With the intersection now cleared, the party began to investigate the three paths ahead of them. With some cautious scouting, they discovered that one lead to the howling of tainted creatures, another to a blocked exit, and the last to a demonic presence. Figuring that the demonic presence was likely to be a larger enemy, which the party had often had good luck against in the past, they ventured down that path.
As the demonic stench grew stronger, the party members came to find themselves in another four-way intersection, this one strewn with bloated corpses. After a couple rounds of the “Go Poke It” game, Merek hovered forward and blasted each of the corpses, causing a white puss to shoot out of them, coating the walkways.
Wary and more than a bit disgusted, the party advanced slowly until several dretch leapt out from within the corpses. As Merek called out to the party about the demons’ propensity for summoning more of their own kind, the party surged forward to face them. However as Damhsa and Skata stepped into the puddles formed of the puss from the corpses, they discovered it to be a slime which lurched up, attempting to envelope them. Damhsa deftly avoided the slime, but Skata was not so lucky.
Merek flew forward to save his bovine ally, and narrowly avoided teleporting next to a Hezrou which was advancing down one of the side tunnels toward the party. With this, Kiwi surged forth to join the fray, slaying one of the dretch as the puss-slime cowered from her holy aura. Before the party could inflict any more damage, the dretch doubled their numbers and the Hezrou charged into the fray.
Struggling to continue fighting despite the hezrou’s stench, the party loosed a flurry of spells and attacks, managing to slay the dretch before they could summon another wave. The Hezrou paid little heed to the defeat of their smaller brethren; while one was flailing madly against the party’s strongest front-line fighters, the other was being made a fool of by Elias in wolf form, being repeatedly tripped back into the water. The other hezrou laid into Skata, knocking the minotaur unconscious into the animated slime.
Howling in rage after a third trip into the sewer’s brown water, the fallen hezrou attempted to kill the druid, but was unable to land a hit before he was banished by Edluar. Now alone, the remaining Hezrou began backing off from the party’s combined might, quickly incapacitating the bulk of the party with a combination of unholy blight and blasphemy. As the rest of the party struggled to their feet, Akuma surged forth, unleashing the last of her spells on the fiend and sending it back to the abyss.
Beleaguered, but still within enemy territory, the party quickly attended to the fallen Skata. Though he still lived, he had been grievously wounded. The slime’s acid had castrated him, leaving him a steer. Forcing themselves forward, the party found the a chamber which seemed to be untouched by the slowly rising waters of the sewer.
Attempting to advance forward, the party found themselves surrounded by a magical darkness as a disembodied doorman questioned their intentions. Though repeatedly told to leave, they party stayed true to form and bullheadedly argued with the voice. For once, however, this tactic paid off, as the voice’s Master made an appearance. A twelve foot tall half-fiend appeared from the darkness beside them. Claiming to be no friend of the elf, (and obviously smitten with Akuma), he introduced himself as Harecule and invited the party to dinner within his complex above.
Once there in, Harecule helped Merek remove the cursed helmet from his head, giving a bit of insight into what would be required to be able to remove it at will. After a bit of discussion with Harecule, his Ettin butler came to summon them to dinner. It was a lavish affair, and the party took the opportunity to question Harecule on his knowledge of the elf, and Merek questioned him on the origin of Horatio’s devil box. Harecule remained a gracious host through it all, conversing with the party in between bouts of unrequited flirting with Akuma.
As dinner came to a close, he informed the party that the way to the elf’s domain was through the whirlpools at the intersections. He offered to allow them to rest with him, and even offered to allow them to stay with him indefinitely if they chose to abandon their quest for Dagon’s Jewel. The party remained unswayed, but did accept his offer of hospitality for the night.
As the party settled in for bed, Harecule visited several of them in private, speaking to Merek of his infernal father, Damhsa of her clan’s plight, reassuring Fritz that he could trust the party, and telling Edluar that he hoped he would one day find himself. The last of his rounds was to visit Akuma. He made one last attempt to convince the wizard to stay in his complex with him, to rule over the city of Emin Nir.
More than a little uneasy at the half-devil’s affections, Akuma declined. Not wanting to see the object of his affection slain, he offered him a gift: the enchanted head of Beauregard, a former companion of the elf. Though disembodied, the former rogue’s thick southern drawl still came forth, introducing himself with all of the proper niceties there of. And thus, the party settled in for what the suspected would be their last rest before facing off with the mad elven wizard, Nhar`qual Adanni.
Characters Present: Damhsa daughter of Scottia, Merek Falk, Elais, Akuma, Kiwi Fuzzyfoot, Allyndor the Wanderer, Edluar the Seeker, Caitlyn, Fritz
XP Award (APL 8): 1125
Roleplaying XP Bonus: Akuma