We found that the tricky part of the throne room was actually that the throne slid aside to reveal a passage down, where there was all kinds of Cult of the Egg activity. Zantlin banished a Beastman (the head-eating thing) before Kev and Yorn could beat it down, and then released some gnomish and human prisoners. The rest of the cultists got to stay behind firmly tied up. We continued to explore the area and found a captive girl who had been badly mistreated; we rescued her and put her in the portable hole (which may be a torture all in itself). We then found a temple to an ancient evil god, Thanatos, and defeated its defenses. Desecration to begin next session.
March 19, 2017
We begin! ½ PEP, 15 x level in XP, and listen checks.
18 or better hear muttering from the south. 20 or better, it sounds like chanting.
Kev: Someone’s chanting to the south!
Yorn draws and moves…then he too hears the muttering. Yorn starts banging on the wall but finds nothing. Granny moves to the wall to listen carefully…
26 = she’s not learned Thonian, but she recognizes the language. It’s still some distance away – or the wall is very thick.
Zantlin swaps out for a Helm of Comprehend Languages and listens 26 = “You are our master. We will submit.”
Granny listens carefully to find the loudest spot. Yorn helps…and it’s also below us on a different level. Granny uses a Detect Secret Doors scroll and checks. No Secret Doors.
Zantlin uses True Seeing, 1 minute per level. We spot a secret door under the thrones…Granny can figure out what the mechanism is. Pushing a button, the thrones slide to the back.
We line up and Zantlin uses Mass Conviction. Then we move the throne. A ladder goes down into the darkness. As he spikes the door closed, Yorn has to make a reflex save…DBF goes off! Yorn evades the flames.
Ladder goes down 50’ to a tunnel. The fireball was just 5’ below…there are charred remains of a rope that suspended the gem when the thrones slid back.
Yorn double-times it down the ladder. Kev turns on Blink and jumps past.
Listen – best is 31, 28, 21. Kev and Yorn hear shuffling feet and a strange voice in a language we don’t understand. Zantlin understands this to be, “Guard the tunnel and hold them.”
Granny casts Haste on Kev and Yorn. Init!
Kev sees flickering, shadowy light around the corner. He leaves Blink on and draws.
Robin runs up to Zantlin. Granny will put her hand on Zantlin as well. Actually, Zantlin casts DD to move the three of them. They are now squeezing with Kev.
They hear someone or something shrieking. Spot checks – it’s a very short person, maybe a Halfling, that poked its head around the corner and ducked back.
Granny: It was a Halfling, and he saw us!
Kev draws and chases…he catches up to him easily; he’s not armed, so Kev attempts to grab him. Grapple 27 vs (poor)…he’s got him, but he’s squealing in Common.
K: Hold still or I’ll gut you like a trout!
The Halfling quiets right up.
And Spot – there’s a human-like figure dashing around the other corner.
K: And you, come here!
Yorn runs past and spots a human dashing away. Robin runs down the hall and stops behind Yorn. Zantlin moves up and stops to talk to the Halfling to interrogate him.
Halfing: Leave me alone!
The Halfling attempts to draw a weapon while being held, and fails.
We hear more shuffling and voices in Common. Kev pins the Halfling.
Kev: Stop struggling or I’ll knock you out and tie you up. I’m not here to hurt you.
Halfling: Everyone’s here to hurt him! I must stop you!
He’s drooling and has bright blue eyes. Kev deals damage…7 points is enough to knock him out; blood comes out of multiple orifices.
The human in front of Yorn disappears. Yorn runs after him and finds a room with a familiar-looking brazier in it…many humans and Halflings block his way into the room. There is a big X and some G’s that he can’t see. The brazier looks like the sacrifice to the Egg thing. None of the humans and Halflings have armor, but are carrying knives.
Yorn: There are a crapload of thralls in here and a brazier!
Yorn moves up and prepares to knock out three humans…he spots three creatures shackled to the floor and one of the head-eating monsters. Then he plows past the humans…
Spot 15 – some of these people do not have blue eyes.
