Siblings continue through palace discovering succubus disguised as Azaltin’s wife. Charms Guzman and summons Barlgura, orphans defeat them. Find evidence that 11 Baneful Gates was destroyed and find book titled “The Kingdom of Lions”
Taking a few minutes to rest, the siblings discuss their plight; wondering whether or not finding the scroll mean surviving the tests or bypassing them…
D: Guzman here; take my bow. We must keep you out of close-range battle.
G: Um… I don’t really use these, but thank you…
F: How many trials have we defeated?
G: I don’t know that we’ve been counting…
D: We’ve not eaten from the banquet and we’ve not drunk from the fountain…
D: Printz; how do you feel? Will you be able to avoid partaking of the water and feast?
P: I have thus far…
D: I suggest we stay next to each other; a buddy system of sorts…
D: Printz; with me. Come.
Continuing their explorations, the siblings continue through the temple; utilizing careful searching and mage cantrip to
Wandering into another room, the overturned bottles, stains on the floor and furniture, suggests this was an office of some kind.
G: I prefer the dead bodies, frankly.
D: Have you not the ability to read
A bright flash of light as an invisible symbol above the door flashes as they open the door. The room the siblings are now looking into is different in several keys ways: nicer carpets along the floor, cloth hanging from the ceilings now covered in dust and tattered. Printz thinks this likely a room where a harem would have spent time… a sure sign they are making their way deeper into the private rooms of the palace.
D: Do you think that this is likely to be the head wife’s room?
Opening an adjacent door, D’aro sees a beautiful woman, lying down on a bed, the rest of the floor is pillows, satin sheets hanging from the cieling, and just as they walk in, a slight shimmer appears and disappears every so briefly, as her eyes flutter open to look at you. She speaks foreign words that you cannot understand.
The woman squints at the pair and speaks again in words they do not understand.
D’aro thinks she’s speaking the same language as the murals and frescoes seen throughout this jade palace.
S: We cannot understand you; but do you speak our language?
She stares, and reaches over to a nearby desk, grabbing a beautiful tiara and places it gently on her head.
Netari: Ah, that’s better…
P: Yes, do you like music?
N: smiles sweetly as Printz begins to play, “What an incredible sound to be woken up to.”
P: I am inspired by your beauty.
Her eyelids flutter and she says, “Oh you must be one of my husbands most favoured servants. Tell me, is he waiting for me?
D: I am D’aro. We… have come to… give you some news. Sulayman, tell her.
S: I can’t imagine what news you imagine me to tell her. Tell me lady, what is it that you last remember before your large sleep?
G: I don’t think women like to be referred to as ‘large’, Su.
N: I… don’t recall… I remember thinking… no… he seemed very upset, as though something terrible was about to happen… and then… I laid down; he told me to go rest… he told me not to worry.
D: Is your husband Azaltin, then?
N: Yes, so you ARE my husband’s servant.
D: In a manner of speaking
F: My lady, what year is it?
N: she gives a year tht’s hundreds of years too early.
D: I think perhaps you should sit down…
S: I am afraid there is some bad news. Your palace has fallen into a state of disarray and you may have been put into stasis… you are no longer in the timeframe you were originally in.
Netari looks at your like you’re insane.
D: What he says is true, my lady.
N: Wait a minute… what do you mean?
D: It’s important that you remain calm; we will do everything we can to help you.
She looks bewildered, “help me… with this outlandish story!?” the presence of her mind weighs down on the siblings as her confusion rises… “Do you really mean to tell me, my husband is dead?”
S: He is quite dead…
F: In fact, my lady, it is your husband that we seek audience with…
N: But… but he’s DEAD you said…
S: Yes, he’s dead. We’re not looking for him, we’re looking for information about the 11 Baneful Gates.
F: We were hoping where we might have found the answers in life, we might find them now…
N: Putting her hand to her head “My husband is dead, yet you seek audience with him… what… what does that mean … are you some sort of sorcerer? That you can speak with the dead? I don’t know!! He wished me a good rest and then.. . now I’m speaking with you!
F: But you live here.. you know this place…
P: Yes… what is this palace about? What is with the garden? And the food… the delicious food…
N: What?… she’s clearly bewildered
P: Come with us if you don’t understand…
N: Please… I …. I need a moment to capture my breath…
S: I think we’ve overwhelmed her with misinformation here. The palace has fallen.. perhaps Amakim… do you remember him?
N: Yes, my brother-in-law…
S: History tells us that he raised an army against your husband. Well there’s more to the tale, I’m not sure how much you’d like to learn in one shot; I will let you decide what you’d like to learn next.
G: It’s like a choose-your-own-adventure…
D: Are you hungry…
S: We are not here to commune with your dead husband, we are here to find what we can find left over from this battle that ruined the palace. We are most interested in The 11 Baneful Gates
Netari is clearly crying now, her mind filling the gaps in the horrible story.
