Dathyra followed down shortly after Jarlas. This wasn't the first time she had been down in a pit built into someone's home. She wondered why those with malicious intent always did that. Didn't that just make living in their own home more inconvenient if they had to keep watching out for the giant pit in the floor? Still, she quickly rappelled down into the pit thanks to Sen's rope. Jarlas was busy examining the tunnel near the edge. She hadn't seen that before, but then again, it was hard to see everything with only a small light earlier. Well, at least they had some idea of where to start looking.
The intrepid adventurers repel down the rope and clamber past the cage. The cage is in an alcove of sorts of a tunnel 5 ft in diameter that slopes downward to a 20 ft. diameter chamber. it is difficult going and you feel like you are unable to cover ground easily. (Difficult Terrain) Jagged rocks, large and small protrude from all directions. The entire chamber is no more than 10ft high it is lightless and cramped. Many of you notice that very air feels different in this unlit chamber. (Arcana or Nature DC 12)
Sen and Jarlas (each perhaps trying to outstride the other) into the chamber and establish that it is clear. Dathyra, Hari and Entropy follow behind a bit more cautiously. As everyone makes it into the chamber it feels as if the air wooshes from your lungs and a pain seems to spike your mind as you are assaulted with visions:
You are drawn out of your consciousness and into a horrifying scene. An elderly lady, her long unkempt gray hair a wild mane about her deeply etched face, stands near a regal oak and stares in wonder. An archmage, tall, bald, and grim faced, completes a ritual nearby, and a beautiful green haired fairy screams in agony as she is pulled from within the protection of her tree. Black tendrils grab at her body, her mind, and her soul, ripping her from her home. She screams again as her life force drains from her, and then she collapses upon the ground. The archmage turns his attention to the tree, and his arms weave through the air, casting a spell and teleporting the massive oak away. The Dryad weeps. The vision swirls and you see the grim faced archmage in a wizard’s laboratory far away, peering into his crystal ball. Your consciousness flies into the crystal ball’s image and you hover around a rickety hut and overgrown garden. The oak, now twisted and blackened, is planted in the garden. The old woman prances beneath its boughs, a branch like staff in her hand, herself engaged in some unknown ritual. Dozens of massive acorns fall from the tree and sprout, in a matter of moments, into bizarre humanoid forms. The woman cackles in glee. “Ah ha ha! He was right. Accertep was right! It worked and you, my children, are born! Arise! Arise my children!” A presence, dark, twisted, tortured, projects its voice from no mouth. “Your children? YOUR CHILDREN? You ripped my lady from me. You uprooted me from my home. You cut, beat, burned, and grafted parts to and from me. And now, when I reproduce, you think these are YOUR children. I think not!” The woman’s insane glee turns to horror as the tree’s roots grasp her legs and its branches grasp her arms. She struggles to defend herself as the humanoid tree forms assault, filling her with thorns and shredding her with claws. The tree rips her apart, and its roots draw her into the ground and begin to feed. The archmage smiles.
Entropydidn't care any more for the underground air outside of the cage she and Jarlashad been trapped in than she had the air inside it. It wasn't a stench fouling the tunnel really but something else equally rancid, the feel of it almost sticky against her skin. As they proceeded down the tunnel, the half orc fell to the rear of the group. Her reluctance to continue and her concern about what she was feeling growing. Finally, just as she coming close to being unable to stand it and was about to insist they stop if not turn back entirely, the terrible visions filled her mind. Bringing with them a sense of airless and terrible pain. She doubled over, clutching her head as she struggled against the wave of images that seemed to come from everyone and yet nowhere at once.
I expected that to be much worse than it was, lol. Entropy has +0 to wisdom.
Jarlas Nature/Arcana: 10 WIS save: 20 anyone within 10’ of me gets a +3 to their save
Something feels different down here but I figure it’s just how cavers with no water in them are supposed to be. Then the vision hits watching as the poor dryad is tortured and ripped from her tree. And I weep with her at the loss she has suffered. I witness in horror as the tree takes its retribution on the crone which fades to icy cold anger at the smiling figure. As my mind begins to quiver, reeling from the horrors we just saw I feel coldness spread from the words on my back. My resolve to see justice brought hardens. With labored breath “They...will...pay! How could they do such a thing?”
After a moment having caught my breath I reach out with my Divine Sense.
The presence of strong evil registers on your senses like a noxious odor, and powerful good rings like heavenly music in your ears. As an action, you can open your awareness to detect such forces. Until the end of your next turn, you know the location of any celestial, fiend, or undead within 60 feet of you that is not behind total cover. You know the type (celestial, fiend, or undead) of any being whose presence you sense, but not its identity (the vampire Count Strahd von Zarovich, for instance). Within the same radius, you also detect the presence of any place or object that has been consecrated or desecrated, as with the hallow spell.
You can use this feature a number of times equal to 1 + your Charisma modifier. When you finish a long rest, you regain all expended uses.
