Pruod-Skotran

Session 26: May 11, 2013
Put another Gath on the barbie.

We stopped for a brief rest after killing the spider to tend to our wounds, but then we heard footsteps echoing down the hallway and something across between a giggle and a cackle.

Nyym surveyed the hallway and saw a 20 foot pit trap outside of one door and a pendulum blade at the opposite end of the hallway. He also reported that the hallway was covered in bits of spider webs.

At the same time Merielle crept up the staircase towards the trap door. Finding it unlocked, she cracked it open and flung her seeing eye into the room above. It appears to be the octagonal room where we started with the broken furniture and the hole in the floor. There is something very strange about this place.

Meanwhile, Nyym creeps across the hallway to another door. It isn’t locked so he listens and then opens the door. He sees another hallway beyond the door that takes a lefthand turn. Merielle has crept back down the stairs and follows Nyym. She notices a trip wire and points it out to Nyym, who hops it. He finds what looks like a treasure bag but it’s filled with sawdust and what appears to be gold is actually a set of wooden discs painted with gold paint. Kalpa follows them and finds the trap mechanism and starts looting the spear cartridge.

Kalpa and Thalie theorize that this might be the training school, and that these rooms might be filled with traps as learning exercises.

Meanwhile Sam takes off exploring. Kalpa trips the wire to see what happens.

Sam gets about halfway down the hallway before he sees someone walking the opposite direction holding a box. The guy holding the box drops it and disappears. Sam pursues him. Then he sees the guy run THROUGH a wall! Sam tries it and bumps into the wall creating a loud thud.

I was following Sam, but stopped by the box that the guy dropped. It appears to be a two foot square box and when I crack the lid I can see a bright green glow. I look up when Sam hits the wall and he’s yelling at the guy he was following. The guy sticks his head out the doorway, laughs at Sam and says “that didn’t quite work out for you did it?”

I turn back to the box and open it a little more. A green glowing skull jumps up out of it and floats down the hall. Nyym tries to shoot it with an arrow and the whole area explodes in green flame, burning us. Nyym double shrouds the green skull and tries to hit it again.

Sam busts down the door at the end of the hallway. He wanders into a room with stone pillars and faces appear on the pillars. “What’s all the commotion?” “Someone busted down the door.”

Gathalimay, who has gone down a different hallway sees a floating green skull and stops dead in his tracks.

Kalpa comes around the corner to see the green skull floating away and Nyym taking more fire damage after trying to hit it. He and Merielle start to explore the other rooms, trying to disable traps and loot them for supplies.

Sam is still in the pillar room. He sees a pile of loot in the middle of the room and goes to get it. The entire area bursts into flame. The face appears in the stone pillar again and it laughs, “That looks like that hurt. It sure hurt when it happened to me.”

Gathalimay barrels into the room to find Sam on fire. He charges him and both fall on the floor, stopping, dropping and rolling to try and put the fire out. The area bursts into flame again setting both of them on fire. Sam manages to push Gathalimay off of him and gets himself out of the range of the fire.

Nyym meanwhile is following the green skull into another room. He sees a second skull in there and four stone pillars. Another ray of flame shoots out at him, but misses.

Sam is trying to shake himself off when one of the ghosts in the pillar jumps out of the pillar into him! The other faces speak “He’s getting busy now. You’re going down.” “That’s so cool, I can almost see you inside of him!”

Gathalimay rolls out of the fire. Sam is in a contest of wills with the ghost who has taken him over and the ghost walks him right back into the flames.

Meanwhile I’ve come down the hallway to investigate. I’m standing well outside of the room, but one of those ghosts comes out and jumps into me. I’m trying to stop myself, but I’m walking into the room and into the fire. Somehow I manage to kick the ghost out of my body and use my turn undead channel divinity to get them away from me. I know I need help so I run and find Kalpa and Merielle. Sam is unconscious and Gath is taking fire damage and I know we need to get them help.

Merielle, Kalpa and I make a plan. They’re going to get Sam and bring him to me so I can heal him. Then they’ll get Gathalimay and we’ll repeat the procedure. Merielle takes off and manages to drop one of the ghosts. She grabs Sam and fey steps to me and I heal him. Merielle and Kalpa return for Gath who is now stuck in the fire. He’s fighting against the ghost. All of a sudden one of the ghosts jumps into Kalpa. Kalpa tries to resist, but the ghost has him drag Gathalimay back into the fire and before we know it Gathalimay has died. The ghosts start to try and drag Gathalimay out of his body. Kalpa is trying to fight against them, but he’s stuck in the fire and then he’s unconscious too.

Finally Nyym poisons the undead with his Heart of Dust. We manage to finish them all except for one that disappears through the wall. Kalpa and Nyym loot the ghost corpses and pull Gath’s body out of the flames. We all manage to find a safe room, disable any traps and rest for a bit. I’m trying to figure out what we’re going to do with Gathalimay; I’m still shocked that another member of our party has died.

Kalpa wants to find out if there’s any treasure to be had so he goes back to the fire and pillar room. Most of it is more fake treasure, but he does find a stone box and brings it back to the safe room. Inside are 14 potion bottles of light healing. Those should help us in our future battles for the key.

