Session 21:
Unmasked


[JadedDM]: Ruebon 23rd, Seaday; 2 bells.  The party is still taking shelter in the cave as the light rain turns heavy and the air becomes chilled.  Gaheris sits near the cave's mouth, his bow and arrow in his lap, as this is his watch.  Arael is curled up near the back of the cave.  The only sound is the rain outside and the occasional bout of thunder.

[Eskar]: Eskar coughs heavily and makes a growling gargling noise in the back of his throat which must be some combination of disgust and annoyance.

[Jasmin]: Jasmin stretches out a bit as she looks over everyone within the small cave. "So we need to decide what we are going to do."

[Aidan]: Aidan sighs and rubs his eyes as he closes the leather book in his lap, looking around at the others as he pulls his cloak tighter about him.  "I would say we should make a move, but this rain would not be very helpful with that."
[Jasmin]: "Make a move?" Jasmin asks curiously. "What kind of move?"

[Eskar]: Eskar looks over at Jasmin. "I am thinking we should be going back."

[Jasmin]: Jasmin shakes her head, glancing over to Arael. "We can't go back."

[Aidan]: "Well... supposing we could find the Plague, of course, we should try to catch them off guard.  But the rain would hinder us as much as it would them, so I suppose that's not exactly a helpful suggestion."

[Jasmin]: "I don't think even catching them off guard is going to help much. Maybe we can reason with them though."

[Eskar]: Eskar frowns. "We can not be going forward. It is more signs from Renos. Every time we are leaving the city we are blocked by the Lord of Fire. Our job must to be in the city."

[Aidan]: "They weren't all too reasonable the last time we met with them.  And if they are west of us, as Lady Arael said earlier, they would stand between us and the city, anyway."  Aidan sighs again and leans back against the cave wall.

[Jasmin]: Jasmin sighs softly. "Well, I do have that potion that might help make them more reasonable."

[Aidan]: "That's true...  And I might be able to hypnotize a few of them again."

[Jasmin]: "We can't fight them right now though. Not in our condition. Though, we have to make an offer that is appealing to them. I thought about trying using the Bloody Maw in this case. After all, my theory about the Bloody Maw kind of circles around the nobles."

[Eskar]: Eskar shakes his head. "My patron God, Renos, Himself has been stopping us. I am not seeing how we are to be going on."

[Aidan]: "...So you want us to offer to help them attack the nobles?"  Aidan looks to Lady Arael as he says this.

[JadedDM]: Arael stirs in her sleep slightly.

[Jasmin]: Jasmin looks to Eskar with a frown. "We cannot go back to the city with our tails between our legs. Not like last time," she says simply before turning back to Aidan. "In a way, yes. We can say that we need Lord Monet to learn who the Bloody Maw members are."

[Eskar]: Eskar snorts at Jasmin's response, and pops a bit of charcoal into his mouth, crunching it. "I will not be ignoring His guidance for no reason."

[JadedDM]: Gaheris:  "How do we know the Bloody Maw and Vermin Plague aren't working together in the first place?" he asks, finally jumping into the conversation.

[Jasmin]: "Because the Bloody Maw is all about power. The Vermin Plague does not have power, at least not a lot of it."

[JadedDM]: Gaheris:  "They'd have a lot of power if they overthrew the nobles and took their place," he points out.

[Aidan]: "But at least one of the nobles is likely part of the Bloody Maw, and we already know that the Vermin Plague wants to take down the nobles."

[Jasmin]: "If my theory is right, and the nobles are apart of the Bloody Maw then why would the Vermin Plague be trying to take down the nobles if the two are working together?"

[JadedDM]: Gaheris:  "I'm just saying...when Aidan detected that red coin, the Vermin Plague were nearby, too."

[Aidan]: Aidan thinks a moment, and then nods to concede the point. 

[Jasmin]: "It is possible I guess, but I don't think the nobles and the Vermin Plague would be working together.  Though, what other option do we have at this point? I'm not running away again."

[Eskar]: "If we are not running away, there is dieing."

[Jasmin]: "Then we die, Eskar," Jasmin says, looking over to the dwarf. "I'm not letting my friend's husband die because we are too much of...cowards to do even try to help."

[Eskar]: "I am thinking I was wrong to say you could be a leader." Eskar turns from Jasmin to look at a bit of unoccupied cavern.

[Aidan]: Aidan coughs loudly and stretches his legs out before him.

[Jasmin]: "I told you that when you first mentioned it."

