We arrive in a small chamber containing the statue of a woman wielding a Ranseur. The weapon appears which to be real! We examine the stone figure suspiciously until I finally decide to remove it. The weapon though mundane is finely crafted and free of the taint of this place.
We stumble through a sturdy door onto catwalk overlooking a gaol, debating whether or not to double back to two doorways behind us when we see them- Two more sinspawn; arguing and shoving each other in the dim torchlight. I draw out my bow while Mhad takes cover and Athene sneak around the catwalk, when one of the abominations hears her and comes charging up the gangplank towards us!
I stop the lumbering monster in its tracks with single blow that tears it’s arm off, leaving Mahd to finish if off.
Athene leaps down on the one which remains as I hurtle down the ramp into a flanking position. I smash it’s spine as Athene runs it through… I think we are learning to coordinate our attacks…
We poke through a score of long forgotten cells and the bones of unfortunate and equally forgotten captives. It appears that the same wards holding the tide of evil at bay are also preserving the bodies and wooden structures well beyond their years. We would do well to be cautious if these wards break- the entire place may fall in on our heads!
Leaving the exit at the far end of the catwalk we double back, deciding not to leave open pathways behind us. The passageway off from the statue room leads down and we instead choosing the other doorway at the end of a long hallway.
Behind it we find an ill temple foyer with heavy double doors and a font on a pedestal. Athene and I feel both drawn and repulsed by the font and its putrid green contents; Athenes twisted expression hinting at the evil within… As I lift my Earthbreaker aloft I see a vision; a brilliant light behind a Chelaxian warrior woman with shield and long sword. She nods her assent and I realise a holy aura emanates from my weapon not in a dream but actually lighting the room with manifest divinity!
I bring it down on the font saying a prayer to Iomadae and purge this defiled place, smashing it into rubble.
Emboldened, I swing open the double doors and stalk into a huge temple chamber. At its center is a pool and pillar of carved skulls at the rear, another, larger font… Truly I have been called to purge this entire sinful domain…
As Athene and Mahd draw up behind, a strange, tiny, winged reptilian humanoid in a ritual cloak appears atop the pillar- A Quasit!
Cursing and challenging us she disappears, only to reappear above the distant putrid well. Dragging a tiny dagger across her arm, her green-black blood trickles into the water below, bubbling and steaming when suddenly the slime covered form of a Sinspawn emerges! Truly this imp’s size bellies her power- and evil…
Athene and I charge and dispatch the summoned menace, leaping onto the platform after the Imp. She speaks a few words of dark magic and I am paralyzed!
She shifts again across the room, summoning more monstrous beings; a bulbous Demon and giant beetle which set upon Mahd. Athene plucks the bow from my inert form and starts firing at the little demon, but her infernal hide repels the brunt of the attacks.
I focus and shake off the spell, but realizing my impotency against the host I instead turn on her minions.
Pouncing behind the beetle it vaporises as I smash through its carapace. Trudging through the fountain I make short work of the bulbous fiend… Leaving only the Imp.
She grins wickedly as she casts another spell, ethereal skulls flood the room overwhelm my senses. Staving off the fear my companions are not so lucky and flee. It is just us now…
Hovering out of reach above me, my bow next to useless I grind my teeth with frustration… Then I remember the Ransuer… I rush her and swing, just as Athene and Mahd return, the imp shifts and casts again, this time directed at Mahd who drops like a stone- NO!
The creature appears out of thin air on her chest, tiny knife held aloft, surely it could not… The monster stabs deep and Mahd’s peaceful slumber ends, rich elvish blood mixing with the stale water leaking form the fountain.
We rush to her aid, staggering in the pool and swiping at this impossibly wily creature.
Frustrated beyond measure I hurl my maul aside and try to grab her. Her skin is oily and she struggles fiercely, turning invisible but I have her! I consider drowning her in the mucky pool but I know not if she breathes like a living creature… After Athene stabilizes Mahd, she binds the creature. The Quasit makes dark promises but I will not be swayed. She reads us well and instead offers us information…
I am tempted, this dungeon perplexes me, it holds many mysteries to which she may indeed have answers and many lives hinge on what we do here today… But I also remember a time with a similarly bound orc survivor of a raiding party. The greenskin also pleaded, and proffered intelligence. I would have set him free for Brother Captain Gaul who only shook his head. “we dare not set this monster free, and we cannot break our word even to the likes o f him and so we can offer him no deals… but above all he is evil, and to evil come lies more easliy than truth. The only thing we can offer him is a quick death”
I look at Athene who seems to have similar thoughts and say to her "She will only lie- kill it… " And so Athene feels for the creatures neck atop its invisible form and drags her great blade across it’s mouth, ending its struggles with a sickening gurgle.
As the bound and mutilated demonic form manifests in my hands, we attend to Mahd and assess our surroundings.