RECAP: 5th Avengers, 1-24-21

By Tucker

Out of the corner of his eye, Balyx notices one of the creatures swipe at him and miss, followed soon by a second. Caela is almost overcome from the stench coming off the creature she takes a swing at. Jarry casts Acid Arrow at the big one, and notices that it hits about as hard as it should have. With two swings of his longsword and a smite, Balyx turns the big one into a pile of entrails. Geth missed his Flame Blade attack mightily. Lauris hits one with his Booming Blade sneak attack, and the affected creature leaps onto Balyx, whose back is turned to it, but spoils the element of surprise when his target shrugs off the sneak attack. After artfully dodging around the undead, Caela attempts to hit one with her mace and fails to land a blow. Jarry lets loose another Acid Arrow and connects solidly on one of the foul beings. Caela takes a blow from one of the vile returned. Balyx hacks a large chunk out of one of the undead. Geth misses once more, and Lauris misses his attack and apologizes to Balyx for stabbing him two sessions ago. Jarry connects another acid arrow and melts the zombie. Balyx hacks into the zombie in front of him and turns it into a smoothie, and Lauris wades through it to finish off the one that Geth finally hits with his Flame Blade.

We determine the larger of them was a ghast, and the smaller were ghouls. Searching the room, we find nothing of value and nothing of interest. Geth casts Goodberry and hands them all to Lauris, who devours them in an obscene display of gluttony. We head back the way we came and find two closed doors to the left of the stairs we came down. Lauris checks one for traps and finds none, nor does he find anything that needs to be revealed. Popping open the door, Lauris makes his way in and finds a thoroughly ransacked storeroom cluttered with debris. The other door is neither locked nor trapped, and there is no sign of anything hidden. Lauris again opens the door–black rags and debris litter the floor, and water drips from the ceiling. We meet Spudnar, from Hommlet, a potion vendor desperate to hide among. Geth asks him what he is doing here, and Spudnar replies that he is just out looking for material components on a day trip. We can all tell that he is injured, and Geth particularly notices that he was wounded a short time ago while fighting for his life, and offers aid. Spudnar refuses. Geth asks how he became wounded, and he said that it was during the fight with the dragon, and he escaped to the Moathouse basement during the fracas. When asked, he says he was alone and we believe him.

Balyx enters and gets in the man’s face. He asks him why he is a member of the Temple of Elemental Evil. Spudnar denies affiliation with the cult. He is either crazy or stupid for trying to square off with the dragon, or immensely powerful. When the wizard says that he came to fight the dragon, and Balyx challenges him on it, he repeats that he was alone and that his powers are respectable. Caela speaks at him in Draconic, and Spudnar looks at her quizzically. Geth notices the wounds are typical of claw wounds and concussion wounds. Geth asks him again what attacked him, and he repeats that it was the dragon. Jarry invites him to open up his pack to show us what he is carrying. He obliges, and his pack contains a variety of material components. Geth and Caela notice some odd things related to the natural world, and Balyx notices some things related to worship of the deity at the Moathouse. Lauris perceives value in all of it, and can corroborate Spudnar’s account that he is here to gather material components. Caela accuses him of looting, to which Spudnar takes offense. We can all tell he’s looting. Geth says that we can all tell he’s too smart to come to fight a dragon by himself, and Spudnar says some people gave him guidance on getting past the frogs, and upon entering the Moathouse and seeing the size of the dragon, his compatriots ran away. Caela asks who his compatriots were. The battle was short and he barely made it down to the basement. Geth and Jarry can tell that he is really playing up this struggle. Geth asks him what he is going to do next, and offers him the chance to come with us, or take his chances upstairs now that the dragon is gone. After some negotiation, Geth explains that he will heal him and keep him alive, but not share in the loot, and it would take him half his loot to join. After some consideration, he offers us information about the area in exchange for healing, and he sounds amenable to tagging along until we get back to Hommlet. When Jarry asks him for some potions in the deal, he says he will give us a 30 percent discounts on any arcane potions upon returning to Hommlet. In the process of cleaning himself up, he says he can only cast one spell at the moment, which is Magic Missile. He says also that there is a secret door to the east, which we already found and killed the people he mentioned were in there, with a secret door beyond which we did not find, and another secret passage in the torture chamber, which we also did not find.

We take a vote and Spudnar and agree that he can tag along, but that he does not get to carry a weapon. Spudard leads us to the secret door he mentioned in the room where we killed the clerics, and touches a few places on the wall and the stonework moves back and rolls away, revealing another stone wall, which he does more or less the same thing to. As we go through the first door, we see little more than a closet, with nothing of interest except the fact that the corridor is obviously well travelled. As Geth peers through the door, the ceilings are quite tall, and the doorway is about five feet wide. The path goes forward as far as Geth can see. As Lauris passes into the closet area, he gets a sense that the mechanism for this secret door would have been operable by him had the lantern been lit. Lauris motions back to the party a few steps in that he has not yet detected any traps. The path continues to the southeast for a jaunt, still without any sign of traps.