Sepent's Skull/ Zanton Edition

Beginning of the End

Back in Saventh-Yhi, the party divided up loot and healed. When they were ready, they went to visit Eando Kline, who told them what he had learned in his studies and been able to glean during his imprisonment.

A serpentfolk named Vyr-Azul is attempting to resurrect the serpent god Ydersius in his Sanctum, and that the party would need a weapon contained in the Hunter’s Maze in Illmurea. Also learned was the tale of how the ancient hero Savith and her merry men took down Ydersius the first time.

Leaving Kline behind to recover under Nyles’s care, (and tour the ancient city they had so helpfully cleared out for him) they returned to the serpent city.

The group enlisted the morlock’s aid in finding the Hunter’s Maze, and their old ally Thekota lead them to the site before returning home.

Before them was a chamber full of rubble, with a river running through it.

Invisibly scouting ahead, Pao Pao discovered an urdefhan skirmisher hiding behind some rubble.

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Reporting this through Dursar, the radio dragon, he silently moved across the river, but the tiniest of vibrations entered the water, and a horrific abomination surged out from the darkness, swallowing him whole.

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The group leapt into action, Darve riding across and stabbing at the creature, alerting numerous other Urdefhans hidden in the rubble, who opened fire with bows at the adventurers.

Fortunately for Pao Pao, this was the second time in his career he had been devoured by an animated blob of insanity and he simply ghosted away as Hal swooped in and battled the shoggoth. A second impalement from Darve finished it.

The urdefhan troops were somewhat easily defeated by the party, and the last one, faced with certain death, sacrificed itself to unleash the negative energy bound into it’s very soul, releasing an explosion of pure evil and death.

Fortunately, all this accomplished was to mildly annoy Hal.

A nearby cage full of morlocks was found, and after a magic symbol on the door forced Pao Pao to enter the prison as well, an undead was summoned to smash the door to bits, freeing the prisoners.

The morlocks swarmed away, but were stopped by a solid fog from Seralya, who was able to ask them some questions. They didn’t know anything useful, and were soon freed.

Moving into the Hunter’s Maze, the group was faced with a hallway filled with seemingly hostile symbols, but simply teleported past.

In the maze’s first chamber was a meladaemon and three urdefhan troops.

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The (highly observant) meladaemon noticed the invisible Pao Pao sneaking up on him, and cast life-draining magic at him.

Pao Pao ghosted through the floor, rising up behind one of the still oblivious urdefhan troops. It soon noticed him as well when the ninjas falchion stabbed through it.

The meladaemon flew into the air, but was dropped back to the floor by the witch. Rodrick teleported the group past the barricades at the door, and the daemon was annihilated by the groups focused attacks.

The urdefhans soon followed, some exploding to similar effect as before.

After the usual pilfering and plundering, the group moved down the rightmost path, discovering another, similar group of urdefhans and a meladaemon, this time standing on a piece of the floor covered in runes.

The monsters were killed, and a meladaemon appeared behind them, but teleported away when he saw his dead compatriots.

When the party attempted to levitate or fly over the runes, they activated and played a magically pre-recorded message giving the history of the maze.

Continuing along, the group came into a chamber filled with pillars. Atop them were more urdefhans and meladaemons, and also a wandering morhg.

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The urdefhans were cut down or exploded, but not before almost killing Seralya’s dragon with their fell arrows.

One meladaemon was killed before it could escape, and the other was dimensionally anchored by Rodrick to prevent it’s escape, and soon slain.

The morhg perished under the teeth and hooves of Darve’s steed.

At this time, the party decided to return to town, so they memorized and marked the room before teleporting back.

One more thing. Skweesh met with Pao Pao as he left town, and was rewarded for his work with a Simulacrum (Ice clone) of Seralya created by Rodrick. So that happened too. We can only hope she never finds out.

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The end of a Chapter

Instead of tracking down the key to Kline’s cage, the party (after first checking to make sure magic still worked in the cage) gave him a potion of gaseous form, finally freeing The Kline.

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Nearby, the hundreds of morlocks had worked themselves into a frenzy and took off rioting through the Fortress of a Thousand Fangs. The group followed behind, finding bodies everywhere as the morlock hordes flooded over and crushed serpentfolk patrols, taking everything of value they saw.

Moving through the chaos, the party came to a locked door. Not wanting the smelly mob to take all the loot, Skweesh pretended to be unable to pick the lock until the morlocks were gone to open it.

Passing through, the group found a hallway, with two iron statues flanking a door. Not really fooled Skweesh stealthed in triggering the iron golems to activate and attack.

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The party charged and the golems lumbered into melee. Seralya cursed them with misfortune and retribution as the merc and his axe went to work. Skweesh leapt atop one of the automations, hacking and slashing at as they threw around hammering punches and poisonous gas. Darve endured a poisonous cloud as he stabbed a golem again and again with his lance.

Soon, a golem began to crumble under the weight of its own punches against the party, due to the witches hex and was then killed by Darve’s stabs.

In another room, they found a canopy bed. Within could be heard something moving. Skweesh cautiously threw back the curtain to find a captive Varisian woman. They spoke to her for a bit, but then Kline saw her and could see through her disguise as she had chosen to imitate one of his deceased friends. He shouted “Witch!” as he hurled his dagger at her revealing her to be a named succubus.

The party opened fire on the demoness when she attempted to control the smurf. Fortunately, there was no place for her next to Skweesh’s ‘love’ for Seralya. Taking still more hits, she laughed and vanished just before Seralya could summon a bone devil to lock her in this mortal plane. Darve showed visible disappointment as his sword slashed perfectly through where her neck had just been.

Moving on, the group found a portcullis blocking their path. Struggling to open it, the merc turned into a yeti as the group attempted to aid him. After much effort and many attempts, they finally managed to jam it open, but not before the yeti crapped himself while exerting against the gate.

On the other side, Skweesh scouted ahead into a gigantic chamber with a building on a raised foundation. He could hear voices arguing in a strange language, turning the corner, he saw the huge foot of a great cyclops.

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Unable to understand them, Skweesh called the Witch forward to help, who invisibly flew toward the ceiling and used her magics to eavesdrop. She learned that the two cyclopes were arguing over if they should interfere in the violence they could hear in the rest of the fortress or remain at their post. The witch became visible in the air as she began to cast a spell and battle was joined.

The merc and Skweesh began to battle one of the giants (Skweesh was thrilled to finally use his anti-giant training), Kline used his bardic song, and Darve rode through the darkness to line up for a charge.

A cyclops threw a giant boulder at Darve, and then the Witch finished her spell, and a massive T-rex suddenly appeared to attack the rock-hurling cyclops.

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Meanwhile, Skweesh stabbed his opponent in the gut, then launched up at the cyclops, and it crashed to the ground, the raging smurf’s teeth tearing at it’s throat.

The cyclops attempted to shoulder the dinosaur aside to charge the knight, but the tyrannosaur bit down on the giant’s arm and in a disgusting physics-bending spectacle somehow swallowed the entire giant whole.

