The one-eyed creature we fought was a Nothic. As we proceed further in to inspect what we thought was an empty room around the corner, we encounter four new threats. There’s a bugbear, an elf monk, a woman in robes with glowing eyes Neela imediately recognizes as an assimar, and a man in robes with a glass staff.
Cloud runs back near the boulder where we fought the Nothic and takes out her thorn whip, ready to fight anything that comes by. From within the room the Glass Staff casts a spell and a burst of energy slams into Mystan. Ahvin who is standing behind the dragonborn stiffens up and freezes. The mage then throws a fire bolt at Mystan who sloughs most of it off.
Realizing Ahvin is magically held behind her, Mystan decides to keep guard, unwilling for him to be exposed. She plants her feet and stands in defense then orders the halfling to run back as soon as he has the chance.
The elven monk disappears from sight but there isn’t time to search for her as the bugbear barbarian runs up to Mystan at the entrance to their room. Standing at the ready, she swings her sword twice, hitting once but the blade slides off of him with little effect. He brings his ax up, hits on her inside, but luckily only grazes her.
Neela steps up into the room on the opposite side and adjacent to Ahvin. With a growling stomach from the too-spicy food she forced down earlier, she utters a prayer to Pelor for His to bless and shield her friends. A loud and long fart blows out of her and in the form of a shimmering golden gas cloud. Her prayers are answered and the half-ling and dragonborn are surrounded by an odorous cloud. Still unable to move, the half-fling fights the magical entrapment egged on by the inspiration to run away from the cloud. Mystan is complains in disgust but accepts that this is her fate now – to be shielded by a gaseous emission.
Zinadeera, who was standing just down the hallway, rushes up to Ahvin, ignores the effervescent cloud and drags her halfling friend back down the hallway to where their tabaxi friend awaits near the boulder. Ahvin shudders and shrugs off both the holding spell and gaseous emission and thanks Zinadeera for her aid.
The assimar within the room utters a prayer of her own and a blast of golden holy fire slams into the dragonborn who grunts in effort to shrug off the pain. Neela sees this an growls, immediately affronted to see the power of the gods used against her friend in such a way. She is momentarily taken back to her days at the convent and the bullying she suffered there. Neela’s stance changes and her eyes focus with intent on this wayward assimar.
Glass Staff summons three glowing balls of air and sends them off with such force, Mystan bats at them with her sword, able at least to disrupt their effectiveness as they slam into her. Mystan retreats a step back where Ahvin once stood, damaged and suffering from many ails.
Cloud is startled as she sees an elf woman appear from the shadows and with wild abandon cracks her thorn whip at her. The elf woman, who is quicker, grabs the whip and breaks a big chunk off it. She jabs Cloud with several striking fists, then looks right at Zinadeera and gives her the come-hither hand gesture and steps back on her heals in readiness.
The bugbear rushes up to Mystan, takes a swing but the dragonborn dodges and ripostes with a strike of her own. He shrugs it off and Mystan is challenged with keeping the threat of him back away from her friends.
Nella moves through Mystan, smacking the dragonborn’s backside as she does, and imitates the assimar’s spell and summons a similar holy burst of flame that slams into the bugbear. She tried to make it seem that it came from his very own cleric but failed. The realization illuminates his ghastly face that the half-orc is a new threat and the dragonborn is blocking him from getting to her.
Back where the cave meets the hallway where the dragonborn and half-orc fight for their lives, the gnome meets their new threat. She charges up to the elf who dodges her strike with her staff, smacks it away and commands, “Again!” Zinadeera tries a new approach and rushes the elf, using her speed to push her foe back to the edge of the crevasse. The elf manages to plant her feet at the last minute. “Better.”
Ahvin moves behind the boulder and disappears from the elf’s view. He draws his rapier and attacks from the shadows behind the elf, nailing her in the back of the thigh. She swipes his sword away like an annoying bug and shrugs at him.
The assimar approaches behind the barbarian and places a shimmering hand on his shoulder. Neela recognizes this as a blessing of sorts and releases a puff of air. Those two need to be dispatched quickly before they do any more harm.
With green energy, Cloud empowers herself with the climbing skill of the spiders and scales the wall and ceiling over the crevasse. She summons a new thorn whip and flings an attack at the elf but her foe is too quick and dodges.
Mystan gets blasted with three more glowing balls from the mage and Neela yells at her dragonborn to retreat down the hall back to the boulder where their three friends are. Anxious to leave her cleric friend, but knowing they are at a tactical disadvantage, she complies and makes her way down to regroup with the others.
The elf monk slams a fist into Ahvin and the air rushes out of his lungs. Zinadeera recognizes the strike was intended to hit a nerve meant to incapacitate her rogue friend, but luck is on his side as the elf miscalculated due to his smaller stature. The elf turns her attention back to the gnome. “Your technique is adequate. Let me show you how it’s really done.” And wails several fists into the gnome who staggers back, now bloodied and bruised.
With the dragonborn gone, the barbarian charges Neela. The half-orc dodges his strike but didn’t count on a second and gets struck by his ax that hits heavily into her chain mail.
The half-orc steadies herself, feeling bruised and suffering a few cracked ribs. She points a grubby finger at the barbarian and with a very commanding voice, orders him to flee. He doesn’t respond, but he doesn’t do much of anything either. Neela, thinking she got her prayer wrong somehow, retreats back to the others, taking advantage of the bugbears inaction nevertheless.