[JadedDM]: Gaheris:  "Aidan, do you have any divination spells that can help us figure something out?"

[Aidan]: Aidan looks up at Gaheris.  "What kind of something?"

[JadedDM]: Gaheris:  "At this point, anything would be useful.  As far as we know, the Vermin Plague or the Bloody Maw or someone is out there, waiting for us in ambush."

[Aidan]: "Well, I could try to locate the nearest rat pin or red coin, I suppose."

[Jasmin]: Jasmin looks over to Aidan and Gaheris before she scoots over to Eskar. "What is wrong with you?" she asks softly.

[JadedDM]: Gaheris:  "Just one or the other?"

[Eskar]: The duergar looks at Jasmin, sidelong. "Renos is being clear about not going. We are not in condition to fight. I am knowing when I am beat."

[Aidan]: "Yes.  I'm afraid I spent more time memorizing some offensive spells, rather than more divination spells."  Aidan flips through his spellbook with a pout on his face.

[Jasmin]: "That is why I'm proposing we don't fight." Jasmin sighs softly. "Though, that isn't what I meant. I'm talking about your attitude recently."

[JadedDM]: Gaheris:  "I suppose we should try one, then.  The more we know, the better we can deal with things."

[Aidan]: "Well... which should I try to locate?  We do have Arael, after all, to tell us where some of the Vermin Plague might be.  Do you think the Bloody Maw could be out here, working with them?"

[Eskar]: "It is you. I was thinking you were to be strong. Strong, someone to rely on. I am not thinking so any more."

[JadedDM]: Gaheris:  "They might be.  Jasmin doesn't think they're connected, but the whole thing seems fishy to me."

[Jasmin]: "Just because I'm strong in battle doesn't mean I would make a good leader, Eskar."

[Aidan]: "That's true, but we could just be letting paranoia get to us."

[Eskar]: "You did not even try. You give up. You gave up. But now you will not. I do not even understand you."

[JadedDM]: Gaheris:  "Sometimes a little paranoia helps keep you alive."

[Aidan]: Aidan sighs and resolutely stuffs his spellbook back into a pocket within his cloak.  He stands and draws a small twig from a component pouch as he begins an incantation.

[Jasmin]: "I will not give up because Arael is my friend. I'm going to do anything in my power to help her. Just as I would do anything in my power to help Gaheris, as he is also my friend."

[Eskar]: "I am thinking you have a weird choice in friends."

[JadedDM]:  Almost immediately, Aidan senses the presence of a coin nearby.  It's close, very close.  He cannot pinpoint it exactly, but it's practically on top of him.

[Jasmin]: "Maybe I do, but Gaheris is the better leader. He keeps me out of trouble, or at least he tries to keep me out of trouble. I would lead all of you over a cliff if I thought we could survive." Jasmin smiles faintly.

[Aidan]: Aidan steps away from the cave wall and holds the twig out, turning slowly around the cave.

[Eskar]: Eskar shakes his head. "It is unfortunate."

[JadedDM]:  Aidan moves the twig slowly, passing over Eskar, Jasmin, and finally...Arael.  It's definitely coming from that direction.

[Aidan]: Aidan moves slowly towards the sleeping Arael and moves the twig along the length of her body.

[Jasmin]: Jasmin places her hand on Eskar's shoulder. "Don't be mad at me just because of all of this. I wouldn't be a good leader. Plus, I don't want that responsibility." Jasmin looks from Eskar, to Aidan as his movement catches her attention.

[JadedDM]:  The feeling grows stronger still as he approaches.

[Eskar]: "The damage is being there. I am not liking it." The duergar shrugs her hand off of his shoulder.

[Aidan]: Aidan looks around the cave, and then looks to Gaheris and gestures for him to come closer.

[JadedDM]: Unsure of what the mage is doing, Gaheris gets up and approaches after casting a quick glance behind him to make sure nothing was approaching the cave.  Not that he could see that well in the darkness anyway.

[Jasmin]: "The most I can do is say that I'm sorry, Eskar. Maybe one day you will forgive me." Jasmin quickly kisses his cheek before she stands up to walk over to Gaheris and Aidan simply to see what is going on.

[Aidan]: Aidan whispers to Gaheris as soon as he gets near, gesturing at Arael with his twig.

[Eskar]: Eskar coughs and gets to his feet; he puts his hand on his blade and seems to suddenly be paying attention to events.

[Aidan]: "She has a coin, Gaheris.  This whole thing has to be a trap."

