Pruod-Skotran

Session 37: May 10, 2014
So many clothespins...must be something on the line.

The next morning Sam takes Reginald to tryouts with him. Kalpa goes into town to sell some of the things he has collected on our journey. Nymm agrees to stay in the yurt along with Gathalimay, Merielle and me.

Kalpa goes to the marketplace and sells everything but the magical weapon.

Sam arrives at the Templars just as a slave caravan has arrived. A kid runs over to Sam screaming “father, father you came to save me!” Strangely he bears a strong resemblance to Sam. Sam thinks he might recognize the kid as the one we met back at the caravan meetup, the kid who was dying to follow the Flock of Seagulls around. Sam negotiates that he will claim the kid, Durien, in exchange for fighting in the arena that evening.

Meanwhile Gathalimay is preaching Gathalicism to anyone who will listen just outside the yurt. Other travelers move farther and farther away from the yurt.

I take the time to look through the books I have collected to see if I can learn anything about Uutkleza, where we are headed next. I find a story of a powerful prisoner who was brought to Uutkleza, and then just one week later the entire city sunk into the desert.

Merielle and Ravel are just watching Nymm.

Kalpa returns from his foray into the marketplace and notes that he needs to sell a great sword. Nymm quickly offers to take him somewhere in town where he can sell the sword. Kalpa agrees to take Nymm with him.

Nymm takes Kalpa to a shady guy named Adolfo. Upon seeing Nymm, Adolfo remarks “you know there’s a brice on your head? You’re pretty ballsy showing up here.”

Kalpa makes a deal with Adolfo for the sword in exchange for some money and spilling where Nymm will be sleeping that evening so Adolfo can collect the price on his head. As he leaves, Kalpa mentions “we’ll be staying at the Dragon’s Boots inn.”

Kalpa immediately returns to the marketplace and goes over to where a man is selling two rhinos. After some negotiation Kalpa purchases one of the rhinos. He also learns that the rhino that he didn’t purchase is destined to fight some poor soul in the arena tonight.

Meanwhile Nymm sends a note via messenger. Then he joins Kalpa and suggests they go get a drink at a bar. They stop for drinks, and Nymm tries to catch if anyone is tailing him, but doesn’t see anyone.

Before returning to the yurt, Kalpa picks up his rhino and names him Hydra.

Kalpa and Nymm return to the yurt. Shortly thereafter Sam returns and explains the situation with Durien.

It turns out that Durien is a shifter. We’re all still split on whether to allow him to join us, but for now he stays with us.

In the late afternoon Sam heads back to town to fight in the arena. Kalpa warns him that he’ll be fighting a rhino and I give him some extra healing potions. Gathalimay, Durien and Kalpa head to town to watch the fight.

When it is time for Sam to enter the ring, Kalpa shines like the sun and Gathalimay announces him: “forged in the fields, battle tested in Saharabellum, it is Samuel sexual chocolate Leary!”

Sam squares off against the pissed off rhino. It seems they are fairly equally matched, both getting hits in some of the time, and managing to block them off other times.

Back in the yurt, suddenly Ravel bristles at a noise outside. Before we can react, knives slice up the sides of the yurt and two people step in. One slices at me. “What do you want,” I scream. Merielle aims an arrow and shoots. “Are you here for this asshole,” she quips. Merielle tries to shoot the crodlu’s rope to let him loose, but misses and hits Reginald. Merielle kills the first assassin, but not before another knocks Nymm unconscious and stabs his unconscious body.

Meanwhile, in the stands, several people creep up behind Durien, Kalpa and Gathalimay. They hit Durien hard. Durien runs away, over the wall and he falls into the arena with Sam and the Rhino.

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Session 36: April 19, 2014
Brewmaster Dumbass

We spend the next few days traveling along the edge of the forest, foraying in when we need food.

On the third day we come upon a spot where several caravans have stopped and are hosting a swap meet. Gathalimay immediately starts talking to a spice dealer who came from Raan, in addition to purchasing some spices to add to the evening meals.

As Gathalimay wanders the swap meet, a few of us notice that a small human seems to be following Gath around. Sam grabs the kid and drags him into an empty booth. “Why are you following us?”

“Are you Sam? Of the Flock of Seagulls?”

Gath pipes up, “Oh are you a fan? You don’t know me the defiler wizard?”

“Gathalimay was a half-elf, you’re an orc.”

It turns out the youth, Durien, has heard tales of us from Saharabellum back in Raan. He set out to find us and can’t believe he just found us here.

