You sense magic heavy on the air, leaving your room you see a mass of fitfully sleeping survivors in the room next to yours. You sense that they are affected by an unnatural sleep. Leaving the inn, you can’t see your fingertips for the fog and the charge in the air feels like ants marching up your arms.
You amble down the street alone, in a fashion eerily reminiscint of the shambling undead currently plaguing the village. As you approach a largeish sized house looming in the darkness, the biting sting of magic comes in a last wave nearly taking your breath away. Entering the building a horrendous, overwhelming stench wafts from the room before you. Small cages containing small animals and large insects line the walls. Some of the creatures look sickly and alive but most are clearly dead. Their rotting corpses and the unclean cages no doubt result in the zoo’s foul odor. A cat mews weakly from its cage, but the other creatures just silently shrink back into their filthy prisons. Light draws you further into the building; The walls bear scratch marks and lines of soot that form crude pictures and what looks like words in some language, several white marble busts that rest on white pillars lining them. Most appear to be male or female humans of middle age, but one clearly bears small horns projecting from its forehead and another is spread across the floor in a thousand pieces, leaving one pillar empty. The hall ends in a door to the basements, listening closely you can hear a loud scuffle.
When you reach the bottom of the stairs: Rats inside the room shriek when they hear the door open, then they run in all directions from a putrid corpse lying in a white powdery circle in the center of the floor. As these creatures crowd around the edges of the room, seeking to crawl through a hole in one corner, they fight one another. The stinking corpse in the middle of the room looks human, but the damage both time and the rats have wrought are enough to make determining its race by appearance an extremely difficult task at best. This small room contains several pieces of well-polished wood furniture. Eight ornate, high-backed chairs surround a long oval table, and a side table stands next to the far exit. All bear delicate carvings of various shapes. One bears carvings of skulls and bones, another is carved with shields and magic circles, and a third is carved with shapes like flames and lightning strokes.
In another circle made of blood and putrifying ooze fight a tired dwarven paladin and a dwarven fighter, a pile of zombies around their feet, you can tell they are swiftly about to fall from the remaining two zombies pressing in on them now.
You can feel the magic from the circle humming in the air, the ground hungering for fresh blood. Somehow you can taste the fear, the electricity of the dwarves’ dying moments although the blow has not yet fallen. The circle calls to you begging you to finish the deed.
The dwarves are currently occupied with the zombies and haven’t noticed you enter:
Dael toys with the dwarves, first drawing upon the wealth of rats in the room to overwhelm the warrior and taking shaky command of his first stolen minion.
The dwarven paladin calls out a pained cry to his diety and wards off an attack from the zombie in front of him as Thendrick glances over at his friend and takes a blow from another zombie in his distraction. Bringing the warrior to her knees, he then releaved himself just in range of Mathilda, evoking an aura of terror but remaining outside of the circle.
Both dwarves are aware of you and by the yellow pools growing around their ankles, you can tell they are incredibly afraid of you.
“Wh-what be this?! By faith and begorrah, I di-nay think being a hero would be this hard…” stammers the dying dwarf at your feet.
Thendrick grapples with the zombie in front of him, trying to throw him off to protect his comrade but he is much weakened and barely holding it back. Dael then assisted the Paladin in releasing himself from the zombie’s deathlock.
A glimmer of hope enters Thendrick’s eyes, and Mathilda attemps to scoot himself back away from your zombie with her one working leg.
Continuing in his rescue, and after several amusing attempts, he summoned an enormous fireball that exploded the uncontrolled zombie into hundreds of goey, scorched chunks.
He then turned, lifting the dwarf off of his feet by the throat and savagely punched his dagger through the dwarf’s abdomen and deep into his chest cavity with such force that a small amount of blood exploded through with his dying breath.
-Parts are missing-
You find they’ve been stripped of most of their weapons and armor already, supposedly left in this locked basement to die unarmed and overwhelmed by the very evil they came to fight. Searching the shelves you find information about an unbelievebly powerful and priceless artifact, “The Dayheart”.