There’s also a book of magic in there. I examine it closely and though I’m not exactly sure what kind of magic it is, it appears to be a reincarnation spell. We discuss it as a group. I think I can cast the spell and we may be able to use it to bring Gathalimay back. We don’t really have time or resources to go back to a cleric so we take a vote and decide to give it a try.

I settle my mind and read from the book. Nothing happens at first, but then Gathalimay’s form starts to change. When he wakes up we see that he has come back to life, but now instead of a half-elf he’s a really ugly orc. I don’t think I’ve ever met an orc bard before. None of us know what to make of this.
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For our efforts the party earns 300xp.

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Session 25: April 13, 2013
I am your zombie lord.

We managed to rest for 8 hours and regain our strength, despite the noises of scraping metal and the muffled calliope (if I never hear another one of those as long as I live it will be too soon, though Gathalimay seems to dig it).

I awoke to Kalpa deep in conversation with Justin, the Rhinoceros, trying to figure out how he appeared here.

The rest of us tried to figure out where we were. We think we’re directly under the platform with the ballista. Gathalimay tried looking for a magic staircase and he found one! We went up the staircase and ended up in a stone room with a 20 foot wooden ceiling. The room was empty but had bow slots in the wall at the far end. We peeked out the slots and saw that the area out there is overrun with zombies.

Then all of a sudden Merielle disappeared. Nyym opened the door and saw a bolt hit the zombies, even though there was no ballista there that he could see. He did see a large blue thorny guy chewing on a leg though. Sam rushed ahead, of course, and greeted the blue guy. Then all of a sudden he fell asleep and totally disappeared. We were all very confused.

Meanwhile Sam said he woke up in a shimmering spiderweb. Merielle woke up there too. She managed to wiggle loose and sneak around the corner and up a stair case. She said it was full of cobwebs. Meanwhile Sam struggled with his bonds in the spider web. Merielle found the top of the staircase ended in a trap door, so she crept back downstairs.

Meanwhile Kalpa opened the door to hit the blue guy. He made a pretty decent hit and Justin congratulated him, “Yeah, that’s how it’s done!” Then Kalpa pulled the door closed.

Through the slots we could see the blue guy throw down his leg and then he spawned three more of himself. All of them started clawing and scratching at the doors!

Gathalimay did some quick thinking and spoke to them – “we want to help you destroy the zombie walkers!” I held my breath and then heard the answer “Then join us in this brother!”

Gathalimay opened the door and walked through. Nyym shut the door, but then shrouded a zombie and hit it, killing it. I shot several arrows and managed to kill a few zombies. Gathalimay and the blue guy continue to try and kill zombies.

Then Kalpa flung the door open, dropped a zombie and yelled “I love this place!”

Meanwhile, Sam freed himself and attacked one of the small spiders. Merielle tried to wake Kalpa up and when that failed, woke Nyym up.

I see Nyym disappear. Then the blue guy explodes everywhere and Kalpa and Gathalimay look dazed. Gathalimay gets hit by the invisible ballista. Kalpa mounts Justin and busts open the doors screaming “I am your zombie lord!”

All of a sudden Gathalimay and Kalpa disappear. Then I wake up. I’m in a spider web. Merielle and Sam are here and it’s just like they described. Sam kills a spider right in front of me and wears its body as a hat. Merielle manages to kill another one. Merielle helps me get loose.

Then I see the big brain spider through the doorway. Sam walks over the Kalpa looking dazed and takes a swing at him. Kalpa grabs him and shakes him. Sam doesn’t understand why he just did that. Then Kalpa turns and hits me! Meanwhile Gathalimay manages to seriously wound the big spider – it’s bleeding thick blood. Then he viciously mocks him and kills him! “Man you’re ugly!”

We explore the room and tucked into the webs we find all of our weapons from the other world. Then we have to decide what to do next. Gathalimay pulls out his quill and is ready to map where we go.
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For our efforts the party receives 200xp.

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Session 24: March 9, 2013
The triumphant return of Admiral Pigglesworth

Quite simply, I don’t know where to begin with our adventures of late. We are now safe, resting in a room, hoping to regain our strength and contemplate our next move. I barely understand what has happened today.

I last left off describing our finding a Red Hulk and a foul spawn warp caller. Sam and Kalpa attacked the Red Hulk, and Merielle managed to bloody the thing with her arrows. The hulk flanked Kalpa and then Gathalimay was able to push the hulk away.

Merielle heard rumbling and a whooshing sound and then out of nowhere rushed what looked like Admiral Pigglesworth. The Admiral ran to Sam’s side and spoke: “Do you want to live forever?”

Then Gathalimay heard rumbling from behind him. Nyym’s superhero shadow ripped into the Red Hulk.

The foul spawn teleported to the other side of of Merielle and then disappeared down the hallway. Kalpa erected his stone wall by the first door so nothing could enter into the room.

Then there was another rush of winds and something pushed Kalpa back. All of a sudden there was a rhinoceros in the room and he spoke to Kalpa: “When you gonna learn to hit?”

It was absolutely mind-boggling that these creatures were there, let alone speaking to us.

Then Sam mounted the Admiral and chased down the hallway after the foul spawn. Kalpa mounted the rhino (who he has named Justin Case) and followed Sam. I chased after Sam as well.

Just as Kalpa reached the doorway the second foul spawn we saw teleported into the room where Gathalimay and Merielle still were. Kalpa returned to fight the foul spawn.

