The group convened at the breakfast table, where the Seneschal Rin, introduced them to a androgynous humanoid named Tesla (Tellurian Rogue 8). The drow explained that Tesla had been planted in House Bar'Konyx for the last few months and would guide them in through a servants entrance. He pointedly ignore Martin and left them to plan their mission. Tesla gave them details of the layout and answerd their many questions. Based on his information, they decided to strike during the early "afternoon". They were unaware that Tesla's species released pheromones that enhanced his charisma and at least 2 of the Gatherers felt it's effects.
• Tesla explained that there were 4 dungeon levels, each with at least 12 cells. On the first and second floor, there were 2 guards per floor, but he'd never been on the 3rd or 4th floor. The passage, strangely, exited onto the holding portion of the 2nd floor. Only 3 cells were occupied on this level, Tesla knew the prisoners held here were an insane drow priestess, a rebellious male drow and a dwarf. As they passed each cell, they learned that a Silence spell surrounded each individual cell and no noise came from within them. The dwarf seemed to be trying to tell them something, the rebel sat resignedly and the priestess ranted and wiped her own feces on the walls.
• Martin adeptly unlocked and opend the door to the holding area and they found the guard's room empty. It was filled with a table, some stools, extra armor and weapons and a cubby with rows of paperwork. Stairs off to the right led up and down. Martin checked out the cubby and found a document someone had sketched offensive scenes on. He handed it to Link who translated it as a memo reminding the guards to be out this room on this date and time due to an enigmatic "operation".
• The group hurriedly moved down the stairs, as the pearl pointed that way, with Barracus bringing up the rear. They spied 3 guards on this level. The layout was identical to the floor above and one guard sat with his back to the table talking to his compatriots; a second guard was over in a corner, polishing a helmet; and a third was standing in front of the door to the holding area talking through a slit in the door.
• Martin attempted to sneak up on the first guard, but fell into a pit trap and landed on the bones of a dead man, left there. Draco, moved to the second guard, on the far side of the room using his Invisibility Cloak. Draco slashed viciously at his target, but discovered it was an illusion and an acid trap rained down upon him, searing his hide and destroying his Cloak. Meanwhile, an arm that felt like an iron band wrapped around Barracus's waist and a powerful hand clamped over his mouth.
• Link took aim upon one of the remaining drow guards with his longbow, but discovered his string had been cut. Variel and Tesla waded into the fray and the first drow, a spellcaster, fell to their might, after being wounded by his fellow guard. Barracus managed to break the iron grip holding him and turned to face his attacker. Camilla Von Carstein stood smiling cheefully before him, the female vampire who he had met in the Tomb of Yawgmoth and somehow vanished. She greeted his shocked face by ripping into his neck and began sucking his blood, deeply.
• The remaining drow guard proved to be a very capable swordsman who's wounds began to heal moments after taking them. Tesla managed to stun him however and teamwork finished him off by severing his head. However, the Penalagan from the Tomb flew into the room from the floor below and attacked Variel wipping the priest with her spleen. And just when the Gatherers thought things couldn't get worse, the door leading to the holding cells blew outward, nearly knocking Draco off his feet. In the doorway stood a xeno, birthed from the mind flayer council member, it's tentacles twitching darkly, mucous dropping in rivulets to the floor. It surveyed them with it's night black eyes and seemed to be drawn to Tesla. It shuddered as it drank in the tellurian's visage and began exuding a green mucous that smelled minty and sour, at the same time.
• Just then, Variel drew on Corellon Larethian with his faith and willed the creatures to flee his god's wrath. The Penalagan flew back down the stairs and the xeno backed deeper into the holding area.
• Barracus fought valiantly against the vampire, but drifted into oblivion as she drained his life's blood from his neck. Slowly, however vitality returned to his limbs and his eyes fluttered open, there stood Camilla, an empty healing vial in her hands. The smith noticed the whites of her eyes had turned a lurid green and she seemed to sway on her feet. "I told you we would meet again. I owed you, smith and now we are even. The curse is gone and I need to take my leave. Perhaps our fates will meet again", said Camilla. And then she moved up 2 steps and turned into a bat, flying up the stairs. Barracus was whole again, his extra strength, bone, and fortitude gone. He realized how heavy the amulet Variel had reforged for him truly was and laid on the steps, its weight nearly too much after all he'd just been through
This was an interesting session as numerous 1's were rolled all session long. All of the "traps" I wrote about were the result a 1 being rolled. Even my NPC's were in on it, with the drow warrior cutting off the drow spellcaster's hand, at one point.
I decided to move the Phyrexian War Machine subplot to the back burner and will post more about Tesla after Mick (Tesla's player) and I work the character out more as it's a custom race and class he's designed.
• All but Barracus were disguised as servants and slaves as they entered a rear gate to of House Levin'Xar. The smith was hidden under the hay of their cart, due to his recent growth spurt and extra bulk. Tesla was well acquainted with the guards and they acted as if he were an old and trusted friend. As soon as they took their supplies to one of the basements, the tellurian showed them a secret passage leading to the dungeons. Draco, noticed a pressure plate and deciphered the fact that it did not set off a trap, but much to his comrade's dismay, he stepped heavily upon it, activating it.
• The Gatheres began to regroup with Variel's divine light holding the undead things at bay when a familiar "foooosh" moved toward them from down the hallway in the holding area. Variel, Draco, Tesla, and Link couldn't react quickly enough as a Fireball engulfed the room and burned them into down into the darkness of defeat. Only Martin, hidden in the pit trap and Barracus, laying on the steps exhausted, remained ready to continue their mission.