Sunday, August 28, 2016

Far Isles Session # 42 - We Have the Conch!

Rodrigo (Swashbuckler 3), with henchman Corvus (Fighter 1)
Kwinsea (Aquamancer 4), with familiar Hermes
Abdul el Abdul (Fighter 5), with henchman Otock (Dwarf 1)
Chaff (Vivimancer 4), familiar Pretty Bird, riding dog Puppy Whuppy
"No 7" (Halfling 2)
Aug-Wahmn (Calmonari 1)

Satyr Head
Before proceeding, Chaff rook a few moments to loot Torek's body of potentially useful magic items, ring of invisibility  and light dagger. As this was underway, a newcomer arrived amid the chaos; Awg-Wahmn, a calmonari guest of Rodrigo's recent bacchanalian brouhaha. As the new addition to the group settled in, Rodrigo lit a torch and lead the party down a wide corridor towards the sound of the running water. It led into a room covered in blue and yellow tile, with gaudy and misshaped brass ornaments on the walls. The sound emanated from a fountain in one corner, the water pouring from a bearded, leering satyrs' head, into a large basin. Abdul el Abdul strolled over the the satyr and was about to yank it off the wall when Chaff stopped him. The vivimancer had noticed hidden shelves behind the head, and proceeded to use his cantrips to lift a collection of bottles filled with scented powders and oils off the shelf and onto the floor. One would not budge, so Abdul el Abdul simply grabbed it and placed it with the rest. Meanwhile, Kwinsea poked around in the bottom of the fountain and in the drain, hoping to find a bit of lost treasure or two.  But with no luck.

Moving on, Rodrigo and Corvus once more took the lead, entering a long narrow passage. At one end was a set of stairs going down, and at the other was  the doorway leading into the High Priests wine storage. In the middle lay another room, lit by the soft glow of moonlight beaming through rounds glass windows in the domed ceiling.  The light all focused on a silver decanter which sat on a pedestal in the centre of the room.  Kwinsea, Otock and Awg-Wahmn immediately had a sense of danger and started to search from the door to the pillar for traps. They found nothing, but upon reaching the pillar noted the decanter was covered in alchemical symbols.  Awg-Wahmn glanced inside the decanter, and saw it contained a clear liquid, perhaps water, as well as droplets of distillate clinging to the sides of the neck. After much consideration and debate, the calmonari touched the water, and luckily nothing happened except a feeling of sanctification.  So Awg-Wahmn emptied his waterskin and filled it with the mystery liquid before pocketing the now empty vessel.

The Hand Print
That exploration complete, the party headed for the stairs, entering a room which chilled them with an unnatural cold. The acoustics were likewise icily sharp, the party footsteps echoing with ponderous doom as they passed through to exit a pair of archways in the south wall. These led to another domed room with a pool. Abdul el Abdul glanced into the water, observing another chamber at the bottom. This looked like a job for one of the water-breathers, so Awg-Wahmn stripped down, tied a rope around his waist, and dove in. The rest of the party immediately saw the pool fill with blood as the calmonari yanked frantically on the rope. When he emerged from the water, Awg-Wahmn was covered in long razor-like lacerations, reporting there were some sort of invisible blades around the walls of the pool. Chaff, poking around with his bone staff, confirmed the location of the blades. With the danger now known, Kwinsea dove into the water, emerging in a magically suspended column of water in a plain dungeon room.  She swam back up to report her findings, and the party started to prepare to dive down to explore. Rodrigo and Corvus first did a quick scout of this floor, to make sure they were not leaving any danger or enemies in their rear. Finding nothing but prayer spaces and a library, they returned and joined the dive. Kwninsea, meanwhile, went back to the first cold room to try figuring out what was causing the chill. As she stood in silent contemplation, a ghostly figure appeared and reached out to touch the aquamancer over her heart. The figure then disappeared as she screamed, and Kwinsea immediately felt as if a heavy load had been placed on her shoulders. Further investigation also showed a golden hand print was now burned into the skin over her heart.

Now donewith this level, a series of ropes were strung to allow easy travel down the water column to the lower level.  Once gathered below, everyone felt a sense of sinister foreboding in the air, and resolved to search quickly for the conch. They were also well aware that time was running short if they wanted to emerge from the temple before sunrise sent it back to the dream-realms. The party swiftly passed through a room with another fountain, a large chamber with eight sealed stone wells, a room of junk storage, and several seemingly empty rooms. They at last entered yet anther domed room decorated in yellow and blue tile. A second archway opened into a dimly lite room filled with a scattering of treasures.  Kwinsea, Otock and Awg-Wahmn once more started to search the entrance for traps, but Chaff, Rodrigo and Corvus decided to carefully huge to edge of the passage to get into the treasure room. But found themselves instead in an identical blue and yellow domed room, which looked back on the treasure room and their companions on the far side. They had somehow passed through  the treasure room without stopping.