[JadedDM]: Gaheris stares at Aidan a moment, as if trying to comprehend what he was just told.  Thinking things over, he cautiously approaches the sleeping woman, outstretching his hand toward her.

[Jasmin]: "What is going on?" Jasmin asks softly with a frown.

[Aidan]: Aidan turns back towards the others.  "She has a coin," he whispers.

[JadedDM]: Arael's head immediately snaps up when Jasmin speaks, causing Gaheris to freeze.  She glances around at them, confused, but then sits up.  "What's all this?"

[Aidan]: Aidan turns back to Lady Arael immediately.  "We were just about to wake you.  We're ready to move."

[JadedDM]: Arael:  "Move?  Move where?  It's the middle of the night and pouring down rain."  She gets to her feet.

[Jasmin]: Jasmin stares at Aidan in disbelief.

[Aidan]: "That's right, milady.  It will catch the Vermin Plague by surprise."

[JadedDM]: Arael stares at Aidan carefully, as if searching for something on his face.

[JadedDM]:  And suddenly, Aidan can feel her inside his mind...poking around, probing, searching for something...

[Aidan]: Aidan looks casually to Gaheris and Jasmin.

[Jasmin]: Jasmin sighs softly as she looks down to the ground.

[JadedDM]: Arael:  "You have forced my hand now," she says and then suddenly leaps forward, barreling into Gaheris and knocking him to the ground.  A second later, she leaps again, like a grasshopper, off of the surprised thief and into the rain.

[Jasmin]: "I can't....believe this!"

[Aidan]: "Damn!  We should go after her!"  Aidan runs to the entrance of the cave, but looks back at the others before exiting.

[Eskar]: Eskar draws his blade and goes hurtling after the woman. "I was knowing this would happen! Trap!"

[JadedDM]: Gaheris gets up and grunts.  "We need light," he says, hurrying after her.

[Jasmin]: "And do what Aidan?" Jasmin asks as she draws Radiant Star. She gives it a small flick as it starts to light up. "We can't fight her!"

[Aidan]: Aidan pulls a bit of glowing moss from a pouch at his belt, then puts it back as he notices Jasmin's blade.  "I think we can!  She had to have been trying to kill us!"

[JadedDM]: Outside, over the rain, the three hear Gaheris shout out in pain.

[Jasmin]: "Gaheris!" Jasmin cries out as she runs out into the rain.

[Aidan]: Aidan follows after Jasmin, doing his best to stay close to her.

[JadedDM]: Once outside, they spot Arael and Gaheris a few feet from the entrance.  Arael lashes out with her whip, which wraps around Gaheris' leg.  She then pulls it back, forcing him to fall backward into the muck.  Arael then leaps up, fifteen feet into the air, landing on a ledge right over the cave's mouth.  "Impressed?  I owe these magical boots to you guys, after all."

[Eskar]: Instinctively Eskar reaches for his bolas, only to realize he has none. Cursing, the duergar shuts his eyes and concentrates.

[Jasmin]: Jasmin looks up to Arael, obviously looking and feeling betrayed at this point. "Why?" Jasmin asks as she moves to Gaheris' side.

[Aidan]: Aidan pulls a dark leaf from a pouch and begins to chant.

[JadedDM]: Aidan's spell does not seem to have any visible effect on Arael.  She laughs.  "I am protected by the Death God," she taunts.  "Do you think your feeble magic can touch me?"

[Eskar]: Eskar's form goes blurry, and then disappears altogether.

[Aidan]: "My feeble magic gave you away, didn't it?  I can see just how potent your protection is."

[JadedDM]: Arael:  "A little late for that, though, isn't it?  I led you here, away from the city, didn't I?"

[Jasmin]: "You led us out here to get killed. You used me to learn more about all of us."

[JadedDM]: Arael:  "That's right, Jasmin.  They chose me, Number Five, to investigate you.  I was to find your weaknesses, while Number Four continued Santeria's work."

[Eskar]: "That is happening a lot Jasmin. I am thinking you should find new friends." Eskar's voice sounds as if it's moving.

[JadedDM]: Gaheris:  "What about Lord Airlen?"

[JadedDM]: Arael:  "He's dead all ready.  That was just an excuse to get you out here.  Come on!  Magical wedding rings that only work if I use them?  I can't believe you bought that!"

[Aidan]: Aidan pulls a piece of plate mail from a pouch and chants something as he waves it about him in a fist.

[Jasmin]: "So you know our weaknesses now. At least, you know what my weaknesses are. Do you know the others though?"

[Aidan]: "To be fair, I thought you were crazy, you hag."

