The goblin chieftain Ripnugget still in custody, the adventure party was deciding upon their next course of action. The impetuous and heavily active monk Hiro sat in meditation as Aspen stealthily ventured North even as Feron followed her less stealthily. Realizing his own sounds may prove an obstacle for Aspen, the druid blessed her progress and retreated to the others.
As the monk continued to meditate his mental forces elsewhere to assist, Fuze was watching over their captive with an unwavering gaze, even as the expert awareness of Valentine was keeping the multiple paths of entrance and egress in mind.
The fires set by Fuze in a passageway finally burned themselves out. Aspen returned to enlist the dwarf’s expertise with locks and traps to assist her in claiming a large trapped chest. Though she’d recovered a pair of keys and ascertained that one fit, she discerned that it was in fact trapped. Disarming it, Fuze and Aspen drug the chest back to their companions to count the coins and inspect the included items.
Fuze’ natural Dwarven affinity with arms and armor allowed him to see that while finely crafted, the chain shirt and scimitar were otherwise mundane. This was further confirmed when they were included with the other items in the discovered booty that were lain out and traced for magic by Feron‘s spiritual abilities and Hiro’s straight forward magic detection skills. They alighted on two separate items including a silver jackal head and a necklace depicting a angelic female figure that both bore the remnants of magic use but not emanating magical forces themselves.
Choosing to rest up, the heroes took Ripnugget‘s personal quarters with their bound captive as the fully rested Fuze stood guard outside the chamber door. Before entering the room they were greeted by goblin graffiti scenes of crudely drawn goblins performing cruder acts. Some of the party was alerted to the fact that this scene included a goblin figure of much larger scale that seemed to tower over its fellows, and were getting prepared to face a gigantic goblin until Fuze explained to them that in the way of goblin self-aggrandizement that this was in fact Ripnugget’s depiction of himself.
Upon rising from their needed rest, Hiro attempted to intimidate the goblin into revealing all it knew. However, the goblin stood up to the beating and was soon unconscious again. With his particular background with facing goblin-kind before, Fuze was rather certain that Ripnugget truly knew no more; but was all too happy to have Hiro continue to beat him no matter how ineffective it might be. Hiro continued to do just this to the dwarf’s vast pleasure until the frustrated Valentine drew his gun and placed it’s barrel to the deceitful goblin’s brow.
Finally alighting upon the threat and promise combination from Valentine that appealed to the goblin, it informed them that the magic door they’d discovered before in fact belonged to a more powerful being known as Nualia, presumably the female demoness that they had previously viewed multiple depictions of. He went on to explain that the magic door that they’d encountered before would only admit the bearer of the key itself.
At this point, the party chose to store the still bound and wounded goblin leader in the newly claimed chest. They not only locked it, but in fact had Fuze re-engage the simple trap, with Aspen maintaining control of the key.
Mostly together with Hiro in the lead, the group continued to a large door to the West inscribed with hellish images of pregnant humans and humanoid races with ravenous demons bursting from their wombs.
Before tackling this ominous portal, the group agreed that they should first explore the paths to the North and to the South. The ever ready to rush ahead Hiro and Feron ran ahead and encountered the unworldly beast Tentamort…a many tentacled creature with a longer pair of envenomed stinger-bearing tentacles. Lashing out against Hiro the beast managed to stab the monk with one of it’s envenomed barbs.
Hiro then managed to flank the mass of tentacles and deliver two quick blows the the beast all but shrugged off. After running to catch up, Aspen had a chance to release a single glowing blade to strike true, delivering it’s full magical damage to the creature. Valentine as well managed to attack, his shot grazing the beast.
Tentamort then attempted to strike back, missing the evasive monk.
Feron settled into a comfortable and invaluable pattern of using his magical forces to boost and reinvigorate his companions as they took the fight to the creature.
Still flanking the beast, Hiro began truly punishing the beast with the rapidity of his ever sure blows. Aspen‘s magic blade punctuated the monk’s telling strikes, as Valentine managed another glancing shot off it’s pulsing mass. This blow was enough, though Tentamort still managed a parting shot with a tentacle en-wrapping Hiro and bearing him aloft over the sea cliff as it slid into unconsciousness. Feron‘s held buff was replaced with a quick thinking thrust of his quarter staff to be latched onto by the now dropped and falling monk. Between the druid’s heroism, and the monk’s deft reflexes, Hiro evaded the fall and rejoined his now victorious party.
With the druid’s possible misgiving of slaughtering the beast allayed by it’s other-worldly and unnatural existence, Feron took a sample rendered when the multi-talented former grenadier alchemist dwarf rendered usable samples for them both from the now dead tentacled beast.
In the next area, the group found evidence of the creature’s feedings in the form of carcasses missing all of their internal parts seeming digested still within the hapless victims.
Exploring the room beyond the party saw a woman whom they have yet to identify. Who is she? Perhaps more importantly, what is she? Questions beg questions, and it’s not just the scientific mind of the dwarf that needs to have them answered…