In which a bargain is made, a ritual is performed, suspicions grow, a mine resumes operation, and an unexpected rumor is heard.
Log entry – Elial “Cody” Litman, Watch Captain
continuation of part 1
Itrid continues to listen (natural 20) and having found where the harmonics of the cavern intersect perfectly she is able to listen in on the conversation between Elial and his great uncle undead lord, as if she were standing beside them. Da’ni and Karith both fail at doing such harmonic direction and with their 9’s they hear nothing but the growl of ghouls intent on feeding.
“Well Elial?” the uncle asks.
meanwhile in the background Da’ni is checking on the OSHA standards in the mine with the ghouls, “What are your working conditions like, hours you work, safety equipment, etc?” to which the ghouls look generally uninterested, but one does appear to possibly answer, with a yes, a no, or a maybe, it was hard to tell, since the grunts and growls have no literal translation as of yet.
“I will need time to inform my subordinates of my decision, and you need me to complete this purification ritual, so give me 30 minutes or so. what will happen to your subjects?” elial responds.
“nothing, unless you are offering bodies for them as well” uncle says.
I turn about, “his guards will guard the entrance, protecting us from the undead miners that attacked us earlier, we need to talk” i say as i walk back to the group.
ghouls approach Mae, and for a minute i fear we are going to have to fight anyhow. i tell her when i see her grip her weapon “Your goals will be met if we talk”
Itrid tells me she heard as i pass her, i tell her “You need to think on some things, the future, and where you stand” (intimidate 24 roll)
the moment passes, the ghouls setup guard position, i begin briefing the party.
Da’ni asks if he is my uncle, i respond with yes for the most part he is still my great uncle Ati Illuman.
I roll a nat 20 bluff roll to hide the true story and begin weaving my web. protecting the power, the carbellium, and my true intent to use this power to possibly take over the Natchi religion throne as well as the emperors throne as well, potentially with Itrid seated beside me, as her knowledge and political connections would make it a much better path.
Mae asks why not just kill all the undead, to which the ghouls hiss at her.
I tell her there is a difference between killing undead, and releasing their souls, and since these were not raised from the grave undead, typical in a necromantic arena, they were instead cursed by the deciept and treachery of the infiltrating red blades who stabbed my uncle in the back during a ceremony he was trying to complete decades ago. the treacherous blow caused the silver to taint red leaving their mark here, and cursed the lord and his men to remain imprisoned here since.
“The empire and the future of the empire, depend upon this decision and i think it is for the best that it be done” i tell them all, while looking directly at Itrid, knowing she knows the true ritual and the path i want her to take with me.
Cimera says “cant trust the undead, better to kill them all”
at this point i think i have convinced them all to support me in this path.
I turn to my uncle and tell him “they understand the natchi purification ritual needed to cleanse the mine your subjects and you from it”
Karith asks if the ritual can just wait for him to research and study the altar/cauldron, my uncle responds with “i have waited 50 years imprisoned here, and i will not wait any longer”
karith backs off.
Itrid checks her bardic knowledge skills (another useful thing on the throne i would guess.) and she knows of actual rituals like this, and though most of the stories and legends only talk of failed ritual results, she knows that at least it isnt a line of smoke being blown.
I am tossed a bag of arcana stuff, he wants me to inscribe stuff, pentagram, circle, elvish runes, all part of a necromantic foruma, and as i begin i can feel a field of force causing me resistance. this magic is strong.
blood then words, then me placing my hand upon his shoulder for the soul migration.
he goes fetal in the cauldron, “our future is about to be sealed” i tell Itrid, out loud my eyes on her.
reflex save, mae fails, rerolls, a faint evil growing circle of power. Da’ni bluffs the ghouls that miners are coming (29 roll)
i roll a natural 20 to finish the ritual
i touch my uncle, blinding flash of light, deafness blast, mae and i are dazzled. 20 on my will save to keep my head from exploding, as it becomes very full in there. magic dissipates, i have a faintly evil aura now, we tlel mae that it is just residual energy from the spell ritual.
undead go feral, uncle has lost control, their eyes change, they attack Mae screams out “you lied to me, i am not happy with you” mae distinegrates one on a charge with her undead reaver. karith missed on his charge, my schorching ray hits mae in the battle down the hall, my uncle says just before i shoot that the paladin can ruin everything if she lives" semera immediately turns and attacks me, stomping making me go prone. da’ni attacks a ghoul, the dwarves turn to cimera and ask her what is going on, why is she attacking me, she ignores them.
