Friday, September 11, 2015

Far Isles Session # 8 - Loot, Glorious Loot!!!

Abdul el Abdul (Fighter 1)
Azimer (Calmonari 1)
Chaff (Vivimancer 1) with henchman Herb (Swashbuckler 1)

With a significant proportion of his away crew recovering from grievous wounds, Thorgrim reluctantly relented and allowed Azimer and Chaff to recruit help from amongst the crew of the "Serpents Revenge". Chaff convinced the ships cook, Herb, to come on board as his new retainer/carrier. Likewise, the egocentric Abdul el Abdul was more than happy to lay down the rigging lines and take up the spear in search of treasure. Suitably reinforced, the four had the jolly boat row them to shore to make one last ditch effort to recover some wealth from these caves.

Chaff suggested they investigate the largely unexplored dry well, hoping that no more crab swarms would climb out to bedevil them. Once there, Abdul el Abdul tossed a rock down the well to rouse whatever might lie below. When nothing happened, Chaff strong-armed his new henchman into climbing down the well to determine where the side passage led, and find what may lie at the bottom. Playing out 100' of rope, Abdul el Abdul held on end as Herb descended.  A quick glance down the side passage showed that it went straight east at least 30', then disappeared into darkness. Chaff shouted down the well, telling Herb to keep going unto the bottom. Herb complied, and Abdul el Abdul felt the line go slack just as he noted a faint sound above him. Looking up, the fighter spied four gliding cave lamprey about to drop on the unsuspecting group. Dropping the rope, he pulled out his grappling hook to snag one of the beasts. Unfortunately, he'd forgotten his rope was down in the well and not attached to said grappling hook. Even so, he scored a solid hit on one of the lamprey, and both it and the hook fell to the floor. Of the other three, one attached itself to Azimer, but the calmonari was able to pry it off with his/her trident. Another was bludgeoned to death by Chaff, and the fourth decided there was no easy meal to be had and glided off into the darkness.

Meanwhile, Herb down in the well had found a human-ish skull wearing an elaborate crown of coral, semi-precious gems and shells. When the sounds of combat ended on the surface, he called up for help getting out. Thankfully, the rope had gotten snagged in a crack on the floor when it was dropped, so they were able to pull the cook out of the hole. Showing off his find, Herb stated the crown must be worth at least 1400gp to his discerning eye.  Encourage by this, the party decided to explore the side passage that led out of the well. Tying the rope around the stone well, the four climbed down and east east along the 6' high passage. It did not go far, end in a blank stone wall after about 50 feet. Looking up, they saw that the ceiling at this point rose a few feet higher than the rest of the tunnel. Abdul el Abdul glanced quickly and declared there was no way out in that direction. Azimer wasn't convinced, and after a few minutes search, the calmonari discovered the ceiling was actually a round plug. Chaff ordered Herb up on Azimner shoulders to try pushing it up, but it was much too heavy for the rotund cook. Azimer tried on his/her own, but it was just a little too high to reach. In the end Abdul el Abdul climbed up on the calmonari's shoulders and lifted the plug out of the way, sliding it into a convenient (and thankfully untrapped) slot to one side of the shaft. Looking up, the fighter could see handholds on the side of the shaft, so he jumped up off Azimer's shoulders and started climbing. The others followed, and found themselves, after a 40' climb, in a passage heading east.  Moving slowly forward, Azimer got the distinct impression they'd been here before. They soon came to a Y-intersection, and realized this WAS an area they'd been before, and had the map to prove it. The shaft had led them back to the twisting tunnels west of the room full of technicolor blobs. Well, since they were close, they decided to keep heading that way, figuring there must be more treasure at the end of that trail of coins and gems they'd looted the day before. Azimer, however, first ran back to recover their rope from the well; they seemed to always be in need of more rope.

