Tuesday, August 22, 2017

Far Isles Session # 68 - The Last Ship and New 'Friends'

Rodrigo (Swashbuckler 5) 
Chaff (Vivimancer 5), with familiar Pretty Bird and Riding Dog Puppy Whuppy
Awg Wahmn (Calmonari 5)
Kwinsea (Aquamancer 5), with familiar Hermes 
Corvus (Fighter 3)
Torak (Cleric 5) 
Golden Khopesh

With the battle over, Chaff picked up a chunk of shattered bronze destroyer and placed it on one of the entry trap pressure plates. This activated the trap and locked the spears and statues in place, so he did the same with the second pressure plate. This now left the party a safe escape route if needed. Because now they were going to mess with the black skull altar. While everyone else backed away to the far end of the chamber, Corvus went over to examine the skull. He noted that the the top was hinged, so he stood off to one side, stuck the edge of his sword in the gap and levered it open. When nothing blew up or leapt out at the fighter the rest of the party crowded around to look. Inside was a body, curled up to fit in the cramped space, and clutching a golden curved sword. Torak noted that something didn't look right about the body; it appeared to be covered in  fuzzy orange growth. Suspecting some sort of deadly mold, the combined brainpower of the party started to formulate a plan. Various options involving fire and water were rejected, there being a fear of destroying any spellbooks, scrolls or other fragile treasure that may be below the body. In the end, Awg was strong-armed into levitating over the open skull. He looped a grappling hook and rope over a wooded beam, and lowered the hook into the skull. As it approached  the mummified corpse, Chaff came close enough to cast a cantrip, to nudge the hook under the corpse's armpit.  Chaff and Awg then joined the rest of the party to heave on the rope. Unfortunately, instead of lifting the body, they ripped off the arm in a cloud of orange dust. Once the dust settled a bit, the process was repeated with the other arm, and this time it worked. Soon the moldy, sword-clutching mummy was swaying in the air. 

All this work did disturb some of the mold, so Chaff cantriped a tiny rain-cloud to make a safe path to the skull so they could peak inside. Where they unfortunately found nothing. So in order to get the sword, they cut the rope and the corpse fell to the floor, smashing into pieces and raising a huge cloud of orange mold.  This looked like it would take some time to dissipate, so some of the party started to carry the suits of bronze armour (and Jaz) out to the garish boat to take away as spoils. As he was returning to the stone ship on his second trip, Rodrigo spied a ghostly figure approaching from the edge of the jungle. It looked remarkably like the corpse they'd tumbled out of the ceremonial boat in the first tomb, dressed in pounded bark robes. It started to approach the swashbuckler, but when he ran into the stone ship to warn the others, the ghost passed through the thick stone of the ship and confronted the party in mid-looting. It gazed around looking somewhat confused : "Oooooo ... What desecration is this? Who has defiled the dead? Is it those reptile men? And what are you doing here?" The spirit seemed a little befuddled and unsure, so some quick thinking and talking by the party convinced it they we're cleaning up the mess left by the despoiling reptile men. And once told the party would hunt down the perpetrators and destroy them, the spirit toddled off through the wall and disappeared into the jungle once more.  After breathing a sign of relief (and posting watch to ensure Mr. Ghosty didn't return), the party finished looting. Awg levitated over the moldy floor and gently picked up the sword. It proved to be made of solid gold with a cutting edge of diamond. Definitely a ceremonial object and not a real weapon.  

Looting and desecration complete, the party decided to once more settle in for the night, making camp in the recently looted chamber (after first resting the traps, just in case they had late-night visitors). The night passed without trouble, and they now moved on to looting/exploring third stone ship. After a little more poking and prodding at the sprung traps and triggers in the bow of the ship, they climbed the fallen rubble of the stone sail to peer down into the stern. The shiny copper-sheathed walls of the room blazed with light reflected from their light coin. This room also had an uncomfortably low ceiling, barely 6 feet high. A fact which made everyone uncomfortable with the idea of entering said room, even to explore the alter with large shiny skull at the far end, and the pit full of what looked be gold dust in front of it. Instead, Kwinsea used her crystal heart on one of the four monstrously envisaged statues in the room and used that surrogate to explore. The aquamancer had her animated statue  scoop up some of the golden dust into a sack and bring it back. Unfortunately for looting's sake, Chaff's greedy eye immediately identified it as simple fools gold. The statue was sent back to dredge the pit, and this time pulled up some skeletal remains wearing a worn brown cassock and a bloodstone armband. Kwinsea directed the animated help to the alter to recover the weird skull and bring it over to the waiting party. As the statue lifted the large skull, however, there was a slight shudder and a grinding sound. Right away, the party could see the ceiling of the room start to descend, the platforms holding the statues and the alter sinking into the floor. Kwinsea frantically directed her statue to return, but it did not get far before it was trapped by the descending ceiling and shattered into a thousand pieces.  Kwinsea then even more frantically tried using a rope trick to recover the crystal heart, but was unsuccessful. Moments later, the ceiling passed the top of the wall where the party was gathered, blocking all access to the chamber. 

