Sep 17, 253AC
You finished up investigating the drop site from Session 21. You found a somewhat random selection of herbs on the altar in the house, but Annalyn noticed that each of the herbs seemed like slightly different strains (or possibly mutated?) from their “standard” versions. On top of that, the types of differences were consistent with the herb diagrams from the note the Spellknights found from Mian’s house.
Additionally, past the illusory floorboard was a basement area; firstly was a moderately sized, plain stone room, which extended out to a more newly added rough-hewn corridor leading to the (now dried up) well. Talm spotted a secret compartment in the basement area, containing a magically-encrypted note (of the style you ran across with Jethir and Kit), and a set of mundane objects arranged in seemingly very precise ways (an evenly spaced row of variously sized pebbles, eg). You sketched a diagram of those objects, and then left everything as it was in that compartment.
As Vella and Devon helped prepare the man you captured for travel, and Enada finished the full magical-history sweep, the party (plus Teris, a Spellknight assigned by Vella for backup) headed off to follow Locate Object signatures to what was ideally this week’s drop site.
You found a hidden doorway buried at the base of a tree, with a ladder extending down underground to a darkened corridor. Talm stayed outside to keep watch as the other three headed down. After examining the corridor fully and finding no apparent traps or clear magical signatures, everyone headed down, stopping just outside the lit room at the far end. The doorway here had an Enchantment/Abjuration hybrid field on it. Annalyn noticed a few gaps in the walls that seemed like they might betray hidden doors.
The room had a bunch of shelves full of assorted objects, including a half dozen or so blue crystals, various broken bits of material (scrap metal, wood splinters, etc), and some assorted fine tools that appeared to correspond to the different scrap material types visible. Teris used Mage Hand to ferry the crystals (and some of the more bizarre looking tools) near to the doorway, stopping just inside it (so as to not trigger whatever the spell effect was, ideally). There was also a set of notes tied down inside a drawer, which Teris used thieves’ tools with mage hand (and later, his shortsword) to sever the tie on and eventually acquire.
After a short while, Barnaby heard a sound from behind one of the back walls. Teris’ mage hand couldn’t push open any of the suspected doors, so Bartooke charged in and tried to shove it open herself, with Annalyn and Teris following close behind. It turned out, however, that it wasn’t actually a door, but merely a loose patch of wall; it took several rounds of shoving before fully collapsing inwards.
In the meantime, however, a set of iron bars fell across the doorway you entered through, and a magical Darkness descended upon the room. Annalyn used an amped up Faerie Fire on some mundane objects to try to overpower it, which mostly worked (albeit backfiring onto herself somewhat). In the process of trying to get the spell more balanced and under control, an arrow shot out from seemingly nowhere, both injuring Annalyn, jarring her into dropping her spell, and putting her under the effect of a fairly powerful poison. (However, being a healing-specialized Druid, it only took but a moment — and a level two spell slot — to set herself right again.)
Barnaby was able to fly back through the gap in the wall before it was fully broken down, and with his blindsight, was able to see two figures despite the magical darkness. After a brief scuffle, he managed to Shocking Grasp the archer who had shot Annalyn, but the archer swiftly responded with a shortsword swing that cut Barnaby down. (Teris, incensed, responded by managing to Fire Bolt him through the weirdly small gap he had used for his arrow.)
By the time Bartooke finally broke down the wall, she grabbed one of Annalyn’s Faerie Fire objects and charged into the back. However, by the time she got there, Annalyn’s spell had winked out, leaving Bartooke in the dark. (Talm had responded to Annalyn’s signal, and managed to re-cast Faerie Fire on some new objects, but by then Bartooke was already around the corner.) After a few dodged blows, she took a hit (from a blade that was also poisoned); fortunately, Annalyn was just around the corner, with both a new light source and a healing spell for her as well.
At that point, the woman dropped her shortsword and threw her arms back, casting some sort of wave of force that also tried to latch onto the minds of everyone nearby (namely, Bartooke and Annalyn). Bartooke managed to shake it off, but Annalyn was less successful (despite having been inspired by Talm’s music). She became incapacitated, overwhelmed by strange rattling screams inside her head and a flurry of jumbled visions.
Focusing in to try to deconstruct what was going on, Annalyn got the sense that this wasn’t a normal spell / magical effect that was cast on her — her mind was being linked, somehow, with another. Furthermore, her confusion arose from how incomprehensibly foreign this “other” was; you’re not sure exactly what it is, but definitely not human (elven, etc). Perhaps some sort of… monster, spirit, demon, extraplanar creature, elemental, god… who knows?
Bartooke decided that enough was enough, and decided to drop her shield and go all out on this guy (now that darkness wasn’t a concern). After landing a couple serious hits, the archer from down the hall popped around the corner and cast some sort of spell on her friend, after which everyone nearby got the sense that it would be a Bad Idea to attack her (though you’re not sure why).
Teris ducked around the corridor, quickly deciding to attack the archer instead (after experiencing that bad feeling), and dodged nimbly down the corridor to try attacking the archer. His attacks missed, however, and the archer then began to retreat away down a new path.
By this point, at Annalyn’s earlier suggestion, Talm had grabbed the crystals from near the doorway and run back outside, intending to stash them in a good hiding spot nearby and then come back to try casting Sleep.
Combat to continue next session!