Part 2: Cult of the Dead Gods

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Rage works out that the hell riders were the Elturiel guards

The group starts passing time by looking through the upstairs rooms of the inn finding some private dining rooms. One with an umberhulk head on the wall and the other with a displacer beast head on the wall.

They knock at another door and hear a wet female voice reply asking who is there. Rage attempts to trick the person into opening the door but fails to do so.

The other doors they find are all locked.

Larissa sees the head of the beasts on the wall and gets sad. She makes her way into the displacer beast room and starts attempting to pull the head down off the wall. She manages it and then begins to cut the head from the backing board. The apologises to it as she does it. When it is free she throws the head through the closed window with a great smash.

Thia rushes in and asks her what she is doing and then drags her out of the room and away from the mess.

Rage and Badwalken notice a number of pirates approaching the Inn. These must be the ones that are here for Tarnia. They call her over and she confirms it.

After a quick bit of deliberation they decide that the party will hide and ambush the pirates as they arrive.

A couple of minutes later there are footsteps on the stairs and the pirates see Tarnia. The leader is a brawny man with a cloudy right eye, a cruel sneer, and a pirate’s swagger. The others are an unsavory, rowdy bunch who act as if they own the place.

“We’re looking for an old friend of ours,” says the dead-eyed man. He sniffs the air. “Goes by the name ‘Tarina,’ or so I’m told. Loves to cheat at Baldur’s Bones. Ahhh... there you are."

They move towards her menacingly and Badwalken swings at one missing. The fight is on. The party members pour out of the other rooms and the battle begins.

- Tarnia falls to the pirates
- Larissa bandages her
- Rage makes mincemeat of the fighters
- Garrbaag uses his breath weapon on two of the men killing one of them.
- Badwalken is a machine, levelling men as soon as they approach him
- Thia casts magic missile and rays of frost damaging the men
- Clank comes up in the end preventing the final pirate's escape

After the fight Badwalken picks up Tarnia and heals her waking her up. She doesn't say thanks but gives them the information they were seeking.

“Several blocks northwest of here is a public bathhouse with a walled garden and frolicking nymphs carved into its front gates. Followers of the Dead Three have been seen coming and going from the bathhouse, and I’m told there’s a secret door inside that leads to a dungeon. That’s where the killers are hiding.”

The party decides that they will stay the night and negotiate 6GP to stay at the inn with unlimited beer. Garrbaag, Badwalken and Thia had a quiet night while Rage drank and Larissa did a questionaire of all the patrons asking:

Did they hear the noise upstairs? If you did were you:

a) keen to investigate
b) indifferent to the noise; or
c) used to the noise

The next door the party eats breakfast and then heads out towards the baths.

The bathhouse is a one-story stuccoed building with stained-glass windows and clay roof tiles. Ten-foot-tall walls enclose a large courtyard outside the southeast corner of the building. The closed wooden doors to the courtyard are engraved with images of smiling nymphs dancing and frolicking in water.

The party follow a patron into the baths and find themselves in an L-shaped courtyard that features a trimmed lawn and nicely manicured shrubbery. The yard is decorated with white marble benches and stone fountains, each in the form of a smiling nymph tipping a jug that spills water into a circular stone basin.

After peering through a window Rage quickly moves to the entrance and disrobes, easing his naked body into a bath. The other members of the party inspect the fountains outside but don't find anything useful. They head inside and knock on one of the private massage rooms. The door opens and an androgynous fellow opens the door and asks if they would like a massage. Gaarbagg pushes into the room and begins to interrogate him. The man is nervous and gets intimidated. He quietly directs them towards the massage room opposite.

Rage starts talking to the guy in the bath with him, asking about what he thinks is going on with the massage rooms. He starts mentioning cults and the man gets nervous and leaves the bath. This gives Rage a chance to duck under water and inspect the bottom of the bath. He finds a large plug that can be used to drain the bath. Rage then moves to another bath and starts talking to a dandy in there.

Meanwhile, the rest of the party knocks on the other door and a young woman answers. All of them but Thia push into the room and Badwalken tries to intimidate her but it just makes her laugh. Larissa opts for a massage and gets the best tail massage of her life.

Rage takes the dandy out of the pool and begins to chat with him. He says "Look, I'm not a racist, but I'm really into halflings. Like a mouse with a banana if you know what I mean?"

"Oh I know what you mean... " replies Rage. He keeps asking questions but doesn't really get anywhere.