Far stairs to loot room: This hall stinks with the wet, pungent scent of mildew. Black mold grows in tangled veins across the walls and parts of the floor. Despite the smell, it looks like it might be safe to travel through. A path of stone clean of mold wends its way through the hallway. The hall opens 20 feet in front of you into a small room. Burning torches in iron sconces line the walls, lighting it brilliantly. At the room’s center lies a squat stone altar, its top covered in recently spilled blood. A channel in the altar funnels the blood down its side to the floor where it fills grooves in the floor that trace some kind of pattern or symbol around the altar. Unfortunately, you can’t tell what it is from your vantage point. A white icy glow eminates from the runes, and faint tortured screams can be heard as though masses of men were throwing themselves to their deaths. Upon reaching the altar, you feel emboldened and more powerful, the room feels smaller— the walls closer— though you know it is just in your mind. Or is it? Your skin crawls with the thought and your instinct wants you to leave and inspect elsewhere. (Able to prepare 4 extra spells of any level, but can still only cast max allowed spells per day)
Down stairs closest to the entrance: You open the door to confront a room of odd pillars. Water rushes down from several holes in the ceiling, and each hole is roughly a foot wide. The water pours in columns that fall through similar holes in the floor, flowing down to some unknown depth. Each of the eight pillars of water drops as much liquid as a stream in winter thaw, a glowing light shining through the torrents. The floor is damp and looks slippery, but a dry steaming path leads down to an arched entrance, AND THEN FURTHER into a small chamber divided into three parts. The first has several hooks on the walls from which hang dusty robes. An open curtain separates that space from the next, which has a dry basin set in the floor. Beyond that lies another parted curtain behind which you can see several straw mats in a semicircle pointing toward a statue of a gigantic seated dog-headed man.
Here you find huge stone double doors concealed within the statue itself extending further into the bowels of the earth.
The shadowed depths of a shallow alcove half conceal the titanic likeness of a leering face with demonic features and an obscenely long tongue. The image covers a pair of great bronze valves, each nearly as wide as a human is tall and twice as high. The metal’s surface has become pitted and green with age, making the face seem diseased and ghastly. The seam between the two valves runs down the middle of the bas relief face like some horrible scar.
The frame around the massive doorway has been carved to resemble a writhing mass of biting vipers. Humanoid limbs and torsos are visible here and there in the mass of serpent bodies, as though struggling, futilely, to win free of the snakes’ rapacious coils. The area has a parched and sour odor, like a kettle left to boil dry. Countless tiny bones and bone fragments crackle underfoot like dry autumn leaves.
-Parts are missing-
After gaining access to the altar, an Erinyes(Mm54) appears from another plane. A fierce and beautiful woman, with a statuesque build and flawless skin, stands nearby. She has large, feathery wings and red, glowing eyes. She stands about 6’ tall, wields a longsword, and a shining red bow is strapped across her back.
Rumor in the underworld tells that the first erinyes were angels who fell from their lofty heights because of some temptation or misdeed. Now the skies of the Nine Hells are littered with their descendants. Erinyes serve as scouts, servants, and even concubines for powerful devils. Unlike other devils, erinyes appear attractive to humans, resembling very comely women or men.
After a couple of rounds of ‘assesing’ in combat, she uses entangle to hurl an animated stout rope of 50ft length at you. The rope fully entangles you, and lifts you into the air, fully incapacitating you. “Your reward…” She hisses with a reptilian air to her voice. She reappears below you where you have full view of her taut body and strips off what few pieces of armor she once wore. As your eyes fill with her figure and you feel the blood rising in your veins, you attempt to fight her off.
“Of no use to one
Yet absolute bliss to two.
The small boy gets it for nothing.
The young man has to lie for it.
The old man has to buy it.
Answer: A Kiss"When failed, you lose complete control of your mind, bursts of pleasure wash over you in waves of color and you pass out completely. When you regain consciousness, you are stripped completely and restrained on the altar. Chalices and other treasures shimmer faintly through your torso as they refuse to give up their space on it in the Celestial plane. The nude Erinyes emerges from the shadows and commits unspeakably lewd acts on you for an hour. Fading into the Celestial plane, she pulls you through, dumping you on the floor and leaving an open portal back to the material plane.
Before you have a chance to move, her bonds have been released and she is gone, leaving the 50ft length of rope and the portal that you can see is closing at a fairly slow pace. You don’t think it will last more than an hour or two at best, but more than enough time to get your clothing and gear from it’s pile and loot the altar.
The collection of altar items includes two jeweled chalices, two golden salvers, and a censer. Chalices, 1,200 gp each; salvers, 400 gp each; censer, 4,300 gp.