Friday, June 5, 2015

Far Isles Session #2 - Mourn Not The Dead, But Think of the Treasure ...


DRAMATIS PERSONAE:  
Chaff  (Vivimancer 1), with henchman/carrier Conch (Calmonari 1),
Fiona (Musketeer 1)
Morg the Sailorman (Fighter 1)

While Orm recovered from his near-death encounter with the sea urchins, Azimer, Gormus and Villlius decided it best to stay out of the caves until the party was at full strength. Chaff (with Conch) and Fiona were not so sure, and wanted to head back right away. An attitude encouraged by Captain Thorgrim, who was still looking for a big treasure to pay his crew. He even agreed to send along one of his sailors as extra help; Morg was a bit dim, and wheezed when he breathed, but knew how to handle a spear. So the four were transshipped back to the beach, and delved once more into the caves.

With lamp lit, they reached the first chamber to find a trio of shell-men poking through tide pools. Couch sent thoughts of peace and happiness to the aquatic humanoids, and they seemed content to ignore the party and keep on with whatever they were doing. As the party skirted around them, Chaff could see from his perch atop Conch that the creatures were hunting for crabs and shellfish in the pools. After some discussion, the party decided to take the as yet unexplored exit on the west side of the entry cave, on the assumption that it would meet up with the previously explored route. This proved to be the case, and after a little while the party found themselves staring into the site of the great sea urchin massacre. They saw no sign of living urchins, and noted that only the shells of those they'd slaughtered remained; the meat was missing. Passing through the room to an exit on the opposite side, they found themselves in a similar chamber, but with a pile of black sand in the middle of the floor. Keeping back in the tunnel, Chaff cast a cantrip to brush away a little sand, revealing a few round white objects.  Intrigued, Chaff tried to convince Morg to go brush away the rest of the sand. The sailor wasn't about to volunteer, so the diminutive spell caster ordered his henchman Conch into the room instead. The calmonari had no problem with this, and using a spade, uncovered a pile of 15-20 of these small objects. Close examination and dissection revealed that they were eggs, giant sea urchin eggs to be exact. Not sure what kind of urchin-vengeance might be called down upon them if they disturbed the eggs any more, they choose to leave them as they were and continue on their way.

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The next room was quite large, with boulders in two corners of the room. Also of note was the southern wall, covered in some kind of seaweed-y tendrils or vines, attached to which were 5 colored globes (red, mauve, pink, yellow-green and brown). Closer investigation showed the globes were in fact filled with a fluid or gas of some kind, and were part of the vines. Avoiding and ignoring the unknown at this point, the group examined boulders instead. A trio of large boulders stood in one corner, and in the other was found a single, larger boulder. The three seemed to sit flat on the floor of the cavern, while the single one lay in a bowl or depression.  Curious, the party teamed up to put enough muscle under one of the trio to shift it a little. They found nothing underneath, but moving it revealed an inspection near the bottom of one of the other two stones. It appeared to be written characters of some kind, but the weird mix of squiggles and dots did not look like a language with which anyone in the group was familiar. Chaff first cast read magic (and found it to be not magical) and then made a copy of the script for future study. The four then set to work on the lone boulder. A complex system of ropes were wrapped around the trio of boulder, to use as a pulley/leverage and drag the other one out of its hole. Which surprisingly worked, the indeed revealed a hole; the narrow gap below the boulder opened into a shaft going straight down.

Before descending the shaft, Fiona decided to investigate the colored globes, Said investigation involved poking the yellow-green one with the end of her musket. As soon as she disturbed it, the globe opened at the top and shot a burst of gas in her face. The musketeer started to cough and wretch, and within moments was dead on the floor. Intrigued, Chaff poked at the rest with the 10' pole, and each released a shot of gas which started to drift throughout the room. Chaff, Conch and Morg wisely retreated to wait until the gas dissipated. Just as it had thinned out enough to (presumably) safely re-enter the room, they were surprised by a trio of skeletons coming up behind them. A fierce battle ensued. Conch absorbed most of the hits, while Chaff pounded on skeletal skulls from his perch on the calmonari's back. Morg, however, saved the day by laying about with his spear, eventually turning all three into shattered piles of bone. Taking a few moments to recover, the remaining three adventurers headed to the shaft. Spikes were pounded in, ropes attached, and Morg sent down with a lantern. After about 50' he hit bottom, and shouted up that a tunnel led off to the east. Leaving Fiona's corpse behind (figuring they would loot/recover it latter), Chaff and Conch followed the sailor-man down the shaft.
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Heading down the tunnel, the party noted slime and seaweed all over the floor, walls and even ceiling. This passage was obviously underwater much of the time. Being mindful of the risk of drowning, they pushed on to exit into a large chamber. Like the tunnel, all the surfaces here were thick with sea-growth. Of several exits, they choose the closest. It began to climb right away, and also narrowed down to single file width. This narrow, windy passage was also flanked by small shelves cut in the stone, each of which was occupied by a single human skull.  Chaff tried to convince Conch to poke at one, but the calmonari refused. Chaff instead knocked one over with his staff, and it simply shattered when it hit the floor. Kicking the debris aside, they pushed on single file. As they climbed up the slope, the party noted that the signs of submersion disappeared, and figured they were now above the flood line.
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The narrow passage brought them into a small chamber with silvery-black sand on the floor and another narrow exit on the other side. And exit they did, coming shortly to another small chamber. As they entered, the three could see two treasure chests in separate alcoves. They could also see a mass of skeletons on the floor, all of which stared to rise from their repose! Knowing they were unlikely to prevail in a stand up fight, they wisely choose retreat. Turning, the party ran down the narrow hall. As they passed into the first, however, they were shocked to see several of the skulls they'd passed were now floating through the air and headed their way. One each bit down on Conch and Morg, the teeth latching onto the two adventurers to continue grinding and chewing their flesh. Chaff screamed at Conch to keep running, while the little vivimancer tried to smash the skull with his staff. Morg stopped to try removing the skull digging into his shoulder, but was unsuccessful. He then realized stopping had allowed the mass of skeletons to catch up. Resigned to die, he hurled his lantern to the floor and immolated himself and hopefully as many of the undead as possible.
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Chaff and Conch could hear Morg scream behind them as they rushed back into the seaweed cave. Here they were likewise surprised, this time by rising floodwater. The floor now was covered in 3-4 inches of water and it was still rising. They duo bolted back up the tunnel, climbed the rope, and hightailed for the beach. Along the way, the skull chewing on Conch dropped away and drifted back towards the narrow tunnel. Back on the beach, Chaff frantically waved for the jolly boat, which soon arrived to deliver them back safely to the "Serpents Revenge". There they were confronted by Thorgrim, who was a bit grim when he learned no treasure had been recovered. He did brighten a bit when Chaff explained what they had found, and promised treasure would be delivered after the next decent into the caves. The captain was a little annoyed at the loss of his crewman though, and threatened that the party would have to start taking watches if he became short handed!

TOTAL XP: 314

GAINS: 3 skeletons destroyed
LOSSES: Fiona the musketeer, Morg the sailor-man

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