Sam and the Admiral galloped through hallways until they met a zombie. Sam attempted to question him: “Excuse me sir, have you seen another dude that wails?” The zombie groaned.

Meanwhile the rhinoceros got hit by the foul spawn and screamed at Kalpa “AUGH. Are you gonna let him do that to me?”

Suddenly there is another rush of air and Acne appeared next to Merielle. “Why are you helping him? You don’t like him?”

The foul spawn unleasheed more psychic damage and teleported to the other side of the wall.

Then, by Kalpa’s accounts something strange happens. He claims he wished Nyym away and Nyym disappeared. Even stranger Nyym claims to have woken up in an entirely different room that shimmered, and he believes he was wrapped up in silk as though in a spider’s web. He claims we all were there, wrapped in cocoons suspended on the wall and guarded by spiders. In the center of the room, he said a huge spider with tentacles and a brain for a carapace was eating Thag’s brains.

Nyym said he tried to free himself and then tried to free Merielle. He had to attack the spider that was guarding her.

Back in the original room, Kalpa saw Nyym disappear from sight. He could still hear the red hulk banging on the stone wall.

Then, stranger still, Kalpa saw Merielle disappear from the room. She told me that she then woke up in the same room that Nyym describes. She saw him and the rest of us, and the spiders. Is this a dream? How can they share this dream?

Meanwhile the rhinoceros was working at killing the foul spawn. I returned to the room just as Justin and the Admiral delivered the death blows to the foul spawn. At first only Kalpa and Gathalimay were in the room and then Nyym and Merielle appeared as if out of nowhere. Nyym appeared to be unconscious and I did what I could to stabilize him. Merielle also appeared unconscious and Gathalimay stabilized her. Nyym and Merielle were babbling about spiders and spider webs and some room somewhere else.

Before I can stop him, Sam punched himself in the face and disappeared from sight. He reports he woke up in the other room in a cocoon and that he could see spiders rewrapping Nyym and Merielle in webbing.

Kalpa told Justin to punch himself in the face, and then Kalpa punched himself in the face. He too disappeared. And then he said he woke up in the other room, wrapped in a cocoon. What madness is this?

Sam broke free of the spider web and started to try and hit the spiders. The spider bit him with toxic poison. Meanwhile the big spider finished gnawing on Thag and turned to Sam and Kalpa. Sam freed Kalpa and killed one of the baby spiders.

Meanwhile Acne rushed to Merielle’s side: “I’m so glad you’re awake again. Where’d you go? This is so weird!”

Kalpa charged the mindflaying spider screaming “you bastard, you took my rhino!”

All of a sudden Kalpa reappeared in the room I’m in, unconscious. Then Sam appeared again. The hulk hit the Admiral who disappeared. Once I can stabilized Kalpa he continued to help Justin hit the red hulk. I managed to finish off the bloodied hulk before we all collapsed.

Now half the party is napping and the others are trancing or resting and I am trying to puzzle this out. What is happening to us down here? Have the mages invaded our minds? Where are we and how do we know what is real?

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Session 23: February 9, 2013
"I know exactly what to do. I kill people."

Nymm hides just as the red hulk knocks Thalie unconscious. Nymm sneaks back over to the battle and drags Thalie into one of the guard tower rooms and shuts the door, wedging her body against it.

In the mean time, Kalpa and Sam are knocked unconscious.

Nymm goes up to the roof to shoot. Gathalimay is dazed but manages to finish off the red hulk. Nyym drops a rope down from the roof and Gathalimay is able to climb up.

One of the grues starts dragging Kalpa away and Nymm is able to hit him. He goes back down the ladder to Thalie and tries to revive her.

Merielle kills the grue that was dragging Kalpa away.

Thalie, once conscious, heals Sam and stabilizes Kalpa, then trying to hit the red hulk.

With the hulks and the grues dispatched of the group is left to decide how to proceed. They decide to go into the hole and see what lies beneath.

Merielle casts a bridge of roots and climbs down into the hole, with the rest of the party following.

Kalpa takes the lead and starts down a hallway. Gatalimay gets hit with an arrow from the hallway wall – it appears that the walls in the hallways have holes in them at varying heights and are booby trapped. Kalpa continues down a long hallway and goes to turn a corner, and falls into a 10 foot pit. Sam uses Kalpa as a stepping stone to continue progressing down the hallways, now leading the party. Kalpa helps the party cross the hole and they pull him up out of it once they are past. More spears come out of the wall and Sam narrowly avoids being hit and then smashes through them. Soon he can see a light from around the corner.

As he peers around the corner he sees a wide open lit area. There is a red hulk guarding the area and a foul spawn of warp caller and mockery.

The red hulk looks down at Sam like he isn’t supposed to be here and ought to leave. Suddenly there is a blast of maddening burst that hits Sam, Kalpa and Nymm. One of the foul spawn moves out of view. The red hulk grabs Sam and drags him into the room.

For their efforts the party receives 700xp.

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Session 22: January 12, 2013
He's long like a tuna can.

