Field report from Tefya, Paladin, currently in the field approaching the House of the Beast.

Apologies for the brusque nature of this report but current activities have left me little time for writing.

Following on from the previous report, we approached the passageway that we had been directed to by Lissar. At first the fire snake thing tries to tell us that the way through to him is not accessible this way but we recall his own words to him and gain access. It seems more and more likely that Lissar is not to be trusted.

Lissar’s main concern appears to be that Thrapniss is dead but the giant electrical spear we claimed off the body serves as enough proof. We make our way towards the chimney which is a promised exit route from the House of the Beast, feeding some small bits of information regarding the gnolls, a tribe of Rovagug-worshipping Troglodytes nearby.

He draws a symbol in what almost seems to be fire on a piece of parchment and advises us to look for that symbol once in the House of the Beast as it will lead us to the exit route. Once there, we can press a pressure plate which will open a door back into this cavern complex. No-one in the House of the Beast currently should know about the secret exit.

He advised us to approach the House of the Temple from the Northern, least-guarded side rather than the East to avoid detection.

Because of our general mistrust of Lissar, we decided to check out the passageway outsides. It became narrower and narrower and required a climb which some of my companions managed with easy though I struggle some myself (See: Appendix T1 regarding the unfortunate limiting properties of our armour). At the top of the passageway, it appears something weird had happened to the air and just breathing it in was enough to cause a person to pass out (something that I am glad we found out before trying to make an urgent escape).

I’m not entirely sure how Qusai resolved this as he was the only member of the party still conscious but I did wake up to a loud boom noise and a burning smell in the air. We found the remains of a halfling that Lissar had mentioned as a previous explorer, unfortunately the body seemed rather singed and his effects (a cloak and what looked a bit like a shotgun). There was a pouch of pellets that Qusai has got now for future shooting.

We found some lines on a wall that would seem to indicate that Lissar was telling the truth there and there will be a door. Tillous took some sensible steps to secure the passageway back down using ropes and climbing pitons. Even I managed to clamber down safely (See: Appendix T2 regarding climbing in armour and it’s shortfalls and sometimes long falls).

We returned to the village to great applause and a generous donation to our mission from the Mayor, some of which I returned to him for improvements to the village. We had a feast which seemed to be mostly goat, I guess vegetables don’t grow that well up here.

The next morning we set off up the mountain and after a good hike, we reached a large complex with domes and minarets and an easily visible eastern gate as well as several places where the walls have collapsed. There was no sign of any movement from inside.

Mistrusting Lissar, we decided not to approach either the North or the Eastern gate however Tillous locates a gap in the wall and sneaks through. The place inside looks like it might have once been beautiful but has now fallen into deep dis-repair. Tillous catches the sound of some barks in the distance but not the direction.

We follow Tillous steathily into the structure. Well, I attempt to follow steathily but erm (See: Appendix T3 regarding the fact that armour is really not bloody stealthy!) end up attracting some of the guards to our location. We attempt to hide behind a pillar but the gnolls seem to spot us quite easily. The attacking force is two gnolls, riding upon a pair of very large hyenas.

Our first volley of attack does not go too well! Kiva clambers up a pillar with a sensible strategy to fire bomb from above but the bomb slides out of her hand. Tillous attempts to use his short bow but it appears he has not been practicing as the arrow just kinda falls off the bow. I make a valiant attempt to hit the hyena but it hops out of the way. Qusai is the only person to actual land a shot against the hyena’s shoulder.

carrion-guard(Content warning for sensitive members of the church of Sarenrae). It appears the gnolls have come up with ‘interesting’ weapon as one of them lobbed what turned out to be a grizzled human head, hollowed out and full of stinging vermin. I can not ably describe just how disgusting it was but I did manage to hold my fortitide and not vomit everywhere but it was a challenge. The gnolls here seemed to have many of these things to use as weaponry which suggests some horrific acts have been going on.

Fortunately the battle turned in our favour with Kiva’s fire bombs striking their mark and Qusai’s bullets striking down targets with ease. My own efforts were somewhat poorer and I will resolve to practice my swordplay more than I have been.

Here ends the field report for now.

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