Now back at the  ooze cave, they hatched a plan. Chaff, Herb, and Abdul el Abdul would stay at one entrance to attract the mobile messes. Azimer would sneak around to the other entrance to see to where the last unexplored tunnel led. This worked well, and the calmonari was able to tip-toe past the immobile jade goops and mauve glops to the tunnel entrance. There he/she stopped, as just 5 feet inside was a ring of jade rock through which the calmonari would have to pass to proceed any further. Hesitantly, Azimer touched the ring with a belaying pin. When nothing happened, she tried again, touching it this time with a single finger. This time the ring started to vibrate, and two jade goops squeezed from the ceiling portion of the ring to fall on the calmonari. Screaming as the slimy stuff burned his/her scaly skin, Azmier ran for the exit just as the resounding BOOM of a pistol echoed from the west.

There, Chaff, Abdul el Abdul and Herb were surprised when a sahuagin fish-man appeared in the tunnel behind them. Thinking fast, they tried to step aside and let him pass, so they could then watch what the goos and globs would do to the creature. But it would have nothing to do with that plan, and instead barred claws and teeth to attack the trio. Well, one shot from Herb's pistol put an end to that idea, and the slightly wounded and thoroughly frightened creature turned and ran back into the darkness.

Shortly after, Azimer rejoined the trio and spent a few minutes scrapping off the remains of jade goo and nursing some damaged skin. Stilling wondering how to defeat these things, the party tried burning an aquamarine goop with oil, but it seemed to have no effect. Figuring even if they could find a way to fight them, the number of slimy things was more than they could handle. So instead, sneakiness would have to prevail. In a repeat of the previous plan, Azimer and Abdul el Abdul would head for the unexplored tunnel to search beyond the jade ring. Herb and Chaff would stay where they were and attract the goops attention as best as they could. Once more , this seemed to work, as the mobile slimes crowded over towards the vivamancer and cook, leaving a relatively free passage for Azimer and Abdul el Abdul. The only problem was that the tunnel was now blocked by a pair of jade goops. Abdul el Abdul took care of that by flipping his bedroll onto the slime, and then he and Azmier carefully stepped through the ring (but only after first testing to ensure nothing happened when something passed through rather than touched the ring). Once on the other side, they could see more coloured rings (mauve, vermilion, aquamarine) every 10 feet. These were bypassed the same way, and the two found themselves in a cave. At the far end was a bench carved out of the rock and on it were three small, but elaborately bejeweled and carved, chests. At about this point, they heard another BOOM as Herb discharged his pistol, the signal that the glops were on the the move and Azimer and Abdul el Abudl risked being trapped. Each hastily grabbed a chest, and carrying it under one arm, leapfrogged back out of the cave, just barely ahead of their gooey pursuers.

Meeting again, the four gleefully ran to the open air of the beach with their loot. Once there, Azimer checked each for traps. Finding nothing, but noting both chests were locked, each of the four tied to jimmy the locks. Too bad Gormus was back on the ship abed, as neither were able to figure out the delicate yet complex mechanism. Oh well, brute force it is then. Abdul el Abdul was able to open his the minimal damage, by Azimer's webbed fingers managed to smash up a couple of panels while opening the second. Inside, each chest was filled mostly with decayed scraps of vellum and cloth. Azimer's also held a crystal heart, while in the other was a golden dinner plate and a strange crystal. About 6 inches long, it was inscribed with the same weird squiggle and dot writing the party had encountered previously in the caves. Chaff, being the most learned, and having examined the writing before, tried to decipher it. He had no luck, but a curious thing happened when he held it in his hand. The crystal turned like the needle if a compass, pointing to the south east. It did the same when held by the other three members of the party.

That was all well and good, but there was a third chest to recover. Following the so far successful plan, Azimer and Abdul el Abdul ran into the cave while Chaff and Herb distracted the glops. They recovered the last chest without incident, but rather than ruin this one, opted to call the jolly boat back and find someone on board ship more handy with locks than they. Back on board, Thorgrim broke into a grin for the first time in weeks, and the crew started to whoop and holler at the sight of some real treasure. The beefy captain also proved to be deft with a set of lockpicks, and the third chest was opened without damage. Inside it was the same as the other two, with the only valuable item being a couple of strips of elaborately woven gold cloth. Lothbar, the legless dwarven first mate, appraised all the treasure at quite high value, noting the two damaged chests would have been worth much more in pristine condition ...