Y: Granny, don’t Fireball! They’re not all thralls yet! But there is a big head-eating monster in here!
Yorn misses X twice (using slashing flurry).
Granny moves ahead.
The thralls move to grapple Yorn. H4 attempts to grapple Yorn and misses.
H4: Don’t hurt master!
One of them attempts to grapple Yorn. Yorn knocks him out.
Y: Stay back! This is between me and this evil monster! Can’t you see he’s poisoning your minds, turning you from the righteous path of Ulyiad!
Kev: That’s what I was waiting for.
Three of the humans back up – the ones without blue eyes.
Robin knows exactly what Yorn’s talking about. But first, the creature drops one of the humans who falls to the floor. It tries to grapple Yorn, saying, “You’ll make a nice addition!”
Y: Not this time, you don’t!
4 misses Yorn.
None of hear something.
5 says, “I am yours, master!” and walks up to X. Yorn stops him with a mighty left.
Robin runs up whistling…and recognizes the creature facing off with Yorn.
Zantlin checks Kev’s victim – he’s ok – and moves into the room.
H1 hacks at Zantlin, shouting, “Leave master!” Its feeble attack passes harmlessly.
Two more move up to the big bad offering, “I am yours!”. Unfortunately they’re not in reach of Yorn.
Kev runs up next to Yorn. X does not AOO him.
Yorn: Don’t let it bite your head, and if it does, stab it.
Yorn hits it twice with the slashing flurry.
Granny moves up to see a room with a lot of minions and a brazier that she recalls Yorn’s description of. She casts Haste on Robin, Zantlin, and herself.
14 and 3 touch the creature.
2 steps forward up to Robin and holds up his hands. “You not come in here!”
Three of the humans and one Halfling back up into the corner farthest from the monster, cowering. They still have clear eyes and are clearly frightened.
X attempts to Grapple Yorn…and does so. Yorn feels unsettled…Will 27, so he’s not afraid of the frightening presence of the monster.
Listen checks…Yorn hears stomping feet from the south and dwarven war chants.
Also on the critter’s turn, 14, 3, and two Halflings crumble to dust. The monster glows strangely.
Robin Bull Rushes 2 so Granny can move up.
Zantlin – WTF is that monster? K Planes = 26…extraplanar creature poorly known, but called a Beastman. They can take any knowledge that people have, once grappling them, and insinuate itself into a target’s soul. You become its thrall. This one has more going on, of course. Hard to hit and tough (DR 20/magic), spit is acidic, and if they choose to just attack they can deal Awesome Blows. Can cause disease that weakens you. Fast Healing.
Zantlin moves behind Robin and casts Banishment. It does have SR, apparently. Zantlin sends it back to wherever it went. Suddenly the blue-eyed ones stop moving.
Kev: I didn’t even get to swing at it! What, couldn’t wait?
Kev moves down to the bronze door to the south and opens it.
Zantlin: Granny *was* going to do something about it…
Kev hears a host of metal-shot feet and a dwarven war chant coming towards us.
The hallway is worked stone.
G: Let’s not get separated! That might be an illusion. Don’t run ahead of me!
Kev: Do I look like I’m running?
G: That wasn’t just for you…
Yorn: Is it safe to cut these three in the corner loose?
G: Let’s not do anything yet…
No idea what they are.
Yorn hears that the footsteps are retreating.
Y: That dwarven orgy is moving away from us.
Granny can move into the room. She backs up Yorn and Kev and suggests we investigate the floor. She recognizes these three creatures as gnomes, a strange race she’s only read about. Generally not evil creatures unless you find ‘em in twin pairs.
G: They’re gnomes, and not normally evil. They shouldn’t bother us right now.
She remembers a time when the king once had a talented, well-regarded gnomish entertainer for years.
Z: Let’s tie up these thralls before your boyfriend takes one over.
We leave init and tie them up. Yorn keeps watch.
