Sol'sora

Session 0.5 - "Stranger Danger"

The Ten Years Ago Prologue

Setting: The great Gorlorian Empire, ruled by the immortal Gorloris the Magnificent. When the world was younger, he banished the chaotic forces of fiends, fey and celestials to other planes of existence and sort of made the world the way it is now. Today is Ban Fiend, the day everyone celebrates the banishment of the fiends.

A group of kids (age 10-13) have won the worldwide lottery to take part in the traditional Ban Fiend haunted house/dungeon experience in the glorious capital city of Gathering. The group consists of (if I remember correctly) two halflings, Fen and Pruaga; a gnome called Betha; a human called Yannic, and a half-elf called Remi. We were grouped together by arrival time, and waited for our turn to enter through one of many doors carved in a cliff face. And then we waited some more, watching kids be ushered in and come out. Finally an adult comes to us, welcomes us and and lets us in one of the large iron doors.

We’re in a stone 30 by 30 by 30 ft room. Magical lighting, otherwise seems empty. Pretty quickly one of us (was it Fen?) finds a secret pressure-activated door, and is whooshed onto the other side. The others find the door too and go through. I think we were already holding hands at this point.

We come to a stone hall with a stream of water running through it and a door on the far side. Some of us can swim, others can’t. Two go across, one swimmer helping one non-swimmer across. On the other side they find a rope under a hollow fake rock. The others cross over the stream with help from the rope. We take the rope with us and continue on.
Going through the door, we come across a rack of weapons: wooden swords, shields, slings, a couple of amulets that feel nice and warm, and two smallish books, a golden and black one. For some time we debate what each of us should pick up, and then move on.

In the next hall there are beautiful mosaic arcs set into the floor, with a door at the far end. Hand-in-hand we start walking over the first one, and a bunch of goblins appear in the room and hail of arrows shoots at us. Only Pruaga is hit, but we stop anyway.

Fen discovers strange round holes in the walls, and jumps over the next mosaic curve to examine one. Sticking the wooden sword doesn’t seem to do anything. She holds her shield up and steps on another curve, and the arrows come again. This time Betha is hit with an arrow… but as it’s pulled out, the wound feels warm and closes.

We also discover that the goblins that sprung up are fakes. Fen sticks an arrow into one of the round wall slots and the next time we attempt to cross a mosaic curve, the arrows don’t come. Using of shields just in case, we manage to all get across to the other side of the room.

In front of the door is the bloody body of a man. By his clothes and the mask he has, we know he’s supposed to be at the end of the adventure, pretending to be the fiend we’ll eventually banish, but he’s been recently bludgeoned to death. He has a couple of keys, rope anchors, and a little money. We go through the door.

In the next corridor we start hearing the sounds of children screaming. We round a corner and come to a great big pair of doors.

Someone figures out to try giving the amulet Betha took from the armor rack to Pruaga, and her arrow wound closes too.

We crack the door open and peek in, and the lights that were in the room go out. Remi, with darkvision, sees into the hall: unlit braziers, a platform, a great big throne – the usual look for the final room of a Ban Fiend haunted house… Except that there’s a horrible many-headed mass on the floor, and a dead child, as well as a child tied to a wooden table in front of the throne, and a strange man, and a bunch of kids tied up in the corner, screaming.

The horrible writhing mass starts for the door. We go into battle mode. Even though not everyone sees into darkness we manage to dispatch the horrible monstery thing which disappears. The man still remains, and he’s pretty clearly evil. He lights a brazier, and after everyone’s entered the room the rest of the braziers light up too. Betha and Yannic go for the child on the table and those tied up in the corner, while the others attack the man. He goes down, in flames.

The other children seem to be too young for this particular pretend-dungeon. The child who had been on the table has a necklace of a silver head on on a black background: the symbol of Gorloris the Magnificent. His name is Sobrin (sp?) and he tells us the man who we just killed was supposed to be his friend and they were supposed to rule the world, but that once the man killed one of the other children, the boy started feeling the friendship was of questionable quality.

We know that demons can be summoned by killing people, and deduct that that’s what happened here with the dead child and weird monstrosity.

We release the other children, and after a couple of halflings sit on the throne, another pressure door opens. We and the other children go through, with Remi carrying the dead child. When we get out the other children’s parents come get them, but no one seems to acknowledge the dead child… until an old woman appears. She thanks us for doing what we could, and tells us if there’s ever anything we need, to call her, she will. Then she takes her grandchild away.

We alert the organizers of the event to what had happened, and guide a bunch of them back through the rooms to see the dead bodies. They’re very concerned. We’re all awarded 100 gold, and eventually we all go back home, most likely horribly traumatized for life.

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