Last week on the Tuesday game...
The party had one last lead to follow-up on: the Blackwall family, an extremely powerful merchant family that completely monopolised the carriage business in Iskar. With the help of the grain merchant, the party were able to pose as grain and hops merchants and subsequently infiltrate a luncheon held by the young mistress Blackwall, a beautiful and young half-elven woman.
Lunch went about as well as expected, and although Kiara tried to Purify the food and drink of each course as it was served, the overeager cleric was eventually talked out of that notion by her fellow adventurers. At the end of lunch, each adventurer then clumsily claimed that they all had to use the restroom, and used that opportunity to break away from the other merchants and sneak around the house.
Thanks to the druid's Pass Without Trace, the party was able to sneak into a nearby stairwell and make it all the way into the second floor. While there, the cleric unfortunately struck a nearby vase with an elbow, and the party immediately dove into the nearest room to hide from the servants.
Unfortunately, the room proved to be less empty than they had hoped. Trapped within an arcane circle of blood - most of it still fresh from the last time it was painted - was a shadowy figure that introduced itself as The Blackwall. According to the creature, it was responsible for the wealth and power that the family enjoyed today: "how did you think they got so rich so quick? Every horse, pulling every carriage in the city? Nightmares, each and every one of them, born from flame and shadow and the spark of death."
The demon tried to make a deal with the party. In exchange for freeing it, the Blackwall would not only allow them to go free, but will also kill every single person in the manor, allowing them free reign to search the place at their own leisure, in their own time. All they had to do was to simply break the arcane circle surrounding the creature. Although Kiara and Chant was more than happy to do that, Jandar and Hagren refused, and the deciding vote eventually ended up with Qilin.
Seeing how things stood, the demon made a private offer to Qilin: set him free, and he will teach her every single necromantic spell in existence, right now. The offer tempted the gnomish necromancer, but even so, she was still reluctant to break the circle. Instead, she made a counter-offer: instead of breaking the circle and freeing the demon immediately, she would craft a vessel to house the creature and free it after two hours. This the demon was willing to accede to, but required a blood oath from every member of the party; a demand which Jandar and Hagren, again, refused.
The discussion went on for hours, and Kiara - frustrated that the talks were going nowhere - attempted to jump into the circle with the vessel that Qilin had crafted. Thankfully, Jandar managed to wrestle her to the ground before she could breach the circle, and negotiations continued as the druid sat on the cleric.
Eventually, the party decided that Chant would be the one to step into the circle with the vessel, but just as he was about to do so, his sorcerer instincts kicked in, and he spotted a slight imperfection in Qilin's vessel. Although he did not know how to fix the flaw, he knew that if he stepped into the circle with this vessel, the demon would break free of the trap in moments and either possess or kill him.
Their plan scuppered, the party fell back and began discussions anew. This frustrated Kiara, who again attempted to jump into the circle; and this time, Jandar and Hagren failed to grab her. As her foot crossed the boundary of the arcane circle, it erased a single tiny rune... and broke the spell that bound the demon to this realm.
The screams went on for five minutes and resounded throughout the entire manor. When the screams eventually stopped, and the party cautiously left the summoning chamber, they found that they were the only people alive in the entire manor. Whole rooms and corridors were bathed in blood, and the gore made the floor slick beneath their feet.
The party knew that, with a family as prominent as the Blackwalls dead, news would spread like wildfire throughout the city, and they would do well to be away from the manor before the guards found them. In their hurried search of the manor, they found a vital clue - the coded diary of Sir Patrick Blackwall - and, to their chagrin, the corpse of the grain merchant that had introduced them to the Blackwalls in the first place.