Ave Sestina

The Devil's in the Details

The Gate Crashers were awakened by Brendel and Alanna. A vizier devil was in the drawing room downstairs, and he said he wanted to speak with the party.

Most of the party managed to peel itself out of bed. Downstairs, a devil named Surakahn had a few offers for the party. He wished to trade information or magical relics for a few things: Gehentir, Council Record LV, and an agreement not to pursue the pact at Wolfsbridge.

The party flatly rejected his offers. He had one more before he left – would the party accept an olive branch of neutrality? The devils and the gate crashers would leave each other alone. The party’s warlord, Janos von Penderdam, pushed to keep Wolfsbridge out of the negotiations, but it was a sticking point for Surakahn. “Very well. No neutrality then.” He put out his clove cigarette and left the building. Behind him, a shard slave hovered in the doorway.

The Gate Crashers drew steel and fell upon the Shard Slave. They put it down, leaving the thoroughly-disturbed house servants to clean up the bloody Lovecraftian mess.

The next course of action was to talk to Drennemain, Archwizard of the Lyceum. The party was pledged to take down the Cult of Vecna, and they wanted to know if Drennemain knew anything more. Drennemain reported that in the week since the cult was found to be infesting the Lyceum’s Lower Stacks, none of her mages had been able to cut to the heart of the matter. The entrance to the lower stacks was covered with black pudding, and the evil mages had retreated deeper into the basement.

Raure confessed that her party had broken into the lower stacks last week, and had discovered the cult along with council record LV. Drennemain was frustrated, but a bit relieved that Council Record LV had been removed. Perhaps the Cult hadn’t gotten to it yet. She asked for them to return the book, and said they could make up the B&E to her by clearing out the basement.

The Gate Crashers drew steel and headed for the basement. Awful black pudding covered the floor. In places, it had coalesced into larger blobs hungry for living matter. A few rounds of hacking and slashing later, the party kicked its way deeper into the stacks.

Undead and aberrations guarded the next room. A beholder gauth was flanked by two Mad Wraiths. The Mad Wraiths filled the room with insane babbling, distracting people who got too close. The Gauth kept at a distance, pelting the party with its eye beams. The party managed to keep him back by closing doors.

It was a close fight. Several party members hit the floor, but they managed to pull through anyway. Badly injured and heavily fatigued from combat, they scurried up the stairs to rest in a nice warm bed.

There’s not much room left in the lower stacks, so the party must be getting close to the cult. The last time they were down here, they put down a woman named Lareth the Beautiful; she was in the service of a bald man with an eye patch. He must still be down here.

During the battle with the Gauth, some noticed that the party was being watched… their arrival will be eagerly anticipated.

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