I will post the simultaneous battles for the other group as soon as I get chance...
12:00 – 12:01 – The rotting horror manifests fully in the chamber, the air around it thick with droning flies and the stench of putridity. However, it barely has chance to emit its first gurgling roar before it is hacked down by the trio of adventurers; split open by the assassins dark magic and shadowy blades, half burst apart and frozen by a particularly well placed beam of freezing lunar energy thrown by the sorceress, and burned and slashed by the swordmage's ensorcelled blades. It manages to land a leprous blow on the assassin before it goes down, its dark powers rotting a dripping role in his side.
12:01 – 12:06 – with the monster dead, the group turn their thoughts to what to do next. They consider trying to leave the tower via the lift, but quickly decide this would be suicide, due to the warding glyph blazing madly on the door, and the Stone Golems in the corridor outside.
Varracuda examines the wall of invisible energy that forms a barrier between the group and the trap door Rubus dropped down, and concludes that it would take a magnificent (read: lucky) feat of magic to bring it down – and the group quickly realise that other wards undoubtedly await them beyond.
So, they turn their attention to the abeyant portals described by the flowing, rune scribed stonework along the chambers walls. They quickly realise that these portals are linked to fixed locations, and that once opened, could only lead there. None of the party are too keen to enter a portal in this foul mages' office, but faced with certain and possible death, they decide to go for the latter.
It takes some effort to activate the portals, but Seren and Varracuda manage it, using magic components to reconfigure the dormant runes and fire up the nearest portal's magic.
12:07 - With teeth gritted and spells ready, the party enter the portal...
...and enter a place of utter wrongness. They are assaulted by the foul aura of evil and the sights that meet their eyes are seared into their brains for life, for they have stumbled into an orgy – an orgy where the coupling is between the living and the dead.
They are in a crypt, its walls thick with moisture and condensation. Foul suggestive symbols and crude representations of utterly blasphemous acts decorate the desecrated burial chambers walls, whilst, in the sunken middle section lusting forms – alive, dead and undead – writhe and groan in an abominable ecstasy. Shattered bones, tatters of burial shroud and other remnants of the chambers true purpose lie scattered about the place, either destroyed deliberately, or by these atrocious monsters as they slake their abominable lusts.
A single set of double doors on the opposite wall to the one the characters stand by is the only exit, and the clearest way to it – the raised area of the crypt around the celebrant filled lust pit – is watched over by two more horrors.
They are undead humanoids; one male and one female. Both are naked, grossly mummified, and have been painted with the filthy symbols of this cults unknown sponsors. Each monster radiates undiluted malevolence, and appears all the more horrifying as they have thick, blunt nails driven into their eyes, and weep thick trails of sticky black fluid constantly, the vile muck filling their mouths and covering their clawed fingers.
As the group enter the chamber, the celebrants do not notice, being too involved in their depraved lust. The nail-eyed undead however immediately sense them, and at once begin to emit a horrible, soul draining wailing, which shakes the naked, filth-smeared cultists from their exertions and alerts all to the groups arrival.
Panic sets in amongst most of the celebrants and they scramble for the doors, pushing them open (the group spot three armed warriors beyond, though they are pushed back by the wave of fleeing cultists), though four, enraged that their lust has been interrupted, launch themselves towards the three, screaming, their only weapons their fists, knees and teeth!
12:07 – 12:12 – A rapidly more serious battle unfolds. The undead (Wheeps) weaken the resolve of the party, their constant howling and sobbing filling them with despondency and numbing their minds, whilst their filth encrusted teeth and claws deliver a potent necrotoxin. The cultists are easily dispatched, but animated by their rage, hit hard and leap in and out of reach, avoiding direct confrontation with the group.
The group manage to push the monsters back. However, as the tide of fleeing cultist leaving the room wanes, three more foul beings enter the chamber; two warriors dressed in blood spattered leather armour and wielding longswords etched with dark prayers, and a woman clad in slick robes of human flesh, tattooed with incantations of protection and foul power. She screams words of vile magic, swinging a rune carved femur above her head, and grants unlife to some of the corpses in the lust pits, the reanimated cadavers seething with necrotic power.
The trio of adventurers come as close to death as they ever have over the next few moments. Each one of the vile warriors carries five shrunken human heads, filled with corrosive, necrotic slime, and as they advance, they hurl these, covering Seren in mordant filth, then the others. Seren hoses the chamber with magic, slashing at the ritualist and the warriors with fragments of frigid energy, but weakened and wounded, she is quickly overwhelmed by the biting fluids, collapsing by the portal.
The assassin is surrounded by the animated corpses, and plays a deadly game of hide and seek with the new combatants, using the pillars that support the roof as cover, and his ability to teleport to avoid becoming trapped. He does well too, striking down several foes until he too succumbs to the filth within the shrunken heads, and collapses, rotting at an unnaturally accelerated rate.
By this point, one warrior and the magic user remain...
And so it up to Varracuda to finish the job and save his allies. Potions of healing are quickly found on one of the slain warriors, but he is forced to fight for his life as the ritualist uses her dark powers upon him.
However, the ritualist is forced to flee, as she is hit by one of the shrunken heads, torn from the belt of a slain warrior, and sorely wounded by the corrosive slime within, leaving only the last warrior who, insane with hated and sick lust, stalks towards Seren's unconscious form, blade held ready.
“I'm gonna' bleed me that pig” he snarls...
He doesn't get chance. Varracuda leaps past him and forces one of the foul smelling healing potions down Seren's throat. Her blood and slime gummed eyes flicker open, and just as the warrior begins to raise his sword high over the kneeling swordmage and prostrate sorceress, she spits a word of power...
...and incinerates him
12:13 – 12:15 – A potion is used on Jaegar, and the group, battered, terrified and aware that they have many more battles ahead of them yet – though steely with a resolve to push on through – stagger towards the exit...