Zinadeera quaffs a potion and moves to sandwich the elf between her and the halfling. The rogue takes advantage by flanking the elf and snicker snacks his rapier into her. Her breathing becomes labored but shows no other sign of backing down.
The assimar, unknowing of her bugbear companion’s state, steps further into the hallway and throws a guided holy missile at the dragonborn. A flash of light streaks toward Mystan who turns to meet the blast full on and is consumed with radiant damage. Behind the assimar, the bugbear yells and startles her. She watches in absolute horror as her companion shivers out of his rage and runs back up the hallway and back through their room. She knows there’s a backdoor there and she hears his heavy steps and he continues on through; yelling all the way. Abandoned and in the hallway alone and exposed, she looks at the dragonborn who grins with the same realization.
On the ceiling above, Cloud zips out a small bolt of flame, igniting the injured elf below her. She then gives herself a moment of healing with her own green energy.
Battered down and hanging on a thread, Mystan charges the assimar, summing all her energy. She jumps up, sword high in the air, and when she comes down, the blade follows, sheering off the left ear cleanly. She twists her wrist at the last minute, and the blade follows, cutting through bone and sinew. Eyes still shimmering, the assimar’s head drops to the ground, its body crumples into a heap.
The elf monk attacks the gnome again and she staggers back. She just saw her assimar friend go down and decides now is the best time to leave. She punches the gnome again who crumples to the ground. “Until next time,” and moves to step out. Ahvin moves to stab her, his blade finding a mark one final time. “The same with you,” she says to him and steps into a shadow and is gone.
Neela rushes to Zinadeera who lies as if lifeless on the ground. With a quick prayer and gentle hand, Neela slaps her friend’s cheeks both in healing and an effort to wake her up. Still on the ground, with the dragonborn behind her, she aims a fart at Mystan, blessing her with a gaseous cloud. “It’s those halfling spices!” she explains upon Mystan’s complaint.
Ahvin sheaths his rapier, draws his crossbow and uses Neela to hide behind. Mystan warns him to be weary of where he stands or else succumb to heinous gas.
Cloud, climbing closer to Mystan yells down to her and shoots an ice bolt at the wall where the mage just appeared next to. The bolt slams into it and explodes into the mage nearby. He withdraws and Mysten charges after, disappearing from sight. Cloud calls after her, “Get your shiny ass back here! I was going to heal you, fucker!”
The others hear the dragonborn grunt three times as each of the mage’s prepared magical bullets pepper her. A loud, primal yowl pierces the air. It’s the bugbear. He shook off Neela’s command to flee and now returns. We all cry out in alarm, knowing Mystan is in serious danger.
The dragonborn slashes the bugbear with her sword, but it slices off of him without any effect. In a mighty rage, the bugbear slams his ax into her and she collapses in a heap.
Neela dashes in, puts herself between the dragonborn and the bugbear and manages a quick touch of stabilizing healing on her friend before facing the bugbear; the mage chuckles behind him.
Zinadeera rushes in behind and parkours over with the mage in her sights. Taking all her anger and frustration from her encounter with the monk and channels it into fuel to lay into the mage. She leaps over Neela and the bugbear to land in front of the mage in a crouch. She comes back up with a mighty upper cut, punching up into his nethers. In one, well aimed shot, the mage collapses, clutching his crotch and dies in excruciating pain.
Ahvin runs in and with crossbow at the ready, fires several missiles into the barbarian. The barbarian is looking quite bloodied and beaten but they can all tell he still has fight left in him.
Cloud scrabbles in along the roof, over to the bugbear in a rage herself – he almost killed her friend. She jumps from the ceiling onto his face. Nothing but fur and claws and teeth. She follows him down, clawing at every soft exposed part of his face. She follows as he lands hard and beats his head into the floor. She feels a gentle hand on her shoulder and it’s Mystan who uses what strength she has left to crawl over and calm her friend, “That is enough.”
Once the bugbear is dead, we take a moment to rest. Neela prays in earnest, sends healing energies to every one as they are rooting among the rooms for loot.
The manor lies in ruins. The cave they entered leads to the lower half that is the only intact portion of the manor. Among the finds are some missives eluding to the Black Spider sending word to Ierro Albrek – our dead Glass Staff here. Another item that is found is a journal written in Dwarven which none of them can read. But Sykar, who surprises the group by entering through the front of the ruins tells them he is capable of deciphering the journal for them. He met with the mayor and then followed them there.
There are two documents discovered in one of the rooms. One is a letter addressed to “Lord Albrek” from the elusive Black Spider warning him of a group of strangers heading his way. Another is a document noted “To: Exandria, From: Waypoint 6.” It is a list of different races, ordered by count and denotes health, sex, and worth. Could it be this Lord Albrek, the assumed Glass Staff the group fought earlier, was operating a slave trade?
One of the races listed is tabaxi and Cloud expresses outrage and the need to leave and travel to this Waypoint 6 where it is thought these slaves are sent. Everyone works to calm the emotionally drained tabaxi who is clearly in distress about what they can only assume the lone tabaxi on the slave document to be a relation of hers. Cloud is reassured the next stop will be to Waypoint 6, but first on the list is a quick rest and a thorough search of the manor.
It’s decided the group will return for a long-needed rest at the Adalie’s farm before continuing on to Waypoint 6 to discover the fates of these slaves; one in particular.