Sen will call out to the others that the tunnel is clear before carefully proceeding further into the tunnel. Sen freezes in place, gasping for the air, he closes his eyes tight as the visions enter. Sen tries to remain as calm as possible, standing frozen in place. He's been affected with magic before and found it best not to remain in place.
Sen recalls from his varied and famous travels that the chamber they've just entered was not created by natural means nor (as Harivaldrcould attest) was it mined. Sen has the sense that somehow they've entered into something that reminds him very much of the Feywild.
((Harivaldr can make a Nature/Arcana check and Wisdom save DC 12 if not I'll do it when I post tonight or in the morning.))
Harivaldr trundled along with his hand resting on his longsword, entirely uneasy about the situation they now found themselves in. The walls weren't mined, which meant, at least to the dwarf, that any number of dangers could lurk in these depths.
Then he witnessed the vision.
The images now flashing through his head, the horrified scream of the dryad, it was enough to rattle the skald more than he'd care to admit. His face had gone pale, and he could feel a few stray beads of sweat trailing down his brow. He clutched something in his hand, and it took him a moment to realize that instead of drawing his sword, he'd grabbed his dulcimer. Perhaps, he thought, it would be worth it to keep it on hand, just in case a countercharm would be needed. Aloud, he simply muttered, "As soon as we are able, let us drive out these wicked people. They've been left to fester long enough..."
Dathyra was unsure what they would find down here, but she had a good enough feeling it wouldn't be good. If what they found in the journals was any indication, then they were likely to find some very dangerous people. She kept to the middle of the group, letting Jarlas and Sen take the lead.
Dathyra was used to mental intrusions from time to time. While she had worked hard to use healing magic, her brother had mastered a few different skills, and it wasn't unusual for him to use a little mental spell to communicate with her in her head when he did not want someone else, especially their younger sister Eryn, to overhear any sensitive material, such as their mother's health. When she had traveled with Holg and Jodon, Jodon was an illusionist who sometimes communicated with them between minds to avoid talking and give away their position. She, therefore, recognized the signs when a powerful force began to worm its way into her mind.
As the vision revealed itself to her, she felt a deep sense of dread building up within her. Her hand reflexively clutched at her stomach as she watched the tree ripped open and the dryad pulled from her lifeforce, the familiarity of such a scene resonating with Dathyra. When she saw the woman ripped to shreds by the saplings, Dathyra dropped to her knees, her senses feeling overwhelmed from the vision, and her own stomach turning as no gory details were spared. She felt trapped in the vision, unable to escape, unable to move.
Dathyra is suffering from paralysis for 9 minutes. (Short-term madness)
In the darkness of the chamber, everyone gasps as the mental assault breaks. Dathyra is kneeling on the ground in a rictus of some internal terror. The sound of chittering and snapping claw approach from the left and the right. You hear a howling evil laughter, or maybe it's only in your head. ((history/arcana/nature dc 10 to identify)) ((roll for initiative))
Those of you that have darkvision can see the figures rushing into the chamber. They have claws that clack and the howling-- the howling has your head ringing but you're not sure if it's real or imagined. Senand Harivaldrquickly figure out where they are and what they are facing and it's not a good thing. Jarlas' Divine Sense tells him that evil is approaching rapidly and he gets the sense that they are Fey creatures, which doesn't make sense does it? Until he hears Sen shout out a warning about not being in the Northern Reach anymore. Hariknows they are in the Fey as well, somehow. He sees the two creatures and remembers their description from scary tales to frighten children. "Meenlocks!"
Meenlock 1 Initiative: 13
Meenlock 2 Initiative: 21
Entropy Initiative 17
Meenlock1 Sen Entropy Meenlock2 Jarlas Harivaldr Dathyra
“Mean for sure, Hari! Not sure what you mean by locks.”Sen quickly pulls the daggers from his belt. The creatures were already too close to whip at. Sen tries to stick the daggers into one of the creatures.
Shaking off the visions and the fear, Entropy'seyes widened at the sight of the strange creatures attacking them but she didn't hesitate. Stretching one hand back to brush her fingertips against the carved wooden violin scroll sticking out of the top of her bag, she held out her other one and fired two crackling bolts of purple energy at the monster closest to Senick.
Blast 1 Attack: 22 Damage: 3
Blast 2 Attack: 8 Damage: 10
"Watch yourself." She warned him, magic crackling around her fingers still as she pulled her violin free. The instrument intricately carved and almost seeming to conduct the purple lines of energy dripping off her hands. (Bonus action, Senick gets a 1d8 bardic inspiration.)
Entropy seems to draw the stuff of the shadowfell through violin as it crackles with energy. The first bolt knocks the creature in the shoulder causing it to spin sideways a bit. The second bolt goes wide.
Meenlock2 closes on Jarlas and strikes at him with its feywild claws.
The claws somehow find an opening in the plate and reach the flesh underneath. Jarlas can feel something unnatural about the claw strike. The pain grows even after the strike.
((Jarlas CON save DC 10))
Meenlock1 3 Sen Entropy Meenlock2 Jarlas 7 Harivaldr Dathyra