Saturday, October 20, 2018

Far Isles Session #95 - Of Amazons and Answers

DRAMATIS PERSONAE:
Rodrigo (Swashbuckler 7)
Awg Wahmn (Calmonari 7)
Chaff (Vivimancer 7), with familiar Pretty Bird, and riding dog, Puppy Whuppy
Kwinsea (Aquamancer 7), with familiar Hermes

Back on board the "No Man's Sea", the party went about getting the crew and ready to sail. There was a noticed lack of response, however, and Lynessa appeared shortly with one of the crew, rolling a barrel of salt pork. This fellow, very politely and deferentially, raised some concerns from the crew. The "No Man's Sea" has been at sea for over three months, food and water were both getting low and maggoty (he opened the barrel to illustrate this last point), and the crew was getting anxious to get ashore and spent some of their accumulated pay. He knew it could take weeks to get back to Xin if the winds were wrong, and supplies were barely sufficient for that time. The crew was making rumblings about refusing to go on, a fact confirmed by Lynessa. The party was not yet ready to quit when they were this close to finding Empyrius, so they managed to negotiate a deal. They would get some fresh food and water, and the crew would agree to another two weeks in the Far Isles before returning to Xin. Meanwhile, Torak would  make judicious use of purify food and water to improve the maggoty and rancid stuff still left aboard. 

After some discussion, the party decided to return to the Creekmen to bargain for fresh food and maybe get more information. A day's sail brought them back to the swampy island where they'd left Korun. Having no way to contact the Creekmen, they dropped anchor and waited. They did not wait long, as their old companion arrived the next day with a boatload of company. Korun, now looking much more fit and well fed, climbed aboard with a few others to see what the party wanted. They laid out their need for fresh food and water, and their willingness to pay for those supplies. Korun, after discussion with his companions, suggested a less monetary trade. Given the party's obvious martial prowess, the Creekman asked for their help against the Blue Amazons. Specifically, to rescue some of the Amazon's slaves. A bit of questioning revealed that Korun and all the 'blue' Creekmen were the male descendants of the Blue Amazons; males were enslaved at birth and had their gill slits surgically removed to prevent escape through the underwater passages which were the only way into the Blue Amazon dwellings. The party agreed to the deal, so Korun gave them directions to the Coral Palace of the Blue Amazons, and also gave them a little info on how to get into the Palace (underwater only), plus how many slaves (about two dozen) and how many Amazons (around 50) there were.  

With that, the "No Man's Sea" was turned to the east, and after a day of fighting the wind, approached the Coral Palace. It lay at the end of a lagoon, a complex of towers covered in shell and coral. The base lay in the water , and there was no obvious way in above the surface, except maybe a couple of platforms high on one tower. The party had decided on  bargaining rather than killing, so all the male crew and musketeers were sent below, leaving only the female crew, Kwinsea and Lynessa on deck. Rodrigo was also there, but  invisible, while Chaff was made up to look like a captive slave and also stayed topside. Before proceeding further, however, Awg dove overboard to scout into the lagoon, using the shark spear to disguise himself and hopefully blend into the wildlife. He/she didn't make it far before encountering a pod of dolphins, who turned to chase the Awg-shark away. The calmonari transformed back to his normal form and joined the rest of the crew below.
Blue Amazons

Shortly thereafter, a half dozen Blue Amazons, mounted on dolphins, appeared off the bow. One shouted up to the deck (in Terocolidian), demanding to know who they were and what they wanted. With Chaff translating (and occasionally getting smack in the head from Kwinsea to maintain his cover), Kwinsea introduced herself  as an explorer from far off lands. She wove a tale of back luck and weather that left her short of crew, and had heard the Blue Amazons might be able to offer  some of their 'useless' males to supplement her remaining female crew. Seemingly satisfied with the story, and excited  of other 'amazonians' from beyond the Coral Cays, the leader (Theofia) jumped deftly from her dolphin to the ship, and climbed aboard to negotiate.  After some back and forth, Kwinsea learned the Blue Amazons, for all their martial ardor,  had a weakness for fine jewelry. In the end, she was able to bargain for six slaves in return for 4350gp worth of jewelry.  The deal made, Theofia and the others returned to the Coral Palace, and some time later reappeared carrying the slaves. One, unfortunately, did not appear to have survived the underwater trip. The other five, cowed and dejected, shuffled on deck, hands and legs chained to an iron band and their waists.  Kwinsea turned over the jewelry to Theofia, and took the opportunity to ask some questions. For one, the awkward question about how the Blue Amazons reproduced. The aquamancer learned that the Amazons cavorted with aquatic male (not men!) tritons to perpetuate the species. She then asked about Empyrius, learning that he was linked with the sorceress Firebird Amazons who dwelt on the same island. 

Conversation done, Theofia offered Kwinsea well wishes and promises of friendship, and the Blue Amazons left the ship. Which was quickly gotten underway, to get back to the Creekmen as quickly as possible. Along the way the party explained what was going on the the 'slaves', who though somewhat still in shock, were cheered by the news of their freedom. When the "No Man's Sea" arrived back at the swampy island, the Creekmen were likewise pleased to see the party had kept their bargain. And they kept their end of the bargain, and two weeks of fresh food was lifted aboard ship before they once more lifted anchor.

Firebird Amazon
This time they headed north, to the  island of Empyrius and the Firebird Amazons. After an uneventful day of sailing, the arrived off a large island of white sandy beaches and low ridges covered in pine forests. Rather than charge in blindly, Chaff summoned the ebony fly, turned himself invisible with transparency and headed off to scout the shores. Flying straight west from the ship, the first thing he encountered as he crossed the shoreline was some aerial company. Flying south down the spine of the island was a large feathered snake, on whose back sat a curiously feathered and scaled human-ish female (presumably one of the Firebird Amazons). The pair did not notice Chaff and the fly, and continued south and out of sight. Chaff continued inland, where he next noted a curious structure in a clearing in the pines. It was a collection of interconnected bobbles made of some shiny and semi-translucent material. In addition to the interconnected cluster, there was a single small bubble standing by itself just 10 yards away from the main cluster. Having reached the end of his flying time, the vivmancer could linger no longer to investigate, and returned to the "No Man's Sea".

The party decided to sail south around the tip of the island, to see where the snake and rider may have gone. As the ship approached the southern cape, the party noted another curious structure amidst the sand dunes. They decided to land on shore using the ship's boat, and have a closer look. In the midst of an empty expanse of white sand dunes there stood a dome of greenish stone held aloft by fifteen bronze pillars, each shaped like a cyclops. Directly beneath the pinnacle of the dome, there could be seen a pillar or pedestal of some sort; exact details were hard to see from outside the dome, And no one was really eager to enter the dome right away, recalling Iomnogoron's warning about giant guardians. Looking around in the sand, they could see signs that someone had been here but not really recently. Curiously, the faint footprints seemed to appear out of no where; there was no path leading through the dunes to the dome.

Seeds
Rather than risk disturbing the statues, Chaff cast his insect messenger spell, hoping his tiny servant swarm could find a way to Empyrius (as they were largely convinced this was his lair). The vivimancer instructed  the insects to find Empryius and tell him the party came in peace as  emissaries from  Belephrone and H'sslik. And they wished an audience with his Exaltedness. The insects disappeared under the dome, and the party settled down to wait. And wait. And wait. The waited a day and there was no response. Mindful of their promise to the crew, they decided they needed to take more drastic action. Rodrigo donned the ring of invisibility, grabbed a letter of introduction penned by Chaff, and boldly stepped between the cyclops statues. Thankfully, the figures did not stir and Rodrigo was able to proceed towards the centre of the dome. There he found a copper pedestal holding a serpentine bowl, inside of which sat a scattering of reddish seeds. He also found Chaff's insect messenger still buzzing around, having made it no further than this in there task. The swashbuckler dropped the note into the bowl, plucked out one of the seeds, and sat down to await a response ...

