Campaign of the Month: March 2016

Ptolus, City by the Spire

Session 12: No Turning Back Now!

30th of Rain, 721 IA

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Well, at least Thorzin got a good night’s sleep.

A few delvers were a bit surly after resting, but they decided against popping open the second sarcophagus to deal with the entrapped undead within.

A return to the West Mines led them to investigate a couple of empty side rooms (just to be sure they weren’t leaving an enemy at their backs), but then it was time to leave the mapped regions and face off against the fish men of the Flooded Mines.

Aendir and Chesh donnned cloaks and hid at the back of the group with their heads down, and Mos posed as the “cultist” head honcho, leading a bunch of slaves to the Deep Temple. The warlock spent a few minutes casting a comprehend languages spell, and they headed out. They first encountered an unpleasant slimy substance that covered everything – floor, walls, and ceiling, and discovered that the slippery stuff stank of fish. There was no other choice but to continue on though, and everyone moved gingerly through the inch-deep layer of gooey slime.

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A deep, metallic CLUNK just ahead stopped them in their tracks. They could just barely see a spearhead jutting from a hole in the wall directly ahead, and realized that it was a ballista bolt pointing directly at them from a murder hole!

A heavily accented voice from behind the wall called out, “Hold or die!” and everyone held while Mos dug out his Ebon Hand symbol. He had a brief conversation in Common with the unseen challenger (and overheard a bit of discussion behind the wall about whether or not to attack), and was told to enter.

And then the delvers moved into Kuo-Toan territory. Beyond the wall was a large hall where eight slimy, fish-headed humanoid guards waited. One spoke a few words of halting Common, then switched to its own strange, clicking and popping language to tell one of the others to fetch someone named Vhaega. Everyone stood around and waited for a while until she arrived. Talk about your awkward silences…

When she did finally arrive, Vhaega Thrinn turned out to be a beautiful, raven-haired human woman who spoke very clear, unaccented Common. Believing their disguises, she welcomed them and asked for the standard 100 gp per traveler fee. She tacked on an additional 100 gp for Kemnebi, though she seemed reluctant to even allow the cat to enter. Mos grudgingly paid, and off they went through the Flooded Mines of the Kuo-Toa.

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Accompanied by Vhaega and a squad of kuo-toan guards, our heroes made their way slowly through the slime-coated tunnels. As they passed other intersecting tunnels, their lights shone down on water-filled tunnels where a few fishy heads occasionally were poking above the surface, watching them pass. A low stone bridge with no side rails of any kind spanned a slow-moving river, and more of the fishmen could be seen in the water below.

And then they found the mines, where kuo-toan guards and masters stood watch over their miner slaves. And Nethwen recognized the familiar face of one of the Company of the Iron Fist. She had a brief, whispered conversation with her “master” Mos, and the halfling then convinced their human guide to let him purchase the poor fellow from the kuo-toa.

Everyone was pretty happy about this, until in the very next chamber they spotted Anton Khatru himself digging in the mine! He spotted Nethwen and, wide-eyed, silently pled for help.

Mos was very convincing in his story-weaving, but eventually managed to buy three slaves: Khatru, the first guy, and their female companion from the reluctant guide. (Mos sweetened the deal by including several Mage Coins.)

They continued on as fast as they could, crossing another bridge and following the river upstream for a time before turning west into another tunnel. Judging by the thunderous roar, a waterfall was just upstream; but beastly roars emanating from the tunnel ahead could be heard even over the river noise.

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In the cavern ahead they saw a large group of Kuo-Toa, Humans, and a strange monstrous humanoid standing in a crowd overlooking a deep pit that filled the north half of the room. The roars were coming from the pit, where a terrifyingly bizarre creature – about fifteen feet tall! – scrabbled in a vain attempt to climb up from the slime-coated pit.

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The kuo-toans were dangling a hapless orc over the pit, taunting the horror below, to the cheers and jeers of the crowd.

Understanding the odds, the heroes had to ignore this scene and moved on. The next room was the northernmost edge of the Kuo-Toan territory, and their escort bid them adieu. Happily, the slime coating everything ended just a short distance up the tunnel, too!

They found a place where they could see an opening in the ceiling above; consulting their map, they climbed up and took a break while Anton Khatru told them the sad tale of the Company of the Iron Fist. The Kuo-Toans had ambushed the delvers, and rather than killing them had seized them for slave laborers in their mines. Two members of that company had already been killed, sacrificed in the name of the fishmen’s mysterious Floating Queen.

The survivors were more than willing to help in a fight, so weapons were shared, and the combined companies moved into the Crypts.

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The very first thing they found was a cavern with writing etched into the walls in at least a dozen languages and limned with faerie fire. The words said “Abandon All Hope Ye Who Enter the Darakhul Empire”. Nethwen had heard whispers of a ghoul empire somewhere far beneath the Necropolis

Consulting their map again, they headed northwest into the Crypts proper, where they encountered a few roaming undead. The battle was brief, but loud. Especially when Thorzin blasted one of the ghouls with his dragon pistol!

But don’t worry. I’m sure there wasn’t anyone (or anything) around to hear the gunfire…

End of Session.

GM’s Notes: Well that was worth the wait! And what’s going to happen when we finally, FINALLY reach the Deep Temple?!! Tune in next time, True Believers!

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Comments

I thought that cruel kuo-toans dangling hapless orcs over pits was bad enough. Frith knows what horrors lurk below in that “Darakhul Empire”.

twigs

Session 12: No Turning Back Now!
UselessTriviaMan

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