Citadel Delve pt. 36

Thinking with Portals

Taking a couple of minor swings at the enormous woman as she brings herself up again and towers over him, Ero then steps to the side to catch his breath, watching as her skin stretches to cover the abrasions and cuts. "That was a neat trick." he mutters under his breath with a curious turn of his head.

Leaning further into the room from the corridor, Theodore looks the thin vine-like growths up and down. Noticing that the light in the tunnel in the next room is brighter now, and that it matches the light he saw earlier, this group fighting the pale creatures must have made their way through this room without harm. The tendrils filling the room seem benign. Looking towards the light, Theodore can see the strange puddle of black on the ceiling, the angled roof almost displaying the strange mass. Remembering some of the tales he had heard during his training and travels, small details about dark pools emanating evil that swallowed children whole came to his mind. There would often be an exchange involved, where one child would be replaced by a monster, creating chaos in its wake and breaking the hearts of mothers up and down the land. These stories only seemed to come up in rural communities, it seemed.
Cutting a tendril with his longsword, Theodore cautiously made his way towards what he reasoned to be a portal to a dark realm.

Adrik shifts his feet quickly backwards until he nears Jila, Bennet and Simon. As the beast confronting him lunges, he turns to the side and swings down with his quarterstaff, his muscles tightening as the pole bounces off the chitin sending it back along it's arc; Adrik takes full advantage of this and swings both the staff and himself around, careful not to knock Lorawyn from her perch on his shoulder. Swinging the other end of the quarterstaff around he catches the Meenlock in the jaw, audibly cracking a mandible and stunting its clacking, finishing the creature off with a swift kick with his left foot as he joins the momentum of his weapon. The beast arches back and collpases into the tunnel, beginning its' descent down the steep-angled floor.

Nix watches Ero closely, quickly quieting Darrin's emerging questions about where Lorawyn went, why a cat suddenly ran by them, and why their powers weren't stopping the fell creature below. Sword strikes, pyric engulfing and missile assault all seem to heal soonafter. Closing her eyes for a moment, Nix strains her ears and pays full attention to her surroundings. Her mind shifts between places and times until she manages to refocus and bring all her thoughts to bear on their current situation. This creature, after climbing from the black portal at the base of the tunnel, immediately started pawing at Wudmirk's severed head and chanting. She has done nothing since. The sound of her chanting is somewhat reminiscent of woodland hallowing rituals performed by Wild Elf shamans to purify their hunting grounds and ward against evil spirits. Mostly hocus pocus and ceremony, she thought. It seems there may have been some credence or origin to their practise, however; this Dark Fey is performing some bastardised version of the same melody, but with different and incomprehensible words. The smell in the air is a hyperbolic rendition of rotting flesh, something altogether repulsive but unreal at the same time. Not an illusion, though.
Nix continues concentrating, her senses honing in on something, she can feel it. The head! It's her focus. She's not retaliating, she's not fighting, she's simply performing this ritual. Forcing her eyes open again, Nix sees, for a moment only as her eyes adjust, the movement of the Feyweave around the creature; an afterimage left in her eyes such as when one stares too long at a candle. Nix grabs Darrin's sleeve. "Darrin!" pulling him along, they both start to run down the slope. "We must approach her and channel our energies against her foul totem." Looking the confused Elfblood in the eye, she can see the building self-doubt.
"Channel our energies? What have we been doing so far!?"
"You and me. We can do this!" Nix assures, a warm smile and a knowing glimmer in her eyes and she pulls the young man with her towards certain danger.

They race past Talison who, hearing Nix, realises that some magical trickery is afoot. Squinting at the effort and stopping his movement down, Talison rests his hands on his sides and breathes heavily in and out of his mouth. Gesturing briefly to the Fey, he turns to the fighting happening back at the top of the tunnel, sighs, looks back at the Fey… With a groan, Talison turns and marches back up the tunnel, pulling the string back on his crossbow and aiming it towards the enemy; alas, none are in sight as yet. Unless he decided to count the dead body sliding towards him. Which he did not. Armed and ready, Talison saved the bolt and marched towards the fight, ready to save Jila yet again.

Ero looks at the rapidly approaching Nix, and considers that she must have a plan for stopping this horrendous being that involves magic. Perhaps, then, she's using a magical item or totem. Realising his task, Ero brings his sword up over his head. "Someone give the lady a big hand!" he yells as he swings down hard, managing to cut into her wrist. He is stopped by bone, and doesn't completely sever the appendage, but is point is well made. "…I think she's going to need it." he adds as he pulls his sword out ready for another heavy swing. Korik shakes his head as though waking from a terrible dream and dashes to Ero's side, leaping with one foot against the wall and kicking off, swinging his long arms down with his weight at the Dark Fey's wrist. Landing without managing to make the blow, Korik looks up at the creature's diminutive features, oddly framed amongst the long limbs and imposing stature, her shiny black eyes seeming to look beyond the material world into Korik's very soul.

Seeing the other fall, the Meenlock that grabbed Bennet and threw him against the wall begins clacking more rapidly and turns, using its claws to grab the vines coming from the ceiling. Climbing quickly, it manages to narrowly avoid a jabbing thrust from Jila. Bennet picks himself up and examines the vines, grabbing a small bundle in his hands and pulling on them to test the weight they can carry. Simon places a tentative hand on the Halfling's shoulder, evidently disapproving of the potential action Bennet contemplates. As the creature reaches the portal and begins pulling itself through, Theodore reaches up and gives a small hop as he whips a vine that he has in his hand towards the portal. It seems to stick to the mucus-like ooze the portal looks to be made of. As he lands on the ground, the shock of the landing seems to shift something in his lungs and the burning sensation returns heavily, causing a raspy wheeze to escape his lungs.

Simon, ignoring the Meenlock trying to push through the portal, approaches the armoured stranger. "Forgive our lack of pleasantries, friend, but you catch us at an inopertune time -" The grizzled and weary robed man is suddenly interrupted by the shorter Elf warrior, Jila. As he pats the side of his sword against Simon's chest on his approach to silence the overpolite clergyman, his oddly gruff and strained voice seems out of place on an Elf.
"Friend or foe? That's all we need right now." He raises an eyebrow and turns his body partly to the Meenlock, showing his impatience and torn attention.

Roll for Initiative (1d20 + Dexterity Bonus). What do you do?

Nix identifies the following: 3 Arcana checks must be made while touching Wudmirk's head. Only 1 check can be done per round. This will break the enchantment and nullify the head as a magical focus. The Dark Fey will stop being immortal and the Fear effect will disappear.

Ero, please make another Wisdom saving throw against Fear.
Korik, please make another Wisdom saving throw against Fear.

Korik has 1 level of exhaustion, meaning he has disadvantage on all ability checks. This does not include saves or attacks.

Lorawyn has 1 level of exhaustion, meaning she has disadvantage on all ability checks. This does not include saves or attacks.

Talison has 2 levels of exhaustion, meaning he has disadvantage on all ability checks. This does not include saves or attacks. His speed is also halved.

Korik +5XP
Talison +10XP
Nix +15XP
Darrin +10XP
Lorawyn +5XP
Adrik +5XP
Ero +5XP
Theodore +15XP



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