15th of Mirtul of the year 1492
The mid-morning started off some serious dialogue among the party. ISAC had to get some information off his chest about what had been happening to him. He explained that he is never asleep nor has ever needed to breath, but when the giant bug had ambushed him, his thoughts vanished for a period time, and then there was the dream. A dream that made him feel suffocated and unable to breath, a unique experience for him. And he too heard a voice speak out.
“I shall tear the breath from all of you, I will give you unending agony of being torn asunder and spread your blood and flesh over the wind”.
It was clear that the party had now dreamed of the four different elements, and something dire at the same time. The conversation then veered around different tactics that they might want to employ the next time they got into combat, especially trying to control Sky’s need to run forward, something he himself did not seem to really understand why he did that. Something deeper within him was the cause and anxiousness of that.
The discussion also covered the need to start using the members of the party to take care of the actions that they were best at, such as searching, trap finding, and other aspects of general exploration and adventure. Once the talks were complete, the group began moving forward again.
Sky was able to notice that the eastern most doorway seemed to have had the most amount of traffic. Working carefully to not set off another alarm Vladimir and Fwoosh worked together to ensure a smooth and quiet entry into the area behind the door. No trap, nor alarm was found, but a long corridor that went south and had a branch that went southeast just a bit passed the door. They could feel cold air come from the southern passageway.
Hoping that this would lead to the exit, they skipped the southeastern passageway, but Avery did notice that it went about a hundred feet and ended in a door. As they creeped south, they found another junction in the corridor, this time one heading straight west into additional hallways. They were also able to see a staircase that would take them further down and south. Fwoosh was able to hear the faint sound of water splashing coming from the southern direction.
Wanting to be more thoughtful and careful with their actions and movement, Vladimir and Fwoosh headed down the stairs leaving the rest of the group further up the corridor and safely out of the way. Just past the stairs to the west, the passageway opened into a room. It was not too large, but it was mostly filled with a large pool of water. The pool was large enough to almost reach all the walls of the room. The more horrifying sight was that there were 30 to 40 skeletons scatters around the room. All in different positions, none had any remnants of clothing or belongs, as if they had been tossed into the different limited open spaces around the pool.
Thinking that whatever that was in the room, was not going to be pleasant, Vladimir decided that retreating was the best option. While coming to that conclusion, Vladimir was able to notice that something very large was swimming in the water. As he attempted to look closer, he noticed that it seemed to be a person on the top part and a long fish body on the bottom. Nothing he had ever seen, nor heard of before. The swimming figure seemed to be chained to something in the water.
As they both turned around and began to depart, they heard a young woman’s voice calling out to them.
“Can you not leave; I am trapped here. I am afraid they will come back and kill me. Can you please help. I can help a little bit, but…. I am chained here by magic and cannot escape.”
“What are you?”
“I am a mermaid; these water worshipers summoned and trapped me here.”
“What is with all of these skeletons here?”
“There is a priest here, he sacrifices people here to his water god.”
Vladimir was strongly doubting her words and determined that there was just something wrong with her and what she had been saying but was not able to figure out anything specific, the mermaid seemed to be honest with him.
“Hold on, we will be right back”.
“Don’t leave me, you are the first non-worshipers I have seen here.”
“We will be back in just a second.”
Moving somewhat quickly, Vladimir and Fwoosh rushed up the stairs. Discussing the issue with the group, Angelica was able to remember about other primitive god worshiping that might have had sacrifices like what was described. The green glowing chains that held her there were an interesting point. Maybe if they could be removed, she would be able to return from wherever she had been summoned from. As a result, Vladimir pulled out his broken dagger to ask it for an Augury about trusting the mermaid.
Getting an answer that did not bode well, he suggested they just leave her there. With the rest of the party ready to drop her like a bag of dirt, they began discussing where to go next, when they heard another different voice behind them, from down the stairs. A haggard, creaky, and just old sounding female voice.
“Oh, my little lambs, you could have made this so much easier.”
What Vladimir and Fwoosh were able to see was an old woman approaching them. She looked like she was covered in ice, and as she approached, a freezing cold mist spread out over 30 feet from her decreasing the already cold temperature to something well below freezing. Cold enough to start causing them pain and damage.
As battle broke out, anyone that entered or stayed in the misty area took damage. The battle raged further up the stairs with the hag first engaging them with different ice spells and finally closing in to attack them with her claws. With a fair amount of effort, the party was finally able to kill her. Upon her death, the freezing area dissipated, and she melted into a pool of water.
Exploring the now unoccupied room, they were able to find a fair amount of coin, and using his innate Detect Magic, Fogo was able to find a magical stone lantern as well as what appeared to be a scroll case. Avery looked at the scroll inside, and it was evident that what was contained on the scroll was some sort of arcane writing, but Avery would still require a fair amount more training and experience to be able to read or utilize that scroll.
Moving on to the southeastern angled corridor the party made their way to the door at the end of it. While all the doors in this basement had been replaced with new and reinforced door, this was the first time they came across one that was so heavily banded in iron. Even though there was a locking mechanism, the door itself was not locked. Taking a cautious method of opening it, they group could see another door immediately to the north with the same reinforcements as this door, and a very long somewhat straight corridor heading directly east.
After a quick listen to the door, the party decided that going down the long corridor was a much better idea. They began walking down that hallway, but it proved to be much longer than they expected. After traveling over 400 feet and a slight slope upwards they stopped. The party could feel that the further they walked the colder the temperature became. Figuring that this was probably the exit, they then went back to that last door to ensure no one would be ambushing them from behind.
After preparing for entry, they opened the door to a group of soldiers who all immediately opened fired with their crossbows. Attempting to position themselves more intelligently and tactically they cast several spells, while the group hoped that the soldiers would advance, but that would be in vain. The soldiers, much better trained in tactics compared to the bandits, kept their distance and moved in and out of the far room for cover and only exposed themselves to fire their crossbows.
Knowing that they needed to close, the party rushed forward and engaged in melee with the men. A slaughter ensued except for one brave soldier that managed to hold out for well over a minute. The men in front were replaced as quickly as they were killed, and then the sergeants replaced them, finally a lieutenant entered the fight, and finally their boss who stood in the back tossing out damaging spells at the party. At one point, he even managed to Banish Angelica to some remote realm.
But, even the heavily armed, armored, and spell casting boss was defeated but not before causing most of the party to have been wounded and several to be knocked out. Angelica at some point transferred back to this world without any difficulty except for falling on a large pile of dead soldiers.
With the battle over, the bodies looted, and everyone gathering in the room at the end of this hallway, they were faced with another heavy door to the east. After a lot of chatter, they decided to start resting right here and not open that beckoning door.
This is where the session ended.
The group managed to get to the local boss in time before he departed this base for the next one. If they had spent just a little more time and they would have missed out on a lot of things. The ice hag was obviously feeling under the weather and did not fully execute all her powers but made for an interesting encounter.