The party takes a much needed rest for 8 hours while Kalpa and Merielle stand guard. Approximately 3 hours into the rest the sun rod goes out. About 4 hours in Kalpa and Merielle hear whispers “isn’t that beautiful music?” “wish it could go on forever” followed by a groaning metal sound like plumbing from somewhere within the buildings. Merielle thinks it sounds like steam pipes and sees some slight steam venting and movement at the tops of the towers.

At the end of 8 hours the party awakens and Gathalimay wipes his drool off of Sam’s chest where he has fallen asleep. The steam is still venting and there is a low ambient glow. Sam ignites another sun rod.

Suddenly the party hears a crossbow and a spear comes flying in from a hill in the distance. Thag charges in the direction from whence the spear came and the ground gives way beneath him. He falls into a huge hole in the ground. Sam creeps to the edge to see if Thag is ok. Nymm sees a foul spawn, an albino goblin with sharp teeth and knives that resembles the ones back in the field, and pops into his shade form.

Merielle bounds across the tops of the buildings and kills two of the foul spawn.

There is movement along the far edge of the hole as Sam works to get Thag back out of the hole with a rope. Thag gets out and immediately gets hit by another flying arrow. Creatures teleport out of the hole, more ugly foul spawn. A grue also comes out of the hole and hits Thag who immediately falls unconscious. Two of the other foul spawn grab Thag and drag him back into the hole. Sam manages to grab the grue and throw him into the hole.

A figure appears in the hole and the grues all move back to make way for him. He appears to be an Illithid, a mind flayer, with the body of a man and the head of a squid. The party vaguely remembers the mention of this creature in Prothall’s letters and that they should run.

All of the buildings start venting like a steam organ making god awful atonal music.

A wall at the far side of the village drops down creating a bridge for the ballista to cross and two red hulks advance across it as well.

The Illithid wraps its tentacles around Thag’s head and the party is powerless to stop it from happening. Then Thag turns and walks into the tunnels as if thralled. Sam grabs a grue and throws it at the Illithid, missing him. Six more grues teleport out of the hole towards Kalpa and Sam. The Illithid leaves in the direction Thag went and Nymm manages to push one of the red hulks into the pit.

At this point the session breaks for the day and xp will be award next session. Total xp for session #22 at 1700.

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Session 21: December 8, 2012
The Safety Dance

It’s a starry night and the party advances across the field with Thag and Gathalimay in front. About 20-30 yards ahead they can make out a figure squatting. They slow down and creep closer.

When they are about 10 yards away they see a glint of metal. The figure appears to be dragging a knife through some other form on the ground. Nyym sneaks closers and hears the figure chanting:

“Dark the sun will be
When Cthulu has the keys
to set himself free.
Then Lord Vecna will return to me.”

The party recognizes the name Vecna as that of an evil deity, but can’t remember what he has done. The figure continues:

“Must set things right
for that accursed night
that began my plight
When I sold my lord’s rite.

Vecna’s secret I should have kept
Into my soul greed and hubris crept
At the chance to defile I leapt
Ever since that night I’ve wept."

Nyym goes to shade form and creeps closer. He sees more beings shuffling around; what appears to be a zombie horde. The figure continues dragging its knight through what appears to be the body of a goblin chanting faster:

“You foul spawn stand in my way
Ignorantly keeping me at bay
But slowly steadily you come out to play
Adding to my Army day by day

When left of you are none
Then we’ll really have some fun
The small battle will be won
One step closer to darkening the sun.

The secret Vecna shared with me
And I sold to he
Will be the thing to set me free.
And bring Lord Vecna back to me."

Kalpa steps forward and proclaims loudly, “I’m a disciple of Vecna, here to discuss how better to serve.”

The figure stops what it is doing and looks up, reaching for his shield. Suddenly a 10 foot tall, 15 foot wide stone wall appears between the figure and the party. Nyym who has crept ahead sees the figure disappear into a hole in the ground.

The zombies begin to move forward and Nyym warns the party. Thalie shoots an arrow at the zombies and kills one. Kalpa walks around the wall and looks at the dead body on the ground and the hole. Merielle kills another zombie, Nyym kills one, Thag drops two and Gathalimay kills the last zombie. The stone wall drops away.

Merielle tries to loot the goblin body and Kalpa looks into the hole. He can see it is 5-10 feet deep and that smoke is billowing out of the hole. Kalpa jumps in the hole and sees a tunnel that leads off in the direction of the village.

The group decides to continue above ground and Kalpa, using his rope kit, climbs out of the hole.

The party moves towards the village and has gone a little further when it hears chains rattling. There are more open holes in the ground, and the sound of the chains appears to be coming from those holes – specifically 4 distinct spots. Sam starts stomping around.

Zombies pop out of the holes, held to the edges of the holes by chains. Merielle and Thalie try shooting at the zombies and the zombies fight back. The party decides to run through the zombie fields rather than fight. They receive very few hits and get to within 15 feet of the village.

At the edge of the village they approach a bridge that spans a moat and double castle walls. A guard tower abuts the bridge. Gathalimay taps across the bridge testing for traps. Sam busts ahead to the wall noticing that on the other side of the wall the ground looks different. Kalpa drops a rock on what appears to be a trigger plate and nothing happens. Nyym tries to scale the wall and falls in what would be the moat but is instead a pit fully of smelly muck.

Merielle is guarding the rear of the party when out of the corner of her eye she notices that the figure from before is watching the party from 20-30 yards off. She pulls out an arrow and aims at him.

