The combined party – Quinley, Zawadi, Artrious, Aldrik, Tyr, and Cordius (sic) – emerged into second room following last week’s ambush on the other side of the Doomvault entrance gate. Temporarily disoriented, Magus (and Sloth) and I found ourselves inside a large pit arena with twenty some other unarmed people (including Shalendra Floshin and Kelson Darktreader).
We faced two crazed vrocks, while a vampire laughed at our struggle to keep the demons back. Thankfully Magus and I were not disarmed before we tossed into the pit. Seems the be-damned vampire sought enjoy a bit of sport, watching us battle to protect the others. I don’t know, however, if he was a mere thrall or a Thayan apprentice. No time to discern with our life’s on the line.
A shadow passed over our heads. It was Quinley, diving down into the pit to with glee. Magus and I positioned ourselves as a barrier against the Vrock’s advance. Above along the pit rim, we noted Artrious, Zawadi, Cordius and Tyr take defensive stances to engage the vampire. Zawadi’s shield shone as bright as the sun. The vampire screeched and sneered at the light.
Quinley quickly swung Blackrazor and his rapier, severing the vrock’s arm with ease and lodging Blackrazor into its side. It uttered a screeching high-pitched squak-hiss and gazed at him with hot hatred. At the same time, I swung both my weapons, wounding the second vrock. Magus and Sloth attacked both vrock. One of the vrocks bit savagely into Sloth with its beak. At the same time, a pustule burst on its skin, releasing deadly spores. With the welcome blessings of Bahumut and Helm, no one was effected by this deadly corruption. Both were destroyed; sent back to the Abyss.
Meanwhile, above us, Artrious swept his flamebrand against the vampire, calling upon Helm’s righteous fury. He was riddled by arrows and the splash of a Melf’s acid arrow. Sloth, commanded to utilize a ring of flying, ascended from the pit. He proceeded to pummel and crush the vampire’s body.
Held in place by the sunlight and succumbing to this assault, the vampire burst into flame and crumbled into a fine dust. His soul is now at rest. A crystal glyph pendant fell from the debris. This pendant will assist our further exploration. We attuned
Reaching into my bag of holding, I uncoiled my rope and tossed it up to our waiting comrades. Artrious held it steady, enabling us to extricate Shalendra, Kelson, and the twenty-some defenseless prisoners.
Our party was unsure of Shalendra’s motivations, given her rash rush into the Bloodgate after Baazaka’s emergence. The suggestion was made to shackle her, in order to avoid splitting the party to keep watch. Owing to my prior relations with the Floshin family, I advocated on her behalf to the others. I asked Kelson take charge of her and safety of the freed prisoners. To arm him, I yielded my longsword. We asked them to wait momentarily, so we could find a contact stone to attune all the keys.
We then pressed on down the corridor to the south of the arena. Looking around, we saw a propped open coffin on a dais located at the room’s center. Black velvet draped the walls. Prisms studded the walls at intervals. A wave of nausea hit us upon entering the room. Suddenly, shadowy mirror images of Tyr, Sloth, Aldrik, and Cordius materialized and moved to attack us.
We were taken aback, fearing the fell sorcery would might visit wounds inflicted upon the mirror duplicates onto their real doubles. Quinley and I quickly dispatched the Sloth double. Seeing no wounds rebound, the rest of our party quickly engaged the remaining doubles.
Our early hesitance was not without its consequences. The Tyr double laid a fireball down amongst our party. Through nimbleness, all of us – excepting Magus and Artrious – took minor damage. Artrious suffered the brunt of the flames, with his plate armor absorbing the heat and scorching him. Strangely, Magus seemed not at all effected as he ambled through the blast. I could see only a few burn marks on his robes.
The battle quickly became a chaotic struggle. Tyr launched a cone of blistering frost into his double. He yelled in rage, taking the fireball as a (self-perpetrated) affront. His double was destroyed. Quinley and Artrious cut down the Cordius double, while our combined efforts finished the Aldrik duplicate.
Searching the sarcophagus, we collected six scrolls (three each of detect magic and comprehend languages) and a writing kit (containing 15 sheets of paper). As we shall be splitting our parties next week, we should distribute these treasures. At the minimum, Tyr and Magus – as am I – are skilled as scribes. Who knows when we shall have need of the scrolls.
Having just received a third glyph, we attuned each glyph key to each other. We surrendered the third key to Kelson who returned with the others to the Gatehouse. I suspect we may have need of his assistance later.
Saying our goodbyes, we took rest in the entry point room, near the gate. Tyr and I took turns keeping watch, while the others slept. Prayers were made and spellbooks were studied.
I spent a bit of time drafting a circuitous, two-page nonsense document, which included intermittent passages scribed in Loross (Netherese) and Espurar (Elvish), and false identity. I made use of my disguise kit: hide my hair and pointy ears and apply false facial tattoos. Thankfully, my moon elven ancestry provides me sallow complexion (matching that of Mulan descent).
I think we could easily run a long con when we encounter lack-witted Thayans: We would pose as bounty hunters – per the commandment of the Lord Szass Tam – to scour and capture threats wondering the countryside. One or more of us serve as “prisoners” (in unlocked manacles), being transported through each zone.
Used altogether with duplicity, I believe it will smooth my squad’s passage. With the smiles of Tymora and the Green Changeling, we will have no cause to slip these false identities ….