Into the Maw

Session 11 Apophis

In the morning the group sets out for the Beast Herald Village with greater speed than before. Along the way Dusk speaks to Siren. He asks if Siren really missed him when they though he was dead and Siren tells him that he did. Dusk thanks him and swears that he will not abandon him again, at least not without a note. Eventually, the group comes within sight of the village, but they do not see any movement in or around the village. When they arrive the village is deserted and many huts showed signs of a struggle. When the group makes their way to the center of the village they find that the fire pit had bodies piled on it and burned. Around the pile of carcasses the symbol of Barsaborak is drawn in the earth. After the shock of what they found wears off they hear someone address them. A gnoll spoke to them and seemed completely unaffected by the pile of bodies. They find that he is a cultist of Barsaborak and wanted to look at all of their left hands. Regyr grabs him and questions him learning that there is a cult of Barsaborak in the cave they visited and that they killed everyone in the village to make the chosen of Barsaborak appear. After killing the gnoll cultist the group heads to the cave.

Dusk recommends that they attempt to sneak into the cult’s lair by pretending to go along with them and then stopping whatever they were doing. The group agrees and begins to search the cave for a secret entrance. Dusk and Siren find a magical part of the cave wall and determine that it is transmutation magic and that it must be triggered. Sahir puts her left hand on the wall and it starts to decay and eventually turns to dust. They enter and run into two cultist who demand to know who they are and how they got in. Siren convinces them that they came in peace to bring the chosen of Barsaborak and it works. They are all taken into the main chamber where they see a large magic circle inscribed on the ground with the high priest chanting in it. Around the circle other priests chant and in the back of the room, opposite the entrance, there is a pedestal with a book on it and on the wall behind it there is a pulsing light. Dusk says that the circle has some sort of protection on it and that the pulsing light is the beginning of a portal.

The group decides to let Sahir enter because she is the only one who can and have Dusk sneak invisibly around to the book to try to stop the ritual. When Sahir enters the circle the fight breaks out. Sahir strikes the high priest, but doesn’t kill him and he manages to open the portal behind Dusk nearly pulling him into it. He tries to stop the ritual with the book, but right before Sahir decapitates the high priest the portal pulses and dusk is pulled backwards into the portal. When Sahir strikes down the high priest there is a blinding flash of light and a crashing sound as the portal closes. Eventually the remaining priests are dispatched and the group contemplates their bittersweet victory. The group reasures Siren that Dusk should be able to get out, he took the book with him and he is capable.

The group leaves the cave and returns to the village. They burn the pile of bodies and get as far back on the road as they can before setting up camp. Everyone tries to make small talk to lighten the mood, but soon everyone just goes to sleep. Sahir arrives back in the desolate wasteland when she sleeps. Instead of finding her corpse she sees a roiling mass of darkness. It tells her that she did what she was told like a good soldier. Sahir retorts that they defeated the cultists and stopped the ritual. The darkness chuckles and says that was what it wanted. The scene fading in darkness, Sahir is told that she can tell whoever she wants what has happened to her and that it will be watching. Finally, it tells her farewell, calling her Apophis.

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