Meanwhile Sam throws caution to the wind and steps on the pressure plate. Spears come out of the walls and graze him. Nyym climbs up out of the muck and comes face to face with a skeleton.

Merielle and Thalie are watching the figure, and another wall pops up in front of them, blocking the figure from sight.

Nyym manages to kill the skeleton.

Meanwhile Sam moves beyond the pressure place and goes into the doorway.

Merielle and Thalie creep around the wall and try to hit the figure again. Merielle’s arrow finds him and he is so enraged he rips his skin off and howls causing psychic damage to both. Nyym manages to kill the figure.

As they creep closer to the dead figure they find him laden with equipment. Kalpa takes his stonewall shield, Thalie his crusader’s mace, Sam his giant gloves, Gathalimay his wand of thunderwave. Nyym his Elakian crossbow and Merielle his displacer armor. There is also a book which is nonsensical but appears to be some kind of ritual capable of defiling the sun.

For it’s efforts the party earns 250xp.

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Session 20: November 10, 2012
"Pulling Wood"

The group wakes and sets about dismantling the wood pile, dragging pieces back to the fireplaces where Merielle sets them on fire. This takes a few hours.

When the wood pile is cleared it reveals a large hole in the floor and a wrought iron spiral staircase leading down into a dim cavernous room. Nyym and Merielle creep down the stairs and Sam waits on the stairs with his axe at the ready. The staircase creaks and groans, and Nyym and Merielle walk closer to the center of each step minimizing any further sound.

At the bottom it takes their eyes a bit to adjust but they think they can make the glow of some campfires a couple of hundred yards away. It appears to be a walled village in the distance. Closer there are a few out buildings and farm fields stretch between here and the village. All of this somehow seems to be inside a cavern, like someone just transplanted everything here.

Near the bottom of the stairs there is an awful smell, something across between roadkill and outhouse. There are no lights in any of the outbuildings and no sounds save what Nyym and Merielle hope are bats. With the coast relatively clear, Nyym and Merielle signal the party and the group goes down stairs and gathers at the base of the stairwell.

Thag and Sam are curious about the brick outbuildings. They open the door to one and find it is filled with refuse and spiders, bats and terrible smells. Just then something in leathery wings comes out of the darkness. The party recognizes stirges, pernicious bloodsuckers.

Sam shuts the door to the brick outhouse, shutting himself inside. The first stirge attaches itself to Thag’s vein and feeds. Gathalimay uses impelling force to pull the stirge off of Thag and Nyym bloodies another one. Merielle barely kills one of the stirges when several larger ones appear out of the darkness.

Inside the brick outhouse something stirs from the pile of shit and with a tentacle reaches out and grabs Sam dragging him backwards into the refuse. Sam yells for help.

One of the larger stirges grabs Merielle while Kalpa invokes a hallowed circle.

Sam manages to escape from the brick outhouse and hugs Merielle, covering her in refuse which she does not appreciate. Another tentacle comes through the door and misses Merielle but grabs Sam again. Sam grabs the tentacle and then manages to break free. They repeat this again, but then Sam manages to kill the Otyugh (“the poop monster”).

Sam wants to check out the other brick shithouse but the party overrules him.

Nyym and Merielle start to scout out through the fields toward the village.

Shortly thereafter the whole party hears what sounds like a recorded voice and sees a glowing mouth in the sky: “All new students think alike. Go and pillage the village. Is this thing still on?” The magic mouth disappears.

A few moments later the party hears Merielle and Nyym scream. They run to join and find that Merielle and Nyym have been attached by death jump spiders. The party manages to slay a couple of the spiders, but others jump away unharmed. Clearly the fields are not safe to linger in.

For their efforts party members each earn 650xp.

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Session 19: October 13, 2012
"Stuff to fight, stuff to loot, what's not to love?"

The party rests around the stairs with Kalpa and Merielle keeping guard. The next several hours pass uneventfully.

Then the group decides to head down the stairs. It is a long stairwell, approximately 50 feet, going round and round and it seems well maintained. When the group reaches the bottom they find themselves in a medium sided room, with a large stone desk in the middle. All around are crumpled papers. The room is lit with sconces that are flickering and seem to be magic. The party can make out a body behind the desk.

Slowly the party creeps around the desk and finds that whoever existed here is alive no longer. On the far wall there is a doorway and a table has been dragged into the room to barricade the door as evidenced by the drag marks on the floor.

The party gathers up the crumpled paper and Thalie reads Prothall’s Letters. They are various letters penned by Prothall, the dead man, about the mages magic and the illithid, a race from the Dark Realm that came through with Cthulu. The letters speak of a magic quill which Gathalimay finds on the desk and takes.

Kalpa searches the body which has been stripped down to a loincloth and appears to be run through with a sword – a self inflicted wound. However, there is a hole in the back of the skull where the brain appears to have been removed. Based on the state of the body it seems that Prothall has only been dead for 1 day or so.

Kalpa moves the table that barricades the door and feels the door and listens. He can hear nothing. Nyym creeps down the hallway and sees evidence that furniture has been dragged through the space – gouges in the floor and splinters of wood everywhere. As he advances down the hallway, the party follows and Gathalimay tries to map the area. It is eerily quiet.