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The party looked on with combined shock and bemusement, and the smurf tried to climb the dinosaur and get down its throat to continue the battle.

Inside the Rex, the cyclops punched and struggled to free itself and was vomited out, the smurf following it to the ground, teeth snapping. With a few more bites and hits, the great cyclops was killed.

After searching the giants for valuables, the party opened the door to the structure the Cyclops had been defending. Inside, they found a hideout of surviving serpentfolk, consisting of: Asaam, the poker-wielding backstabber, five ordinary serpentman troops, the vampire turncoat, and a serpentfolk leader they hadn’t seen before.

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The T-rex squeezed through the door and the smurf and merc leapt into action against several serpentfolk guards. Darve rode in, but was dominated by Sskhavo and frozen by the witch. Asaam came out of hiding to stab Skweesh in the kidneys yet again, but before he could disappear, the tyrannosaur’s jaws slammed down on him (yay!) Asaam struggled to escape the T-rex’s maw, but thanks to its grip Asaam was finally ended by Skweesh’s falchion. And nothing of value was lost.

The Witch summoned tentacles, and Skweesh and the merc sliced through Sskhavo’s minions to reach him. The tentacles caught the vampire, taking him out of the fight, but unfortunately caught the merc as well. Kline appeared in the doorway and the morlock horde swarmed in.

A brutal fight progressed with Sskhavo mortally wounded both the merc and the smurf as the T-rex vanished as the summoning expired. The merc was unconscious, Skweesh was bleeding out as he fought on to his last breath, while morlocks got tossed aside when finally Seralya tore through his defenses and froze Sskhavo, effectively ending the battle. F you Sskhavo, and all hail the witch!

Leaving the fortress, the party brought the vampiric traitors head to the vampire king, gaining his promise of support, in the coming apocalypse. The surviving morlocks returned to their home.

The group teleported out of the Darklands to recover. Eando Kline remained in town to recover. His mission completed, Davor the Half-Orc merc said farewell to the group and remained with Kline.

On a similar note, Skweesh was called home with a missive from PaoPao himself. The exact details of the note Skweesh kept to himself. Although the smurf pleaded with Seralya to return with him promising her riches and undying affection, she refused. So, disappointed, he finally accepted her solid rejection, picked up his axe and his baby seat and left with a final tip of his floppy white cap.

Soon, the party, now reduced to only Darve, Seralya, and Nyles, met in Nyles’ temple to decide if they should recruit new members. “I don’t think that will be necessary, if you’ll have me.” said PaoPao, appearing in their midst as suddenly as he had left. With all pretense of scholarly pursuits dropped, he looked even more battle ready then when he left.

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Before the party could fully react, an echoing roar shook the temple as a beast entered the room.

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A healthy Hal had returned. (And Rodrick too!)

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Behold, The Kline!
Does anybody know where the damn key to the cage is?

After freeing the stoned Darve, the party purchased a few items. Despite Nyles sincere wish to aid the party, urgent business at his temple prevented him from returning with them. Teleporting back to where they had left off in the serpent fortress. They circled further down the stone snake, past carved ribs and searched the rooms.

Eventually, in one of the chambers they found a secret door and heard marching approaching the room. The merc, Darve, and his steed turned invisible and the group headed down some stairs behind the secret door.

At the bottom, they found a large cavern. Skweesh crept ahead to scout, and upon entering the room, the serpent guards opened fire on him with arrows. He scoffed and let loose a cute little smurfy retort before raging.

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Skweesh charged in as the merc’s weapon flared with magic and he too entered the battle. Darve hurried to the end of the stairs, summoned his horse, yelling encouragement as he is wont to do. A serpent fired on Seralya, injuring her. Bad idea.

She lashed out in retaliation, staggering him with ice. Darve charged, stabbing a serpent folk, causing his horse to become visible again, making the horse a major target. Fortunately his skillful riding and his newfound skill as a bodyguard managed to keep Bree from being killed that day.

The Merc, the Smurf, and the Knight fought as the witch hexed, and eventually the guards began to die off. Unfortunately two more guards entered, and Skweesh was suddenly backstabbed by a serpentfolk wielding a red-hot poker.

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Fortunately, the smurf turned and seriously wounded the snakeman, causing the fancy head-dressed serpentman to throw pixie dust into the air and disappear. Curses.

Soon, the remaining guards were defeated, and one serpentfolk was captured.

Potions of curing wounds were used, the witch healed everyone, and drained the captive (that had unwisely struck her) of his life force to heal her own injuries. No interrogation was broached or suggested and Skweesh was released to slay the smelly guard when Seralya said she no longer needed him.

Searching around the room, they found no trace of the hot poker wielding backstabber. Dangit.

Soon, they found a dungeon full of about two hundred maltreated, filthy, cowering morlocks.

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Skweesh was able to speak undercommon but lacked the diplomacy to properly convey a calming message. Sir Darven offered to advise, so a three way conversation ensued, which went something like this:

“I don’t know what to say.” Skweesh admitted.

“Well, what do you wish to say, my little blue friend?”

“Calm the hell down, you filthy animals, and stop cowering!”

“Try, ‘Fear not, Citizens. We come in peace.’” Skweesh repeated this with little conviction.

The huddle morlocks continued to cower and beg not to be beaten or destroyed. “They’re still babbling and cowering as if their bony spines have been removed!” Skweesh grumbled.

“Try mentioning that we are friends of ‘the Great Kline’ and ‘Princess Juliver’ and we have come to rescue him.” Skweesh dutifully parrots this sentiment.

Upon mentioning the ‘Great’ Kline and (the late) ‘Princess’ Juliver, the morlocks mood changes dramatically and a more fruitful conversation begins and progresses to the place of freeing them and arming some of the more capable among them.

Some of the Murlocks wanted to go with the party but they were asked to remain there and told that the party would soon be back after some further exploration and recon. A small amount of armor and some food was parceled out and the party departed.

Pushing further into the dripping darkness of the area a dead woman was found bobbing in a cistern-like recess. Skweesh gladly hopped in to check and retrieve the corpse which was more than mostly dead (and splash around for treasure).

There was indeed some treasure in the cesspool, including, I believe, a +2 Rapier, a Potion of Gaseous Form, a Scroll of Phatom Steed, and 486gp worth of valuables.

Soon, they discovered a room with a cage, containing a tortured, chained-up human prisoner. He was approached cautiously, and was discovered to be DUN DUN DUNNN! Eando Kline.

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(As seen in better days)

He was healed by the witch as the party attempted to free him from his cage. Unfortunately, the lock was magically sealed, the room warded against teleportation, and the cage itself made of nigh-invincible adamantine or unobtainium or somesuch.

Nuts.

Sadly, a plan to have the merc turn into a yeti and rip the cage open was rejected when it was judged to be too strong even for that. The collar and shackles inside the cage were opened though. Thank goodness for small victories.