TOTAL XP
1200 (exploration XP)*

GAINS
None

KILLS/VICTORIES
None

LOSSES
None

*2xp per gp rule in effects


Friday, October 5, 2018

Far Isles Session # 94 - An Evening with Iomnogoron

DRAMATIS PERSONAE:
Rodrigo (Swashbuckler 7)
Awg Wahmn (Calmonari 7)
Chaff (Vivimancer 7), with familiar Pretty Bird
Kwinsea (Aquamancer 7), with familiar Hermes

With the paralysis now ended, the party once more headed back down the stairs into the fourth egg. Flummoxed by the lack of any access into the interior of the egg, Kwinsea first tried looking for secret doors in the area around each set of stairs. But to no avail. The party then considered a route they'd avoided thus far; over the top. This required traversing the lightning field, so Chaff decided to do a little reconnaissance first with a mirror on a long pole. In the process of maneuvering the mirror around, he accidentally reflected a lighting bolt into Rodrigo. But he was rewarded with the sight of several rooms and a passage just over the wall. But how to get there with the least zapping? In the end, Kwinsea and Chaff were temporarily stuffed in the bag of holding and dragged over the wall by the brawey Awg and Rodrigo. Who'd each quaffed a half potion of lightning resistance to numb the electrical blows. Once on the other side, the two spell-casters were let out of the bag, and the party proceeded to explore down the corridor in which they found themselves.  

The corridor soon branched, and the party elected to go to the right. It led to a fairly large room with a carpeted floor. And scenes of destruction. Awg and Rodrigo entered the room, and noted it was cluttered with what appeared to be smashed furniture; beds, tables, chairs. Scattered among the ruin were three set of skeletal remains. All were splattered with a translucent dried slime, similar that found in one of the rooms explored in the first egg. Chaff and Kwinsea came in to help look around. The skeletons were human, very long dead as most of the clothing they'd been wearing was rotted away. Each did have some plain gold jewelry, however, which was scooped into the bag. But there was little else to see, so the party moved on to the second corridor. 

Here they found a room of similar size and dimensions, but without the signs of destruction. Or carpet. Instead, at the far end they found one of the egg-tanks. And it was occupied; not by an oozanderthal this time, but a seemingly normal human.  Normal and healthy on top at least; his legs were geriatricly withered and frail. He spied the party, and started to gesture for them to approach. The egg prevented verbal communication, so they party tried writing signs in every language they knew. After several attempts, Chaff discovered the man understood the vivamancer’s sketchy Terocolidian. Questioning him about the eggs and Iomnogoron, Chaff learned the man in the tank was a Terocolidian, held in stasis for hundreds, if not a thousand, years. A former servant of Iomnogoron, he crawled into the tank when his master was driven insane by the rupture of the Adonian’s extra-planner links by the Far Isles mists. Iomnogoron lashed out, killed his servants and destroyed much of the magical machinery he used to power the eggs. The Terocolidian expressed fear of his former master, noting that his mental state could swing wildly from reasonable to destructive on a whim. When asked where Iomnogoron could be found, he directed the party to the centre of this egg. When Chaff offered to release the man from the stasis tank, he at first emphatically indicated ‘No!’ It would seem the stasis was imperfect (as shown by the withered state of his legs), and the man feared he would die if released. Over the course of the conversation however, he seemed to warm to the idea of shuffling off this mortal coil. An eternity of slow death trapped in this egg was not appealing. So when the part finished questioning him, the Terocolidian solemnly gestured to the egg controls and indicate he was ready to go. Kwinsea spun the dials, opening the tank and releasing both man and fluid. Before the party’s eyes, the Terocolidian aged rapidly until after a few moment nothing was left but a withered husk. From which the party plucked some plain gold jewelry before moving on. 

Based on the dead man’s directions, Rodrigo now went around the corridor, using the mirror to (carefully) peer over the walls. He observed at least one large room right in the centre of the egg, presumably the lair of Iomnogoron. The party repeated their previous crawl over the top (sans potion of lighting resistance this time), landing in a large chamber that filled most of the remaining area of the egg. Directly in front was a basin of green stone, filled with what appeared to be the liquid essence of lighting observed in various locations elsewhere in the eggs.  A half circle of pillars lay just beyond, inside of which was a suspended and complex sphere of crystal capillaries. Beyond this little could be seen due to the large size of the room and variable lighting from the raging storm above. Also of note was the heavy curtain hanging to the left. 

While Awg examined the pool, Rodrigo pulled back the end of the curtain. There, the swashbuckler found a lurking creature.  Encased in a heavy layer of ooze or slime, it looked much like a withed and degenerate version of the statues on the upper eggs. It seemed aware of Rodrigo’s presence, and lurched forward, growing a pair of tentacles from the slime and lashing about. This, they surmised, was Iomnogoron. As he emerged from behind the curtain, Awg tried to engage Iomnogoron in conversation. Suddenly enraged, the Adonian turned its attention on the calmonari, lashing him with whipping tentacles of slime. Before matters proceed any further though, Chaff stepped forward and ensnared the thing with mind slave. Iomnogoran halted, hesitated a moment, then turned to the vivmancer to inquire (in Terocolidian) who he was and what did he want. Iomnogoron thankfully seemed relatively lucid, so Chaff started to interrogate. The information was sketchy at times, as if Iomnogoron was having trouble with his memory. Chaff learned the Adonian used the liquid lighting to power all the machines in the egg, but no longer could remember how to do that. The capillary sphere in the centre of the room was a key part of that process, but closer examination now showed it was smashed beyond any use. The vivmancer also gathered that Iomnogoron had been trying to use the liquid lighting to find a way to overcome the mist so he could escape the Far Isles; whether the insanity was due to this effort or predated it was uncertain. Chaff asked about the weird storm island, and Iomnogoton siad it was a portal or conduit to the elemental planes. Asked about Empyrius, Iomnogoron was easily able to pinpoint the island where his fellow Adonian could be found, but inquired why the party was looking for him. Told Empyrius might have information that could defeat the mist, Iomnogoron got very excited and encouraged the party to go get his help at once. And then to return and pass the secret on to Iomnogoron.

The party also asked some general questions about the origin of the Amazons (descendants of the Terocolidian woman who revolted against their misogynistic and repressive men-folk); if there were other Adonians still left in the Coral Cays (unsure, but rhymed off a few names:  Telemachis, Soloris, Hirothaylius); relations between the Adonians of old (generally live and let live, but some rivalries and wars fought by their worshipers); any treasure to give the party to help in the search for Empyris (confusion); and anything else they needed to know about Empysius ('beware the giant guardians!'). 

Sensing Iomnogoron mental stability might not last much longer, the party wisely took leave of him. Filling their canteens with lighting essence (just in case ...), they proceed back over the wall. Before leaving the egg, however, they used the mirror to locate two further rooms. Thinking these might hold Iomnogorons treasure, Rodrigo crawled over the wall to check one, while Awg and Chaff checked the other. Rodrigo’s room contained a large sphere suspended in mid-air. It was constructed of tightly woven metal mesh, one piece of which extended into the lighting field above. Inside there could be seen hundreds of small objects floating around, but it was difficult to tell exactly what they were. And given the likely electrified nature of the cage, the swashbuckler choose not to disturb it at this time. In the other room, Awg and Chaff found a stone basin, covered with a scintillating, semi-opaque force field. Again, beyond the field could be seen some objects of indeterminate identity. But when minor poking and prodding did nothing, the calmonari and vivimancer decided to not push their luck and crawled back over the wall to rejoin the rest of the crew. The  party also checked out a couple of other rooms 'over the top'. Both contained a circle of pillars. One was otherwise unoccupied, while the other had a strange square machine with a large funnel on the top. But as with the two previous rooms, the party felt it best to just leave these rooms alone. And they then proceeded back through the eggs and ultimately back to the “No Man’s Sea”, making plans to finally sail to find Empyrius. 

TOTAL XP
2400*

GAINS
12 Pieces of Golden Jewelry (100gp each)

KILLS/VICTORIES
None

LOSSES
None

*2xp per gp rule in effects

Sunday, September 9, 2018

Far Isles Session #93 - The Dragon Whisperer

DRAMATIS PERSONAE:
Rodrigo (Swashbuckler 7)
Awg Wahmn (Calmonari 7)
Chaff (Vivimancer 7), with familiar Pretty Bird
Kwinsea (Aquamancer 7), with familiar Hermes

The party opted to check what lay beyond the door before proceeding further. It opened into a larger room with multiple alcoves around the perimeter. In the centre of the room was another statue. This one was curiously coated in some sort of a thick transparent layer of stuff. The statue itself appeared to depict the same man or creature as the other three, but in this case the depiction showed a less-heroic and more care-worn figure.  Examining floor before anyone stepped into the room, Kwinsea discovered it was cut into a grid of squares, no more then a finger's width across. She pushed down on the floor with a pole, then with a boot on a pole, to see if anything happened. Nothing did, but they were still wary of walking across the floor. So Awg tossed a rope and grappling hook across to the statue, and then used the levitation power of his/her cutlass to cross the room. Once at the statue, the calmonari sliced off a few slabs of the clear material, which proved to be jellylike in consistency. Finding nothing else of interest about the statue or the room, he returned as he came and the party moved on. 

