Our day opens with another trip into the Well of Demons. Hopefully we can finish this bitch off once and for all.
Faragel grants us all the ability to fly and we descend into the depths once again. As we make it into the lower level, we spy the boat that sits almost directly below us and decide that a pleasant ride across the water is in order. However, the moment the boat begins to carry us across, a group of frog-like beings emerge from the surrounding water to attack (cause no one saw that coming).
Alban begins the battle by shooting one in the face as they launch acidic spit in his direction. Caiatis surrounds one in an electric trap as another fiend flies up to attack her, because apparently these frog-creatures can also fly. Faragel gets into the fray by attempting to crush one of the creature’s bones as Alban continue to fight off the effects of the sleep-inducing spit.
Caiatis throws a cone of cold at four of the froggies. Meanwhile, Alban kills three of them with some fancy shooting (like shooting frogs in a barrel!). One of the remaining few grabs Titus and they begin to wrestle. Seeing his friend in trouble, Faragel flies over to support Titus with some magic.
On a roll, Alban blasts another one to smithereens while the one under the effects of the electric trap is turned into crispy, crispy frog legs. Upset by his friend’s demise and perhaps scared out of his mind, the remaining creature flips the boat that still holds Alban, but the gunslinger manages to gracefully catch himself instead of being dunked in the water. We then take turns whittling down the last frog-fiend before letting Alban finish him off with relish.
Satisfied that someone down here is going to enjoy a feast of frog legs tonight, we venture off and explore some surprisingly empty caverns nearby. Not stopping to take in the sites, we wander into an occupied cavern and are greeted by a lobster, octopus, human being. He beckons us further in to meet his master: a red-eyed, most definitely evil skeleton dude. He immediately launches into one of the tiresome spiels we’ve heard all too often from the evil-doers in this place and reveals that he represents the Shigamatu family. If one of us would only grant him a potion of our soul, he will happily give us his family’s blessing for Ameiko. Per usual, our answer is a resounding “nope” and we launch into attack.
Alban kills the lobster, octopus, human being before he can even react to what’s happening to show that we mean business. We then take a second to determine that the red-eyed guy is a Thanadae Deamon with the capability to suck souls which he immediately tries to unsuccessfully do on Titus. Not appreciating someone trying to suck out his soul, Titus brings Caiatis along and the two Aasimar’s strike at the fiend with their weapons. Alban then finishes off the weakened ne-er-do-well with his boom stick. Well, that was uneventful, but, hey, no one’s soul got sucked out!
We then move on to explore the last unoccupied cavern in the Well and temporarily rejoice at the fact that we’ve dealt with all the evil in this place. However, as we head back to the main tunnel to fly out, a column of unholy fire juts out from a nearby wall and harms Faragel, Titus and Caiatis. The rejoicing was apparently a bit premature.
Unsure of the source but suspecting that Alban’s ghost-friend is behind this, we fly around the area and buff ourselves up with some magic. Not pleased that his unfriendly ghost pal is still alive, Alban fires blindly in the direction that the fire column originated from and discovers that the rock wall in that area is, in fact, fake. Titus decides to fly over to the wall and begins inspecting it by poking it with the butt of his glaive (there’s a Pathfinder sexual innuendo for you). Faragel attempts to dispel the magic in that general area, but after two failed attempts, suggests that we all just retreat instead.
As we attempt to flee, Alban is hit once more by another death ray and is killed! This guy has it out for the gunslinger and his stick of boomness.
Faragel urges Titus to flee, grabs Alban’s body and teleports it to the edge of the Well; as far as his magic will allow under the Well’s enchantments. We all then manage to make it completely out of the Well, toting Alban’s corpse.
