Chapter 5.42

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Chapter 5.42
December 1, 2018
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Chapter 5.41

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Chapter 5.42 is the 45th chapter of Volume 5, and the 23rd chapter of Book 8, Blood of Liscor.

tl;dr[edit | edit source]

Ceria discovers the effects of the dungeon water. Calruz leads an expedition into the inner city of the dungeon. Stalker is dead. Adventurers attack at night.

Synopsis[edit | edit source]

Calruz is happy with the defeat of the adventurer and Antinium raids. Satisfied with the results he focuses back on conquering the dungeon an strikes camp. Ceria concedes that the Raskghar are powerful. On reflection her constant cowing in his presence makes her think he has a submission skill. It also seems Calruz is under some kind of influence, forgetting or presuming things, which she attributes to his insanity. He tells how he survived the initial battle with Skinner and came to lead the Raskghar. She in turn tells about her new Horns of Hammerad, the map for Albez, and so on. They reach the new camp and Calruz speaks of the four major nests: Face-Eater Moths, Shield Spiders, fungus, and an empty nest. While they provision water from a dungeon source, Ceria reveals she can see insect-maggot monsters across the water that the Raskghar and Calruz can't see. Calruz, well aware of invisible monsters in the dungeon, quickly believes her and attacks them. In the aftermath Ceria considers the cause and comes to a conclusion she tests with the abducted gnolls. A few of the gnolls were equally unable to see the insect-maggots. An investigation shows that the perception alteration is induced by the dungeon's water. Ceria used that chance to quickly exchange a few words with the gnolls. Calruz decides to only use adventurer rations for water for him and Ceria. After, Calruz heads with Ceria and a number of Raskghar for what he calls 'the city'.

Calruz presents the city surrounding the heart of the dungeon. It is infested, patrolled by enchanted suits of armor. They estimate the city's size to approach that of a Walled City. They get attacked by said infested, but they defeat the monsters for a reprieve. Calruz shows Ceria these infested were once Drakes. He has suspicions as to why, but nothing more. He leads the group to a monument, them all cutting down many infested and a few enchanted armors on the way while suffering few casualties. The monument itself displays three heads, one of which Ceria recognises: Skinner. The others are Snatcher and Stalker. Words on the monument describe the dungeon being protected by the Mother of Graves, according to the Raskghar. Wrapped around the base of the monument is a frighteningly well camouflaged creature -- Stalker -- but its head is missing, presumably taken by Snatcher. Before long the infested arrive again, driving off the group. The Raskghar keep them busy for a very brief moment while Calruz shows Ceria a hole, visible only far off, in the centre of the city. After they left the city behind closed doors Calruz admits making it to the hole only once; he surmises it's the heart of the dungeon and where the Mother of Graves and the dungeon's treasure lies. He lays out his strategy, and Ceria sees how it could proceed. She almost lets the dungeon's allure and conquerability get to her before she backs off.

Back in the camp Mrsha listens in on the gnolls discussing. Many lay blame on her being the doombringer for them and Liscor at large. Alerted by the ruckus, the Raskghar beat the instigators bloody, but not Mrsha, incidentally strengthening their superstitious conviction. Then Calruz, Ceria, and the remaining Raskghar return. Mrsha can faintly smell the janus-faced nature of Calruz, and deems it wrong. The female awakened Raskghar argues for more sacrifices to awaken more Raskghar, but Ceria counters with their use for bargaining and negotiation. Calruz decides to spare some, but not all, the specific number depending on Ceria's cooperation. At backchat on his decision he pummels the offending Raskghar. Special consideration is to be made for Mrsha, after Ceria points out the gnoll cub's connection to Ryoka and Erin. He interrogates the gnoll leader about Mrsha's importance. Calruz decides to send one or two gnolls to the surface the next day, with his demands written on a note.

At night, the adventurers attack, the sentries having given no warning. Calruz orders a retreat, furious. Ceria pleads for negotiation, but she is struck down by an enraged Calruz.

Characters[edit | edit source]

Locations[edit | edit source]

Creatures Introduced[edit | edit source]

  • Infested

Creatures[edit | edit source]

  • Giant Maggots (Half Mature)
  • Enchanted Suits of Armor

Magical Artifacts[edit | edit source]

  • Decorated Cup made of Red and White ceramic.
    • Once liquid is poured in the cup, it begins to hiss, and a thick, black gas emanate from it and clung to the closes being, engulfing them in a black mass, killing them
  • Calruz's Enchanted Axe. It is made of some kind of false gold metal, with a bright green edge.
    • Once the enchantment is activated, the green head on the golden metal shone bright, and the edge grow, turning transparent, until it is three times larger than the axe head.