In the meantime Gaarbagg squats down in a corner of the massage room and the woman seems to relax. So he gets up and moves to the other corner. His axe knocks on the wall and he notices it sounds hollow. He begins to knock his axe again on the wall and notices the masseuse is getting nervous. He then finds a crack that he presses on and his finger goes into a hole with a click. The wall slides back and the exposes a set of stairs leading down into darkness.

Gaarbagg tells Thia to fetch the others and she goes and collects Rage.

Rage says fairwell to the Dandy who replies "Have you ever ridden a horse?"

Then the team regroup and head down the stairs into the darkness. Gaarbaag gets to the bottom of the stairs and realises he can't see so Badwalken lights a torch and comes down behind him. The room at the bottom is carved from limestone with a 9 foot high ceiling. Two feet of water fills the bottom of the room. The party move through it after some debate.

They proceed through a dark tunnel until they find a door. Entering it they see a chamber that is empty but not bereft of decor. Carved into each of its three doors is a full-figure depiction of one of the Dead Three. Lerissa recognises all of the carvings and is shocked at their presence.

Badwalken decides to avoid the doors and head towards the stairs but as he is moving forward Lerissa seems to lose control of herself and pushes the door with Myrkel's image open and steps through. Inside the party sees three bodies lying facedown on the floor surrounding a torch. When Lerissa enters they leap up, flails in hand and begin swinging at her:

- Rage slides between her legs and scorpian kicks one
- Gaarbagg enters the room and attacks another
- Thia fires a Ray of Frost at another one slowing them
- Lerissa fires crackling black energy at another
- The last one is downed by Badwalken

Badwalken proceeds up some stairs and finds what looks like a ransacked sarcophogus. Inside, amoungst the dust and bones, he spots some old spell books. Later, Lerissa determines:

Spellbook 1 is bound in red leather and contains the following spells: burning hands, detect magic, disguise self, fog cloud, ray of sickness, silent image.

Spellbook 2 has the personal rune of its previous owner burned into its umber cover. This book contains the following spells: charm person, find familiar, identify, magic missile, sleep.

Spellbook 3 is bound in scaly black reptile hide and contains the following spells: cloud of daggers, darkvision, detect magic, feather fall, mage armor, magic missile, Tasha’s hideous laughter.

While Badwalken is searching the sarcophagus Lerissa is once again overtaken and walks trance-like towards the door with the image of Bane and opens it. Rage is incensed! "What are you doing Lerissa? Why are you doing this?"

They manage to persuade her to slow down and wait for the others the proceed down the corridor that comes to a set of stairs and more water on the floor.

The eastern part of this room is unlit, flooded, and braced with floor-to-ceiling wooden beams. Rough-hewn steps rise out of the murky water to the western portion of the room, which is dry and lit by two torches in sconces that flank a stone altar. Shackled to the wall behind the altar is a sickly man in a loincloth with a burlap sack over his head. An alcove in the north wall contains a freestanding suit of plate armor missing its helm.

Standing before the altar are two grim figures: a powerfully built woman clutching a mace, and an even bigger man wearing a bucket helm. The helmed man is jabbing the prisoner with a spear, causing him to twitch. Both figures are clad in chain mail, and the woman carries a wooden shield with a leering skull painted on it.

Lerissa cowers at the sight of the people and attempts to convince Rage they they are gods. He is uncertain about whether what she is saying is true. Badwalken strides forward with Gaarbagg and gets their attention before attacking.

- Rage walks through a tunnel across the way to flank the torturers
- Using his polearm, Badwalken keeps the bad guys at bay
- Gaarbagg uses his axes to devastating effect
- Lerissa and Thia fire spells from afar

After they are defeated the party begin talking to the prisoner, Klim Jhasso, chained to the wall. Rage finds keys on one of the bodies and unchains him as he promises his family are very rich and will give them a lot of money for their help.

While they are discussing this with the prisoner Thia examines the plate armour and sees that it is welded together except for the gauntlets which are not attached to the rest of the armour. She reaches forward to touch them and they fly into the air and begin attacking the party.

They manage to fight them off but by the end the party is exhausted. They decide to leave Klim where he is for now and come back for him.

They approach the door opposite the alter and open it and are bombarded by the smell of rotten eggs. Realising that this is dangerous, Rage and Badwalken decide to throw a flaming dart into the room. The result is disasterous. A huge fireball erupts scorching them both. The party has a change of heart. They return to the surface with Klim Jhasso and rest at the inn.