Back at the shrine, Ameiko’s ancestor is able to raise Alban from the dead and puts him back in order. Meanwhile, Faragel and Caiatis have a conversation about the ghost and recall that, in life, he had managed to turn himself into a Lich; however, this does not explain how he is still “alive” in the Well. When Ameiko tries to convene with the spirit’s of her ancestors to secure the remaining blessings needed, she discovers that she is still unable to properly communicate and suggests that this last foe is still thwarting our efforts. Alban, back in the land of the living once more, suggests that this Lich has made two phylacteries for his soul and that is how he has been able to cause us so much trouble. Faragel concedes that this is a plausible theory and we turn to Koya in hopes of discovering one of these items.
After a moment’s preparation, Koya uses her crazy juju magic to determine that there is a phylactery at the bottom of the lake that’s on the way to the Well of Demons. With haste, we head over to the lake and determine that it is about 70 feet deep. Unable to think of a retrieval method at the present time, Faragel suggests that he can prepare something tomorrow that might help and so we decide to rest for the night.
The next morning, Faragel spends the necessary time to prepare for a lake-dive and, once ready, impressively transforms himself into a golden dragon. He then dives into the water and begins his search for the phylactery. However, after two unsuccessful attempts at locating the object, it is Caiatis’ turn to take a crack at it. She turns her body into living ice which negates any worry of drowning and uses a rock as ballast to take her to the lake’s depths. Walking along the lake bottom, she spends some time searching for the object until she locates it at last. Releasing the rock, she floats to the surface, prize in hand.
Supposing that a direct approach might be best here, we allow Alban to shoot at the phylactery until he is able to shatter it, destroying the piece of soul within and lifting the barrier that Ameiko had been facing. (Who had the last laugh now ya ghost bastard?)
Heading back into the shrine, Ameiko spends a few hours in solitude communing with her ancestors and secures the remaining blessings. Having finally accomplished this feat and spending what felt like years on this island, we turn our attention to a task that should surely be much easier to accomplish, right? Over-throwing the Jade Regent and all.
Not wanting to waste any more time, we journey back to the dock and find the boatsman still awaiting our return. As he paddles us back to the city, we notice a plethora of smoke on the horizon and a sense of emptiness pervading the town. Sure that much has happened in our absence, Titus quickly leads us back to Asakai’s house.
After curt introductions are made on behalf of the newest party members, Asakai fills us in on all that has occurred. He tells us that the rebels are poised at the Northern edge of the city to fight the Imperial Army and are attempting to stall a direct confrontation until they receive word that we a making a move for the palace. The Typhoon Guard has also kidnapped some of the townsfolk in a last ditch ransom ploy and are holding them at the palace.
Ameiko then attempts to prepare our group for what is about to quickly unfold. She warns the unfamiliar about the capabilities of Oni and we have Koya imbue Titus’ glaive with acid to help make sure the fiends stay dead. Ameiko then reveals that, every day at dawn, the front gates to the palace grounds open to allow a small market to set up and conduct business. This can perhaps be an entry point for our attack. The palace itself, however, has been under lock down for a few weeks. Up to speed, we take some time to ponder, plan and prepare.
Asakai is able to sneak some merchants in so that we are able to purchase some items we may need for a battle of this proportion. As we prep, a plan formulates and then dies around the idea of dropping a dinosaur onto the palace through a dimension door. Fun as this may sound (and it sounds really damn fun), we worry for the safety of the kidnapped townsfolk if we pursue this course of action. Instead, we opt for a direct approach and decide to simply fly in one of the palace’s windows. Seeing this as the best option, we turn in for the night knowing that it may very well be our last and knowing that tomorrow’s actions will either liberate or doom this nation. No pressure.
While on watch that night, Alban is alerted to the feeling of something moving around in his haversack. The sack opens seemingly of its own accord and the crazy Grave Knight we encountered in the Well of Demons pops out. Apparently, he was attached to some of his treasure we looted from the Well and was able to use his connection to that to come back for some more bloodshed. At this point in time, Alban, Ameiko and some of Asakai’s men are the only ones awake.
Alban immediately shoots this creature that just crawled out of his haversack in the leg, rendering it prone. Seeing this unfold, Ameiko sends a whisper on the wind to try and alert Titus to this startling development. Being roused by the gunshot and the whisper, Titus begins running for the courtyard still in his sleeping trunks.
