Keep on the Borderlands

12. Betrayal Revealed

12/8/10: We had a third eladrin mage tonight, heh heh. Not to mention the big betrayal...

RPGA Sanctioning #:    10-10-2499715

Hirbe - Eladrin Mage
Merric - Halfling Thief
Ozziroth - Eladrin Mage
Rolf - Dragonborn Barbarian
Tornam - Dwarf Cleric
Varian - Eladrin Mage

The adventurers had recovered the treasure of Greysen Ramthane. They made their way back through the dungeon, to the first room with the flail statue and the wall spikes. There, they found Benwick waiting for them, along with Gorn Hammerfell. They wanted to split up the treasure. Gordi, Benwick's spy who the heroes had rescued in their first battle, was nearby holding an empty sak. So was Sal, Varian's halfling girlfriend, who worked for Benwick as a spy.

The heroes handed over the gold and the Serpent's Eye, the magical gem of Zehir. The loot was divvied up. As agreed, Benwik, the dwarf and the heroes each took a third.

Benwick smiled and gave the heroes a polite nod. "I must once again thank you for your hard work and bravery. We are in your debt."

Two men descended the steps. They bore symbols of Zehir, and held daggers in their hands. Benwick gave the heroes a serpentine smile.

"I've enjoyed our adventures together, but now it is time for you to die." He looked at Gorn. "As agreed, help kill them and you can have their share."

As Benwick finished, he raised the Serpent's Eye and disappeared in a flash of sickly green light. Gordi, Sal, Gorn and the snake cultists turned on the heroes and attacked!

Varian warned his allies not to kill Sal. Then his curse kicked in. The villains' eyes glowed golden as Clarissa's voice boomed, "Varian is the deadliest warrior in this room - he must be dealt with first." Sal, eyes glowing brightly, apologised to Varian in advance.

Merric ran toward the steps and flung a dagger into the chest of a cultist, killing him. Gloomhandler was quick to note that Merric had already killed one.

Rolf hacked into Gordi with his halberd. Hirbe fired off a magic missile that killed the other cultist. Then he climbed the statue to get a better vantage point on his foes.

The cultists each had magicglobes in their hands. The globes shifted magically and transformed into snakes! The snakes slithered forth, marked by Varian. They spit poison at him, blinding and bloodying the mage!

Ozziroth chanted and let off a massive explosion of fire, killing both of the snakes and bloodying Gordi. 

Varian was hurt. He called upon Fra for aid, hoping she could turn Sal to his side, or maybe at least do something perverted to him or her. Fra instead used her magic to heal Varian. Sal crept up behind him and hit him in the head with the hilt of her blade, knocking Varian out.

Gorn was burned by Ozziroth's font of flame spell and wanted revenge. He struck the eladrin with his hammer, bloodying him. Tornam cast another healing word on Varian. Then he swung his hammer at Sal, missing. She shouted at him not to swing at her.

Merric crept forth and stabbed Gorn in the back, a nasty blow that would have felled a lesser opponent. Rolf swung his halberd into Gorn, bloodying the dwarf. Hirbe, from atop the statue, cast a font of flame spell, scorching Gorn and nearly killing him and Gordi. Gorn, amidst the blaze, struck Rolf with his hammer.

Ozziroth pelted Gordi with a spell, killing him. Gordi fell to the ground, and his smoldering body shifted into its' true form - a grey-skinned humanoid with big black eyes. Gordi was a changeling.

Varian tried to cast a spell on Sal, but she dropped him again with the hilt of her blade. Then she turned to Tornam, and shifted into a grey being for a moment! She was a changeling as well! Tornam was shocked, and she used the opportunity to stab him in the vitals. Tornam swung back and healed Varian again.

Merric stabbed Gorn and killed him. He then quietly stuffed Gorn's sack of 200 gold into his pack without anyone seeing. Gloomhandler gleefully praised him.

Rolf ran over and hit Sal with the butt of his halberd. She thanked him for not trying to kill her, as blood poured from her mouth. Hirbe cast Phantasmal Assault on her, calling forth the image of (Samuel L Jackson wearing a tunic) an illusionary man. The illusionary man said, "I'm tired of seeing mother f***ing snakes in this mother f***ing crypt!". He blasted her with psychic energy. Then, as she reeled, Hirbe jumped off of the statue and landed on her, pinning her to the ground. She surrendered.

Hirbe quietly wondered where Gorn's gold had gone. He questioned Merric. Merric tried to lie, but Hirbe saw through it. Merric kept the gold, but Hirbe knew he'd need to keep an eye on the rogue... 

The heroes bandaged up their wounds and Sal told them that Benwick had tricked them. Benwick actually worshiped the snake god, Zehir. Ronnik the banker had stolen the Serpent's Eye, an artifact of Zehir, and Benwick had tricked the heroes into killing him for revenge. He also used the heroes to clear out the rival cult of Tiamat.

Benwick's plan was to use the money the heroes had stolen from the crypt to bribe two black dragons into attacking the keep! The dragons were to lead the charge, as Benwick's army of Zehir-worshiping lizardfolk followed up to claim the keep as their own.

Sal suggested the heroes talk to the ruler of the keep, Lord Drysdale.