Castle Mystery, Part VII: Resistance, Retaliation, Rebirth, and Rescues
Combat ensued, with a number of harrowing close calls. Loopy, at the mercy of the large coral smasher sahuagin, nearly perished on a few occasions but kept getting healed back up. Marret managed to also hold on despite being harried by the malenti woman’s spiritual weapon and a smaller sahuagin. Pistachio attempted to attack with pixie dust, whittling away the malenti scientist’s legendary resistances - but also was knocked unconscious. Aldon dispatched another of the coral smashers and was also able to help stabilize Pistachio.Tarn, meanwhile was unable to escape the stasis pod and was forced into an unwilling sleep. Xinas, in close quarters with the malenti scientist and her bodyguard, managed to get a few hits in but was savagely attacked and killed.
The party’s allies didn’t fare much better, with the little Miss being banished by the malenti. One of the stasis pods along the wall opened and ejected what appeared to be the form of Cithrel, though the party knew that they had parted ways with her the day before. Cithrel then turned hostile at the command of the malenti woman and attacked Solaine, knocking him unconscious again before he was entrapped in a nearby stasis pod.
Xinas felt his spirit detach from his mortal body, but as it was being tugged away he found that rather being drawn back to the astral plane he was instead pulled back to the material plane. He awoke abruptly surrounded by liquid and a blueish fleshy mass. The mass parted and released him out into the same upper tower floor, but he was surprised to see his corpse on the floor some ways in front of him. He looked down at his current form and was surprised to see that he was much closer to the ground, unclothed, and had a gnawing angry hunger in the back of his mind. The malenti scientist turned to him with a grin and spoke to him in the sahuagin tongue, commanding him to dispatch these unwelcome guests. Xinas felt a viscous part of himself rise with bloodlust, but was able to tamp it down and defiantly refused the command - running to reclaim his weapon and gear.
Frustrated and slightly alarmed to see her men falling before her, the malenti woman barked an order in her sahuagin tongue, “We need to fall back!” She left her pool and spoke a word to the ornate golden bowl sitting on the floor, which summoned a water elemental into existence. She commanded it to destroy it all, before starting to flee. Meanwhile, Tarn was freed with the help of Pistachio and Loopy, before shifting into a velociraptor shape. Aldon took a heavy blow from the last remaining coral smasher protecting his fleeing mistress, allowing Xinas to get a number of brutal hits in on the malenti and causing her to drop her concentration on the banish spell holding the little Miss at bay.
As all the hostile creatures fled to the stairwell, the little Miss unleashed a Fireball down the stairs, utterly destroying one of the sahuagin that were fleeing. Pistachio darted through a knot in the wood flooring to the level below. The unleashed water elemental started smashing the floorboards, punching holes in its wake but paying no mind to the party members standing nearby. The last of the coral smashers joined in the attempts to smash the floor, but not before taking attacks of opportunity from Aldon and Tarn (who took a velociraptor chomp out of his rear). His second attack against the floor hit a particularly weak section of the structure, causing the floor to collapse out from under him and him to fall to his death below.
Pistachio pursued the fleeing sahuagin down the well on the tower’s first floor, finding that it led into the shipyard cavern below. They narrowly avoided being grappled by the form of Cithrel, who grasped for them before disappearing into the water again. Xinas warned the group that the tower was becoming unstable and that they should flee before he bolted down the stairs. The rest of the party split efforts to free captives from the stasis pod and to try to bring down the water elemental. Marret freed both a human female and a dwarven female, though the dwarven one fled down one of the holes in the floor to the level below. Loopy and Marret investigated more pods, finding each other’s younger doppelgangers inside. Tarn, on a quest to find his own duplicate, discovered a pod with another dwarven woman inside, another form of Loopy’s mother, and a mini version of Aldon. The little Miss successfully ejected Loopy’s mother from one of the stasis pods before the water elemental landed a final hit on the floor, causing it to begin to collapse out from underneath them…