Durien wants to come with us on our travels but he’s young and has no supplies. We argue about what to do with him. Merielle wants to just tie him up and leave.

Sam asks him to take a knee, close his eyes and swear an oath. Once Durien’s eyes are closed, Sam thwacks him with the sleeping rock and we take off.

In our haste we do manage to notice that people are staring at papers and pointing at us.

We hop on the kanks and run them across the desert. We continue through the night and finally stop the next morning.

As we’re resting we hear the sounds of a running crodlu and can see in the distance one guy heading for us at a sprint, coming from the direction of Raan. Nymm puts shrouds on him and shoots the rider with his crossbow. Merielle also shoots him with an arrow. He doesn’t fall off but he does look around. Sam charges at him and knocks him off the crodlu, and then pins him down, but the dude teleports out of his grasp. Gathalimay hits him and knocks him unconscious.

While the rest of us are figuring out what to do with him, Sam wanders over to the crodlu and rifles through the saddlebags. He pulls out some papers that look like those the people were holding at the swap meet. The first is a list of “Targets” and the second is a list of “Targets of Opportunity” and Nymm’s name appears on the second one.

Sam moves over to Nymm and shoves the papers at his chest “What is going on with this??”

Nymm looks at the man who appears to be a mul and says “I don’t know this guy.” He reads the list and then walks over to the unconscious mul and tries to stab him, but fumbles. Nymm turns to the rest of us “my mom’s name is on that list, I have to protect her.” Gathalimay ties the mul up. Sam slaps the mul until he is awake.

Nymm puts his sword to the guy’s throat, “What the fuck are you chasing me for?”

“You know why you need to be killed… failure!”

Nymm slashes his throat.

Sam shoves Nymm, “What the hell?? I thought we were questioning him”

Kalpa is busy rooting through the saddlebags and the mul’s body. He finds food and water, 50 gold, 2 katars and shadow mail armor. He also notices the symbol on the saddlebags and calls Sam over.

Sam recognizes the insignia as that of the Wizard King in Raan. “Nymm you just killed a king’s rider. What the hell does he want with you?”

Nymm ignores Sam and asks Gathalimay to help him move the body into the forest.

When the body is disposed of Nymm turns to the rest of us. “I’m sorry, my mom’s name was on the list.”

The rest of the party still doesn’t know what to make of what happened.

Sam approaches the crodlu and tries to mount and succeeds. In silence we get back on our kanks and continue riding.

The next 4 days pass uneventfully, but tensely. On the fourth day we arrive outside of Raan. We decide to set up camp outside the walls and that Nymm should stay in the yurt, out of sight.

We know that Raan is presided over by Yajargo, a sorcerer king who seems fairly benevolent to his people. Raan is a walled city with agricultural fields on the outskirts. It is the first time most of us have seen fields this green. Raan sits at the headways of the river and thus there is spring water here to grow things.

Sam, Kalpa and I head into town to acquire supplies and gather information. Gathalimay, Nymm and Merielle stay at the yurt.

Kalpa and I are procuring supplies when Sam slips away. Kalpa is annoyed, but I finish my shipping and suggest we head to a local tavern to observe and potentially gather information. Kalpa makes some attempts to engage in conversation that don’t go very well.

Meanwhile, Same heads over to the templar’s office. Here he offers his mercenary services and asks if there are any open contracts or work. The officer at the templar’s office says there are some patrols to deal with the undead at Uutkleza, but invites Sam to return the next day for a test of his skill to determine whether he can join them in fighting. Sam agrees to return.

While we’re in town, five guards on crodlus ride up to the yurt. Nymm hides silently behind a curtain, while Merielle and Gathalimay report to the guards that we are just stopping here for a few days to get supplies before we move on to a friend’s house.

Gathalimay tries to entertain the guards with his lute, and Merielle notices that they all wear the same symbol that was on the saddlebags on the crodlu and the mul.

We all meet back at camp to share the information we have learned.

Merielle knows that about five years ago the wizard kings stopped making public appearances and became very reclusive, acting through the templars. Gathlimay knows a tale of sorcerer kings in hiding. It also occurs to him that Lucy came to consciousness not that long ago and now is out causing trouble because she is possessed by a defiler.

For its efforts the party earns 200xp.

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Session 35: March 8, 2014
Wizard of Odd and His Curtain

We keep going until we find more solid ground and then we decide to rest for 8 hours.

When we begin traveling again, we head towards the forest which we can just make out on the horizon. As we get closer to the forest we can just make out a village in the distance, with people milling about.

We draw closer and we can see that the people are all very pale, so pale it’s disconcerting. It is a small village surrounded by a low wall, and we can see tents everywhere.