Granny Detects Magic – strong enchantment on these people.
As far as the Beastmaster, with it gone that’s why the people are still. The people have essentially been Dominated.
Granny uses Protection from Evil to see if that blocks the Domination.
These minions are townsfolk…she casts on 2. His eyes are still blue but he shakes off the effect.
G: My name is Gertrude. Who are you? Do you know where you are?
Sam: My name is Sam.
G: You were under the control of an evil creature. Do you remember anything?
S: This looks like a childhood story. I remember I was working at the inn…
G: You are in a dungeon far from any city. I freed your mind…do you know how you were affected?
S: No. The lady came into the inn…
S: Lady Welcrest, the King’s sister. She comes in often. I remember we were talking, small talk, and my children back in Newgate.
G: No idea how you came here? What date do you last remember?
Four days ago.
G: I was able to block this control, but only temporarily. Do you know the others in this room?
S: I saw him (points) when I delivered to the Lady’s house a few days ago. I don’t know his name, though. I think he was a visitor.
G: We will help you as we can. What do you know of the cultists of the Egg of Coot.
S: To stay away from them.
Y: Too late for that!
G: Thank you, Yorn. I think the effect that has fallen upon you is related.
Sam, agitated: No! Fairy tales! You’re lying!
She dismisses the effect and he returns to catatonia.
G: He is a simple man far from home. If we want to break the enchantment, we should do it when we can return him home. I don’t think we should do this now. I think we can restrain them for now, and it will be fine unless the creature returns. I cannot guarantee their safety.
Granny goes to speak to the Gnomes. Her gnomish is awful, but his common is ok. They have cuffs and iron bars. Granny will use Knock instead of Adamantine sword because it’s less traumatic.
The name of the first one is Shale. They were here for the mines to the west – they help the dwarves mine crystals for the Guild. They tend the machines. Some dwarves captured them and dragged them here through the swamp. Must have been thralls.
The dwarves did not speak to them, and they didn’t see them since. They were dumped into this room after coming through the southern door.
This is older stone work than the dwarves they normally work with, but it’s similar.
What do they know of the Cult of the Egg? The cultists are everywhere but they try to ignore the Egg.
Y: We have proper gods that keep that sort of thing out.
Shale: The Egg supposedly sees and knows all.
G: We did not know of it until we came from the north. We are strangers to Blackmoor.
Shale: There are areas where we can escape its influence?
Our lands are safe, maybe…Granny says that we’re more than a thousand miles away.
Shale: Beyond the Great Barrier Mountains? We are forbidden to discuss the possibility of people there.
Y: You don’t think this guy’s a spy, do you?
G: I don’t think we’re sharing any secrets. Thank you.
G: What do you do to the fight the Egg? The cities are unable to distinguish cultists, so they have infiltrated society.
Shale: Those who truly have given over, have blue eyes. Those who work for the Egg may be under its influence but do not have the eyes. Those are the dangerous ones, because they have their own minds.
G: We would see the Egg influence nobody.
Shale: Many have tried; pardon my laughter.
G: We will do what we can. You are free to do as you please.
He asks about the northern passage; we say that it’s flooded.
Shale: How much swimming?
Us: Hundreds of feet. Better be able to hold your breath.
Shale: Maybe…since you used magic before – at my home I have things of great wealth. I may have something that can help us breathe underwater.
Granny says she can help them, but she must talk to the humans.
Shale gives us a location to the east of the swamp where we should visit for a reward. He’ll accompany the people as well, and will get them to some kind of town.
They did have their loot removed from them.
G: What should we look for that may be yours?
He gives us a list…Granny starts to take it down. Zantlin and Kev can see through the lie.
Kev: I’ll be sure to give you your crown back. I think we’re done here.
Shale says that those humans tried to fight the Cultists.
We tell them not to touch our horses, who are marked. Shale doesn’t really reassure us that he won’t take them.
