Monday, February 23, 2015

Day 20: The Artifact

After resting, the party returns to the sealed stone door and finds it standing open. After some hesitation, they venture inside to find a large natural cavern sloping down to a shallow pit filled with a black pudding the begins to crawl out and threaten them. Weapons are useless in this fight; they defeat it with torches and burning oil and the remaining fireball beads from Eryn's Necklace of Missiles. After the pudding is destroyed, they find a Y-shaped nickel plate embedded in the ground where it was resting. They pry up the plate and find a hole with a box underneath. Wrapped in hide inside the box is a small gray wooden figurine of an antlered man with tentacles. Touching the figurine causes Hinonk to suffer a terrible headache and hear voices. The party puts the figurine back in the box, realizing this must surely be the artifact the Guild sent them to retrieve.

On the way out of the Hold, Taniya attempts to free the rust monster in the kitchen by luring him out with some of the spare daggers the party found in the armory.

The party exists the Hold to find themselves ambushed by eleven drow, members of the Ebon Fang syndicate that effectively rules Treebrane: warriors, archers, and mages, and a captain who wields a magic cutlass and a dirk. He orders the party to hand over the artifact, but seems uncertain as to what exactly they found. Grabathor tosses them the Amulet of the Planes they found Vytor wearing. The drow captain orders one of the mages to examine it. She picks it up, activates it with a word of power, and is sucked up into the Para-Elemental Plane of Mist. The drow captain orders his followers to kill the party.

After rendering several drow unconscious and killing the captain and all but two others, one drow archer recognizes the hopelessness of her situation, stabs her remaining ally in the back, and surrenders to the party. Under interrogation, she reveals that one of the rangers sold information about the Hold to the Ebon Fang. The other drow are hostile and belligerent, and the party executes them. The archer pleads for her life, promising to leave Treebrane and reunite with her kin in the land of Bload, and swears she will help the party if they ever find themselves there. They agree to set her free and she gives them her name, Drusha Da'Aszhne.

Fearing that the rangers' lodge is compromised, the party hikes to within a safe distance from Treebrane and sends Eryn and Hinonk, disguised by illusion, to retrieve Ben and the animals. They return to Guffin without incident, paying Ben 2 GP for his four days of work. Hinonk tips him an additional 5 SP.

Gwindle loses 4 arrows in the black pudding. uses up 2 bandages, and loots a Cutlass +2 from the drow captain.
Utter loses 1 sling bullet in the black pudding
The party pours out 2 flasks of oil from the shared reserves
Eryn uses up 1 torch and the remaining 2 beads on her Necklace of Missiles
Hinonk loots 1 drow shortbow.

The party loots 36 arrows and 39 GP from the drow, and loses their Amulet of the Planes.
The party divides the arrows they've collected, giving 20 each to Gwindle, Grabathor, Chumsalt, and Hinonk.

Grabathor is awarded 100 XP for his ruse with the Amulet of the Planes.
Each party member gains 950 XP.

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