August 17, 2019 recap

They decided to use Sending to message Agent T to give him an update. Rhom said we cannot trust him. He needs to die. He has been alive several centuries and each time he does die he comes back. They still thought it would be a good idea to contact him so Ruven cast Sending and they sent this message:

“Wisteria is Siren raising assassin children working for The Black Dragon. Found Rhom. Found Edgar. Have kid assassin. At Pit. Need way back to Whitestone.”

Agent T replied “Wisteria is dead. Stay out of Whitestone”

The group put two and two together and realized that they had been framed for Wisteria’s death. They could stay at the Pit or go to Ember. Shanasita did not want to go back to Ember. They realized that they needed to let Rena know about Melody. They sent Rena the following message using Sending:

Melody is capturing and torturing guild members. Melody is the assassin code-named Siren that caused the vampire problems. Please care for Matilda.

Immediately she responded How dare you!? I am taking a bath. Only contact me during regular business hours. This is unacceptable. This will not stand. I will have… and the message cuts off and they hear an explosion. They think it came from the Pit but it could have come from Rena, they were not sure.

They decided to check out the Pit as it was late and they had already had a long evening. The arena floor was a hellish landscape with fights deftly moving about its fire pits. A ticket person came up to them and asked where they would like to sit. Nosebleeds were free. Bench seating was 1 silver to 5 silver depending on where they sat. Down at the bottom near the floor was 1 gold. A private box was 50 to 500 gold depending on what perks they wanted. They went with the 1 silver benches and tried to regroup to decide what to do next. The only place they could think of that they might be safe is back at the Yellow Temple. It would be a long journey but may be worth it. But they could not take Edgar and the assassin kid with them. They needed to be in a safer place, probably back in Whitestone. Rhom thought he heard someone calling his name, someone was. A man’s voice. He looked around and then back in the nosebleed section he saw Father Slushie.

Hello! I have some things for you, my friends. He gave Rhom a bag. Inside was all of his gear and a rolled-up piece of parchment. He unrolled it and it was a wanted poster for everyone for the murder of Lady Wisteria. But things were off with the image. Rhom’s horns were not the correct type, Shanasita was shown as a 5-year-old girl, Mitsune was a man. But they got Ruven 100% correct. They got the feeling Agent T and Rena knew that they had not done what the wanted poster was saying. They would need to travel to the Yellow Temple. But wait, the yellow amulet that Ruven was wearing was still blinking. There was another dragon and/or another dragon knight amulet close by. They handed Edgar and the assassin kid to Father Slushie who said he would take care of them. They would stay at the Pit to see if they could find either or both the dragon and the amulet. The two were usually close by one another. Shanasita asked what color is the Pit, or the Ring, on the map you all found at the Yellow Temple. Grey or steel. She pondered what if Steel, the leader of the Pit, is a…dragon. Ruven paid more coin to be able to walk around the arena to see if the yellow amulet increased its intensity. It got more intense as he went closer to the arena floor. He saw two thrones at one end of the arena. A large man, no it was a goliath, sat on one of the thrones. He was in a black full suit of plate armor of some kind that had many spikes on it. He had a very large axe that he would strike the floor several times to start the matches. That must be Steel, the leader of the Pit. Beside him on another throne sat Lady Karris, the leader of Ember. All around them were minotaur servants bringing them food and drink. The amulet did not get stronger when Ruven was near them. They would need to find a way beneath the area floor.