Eventually one of the tied up humans stares blankly and says, “That was no fun.” Then they all pass out. The enchantment is not gone; Granny figures they are now sleeping.
Granny: Apparently he’d rather have them unconscious. That says he’d rather concentrate elsewhere. (and that’s what she figured)…the Egg is no longer interested in us.
K: Can we fix them?
It would need Break Enchantment. And maybe later.
Z: Do you think this distracts him?
G: Yes. Why else would he ignore them?
Seems like yes, it may help distract him but the people can’t sustain themselves. And we’re not going to deal with the Egg quickly enough.
Yorn digs through the brazier…charcoal and burnt human bones. Granny can’t figure out how this thing is related to the control and is just a decoration.
The thralls have been stripped of everything but clothing and a single knife. We tie them up and move on.
To the west in the tunnel down is water. We don’t check that out; no footprints. BTW no chanting…the halls are still lit by continual light.
We know that you could head vaguely towards Newgate by heading south.
At the east branch, there is a passage north that hooks to the east. There is a door to the east. There is a passage south, where the dwarves may have gone.
The door is an unmarked brass (?) door. Yorn doesn’t find anything unusual, and opens it.
Inside are some living quarters – sitting chairs, a couch, and library. We check the room while Yorn stands guard.
Nightstand next to the bed – two rings in the top drawer, both magical - *362 and *363. Both show faint abjuration. On the shelf are 22 scrolls of continual flame, arcane.
Someone notices the hearth is still warm. No idea who lived in here…the furnishings are human-sized, which is slightly unusual.
We go north…it turns to the east, and find another yellowish door. Kev takes this one…it’s got writing on it. Granny goes up to read it…in Thonian, “Servant’s quarters”. Kev opens it.
Inside are ten human-sized beds, a strange old table, and water flowing from some device on the wall into a basin that never fills.
Yorn stands guard while Kev enters…someone attempts to hide poorly from underneath one of the beds.
Kev: Hold on, not clear! You, out from under the bed! I offer you safe passage.
It’s a human girl; Kev says he’s not here to hurt her. Her mouth’s been sewn shut.
K: We’re not here to hurt you, we can get you out, and I’ll fix this (points to his mouth). Then he hands her bread and cheese.
He tells the rest of us to enter, but to stay away from the bed. She holds the bread and cheese.
Kev introduces himself as Kev from north of the barrier mountains, and he’s here to stop evil. We already destroyed one servant of the Egg of Coot.
She shifts slightly to reveal her right foot is missing.
K: We can help you if you trust us, so I will trust you.
Diplomacy 26 – She slides out from under the bed as Kev backs up. She clearly has only one foot, but sits on the bed.
K: I have friends with me.
Kev sends Robin out to get Yorn.
K: My friend can come to fix your mouth.
She pulls out some chalk and she writes on Kev’s shield…”Father”
K: Your father did this to you?
She apparently doesn’t have a tongue.
K: What’s your father’s name? Write it down.
She doesn’t know her father’s name, or where she’s from.
K: How do you eat?
She holds up her ring and writes, “Father give.”
Kev says he’s got friends here and introduces us.
Looking at spells, we’d need a Regenerate spell. Myra’s short sword won’t do the job. Yorn fetches Zantlin…she does not freak out at the sight of a dwarf.
Zantlin figures he can cut the stitches holding her mouth shut, but he’d rather have the patient lying down and asleep.
Granny mixes up a little something to knock her out. Kev makes another Diplomacy check and she huffs the alchemical chloroform, and Zantlin pulls out her stitches – then cast Cure Light.
While she’s out, we toss the room. We also decide to make something to keep her knocked out the rest of the day, and stuff her in the hole with air, a bed, and some lights. We also lock up all the dangerous stuff which is mostly mushroom wine.
The room contains shackles for the beds and…that’s it. The fount of water is magical but just to make more water.
She looks vaguely familiar but we can’t recall.
Kev says he’s angry so he’ll take Robin’s turn this time. Going down is a stairway to the north and two more brass doors. Kev takes a step inside…there is writing above all of the lintels, but it’s in something other than Common.
