S09E08 – Mountain Explosions and Interrogations

Mar 17, 2024  – 

Sophi’s mage hand opens the door that the heroes are facing, and they spot the warforged nightmare from the day before at the back of the underground church. Carnivore sprints toward it followed by the rest of the group, and waking the monster up with their attacks.

At the end of the first round, a gnome-sized warforged shows up through the door, introduces himself as Rupert, taunts the heroes, throws a jar of oil in front of the door, and appears to cast a spell before closing the door and disappearing.

Rupert shows up by the door.
Rupert shows up by the door.

The heroes register the event and continue fighting the metal and wood monster with spider legs and blades as arms in front of them. At some point, it knocks Sophi unconscious while she is trying to snipe it from the left balcony, but Ellie transforms into a giant wolf spider and takes her to a safe place.  Chos casts heat metal on the monster, followed by Ellie who casts moonbeam on it rapidly draining its life. The monster fights back casting shatter multiple times, and eventually destroying many of the pillars and causing part of the ceiling to collapse. Carnivore gets buried underneath the rubble but, as not only a dinosaur rider but also a mountain dwarf, has no trouble getting out.

The heroes valiently keeping their distance from the monster while moonbeam and the heat metal do their job.
The heroes valiently keeping their distance from the monster while moonbeam and the heat metal do their job.

With so much firepower, the heroes destroy the creature not long after. Sophi makes Carnivore believe that it was him who finished it, and also tells him that she’s into him, making him very happy and excited.

The heroes explore the ruins of the hall and discover a hidden crawlspace where Rupert hid his diary, several treasure chests, and tools and scraps. Among the treasure, they find a bag of holding. Mystified, Avilos spends the next several minutes filling it up with tools, metal and wooden pieces, and rubble. He ignores the voice in his head that was loudly saying “You put about 100kg inside, 200kg, 225kg, 245kg, (final pause, no? nothing?)” and discovers that putting more than 250kg into them creates an inter-dimensional rupture that destroys them. Avilos lets out a thoughtful “Oh,” while the rest immediately split the remaining treasure ahead of any other destructive experiments.

While splitting the gems, the heroes feel generous and give one to Carnivore, and even set one aside for their guide, Salida, who hopefully is still waiting for them outside. The group also tries to decipher the notes in Rupert’s diary that Acererak and some directions, but the little warforged maniac’s brain is wired in a way that makes his notes hard to understand. What the diary makes clear is that he’s very pissed off at the heroes.

At this point, they realize that the black sphere that they saw the day before over the altar is now gone.

After splitting the treasure, they approach the wooden door and Avilos sets the oil in front of it on fire. Even though they can’t get closer to the door now, the fire barely touches it, and it’s clear that the oil will not burn the door down. Ellie, still in spider shape, climbs over the door and tries to open it but she confirms it’s locked. Chos then casts a spell to blast it open, but that triggers an explosive glyph of warding that destroys the nearby pillars, collapsing most of the remaining ceiling and burying the exit underneath the rubble. Our heroes aren’t hit by the explosion because they smartly stayed as far from the door as possible.

Ellie protecting Tiny Timmy while the rest dig a way out through the rubble.
Ellie protecting Tiny Timmy while the rest dig a way out through the rubble.

After hours of digging, the heroes clear a big enough corridor to leave the room and find the rest of the dungeon empty. Once outside, Salida, surprised to see them alive, tells them that an undead army left the temple hours ago led by a gnome-sized warforged.

Unsure about their next steps, the heroes eat dinner and spend the night on the rooftop one more time.

That night, Ellie spots Carnivore getting up. When questioned, he says he’s going to find a dagger that Salida lost in the jungle. After failing to convince him, Ellie wakes Avilos up who then casts a phantasmal force shaped as the lost dagger. Carnivore, now happy, takes the imaginary dagger and goes back to sleep.

The next day the heroes track the army, something made even easier by the fact that the army is made up of banged-up zombies and skeletons that drop organs and bones easily.

During Sophi’s watch that night, she catches Salida whispering to someone. Salida denies everything but Sophi thinks she’s lying and wakes the rest of the group up. After a long discussion, the group decides they will cast zone of truth on Salida in the morning. Everybody goes back to sleep except for Sophi who continues her watch, now with a bow pointed at Salida.

When the day breaks, Chos casts zone of truth and, thanks to a tenacious bad-cops-only interrogation, Salida reveals that she’s working for someone who isn’t paying her, who doesn’t want to kill the heroes, and who is interested in them going as far as possible in their expedition. The session ends as the heroes, feeling benevolent after twenty minutes of interrogation, offer Salida to ask them one question in return.