Tuesday 2 April 2024

Session 370 - Vampires, Vultures and Venus

Date: 26 March

Moon: Waning Gibbous
Zenith: Oberon

New Characters:
- Verling Dingo the Venerable, a wizard so old (486 years old in fact) that he forgot all his experience. His familiar, a vulture, circled ominously overhead. He wielded a stuffed cat.


--- Loot the Room!
- After last session's late-run battle against the vampire babes, we return to Divinity and Sydney in the grand curtain-lined hall in the depths of Dwimmermount. Kill the boss vampire and they can get past the Blood Seal to the lower level.
- Arriving in the room, out of breath, is a stranger! This is Verling Dingo, a wizened old wizard, come to join the party after hearing of their heroic deeds.
- Conveniently for Verling, the treasure from last time is unlooted!
- The others throw aside the curtains and stake the hearts of the vampire babes as they recover in their coffins. Beneath each is a blade.
- One, shaped like a rat's head, is the Ratman's Edge. The other, formed of pitted steel, is the Sword of Ages. Both are claimed!
- In the vampire lord's coffin is... a body! It resists staking because on closer inspection it's a hollow statue made of sapphire. It also has breathing holes in the nose (Verling stuffs them with stuffed cat fur) and behind it in the wall is a grille - the vampire must have escaped again!
- Sydney summons the Safe Space and loads it up with loot - coffins, big red curtains, sapphire statue. They all rest, despite knowing this means the vampire will probably have respawned by morning.

--- Divinity Divines the Way
- In the morning Sydney goes to their Red Elf Heart collection and scarfs one down to enable another round of rebirth. The hearts are also made of pure cocaine, so Sydney is alert and AMPED!
- They head around the hall, hoping to find wherever the grille leads. They warn Verling that the statues around here can and will laser Chaotic beings such as they. Divinity, Lawful by aura, heads to the empyreal God to re-up her blessing and ask some questions.
- It seems that the only way to easily permanently kill the vampire is to bring it into this room. The psychopomp's sheer Lawful aura will turn it to ash!
- The God grants Divinity its anti-undead aura again, and reminds her that it can restore level drain once a week in case the vampire does bite her.

--- Verling the Venerable's Vivisection
- Divinity rejoins the party to see Sydney with massive pupils babbling about a business venture. Verling takes the lead into the next room for some reason.
- It's a guardhouse. There are cells (one of which contains a Halfling) and several zombies, naked other than roman helmets, sitting around the place. Two are behind a counter, another two are staring at cards like they were playing a card game.
- The zombies suddenly look up, eyes flashing red! They speak and demand to know who goes there!
- The Halfling in the cell introduces herself as Merry Proudfoot and says she's hiding from them in the cell. They've eaten brains and are now Ravenous, which means they've got about ten minutes to eat another brain if they want to retain consciousness.
- Verling turns back to the zombies and THEY'RE ON HIM! His throat is torn out instantly, and as the vital lifeblood of his 486 year old body pours onto the floor he feels claws start to prise his head open.
- His vulture familiar erupts into its original demon form! It's a horrible floating squid, spores glisten from its rubbery pores! The zombies let go of the corpse and face this new foe!
- Divinity charges in with her great-axe to avenge the old man, while Sydney casts Magic Missile and... something goes wrong. The spell goes awry! The magic slips out of their grip and everything they own turns to pure silver! Sydney cannot move easily, the thick silver foil of their robes limiting mobility.
- Divinity fumbles against a zombie, sending her axe spinning away across the floor. She unsheathes the Sword of Ages... what does it even do? She tries it out and discovers it does more damage the older they are, and these zombies are very old indeed! Zombies fall to the Sword of Ages.

--- Brief Thief
- But what's this? Another new character so soon? Jumping from under the covers in a seemingly empty cell, a "generic Thief" type jumps forth! He charges into a zombie, sending both flying behind the counter, barely avoiding a ballista bolt fired from Sydney's Sudden Siege Engine!
- The ballista bursts the squid demon and one of the zombies, thudding into the wall behind.
- The final zombie cracks open the Thief's head, devours the brain, and absconds. Battle over!

