Curse of the Crimson Throne

There Will Be Blood

Crown of Fangs, Part 16

The afternoon of 14 Erastus, 4708

Having defeated a flock of erinyes, the party prepares to ascend up another shaft to the final level of the pyramid.

Zandu enlarges himself to huge size and takes a peek into the room. The chamber beyond is huge, with a high ceiling, and illuminated by braziers at the four corners. A soft light also filters from two very high oval windows on the southwestern wall. Below the crystal “eyes,” a band of mosaics on the south wall forms a single, huge map of an ancient, unknown land.

Yet the most unusual feature of the room floats and undulates at its center—here, an amorphous blob of blood, over thirty feet wide, floats and ripples in the air. Shapes seem to form periodically on its rippling surface: faces, hands, buildings, and figures that last only long enough to melt back into the horrific mass.

As Zandu looks on, the giant globe of blood distorts, taking the shape of Ileosa’s face, which shrieks at the gnoll sorcerer. So much for a surprise attack!

Nox hurriedly climbs up Zandu’s enlarged back. As he steps into the chamber, a great black dragon emerges from shadows on the ceiling. The creature spews acid onto the fighter. As the beast swoops away, a tremor shakes the pyramid and chucks of stone fall from the ceiling. Unable to dodge out of the way, Nox is buried beneath them.

With this auspicious start to the battle, the rest of the party hastily rise up into the room. Simulacra of the Queen emerge from the blood pool to harry the party by throwing fire from the braziers in the corners of the room, while the dragon wheels about overhead, diving down to attack.

As the adventurers confront these dangers, Ileosa herself finally steps out from the blood globe and starts throwing magic at the party. Her spells are a mixture of charms and offensive magic. She periodically retreats inside to heal herself and summon forth more blood creations.

Tremors continue to shake the pyramid, dislodging more rubble onto the adventurers. Bolts of lightning sear down from the ceiling, while blinding dust swirls up around them. But the party soldiers on. Arlynn calls upon her trumpet archon Armaitya. Ileosa’s black dragon ally takes a terrible battering and retreats to the blood pool to soak in its healing waters alongside his mistress.

Finally, Nox flies up to confront the Queen. She dominates him, but the infernal influence in his head wars with her commands. Finally, he drops his sword, seizes the crown from atop her head, and places it upon his own. Then he uses one of the boons from the Harrow Deck of Many Things to teleport away.

Ileosa lets out a howl of rage while the party looks on in shock. Moments later, blue energy pours from her mouth and eyes, swirling out of the pyramid in the direction of Korvosa. Her demeanor changes immediately, as she calls for a truce, begging the party not to kill her as she has important information.

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