Session 19: The Once and Future Raven Queen part 1 (Rinn 11: Dungeon Crawl)

1 Sydenstar (Yulisen/Friday) 845 PD

Why did it have to be rats?

Our heroes stand above the entry and steps that lead into the catacombs of the temple of the Raven Queen. This is Stubby’s quest, so she’s in charge (for the moment!). She does a quick check to see if they’re all alright with this, and they all are.

All four of them see the two-time flicker of the entrance, both time-line versions of it are in ruins. Stubby pulls out one of her gadgets, and shows them a little illusion of what the sword looks like, and mentions that it will be dangerous to get it, though hopefully there should be a means down there to destroy it as well.

Speaking of swords, Stubby pulls out the short sword that they got from Abe the assassin, though Rinn has some doubts as to how well she can manage it, and away they go. 

The stairs down are wide enough that Stubby and Rinn go down together, followed by Tam and Fisch. (There is lighting all along these hallways and rooms unless otherwise noted- minor magic.) The walls along the stairs flicker in that time shift way- ruined walls, then nicely painted ones. (Tam thinks it will give her a headache before too long.) It smells musty, funky, like mold, though Stubby gets an undertone that reminds her of her father’s lab when something has caught on fire and was put out, like a wet campfire smell. It could be that someone was recently down here. She and Rinn carefully sneak into the first room, where they spot some old graves, an empty (dug up) one, some old wrapped up bodies, a giant boulder- and three swarms of rats which thankfully haven’t seen them yet, being too busy eating what remains of the …. Remains. They step back to relay this, (and Tam quickly casts Fortune’s Favor on Stubby.) A quick look back shows that the rats are all frothing at the mouth, so there’s no parlaying with these ones. Attack first!

Stubby hands Rinn a vial of acid, and the two of them sneak in, Subby clambering up on the boulder, and on a ‘count’ of three Stubby pours, Rinn tosses, and Tam shoots a crossbow bolt.

Init! Rats, Tam, Rinn, Fisch, Stubby.

One swarm goes after Stubby, trying to climb the large rock she’s on, but they fail. The second swarm goes after Rinn, and the group of rats get past his defenses so some of them bite him. (Thankfully he resists their poison/disease, but still takes damage from the bites, and above there’s a rumble of thunder.) The third one heads towards Fisch (Stubby reaches down to try to slash them with her dagger, but it doesn’t do much), and some of them manage to bite him as well. (He also resists their diseased bite.) Tam moves down from the stairs and shoots at the swarm near Rinn, hitting some of the rats. Rinn figures a large attack might work best here, and casts Thunderwave, hitting both the swarms near him and Stubby, pushing the swarm attacking him away towards the other swarm which managed to resist some of the effects. Fisch gives a nod of approval, and takes a swing (claws) at the swarm near him, missing one time but gets them ALL on the second. (One swarm down.) Stubby jumps off the rock, casting Acid Splash from her gauntlet on the two remaining swarms. She manages to hit one, and sends Sentri down for a sonic caw on the other- and the sound blast explodes that one. (Another down)

One swarm remaining! They go after Stubby, managing to get through to bite her, but she thankfully resists their diseased bite as well. Tam runs over, dodging around the open grave and scrambles up the rock that Stubby just left, getting a better vantage point to shoot at the rats, hitting more of them. Rinn tries this as well with his crossbow, but just hits a dead one. He’s much better with knives, as a thrown dagger manages to hit a couple more of them. But there are a few remaining, and Fisch JUMPS over Stubby, landing on what remains of them- and that takes care of that.

There’s still more of that burning smell, like hot metal. After the group retrieves daggers and crossbow bolts, Rinn goes to investigate the hole in the corner, using his ‘Light on a stone and drop’ technique. The little bit of light disappears down the long shaft, revealing that it’s near bottomless. Tam goes to check the hallway to the south that looks to be blocked by a pile of rubble. It is- but they can see over/around the rubble to the next room. That wasn’t hot metal they were smelling, but lava. It’s a pool of lava in what was the room through that hallway- but there’s a time glitch, and she can then see what looks like a lovely looking mausoleum room, with the bones nicely arranged, clean, etc. Then it flickers back to lava – which should work for destroying the sword, when (if?) they find it.

There’s always room for – 

There’s a non-collapsed, (no lava) hallway to the west. (Stubby, Rinn, Tam, Fisch.) Stubby checks it for traps, with Rinn’s help. As far as they can tell, it looks good. It leads to a small room that has another deep hole off to one side, with an altar front and center, but something odd on top of it- big, squishy, and see-through. Rinn’s heard about such things at the Take, that is, ‘avoid gelatinous cubes’. They can see arrow heads, daggers, the remains of a skeleton, a shield in it, and sitting on the engulfed altar a wrapped package. That package *could* be a sword, so they need to deal with this. Stubby tosses an Acid Splash at it, which does some damage to the cube, but no reaction at all.

