The last Leechling was always going to be the hardest for the party to overcome - mainly because it would be learning from each successive fight the party had with its brethren. So by the time the party was ready for this encounter - the Para-Leech was able to set up two "trap" areas depending on which direction the party went. His goal? To take out the groups magical items and then lure them to the top to get them to open the door. Not interested in killing the group off, no benefit from it - and he KNOWS he needs the party to help him escape.
Write up follows:
As the group was going through the armoire to the 5th floor, the spellwraith appeared and the party proceeded to toss a wet blanket on it and beat on it until it fell through the floor to the bedroom – where Flimflam, Horace, Erd, and Kilven were set to meet it.
Once again its strange ability flared to life igniting most of the magical items in the room. We had divested ourselves of them as fast as possible, with Kilven and Horace closing to the wraith with axe and club swinging wildly. The two fighters actually waded into the smoky creature, scattering it about and keeping it uncoalesced. However, its ability flared out and hit Flimflam’s bracers – neutering them. Fuck.
Upstairs, the party gave the rest of the group a minute or two to come and join them when Avidius took a trip through the armoire and then returned, letting the party know that the spellwraith was down there and the group was fighting it. Viridia took her salt and was willing to go down to dispel it. Meanwhile, the ghostly figure consumed the magic from Flimflam’s cudgel next. And then Viridia arrived, tossed the salt, and the wraith-like figure faded away.
We gathered the salt as needed and then all got together to talk about our options and what was next. Flimflam was rather upset at his losses and seemed pissed off. The party wanted to check out the 4th floor a bit more – specifically the last and dusty bedroom – which we had not done anything in yet, only looked in and then stepped out.
Horace did a wonderful job at staking out the chamber and describing it to us. The footlocker (latched) was a prime target and we had Steiner try his damnedest to open it – with no luck. While discussing option, the cleric swept a little of the dust (which was behaving heavy and thick – not floating about) into the hall, picked it up, and ignited it – where it went up with a whoosh and a column of fire over a foot and a half tall.
Ok – no flame in the room.
But to open the chest? How? We had the idea to cast create water in the chamber, swamping the dusty floor and turning it muddy, making it unlikely to flare up. But then it was the ceiling – unlike other chambers this had a series of regular looking stones mortared together. A couple of arrows were shot into it – where they sort of went in a little bit…and then the ceiling rippled and the ripples met near the arrows – and ate the arrows.
We now suspected a Lurker was here but how to coax it down? Marcus cast a summon monster spell, having a Zombie appear. He had it walk into the room where the Lurker dropped and engulfed it to eat it. Rolled into a ball, the soft underside was visible, so we hacked at it and watery pink and yellow fluid leaked out all over the chamber, mixing with the muddy dust and just making the entire party sick from the stench.
Braving the odor, we opened the footlocker and took out a pair of mage’s robes (off yellow), two books, and a pair of thick almost gauntlet like leather gloves.
One book was identified as an ecology book about Lurkers, the other had runes on it. So Marcus opened the book and it exploded in his face – setting him on fire and burning him and his clothes and equipment. We managed to put it out and the elf then cast Read magic on it, was able to identify where to open the tome safely, and we noted a long list of new spells up to 4th level, many of them fire in nature.
Some healing was given out and then the party went up to the 5th floor to see about cleaning up the steps from all the demonic scat upon them. Fermius and Kilven did most of the dirty work with shovels and whatnot, using the ripped up bedsheets to keep the area clean…ish. As for the crap, it was shoveled one stinking pile and dollop at a time into the base of the broken lectern, piled in afterwards by the fouled torn bedsheets. We then worked it through the armoire and down to the dead Lurker bedroom where it was placed within and the door shut; Fermius using a bit of chalk to write on the door, “Do not enter.”
We went down to the 3rd floor and kitchen where we used the sink and water (from above, gravity fed we assumed) to clean our hands before ending up back on the 2nd floor and the meeting room. We ate and shared water, taking a total of our food stuffs and then splitting it up amongst the party. We then talked about what was next (we had 3 and a half days of real rations remaining, and Flimflam had a way to stretch that out to about double). Eventually the party went to sleep and we rested.