Gathalimay calls out “Hail!”

One of the pale humans responds “Well met.”

Gathalimay explains that we have been on a long journey and are in need of supplies.

The same pale human introduces himself as Agosto and welcomes us to the village inviting us to take part in its hospitality. Agosto explains that his people came to this spot as pilgrims to the forest which is guarded by children. They are currently camped here waiting for the forest to invite them in. We can see down the path towards the forest a big stone sarcophagus at the edge of the forest. The village appears to be self-sustaining; we can see a well and small gardens being tended. We ask if we may fill our canteens from the well and Agosto agrees.

Merielle and I notice that none of the villagers seem to be carrying weapons. We talk with the villagers who tell us more about how they are waiting to enter the forest. There is talk of a very few individuals who have entered the forest.

Agosto takes us down to the sarcophagus and explains that when people want to enter the forest they go and lay inside the sarcophagus until they are permitted to enter.

We examine the sarcophagus and it appears to be a plain stone box with a stone lid. Kalpa pushes the lid and it pivots open. Ravel jumps up and sits on the lid. The sarcophagus is sitting flush on the ground. Kalpa and Sam try to push it or move it to no avail.

Sam and Kalpa exchange glances and then Sam uses the sleeping rock on Agosto. Sam and Kalpa lay Agosto in the sarcophagus and swing the lid back into place. Ravel still lays on top.

The party then sets up camp to watch the sarcophagus. After a bit one of the townsfolk, Akee, comes by to ask if we’ve seen Agosto. We tell him that we haven’t seen him and he leaves.

While we are waiting Merielle checks the area for prints. She finds small boot prints, but they don’t look like the gait of a child, rather a small adult. I can sense some magic in the area, and recognize the sarcophagus as some kind of magical item.

Kalpa checks the sarcophagus and Agosto is still lying inside. A while later we start hearing moans and wails from inside the sarcophagus. The night continues and we hear more moans but we don’t see anything.

When daylight dawns Sam pushes the lid open. Agosto is lying in the sarcophagus with his eyes wide open, staring straight up, breathing heavily. We splash water on his face and he wakes up a little bit.

Agosto mumbles something about not feeling well and wanders back to the village.

We break camp and follow him back. As we approach, we can see Agosto staring blankly. The villagers around him are looking back at us antagonistically and we know we are no longer welcome.

We go back to the edge of the forest and Gathalimay volunteers to lie in the sarcophagus. Shortly thereafter, he starts screaming “let me out, let me out!” When we get the sarcophagus open, he tells us we have to break it so Sam tries. At some point the stone cracks, and then it crumbles into dust. We don’t know what happens to the magic because that can’t be destroyed.

Now we’re at a loss, so we decide to head towards the forest. As we get close to the edge we see a movement and a javelin comes sailing out and lands at Sam’s feet.

“You dropped this!” Sam calls out.

Kalpa calls out “what do I need to enter? I have your tomb.”

Five more javelins sail out of the forest and land around Kalpa.

“We’re coming to check things out,” Sam says, “we just want to pass through.”

“We come in peace,” Gathalimay adds.

The undergrowth parts slightly.

Kalpa walks into the undergrowth. Sam follows him calling out “we come from the south bringing the gifts of modern medicine, the sleeping rock.”

Kalpa gets farther into the forest and starts hearing voices inside his head. He calls out “I repented!”

Sam follows him.

All of a sudden two small people with curved daggers appear in front of Kalpa.

“We don’t intend you harm,” Kalpa says.

The small people attack Kalpa and leave him unconscious.

“This one was unworthy” one of the small people says to Sam as if to explain the attack.

“May I retrieve his body?” Sam asks. They nod.

Gathalimay, who is making his way through the undergrowth hears voices in his head and says “I’m not one! I’m not” and retreats out of the forest.

Sam asks the small people, “what do we do to make the unworthy worthy to cross?”

“Worthy or unworthy is set in motion by actions of the past. Can you forgive a knife?”

Sam drags Kalpa out of the forest.

“I’m removing the unclean from the forest. How do I clean him?”

“Death cleanses.”

Kalpa stands up and calls out “Let us pass!”

Two more little people appear.

Sam taps Kalpa with the sleeping rock and Kalpa goes limp.

The rest of us are comparing notes outside the forest.

Sam, Merielle and I walk back into the forest and don’t see anything. We call out to the people asking if we can hunt for supplies in the forest.

“Take no more than you need and do not harm the forest” comes the response from somewhere in the trees.

