The party is in the central chamber. We decide to move forward into the larger room ahead, Crea leading the way. There are five cultists and a lady in heavy armor in there. The constable is one of the cultists. Some of us notice that several of the people in the group, who are arranging themselves in a semi-circle like a college a cappella group, have the glassy-eyed stare like the people from the town, but minus the lethargy of the people from the Golden Grain. The woman in heavy armor is alert as you please. The room is lit by torches, but it’s also full of those candles.
The woman is in her late 20s and is fairly unremarkable except for her eyes, which are hard and predatory. She says, “I was wondering when we’d meet.” Apparently we’ve been causing a lot of trouble for “her mistress.” There’s some interplay with the constable, who seems stressed or ashamed. Another cultist recognizes Teagan, who says he’s done with all this and that he’s with us now. Good man. He advises the man who recognized him to walk away, as he’s seen what we can do. Deduction tells us the heavy-armor woman is Misha, the priestess.
Misha is all like, “Kill them,” and it’s on. Bingo casts Faery Fire on Misha and a random cultist. Issana shoots an arrow into Misha. Then the cultists take their turn. Misha casts Hold Person or Paralyze or some damn thing on Crea, and she can’t move and everything against her has advantage and all hits from 5 feet away are crits. The constable promptly stabs the hell out of her. Some cultists also start stabbing Nila, too. And someone with a bow decides to shoot Crea.
Teagan goes after the guy who got all pissy with him earlier and stabs him with Issana’s dagger. He cuts him up pretty well. Go Teagan! Nila casts Healing Word on herself and turns into what she thinks is a honey badger. Cael casts Hunter’s Mark on the Faery Fire cultist and shoots an arrow into him. Crea fails her wisdom saving throw and is still paralyzed. Herm casts Flaming Sphere over by Misha and the constable. (“Incantation,” says Sebastian.) Talhier risks an attack of opportunity to attack the constable. He stabs him and goes for another attack, which misses. Nesse casts Cure Wounds on Crea. Second level, even!
Bingo inspires Crea by singing her a little song. He also casts Suggestion on the cultist archer, telling him that if he attacks his friends, we’ll let him surrender at the end of the fight. It may have worked? Issana uses her rapier to stab the Faery Fire cultist to death, thanks to Sneak Attack damage. Ask for it by name! The constable and Misha move away from the Flaming Sphere. The constable makes another attack against Crea. He crits without even that bullshit autocrit stuff. Bingo throws in Cutting Words to lower the damage, which was considerable. The constable has an action surge in him; he swings at Nesse and misses.
Misha casts something at Talhier, probably the same thing she cast on Crea, but he shakes it off. Misha also casts Healing Word on the cultist Issana killed to death, who gets up and is ready to fight again. Two cultists attack Nila – one misses, another hits. Then another swings at her and hits as well. The archer in the corner who was Suggested at by Bingo. He shoots at Teagan anyway. Teagan goes. He stabs his guy. Nila tries a bite attack and misses. Cael shoots at the cultist that died and came back. Down he goes again. Crea saves at last, and is angry. Herm casts firebolt at Misha and misses. He moves the Flame Sphere. Talhier misses the swing he takes at the constable. Nesse casts Cure Wounds at second level on Crea.
Bingo casts Cloud of Daggers around Misha. Issana stabs the constable with her rapier, and Misha takes yet more damage from the Cloud of Daggers. The constable tries to attack Issana and misses. One of the cultists on Nila crits and does a lot of damage. She’s back in her gnome form. Another one hits her and she takes yet more damage. Teagan stabs another dude – he’s really good at this “stabbing dudes” thing. Nila casts Cure Wounds on herself. Cael moves her Hunter’s Mark to the constable and shoots him. Crea rages and carves into the constable with her greataxe. It feels great. Herm moves the Flame Sphere to follow Misha and casts Firebolt at her. It hits. Talhier misses the constable. Nesse Tolls the Dead on the constable, which kills him dead.
Bingo uses his crossbow to shoot Misha. Then Issana shoots her with an arrow right through the faceplate, and she’s dead. The archer flees the room, running through the Cloud of Daggers and taking a bunch of damage. He gets a little way down the hall. One of the remaining cultists calls the archer a coward and swings at Nila, missing. Another cultist also swings at Nila, hitting her this time. Teagan stabs at a cultist, but it glances off his armor. Nila casts Healing Word on herself and changes shape into the goat-wolf. Cael moves her Hunter’s Mark to a damaged cultist and shoots him. Crea chases after the running archer and carves into him. Herm casts firebolt at the archer for yet more damage. Tahlier kills the guy who recognized Teagan. Nesse Tolls the Dead on the archer, who refuses to die.
Bingo uses Vicious Mockery on the archer, who unfortunately resists, because it would have been awesome to have him go down like that. Issana crit fails shooting at him. The archer lays on the ground and whimpers. The other remaining cultist, who hasn’t taken any damage, provokes four attacks of opportunity trying to get away. He makes it to the hall toward the chamber we originally came from. Nila chases him to bite at his heels, but misses. Cael moves her Hunter’s Mark to the guy who’s running and shoots him and he dies.
The archer is crying and begging for his life. Issana wants to know how many more cultists there are. There is a group by the stairs down. They’re monsters, not people. There’s one more level down. There’s an underground lake through the hall – there are things in the lake, but if you use the boat, they won’t bother us. Why was Misha doing all this, Talhier wants to know. Because she serves the Mistress.
The lake is 40 or 50 feet across, and the hallway that leads down is on the other side. On the lower level, Decius and the Mistress are probably there. She has others with her – guard monsters and lieutenants. The archer hasn’t been there much – he wasn’t worthy. Herm agrees. The archer says there was a newcomer in the past few weeks, a male elf with a weird swirly symbol around his neck, like a cross with curves.
We tie up the archer, with the plan of turning him in for justice back in the town. Herm inspects Misha’s equipment and finds that she’s wearing armor of good quality, but the only magical thing he finds is a gold ring with a blue stone that looks faceted but isn’t. Herm takes the ring and does not mention it to the rest of the group. Among the cultists, we find about 300 gold and a garnet worth about 70 gold.