Madness and Minotaurs

Session 24 February 2022 - offline session

We move the Behir out of the cave, to a separate area, to be able to pretend it was never in the big cave and we couldn’t have found the treasure at all. When we’re done, we head to the southwest of the level to find the fighting Drow.

When we get there, we don’t hear anything that seems like a fight. On the ground, we see many dead Drow. This isn’t good. We approach stealthily, but I bump into Valentine and she squeaks – revealing our hiding spot. We see a white-robed person commanding her warriors to approach us. Valentine walks up to the group of Drow, introducing herself. The rest of us joins Valentine at the front lines. The white-robed Drow is a priestess, and among the warrior-Drow, I spot a Hezrou. The giant mosquitoes we saw earlier, are dead near its feat. “It was a heavy battle with House Freth… We fight almost EVERY day, but again today, Spireth got away – invisible, with his boots of flight.” 

In the corner of my eye, I see Farryns’ eyes do ‘ding ding’ when he hears her last three words. 

“Too bad we weren’t here earlier…” says Valentine.

“Yeah… Very unfortunate. Are you here to help us then?” 

“No… Well… Yeah, we’re going to infiltrate house Freth.” as Valentine explains, we take some Freth pins off off the bodies on the ground.

Farryn introduces the group, and I hear the priestess is called Shindreer Argonrae. 

The priestess continues: “There is a mage here, named Orl, and he has an acid pool to the north. South from the Behir, there is a labyrinth towards the Minotaurs.” 

“Oh yeah, what’s a Behir exactly?” Valentine asks.

Feeling VERY uncomfortable hiding information, I say: “OH yeah, tell me more about that BEAST.”

The priestess gets a bit suspicious and looks weirdly at the party and me. Luckily, Valentine whispers something to her, and her facial expression relaxes. I have NO idea what she had to say, but Shindreer is looking at me with compassionate, loving eyes. She continues: “The minotaurs are fighting House Freth and are a level down. They choose violence, so it is hard to make plans or contracts with them.”

“Where should we go?” asks Farryn.

The priestess doesn’t know. There might be a North route that is not explored yet, but where that will lead, is unknown. We walk away to discuss our options and choose the Minotaurs.

We find the stairs and want to walk down, but we are distracted by a giant Troll staring at the wall, covered in green blisters. The blisters seem artificial, and the Troll might be restrained. We’re not sure what’s going on, but I prepare a spell to attack with fire if this turns into a fight. Grond, chewing on the piece of cloth the Troll is wearing, starts the fight when the Troll notices something is happening. One of the spells that’s fired hits one of the blisters: it bursts open and a swarm of wasps flies out. I shoot a firebolt and hit the target SO hard, it is instantly bloodied. Valentine throws a fireball, a blister opens, but the wasps are incinerated instantly. The Troll dies, but the wasps that are left circle around Zeph and Farryn. Zeph conjures little drone-bees, that attack the wasps one by one, killing them quickly.

We look at the wall the Troll was looking at. I find an elven rune which we’ve never seen. I am totally excited and try to rub the dust and rubble off it. In my enthusiasm, I forget NEVER to touch shit on the walls – there might be traps. The moment I recall this, the rune lights up and I feel all power drain from my body. I collapse and fall to my knees, and see Zeph do the same. “Oh no… I hope we don’t get blisters…” says Zeph. Valentine looks at me and says: “OH YEAH I SEE ONE!” She grabs a mirror and lets me look at my reflection: a HUGE zit shows on my forehead. “EEK!” I revert my head from the mirror. This must be a trap from House Freth. I am thinking for a second: the rune was the rune of sacrifice – we’ll probably need greater restoration to feel better again. I don’t possess that kind of power, but maybe a priestess does. We go back to the basecamp to find Argonrae. Unfortunately, the priestess doesn’t know a spell to restore our health but thinks Vlonwelv does.

We walk back to Vlonwelv, but along the way, I hear zooming around my head and get scared there are wasps in my zit. I start to get panicked, but then, Valentine grabs me and slaps me against my forehead. She puts my hand on my head as well, and I can feel the zit is gone. Thank god. At House Avryndarr, Valentine explains the situation to Vlonwelv. “You want your children and followers to be full of power, right?” she ends her story. Vlonwelv can perform the magic, but will ask Lolth for guidance first, and walks to the altar. She is gone for quite a while, and during her time away from us, we see many Drow follow her at the altar area. We all think it is unsettling she is gone for so long and multiple Drow join her, but we stand our ground. We whisper amongst ourselves, and our conclusion is: we’ll wait, but if it gets to a fight, we try to meet up in Skullport. Farryn doesn’t trust it and takes Zeph to go away. When they try to walk to the nearest exit, they are held back: “Please wait.”

A couple of seconds later, Vlonwelv returns, looking less amused and warm-hearted than usual. “Loyalty is difficult to find, these days,” she says. 

“You don’t want to help us?” we ask.

“No, I’m not going to help you. Lolth didn’t think it was the right course of action.”


“Your loyalty wavers downstairs opposite to what you did, Lolth saw.”

