Bullets for Baylee!
- People argue about whether to help Szo-Ahm into a construct body, but eventually they decide to kidnap him instead.
- The Keg explores what seems to be an empty prison, until an elevator malfunction nearly ends all of them.
- The First and Forsaken Prince tries to make a new deal and lure Jack away from the Keg, and almost succeeds.
- The Keg engages three powerful demons in a room where gravity can be reversed, and wins.
Recap for the Rest!
Having made it back to the highest level of the prison, the company spends a few moments taking stock of their situation and attempting to come up with a plan for going forward. First on the agenda is how to deal with Szo-Ahm, who (having fulfilled his part in the bargain by guiding the party through the prison) wishes to strike a new deal: in exchange for being placed back into a construct body, he will help them repair the Codex crystal. There is fierce debate, and things get heated, but ultimately the company decides the risk is too great (and perhaps they simply don’t want to spend time finding a suitable body) and simply removes one of Szo-Ahm’s soul jars before descending.
The machinery level is eerily silent and seems to have been completely undisturbed for eons. Much time is spent attempting to get some of the great turbines up and running again, but Joshua accurately deduces that there is simply no power source to run them, even if he knew what they did. Perplexed, the Keg heads for a lower level, when catastrophe strikes! The lift goes into free-fall! Panicking, Azera destroys the controls while Barnaby tries to cast a rope upwards, and along with Lan, use the rope as a lifeline. Meanwhile, Joshua (clearly annoyed at the destroyed controls) finds the mechanical override and sends the disc screeching to a halt a few dozen feet above ground.
Deciding to kick the door to the lowest level open, the party finds themselves in a long oval room dominated by an giant clenching hand made of red stone. Seated nonchalantly, as if it were a throne, is a humanoid figure dressed in immaculate white garb – his body seems to have been stitched together from the skin of other beings.
Playing idly with a strange cube, he greets the party in a cheerful fashion. After a bit of back and forth, he offers them a deal – no longer interested in the soul jars, what he wants is the Codex and Szo-Ahm, and in exchange he will take the party wherever they wish, including out of Khyber. Though the offer is open to all, he focuses the most on Jack, clearly calling him out. While the rest of the company searches fruitlessly for alternate exits, Jack contemplates. Only Jack sees through the man’s illusions and sees the flames and hidden demons, and after a long period of deliberation comes to a decision – “I’m with … them!” Disappointed, the man waves his hand and vanishes, plunging the room into nightmare.
Three enormous demons lurk behind crumbled masonry and pits of baelfire and frost. One, a woman engulfed in strange green flame, begins to set the room on fire with a flick of her fingers, her aura intensifying. Another, made up of floating bits of masonry with powerful jaws made of stalactites, crouches on the hand-throne holding the cube. Finally, the last demon, with a trunk like body containing many mouths and wings of ice, hovers near the ceiling. With a gruesome chuckle, the rock demon flips the cube and sends the company tumbling to the sky – all except Jack. Having aroused the ire of the First and Forsaken Prince, the gnome seems to be the primary target.
While the winged frost demon confounds the majority of the party, the two others go after Jack with a vengeance. Using every trick he’s ever bought, begged, borrowed, or stolen, Jack manages somehow to stay on his feet while focusing his attack on the demon with the cube. Enraged, the rock demon causes the ground itself to begin to encase an exhausted Jack, but he doesn’t catch the sparkle in the gnome’s eyes or the mocking salute as he allows himself to become encased in solid rock. Unable to harm the gnome, gravity is reversed again but with disastrous consequences – while Barnaby has to face down a pair of demons, it leaves the holder of the cube to the mercy of Azera and Joshua who combine tactics to turn it into little more than a pile of sand. With the cube in the party’s control, the tides rapidly change and the battle is won.
Exhausted afterwards, the Keg begins to tend to their wounded. The cube shatters after the last demon perishes, but in the rubble the company finds something interesting — a glossy ring. The fire demoness has bracers made of strange greenish metal that are warm to the touch.
Triple Elites Are Awesome 1200xp