Sunday, August 25, 2013

Savage Tide Session 27

The party found the ancient aboleth city of Golismorga that the " troglodyte spirit" had told them of. It occupied a vast cavern, filled with strange fleshy 'buildings', and twisted pillars that spouted a cold violet flame up to the ceiling. The structures appeared made of flesh and coral, interwoven , and clearly sagging without the supporting water that had been driven from the cave. A rheumy eye appeared on one of the nearby structures, bubbling to the fleshy surface in a blister, and blinked at the party, as a crude forked tongue licked it moist. Strangled cries echoed across the chamber, mimicking the voices of the party.

The party (for some reason) decided to forgo scouting the cavern, and descended to the cavern floor, which was a hard pressed sandy texture. Heading towards one of the pillars of flame, Faldak spotted some tracks leading away from the flame, and Dacien saw what looked like mathematical equations relating to planar geography scrawled in the sand. However, the party could not approach the pillar any closer without being wracked by mind-numbing headaches and dizzying nausea. Instead, they followed the footprint, seemingly of a large humanoid, to  a cave set in the southern wall. A whispered voice called out and bade the party to wait, and before long a tall cowled figure emerged, head bowed so no body was visible, followed by a dog-sized antlike creature. The giant introduced himself as Rakis-Ka, but the word had barely left its mouth before Stefanie tried to call upon Vanya and turn the creature. Rakis-Ka hissed angrily, but combat was narrowly averted by Ji and Mendel trying to smooth over Stefanie's rash action. Faldak was dominated, and tried to attack Stefanie, but a ward placed on the dwarf managed to suppress the enchantment. Rakis-Ka was more sullen and guarded, and said he would not offer the party any assistance or information unless they helped him destroy a creature that was guarding an object he desired to the north-east. A Nel-thaggu or Brain Collector had made its lair in a crater, and was guarding an object there. If it could be killed Rakis-Ka would offer the party knowledge about the kopru. (DM Note: he was going to offer trade and much more, but nevermind...!).

The party set off for the crater, edging their way around the cavern edge. They soon came up on the depression, covered in large fungal growths and thick with slime and detritus that sludged down its sides. Above the crater, the part spotted the ceiling of the cavern was oddly smooth and flat. Zhedd took Banshee up to investigate. Ji heard a strange alien noise from somewhere in the crater, which Dacien thought sounded like a spell. When the party rushed to look, the crater was empty save for a large conical structure made of ice and stone. Ji could hear similar alien sounds from elsewhere  in the cavern. Zhedd examined the ceiling and noted that the stone looked like the result of magical creation, and had been shaped by magic since being put in place. Zhedd then looked at the sludge and slime in the crater and launched a fireball into its centre - destroying the slime but also causing the conical object to crack. That was when its guaridan chose to attack.

The party were beset by spells from an invisible creature; holding Banshee, and harassing Zhedd with cones of magical cold. Dacien and Zhedd managed to catch it in the area effects of their fireballs, before it realised the danger the spell casters posed, and flew over - clamping its jaw around Dacien's head and ripping the top of his skull off. As Dacien fell, Stefanie could pin point its location, and called down flame strike. With aid of Truesight, Antony acted as the party's spotter, before Mendel saved the day by plugging a smokestick-laden arrow in to the hide of the creature. A large elephantine form of an alien creature became visible, pulsating sacs containing brains atop its head. Eventaully the party managed to dispatch the creature, and Stefanie had a chance to bring Dacien back to life.

As the party recovered and set about retrieving the corpse of the brain collector,  Rakis-Ka re emerged from behind a nearby mound. He demanded the party stuck to their bargain and left, but Mendel was adamant about examining the conical object in the crater first. The stranger reluctantly agreed but Ji could tell he was sizing up the party. The object in the crater turned out to be what seemed a chunk of a comet,  shaped carefully and engraved with images the party deduced to be the immortals Khoronus (Time), Ixion (Energy, the Sun), Nyx (Entropy,  the Undead), Noumena (Thought, Strategy) and Djaea (Matter, Nature). These were the immortals mentioned by Lady Silvermane of the Church of the Whirling Fury as being members of the Council of Intrusion that watched for incursions on to the Prime from beings beyond the Dimensional Vortex - the mysterious Outer Beings or Old Ones. The artifact was incredibly magically powerful but the party could not discern its function.

Rakis-Ka then told the party what he had observed of the kopru. They had taken up residence in a ziggurat they had built around a pyramidal fleshy structure, and engraved with symbols in worship of Demogorgon. Golismorga was a city of the aboleth - survivors of the Outer Beings,  and Rakis-Ka believed the kopru were trying to unlock these secrets on behalf of their evil patron. He described their forces - almost 50 kopru, 20 naga and 80 troglodytes - which stay in close proximity to the ziggurat, and that some of the Kopru he had seen fly. With that,  he bade the party farewell,  and they had the impression he would not welcome their return.

Zhedd took Banshee up into the air, and scouted the cavern, looking for the ziggurat that Rakis-Ka had described. He found it on the far wall, surrounded by crude canals dug into the cavern floor. The ziggurat teemed with korpu and troglodytes, and looking more closely, appeared to be constructed of stone blocks piled atop a mound of flesh. The 'skin' was puckered and pinched between the stone slabs, and a bruised sphincter bulged free of the stonework at its peak. The party toyed with using the remains of the Brain Collector to lure the kopru out to the crater, but in the end decided to use illusions to alter the colour of the fviolet flames and lure the kopru out. Three kopru flew up to investigate, and the party then decided to lay an ambush for the kopru, slightly distant from the ziggurat. Zhedd became visible and flew back to the party. The kopru responded by sending out parties in sedan chair carried by troglodytes in various directions - those approaching the party were quickly dispatch, albeit made difficult by some invisible dark naga that accompanied them. Seeing the fireballs, five large korpu flew to join battle. Two were repelled by Dacien's wall of force, and flew back to report, whilst two more joined melee and were eventually dispatched. The party had a moment's respite, and so Mendel flew up above the level of the fleshy mounds to investigate what the kopru were doing next...