3 elaborate bejeweled chests (800gp, 450gp, 880gp)
2 strips of woven gold cloth (100gp each)
crystal heart (200gp)
Gold dinner plate (75gp)
Crown of the Sea (1400gp)

4 gliding lamprey

Surprisingly, none

Friday, September 4, 2015

Far Isles Session #7 - Where's the Damn Treasure!

Villius Paticus (Cleric 1)
Azimer (Calmonari 1)
Chaff (Vivimancer 1) with henchman Conch (Calmonari 1)

After a night of rest and a day of refit, the party was rowed back to the sea caves to search for treasure at their leisure now that their arch-nemesis was destroyed. Passing through the ruined remains of their timber and sailcloth tunnel, the party made first for the prism-shaped column covered in etched vertical and horizontal dashes. Everyone stared at it, trying to discern a pattern. Conch suddenly noted it looked like musical notation, and tried to hum the tune as best as his semi-aquatic lungs would allow. While everyone agree the calmonari was able to do a good impression of a whale song, nothing else seemed to come of the impromptu concert.

Moving on, they quickly scanned the rough stone column at the next intersection for runes or writing, and finding none then turned west to explore areas as yet unknown. They found themselves in a confusing maze of old lava tubes and dead ends, coming eventually to a "Y-intersection" with another statue. It again showed a robed human, in this case with one arm outstretched and pointing with two fingers. Oddly, it was turned such that it was almost facing a blank rock wall, with the arm pointing roughly to the north-east. After it was checked for traps, Conch tried to turn the statue clockwise. It was difficult, but the statue and base did turn about a quarter way around. The calmonari then pushed it back, with similar difficulty.

Continuing on through the intersection, the party found themselves in a long tunnel that rose gradually before coming to the sunlight. Emerging intro the open air, they found themselves standing on a ledge overlooking the sea. The "Serpents Revenge" was not in sight, and the rest of the ring of islets could be seen stretching to the horizon. Obviously having emerged on the south side of their rocky island, and with no obvious way up or down, they turned around and headed back into the caverns. Retracing steps again, they eventually looped around to the south-east, coming to a large, and as yet unexamined, cavern. This one seemed studded floor and ceiling with large blobs of colored rock (jade, aquamarine, vermilion, mauve), similar to that seen throughout the caverns in much smaller veins and nodules. Azimer was just about to step in the room when she noticed one of the blobs started to move! Watching closely, the party could see the vermilion and  aquamarine goops were slowly undulating towards them. The jade and mauve didn't move, but it was obvious now that they were not rocks but also some form of slime or glop. Mild curses echoed through the cavern as the party muttered to themselves about more blobs. Rather than push forward, the four retreated to explore further. They found more dead end tunnels, and disturbed a pair of gliding lamprey (which were both dispatched by a combination of being clubbed in mid-air by Villis' musket, followed by impalement on Chaff's dagger).