[JadedDM]: Arael:  "I know enough.  You have no idea the depth of my investigation.  I can read minds, and control them.  What I could not get from you, I found out from your close friends and relatives.  And by my own spying."  She waves her hand over her necklace, and her form blurs and contorts.  When the change is over, she has forest green skin, black eyes, three fingers on each hand, and a black horn protruding from her forehead.  "My real name is Lilah."

[Eskar]: (Eskar Enlarges)

[Jasmin]: "Yeah, you probably didn't get much from my relatives considering they don't even know me."

[JadedDM]: Gaheris looks to Aidan.  "That red coin you sensed at the ball..."

[Eskar]: (She out of reach I take it?)

[Aidan]: Aidan looks as if he's about to taunt her again, but stops for a moment, considering.

[JadedDM]: Arael:  "I know you would be more valuable to us alive than dead, Jasmin.  I really do like you, you know.  That wasn't a lie.  I don't want to kill you.  I have been trying to put it off, but Number One has grown impatient.  But...if you agree to join us...become my personal bodyguard, Jasmin.  Then you can be spared."

[JadedDM]:  (Yes.  She's on a ledge 15 feet from the ground.)

[Jasmin]: "What about the others?"

[Eskar]: (No way to get up?)

[JadedDM]: Arael:  "They mean nothing to me."

[JadedDM]:  (Just by climbing.)

[Jasmin]: "But they mean something to me. You know that!"

[Eskar]: (That gonna break invis or anything?)

[JadedDM]:  (That, by itself, shouldn't break the invisibility, no.)

[Eskar]: (Does he have enough room to climb up behind her without her noticing?)

[JadedDM]: Arael:  "You have no choice!  You're all wounded by those worgs I summoned.  I can finish you off without breaking the sweat.  I have as much power as the Nightmaster.  But whereas he restores life, I can take it away."

[JadedDM]:  (Yes, assuming he can successfully climb up at all and doesn't make too much noise.)

[Eskar]: Eskar attempts to climb the cliff up behind the offender.

[Jasmin]: Jasmin looks to Aidan and Gaheris. From the look on her face, she seems to know this to be the truth. "I want the others spared."

[JadedDM]: Lilah:  "Number One won't tolerate that!  He wants you out of the way for good.  I can try and vouch for you, Jasmin, but that's it."

[JadedDM]:  (Need a d100 for a climbing check.)

[Eskar]: [1d100] => [46] = (46)

[Jasmin]: "They are nothing without me, Arael. They would be out of the way."

[JadedDM]:  (Fail.)

[Eskar]: (Break invis?)

[JadedDM]:  (No.)

[Eskar]: Eskar frowns and lurks near the cave mouth.

[JadedDM]: Lilah:  "You are not in a position to bargain.  I have been granted immortality by Kulak.  Even if you were at your peak, you could not kill me."  She frowns darkly.  "That was my gift for my sacrifice.  To escape death.  We're not all so brave to face it like you, Jasmin."

[JadedDM]: Gaheris inches over to Aidan.  "Any ideas?" he whispers.

[Jasmin]: "I don't think I'm so brave if I'm considering joining you."

[Aidan]: Aidan keeps his hands free, watching the exchange between Lilah and Jasmin.  "Not if she can't die."

[JadedDM]: Lilah:  "This all could have been avoided, you know...if only you had kept your noses out of things, like the Tainted Hands."

[Jasmin]: Jasmin absently shakes her head, glancing to Aidan and Gaheris. "What exactly are you waiting for?" she asks the demon.

[JadedDM]: Lilah:  "So you choose death?"

[Jasmin]: "Would simply killing me spare the others at all?" Jasmin asks.

[JadedDM]: Lilah:  "No."

[Jasmin]: "There really is no way around this?"

[JadedDM]: Lilah:  "Make your choice.  Now!"

[Aidan]: "How about you enlighten us, at least?  What is it the Tainted Hands kept their noses out of, because I'm afraid I'm a little new to this whole thing and don't really know why you people have been hounding us."

[JadedDM]: Lilah smirks.  "Ah, the diviner.  Or supposedly, as you seem fairly ignorant for a person who has dedicated his life to knowledge."  She crosses her arms.  "I am talking about opening the Bloody Maw, the gateway to the Abyss, and sucking this city and everyone in it into hell."

[Eskar]: Eskar removes his backpack and places it inside the cave, then tries to climb the cliff again.

[Aidan]: "I see.  It seems like that would accomplish so much, getting rid of an ugly little mining town like Voxis."

