Saturday, August 11, 2018

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

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 ... 


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



*2xp per gp rule in effects

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