Tuesday, April 15, 2014

Savage Tide Session 33

Cleaning themselves off the ichor from the flesh jelly, the party pressed on deeper into the dungeon. The chamber that housed the fleshy monstrosity was empty, save for the putrefied remains of various humanoid bodies. Antony spotted a trap by the main entrance to the dungeon complex, so the party headed south into a larger chamber. Steps led down to the west, descending into the darkness from where a warm, damp sulphurous smell wafted. The chamber itself was bare, but the floor was covered in hundreds of crude flat metal rings, each of which bore 4 sigils carved on each face. None of the party could decipher the sigils, so the party snuck across the chamber best and quietly as they could, until Stefanie kicked up  a ruckus in her metal armour and all sense of subtlety was lost. Some of the discs were pocketed to examine later.

To the south lay a large vaulted circular chamber. Statues the party recognised as representations of Ixion/Otzitiotl (Sun), Odin/Oloron (Moon) and Protius/Manwara (Star) stood around three concentric circles of depressions in the centre of the floor. In each ring was a ball, bearing a symbol of a sun, moon and star. Pillars bearing an engraved snake, likely a depiction of Ka/Kalaktatla flanked each statue. Around the walls of the room was a fresco that showed the rise to power of a skilled Oltec archer with a bow made of lightning, who with support from his patron immortals, ascended to become ruler of a great empire, and fought off the threat of a plague of wingless dragons known as linnorms. Mendel was struck by the similarities between himself and the likeness of the archer, even though there was none. The party debated for some time whether it was Mendel’s density to travel back in time and save this great empire. Eventually, they recognised the similarities between the stone amulet Noltus Innersol had acquired and the layout of the chamber, and surmised that the balls should be moved around the circles of depressions according to the hidden code. Once they had worked out the sequence, the chamber filled with light and a bow crackling with energy appeared in the centre of the chamber - the Nimbus Bow.

Reaching out to collect the bow, the other saw Mendel drop his current bow to the floor as his fingers touched the Nimbus Bow. Mendel started referring to himself as 'Macutotnal', and cast a wary eye at the party if they dared to desecrate of loot the complex. Mendel had acquired an intelligent item, and so far, it was dominating him. Most of the party seemed happy to welcome their 'new' companion. Faldak snuck behind and quickly picked the holy bow up from the floor.

The next chamber was filled with mummified bodies, still in their finery with gold visible in the torchlight beneath their wrappings. Mendel/Macutotnal waned against looting the bodies, but Stefanie, sensing undead, joined Rissashtak in calling to their immortals to banish the  creatures. Eight wraiths emerged from the bodies and besieged the party, but through faith, fist and fabulous fighting were fought back.

A long winding corridor took the party deeper into the complex. A small alcove contained some offerings to a statue of Demogorgon, which Stefanie found to be cursed before they could destroy it, and was nearly left unable to cast the spell to remove its influence. Around the corner, Faldak's keen eye spotted the flagstones seemed loose, and he called Antony to a half before continuing. After much prising, they managed to lift a flagstone, only to cause a whole section of corridor to collapse into  a chamber below. For now, the party use the rope of climbing to move across the gap, and left the lower levels to explore later.

The noise had alerted the guards in the next chamber - a large vaulted entrance hall with a large pit containing a column of flame. Poking his head around the corner, Antony was spotted by another skinwalker who cast a spell to flood the corridor in a mind-befuggling gas. Dacien was quick to counteract the magic, as Ji dashed forward full pelt into the skinwalker and landed a kick solidly in his chest, sending him flying back into the flames. Battle began as a mob of skinwalker archers attacked Ji, and the rest of the party hurried to form a line at the entrance to the room. Stefanie cut the battlefield in half with a blade barrier, allowing the party to focus their efforts on the skinwalker chieftain and his pet ape. Ji and Faldak were almost brought low by the skilled warrior, before Stefanie used an expensive scroll to restore their health. That turned the tide of the battle, and as the chieftain fell, Zhedds summoned wolves allowed the party to pick off the remaining skinwalkers. All save another mage, which fled through the exit.

The party set about looting the chambers, and found several magic items and ancient relics in the chieftains chamber, which Dacien set about identifying. Another room held a defiled alter, its walls papers with the stretched skin of countless victims, and covered in obscene runes. Peering out the exit, the party saw something glowing on the floor of some steps leading down to the waterfront; fearing it a trap, they retreated and Dacien warded the corridor with an alarm spell. A final room was bare, it's floor covered in dust which the party then found concealed a trap door. No one was able to open the door on a few tries, and weary from battle, the party rested up for the night.

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