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


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