When they get to Klim's house they find out from his sister that he actually has no money and lied to them. They leave him at his house and go back to the inn and rest. They then head back to the baths even though it is night time. On their way down into the crypts they run into a single follow of Myrkel barring their way into the secret passage. Gaarbagg is furious and shouts the man to death (well along with some others hitting him a lot).

They return to the room with the gas and once again set it alight. Another fireball erupts but this time they are further back and unharmed. They wade through the water and halfway through Gaarbagg decides that he's going to live up to his name and just stand there and complain about not wanting to go that way. The rest of the party plead with him but he won't be moved: physically or emotionally. He just stamps his little feet in the garbage water: Gaarbagg the strong.

The rest of the party move on and find a hallway with a series of doors. The first they open and there is a collapsed crypt. Much of the room has fallen in, with the debris field mostly burying a stone sarcophagus that was looted years ago. Nothing of interest remains.

Inside the next door an open sarcophagus stands at the back of a dusty crypt, its heavy stone lid lying on its side between the sarcophagus and the south wall. The north-facing side of the sarcophagus bears faded frescoes of spear-wielding warriors charging across golden plains on horseback. Badwalken rummages around inside and finds there is a false bottom made of plaster. He breaks it and inside there is a mummy floating in brine with Moonstones on its eyes. He takes the moonstones. Thia has a closer look and then pulls apart its wraps. She finds in its chest cavity a bag of beans.

In the final door they find six moaning humans with rotting flesh shamble about this dusty crypt, which reeks of death. An open stone sarcophagus rests against the back wall, its shattered lid lying in pieces on the floor around it.

They fight off the zombies easily and, at the last, Gaarbagg returns to help and slash some zombies.

They keep going down the tunnel and open a door. Inside they find a torture chamber. The walls and floor of the room are covered with streaks and splashes of dried blood. Two dangling bodies are shackled to the east and south walls. One is an elderly male human; the other, a young female tiefling. Both are covered in bloody gashes, and neither is moving. In the middle of the room is a sturdy wooden chair with a bloody whip draped over it. A bucket half filled with salt sits on the floor nearby.

The man turns out to be dead but the Tiefling is still alive. She is healed by Badwalken and says her name is Vendetta Kress. Vendetta distributes wine and spirits for the Oathoon patriar family of Baldur’s Gate, and was attacked in the Lower City, knocked unconscious, and brought here to be tortured. Under interrogation, she gave her captors information regarding the Oathoons and their security arrangements. She also witnessed the interrogation and death of Effinax, who was questioned at length about the Jhasso family. Vendetta says she would love to come along with the party until they can escape. Lerissa takes her under her wing and helps her along.

Badwalken opens the next door and a man sees him and runs down the corridor screaming "Intruders!". The party hurries after him and sees him banging on a door. It swings open and four other armed men with shields can be seen behind it.

"Stop this foolishness!" shouts Badwalken. "Look at my shield, we are with you. Someone just tried to free this Tiefling and we stopped them. They went that way!"

"But why isn't she chained up?" one of them enquires.

"Because someone just freed them you fools. Go get them!" replies Badwalken.

"Did they go through the secret passageway?" asks one of the men.

"Yes they did," says Badwalken.

The men stream past the party and head through a secret passage that they open up on the way through.

The party go into their room and search their belongings but find nothing of interest. They then head to the room next door. Four flickering torches in wall sconces illuminate the crypt, the middle of which is occupied by an open stone sarcophagus. The sarcophagus bears no carvings or other ornamentation, but is full of humanoid skulls and bones. Six dusty bedrolls lie on the floor around it. There is nothing more in the room.

They then leave and go to the other door. Four flickering torches in wall sconces light the partially collapsed crypt. An open sarcophagus in the middle of the area is filled to the rim with blood, with spillage streaking the sides of the sarcophagus and pooling around its base. The sarcophagus lid lies half buried under rubble behind it. As they approach the sarcophagus they see an old woman behind it asking to be helped.

Badwalken detects evil and the woman glows with it. He quickly launches an attack and then Rage comes into help. They hit the woman but she lashes back with daggers severely damaging Rage. She is nearly dead and Lerissa uses crackling black energy to put her out of her misery. As she dies she turns back into her true form. A young woman covered in blood from head to toe as if she has just gotten out of the blood filled sarcophagus.