The Guardian informed our intrepid heroes that demons had entered through the front doors, and Archer and Marcus charged upstairs. They found a group of 7' tall lizards in the foyer. As they watched, orange plumes rose behind the lizards' heads. "In the Eye!" screamed Archer, releasing a storm of arrows ... as Marcus moved to engage them in close combat, and another larger lizard entered through the still open doors. Poisonous insects began to pour from every crevice and form up around the still living demons, but the creatures were no match for the Solars. Just as an arrow pierced the storm of insects and felled the last demon, a pitch black knife flew past Archer and into Marcus' back. Marcus was down.
Archer immediately tried to follow the shadow that flitted away. It was just too quick for him, choosing to take that one opportune shot at Marcus and flee. Archer carried Marcus' unconscious body to the garden, and went downstairs to discuss matters with the Guardian. What was his surprise when he returned to the garden, only to find Marcus' throat slit. Tracking the barely visible footprints back to the music room, he found the music mistress playing a mournful dirge on the lyranthe. He refused her kind offer of musical instruction and smote her mask into small pieces ... even as he heard the door boom open again!
This time, it was Krod the Crazy who entered, a tall barbarian warrior following in the footsteps of the mighty Marcus. He too was attuned to the Manse that powered Marcus' hearthstone, and gathered up Marcus' mighty sword to use as his own. As the solars moved towards the chapel to rest, they heard the front doors boom open once more!
Through the open front door strode Mahina and six more guards, all blazing with fire. As Mahina spotted Archer, she screamed out "Foul Anathema! The Arrows of Evil will not harm me again!". Using the words of power "In the Eye!" Archer again let forth his storm of arrows, but only two of the guards fell ... these were elite troops enhanced by Mahina's formidable charms, and the third guard parried Archer's arrow even as the guards surrounded him. Krod paused momentarily, amazed at the fury of the attack, as Mahina charged past her guards and unleashed a flurry of strikes at Archer, who dodged all but the last blow as his anima ignited and one of the guards fled from his towering presence. That last blow was enough, falling with enormous force on Archer's unprotected skin. Archer was down, but even as he fell a whirlwind of blows from Krod dispatched the remaining guards and blew towards Mahina, who barely managed to parry them and flee with her reserves fully depleted ...
As Archer's unconsciou body began to mend at an incredible rate, Krod moved him to the chapel and barricaded the door. There they rested for a few days, with one person on guard at all times. Their food supplies beginning to run low, the solars decided to investigate the upper level. The front doors were locked with a large outpouring of essence, as they moved upstairs. Here they found several interesting items, including a manual on Manse Building by Kal Bax himself and the fabled Runestone that controlled the demons. They also found Ozandus Pal's letters to his lunar love, and figured out how to use the defences with the help of the Guardian.
These defences proved a great help when more of the large lizard demons moved towards the front gate. A serpent of stone snaked out from the walls, and a well placed blast removed all essence from the demons (who shrunk in size and were soon mowed down by well placed arrows). Even better, Mahina came back and was spotted from the upper window - which Archer had shattered. One well placed arrow from cover, and Mahina lay dead on the scree outside the front gates, and Archer went to fetch his prize.
Ouside, Archer noticed as Krod (who had remained in the foyer) was struck by a well placed pitch black knife in the back. As Krod followed the assasain, Archer again noticed stone leonines splitting off from the walls of the foyer and tracking the lone Krod. Just in time, with Krod about to fall, Archer managed to catch up and loose a volley of arrows on the unsuspecting leonines, who shattered into chunks that flew everywhere ... it was time for another retreat to the chapel to rest, but not before Archer used the Runestone to get some of the demons waiting outside to fetch more food. I need not mention that the only food available was the flesh of the demons so recently slain.
6 XP each
To clarify - the volley of arrows that slew the unsuspecting leonines was fired from the back of one of them after Archer vaulted into place in a feat of acrobatics rivaled only by how good he looked while doing it. Thankfully this encounter went rather more "according to plan" than the mammoth encounter. -- Archer