Tales from Elrond

Lesser of Two Evils?

Lester, Magnara and Surina return to the Seven-Pillared Hall. Figuring that Takashi is not going anywhere in his current state as a stone statue, they take their time getting some much needed rest and recuperation. Lester purchases alchemy supplies from Gendar, and with the biologicals he extracted from the Basilisks, intends to brew a potion to transform Takashi back to his normal state. A conversation with the Dwarven owner of the Deepgem Company, Ulthand Deepgem, and appealing to his previous positive interactions with Takashi as a worshipper of the Dwarven goddess Ulsan secures a space in his holdings for Lester to construct a make-shift lab to go about his work.

Heading out the following day with two vials of hope in hand, Lester and Magnara make their way back to the cisterns they find Takashi as they left him. After Magnara asking for Bahamut’s blessing, Lester administers one of the transmutation potions on Takashi and are relieved when Takashi’s natural form is restored. After catching their friend up on what happened after he was turned to stone, the party heads out of the cisterns back towards the Seven-Pillared Hall.

E8E9A092-C549-4511-A191-E7774ABE8C9C.jpegEnroute, they cross paths with a tiefling warlock named Meredith who is in the service of Asmodeus and leading a small force of devils and warriors against the demon worshippers of Yeenoghu who have taken residence in the aptly named Well of Demons- an ancient area of the Thunderspire Labyrinth that was coincidentally used during the rule of the Minotaurs to worship the demon lord Baphomet. Meredith and Lester converse at length about the individual tasks they have been assigned by their patron and Lester learns that his charge is to cleanse the Well of Demons of the demon worshippers. He explains what is expected of him to his comrades and Magnara seems the most disturbed by this revelation, not entirely comfortable with being used as a tool for one evil power to thwart the evil agenda of another. Lester tries to convince the Dragonborn that his master is the lesser of the two evils but Magnara remains conflicted. Departing ways with Meredith, the party returns to the Seven-Pillared Hall where Takashi retires, Lester goes to do work for Gendar (as part of their agreement for the purchase of the alchemical supplies) and Magnara seeks the company of Surina.

After he awakes, Takashi joins Magnara in the common room of the Halfmoon Inn feeling more exhausted and ill than he was when he went to bed. Using the power of Bahamut, Magnara cures what’s ailing him and the two discuss the situation before them regarding aiding Lester in his patron’s task. Magnara eventually agrees with Takashi that they are still fighting evil and should Asmodeus’ followers fill the void left by the vanquished demon worshippers, then they will be the next enemies to fall.

At the conclusion of their meeting one of the locals, a kobold named Charrak, hands them a message from an unidentified individual praising their work against the Bloodreavers and claiming to be a member of the evil organization who the slavers work for who is seeking its downfall. With the individual requesting a secret meeting in two hours in one of the rooms off the main corridors leading from the Seven-Pillared Hall, the pair gathers Lester and the trio head out to see who this mysterious person is.

9D3ED1C6-8B23-40D9-B314-826D13B42ACB.jpegUpon arrival at the meeting site, the party steps into an ambush as a large bronze golem in the shape of an axe-wielding Minotaur pushes a massive boulder to block the room’s sole entrance while two tiefling archers rain arrows on the party from a ledge over-looking the room. The fight is pretty one-sided as Lester and Takashi struggle to protect themselves from the skilled archers while the bronze golem beats down Magnara with powerful blows. As his companions fall, Lester uses his magic to turn himself into gaseous form and escape through the boulder-blocked passageway.

Following as long as he can in gaseous form, Lester sees their attackers bound Takashi and Magnara in rope and then take them from the room to the Well of Demons where they will be turned over to the gnolls to be made into slaves or sacrificed. When he is forced to transform back to normal, Lester’s failed attempt to continue following by using stealth results in him surrendering and joining his companions as a captive. With things looking bleak the party struggles to figure out a way to get out of their predicament.

3B2DD01F-27F3-4E9B-847E-66578BE6D033.jpegLuckily, Meredith and her small force intercepts the party and their captors and a fierce battle erupts between the two forces. During the fighting Lester, Magnara and Takashi are able to free themselves and contribute to the mayhem as best they can with fists and spells still left at their disposal. The battle proves to be a bloody one and in the end only Lester, Takashi, Magnara and Meredith remain alive. A search of the bodies reveals some messages from the rogue Mage of Saruun, Paldemar, to the leader of the Yeenoghu-worshipping gnoll leader Maldrick Scarmaker talking about the party being interlopers and offering them as a gift. It seems pretty obvious that all paths are leading to the Well of Demons.

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