With the party rested, fully healed, and making quick work of the ogres that were sent out after Synovia made her valiant escape carrying the wounded Vrinn back to the group, it was finally time to set their plans in motion.
Sneaking to the edge of the forest, the last bit of cover before the straight run towards the secret waterfall cave, they reiterated the plan with some modifications to take into consideration that they were down one Black Arrow, Kaven, who had gone missing a few days prior. Doomwing was to cast her illusionary army, and using the ogre’s distraction to their advantage, sneak in through the back door through the caves and take them by surprise.
But Doomwing had something better in mind, with a mighty ear-splitting roar, the diminutive bird summoned forth a mighty dragon that harried the ogres in their keep, causing the brutes to scatter for cover, their javelins hurled in reply always seeming to miss their target every time. With no better distraction than that, the party cast their spells and burst forth out of the trees, a beeline made straight for the cover of the caverns. Synovia scaling the rocky, slippery surface first, Chuffy and Miro used their flight magics while she helped Vrinn and Gulo scale the wall themselves. Vrinn resumed the lead through the tunnels once more, leading them directly towards the secret door in the back of the cave, ignoring the path that lead to deadly mushrooms as much as possible.
Upon reaching the secret door, Vrinn called for silence as he used the magic of his gloves to see into the room, past the door. A lone woman in red sat in the room beyond, reading a book, her chair in the far corner facing the secret door. Wanting to seduce the woman, as he does, he bid the party to await his signal in case of trouble while he used the shadows to enter the room without using the door. The pair had quite a polite chat filled with lies and intrigue, often verbally dancing around the obvious fact of who the other person truly was. Her patience seemed to wane, or interest lost, but whatever the reason she managed to successfully charm the half-elf into following her upstairs, Vrinn reporting that he was on the move via Miro’s message spell cast earlier, letting them know that the room would be safe for them to enter undetected.
The rest of the party, unaware of Vrinn’s subtle mind control, explored the basement level while Chuffy, flying and invisible, trailed after the woman in red who led Vrinn up two more floors of blood filled corridors. Back downstairs, Gulo found the imprisoned Kaven in the basement holding cells, cowed and fearing for his life in the place his band once held securely.
Meanwhile, the woman in red lead Vrinn and unknowingly Chuffy to the mighty ogre Kreeg, offering him up as a delectable morsel. Still under her charmed effect, Vrinn interposed himself between the beautiful woman and the monster, claiming that he would protect her, even as she transformed into a giant snake woman behind him, revealing her true nature, that of a Lamia Matriarch, undoubtedly Xanesha’s sister Lucretia. Steeling himself for combat, the tiny invisible Chuffy letting out an impossibly long, impossibly high pitched squeal along with his mightily volatile bombs, Vrinn was once more subjected to the snake lady’s magic as he was bound in place, making him easy pickings.
Alerted by the sounds of Chuffy’s bombs and Miro able to detect that Vrinn was being magically held, the group raced to catch up as fast as they could, Synovia arriving just in time to see Vrinn fall under the combined attacks of the ogre and the snake. Thinking him lifeless and quite dead, this sent her into a furious rage and charge into the room without a thought for her own safety, cutting deep swathes into each opponents. More ogres flooded the corridors from the other rooms, Miro and Gulo keeping them at bay with precision placed magical spiked pits and bullets roaring down the corridors. All the while Ever trailed behind, pouting that she still seemed to be bound to the material plane, her tether not quite dead yet.
With blood and combat raging all around him, Miro got as close as he could to Vrinn’s fallen body, Synovia still standing over it protectively as she fought back against the serpent, resisting her magics in her fury. Finally with healing magic surging through his body, Vrinn gasped, drawing in breath as the magic forced the blood out of his lungs to be replaced by air, Miro surging with power as he continued casting, one spell flowing into another as Vrinn seemed to blink from existence, joining Ever between dimensions.
Seeing the fight turning against her, Lucretia took the opportunity to cast her own spell, a dimensional doorway taking her out of the fight to safety, and with Synovia and Vrinn now fighting the Kreeg, he was finally slain by the warrior woman, cutting him down and letting him fall into the spiked pit he was straddling.
But, they weren’t done yet. One ogre mage and her bodyguard still remained, and despite spells and ranged attacks hurtled in their direction, they were able to be pit against each other, the mage putting her companion to sleep before turning towards Chuffy, an unsavoury glint in her eye, claiming him as her new toy before he was able to escape her clutches. But with a spiked pit preventing her from escaping the room, the party was able to defeat her without too much more wounds taken, her sleeping companion finished off effortlessly with Synovia’s blade.
The Heroes of Sandpoint now find themselves picking the rooms and bodies clean of treasure while deciding to press the assault or take some time to regroup themselves.