There seemed to be no way to free him but by the key, which Kline said was held by Asaam, the hot poker-wielding a-hole serpentfolk who had escaped earlier.

Assigning the 200 morlocks to guard “The Kline” (which they were more than happy to do), the party resolved to hunt down Asaam and perhaps the traitorous vampire as they had earlier agreed to do for the blue Vampire squashy head.

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A Lighthouse of Evil

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A view of Illmurea

After resting, the group considered how to infiltrate the enemy fortress. It was shaped like an immense, highly detailed snake, coiled around the rock in the lake, and spiraling up into the darkness far above. They set out climbing up its back. Eventually, they reached the top of its open-mouthed head.

With the others holding the rope, the merc, with Skweesh hanging on around his neck, attempted to swing into the mouth. Embarrassingly, Davor flubbed the Errol Flynn-like swing so Skweesh bailed and did a nice through the air summersault and stuck the landing (with a flourish), leaving the merc dangling for a moment.

Once the adventurers entered the stone serpent’s mouth, they were painfully battered by all of their agonizing memories and regrets with almost overwhelming oppression. Seralya and Nyles flew down, and Darve climbed down with the rope already set in place—all meeting the same experience to differing levels of regret and damage. Seralya grumbled as her familiar took significant damage from this ‘back door’ approach to entering the Fortress of a Thousand Fangs.

There was a floating enigmatic lens in the center of the room within the cavernous mouth, and a wall with two doors halfway down the snakes jaw. Nyles, the ever faithful cleric, healed the damage taken (and there was much rejoicing.) Both doors were examined and the northern door was breached whereupon the merc was immediately grabbed by a huge mass of floating snakes and tentacles.

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The knight summoned his horse from its magical storage and moved around to charge, but was grabbed by the tentacles as well. The Merc used spells and his axe against it. Nyles healed, and the monster struck the witch’s pet dragon, and she retaliated with icy spears and hexes. Finally, the aberration was felled as the smurf pounced around, cutting away at the tentacles grabbing his friends.

The room was a large chamber, with an altar and a pool for collecting the blood of sacrifices. The bowl of nastiness was unceremoniously slid into the portable hole. They searched, and those educated in the magic arts discovered that the slowly rotating lens was a source of power, that could be interacted with by those with telepathic abilities, such as serpentfolk and the witch’s pet dragon. She protectively refused to volunteer him however.

Meanwhile, Nyles and Skweesh attempted to push the slowly rotating lens into the portable hole only to fail. Nyles also tried to douse it with holy water and paint it in his customary rainbow palette only to have both slide off it. With a cautionary clearing of the throat, Seralya persuaded them to move on.

A hidden room as also discovered behind the altar containing, among other treasures, priestly vestments, a spellbook, sacred relics for sacrifices, and a complete set of texts that would be worth something to the right researcher or collector.

Moving on in a downward spiral towards the base [making the DM reverse his research for the evening], they take their time actively searching for hidden doors and rooms and listening all the while for what may lie ahead.

They found another room apparently set aside for more religious duties, spells, and possibly sacrifices with anything not nailed down placed in the portable hole. These included; a block of incense of meditation, 10 flasks of consecrated gopher guts (evil blood stuff), 50lbs of powdered silver, and 100gp of hippy sandlewood incense to cover up the smell of cat pee and snake regurgitation.

Pressing on, they next came upon a vestibule with more magicky stuff which included; a finely carved and detailed statuette of a wizardy serpent folk (who will probably come to be known as a female named Khavith), 13 scrolls written in Aklo (worth about 10,000gp), a scroll of Clone, and a magic glowing spell book. The ever impulsive Merc opened the spellbook to examine it and a trap on it almost took the merc out of commission for several weeks, but fortunately, he shrugged it off as it crumbled into dust in his hands. How rude.

Lower down the tower, they entered a new room, this one a guard post full of serpent archers.

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Seralya opened by filling the perfectly round 20’ chamber with black tentacles, unfortunately the snakes just managed to avoid becoming trapped. The merc animated four whirling daggers around him, Sir Darve and Skweesh moved in, and Nyles used his invisibility/illusory decoy trick to heal from the shadows until a snake figured it out. The guards apparently used their telepathy and flicking out their forked tongues scent-located Nyles, snapping around to look at him. One guard escaped (red 7—“I’m too fat!”—yes, I know he was red 6, but he was 7 in our game, damn it!), and the others were killed by the party.

After looting, [5x cure serious potions—several were guzzled leaving 2x by the end of the night, 5x MW Breastplate, 5x Heavy flail, and 5x Composite Long Bows +8] they went down to the next level, finding a chamber full of arcane equipment and two more archers and a mirror imaged serpentfolk wizard. It immediately raised a wall of acid between them and summoned tentacles on the other side. The party retreated up the sloping chamber, and Skweesh used a magic horn to summon 3 barbarians as the witch summoned a pair of babau assassin demons.

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The summoned minions went in, the demons getting trapped in a spiked, crushing pit (now where have I seen that before?) and the barbarians were caught and eventually killed by the tentacles. After a momentary standoff, the serpent wizard and her minions suddenly appeared behind them, paralyzing all but the priest. The witch broke the effect with a greater dispel and saved everybody’s bacon, and then the guard snake archers ran forward and entered combat.

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Soon, the snake wizard called up another wall of acid, directly on top of her own guards. The witch responded by teleporting the party to the other side. The group moved against Khavith.

Skweesh hurt her, but was trapped in a magic, near impenetrable box, with Khavith transferring half the injuries inflicted on her to him. The witch cast her hexes, and barely survived a lethal spell with Nyles aid. The witch also used her magic to help defeat the wizard’s mirror images.

The guards, hissing in pain from the acid but hurtling themselves through the wall, turned and attacked the party, nearly killing Dursar. Eventually, the guards were defeated, one by the demons with Darve’s help, with the other finished off by the witch draining its life out.

The merc battled the wizard, at one point taking the form of a giant dire frog in order to overpower her, and resisting an attempt to cast him into another plane. Sir Darve, deprived of his horse by the teleport, managed to hit her hard, but was turned to stone.

Nyles saved everyone’s lives several times over that day with his healing magic. Ultimately, the wizard seemed to be nearing the end of her extensive collection of spells. Finally, wrestled to the ground by the merc and the demons, badly injured, Khavith slashed her wrist with her dagger and vanished—seemingly instituting some contingency plan. At that moment, the statuette found in the priest’s rape room crumbled into dust. Skweesh lamented the loss of gold.

The party searched fruitlessly around the immediate area for her, freed the smurf-in-the-box, and collected the petrified knight and his (unpetrified) horse, and teleported back to town, where the process of turning his stone state back to flesh was a success. And there was much rejoicing.

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Murlocks, Vampires, and Serpents oh my!

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As mouse blood drips from the smurf’s hand, the party stood in a room filled with smashed brains, fallen morlocks, wrecked golems, and the door the creatures had been trying to breach stood closed. The loot was divided up and negotiations began with the morlocks hiding behind the door as the party tried to convince them that the threat was gone and they could open the door. Eventually the door opened to reveal the morlock leader Udarra and a wall of blades.

