Sunday, July 2, 2017

Far Isles Session #65 - Through the Screaming Maw

DRAMATIS PERSONAE:
Rodrigo (Swashbuckler 4), with henchman Corvus (Fighter 2)
Chaff (Vivimancer 5), with familiar Pretty Bird and Riding Dog Puppy Whuppy
Awg Wahmn (Calmonari 4)
Pahu-Mahu (Thief 3)
Torak (Cleric 5)

A quick review of those present settled on Pahu Mahu as having the best combination of a) scrawny size and b) potential survivability to take a chance crawling into the narrow shaft. The party tied a rope around his waist, and shoved the light coin and ring of invisibility into his hands, then sent him on his way. As he shimmied along, Pahu Mahu found the slope of the shaft getting steeper and steeper so that when he finally poked his head out into the open after crawling 50-60', the thief was hanging almost head down. And from this perspective, found himself staring into a bizarrely demonic visage about 15' away. It was a huge statue depicting a fat and scaled vaguely humanoid body, with four arms and skinny stick-like legs. The head was stork-like, with eyes in swivel sockets and a crest of skulls.  To Pahu Mahu's relief, the statute did not move. Looking around, he could vaguely see he was hanging above a circular chamber, but the floor below lay in  darkness. Wiggling out of the shaft, he started to lower himself down into the room, while Pretty Bird followed behind to let Chaff look around and report what could be seen to everyone above.  The room came into fuller view as Pahu Mahu descended further; it was circular, about 80' across, with a series of stone balconies along the perimeter from which led stairs to floor level. There was also an exit heading east on the highest balcony, while the floor itself was covered in a thick layer of dust and shadow, making it difficult to see anything.
Screaming Wall

Pahu decided to not touch down, but  used the rope to swing over to the balcony to explore the exit instead. Somewhat creepily, the eyes of the statue swiveled to follow him across the room.  The exit led into a stone-flagged tunnel, which led to a short staircase. The thief headed up the stairs and emerged into more corridor, but this was lined with some sort of padded leather. He steeped forward, and all of a sudden the floor, walls and ceiling began to quiver.  Faces appeared, with mouths opened wide, and a gibbering scream filled the air. Pahu was chilled to his core, and grabbed him spear to try stabbing himself to death and end the nightmare. Luckily he didn't do much damage, and the pain and blood loss shocked him out of his stupor. The faces now started to snap and bite at his legs, so he turned and ran back to the circular chamber. There he shimmied down the rope again until he was just touching the floor. At this point, torches around the gazing demon statue came to life, revealing the full chamber. On the floor Pahu could now see scattered treasure, coins and jewelry. There was also the outline of a great hatch cover, and at the base of the statue stood a lectern with a massive book. The thief scooped up the most valuable looking item in reach, and then climbed back up the rope and out of the shaft to the rest of the party. 

Meanwhile, having followed the action below through Pretty Birds eyes, the rest of the party decided to look for another way in. A party member was sent to walk a line to each cardinal point of the compass; Rodrigo had gone east and after abut 150 feet stumbled over an overgrown pile of stone. He kicked a few aside and noted they seemed to filled a man-made opening in the ground. He went back to gather everyone, and work commenced on excavating the rubble. After about an hour, they'd uncovered a very ancient and worn set of stone stairs going down. The party formed up and headed into the darkness.   The stairs led them into a chamber which was covered in more leathery substance. Careful poking and prodding didn't reveal any faces, and closer examination showed that it was dried and cracked and presumably 'dead'. Three corridors led out of the room. Assuming the one in the west wall led to the gibbering wall and circular chamber, the party checked the ones to the north and south. The north passage ended in a cave-in after just 30-40', while the south led into a corridor similar to the one Pahu had explored, right down to the leathery section (which was thankfully dried up like the entrance chamber).  It led to a rubble and water filled pit, above which arose the jungle canopy and sky. Awg took a quick swim but found nothing on interest in the murky water. So they all headed back to the entrance chamber and brainstormed to find a way past the screaming walls. 

First step was to negate the screaming. Rodrigo handed out bits of tallow from his favorite candle for everyone to plug their ears; except Pahu who opted for sticky tree sap crawling with fire ants. Rodrigo then decided to simply try running the gauntlet, but even though the screaming had no effect, the faces still bit and nipped him as he ran by. Rodrigo retreated, and Chaff then cast a leech blast to suck the sustenance from about half the floor. The party then advanced and simply shot the rest of it to death with pistol and longbow. 


That done, everyone removed the gunk from their ears and headed into the domed chamber. Awg,
The Book
Torak, Corvus and Chaff headed for the floor to gather the scattered treasure (which in addition to platinum coins and jewelry, included a magical trident and a potion), while Rodrigo and Pahu headed over to the lectern. The book, bound in some kind of leather and brass with thick vellum pages,  was huge and pretty much unmovable. The pair turned a few pages, but couldn't read any of the odd alphabet and language in which it was written. It seemed to be a long list of something, interspersed with short written passages. Unable to move the whole thing, they ripped out a few pages for latter study.  As all this was going on, the statues eye's continued to swivel about and watch them all go about their business. And the next order of business was the hatch in the floor. Dusting away the dust revealed a massive round iron door. There was no handle but there was a eye-bolt in the centre; presumably a block and tackle or similar could be hooked there to lift the lid. Because it was much too massive for mere muscle power to move. Not that the party was (too) tempted to do so; the general consensus was opening it would be a '
Very Bad Idea"TM. They did note writing around the edge, where the lid  met the floor. This writing was the same as that in the book, so Chaff copied it down as well for future reference.  


Though tempted to poke around the chamber a bit more, in the end the party decided they were best off taking their loot and calling it a successful day. The statues eyes followed them as they crossed the chamber, but the party emerged back to daylight without incident, and thence back to the "Purple Haze" to continue on their looting way. 

TOTAL XP
11290

GAINS
Jewelry: Ring-500 gp, Ring-20 gp, Earring-500 gp, Tiara-30 gp, Chain-300 gp, Bracelet-30 gp, Earring-20 gp, Sceptre-20 gp, Coffer-1600 gp, Arm band-1800 gp, Belt-500 gp, Comb-100 gp, Clasp-10 gp, Tiara-20 gp, Coffer-200 gp, Arm band-1100 gp, Coronet-400 gp, Pin-1100 gp, Earring-10 gp, Belt-1100 gp, Choker-10 gp, Seal-900 gp, Earring-200gp

400 pp
 Potion of ??? 
Trident ???

KILLS
1 Gibbering Wall Thing

LOSSES
none