Students of Strixhaven EP 29 – Schools Out Part Six

Arth is back (for a short time!). We take a moment to briefly review what Arth has been up to, including meeting with Professor Deekah on Quandrix campus. She asks for his assistance with a special project, and directs him to review the contents of the room. She indicates it is very important he focuses on and remember the features of the room, as they will be important later on. The features of the room include:

  • The room itself is painted in a bright, mustard yellow.
  • The illustration of an Aardvark.
  • The letters ‘forty-two’, written in Common.
  • An empty family crest.

Deekah again encourages Arth to retain his memory of the room, then ushers him down the hall. Entering into this room, he sees shapes drawn on the floor, similar in design to a teleportation circle. Deekah explains she is working on an advanced form of magic that can teleport a subject to another location, without their being a physical ‘binding’ at the destination, much like how some spells require a pre-existing teleportation circle. To accomplish this, she needs to ensure the subject focuses on the destination, which in this first test will be the room down the hall with the odd features. She indicates he should not think of anything else. Professor Deekah begins a ritual casting, with the room beginning to hum and lines begin to entwine around Arth in fractal patterns. As the ritual continues, a gust of air blows a stack of papers Arth had placed nearby, and shortly before the ritual completes Arth notices a group assignment with the names of his friends and his mind wanders. Within a moment, he disappears and Deekah walks down the hall, puzzled as to why he didn’t arrive where he was supposed to.

Meanwhile, the party are preparing for the imminent arrival of creatures from below the deep. Grae stands ready to shoot a firebolt, but happens to hear Arth shouting out for Deekah. Puzzled, she encourages him to stand aside and join the party away from the explosives. The party hear screeching, and begin to see six-legged creatures running down from one of the entrances. Grae shoots off her firebolt, lighting the fuse near the explosives, and setting it off, which collapses a further part of a tunnel. Trix triggers an explosive near her also causing more debris. The party roll for initiative as they see the six-legged creatures approach, with Arth recalling that these creatures are called Kruthik, monstrosities from the underdark.

Into round one, a young Kruthik approaches Edolkar and stabs him. Arth casts Shatter, centering it on two Kruthiks. One saves, with one taking some thunder damage, the other being destroyed outright by the blast. Another Kruthik crawls towards Edolkar, but misses. Khorvus casts Shield of Faith, providing a protection prayer on Edolkar. He then focuses on a Kruthik and strikes with his war hammer, destroying it with one hit. Trix casts Dissonant Whispers, but her target saves against it. Another Kruthik strikes Grae. Edolkar enters into a rage, activating his wild magic, and causes roots to grow around him creating difficult terrain. He attacks, striking with his great sword, and cleaves the Kruthik in half. Grae casts Booming Blade, then runs underneath and slices another Kruthik.

For round two, further creatures can be heard digging through the ground underneath. A Kruthik lunges to attack Grae, but misses. Trix and Arth hear the shifting of stone, with Ezan shouting for the party to come quickly. Arth moves into the forge, meeting Ezan, and sees two more Kruthiks burrowing through towards the heat and noise of the forge. Arth casts Vicious Mockery, then steps to a weapons bench and grabs a short sword. One of the newly-arrived Kruthiks storms into the small room containing Edolkar and Grae. It moves to strike, targeting both of them, with both party members getting hit. Khorvus strides over and takes another strike with his war hammer. Trix slides underneath and kills a Kruthik, slicing the underbelly open with her rapier. A younger Kruthik runs down and strikes at Arth. Edolkar engages with the larger Kruthik that has just ended the room, making a reckless attack, and immediately slicing it down with one swing of his great sword. The remaining larger adult Kruthik approaches Trix, with one of its attacks striking her. Grae casts Firebolt, but it doesn’t do much damage.

Into round three, Arth casts Silence in an area around the forge, with the clanging of Ezan’s metalwork immediately changing to an eerie silence. He tries to shout out to Trix but finds himself wrapped in a fractal magic, then in an instance finds himself back on Quandrix campus with Professor Deekah standing in front of him. She debriefs him, but is relieved to find he has returned in one piece. Khorvus throws a javelin at the large adult Kruthik which hits it in the body. Trix strikes but fails to break through the creature’s hardened carapace. Edolkar walks forward, his vines following him, and makes a strike with his great sword. The Kruthik gets a critical success on an attack against Edolkar. Grae dashes forward, using Burning Hands in a cone against two Kruthiks, with the younger Kruthik successfully avoiding the attack.

Khorvus uses his war hammer again, lining up another strong, successful strike. He jumps up Grae’s back and boinks the Kruthik on the head, taking it down. Trix aims for the final Kruthik and skewers it through the eye.

With all Kruthiks defeated, Ezan approaches, walking outside the sphere of the Silence spell. He thanks them for their help, including the mysterious fellow that appeared suddenly then vanished, and explains that he was given sufficient time to complete something. He walks them over to the forge and presents a similarly shaped sphere to the one that saw earlier, which held necrotic energy. Ezan explains he was able to re-use the materials and a spare spherical mould, but in its present state it is devoid of any necrotic magic. He stands aside and whispers a short prayer to Moradin, with the sphere filling with a bright, glowing light. Ezan explains that he has filled it with radiant energy, the inverse of necrotic energy, and perhaps this could help the party to destroy the other half of the artefact by creating a reaction. Grae asks about what will happen to Ezan. He explains that with his half destroyed, he will likely succumb to illness in a matter of days. Likewise, when Roman’s half is destroyed, he will suffer the same fate. They ask about his final intentions. Ezan explains he has some concern that if the party fails, Roman may be able to send people here and find information in the forge and enchantment room next door to reshape a new artefact. He indicates he is willing to overload the forge once the party have reached a safe distance outside Inkaran, and will wait until dawn tomorrow.

He encourages them to wrap up their remaining tasks in Inkaran. The party ask about the locked vault door, to which Ezan explains it used to hold a number of treasures, but has been slowly using the gold to buy supplies every few years. With a whisper, he lifts the Arcane Lock covering the door and lets them inside. They find a selection of sellable items that they pocket. On the way out, they explore a room they missed, which appears as a room dedicated to accounting. Searching the room, Grae finds two Sending Stones, capable of providing the ability to use the Sending spell once a day. Khorvus finds a bottle of ancient whisky, and Edolkar finds a ledger indicating a shipment was lost several hundred years ago further back down the valley. They pocket these items and make their way outside, preparing to camp and rest after their long day.