Sword Coast Guard, Episode 16 – Confronting Lady Tharmar, Part 2

Session Date: November 19, 2017

28 Eleasias, 1367 DR

When we last left our heroes, they had just defeated a handful of demon-spawn in the library of Lady Nellabee Tharmar. Lady Tharmar herself, after revealing herself as a succubus, had fled to the ethereal plane.

As the heroes of the Sword Coast Guard stand in the Great Library, discussing their next move, an inter-planar rift opens, Lady Tharmar’s appears, grabs Iantorin and Belwar, and yanks them through the rift. “Don’t worry!” she laughs as the rift closes. “I’ll show your friends a good time!”

“What the hell was that?” asks Xavier, his Blizzard Sword at the ready.

Elodin thinks a moment or two — as his Arcana check is processed — and replies, “Just a DM plot device. Nothing we can do anything about. Now, what were we saying?”

“I can’t believe Nellabee didn’t take me with her,” Nigel says. Head down, the bard wipes a tear from his glistening eyes.

“Yeah, that might have been for the best,” mutters Elodin.

Iantorin’s and Belwar’s players were at this session, so those characters got yanked into the Etheral plane for Lady Tharmar’s amusement.

The companions hear boots echoing down the hall that leads from the library, and then see several tiefling and half-orc guards round the corner.

Two guards, a human and half-orc, are shocked to see the corpses of demon spawn littering the floor. As their tiefling commander — a warlock of considerable power — commands them to kill the heroes (except for Nigel; Lady Tharmar wants him alive), the human and half-orc, Tiebald and Rickard, defect to the heroes’ side and aid them against the guards.

Instead of re-leveling the encounters, I whipped up a couple NPCs for my players to use this session. Basically a simplified barbarian and fighter.

Nigel drops a well placed hypnotic pattern, holding four fo the guards in place right off the bat. Xavier, Tibald, and Rickard then move into start cleaning up. However, the enemy’s warlock leader was unaffected by the spell, and promptly starts blasting his own companions with eldritch blast to snap them out of it.

Elodin drops a wall of fire in the library, scorching many of the guards and the warlock. However, the enemy spellcaster responds in kind, dropping his own wall of fire on the heroes.

I had literally opened up wall of fire on my phone and was reading about it when Elodin’s player told me he was going to cast it, too.

With two walls of fire filling much of the hallway and the library, the combatants scramble about to free themselves from the waves of heat. Then, after some more back and forth, the Sword Coast Guard finally brings down the last of their foes.

At this point, the heroes suspect that Lady Tharmar was likely moving through the compound, alerting the guards to their presence, or the noise from combat was drawing them down on them.

Elodin sends his owl familiar outside with a note to warn the Waterdeep watch of demons in the manor. The watch captain and guardsmen across the street are justifiably terrified at the though of fighting demons themselves, and send for Force Gray, the elite strike force of the Lords of Waterdeep.

As the heroes stand around in the library discussing matters…

Don’t ask me why they didn’t move elsewhere if the enemies obviously knew where they were…

Another group of tiefling and half-orc guards come upon them. This time the heroes bluff the guards away from attacking, gesturing to the corpses around them and warning them that if they don’t leave, they are next. The guards restrain themselves, obviously not wanting to end up as warm corpses on the stone floor.

As the two sides talk things over, a baying begins to sound throughout the compound. The manor guards’ eyes go wide, and one of them curses, “Not the hounds!” Two of them then break a window and flee outside to the courtyard, obviously having decided to flee from these hounds, whatever they are.

Not content to let a group of foes flee, Nigel casts compulsion on them, preventing two from getting away. Then all of the heroes, except Nigel, break windows and move out into the courtyard in pursue of the manor guards.

Four large hounds, their fur night black and shot through with crimson, come barreling down the hallway into the library. Three jump through the windows and engage Xavier, Tiebald, and Rickard, breathing gouts of fire upon them. The fourth falls upon a tiefling guard under the effects of compulsion, likewise breathing fire.

As the heroes engaged the hell hounds, a cambion — one of Nigel’s sons with Nellabee — flies into the library. Seeing Nigel alone, the cambion says, “Come with me, father. Mother would like to speak with you.” Waves of magic wash over Nigel, compelling him to comply.

Nigel, a half-elf, has advantage on charm saves. He still rolled a 7. 

The cambion and Nigel then fly off, heading upstairs. They enter a room containing a blood-stained altar and find Lady Tharmar, in succubus form, waiting for them.

Nellabee tells Nigel that despite her love for him, she is greatly disappointed in him and his comrades, claiming they have ruined her operation in the manor. Thus, she and Nigel’s children will have to leave before the Waterdeep authorities arrive.

Elodin objected later that Nellabee attacked them first. Whatever.

Nigel begs Nellabee not to leave, decrying his unending love for her, but the succubus opens a portal to Cania — the eighth layer of the Nine Hells — and departs, promising to visit him often. The cambion gives Nigel an affectionate hug and says, “We’ll see each other someday soon, father,” before plane shifting away himself.

Nigel makes his way back down to his comrades and finds them victorious over the hell hounds. At that moment, Force Gray — two wizards, a paladin of Torm, two fighters, and a halfling rogue — arrive and begin speaking with the Sword Coast Guard.

One of the wizards expresses disdain that they even needed to be summoned, claiming that the Sword Coast Guard — an adventuring company of no small fame — should have been able to take care of things themselves. The heroes give various excuses, none of which really satisfy Force Gray.

With Force Grey bolstering their ranks, the heroes moves through the manor, making sure it’s cleared of any remaining guards or demon spawn.

Finally, they come upon four humans tied up in the master suite: Lady Nellabee Tharmar, her daughter, and her two sons. The heroes are suspicious of another trap, and explain to Force Gray that the succubus was talking the form of Lady Tharmar.

The paladin of Torm calls upon his divine magic, surveys the humans, and declares that they are not demon spawn, just victims of the forces of hell.

The heroes untie the captives, and Nigel rushes to Nellabee himself. “My love, I’m so relieved to find you again,” the bard tells her.

Lady Tharmar looks at him confused. “Thank you for rescuing us, but who are you?”

An awkward conversation ensues with Nigel baring his heart and Lady Tharmar claiming not to know him. The other heroes apologize for their friend, claiming he has certain issues that need to be set right.

They are correct, of course. Nigel has…issues.

Finally, Lady Tharmar rewards the heroes richly, even giving Nigel a musical instrument imbued with magical powers.

As the heroes leave Tharmar Manor and head back to the Safehaven Inn, a small boy runs up to them. “Excuse me,” the courier says. “Are you the Sword Coast Guard? Well, Tzarrakyn the Younger needs to speak with you right away. Something about Gauntlet Hall being under siege.”

Elodin sighs. “Yes, of course it is.”

The Sword Coast Guard

the adventurers formerly known as the Heroes of Gold, Glory, and Girls

Not photoed: Iantorin Mournsoul - Half-Elven Paladin of Helm

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