Dusk here. Nice knowing you.
The babau act swiftly. One begins to immediately attempt summoning a seventh one. Kostner shoots him and, still glowing with energy from the Wardstone, does way more damage than he’d expected and interrupts the demon’s attempt. Another babau steps forward and rips at Kostner with deadly claws and teeth but somehow is not able to damage him. What is going on?
Susannae steps in, dodging their long spears and fires an arrow into the wall. Alone in the back of the room, a spear strike comes at me and hits me dead to rights but it does not harm me. It must be the Wardstone, protecting us!
A fourth babau attempts a summoning as Neva walks in and hits one hard with her ranseur. Halved charges in but misses.
A fifth babau gets on my flank and then, Calistria’s cuddlies, stabs the crap out of me twice. But then I feel my wounds starting to close on their own. Still, I need to get away from these guys surrounding me so I cast Vanish and move to hop over to join the others. As I move, the two that attacked me and two others all skewer me pretty good. I guess they can see invisible things. Noted. Almost dead, I stagger back into the ranks of my comrades. “Don’t let them flank you,” I rasp.
Ajax makes his way into the combat and avoids their strikes with the protection of the Wardstone. Kostner fills one with a couple deadly shots. Susannae moves up and shoots the one still summoning, plugging him good and interrupting the process.
Another tries to call upon a darkness to gain an advantage with all these humans but the magic fails, also due to the Wardstone. They begin to seem disconcerted and complain to one another. Neva drives her ranseur through a complainer’s chest and then steps forward kicking it off the end. Be thankful for what you have, pal. Like a functioning set of internal organs. One down, five to go.
Halved cuts another one up bad with his greatsword and then tears a hunk of flesh with his teeth. I think about the acid that coats them but the Wardstone keeps it from dissolving the barbarian’s lips and just gives him a tingly sensation. I stagger back to the doorway and make some duplicates, discarding my useless invisibility. Susannae says she’ll heal whichever one is the real me.
“I’m the real one!” “No, me!” “I’m a little too real, baby, lay your hands on this!” say the four Dusks.
Ajax claws up a babau and Susannae makes a comment about me holding back since I’ve already stolen the glory. I tell her to go ahead and claim it herself. I don’t give a shit. But she thinks I’m taunting her as she would never act so dishonestly. Annoyed by this and by the fact that she can’t tell which duplicate to touch, she shoots a babau instead, failing to interrupt his summoning though, and tells me to stay back out of the fight.
Realizing they are going to need to act smarter with positioning, one babau climbs up on the pedestal to get higher ground on Neva. It doesn’t work and she retaliates hard. Halved continues to whale on the one fighting him from over Irabeth’s unconscious body. The summoning babau finishes and a black and red portal begins to appear but nothing comes out. “No more are coming!” he calls to his brethern. “They don’t want this murder like we do!”
I cast Cat’s Grace and feel my wounds knit up on their own a little bit. Still in bad shape, though. I drift over and finish off Halved’s opponent with Sphex. Ajax claws up a babau. The one on the pedestal tries to get behind Neva and damages her a little bit.
Kostner and Susannae shoot the same babau who begins to look in bad shape. Another teleports across the room to attack Susannae from behind. Another moves forward toward Halved and I but he splits him in twain. Another one pops two of my duplicates with his spear. I step to the other corner to defend Susannae against the one that teleported, stabbing him but not penetrating his magic defense.
Ajax continues to slash away with his sainted claws and takes a babau down, rending it in two. Seriously, that’s embarrassing.
Kostner continues to shoot. The one I’m on destroys my last duplicate and hits me but the Wardstone protects still. Only two left, Neva cuts one up just before Halved does a spinning move off some rubble to strike him too. Still standing, the babau retaliates harmlessly before being put down by Kostner. I stab mine again and when he tries to teleport a retreat, I drive Sphex through his eye, drinking deep.
The Wardstone regenerates us back but then the energy slowly fades. As we feel the power dissipate, Irabeth seems to recover her wits. “Thank the Inheritor, what happened?” she asks. The last she remembered was Areelu summoning her portal.
We look around and there are some sizable remains of the Wardstone radiating powerful magic. We each claim one. I sense a strong aura of abjuration but can’t tell any more details. We start to look at the items of the fallen. The minotaur’s horn is a Horn of Battle Clarity which Halved claims after blowing it loudly. The witch Jeslyn has some Dispel Magic scrolls, gold, some cheap onyx gems probably for necromancy, a magic scythe, an Amulet of Natural Armor which I take, and a strong Cloak of Resistance which Halved takes, giving his old one to Kostner.
Irabeth says she is not interested in clearing out the building. We go back down and Irabeth departs. We find lots of books and maps and scrolls in the hexagonal room we’d killed cultists. There is a scroll of Restoration there which Kostner takes. Some of the dead tieflings and cultists have some healing potions.
Down on the first floor, we walk past the desecrated scrying pool where the zombies were and examine the old temple. We realize there is the glowing outline of a door next to the altar. I say, “Let us inherit thine arms, Iomedae,” for no particular reason and a secret cache of weapons is revealed through the portal. Susannae is annoyed again at me.
There are tons of weapons there, well made and cold iron. Some are magical.. holy arrows, a demon-slaying arrow, a breastplate, a shield, and a longsword. We then look in the room where the tiefling with the alchemist’s fire was. He had some good potions as well plus some magic armor and a protective ring. But the most interesting thing there is a fancy sword case holding a very fancy longsword which I can tell is a bane weapon for evil outsiders. This stuff might have come in handy, I guess, if I wasn’t in such a hurry to blow through the area! I guess it didn’t matter after all.