I hurried past the doorway, stealing a glance inside the larger room to see an arcane circle, glowing with runes.
A black, clawed demon twitched inside, energy pouring upward as if being siphoned off, while it locked eyes with an older blue dragonborn. The anearby warforged mage Halfred had shot was now bound together by ropes, and the circle’s magic was fading.
I ran to help the other prisoners at the far end of the room, but froze when I heard the unmistakably scratchy, whispering voice of the demon. I glanced back to see Korinn standing in the doorway, defiant.
“Finish him. Free me and I will aid you.”
Korinn responded by firing a crackling lighting bolt into the circle, slamming into both mage and demon. The mage slumped over, barely alive. The demon hissed in anger. The circle faded and the demon stared into the mage, sucking the last drops of life from its body.
The runes on the floor blinked out completely. The demon drew itself to its full height. Again it offered a choice that echoed in our minds.
“Choose now. Feed me and I will aid you. Or I feed on you.”
Korinn shook her head and opened her mouth to protest once again.
The demon never hesitated. It launched itself at her in a screaming wail, tearing into her with claws and fangs. Korinn crumpled to the ground in a bloody heap.
The demon looked up at each of us, blood dripping from its mouth. We steeled ourselves and charged.
After a Short Rest following our battles last session, we solved the next colored orb puzzle, deciphering some of the wide variety of languages used in the riddles. Our collective INT scores may suck but as a party we know a shocking amount of different languages.
The stone wall slid open, revealing stairs, and we ascended to the second level of the Sculptor’s Tower.
Bryseis recognized it as the library, where a trio of Warforged mages poured over notes and books, scribbling notes. They hadn’t noticed our arrival.
Unfortunately the gigantic Warforged golem guard certainly did. Roll for Initiative!
Bryseis started things off by hurling a Fireball into the room, dealing a solid amount of damage to most of them and starting a small fire among the shelves of books in the process. Halfred finished off one of the mages with his bow, Kazin ran to engage a second, and T.I.M. launched a Blasting Hammer attack on the golem, followed by Inflict Wounds (via Action Surge), dealing nearly 100 damage in a single turn!
Needless to say, the golems and mages didn’t last much longer after that, though the mages chipped away at our HP with some AOE spells.
Korinn doused the fire using her Creation spell to dump sand on the flames, and we found some Cleric spell scrolls that teased some sort of demon-summoning and binding ritual.
We solved yet another orb-puzzle to open the next set of stairs, ascending to a hallway that lead to the ritual chamber, as well as side rooms containing prisoners.
Korinn recognized some of the prisoners as part of her dragonborn tribe, including her tribe’s shaman. As spotted by a sneaking Halfred, the shaman was bound and staring unwillingly into the eyes of a captured demon, a nasty shadowy, clawed thing called a Nabassu.
The Nabassu was trapped within a protective circle, which we later figured out was held together by a warforged mage.
But we were concerned with the captured dragonborn shaman whose life force was being sucked away.
Halfred unleashed a sneak attack arrow right into the mage, nearly killing him and trying him up with his bola arrow. It broke his concentration, and the circle around the demon dimmed. The demon reached out to us, offering its loyalty in exchange for “food.”
Our resident tiefling Bryseis responded, somewhat willing to hear him out, but not exactly trusting a demon.
While we cautiously hung in the back around the corner, Korinn moved up to fry the mage and demon with a Lightning Bolt, and the demon turned his attention to her.
She turned its offer down, and in one turn it killed the mage, destroying the circle, and launched itself at Korinn, eviscerating her with a double crit for over 70 damage. Holy crap!
This demon was way stronger than we anticipated (CR 15!). Thankfully it was the only enemy in the room now. Bryseis locked it down with a Hold Monster spell, using Heightened Spell to negate its Magic Resistance.
Thankfully it failed the save, giving us a round to bring Korinn back up and deal some delicious auto-crits.
It saved at the end of its next turn, leading Bryseis to use her other 5th level spell slot for a second Hold Monster, with another Heightened Spell, and it failed again. We ganged up on the paralyzed demon and took it down, breathing a sigh of relief that it never got off another round of attacks!
With the ritual disrupted and the demon destroyed, the prisoners were thankful for their release. The shaman rewarded Korinn by upgrading her bracelet, and before us lie another orb-puzzle, leading to the final floor of the tower.