The next day the party woke up, prayed, broke their fast, studies, prepped their weapons, and were on our way. We opted to go downstairs first – check out the basement, see the furnace (it’s been three days so far), and make sure the final Leechling (Para-Leech) did not go down there ahead of us. Once outside the chamber the smell of the rotting hellhounds was growing worse, gagging the group as we made our way to the main floor.
The remains of the original “leech” was gone now, only a very clean spot on the floor where it had once sat. However, as we went around the corner to go down to the basement, we were surprised to see the door had been picked up and leaned in front of the opening.
The party grew quiet and discussed possibilities before settling on what to do next. Steiner was able to detect the sensation of something foul beyond the broken door. What we settled on was a grapple placed through the handle and the length of rope around the corner to waiting hands to pull. Everyone else took up space around the chamber with bows and swords at the ready; Avidius was left on the steps, 1 step shy of the landing, hand on his sword hilt.
And we pulled the door open.
It fell into the room and three grotesque and fat (250#) goblins sauntered into the chamber – their waxy skin, dead eyes, the reek of death let us know these were zombies of some sort. Steiner had everyone hold their actions as the undead trio drew closer, the cleric of Apollo calling on his god to turn these terrible blights away.
And the blast of blue and white energy billowed off from his holy symbol, driving the three back until they turned to run. Arrows fired and swords and spears laced out. But while all this was happening, Avidius heard a noise from the stairs above so he looked up and saw…the Para-Leech up there. He mumbled that he was glad to have caught at least one of the group and fired off a burst of energy at the scout. But is skittered past him to the left and caused a thick wall of wood and brambles to grow, blocking him off from the main room, his friends, and the light source.
At first the party was focused on the now retreating zombies – plying everything they had on the closest one – but at Avidus’ howl and the appearance of the wall, a few of them left the zombies alone and attacked the wall with axe, sword, and even hands.
As for Avidius, the Para-Leech flat out told him to give up the sword and he won’t get hurt. Of course Avidius ignored that crap and tried to run past the Para-Leech, dodging beyond the fat bastard’s grip and turning the corner in a mad dash to make it to the meeting room and the safety there.
But there were a number of books on the floor and the two pictures had been knocked off. As Avidius was struggling to hang the picture of the “keep” back on the wall, the Para-Leech had come back and had his foot across the barrier – preventing the picture from being hung.
They traded quips a bit, the Leechling threatening to burn Avidius if he didn’t back away. Meanwhile Flimflam had made it to the wall and was calling to Demeter to shape the wood – actually pulling a hole in the center of the wall with his bare hands large enough for the gnome to slither through. Whosea and Ringer were trying to get in next and Fermius and Kilven were ripping huge chunks of wood out of the way.
Avidius made to grab the picture that looked like a pile of cloth but the Leechling sent a ray of flame at it, burning it apart. And then the battle lines were drawn and Avidius was caught in a grapple with the demonic goblin; his arm in the infernal’s mouth and blood dripping to the floor. Drop the sword.
Avidius held on, refusing to do so.
And then Flimflam arrived and the two of them were struggling with the Para-Leech who was struggling to keep Avidius grappled. Whose was next and Flimflam was able to wrap a length of rope around the Leech’s leg – as Whosea was tearing into the Leech. So the Leechling lifted his foot and smashed 600#’s of claw toed fat assed demonic goblin on Whosea’s front side – tearing the war dog’s left front leg off halfway down the animal’s equivalent of the bicep – crippling him instantly.
Furious, Flimflam called out to Demeter and his Snare spell went off – wrapping 20’ of rope around the Leech and binding him in place – Avidius managing to step away. The Leechling was impressed – the binding was strong enough to hold a fucking giant in place, and said that he’d take this under advisement. As the rest of the group was mounting the stairs, he turned to smoke and oozed upward through the ceiling and was gone.
Flimflam lowered his gaze to his longest animal friend and companion and helped bind his wound, stopping the bleeding – but the missing leg was not going to come back. And somewhere above – the Para-Leech was up there and waiting for the party.