Interested in filling the gaps on their map, the party made their way back through the teleporters until they came to the room with the clear tube (which they had cut off). There was a large blank spot on the map just north of this room. Awg hauled out the crystal cutter with plans to slice through the north wall; however, nothing happened when he/she pulled the starter chain. It would seem it had run out of charges or power. Disappointed, the party resigned themselves to leaving the map space blank and instead headed back into the perimeter corridor to explore further. They found nothing of interest until they'd made it halfway around the circumference of the egg. Here, 180 degrees from their original entry chamber, was another almost identical room. In this case the tube entered through the east wall rather than dropping down from the lightning field. Of perhaps more immediate interest was the inhabitant of the room; curled around the end of the tube was a small blue dragon. It showed no sign of having seen the party, and in fact appeared to be asleep. 

Xithanilix the Dragon
The party pulled back into the corridor to discuss what to do next. While it was tempting to take advantage of the snoozing serpent and attack, they realized they'd be in trouble if they weren't successful with their first blows. And maybe the dragon could be bargained with; maybe it had information of interest to the party. In they end they decided to try talking. Rodrigo volunteered to be the negotiator, while the rest of the party took up positions in the corridor to provide support if necessary. After prepping with a potion of haste, potion of lightning resistance and the  gloves of dexterity borrowed from Kwinsea, the swashbuckler strode into the room. Rodrigo cleared his throat (loudly) several times until the beast awoke. It was startled at first, drawing back from the human intruder  until it cleared the sleep from it's brain. It then spread it's wings and arched it's neck towards Rodrigo, and in a whispering voice demanded to know who he was and what he wanted. With great obsequious, Rodrigo explained they were merely searching for information, specifically about Empyrius. The dragon did not know the name, and became highly insulted and agitated when Rodrigo suggested the beasts master might know more. The dragon Xithanilix knows no master! With proper grovelling, Rodrgio placated Xithanilix and over time learned the dragon had gotten into the egg when quite young and was now unable to leave due to it's size. And she was much interested in leaving. 

Rodrigo took his leave, and rejoined the party to discuss what they could do. Meanwhile, Xithanilix had taken wing and risen into the lighting field to keep an eye on them all. Chaff noted he knew a spell that would allow the dragon to stretch out and squeeze up the entry tube, and thence out through the open door on the second egg. He suggested they offer that option in return for whatever the dragon could tell them about the egg and the creature Iomnogoron who controlled the eggs. Going back to the dragons' lair (which they now noted had a small scattering if treasure in addition to the piles of bones noted earlier), they waited for the dragon to return and made the offer.  After some further negotiation and paranoia, a deal was struck. Xithanilix would accept the elasticity spell. But to ensure against betrayal, she instated that she cast a spell trapping one of the party, to be dispelled upon her successful escape. And one of the party would crawl up the tube ahead of her, so she could scorch him if there was any betrayal. In the end the party agreed. Rodrigo would lead the way up the tube, and Awg agreed to be en-spelled. Chaff also negotiated for the curious looking oil lamp he spied in the treasure pile. To which Xithanilix agreed and then directed the party to gather the rest of the treasure and provide to her in a sack. 

Chaff had to memorize the spell, so the party settled in for the night under the unblinking eyes of the dragon.  Next morning, before Chaff cast the spell, they questioned the dragon about the egg. This confirmed the general layout of the teleporter-statue rooms, which filled much of the blank spaces on their map. Xithanilix also explained that the Adonian Iomnogoron was quite crazy; one minute lucid and normal, and the next raging and incomprehensible. And dangerous. The party also used the chance to plant the idea in the dragons' head to go after the 'great cannibal treasure' they'd seen, in the hopes it would be fooled into heading to the far west rather than raking their own ship with lighting bolts once it escaped the eggs. In the end all went according to plan; Xithanilix escaped and kept her word to release Awg and not blast Rodrigo.

With that excitement over, the party got back to exploration. Thinking of nowhere else to explore in
Gelatinous Triangle
this egg, they headed for the stairs to go down to the final and fourth egg. These twisted and turned before leading into a corridor, which after following for some time the party discovered was a perimeter corridor similar to those in the upper eggs. When they followed it around, they discovered nothing more interesting than another set up stairs going up. Before trying to untangle the empty mystery of this egg, the party decided to go up these other stairs to see where they led. They led in fact into the entry chamber of one of the teleporter rooms. Realizing they hadn't explored the other connected chamber in this group of rooms, the party moved through the archway and spread out to explore. The room had a curiously angled large alcove at the far end, and they all congregated there. And too late realized the alcove was not empty, but instead there were four gelatinous and largely transparent creatures lairing there. Lurching forward, they things slammed into the party, and both Awg and Kwinsea were immediately paralyzed. The gelatinous triangles then struck again and again, and it started to look grim for the party. To save the day, Rodrigo guzzled a potion of growth, sprouting to enormous size. So large he had to hunch over to avoid getting blasted by the lightning field. The now giant swashbuckler grabbed the paralyzed party members and tossed them down the stairs to safety. In the meantime, Chaff had retreated behind his big comrade, and used instinct to drive one of the gelatinous triangles away. Rodrigo then laid into the remaining three with muscle and sword. Soon all were destroyed. And then for good measure, he chased down the last one and stomped it too. He then sat down (and almost on) Chaff to wait for the potions effect to wear off, which coincidentally happened at about the same time as Awg and Kwinsea's paralysis lifted. 

TOTAL XP
3110*

GAINS
Golden Oil Lamp (100gp)

KILLS/VICTORIES
4 Gelatinous Triangles
Xithanilix the Blue Dragon [bargained with, rather than killed]

LOSSES
none

*2xp per gp rule in effects


Thursday, August 30, 2018

Far Isles Session #92 - Kwinsea Lives! And No One Dies!

DRAMATIS PERSONAE:
Rodrigo (Swashbuckler 7)
Awg Wahmn (Calmonari 7)
Chaff (Vivimancer 7), with familiar Pretty Bird
and for a short time Wilhelm (Musketeer 2)
until the return of Kwinsea (Aquamancer 7), with familiar Hermes

Due to contrary winds, it took Lynessa and the crew most of the day to bring the "No Man's Sea" within view of the cannibal's island. The party had her circumnavigate to get the lay of the land. This revealed an island of mostly impassable jungle with no obvious landing spots, with a rocky and equally inhospitable peninsula on the east. There was a long narrow bay formed by the two halves of the island, but Lynessa did not advise risking such a large ship in narrow uncharted waters. Rodrigo, meanwhile, had set himself in the crows nest to look for signs of any inhabitants as they sailed around. He was rewarded with the glimpse of a faint column of smoke,  back-lit by the setting sun. It rose from near the centre of the jungled half of the isle, and it certainly had the look of multiple fires burning. This, they assumed, was the cannibals village. 


Rather than all rush into the unknown, Chaff summoned the ebony fly and let Rodrigo take it aloft to search for the exact location of the village before it got too dark. It took a couple of hours, but the swashbuckler was eventually rewarded by the sight of a thinning in the jungle canopy. In the fading light he could see the last wisps of smoke rising from a collection of grass huts clustered inside a palisade of knarled wood. Inside he could see people and small four legged animals moving about, while outside the palisade in the jungle clearing were more four-legged creatures. Rodrigo pulled back from the clearing and landed in the jungle to hide for now, then sent the fly to pick up Chaff, Awg and Wilhelm. Once everyone was assembled in the dark jungle night, they put a cunning plan into play. Rodrigo would use his simian sword to summon some monkey friends, and use them to cause a distraction by hooting and howling and climbing the palisade. He would then rush the other side of the palisade, climb/fly over the wall, and snatch a cannibal. Preferably the shaman; only the best and brightest soul for Kwinsea. 

