It turned out to be a rough morning with most of the party suffering, to one degree or another, from the mysterious pox. By lunch time, most of the guys were up and about with only Kriv still abed and feeling lousy with sores over roughly 10% of his body. (Lose 1 healing surge.) Orin had no sympathy though and got Kriv up so the party could go and do.
Meanwhile, Reef had met a fellow from the village of Clearwater in the Witchlight Fens. This fellow, Gander, had come in search of aid, having heard of a band of adventurers who slew the Bullywugs in Toadwallow Marsh. It turns out that the Clearwater, Treewater, and the Witchlight Hermitage were in grave peril. Gander explained that the Brackmarsh Lizardfolk, servants of the dragon, Shadowmire, and several other Lizardfolk clans were vying for territory. The Brackmarsh had decided it was time to get the settlers out of the Fens, especially those at the Hermitage. Raids were becoming more frequent and the Brackmarsh were becoming bolder and more dangerous. Several villages have been abandoned already with the evicted settlers either dead or scattered. Some were now refugees at Treewater, but based on where the Brackmarsh have been raiding, Treewater might well be next.
Orin gave Gander the money for meals and a room and said they would discuss this later, after the man had taken some rest.
Someone finally figured out that the worst of the pox from the morning was around the bite’s they had received from the demons the night before.
While the party lunched in the main dining hall, a pair of adventurers entered looking for Kriv. Phalanx, it turns out, was at the monastery where Kriv was raised. Alas, Kriv had no recollection of Phalanx at all. Nevertheless, after much discussion, it was decided that Phalanx and Garo could work with the party on one mission to see if the new recruits were nothing but a lot of talk and a badge.
Once the party got moving, they headed directly for the cave the Abyssal Plague Demons were coming from.
Without a lot of fanfare, they strode into the cave where they came face to face with a young Bloodfire Harpy. The Harpy immediately attacked, swooping in and blinding and burning several people with a cloud of hot ash. Alphazar fought back and then 3 young Harpies (regular) swooped down Screeching a thunderous scream that crushed the body and mind of its victims, dazing some.
Thankfully, all the tanks were well positioned to take the brunt of these attacks, and though he was blind and dazed, Phalanx rallied valiantly, soaking up damage left and right, earning himself the title of Meat Shield.
The battle was a hard one. Thankfully, the young Harpies were acting like bunch of foolish school girls, and the Bloodfire Harpy had not come into her namesake yet. Even so, it was a hard fought battle as the Harpy’s screeched and sang. A couple of Spiny Devils joined the fray, tossing their spines into the crowd, and then thought better of it, slinking back into the shadows.
Alphazar and Orin engaged them when all the Harpies were dead. Alphazar misjudged an attach and almost got himself killed, but by then, Kriv and Meat Shield Phalanx were there to help and short work was made of the Spiny Devils.
A search of the cave found a fiery circle hanging in the air — a portal to the Abyss. As the party recuperated, studied the portal and decided what to do, Reef explored the cave edges and found the Harpy’s nest. Amid the refuse and the other nesting materials, Reef found a small hoard of gold and silver, with some pretty things (gems and artifacts) thrown in for good measure.
Back at the Portal, Kriv and Phalanx stepped through, finding themselves in the middle of a black-as-coal island amid a burning sea of fire. On the island were several Spiny Devils, one of whom noticed the intruders. Turning, Kriv and Phalanx saw a gold hoop suspended by some strange device, and in the center of the hoop was the portal. They jumped through to get away from the spiny devil.
Back in the cave, they watched Alphazar step through. Expecting him to jump right back, they waited and discussed what they had seen and how to close the portal.
On the other side, Alphazar had stepped through and was face to face with an angry Spiny Devil. They traded blows for a few rounds, with Alphazar almost falling, but thanks to his new race’s abilities, he was only dazed, which let him strike back at the Devil one more time, killing it.
After waiting as long as they dared, Kriv and Orin stepped through pushing Phalanx ahead of them, to find Alphazar standing over the corpse of the Spiny Devil that spotted them earlier. Looking around for other danger, they saw another Spiny devil, but as they drew weapons, it turned and flew off the island, leaving them on this barren stretch of rock with nothing but the golden hoop contraption to amuse themselves with.
3 x 500gp gems
4 x 100gp gems
2 x 80gp gems
340gp + 800sp
250gp golden chalice
120gp silver chandelier
Lvl 7 magic item
Alphazar: 250 for Spiny Devil solo’d
All: 206 ea.