At the conclusion of a tearless funeral for Juliver, a half-orc named Davor stepped up and introduced himself to the group with an official introduction from Jimbob the Sargavan governments emissary that arrived with a fresh garrison of troops into Saventh Yhi.
After Seralya’s standard ‘warm’ witchy welcome and refueling and healings at the hand of Nyles’ temple works, the party headed out to the second to last vault, which will come to be known as the Lair of Illaghri.
Greeting them was some boxed text: “A yawning cave mouth opens in the side of a stony bluff, revealing only inky blackness inside—with perhaps a hint of a dim light source somewhere deep within. Shreds of dirty webbing hang from the entrance, billowing slightly in the faint breeze like tattered death shrouds.”
Pressing in further, still more boxed text: “A wide cavern opens beyond the entrance and extends deeper back into the bluff. More shrouds of tattered webbing dangle from ceiling and walls, and lie scattered among the dried bones of assorted creatures in untidy heaps upon the floor. Larger clumps of webbing hang from the walls, the shrouded forms of animals just visible within—small jungle deer, a large river turtle, a feral pig, and occasionally the more ominous shape of a humanoid form.”
As Hal pushed further into the cavern he was set upon by a gargantuan corpsespun sarcosuchus enrobed in webs with spiders spilling from where the eyes should have been. Any strike from the beast or into the beast with natural weapons resulted in instant spider swarm transfer.
Chomp, chomp and the undead dire croc prepared for a death roll before Hal teleported away from harm. A charge from the cavalier and hits from the rest, including the new half-orc mercenary fell the spider-filled monstrosity. The death blow results in a tidal wave of tiny spiders that flow and scurry into the drifting webs that coat the cavern.
Seralya investigating further finds that at least two of the ‘humanoid shapes’ are desiccated baboons.
Pressing further, Darvan and the Merc (rolling nat 20s) spot amongst the boxed text:
“This vast chamber rises to a height of 80 feet, its ceiling supported by two massive columns. Fluttering draperies of old webbing cover the walls and columns in tattered, dusty brown sheets. A massive formation of ghostly gray webs, woven together to form a gargantuan nest, fills the entire western portion of the room. This webbing rises all the way to the ceiling and continues across the ceiling of the entire chamber. The floor is awash in old bones and bits of rancid debris from living creatures that apparently met their demise here.”
…both ‘a sheet of nearly invisible webbing stretched across it just waiting to entrap intruders’ and high on the ceiling, almost blending in perfectly with her astral webbing, “Illaghri a cantankerous old corpsespinner, a giant spider from the Astral Plane that resembles a gigantic tarantula with bone-white fur and bands of gray and silver around her legs. She also bears skull-like marks on her thorax. Her eight eyes are stark white globes. Illaghri is not particularly hungry at the moment, but she is highly aggressive and territorial…
Before the group can really engage her, four corpsespun boggard thugs come out from behind the pillars in the back of the cave. With a combo of disturbing croaking and puking of spider swarms they amble forward to engage. The spiders bringing poisonous infection which breed weakness and distraction, the group fell them with a combined magics, spiked pits, straight combat, and acrobactics from the newbie.
The hasted cantankerous spider dimension doors (quickened) behind Rodrick and bites him repeatedly until he becomes a temporary potato causing Hal to poof before she dimension doors away.
She then attacks again from the rear 60’ or so away on the ceiling using an incredibly annoying stream of astral webbing meant to entangle her foes before closing for the kill. As she moves forward, Davor the half-orc remembers that he can turn invisible to a greater extent and does so as she closes in on Darve.
Seralya successfully greases the already gitterdusted spider’s grip to the ceiling resulting in a 30’ or so fall and Illaghri being supine for one round. That’s all it really takes for Darve to rain blows down upon her and his mighty steed, Bree to crit bite and stomp her for a bit more, while Davor drops his one hand monkey grip from the ceiling and drives his axe into the exposed thorax of the big nasty.
Having dropped her below 20hp, she plane shifts away instantaneously…perhaps to fight again another day.
A calm falls over the battle field…or cavern floor, as it were.
Corpsespun Sarcosuchus XP: 9,600 9,600/4 = 2,400/player
Corpsespun Boggard Thugs XP: 4,800×4 19,200/4 = 4,800/player
Illaghri XP: Goose egg
Treasure: 90gp 4 Blue Crystals with the Azlanti rune of Righteous Anger
The boggards also all wore copper arm bands with the stamped image of the Maka-yika gang from Seralya’s forth-telling dream.
I forgot to mention that Seralya also found searching the webs a ‘gnarled old branch’ which was in, fact, a Staff of Necromancy: Aura strong necromancy; CL 13th Slot none; Price 82,000 gp; Weight 5 lbs.
This staff is made from ebony or other dark wood and carved with images of bones and skulls mingled with strange spidery runes. It allows use of the following spells:
Davor inexplicably throws Rodrick over his shoulder and hoofs it back towards the residential district, the party follows suit, only to have the air around them erupt with the ominous thrumming of 25 or so Derhii scouts, led by none other than the formerly parkeetified scout from the previous encounter.
With no weapons drawn, the scouts land with a uniform thawomp on the jungle floor. The ape with two parakeet feathers rising incongruously from the crown of his ample dome crosses one huge hairy fist across its chest and bows slightly to Seralya and in a deep rumble proclaims, “The honor of your presence has been requested by mighty Ruthazek, Gorilla King of Usaro. Echoes of your exploits have reached his ears and after sending us to test and see your strengths, he has deemed them to be accurate and wishes to meet you. We ask you to allow us to escort you to our camp in the mercantile district to dine with mighty Ruthazek tonight.”