Unfortunately, the plan went astray right away. The howler monkeys were summoned, and set to hooting and climbing. But as Rodrigo was flying back to meet the rest of the party, he heard the monkey howls quickly turn to strangled cries and gurgling. He looped back to find most of his monkey band dead and dying, twitching and frothing on the ground. Poison! He looked closer at the palisade, and now saw the outside was studded with wicked long spines glistering ominously in the moonlight. He could also now hear that the alarm had been raised inside; flying overhead, the swashbuckler could see warriors pouring out of the huts. He flew back to the party and they changed the plan. Rodrigo popped over the wall alone (although Chaff use the wand of flying to get airborne and stand by in support if needed), and snatched the first non-idiot looking cannibal he could find. He dropped down behind one just emerging from a hut, dodged a spear thrust, and laid the native out cold with a punch to the head. The comatose cannibal was then stuffed in the bag of holding, and Rodrigo jumped aboard the fly and rose over the wall, followed by a hail of spears. 

Rodrigo buzzed the rest of the party screaming "cannibals, run!",  and took off towards the "No Man's Sea". Chaff followed, while Awg glugged a potion of flying and Wilhelm was the the recipient of an other shot from the wand of flying as Chaff fluttered by. The four then took off into the night, hoping their flying magic would last long enough to make it to their ship. In the end, it didn't. But at least they made it out over the water before ditching. The ebony fly was still in operation though, so Rodrigo buzzed down to let Chaff and Wilhelm climb aboard while he used the ring of water walking to stroll back to the ship. Awg simply flicked out flippers and swam all the way. It was a few miles, so it was dawn before everyone returned, having been thankfully unmolested on the way back. Then everyone went to bed after ordering Lynessa to take them back to H'sslik. 

Back at the lizard-wizard's rubbery dome, they stuffed Kwinsea plus the bound and tied cannibal (Wajawaja) into one of H'sslik protoplasm pits to stew for a few days.  While they waiting, the party spent a little time talking to H'sslik (when he wasn't competently off his rocker at least). They prodded him for info on Empyris and the Adonians. The lizard-wizard couldn't offer much; he knew of the Adonians but didn't really know them. He was amused when the party mentioned the Adonians called themselves "Gods Among Men"; H'sslik cackled as he told the party the Adonians were nothing more than inter-planner travelers; powerful yes, but not gods by any means.  

After 3 days in the pit, H'sslik had his servants fish Kwinsea out of the slime. To the party's relief, she was back no worst for wear (the same could not be said for the drained husk of Wajawaja.) Thanking H'sslik and promising more 'pretties' next time they visited, the party climbed aboard the "No Man's Sea" and turned back to the Coral Cays and the mysterious egg structure. That took five days, the wind again not cooperating. On arrival everyone girded their loins and the party used the ebony fly to get back to the entrance on the second egg, then made their way back to the third egg where they'd left off. With Rodrigo in the lead, they moved along the outer ring corridor until they encountered a door off to one side. The swashbuckler opened this to reveal a small room. It contained a significant amount of crystalline debris, as if something destructive had happened here. There were also three crystalline statues, similar to the one they'd encountered guarding the secret door in the first egg. These, however, were in pretty bad shape. One was headless, one was missing an arm and the third was battered almost beyond recognition. Assuming the worst though, the party moved in cautiously. And unsurprisingly, the three statues animated and turned to attack. Rodrigo responded with a flurry of sword swinging. Awg pulled the crystal cutter out of the bag of holding and was amazed to find it invariably hitting the statues with each swing. Kwinsea, getting flashbacks of her recent death after absorbing a hard blow, retreated behind the warriors and provided some cantrip  support. Chaff, after opening with a pistol shot, trapped one of the statues in a web. All this made relatively short work of the statues, which joined the shattered pieces of crystal on the floor. Rummaging around in the rubble uncovered a heavy, opaque crystal chest carved with beautiful abstract patterns. After checking it for traps, it was carefully opened to reveal several velvet sacks. Inside one was 1350gp; in another were three diamonds; and in the third was a jeweled golden orb.  All of which was dumped into the bag of holding along with the chest itself. 

Moving on to the corridor, Awg suddenly broke through the floor and tumbled down into a pit. Kwinsea, however, was quick with a spell and featherfalled the calmonari ,who landed without harm. The party hauled him/her up and they moved on. They next came to an archway, through which they entered a non-descript room with another archway at the far end. They moved cautiously across the room and entered the arch. On the other side was a triangular room, with a 9' tall statue at the apex. It depicted a powerfully built and handsome man, dressed in a simple garment, and with a pair of wings sprouting from his back. He stood in a defiant and far-seeing pose, looking above and to the left. After admiring it for a few moments, the party went into search mode. Awg and Kwinsea scanned for traps and secret compartments, Chaff and Rodrgio poked around the statue itself. It was firmly attached to a low base, so Rodrigo took out the crystal cutter to detach it from the floor; just in case there was something there. There wasn't, and Awg and Kwinsea were likewise unsuccessful in their searching. 

The party left the statue room, and unsuccessfully searched the first room for anything of interest. They then went back to poke at the statue again before once more leaving. At which point they noticed something was odd; the original entry room was now a different shape and there was no archway to the corridor; just a door in the wrong wall which led to a room they'd not seen before. Poking around the 'entry' room again, they noted that when someone walked into the centre of the room, they would sometimes disappear. Using Rodrigo as a test subject, they discovered there were at least three teleporters in play, dumping them in unknown locations with seemingly identical statues but (in one case at least) different entry chambers. Curious ...

TOTAL XP
14760*

GAINS
1350gp
Jeweled golden orb (1500gp)
3 diamonds (1000gp each)
Curiously carved chest (1000gp)

KILLS
Wajawaja the Cannibal
3x crystal statues

LOSSES
none

*2xp per gp rule in effects

Saturday, August 11, 2018

Far Isles Session # 91 - Of Live Machines and Dead Aquamancers

DRAMATIS PERSONAE:
Rodrigo (Swashbuckler 7)
Awg Wahmn (Calmonari 7)
Chaff (Vivimancer 7), with familiar Pretty Bird
Kwinsea (Aquamancer 7), with familiar Hermes
Torak (Cleric 6)

Before moving on to adventure once more, the party focused on a  few 'at home' issues.  First, given their latest acquisitions, the party took inventory of their magic items to see who would best benefit from various items. A few things traded hands, but the most notable reaction came from Torak. The cleric refuses to even let anyone examine his new dagger, and became very possessive when it was suggested he add it to the 'pool' for possible redistribution. Catching faint echos or Awg's gem madness, Kwinsea quietly slipped on the stole of the sacred  and cast a remove curse on Torak. The devotee of the Drowned God shook his head as if the clear it of confusion, and them tossed the dagger away from himself, before wrapping it up and hiding it away for possible future use. He then noted that Jurgen, the musketeer who had his face chomped on by the sea hag, was looking a little green and smelled of gangrenous disease. That was cleared up by a timely cure disease, and all the crew and hirelings were much impressed by the coverage extended by their medical plan.

Treasure Map 1
After another day of rest and repair, the party first sat down to look at the treasure maps. One was an actual map with some hand written notes pointing out the location of a treasure of gold and silver.  Comparing it with their own map of the Coral Cays, they were pretty sure they knew where to find it. The other map was actually a scap torn from an old book, referring to an oracle who'd been entrusted with a jeweled orb. It's location was not clear based on the party's current knowledge of the Cays. Either way, they decided to go back to the crystal eggs for now, determined to make some sense of the lightning-enshrouded mad house. 

Treasure Map 2
Using the ebony fly, the party headed in through the now open door on the second egg, and proceeded to the grate and the chute Rodrigo had explored last time they were here. A sturdy length of rope was dropped down the chute, and once more the swashbuckler crawled down first. He reached the bottom with no trouble, and first had a closer look at the room beyond the tube. Of immediate interest was the floor, carved in a weird maze of geometrical shapes, with the exception of two 5' circles of bare floor just beyond the tube exit. He yelled up the chute for the next person (Awg) to descend. Then, fearing the inscribed floor was trapped or dangerous, he then made a pirouetting leap out the door to land safely on the southern circle.  When Awg reached bottom, he first searched for traps or pressure plates on the floor, and finding nothing simply walked over to the other circle. At that point, Rodrigo suddenly felt himself rapidly levitated up into the lighting field and getting blasted by electrical bolts. Awg, assuming he/she was the cause, thoughtfully stepped off the bare circle, at which point Rodrigo came crashing down to the floor. That all done, Awg yelled an 'all clear' up the chute, and Kwinsea, Chaff and Torak came down one by one. 