mae crits another one, and then hits a 2nd one, and misses the 3rd, and drops prone unconscious.
karith shocking grasp to a ghoul, it crackles and explodes. itrid tries a full round directed at cimera to calm her down. she ignores her as well.
i scream out to cimera “what are you doing, why are you betraying me and us, it was a mistake” and i go invisible with cody, stand up.
she stomps again, i am able to ignore it.da’ni gives Mae a healing potion bringing her back up.
dwarves try to assist Itrid with diplomacy to stop Cimera, she ignores them.
mae starts detecting evil, spots me.
i whisper to itrid, “calm her” as i pass invisible, but cimera heard me, and moves in my direction
“where is your lying commander at?” mae asks, “the undead were or are still alive, and he is evil” Karitch grabs parchment and tries to start inscribing runes from ritual.
Itrid fails once again with Da’ni and dwarves helping her to get cimera to back down.
I move again, cody is on guard of Mae, Da’ni does his version of diplomacy and gets Cimera to back down a bit “You need to come out now, I have done nothing to you, you have lied” mae says. “not a purification ritual, i can tell you it was not, you lied to them” she thinks she knows what is or was going on but how could she?
“everyone just needs to calm down” da’ni says, with a 28 diplomacy he finally gets calm to happen.
i reappear down the hall, with cody in front of me.
intimidate 19 from me “back down now, you do not understand the arcana ritual at all, you are going off of your paladin undead hatred goddess view, purification was successful, check the cauldron, my uncle is dust”
magical mithril half plate lies in the cauldron, when Karith goes to investigate, the cauldron upends itself and falls with a loud CLUNG “see i told you it was purified, the cauldron could not be moved before now, the undead souls left their bodies, and they turned back to mindless servents, I am not evil, anything you see if just leftover residual energy from the cauldron of power, where is your proof?”
Da’ni notices Karith putitng the half plate and then trying to put the cauldron in the haversack, alerting everyone that he has it. cimera points out that he is taking magic and hiding it from them.
Cimera tells Mae that she doesnt like this one bit, but that Mae is the undead expert.
Itrid says perhaps it isnt long lasting, and is indeed a residual side effect of the ritual and power, from the cauldron.
there is also my uncles family sword (perhaps an heirloom item?)
i take the half plate and sword. i switch out my armor.
Mae says we need to renegotiate the contract, i agree, once we have a full evaluation of the mine from my dwarves, and its capabilities of silver and gems and profatibility. karith says we havedwarves we dont need to worry about getting lost, cimera takes offense but it was actually a compliment.
when we exit the mines, its the first day of the new year.
mae wants to destroy the cauldron, the dwarvesw agree to stay on hired commision based structure for mining out silver, red silver, and gems all the same.
the cauldron must be saved and spared else i will not be able to upgrade silver to carbellium.
protection from good should protect its aura and mine from ame, perhaps get her and cimera distracted once those go away, with another kobold lair, where did the expeditionary force come from, perhaps a falsified document that was found on them, telling of an attack on dwarven settlements, or dwarf slaves, etc to get cimera to pull mae with her and getaway from us?
we go back to the inn, some festivity is already going on, something aabout “more good news to ass to the Ghost of Lies has struck again, by saving prisoners in a caravan and giving them money” itrid says there are rumors of a robin hood esque type man in the north, helping common folk, robbing from the rich.
hero of the people.
using a 21 intimidate along with a 26 diplomacy on the inn keeper regarding hiring them to work the mine, i give them 113 gp to have them get started. contracts are dwarn up. he tried telling me it was their mine and they get profits, i told them they wouldnt be working in the mine if that were the case.
mae needs holy water, a high noon, perhaps a cleric of power, and the blessing of her goddess to destory the cauldron.
we head out to caer cadwin (closest place to get any of them)
first things at night, i will cast protection from good, on the cauldron (does it still put off an aura while in the haversack?) and on me if needed, especially once i figure out when mae does her detects
we try to get them to leave for the kobold lair if we can – diplomacy/intimidate/bluff?
working together, me, itrid, da’ni, and karith should be able to convince them they need to go
time for raven to take another character perhaps? if she chooses, which it seems she is leaning towards, a ranger/druid/barbarian of some type, with animals.