Part 9: A Cure for the Geas?
Our intrepid adventurers discovered that Damian did not know much at all about a geas or any type of compulsion magic, because it was an enchantment and Damian doesn’t study those. However, he knew someone who did – the guard captain of the city of Bludzen, who apparently asked to meet the group at night. When asked, Damian also revealed that the rulership of the kingdom works with people of any and all moral and ethical alignments, and only has a problem when they specifically stir up trouble. After a little further research that day, Damian teleported the group to Bludzen, where a guard approached them and wound up directing them right to a temple devoted to both Rashnu and Hati – the gods of death and winter respectively.
The Hati side of the temple did not sit at all well with Rephael, who noticed cages large enough to hold humanoids. Regardless, the party met the guard captain, Dorian Samara, and his new convert, Cecilia. After talking with the party, Dorian did a little research on curing geas spells, noting that they go completely against Rashnu’s edicts. He eventually found a possible answer – but he would need the heart or vital organs of a rakshasa to study how to break the curse. He sent the group off to get to his work proper, which was investigating disappearances of humans and one ceratos over the last few days.
Part 10: The Blast Caverns
Dorian, a shade darker due to a protective spell allowing him to walk outside during the daytime, surprised the group by meeting them at the inn the next day. Apparently the mayor, Samuel Darrin, wanted an audience with them. Samuel asked Dorian to step outside the room and explained that he had identified where three of the disappeared victims might have gone – the Blast Caverns, to the west of town. Dorian was a little surprised that Samuel had figured it out so soon, but let the group go there while he got some sleep (early in the morning. Vampires are like that).
Inside the Blast Caverns, the party discovered that many different monsters were being kept, possibly as an army. Dopplegangers, gibbering mouthers, zombies, earth and air elementals, and cockatrices were among the creatures present. Also present was a shrine to Dahaka, which zapped Fiona and Bruin before being destroyed. The party did discover what happened to the disappearance victims – they were all killed in this cavern. Near the end of the cavern, the party uncovered a bag of bones that held a complete human skeleton, minus the skull.
Part 11: Malign Paradigm Shift
The party brought the bones back to the guards of Bludzen, who really wanted to know where the skull was. The party didn’t know, so they checked in at the mayor’s office… to find his skink secretary wounded. Healing him got him to reveal that the mayor’s office had been invaded by demons after Samuel walked out. Picking the door open, they discovered the demons – they introduced themselves as “The Jailers from Hell” but eventually revealed their names were Mezuki and Gozuki. They had apparently been brought under contract by one Sithembile Dunnin to guard the office and make sure the quartet didn’t leave alive. They would wind up cheesing out of that contract after discovering Rephael’s power as a paladin, and used force walls to make sure they escaped.
Dorian arrived on the scene immediately after the demons escaped and was very shocked to find that the party had just fought demons – which led to a city-wide lockdown. He did consider the idea of tracking the demons with their spilled blood, but the more pressing matter was the discovery of a human skull in the mayor’s desk. Combining this with the skeleton delivered to them, Dorian used a speak with dead spell and discovered the identity of the skeleton: Samuel Darrin.
When Damian heard this, he screamed an expletive so loud that his communication crystal cracked, and both he and his child Sergei were driven to tears.
It turns out that Samuel was a close friend of Damian’s, and the murder has made Damian swear a level of vengeance that the party had yet to see out of him before. Damian also hinted that the other leaders laughed at him before when he brought up the possibility that the kingdom was at war, and firmly believes that this will prove it beyond all doubt. After all, this “Sithembile” had killed and replaced a city leader, something Samir had never done.
Now the war is official. The party wants to track the demons first thinking they might lead them to Sithembile, but they know they will need more holy items to deal with them…