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The party spoke with her, and was told that the Pathfinder they were looking for, Eando Kline, had gone to attempt to ally with a town of vampiric creatures against the serpentfolk. Eventually the blades were dismissed, revealing numerous morlock civilians.

Udarra, when told that there was no hope for the intellect devourer-infected morlocks that had survived the battle outside and been taken prisoner, she approved the execution of the body snatchers, which was carried out by Skweesh (eagerly.) Before moving on, the party rested at the morlock stronghold, fawned over as conquering heroes and “ancestors” worshipped by the morlocks. The devourer patrols, away at the time of the battle, never returned.

In preparation to go, the party was given holy water, with which Skweesh made water balloons out of the bladders of the infected morlocks. No one else seemed to want to use the products of his ingenuity. Nyles was unable to come along due to chronic explosive diarrhea. Many morlocks wanted to accompany them, but were rejected due to lack of apparent competence. Their guide, Thekota, was brought along however. The party journeyed through the Darklands, and reached the city of the “vampires”.

Considering and rejecting the idea of a stealthy approach, they marched openly toward the city, calling out at the gate that they sought Eando Kline. Initially, they were angrily rebuffed but with mild difficulty convinced the inhabitants to let them in. Flying in on giant bats, the creatures came out and demanded the party disarm before they entered to see their leader. This was the first good look the party got at the creatures, which were fanged, blue, and translucent monsters.

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Dropping their main weapons, (with a few in reserve) the group was marched through the city toward a massive dome. The city was filled with torture devices and dead creatures strung up along the road. The guard escorts took every opportunity to roughly shove and elbow them along the way. One of the creatures struck the merc, who took exception to this treatment, turning and glaring threateningly at it. It shrugged it off and spit at him, nearly leading to violence, but the merc managed to contain his fury.

For now.

Finally reaching the dome and the rulers meeting hall therein, they were told that he would come to see them. They waited for hours, searching the room and picking the lock on the door out of boredom. Finally the ruler arrived, ignoring their presence momentarily until he felt he was ready to speak.

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Speaking with them in his strange two/echoing voices—one cultured and the other feral and savage—he said that, while Kline had arrived, he was no longer with them. He had tried to get them to ally against the serpentfolk, and as a test, the ruler, Izon, had sent him out to kill a traitorous lieutenant of his who had joined the serpentfolk.

Since he had not yet returned, the monsters had written him off as dead. The group accepted the same mission in the hopes of finding Kline, and possibly gaining the horrific beings support.

For now.

The merc had one condition however—the guard who had spit on him had to accompany them as their guide. Izon casually agreed, much to the guard’s terror. “Smurferific!” was heard in a muffled tone. They then took back their weapons and set out for the serpentfolk Fortress of a Thousand Fangs.

It was surrounded by waterfalls, a chasm, and a massive lake. Upon arrival, the merc dropped his weapons and dared the guard to a fight. It tried to flee, but was tackled by Skweesh just before the witch caused it to slumber. It was woken up and spit on by the merc. Skweesh tied it up and they brought it along briefly as a captive, the merc releasing him and giving it a final punch to the face when they reached at the edge of the chasm and bringing it was no longer feasible. “Smurf it.” was heard in a disgruntled tone.

Crossing over to the lake with magic, they dealt with the obstacle of the water by the witch flying, the merc transforming into a water elemental, and the knight’s horse having magical horseshoes. Skweesh, of course, came along on his baby seat. Crossing the mostly calm lake was suddenly interrupted when a massive sea serpent burst from the water, slamming into and chomping on Sir Darve.

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Battle was joined, the witch hexed the serpent’s aim as the knight and his steed gave it minor wounds and Skweesh pounced/swam/dove into it, slicing a massive wound in its side with his thundering electric axe. The serpent grabbed up the annoying smurf in her jaws as the smurf squirmed to get free. The merc found that a magic cone of cold and ice did nothing but freeze off one of Skweesh’s side burns, so he transformed into his original form and returned to his trusty axe doing respectable damage.

Dursar greased Skweesh, allowing him to escape the monster’s jaws, but then he was grabbed up again by the creature’s yawning maw. Finally, the knight backed off and charged, spearing and killing the old sea serpent—Ydersius’s Thalassic Daughter.

She sank back into the lake, dragging Skweesh with her. After a moment, Skweesh burst from the lake, wounded, but still alive and frothing—taking a moment to look up Seralya’s skirt. Reluctantly, the witch cured his wounds by a laying on of hands. “Smurferific, indeed!” the gnome exclaimed with glee! Darve was also healed.

When they reached the other shore, they chose to rest, using their portable hole as a shelter.

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Food for thought aka Thoughts for Food (Attack of the Intellect Devourers)

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The party rested in the ruins within sight of the mansion where the leader of the seemingly friendly morlock faction, Udarra was under siege by the forces of the warlord Ixolan. Before resting; however, Serayla’s faerie dragon familiar invisibly scouted out the area, seeing three morlock guards at the mansion door and patrols moving through the city. Oddly, they seemed to amuse themselves by casually throwing full-force punches at each other.

In the morning, the party carefully planned out their attack. With the rest waiting over 300 feet away in reserve, the witch and the merc turned invisible and crept up on the guards. Someone accidentally made too much noise, and the guards began looking around for the intruders. Serayla’s targets dropped, cursed with slumber out of the darkness. The merc threw four mithril daggers into the air, which animated into a spinning ring around him and moved on his guard. The knight and the smurf leapt onto the horse and charged towards the building and up the stairs as Nyles huffed and puffed to join the fray.

The remaining guard attempted to defend himself, but was then rendered unconscious. The knight thundered up the stairs, but then stopped, not seeing any target. Skweesh however, did, hopping off his baby seat and approaching a downed foe with sword in hand. Darve tried to stop him, but he executed the prisoner anyway/delivered righteous judgment, lightning and thunder blasting from his weapon. Nyles arrives seconds later commenting, “I probably can’t heal that.”

Seralya froze a downed enemy as the merc went to study one of the doors. Nyles noticed that the damage from the final blow shouldn’t have done so much damage when a tiny brain with legs lept from hiding attacking the party with magic for a moment before being killed.

Nyles tied up the remaining unfrozen morlock. The merc went through the door, not wanting to waste his remaining time invisible. Inside he saw two giant, cannon wielding machinations battering on a door. Another figure was momentarily glimpsed in the corner, but then disappeared.

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The party rushed in to fight against the machines, Skweesh disappointedly crying out, “MY RIDE!” as the knight charged, depriving him of “his” horse. The battle was joined, with the golems smashing elemental substances into the ground and blasting with their cannons. As the battle raged “Nyles” (an illusionary doppelganger) danced into the fray, dodging cannon shots and eventually getting brutally pummeled by the golems, as the real priest had turned invisible to bestow his lifesaving healing from the shadows while the decoy provided a distraction.