“Oh, that’s a surprise, we don’t agree,” says Valentine – trying to bluff us out of this situation.

“Yeah, but Lolth sees things…” says Vlonwelv.

“I hope we’ll surprise Lolth positively,” adds Valentine.

“We’re not going to help you unless you destroy house Freth.” 

“What if our loyalty wavers because you’re declining to help us right now?” asks Zeph.

“Lolth wants, what Lolth wants…” 

“What if you help one of them,” Valentine points at Zeph and me, “and after, the other one?”

“I know something else,” Vlonwelv interrupts, “we’ll spread the word about the Never Evers, and you walk away here NOW.”

“That’s not smart, we cannot infiltrate this way!”

“It is not about INFILTRATING. It is about EXECUTION.” 

We can walk away freely, and thank the priestess.

Gutted, we walk towards the stairs. Downstairs, we step into a thick fog that is one meter high from the ground and fills the whole ground. With an unseen servant and Valentine detecting the magic in the area, we walk further. In the mist, we can see faces, but none of them are familiar to us… It is quite ominous. Around a corner, we see three pillars to the ceiling and a red glow in the middle. Valentine gets closer to investigate, although it looks like an altar to me. Zeph flies over the red glow, and nothing happens, so it is probably safe. I join him in the center and see religious signs drawn in blood on the pillars – Minotaurs. The drawings are of Baphomet, so I reckon we’re close to the mage.

In the distance, we hear a call for help, but as we investigate we conclude it is illusion magic there to distract us from our goal. Zeph is flying off to chase a giggle he heard in another room. The mist is getting higher and thicker in the area, so we stop and turn back. We have to find a way to get around. Zeph already flew ahead, and the rest of us try to get to him. When we’re all in a large space – just in time to be able to see one another, we hear a loud voice: “ATTACK!!!”

Five huge Minotaurs appear and attack. Valentine and I, standing in the middle of the area, are surprised by a Minotaur popping up immediately in front of our faces. From a distance, I see Zeph getting smashed out of the air. We hear a horn, and after, hooves. We’re screwed: SEVEN more Minotaurs join. Valentine touches my shoulder, and I reach for her hand with mine. I close my eyes, afraid for what will come. When I open them, we’ve dimension door-ed away. We’re safe, but our party members aren’t. I can hear them fight: both Farryn and Zeph are very angry at the enemies (or us…). “I’ll FEAST upon your corpses!!” shouts Farryn. Zeph yells too, and I hear the whole dungeon shake. The sound shatters through the room: “RIP THEM APART!!”

To protect Farryn, Valentine and I attack with our fireballs. Five of the Minotaurs die and fall in front of Farryns’ feet. In the distance, we can see Zeph faint and get picked up by a Minotaur. Valentine doesn’t hesitate and uses dimension door again to get to Zeph. I trap the Minotaur with my wall of force to prevent him from getting away with our little friend. I leave a little slit in the wall to make sure we can get through, but the Minotaur cannot. Valentine runs through, banishes the Minotaur holding Zeph, and takes cover. A Minotaur approaches me from behind and hits me. I am pushed back, into the wall of force, protected from any more harm. I react with a fireball, killing the Minotaur that was chasing us. We don’t see any enemies, but can still hear Farryn fight. Is this still going on?! I run to Farryn – Valentine is taking care of Zeph – to help and kill the last Minotaur. “DON’T TAKE MY KILL!” Faryrn yells angrily. Oops, I just did.

Walking back to Valentine, she informs us about the Minotaur still in banishment. “Get it back, I WILL GET MY FINAL KILL!” commands Farryn. Valentine declines: if we leave it there, it’ll stay there and no one has to get hurt anymore. It is over now. The next thing I see – and didn’t expect – is Farryn attacking my little sister! He wants that kill so badly, he is completely out of control! I walk up to Valentine and Farryn and say loudly and with all the authority I can muster: “YOU TINY LITTLE GNOME. HAVE YOU GONE MAD?! STAND DOWN. NOW!”

Still, Farryn chases Valentine. He keeps at it for a minute, after that, he knows the Minotaur is banished for good. I am thinking about how to get Farryn back to normal, and conclude I have to remove the curse that is apparently resting upon him. In the back, Farryn starts cutting up a Minotaur and eating his meat. When Farryn is done eating and I’ve prepared the spell, I approach him vigilantly. I touch his forehead and remove his curse. Farryn is totally sad and emotional: he starts crying and thanks us for the help on the battlefield. He apologizes for chasing and attacking Valentine and looks over at Zeph.

Zeph is knocked out, but stable. We cannot wake him, we need greater restoration – fast. Farryn remembers there are pillars on level two of the dungeon that possess that kind of magic. We decide to walk there through House Avryndarr and take a portal there. Without difficulty, we reach level one and descend the staircase to level two.

We reach the circle with pillars of greater restoration. We activate them and let them do their magic. I give a health potion to Zeph and watch him come to. I feel better after the magic, but still feel tired, so we take a short rest there.