--- Vultures, Vampires, and Venus
- Rolling out from under the counter where he'd been hiding is another new character! His name is Randall and Merry the Halfling informs him that they were part of the same party. He doesn't remember this, but he does have a sore spot on the back of his neck so maybe she's telling the truth?
- He also believes this to be a "level 2 dungeon" whatever that means, since he can't remember past the entrance.
- In any case, Merry Proudfoot joins the party too.
- They all head out into the corridor and hey! It's the other end of the grille! They peek round a corner and see the zombie that just absconded talking to a giant vulture monster that can only say "SCREEAWWW".
- Sydney Siege Engines them, and the ballista hits the pillar behind them... revealing that the pillar is hollow! Within is a coffin standing sarcophagus-style! The bolt bumps against the coffin but doesn't go through.
- More fast zombies are in there too, and they swiftly run away.
- The Vulture Demon flies at them, and the zombies who ran away were actually flanking! They burst in from another direction, and Sydney unleashes another Siege Engine... but the spell goes awry again! There is a flash of green and a whiff of vegetation and... Sydney is gone.

--- Elsewhere
- Sydney emerges in a strange alien forest, under a strange alien sky. A weird reticulated plant creature approaches and threatens. It says that this is Venus, and they kill all intruders.
- Sydney grins. Finally, a use for the spell they swore they could never use. The spell that kills all natural plantlife within a mile. Sydney waves their arms and casts the Blight.

--- Desperate Slayer
- It's Divinity and Randall against the world. Fast zombies from one side, barely fended off by Divinity. A vulture demon from the other, striking with beak and claws and razor wings.
- The vulture demon forces them to boast or suffer the consequences! Divinity resists at first, then acquiesces. Her pride sustains the monster. She swipes at it with a Smite, but it dodges back! Its counterattack fails, though, and it stumbles to the ground!
- Randall runs past as zombies rake at Divinity, sprinting straight for the ballista bolt that is inches from the vampire's coffin!
- He jumps, feet coming together to land a perfect spear-kick on the ballista bolt!
- It thuds home, cracking straight through the coffin and into the vampire's heart! There is a great scream, and a distant detonation!
- Divinity hears this and makes a fighting retreat, joining Randall on his sprint away from the zombies and the demon. They skid through the guardroom, past Merry who has now re-locked herself in the prison cell, and collapse into the safety of the Empyreal God's room!
- He feels the vampires death and thanks them profusely. Finally, his most annoying enemy has been defeated! He thanks Randall specifically - naming him Randall the Vampire Slayer.

--- Soon...?
- Sydney is surrounded by brown and withered vegetation. The alien stars burn bright. A portal reopens behind them, back to the lair of the vulture demon.
- Sydney believes that Venus is about a mile across. The planet must be dead. They turn to the portal, grin, and leave to a different fate.

Total: 9000 exp

Treasures Looted:
Sapphire Statue (10 000 exp)
- 1000 copper coins (100 exp)
- Sword of Ages
- Ratman's Edge
Total: 10100 exp

Enemies Defeated:
- Several ravenous zombies (100 exp)
- A vampire lord (finished off)
- The planet Venus (?)
Total: 100 exp

Exp Totals:
- Carter / Sydney, Level 8 Magic-User: 154107 (Level up at 288000)
- Ollie / Divinity, Level 6 Battle-Cleric: 41951 (Level up at 72000)
Level Up! +1d6 HP! +1d6 Healing Pool! +1 Min Faith! +1 to Saves! +Backstory!
- Tom / Randall the Vampire Slayer, Level 3 Fighter: 6383 (Level up at 8000)
Level Up! +1d8 HP! +1 to hit! +1 to crit/fumble! +1 to Saves! +Backstory!
Level Up! +1d8 HP! +1 to hit! +1 to crit/fumble! +1 to Saves! +Backstory!

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