Mountain of Mystery Part II
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This is the second page of the Mountain of Mystery campaign session summary thing. I have managed to write so much that it's spilling over uncontrollably and for this I apologise. The thing is, the campaign was running for two year so it got a bit messy...
This page starts with the events shortly after the party reach the Mountain and continues from there. Again, it consists of the old pages from the Latest page. Any comments on sessions from players and readers alike are very welcome (and indeed would be gratefully received), and I will probably post them up if I like them enough. Mail me at: firstname.lastname@example.org or any other address you know I'm at.
- Once the dust from the fight had settled, Sarah went into the ante chamber with the dead man in it and had a rummage: her search brought to light very little, although his solid gold trophies caught her thieving eye... Meanwhile Morwen found some scrying glasses that seemed to show systematically all the corridors in the building but unfortunately nothing too exciting.
- A little while later the party ventured into a new area where they found some grey doors they couldn't open and a red door they could. In the red room they found various things: some healing sprays, some food and some strange coins with white semi-circles on them. They moved on.
- Through the course of the day they wandered through room after room, getting attacked by three bands of vegepygmies, a lurker and a displacer beast in the process. Some of the rooms contained corpses and they managed to pick up a wide assortment of keycards as they rummaged and looted the bodies and rooms. In several of the fights, the vegepygmies were reduced to screaming heaps, but no one knew why, while the slightly dazed Sir Kheldar seemed to be wading through the opposition, despite a talent at sword throwing. Sarah picked up a vast collection of things, until her pocket of holding could hold no more and her backpack was beginning to burst at the seams. Marcus was running low on magic but held his own surprisingly well with his battle-axe, despite a close shave with the lurker, while Morwen, excelling in the first fight, was forced to take more of a back seat in the following combats (much to her chagrin) due to her spear's ineffectiveness against the walking plant people. arkh-Shamier'yv fought well but aside from pressing all the buttons on everything (and activating Star Wars Episode III in the process) he did very little, and Sisski followed them everywhere, with a little bemused smile on her face. Cats!
- They decided bed down in one of the rooms: to recuperate from the day's exploration and with the hope of filling in the rest of the map the following day.
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- Sarah and Morwen decided to take the opportunity to use the bathing and showering facilities provided by the facility and then the party settled down for the night. Morwen struck up conversation with arkh-Shamier'yv, which proved to be very interesting as he explained that he was in fact half-Ashaba (the race that Inisrya is) and half-Eleurian: effectively half-angel, half-daemon. Apparently his mother was raped and hence he exists. He explained that he had been in a great war, and that there had been 5 races fighting in it: the elves, the Eleurians, the Ashaba, the Scythes and the Scourges, although there were other races around at the time, they didn't really get involved. He told them that there had not been any dwarves or half-elves or humans around then and that as soon as the war ended he fell into a deep sleep and he didn't know why, nor why he had woken up again. Sarah listened into a lot of the conversation and joined in after a little while, finding out that arkh-Shamier'yv was in fact a psionicist and could affect things with his mind (hence all the screaming vegepygmies).
- The next morning, while out getting food, Sarah and Sir Kheldar encountered a dog made of brambles, but it ran past them without paying them much attention. They decided to move on swiftly and found a room containing a tree that was budding with 8 inch buds. Thinking the tree was the vegepygmy's breeding mechanism, Sarah and Marcus destroyed it but Sisski got upset and it transpired that the tree did in fact give life to the thorny dog things. They managed to save a handful and arkh-Shamier'yv took them down into the garden with some food so that they would survive.
- They continued to search each room but found themselves fighting some displacer beasts and many vegepygmies, despite Marcus' discovery of the mold men's immunity to lightning. They even found a pair of giant spiders whose webs arkh-Shamier'yv burnt but upon reinvestigation the spiders were soaking wet and very angry. Eventually they fought the vegepygmy king himself, who managed to poison both Kheldar and Sisski before Morwen took him out with her flame spear. The dying pair were rushed to the medical android who helped Kheldar but ignored the hapless cat and so Morwen had to refix her spells (a difficult process in the mountain) to save her.
- While Kheldar was being tended and Sisski was recovering, Marcus watched over them while Sarah, Morwen and arkh-Shamier'yv continued to look around. In their travels they managed to awaken a stone golem that would have killed the trio if not for the healing sprays they had picked up as none of them could do the monster any significant damage. Once it was dead they were not happy to find that the room it was guarding was filled only with half-finished sculptures...
- They walked through the corridors, filling in the doorways on their map and occasionally catching glimpses of a lone vegepygmy with a sack wandering the corridors...
