Sunday, July 15, 2018

Far Isles Session # 89 - Rats in a Maze

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]



2 slitherrats
1 cockatrice

Kwinsea (temporarily)

*2xp per gp rule in effects

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