must find the Knights of the Shield. I believe that they are only in hiding and have not disbanded as has been told.

They moved to the west entering a large room:

Beyond the hall, a flooded chamber opens up with rough-hewn steps climbing to the south, north, and northeast. The floor buckles up above the water line in the middle of the room, forming a small island. Corpses and doused torches float in the water around the island, atop which two men circle each other with weapons bared. One of the men- a tall, unarmored brute with a greatclub and a scarred face-towers above his opponent but is gravely wounded. The smaller figure is muscular and bare chested. He clutches a bloody dagger in one hand and a torch in the other, and has no flesh covering his skull.

The man with no flesh on his skull turned to the group and said: “So you’ve brought friends, eh, Mortlock? A little late to the party, aren’t they?”

He stabbed the brute in the stomach and then disappeared in a puff of smoke. They could hear some footsteps in the water in the north part of the room.

The group looked around and were debating what to do when the brute spoke:

“Hold up.. My pouch.. I have a potion.. I’ll tell you everything.. I’ll help you..” while fumbling with his pouch, clearly bleeding out.

The group went forward to help the brute. Tharja helped him get the potion out of his pouch. They then healed him a bit more. He sat up and started to talk:

Who are you?

We are members of the Hellriders.

Really? You all are either much stronger than you looked to be or just damned lucky. Seeing as you all survived the destruction of Elturel.

Calmers said “mostly lucky. Who are you?”, he asked the brute.

“I am Mortlock. Mortlock Vanthampur. I was betrayed. These assassins conspired with my brothers to kill me. If you hadn’t come along, I’d be dead. I owe you my life. You see, my family is paying the Dead Three cultists to murder people in the city. Our goal is to prove that the Flaming Fist can’t do its job. Once the city stops paying them, the Flaming Fist will have less of a reason to stay in Baldur’s Gate. With them gone, no one can stand in the way of my mother becoming the city’s next grand duke. If she gets her way, Baldur’s Gate will share Elturel’s fate and get dragged down into the Nine Hells.”

The group looked at each other not sure what to say but gave a gentle nod to Mortlock to continue.

“My mother is one of the three remaining members of the Council of Four, which governs Baldur’s Gate. She was instrumental in convincing Ulder Ravengard to travel to Elturel and meet with its high overseer, Thavius Kreeg. With Ravengard gone, the Flaming Fist is leaderless and vulnerable.”

“The Dead Three cultists receive regular payments from my brother, Amrik, who runs his own money-lending business out of a tavern called the Low Lantern. My mother doesn’t expect much of me, but she thinks the world of Amrik. He’s always been her favorite.”

“My oldest brother, Thurstwell, uses imps as spies throughout the city. He has the bathhouse under surveillance and probably already knows you’re here. He’s very sickly and seldom leaves our mother’s estate.”

“If you’ve made it this far, you’ve killed most of the leaders of the Dead Three cult. Without them, the cult will break up. The cultists keep their treasure nearby.” He points to the southeast chamber just behind Tharja.

“My mother keeps mentioning a shield that has assisted in all of this. But I have never seen it.”

He continued “If we are done here, I believe I have to leave the city. I do not want to face my mother’s wrath and I never want to see my brothers again. But I can give you directions to my mother’s estate and to the Low Lantern tavern.”

They thanked him for the information. He thanked them for saving his life once more. He said I do not think we will see each other again, but if we do cross paths no matter how soon or how long, I owe you and I will return the favor if I am able. Oh, and if you are going to fight Vaaz, I suggest you take at least a short rest.

He gave a nod and then left.

They moved into the room that Mortlock had pointed to as the treasure room. They would take a short rest and see what treasure could be found. They saw:

Four padlocked wooden chests piled in the middle of it. The chests are locked, but Tharja had the keys to each.

Each chest weighed 25 pounds empty.

Chest 1 holds 4,500 cp and two red crystal vials with gold stoppers (25 gp each). Each vial contains a potion of fire breath. With the coins and vials inside, the chest weighs 70 pounds.

Chest 2 contains ten eye agates (10 gp each) scattered amid 1,250 sp. With the coins and gemstones inside, the chest weighs 37 pounds.

Chest 3 contains a delicate porcelain dragon mask (25 gp) resting on a bed of 2,400 cp and 500 sp. With the coins inside, the chest weighs 55 pounds. The mask weighs 1 pound.