We decided to journey to Raan along the outer edge of the forest.
_
For their efforts, party members earn 300xp._

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Session 34: February 8, 2014
Does your cat have nipples?

The Beholder scares Gathalimay, Thag, Sam and Kalpa who start fleeing the scene. Then it turns on Merielle and knocks her unconscious.

Then the Beholder turns to leave. Ravel hits the Beholder, and Nymm follows up with a blow. Suddenly the eyeball bursts into flame and is gone.

Immediately Gath, Thag, Sam and Kalpa aren’t afraid any more. We explore behind the pillar to see where Adrag might have gone – we see his tracks lead behind the pillar and then they just stop.

At that point we decide to rest for a bit since we’re all hurt. Gath tries the milk from the kank and says it tastes sweet, bitter, sour and a bit a like dirt.

After an uninterrupted rest, we get back on our way heading towards the forest. We anticipate we’re about 2 days away from hitting the forest.

At some point we find ourselves heading on a downward slope and we come to an area that once was a waterfall. There is a 10 foot drop off the side of the cliff, and everywhere is filled with sand and silt.

Merielle casts her bridge of roots so we can safely keep going and we caravan down. On our way down there is a small avalanche of sand and in various spots the sand appears to be sinking under our feet. Suddenly we notice more little avalanches that don’t seem to be caused by us.

A tentacle comes bursting out of the sand near the milk kank, and another near Nymm and a third near Gathalimay. Sam grapples with a tentacle and grabs it, but then it throws him 25 feet.

Then the gaping maw of a sand horror appears, and a tentacle grabs Kalpa and puts him inside the maw. The mouth chews Kalpa for a bit and then spits him out and disappears under the sand.

The mouth seems to disappear and reappear a few more times and the tentacles try to grab everyone and the kanks. Finally the the tentacles kill two kanks and the mouth swallows Thag and disappears under the sand. We wait and wait and it doesn’t reappear.

Then there is a burp and a bag of of holding comes flying out of the sand. But where is Thag?

We tie the dead kanks to the live ones and drag them away. I alternately run alongside the party and ride the kank carcasses.

For its efforts the party members earn 900xp.

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Session 33: January 11, 2014
"Don't glue yourself to yourself."

Merielle, Kalpa, and Thag start taking the rest of the silt runners down. Thag charges through the remaining silt runners, and falls unconscious. The rest of the party manages to finish off the last few and revive Thag.

We move forward in the canyon a bit to find an area of better cover, and rest. Halfway through our rest, we can hear the sounds of wild creatures coming out to eat the corpses we left behind. Luckily they ignore us.

We manage another few days through the canyon, and fight off a few silt runner attacks. On the way we also see the remains of smaller caravans, broken wagons and some skeletons.

We keep on going, and we figure we’re about five days away from the forest.

Then this morning we came around a bend and saw a person on a kank. It looked suspiciously like Adrag. Gathalimay charged forward and spoke to him.

“How are you feeling?”

“I’ll be honest with you, I’m feeling very disappointed. You let me down, I sent so many silt runners after you. You should be dead by now.”

“We help you and you want to kill us?”

“Yeah it’s kind of a game. I shift into an Oni and appear all injured, tell people a story and they go the other way and die at the hands of the silt runners.”

Kalpa chimes in, “We’ve turned away every army, what makes you think you can take us alone?”

“I’m not alone. I’ve brought some very special creatures just for you.”

Then he started laughing. He shrank down and ran behind the pillar. All of a sudden a beholder appeared in front of us. It was a large floating eyeball, with tentacles with eyeballs at the ends. Several dragon born creatures with big boned swords also appeared at the tops of neighboring pillars.

Sam grappled with the beholder, riding the eye, while we all managed to kill the dragonborn creatures.

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Session 32: December 14, 2013

So we spent our last night in the log cabin outside of Shaq’oor and each of us was visited by the Gods and received boons. We shared our experiences over breakfast and then packed up our belongings to depart.

Sam went outside to practice his spin-kicking. When the rest of us went out, there were kanks there awaiting us.

We discussed the route we wanted to take through the desert. We really want to avoid people so we’re going to try crossing further east and around the mountains. We decided to do most of our traveling at night and rest during the day when it is the hottest. So we waited until late afternoon and then set out.

The first week passed pretty uneventfully. We met a few bands of silt runners here and there but managed to either kill them or get away pretty easily.

By the beginning of the second week we were coming around the far point of the hills and were close to the caravan route that runs from Raan to Xephanan. Then in the distance some of us could make out something, it looked like a single kank and rider.

