Curse of the Crimson Throne

Beat the Worm

Crown of Fangs, Part 9

The afternoon of 11 Erastus, 4708

Too Much Tongue

The worm devil lashes out with two of its tongues at Ashla, tripping her but failing to pull away her remaining short sword. It lashes out again with its other tongue, this time successfully removing her other sword and dealing a fair bit up damage. As it is ripping away the sword, Ashla manages to slash out at the three heads’ eyes, blinding them temporarily. The half-elf ranger struggles against the grasping tongues, but is unable to break free.

Flint steps into the illusory wall, then smites the worm devil and looses a vital strike against it, dealing substantial damage. The worm devil retaliates by casting a spell, which ripples through the air, causing everyone to become exhausted save Arlynn as well as Laori and Nox, who were safely outside the room.

Laori turns around the corner, and as she takes stock of what’s going on spots the horned devil Mavrokeras and exclaims, “You! You are SO dead!” She then proceeds to air walk over to the horned devil.

Kyra’s Gambit

At that moment, several barbed devils appear in the already cramped room. One among them shouts, “There they are! Those are the ones that killed my brothers! Kill them!”

“And by Iomedae’s grace, you’re next!” proclaims Arlynn.

One of the barbed devils slashes out at Flint as he pokes his head out from the illusory wall, striking him twice. It tries to grapple Flint, but fails utterly as he wrestles from its grasp. The creature seems extraordinarily ferocious which is frightening but does not faze Flint.

Zandu is struck by another one of these barbed devils, slashing into him deeply into him, dealing considerable damage while grappling him, the sheer ferocity of the attack strikes fear into the gnoll’s heart.

Irabeth is also struck by one of these creatures, which in her paralyzed state leaves her helpless to deflect its blows, and is soon also grappled in the devil’s deadly embrace.

At this Kyra tumbles out of the wall, landing beneath the flying Arlynn. The halfling brandishes her gleaming ghost-touched adamantine dagger aloft and shouts out, “It’s a good thing you boys have your hands full, it’ll make it easier to kill you with Serithial!!”

Though the other fiends look skeptical, the barbed devil holding onto Irabeth quakes in fear. Kyra throws her dagger at the creature, dealing substantial damage and causing the barbed devil to scream out in pain: ”Augh! It is Serethial! It burns!”

Druid Magic

Egan earth glides into the center of the room and casts greater dispel magic on the party, his waves of natural magic flooding outward from the center of the room, manifesting as an ocean breeze that peels away not only the negative effects that have stricken the party but also the exhaustion that had settled upon them. Ashla, still tongue-tied by the worm devil, is too far away to benefit from the spell.

The Worm Devil replies with another spell, seeming to grow even larger and more monstrous. Flint and Kyra are convinced the creature has unlocked some hellish new power, but the rest of the party are able to recognize it as an illusion.

Giant in Iron

Meanwhiled, the charmed, giant-sized Nox continues to hastily stride through the castle, passing by posts of hellknights which shrug and allow him by, he makes to the castle foyer when Freya manages to catch up to him.

“You’re in an awful hurry,” she says, trying to keep up with him. The close-helmed Nox is deathly silent, continuing to hastily march forward. “Hellooo, Lord Nox? Are you in there?” She says again.

As they pass out the castle gates, she calls out to the two hellknight guards on duty. “What are you just standing there for?! Help me restrain him, he’s clearly been ensorcelled!!”

The guards and Freya try to restrain the giant fighter, but the three of them are unable to slow him down as he continues trudging forward with the trio hanging off him.

Riposte

Arlynn touches down on the stone floor and summons up another wave of channel positive energy, but her divine grace is less effective at healing the wounds of the party. Even so, the blessing is a welcome one.

Freed from her paralysis, Irabeth smites at the barbed devil grappling her. “The halfing’s struck her blow, now it’s my turn!"

She strikes out with her longsword. The devil catches the blade in its teeth, but Irabeth manages to continue driving the blade into its face, cutting a terrible gash that leaves the monster badly wounded but still upright.

The Worm Devil makes another attack against Ashla, slashing at her with its other tongues. Ashla, tries again to break the grapple and manages to wriggle free of the fiend’s grasp.

Clouded Room, Clouded Mind

Despite Earth-Egan’s attempt to interfere, the Worm Devil dominates Flint, commanding him to kill Arlynn. The archer turns and unleashes a torrent of arrows that bounce off of the paladin’s buckler. The Worm Devil then casts another spell, unleashing an acid fog into the room. Laori strikes an opportune attack during the casting, doing a fair bit of damage to the Worm Devil but not enough to cause the spell to fail.

The elf priestess is still furious at the horned devil, but she notices the deteriorating situation in the room and decides to change her attack. She casts one baleful look back at the horned devil, “You’re gonna get yours soon, but first…” She starts to cast her own spell, but both the horned devil and the worm devil strike out at her, dealing a devastating amount of damage and disrupting her spellcasting.

Luck of the Halfling

The barbed devil hanging off of Irabeth calls out to its brothers and shouts, “Kill the Halfling! She has the sword!”