After taking a few moments for Chaff and Kwinsea to try deciphering the floor patterns (no luck), the party headed off  though one of the passages leaving the room. It appeared to be curving around the perimeter of the egg, and after some distance the party came to a side passage on the right. Rodrigo, walking point, looked  around the corner and found a oddly shaped room. On the floor was a seemingly random pattern of spots and shapes in various colours. Once more suspecting a trap, Torak pushed forward and called on Brall to help him find traps. Nothing glowed in the room, so Torak told the others to follow him as he sprinted across the room and out the passage on the opposite side to scout for traps elsewhere before the god withdrew his favors. He didn't get far down the narrow passage before a small swarm of giant blue-white ants appeared around the corner. The cleric pulled back behind Rodrigo, and then the whole party retreated back to the room as the ants followed. Thankfully, the creatures were more curious than hostile, getting close to everyone and using their antennae to search the party up and down. After getting slightly creeped out, the party just moved on and continued the trap-sprint though the egg. They passed through a room with a weird clear tube in the middle, then another one with stairs going down and a glass case. Racing down the winding stairs, they emerged into what was assumed to be a corridor in the last egg, before running back up and continuing into a room with two weird machines. Here Torak's spell failed (having located no traps along the way) and the party regrouped to explore and retrace their steps to figure out where they actually were.

Circular Cutting Thingy
Torak was drawn to the the glass (actually crystal) case in the stair room. Inside was a strange implement; a 5' long metal pole with a round disk on one end (with runes resembling 'ZHA' carved on it)  and a  small ring on the other. Attached to the side of the case was a small metal box with a golf-ball sized hole in the top. There was no obvious way to open the case and access the weird instrument, so they tried dropping various coins and things in the hole to see if that would help.  It didn't, so Torak picked up his handy mace and took a swing at the case. He hit it on the corner, which popped the crystal plate out of the front, giving access to the object.  Which the cleric grabbed before anyone else could get it, and started to play around. After a few false starts, he pulled on the ring at the end (which was at the end of a long chain), which started the round disk spinning. He touched it to the crystal cabinet, and the spinning disk cut through it like a hot knife through butter. He then tried it against the wall of the chamber, and it once more cut through. Next step was to choose a likely looking wall and start cutting a narrow passage. In the end, he managed to cut a short connecting tunnel back adjacent to where they'd all come down the chute from the upper egg. 

Having figured out what the thing did, Torak tossed it in the bag of holding and they party started to explore further. Going back one room, they looked closer at the crystal tube. Sitting in the bottom were five of the glowing golf balled sized stones like they'd previously discovered. Since the top of the tube extended into the lightning field, Torak pulled out the cutter again and simply it down and recoverd the balls. He then  turned his attention to the (as it turned out) empty boxes and chests scattered throughout the room. The party also examined a pair of machines in the adjacent room, one of which looked like it had been chewed up by some massive creature. The other was a simple metal box about 2' on a side, with an access hatch on the top. Opening it up revealed a funnel in the middle of the otherwise empty machine. Noticing the neck of the funnel was exactly the same size as the glowing golf-balls, Chaff dropped one in to see what would happen. It rolled down to the bottom and just sat there with no obvious effect, so the little vivmancer once more used a cantrip to recover it before the party moved on mutteringly.

The Potion Machine
After next confirming their way back to their start position, the party next checked out a new room. This cavernous room had two alcoves, each containing another strange machine. One was dark and apparently non-operational. The second was lit up and ready for use. The machine had a hole on top about the size of a golf ball, and a spout in the middle. Next to the machine was a rack of glass bottles (four of them intact, others smashed). At the base of the machine were three small transparent windows, a blue lever, and a red lever. Two of the windows contained numbers (“1” and “2”), and the third showed runes which resemble the letters “ZHA". This seemed a puzzle for one of many brains, so Kwinsea rushed over to examine and decipher. When the blue lever was pulled, the numbers would spins around and then settle down to give two new numbers, each between 1 and 4. The runes would then change. Pulling the red handle did nothing, until a glowing golf ball was dropped in the hole at the top. The machine would then dispense a liquid; luckily someone had thought put one of the glass bottles under the spout to catch it. This particular combination was the one first encounter; '1, 2, ZHA'. Kwinsea took up the bottle, and tasted a little sip. Unfortunately, the exceedingly bitter liquid was hemlock poison, and the aquamancer fell to the floor twitching and frothing until she lay stone dead. 

That wasn't particularly encouraging, but the party thought the machine might just dispense something to bring her back. So they started feeding glow-balls to the machine, and collected the liquids dispensed for each unique rune. Chaff glugged a dose of anti-toxin, and then proceeded to taste-test each of the created liquids. In the end they figured out the following combinations:

1,1: KTHI
1,2: ZHA
1,3: OAN
1,4: ATO
2,1: OAN
2,2: ZHA
2,3: OAN
2,4: LIN
3,1: ATO
3,2: ZHA
3,3: OAN
3,4: MAR
4,1: IOCTI
4,2: ZHA
4,3: OAN
4,4: ZHA

And as far as they could tell, the runes would produce:

potion of fly (descriptive runes: “KTHI”)
vial of hemlock poison (descriptive runes: “ZHA”)
potion of cure light wounds (descriptive runes: “OAN”)
potion of lightning resistance (descriptive runes:“ATO”)
potion of growth (descriptive runes: “LIN”)
potion of haste (descriptive runes: “MAR”)
inert bog-water (descriptive runes: “IOCTI”) 

Which was all quite fascinating and useful, but they still had a dead aquamancer to deal with. 

After discussing options, they decided to return to re-visit H'sslik the Lizard Wizard. They hoped to be able to trade their recently captured 'pretty fish' to the him in return for the use of his re-generating slime pits. So once more the party retreated to the "No Man's Sea" and raised sail to head to the west. Which was an uneventful journey until the last day, when a ranging storm blew out of the north-west. It thankfully pushed them back towards H'sslik's island, but at the cost of a quite battered ship.  The "No Man's Sea" was going to need some work.

Leaving the crew to start untangling torn sails and fallen spars, the party made their way back into H'sslik's organic dome and off to see the wizard. Who thankfully remembered them. And thankfully accepted the new 'pretty', agreeing to let the party use the slime pits. He did, however, point out that in order to bring one back from the great beyond, they'd have to find another soul to 'recharge' Kwinsea's. In other words, they needed to sacrifice someone to bring back the aquamancer. Torak was ready to go snatch one of the crew, but cooler heads prevailed. Questioning H'sslik further, they learned any humanoid or hominid MIGHT work, but a human victim would be guaranteed to do the trick. And it was likely that some of the victims  'characteristics' might rub off on the raised individual, potentially for good or bad results. 

Digesting that information, and knowing Kwinsea would be 'fresh' enough to raise for just a few more days, it was tempting  to go grab a crewman. But looking a their map, the party remembered the cannibal tribe they'd driven off from the island where they'd slain the dragon. That was just a short day's sail away, so the party headed back to the"No Man's Sea" to get the crew ready to sail east for some cannibal kidnapping ... 

TOTAL XP
0*

GAINS
Circular cuting thingy 
5 golf-ball sized stones, glowing blue inside
2x Potion of Haste
Potion of Healing
Potion of Growth
Potion of Flying
Potion of Lightning Resistance

KILLS
none

LOSSES
Kwinsea

*2xp per gp rule in effects

Saturday, July 21, 2018

Far Isles Session # 90 - The Sea Hag's Hoard

DRAMATIS PERSONAE:
Rodrigo (Swashbuckler 6)
Awg Wahmn (Calmonari 6)
Chaff (Vivimancer 6), with familiar Pretty Bird
Kwinsea (Aquamancer 6), with familiar Hermes

With Kwinsea out of commison for awhile, and everyone else rather battered a and spell-less, the party decided to head back to the "No Man's Sea" for rest and recuperation. Chaff noted he could use the recently discovered knock spell to open the secret door that appeared to lead outside, and tehnce back to the ship. Everyone thought this sounded like the best way to get out, so they all trekked back across the egg to watch Chaff do his stuff. There were, however, a few doubtful moments when the vivimancer stumbled over some parts of the unfamiliar magic. When he finished, everyone was surprised to see the whole door disappear, leaving a gaping hole though which they peered down on the ocean and the "No Man's Sea" below. Chaff then summoned the ebony fly and everyone was soon back on deck. They found the ship's company in good cheer, and the party settled in for a good 2 week rest while Kwinsea recovered. 

