January 14, 2019

Ben-Dagra session 2: We're all gong farmers, seriously, I promise

Cast:
Emmett the Astrologist
Calhidon Starstrider, Elf
Liu-Chang Xhan, warrior and duck wrangler
Bavon the butcher cleric
Sneed the Thug

Months pass after our previous adventure, but we each pick up on rumors of nefarious opportunities from our combined contacts.

We learn of the House of the Green Crane, containing some sort of magic key and treasure in the highest room of the tallest tower. It's in an ancient mansion in the Gold quarter belonging to a long-defunct family. Fallen into disrepair and haunted by ghosts.

Sneed taps his patron in the Gold district to learn what he can, and his contacts tell him that the bottom floor has been taken over by wastrels who use it as a gambling lounge and den of iniquity.

Emmett immediately starts thinking of plumbing. Bavon offers to help however he can.

We approach the mansion. It's a huge, sprawling complex.

Main entrance on the east. Dilapidated entrance on the west that appears collapsed and impassable.

We push our way inside. Smell of body odor, drugs, alcohol....sex and candy? Guttering candles and lamps. It's a large floor-plan broken up into smaller apartment/storefronts, similar to a flea market.

Food sellers, gambling stalls, flesh sellers, drugs. Arranged into two rows of ramshackle booths.

At the far ends are a pair of doors. Guards stationed on each side.

Sneed slithers over to booth near the end and strikes up a conversation with the merchant there. As he pretends to have a conversation, he makes a sign of recognition in the language of the Thieve's Cant, trying to see if either of the door guards responds. One of them nods, and the other opens the door and enters into the room beyond.

Sneed takes this as a sign and approaches the guard, lying that he has business with him. The guard is suspicious, but lets him in. Sneed gestures for the rest of the group to follow him.

We enter a medium-sized meeting room. Tattered finery. Several imposing men.
A man in silk finery sits on an elaborate chaise lounge, and introduces himself as "Jakol".

"Why are you here?'

Sneed - "Sir, when I entered, I was assailed with the most foul stench of filth. I have brought with me the best gong-farmer in town to inspect your 'waste situation'".

Emmett, the gong farmer and recent wizard  regales Jakol with lots of plumbing jargon and contract violations, before offering to take a look upstairs for Jakol.

Jakol says that the upstairs is full of bloodthirsty ghosts, and every year or so, some dumb group of adventurers goes up there and never returns. He tells us, "Fine, go up there. But if you return, I want a full share of the spoils."

Sneed briefly considers forging some documents that would leave Jakol empty handed after all this, but decides against this course of action.

Bavon offers Jakol a blessing from the cow god in exchange for 1gp, which Jakol agrees to for some inexplicable reason.

We embark.

Twisting hallway ending in stairs leading up into the darkness. Musty odor. Slightly colder temperature. Is dark.

The elf lights a torch and draws his copper sword.

Emmett casts Akeem's Mystical Mask to see in the dark, but miscasts. Black fungus grows up all around us, covering the walls and flooring.

We enter a big room covered in dust. There's a rug in the middle of the room. Bavon pulls it, thinking it would make a great blanket. He uncovers a pit in the floor and bells dangling that would have alerted Jakol's thugs if we hadn't already gained permission to enter this place.

Calhidon kicks open a door into another room full of debris and masonry. Bavon digs through the rubble and pulls out a skull with a silver circlet around its head. Then a shadow pulls it back. Bavon says, "never mind, you can have it."

The shadowy claw shoots out and rakes at Bavon with its icy talons, savagely murdering the beef acolyte.

Sneed dashes in and drags the cow priest out of the room, toward safety.

Emmett casts sparks of magical energy into the shadows, but it fizzles out.

Liu-Chang lunges with his spear, jamming it into the shadow. The creature gives off a gibbering squeal. When he pulls the spear back, the silver circlet is dangling off of it. We hear a distant "quack".

Calhidon releases his falcon into the shadowy gap in the rubble. Seconds later, shadow entrails start flying everywhere, then everything goes still and silent. Calhidon sadly lowers his drawn bow.

Liu-Chang dumps a vial of holy water down Bavon's throat, praying to the gods for help, but the gods do not hear.

Bavon barely stabilizes from his mortal wound. He has black rake marks on his torso. Liu-Chang hands Bavon the circlet and says "I believe your god wanted you to have this." He puts it on and miraculously it isn't cursed.

We hang out for an hour to let Bavon recover from his ordeal. Then he places his holy silver symbol over his forehead and his wounds seal up.

Calhidon presses on and kicks in the next door.

Collapsed shelves. Broken glassware. Emmett finds a secret door that leads into a hidden chamber. We hear a sound like the intake of breath with lots of reverb. Dust coalesces in the center of the room, into the shape of a shadowy humanoid figure.

Sneed tries to sneak past, but the specter locks its white eyes directly on him.

Liu-Chang flourishes his spear fancy, but fails to hit.

Bavon casts Protection from Evil, but fails and almost throws his holy symbol in frustration.

The shadow floats directly at Liu-Chang with its claws and maw, but the duck monk ducks deftly.

Emmett fires his bow. Misses.

Calhidon unleashes his falcon, but it just passes through harmlessly. On seeing this, he casts Magic Shield on Bavon and fails.

Sneed dissolves into the shadows.

Bavon tries to Turn Undead. The shade draws back in horror and flees from the effigy of the Bull. It hisses and gibbers angrily from the corner, then disappears into what appears to be a wall. Calhidon inspects the area and finds a hidden door into a broken-open crawlspace.

We pursue and find a room with a floor that is canted at an angle. 6 small humanoid dust creatures emerge from the ceiling, floor and walls, and pounce on us.

Calhidon's falcon whiffs, and he fires a useless shortbow arrow.

Liu strides into the center and does a whirlwind maneuver.

Sneed slinks into the shadows behind cover.

Bavon beseeches his god to blow a strong wind into the room and disperse these creatures. An enormous wind rushes through, blasting the creatures free of dust, leaving only these emaciated, mummified angry monkey things full of teeth and eyes.

The creatures attack in a frenzy, landing hits on Calhidon and his falcon.

Emmett cuts himself like 1999 emo kid and and recovers his Magic Missile, casting it at the critter that attacked Bavon. The poor critter collapses into a puddle of hissing and popping acid.

Calhidon's falcon rips and rends while Calhidon fires his bow at a different critter. It continues to fight, despite being impaled by an arrow.

Liu swings his spear like a hockey stick, trying to slam one critter into the other.

Sneed pounces out of the shadows and back-stabs one of the uninjured critters, landing a solid hit. He immediately tries to take another attack, but gets too excited and overextends, but manages to regain his footing without stumbling.

Critters attack, hitting the falcon, the elf, and Liu-Chang.

The falcon and the elf retaliate. One of the critters drops, with an arrow through it.

Sneed flanks the critter attacking Emmett and stabs his dagger through its neck and up through its little skull.

Bavon heals Calhidon.

Critters attack, hitting the Elf and Liu. Liu drops.

Emmet casts a cloud of scintillating light shimmers, crashing into one of the critters, dropping it.

We finish off the remaining two dust imp.

Bavon rushes over to Liu and lays on hands, helping him almost fully recover. His god disapproves.

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