Of course, Sam galloped on to try and see what it was. Kalpa rolled his eyes and followed him. As they got closer they could see it was a single rider on a kank, dragging the remains of a few bodies behind him. The rider was mostly motionless, just sort of hanging onto the back of the kank.

Sam tried to talk to him, “Hey where ya going?” He got no response, so he tried to stop the kank that the other guy was on. The guy fell off into the silt.

About this time we all joined Sam and Kalpa and the rider. I immediately hopped down off my kank to see if I could help him. He appeared to be a human, tattered and sunburned, severely dehydrated and very weak. While I tried to stabilize him, the others decided to make camp and set up the yurt. Of course Kalpa had to go through the man’s things first.

We got him settled in the yurt and gave him a few sips of water; then he fell unconscious again so we decided to examine the bodies. They were terrible. They looked and smelled like they had been dead for weeks, bloated and dried, gutted from some sort of rough implement and some were missing limbs. Then the man’s kank came over and started gnawing on the limbs of one of them. I guess we know what happened there huh?

We all ended up resting in the yurt and feeding the man more small sips of water. Close to sunset he was sort of revived enough to speak a little. As we packed up the yurt I talked to him a bit.

“What’s your name?”

“Adrag.”

“How did you get here? Where are you traveling?”

“I started in Raan where I owned a pottery shop. Then the crystal people showed up and one of them laid siege to Raan. Everyone left. I grabbed a kank and a few dead bodies to feed the kank and went as far as I could.”

Then Kalpa piped up, “What color was the crystal person?”

“Red.”

The rest of us exchange glances; we think he’s talking about Lucy.

Then Merielle and Kalpa start arguing because he wants to borrow the talking stone to talk to Lucy. The rest of us finish packing up and ask Adrag if he wants to travel with us. When he finds out that we’re heading towards Raan he refuses and wants to set out in the other direction. We give him some of our old clothes and a day or two worth of water and provisions and he sets out southward.

We spend the rest of the day traveling northward, and listening to Merielle and Kalpa argue. At sunrise we can see that some canyon lands look to be up ahead.

We decide to make camp and Merielle relents and lets Kalpa call Lucy on the talking stone.

“Who is this?”

“This is Kalpa.”

“Oh hello Kalpa, how are you? We should get together again.”

“Lucy, where might we find a she-devil?”

Kalpa has barely begun the conversation when he throws the rock away from him. He explains that as he was talking to Lucy she sounded strange and he could feel something tentacle like probing his brain. He thinks maybe the litch is controlling her to get his phylactery back.

We spend the rest of the daylight hours discussing what to do next. Since Raan is destroyed and we’re running low on supplies, we decide the best course of action is to change direction to the forest area near Ahdryatmin.

We set out and immediately come into the canyon lands. We wander for a few days getting fruit from the cacti and finding pleasant shaded areas to walk through. There are a few silt runners, but nothing we can’t handle.

A couple of days in, we enter an area that has 20" to 25" high walls on either side and lots of pillars. The group discusses that this might be a good place to stage an ambush and that we should be on our guard. Suddenly Gathalimay flies up on top of the closest wall and comes face to face with a group of silt runners who are indeed planning an ambush.

SILT RUNNERS!” he screams.

We all look up and see them with spears and crossbows at the edges of the walls. We scamper for cover and try to shoot at them. Then a couple of the big cacti start moving towards us. They start blinding people with their needles – Kalpa gets hit quite a bit.

Thag is finally able to bloody one of them and Merielle finishes it off. Sam throws one silt runner at another and kills both. Gathalimay gets overpowered up on top of the wall and falls unconscious. Sam picks him and up and throws himself over the side of the wall, managing to land under Gathalimay when they hit the ground. I get over there and heal both of them while Kalpa finally kills the cactus that has blinded him.

For their efforts the party members earn 300xp.

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Session 31: November 9, 2013
Last stand with the Illithid

Gathalimay kills a dwarf.

Merielle, Nymm and Thag hit the Illithid. The Illithid retreats, and Kalpa’s stone wall pops up blocking the path he took.

Several of us work together to bust down the wall. Thag immediately rushes in and finds the Illithid surrounded by crystals and arcane energy, waving his arms and tentacles. Nymm rushes in after Thag. The crystals are woven in a net.

Suddenly Ravel rushes in and attacks the Illithid which disrupts the spell. There’s a huge explosion and the Illithid disappears. Nymm falls unconscious, Ravel disappears into the fey wild and Kalpa falls unconscious as well.

We wake Sam and Kalpa up and they appear to be unthralled.

