Saturday, December 5, 2015

Far Isles Session #16 - One More Key, One Less Character

Abdul el Abdul (Fighter 2)
Chaff (Vivimancer 2), with familiar Dirty Bird, and riding hound Stinky Dog
Ragnar (Cleric 1)
Kwinsea (Aquamancer 1)
Beuford Bumbletoes (Halfling 1)

Back on board the "Loreman's Passage", the party stripped Azimer of all his/her valuables and prepared the calmonari for burial at sea. Chaff tackled the prismatic ray gem, easily popping it out of Azimers skull, leaving an indentation behnd. Chaff managed to win force of will with the gem, and avoided having it embed itself into his head. With the calmonari given his/her sendoff, the rest of the party settled in to treat their wounds. Especially Abdul el Abdul, who was quite lucky to not be joining the calmonari in the deeps.  Chaff talked to Yorik about the party staying on the ship for a few days to let Abdul el Abdul recover, and the distracted academic was quite OK with that. Rold, however, didn't like the idea of his the ship sitting around in strange waters any longer than absolutely necessary. It took some smooth talking from Chaff (and a promise of 5% of the party's cut of treasure) to get him to not shove the party right back in the shore boat.

A few days later, with Abdul el Abdul at full fetter, the party headed ashore  again. They decided this time to try one of the other entrances in the cliff face.  They headed the lowest one, even though there was no obvious was to get up there (unlike the highest entrance, which was accessible by a narrow stair cut in the rock.) Some deft grappling hook work by Abdul el Abdul, and rope work (to lift Stinky Dog)  by Chaff, and the party was in the cave entrance. Before delving too deep, however, they were surprised by a female voice calling from below. Standing on a tiny raft was a woman who introduced herself as Kwinsea, a wizardess of the sea and a friend of Azimer's. It seems the calmonari had summoned her to join him/her on their adventures. After some awkward conversation wherein the party explained the calmonari was no more, Kwinsea was hoisted up to join them. The party passed over Azimer's possessions to her, including the prismatic ray gem. Which, unlike for Chaff, embedded itself in the newcomers head.

A very short passage led into a large cavern. Like the others, it was round and formed out of volcanic glass, with walls much more highly polished than any seen thus far. Pushing on, they came to another odd shaped cavern with walls even more brightly polished. So bright, the light from the lantern danced off the glass in a prismatic spray, blinding both Beuford and Chaff (plus Dirty Bird and Stinky Dog). Retreating to the the first cavern, the party settled down to see if the blindness would pass. In the meantime, Abdul el Abdul absentmindedly started scratching the walls with one of his grappling hooks. He soon noticed ghostly figures lingering behind the polished surface. They were of no one he knew, but appeared to be adventurers in a wide variety of styles of dress, armor and weapons. One carried the crystal bearing sphere found by the party, while a second carried a similar cube. Although nothing untoward was happening, the party felt uneasy and were glad when Chaff and Beuford recovered their sight so all could press on.
Partly shuttering the lantern this time, they entered the reflective room again, and now noticed something hanging or floating in an alcove. Abdul el Abdul approached carefully, discovering what appeared to be a planetary globe, floating about 4 feet off the floor, made of gold, silver and green and black glass. He passed his hands above and below, and globe did not waver. However, a gentle push and is floated away a short distance.  The rest of the party came over, and it was noted there was more of the alien Kalandrian writing on it's surface. Oddly enough, Kwinsea, who had never seen it before, was able to apply her massive intellect and decipher the writing. It consisted of place names on a planet named "Jovania", and one of the major countries or empires was marked "Kalandria". Well, it certainly wasn't a globe of this world.

The party decided to leave the globe in place for now, and explore further. In the next room they found the floor was actually transparent, showing a curved bottom to the cavern matching the shape of the ceiling. Closer examination revealed Kalandrian script etched on the underside of the floor. This Chaff and Kwinsea transcribed for Yorik,  and the aquamancer translated it as some sort of sophisticated and esoteric mathematical or magical (or both) formulas. That done, the party headed down a twisty tunnel and into another chamber. This one was notable for a geyser of liquid crystal in the centre, as well as a phalanx of skeletal soldiers guarding an exit on the opposite wall! These did not move, however, and the party decided to avoid them for now and explore another exit close by instead. This led to a room very similar to the one with the transparent floor and writing. But close examination of this floor revealed a faint, inscribed grid pattern. Seen below the floor was a scattering of the coloured disks/coins. But no obvious was to get at them. Most of the party just wanted to go back to see what the skeletons were guarding, but Chaff was curious. He took out his hammer and started to gently rap on the floor. The a little harder, and harder, until suddenly the entire floor cracked along the grid lines and fell into the lower half of the chamber. Well, they avoided that trap. Especially good, since they could now see a series of wickedly shaped crystal spikes in the bottom of the chamber, hidden previously by some strange optical property of the floor.

Unable to now cross that chamber, the party had to go back to the room with the skeletons. Again, they did not move when the party entered the room.  They stood still and silent, with one in the rear holding a magnificent gold and jeweled banner depicting a Kalandrin eye held in a pair of hands. Well that looked interesting to Abdul el Abdul, so he moved cautiously towards the skeletons. He'd just made his was past the liquid crystal geyser when the skeletons snapped to life. The two ranks lowered their spears at the fighter, and with the banner-holder in support, advanced.  The rest of the party spread out to support Abdul el Abdul. Both Chaff and Abdul el Abdul fired their pistols, but when the smoke cleared it was obvious they'd missed. Ragnar tired to call on the Bloated One to turn the skeletons, but in spite of the power of Brall filling the cleric, it didn't seem to work. The attackers then fell on the party in a furry, and in short time both Ragnar and Beuford fell to their spears. The halfling managed to cling to life, and was pulled away and stabilized by Chaff . Kwisnsea tried the same with Ragnar, but the cleric could not be saved and went to join the Drowned God in the depths of the afterworld.

Down two party members, the remaining three wisely withdrew slowly. While Abdul el Abdul blocked the skeletons from getting at the two unarmored magic users, Chaff and Kwinssea tried a barrage of oil, daggers, and prismatic rays to support their comrade. They had but little luck ,and Abdul el Abdul was getting badly beaten once again. Chaff bravely spurred Stinky Dog forward and plunged into the melee with his staff. This, along with some successful rays from Kwinssea, turned the tide and the last of the skeletons were beaten into submission. Into a pile of rock dust actually, as the party now found they were made or at least coated in a layer of crystal.

While badly battered, the party also wanted to badly see what the skeletons were guarding.  Apart from the exit, they also found a 2' pyramid, very similar in style and material to the crystal bearing sphere. This, obviously, was the pyramidal key, the second object they needed to open the gate. But not right now, so they grabbed the pyramid and banner (and the globe along the way) and retreated back to the cave entrance, and thence to the "Loreman's Passage" to once again recover.


Floating globe of the planet "Jovania" 500gp
Golden jeweled Kalandrian Banner 1000gp

7 Brittle Bones


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