Episode 17

Victorious and cautiously optimistic, the Lenai began exploring the rest of the keep. They first came upon a barn that seemed to have been used for hay and centipede storage – until the centipedes transformed into pathetically weak demons that the Lenai quickly dispatched. Kenzie politely asked Trinket to make certain that there was nothing mean or scary in the basement and Trinket did so happily, once again proving his value to the Lenai. 

There remained one last building and multiple points to breach, Liam and Alra moved to enter from each point – Claire and Vincent followed after Liam, Kenzie, Tinket, and Ariadna followed after Alra. Somehow Ariadna ended up in front of Alra, which ended up being a bad decision. The Lenai breached the building to discover the southern entrance led to a room full of zombie minotaurs and the western entrance led to a snake lady with six arms and – coincidentally – six longswords. Ariadna barely shouldered the six blows that rained down upon her, scuttling out of the way and praying to Haggar for intervention – to be free of the snake lady who had so injured her.

As Claire, Vincent, and Liam – with a certain amount of druidic(?) help from Elwynn – made quick work of the zombie minotaurs, Alra moved to block the snake lady and Trinket teleported to block the other side. Together, they kept the snake lady encircled within the confines of the hallway. Kenzie gave life to a divine aura that tore at the snake lady, but the monster persisted. Trinket's happy "I've got this!" of a moment earlier became dulled by apparent paralysis. Alra attempted to claw and sting the snake lady while the blades bit at her exoskeleton and eventually forced her back into human form.

When all of her minions had been dispatched, Trinket suddenly roused from his paralysis. The necrotic energy he always held prepared glittered into a bright white radiant light, and the same light began to radiate outwards from his body as well – most notably from behind his mask. His conjured light took the form of a sword of divine power, and he struck the snake lady, causing her to perish at the cost – realized a moment later – of his own life, the radiant energy consuming him as well. Kenzie was crestfallen. The danger had been real, even of having Trinket around, Liam attempted to say in private – but in Kenzie's mind, a true and proper friend had been lost. In the eyes of Alra and Ariadna, a being which had fallen to the temptation of necromancy surely at the cost of his own humanity had instead turned towards Haggar in answer of Ariadna's plea. Even Liam begrudgingly admitted that Trinket's death was heroic.

Caution to the wind, the Lenai pressed onward. Forced back into human form and a little beat up, Alra's hubris came to roost as she burst through a door – revealing four powerful necromancers bearing the sign of the Rotting Legion. She struck out with her most powerful spell, a beam of radiant light bursting forth from her hand — and was almost immediately forced backward by a blast of necrotic energy not that dissimilar, her body forced backwards against the wall she's positioned herself near, slumping down as she lost consciousness.

As was always the case when serious injury came to the Lenai, extra precautions as well as extra risks were employed in order to see to the deaths of the necromancers. They found themselves unable to heal Alra after multiple attempts – even Elwynn's – due to an aura emanating from the necromancers. It took the death of the final necromancer standing, bitterly persisting in his efforts, to finally bring the aura down and allow for Alra to be healed. The Lenai initially decided to take an hour and rest – Alra sat where she had fallen and refused to be moved. Ariadna stayed with her throughout the eight hours, praying – eventually joined by Alra, who prayed wordlessly. She had clearly had the confidence shaken from her by falling so easily.

Fully recovered, Alra acceded and followed the Lenai into the basement. Within there was a chanting, Ariadna felt she recognized it but it wasn't until Zara at last witnessed the giant demon from her vision that she fully realized just who was before her. She quaked, terrified. The Moriana sisters psychologically checked out, Liam moved forward and challenged the demon with his sunblade. "I believe you're in my Keep. I'm here to evict you."

The demon only laughed in response.


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