The party dutifully waited for a few hours, and spent some time fiddling with the broken traps and triggers in the front chamber, hoping that the ceiling would rise again. Alas, it was all to no avail, and it appeared the crystal heart and anything else worth looting were sealed in for all time. With a disappointed sigh, they returned to the ceremonial boat, loaded it up with the treasure they did get, and hauled it all back through the jungle to the lagoon.  They crossed that sheltered body of water without being bothered by the giant eels, then waited for high tide to man-handle the boat over the reef and rowed back to the "Purple Haze". Along the way Awg tinkered with and talked to the mother of pearl egg, and discovered it allowed him to speak the languages of most intelligent aquatic humanoids. Which seemed a fitting item for the aquatic humanoid to own. 

Inside the Pavilion
Back aboard the "Purple Haze", a council of war ... err, looting was held. Rather than give up completely on the island, they decided to sail around to the other side and check out the location marked 'quarry' on their map. Sailing around the island was easy, as was locating the quarry. Even through the now pouring rain, deep water filled pits could be seen just a few score yards above the high tide line. Surprisingly, there was another structure nearby; a colorful tent-like pavilion, open facing the water but closed on the other three sides. The party couldn't see anything inside the tent, but about a dozen troglodytes were observed moving in and out and about the tent. Well, nothing more to be done but to go visit. But crossing the reef was going to be a problem.  With no way to get the ship's boat across, the party opted for more unconventional means of travel.  Awg and Kwinsea would swim over to the shingle beach, Chaff summoned the ebony fly to carry him over, and Corvus could make good use of the ring of water walking. That left Rodrigo and Torak ; so the swashbuckler used the shark tooth spear to transform into a mako shark, and the cleric (who first donned the invisibility ring) hopped on it's back for the ride in. And thus the landing was made, the motley collection of invaders being less than stealthy and were being met by a battle line of troglodytes standing between them and the pavilion. A short Mexican standoff ensued, and Kwinsea tried to engage the reptile-men in conversation, using the smattering of troglodyte she'd picked up during the couple of violent encounters with the things over the last few days. The stilted conversation was interrupted, however, by a voice from deep inside the pavilion.  "Please, come and join me for a glass of wine and a mid-day meal" came the polite yet sinister voice. The troglodyte line parted, and the party warily moved forward and into the tent. There, seated at the far end, behind a pair of tables laden with food and drink, was a tall, muscular man. He was grey skinned and well dressed, and reclined on a sedan chair piled high with silks and pillows. After some initial hesitancy, the party did partake of the banquet table and started to converse with their mysterious host. His name was Ondry, and hailed from lands to the east known as the Coral Kingdoms or Coral Cays. When the great fog bank lifted a year ago, he decided to sail west to explore, and found himself shipwrecked on this shore, the lone survivor out of all the ship's company. He'd 'befriended' the troglodytes, and they now served him. When questioned about the Coral Cays, he made reference to white beaches and blue lagoons, tribes of fierce amazons and unusual giants, and mountains of gold. All through the conversation, they party noted several odd things about their host. One, he was barely suppressing a strange twitch and seemed to be physically forcing himself to stay calm and seated. They also noted signs of something writhing around under the fine silk shirt he wore.  Meanwhile, a glance over their shoulders revealed a crowd of troglodytes had crowded into the opening of the tent behind them. Things did not look good ...


Golden ceremonial khopesh sword with diamond edge (5000gp)
5 sets of bronze armor (50gp total)



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