While in defensive positions at each door, the party continued to discuss their next move. Then unexpectedly, Machera fell to the ground reeling in pain clutching the area where he was bitten during the spider attack. The PCs watched in horror as all manner of carrion burst from Machera’s stomach, eyes, and mouth, devouring his flesh. Even his equipment was devoured by the insects’ apparent acidic ichors. Loki thought that he would have time to save Machera with a freezing spell, but the insects were far too quick. In fact, within the blink of an eye all trace of Machera and even the acidic pool that was once his equipment vanished. It was very clear to most in the room that some kind of magic was involved in the attack. Max however coldly dismissed the incident by saying, “So much for that guy, now what?” The party continued their scans of the room for the imp and Loki threatened to freeze every inch for the entire room with one of his spells.
At that time, the party heard a thud against the south west door that Torment was guarding. They then heard, the muffled sounds of a man cursing, “By Tempus’s right arsecheek! Cut me loose!” Not sure if this was some kind of a trick, Torment decided to open the door. Torment pushed the door inwards and had to react quickly when a net with a man trapped inside swung down from the ceiling. Torment was lucky because the trap could have seriously injured the tiefling. Suddenly, the man attempted to grab for a sword which was on the ground beneath him. After that Chotuk demanded the door be shut. Max, who was developing acute paranoia, screamed for someone to stab the man in the net and take no chances. Torment attempted to slam the door shut, but realized that the net and the man were in the doorway. Just then, Max became very distracted and left his door unguarded. Loki was quick to warn Max of his laps of judgment, but max continued to approach the man in the net with the intention to bash the man senseless. Then Torment, the more level headed of the group (for the moment) suggested that the man be interrogated and proceeded to cut the man down from the net with his sword. At the same time, Remiel decided to accompany Erilyn Windfellow to the main chamber and join back up with the party. When the party was back together again, the man in the net introduced himself as Sharke. Some of the PCs introduced themselves and the paranoia that was previously directed toward the human slowly subsided. Sharke explained that he came looking to collect the bounty for finding Erilyn Windfellow. He told the group that a magical spell put him to sleep and that he woke up to the sound of the party’s bickering. After an excessive amount of defensive posturing, formal greetings concluded and most of the party quickly ignored the immediate threat that the invisible imp posed.
After looking around a bit more, the party could see that the door they had just opened exposed a small room. Lying on the floor of the collapsed chamber was a dead goblin. Several rats could be seen gnawing at the corpse, while a few others frantically scoured the debris-strewn corners for edibles. Partially devoured rats and old rat bones littered the floor. Searching the rubble in the room, Torment found a small stash of treasure which included several coins, a few valuable objects, several simple weapons, a red and blue key, and a few alchemical components. Sharke found a portrait of a handsome man. The PCs showed the portrait to Erilyn and she identified it to be a portrait of Elzid. Upon finding treasure in the room, Loki decided to ignore his own advice and abandoned his guard of the door to approach the party. Shortly after he began to examine the items, Remiel noticed that the door Loki was guarding was open. It was open just enough for the imp to have escaped into the main chamber.
Knowing that the imp was about, the party tried their best to gather their wits and proceed along an intended course of action. With the chaos that ensued, Sharke was quite amazed at how undisciplined the party was. Clearly, this band of heroes had no direction or even a leader. Remiel asked Erilyn if she knew anything about the imp or about the towers basement in general. Erilyn told them that she didn’t and continued to murmur about Elzid being a kind and loving man. At that, many in the party were stunned at the level of naivety the girl had displayed. They even suspected that she was under the influence of some kind of magical spell. Max suggested that Erylin be knocked unconscious. In response, Remiel scolded max and Chotuk dismissed the idea since he realized the party would be forced to carry her around. With that comment Remiel apologized to Erilyn. Max of course took the opportunity to further taunt the girl. Remiel further rebuked Max and demanded that he cease his nonsense. Fortunately, Erilyn, was far too distracted with her concerns for Elzid then to pay much attention to it all.
With the infighting over, the party decided to search the north east room. They discovered that the far end of the room had collapsed leaving little more than a pile of rubble. However, the corpses of two goblins lied sprawled among debris, spears jutting out of their backs. At that time, Sharke used his sunrod and Loki cast a light spell on Sharke’s shield. With light, Max, Torment, and Sharke searched the room. Remiel and Loki remained in the main chamber to keep an eye out for the imp and to protect Erlyn.
While listening for danger, Remiel heard movement towards the middle of the chamber. Loki responded by preparing a freezing spell in case the imp appeared. Sure enough, the tiny devil appeared behind Erilyn holding a dagger across her throat. The creature smiled and glared at the deva with his sharp yellow teeth. Clearly, the tiny devil believed that the party was a bunch of “do gooders” and would become impotent during a hostage situation. Wasting no time at all and with absolutely no regard for the life of Erylin, Loki let loose a chilling cloud spell. The spell injured the imp, but not before the imp panicked and viciously sliced the ladies throat wide open. As blood pored over the ladies white dress she collapsed to the floor. Shocked and in complete disbelief that he had underestimated the PCs inclination for evil, the devil flew away down the hallway and neglected his magical powers to escape.
