Party: Nag’ini (Leader), Rae (Scout), Perbin, Shozu, Tramenor (Trailblazer), Rose; Pacha, Jarnek
Rose’s War Diary, Third Mission
a team assembled on rumours of a mission from ruined oak. with all new adventurers, we didn’t know much about the operation of the portal, so we asked a guard for guidance. with his help, it was quite easy to actually operate the thing, though rae almost succumbed to the portal shock. upon arrival in ruined oak, we however didn’t find any mission from there which seemed to be within our capabilities. we decided to spend the day there regardless, and make new plans in the morning.
a group of farmers came into the bitter dwarf inn, upset about stolen beer. we decided that this might be within our capabilities to resolve, and set out towards the “gray protector” inn on the other side of the lake, the proprietor of which might be able to offer us a reward for solving this.
when reaching the inn, we found it abandoned with a starving horse outside. rae also heard the muffled cries of a child in distress. after a short investigation, we learned that five days ago, everyone but the child entered a mysterious wagon with the sign “tasha’s kiss”, which was part of a wandering circus. nobody left since. we decided to enter as well, prepared for battle and traps. sune willing, we shall prevail.
NOTE: during the events inside, i did not have much time to take notes. a lot happened. although we defeated the demon in the end, i am not convinced it won’t come back. i’ve heard that by defeating them on this plane, you only banish them home, and they can be re-summoned. with a popular spell named after the demon, i fear that it might not be long before it returns, so i shall try to prepare whoever encounters this next time to avoid our – and especially my – mistakes:
before entering, acquire or improvise torches. i recommend at least 10 torches and other light sources before entering.
there was a pathway inside the wagon leading down. we didn’t encounter any traps or creatures till after the first door.
behind it, there is a kind of “sorting room” with some staff. they did ask us to sit and get ourselves sorted. they did accept me deciding on my own path, on grounds of wanting to stay with a companion. the sorting process itself didn’t seem harmful, though it might temporarily cloud the judgement of the people sorted into the left room. unfortunately, i had decided early to join the right-side team, and after the sorting was completed only tramenor was sorted to the left. however, he seems to have done much better than us.
the right-side room has a huge head sculpture, the mouth of which is a portal of sorts. it was a drop that took us several minutes to fall down, though no harm came to us from that. we landed in a corridor-maze of mirrors. the mirrors show some strange versions of ourselves. do not stay there, they drive you into madness! proceed as fast as possible to the next head-like sculpture, those things are portals throughout the complex. when we were there, the way out was right, then straight ahead.
the left side i was told leads to a harvesting room (after a similar portal). people chained to the wall, and a demon sucking their souls out and storing them in jars. take the jars with you, and delay freeing at least one of the souls till later. keeping an empty jar might also be beneficial.
next segment is a corridor with several portals. in retrospect this “main corridor” is a kind of safe place to gather your wits. there are 4 portals here, one to our right and two to our left. i shall designate the leftmost one as #1, the one we entered through #3, and the one to our right #4. i do not know what was behind portal #2.
#1 leads back to the sorting room. the sorting crew does not want you to leave.
#4 lead to a chamber of horrors. i made the mistake of ushering our people through in the hopes of escaping the madness. several of us where still under the effects of the mirrors. this mistake cost the lives or rae and perbin. only enter this with your party complete, and everyone having their wits about them.
after defeating the monstrosity here, the portal #4 seems to change its destination. it will now lead to a sort of throne room, where we also were deposited after defeating the monster. from the throne room, there are 3 portals. the one connecting to the main corridor, and from the perspective of entering through that, one to the left and one to the right.
to the left, there is a room full of tentacles and two cages, which contained the people from the inn. the cages were already damaged, so the people there were able to follow us.
to the right, it leads towards a bedroom. the bed sheet covers a force-prison for souls. it can be broken by weapons. there’s also a curtain, and behind it another force-prison and a lever. we falsely believed that the child trapped behind it was the demon, and in our exhausted state did not want to engage it. this, too, was a mistake: the prisoner there was another innocent which we had left behind. this room also contains a teacup. take it with you, you can perhaps use it to bargain with the demon.
the other portal in the bedroom leads to a banquet hall. people there are stuffing themselves, gaining hundreds of pounds of weight in minutes. it’ll kill them. at the far end, there’s a curtain, behind which is the kitchen. there’s a lot of cooks and assistants in there. we managed to negotiate our path through by offering a jar of “spice” – souls from the harvesting room – though since they only demanded a jar,they only got an empty one.
important: before advancing through the kitchen portal, you need light! on the other side of it there’s creatures that’ll devour you if you have none!
the final room is like a giant trash can. you need light to keep the creatures at bay, they’ll devour everyone otherwise. in the centre, floating high up, there’s a dais on which the demon tasha resides, eating the souls and meat of the people trapped here. the walls are a lancer-board pattern. touching the white segments extends them, you can form a stair of sorts that way. touching a segment multiple times extends it further, allowing you to form a bridge to the centre.
the demoness talked with us in our minds, demanding the cup from the bedroom. she continued eating during this time. use this time to deploy torches around the perimeter of the dais, so that the perimeter is all covered in light. after defeating the demon, the dais will sink through the floor, and the creatures from the ground will try to devour people on the dais. this hopefully will prevent that. also, the other survivors you might have picked up earlier should be in here before you join combat with the demon. after its defeat, there will be little time before the entire complex collapses. it is also advisable to provide them with multiple lights to prevent them from getting eaten, and goodberries or healing potions to try to save anyone who falls from the dais, though if possible try to extend all the wall segments at this height to prevent people from falling later-on.
it might be possible to negotiate with the demon using the cup. unfortunately, the majority of the team decided to not try this, and the cup was destroyed. i believe it will be restored in time.
the demoness itself is very agile, but normal weapons and spells were able to harm her. she is fond of grabbing people and dropping them off the dais. shozu died that way, and tramenor almost died as well.
when you hurt her enough, she starts vomiting up people she’s eaten. try not to hurt them. when she dies, all the people she had eaten will burst forth from her belly. this can overfill the dais, and people will fall from it. try to have something to grab on to. the entire complex will start to collapse.
try to get everyone on the dais, and keep them from falling off. calm people down if possible. it’ll take a while for the dais to sink down through the floor and then the void, till it expels everyone on it back to where the wagon is, though the wagon itself will vanish.
aftermath: amongst those rescued were one of our own, who had been trapped by the demoness a while ago; a tabaxi, who helped us during the fight against the demoness; and many hobgoblins that are allied with ruined oak.
our trip home was uneventful. the no-longer-starving horse survived the trip through the portal, though it was a close call.