After the short rest, we decide to go to Skullport to take a break and watch the battles in the fighting pit. It is a spur-the-moment thing that Valentine came up with, but we all feel like seeing someone else fight instead of ourselves. At Skullport, the battle is already starting. Farryn decides he wants to join the ring and signs up. The moment he is called to participate, he realizes he has to take off all his armor. He looks super uncomfortable, but he still does it. I am impressed he’s seeing this through. Zeph is the moderator, and happily announces Farryn and his competitor, eKenrai. I see Zeph cheering for Farryn in secret, and see Farryns’ skin light up with some brown glow for a second: Zeph gave Farryn some natural armor, barkskin. “I’m going to dispel the barkskin!” giggles Valentine in my ear. I laugh my ass off. It is NOT nice to Farryn, but I totally get Valentine wanting to get back at him for his attacks – even if he was cursed.

The battle is hilarious. We cheer for Farryn in common, and for Kenrai in infernal. Kenrai is a Tiefling, just like us, and very muscular for that fact. Valentine flashes Kenrai and causes him to be distracted for a couple of seconds. Farryn sees his chance to hit but misses again and again. Because Valentine knows Zeph is helping Farryn, she silences and holds him back. I know that cannot last long because Zeph is a very powerful magical being that’ll come up with a way to break loose. As Farryn knocks Kenrai out, Zeph is SO excited, that the magic holding him breaks: “HURRAY FOR FARRYN!” Zeph flies up and spreads his glitter all around in celebration.

After the fight, Valentine gives some money to Farryn: she bet some money on him and Kenrai but deems it fair to give Farryn a cut. At the other end of the stadium, we see Kenrai taking care of his bruises. Valentine and I walk up to him and try to charm him. He is an attractive Tiefling, so why not? I’ve never been really interested in men, but this is the first time I’m actually considering it. Before I know what’s going on, I’m walking with Kenrai to his house, and Valentine butts out along the way. Let me tell you this: Kenrai and I had a lovely evening. We had dinner together, and I spent the night. Kenrai was SO amazing: I never expected it to feel SO good. I knew already the mechanics of course, but never fathomed what it would feel like with someone you feel attracted to.

The next morning, I feel happy and a bit different: I feel hotter for some reason. Not in an attractive sense – well, after last night, yes, but not right now -, but warmer. My skin feels hotter than normal. I decide to go back to Valentine, Farryn, and Zeph. I tell them about last night – no details of course, and say I need to say goodbye to Kenrai before we leave. We decide to go back to level 12 and walk to Kenrais’ house. I say goodbye, and Valentine corners him: “If you hurt her, I’ll BANISH you to hell.” 

“I like to give her a good time, so all good,” he responds. 

“One more question, are you a ONE girl type or…?”

“Enough love for everyone,” he says. I am a bit disappointed, but oh well, it is realistic: I’m away investigating Undermountain…

“NOW SHE IS YOUR ONLY ONE,” Valentine commands. Her eyes turn black and she steps intimidatingly closer to Kenrai. 

“Okay, okay, okay… I’ll promise.”

We go back to level 12. At the place of the fight, we find many streaks of blood, but the Minotaur bodies are not there. We investigate the area and smell more rotting flesh and blood. In a niche, far away from the battle-place, we find the bodies – beheaded. The heads are placed in frames in the wall: ‘fresh’ ones, but also ‘older’ ones. It reeks like death. In the distance, Zeph hears chanting. We sneakily approach and attack immediately when we see a herd of Minotaurs.

I cast a wall of force around the Minotaurs again, and leave a slit open near Valentine, Grond, and Farryn for them to get out. However, the biggest Minotaur, at the back of the herd, blows a horn: a mist fills the area and creates Minotaurs. They look like an illusion to me, but they attack me and hit me very hard. Through tears of pain, I gather my powers and attack with a loud and strong fireball. I feel more powerful than ever before. My warm skin radiates fire: I am literally on FIRE! I feel I exude a mighty, fiery glow. I feel more confident, powerful, and in my element. I’ve killed a lot of Minotaurs with ONE well-aimed fireball.

wall of fire is placed by Valentine, trapping the misty, spirit Minotaurs around me. I can see they’re not of any threat anymore, because I can see the mist evaporating due to the fire. Zeph kills the head Minotaur with sparkling arrows – perforating his body. The Minotaur falls back and lands on the ground with a big THUD. Farryn is keeping most of the Minotaurs off so the rest of us can regroup. He is such a great guy. I kill the last standing Minotaur with another fireball: it is over.

Again, I’m mistaken: the fight isn’t over at all. Farryn and Grond are still getting at it, however: they’re attacking each other! Oh my god. NOT AGAIN. They’re screaming and growling and we have to go to great lengths to separate them. I remove the curse from Grond – who acted the same Farryn did yesterday. Zeph casts greater restoration on Farryn, who apparently got the bloodlust from a Minotaur that just attacked him.

When all is well, we hug each other. I feel a bit uncomfortable, but got used to it a bit. Valentine grabs the horn the big Minotaur blew on. “We need to bring this to Tas,” she says. “First, we need to rest up a bit,” I say. I conjure a tiny hut to rest in, and together with Valentine, I investigate the horn: Horn of the Endless Mace.

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