A golem fell, and the knight moved to the other side of the room to line up for another charge when suddenly the figure seen earlier, revealed to be Ixolan, leapt out of hiding, his weapon glancing off Darve’s armor as he landed nearby.

The knight charged in retaliation, impaling Ixolan, who, while wounded, survived and vanished in invisibility as frothing morlock warriors ran in, surrounding the knight. Skweesh dropped the remaining golem and the merc attacked the new enemies, chopping with his axe and casting lethal spells.

As this new phase of the battle began, Seralya used her magic to search for the invisible Ixolan. Ixolan noticed her looking at him and attempting to make him visible and leapt from the shadows high into the air to attempt to take down the flying witch. Fortunately he missed, landing in the rubble nearby. He was unable to restore his invisibility in time and was killed by Skweesh. Seralya, now seeing the invisible, noticed that more of the brain monsters were emerging from the fallen morlocks.

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Seralya decided it was time for the fight to end, summoning a swarm of 20 foot black tentacles into the fight. Darve rode out of the tentacles and attempted to stab one of the brains, who were becoming visible as they attacked. The merc was grabbed by the tentacles, and Dursar attempted to free him with magic grease. The merc then escaped and although two brains pounced on him, they were quickly killed. The fight seemed to be drawing to a close.

Suddenly, the merc cried out in agony. The leader of the intellect devourers, who had been possessing Ixolan, had crept out of the rubble and nearly killed him with powerful stings to his leg in an attempt to gain a new host.

Before the final blow could be struck, the creature was snatched off of the Merc by Skweesh, who successfully gripped it in his hands. It attempted to ward Skweesh off with its mind powers as the merc and the knight repeatedly stabbed and slashed at it. Finally, the witch, using her powerful magics, polymorphs it into the form of a helpless mouse caught in the smurfs’ enraged, crushing grip.

The great Uthothot’s long, cruel life ended with a skweesh and a crunch.

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Into the Rectum of the Darkland

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On Serayla’s suggestion, before going through the portal, the party spent a week in Saventh-Yhi, and teleporting around the world beyond, buying supplies, selling treasures, and having wondrous items created and improved. Shining armor became shinier, coffers became lighter, and Smurfs became smurfier. The week was not entirely good for them, however, as Hal had fallen sick, and the immortal alien death-beast and his pet wizard were forced to leave the group and search for a cure. After finishing with the trip, the party ventured to the portal, repaired the powering gems, and stepped through the gate into the dark tunnel beyond.

On the other side they found…nothing. A dark and empty natural tunnel extended before them. Behind them there was only a blank wall. After marking their location, they pressed onward, Davor the merc and Skweesh on point, reporting back through the Witches pet dragon’s telepathic ability. After a long, long walk through the tunnel, during which Skweesh eventually retired to his crude, reclining baby seat on the side of Bree’s saddle. Eventually the tunnel opened up into a huge chamber, tiny spiders and webbing drifting throughout. The merc crept in cautiously, searching for enemies, when suddenly an immense spider leapt down behind him, the others seeing only a massive, dark shape blocking their path. The spider attempted to swat the merc, but was prevented from doing so by a magic deflection. The others leapt into action, throwing spells and a lance at it, and finally killing it when Skweesh leapt from his seat and smurfed it, gaining none of Serayla’s respect in the process.

However, the dead spider blocked off the path, and another one leapt down, leaving Davor to face it alone in the darkness.

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Then, in a sudden burst of glory, the merc charged with magical power, and struck off the beasts head in a single blow.

Awkwardly crawling or flying over the carcass of the first spider, the party searched the room. No treasures were discovered, but one of the hundreds of webbed up victims turned out to be alive. The party scanned him with magic, and then carefully unwrapped the figures face, leading to a shriek of terror from what was revealed to be a morlock, a pale, oddly proportioned cave dwelling humanoid.

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They spoke with the creature, who told of war between those of his tribe who supported the “Great Kline”, the Pathfinder the group were looking for, and a warlord who opposed him. Also the morlock revealed a hatred of serpentfolk, an great respect for the party, a interest in knights, a reverence for the “ancient ones” and a great love for the great and beautiful “Princess” Juliver. The party accompanied him through the underground going to aid him against the warlord, catching a glimpse of the serpent city of Ilmurea on the way.

Eventually, they came to a gate guarded by the statues of ancient humanoid figures. The morlock, believing it was safe, walked through without harm, but when the merc went with him the statues sprung to life, lashing out at him. The Priest and the Witch threw spells but had difficulty causing any affect at first. The merc battled for his life against the monsters on either side, at one point grabbing away the amulet worn by the screaming morlock in a futile attempt to fool the guardians. Darve charged, stabbing his lance into one and taking a punch to the helmet. However, the knight dodged another blow, which chipped Skweesh’s baby seat. This released the true berserk fury of the angry smurf. Ice spears also erupted from the ground impaling and tripping one of the guardians.

During the battle, Nyles seemed to run foolishly into range of the beast, and subsequently be cut down in single blow. In fact, Nyles simply disappeared, leading to much rejoicing (yay.) when he revealed himself after the statues were finally cut down. They then entered the dark city of the morlocks, hiding in a building on their guides encouragement to hide from a patrol of the warlords troops, and decided to rest there for a time.

As a final sidenote, Skweesh continued to harass the witch throughout the day with his unwanted attention, ignoring the almost certain brutal vengeance that was to come on the day he finally pushed her too far.

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Skweesh Arrives

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The diminutive Skweesh, at just over 3’ in his stocking feet, scampers into the jungle encroached city of Saventh-Yhi. The evidence of recent battle is everywhere as he passes through the mercantile district. Upon contact with Sargavan troops, Skweesh presents his papers and is rapidly directed to the residential district which is known to be the most common haunt of the party he seeks—PaoPao’s former shipwrecked adventuring companions.

Officially, Skweesh is here to fulfill PaoPao’s sense of obligation to the party and to fulfill his promise. Unofficially and undisclosed to the group, Skweesh was ‘rescued’ from an orphaned life on the streets of the largest city in Tien by PaoPao who recognized in Skweesh a crafty brute who would come in very handy in establishing and maintaining an illegal drug and poison network. Proving himself to be faithful and effective, Skweesh has been sent on this mission to both help the party and keep a keen eye out for other drug and poison opportunities in the newly rediscovered lands of Saventh-Yhi.

Skweesh has left word with Nyles’ temple acolytes that he can be found in the Randy Pony tavern nearby, and to send word as soon as Nyles and the rest return.

Before entering the tavern, he learns that the party includes a cavalier with an impressive warhorse, so he visits a local carpenter/craftsman/saddler and orders a specialized platform/saddle to be constructed posthaste of wood and leather to be attached to the warhorse’s saddle if Darven would allow it. He thinks this might be a very nice way to travel—elevated and aboard a mighty steed.

