Spires of Xin-Shalast 28

The previous session of our Rise of the Runelords campaign ended with the massacre of the Denizens of Leng that operated the complex machinery of the Leng Device. The portal it had opened was now a swirling chaotic vortex.

The group try to understand what the machinery is doing, but their attempts at Knowledge checks aren’t sufficient to determine it. They start leaving the room, but then the vortex bursts open and something which is not entirely like a large hound bursts forth – it is the Thing From Beyond Time, a unique Hound of Tindalos.

Esheire tries to force cage it, but it escapes, though doesn’t last much longer as Grodok and the planetar Ayruzi mark short work of it – with Solossar finishing it off.

With the vortex now seemingly dead, they examine the machinery a bit more and determine that this is some form of artefact, which means it can’t be simply destroyed. Esheire uses the Revelation Quill to try and determine how to destroy it, getting the answer that:

It must be consumed within the volcano that made it.

Correctly determining that this probably means the Great Old One Mhar, they leave it for later. I did tempt the players with spending some time studying it in order to get another Knowledge check, but they didn’t bite, instead deciding to move ahead with exploring the rest of the Pinnacle and find Karzoug.

There’s little left now to fight, since everything has pretty much been killed or fled. They find the living quarters of the Lamia sisters they met (and fought, and slew) earlier in the campaign, and encounter and destroy another image of Karzoug.

Going back to the scene of their first big fight, they find a room which seems to have a teleportation gate that leads out of the Pinnacle, but can’t determine where it goes and are against trying it out.

Finally, they head up towards the final unexplored part of the complex, and see a large 20ft tall golden statue of Karzoug (adventures like to put things like this in, but never seen to consider how much such a thing would be worth), and a large door blocked by a golden force field.

At that point three Vrock’s appear – summoned by the penultimate guardian of the place – a Shemhazian Demon. Grodok got into a hand to hand fight with it, and Solassar darted in to spring attack one of the Vrocks, but came within reach of the larger Demon. It hit with a critical – doing significant damage but also draining 14 points of Strength – Solassar went immediately done.

It didn’t last much longer than that though, and went down a couple of rounds later, along with the Vrocks. Serena was able to restore Solassar back to health whilst the others explored around the area.

There was a sarcophagus of Karzoug – which Grodok and Ayruzi managed to open with a lot of effort – only to find that it was empty. Which left the force field as the only thing left to investigate.

Esheire tried a disintegrate on it, which damaged it and a blast of force rebounded back at her, into her face. As the field began to regenerate, she decided not to try that again, and suggested maybe they should rest before trying anything further.

Grodok though decided to hit it with his axe, and realised that the damage from his Dominant weapon was neither regenerated nor caused a rebound. Despite Esheire’s protestations, he and Solassar continued to bash at it until it collapsed, leaving the large doors undefended.

Samuel Penn