“Oops…” Kyra mutters as the three fiends turn to glare at her.

The barbed devil grappling Irabeth releases her to lunge at Kyra. As it attempts to seize hod of the Halfling, the fiend overreaches. Irabeth kicks it in the ass with a smite-powered iron boot while Kyra deftly rolls forward between the creature’s legs. The barbed devil topples forward and impale itself on its own claws, perishing. Kyra springs back to face the other devils. “Yeah, it was all Serethial, baby!”

The barbed devil facing Flint also lunges after Kyra, but misses her as well. The halfling then moves stealthily behind the Barbed Devil grappling Zandu. “Leggo my gnoll!” she shouts, stabbing at the creature with her dagger, but failing to pierce its coat of nettles.

Wrath of Mavrokeras

Earth-Egan moves up and tries to cast dispel magic against the Worm Devil, but the creatures try to interrupt his spells. The gnome takes damage, but manages to strip away the illusion the fiend was hiding behind.

The Horned Devil moves toward Arlynn, swinging its Spiked Chain at her as it says, “Flesh Shredder will break you before she binds you!” The chains whirl around smashing down at Arlynn, but she manages to bat the strikes away from her.

“I yield to no Devil!” she exclaims, as she blocks the third strike.

“You will yield to ME!” It roars back, trying to get a bite out of her. Arlynn again manages to redirect the blow, causing the creature to miss. Frustrated, it spins around to lash out against her with its spiked tail, slashing the Paladin. The wounds it causes unnaturally swells as it bleeds out.

The Worm Devil tries to cast another spell, but Egan manages to interrupt it with a stony fist.

The Bigger They Are…

Outside, Nox attempts to shrug off the hellknights and Freya, but his shaking causes him to go off balance, causing him to topple over and enabling them to pin him.

With her arms locked around his neck, Freya barks out more orders to the hellknights. “Keep him pinned down! And someone get the paravicar!! He is the Chelaxian Adjudicator, and we must get to the bottom of what has befallen him!”

Arlynn marches over to Flint, and says, “By the grace of Iomedae, please keep this soldier in your service to STOP SHOOTING ARROWS AT ME!” She casts protection from evil but unfortunately it is not enough to overcome the evil of the Worm Devil that has the scion of House Endrin dominated.

War of Attrition

Still stricken with terror, Zandu intimidates the barbed devil into letting him go so he can flee. The other barbed devil strikes out at him as the sorcerer escapes into the secret passage, dealing a terrible wound but failing to grapple him. Irabeth casts lay on hands on herself, and marches toward the direction of the horn devil until it comes into view. She slashes out at the creature but isn’t able to strike true. Despite her grievous injuries, the furious half-orc seems determined to bring the devil down.

The Worm Devil floats over the royal bed in the corner of the room. Ashla reaches for her longsword, deftly rolling to her feet as the creature’s tongues lash around her.

The worm devil then instructs Flint to kill Arlynn by any means necessary. Then the fiend uses its tongue attack to disarm and grapple Ashla once more.

Pressing the Attack

Flint proceeds to punch Arlynn, the blows sending shocks bouncing off her shield but failing to damage the paladin.

Laori moves over to pick up her sword, but takes an attack of opportunity, dealing significant damage to her.

The barbed devils continue to attack Kyra, managing only to hit her but she continues to evade their grasp. Despite bleeding from a dozen puncture wounds, she taunts, “Can’t catch me! You better run before I get you with Serithial!”

But the second barbed devil does manage to strike supernatural fear in her heart.

“Gah! Time for me to get out of here!” she exclaims as she uses her acrobatics to run up the wall and slide back around the secret passageway behind Zandu, using her ring of Invisibility to disappear from view.

The Worm Devil casts another illusion upon itself to hide behind, now appearing as some sort of infernal hydra.

Egan Enters the Fray

Earth-Egan, taking a stock of the situation, decides to return to his gnome form. He emerges from the wall, stonework crumbling off him until it reveals the familiar small stature of the party’s resident druid, with a big grin on his face and his staff and scroll drawn, “Hi.”

Laori turns to him and says enthusiastically, “Hi~!”

Eagan’s smile then turns into a scowl, “You bastards and your magics are going down.”

“Aww damn! Shit just got just got real! Awesome!” Laori cheers.

“This is a fine mess you’ve gotten into, Sermignatto,” the horned devil growls in Infernal at the worm devil. “Once this battle is through, my debt to you is paid in full.”

The horned devil does a whirlwind attack, attacking Arlynn, Egan and Ashla. Arlynn manages to deflect it, Egan is too short for it to strike him and Ashla dodges the strike. He then takes a bite out of Irabeth.

A Call for Help

Meanwhile, Nox is struggling against the hell knights, his massive frame continuing to be a difficulty for them to contain. One manages to pull one of his arms behind him, but that allows him to elbow the other one, knocking them loose and allowing him to break their grasp. Freya manages to hang on as he stands up stoically.

“Damn! Well we have other ways to deal with this…” she curses as she grasps a pendant around her neck, causing it to glow. The pendant projects an image familiar to Nox, that of Ambassador Amprei.