After placing a makeshift booster seat on a tavern stool he settles in to nurse as many ales as it takes to pass the time. Of course, being only 41 pounds soaking wet it doesn’t take long before he’s tipsy and singing a collection of on-key but off-color songs of conquests and concubines.

After the group obtained the final crystals (due in no small part to Seralya’s crafty ways and grasp of arcane power), Seralya and the group head back to the city proper for a proper city meal and rest. With word reaching the rest of the populace, Seralya spends much of her waking moments taking relatively peaceful walks though the city and seeing what sort of items she can get from the other travelers and explorers for use once she and her crew venture through the portal.

Saddened, but not entirely surprised, that local memories and stories seem to downplay her role in saving the lives of everyone around, she assists with Nyle’s new church for a while; questioning some of the acolytes and, as always, snooping for rumors of magical items that can help her… oh, and her friends. While at the church, she learns that master-scout PaoPao has sent a new emissary. Armed with his physical description, she heads to the tavern to meet with him.

I am pleased that a man with as much ability as PaoPao was able to send us some help. It was very difficult when circumstances took his scouting ability away from us and gave us just that little trollop. Sure, Fate adequately replaced her with a tolerable half-orc, and I expect to see more good things from him, but that same Fate has no taken both Rod and Hal. Fortunately, if it’s from PaoPao, it is powerful, and if it is a gnome, it is more than just a little skilled in magic. Perhaps he will be kind enough to make me some scrolls from his spellbook and we can assist each other on the field of battle. With two skilled controllers of the arcane out there, everything we come across will easily be defeated.

Despite a crowded bar, the mistress of the arcane can easily make out the miniscule blue wizard propped up on his spellbook at the bar, keeping everyone entertained with his bawdy tunes. The sea of people parts as Seralya approaches the blue-skinned gnome. The young Witch rests a hand on his oddly muscular shoulder and addresses him. “Wonderful to meet you, good sir. Nyle’s acolytes told me I could find PaoPao’s man here. As I’m certain you deduced, I am Seralya and I…” She trails off as she spies the hefty axe at the tiny thing’s side and notices that the “spellbook” is just a few hunks of wood. Taking a closer look, she sees none of the items of magic about the infinitesimal creature’s body that she would expect to be on a fellow wielder of wonders. “…I should advise everyone else of your arrival. Would you care to wait here?”

Turning blurry eyes to Seralya, Skweesh slurs, “Now, wait just a moment, my dear, don’t leave just yet…your beauty inspires me! Maestro, another tune to accompany me my good man…”

Having stirred up the tavern folk with dirty limericks and laughter, the tavern players start another pub tune as Skweesh drops to the ground off his stool. Barely keeping his drunken feet, Skweesh begins to bellow another quick tune while dancing a sloppy jig, “My lady so dark and brooding, don’t run off so fast…For it’d be a shame to say goodbye so soon to your lovely arse!…Though I be so wee and Tien, I lack not in cunning linguists skills and charm…I promise, my dark lady, I’ll leave you breathless and all without harm…Let me treat you to a bit of the sweet meat, and you’ll leave hungering more…but I won’t make you beg or plead, cuz I’d never treat you…like a…like a…”

The tune trails off as Skweesh falls face down in the sawdust and begins to snore a cute little drunken gnome snore while a steady tremolo flatulence slowly escapes his tiny blue behind.

After the gas punctuated silence of his pratfall, the gathered patrons again erupt in a cheer of laughter and raise their pints to their fallen new comrade.

“Hazaah!”

Seralya thinks to herself: Not expected, but certainly not the least probable outcome. Apparently I am forced to deal with people of lesser and lesser use as time moves forward. I simply must find a way to prevent time from moving forward.

The annoyed Witch turns to the recently established bar’s patron. “Has he paid you for all he drank? Never mind, I do not care.” Reaching into her pouch, she pulls out a gold piece. “Here you go. If that is too much, enjoy your boon and much as your life I saved today. If it is too little, feel free to get the rest from me in the future. I’m sure you know where I can be found.”

After doing much less than she wanted to do, but certainly all that could possibly be done given the gnome’s class (or lack thereof), she grabs hold of the strange two-headed beast that has the ability to spout poetry of equal worth from each ends, the axe that was leaning against the gnome’s stool, and a tankard of ale. She then cries in a dejected voice "Tele…

…port.

“Ah, you are all here. Look at the… fine… gift that PaoPao has provided us. He apparently is Bard skilled in axes and the Stinking Cloud spell. Prior to entering his current state, he promised me ‘no harm’. I will provide the same for him. For now.”

Taking a sip of her ale, Seralya shakes her head. “This barely needs anything from me, but I am a generous person.” Upon casting Putrefy Food and Drink on the tankard, she empties a waterskin on the newcomer until he wakes.

Patting his cheek in a way that could never be called “softly”, the Witch addresses the walking blueberry of air. “Arise, my sweet wordsmith, and have another ale. I have brought you to the rest of the people you seek. Pray, tell us your tale.”

Upon being so rudely awakened from his paid for slumber, Skweesh sits upright on the floor of the temple antechamber. After blinking away the suds some vague memories return with the fading sting of Seralya’s slap. “Smurfin-A, me sweet, slap me again if you like—I should have known you’d like the rough stuff! Indeed! But, I digress… My apologies for my less than stellar introduction, but you know the old saying, ‘When in the Mwangi jungle…’ hehe, Anyway, I hope my bonafides from Master PaoPao arrived ahead of me, and if they did, then you know that I come to be of service—more to some then others, me lady.” He says looking at Seralya while wiggling his pink eyebrows.

“So, if I can be of service, I’ll be ready to go after a quick wee and a plop. As far as a tale, I could sing you quite a few, but for now just know I’m not bad with an axe—even one of this size—and although I’ve been told I have a wee bit of an anger problem, I’ll not leave you in the midst of a battle. And just as a small token of PaoPao’s thanks, he sends this.” Skweesh drops a leather satchel of 10,000gp on the floor.

“So, Sir Nyles, where be the nearest plopping place? I’ve got a plop in me that would choke an otyugh…”

“Just go down the hallway to the left. If you are not positive that you are in the correct place, ASK AN ACOLYTE! When you are finished and presentable, come back and say what needs to be said.” Seralya almost shouts exasperated.

“Have they ever told you how sexy you are when you’re angry? The way your eyes begin to smolder with menace…ohhhh…to shimmy up those legs…off to the plopper I go…”

Once the tiny troll has left, Seralya turns to the rest of the party and speaks. “Whatever we get from him, we need to prepare for going through the portal. Our proverbial coffers are filled with items that none of us require. I suggest that, since this town has grown, and I have ways of getting to other locations regardless, we should liquidate much of what we have and stock up on items we need and will use. I can think off several things that would have made our last scrap go a little better.”