Meanwhile, the trap-searchers had not turned up any danger, but Kwinsea did read an inscription on the floor. It stated "MAY ONLY THE LIGHT OF YOUR PURPOSE LEAD".  After some thought and discussion, the party decided to cover their light sources and try entering the treasure room again. This time it worked, and all found themselves safely in the room.  A golden pattern of watchful eyes covered the black dome overhead. The room was lit by an amber glow from a basin of fluid in the centre, which also contained some red and gold fish.  Around the basin lay many objects, including:
  • six heavy silver decanters;
  • a large iron bound chest;
  • three sets of blue plate mail on stands;
  • a scimitar in a mother-of-pearl scabbard;
  • a series of glass prisms on a brass table;
  • a small yellowish box made of some unknown substance; and
  • a gold and silver gilded conch.
The Eyes
Although everyone was eager to grab the conch and other treasure, the building sense of oppression made them wary. Awg-Wahmn used aquatic telepathy to 'speak' with the fish in the basin. He received from his piscean friends a sense that overwhelming malevolence, doom and terror awaited them if they lingered. That got action. Focusing first on the conch, Chaff tried to cantrip it off its pedestal, but with no success. The party was then hit with a feeling of sharp pressure and a metallic taste in their mouths, adding to the sense of oppression. Feeling the need to move fast, Rodrigo used his sword to knock the conch into a sack held by Corvus. Everyone then headed at full speed out of the treasure room. Abdul el Abdul grabbed the scimitar on the way, and Chaff doubled back to grab the strange box. As he was leaving the treasure room with his loot, however, the little vivimancer felt an overwhelming force, as if he was being pulled apart limb from limb. He stumbled back to the entry room to join the rest of the party, and they started to discuss how to get the rest of the treasure.  They didn't talk long, however, as Rodrigo now experienced the same rending force as Chaff, quickly followed by Otock being torn to shreds and scattered about the room by the same force. That got everyone moving, and FAST! Without pause, the party rushed back to the water column, swam back up to ground level, recovered Torak's body, and ran out of the temple just as the eastern sky was brightening with the rising of the sun. They watched for a while as the image of the temple began to waver, before finally disappearing in the first rays of sunlight to leave just the ruined and deserted plaza once more.


6 bottles of bath salts (6 x4 0gp)
5 bottles of bath oil (5 x 30gp)
1 botle of magical bath oil
silver decanter covered in alchemical symbols (500gp)
Scimitar in a mother-of-pearl scabbard (500gp for scabbard)
Weird yellowish box (containing two laser pistols and 3 extra power packs)



Saturday, August 6, 2016

Far Isles Session # 41 - "Give Us the Conch!"

Rodrigo (Swashbuckler 3), with henchman Corvus (Fighter 1)
Kwinsea (Aquamancer 4), with familiar Hermes
Abdul el Abdul (Fighter 5), with henchman Otock (Dwarf 1)
Chaff (Vivimancer 4), familiar Pretty Bird, riding dog Puppy Whuppy, henchman "No 7" (Halfling 2)
Torak (Cleric 4)

With everyone back in Xin, Torak now rejoined the party to inform them that the proper time had come to delve into the phantasmal Temple of the Sea Demon and recover the conch of the sea demon for the Drowned God. The moon and the stars would be just right a few nights hence. Which left just enough time for Rodrigo, flush with cash and martial vigor, to rent the “Hangman and Witch” for a big party with all his friends and a whole lot of other people who just showed up. Including a few non-friendly types, such as the two cloaked and daggered figures who tried to shank Corvus in the alley. Luckily, they were somewhat inept assassins, as the beefy fighter heard them approach and stabbed one in the face, while the other fled into the night.  Examining the body in the moonlight, Corvus noted that the man had a faint circle tattooed on his forehead.

The Party
Meanwhile, back inside the tavern, the party had gotten a little out of control. Somewhere in the ruckus, Rodrigo was trying to do swashbuckley things with the candles in the chandelier. And in his drunken state, dropped a handful of lit candles in the straw on the floor. The ensuing conflagration burnt the decrepit old tavern to the ground, and by morning nothing was left but smoldering cinders. The remaining revelers didn’t seem aware that Rodriogo was responsible, but a few noted a man had made a circuit of the crowd watching the tavern burned, whispering sly hints that he knew who was responsible. The mystery man had disappeared by the time The Purple and fire watch arrived. A few wags in the area noted burning the place wasn’t a bad idea; at least it took care of the rats that infested the place.