[JadedDM]:  (That is insufficient to lower his encumbrance.)

[JadedDM]: Lilah:  "I do not question my orders, I simply carry them out.  I don't know what the significance of Voxis is, only that Number One believes it is important."

[Aidan]: "And yet you say you can read minds."

[Eskar]: (He'll remove his belt pouches too)

[JadedDM]: Lilah:  "Number One's mind is well protected.  But even if it weren't, I'd fear to glance into such a powerful mind."  She shudders at the thought.

[JadedDM]:  (All right.  Roll another d100.)

[Eskar]: [1d100] => [31] = (31)

[JadedDM]:  (Fail.)

[Jasmin]: Jasmin sighs as she listens to all of this.

[Aidan]: "So you read minds, you 'investigated' all of us, and you want to see Voxis sink into hell.  And what about the Tainted Hands?"

[JadedDM]: Lilah:  "As long as they leave us alone, we are content to leave them alone.  And they know that."

[Eskar]: Eskar sulks and commits himself to waiting by the base of the cave.

[Aidan]: "And what all happened so that they know this?"

[Jasmin]: Jasmin glances to Aidan curiously.

[JadedDM]: Lilah:  "I managed to control their minds easily enough."

[Jasmin]: "Is that why they wanted me to join them so badly?" Jasmin asks. "Or was that of their own doing?"

[JadedDM]: Lilah:  "I thought if I could convince you to join them, then it would be a loophole from destroying you.  I was ordered to destroy the Shadow Bats...but if you were no longer a member of the Shadow Bats..."

[Aidan]: "Just how far does your manipulation go?"

[JadedDM]: Lilah:  "Do you think it was coincidence I 'ran into' Jasmin that day she was looking for someone to teach her to use a whip?  Or how about when I asked you go get these boots for me?  A perfect chance to follow you, invisibly, to see how you fare in battle."

[Aidan]: Aidan prods Gaheris with an elbow.  "And from there?  What about your 'investigations'?"

[JadedDM]: Gaheris glances to Aidan, confused.

[JadedDM]: Lilah:  "The dwarf was a problem, since he was from out of town.  And you, mage...your mind was never very easy to probe.  But it was simple enough to get information on Jasmin, Gaheris, and the hobgoblin.  Although it appears he decided to lie-low and keep out of the way.  Smart of him, don't you think?"

[Jasmin]: "Why did you follow us when we went after the fire lizard?"

[JadedDM]: Lilah:  "Further analysis on how well you fought together.  I needed to make sure not to underestimate you like Santeria did."

[Aidan]: Aidan rolls his eyes at Gaheris and nods at the demon's position above the cave as he speaks.  "And yet we got the better of you, then."

[JadedDM]: Lilah:  "I admit, I was too careless then.  But I took special care to avoid being seen after that.  Like the day you went off to Vassus.  Or tried to..."

[JadedDM]: Gaheris looks down at his bow, then back to Aidan.

[Jasmin]: "I'm sure you enjoyed that day."

[Aidan]: Aidan nods as he keeps his eyes on Lilah.  "Did you summon those wolves, too?"

[JadedDM]: Lilah:  "It was then I learned that against a pack of organized enemies, you were not so effective.  That's why I brought you here, and summoned those worgs.  I thought they would finish you off for me, at first.  But you just barely made it."

[JadedDM]: Moving subtlety, Gaheris draws out an arrow and nocks on his bow.  He hesitates.

[Aidan]: "I guess we're just stubborn like that," Aidan says, reaching for a pouch at his waist.

[JadedDM]: Gaheris mutters a prayer to Shadowbite and then quickly fires.  Despite the darkness and the rain, the Shadow God seems to favor him this night.  The arrow strikes her in the shoulder, causing her to scream out in surprise and pain.

[Aidan]: Aidan clutches a bit of glowing moss and mutters a few short words.

[JadedDM]: Light bursts nearby Lilah, illuminating the area she's standing on.  Her face contorts into a feral snarl and she rips the arrow from her shoulder and hurls it down on the ground.  "You'll be the first to die, street rat!" she screams.  She places a hand on the black sun emblem burned into her chest and begins to pray.

[JadedDM]: (Actions?)

[Aidan]: Aidan begins to cast a spell.

[Jasmin]: Jasmin takes hold of the whip at her side, and snaps it towards Lilah hoping to wrap the whip around her foot to bring her down.

