Students of Strixhaven EP 20 – Lounging Around

Seeing Elias meet with Vestan in the park, the party decide to follow Vestan, possibly finding where he goes using his ‘professor’ robes that make up his Rodane disguise. He eventually arrives at the Biblioplex, and makes his way to a hallway that leads to a variety of classrooms and storage areas. The party are able to avoid the attention of a Lorehold ‘mascot ‘spirit statue, mumbling to itself, who seemed eager for a chat, and find a door marked ‘Faculty Storage and Lounge‘. They reason that Vestan is likely in here, but find that a Glyph of Warding has been configured around the door frame, and looks to be set to activate an Alarm spell if the conditions of someone passing through the frame are not met. They are able to open the door and see it leads down a staircase, but don’t walk through the door frame.

The party consider their options, and debate if they could use some of the clockwork automata around them to either activate the alarm or use them as a decoy in some way. Khorvus casts Create Water, causing a small rain cloud to appear in the hallway and a puddle to start to drip down the stairs into the faculty room. Sensing a mess, the automata activate from the hallway to begin cleaning up. The party notice the automata can pass through the door frame without issue, so Khorvus decides to jump on the back of one of the machines, riding it through the door frame and onto the other side. To everyone’s surprise, riding on the back of the automata doesn’t set them off, so the rest of the party try to follow Khorvus’ lead. While he waits, Khorvus notices there is a switch with a small embedded Dispel Magic, designed to deactivate the alarm spell, on this side of the wall. He chooses to watch the party struggle a little before turning off the alarm…

Arth struggles to mount automata, and receiving a powerful kick from Edolkar goes flying through the door frame and down the stairs into the Faculty lounge. Khorvus deactivates the alarm, following the rest of the party down the stairs. As they arrive, they help Arth up and look around, seeing Vestan, shocked by their entrance, staring at them. Quickly surveying the room, the party see that Vestan has been working on constructing a spell scroll using components from the Faculty lounge, and is standing close to a small snarl, embedded into the middle of the room almost like a fireplace. The party confront Vestan, who continues to try to make excuses on his behaviour and why he is in the room. Realising the party won’t buy into his false claims, he pulls out a small, 12-sided device and hurls it at the floor. Trix tries to use her mage hand to stop it, but Vestan counteracts her attempt. The device lands, where a rust-like colour begins to fill the room. In a bright flash of light, a shadow demon appears to crawl out of the dodecahedron. The party roll for initiative!

Entering into round one, Vestan starts off first. He activates the handles of his device, which draws the dodecahedron ‘back’ to the handles, and casts Mage Armour. Arth tries to immediately ‘disarm’ Vestan by casting Tasha’s Hideous Laughter. The attack fails, not affecting Vestan. The Shadow Demon, awakened and annoyed with being summoned to this plane, moves to attack the closest target, Edolkar. The swipe with its claws fails, with Edolkar dodging the strike. Trix lunges forward, striking with her rapier. Edolkar enters a rage and tries to rehabilitate against the Shadow Demon, but fails with his swing. Khorvus moves against the Shadow Demon as well, landing a successful hit. They quickly learn that the Demon has resistance to all types of normal weapon damage, making the fight more difficult. Khorvus casts Divine Favour to ensure his next attacks add additional radiant damage on the creature.

Into round two, Vestan moves into the back corner of the room, then casts Plant Growth. Many of the succulents and pot plants within the room grow to a terrain that will be difficult to traverse through. Arth tries again to cast Tasha’s Hideous Laughter, but fails again to affect Vestan. The Shadow Demon changes targets to Trix who dealt the most damage last time. The claw attack fails, with Trix easily dodging. Trix strikes again with her rapier, landing more decent damage against the fiend. Edolkar tries again to strike, landing the hit within his rage and striking true, but not yet dealing enough to kill it outright. Khorvus lines up another strike, hitting the fiend and dealing radiant damage which it is weak to.

In round three, Vestan shoots a Firebolt across the room, hurting Arth who wasn’t expecting the blast. Arth shifts his strategy to helping his allies, casting Bardic Inspiration on Edolkar as a bonus action, then casting Shatter against Vestan, shooting lightning across the room. Vestan passes his save, but still takes some damage. The Shadow Demon makes another strike against Trix, swinging its claws and hitting, almost knocking Trix down completely. She panics, fluttering away to a perch on her turn. She casts True Strike, then monitors the situation from a distance. Edolkar realises his Magic Surge ability should have activated, and gains access to an ability to teleport once per turn. He uses this as an opportunity to warp next to Vestan, and strikes with his great sword, making use of Bardic Inspiration granted to him. The strike lands, dealing a significant blow into his shoulder. With his allies having flown or teleported away, Khorvus stands alone against the Shadow Demon. He makes an attack with his warhammer, filling it with radiant light. He makes use of Divine Smight, allowing additional damage against an undead or fiend. In a single strike, he obliterates the fiend.

Round four starts. Vestan panics, both from seeing the Shadow Demon be utterly destroyed so swiftly, and from having taken damage himself. He chooses to flee, casting Dimension Door as he shouts to “take me somewhere safe”. The party realise that as a part of this he has teleported up to 500 feet away, so will still be nearby. They take a quick moment to review their wounds. Khorvus casts Lay on Hands, almost bringing Trix back to full health. They review what Vestan had been doing, finding that he was working to construct a copy of a Lightning Bolt spell scroll. The party prepare to depart up the stairs to chase Vestan…