So, being Stubby, she steps out, walks over, and reaches into it- ignoring the burning of the cube’s acid to pull out the package. Still no reaction from the cube as she darts back to the hallway. They check the package for traps, finding nothing. It’s wrapped up neatly, though the cloth is starting to dissolve a bit from being in the Cube. Stubby starts to open it, Tam argues about how unsafe it might be-

And while they’re debating on it, Rinn casts Blade Ward on himself and quickly opens the package the rest of the way. Cloth, then leather wrapping, and then a bundle of very nice black leather armor, embossed with raven feathers. Tam freaks out a bit, casting a quick version of Detect Magic. The armor is slightly magic (+3). There’s a few things in the cube that seem to be magical. The altar isn’t magic, though that hole in the ground was ripped out (from below) by magic. Stubby remembers something her dad had said, that there was a traditional armor worn by the acolytes of the Raven Queen- this must be it. It takes very little convincing to get her to take off her old armor and put this new type on- handing over her studded leather armor to Rinn, since it’s still (slightly) better than his own regular leather armor. 

Tam steps forwards and begins using Mage Hand to see about getting some of the magical items out of the Cube, but the many attempts finally seem to wake it up, and it moves forwards toward them and the hallway. The group darts through the room to the other hallway to the south, (Fisch taking a spectacular leap over the hole, with a swipe at the Cube with his glaive which misses unfortunately), but Tam keeps back, convincing Fisch that she’s following- and tries to go after more stuff in the Cube. Rinn hears about this and goes back. Tam does manage to pull out the shield, but it alerts the Cube to where she (and Rinn) are in the hallway, and starts heading over. Rinn zaps it with Witch Bolt, and Tam also pulls out the skull before she decides that’s enough. Both the shield (which turns out to be cursed) and skull get put into the Bag of Holding, and the two of them hurry to join the others.

A Nearly Lethal Lesson 

Down the hallway to the south, it’s getting warmer, heads to the east, then into another room. Along the first wall are two chests flanking a small dias with a box on it, then a pool of water in the corner (where they can see another chest). There’s a large, old skeleton of a goliath on the floor, from where it fell from the ceiling, and a lot of rubble and large rocks all around. Tam can see magic on all the chests and the box, necromancy in the box, enchantments (abjuration? Illusion) on the chests. The box on the small dias/altar is etched with feathers, but nothing on the other chests. 

Stubby and Rinn check the first chest for traps, it looks fine so Rinn picks the lock on it- only to trigger a wild magic surge-

Which de-ages him to the age of thirteen. He stumbles back and stands up, to find he’s now Stubby’s height (and scrawny, but that’s no different). As he’s cursing, there’s a quick check of the chest only to find that it’s empty. (Though for a moment Rinn sees a tarnished crown, but after a blink it’s gone.) Rinn is Not Amused- and thankfully after a minute the magic wears off and he’s back to his normal age (nearly 19), and height. 

For some reason they decide to try again on the other chest! Stubby checks it for traps, and again finds nothing, so Rinn picks the lock, and standing back opens it with the tip of a dagger (for a little more extra distance)…

And another Wild Magic surge, this time for a Fireball. A very lethal Fireball, and Rinn and Stubby are nearly taken out. Fisch gets hit as well (though survives it a lot better). Tam had been wise and took a step back, and was just out of range of it. And that bit of chance and fortune saves Rinn and Stubby, as Tam uses Healing Word on the both of them, saving their lives.

Time for a break. They all rest and heal up some more. Stubby decides to take a look at the box on the altar, checking it for traps, picking the lock- and then they all stand far back as Tam uses Mage Hand to open it – and nothing happens. Feeling around inside, she finds a dagger, and brings it over to them. It’s black with an obsidian blade, a faint trail of soft black ‘shadows’ that follow it, and necromantic magic. Stubby sets up her equipment for an Identify spell. (As she does, Tam gives a proud running commentary of it to Fisch.)

Raven’s Feather Dagger

Obsidian blade. Light as a feather once attuned. Blackness trails. +2 to attack and damage. Attuned, +1d6 necrotic. When using it to attack Undead, they are no longer resistant to necrotic damage. You can stack proficiencies (expertise).

Stubby gets the dagger, and hands the assassin’s short sword over to Tam (it’s pretty much a normal sized sword for the gnome). Looking all fine in Raven Acolyte armor and a dagger to match.

The scene fades on our heroes, who aren’t done with this adventure yet…

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