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The Final Vault

As the battle pressed into the mercantile district on the northwestern shores of lake Hirilaka, the party crashes into the raging Gorilla King and his two henchsimians. Hal meets the King in head-on combat along with Darve and the others—including Nyles who put down the shire weed long enough to bring his weight to bear! Seralya takes down the simian witchdoctor and the ape cleric soon falls as well. Ruthazek, the Gorilla king, fell under Hal’s claws.
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The following loot and treasure and XP is gained:
XP: 38,400 for the King 38,400/5 = 7,680/player
XP: 38,400 for freeing the ‘pinkskins’ 38,400/5 = 7,680/player
XP: 9,600 for Teka, Charau-ka cleric 9,600/5 = 1,920/player
XP: 8,000 for Charau-ka shaman 8,000/5 = 1,600/player
XP: 10,000 for coordinating battle/war & killing dozens of spoos = 2,000/player

Even if you’ve not officially dinged, you have now. Consider yourself at 12th and 11th for Nyles.

Looty loot:

Ruthazek, Gorilla King: _+3 half plate, 2 Thundering Falchion, MW spear, Amulet of Natural Armor2, Ring of Protection+2, Gold crown worth 2,000gp.

From monkey camp: 10,300gp worth of gold and various gems.

From Teka, cleric: Scroll of cure serious wounds, scroll of flame strike, +2 hide armor, MW heavy wooden shield, +1 Flaming club, Copper armband worth 30gp, spell component pouch, bone holy symbol of Lamashatu.

From monkey shaman: copper arm band worth 30gp and a gnarled broken stick—probably infected with hepatitis or monkey aids.

From the battle field: numerous spoo weapons not worth counting and probably looted by mercs and survivors anyway.

The group went back to the residential district and healed up, powered up, and spelled up.
They then went out to kick ass in the final vault.

First, spying from a distance, some boxed text:
“A narrow dirt trail winds along the side of a cliff. Vines grow down the nearly sheer wall from the top of the escarpment twenty feet above. An untamed tangle of thorny brush lies thirty feet below, while ahead the path continues to climb the eroded dirt wall. The trail rounds a corner and abruptly ends in a short, shadowed draw. A tracery of vines grows along the ravine’s walls and across the space between them like a canopy. A pair of closed stone portals, recessed several feet, stands in the face of the cliff.”

Seralya then spotted well-camouflaged monkeys on the ridge waiting to drop spiked log traps onto the party ruining the surprise and meaning their doom. Hal and company release flying death and maul the hapless spoos.

Moving into the vault, which comes to be known as the Vault of the body thief, Hal unceremoniously kicks in the door on to some boxed text: “The outer doors open onto a large irregular chamber that has been fastidiously cleaned. Every bit of debris and dust has been removed, and the stone floor has been buffed to a dull shine.

Two pallets of dried grass lie in the center of the room, each with a smooth, flat stone for a pillow.”

Davor pushes ahead and ‘stealths’ around and doesn’t see anything out of the ordinary (accept it’s real clean) as he presses on down the hallway ahead. “The tunnel descends into a puddle of muck that extends around the corner.” The group moves cautiously ahead as Dave discovers the punji stake trap when it went through his ankle. As a result, he gets entrapped and poisoned by purple worm poison.

Before the group can come to his aid, two flying invisible ogre mage monks try to bojangle Rodrick with a flurry of blows.
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The monks rolled pretty crappy or it would have been worse, but Rodrick pulled through by pulling from his hp sink (Hal). The sister monk was dropped and the remaining sibling went crazy and pressed his attack. Dave dropped his invisibility and started screaming like a little boy attracting 5 boggards to the miry hall. They belch and croak and swing their morning stars to little avail. Nyles keeps poring the heals on—yay!
Soon the party drops the remaining monk and presses in to try and get their weakening friend Dave out of the trap. The boggards get bojangled and Dave finally gets his mangled foot out of the simple but effective trap.

“The mud slick ends in an oddly shaped chamber. Three side rooms extend from a central sitting area holding a crudely cobbled together table and chairs. The mud pool and entry corridor occupy one of these side chambers. Opposite these is an exit corridor. On one side is a room stacked with bags and casks of supplies, and freshly dressed game hanging from hooks on the wall. On the other side, the third chamber holds a number of bedrolls and bundles of personal possessions.”

XP: 19,200 for the monks/5 = 3,840/player
16,000 for the boggards/5 = 3,200/player

Loot:
From the monks: MW composite longbow (x2), arrows, Amulet of mighty fists +1 (x2), 2 copper bands 60gp. (When you’re leaving one of the bodies is gone.)

From the boggards: 5x (Potion of heal moderate wounds, MW Breastplate, MW heavy wooden shield, +1 Morning star, 3 Javelins, copper arm band 30gp)

Traveling further: “The corridor turns abruptly to the south here, next to a shallow alcove to the north. A large marble statue of stunning design stands in the alcove, depicting a female Azlanti warrior poised with spear raised. Rarely are such works of art found, and even more rarely in such pristine condition.”

Hal prepares to slap a ‘MINE!’ sticker on it, but not before Seralya spots a glimmer off of a trip wire. “Wait!” Hal takes a moment and centers himself and finds himself suddenly able to disable device with a little help from his friends. He discovers that if the statue were touched or anyone passed in front of it, it would have resulted in the spear swinging a wide swath from west to east and exploding a glyph of warding (and would have destroyed the statute). With a little study, the party learns that it is a very ancient and very rare statue of Savinth herself, carved in her lifetime, worth around 10,000gp.

XP: 12,000/4 for disarming the trap/glyph and not destroying the ancient treasure = 3,000/player.

The party presses on: "The corridor widens to form a small cave here. The floors and walls are marred by numerous scratches, and the well-gnawed bones of various animals are scattered across the floor. The air is heavy with a thick, animal stench.”

They find two girallons chained to a wall at the end of a hallway. Darve shouts heroically, “We come in peace!” In response, one of the chained girallons slings some compacted poo at Darve who deftly deflects it with his missle shield feat. Seralya then presses the discussion and finds out that they are kept as pets for ‘their boss who is behind this wall.’ They are more than happy to flee the area if released. A brief discussion and they are released whereby they sprint for the exit, but not before one of them steps in the punji stake trap and howls in pain…in common.

XP: For releasing the Girallons 20,000/4 = 5,000/player.

The party buffs and readies themselves for whatever lies behind the door. Hal triggers the door and moves further in: “Some effort has been made to dress and smooth the walls in this series of chambers. A couple of rough benches lie along the walls, and a lantern sits atop a barrel, giving off a smoky glow.

A darkened opening lies to the south, but to the southwest another chamber flickers with lamplight.”

Through Hal’s tremor sense and Serlaya’s true sight, the party quickly finds a Roper and the Kaava Bush Devil from her visions.
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Battle ensues, a pit froms, threats are made, black tentacles erupt ensnaring and harassing much of the party, glitter dust flies, ice falls and entombs, and fire eventually erupts. Quick work is made of the devil as Hal senses more vibrations of something large in the adjacent room.

Meanwhile, slowly but surely, at a zombie’s pace, Mr. Roper climbs up the pit only to be put down in mocking fashion.

