7 Jan. The dawn blossoms revealing Skizzik to still have a nasty case of demonic flu. However, Ameiko’s ancestor Onoko is able to cure him with a wee bit of magic and, now all up to snuff, we decide to head into the dreaded Well of Demons once more.
On our toes this time, we get down the walkway and into the well without incident. Ignoring the pool of water where the slime demons almost killed Jira, we take a tunnel to the south and find a Tien man in a decorative room. He introduces himself as Shogun Sokai and Skizzik flips through his historical knowledge and remembers hearing about him as a former brutal Shogun of Min Kai.
Curious as ever, Skizzik asks the man what he is doing down in the well. The Shogun tells him that his body and therefore his spirit is not at rest and so he is trapped down here. He suggests that his entrapment is due to a gate up top on the island and asks us to do him the favor of destroying the structure so that he may find rest. He also promises to give Ameiko the blessing of the Takoku family if we comply.
We take some time to confer back out in the hallway and decide to seek a second opinion. Skizzik and Rika fly up and out of the well to talk to Onoko about the gate and she reveals that it is most likely keeping many of the spirits trapped in the well from bursting forth and reeking havoc on the land. While their friends are topside, Jira and Thom strike up a loud conversation to try to compensate for their absence so that Sokai doesn’t become suspicious.
After obtaining the expected news, Rika and Skizzik fly back into the well and reconvene with Thom and Jira to share the unfortunate information. Proposing to try compromise, we enter the Shogun’s chambers once more and bring up his “difficult” neighbors. Although he admits it would be nice if we could dispose of them, he reveals that his neighbors are other spirit-members of the other royal families. Not really seeing a compromise at this point, we break the bad news to the Shogun and he immediately drops his guise. He reveals himself to be a demon in the form of a boar with bat wings protruding from his back. As he exposes himself, the slime demon we failed to kill the day before oozes into existence next to him.
Talking over, Rika whiffs an Enervation ray at the Shogun and he replies by slowing Rika and Thom with a spell. The slime takes heed from his master and slides up to Skizzik so that he can smack him, but Jira maneuvers into position in order to flank the ooze. Not distracted by the slime, Skizzik gives the boar-demon a once-over and determines that he is immune to poison and electricity and resistant to all other elements; a party for sure. With some cold breath, our gnome alchemist hits the slime and the boar.
Not the slightest bit amused, the Shogun dazes Thom, Skizzik and Rika and then completely incapacitates the sorceress by rendering her basically stupid. Simultaneously, Jira is grabbed by the slime and it begins to ooze itself down his throat; an unfortunate taste Jira is all too familiar with.
Pleased by the results of stupefying the girl, the boar-demon then turns and stupefies Skizzik, also rendering him useless. A few feet away, Jira is able to wriggle around enough to loosen the oozes grip on him and, in a purely divine moment, Jira’s deity, Cayden Cailean, speaks to his ward and tells him to smite these fiends. Without hesitation, Jira responds to the directive and bathes his weapons in a holy light that allows him to better injure these demon menaces. Seeing this development, the boar-demon bitch slaps Jira in the face and sends him flying into a wall. While down, the slime demon grabs him once more. No longer dazed, Thom gets into the fight and starts wailing on the slime that is trying to suffocate his friend. Not helping one bit, a stupefied Skizzik begins barking at Thom as Rika proceeds to whack the slime repeatedly with her magical staff. The boar-demon’s laugh echoes around the cavern as we fumble around like idiots.
Thom quickly crushes the beast’s amusement by finishing off the slime demon; much to the relief of Jira’s taste buds. Seizing the moment, Jira turns and charges the Shogun to hit him with his katana. Likewise, Thom tries a charge but is deflected as the demon bitch slaps him into the wall. Jira retaliates with some hits but the boar dazes Thom once more before bitch slapping Jira into unconsciousness. Seeing everyone incapacitated, the demon decides to attend to other matters and “poofs” out of the room very convenient-like.
Thom eventually gets a grip on himself and revives Jira with a potion. They then both carry/escort Rika and Skizzik back up and out of the well and to Onoko and the others. Skizzik and Rika are restored to normal and we all heal up and prepare better before heading back in for more.
Back down in the well, Skizzik barges into the Shogun’s lair and starts flinging bombs at him to reduce his will. Rika steps in and zips an enervation at him to reduce his level as well. Thom charges right up to his face as Skizzik’s will-sapping bombs are flying all around. The boar recovers long enough to daze Rika and Thom once again, but Jira compensates by stepping up and striking him with a few blows. As Jira pounds, Skizzik continues to wail on his wisdom while Thom and Rika try to recover their senses. When she clears up, Rika immediately encases the demon in ice and promptly shatters him into pieces with a magic missile bombardment. Second time’s the charm?
