- Brek (Dwarf Fighter)
- Brother Carell Gaunt (Cleric of the Lawbringer)
- Brother Edmund Caldworth (Cleric of the Lawbringer)
- Honourable Martiris of Drayke (Fighter) and his squire, Kevin
- Shiellapho the Magnificent (Elf Wizard)
- Tarryn (Monk)
- Tawnka (Dwarf Barbarian)
A full table of players were available for this session. However, the player of Brek did not arrive until the session was over half-way over.
The priests, Martiris, and Tawnka only had a short wait in the ruins before the arrival of Shiellapho and Tarryn. The elf had not gotten past the keep’s gate in his quest to visit the library of Lord Rufus. Apparently, he was not well-liked by the guards and was denied entrance.
With everyone in attendance (including the frozen Brek who had been brought in one of Wyndell’s wagons), the party decided on a plan of attack for the dungeon lair. Everyone but the clerics would wear the robes of the cult and attempt to gain an audience with the cult leader, Lareth the Beautiful. Brother Carell and Brother Edmund would be loosely bound and escorted as prisoners. When the time seemed right, the group would launch a surprise attack!
The password, annihilation, caused the magic wall to slowly descend into the stone stairs with a grinding noise. The group continued down the revealed corridor. After 50 feet and a left turn, the passageway was lit with torches and decorated with sigils drawn in red and black chalk. A pair of cultist guards confronted the characters, but believed their bluff, allowing the party to continue deeper into the dungeon.
The group then entered a small prayer room in which two cultists were silently praying at a table marked with the same sigils as drawn on the walls. The table generated an aura of evil which sickened the good heroes in the party, but the characters managed to pass through without revealing their discomfort (other than the priestly “prisoners”).
Past the prayer room, the party discovered guarded double-doors opposite a barracks for the cult. One of the guards introduced himself as Timoneon, offering praise to That Which We Obey as he greeted the group. Once he heard the party’s cover story, he suggested they present their prisoners to Lareth the Beautiful. He instructed them to knock at the doors, but also warned them to wait to enter until invited if they valued their sanity.
A few seconds after the group knocked, a deep voice commanded them to enter. The walls of the chamber beyond the doors were covered in the red and black sigils mentioned previously. A bed and wardrobe stood against the far wall. The characters’ images were reflected by the wardrobe’s full-length mirror as they entered. A magical silver fire filled a font close to the door. A large carpet covered the center of the chamber’s floor.
The group was greeted by Lareth the Beautiful, a man wearing black plate armor that bore a gold-trimmed red circle (depicted on the cultists’ robes as well). He wielded a silver scepter with an ebony head, carved in the shape of a creature that looks to be a cross between a wolf and a spider. Upon hearing of the party’s prisoners, Lareth congratulated them on their success and explained that their arrival was most fortuitous. As a reward for their efforts, they would be allowed to assist him in the ritual that would allow him to speak directly to That Which We Obey. He ordered them to step onto the carpet while he prepared.
Worried about being involved in any ritual with some dark god, the party attacked! With Tawnka and Tarryn leading the charge in the small room, Lareth didn’t stand a chance. He was quickly killed with little injury to the characters. (When Lareth was killed, the magical flame in the font flared out, burning some of those nearby with freezing cold before extinguishing.)
The group worried that the other cultists may have heard the combat, but after waiting a few minutes, it was apparent that no one was alerted. (Lareth the Beautiful had magically silenced the room for the ritual and did not have time to end the effect before dying. – Ed.) The party decided to perform a quick search of the chamber’s contents. Brother Carell found numerous books, scrolls, and notes at the bottom of the wardrobe.
The documents revealed another name for That Which We Obey: Miska the Wolf-Spider. Miska was a force of incomparable evil and chaos. During a long forgotten war between law and chaos, the terrible creature was locked away in an extraplanar prison after slaying many powerful champions of law. For millennia, the Wolf-Spider had thrown himself at the walls of his prison and according to visions written down by Lareth the Beautiful, he had finally succeeded in cracking the walls. According to Lareth’s notes on an excerpt from an old journal, Miska was involved with the mysterious disappearance of everyone in Hommel Lane two centuries ago.
He also noted the Wolf-Spider’s hand in a recorded attack by human cultists, monstrous humanoids, and reptilian creatures on Hommel Lane only a century ago. The attackers were defeated at that time, with the cultists retreating to their forest moat house to the north, the humanoids fleeing west to their mountain lairs, and the reptiles slithering back to the Fathomless Fens to the east. (The Fathomless Fens was a local extension of the Rushmoors, the expansive moors that formed the northern border of Keoland.) Of their foes, the Hommel Lane defenders only managed to completely destroy the human cultists, whom they tracked to their keep in the wilderness.
Lareth felt it was very poetic that he had reformed the cult in the ruins of the old. He was also honored to lead the cult at this time, a time at which the walls of Miska’s prison were the thinnest. After a century of waiting, the Wolf-Spider was readying an attempt to break free from his prison once again!
After learning all this, the heroes knew that they could not allow any of the cult to escape. The threat of Miska was too great. The group burst forth from Lareth’s chambers, surprising the cultists and making short work of them. (All of the cultists fought to the death.) As the last of the evil men died, Brek came running down the corridor. He had awakened from his stasis and once he was filled-in by Wyndell, he hurried to help the others. Unfortunately, he was simply a bit late.
Exploring the dungeon after the defeat of the cultist, the group found even more of Wyndell‘s goods. Shiellapho cast detect magic, but found only one item of interest: a scroll worn on Lareth the Beautiful’s belt. It had a very powerful magical aura. He also noticed that it radiated a dark, repugnant aura as he picked it up (which he did not share with the rest of the group).
As Shiellapho examined the scroll, he found the words written on it shifting and running across the surface in response to his thoughts. He learned that the scroll was the Scroll of Final Words, an artifact imbued with power from Miska the Wolf-Spider. It provided knowledge about various topics to the reader’s mental requests. It would even allow Shiellapho to cast a spell from its contents once per day.