Monday, October 24, 2016

Far Isles Session # 49 - More Monkey Business

Rodrigo (Swashbuckler 4), with henchman Corvus (Fighter 2)
Kwinsea (Aquamancer 4), with familiar Hermes and henchman Jaz (Elf 1)
Abdul el Abdul (Fighter 4)
Aug Wahmn (Calmonari 2)
Torak (Cleric 4) [NPC]

Raising sail, the party had Lynessa turn the "Purple Haze" back towards the Anchorage, to bring Abdul el Abdul's rapidly purifying remains to the witch Bellephrone. The first couple of days sailing brought fair weather, but wind on the beam, resulting in slower than ideal progress. There was a little excitement on the second day, when Corvus spied something approaching from the north. Whatever it was appeared to be following the wind. The party had Lynessa turn the ship around to start tacking towards it. After a few hours fighting the wind, 'it' turned out to be a woman on a raft made of coconuts lashed together. The woman, native looking and wearing an odd mix of palm frond skirt and crude gold jewelry, waved her arms in the air and screamed indecipherably at the approaching ship. The two vessels continued to close, however, and when the raft was almost abeam of the ship, the young woman stopped screaming and reached into a nearby sack. She emerged with two coconuts, which she hurled at the "Purple Haze", one of which whacked Kwinsea up the side of the head. That made the aquamancer mad, so she tied the woman up with command rope. With the raft now safe to board, the party descended on the woman, relieved her of her gold, and determined she was totally and irretrievably mad. So they left her aboard the raft, and turned away before the spell ended and before they they had to face another barrage of coconuts.

Winter Storm
That adventure over, the ship faced another one the next day, when a winter storm raged out of the north, tossed the "Purple Haze" about and shredded sail, lines and spars. They also completely lost control of sailing direction, and when the storm finally abated the next day, they found themselves far off course. Thanks to Abdul el Abdul's directional crystal, they were able to figure out they were further north than expected, but with no idea how far away. Regardless, they turned about to head back towards the crystal caves, and hopefully thence to the Anchorage. With fair wind they made good time, and after a few days encounter land. In fact, they encountered the island at which they'd sheltered from the last winter storm, on their outward journey to the Jungle Isles. Knowing now where they were, the "Purple Haze" was turned to the north-west and in a couple of more days they were 'home'. 

In the shelter of the port they found three vessels:
  • "Valorous Star", the floating warehouse of the over-perfumed elf, Lifjin;
  • "Loreman's Passage", the former ship of their erstwhile employer Yorik, looking rather worst for wear.; and
  • a ship with a hull made of skins stretched over some sort of framework, loaded to the gunnels with felled logs. 
Focusing on the task at hand, the party prepared to go ashore with Abdul el Abdul's body. They were interrupted, however, by a boat approaching from the "Loreman's Passage". In it were four disreputable looking, heavily armed, characters. They hailed the "Purple Haze" and asked what their business was in the Anchorage. When told they were resting the crew, repairing the ship, and raising the fighter, the quartet showed much interest in the prospect of the party leaving the "Purple Haze". The four tried to squeeze more information out of them, specifically where they'd been and how much gold they'd recovered. When the party continued to be tight lipped, the four rowed back to the "Loreman's Passage". Meanwhile, Aug Wahmn dove overboard on the opposite side of the "Purple Haze", and them swam with one ear to the bottom of the retreating rowboat. By some miracle, the calmonari was able to listen in on the occupants conversation. It would appear the four were looking for easy pickings, and thought they might be able to storm the "Purple Haze" and take her over when the party was away with Bellephrone. When  Aug Wahmn swam back and relayed this information, the party changed their plans. Half the party would go ashore with Abdul el Abdul (keeping one eye open for ambush), while the other half would guard the ship. Having thus covered all their bases, the half-party brought Abdul el Abdul to the sardonic Bellephrone. The witch agreed to bring the fallen fighter back in return for the last magical silk hachimaki ('water'). The party also asked her to identify some of their newly acquired magic items; specifically, the scimitar carried by Awg Wahmn, the leather armor and short sword from the king's tomb, and the pair of wands Kwinsea was carrying. This Bellephrone was glad to do for a price of 4000gp. She took Abdul's' body and the five items, and told the party to return on the morrow.