Partway down the hallway the party ends up in a triangular room, of of which lead more hallways and alcoves. There are statues in the hallways that look like the statues outside the gate upstairs. The lights continue to flicker here.

Thag walks down one hallway to investigate and some follows him observing. At the end of the hallway, in the alcove there is a large pile of bedding in the center of the room. There are brackets on the wall where bunk beds seem to have been ripped way. Sam rifles through the bedding but finds only a few rats. Thag looks at the brackets on the wall and feels for any secret door panels. The party concludes that this was probably a dorm room for the initiates at one time.

The group moves on and finds more hallways, more flicker lights and another room. Again hallways lead off of this room as well. Down at the end of each hallway are fireplaces, which are cold. There is ash in one and what appears to be the remnants of wood and papers.

This room appears to have been a dining hall although the tables and chairs have been dragged out of the room. There are some stone shelves and bits and pieces of remnants of food eaten by the rats. Sam tastes some of the remnants and they seem like old grains.

Moving forward again the group emerges in a larger room. On one side of the room there are stone bleachers with some stairs. Opposite the bleachers are 4 podiums with books open on them, and a single door on the wall behind that. At the far end of the room, through a doorway, the party can see a huge pile of furniture – what appears to have been dragged from all these rooms and piled densely in a large pile as if to keep something down.

Sam throws a sun torch into the room and Merielle kicks him in the shin. Thalie ignores them and moves closer to look at the books on the podiums. She could swear as she gets closer she sees the books move.

Kalpa walks up to the door between the podiums and reaches out to check the door. All at once the book and podium become like a big fingerless hand and grab Kalpa. Sam runs up to the book and podium next to the one that has grabbed Kalpa and tries to grab it. He “grabs the shit out of the book” and then tries to rip it in half. Kalpa invokes a hollowed circle and hits all 4 books. The party gets drawn into the fight and Nyym makes the first kill. Thag kills the second book, Sam the third and Kalpa the fourth. When they are done all that is left is some ooze.

Kalpa steps forward again to listen at the door and hears rats. Nyym opens the door and hears louder noises of scurrying rats but doesn’t see them. The room is lit fairly consistently and there is a fire actively burning in the fireplace. He can see, through the door, a weapon rack and a rat’s nest along one side. Nyym creeps into the room, but as he steps through the doorway the floor falls away and he falls into a 10 foot pit. He notices 6 figures huddled back in the corner.

After helping Nyym out of the pit, Merielle builds a bridge of roots over the hole. Sam goes into the room and sees giant bipedal rats with spears and some weapons on the rack. Thag rushes in, gets bitten by one of the rats and gets filth fever. Thalie kills the first rat with witchfire and the party moves backward out of the room. The rat closes the door. Kalpa opens the door and manages to kill the second rat. Sam manages to critically hug another of the rats, and Kalpa tries diplomatically to get the rats to lower their spears, but they don’t surrender. He can see the weapons on the rack, some of which are rare in Adar and probably worth looting.

Kalpa talks to the rats and learn that they are not guarding anything, but just living here in their nest. They have had the run of the place before the books appeared outside the door. They don’t know what’s under the pile.

Having gotten all the information they could hope to, the party leaves the rats and decides to camp by the bleachers and rest. Kalpa investigates the pile of wood.

For their efforts party members receive 300xp.

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Session 18: September 8, 2012

The party tears through the orchard and hears the alarm sound behind them. People come pouring out of the castle. They make it back to the inn and waste no time in gathering their belongings and heading out across the desert to Xephanan.

The trek across the desert, while grueling, is uneventful. As they approach the city, the party sees people traveling in and out of the city and there seems to be a fair amount of excitement. Gathalimay chats with a traveler and finds out that Shaquor has appeared for the first time in 70 years.

Gathalimay explains to the party that Shaquor used to allow people within its walls to become trained in the arts once a year and they would emerge one year later trained. One hundred years ago a ruler in Xephanan took the treasures of Shaquor for his own and Shaquor disappeared, only re-appearing once a year.

The party decides to keep going towards Shaquor. They join along in a caravan of people making the pilgrimage. When they get to Shaquor they find that what has appeared isn’t the Shaquor of legend. There is a simple outbuilding in the distance and people can be seen coming and going from the building. Surrounding the building on all sides is an area filled with silt, almost like a sea and the sea appears to be full of sharks. The silt sea is approximately 1 mile wide.

Kalpa starts asking around to find out if anyone has managed to crossed the silt sea. He finds out that there have been a few runners, but none have succeeded and it isn’t pretty. Kalpa walks out in the silt to see what happens and in just a few moments he sees shark fins circling him.

Gathalimay wondered if the key that the party has will work at all to hold off the sharks. Merielle tests the theory by walking out into the silt holding the key down at her side. With the key submerged the sharks seem to be avoiding her. Merielle, Sam and Kalpa decide to attempt to cross the sea with the key. They walk out and the sharks seem to stay away. Gathalimay stays on shore and preaches from the book of Gathalimay in an attempt to distract people. It doesn’t work – people notice the group crossing and talk excitedly. A few people run out behind Merielle and the sharks start pulling people down. Gathalimay is shouting “do not cross, I have blessed them!” He walks out into the silt and falls on his face to try and dissuade the followers. Seeing the commotion Merielle, Kalpa and Sam return to shore.