Sulayman steps forward and tries to comfort her gently; awkward and unfamiliar with the gesture…
Looking up, she seems to say without words “If you’re not good at this, please don’t try.” Looking over at Printz now, her eyes convey to him that she’s a shell of a woman; her life devastated in minutes after hundreds of years have passed. Reaching up to Printz, he takes her hand and helps her to stand. Looking him deep in the eyes, “Had it not been the wonderful music I woke to, I’m sure I would be completely mad right now. Thank you.” and she kisses Printz on the cheek.
G: Play more music.
Printz, lost in the moment, kisses her back… hard. But his eyes pop open in horror as the woman’s nature is revealed, her magic draining him of his life essence and her sad face turns to an evil grin.
Letting loose of the stunned and reeling Printz, she reveals her true form.. that of a succubus and telepathically taunts them, “Mortal fools… I’ll enjoy taking you back to my home…”
Zephyr looks stunned as his arrow bounces harmlessly off her, and Faruq blasts her backwards with two well-placed Eldritch casts. D’aro engages, Cyclone of the Four Quarters cutting through the air neatly, but she easily parries his kicks; she appears surprisingly strong!
Stepping back, the demon whistles sharply and then locks eyes with Guzman, “Protect me…” Guzman‘s posture straightens and his eyes glaze over. From behind the heroes, a barrelling commotion erupts, and loud footsteps can be heard, bursting through the door is a gigantic creature that announces it’s presence by swinging wildly at Faruq, slamming him hard in the chest, and biting it’s demonic fangs into Sulayman‘s shoulder. The beast-like demon towers above the heroes as it roars ferociously.
Another arrow forces the succubus to change into a dissolving puddle… bizarrely confusing the siblings. D’aro turned to the huge demon, stunning it and cleaving it hard with the artifact, the beast roaring in rage.
Z: Brother, you’re not yourself!
G: Shutup! No one ever liked you anyway… you were the worst of the family… Auntie hates you…
Printz tries again to wash the magics from his brother, but to no avail.
Z: Let go of me, you don’t know what you’re doing!
G: (taunting) Nobody likes you….
But Guzman holds his brother fast as Faruq and D’aro continue to hammer away at the massive beast, felling it to the ground and starts dripping fiery blood… smells like sulfur, turning into a gas and disappears.
The succubus, also having been felled finally dissipates
Z: Why are you saying such things, Guzman!?
G: Shut up! Auntie doesn’t love you! I’m not even charmed anymore…
D: Do you think we triggered this scene
S: Who knows… if this was another test, I can’t tell if we passed or failed it.
P: I failed it, I think.
G: I don’t blame you… she was beautiful.
D: I did suggest that you comfort her… think we all failed it.
Faruq continues his awkward habit of collecting the succubus’ ichor
D’aro looks at Faruq quizzically, “Faruq, what are you doing?”
F: We have all come upon our powers in different ways, mine demands this of me.
F: Do not worry, D’aro. I will not try to bring her back.
D: I worry more that you may drink it by mistake. This will surely cause you issues with your bowels, I have seen it first-hand.
Printz and D’aro walk up the stairs, exploring the harem further and see another door with different writing above it, just as the room they last entered. Joining their brothers, Sulayman and Faruq go upstairs as well, immediately noticing a secret door along one of the walls. Conjuring simple magics, Sulayman tries to press against and open the door, revealing some sort of vault.
G: This is another test, idiots!
perfectly preserved book – (Tome of Clear Thought) – Sulayman
scroll 1 – Scroll of Protection from Dao
scroll 2 – Cure Wounds, Neutralize Poison, Greater Restoration
whitish-silvery scimitar – words appear on the hilt, “Zephyr of the Winter Moon” – (Scimitar of Dancing) – Guzman
amulet in the shape of a lion’s head – Amulet of Health – (Zephyr)
pair of silk slippers – Slippers of Soft Movement (Boots of Elvenkind) – Printz
D: How do we resolve this dilemma?
G: By leaving!
Sulayman recalls the Hermit Nerim’s words: “there is no love more sacred than that shared between husband and wife”, words meant to assist the siblings in their pursuit of The 11 Baneful Gates…
“The truth is not obvious, that can be found in the simplicity of a man’s love for his wife.”
D: Are there any magics that can help us know if this is the goal of our quest?
S: I can do this…
Spending time in the apparent safety of the upper harem chambers, the siblings pour over the items and the scroll… trying to commit it to memory.
In discovering the identify of the scimitar, Guzman locks eyes with Zephyr and says, “I think we all know who THIS belongs to…” and picks it up.
Z: It might bear my name, but it will just mean I’m always with you.
G: Disgusting. Why would you taint this with those words!?