With no unpleasant incidents from the occupants of the "Loreman's Passage", the half-party returned to the hut in the pine wood the next day. There they found Abdul el Abdul waiting for them, a little wheezier than before and buck naked. As the fighter donned the clothes and armor the party had brought with them, everyone gathered around the hear about the magic items:
  • The scimitar was a mighty +2 weapon, but was cursed. Every time the wielder drew the blade in anger, he/she would first have to wet the blade with his/her own blood before using it in battle;
  • The armor was +3 leather which would bind wounds suffered by the wearer;
  • The short sword was a +3 weapon, which could summon simian servants; and
  • the wands were a wand of secret door detection  and a wand of fear
Thus better informed of their capabilities, the party returned to their ship. The crew had repaired the storm damage, so they hoisted sail and headed back towards the Jungle Isles. They decided along the way to head back to the lost city of the Madaro-Shanti, and a few days fair sail found the ship back at anchor off the island of the black mist.The party jumped ashore, and worked their way back through  the jungle and into the ruined city. They met no notable opposition along the way, and made straight for the palace. Passing through the large entry chamber, they first explored the pillared halls from which the first ghoul monkeys had attacked. Finding nothing of interest there, they moved on down a narrow passage to a series of partly ruined rooms and alcoves. One they recognized as the room where they'd fought zombies from down below. The entrance to a second room was blocked by a massive pile of rubble. While climbing up, the party disturbed a quartet of giant centipedes which were dispatched with ease thanks to Jax's sleep spell. 

In the next two alcoves contained, respectively, a lion statue and a wooden chest. The statue was looked over quickly, and when nothing of note was found, attention turned to the chest. It appeared in remarkably good condition considering the ruined state of most of the other woodwork examined thus far. Awg Wahmn carefully examined it, and noted that it wasn't quite as solid as it would appear at first glance. A yellow, powdery substance extruded between the cracks and rot of the wood, seemingly holding it together.  The calmonari decided it best not to disturb at close range, so he/she retreated and let Abdul el Abdul shoot it with a crossbow bolt. It went right through, and a cloud of yellow dust billowed into the air. Rodrigo then decided to saturate the chest with water before holding his breath and breaking it open. Inside was a pile of mildewed fibres, a handful of strange gold coins, and a set of gleaming bronze greaves and bracers, plus matching helmet. 

Washing off and taking the loot, the party pushed on into the next room. This was a large chamber, with the ceiling two stories above supported by pillars. Overlooking it on the floor above was a partially tumbled balcony. There was little time to look around, however, as a cacophony of hooting howls announced the presence of ghoul monkeys, hiding behind the pillars. As the mad simians descended on the party, there arose from the balcony above another threat; a flock of strange bird-like creatures with very long beaks. These flew down to join the attack, and two scored hits on Torak and Rodrigo, inserting their beaks deep into their bodies and sucking their blood. Luckily, the ghoul monkeys and birds were eliminated without any loss, leaving the party looking around and decide what to do next ...


Bronze greaves, bracers, and helmet [AC6]
Collection of crude gold jewelry (900gp)

6 Ghoul Monkeys
4 Giant Centipedes
5 Stirges 


Sunday, October 9, 2016

Far Isles Session #47 & #48 - Out of the Ruins

Rodrigo (Swashbuckler 3), with henchman Corvus (Fighter 2)
Kwinsea (Aquamancer 4), with familiar Hermes and henchman Jaz (Elf 1)
Abdul el Abdul (Fighter 5)
Chaff (Vivimancer 5), familiar PrettyBird, riding dog PuppyWhuppy & henchman"No 7" (Halfling 2)
Torak (Cleric 4)

There was a short debate on whether the party should focus on the ruins of the palace or check out the dungeons below. In the end they decided on the dungeon, and everyone climbed down though the pit. Heading cautiously to the opening through which the ghoul monkeys had emerged, they found a room unsurprising covered in monkey feces. Along the north wall were three barrels and in the north-west corner a 10'x10' alcove. Abdul el Abdul headed towards the barrels, while Kwinsea and Corvus went to check out the alcove. Out of it sprang another hanu-naga, which sank it's fangs into Kwinsea and crushed the aquamancer in its constructing coils. Although terribly injured, she fought off the effects of the poison and the monkey-snake quickly fell to a few well placed blows. At about the same time, a single ghoul monkey appeared in the doorway, whom Rodrigo dispatched  with a single sword blow. With that excitement over, Chaff shuffled forward to dig around in the alcove for treasure, finding a pile of mixed coins. Meanwhile, Abdul el Abdul opened one barrel, finding it filled with a pungent liquid and a dead monkey. The other two contained the liquid but no monkey. Torak had a sniff of the liquid and declared it to be some sort of necromantic nectar.