Wishing to stop the advancing (DC 27 fort) poison from coursing through Rodrick, the group agrees on the condition that they be allowed to take their ailing friend to the temple in the residential district. The scout agrees so long as 8 are allowed to accompany them so as to not return empty-handed to the King.
Seralya agrees to the demand, talking over the perhaps overzealous new party member Davor who was saying something, so long as parakeet ape is one of the eight. With a slightly nervous and perhaps exasperated exhaled, ‘Harumph’ the parakeet ape agrees.
upon arriving in the residential district, Nyles begins immediately to stabilize and reverse the damage to Rodrick while the other party members are healed and tended to by the acolytes of the temple. All rapid haste is made to prepare as best they can before moving on to the newly established camp on the northwest side of Saventh Yhi to meet with the Gorilla King.
As Darve, Davor, and Seralya move in procession towards the camp they spy a plethora of ever thickening number of charu-ka, derhii, girallion, dire apes, and assorted other poo slingers—many armored and armed, many not.
At one end of the camp a large pavilion has been set up, where a massive sliver backed ape sits upon a throne of stone, bone, and gold.
As the party approaches, a broad smile stretches across the Gorilla King’s face as he rises to greet them as joyous whooping erupts. The mighty gorilla moves his arm slowly to one side and silence falls across the gathered primates.
In common he rumbles, “Welcome, mighty warriors. I have been watching you for some time and have looked forward to this meeting. I am honored that you have come—let us eat!” With a mighty chest thump the naked human slaves scurry forward and drop to all fours, two by two, to form chairs for the party and the gathered primate nobility.
A feast it brought forth by more naked human slaves consisting of: “fresh monkey brains and a bloody soup of eyeballs and wild onions, This is followed by raw hippo slab steaks with blood sweat sauce, along with a side of pan-seared botfly larvae glazed in honey. The final course is a rare treat of ice-chilled vegepygmy pulp seasoned with cinnamon and roasted coffee beans.
Prodigious amounts of sour plantain wine are served throughout the feast. The ape courtiers have no problems consuming this fare, but PCs [except Davor the half-orc, who does not find the meal that bad] that do so must make a DC 18 Fortitude saving throw after each course or become sickened for the next 1d6×10 minutes. Failing two or more saves results in becoming nauseated for 1d6×10 minutes.
As dinner is served, the Gorilla King explains that the great Garundi kings of old settled things in a civilized manner in order to avoid undue bloodshed and destruction (a DC 21 Sense Motive reveals that the Gorilla King actually doesn’t mind bloodshed and destruction, but he is relishing his role as the sage ruler at the moment). Instead, matters were settled by determining who was most worthy through contests of strength and skill. The contests that Ruthazek proposes are a test of strength, a test of storytelling, and a test of combat—the PCs must succeed at two of these contests for the Gorilla King to recognize their claim over Saventh Yhi."
After the meal is concluded and discussion among the three party members it is decided that the best approach might be Darve trying for a Story telling skill challenge based in diplomacy. With as much flourish as possible Darve tells a grand story involving maidens, heroics, and pigmy dances. The multiple levels and deeper meanings of the satirical tale are lost on the poo-slingers and as his riveting story draws to a close it is met with a thunderous round of silence with only one distant cricket chirping…failure…sigh. Tough crowd, should have stuck with limericks or Larry the Cable guy jokes.
Next was a test of combat, the Gorilla King against a buffed and hasted and magicked Darve. He soundly defeated the King in about 12 seconds and there was much rejoicing…amongst the party anyway..as a lone poo ball hit Darve in the back of the head in protest.This was followed by the feats of strength. The King snatched up a bundle of 6 human femurs and with a mighty bellow he snapped them like so many match sticks. “Now, you do!”
With all available buffs poured into Darve along with a quickly summoned Nyles who promptly slapped Darve on the arse for luck, he gripped the bundle of femurs in both mighty hands and with a determined glare on his face he gave it all he had, but with only two femurs bending and cracking the test was a failure.
The party was unceremoniously escorted from the camp with the Gorilla King laughing and whooping and repeating, “Be gone by sun up or face my wrath and the wrath of my worthy army! Uphold your end of the bargain! Saventh Yhi is mine and all the treasure it holds will be mine forever more! Be gone you hairless, pinkskins!”
Fade to black.
Sorry, as per the module, XP only given on success. Therefore, another Goose-egg.
The position of the entrance marked in the map room for the final vault is unfortunately located within spitting distance of the Gorilla King’s camp. You will need to find some way to get into the vault and/or protect the more innocent occupants of Saventh Yhi from becoming slaves or victims to the advancing gorilla army.
With the emissary from the Sagavan government reinforcements of 50 soldiers and ample supplies have arrived with promises of more to arrive soon. Unfortunately, the approach route for people entering Saventh Yhi is right through the Gorilla camp and with all the scouts and assumed spies around it would most likely end with a blood bath for people walking into ambushes. Even now, Derhii scouts can be seen circling in the skies over the residential district.
You guess the number of Ruthazek’s army to be somewhere around 200+/- strong.
Hopefully, you guys can come up with a plan before we meet next time. We might be able to do it online via email depending on what you decide to do. There is one more vault and depending on how quickly/slowly that goes I will have one more session before JohnS takes over (yeah!)
Oh, btw, a note delivered by the Sargavan emissary was hand delivered to Darve with PaoPao’s wax seal stating that his demands in the Tien civil wars preclude him from returning but he is sending one of his most trusted soldiers to join you and hopes you receive him as you would have PaoPao himself. You will recognize him by his diminutive size, blue skin, pink hair, and his floppy white hat and battle axe. Although short in stature he is not lacking in piss and vinegar and gold (he comes bearing a token of PaoPao’s appreciation—and illicit drug trade gains—to the tune of 10,000gp to add to the party’s coffers.)