As the Shogun dies, the imaginary scenery of the room fades to reveal nothing more than a bare stone cavern. We loot the corpse, heal our smashers and crack on. To the next cavern!
Directly to the west, we see stalactites and mist but not much else. Tired of this crap however, Skizzik yells into the cavern to any lurkers in Abyssal about doing unfortunate things to their mothers and three large smelly creatures come out to play, enraged by the taunt.
Thom and Jira step forward to battle and Skizzik takes a moment to determine that these are Hezrou Demons who are known for enjoying a good brawl. One of the demons immediately summons a copy of himself and so we’re on equal footing. Rika quickly traps one in an icy prison, rendering it helpless. Skizzik confuses one with bombs as Jira and Thom whiff a few times.
In a bizarre twist, the summoned demon sense weakness from its’ summoner, whom is now trapped in ice. Without hesitation, it coup de gras the helpless Hezrou and sends him straight back from whence he came. Bonus to us! Distracted only for a moment by this, Rika uses some magic missiles to finish off a second one as Thom cuts another one in half. He then joins Jira by getting into the last demon’s face and watches as the half-orc polishes off the last member of the quartet.
We take a moment to heal up our halfling and then venture to the north. Flying or swimming, we traverse the pool with no incident this time and make it to the opposite beach. Ahead is a pathway that slopes upward.
As we make our way, Thom trips, and as he does so, a blade flies out of nowhere, clearly aimed at his neck and chops off a few of the hairs on his head. A lady in a blood-stained kimono with a white mask, claws and horns appears ahead and flies into the air. What follows next is one of the most unfortunate encounters this group has ever been a party to.
Skizzik starts off swinging and temporarily blinds the woman with a bomb and Thom launches a javelin up at her. Unable to see, the woman lands and lashes out at us with a wave of fatigue. Undaunted and feeling particularly vengeful today, Skizzik vomits a swarm of army ants on her to further screw her over. After sticking her to the floor with a tangle foot bag, we watch with mixed feelings of horror and, in Thom’s case, amusement, as the army ants slowly eat at her despite her best efforts to burn them away. Jira shoots some arrows into her to try to speed up the process and Skizzik eventually concedes and finishes her off with an explosive bomb. That poor, poor demon whore.
Not stopping to consider the morality of what we just let transpire, lest Jira be made queasy, we continue on around the corner and come to a tiled courtyard cavern draped with tapestries. As we enter, many winged, fallen-angel looking creatures hover over head clutching flaming bows. To more battle!
Jira opens with a volley of arrows at one of the creatures and Skizzik determines that they are furies, or winged devils. Not appreciating the appraising eye, one of the furies flies over to Skizzik and entangles him in a rope. Rika retaliates by shocking four of them with some lightning. Still not feeling the love, one of the devils shoots some arrows at Rika as two others entangle Jira and Rika with their ropes. Unfazed, Rika fries two of them with some more lightning as they launch into a new and decidedly stupid tactic. They begin to put away their bows and pull out swords as they land on the ground in front of the boys, which puts them into melee range for Thom and Jira. After we make quick work of a few, the remainder teleport away before they’re slain.
Proceeding through the courtyard, we come across a small cliff that houses a cavern on the other side. While Thom must scale it himself, Skizzik, Jira and Rika fly up the face and find the furies that had just fled with a lady in ornate robes. The lady calmly greets us and asks about our presence here in the well. When she hears of Ameiko, she reveals that she is also an Amatatsu and requests to meet our liege to which we promptly reply, “Aw hellz no!” Blundering in to the fight blindly, we commence in yet another battle.
The lady quickly drops some black tentacles on the ground which grab Skizzik, Rika and Jira. The winged furies take the opportunity to pepper us all with arrows as we struggle with our slimy restraints. Free to move because he had to scale the wall, Thom does the best he can though he is outnumbered. The lady wastes no time in grappling Rika further with her head tentacles and then goes so far as to pull Rika under her skirt with some crazy ass leg tentacles! Trapped in a land down under, Rika tries to punch her way out through the bitch’s ovaries but soon finds herself in danger. Skizzik tries to help bomb Rika out but the tentacles do their worst and wring the life out of Rika!
The lady then offers a deal but, too blind with rage, the others refuse and keep on fighting. The furies continuously pepper Thom with arrows and whack him into near unconsciousness. Mustering his remaining strength, Jira manages to land a massive hit on the devil-lady and kills her. However, her tentacles remain to grapple us. In retaliation for their master’s murder, Thom is killed by taking one too many arrows to the face! The situation grim, Skizzik and Jira still struggle but all of the furies remain to do battle until the end. The lights begin to dim on our four heroes as all hope seems to truly be lost once and for all and darkness closes in…
Next time on Jade Regent: Total Party Kerfluffle! Is the resistance truly over? Is all hope for Min Kai lost? Or does one of our more quiet members have it within him to gather more heroes to continue the quest? Find out next time!