Setting about to spring their incarcerated comrades from the hoosegow, Lusus, Lolth and Barabal did recon on the Countess’ castle in Rivage-Martel. There were too many guards in the front, but the river running under and through the castle foundations seemed like a good point of entry. With Lusus and Barabal hiding in the otherdimensional closet accessed with the magical chalk holder looted from Bayar’s mansion, Lolth scaled the back wall of the capital fortress and gained entry through an old sluice gate that served as exit point for the river. Infiltrating a bit inside the waterworks until the rooms became a bit more open, she stumbled across the dessicated remains of some enormous creature, wired into machines in the walls by way of massive leather-clad cables.
Summoning Lusus and Barabal, who were able to identify the creature as a blue dragon – notorious to those in the know as a natural generator of powerful electricity.
Meanwhile, Fo, Alsahiir and Lindy searched their cells for any means of exit. The rooms were unsually well-maintained, and fitted with impenetrably-installed heavy security doors far more robust that what one might expect from a castle dungeon. After a few hours of inspecting and knocking and brainstorming, the trio ran out of ideas.
At this point, Lindy noticed a sizeable defect in one of the walls of her cell, a large gap in the corner that she might be able to squeeze through uncomfortably. Doing so, she found herself in a pitch-dark passageway that seemed impossibly located and sized for what she’d observed of the layout of the cell block on her way in. In the distance, a light seemed to mark a way out.
Approaching the light, it became clear that Lindy was chasing a lantern, not a door or window. Reaching the lantern, the room around her began to come into brighter focus – leaving her standing with blood-covered hands in front of an eviscerated castle guard inside the dungeon’s sentry office. Relieving the corpse of its keys and retrieving her companions’ gear from the adjoining armory, Lindy made her way back down to the cell block and released Fo and Alsahiir.
The rescue part headed up a great spiral staircase; the prisoners headed down. Both groups met in a passageway attached to the cell blocks, near a pair of large iron double doors which led to larger holding cells seemingly fit for animals. A weak voice called out for help from one of the rooms – Lindy used her keys to open the door and the party swallowed back their suspicions and reluctantly stepped inside to investigate. After an eternity of haunting silence, the giant form of a lion was seen crawling on the ceiling – it dropped and gored Lindy, beginning a brutal fight ultimately won by a combination of holy magics, brutal assaults on feline gag reflexes, and a handful of flaming rats.
Torn up but resolute, the party endeavored to make its way downstairs and out the river exit – only to be confronted by the Countess herself when traversing the sizeable laboratory she’d made in the castle’s ancient cisternum. Intrigued and annoyed at the party’s escape and slaughter of her leonine specimen, she trigged the activation of an electrically-enhanced clay golem which proceeded to charge the party in a blind rage, trailing an electrical cable behind it.
Fo and Lolth maneuvered stealthily behind the creature while the rest of the party prepared to confront it head-on. With Fo rushing to trace the power cord to its source, Lolth executed a well-timed sneak attack, sending the charging giant crashing to the ground from its own unbalanced momentum. With the monster downed, the party chipped away at it, suffering electrical burns with every blow. Downstairs, Fo located the source of the power being fed to the golem and disabled it, weakening its electrical abilities. Finally, Alsahiir attached a grappling line to one of the giant’s ankles, dropping the other end into the steadily-churning machinery just below grates in the floor. The line pulled the golem into the works, finishing it off.
Alsahiir took some chunks for later.
Downstairs, a visibly angry Countess arrived to investigate the cause of her machines’ failure, finding Fo and shooting magic at him until he countered with a classic “jump down and get naked” gambit. This bought the rest of the party time to arrive, at which point Lindy started violently vomiting black fluid onto the damp stone floor.
As the black fluid made its way unerringly toward the corpse of the dragon, Lusus retreived the powderkeg the party had stored in the magic closet and stuffed it under the enormous corpse, lighting it and running like hell. The explosion was enormous and gross, collapsing the room and throwing chunks of mummified dragon everywhere.
The party reached the sluice gate and jumped into the river below, just in time to look back and see the castle structurally fail and collapse into itself.
Making their way back to the Caravan to report the unfortunate outcome of the mission, the party was surprised to see the Countess exiting Victol’s vardo. After some icy stares and a zinger were exchanged, she used vampire powers to fade into the night – leaving the party looking into the wagon at a stunned, overjoyed Victol Bayar, back in the flesh.