Reacting immediately after the imp’s assault on Erylin, Chotuk ran to Erylin’s aid and cast a healing spell on her. The wound across her neck vanished and she quickly regained consciousness. The lady would have surely died if Chotuk failed to arrive in time. In a blaze of speed, Max charged down the hallway looking for the imp. When he found the devil near the door to his right max slashed the creature with his dagger. Then in a rage of anger over the attack on Erilyn, Remiel charged after the imp. The deva cast a radiant spell in his direction but missed his mark. At that time, Sharke ran from the room and attacked the imp with a charge of his own, bashing the creature with his shield and knocking him prone. Loki attempted to attack the devil through the doorway, but the imp had superior cover and his phantom bolt missed. At that moment, the imp realized that he was in trouble and moved away from the party. He then cast a powerful phantom spell of his own in the parties’ direction. All those in the hallway saw the ground underneath their feet disappear and they began to think they were falling into a chasm. Despite Max being immobilized he managed to throw his dagger at the imp and hit him. The imp screeched in pain, obviously still injured from the previous encounter with the party and fell to the ground dead. As he returned to the nine hells, his corpse ignited into flames and only ashes remained. The large iron key and the imp’s wand were later found in the ashes.
At this time, Loki was thankful that his actions didn’t result in the death of Erilyn. He may have been in shock over his own actions, but it didn’t stop him from immediately retrieving the seemingly powerful wand the imp was using. After stashing the wand in his pack, he swore to himself that he would never do such a foolish thing again. Without a lecture from the party over the incident, the PCs directed their attention to the room they were previously searching. Within they found a bottle of elven wine, a finely crafted dagger with an exceptional gem in its pommel, and a few other trinkets. It didn’t take long at all for Max to claim the dagger and become transfixed with its obvious magical qualities against tiny creatures. In the mean time, the party celebrated the imp’s destruction and passed the wine around. During the celebration, Remiel engaged in further conversation with the lady and learned that she didn’t recall ever being in the basement of the tower. She also told Remiel that the last thing she recalled was being upstairs with Elzid asleep in her bed. Realizing that the lady seemed to be “involved” with Elzid, Remiel quickly drank the last of the elven wine.
The party searched the north western room and discovered an orc’s skull that contained cheap jewelry. After a quick vote, the party proceeded to open the open door at the end of the first hallway. In no time at all, Max searched for traps and picked the lock with little effort. Thereafter, the party discovered that the red key they previously found fit in the lock of the door. The party readied themselves and Sharke opened the door to reveal a 30’-square chamber that appeared to have been undamaged by the blast that destroyed the tower. A circle surrounded by magical runes was painted in the middle of the floor. A wooden lectern stood close by. Resting on the lectern was a sheet of parchment yellow and curled with age. Two evil looking statuettes sat at the base of the lectern.
The scroll reads: With tongue of flame, I send thee on Thy journey into fire; To infernal planes, I say “Be gone!” Lest thou arouse my ire.
Loki deduced that the circle was made for summoning both devils and demons. He believes that it was created by a very powerful wizard. He found it odd that a circle would be created for both, but then realized that the circle was later modified to work for devils. Some in the party thought it would be best to disable the circle, but Loki pointed out that it would be a bad idea. If a devil or demon was summoned using this circle and it was damaged the fiend could escape. The scroll found on the lectern was magical and Loki identified it as some kind of banishment ritual. For safe keeping Loki asked Remiel to hold on to it.
Thinking it wiser to leave the summoning room alone, the party left the room and chose to investigate the unopened secret door. Remiel and Loki kept their eye on Eyrlin and continued to observe her reaction to the library, the writing on the wall, and the burnt books. They concluded that she appeared to be honestly seeing everything for the first time and didn’t dismiss or over react to anything in particular.
As the party members were clearing the rubble away from the secret door, the party began to speculate what had happened to Elzid and the tower. Sharke thought that he may have faked his own death in an attempt to run away with the girl. Chotuk suggested that Elzid enchanted the girl to love him completely, so that his name would be remembered positively, instead of for his evil. Remiel speculated that Elzid may have shed his evil ways and pointed to the poem they found as evidence. Erilyn confirmed that the poem was written with Elzid’s hand writing and that he always wrote poems for her.
Clearing the rubble away, the party opened the secret door and discovered a 10×10 chamber with a wooden chest on the floor. Max detected a powerful magical trap on the chest (a fireball) and expertly disabled the trap with little effort. After picking the lock the party found a magical broad sword, a hellfire wand, and a large brass key. Unknown to the party, max secretly pocketed the brass key and left the room. Sharke claimed the broadsword and Loki added the wand to his collection. Noticing what was going on, Erilyn asked if the party had plans to return Elzid’s property to him. Torment assured her (lied) that they were collecting Elizd’s possessions with the intention to return them. The tiefling’s tone was so convincing that even Remiel believed him.
The party then gathered in front of the trapezoidal stone door and prepared to attempt entry…