Beyond the door they found the innkeeper poisoning the food in the kitchen in an attempt, he explained after a bit of a trouncing, to make them more susceptible to The Call. After he spilled all the beans, including all the details of the secret ritual going on underneath the church that night, they hog-tied him to a rafter and stuffed a sock in his mouth so his screams wouldn’t keep them awake.
That night LBE and the other out-of-towners made their way up the steep steps to the church at the top of the cliff. Leaving the traders at the main door to guard their rear, they quickly discovered the secret panel behind the altar and made their way down into the dark underbelly. They moved through the first room to a set of double doors, behind which a couple fish men lurked in waiting. As soon as Tusk turned the knob they exploded out, as did two more from other doors in the room. The fight was short but brutal, ending with Tusk riding a fleeing fish man down a windy set of stairs until he was broken all over.
Next they busted into a chamber bisected by a heavy black curtain, filled with yet more fish men! Faces peeked from behind the curtain, throwing spells at the heroes repeatedly until Bonaventure hacked down the curtain, revealing one of the two sorcerers was none other than Alderman Ritter, the cur! It was another long and bloody fight, but in the end Legitimate Business Enterprises, LLP won out.
Behind the curtain lay a dark, depthless pool and a secret door that Rick saw with his keen elven senses. Entering the tunnel beyond, they came to an empty chamber with yet another pool and, going further, the visible side of secret door at the top of some stairs. From beyond voices could be heard, loudly preaching the glories of Melora. Peeking through a crack in the door, Valens made out two enrobed priests behind an altar, four fish men and a number of villagers.
The next few hours were in blur in the minds of the men of Legitimate Business Enterprises, LLP, but they did their best to recant them to me. Tusk and the gang stormed into the altar room. Almost all of Legitimate Business Enterprises, LLP focused their attacks on the younger priest, nearest to the secret entrance. He quickly went down under the fierce attacks while the rest of the group began to tear into the fish men. The congregation of townsfolk began to flee up the stairs through the main entrance. The other priest, seemingly naught but a feeble old man, manages to escape notice while lobbing spells at the men until Valens finally struck him in the arm. The old priests skin slipped away from the wound, revealing the carapaced lobster-esque monstrosity that lurked beneath the guise.
Even after all the fish men had been slain, still the old priest-thing fought, using Melora’s will to blind all of LBE and escape to his chambers, using the pool within to escape further to the pool in the previously curtained chamber where the Alderman died.
The men took a few minutes to regroup and collect Bonaventure, who had fallen in the fight, before making their way back through the hidden shrine, forgoing any further exploration into chambers previously passed over.
Of course, things don’t ever go as smooth as we’d like: The creature and a handful of zealots awaited by the exit up into the church.
“Kill them all!” the creatures hissed to his minions.
Luckily, Legitimate Business Enterprises, LLP were quick to react. Jin and Rick destroyed every last fanatic before they had the chance to even lift their make-shift weaponry.
What followed was a brutal, gruesome fight and one-by-one every member of the group fell, until only Rick remained standing. Summoning every bit of glorious elven majesty, he knocked the second-to-last arrow in his quiver, drew clean to his ear and let fly. The broad head tip shattered the things slimy carapace and pierced its black heart, causing it it…
Ah, sorry. Got a little carried away with the elven majesty, there.
So, Rick slayed the thing as the other out-of-towners rushed down the stairs to investigate and began healing the downed heroes, all of whom were bleeding out onto the cold stone floor.
With everyone back on their feet, the whole group exited the church to another bleak morning. Jin spotted some creeping forms at the base of the cliff they were atop, and all did some creeping of their own to intercept.
The feeble villagers were easily snuck upon and intimidated into revealing that they had come from some caves to pray to Melora for guidance. It was here, they informed Legitimate Business Enterprises, LLP, that the source of Melora’s influence over the town resided.
The group spent the morning locked up in the town jail to avoid the effects of another mournful call. Later in the day, fully rested and feeling somewhat more knowledgeable for their experiences, they mounted an assault on the caves. Unfortunately as the climbed (or fell, in Rick’s case) down the cliffs an assault was mounted against them. An abomination exploded from the waves and leapt to the beach, where some of the men stood, dumbfounded at its appearance. It released a cloud of pheromones that incited rage in the group, causing them to strike at one another while it leapt straight up the twenty-five foot cliff to assault poor Jin. A few of the group climbed back up the cliff to assault the thing and Bonaventure got into position to knock it down off the cliff.
As they hit their stride and started causing some damage, Melora’s Wrath grabbed Tusk and dove into the water, using more pheromones to put him to sleep in an attempt to drown him. Luckily Tusk, being excessively virile, snapped out of the induced sleep and escaped the things grasp as Bonaventure and Valens dove in after him. Jin and Rick began to retreat into the cave in an attempt to get away from pounding surf and clacking claws. The Wrath began to take down the members of LBE until Rick, his armor glistening majestically with salt spray, took a bead on the creature and rapidly sent two arrows whistling through the rain to strike the creature in the shoulder with enough force to spin it to face him, as the second impeccably aimed arrow cracked through the abominations chest. Its putrid innards spilled out into the sea as Rick heroically flicked his long blonde locks out of his eyes…
Where was I? Yes, so Rick slew yet another lobster creature and rushed out to rescue Tusk before he could drown. With a collective sigh they all took shelter from the rain & surf in the cave mouth and listened to the distant sounds of something moving around deeper within…