It was an uneventful time, at least right until the last couple of days. On a clear and dark middle watch early one morning, Chaff was awaken from his slumbers by a scream on deck.  Knowing there were just crewman on watch (the middle watch traditionally being Kwinsea's), he jumped out of bed, pounded on Awg and Rodrigo's cabin doors to rouse them, and then ran on deck to investigate. He found the stern castle eerily deserted, the two crew members usually stationed there were no where in sight.  While he checked the  deck, Rodrigo climbed the rigging to get a better view around, and Awg started walking the length of the ship, peering over the side. Over the stern they found a gruesome sight; one of the missing sailors (Bjorn), hanging upside tangled in a rope, his head mostly torn off. Chaff also noted water on the deck, so it looked as if someone or something had climbed on board and made short order of the unfortunate sailors. By now the ship was awake, and the party posted the musketeers to guard through the rest of the night before returning to bed themselves.

The Hag
Next day, the party rested so they would be ready for the night ahead. Their plan was to set an ambush, as they assumed the unknown assailant would be back. Rodrigo disguised himself as a sailor and stood watch in the stern. Chaff hid in a empty barrel nearby, and Awg climbed into the rigging to wait. They tossed a rope with baited grappling hook over the stern to attract whatever might be out there, and posted Jurgen the musketeer where the rope was tied to a stanchion, so he could cut it in case of emergency. Around the middle watch they were rewarded when something appeared over the fantail. It was a grey and drizzly night which made for limited vision, but it was an obviously humanoid shape. The figure hesitated a moment, then moved towards the musketeer, who was back on to it and not really paying attention. Rodrigo watched as the figure moved closer, and was surprised to see it was a beautiful, and completely naked, young woman. As she got close to Jurgan, the musketeer turned and immediately his jaw dropped open and he stood dumbfounded. At which point she sprang forward, opened her mouth, and bit down on his face. As she did so, the beautiful woman disappeared to be replaced by a hideous and repulsive hag. Jurgan screamed, and everyone jumped into action. Or at least tried to; as the transformation was completed, Awg and Rodrigo were so repulsed by what they saw, they could not face the creature. The calmonari jumped over the side, while Rodrigo turned and fled down the deck. That left only little Chaff, who shuffled over the the hag and dropped a web spell on her and Jurgan. He then screamed for the rest of the musketeers, who'd been pre-placed just below deck, and  followed up on the hag with a bone-warp to no effect. Rushing in with halberds, the musketeers hacked and stabbed at the ugly thing while Chaff prepared a dagger with paralytic poison. He had to move fast, as the hag was monstrously string and about to break out of the web. Luckily he scored a hit, and the creature almost immediately stopped moving. Which was good, as the musketeers were in turn starting to fall away in fear. But with the thing dead, everyone sheepishly drifted back to help the now traumatized Jurgen out of the web, and to haul the hag's corpse to the bow to be hung from the bowsprit. 

The party and crew recovered from the attacks over the next few days. When Kwinsea was finally recovered from her near-death experience, the party now had to decide what to do. Go right back to the egg, or track down where the hag had come from? Awg pointed out hags usually lair in underwater caves and the calmonari elders told stories about the treasure they amassed. Well that made the decision easy; off to hunt for the sea hag hoard it is. Awg went swimming and charmed a swordfish he encountered. Bringing it back to the ship, Kwinsea cast speak with aquatic animals  and started questioning, asking it if it knew anything about the sea hag. It did, directing the crew to a nearby islet where the fish ('Pokey) said the hag had it's lair. Asked about any other huge creatures in the waters, Pokey replied the 'man-fish', whose underwater city was nearby, kept the area pretty clear of most dangerous creatures. With that information, and with Pokey trailing behind, Lynessa raised sail, and in just a few hours they lay off the indicated isle. It was essentially a low sand bar with a large limestone cliff rising on the north side. Rodrigo climbed to the cliff top, but could see no obvious caves, entrances or structures. Awg and Kwinsea therefore dove into the sea to check the cliff from below the waterline, while Rodrigo stood watch in one of the ship's boats. Chaff meanwhile, bored on deck, decided to examine one of the crystal fruit. Nothing stood out to him, so the vivimancer popped it in his mouth to see what happened. In the process of gently masticating the crystal thing, he broke off most of his teeth. He spit the bit of fruit (and his teeth) out, noting only that he had the sudden sense of commune with a higher intelligence.   

Strangleweed
Back in the water, Awg and Kwinsea discovered a cleft in the cliff. With Awg in the led and accompanied by Pokey the swordfish, they swam in. They didn't get far before encountering a mass of seaweed blocking the way. Awg went forward and stuck his/her arms in the mass. Which then lurched to life, trying to wrap the seaweed strands around the calmonari's arms and draw him into the mass. Awg escaped, pulling back to where Kwinsea awaited. They swam back to the surface, explained what was going on to Rodrigio, and sent the swashbuckler back to get the hag's corpse. Hoping the scare the seaweed thing with it, they dragged the putrefying body into the cave. It had no effect on the seaweed, so Kwinsea cast another speak with aquatic animals  to open negotiations. The seaweed was not really intelligent, and was interested only in feeding.  Awg pushed the hag's corpse into the seaweed, and they watched the green mass engulf it and draw it deep inside.  Kwinsea then offed more food if the seaweed would let them pass in and out. It agreed, and Awg ordered Pokey into the growing mass. After much trashing and a little blood, the loyal swordfish was engulfed, and the seaweed shifted to open a passage at the bottom of the cleft so the two could swim through. 

The two swam deeper into the cave, having to work their way through several splits in the rock as one cleft petered out and another opened up. After a short while they came to a larger chamber, one partly above the water. Here a rock ledge opened into a dry passage. The duo climbed out of the water and worked their way in, finding themselves climbing a steep grade. Encountering another passage sloping down to the left, they choose to keep climbing for now. The passage started to narrow, and just before it got too small to pass, Kwinsea and Awg were surprised when a huge spider dropped on them from above. It snapped at Awg twice, missing each time, and in a short battle he and Kwnisea were able to hack it to death. After checking for treasure on the rock ledge the spider had dropped from (none), they backed up and headed down the steeply slopping passage. 

This led into another, large and dank cave. At the end opposite the entrance, there was a pool of water. Between them and the pool was a mass of junk and debris. Cautiously entering, the two started poking around. They found a mass of bones and other remains, varying from ancient to recent (including what was left of their second lost sailor, Goller). Shifting some of the bone and other offal and debris aside uncovered treasure! Gold and jewelry! Kwinsea and Awg started digging around and trying on various bit and bobs they found. Kwinsea found one of the rings was a ring of regeneration while Awg snatched up a ring of fire resistance and gloves of dexterity. Once the excitement ended however, the aquatic duo had to figure out how to get all this stuff out. They didn't really trust that the strangle-weed would let them pass a second time. The two went to check out the pool. It was only about 4' deep, fed through small cracks in the rock below the surface. There was also a significant flow of water, which spilled out of the pool and flowed towards the western wall of the cave. Going over to look, Awg found a narrow water filled sump. He squeezed through, and after a few minutes emerged into the ocean a few hundred yards west of where Rodrgio waited in the ship's boat. Awg swam over to get the swashbuckler, grabbed his bag of holding and aquatic duo started to ferry treasure out through the sump and back to the "No Man's Sea". There, Chaff used with kaladrian sight and his magical mind to discover there was also a rod of absorption and a couple of treasure maps mixed among the mundane jewelry and gold.

