Blessed Empire

Basilica of the Portal (III)

3 February 2012

Opening in the Chamber of the Circle are the bad guys:

  • four Vine Horrors, one on each portal stone
  • four zombie minions
  • two flying demonic manta rays of the 1st kind
  • two flying demonic manta rays of the 2nd kind
  • several each patches of grabby seaweed and razor-edged coral, which does damage to anyone forced into it

We are told:

  • All creatures in the chamber can use swimming as if it was flight. This effect ends when we cleanse two portal stones.
  • The ceiling is 30 feet high over the circle itself.
  • Each creature at the start of each turn will gain a number of temporary hit points equal twice the number of uncleansed portal stones.
  • Cleansing a stone takes three successes (they need not be in the same turn) at a target number of 17 on nature, arcana, or religion.
  • Each failure at cleansing will cause the nearest enemy creature to gain 10 hit points, which can take it above its starting maximum number
  • There are two manifestations of things from the Deck of Many Things: the throne we saw last time (which marks at will), and a gem, which for a minor action gives the character another standard action, useable once per encounter by each character.

We unload on the apparently unaware Vine Horror on one of the stones in a surprise round. Sasha opens with a crit, and Bonkk kills it outright from there. The rest of the group gang up on one of the manta demons and take it down before it can act. A Crushing Depth random even happens to start the next turn, but all the PCs save against it immediately so it has no effect.

During the carnage of the next round, Cruhorn gets two successes while cleansing the first stone, but Kleft fails once. Another Vine Horror hits Kriv and Lann with its huge ongoing damage restraining burst, but Kriv uses his signature weapon power to cause a crit against another manta thing and kills it. The first circle is cleansed, and more minions and other baddies are destroyed.

At the end of one turn, the Champions barrel in and dive through the circle into the Abyss, while another fish-man teleports in as evil reinforcements.

Cruhorn finishes cleansing the portal stone, and there is more mayhem. Though there are a couple of more failures in the process, Cruhorn succeeds in cleansing a second portal stone. By this time there is not much left of the enemies but two Vine Horrors on the remaining uncleaned stones, and we fall on them and start and start shredding.

We are ruled to cleanse the circle …

There is a vast burst of energy from the circle. One of the Champions re-emerges, bleeding from too many wounds to count, and slams a ring into Kriv’s hand, conferring upon him the status of Imperial Champion of Kord, and with his dying words commands us to avenge him and the other Champions, all of whom are now dead. He dies, and sinks into the Abyssal water covering the floor of the portal.

We complete the cleansing and are given a choice: to lock the portal, or destroy it outright. Damaging energy is coursing through, and we are in a fast-action skill challenge to do something before we are destroyed ourselves by the leakage from the Abyss. Locking the portal takes 6 successes with difficulty 17; destroying it takes five successes at difficulty 19. If we choose to lock it, nothing will come through the portal. If we destroy it, nothing will come through either, and we will have to draw a Despair card.

We take three rounds to accumulate six successes and two failures, absorbing a surge or two’s worth of damage in the process, and lock the portal. We clear out, finding goodies (a +2 Quickcurse Rod; a +2 Cloak of Survival; 1200 gold pieces in cash; some Dragonfire Tar (a L8 consumable); some Vision Sand (a ritual-boosting consumable); and a St??glass Shard (my notes are illegible for a space, but this is a Reagent of some kind). A Ruby Scabbard; a Potion of Elven Fleetness; and two cards from the Deck of Many Things, the Throne and the Gem.

The Vision Sand goes to Kleft.
The Cloak goes to Listar.
The Tar goes to Mik.
The Ruby Scabbard goes to Sasha.
The Rod goes to party treasure.

Fallout from the action:

This is deemed to be very bad for the Empire. The Champions were all destroyed, and there is nothing like them (they were mid-Paragon level) now left to us. The portal is unusable for the foreseeable future, cutting out some strategic mobility which the Empire had included in its war plans. Kriv is now the designated Champion of Kord for the Empire (the old one was Level 18 when he died). We get a commendation for our part in the action, but no one is feeling good about what happened. The Hyperstrategos will lead an army to relieve Evik, with us in the van.

The Aspect of Dagon that was camped in the circle was destroyed, but its supporters killed the Champions. The circle now is shut down and closed, but it can be rebuilt.

We are still 5th Level for another session or two.

There is a flurry of re-equipping by people at the end of the session in the intersession time, but the action here is over, and we will march to Evik soon. We have time to swap items on the markets in Vostir before we go. We cash in unwanted things (the Rod, a pair of Goblin Stompers that Sasha was holding, and an unused +1 Brooch of No Regrets).

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