The Devil’s Riddle: Session 56

The Dark Jester closest to Tomas recoils from the light that surrounds the divinely inspired warrior, then lets out a primal howl of hatred and fury. Tomas and Lisandra feel the horror of it buffeting them, almost a physical thing, but both call upon the Light within to give them the strength they need to resist.

Sadly Fyn lacks their mental fortitude. His mouth drops open as monstrous undulating forms loom up out of the darkness, eyes glowing red. The Jesters tower over him too, forty feet tall, talons outstretched. His weapons drop unnoticed from nerveless fingers, clattering to the stone floor. Utterly unmanned by the terrors that assail him Fyn turns and flees, wailing in fear. Finding a door behind him he tears it open and dashes into the darkness of the corridor beyond.

The Jester who was once the bookseller snarls and unleashes his dark power at Lisandra, only to see the brunt of the attack turned aside by the faint glow that still surrounds her. “You will you find your powers are limited against one who channels the Light” she smiles calmly. The creature hisses in defiance, backing away towards a door in the far wall.

As it does so a wisp of shadow detaches itself from the crumpled cloak of the fallen Jester. It rises and coalesces into a vaguely humanoid form, hovering above the tattered cloak, twin points of blue light burning where eyes should be. It turns and closes on Tomas, enveloping him in shadow. A shriek of agony tears itself from the big man; black veins stand out and spread out over greying flesh as he is wracked by inhuman pain. Though he lashes out frantically his axe passes clean through the apparition, seemingly causing little harm.

Seeing his plight Lisandra steps forward, places a hand on his back and closes her eyes. “Take courage, my friend. The Source shall never abandon you. Fight on!” Tomas feels the invigorating Light flooding into him and cries out “For the Light!”

Freed of the binding magic Rufus dashes forward. Dropping to one knee he sheathes his sword and takes an arrow with one hand whilst simultaneously readying his bow with the other. As his knee touches the ground the arrow is fired, striking the Jester close to Tomas hard in the stomach at precisely the same moment as Cayleb’s crossbow bolt slams into its forehead. The creature is thrown backwards and crumbles to dust before it hits the ground.

“We are not your foes, dead thing. Come here and tell me of your plans.” Idril’s voice reverberates through the chamber like a bell, laced with compelling magic. The retreating Jester with the face of the bookseller freezes in place and then turns, cocking its head to one side. It clasps its clawed hands together, hunches its shoulders beneath the folds of its great black cloak, and complies, the grin never leaving its face as it scuttles back towards the gnome. Waiting, Idril leans on her walking cane and allows herself a tiny but triumphant smile.

The light that suffuses Tomas causes the specter he battles to recoil, straight into a searing bead of flame conjured by Idril, but another of the spectral creatures rises from the cloak of the fallen Jester behind him and tears at his back.

Rufus drops his bow and dashes towards the wounded specter. His blade flashes up in a swift, clean blow that would take the head of any mortal foe. Once again Cayleb follows up with the killing shot; the inky black shade releases an echoing wail that fades along with its form into nothing. “Hey, that’s three for three!” yells Cayleb. “That’s gotta be worth a payrise!”

Tomas whirls and swings hard at the remaining specter, parting the smoke-like body only for it to reform. Lisandra points and a beam of scorching light blasts towards the specter, punching a neat hole through it. The shadow, clearly sensing defeat, retreats, passing straight through the nearest wall and out of sight.

  The final Jester approaches the elderly gnome. It can feel her in its mind and struggles furiously to break her grip, but has no way of freeing itself from her magic. “Now” says Idril, the power tangible in her voice. “I think it’s time you and I had a little chat.”


One Response to “The Devil’s Riddle: Session 56”

  1. The Jester’s Fear works wonders on Fyn. He fails a series of Wisdom saves, and is now off exploring on his own; that’s never a good plan.

    I decided way back that Jesters would be a two part monster, a physical husk animated by a weaker shadow form. It seemed thematic and it makes for a tougher fight.

    Lisandra’s healing helps keep Tomas on his feet, but the real bonus for the party here is Idril’s successful use of Suggestion. This could finally give the party some insight into what they’re up against, and how to prevent it.

    Of course one of the Specters gets away. I wonder what mischief he’s going to get up to?

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