[Aidan]: [1d10] => [5] = (5)

[Eskar]: Eskar shouts out from somewhere near the cave. "Run inside!"  He lingers by the mouth of the cave.

[Eskar]: [1d10] => [9] = (9)

[Jasmin]: [1d10] -> [6] = (6)

[JadedDM]: Aidan's turn.

[Aidan]: Aidan throws out a hand, contorts its fingers and shouts an unfamiliar word. 

[Aidan]: [3d4+3] => [4,4,3,3] = (14)

[Aidan]: Three bolts of energy erupt from his fingertips, pounding into Lilah's chest, though she barely moves.  She does, however, remove her hand from her chest and look up from her prayer.

[JadedDM]: Lilah:  "Kulak, hear my pleas.  Bind their feet to the ground, and let them--aggh!" she screams in frustrating at losing her concentration.  "You're next, mage!"

[JadedDM]: Gaheris' turn.

[JadedDM]: Shadowbite must have heard Gaheris' whispered prayer, because despite the heavy rain his aim has never been truer.  The arrow strikes her right in the chest, knocking her backward a moment.

[JadedDM]: Eskar's turn.

[Eskar]: He just sits where he is.

[JadedDM]: Jasmin's turn.

[Jasmin]: [1d20-4] -> [11,-4] = (7)

[Jasmin]: Jasmin runs forward, and snaps the whip that Arael taught her how to use up towards the demon. Despite the rain and how weak Jasmin is, the whip wraps around the demon's ankle. Jasmin then yanks the whip forward to bring Lilah off the ledge.

[JadedDM]: Lilah, still a bit stunned from the arrow, is caught off guard.  She's pulled down off the ledge and hits the muddy ground below with a groan.

[JadedDM]: Lilah's turn.

[JadedDM]: Lilah's prayer was interrupted, plus she is stunned and prone this round.  She does nothing.

[JadedDM]: Gaheris' turn.

[JadedDM]: Gaheris fires another arrow quickly.  This one strikes her thigh, but she doesn't seem to notice as she manages to stand up.

[JadedDM]: (Actions for Round 2?)

[Jasmin]: Jasmin puts the whip away, and pulls out two of her throwing knives from her pack to toss at Lilah.

[Eskar]: Eskar leaps onto Lilah to tackle her to the ground.

[Eskar]: [1d10] => [8] = (8)

[Jasmin]: [1d10] -> [1] = (1)

[Aidan]: Aidan prepares to attempt to use his quarterstaff.

[Aidan]: [1d10] => [2] = (2)

[JadedDM]: Jasmin's turn.

[Jasmin]: [1d20] -> [8] = (8)

[Jasmin]: [1d3] -> [2] = (2)

[Jasmin]: Jasmin gives her first knife a twirl between her fingers before she steps forward and throws the knife towards Lilah. The knife hits her squarely in the shoulder causing her to scream out.

[JadedDM]: Aidan's turn.

[Aidan]: [1d20] => [3] = (3)

[Aidan]: Aidan moves to swing his staff at Lilah, but the rain keeps him from aiming properly.

[JadedDM]: Gaheris' turn.

[JadedDM]: Gaheris fires another arrow, and this one grazes her face before slamming into the rock wall behind her.

[JadedDM]: Eskar's turn.

[Eskar]: [1d20-1] => [17,-1] = (16)

[Eskar]: A very giant Eskar comes hurtling out of nowhere from behind Lilah, slamming her face first into the ground. He has her pinned into the mud.

[JadedDM]: Lilah spits out some mud as she thrashes wildly under Eskar's bulk.

[Jasmin]: "Keep hold of her, Eskar," Jasmin calls out as she pulls out Radiant Star. She moves forward with her sword in hand, and places it against the back of Lilah's neck. "Are you truly immortal?"

[JadedDM]: Lilah:  "I cannot be killed!  My spirit is bound to my icon!"

[Jasmin]: "It doesn't stop me from trying to cut it out. I'm sure you'll suffer a great amount of pain in the process, too."

[Eskar]: Eskar keeps Lilah pinned down as best he can.

[Aidan]: Aidan looks surprised.

[JadedDM]: Lilah:  "Dwarf....get off of me!" she commands.  Eskar can feel her inside his mind, trying to force him to obey.

[Eskar]: [1d20] => [15] = (15)

[Eskar]: Eskar grits his teeth and growls. "Not my mind! I am strong."

[Jasmin]: "Turn her over, Eskar. Aidan, try to keep her silent."

[Eskar]: Eskar shakes his head. "Not risk it."

