The Conrad Bexler Tabernacle

SESSION: February 22, 2013

Okay, so I tried to work on a writeup of last Friday’s session, but everything’s too all over the place to put into a single document.

We picked up where we left off, in the cave with Bexler and his men. Bexler’s men fail to persuade Peren and Dovah to rejoin the party, and they head out of the cave. When the men return, Bexler then he sends 10 more to go and reset the traps. He then proceeds to explain to the party why he started a fight with Morgana: he knew what the Zik-Chil had done to her some seven months ago on Athas, and he knew she would ultimately end up becoming a zombie. Since he’s the one responsible for her condition in the first place, he owed it to her to save her.

Suddenly, screams are heard coming from the direction of the cave’s main entrance. And then, two rust monsters rush into the cavern to attack! The party wisely chooses to retreat towards the cave’s back entrance, only to run right smack into the Drow priest Va’rough, his Magic-User friend Arunya, and the Battle Mage Batra. To the party’s shock and surprise, not only is Batra’s head adorned with the helmet just recently delivered to the Lords of Waterdeep, but Peren and Dovah are with them!

So, with Drow in front of them and rust monsters at their backs, the battle is engaged. The rock underneath the party’s feet is transmuted into mud, and as they sink waist-deep, they are greeted with a fireball which, amongst other things, wreaks havoc on Krystiana’s potion and destroys Morrigna’s backpack. It also dries the mud around them, making it harder for them to attempt escape.

At this point, Va’rough asks the party if they yield, and all do except Bexler, who manages to free himself from the mud and make short work of Batra. This turns the tide of the battle, and after many hit points are lost to enemy spellcasters and weapons eaten by hungry rust monsters, the party emerge victorious, and we see Peren and Dovah turn against the Drow and come to the party’s aid. Once it becomes possible, Morrigna is able to grab the helmet from Batra’s corpse, along with a note that fell out of his cloak.

Escaping the rust monsters, Bexler then takes the party to the northwestern-most part of the cave, where Cascaro is seen naked and shackled to a wall, across the chamber from barrels filled with rotted food and other garbage. Cascaro is defiant to the very end, and finally Bexler offers Lexi the chance to deal the killing blow. She accepts, and does so with deadly efficiency. However, she inadvertently cuts into his intestines, emptying his bowels and attracting rot grubs from the garbage across the chamber. The party wisely decide to beat feet and get the hell out of there.

At the warehouse, it is discovered a tea merchant is bankrolling the Tea Party’s operations, which helps explain the group’s name. After a brief conversation, Bexler addresses the issue of his daughter offering to betray him in battle, and decides that in order to avoid the appearance of favoritism, she must endure a gauntlet that evening before he will accept any apologies.

To show that he’s not a total ass, he does allow his daughter some liberty to go about town before this is to begin.

Also at the warehouse, Morrigna reads the note that was found on Batra’s body, and finds that Piergieron’s guards were waylaid while escorting the helmet to Lady Alustriel in Silverymoon.

Meanwhile, Zephyros follows the lead he was given regarding poison. After a great deal of bad luck, a run-in with the town guard, and an elastic, low-intelligence creature resembling the Stay-Puft Marshmallow Man (hey, it was 3 in the morning and the DM was running out of ideas!). Even after finding the building, it is only after falling through a flight of stairs, and then again through a floor and becoming trapped in a Triangle of Summoning enchanted with a Hold Monster spell, the he is finally able to meet his contacts.

These contacts turn out to be three male Drow wearing black cloaks, black leather gloves, and partial black leather masks, who inform Zephyros that they’s been observing him since he left the tavern and are well aware of his motives. They are all too happy to give him the poison to do with what he wills, provided that for every dragon he slays, he must give them all of the teeth save one (the last he may keep as a souvenir). The Drow also expect a further price: the complete hide of Morrigna of Eveningstar, a condition to which Zephyros more than willingly agrees.

On the way to the temple tower, Zephyros has a run-in with the town guard, who describe the tavern owner as “Bob, he’s one of us,” further cementing his perception of a town mired with evil. At the temple, he talks to the priest who doesn’t exactly believe him, but lets him stay the night up in the bell tower, out of kindness. There Zephyros is greeted by Shawna, who tells him of the “evil” of the tressym named Tot T. Bird, and that Morrigna is also evil because (she whispers Morrigna’s secret into his ear).

As the tavern owner leaves the tavern and Zephyros sees the opportunity for a perfect shot, he chooses not to take it, for fear of soiling Shawna’s perceptions of him.

Back at the warehouse, the gauntlet begins. Lexi must walk through a line of twenty men, with the party at the far end, who all may strike her either with a club or with their fists. She survives the bludgeoning and makes it as far as her father at the end of the line. As she falls forward, he brings his knee up into her face, then joins his hands and brings them down into the base of her skull at the back of her neck. As she falls unconscious, Bexler says to everyone present: “The gauntlet is finished. This woman is a brave soldier, and let no one question her loyalty ever again!

So this is where we left off. The party is now affiliated with the Tea Party, Lexi has earned her father’s respect by not running away when she had the chance, Zephyros is even further losing his tenuous grasp on reality, and Morrigna is hell-bent on delivering the helmet to Silverymoon, regardless of whether the party chooses to accompany her.