We’re hurting pretty badly so we decide to take an extended rest, with Merielle and Kalpa standing guard. For the first hour they keep hearing the flame discharge, but then it stops.

Later, once we’re all rested and awake, we decide to try and get the key. Kalpa shard swarms to the platform. Merielle fey steps over and tries to grab the key before Kalpa can, and is thrown backward off the platform. Kalpa asks if he can use the first key to try and get the second; he splashes the first key in water and throws the water against the pyramid; it trickles down the sides. Then he tries to hit it with his ax and falls off the platform.

Meanwhile, Gath and Nymm are checking out the door behind the platform. When they open the door they find a stairwell heading down lower, and the water flows down the stairs.

Merielle builds a bridge of roots up to the platform and examines the it. She notices faint writing on the brass rods. No one is familiar with the writing, but it appears similar to the dwarven sympbols on the first key.

Sam is making water angels and then he and Thag start wrestling out of boredom.

I start to wonder if any of the Illithid’s books have any dwarven symbols in them that I could use to translate what’s on the brass rods. I head back to the area from where the Illithid disappeared. It takes me a while and some help from the rest of the party, but I can finally cobble together a translation that looks like the writings say that if we place the a key on the pinnacle of the pyramid and tap it, the pyramid should collapse.

Thag tries to place the key at the pinnacle and Sam is hanging off of him as a counterweight. Kalpa telekinetically drops a rock from above the pyramid down on the key. The pyramid flares and glows, but then subsides. Kalpa keeps at it for a while and then all of a sudden the pyramid collapses. Gathalimay reaches in and grabs the key.

The second key is different from the first. It is red, and has similar symbols to the first, but it appears to say something different. I can’t translate what it says, but I resolve to take some of the Illithid’s books with us and study them on our travels to try to piece it together.

Meanwhile Kalpa is looting the dwarves’ corpses. We fill up our waterskins since we know that water is precious and we’ll need it going forward.

Since we already know the way we came in, we decide to explore what is down the stairs. We creep down the stairs and end up in an octagonal room. There are smaller chambers at the edge that look like wizards’ quarters and labs. The north side of the room is completely missing, and the water that’s flowing from upstairs flows out seemingly into the void. This place looks ransacked and long abandoned.

We start exploring the room and in one find a magic circle and a chest. While we’re searching the earth wiggles, sort of the opposite of an earthquake, like the earth is mending itself rather than tearing itself apart. When we look back into the octagon, the north side has filled in, the rooms are back and there’s no more water on the floor.

Everyone starts exploring rooms. In one of the labs I find materials and I think I can synthesize a healing potion out of them. Everyone agrees to wait while I work on it and I manage to brew one potion of extra healing. We all agree I should give it to Gath to hold for whoever needs it the most, since he can push and pull people.

We take a quick inventory of our belongings and treasures, and redivide a bit. Then we decide it’s time to find our way out of here.

We retrace our steps the way we came and move back up through the complex. As we do, we notice that everything that has previously been destroyed is now back to the way it was. It’s very odd.

When we emerge from the complex at last, we see that we’re on a hillside. We see an area that is forested and the desert lying beyond the trees. We also see the log house that we originally stayed in. When we go back into it we find enough provisions to last us 4 weeks, which we anticipate will help us greatly wherever we journey next.

We discuss our options and decide that we’re going to head towards Uutekleza. No one knows what exactly happened to that area, but we do know that it’s a giant sinkhole.

As we’re coming to our decision about where to head next, Anvyll announces that he is going to stay in Sha’qoor and perhaps try to restore the school to its former glory. He thanks us for rescuing him, and gives us a gift – a bag of holding. We find that it holds our 4 weeks of supplies perfectly. We thank him for his generous gift and prepare to leave Sha’qoor.

For its efforts the party earns 300xp.

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Session 31: October 12, 2013
Satire of Bravery: "Hold the line, serpentine."

We took a quick break to catch our breaths and heal up a little bit.

Then we explored the area we were in. We could see that all the books that had once filled the 10 foot tall shelves had been piled up as a ramp at the far end of the room. The ramp led up towards a stone platform that was approximately 15 feet tall. We also noticed that the water seemed to be flowing more and more freely into the room – perhaps the cube won’t hold it back?

Then we heard noises at the far end of the room. Zombies appeared carrying crystals and moved up the ramp. They placed the crystals at the top and turned around to leave and saw us.

Anvyl quickly cast a web of light and Kalpa shouted “I can do that too!” and glowed.

Then the crystals started glowing brightly.