The party finds a fairly unpopulated spot and decides to wait for nightfall to attempt crossing again. Kalpa wades in again and tries to talk to the sharks. He sits down in the silt and the sharks come in and attack him. Kalpa tries to throw the shark that bites him onshore, but ends up shard swarming back to the group.

Night approaches and the party readies itself for the crossing. The group ventures out into the silt, all clustered together around Merielle who is walking with the key in the water. It takes a bit of time, but they traverse the mile without incident.

When they get onshore there is no one outside the building. It appears to be a stone building with one door and no windows.

Gathalimay knocks on the door. The door opens and a 5 foot tall surprised human opens the door.

Gathalimay: “We come in peace.”
Man: “Why are you here?”
Gathalimay: “We want to learn.”
Man: “Well we just got here.”
Nym: “Who are you sir.”
Man: “My name is Aron.”
Kalpa: “Where are you from?”
Aron: “Umtyfratz.”
Gathalimay: “How did you get across the silt?”
Aron: “What? We’re waiting for Shaquor.”
Gathalimay: “Can we come in?”

The party enters the building and finds 6 other people (4 men and 2 women) inside. Aron explains that they are waiting for the entrance to Shaquor which they have been told only appears to the worthy. Here they have found shelter and beds, and fresh food every day. There are 13 beds in the shelter.

Kalpa and Aron walk outside and the silt sea is gone. Now a hill slides into a valley and Kalpa can only see a forest beyond. He relays this to the party.

Thalie talks to the others and learns they come from small villages and lands and came to learn skills to defend their home towns. The first one to arrive was the blonde woman, Alano. Nym fist bumps her for showing up first. None of the people here knew each other before they arrived. Gathalimay decides to entertain the group with his lute. The rest head to bed. After a little while, Gathalimay crawls into Sam’s room to sleep.

Merielle trances for a while. Kalpa returns and sits guard in the doorway.

Night progresses. Aron comes out of his room briefly to relieve himself, and despite their suspicions, Merielle and Kalpa find nothing out of the ordinary.

In the morning the sun rises and the group dines on fresh provisions. The party decides that it is going to explore the forest and lands around the building. It loads its supplies on the kanks and invites Aron and Alano and the others to join the group. As they leave the stone building and set out towards the forest they see another building where there wasn’t one before.

Aron shouts “hey guys Shaquor is here!” He and the others take off running towards the building and stop just short of the door. The building is not terribly large. There are 4 doors. In each little room there are statues and a portcullis. There are gates, but no way to open them.

Aron says “is this it?” He sounds disappointed and unsure.

Meanwhile Nym and Thag explore the statues which are androgynous humanoids with long hair. Nym realizes the metal has a bit of give. One of the others starts shaking the gate.

All of a sudden the bits and pieces of metal flow around the statues. The party steps back and the metal becomes snakes unwinding from the statues. They start to bite and poison those they bite. Four of the 6 others die and the final 2 flee leaving the party to fight the snakes. It is a hard fight. Gathalimay runs between rooms trying to offer healing where he can. Thalie manages to kill one snake, Nym kills 2, Thag kills 2, Kalpa kills 2 and Sam kills 1. When all the fighting is done, Sam, Thag and Merielle are in varying states of consciousness. Thalie runs around trying to administer aid to those who need it.

The snakes coil back up around the statues. The gates open.

For their efforts the party members earn 350xp.

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Session 17: August 11, 2012
"Just a little hug & poke." (The Return of Samuel Leary)

Party Members awaken in their inn rooms.

As Merielle, Gath, Kalpa, Thag, and Sam head downstairs for the morning they encounter a group of dragonborn beating on a silt runner. While being beating he keeps yelling “DON’T BEAT THE MESSENGER.”.
Upon sight of the group, he manages to wiggle his way out of the beating. He runs for us, drops a note at our feet, and bolts out the inn door.

Merielle opens the note:
“The wives of Giern cordially invite you to supper. Tonights menu will either consist of a human/elf stew or a spit roasted dragonborn. To help determine the mwnu, be at the arena at sunset.” – Giern

The dragonboarn noticing the events confront the group about the note and where their two friends are. The party has no idea what the dragonborn are talking about and they just received the note. During this discussion the party discovers that Nym and Thalie are missing.
The Dragonborn, displeased with the answer return to their table.

Kalpa approached the bartender inquiring about the missing people. Hesitant at first and denying what might be going on, he then signals the group to follow him outside where he’s disposing of the trash. There the bartender reveals that once a month, Giern (The wizard king of the city) kidnaps members of two groups of travellers and forces them to fight for his entertainment. The losers get feed to his 3 harpy wives, while the winners are released. The arena that they are forced to fight in takes place on a giant pyramid structure with deadly boobytraps.

After discussing this, the bartender nervously hurries himself back inside.

The party returns indoors to find the dragonborn randomly accosting patrons, and asking them the same questions “What’s with this note? Where are our friends?” While this goes on the party discusses what to do before their requested arrival that evening. With the realization that their friends could become dinner, they decide to head to Giern’s place and scope it out.

Upon arriving at Giern’s, they are welcomed by a 100ft wall and stone gate. Sam fails to convince the party that his mind-blowing climbing skills will get them over, and decide to walk the wall with the party. Around the side a alternate gate is open with slavers leading in packs on very dejected looking slaves. Inside there are several armored figures talking to the slavers.

