59. Burning Through Their Cache

Amongst the bodies of the vampires as well as their recent victims, the Levellers stood in The Dock House and contemplated their position. Reconvening in the playroom, they found Lulu telepathically soothing the injured Hellrider Scout they’d found there. Hinnerk freed her, but not before checking that she was definitely alive and not another undead fiend, and she introduced herself as Niri Whistlewood.

She and her sergeant Dunmar Axeshine – the dwarf the Levellers had found in the hallway – had come here from High Hall on a mission to recover the weapons cache, which (after checking that the players seemed friendly) she revealed was in a trapped chest, probably either upstairs or in the basement. This, the Levellers reasoned, was the same chest that had teleported Tunwéya out over the cliff. The trap could be disarmed, Niri explained, by opening the chest using its key, which she believed was on the collar of the Rathanda family cat. Tunwéya realised that the noises he’d been hearing in the adjacent kitchen were probably this pet moving around.

Healed by the help of Reya, Niri – completely blinded by the lack of her eyes – asked the Levellers to escort her back to her unit on the other side of the city, revealing to them that the bridges are consecreated with Torm’s magic and that with a special prayer she and Dunmar had been able to cross Torm’s Reach despite the devils who’d been present there. She also instructed them to behead the corpse of Dunmar and any other Hellriders who they found fallen, explaining that some of them were otherwise returning from the grave as evil Hell Knights. When pressed on the cause of this, she stated that a priest at High Hall had claimed it may be something to do with the Creed, and was researching it.

The party agreed to try to help, leaving Niri in Lulu’s care while they first explored and looted the building, taking special care to be wary that the lich Spurnyte Mal might still be present somewhere. Hinnerk attempted to coax the cat to him but somehow forgot what cats eat, so it was Tunwéya who eventually found the little beast hiding under the pantry shelves and recovered the key they needed.

Before heading upstairs, though, the party descended into the basement. Looting the Rathanda family’s possessions for toys and clothes that may be of use to civilian refugees, they discovered a coffin concealed behind a wall of crates. This, they realised, must be where Mal had returned to recover, and they surrounded the casket and readied themselves before popping it open.

A frantic battle ensued: the lich, protected by magical armour, lashed out at the party but was blasted back into a wall by Leofric‘s magical blasts, where he vanished again. Suspicious of this disappearance, Reya used her magical senses and determined that he was invisible, directing Tunwéya to a position in which he could use faerie fire to bring the horror back to visibility. Spurnyte used his dark magic to take control of Hinnerk’s sword arm, but Reya swept in and slew him, releasing Hinnerk from the spell.

The party set light to the lich’s resting place and continued to rapidly loot the house, getting into the weapons cache to find a handful of silvered swords as well as a variety of other useful devil-fighting tools. Beaten and bruised, they opted to return to Grindel’s to rest, taking the back route around Saddlebacks and Marketside Gallop so as to avoid a conversation with Klav Iakia’s allies until they were ready. On the journey, they heard what sounded like a party beginning somewhere near the junction of Bull Lane and The Bridles, but opted to steer clear.

At Grindel’s, they discovered that Orin the blacksmith had left to seek out his son, but not before consuming the remaining food supplies and asking a great many questions about Reya, but the other refugees remained there. Leaving Niri in their care and re-supplying their food with the help of Tunwéya’s magic, the party rested and discussed how to share out the spoils of the raid on the Dock House.

The next “morning”, the party returned to Shiarra’s Market where they met with the vampire lord and supplied him with a selection of the weapons they’d recovered. Iakia was grateful and gave the party healing potions and his best wishes for their journey ahead. He advised that the revellers they’d heard the previous “night” had possibly been Zarielite cultists celebrating the fall of the city – or else people pretending to be pleased with the new situation in an effort to ingratiate themselves to the ruler of Avernus – and insisted that they did not count as “his citizens” and could be murdered with impunity.

The Levellers decided they’d set out up Cow Lane to scout out Torm’s Blade, to see if crossing would be feasible, before deciding whether to take any refugees across with them towards High Hall.

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