Back outside, Alban attempts to keep the Grave Knight’s attention diverted from Ameiko and, sensing this, she begins to head for the nearest door away from the attacker. Alban shoots the Grave Knight prone again but the evil being quickly rises and attempts to spray Alban with acid. Deftly dodging the spray, Alban replies to the attack by blasting the Grave Knight into oblivion.
In the immediate aftermath of this ordeal, Asakai quickly tells us the location of a warehouse we can use to avoid the incoming Typhoon Guard (it’s called a “boom” stick for a reason). We quickly assemble and then dash off through the city streets and make it to the warehouse unscathed. As it is still the middle of the night, we resume our rest and await the dawn.
As sunlight spills over the quiet city, we rise and prepare ourselves for the biggest challenge we have yet faced. Steeling our resolve with some really good tea, we leave the warehouse and proceed around the southern edge of the wall surrounding the palace grounds. As we get closer to our destination, Faragel grants us all the ability to fly and we are about to rise over the wall when some guards on top of the palace detect us and launch a volley of arrows. It’s do or die time.
Ignoring the alerted guards, we fly up over the wall and through the nearest window on the top floor of the palace (well that was easier than we thought). We take the next few moments to prepare for the chaos that is following us and use our magical abilities to enhance ourselves (Pathfinder viagra). After a mere breath, eight golden Oni fly through the same window we did and the fight is on!
Six of the attackers are immediately shaken by Caiatis’ Aura of Doom and Alban wastes no time, shooting the two unshaken pursuers, dropping one of them. Faragel then does his thing and blinds a few of them. Already in a rough state, they begin to stumble around to try and attack us. Landing minimal hits, they don’t pose a real threat just yet but Caiatis makes sure by forbidding some of them from attacking.
Sandru steps in to the battle and actually jabs one of them with his scimitar as Alban drops another nearby baddie. Faragel shoots one fiend with an acid orb to prevent his natural regenerative abilities but then pays for it with some hefty blows that bypass his stoneskin. Not to be left out, Titus then uses his glaive to kill two of the Oni with some impressive strikes.
Seeing his partners get mauled by our group, one of the Oni flees out the window he just entered, leaving the rest to our devices. Wanting to make sure no more escape, Alban drops another enemy with his gun before stepping up to drop yet another; only one Oni is left standing. Faragel mops up the dying Oni with acid as Shalelu drops the one still on his feet. We then join our wizard in the great mop fest of whatever the hell year it is.
With haste, we rush down the staircase to our immediate North in our attempt to get to the Jade Regent before all the guards are upon us, and find eight more members of the Typhoon Guard waiting.
Alban launches the attack by injuring one Oni with his boom stick as Sandru steps up to take the creature down. Titus then wails on the nearest one until Alban drops it. Getting creative, Faragel trips up three of them with some slippery grease.
So far, our foes have been rendered useless by our shenanigans and their own inability to hit us (typical action movie bad guy aim). Taking advantage of it, Shalelu drops one with some on-point bow shots just as Caitis’ giant ice elemental summon pops into existence. The Elemental, affectionately named Chilly, goes to town on the Onis.
Alban drops one of the guys Chilly was working on and then sets his sights on one that’s hanging around in the back and brings him to the ground as well. Caiatis coup de gras one of the Oni on the ground to ensure he won’t regenerate and allows her ice elemental to pound the remaining two into near pulp. We then polish off the ones still clinging to life and rid ourselves of eight more guards.
At this point, we can sense we are nearing our target and our hearts collectively pound in our chests as we gather our wits for a charge into the Jade Throne Room….
Next time on Jade Regent: Blood Bath Before Bed…will our heroes succeed in finally liberating the land? Will Alban destroy the Jade Regent in one turn and leave us with an anticlimactic sour taste in our mouths? Do the Jade Regent and his goons have some tricks left up their sleeves? Find out next time as the final battle reaches its’ climax!