Heading next out of the southern opening, the party moved down a hallway, passing an arched opening on the left and then came to a spot where the ceiling had collapsed, partially blocking the passage. Light could be seen filtering from above, so Abdul el Abdul climbed up to look. A ruined room greeted his gaze, as did 5 shuffling zombies. The fighter dropped back down into the hole as the undead approached. Torak raised his holy symbol and called on the power of the Drowned God to turn three of them away. The party then turned on the remaining two, destroying them. They then had to destroy the first three, they having returned after a short while. Once more there was discussion of where to explore; dungeon or palace. Once more, the vote was dungeon and the party moved on. They next entered a room filled with plain stone sarcophagi. Popping off a lid revealed a mummy inside, wearing plain copper jewelry. Kwinsea and Corvus started to poke at the body, raising a cloud of dust that caused both the hack and cough. Meanwhile, the rest of the lids were opened revealing the same contents. In the end, it didn't seem worth risking poisoning or disease to get a few copper trinkets, so the bodies were left in peace.

Moving on, they party briefly examined an embalming room, with stone tables and jars of embalming fluids lining the walls. Further on they found a pool full of rushing water. Kwinsea poked her head in, finding it was a natural stream and flowing much to fast to risk a swim. Further on, they encounter a hallway and alcove full of barrels. No monkeys this time, just barrels of brackish water and soured wine, one of which got dumped on the floor just for fun.

The next room was unexceptional, with the exception of what appeared to be a pile of vomitous refuse in one corner. This turned out to be some sort of protoplasmic monster which flowed over to attack the party. After one weapon attack split the thing in two, the party focused a shower of flaming oil and torches on the creature, and No 7 blasted at it with her new laser pistol. It was in relatively short order destroyed, leaving an unformed mass of goo crusted over with burns. This was absolutely fascinating to Chaff's vivimantic heart, so he and No 7 stayed behind to examine and dissect the mass while the other moved on.

The party backtracked along the corridor, following a few twists and turns before coming to a section with three doors. Abdul el Abdul checked the first and Jaz the second, neither hearing anything on the other side.  Abdul el Abdul kicked open his door, revealing a small room filled with more sarcophagi, plus a large black iron torch in a scone by the door. These sarcophagi were a little fancier than the previous lot, with images of the apparent occupants painted on the front. These images showed richly dressed folk, so the party started to plan on how to open the lids and see if they were actually rich. In the end, they hooked a pair of grapples on the lid, and Abdel el Abdul and Corvus pulled it off and onto the floor in a cloud of dust and an echoing crash. Once the dust settled, the party examined the inside, finding another mummy. This one wore silver jewelry, of which it was carefully relieved. The other sarcophagi were treated likewise, while Rodrigo followed behind cutting up the bodies and burning them, as well as checking the bottom of each tomb for false or secret compartments. Each body was relieved of a similar selection of tarnished silver jewelry, and one gave up a large silver mace as well.

 Before checking the door Jaz had examined, the party tried the third. Smashing it open, on the other side they found another room identical to the last sarcophagi chamber. Except these tombs were very richly decorated, with the lids inlaid with lapis lazuli. These were treated like the last lot, with lids removed, electrum jewelry looted, and bodies diced and burned. The party also took the time to pry the lapis lazuli out of the lids.   In one sarcophagi, the mummy clutched a pair of ebony sticks which Kwinsea claimed, assuming they were were wands. Each was inscribed with Mandaro-Shanti runes, one of which had something to do with 'fear', the other with 'find secret, hidden, disguised'.

One more lot of desecration complete, the party headed back to Jaz's door. Opening it, on the other side they found a 10' corridor which opened into a circular room. In the centre of the room stood the marble statue of a naked man holding a spear. When Abdul el Abdul approached closer to the main room, he noted there were cracks in the floor running east to west, as if someone had set the stones too far apart when laying them. That was suspicious, so he and Corvus went back to one of the sarcophagi rooms and grabbed a lid. They carried it back to the circular room and tossed it on the floor. It hit with a loud BOOM, and they saw that the impact caused the sections of floor to move a little. The party spent a few minutes discussing how to tackle the floor, when all of a sudden and with no warning, the 'slats' of the floor turned 90 degrees, revealing a shallow crawlspace filled with broken crystal. Moments later, the floor swung shut. The party also looked around the room once more, noting there were crystal torches mounted on the walls at about the height of the statues spear. All in all, everyone smelled a trap.

They waited and tried several things to get the floor to open again, including prying it open.  But it seemed very solid now. In the end, Corvus and Abdul el Abdul used a grapple to hook onto the statues spear arm, while Torak scooted across the floor to examine it more closely. He found the statue's eyes consisted of huge sapphires, and in a flash the cleric had a dagger out and climbed up on the statue to pry one out. At that moment, the statue started to turn, lowering it's spear a little. Corvus and Abdul el Abdul were able to hold it in place, as Torak held on tight and continued to pry out the gems. A beam of light shot out of the spear, but did no harm thanks to Corvus and Abdul el Abdul. Torak, now with gems in hand, crawled back across the floor to rejoin the party.