“Ah, Lord Nox,” the Ambassador begins, a bit bemused at the current sight, “You seem to be in a spot of bother. Not to worry, I can have you fixed up in a jiffy.” He begins cracking his knuckles, “You will owe me big for this…”

The Noose Tightens

Arlynn took to the air, but is grappled as she approaches the horned devil. Arlynn uses her divine bond and transforms Serithial into a longsword infused with brilliant energy.

The horned devil curses at the sight of it, and the Worm Devil proceeds to slam Arlynn into the ground. Her spiked armor, infused with her smite, wounds the creature causing it to retract and release the paladin.

Zandu transforms into a Dragon and attempts to fly past the barbed devils but is struck by one of the devils, and is grappled.

The worm devil tries to bite the prone Arlynn with one of its mouths, but the senior Paladin manages to deflect the blow.

Irabeth uses her last lay on hands on herself, and takes a five foot step to unleash a torrent of blows against the horned devil, shouting, “Die foul demon! For the Inheritor!” Her blows slam down upon the devil but only one finds its mark.

One Sword, Three Necks

Ashla strikes against the creature, striking true with her longsword, dealing significant damage. The Worm Devil is looking badly wounded at this point.

It tries to pin Ashla with its tongue, but the half-elven woman wrestles free, using her free hand to wrap the tongue around her arm so as to pull the creatures heads in, allowing her to cut all three of them off at once—killing the Worm Devil. As it crashes to the ground, the fog and mind control spells dissipate instantaneously.

The Devil’s Escape

Dragon-Zandu takes this opportunity to speak to the horned devil in Draconic, telling him that his debt has been paid and there is no further need for him to remain.

“You are most wise,” Mavrokeras replies, also in Draconic.

Flint, unable to understand their exchange and free of the mind control, quickly draws his bow and fires off a volley of arrows and a tanglefoot bag at the devil dealing a devastating amount of damage and slowing the creature.

Laori in the meantime uses a heal scroll on herself. Zandu continues to take damage from the devil grappling him as it drags him further into the chamber. A frightened and badly wounded Kyra flees down he hallway.

Egan tries to hit the demon with Call Lightning but fails to penetrate his spell resistance.

The horned devil tries to cast a spell, but Irabeth’s and Ashla’s attack of opportunity manage to disrupt the spell. Irabeth’s attack strikes hard upon the creature, but Ashla’s strike does no lasting damage. Having failed to cast his spell, he tries to flee, provoking attacks from Laori and Egan. Laori strikes true.

Waking the Sleeping Giant

Nox feels the grips of the mind control slip away, as he becomes aware of his surroundings he notices Amprei’s visage. The two have a confrontation regarding trust and loyalty, and Nox suspects the Ambassador trying to take credit for things the party has accomplished. As the image fades away, he notices that Amprei is within the Embassy.

He gets a sit-rep from Freya and he thanks her for aiding him as he runs back towards the castle at blinding speed. As he re-enters the chamber on the second floor, he calls out to the squad that he past first and calls out for a sword, to which they toss him a +1 thundering longsword that enlarges as he approaches the devil. Arlynn, who stood up and charged after the devil, notices Nox back in the room and smirks, “You haven’t forgotten about Lord Nox have you?”

“Oh, its you.” The horned devil spits out venomously.

“Yes,” Nox says, raising his borrowed blade, “_Me_.”

Frustrating Fiends

Flint in the meantime takes a step back and unleashes another volley of arrows, which does significant damage but is reduced due to its damage reduction.

Laori also rushes out and airwalks over Arlynn and shouts, “Give back Mr. Pointy!”

The barbed devils remaining take a step back, and teleport away. Flint and Irabeth both curse.

Payback’s an Adorable Elf Maiden

Kyra in the meantime, tries to sneak attack the devil but it instead sinks into Nox. He catches the blade before it returns with his off hand. The Nox seethes through the pain, focusing his anger at the devil.

“Sorry! Really, really, sorry about that Nox!” Kyra apologizes.

Nox growls lowly. The Horned devil tries to cast teleport to get away, but being surrounded seals its fate. Arlynn strikes it true with Serithial, setting up Nox’s thundering blow, stunning the creature as Laori cut the fiendish devil’s head off.

“This is what happens to people that steal my stuff!” she shouts at the severed head, holding it up by one of its horns.

Nox looks at the dagger that still drips with his blood, and turns to Kyra, “I like your knife, I’m keeping it.” She briefly pouts for a moment, and then nods with that. He smirks, and then releases it, returning it to her.

Adventure had Half a Day

The party regroups, heals and searches the room. They discuss gathering supplies in the capital of Lastwall and send Zandu, Arlynn, Flint and Kyra to do so. Arlynn also intends to use her connections with the Church of Iomedae to convince them to send a group of clergy to aid in the rebuilding efforts and hopefully seed a larger push to have her deity have a higher sway in the city.

Nox and the others provide orders to the hellknights to guard the fortified posts they created battlements while they party rests. Nox specifically asks Zandu to clean off the royal bed before he leaves, and he takes a bath in the royal bath before changing into something comfortable climbing into the royal bed.

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