TOTAL XP
87635*

GAINS
40000gp
Torc (40gp)
Chain (20)
Pendant Earings (40gp)
Bangle (1200gp)
Orb (900gp)
Fob Chain (20gp)
Rod of Absorption
Gloves of Dexterity
Ring of Regeneration
Ring of Fire Resistance
Treasure Map x2 (4000gp Treasure) 

KILLS
1 Sea Hag
1 Giant Water Spider

LOSSES
2 crewmen (Bjorn and Goller)

*2xp per gp rule in effects

Sunday, July 15, 2018

Far Isles Session # 89 - Rats in a Maze

DRAMATIS PERSONAE:
Rodrigo (Swashbuckler 6)
Awg Wahmn (Calmonari 6)
Torak (Cleric 6)
Chaff (Vivimancer 6), with familiar Pretty Bird
Kwinsea (Aquamancer 6), with familiar Hermes

Finally fed up with finicky fabrications, the party crawled on. Rejoined by Kwinsea, they headed through the eastern tunnel, which proved to be mercifully short. It led into a larger, long and narrow room. On the opposite wall was another of the infernal mechanical devices, this one a huge crank wheel. They pointedly ignored this one, and performed a quick scan of the room before moving out of an exit to the south. This was another short passage, open to the lightning field above, which led into a small room. There was an alcove on the east wall as well as a series of four spouts extending out of the walls to the west. Chaff went to examine the spouts. They were dry, and there was no sign of staining or dampness from liquid, so they appeared to have been dry for some time. In one there was a rolled up piece of parchment, which the little vivimancer retrieved with a cantrip. It proved to be blank. Awg went to the alcove, and immediately noted the outline of a door. But try as he might, the calmonari could not get it to open. Nor could anyone else who tried.  Kwinsea, sizing up their map, surmised that it led to the outside. Rodrigo, noting air leaking in around the 'door', smelled the scent of the landwash and concurred with the aquamancers guess. He then headed back to the crank in the previous room, and gave it a few turns in the hope that it opened the door. It didn't, but there was the sound of squealing and grinding as something long immobile moved in the lighting field to the west. 

That didn't help them with the door, so the party decided to move on quickly and attempt to thoroughly map this egg as they had the first. Following Rodrigo, they headed south, and after some time came to another long narrow room. The floor of this room was covered in mineral deposits that looked to have dripped from above, giving the floor the appearance of a coral reef. The party moved in to investigate, and once they were in the room, there started a low audible humming noise. Nothing untoward seemed to happen, but everyone thought it best to get out before it was to late. They choose to crawl through a tunnel which led west of out this room, It led into a maze of crawlspaces, which first dumped them in a small 10' x 10' chamber. It was roofed like the tunnel, but instead of a floor, there was a grate. On the walls they noted the same strange condensate, which slowly trickled down and into the floor grate. Interesting, but the party did not linger, instead pushing on in exploration mode. They crawled further and deeper into the maze, at one point encountering a pair of slitherrats. These emerged out of a dead end wall and approached Rodrigo, crouched over on his hands and knees at the head of the party. He pulled out his black crystal sword, holding it ready but not threatening. The two crystalline creatures approached the swashbuckler, one sticking it's snout right in his face, the other going to sniff the sword. After a few moments, the two backed up and melded back into the walls. 

Getting a little tired of crawling around this particular maze, the party decided to head back to a couple of rooms under the lighting field where there were unexplored tunnels. With the redoubtable Rodrigo in the lead, they found the first led into a lair of at least a dozen oozanderthals. When they noted the swashbucklers head poking out of the tunnel, they simply stared at him curiously. Bravely, Rodrigo entered the room, holding his talisman crystal sword before him. As he circled to room looking for anything of interest, the oozanderthals let him pass unmolested. They watched him curiously for awhile, them went back to ignoring him. Rodrigo, finding nothing of interest, crawled back in the hole with the rest of the awestruck party, and they moved on. Checking out another unexplored tunnel, they found another mineral encrusted room. This one was different in that it contained a oval track on which sat a cart. There was no indication of the original purpose, but the cart was well stuck to the floor. Chaff jumped in and begged someone to push him around, but they all ignored the little weirdo and headed off to explore some more.

Having exhausted all the obvious exits, they went back into the maze. After much crawling about and a little confusion, they entered a room which contained one of the man-sized egg tanks. This one was empty, and Chaff shoved past all the big people and headed over to examine it. It was pretty much identical to the others encountered thus far, with  the three dials at the base numbered '1,2,3'. There was a little back and forth trying to get someone to 'volunteer' to go in the tank, but in the end the party left it and moved on once more. Another twisting crawl led to a largish room with another floor grate. There was no sign of any condensation in this grate, so the party decided Rodrigo should be lowered down to investigate. The swashbuckler agreed, and was lowered two rope lengths (100') through a twisting and turning opaque crystal tube. Having not reached bottom, he pulled out a musket ball and let it roll down the tube. After several seconds Rodrigo could hear it come to a thudding stop, indicated the bottom was near. He tied on one more length of rope and crawled down, finding himself at the bottom of the tube. There was a man-sized opening in the side of the tube, which led into another room lit by a lighting field. Rodrigo didn't explore any further, but crawled back up to inform the party he'd found a way into the third egg.  

The party was now a little flummoxed, thinking they'd missed something critical in this second egg, even though all connecting passages and crawlspaces had been explored. They glanced up at the lightning field, brainstorming ways to avoid the electrical hazard so they could explore 'over the top'. One problem was the intensity of the field reduced visibility to about 10'. Torak hauled out the dark goggles found earlier, put them on and looked up. He discovered the pitch dark lenses filtered the light so he was able to see normally through the upper part of the egg. That was a positive step, but how to survive the lightning? There were the potions of lightning resistance, but the fear was they wouldn't stop all damage. Humm, what about the egg-tanks and the hook? They crawled back to the crank, and as Rodrigo turned it, Torak looked up with the lenses. He could see the great chain and hook raising and lowering as the swashbuckler turned the wheel. That was promising, but then came the problem of how to get the egg-tank to the hook. Given it was accessible only through the narrow tunnels, the only way to get it to the hook over the walls and through the lightning field. Which left them with the same problem as before. Flummoxed, the party spread out to search a few likely locations for secret doors in hopes of finding another way around, but had no success there either. 

In the end the party decided to head down to the next egg and hope to find better luck and more information on Empyrius there. But first there were two problems to deal with. The first was the cockatrice in the bag of holding. Getting anything from the bag was going to be difficult with a petrifying monster in there. So they hatched a plan to deal with the bird. A snare was placed at the opening of the bag, and everyone stood back while Chaff used a cantrip to loosen the drawstring. The furious creature emerged with a *squawk*, but ended up with it's neck in the snare. Still, it spread it's wings and flew into the air, heading for Rodrigo who held to other end of the snare rope. It pecked at the swashbuckler, who felt a sudden stiffing of his flesh before shaking it off. Everyone then lashed out with their weapons, while Chaff dropped an insect swarm on the thing, and it soon was dead and crumbled into a pile of dust on the floor. 

That done, the next step was rest. The party set up camp in the grate room, Kwinsea taking first watch. Everyone else had just dropped off to sleep when visitors arrived; a pair of slitherrats emerged out of the wall about ten feet away.  The aquamncer, hoping to repeat the non-hostile encounter earlier in the day, quietly slipped Rodrigo's crystal sword out of it's scabbard and held it in her hand. The rats were for some reason unimpressed this time, and with raised hackles moved to attack. Kwinsea dropped the sword on Rodrigo, screamed, and pulled out her trident to defend herself. As the others started to groggily wake up, Kwinsea was bit several times by the creatures, collapsing to the floor just as Chaff and Rodrigo were entering the fray. These two, along with Awg when he awoke, took care of the slitherrats. Torak, once he awoke, staunched Kwinsea's wounds and made sure she survived to adventure another day. 

After that excitement, the rest of the night passed without incident. Before moving on the next morning, Chaff cast a Kalandrian sight and detect magic to better inventory and identify their new magical finds:

potions of flying
2 potions of lightning resistance
Scroll - Knock, Detect Magic
Wand of Flying [command word - mouche]
dagger -1 [Cursed]
Bag of Holding 
3 golf-ball sized stones, glowing blue inside [evocation]
3 crystal fruit [divination]

TOTAL XP
620*

\GAINS
None

KILLS
2 slitherrats
1 cockatrice

LOSSES
Kwinsea (temporarily)

*2xp per gp rule in effects

Friday, June 15, 2018

Far Isles Session # 87 - Torak Gets His Groove

DRAMATIS PERSONAE:
Awg Wahmn (Calmonari 6)
Torak (Cleric 6)
Chaff (Vivimancer 6), with familiar Pretty Bird
Kwinsea (Aquamancer 6), with familiar Hermes

After a short debate about next steps, the party decided to head back to the entry chamber to see if they'd missed anything of importance there. They also decided to take the opportunity to use the ebony fly, still hovering combat air patrol overhead, to lug their accumulated treasure back to the "No Man's Sea" for safe keeping. They examined the grate and fan in the floor a little more, noting that the unknown liquid was condensing on the slow moving blades, while the motion of that fan forced the liquid into a collection of crystal capillaries that ran down the walls and out of sight. Touching the liquid cause no harm, but did give a bit of a 'zing;' or shock, prompting Torak to note it may be condensed lighting or something. 

