In which the heroes defeat Nualia and meet Malfeshnekor...
The Chapel of LamashtuEdit
Before descending, the heroes scouted the remaining rooms. They entered the Chapel of Lamashtu, only to be attacked by two yeth hounds. The fearsome beasts struck fear into the party, and all except Constantine and Belor fled, the sorcerer immune to the demonic howls while the warrior steeled himself and held his ground. The battle was brief yet bloody, with Belor slashing wildly at the hounds while Constantine used his spells to aid the warrior. Krolmn regained his courage and returned to the battle in time to kill the last hound, just as Belor fell unconscious, his body battered and bleeding.
After a few moments to recover, the heroes descended. The lowest level of Thistletop was older than the previous levels. The whole area emitted a faint transmutation aura, the magic which provided the level with a constant temperature and fresh air.
Marius detected a lethal magical trap, and cautioned the party to avoid it. Then the heroes entered a round room where Nualia had set up her research. She urged the heroes to leave, to turn their back on the people of Sandpoint, who she believed had tricked them. She revealed her plans of destroying the town and remaking it, dedicating it to Lamashtu.
Constantine tried to convince her that it was not too late to turn back from her path, and made her question what the townsfolk had done to her. He asked if the innocent children of the town deserved the fate she had in store. Finally, he revealed that he himself was also tainted, but that he embraced his infernal blood and dedicated himself to good.
But Nualia was now a child of Lamashtu, and beyond redemption. [Using Diplomacy to redeem Nualia was always going to be difficult, but Constantine actually rolled a 1]. She provided the heroes one last chance to embrace the Mother of Monsters. The heroes answered her with steel.
With a yeth hound at her side Nualia proved a tough opponent, but outnumbered she surely succumbed to the attacks of the heroes. As a last-ditch attempt she channelled the negative energy of her goddess but not even this was enough, and finally with a massive blow Tientrich pierced her skull with his spear. The young woman fell to the ground, dead.
Having completed their quest and saved Sandpoint, the heroes poked around the remaining rooms of Thistletop. Unfortunately they wandered into a room which the barghest Malfeshnekor had been magically bound in thousands of years ago. Invisible, he crept around behind the heroes, blocking their escape, before announcing his presence.
He demanded his release, and when he discovered they were not there to release him, he proposed letting one of them free to break the spell holding him in the room. The heroes quickly realised they could not release the monster, but neither could they defeat him in combat. While talking, the also quickly concluded they could not talk their way free.
Taking a deep breath, Krolmnite fired at the beast while Marius drew its attention and dived past it, making a break for the doorway. Malfeshnekor roared in anger and leapt at the rogue, only to smash his head on the doorway, momentarily dazing himself. The others took the opportunity to flee, and slammed the doors closed behind them.
[Malfeshnekor only needed a 2 to hit Marius, and I rolled a 1! The fumble chart result was Unconscious for 1d6 rounds. I think the dice gods were with the players today.]
Loot and LeavingEdit
In the final room the heroes discovered a large pile of treasure, including a huge helmet made from gold. They dragged this back to Sandpoint filled with their loot.
On their way out they caught Shadowmist, the warhorse they freed from the goblins. Tientrich also sawed the bugbear’s head off as proof of his demise, wanting to show it to Shalelu. As they left Thistletop, Tientrich scoured the forest for signs of Gogmurt, the goblin druid and his pet firepelt. He suspected he had not seen the last of the goblin.