In the halls of Rappan-Athuk, our heroes made a final assault against level one. They entered a foul-smelling room full of fungus and vegetation that contained three latrine stalls…and two shambling mounds!
Lily launched a web at them, but their large size allowed them to break through the webbing. Decker and One engaged them hand-to-hand and Kyria let loose a volley of arrows, while Warden’s shed Ritesheen’s prayer upon the party that really turned the tide of battle.
From there, it was time to exit the dungeon and recuperate, but one more battle with a huge water elemental awaited. It’s high DR made injuring it a challenge, and One seemed to be a focus on its aggression. Had it stood its ground, the water elemental and One probably both would have fallen, but it created a vortex and fled deeper into the dungeon.
Led by Decker, the heroes swam underwater to leave the dungeon. Lily and Warden drank more water than they should have, but the heroes escaped to discover that Fort Bask had been retaken by Covenant forces. Captain Gundark was leading the rebuilding and clean-up operations and was happy to see the heroes. (Everyone was given 1,000 gold piece reward for their information and efforts in retaking Fort Bask).
The heroes decided to go to the capital city of Tiersma to spend their loot, get cured, and recover. The two-week journey by foot was reduced to a few days by the captain of a Spelljamming vessel who had also aided in the retaking of Fort Bask. Captain Allison Frey (h-e female) gave the heroes a tour of the ship along with a magnificent view of the capital.
Tiersma is a marvel of dwarven engineering and siegesmithing. It’s high walls are built to withstand virtually any assault, and all manner of weapon lines the battlements. The city is home to a mighty cathedral to Banis, and the seat of power for Saint Megan Fireform. Shrines and churches to other good- and neutral aligned gods are also welcome, and Darkstar has a public facade (which isn’t surprising considering that Saint Megan Fireform is a ranking member of the order).
(Note: Everyone had a chance to talk with their Envision/Darkstar contacts while in the city if they so desired. Those that did were formally inducted into the orders for their efforts in retaking Fort Bask and investigating Rappan-Athuk.)
One visited the church of Rechara and was cured of lycanthropy and other afflictions by High-Priest Calest (human male, 12th-level).
Decker visited the Cathedral of Banis and met the dwarf cleric Bormin, who also administered a cure. He also got to see Saint Megan Fireform give a sermon on Lordsday and regale the crowds with the Battle for Darkstar.
Kyria visited the monks of Si Soless, and Warden visited his contacts.
After a brief few days in Tiersma, the heroes headed back to the dungeon. The roads from the capital to the forts were mostly well patrolled after the invasion, and they didn’t encounter any danger until the left Fort Keeper and began the week-long journey to Fort Bask.
While camped along the road, the heroes were attacked by a vampire. It started off with whispers in the night.
“Of course I’m evil…”
“You’re going to make great additions to my stable…”
An 8-year-old girl vampire, winter warg, and wolves attacked the heroes in the final hours of the night—but the master vampire never showed himself clearly.
“Daddy, why are you hurting me?” she cried at Warden after he blasted her with searing light.
“Mommy, why are you angry?!” she screamed at Kyria after she let loose a volley of silver arrows.
All during the battle, the master vampire taunted the heroes. “I like to watch,” he whispered.
“This isn’t over…I’ll see you soon”