Tuesday, February 21, 2017

Far Isles Session #56 - Fear Factor

Kwinsea (Aquamancer 5), with familiar Hermes and henchman Jaz (Elf 1)
Chaff (Vivimancer 5), with familiar PrettyBird
Abdul el Abdul (Fighter 5)
Awg Wahmn (Calmonari 3)

As the late afternoon sun began to dip low over the crater rim, the party tied ropes around some of the stone ruins so they could to lower themselves over the side of the hill to the temple entrance below. As the rest of the party descended, Rodrigo and Corvus elected to remain above to watch their backs. The party found themselves standing at the waters edge, with a pair of dugout canoes tied to rickety bamboo piers behind them, and two wide steps in front that led to a landing lined with pillars. Beyond this were a trio of narrow steps leading to another landing and the entrance itself. Shoved into cracks in the red marble of the landing were a series of bamboo poles topped with shrunken heads, skulls, and the odd unidentifiable jawbone. Climbing up to the second platform,  on either side of the steps there was a large stone foot, the remains of a statute that once straddled the stairs. An opening led from this platform into the side of the hill, and a bas-relief of a human holding a lighted brazier was carved in the cliff face to ether side. Abdul el Abdul went over to the left carving to size it up and noticed there were small openings in place of the eyes. Chaff shuffled over and sent Pretty Bird up to have a look. Inside was a very dusty and cobwebbed room, obviously not touched for a millennia. That seemed like a good place to check first, so the party formed up and marched into the darkness.

They did not get far before a pile of debris narrowed the tunnel to a single file squeeze. There was no obvious sign of a ceiling collapse, so they surmised the rubble must have been placed here deliberately. "It's a trap!" exclaimed Awg. Chaff shielded the light coin to let Jaz look ahead with her infravision. Far ahead, at the limits of sight, was a faint glow of fire. Close at hand, beyond the rubble, the elf could see a trio of figures lying in wait. With this new intelligence, the party formed their plan. Kwinsea cast a seasong to lull the three guards into slumber, while Chaff cast meld flesh in an (unsuccessful) attempt to bind them together. No matter; the heavily armored Jaz was ordered forward through the gap to take care of the dozing men. But as she passed the end of the rubble pile, a spear thrust out, glancing off her armor. It would seem they missed one guard, a mighty champion clad in bone armor. Abdul pushed forward to join Jaz in combat. The native warrior was tough, fighting the two even after being hit several times. He also landed a solid jab with his spear on Jaz, who immediately froze; paralyzed. At this point, one of the dozy guards awoke and joined the fray. Worried for the elf's life, Abdul pulled her out of combat, while Awg slapped on his/her demon mask, summoned the power of the new cutlass to levitate above the fight and opened up with laser fire with his/her pistol. This took out the newly awakened guard, while Chaff pushed forward to cast the instinct of fear on the champion. That caused the mighty warrior to turn and run down the tunnel away from the party.

The party paused briefly to dispatch the last two natives. When Jaz did not recover right away, she was left in Pretty Bird's care near the entrance as the rest of the party pushed on without delay. Once more they did not have to go far, bursting into a huge fire-lit chamber. The fire burned in the centre of the room, below an opening in the ceiling covered by a huge net. A balcony ran along the perimeter of the chamber, accessible by stairs on either side of the entrance. It was high enough that it was difficult to see what, if anything, was up there.  Clustered just beyond the fire was a line of native warriors, spears pointed menacingly at the party. Beyond them in one corner quivered the feared champion, while a cluster of woman cowered in the opposite corner. Retreating a little to stand in the entrance, Kwinsea tried speaking to the wariors. And surprisingly, they understood her mismatched native pidgin well enough to communicate. As Awg levitated menacingly and Chaff cast a sparkly cantrip on himself, the aquamancer alternately threatened them with 'mighty magics' and questioned who they were and what they were doing in the ruined temple. She learned they were there to serve the gods of the temple, and they were awestruck enough to lower their weapons and offer to take the party to see the gods, so they too could serve them. After a murmured discussion, the party decided to trust them, and started to head across the room.

They made it as far as the fire before the native perfidery was revealed. Hidden at the corner of the balcony, four men cut the ropes holding the weighted net, such that it dropped onto the party below. Awg, Chaff and Abdul el Abdul were trapped in the net, while Kwinsea rolled out of the way just in time. The native warriors advanced to stab at the trapped adventurers, and on the balcony above there appeared a line of bowman, as well as what appeared to be the chief and his henchman, plus the tribal witch-doctor.  Abdul el Abdul was able to untangle Awg from the ropes, while Chaff cast a web spell on a pair of attackers. The trio then started to crawl out from under the net, but each was stabbed and paralyzed, just like Jaz. This left Kwinsea, who first cast a lightning bolt to cut down most of the attackers on the main floor (and scorching the still cowering champion in the process).  She then whipped out her wand of fear, crying "fear our mighty magic!!" and took aim at the chief. He, the witch-doctor and one of the henchman turned and fled back out of sight. This threw the bowman into disarray, and they too pulled back from the edge in confusion. The two remaining chiefs' henchman were not perturbed, and rushed at the wand wielding wizardess. Kwinsea dodged a blow from one, and then drove both off with successive blasts from the wand.

Danger for now averted, Kwinsea started to pull her paralyzed companions down the tunnel and back to the water's edge. There she found Jaz just awaking, and the two started to load the rest of the party into the dugouts to escape across the lake. Just as they were finishing, the bone clad champion burst onto the steps, followed by five more tribesmen. Kwinsea was struck and paralyzed. The elf dropped the five natives with  sleep spell, but the bone warrior advanced to attack. He was already well battered, however, so the elf knocked him out cold with the flat of her sword and then securely tied and bound her fallen foe. With that, Jaz hauled Kwinsea and the bone warrior into the last canoe, swung around the headland to pick up Rodrigo and Corvus, and then pulled hard for the village on the mainland.  



1 bone-armored champion (captured)
1 chief's henchamn
12 native warriors

none (not permanently at least)

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