Getting tired of dead ends, the party headed back through the room with the crystal skull and quartz pillars. Azimer did a quick recon of the pillars, but then the whole party headed for the exit, coming soon to another large chamber. This one had a floor covered in closely spaced 2" spikes of rock, which would make traversing it difficult. Scattered across the floor was a selection of old bones. Looking up was by now a modus operandi. Which was good, as that revealed a cluster of 10 gliding lamprey clinging to the ceiling and ready to descend on anyone foolish enough to enter the room. Rather than fall into that trap, the four hatched a nefarious plan. Azimer tossed one of the previously slaughtered lamprey just inside the rooms entrance (the calmonari having scooped them up for a later snack). This attracted six of the lamprey on the ceiling, and these glided down for a cannibalistic feast. When they did, Azimer tossed a net over the group to catch them. Unfortunately, his/her timing was off, and the six had sucked the body dry of blood and squirmed away before they could be entangled in the net. Undeterred, the calmonari tossed another dead lamprey, and this time all 10 descended for the feast.  Markedly more successful with the net this time, Azimer trapped about half of them, and Chaff dropped a spore cloud on the whole group to incapacitate as many as possible. Conch took his lamp and broke it over the net (Chaff then lighting the oil for his henchman) and the smell of burning seafood filled the air. Azimer and Villius took aim at the remaining lamprey with musket, javelin and dagger. That didn't make much of a dent in the squirmy foes, so the cleric used his scroll to summon a spiritual hammer to smite them. Which did work better, but three of the slimy things still managed to escape and crawl back up to the ceiling of the chamber. Azimer boldly entered the room to draw them down. Which worked quite well, as one latched on to his/her leg and started draining blood. A second attached itself to the other calmonari to do the same. Azimer managed to use his/her trident to pry off the one on his/her leg, but alas Conch was drained to death by the one on his neck. Villius and Azimer pummeled the third one to death, but meanwhile the one on Conch detached and started to crawl up to the ceiling again. Villius took careful aim with his musket, and was successful in turning that last lamprey into a bloody smear on the rock above.

Chaff hauled himself out of this carrier on Conch's back, and the three remaining adventurers now carefully entered the room. With Azimer in the lead, they hugged the perimeter, avoiding both spikes and any hidden lamprey. They also rustled through the piles of bone as they went, but found nothing of interest. Exiting a tunnel on the opposite wall, they headed north again along a long passage, and soon found themselves back in sunlight on the beach.   With mutterings of wild goose chases and flying seafood, they steeled themselves to face the blob chamber, it being the last completely uncharted area. They approached it from another direction this time, but once more found a mass of technicolor goop, glop and slime awaiting them. There was, however, some treasure at this end of the room. A scattering of coins and a few gems lay along the floor, seeming to lead from another tunnel at the east end of the chamber. They tired to get at the treasure, but the colored masses slowly advanced and pined them in the entrance. But theses things did not leave the room to pursue the party. Knowing there was a second entrance, Azimer and Chaff stayed where they were to distract the things. Villius, meanwhile, looped around to enter the room from the rear, and try to scoop up some treasure before their oozy foes knew he was there. Which worked, and he was able to recover a few fistfuls of silver coins before running off as the things approached. Oddly enough, Azimer and Chaff could see the cleric pointedly ignored the obviously more valuable gems scattered at his feet. Chaff gave Villius a dirty look when he rejoined the group, and the little vivmancer told Villius and Azimer to make themselves useful and guard his back while he did the treasure recovery. Casting a series on cantrips, Chaff painstaking nudged the gems across the room and within arms reach. This took quite some time, but luckily they were not disturbed by any further dangers.

But that was enough for the frustrated trio, so they headed back to the beach and thence to the ship. Where Thorgrim met them crossly, demanding to see the vast piles of treasure he had been promised! The captain was starting to get that look like he was going to make this voyage profitable one way or another ....


3 rose quartz (75gp each), 1 smoky quartz (50gp). 1 lapis lazuli (25gp)
88 sp

11 gliding lamprey

Conch the Calmonari
A little bit of sanity

Thursday, September 3, 2015

Gods and Cults of Langushur

The languid swamps, volcanic mountains and stormy seas of the Langushur coast long held no attraction for the human race. Until about 800 years ago, the area was home to very few people, left mostly to those not quite human. When people did come, they hailed mainly from the south-eastern shores of Easrae. These were refugees and fugitives who choose to not live under the sway of the expanding Second Imperium and be forced to convert to the Church of the Three Virtues. As such, the gods and cults of Langushur reflect an older, polytheistic, and often crueler relationship between gods and men than is the norm in the lands around the Inner Sea. Many are the gods of the Far Shore, most to be appeased rather than worshiped. A selection is detailed below.