They asked about how one could participate in the games from the man that they bought their tickets from. He pointed them to a sign-in table and said the folks there will give you all the details. It would be 10gp a person to enter. The grand prize was 10,000. The games were as much about performing as fighting. One of the popular participants was Chip who never attacked. He only played to the crowd walking around taking off his clothes and flirting with the ladies. They had seen all types of fighters when they had been sitting in the stands. No one really cared if they made it to the final round. They were looking for another dragon amulet. They were introduced to a monk named Jemporary that explained to them how the tournament worked. The tournament had 3 phases. 8 rounds in the first one. 4 rounds in the second and then final fight, to the death. Lots were drawn. Mitsune and Shanasita were in Round 2, Rhom and Jemporary were in group 3, while Ruven was in group four. They were led back into the lower areas of the arena and then through a large door and outside and into a valley. In the middle was a plateau with a large encampment. There were some buildings but they were ancient and many were crumbling. At the far end of the valley was a large Olympian styled temple. The left of the plateau were taverns and bars for the gladiators. In the center was the “housing” mostly tents or buildings with a roof but no walls. To the right was the Foundery where weapons and armor and other items used in the games were made. They had several hours before their matches so Rhom and Ruven decided to check out the temple. Ruven cast Invisibility on them and they made their way up the 100 feet of stairs to the entrance of the temple. Inside was a huge Roman-style room that had a large throne at the far end. Elaborate drawings were on the walls but all signs of deities had been scratched off and symbols of war and fighting had been added. Around the room starting from the left was: a steel door, a passageway leading to stairs going down into a kitchen with 3 minotaur servants/cooks, the large throne, a short hallway leading into a dining area and more minotaurs, another passage with an archway leading outside and another passageway leading to off to the left. The kitchen had another door on the opposite side of the room. They would have to go through the minotaurs if they wanted to check it out. They went to the steel door and Rhom used Dimension Door and he and Ruven were on the other side. There was a short hallway and then some stairs down into a gym. They figured that the complex was Steel’s and that this was his private work out space. They Dimension Doored out and left the Temple returning to the group to tell them what they had found.

It was time for the Round 2 of Phase 1 of the tournament. The combatants were Shanasita, Mitsune, a Hulking half-orc, a tabaxi named Tooth and several unnamed fighters. The illusionary battle scene was a bamboo forest. Shanasita (Two Daggers) won with Mitsune (Badaxe) coming in second and Tooth who was not even alive (was slashed by Mitsune’s devastating axe attack), coming in third. Tooth was patched back up and would be ready for Phase 2.

The combatants in Round 3 were Rhom, Jemporary The Prince of Jersia, a half-orc called the Boulder and several unnamed fighters. The illusionary battle scene was a beach with waves rolling in.

Rhom (Soultaker) won with Jemporary in second and the Boulder coming in third.

The combatants for Round 4 were The Claw, Behemoth, Ruven and several unnamed fighters. The illusionary battle scene was a grassy plane.

Ruven won with Behemoth coming in second and The Claw coming in third.

That was the end of Phase 1. The competition would continue the next day. They went back to the Gladiator’s Valley had a meal and some drinks. Ruven cast Leomund’s Tiny Hut and they all went to sleep.

The next morning after breakfast the next rounds were announced. Mitsune, Shanasita, Tooth and 2 unnamed fighters. The illusionary battle scene was high columns in the clouds. Mistune and Shanasita made it through to the final round. Next up was Ruven, Rhom, Jemporary, Boulder, Claw, and Behemoth. The illusionary battle scene was rooftops with chimneys. Rhom and Jemp made it through.

The Final would be later that evening around 8 pm. The following were in the finals: Mitsune, Shanasita, Jemporary, Rhom, Angelica (a cleric), Chip (see above), Lord of Shadow (tiefling warlock/rogue type), Speed of Light (very fast around the area).

