Session Date: January 31, 2014
Starting Game Date: Sarenith 12, 4712 AR
Nym’s latest correspondence arrives, describing the horrors he has witnesses while spying on the Oraculum. Knallhart decides they can wait no longer to confront this demon-led organization. They begin final preparations and, while doing so, Aspen senses someone is attempting to watch him from afar. While there is no telling how long they’ve been watched, Knallhart hopes their lead-lined command center has concealed most of their plans.
That night, Knallhart rides hippogriffs to Restov. Arriving several hours past midnight, they travel first to the Temple of Abadar. They wake the clergy there and are able to convince them of the threat the Oraculum poses to Rostland and beyond. The head priest expresses regret he has not done more to stop this evil organization. To assist them in their quest, the Temple provides Knallhart with several scrolls.
Before Knallhart leaves the church, a small figure steps from behind a pew. His name is Ham Buttersides and he explains he has watched the Oraculum for some time, having suspected them of foul deeds but without the evidence necessary to justify an assault. He asks to join Knallhart in their mission and they readily accept the plucky gnome along with his heavily armored war pig, Thud.
The party approaches the Profunda Oculum, the headquarters of the Oraculum Scholastica, under cover of darkness. Once there, Ilya assumes gaseous form and stealthily floats about the place. He discerns four guards who guard the gate leading into the outer courtyard and four guards who watch the door into the Profunda Oculum. There also appear to be guards patrolling the halls within.
Ilya remains inside in gaseous form while the party coordinates an attack from without. Astoroth uses dimension door to transport himself, Malgos and Szygy into the antechamber where the inner guards wait. At the same time, Ralga floats several members to the top of the wall surrounding the courtyard. Tony the Tiger, Hyandaner, Lodrin, Sayaka, Ralga, Aspen in the Fall and Ham attack the guards without, while Astoroth, Malgos, Ilya and Szygy make short work of the guards within.
Moving silently through the compound, Knallhart and Friends come to Nym’s dormitory room. Nym is barely holding together but is relieved to hear his mission is soon over. He shows Knallhart the hidden door to the Profunda Occulum’s basement and then flees the compound, made invisible by vanish.
Knallhart uses the prayer-password and heads down below. At the bottom of the stairs, four grizzled mercenaries guard the lower section of the compound. Knallhart charges in and finds these hardened veterans more of a challenge then the inexperienced sell-swords above. Further, as the last one falls, a cry of battle is raised in a nearby room and eight more mercenaries charge into the room, wearing nothing but their nightclothes for armor. Predictably, all of the mercenaries are killed.
Knallhart moves on through several rooms, finding and killing more guards. They come to the T-section that connects to the sewers and Ham detects an overwhelming evil through the door leading into the Celestium. The PCs burst in and find two students munching on books. Knowing these students are hosts for sphexica demons, the party attacks. As the students are struck, their human forms split apart revealing gigantic wasps with a cluster of human eyes in place of a the usual, insectoid arrangement. One sphexicon is killed, dissolving into reeking goo. The other teleports away.
Moving further in, Knallhart comes into a room with a half-dozen cultists. Though somewhat prepared from the sounds of a fight in the other room, the cultists fall quickly before the sudden assault.
The PCs delve further in and come to a gigantic temple. A statute of an anthropomorphic snake radiates an evil aura out into the room. At an altar on one end, Arema, the spiritual leader of the Oraculum, engages a half-dozen more cultists in a religious ceremony. She greets Knallhart as if she has expected them the entire time, but Saalus sees through her ruse.
The PCs move into the temple and Hyandaner readies a dispel magic to disrupt Arema’s first spell. She casts and Hyandander responds with dispel magic, which is immediately countered by one of Arema’s magical rings. Blades of immense force spring into being, tracing a path through the PCs. Meanwhile, the cultists spring forward with spells prepared for the party’s vanguard. Tony the Tiger kills all three who move up to him.
The PCs move towards Arema and Ilya attempts to jump the 20 ft. high blade barrier, failing and taking massive damage. Astoroth drops a fireball onto the cultists. Finally Sayaka moves in and cuts Arema down with a massive stroke of her falcata. Though Arema and the cultits lie dead, Knallhart’s troubles are far from over.
Three vrocks descend from the temple balcony, benefiting from mirror image and other magic spells. One vrock falls to the ground from Hyandaner’s slumber hex. Szygy attacks another vrock while flying but falls himself when the vrocks use their stunning screech ability. One of the vocks finally goes down and Astoroth locks the other down with dimensional anchor. Unable to teleport away, the remaining vrock fights to its death. The third vrock remains sleeping until Sayaka finishes it with a carefully timed coup de grace.
Knallhart explores the rest of the Profunda Occulum’s basement but does not find an obvious route into another level of the temple. They free a prisoner who had investigated the Oraculum after the disappearance of her brother. They also come across Zheik Isata’s chamber and find a horrific display of vivisected animals kept alive by necromantic energy. Unfortunately, Zheik is warned of the party’s approach by his servitor wraiths and escapes via teleport. The wraiths also escape, moving within the walls.
Ilya opens the chest in Zheik’s room after convincing the party to move into the hall. He is nearly compelled to drink a goblet filled with lich dust kept nearby but resists the mental lure. The chest contains some coins and valuable books but no clear as to the Speaker’s location. The party also finds Arema’s chamber. Ilya is nearly slain by another trap but he resists the worst of the necromantic magic that traps her door. Though Arema’s room contains several elemental gems there is no clue as to the Speaker’s location.
Frustrated, the party finally investigates Arema’s corpse. Calling on the spirit of her ancestors, Ralga calls out to the evil cleric’s soul. Doing so, Knalhart learns the Speaker can be found in the ruins below, that the ruins are accessible through the sewer, that the entrance can be found past the u-shaped corridor and, finally, that the Speaker is a Nalfeshnee demon.
Exhausted, Knallhart presses on to confront enemies they know are waiting for them.