07-NOV-2009

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The PCs:

The PCs are called to the temple of Pelor, by their friend and associate, a cleric of Pelor named Taron ko Baernon. The Priest has a simple mission for the PCs – take a sealed message to the Duskblade chapterhouse on the other side of Volkraad.

Crossing the city, the PCs arrive at the Duskblade Chapterhouse, they attempt to deliver their message. However the Patriarch’s obnoxious adjutant, Donal ko Trom, is obstructive but they eventually meet the Duskblade Patriarch.

After receiving the message, the Patriarch sends them to an address in Hammer Street, deep in the Warrens (the disreputable slum of the city).

Arriving at the house, Hilda sneaks inside briefly, where she notices an odd smell. Observing the house from concealment, the group notice a group of men entering the building, one of whom is Donal. While Hilda and Orlando climb the side of the building to check the attics and upper floors, the others sneak inside after Donal and the others.

Upstairs, Hilda and Orlando find the source of the smell – a decomposed body lies rotting in one of the rooms. The corpse is that of Donal and he has been dead for a while.

Downstairs the others find a door that leads down into a cellar area, although it seems to go far deeper than a regular cellar. Joined by Hilda and Orlando, they find a large cavern that provides access to the city’s sewers.

Following “Donal” and his comrades, Hilda sneaks ahead and finds them in a large chamber arguing. A battle ensues when they are discovered. Noran and and Tonvar engage in melee, as Issaria casts Grease to even the odds. “Donal” attempts to flee but Orlando halts his escape with an arrow. With his death, “Donal” resumes his normal form – that of a Gold Mandragora. Whilst the other bodies are human, all have a peculiar tattoo on their arms: a double-headed snake.

Hilda notices a secret door and the group descends down a claustrophobic tunnel that spirals down into the earth. At the end of the tunnel is large chamber, easily able to seat a hundred people, and obviously a place of worship. The same symbol is emblazoned on a drapery made of human skin. Beneath lies a triangular altar covered in bloodmoss and dark bloodstains, obviously a place of sacrifice. The altar has symbols on it that makes the magic-users uneasy. A deep well sunk in the floor leads down to the depths of the earth – Noran drops a coin down and it sounds like it falls forever down the shaft. A dank breeze wafts from it.

After disarming a nasty trap behind the banner, the group find a large idol of a Dragon, forged in gold. It has been hidden for sometime, and a layer of dust covers it. Obviously of some value, the group takes it and other evidence and returns to the streets.

Arriving back at the Duskblade chapterhouse, the group meets the Patriarch. After disclosing their investigation, the Patriarch elaborates on their findings. The symbol they found was that of Demogorgon, the Abyssal Prince of the Depths; although the idol belonged to the Cult of the Dragon.

As he concludes, the Patriarch begins to convulse in pain – shards of crystal erupt from his body and they begin to glow. Those that fought in the Purge of Fire recognise a Splintershard (a Mandragora explosive device that hurls razor-sharp shards through the air). Tonrar hurls the dead Patriarch out of the window before he explodes, but a number of other explosions throughout the chapterhouse suggest that other Duskblades have suffered a similar fate.

Norran and Issaria suddenly sense a hugely powerful magical presence appear nearby. As explosions rock the compound, they rush to the Vault. Most of the Duskblades magical treasures are stored there. However, when they arrive at the Vault, they’re met by a wall of seething darkness. A Dark Seed Black Mandragora is within, looting the contents – just before they charge into the darkness, he leaves. A colossal Splintershard is embedded in the floor as the darkness clears.

The group grabs what they can from the boxes on the shelves of the Vault, and they escape just as the Chapterhouse explodes in rock and fire.