Chest 4 contains a bronze crown with five spires (250 gp). Each spire is shaped and painted to resemble one of the five kinds of chromatic dragons (black, blue, green, red, and white). The crown weighs 2 1/2 pounds.

After they finished the rest they went north to see if they could find Vaaz. They took the stairs to the west and followed the corridor. To the southeast was an alcove. To the north was a door.

In the alcove they saw:

A wooden crate is stored in this otherwise empty alcove. The crate looks like it could hold sixty torches, but is in need of restocking. Only five torches remain.

Tharja opened the door to the north:

Nine wooden crates are scattered throughout this room. Scurrying among them are six harmless rats.

She looked in the crates. Six of the crates were empty except for packing straw. The other three contained probably stolen goods that the cultists had not yet disbursed, including ten days’ worth of rations, a bag of twenty caltrops, three flasks of alchemist’s fire, six sets of manacles, four tinderboxes, nine daggers, and four potions of healing in glass vials.

They looked west and saw a curtain in front of a doorway. They pushed the curtain aside and saw:

Burned torch stubs litter the floor of this hall, the western end of which is occupied by three six-foot-tall, painted wooden statues. Each statue stands atop a two-foot-high block of red stone, making it look taller and foreboding. The center statue resembles a heavily armored man whose face is hidden behind the fearsome visor of his helmet. He ‘s painted red except for his right gauntlet, which is black. Clutched in this gauntlet is a blood-red spear, pointed upward. The statue to the north depicts a purple-garbed male noble wearing a harlequin mask and holding a dagger behind his back. The statue to the south portrays a black-robed skeleton with its jaw opened wide and its bony hands outstretched.

Standing about 10ft in front of the statue was Vaaz and he gave a motion to come attack him.

Jockrates and Jazulon rushed forward with Jockrates soon standing face to face with the death’s head of Bhaal. Jockrates suddenly was stunned and could not move. Jazulon was stunned as well. They could not move but they knew what was going on around them. Vaaz attacked Jockrates with his dagger giving several deep wounds. It was too much for Jockrates and he fell. Calmers went to give support and to hopefully heal Jockrates but he too was stunned but only briefly. Tharja and Nym attacked with ranged spells and longbow attacks respectively. Calmers and Jazulon moved to engage Vaaz. Jinky the rat attacked Vaaz doing a little damage. Vaaz attacked Jinky and the rat fell. Jazulon was not happy and went to attack Vaaz. Calmers continued to cast Vicious Mockery, Jazulon punched, Tharja cast Ray of Frost and Nym attacked with his long. Soon, Vaaz fell.

They searched him. He had 3 daggers, a pair of black pants and a pair of black boots.

They were about to leave to go back to the High House of Wonders when Jazulon said I want to make sure we did not miss anything with these statues.

He went to the statue to the north, purple-garbed male noble wearing a harlequin mask and holding a dagger behind his back. Looking close he saw that the mask was a separate piece that could be unhinged and removed. He removed the mask and it revealed Bhaal’s ghastly, skull-like visage underneath.

He held the mask for a minute and the put the mask back on the statue of Bhaal.

Jazulon went to the statue in the center. It resembled a heavily armored man whose face is hidden behind the fearsome visor of his helmet. He ‘s painted red except for his right gauntlet, which is black. Clutched in this gauntlet is a blood-red spear, the tip pointed upward. As Jazulon got closer he got the urge to kneel and grovel before the statue. It did not look like he was going to leave so Jockrates and Nym went to pick him up and take him out of the room. But, Jazulon held fast and they could not move him. Jockrates had the urge to kneel as well but it was brief and then went away. As suddenly as it had happened, Jazulon no longer had the urge to kneel and he stood up. He shook his head and then looked at the final statue to the south.

The statue to the south portrayed a black-robed skeleton with its jaw opened wide and its bony hands outstretched.

Jazulon searched the statue for secret switches. He suddenly had a bad feeling about things in general. (He had been cursed and would gain no benefits from magical healing until the curse was removed.)

Jazulon turned to the statue to the north and walked over to it and put the mask back on Bhaal’s face. He then turned to the group and said:

Well, that certainly was the wrong thing to do.