Kalpa ran up to the top of the ramp and picked up a crystal and rolled it down the ramp. There was an electrical burst and the crystals crumbled to dust. At the same time the gelatinous cube came loose and water came gushing down the stairs and through the center of the room. The cube slammed into the ramp of books and Kalpa was knocked off his feet. He was now laying in a pile of wet books.

Sam walked over to the stairs at the edge of the room to where he could see a figure on the stairs. “Excuse me Sir. You seem to have a water leak. Is there a drain we could open up?”

More dwarves came down the stairs. Kalpa noticed a door behind the platform.

Suddenly a bolt of flame from the platform shot out and hit Sam. A dwarf tried to vault the wall, biffed it and landed on the floor next to Sam. Sam looked at him and said “I can fly too bro.”

Upstairs the Illithid appeared and did psychic damage to Sam, Anvyl, Merielle and her cat and me. We were all dazed. Then he walked up to Thag and wraped his tentacles around his skull.

Sam grabbed the dwarf and tried to throw him at the Illithid. It didn’t quite work – Sam ended up smashing the dwarf into the wall which killed him.

Then Sam shouted “for Admiral Pigglesworth” and charged up the stairs at the Illithid.

Meanwhile Merielle and Nymm were ignoring the party and exploring the pyramid. They saw it was a pyramid constructed of brass rods and crystals and appeared to have a key in its center. They remembered snippets from Prothall’s letters that talked about smashing the pyramid to set the world to rights. Suddenly a wave of fire came out from the key, out to the walls, up to the peak of the pyramid and shot out into the distance.

Nymm ghosted up a wall and tried to reach the key. As his hand reached in, the fire shot up the wall. Nymm tried to smash it with a sword and the sword rebounded.

Meanwhile Sam had fallen unconscious. Merielle’s cat Ravel licked him awake.

The Illithid dealt more psychic damage and knocked me unconscious, but Gath stepped up to heal me.

Sam smashed and stomped on the Illithid, but then a dwarf bullrushed him and he lost consciousness. Rather than killing him, the Illithid made Sam one of his thralls.

The pyramid flared again and shot fire at the back wall.

The, the Illithid made Sam hit Thag, but he missed. Thag did get pushed over the wall and took falling damage though. Gathalimay also got knocked over.

Sam went after Anvyl, and Nymm managed to do non-lethal damage to Sam to knock him unconscious and keep him from attacking anyone else.

Then Kalpa got too close to the Illithid and became a thrall.

For its efforts the party earns 300xp.

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Session 30: September 14, 2013
Total D'd.

The dwarves explain the next level to us, and are surprised that after we’ve already been seen we want to go on. They explain the next level used to be the living quarters. Now it’s just a place for the Illithid’s thralls to hang out.

As we are standing on the stairs, the whole complex starts shaking and the floor starts breaking apart. The river has widened and falls away along with the She-devil who we hear scream. We hear running water from below and the stairs are breaking and cracked. Clearly we can’t go back so we have to go forward.

As we near the bottom of the stairs a ghoul appears and steps out of the way of the dwarves. Sam spies the ghoul and ducks back into the stairwell. The ghoul turns to watch the dwarves continue through the center of the quarters. Sam goes to make his move and falls asleep.

More ghouls emerge from the rooms and hallways. Thag drops the first ghoul and lets out a blood-curdling battle roar. So much for stealthy, eh? Ghouls appear from everywhere.

By this time water is flowing around our feet. Sam picks up Nymm and starts to run across the room. At the other side he smacks into a gelatinous cube and disappears within it. The dwarves get the hell out of here leaving us alone.

It takes a little while but we manage to kill the ghouls. Sam and Nymm escape the cube with minimal damage, but then Nymm gets sucked back in. The cube starts going down the stairs taking Nymm with it. Sam charges down the stairs. Gath tries to hit the cube and manages to do it. Sam floats down the stairs engulfed in the cube.

Somehow down at the bottom he manages to pop out the other side of the cube. It’s dark down there. The stairwell is quickly filling up with water and we’re unable to get down it without having to swim and hold our breaths.

Since Kalpa doesn’t have to breathe he runs down the stairs and ends up glowing inside the cube. Nymm dives under and Thag follows him. Thag ends up in the cube.

Sam beats on the cube and Nymm slashes at it. Kalpa keeps striking it from within. The cube keeps moving and sucks Nymm in again. Somewhere along the way the cube seems to stop fighting back. Kalpa informs us he thinks it’s safe to swim through it now.

One by one we all swim down, get through the cube and onto the other side. The cube is big enough that it’s blocking the stairwell so it isn’t flooded on the other side, just dripping a bit around the edges of the cube. The room we’re in looks like it was once a library – there are shelves upon shelves, but they’re all empty. There’s a light at the far end of the room.

