Tuesday, May 26, 2020

The Death of the Rose Princess

Art by Enamorte
The Death of the Rose Princess
Our online D&D game set in Ravenloft continues.

The Characters
Tekla Vardagen, half-elf warlock
13 Shattered Mirrors, tabaxi warlock/rogue
Tank Orkerson, half-orc fighter
Gnagar the Bloody, kobold monk
Al', drow cleric

As the sun rose over the grounds of Our Lady in the Mists, the party trudged up the hill to the convent buildings proper. They entered the dormitory, which had been partially scorched by fire, and found austere cells and the moldy remains of nuns' habits. Another building proved to be a shrine that held the mummified remains of martyrs of the Church of Ezra, but the shrine had been defiled; the corpses of preserved saints had been toppled from their niches and lay in ruins on the floor. The tombs behind the convent held a reflecting pool that was now clogged with lumpy green fungus; in the lower level of the tombs, they party discovered a secret door that led to an underground complex that connected the tomb to the convent's main building.

The group quickly came to grips with the system of secret doors in these underground chambers. While exploring they found several stone sarcophagi, a mural depicting the founding of the convent, a mural about the faith of Ezra that had been defaced with "fungal art," a toppled statue of Ezra that had been replaced by a statue of a woman made of fungus, a large plant-like pod that was affixed to a stone coffin, and stairs that led up into the main convent building. In the convent, they found a chapel that was still sanctified--a potentially useful sanctuary that could provide them with a place to rest and recuperate, if needed. 

But they had not yet found Emilia Drachen, so they returned to the underground chambers and discovered a secret dungeon in which an unconscious, and very pregnant, woman was found shackled to the wall. They unshackled her, but nothing they tried revived her to consciousness. As they attempted to carry her back to the chapel upstairs, the party was confronted by a beautiful and pale woman with pointed incisors. The woman wore a dark gown decorated with roses and tall leather boots--which Tank recognized as responsible for the footprints he had followed while exploring in the tomb. She was accompanied by three fungus-infested nuns. The strange woman told them that she couldn't possible let them escape with her "treasure." She then flew at them with unnatural speed as her fingernails turned to venomous talons.

The combat was fierce, but brief. Gnargar unleashed a flurry of radiant sun bolts, greatly wounding her. Al' called upon his faith to turn undead; the woman transformed into hundreds of fungus-encrusted spiders and fled, leaving the party to deal with her minions. The fleeing woman was tracked back to the seed pod that was discovered earlier, but now it had split open to reveal a pool of luminescent, mucus-like fluid within it. Determining that the pod was a portal of some kind, they swallowed their pride and climbed inside...and found themselves emerging from a similar pod inside the infected watchtower they had declined to enter in their earlier explorations of the grounds. 

In the tower, their battle against the woman resumed! The group were horrified to note that the wounds they had inflicted on her previously had healed. However, the gods were on their side; Al' hit her with a particularly well placed spell that tore her apart from inside with divine power. With her death, the fungal infection in the tower began to shrivel and recede until it was nothing more than motes of black dust blowing in the wind. With Emilia now secured, the party loaded her into Bela's vardo and they set off to find a cure, and perhaps a way home, in the house of Leonora Vos.