Vyrellis took the loss of her body remarkably well – as we entered the next chamber she began exclaiming that there were powerful artifacts just beyond the frozen door. I’ve been getting more comfortable leading when Leïkos is unable to, so I urged Renleon to listen at the door.
Unfortunately he seems to be falling faster into madness. He promptly pulled Vryellis out of his backpack and slammed her against the door while commanding her to listen. Up to this point she has been remarkably patient with Renleon but this really pissed her off and soon there was a scene.
Perhaps it is because I see some of myself in Renleon that his descent troubles me as much as it does. I could have easily wound up like him had I not realized my kind’s lust for power cannot be followed to its conclusion. In Elysium we said someone going down this path was “losing his eye”: tracing the steps of the Maimed God, Vecna, and betraying everyone in his quest for power. He is still barking orders at the space where his allies once stood when the Enforcers put him down like the animal he’s become.
Does Renleon realize what a dark and well-trod path he is following?
To end the unpleasantness between Renleon and Vyrellis (and to get at the artifacts!) I blasted the door with fire, which, surprisingly enough, shattered it. Behind it were several pillars of ice which immediately started thawing, and in each pillar was one of the animate corpses we keep encountering. We quickly set to work dispatching them, as my fiery nature was causing the rest of the room to thaw at an alarming rate. (Someone – it was hard to tell who in the din of battle – dubbed me Malakar “the Space Heater” D’Nossos). Leïkos made great use of his new “Harlequin style” which is very strange but undeniably effective, while Marie was able to bolster our defense with her all-encompassing shield.
As we fought, a shrill mezzodemon came barreling through the room and begging safe passage. We tried to reason with him, as he’s one of the denizens of the Pyramid that hasn’t attacked on site, but Vyrellis wouldn’t SHUT HER FUCKING MOUTH. Eventually it came out that the two knew each other.
Long ago, Thath’kul (the newcomer) was a general in Karavakos’s army and was instrumental in a planned coup. However when the moment of truth came, Thath’kul did not follow through. Shamed by his failure, he snapped and killed 34 civilians which is why Vyrellis hates him so much. She admitted that she made up the story about the artifacts in order to direct us to that room so she could see Thath’kul brought to justice. (I wonder how much she overheard about Renleon’s past??)
We offered Thath’kul a position in our group, figuring an ally is always more valuable than an enemy. He accepted and is journeying with us now, although we fully expect him to bolt or turn on us at any time. This angered Vyrellis greatly and she refused to help us anymore until Thath’kul was dead, but we didn’t feel that we needed any more of her manipulative “help.”
Heading downstairs we found a large area with rope bridges connecting various ends of the room. In the room were a few fragile harpies and several sahuagin who promptly hurled their tridents at us. I think they need better leadership, as this was a pretty grave tactical error. Soon we were picking them off as they swam to retrieve their weapons. They seemed to realize how fucked they were because they quickly lost their spirit – the lifeless corpses upstairs put up more of a fight.
By our reckoning we are very nearly done exploring this insane Pyramid. Soon we will bring justice to all those who have eluded it so long, and our party will emerge richer. Then Shadowclaw and I can pore over this Infernal book and see if it holds the key to my redemption…