Eberron: Expeditionforged

17.09.2013: Annihilation

The party began by exploring the second floor of the dungeon. They did search for traps due to the suspicious absence of further visible enemies. However, having failed at this, Fix suffered a few blows from falling rocks. Bone was able to weather it. Fix also triggered the second falling roof, by the fountain, and was hurt by it, prompting him to repair himself with an infusion. They examined the pillars and Fix realized that the fountain contained a trap, which kept the rest of the Warforged (mainly Bone) from looting it.

They went through the rest of the floor carefully. Fix located a the last brittle spot on the ceiling, avoiding any further injuries. Bone and Jaeger threw some stones in the water to see how deep it was and to see if something was lurking under the surface. By this time, Fix had already detected magic in the well, and he opted to cast read magic to understand the runes. Since they were not magical per se, he also used comprehend languages to understand their meaning. At first, the party refused to donate. However, they also understood not to attempt to take any of the coins.

Eventually they braced themselves and entered the water. They searched the room which had required them to do this, and Fix went through the runes on the walls to realize that they contained stories of some kind of a pantheon of gods. He also spotted how the altar was constructed, revealing the hidden compartment which was accessed when Bone lifted the slag tablet. Before reading Arim’s diery, they used detect magic on it to ascertain whether or not it was trapped and dangerous. Having found nothing, Fix opened it and read its contents using the remains of his earlier comprehension spell.

Finally, having rummaged through the second floor in its entirety, they decided to go downstairs. When Zsamsa’s blade thralls could be seen in the light of their everburning torch, the Zern began speaking to them in an androgynous, hoarse voice (very human but with a strange accent). He inquired whether or not they had been sent by Sharroos to intervene with his plans. Sensing trouble, Bone asked for Fix to cast Bull’s Strength on him. Having realized that the party was there ages ago, Zsamsa and his minions were ready for this, and he had readied an action to shoot at anyone attempting to cast anything. The warping energy interrupted Fix’s concentration, and combat thus began. At the same time that Fix was hit, Irranna had charmed Bone from hiding. When the Warforged atttempted to go on a killing spree, she ordered him not to hurt the blade thralls, disrupting him. The blade thralls kept up a total defense but began to block Jaeger’s and Bone’s access to Zsamsa. Bone was effectively left useless by Irranna’s commands of ceasing offensive at the passive blade thralls in his way as Zsamsa kept peppering Jaeger and Fix with his warping energy (he had assumed an aggressive form, having realized that he would hardly be hurt as things stood). Bone was enlarged and Jaeger entered his huge form using expansion but they could hardly hurt anyone. Eventually Zsamsa ordered the blade thralls on the offensive (when they could flank Bone with Irranna), and one disposed of Jaeger while the other began attacking Bone, causing him to break free of the charm spell.

Jaeger was brought to his senses by Fix’s repairing infusions but he was still very weak and refused to stand, instead defending himself on the ground. Fix applied more repairs to him before succumbing to a critical wound from Zsamsa’s warping energy. It twisted his head off with a loud crack. Jaeger managed to return to the fight, but Bone was already disposing of the blade thralls easily enough, managing to critically wound both of them. Irranna was attacking him from hiding but managing to stay unnoticed by miraculous inattentiveness on Bone’s part.

As the blade thralls went down, Bone even reached Zsamsa and managed to trip him. However, one of the blade thralls had healed back to its senses and intervened with him long enough to allow the Zern to change into a small gaseous form to escape between the cracks in the ruins. Irranna used Dimension Door to escape as she noticed the Zern retreating.

Bone and Jaeger went through the room only to find the nets left behind by the blade thralls as well as the gruesome remains of Zsamsa’s research: dissected Drow, Goliaths and Kythons. They eventually left the laboratory but were ambushed by Zsamsa who had escaped unnoticed due to his gaseous form. The Zern managed to wound the already abused Bone who used the last of his powers in an attempt to hit the fountain with a platinum coin. Due to extremely unlucky circumstances, he missed and fell comatose. As such, Jaeger was left alone to fight the now fully recovered Zern. He attempted to ambush it to no avail, and when he eventually gave up and concluded that it was gone, it reverted to its hit-and-run attacks. When Jaeger retreated in the room with the altar, havinh even left his light source behind not to be noticed, the Zern returned to sniff him out. Due to its tremorsense, this was effortless and it began closing in on Jaeger, taunting him to face it and basking in its superiority. Since the Warforged refused to budge, it was taken down in a flash of warping energy when the Zern finally within line of sight of him.

The party was killed in its entirety. We decided to continue in a similar vein but with one of the other parties sent to explore other parts of Xen’Drik.

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VariSami

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