Monday, May 18, 2015

Westmist Session #96 - Oops!

While the most of the party (Erijay, Jasper, Lomar [and Guy]) bought time engaging in back and forth negotiation with Lord Merdwyn, Kern quietly started to move everyone over to the round circular stone in the floor. He figured it was an elevator, and that operating it required touching the snake sword to the surface of the stone. When everyone reached the stone (including Bjorn's body), Erijay touched the stone with the sword. It began to rumble and shake, and indeed did rise into the air. But it stopped after only 15' or so, and then began to vibrate more and more, before finally cracking into pieces and falling to the floor. Everyone fell with it, luckily avoiding the hole that had been uncovered by the now displaced black stone. Thin tendrils of mist rose from the pit, and then a loud hiss could be heard. Moments later, a massive tentacled snake head emerged, easily 20' across. The party instantly recognized this as one of the aspects of Yg, and wisely took off running towards the rat tunnels when the head turned to face them. Erijay turned briefly, wielding her snake sword, and commanding the beast to stop. "Who are you to command me to stop, mortal fool!" came the reply, which was enough to get the elf running after the rest of the party.

Crawling into the tunnels, the party could hear the massive snake following them. It was much too large to get into the tunnels after them, but as they moved deeper, they could now hear and feel the massive beast slamming into the wall behind them, trying to break in. This continued for some time, and then suddenly stopped. After waiting a little longer to make sure it was gone, Erijay cast clairvoyance and sent her remaining meerkat out to have a look. The snake was gone, but now a more distant pounding could be heard. The meerkat went back to the dome, and observed that the Yg-snake had crawled up one of the statues and was proceeding to batter it's way through the top of the dome. The meerkat slipped forward to look into the hole the snake had emerged from, but the beast sensed it and quickly swung down to snap at the little critter. Which luckily was able to scuttle away and back to it's mistress.

The party decided to wait until the snake finished it's work, and after some time they heard a massive crash followed by distant screams from above-ground. Assuming it was gone, they all crept back to the dome, and found the top of the dome pretty much gone. Beyond the gaping hole they could see the partially ruined remains of Westmist Keep, below which they had delved. And more screaming and shouting could be heard in the distance. "Humm" said Kern. "What do you suppose is left in the pit?" Figuring they should recover something from this fiasco, Erijay cast fly and slowly descended into the dark shaft. 200 feet down she landed on a bed of coins, thousands upon thousands of all kinds. Going up to tell the others, Kern gave her the magic chest with instructions to descend again and fill it up as fast as possible. Needing no further encouragement, Erijay did just that, and when she emerged from the pit found everyone else getting ready to climb out of this god-forsaken dungeon. The elf took one end of their cut rope, and flew up to the roof to find a spot to tie it on. While there, she cautiously flew up above the rubble and looked around. All around were the battered remains of the keep, bodies lying amidst the rubble. Looking at the path of destruction and listening to the shouts and screams, she guessed the Yg-snake was headed for the Temple of the Three Virtues.
Erijay lowered the rope and helped pull everyone up, including poor Bjorn's body. This they left in the ruins of the keep for now, and after some debate on their best course of action (try to save the town vs run like hell and save their skins), everyone agreed to head for the temple to see what if anything could be done to help. By the time they got there, the Yg-snake was in the main dome of the temple, and slaughtered clerics and laity lay all around. The party moved to attack, while Kern shouted to Lanthan the Undervirtue (The Highest Virtue having already been slain), whom he could see helping hold the line on the other side. Kern asked if there was any wondrous artifact or some such buried in the hill below the temple that might help defeat the Yg-snake. The cleric replied in the negative, but Kern decided to look anyway.

Seeing their attacks were having little or no effect on the snake, Kern summoned the rest of the party to his side, they all descended into the tunnels and cellars below the temple while the battle continued to rage above. Frantically they searched, and by luck found some curved stonework that looked exactly like the dome they'd explored below the keep. Busting it open, the party found themselves in another domed temple to Yg, pretty much identical to the first, right down to the black stone platform in the middle. Hoping there was some foe of Yg imprisoned here, Erijay touched her sword to the stone, and the party witnessed a repeat of the earlier scene. The stone rose, then shattered and fell (unfortunately, this time taking Erijay's sword into the hole with it). They waited to be saved, but were horrified to see a second aspect of Yg (the Man-Serpent), rise from the mist. It ignore the party, but crawled up the dome to smash it's way out. The party followed at a distance, and emerged into the temple to find everyone slain or fled, and the two giant snake things in the process of merging into one!

That was enough; the party decided unanimously to flee. But where? Jasper, Lomar and Guy decided to take the road east and put as many miles behind them and Westmist as possible. Kern and Erijay, on the other hand, weren't sure that was going to work. They instead argued that they use the secret gate still bricked up (hopefully) in their old cellar. The two groups could not agree, so they split their treasure and went their separate ways. As Jasper, Lomar and Guy moved out of sight, Kern and Erijay headed for their old secret tunnel. It was still there, and they entered (passing Riker's still frozen body) and made their way to the hidden chamber behind the wine cellar. There still stood the gate, bricked over as a precaution against unwanted visitors. Ten minutes work with a sledgehammer exposed it once more, and Kern frantically jammed large gems into the controls holes; 5 star rubies and a star sapphire. As the mist in the gate cleared, they could see a wet, forested scene on the other side. A sudden loud thump and screams from above make their minds up for them, and the duo headed through the gate for parts unknown ...

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