Marked: Temple, Level 2E, Level 1B, and Level 1A. We head for Temple. The lights extinguish and the floor angles steeply down. Yorn notices that the stairs are crumbly, dust-covered, and may not be sound. The stairs will crumble into loose rock. As the stairs collapse, we’ll need to make Climb checks 13. Zantlin would struggle with this, so he Wind Walks us down. Actually, his Travel Domain power of Freedom of Movement covers this.
At the bottom of the stairs we find a room 10x20 with a 15’ ceiling. Big bronze door in front and the label “Great Temple” over it. The floor is covered in thick dust, so it’s unlikely the dwarves were coming through here.
Yorn opens the door to reveal truth in advertising – a large, one could almost say great, temple. There are wooden seats filling the room with an altar on the far end of the room. Giant statues are in the far corners. They are humanoid figures.
Yorn takes a step inside onto the old, worn carpet. It was once red. The chairs are hardly new but seem to be relatively strong.
K Religion 21 (too little), 31, 36 – this temple is for a god Thanatos worshipped by the Thonians. His mark is a withered hand and dark crescent moon. He is a neutral evil god worshipped by wizards, Beastmen, and cults of famine and disease. Domains death, entropy, and time.
Yorn prays to Ulyiad for his protection, and we stride in.
Kev: Any chance you’re not going to run in and smash that altar?
Y: There’s a pretty good chance I won’t. I was planning to wait a little bit.
Evil enchantment behind the altar.
There are also two enchantments in the center of the room 20’ in front of Yorn and 20’ from the altar. Kev notices some runes or something on the floor. Now that he points that out, she looks closely and ushers us out. She uses Arcane Eye to look very closely…Symbols of Sleep.
Granny then goes to check out behind the altar – embedded in the wall is a Symbol of Pain.
Yorn: How dangerous are those symbols? Sleep isn’t that bad…I’ll just trigger it and you can drag me out.
Them: What if those statues are golems?
Well, they *are* magical. Universal magic. Flesh golems, specifically.
They have DR X/adamantine.
Granny tells us all about this.
Before we dash in, Zantlin Dispels the runes and gets the Pain, one Sleep, and the other Sleep. Granny says the runes are gone.
Yorn: last one in is a rotten egg!
Kev: You’re such an ass.
We dash in…when we reach the spot for the symbols of sleep, the statues animate! Init!
Yorn runs for the one on the west …Kev to the east.
Robin shoots the one over by Kev. Yorn starts out on his and drops it in a single round.
Yorn: Got mine!
Zantlin runs down behind the other golem and hits once. The golem tries to conk Zantlin on the head and misses twice. Kev pounds on his golem and drops it with the fourth attack.
We search the room. Yorn and Kev fail to help.
Behind the altar we find two amulets in chains…they both have a diseased looking hand grasping a moon. They have magical auras *364 and *365. None of us are stupid enough to just wear them before identifying them.
Zantlin: These are going straight in the river.
More detail next time around.
Both Zantlin and Yorn need fort saves! 27 and 28…we’re fine.
We discuss how to break the amulets and/or the altar.
End of night XP:
15 x level plus 1120.
½ to Aaron for strategic spellcasting
½ to Scott, Paul, Steve for interesting RP
½ to Steve for covering for Zantlin
½ to Paul for more good ideas about timey-wimey stuff
Kevin: ½ to Steve for dealing with helpless girl, ½ to Scott for smoking a flesh golem single-handedly killing the golem
Aaron: ½ to Scott for being a fighter that doesn’t need support, ½ to Steve for dealing with a lot of weirdness.
Steve: ½ to Paul for magical and otherwise assistance, ½ begrudging to Aaron for the same
Aaron: This pep smells funny.
Paul: ½ to Steve for RP, ½ to Scott for notes etc
Scott: ½ to Steve for tracking loot, ½ to Paul for good magical support
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