[Aidan]: Aidan steps forward and crouches down, looking the woman directly in the eyes.  He waves a hand slowly back and forth before her and says a few words with the same rhythm.  "I think you'd like to think about the ground, Lilah."

[JadedDM]: Lilah's eyes seem to glaze over and she ceases resistance.

[Jasmin]: Jasmin looks upon Aidan in confusion. "How long will that last?"

[Aidan]: "Not very long at all.  Do whatever you need to do now."

[Eskar]: "Ask her how we are to kill her and to get to her leader."

[Jasmin]: "We aren't ready for her leader yet, but you could ask her who they all are."

[Aidan]: "This spell doesn't exactly work like that, but...."  Aidan looks Lilah in the eyes again and says, "Who else is part of the Bloody Maw?"

[JadedDM]: Lilah does not respond.  She is busy thinking about the ground.

[Aidan]: Aidan shrugs.  "Check her for anything we could use to find more of them, I suppose."

[JadedDM]: Gaheris:  "What are we supposed to do with her, though?  Tie her up?"

[Jasmin]: "She'll be able to get away like she did last time. We need to destroy the symbol on her chest."  She looks to the others. "Eskar, turn her over so I can at least try."

[Aidan]: "Is that how you killed the other one?"

[Jasmin]: "The other one wasn't immortal."

[Eskar]: After much deliberation, the duergar turns her over.

[JadedDM]: Lilah does not resist.

[Eskar]: Eskar gives Jasmin the shot she needs, and lets go of Lilah altogether.

[Jasmin]: Once Lilah is turned over, Jasmin positions Radiant Star over the symbol in her chest. Her hands actually seem to shake a bit as she looks down upon the demon. "Not Arael," she mutters to herself over and over again as she brings the sword down with all of her might.

[Eskar]: Eskar looks away.

[JadedDM]: The metal of the sword comes into contact with the metal of the icon, and there is a flash of black light.  Pure dark energy courses through the sword and Jasmin, shocking her.  A thousand images assault her mind, and then she is thrown backward ten feet into the mud, her entire body racked with pain.

[Aidan]: Aidan looks back to where Jasmin fell, but remains where he was to check on Lilah.

[Jasmin]: Jasmin cries out as she hits the ground. Slowly, she curls up in a ball as she tries to overcome the pain.

[JadedDM]: Lilah shudders and twitches, obviously in pain, as well.  However, the icon on her chest remains unharmed.

[JadedDM]: Gaheris hurries over to check on Jasmin.  "What happened?"

[Aidan]: Aidan raises an eyebrow, gesturing for Eskar to keep an eye on her as he runs to see Jasmin.

[Eskar]: Eskar looks over at the ruin that presumably was Lilah.

[JadedDM]: Lilah seems perfectly unharmed, physically.  The glazed look in her eyes begins to fade.

[Eskar]: The duergar jumps back on top of the foe.

[Jasmin]: Jasmin groans, holding her head as she tries to sort out all that happened. "She's a tiefling," Jasmin mutters.

[JadedDM]: Gaheris:  "What?  A halfling?" he asks, bewildered as he helps her up.

[JadedDM]: Lilah screams and begins to struggle under Eskar once again.

[Jasmin]: "A tiefling. She's not from our plane of existence."

[JadedDM]: Gaheris blinks, not understanding.  He looks to Aidan.

[Eskar]: Eskar stares down at Lilah. "Stop."

[Aidan]: "And she's part demon, I think," Aidan mutters as he looks back to Lilah.  "I don't suppose you saw anything about that information we were trying to get from her?  Or maybe how to get rid of her?"

[Jasmin]: Jasmin shakes her head no to Aidan. "She sold her soul to Kulak because she feared death so much."

[JadedDM]: Lilah ceases struggling, but instead begins to weep softly.

[JadedDM]: Gaheris flinches at Jasmin.  "Don't say that name!  By Shadowbite, the last thing we need is for Him to come after us."

[Eskar]: Eskar stares at her impassively. "I am thinking you should not have attacked us. It is needless. You should be letting us be."

[Jasmin]: "He is all ready after us, Gaheris. Isn't that obvious now?" Jasmin moves over to Lilah, and kneels down beside her.

[JadedDM]: Lilah:  "I've failed, I've failed," she sobs.  "He's going to be so angry..."

[Eskar]: "I am thinking you are probably going to be dead."

[Jasmin]: "It is time for you to be brave, Lilah."

[Aidan]: Aidan looks to Gaheris.  "We can't just let her go...can we?"