The Lady of Storms, The Sea Witch, Crone of Wind and Destruction, 
Appearance: A woman dressed in a tattered dress of grey and blue, with four arms  and a demonic visage. 
Symbol: Four arms extending from a swirling storm cloud, like the spokes of a wheel.
Notes: The priests of Ysridyl will appease the goddess by sacrificing a youth at the height of the winter storm season, throwing him or her off the cliffs and into the sea

He Who Hides Secrets in the Depths, The Bloated One, The Drowned God
Appearance: A bloated, waterlogged corpse.
Symbol: Skull with seaweed in eye sockets
Notes: Initiation into the cult involves being ritually drowned three times; occasionally the ceremony goes amiss and the initiate goes immediately to join the Drowned God. 

The Mother Egg, The Ever Ovid, The Formless One 
Appearance: A spherical, pulsating mass of slime, with vaguely human head and appendages that appear and disappear seemingly at random. 
Symbol: A black egg
Notes: The initiates of Mon-Roth all have a colony of some type of slime or ooze grafted to their bodies, to better (and literally) spread to work of their goddess over the world. Only regular ingestion of specific drugs and herbs keep the guest protoplasm from taking over the initiates body.   

Peacemaker, The Lord of War and Peace
Appearance: A ruddy, bearded giant with a flail in place of each arm.
Symbol: Olive branch and flail
Notes: Followers of Anthor are dedicated to peace, even if they have to shed much blood to achieve it. Cultists form roving gangs which enforce peace wherever they deem it necessary.

Garu Dar
Master of the Impenetrable Void, The Faceless Night
Appearance: A robed, emaciated and androgynous body, with a star filled void in place of a head.
Symbol: Three stars on a black field.
Notes: Initiates of Gaaru Dar imbibe yellow lotus on a massive scale, hoping to penetrate the Void in their visions and learn it's secrets. As a result, their physical appearance in this world leaves much to be desired.

He of a Thousand Eyes, The All-Seeing Master, Secret-Stealer
Appearance: A 30 foot tall giant in chain mail and open-face helm, inside which can be seen hundreds of eye-stalks in place of a head.
Symbol: A circle filled wilh a dozen smaller circles
Notes: The cult of Krug excels at brazen greed and unrestrained quest for power. No action is too dark in pursuit of these goals. Popular with bankers, spies and adventurers.

The Blood Drinker, The Power in the Rot, Lurker in Black Waters
Appearance: A giant black leach, hundreds of feet in length.
Symbol: Three leaches intertwined
Notes: Followers of Shakrazil feed the god with their own blood; the blood off an unwilling sacrifice is considered impure for their master. The cultists, on the other hand, have no such scruples when it comes to choosing their sacrament. Vampires and vivimancers abound in the worship of this deity.

The Leviathan
Watery Lord, World-Swallower,
Appearance: A great sperm whale, miles in length.
Symbol: Whale and globe
Notes: Cultists believe the world was spawned by their god, and ultimately will be consumed by him at the end of time. Rumor is they can summon the god's lessor kin to do their bidding, but only if they sacrifice themselves after the service has been rendered.

Xhusa the Radient
Goddess of Beauty, The Unblemished Lady, Beauty-Death
Appearance: A stunningly, otherworldly beautiful, human female.
Symbol: Golden Dagger
Notes: Devotes believe the quest for beauty is the goal of life. Priestess of Xhusa (there are no priests) will in fact take their own life rather than have their beauty marred. It's a small (and shrinking) cult.

Decadent He, Somnolent Reveler, Writher
Appearance: A hairless bald man with the lower body of a slug
Symbol: Slug surrounded by a golden halo
Notes: Fat and shaved devotees demonstrate adherence to the faith in various carnal and dipsomaniac debaucheries. Philosophy of enlightened and over-enthusiastic hedonism. Quite harmless really.