Episode 104 - Homecoming
The Second Wave
Tulip says there were 24 bugbears and goblins, along with some beholders. That was the first wave.
Tulip calls down and tries to call off the second wave. The group can hear music. Tulip says that that sound is Scareth playing the pipes. She'll be sending up rats and monsters. Out of the hole emerges one of those trash-shambling mounds, like the one they fought in the theater not long ago.
Narae tells the group they might want to run. She runs up to the mound and attacks it.
Hands come up through the floor. Green, clawed hands grab Strix and pull at her. She is grappled by it inside a zone of magical darkness. Another one grabs and pulls down Evelyn, too. They hear Naska's voice urging someone to dispel the darkness.
These trolls have barrels of smoke powder trapped to their backs! There's a massive explosion. Everyone in the taproom is affected by the explosion. Narae is blown out through one of the front windows and lands at the foot of Lance the donkey.
Diath looks down into the basement/pit/hole. He sees twitching troll parts and troll arms crawling around. Evelyn and Strix are OK. He still hears the music. It's from a pipe or flute. Diath sets the troll arms on fire. They burn and are no longer moving.
He checks the structural integrity of the house. He sees that there is a hole where the spiral staircase normally sits.
The kids are upstairs in Evelyn's bedroom. They felt the blast shake the entire house. Simon starts setting a tripwire at the door. Jenks is jumping on Evelyn's bed. They consider jumping out the window but ultimately decide against it.
Back downstairs, Naska steps out of the wreckage. He sees Evelyn and Strix in the pit. Behind him is an undead ogre holding a fishing pole. Hanging from it is a beholder. It has no mouth and magical lights coming from its eyestalks. Strix wonders if it is a scrying device for the Xanathar.
A magic mouth appears on it. It says, "Take a bite and feed, satisfaction guaranteed."
Evelyn tries to ask Naska if he's a double agent without saying that exactly. Naska tells her she must pay a terrible price. She can tell he's trying to hide the fact that he was friends with the group from his allies.
Diath draws both Gutter and Moonsplinter. He jumps down, puts a blade at Naska's back, and tells him to call them off. Naska nervously says he should talk to the Xanathar. Evelyn awkwardly says that Naska is just an underling enforcer, and that he should deal with the boss.
The garbage monster leaps into the hole and lands on Strix. She is engulfed.
A neighbor across the square starts shouting, "What is going on over there!?"
Outside, Narae sees the kids and climbs up into the hallway. Squiddly shoots an arrow at her, but Narae catches it. Waffles comes out of a door and charges the monk. Jenks calls out to Waffles, and the owlbear stops charging. Narae shadow steps down to the basement to try to tend to Nat.
Narae suggests that the group abandon the house. She says that their enemies know where they live and the kids are in danger. The group does not like this idea at all.
The unseen servants are bound to different rooms. The ones bound to the tap room were destroyed last session.
The group checks the house. While the interior is heavily damaged, the structure is still solid.
Narae is quite bothered by this. She says, "This is what happens when children get tied up in these things."
The group can't bring her back. They don't have the components for revivify. Diath tells Narae that there are ways to bring her back. Narae reveals that she lost her child and wife in violence like this, and that she worries for the fate of the kids near the group. Evelyn hears this and it weighs on her.
Diath tells Narae that this is no life or place for children. He says that he knows a safe place for the kids to go. Narae warns him of getting in too deep between the Xanathar and the Zhentarim, and tells him that nobody knows whose side he's really on: "You're a kite in a hurricane, Diath."
In a cemetery the next morning, Narae reports to her superior, Istrid Horn. She tells Horn that the group doesn't have the ring of winter, and that it was last seen in the Shadowfell. "Our quest continues," she says. Horn tells her to await further orders.