Merielle sees a small orchard, and suggests the party sneak inside to there. To this Gath replies, “YEAH, I could hide in a tree and act like a fruit!”

Sam convinces the party that a distraction is needed. He picks up a stone to toss past the guards to create some noise, but instead clobbers a slave right in the noggin. “OUCH!” the slave yells, and with that a brawl breaks out among the slaves. As the guards and slavers rush to regain control, the party passes through the gate and sprints to the orchard.

As the hide in cover, the party look around and see lots of slaves and slave pens, but no Nym or Thalie. Gath moves to the end of the orchard, looking for loose slaves rags to use for disguises, but nothing is found.

The group decides to make their way to the nearest building. One by one they go.
As Gath moves across, a slave catches a glimpse of him.
As Thag bolts across, the slave does notice him and beging trying to convince another slave.
As Kalpa moves out and starts to shardsworm, he looks up to see a guard staring straight at him. He then walks straight up to the guard and says, “Giern summoned me here to watch the gladitorial fights!” The guard doesn’t believe him, meanwhile 6 more guards approach. Kalpa then says, “Look, you’re right. Please! I just want to see the stadium, then I’ll leave. I’m a big fan!” The guard, signally the others to back away says, “Ok, Let’s go take a look. Right this way.”
As they walk off, the rest of the group sneaks toward the row of buildings next to them.

Meri and Gath sneak down the row, but as Sam move down he hits the third building a slave steps out the door, sees him, then runs inside the building screaming. As Sam tries to slowly pull the door shut a Guard comes walking up to it inside the building. Same grabs the guard and they begin to rumble. Thag comes rushing in and attacks the guard. Meri is right behind him. As they attack the guard while he’s rumbling around with Sam, Gath come waltzing in right past the fight, eat some of the stew on the fire, and begins lightly talking to the slave.
Sams yells for Gath, he feeds some soup to Sam as he’s grasping the guard. Gath then throws a spoonful of hot stew in the guards face distracting him enough for the party to overwhelm him. Thag chops up the body with his axe, and puts in into the stew.

Back outside the party moves along into an open area when the pyramid arena is discovered. They also see a guard escorting Kalpa near the arena. The group moves into the nearest building to watch the outcome of everything going on.

As Kapla is walking along with the guard, he asks him general stalling questions about what the fights are like and how to get a job as a guard. The guard then reveals that some idiots try to sneak in, and those people become participants in the fight. Kalpa attempts to knock out the guard, failing he runs toward the group of 5 guards nearby. Before hitting the group he shard swarms past them and toward a deep ditch surrounding the arena and surrenders. He’s the escorted to the palace.

The rest of the party seeing all this, decides to sneak around the opposite side of the palace from the Kalpa escort. Merielle sneaks up a head and finds an open, un-guarded door on the side. The party moves in and starts sneaking down the hall. As Sam moves past one of the doors, it opens and 3 women walk out. As Sam fails multiple times to talk his way out of the situation, he then makes a leap to tackle one of them. Mis-judging his distance, he slams face first at the middle woman’s feet. As the woman laugh/stare in confusion, Merielle, Thag, and Gath rush and grab the women. The bound and gag them in a nearby room. Sam stand up declaring “Well that went acording to plan.” Merielle then hits him in his “jewel sack.”

The group moves down the hall further and right down a fork in the hallway, hearing footsteps and voices they move into the first door on the fork. Inside the turn around to find a well-dressed gentlemen at a desk.
“Who are you” he says. As Merielle flirts with him and Gath and Thag ask questions, it’s revealed his name is Alfred, and he’s in charge of the fighters for the arena and it’s preparation. As Sam fails to bluff Alfred into revealing where their friends are, he throws a powerful punch that sending Alfred unconscious to the floor.
Gath then puts on Alfred’s clothes, and he is left bound and gagged on the floor.
The group moves out and back down the hall to where the guards are on patrol.
Gath disguised as Alfred and yelling about intruders, lures the first batch of guards back to the office. The rest of the group pounces on them. One of the guards yells for backup.
As the group dispatches of the guards, Gath convinces the other guards it was a false alarm, and to return to their posts.

Once the fight is resolved, the group moves down the hall to find a room with two unconscious dragonborn, and an unconscious Nym, Thalie, and Kalpa. Not knowing what is wrong with their friends, whether it’s magic or a portion or something, the group decides that Merille, Thag, and Sam will play unconscious on the floor with the others while Gath gets the remaining guards back in here to awaken the others “for questioning.” Gath returns with the two guards and points to Kalpa saying “Revive him! I need to question him.”
The guards begin repeatedly keeping Kalpa until he awakens. Gath, panicing and realizing the ruse is up, yells at his friend to do something. The group subdues the guards and awakens their friends.

As most of the party moves back toward a side exit they had found to escape, Kalpa decides to leave a note for the dragonborn. It tells them the exit is the door on the opposite wall of the room. He kicks them until the start to come to, then runs for the party.

As the party heads into the orchard, a crowd starts gathering outside around the balcony at the front of the palace, where there are two angry dragonborn yelling “WHERE ARE WE!”

For their efforts the party members earn 250xp.

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