Wednesday, September 2, 2009

Episode XIII: Night of Dissolution, Act I -- The Pythoness House I (Juliar 8)

It rains heavily on this dark day, the day Emeris the shadowcaster, Vatex the urban ranger, Dziga the rogue, and Early the warblade-fighter enter the Pythoness House in search of the weapons of chaos and Neveran’s allkey. Additionally, they are joined by Emeris’ new acquaintance from the Imperial University, a geeky cleric of the Emperor dedicated to lore, named SARAL. She seems easily distracted and carries a huge crossbow.

Located in Oldtown, the House is actually an eight-storey square keep. Since the Knights of the Pale attacked the place two years ago, it has been abandoned. Or has it? The four of them enter through the main entrance to a large courtyard, with surrounding walls so high it almost seems like an interior chamber with no roof. They enter the keep itself and hear a voice both outside and inside their mind, saying “Come to me…” Inside, everything is covered in dust and grime and cobwebs.

They look around the main floor and are ambushed by ratlings throwing powder bombs and knives. A terrible ratbrute charges from hiding behind a curtain and nearly slays Early in its assault. Dziga nearly cripples the brute with sneak attacks and Emeris brings it down with disabling shadow energy. Vatex and Sarel dispatch the ratlings. After the fight, they explore and find a statue of an evil looking fat man which appears to hide something beneath it. Although no amount of strength they can will move it, they notice a curious indentation in its belly.

They search a trio of former boudoirs, one of which seeming strangely clean and well kept and is inhabited by three lusty prostitutes. Dziga questions them then the illusion dissolves, revealing the whores are wights. One manages to wrap its hands around Dziga’s throat, choking away his very life energy. Quick action by the others saved him, as the whore wight would not have let go lest it or Dziga had been destroyed. In another boudoir, an old candle holder suddenly flies at Early and cuts him above the eye.

On the western landing they find a disgusting former kitchen inhabited by hundreds of diseased rats which immediately swarm the group. One of Early’s Vajra maneuvers killed a few hundred in one stroke and made easier the task of scattering the rest. Across from the kitchen was a door to the western tower, the third level of which contained a large jar full of dark yellow liquid, a book called “The Philosophy of Fate”, and a candle with the word “Segginal” carved into it. They spoke with word “Segginal” before the fat man statue and the shadows around them stirred slightly in response. Emeris and Vatex took a look at the book and found it to be cursed, damaging their very minds merely by reading the first word on the first page. They left behind the jar as Dziga had a suspicion it contained old urine.

On the second level, Dziga and Vatex explore the gatehouse while Emeris and Early watche their back. There, a table covered in old weapons is somehow hurled at Dziga. Annoyed, he starts tossing the weapons out the window so he can explore without having the house’s spirits throw sharp things at him. A ghost of a cleric of the Emperor manifests before him suddenly. Dziga asks if it is Segginal, instead it calls itself Taunell, servant of the Emperor. With that proclamation, it attacks Dziga.

Next: The Pythoness House is haunted by spirits, infested by rats, and...what else?

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