[JadedDM]: A black, inky portal opens up at the mouth of the cave.  Snake-like tendrils begin to emerge from it, wiggling back and forth slowly.  Lilah begins to struggle again.  "No!  Noooo!  Please, have mercy!"

[JadedDM]: Gaheris backs away from the portal and draws another arrow.  "I think it wants her."

[Aidan]: "Oh."  Aidan watches nervously, taking a few steps back.

[Jasmin]: Jasmin backs away from the portal, her eyes wide as she watches silently.

[Eskar]: Eskar keeps her pinned.

[JadedDM]: Gaheris:  "I say, let it have her.  Maybe then they'll leave us alone."

[Jasmin]: "They'll keep coming," Jasmin mutters as she tears her eyes away from the scene.

[Aidan]: "I doubt that, but I'm sure it wouldn't be good to keep her from it."

[JadedDM]: Lilah:  "Jasmin!  Jasmin, please!  We were friends!  You don't know what he's capable of!  The pain he can cause...please!" she begs, her black eyes full of tears.

[Eskar]: The duergar shakes his head. "I am learning that evil is coming back even if you are letting it live and being nice."

[Jasmin]: Jasmin closes her eyes tightly as if she was trying to block out Lilah. "You placed yourself on this path, Lilah. You knew the consequences if you failed."

[JadedDM]: Something emerges from the portal.  The creature looks like a tall, slender humanoid with small bat-like wings and a body composed of darkness.  Both the long fingers and slender toes of the creature end in terrible claws.

[JadedDM]: Lilah cries out, apparently terrified of the creature.

[Eskar]: Eskar moves off of Lilah and well out of the way, watching.

[Jasmin]: Jasmin's eyes open wide upon hearing the terrified scream. She looks upon the creature, and literally falls back on her behind. "What is that?"

[Aidan]: Aidan continues to step back, speechless as he stares at the creature.

[JadedDM]: The creature steps forward and casts a cautious glance at the wounded mortals around him.  Apparently deciding they are not a threat, its arm snaps forward and grabs Lilah's leg before she can get up.  It begins to drag her back to the portal.

[JadedDM]: Lilah screams at the top of her lungs, her three-fingered hands clawing in the mud as she tries in vain to get away.  "Jasmin!  JASMIN!" she begs, frantic.

[Eskar]: Eskar turns his back on the scene.

[Jasmin]: Jasmin winces, tears actually forming in her eyes. Without much of a thought, she moves forward to take hold of Lilah's hand even though she knows it won't help. "I'm...sorry."

[JadedDM]: The shadow fiend returns to the portal, dragging Lilah in with her.  She grasps Jasmin's hand with all her might, but the fiend is too strong.  It pulls her in.  Her screams are suddenly cut off.  The portal closes, and the only sound is the rain splashing into the mud.

[Aidan]: "I don't think we should have just let it have her."  Aidan takes a few cautious steps forward.

[Jasmin]: Jasmin stares down into the mud once the portal closes. She looks horrified, yet she doesn't look as if she is going to be moving anytime soon.

[JadedDM]: Gaheris:  "I wasn't about to pick a fight with that...thing.  Not for the sake of someone who just tried to kill us."

[Eskar]: Eskar turns back to go into the cave and get the things he left in there.

[Aidan]: "Of course we couldn't really do anything about that... but I don't think it was... in our best interests."

[JadedDM]: Gaheris:  "If we're lucky, that's the last we'll ever see of her."

[Aidan]: "If we're lucky," Aidan repeats.

[Jasmin]: Jasmin wipes at her eyes before she picks up Radiant Star, and pushes herself up slowly.

[Eskar]: The duergar returns to the scene and pats Jasmin on the shoulder blade before starting back towards town, in a contemplative reverie.

[JadedDM]: Gaheris:  "Well, I guess this means they're leaving us alone for now.  Let's get some rest and then try and get the hell out of here in the morning."

[Eskar]: Eskar pauses. "You are wanting to spend the night here?"

[Jasmin]: Quietly, Jasmin heads back to the cave that they were spending the night in, in the first place.

[Eskar]: The grey dwarf shrugs and heads back to the cave instead.

[JadedDM]: Gaheris:  "It'll be dawn in a few hours.  This place has a reputation for roaming hordes of undead.  Yeah, given the choice, I'd rather travel in daylight."

[Aidan]: Aidan follows Eskar into the cave, though he sits against the cave wall and pulls out his spellbook instead of sleeping.

[JadedDM]: (Okay, we'll call it a night here.)

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