After the events described in the last post, we had a lull in participation, and as a result the party roster changed a lot. The current party consists of the following:
Twothought: An Agarthan who dropped out of earth reader school to become a scout. Uses earth and nature magic, and is a Warden in D&D terms. Very tough, but also sneaky and good with nature. Still loyal to Agartha, but this comes up a lot less than the genial corruption and enjoyment of Ermorian cuisine; though pale ones don’t need to eat, the food and wine available are still an enjoyable luxury.
Behesh: The only other character still here from the beginning. This lizard also enjoys his wine, and is purported to enjoy the pleasures of the flesh (particularly with other males) but more importantly is a powerful necromancer. He had some kind of relationship with Nyxmantis, but since that’s been resolved, he’s now resigned to acting superior to the Ermorian mages.
Egalitus: The third player to be here since the beginning, but the character is slightly more recent. He’s an officer from the garrison of Eldregate, but his underlings are dead now so instead he’s the officer who takes on a leader-type role for the party. He has a strong affection to Ermor, which is his home, and of all of us is least inclined to leave it.
Saoluthi: Another Ermorian, but this one is dead. He was an augur turned undead by the curse, but somehow retained part of his sanity and fights alongside us now. Like Egalitus, we knew him as an NPC before he became a PC.
Ariovistus: A gladiator. He has a chip on his shoulder about the whole “slave forced to fight” thing.
Franz Liebkind: An ulmishman, a priest in the transitional period between ages. He worships Crom.
Lagash: A shambler from deepest Atlantis, and a skilled evoker. He uses a knife as his implement.
Imbrios: This halfman is a coward, as is typical of his race, but he’s incredibly skilled with the bow. He brings down foes quite efficiently, so long as he’s protected. And so long as we have continued access to Ermorian wine.
Our first task as a party is to collect our pay for our last job. The quartermaster tells us that the storage is now overrun by the dead, and so we must claim our reward ourselves. We do, but in addition to the dead, we find a horror, living blood. Nonetheless, the issue is quickly resolved through force of arms.
Too many ghosts
After this, we end up finally addressing a plot hook we’d left behind. The Colosseum is full of people separated from time. Franz and Saoluthi deduced that this was because it had become overlayed with the underworld, and everyone in it was dead. Franz tried to close it and failed, which angered the ghosts and so we had an action-packed escaped, chased by literally thousands of ghosts. Far more than there was actually capacity for in this arena. At one point, I dove right into them to kill some more, which my party members didn’t appreciate, but it was fine since I have tons of HP. Fortunately, the ghosts were unable to leave the building, so we were safe once we made it past the threshold.
Faced with a problem too big for us, we went for help. Soliciting the aid of thaumaturges from the army, we returned to try again. First of all, the ghosts were calmed via arcane intervention. Then, we intended to shut the gate and send the underworld back to the underworld. It wouldn’t even have been that hard. But rather than banishing the ghosts, the thaumaturges wanted to control them, and so they tried their best to do so even though Behesh assured us all that they would screw it up and release more undead into the city to kill the few people that remain.
So we got in a fight.
We all went into the arena area to work on solving the problem, while Behesh stayed back to be diplomatic. Then Franz and Saoluthi got to work banishing the ghosts, while the rest of us got in fought the thaumaturges. Except Behesh. He saw the rest of us fighting but he didn’t want to kill more living beings, so he just chilled in his lounge chair sipping wine because that’s what he does. Well, at least until Lagash told him to move, and he barely did, and Lagash hit him with the edge of two powerful AoE attacks. Then Behesh fled the area, tossing some spells of his own behind him.
This left the rest of us trapped in a hallway, but fortunately we were able to burst out by remembering that bull rushing is a thing. Unfortunately, I burst out ahead of everyone. I was so badly hurt that I had to actually use a healing surge for once. Then Saoluthi started hollering that we should run, and when a necromancer says run, you do. So we did. It wasn’t clear why. But as soon as we were clear, he changed it to saying we should kill the mages. His ranting never exactly makes sense, but apparently the thing that caused the downfall of Ermor was related to what happened in the arena (shocker, right?) and it’s also somehow related to the ascension wars. Unfortunately, while we were fleeing and talking, some of the mages got away, presumably to talk to their brethren, and so we split up to make sure we got all of them. Me and Lagash went back to jump one that stayed at the arena with the revenants. I tied up the revenants while Lagash shot acid at the mage, and then we spent an inordinate amount of time with me trying to extricate myself from the undead with only one party member to provide fire support. Their huge HP pools and grab bonuses made it all but impossible. The dice sure didn’t help. I got five natural ones before I got the natural 20 that eventually let me escape.
As we fled, I grabbed the corpses of the mages with intent to set them down in an alleyway and loot them, which proved to be a poor choice, as we suddenly met soldiers from the army of Ermor… While carrying the corpses of mages from that army.