Skull and Shackles
Things have gone to hell in a handbasket. I’m still trying to get my head around it. But first things first.
We continued out way and got to a huge cavern. We were looking down upon a strange, alien city from a ledge, over 200 feet above groundlevel. It took some doing climbing down but we got there eventually.
We decided to head towards an enormous ziggurat, and Martin needed to use his survival skills to lead us there through twisting roads and over strange looking bridges. We often had to double back when the city, that looked strangely alive at places, turned itself against us.
When we got there an alien, undead creature was waiting for us. It said it’s name, and I recognised it as an extra planar scholar who’s said to be looking for new types of power in all kinds of strange places. It told us it was looking for a way to unlock the secret to the aboleth’s power to use as it’s own. It wanted to make a deal with us: something from us for information on the city’s secrets. Martin decided to give his magical bow for information on the ziggurat.
Apparently there were three biger kopru in there, and a priest and some worm-like creature it had never seen. I said it might be the worm that supposedly makes the poisonous stone used in creating the shadow pearls. it also said there’s a crater in the city that holds the head of a statue that emanates some magic. It’s probably the artifact the aboleth wants us to kill.
So we went up. The ziggurat was made of some strange purple flesh. On top we saw the statue of the worm I mentioned earlier. I tried a knock spell and the statue slided to the side, revealing an entrance. But all of a sudden I was covered in a mass of flesh, cutting of the air and trying to crush me. I couldn’t move at all but Martin dragged me out.
It took Martin and Kayia both to force open the trapdoor. martin saw a greeting party of three very big kopru and charged in. They were no match for us.
A few trapdoors later we found a throneroom with the priest of Demogorgon. He immediately dominated Martin and Bullet. So I dominated Martin myself and ordered him to engage the priest. Isabella then used a break enchantment spell to counter it all. The priest then yelled ‘water’ in infernal, and water started flowing in, filling the room very fast. I decided to call ‘air’, hoping it would counter this effect. It didn’t work exactly as I hoped for. The water disappeared. But in it’s place an whirlwind appeared sucking in Martin and Bullet. The priest was sucked in seconds later, and Isabella called out ‘earth’. The whirlwind disappeared, dumping all three on the ground, and the throne slided to the side revealing a passage. I cast a spell giving Kaiya a chance to attack the priest before he could do anything and she killed him.
The next room was enormous. there were four pools of a tar-like substance, and I saw a worm diving under in the liquid. Next it dove up near Martin and spit out something that burnt him badly. This took some doing. Bullet got dragged under, Kaiya was spit at. I ended up casting a hast spell and giving the people targetted or dragged into the goo a bit of resistance to the effect hoping it would be enough to keep them alive. Eventually the thing died and immediately the tar began to harden. Isabella managed to drag some treasure out before it hardened completely.
We then decided to go pay the undead scholar a new visit and kill him. He was surrounded my a protective shield and bargained for his life, giving us some more information. But we killed him anyway
We headed to the crater to have a look. There was a brain collector near it. Since the scholar had told us it was trapped here Isabella proposed to send it home. it agreed and she banished it.
The head was indeed the thing the aboleth wished destroyed. We decided to leave it.
Isabella proposed to wait for morning so she could go back inside the ziggurat and prepare a nasty surprise incase the kopru decide to start up the production of the shadow pearls once more.
I then took the bad decision to go investigate the purple flame pillars. In my defense I want to say i’m not a scholar. My knowledge doesn’t come from books but from experience. if i don’t investigate stuff, we don’t get far. But that doesn’t change what happened.
I discovered the flames were emanating evocation magic. Martin touched them and nothing happened. After some thought I decided to try and step in them. There was a flash of light, and next i’m standing on the deck of Charon’s ship. He tells me I was destroyed, he brought me back on isabella’s urging, he’s now my patron since she’s dead.
Apparently the flames were some nasty trap. I was destroyed. Martin stepped in thinking it was some kind of gate and was destroyed as well. The rest investigated and found out what happened. And a divine act was needed to bring us back.
So Isabella brought back Martin and charged him with bringing me back. He had a talk with Asmodeus, but ofcourse he doesn’t have a heart to bring back the follower of Malcanthet and wants a soul in return. He tried to talk a paladin he once knew into signing his soul to Asmodeus. Somehow Martin’s previous patron god got involved and took him back, collected his sould from Asmodeus and changed him back to human. After that Martin ofcourse didn’t want to collect a soul for my sake anymore and Isabella decided to exchange her life for mine!! I honestly don’t get this.
But there’s that. She’s gone and I’m back.
Later my mistress came to complain. I assured her I’m not a follower of Charon. No matter what he said, I never agreed to any deal with him. I dealt with Malcanthet, and I won’t go back on my deal no matter what. She ordered me to throw Charon’s bottle out of the window and so I did.
She then decided to stay the night.
Back in Farshore Martin and Kayia decided to have Isabella resurrected. That failed. Farasma herself summoned us to give us an earful. She flatly told us no. And if we pushed more she would give Isabella back and we would never get a resurrection again. Bullet decided he didn’t want his deal. So he died as well and stayed with Farasma.
And afterwards Charon came to complain as well. He even complained of me throwing away his bottle. Right after he complained of turning back on deals. I told him I never dealt with him but with Malcanthet.
So that’s that. I made a bad call. And I don’t know what to think of it. I can’t exactly say i’m feeling bad about investigating the flames. Like I said, if I don’t investigate stuff we don’t know anything. But I don’t relish people dying in the wake of all of it.
Also, I feel a bit unnerved about Charon’s claim, even if I know for sure I never dealt with him. I don’t know what he can do. On the other hand I know Malcanthet wouldn’t give me up that easily.
And now we’re stuck without a healer. This is going to be fun.