Abdul el Abdul's New Armor
The party quietly nursed their hangovers throughout the day, and then buckled on their armor (including Abdul el Abdul in the fancy new armor looted from the Cha'nrk Marshal Commandant) and weapons when night fell. Following the directions provided by the Temple of Brall, the party weaved their way through back alleys until they reached an abandoned plaza. There was no-one about, but in the centre stood a slightly mirage-like black, boxy structure.  There was no visible entrance or window, except at the base of the dome that formed one end of the temple. There, faint light leaked out through a pillared opening. With Torak and Abdul el Abdul in the lead, the party headed for the light. Reaching the entrance, they glanced inside, spying a large pool which filled most of the space. Apart from a circular stairwell that curved up the wall and another pillared opening, the main point of interest was the man standing next to the pool. Dressed in charcoal robes and with face hidden, he noted Torak and Abdul el Abdul in the entrance and challenged them: “Who dares enter the sanctuary of the Sea Demon without leave? Identify yourselves!”  Abdul el Abdul stumbled out am innocuous reply, while Torak identified himself as a priest of the temple of Brall. With that revelation, the figures straightened, and he shouted “Heretic! Worshiper of the false human aspect of the Sea Demon! Feel the wrath of the depths!” The priest stared to chant, and a cloud of mist arose from the pool, filling most of the room and blocking the party’s view.  Rushing forward, those near the front of the line moved around the edge of the room to where the priest had stood. There, they found him in the process of turning and running out through the other pillared entrance. He didn’t make it, as Kwinsea used command rope to tie his feet, while Abdul el Abdul took advantage of his immobility to hack him to death.

Taking a momentary breather, the party decided to head up the stairs. With Abdul el Abdul once more in the lead (and Kwinsea standing guard at the back, watching for any intrusion through the pillared opening), the party climbed quickly. At the top was a door of black wood, which the fighter easily opened. On the other side was a narrow, rail-less span which arced though the night sky to a second door in the other half of the temple. Carefully, the fighter crossed the span, giving everyone else the signal to follow when he reached the other side unscathed.  Once everyone had gathered behind him, the fighter once more proved his worth as a door opener and barged through the portal and into a room on the other side.

The High Priest
At first glance, the room was largely empty, except for a pile of pillows in one corner and a long curtain draped across one side.  On the pillows lay another priest, somewhat better dressed than the last, laying back and smoking a water pipe. Startled he jumped up as the party barged in, each one yelling “Give us the Conch!!” as they charged upon the confused man. He didn’t stay confused for long, breathing a cloud of mist at Chaff that paralyzing the vivmancer and his riding hound. A flurry of attacks followed as the priest cast another spell, yelled for help, and then died under a flurry of blows. There was a short lull as Torak cast a cure spell on Chaff to release him from paralysis, and others had a quick look behind the curtain and around the room to make sure there were no other surprises waiting.

The surprise instead came through the same door they’d entered, which now burst open and a pack of priests rushed in with tridents at the ready. The priests slashed wildly, drawing much blood. Focusing many of their attacks on the heretical Torak, they dealt the cleric the hand of death. Meanwhile, Chaff melded two of the priests together, and the rest of the party fought back furiously with sword and axe and trident and pistol. As the priests started to fall, one facing off against Corvus managed to bull rush past the big fighter and dove into the pillows on the floor, frantically trying to reach something below them. He never reached whatever he was looking for, as Corvus decapitated the man with a mighty swing of his two-handed sword. At about the same time, the two melded priests disengaged and shuffled towards the door. They made good progress considering their impediment, but Rodrigo chased them out onto the bridge. He stabbed one to death, and as the body fell over the edge, it dragged it’s still melded companion with him to a screaming death below.  

Back inside the room, Torak's remains were gently laid in a few pillows to be dealt with later, and everyone started searching the space. Corvus pushed the pillows aside and found a trap door hidden beneath them. Kwinsea when to check behind the curtain, and found crates, barrels and amphorae filled with wine (a bottle of which she pocketed). There was also a door, at which Abdul el Abdul and Otock had a listen, but heard nothing. Corvus also noted a series of niches in the wall behind the pillows, each holding a grotesquely misshapen lead figure.  Chaff and No 7 went through the opening in the north wall, where they found a low table surrounded by more pillows. On the table was a silver censer and an ewar of wine, plus a mass of papers. Reading a few, Chaff discovered these described a hidden dream city that existed parallel and opposition to Xin, sections of which could be reached through one's dreams. There was not enough detail to tell you how to do so, and it certainly did read like the ravings of a madman.  But C|haff pocketed them just the same

Two additional exits led out of this room, so Chaff led a group to check out one and Rodrigo headed for the other. Chaff found a small room containing a shallow font filled with water. Three tiny vials sat on the rim, arranged in a triangular formation. While Kwinsea checked for secret doors, Chaff sniffed each of the vials. One smelled familiar, but the vivimancer couldn't quite place it. Regardless, he pocketed all three for later examination and/or use. Rodrigo meanwhile, glanced into a wide empty hall. The swashbuckler heard nothing, but caught the sound of running water somewhere ahead ...

1200 (Rodrigo)

3gp, 1sp
silver censer (140gp)
A bottle of fine wine (30gp)
3 unideitifed potions (?)
A whole bunch of tridents

9 Lesser Priests of the Sea Demon
1 High Priest of the Sea Demon