Leaving Rodrigo to guard their six, the rest of the party moved out through one of the two unchecked doors in the room. It led to a winding corridor, and ultimately led back to the room with the three egg tanks. There was also another door, which opened into a room with what appeared to be a desk in the far corner. There was also something vaguely body-like slumped on the floor, although it was hard to tell if it was a fresh corpse or something else. Kwinsea checked for traps, and once she had given the all-clear, the party moved into the room to investigate. The thing on the floor was a mostly skeletal corpse, covered in a faintly opaque coating like lacquer or glue. Everyone immediately was on guard, checking above and around for the source of the solidified goo. Finding nothing, they examined the desk itself. It too was covered in the coating, including the pile of papers which lay there. These were mostly illegible thanks to the unknown material, but short snippets were readable. Chaff discovered it was written in Teroclidian, and it described that a God Who Walks Among Men, by the name of Iomnogoran, was the master of this installation. And he had gone mad trying to find a way to escape 'imprisonment' in the Coral Cays, getting more and more suspicious of his human servants and pouring his energy into making and breeding other servants and guardians so he could do his work undisturbed. 

Crystal tree
Finding nothing more of interest, the party retraced their steps through the entrance chamber and out the door on the other side. There they followed a twisting side corridor which led them to a small room buried deep in the centre of the egg. It was notable for the strange crystal tree growing in the the middle of the chamber. It's branches reached above the walls and into the lightning field. It did not seem to be harmed by the occasional lightning strikes, but would crackle with a blue light whenever it did absorb a bolt. The tree appeared to grow out of the floor. Around the base were scattered a dozen pulsing gem-like objects, while from the branches hung a number of crystalline fruit about the size of a plum. Torak, much enchanted by the fruit, entered the room first, followed cautiously by the rest of the party. The cleric unrolled his bedroll underneath the tree, and then proceeded to use the butt of the shark spear to knock the fruit onto padded bedroll. He was just about to head for the pulsing gems when the party sensed movement. Looking around , they saw the tree had pulled it's roots  out of the floor. One had snaked over to block the exit, while the others now flailed menacingly around and started to lash out at the trapped adventurers. And lash it did, pummeling everyone multiple times and bludgeoning several to the edge of death. And in return the party seemed completing unable to cause it any visible harm. In the end, Torak saved the day by casting  protection from evil. When protected, the cleric edged towards the exit, which forced the root blocking the way to recoil. That allowed everyone to escape with their lives. Before the spell ended, Torak also slipped back into the room to recover both the fallen fruit and the gems while the rest of the party retreated.

The bruised and battered party decided they need to rest and recover. Which seemed to be a problem in a place where the creatures could phase through the walls. So they simply hunkered down in the corridor to rest for the night.  Said night passed mostly uneventfully, except for a small swarm of the giant blue and white ants that appeared on Awg's watch. Antennae waving, these approached the calmonari. But to Awg's puzzlement, after a moment of investigation, the insects turned and went back the way they came and did not return. 

Having had a night of undisturbed sleep, the casters recovered their spells , and both Torak and Kwinsea (using the stole of the sacred) liberally passed around cure lights wounds  to those who needed it. Sizing up their map, they party decided to head towards the outside perimeter of the egg. There they discovered a corridor that they followed all around the circumference of the egg. In the process, they also discovered a number of new doors and well as another side corridor. Exploring the corridor first, they came to a large room with walls covered in carved circles about the size of a gold piece. Seeing nothing of concern in the large room, Chaff entered to explore. As he did, the circles closest to the vivimancer moved together into a tighter cluster and started to spin. That made Chaff very nervous, so he retreated to where the rest of the party waited. Torak, however, decided to make a dash across the narrow side of the space and into the room they could see on the opposite side. There he found a nest of slitterrats, curled up on a pile of broken crystal and quartz. They lazily eyed the cleric with no apparent concern, while he in turn observed nothing in the pile which would encourage disturbing and/or slaughtering the creatures.  He rejoined the party, which then headed around the perimeter corridor to the next door. 

Ghostly Figure
This led into an empty room with another door opposite. This door in turn led into a large chamber with another door on the opposite wall and a passageway leading north. In the middle of the room was a pile of corpses, while at the south end of the room there was glowing spectral figure, vaguely bipedal, with hands upraised. Suspecting undead, the party let Torak go first. When he entered the room ,the remains in the centre did indeed rise and advance. The cleric tried to use the power of Brall to turn them, but it seemed to have no effect. As they figures got closer, it was obvious these were not ordinary skeletons. They were covered in some sort of a mineral crust, and still bore and wore accoutrements typical of an adventuring party. The party shifted position to allow Kwinsea to wedge the door open, allowing Torak to escape and Chaff to web both the door opening and 4 of the skeletons. These were dispatched in short order, but with the web in place the party couldn't get back in the room. But there was another door out in the perimeter corridor, which they assumed would lead to the other door in the room. The party tracked around, passed though another empty room ,and then did indeed find themselves back where they expected. Torak tried (unsuccessfully) turning the ghostly figure, leaving the party to  pummel the two remaining skeletons to pieces. (In the course of the fight, Torak also become especially attached to the new dagger he'd found the previous day).With one eye on the strange figure, the party picked through the skeletal wreckage to recover a fair bit a treasure, including a mix of coinage, a scroll, rusty sword with a gem it the pommel, and a couple of potion vials. Chaff bravely checked these, and discovered they were potions of lightning resistance. A quick check and search of the northern passage revealed that it led to a secret door back into the entry chamber (Hi Rodrigo!)

Bag of Holding
The party now was starting to wonder how to get down to the other eggs. So far they'd found nothing resembling stairs, shafts, etc. They dutifully headed back out into the perimeter corridor to the last as yet unexplored door. This led into a room with three more of the strange egg tanks. Each of these was still full of fluid, and each also contained one of the strange clawed humanoids. After carefully checking the entrance for traps, Kwinsea moved inside to look closer at the tanks and their inhabitants. Once she was well inside the room, the figures in the tanks began to move. They appeared to be operating some kind of controls. Suddenly, from two of the tanks came a blast of electricity, scorching everyone nearby. At the same time, the door to the room slammed shut, leaving Kwinsea trapped. The aqumancer lined up with the tanks and gave them a taste of their own medicine; her lightning bolt shattered the three tanks and cooked the creatures inside. As the smoke cleared, the rest of the party returned to help her out. But there was nothing left to do but move on to the door on the opposite side of the room.This led into a small space with a seemingly random pile of stuff on the floor. In addition to a mace and shield, there were four potion vials (potions of healing as it turned out), a set of dark lenses, a wand and a small stack stuffed full of something. Kwinsea examined the ivory wand, which had a small set of wings carved on the butt as well as a command word. Torak and Awg scooped up the rest, except for the sack which Chaff claimed. He opened it up and found it to be full of copper coins. Disgusted by the essentially valueless contents, the vivmancer upended the bag to pour the coins out onto the floor. But the coins kept pouring and pouring. To the point where he had to stop or else the room would fill up with copper pieces. Going outside into the corridor, he tipped up the bag again until it was empty and he stood shin deep in a sea of coppers.  Well, this might be a useful item ...

TOTAL XP
10435*

GAINS
12 assorted gems (250gp each)
1550gp
100sp
Sword with gem in pommel
Mace
Shield
3 crystal fruit
2 potions of lightning resistance
potions of healing
Scroll - Knock, Detect Magic
Wand of Flying
Bag of Holding 

KILLS
3 Oozanderthals
6 Fossil Skeletons

LOSSES
None

*2xp per gp rule in effects