For its efforts the party earns 300xp.

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Session 29: August 10, 2013
Hello Honkers!

We ended up resting relatively uneventfully behind a wizard curtain that Gathalimay has fashioned to blend into the cave walls, but I did notice the smell of brimstone increasing as time went on. Kalpa tried digging a hole to bury the crystals.

Meanwhile Gathalimay was looking through the pouch of shiny rocks we took off the body of the goblins a while back. He found one that wasn’t shiny and looked a little like a sending stone. He placed it on one of the crystals and asked “Hello are you in there?”

He was so surprised when he got an answer. “Who’s there?” “Who is this?” “An old friend?” “Talking to Kalpa.” “Kalpa is there? Who else?”

Gathalimay thinks it sounds like Lucy!

Then I hear movement and the smell of brimstone gets stronger. Gathalimay peeks around the wizard curtain and reports that there are hellhounds in the hallway. He charges them, and a bit of the curtain gets caught in his pants like toilet paper so he pulls it down exposing all of us!

Behind the hellhounds we see a She-devil. She applauds and says “That is the stuff right there! That’s what I’m looking for.”

Gathalimay responds “What are you looking for from us?”

“I need your help, we should powwow.”

“For what?”

“Stop beating on my hellhounds. They’ll beat you.”

Gathalimay stops moving and motions to us to stop as well. Kalpa returns to digging his hole. Sam pulls out a sunrod to see if one of the dogs wants to play fetch. One of the hellhounds wanders over and sniffs it. Merielle sends her cat over to the hellhounds.

I pipe up. “What precisely do you want us to do?”

She walks up into the middle of us. “I have a situation with a mindflayer. I was all set up with the dwarves and then the mindflayer comes in and thralls them. All I want to do is get rid of this guy.”

Merielle questions, “what are all of these rocks?”

“Alive? They’re life energy, but not sentient yet. When the living gate was destroyed shards were flung everywhere. These are just not awake yet.”

Gathalimay interjects, “We’re looking for a key.”

We rush to quiet him and ask the She-devil for a few moments to deliberate. She wanders off and lets us discuss. We talk about the things we want: money, help for Anvyll’s eyes, help for Thagrosh. I don’t know why, but we agree to let Kalpa do our negotiating. We call the She-devil back over.

She explains that she has a strategy. “The Mindflayer is a defiler using the shards’ power to pull stuff apart. He is expecting a new shipment of crystals but you have disrupted that. If we deliver you to him, he would think it only normal. The part you may not like is that we could use you as bait. You can’t walk in there armed, but the dwarves escorting you can carry your weapons and give them to you when you get in there.”

We ask why the mindflayer hasn’t thralled her and she explains that he has taken some of her dwarves.

We ask how far away the mindflayer is and she tells us he is three levels away. “There are some undead to kill along the way, and you’ll need to be a little sneaky because the way he thralls them he can see and hear through the undead.”

Not that anyone is surprised, Kalpa departs from the plan and asks for 5000 gold, a rhino, and then sight for Anvyll and bringing Thagrosh back. There’s a little more back and forth and then we agree to rest for 24 hours while the She-devil conducts the necessary rituals. At the end of that rest Anvyll can see again and Thagrosh is alive and with us, although he is sullen about being ripped from the embrace about the Raven Queen. Sam gives him his old axe back.

Meanwhile Kalpa borrows the sending stone and contacts Lucy. He reports that she sees us inevitably dying a painful death. Cheery eh?

The dwarves come upstairs and explain the layout of the next level down (it’s wide open with a chapel and a stream through it). They let us know that directly across from the stream is a big pile of rubble and the first two undead that we will need to kill.

Sam fills Thagrosh in as we prepare to leave.

The dwarves lead us down the staircase. Then we hide as the dwarves call to the undead. They appear dragging planks. Nymm pops his shade form and hides. After the dwarves have crossed the stream and the undead are dragging the planks off, Merielle creeps forward and casts her bridge of roots so we can cross. Nymm shadow steps across the stream. Most of us pass over the stream quietly, but Thag and Kalpa make so much noise that the undead come to investigate and find us. We take them down pretty quickly.

Kalpa and Sam drag the planks back over to the stream and lay them over the bridge of roots to obscure it. We ask the dwarves what’s next.

And a little bit of orc-ish bard poetry:

Nymm be nimble
Nymm be quick
Nymm jumps over the River Styx

For its efforts the party earns 300xp.

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