Tomb of King Tallaharka
Leaving the circular room behind, the party pushed on down the corridor. It turned once more, leading to a verdigris covered copper door. Opposite the door was a 10'x10' alcove. Kwinsea used her new 'secret/hidden' wand to see if there was something in the alcove, but to no avail. Torak then opened the copper door, revealing a chamber  with a single copper sarcophagus at the centre, over which hung a glowing ball of light. There were two other doors leading out, one made of bronze and the other of iron. Abdul el Abdul boldly strode into the room towards the iron door. As he passed the sarcophagus, a ghostly head appeared above it and said "Here lies King Tallaharka of Madaro-Shanti. Turn back, for defiling his rest will bring you naught but woe" before sinking back into the sarcophagus. Abdul el Abdul shrugged and continued on, followed by the rest of the party. As each person passed the sarcophagus, the head emerged and repeated its warning. Even for Torak, who donned his ring of invisibility for his passage. Now all at the iron door, they tried opening it but it was locked, so Abdul el Abdul had to force it open. In the room on the other side was a set of stairs going down, while in the centre was a wicker brier, at each end of which knelt a mummy. Rodrigo convinced Kwinsea to torch the mummies with a cantrip,and in the flickering flames the party could now see a mosaic on the far wall which depicted four hanu-naga. They could also see a series of gold objects lined up along the edge of the stairs. Abdul el Abdul and Rodrigo headed for the treasure, finding a gold box (containing gold trimmed robes),  plus a gold ewer, cup and bowl. When they disturbed the treasure, however, one of the hanu-naga in the mosaic burst out of the wall in a clatter of coloured tiles. It lunged forward at the fighter and swashbuckler, biting and constructing Abdul el Abdul. The fighter, alas, was not able to resist the poison and in moments dropped frothing at the mouth and twitching, before lying very still and dead. Fearing the effects of the bite on someone else, Kwinsea used a rope trick to tie the creatures jaws shut, allowing Rodrigo, Jaz and Torak to stab and slice it to death.

While everyone else took a moment to recover, Torak put on his ring of invisibility and scouted down the stairs, light dagger in hand. He quickly checked a couple of rooms. One was filled with more mosaics, this time picturing strange beings with human bodies and animal heads, while then other contained statues of the same.   He then came back upstairs and whipped out his stack of scrolls and use delay poison on Abdul el Abdul. With a cough and a spit, the fighter opened his eyes and stood again, wondering why everyone was looking at him so strange? No one had the heart to tell him he had just an hour extra to live, but instead let him lead the way back into the tomb of King Tallaharka to see what might be found in that sarcophagus.
There, everyone headed over to the copper door to allow a quick escape in case anything/everything went wrong. Again, the lid was removed with grapples. But this time, something emerged from the sarcophagus. A huge, scared, naked man sat up. Kwinsea immediately cast another rope trick, tying it's legs together and keeping it from getting out of it's tomb. When Torak was unable to turn the beast, the fighters rushed in and made short work of chopping their immobile foe to pieces. They hauled the body out, and Rodrigo once more checked the bottom for false compartments. which this time he found! Opening it up uncovered a mummy, dressed in finely tooled leather armor and holding a short sword on it's breast. The party immediately started to strip the armor from the body, no one noticing a ghostly spirit rising up and forming above them. Abdul el Abdul did notice it when an incorporeal hand brushed by his head, leaving a deep chill in it's wake. A second blow connected with the fighter, and Abdul el Abdul felt his vitality and energy drain from his body. Kwinsea now whipped out her lightning bolt scroll, using it the blast the ghostly form into ethereal mist. 

The party finished looting the sword and armor, at which point Abdul el Abdul started to froth at the mouth again and fell dead to the floor once more. Taking stock of their resources and losses, the party decided to head back to the "Purple Haze" and get out of the black mist before it did any harm. Carrying Abdul's' body, they collected Aug-Wahmn on the way, and after several days travel though the jungle were once more back abroad ship.

Session #47

Session #48

Session #47

Session #48
5 sets silver funeraly jewelry (20gp each)
1 ceremonial silver mace (50gp)
5 sets electrum funeraly jewelry (1000gp each)
2 sapphire eyes (2000gp each)
5 sets of lapis lazuli sarcophagi gems (500gp total)
gold box, with gold trimmed robe inside (450gp & 30gp)
golden ewer, cup and bowl (150go, 60go, 40gp)
Leather Armor +3, Sutured Wounds
Short Sword +3, Simian Summoning
Wand of secret door detection  
Wand of fear

Session #47
1 hanu-naga
1 ghoul monkey
1 ochre jelly
5 zombies

Session #48
1 hanu-naga
1 giant zombie
1 ghostly spirit of the great King Tallaharka of Mandaro-Shanti

Session #47

Session #48
Abdul el Abdul (poisoned, killed, brought back, level drained, dies again)