The group had all afternoon and they decided to check the rest of the Temple. They sneaked up the steps in front of the temple and then walked by the steel door and down into the kitchen. Ruven attempted to cast Hypnotic Pattern on the three minotaurs but it did not connect. The minotaurs picked up large meat cleavers and happily went in for the attack. They took down the minotaurs and went into the passageway on the other side of the kitchen. They made a left turn and then another left turn and a final left and then it hit them, they were in a labyrinth. They heard many grunts and growls around them and they knew the minotaurs were closing in. The group went to work looking for the way out of the maze. Shanasita picking out the footprints that the group made instead of all of the minotaur hooves, Mitsune tracking back the way that they had come and Ruven point out the markings he had made on the walls as they had left the kitchen. Soon, they were out of the labyrinth and went to check out the passageways just past the dining area. More minotaurs attacked them. This time using large axes. They were dropped as well. They made their way down the corridor to the left and found a door. They heard the splashing of water and decided to move on. They came to a large circular room. Around the walls of the room were suits of armor, weapons, horns, heads - it must be a trophy room. It was guarded by a large steel construct who raised it swords and moved to attack. Rhom cast Banishment and the construct disappeared. He said we have one minute. Let us get into place. That was then they saw that in the middle of the room a circular dais and they could barely see a plate in the middle of it with a small seam that was glowing as Ruven came closer wearing the yellow amulet. Mitsune attempted to lift the plate but it would not budge. Ruven was able to lift it with no problems. Inside was the Steel/Grey dragon knight amulet. Mitsune took it and put it on. (resistance to slashing, bludgeoning and piercing). They would need to attune this amulet and all of the amulets they had so far if they wanted to learn the full power of each one. The construct came back right where it had left and they all moved in for the attacked. The construct returned and they were able to defeat it. The group had found what they were looking for and decided it was time to go. Ruven said we need to be on the lookout. The person whose guardian that probably knows it has been destroyed. Sure enough, they heard really loud stomping and grunts and growls. They saw at least 30 minotaurs and in the middle of them was Steel and he was not happy. They ran through the archway outside into a garden. Jemporary ran and lost himself in the crowd of people close to the arena. Ruven took the pearl of power from Rhom and cast Invisibility twice so everyone was now invisible and Rhom used his Robe of Stars to shift to the Astral Plane. They would make their way out of the Pit and head to the Yellow Temple. It did not work. The minotaurs were able to sniff them out and soon they had made a circle around the group. Jemporary was caught as well and thrown in the middle of the circle. Steel yelled take them to the arena. They were led into the arena and Steel begin to speak. “It seems our champions are also thieves. I do not like thieves so instead of the final battle of our tournament, these champions will be fighting me!” The crowd roared and many people went to place bets not on who was going to win (they all knew Steel would win) but on who would last the longest, who would be first out and so on. The group was given time to prepare. Steel wanted them at their strongest. Rhom appeared next to a woman he had thrown a rose to after the first round. She swooned and then he joined his friends. About 15 minutes went by and Steel tapped his axe and the battle began. Mitsune swung twice and hit Steel really hard. Steel stepped back and began to laugh. I have not been challenged like this in years. Rhom appealed to the other champions but no one else came out to the arena. Steel attacked Mitsune getting nice hits in. Ruven used Suggestion to get him to back down but it did not work. Mitsune hit for more attacks as did Rhom, Shanasita, and Jemporary. Suddenly Steel began to shift. The crowd went silent as Steel turned from a goliath into a humongous steel dragon that had razor-sharp spikes covering his body. He said I have watched you fight and I have been wanting to battle you since yesterday. The crowd panicked with much of them running away. There were a few diehards who stayed in the stands to watch history unfold.

Steel’s frightful presence filled the arena. Everyone was frightened of the dragon but Ruven. Steel attacked Mistune hitting with bite, claw, claw. Ruven went over to heal Mitsune and was slapped by Steel’s dragon tail. They noticed that when either they took damage from the dragon or when they attacked the dragon, the razor blades would cut deep and cause them to instantly bleed. Magical healing would stop this effect. Rhom shook off his fear and ran towards the dragon casting Darkness near Steel’s head. The dragon leaped up and over and landed near Rhom knocking him prone. Rhom rolled over and cast Fireball onto the dragon. Steel attacked claw, claw bite on Rhom. Jemporary punched the dragon hard but one of his hands was impaled by one of the spikes of the dragon so he had to switch to his scimitar. Shanasita used her Staff of Swarming Insects on Steel. Ruven continued to heal Mitsune and Rhom as needed. Mitsune finally was out from under the Fear of the dragon and ran over to the other side of the arena. Jemporary leaped up and struck Steel in his right eye, destroying that eye and blinding him. He then rode the scimitar down the side of Steel’s face doing more damage. Rhom eldritch blasted, only doing damage but not able to move Steel around the arena. Ruven got out his Wand of Magic Missile and fired off 7 missiles slamming into the dragon. Rhom picked a star off his robe and also fired 7 magic missiles into Steel. Jemporary leaped up again striking with the scimitar in Steel’s empty eye socket. Steel made a guttural noise and his body went limp and slammed onto the arena floor. Steel breathed no more.

The handful of people that stayed gave applause, awestruck at what had just happened. A sudden power vacuum had just opened up. Would they stay at the Pit or leave for the Yellow Temple?