Z: Because I know you didn’t mean those things you said to me earlier…
Exploring the chambers further, the siblings discover another secret chamber, in which they find a large tome with a sigil of a golden lion on the cover, similarly untouched by time, in the same language the siblings could not understand. Beneath the book there is a scroll tube. Excitedly, Sulayman spends time to determine the tome is not magical
D: This could be the end of our quest
Printz whispers words and cast Comprehend Languages, and the book titled “The Kingdom of Lions”. It seems to be an accurate though concise account of the history of Al-Anwahr up until Amakim’s revolt.
The scroll also in the same language and it reads, the following:
“Too late have a realized the loregivers warnings. Immortality is a curse not a trasure, no man or woman should bear this burden which I only shouldered through youthful pride. Rest assured that The 11 Baneful Gates has been destroyed. It can tempt mortals no further.”
D: I’m sure this history book will be of some use to some scholar…
F: Haroushin will be most excited at this
P: We should leave right away…
D: There are perhaps other items to obtain here, no?
P: But what of the Jann?
S: Correct, we’re on a timeline
F: We have come in search of the gates that we now know has been destroyed…
D: Maybe this is just a ruse, perhaps the baneful gates resides elsewhere in this palace… perhaps another test?
S: Remember the hermit’s words… he said this is where we would find it, and we have certainly found evidence of it.
D: Perhaps… hidden… I think you’re right. Will this book satisfy our employer?
S: I don’t see why not… he said they might not even be here.
D: Will we have to pay the Sheik tribute upon our return?
F: One such as her would certainly see through our deception, and if not her, one of her attendants.
The siblings leave carefully, wondering how much history and tragedy transpired there that would remain undiscovered…
The Jann see the siblings return to the ruined mosque where they fought the manticores
Look! They didn’t kill each other! hahhahaha
J: Someone owes me money…
J: I thought for sure they’d kill each other.. the others did
S: It was pretty close…
D: We tried…
J: Tell me, how did you resist? That one I would kill without ANY magical compulsion forcing me… hahahahaha
S: I suspect it was just a little bit of luck..
J: Mmmmmm…. so…..? Find anything interesting?
P: Nothing at all.
The Jann look at each other with smirks on their faces.
S: Sadly, not what we came for.
J: Come. Our Sheik will want to speak to you before… you leave. After all, the bondof salt is about to expire, yes?
D: We have another day and a half.
J: Hmm… look at this one… a salt rules lawyer.
Returning to the mosque to see Sheikh Sheyisha lays on her stomach, quite unashamedly naked but for some silk pantaloons, her bodyguard massaging her shoulders.
Printz starts to play.
Sh: Oh I missed that… I’m not sure I can let you go…
S: I supposed that would have to be an arrangement between Printz and yourself.
Sh: So tell me; what did you find?
S: Not what we were looking for, sadly.
Sh: How disappointing. You mean all those other mortals came here and killed themselves for nothing? Well, that does sound like a mortal thing to do…
S: Well, I can’t speak for them and what they were trying to do..
Sh: I suppose. So did you find anything interesting at all?
S: Ancient lore
P: Lots of dead people
S: At one point, we thought we might have met one of Azaltin’s harem
D: She ended up being a demoness
P: She left a mark on me
Sh: Oh my! Are they still lurking about? I would have you take care of them for m.
S: Already taken care of. We didn’t search the whole place, it was becoming too dangerous for us. Having found evidence of what we were looking for not being there, we decided we have lost enough in these desert sands..
Sh: Oh you mean your dead sister?
Sh: I wonder why she’d refuse to come back? Well… or maybe I don’t wonder.
D: Honoured one, the magic in that place is far below your own power, you could easily and safely be able to enter.
Sh: Why would I? A dusty old mortal place. I suppose if I get bored enough…
D: Well there were a few rooms with tempting feasts and delicious water… we assumed they were traps
Sh: Do mortals always assume water is a trap? hahahahaha
D: In a desert, one would agree! hahah
Sh: Alright you’re boring me; leave.
S: if it would not be asking much, I suppose you don’t mind that we take our sister with us?
Sh: Oh, I have no plans to keep her here, yes, I insist you take her with you.
Sh: We have some mortal camels, feel free to replenish yours. On your way out, if you see one of my advance scouts, tell him he is overdue to return, more than a day and a half now. His name was Alrauq. You didn’t see him on the way in, did you?
D: No, we came in with your attendant my brother called.
Sh: Yes well tell him he’s overdue if you see him please.
D: There’s also the issue of the dragon that lingers on the border of your domain. Would you like us to take care of it for you?
Sh: I would think you’d be honour-bound to do this anyway… how do mortals think… I don’t even understand…
Abdullah: They have strange minds, Sheik
Sh: You said it. Do what you have to do. If you don’t care about your sister, then leave it alone, if you do, go kill yourselves trying to defeat it. But if your’e just going to go kill yourselves, don’t take any of my camels!
D: Your hospitality has been second to none.
Sh: Go on, someone will make you some fresh food and water… I don’t mind telling you that you smell like death.
The siblings excuse themselves with profuse thanks.