This was a particularly long session. For easier reading, I’m breaking it up into five parts
Part One: The Other Side of the Chaos Portal
-the heroes arrived, not all unscathed from corruption, in a tower with no windows, finely dressed nobles, and silent daemon guards as still as statues. It was a tower for the pleasure and obsessions of nobles, six levels high with open alcoves each belonging to a noble as his or her personal portal room. Aritriel spotted a familiar face: Linus Heiligdorfer. Gustave immediately saw the Chaos-worshipping Grauenburg running away on the top floor whom the heroes decided to pursue, but were barred by a golden gate. Unable to find a way to unlock it, they explored the rest of the room.
Trying to get to the lower levels, they were blocked by a silver gate of similar design. They also briefly spotted another wood elf who, upon seeing Aritriel, quickly ducked into a portal and disappeared. Seeing them cause enough of a disturbance, Linus Heiligdorfer met the heroes and brought them into an unoccupied alcove.
Linus, clearly unhinged from his time being kidnapped by Cultists, claims that he planned to release monsters underneath the bottom floor of the noble tower and fill the area with monsters. He also mentioned the slave pits that Aritriel and Aghar had been in before. Linus said they were just down any of those hallways. Linus also explained that the gate opens with the corresponding currency (gold gate opens for a gold coin, silver gate for a silver coin).
Spoonsworth, after taking clothes from a dead noble, tried to blend in so as not to attract the guards’ attention. They made their way to the halls where Aritriel and Gustave saw their own desires in their respective alcoves (Aritriel saw her friend Siluvaine from Athel Loren, a fellow scout turned Waywatcher. Gustave saw Jocoff Lustig offering him the chance to become an apprentice wizard).
Aghar snapped Aritriel out of her hypnotic state, just in time to see a daemon construct walking toward them. Spoonsworth did his best to get Gustave to snap out of it (which eventually he did), and they all ran toward the other end to see a familiar open gladitorial fighting pit, with a game already on. The contestants: A large orc versus… Metrius, Captain of the Ubersriek local militia!
Part Two: The Fighting Slave Pits
Aghar and Gustave rushed to the edge of the pit to save him, then encouraged Aritriel to fire a bow at the orc, giving the losing Metrius time to defend himself. The spectating nobles booed at this interference, and before she knew it, Aritriel had been teleported to the middle of the pit, by Daemon Constructs!
While Aritriel and Metrius fought off the Orc, the Daemon guard was swinging and teleporting the heroes into the pit by mere touch, one by one. Spoonsworth was the last one to be teleported, but not before killing one of the Daemons. In the pit, a Giant Spider appeared next, and another slave is released into the pit. The slave was on his hands and knees, sweating and crying profusely.
Aritriel took this opportunity to enter the slave den, killed a guard, and then started freeing slaves. This was the same room she and Aghar first met Quintus. One of the slaves is Siluvaine, and he was real this time! They had no time to catch up as they rescued the remaining slaves and rushed out to the field.
Meanwhile, the Announcer, whoever he was, recognized Aghar and Aritriel from the last time they were here. He put two and two together, based on Grauenburg’s behaviour, and teleported the corrupt Lord into the pit as well. Just then, the whining slave bursted into a Chaos spawn and began attacking Grauenburg while his back was turned, striking him to the ground with critical blows, then knocked out Metrius. Aghar and Gustave barely killed the creature before Aritriel and the slaves appeared.
Part Three: The Escape
At this point in time, it appeared that Linus made good on his promise to release the monsters from their cages, and all hell broke loose. The creatures flew up the stands and attacked nobles left, right, and center. Aritriel, in a rare moment of commanding leadership, ordered the slaves to follow her before panic set in, and they ran for the stairs in the other side of the monster pit, which brought them up through the nobles’ room.
In the noble tower, they found that the magic had altogether stopped, and the nobles were trapped. Even Gustave couldn’t make the portal reappear in Grauenburg’s alcove. The heroes then lead the slaves to the top floor and into the Announcer’s Room, where he watched the fights. Inside the glass room, they saw a doorway that lead down a very long bridge, blocked by a portcullis and a pair of guards claiming that the adventurers were fools for disturbing the holy fighting pits of Slaanesh, and that their Lord had already escaped.
Aritriel noticed that the only other way out is a trap door, big enough to fit one person at a time. With the monsters running out of nobles to feed, they were slowly picking off the slaves. Gustave knew they didn’t have enough time to get all the slaves through the trapdoor, so Aghar used his impressive strength to lift the portcullis while everyone else overwhelmed the two pit guards.
The two guards, already resigned to their purpose, fended off the heroes until their last breath. Aritriel then had the slaves follow her on foot across the bridge while the monsters break into the room. Gustave got as many slaves through the portcullis before he closed it on the pursuing monsters.
Unfortunately it looked like this eventuality was thought of, and the bridge fell apart. The heroes and slaves fell with the bridge, landing on a mountainside. Looking up, they saw that the fighting pits was a floating castle, surrounded by some strange sphere of magic. The shimmering sphere disappeared then, and the floating brick and mortar crashed into the mountainside along, causing a massive explosion and dust storm…
Part Four: Epilogue
It took hours for the dust to settle, but the heroes found as many slaves as possible, including Metrius (still alive), and Gruenburg (dead, but not a big loss). Siluvaine was missing. About 40 slaves in total had survived. It wasn’t everyone, but at least it was some. They saw a small community in the base of the mountains. It took a day to reach it.
By the end of the next day, Spoonsworth convinced the guards of the small mining town Esk (in the province of Hochland, about 400 miles from Reiklands!) to let them in. After some bureaucratic nonsense, they packed all the refugee slaves in a town hall and tended to their wounds and listened to their statements.
The heroes also took the time to send a messenger to Aythe Dorfbacher letting her know about the situation, and that they had to help these poor slaves first before coming back. Spoonsworth wanted to leave the slaves to themselves, but Gustave disagreed. Their heated argument ended with Spoonsworth leaving the group.
The authorities of Esk, lead by Meingot Ripertus, clearly disliked the idea of having these people here, and didn’t believe Gustave’s statement of a flying slave pit in the Middle Mountains. Whatever dust cloud was there was probably caused by a green skin tribe warring with beastmen mutants.
In total, the heroes spent almost a gold to give the remaining slaves the minimal food, clothes, and other resources they needed to go on their way back home. They gathered them in groups based on location, whether from Ostermark, Reiklands, Talabecland, etc, and in about a week, the refugee slaves had been processed and given enough to be set on their way. They thanked Gustave, Aritriel, and Aghar for their help and promised never to forget their generosity.
Esk was now back to its small town self, and the heroes were fully rested and healed. There were still loose ends to tie up: Where did that bridge go from the flying fortress; is there a base of operations near or around the Middle Mountains? What about Dorfbacher; do the heroes go back to her? And who was the Wood Elf that Aritriel walked into, and where’s Siluvaine now?
Whatever the heroes choose to do now, this adventure is far from over…
Part Five: Bonus XP
The party receives a bonus XP for completing this story.
The GM’s wife also receives a clean shaven husband with flowers and a romantic card for facilitating game time with his friends while she looked after their kid.