Saturday, April 8, 2017

Far Isles Session # 59 - Back and There Again

Rodrigo (Swashbuckler 4), with henchman Corvus (Fighter 2)
Kwinsea (Aquamancer 5), with familiar Hermes and henchman Jaz (Elf 1)
Chaff (Vivimancer 5), with familiar Pretty Bird
Awg Wahmn (Calmonari 3)
Torak (Cleric 4)

The party took a few moments to mourn for the brave Abdul el Abdul. Which proved to be just enough time for Awg to strip him of his magnificent magical armor and the rest of the party to loot him of the rest of his valuables. For safe keeping and all. At about the same moment, the sound of splashing came from behind, and the party turned to see Torak wading towards them. The cleric had been wandering the dinosaur-infested wilderness for the last two weeks trying to catch up with the party. His presence was now much welcomed, as he brought forgotten healing potions and his arsenal of divine magic to help them continue their exploration of the flooded temple.

The next step in that exploration was to wade through the piranha chum and examine the door at the end of the passage. Unlike the doors encountered thus far, this one was not wood, but stone. Closer examination showed that it was sealed around the edge with some sort of a tarry or rubbery gasket. That caused then party to pause, and everyone but the two swimmers (Awg and Kwinsea) and the water walking Corvus retreated to the raised platform. The non-aquatics safe, the trio in the water forced the door open. Once the seal was broken, the door opened in a rush of water, knocking the three in the water about and smashing them up against the walls of the room beyond. Which proved to be plain and unadorned, except for some stone benches around the perimeter of the room and a stone alter sitting in the centre. All of which were now at least partly submerged below 2' of water. The rest of the party now waded in and everyone started to explore. Kwinsea dove underwater to examine the alter, which was covered in the alien patterns they'd seen on the stone box upstairs. Thinking there was a connection with the idol, Awg and Rodrigo placed the cthulhic thing on the alter, taking care to keep it covered up. With a mix of relief and disappointment, nothing happened.

Putting the idol away, Awg swam around under the water. He found, floating in the water, a long heavy cotton scarf, embroidered in crimson and purple, covered in weird symbols or language. When Chaff examined it, he discovered that interwoven within the cotton was a fine platinum mesh. Torak cast detect magic; when the cloth glowed, showing it's enchanted nature, Kwinsea cast read magic and learned that if she (or another arcane spell caster) were to wear the item, it would allow her to cast divine spells in place of arcane spells already memorized. With a slight chance of insanity.

Sizing up their map, the party could see no other way to go on this level except to face the sharks once more. The party formed up and headed back that way, with Crovus handing the ring of water walking to Chaff to allow the under-tall vivimancer to keep his head above the water, and therefore freeing up the door-raft for Abdul's body. Once at the entrance to the shark room, the party redeployed. Abdul el Abdul was shifted off the door and supported by Kwinsea in the back rank, so Corvus could use it as a mantlet to block some of the shark's attacks. Behind him stood Jaz and Rodrigo, armed with trident and spear. In position, they threw the room door open, and tossed in a few handfuls of piranha chum to attack/distract the sharks. This worked well, and Jaz and Rodrigo stabbed away the the inattentive fishes. But getting stabbed got their attention, and the two sharks started to attack Corvus over the top of his door-shield. Rodrigo managed to stab one with a paralytic-poison smeared spear, causing it to go stiff and drift away. It's place was taken by a fresh attacker however, and the two remaining sharks chomped hard on Corvus and felled the fighter. Awg reached forward to haul him out of danger, staunching his wounds and keeping him from drowning. Chaff cast a polyvorousness spell to turn one shark from it's carnivorous ways, but was unsuccessful. Torak flailed out with a spiritual hammer, while Jaz and Rodrigo now sliced away with swords since they were in the front rank. The sharks soon joined the piranhas as chum, Chaff water walking over to the paralyzed shark and ending it's existence after the two still attacking were taken down.

With the fin and fanged menace out of the way, Awg now dove into the room and looked around. It was quite large, with a 20' wide collapsed corridor leading off to the east. There was also a dais in the north-west corner, atop which  sat an oyster larger than even the calmonari had ever seen. Four feet high and six feet across, it's open shell revealed a fist sized black pearl sitting inside. Knowing that sticking his/her arm in the grab the treasure would not likely end well, Awg tried to use aquatic telepathy to speak to the oyster. Alas, it was much too dim to provide meaningful conversation, so the calmonari instead jammed the Terminaxe in the open shell to ensure it stayed open, then pocketed the pearl. The oyster strained it's muscles trying to close, but it could not due to the magical strength of the axe. After some time it relaxed enough for Awg to haul the axe out using the rope attached for just that purpose.

With two fallen comrades no other obvious way to go, the party decided to retreat back to the village to rest and recover. Retracing their steps, Rodrigo borrowed the ring of invisibility from Torak and scouted ahead into the great hall, to make sure there wasn't an ambush waiting for them. There was no sign that anyone had been back, so the rest of the party passed through, climbed ropes up through the smoke hole, and climbed into the dugout canoes to make their way back to the village. Along the way, they decided to have Torak stay invisible with the cursed statue, just in case, a) his sudden appearance or b) the appearance of the statue, caused some kind of stir among the natives. The party landed at the village with no problem, and they were greeted respectfully by Fano and Umlat. The party also noted none of the renegade tribesmen were around (they thought having removed the statue from the temple, whatever curse they were under may have been lifted). That was the chief and witch-doctor's first question; had the renegade tribe been eliminated? The party answered in the affirmative, and then started asking questions of their own. Could Umlat raise Abdul? (No). Kwinsea wanted to see any books they might have (what's a book?). Is the island still taboo? (Yes) Any response when the party described the figure depicted by the cursed statue (none).

They didn't learn much, but the party did get a good nights rest and healing before loading up the canoes and heading back to temple to explore further, leaving Abdul's remains and the recovering Corvus in the village. Back in the main hall, they noted it was still deserted and showed no sign of anyone having been here since they'd left. Now that they had the time and freedom to do so, the party fanned out to search the room for secret doors, looking for ways into the two dusty rooms they'd spied before. It took some time, but hidden entrances were found to both chambers. Torak led the way into the first room, the one which overlooked the landing. He found a dust and cobweb covered room, with three stone levers on the south wall and a small alcove to the west, where one would stand to look through the spy holes. After setting the levers to the middle position with no adverse effect, the cleric then stepped in the alcove. There he disturbed the dust, and something else growing below it, causing him to cough and hack, slowing suffocating to death. Kwinsea rushed in wearing her new stole, and cast cure disease to clear his lungs and keep him alive.

Leaving the first hidden room, the party now converged on the second.  This room was larger, with a layer of sand under the layer of dust. Sweeping the sand aside, Jaz uncovered a trap door in the floor. The party ignored this for now, focusing instead on the alcove with the spy holes. In this one there was a large wooden piston and handle. No one really wanted to step in there and mess with it, nor hang out in the great hall below when it was messed with. So they attached a rope to the piston handle, and everyone climbed up the smoke hole to the surface. From there, the rope was pulled, and a cloud of fine powder shot out of an opening in the carved face, settling over the room below. When nothing else happened, the party descended once more and made for the trap door ....


1 black, fist sized pearl (3000gp)
Stole of the Sacred

3 Albino Mako Cave Sharks

Corvus (temporarily)

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