XP: 19,200/4 for Mr. Roper = 4,800/player
38,400/4 for the Kaava Bush Devil = 9,600/player

Loot:
From Kaava: Potion of Cure Serious wounds, Rhino Hide armor, Amulet of Nat Armor +4, Boots of Striding and Springing, 2x copper arm bands worth 30gp each.

“Dozens of candles stand on recessed stone shelves lining the walls of this chamber, many of them burnt down to puddles of dried wax, the rest providing a dim, flickering illumination. An opulent bedchamber and sitting area have been created here on a grand scale out of stolen furniture, crates, and camp gear; the room contains a huge bed draped with netting, a large table cobbled together from crates, and shields and pieces of armor set out as dishes and serving platters.”

In the room: 25x gold ingots worth 100gp each, bag of gold dust worth 850gp, 2x sparkly bracelets worth 300gp each, Small chest with various gems and coins worth 150gp, and a cracked brass horn that glows magical (and mysterious—just begging someone to blow on it!).

The dividing wall that separates the party from the final chamber drops as a Derhii scout steps forward to make war. Behind him: “This room almost defies description. A large stone block stands in the middle of the room, and upon it stand a total of seven rough crystal prisms, each approximately three feet tall. Disembodied brains of various sizes hang suspended in the center of six of the crystals. Copper coils and wires run from lead caps atop these prisms to a large copper vat full of a bubbling green liquid. Additional copper leads extend from this vat to a nearby box of strange, oily metal, humming with energy and capped with two short pillars coiled tightly with copper strands. A small gold platform sits between the two pillars.”

VOM__Brain_Thing.jpg

Stymied by the protection from evil dropped on Hal, the Derhii scout, or rather the mutated intellectual devourer/sorcerer inside of him, fails to make a feeble mind spell stick, and then struggles to combat the overpowered game whored summoner and his pet, eventually almost falling to the opportunistic blade of Dave—saved only at the last second by his blur (Dave makes an inner vow to get his eyes checked soon). It dimension doors out to regroup and heal, but before he gets a chance, Seralya tracks him and zeros in on him and Hal storms in to finish him off—missing with the first strike (due to blur), but explodes him with the next swipe!

Study reveals a ‘mad scientist’ type lab with crystalline tubes and gooey brain remnants floating about inside. One intact brain remains—dun dun dunnn!!!

XP: 2,400 for the Derhii Scout/4 = 600/player
51,200/4 for the brainiac/4 = 12,800/player
Loot:
From the Derhii scout: +1 Falchion and 10 shiny javelins

From the brain: 7x crystalline prisms worth 2,000 each, various mechinations and lab minerals worth 5,000gp, and a portable hole which has an alchemists lab inside, and 4 Azlanti crystals with the rune of wealth.

13 Prestige points earned from this module/player.

From the module: “Once the PCs have recovered all six of the focusing crystals, it is a simple matter to repair the portal in area B13. With the circuit complete, the mural becomes a fully functional two-way portal between that chamber and area B14. From there, the PCs can finally venture into…‘The Thousand Fangs Below.’”

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The Simian War

2014-6-23 PF: The Simian War

Darve and Davor, through some quickly purchased and quaffed invisibility and haste potions, rapidly communicate with the survivors and residents of the surrounding districts their need to take up arms and fight to defend their own or become naked abused slaves of the bigoted gorilla king, servant of the demon lord Angazhan.

Through Darve’s diplomatic skills, a la, Mel Gibson in Braveheart,
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he stirs the hearts of the people (32), unevolved serpent folk (nat 20), and boggards (26) to fight in spite of their fears or lack of martial skills. His high-minded ideals and stirring speeches didn’t, for some reason (nat 1), reach the prospectors and merchants in the different districts. They had better pray that the Gorilla King is defeated or they will become the new chairs for the new Lord of Saventh-Yhi.

As the others continued to prepare for war, Darve also succeeded in meeting with the Radiant Muse. In trying to communicate and reach agreement with her, he couldn’t help but be reminded of his time with Juliver the way the insane muse bounced about from one mood and thought to another. Employing all his diplomatic training (30), she agreed, when the time was right, to take to the air and demolish any Derhii scouts whose thrumming had been, in her own words, “driving me to the brink of sanity.”

Davor along with Darve and the leaders of the dispatched Sargovan government reinforcements come up with a cohesive multi-pronged battle plan using all available assets, buffs, and pawns to hopefully rid Saventh-Yhi of the newest interlopers.

An hour before dawn, the first wave of attackers move out with Darve riding conspicuously with his banner at the front of an impressive, if not unusual collection of boggards and serpentfolk. They advance along the northern shore of Lake Hirilaka approaching the now overrun mercantile district.

Ruthazek spies and scouts immediately report the advance to the Gorilla King. Enraged by the violation of their ‘honorable’ agreement, Ruthazek releases the whole weight of his winged Derhii scouts to rain death from above as a portion of his lesser monkey and ape foot soldiers move in to engage their enemy.

Before the winged scouts are able to reach the oncoming motley group of frogs and snakes, a hideous laugh echoes from the darkened sky as the lead scout plummets to earth with a sickly thud laughing manically all the way down. From her airborne greater invisible sphere, the Radiant Muse releases her 5 waiting giant mantises that drop down upon the surprised flying gorilla scouts. With combined charms, holds, and her powerful bow and devastating magically imbued arrows few boggards and snakes are slain as the Derhii scouts are whittled down until none remain. With Darve leading the charge both lines of serpent folk and boggards clash into the on-rushing ape and monkey fighters. While an unreal cacophony of boggard croaks, Derhii thrumming, clashing armor and swords, screams of pain and death, and ape and monkey hoots and enraged calls fill the air, the Radiant Muse supports from the air with various boosts and heals before becoming bored with the spectacle and withdraws to her district.

Many fall on both sides, but the battle is still slightly favoring the ‘allies’ as they press further into the Gorilla’s mercantile district. With the reports coming back to the king, both through soldiers and the dying Derhii scouts thrumming, the enraged Gorilla King whips himself into a fury as he commits the rest of his reserves into an all or nothing counteroffensive to try and drive the challengers into Lake Hirilaka. An impressive collection of dire apes and frenzied charau-ka thunder through the streets and across the rooftops in a maddened and raging attack.

The second wave of allies including; veteran Sargovan troops, (including; a crack sniper team), Nyles and his most able warrior priests and clerics, and the rest of the party push into the fray.

The momentum remains with the allies, as the truly frightening power of Hal is released with abandon on the hapless foes.
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Darve and Davor press in on the edges of the point of the spear pressing further towards a collision with the now thundering Gorilla King. Having left all semblance of sanity he has entered into a blood lust crushing anything in his path with his bare hands and mauling with his bite.

While all out war still writhes around the party they come face to face with the Gorilla King who bellows, “Meet your doom, pinkskinned liars and cowards! I will have your bones for my throne!”

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