There has been much chaos in the membership of the Heroes of Winterhaven. Reed and Thalia were both missing this day, the former off on some errand for the Matron of the Halfmoon family, the latter to places and purposes unknown.
Magnus, however, was back from whatever mysterious errand he needed to run. The others, Omac, Leroy, and Uriondir were somewhat the worse for wear for their time trapped in the Oubliette. Uriondir more than most, as he has taken to calling himself “Lightning L’Apple”.
A mysterious figure was sitting in the taproom at the Halfmoon Inn. Our heroes discovered this personage was a kindred spirit, looking for a group to adventure with. The Drow Elf Seeker, Faeremma, joined the group as they headed back to the Well of Demons to save the last of the Riverdown captives and to stop whatever nefarious plot the Gnolls were up to.
The party returned to where they met the restless spirits. The spirits did not return, but our heroes explored more of the area the spirits had indicated were the “Proving Grounds”. The several rooms that make up the Proving Grounds were found to be eerily quiet and, except for some altars and some disconcerting markings on the floor, were empty. A mysterious, magical locked door portends some future evil, but as they couldn’t readily find a way to get it open, the party moved on.
The party soon found themselves in the Hall of the Crimson Whip. Two large pools of blood separated them from the two parts of the dagger they needed, but two large, menacing statues kept watch. “L’Apple” attempted to jump across, but when he discovered he was about to fall in the blood, he used his Fey Step power to reach the walkway in the middle of the room.
The minotaur statues came to life at this point, cracking their scourges and causing people to be knocked into the poisonous blood. Faeremma, especially, seemed to spend more time in the blood than out. To make matters worse, the blood was hiding three carnage demons, Evistro, and they arose from the blood on several occasions to attack people on the walkway.
Omac quickly disabled the first statue while most of the party got to the middle walkway to join Uriondir. It took our heroes a long time to defeat the demons, but defeat them they did. Then, staying out of range of the second statue’s whip, they were able to destroy it with only Omac getting in harm’s way.
But there was still the tricky business of getting the hilt and blade of the dagger, each on their own separate pedestals. Finally, using an ingenious combination of Omac’s athletic prowess and Uriondir’s disembodied frozen fist created by Bigby’s Icy Grasp, Omac was able to get the parts of the dagger.
Unfortunately, touching the dagger triggered another hazard of the room, namely the blood started flowing away from the doors. Again, using Bigby’s Icy Grasp in a way its inventor never intended, each of the rest of the party were able to be transported back to the doors, with Uriondir using a more conventional “jump and teleport” method.
Which is where our heroes await the next chapter…