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- As Sarah, Morwen and arkh-Shamier'yv were returning to the medbay to meet up with Marcus, Sisski and the recovering Sir Kheldar, Sarah asked the others if they were willing to come to the outside door with her so that she could empty her minor pocket of holding of all its jump-suits so she could fill the remaining space with healing sprays. Morwen and arkh-Shamier'yv agreed and so they went back to the main door instead. On the way they met up with a strange man in a dusty coat, who introduced himself as Sep, a priest of Ercan, god of fire and wrath. Morwen was rather cold with him, but aside from that he managed to tag along with the party without too much difficulty.
- While the party were talking to Sep, they discovered that he believed the date to be about 2 months later than the party believed it to be. Upon leaving the facility (Sarah emptied her pockets) they discovered a thick layer of snow upon the mountains and in the crater and they found that the old man and the horses had gone, and had been gone for about a month. Morwen informed the party that there was a time distortion in the area and demonstrated this by throwing a snowball into the facility. The group watched as the snowball's velocity slowed to a crawl and eventually it hit the ground. From simple maths they found that a day in the facility was a month in the outside world, and that an eight hour sleep in the cave meant that only half an hour passed within the facility. Mental cogs started whirring.
- The group returned to Marcus and Sir Kheldar and reported their findings before heading off to explore the remainder of the first level, which they succeeded in doing, bar a couple of grey areas (tee hee). In the process they found a roomful of vegepygmies who were clustered chanting round a mound in a room. Kheldar Greek fired them and disrupted the ceremony, and caused water to rain down from the ceiling. The combination of water and burning oil was interesting for a while but eventually the fire went out and the 'pygmies returned to their chanting. Kheldar, insisting that the creatures were a threat, wanted to attack them, but the rest of the party wouldn't let him as the mold men weren't attacking them and thus it wasn't fair. Eventually, they moved on.
- They found a few displacer beasts as they wandered, as well as some more spiders and several rooms with corpses in: a room stacked with them and a room filled with metal boxes etched in some kind of a religious way. These had burnt and the people in the room had burnt with them. Sarah retrieved a round thing that stuck to someone's wrist but could find no function for it, while Morwen found a strange bottle-like thing that paralysed people if a strange coin was inserted in it and the handle was squeezed. They then found a room containing (apparently) five members of the crew; however, when arkh-Shamier'yv shook hands with one, it turned into him and revealed it's doppelganger nature. The others were fried by a bolt of lightning and the party made certain that they were toast.
- Following that, they walked into a room occupied by two will' o' the wisps who attacked the party and slew Sir Kheldar with their electrical attack. The rest of the party managed to destroy one but the other fled even as the party were hoping to make a sharp exit...
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- The party left the facility to sleep and returned the next morning, spelled up to the eyeballs, to exact a deadly revenge on the Will' o' the Wisps for the death of their knight. Unfortunately, arkh-Shamier'yv had not heard the plan that had been concocted due to a quick visit to the toilet and so when they attacked the glowing ball, he drove it away with his psionic talents.
- Then the party moved on to the room with the spiders in that they had left for a while, and attacked them to discover that they were in fact phase spiders. Sarah and Marcus were bitten by them, but survived in spite of feeling ill and although arkh-Shamier'yv managed to drive one away with his mental powers, it returned to be butchered by Morwen.
- Having put Kheldar in cold storage in a fridge, they took another break while Marcus, unbeknownst to the rest of the party, investigated 'tween decks and found himself the subject of a psionic attack from a small scuttling thing. When he returned the whole party investigated the level and found no mindflayer rats but did find some wheely sleds (which Morwen had a bit of an accident on), a dead man in grey, a room with hot air that caused mild headaches and a hole in the deck.
- They dropped through the hole and began to explore the next level of the facility, finding it to be mostly cargo holds containing soil, seeds and food, as well as other things in moderation. They also found several growths of vines, which they managed to avoid, a restaurant with a demented metal knight in it that put green-blue sloppy mold on Morwen's head before paying for its insolence with its subsequent death, a set of games rooms that caused first Marcus, the Sarah and then arkh-Shamier'yv to fall ill with headaches and queasy stomachs. Fortunately, they found some strange sprays, like the healing sprays but differently coloured, that helped them to feel better...
- While avoiding the vines one time, some birds that had been hitherto just circling without any special interest in the party, suddenly tied webs around them and laid eggs under the skin of Sarah and Marcus (arkh-Shamier'yv and Morwen escaped this fate by virtue of their unique talents). Although the characters broke free, they had to gouge out the eggs with their own knives, resulting in nasty scarring to the mage and pretty half-elf.
- They also found a blood stain that led them a quarter of the way round the level until it terminated in a night-club -cum-bar- cum-cocktail lounge in the form of a bloodied man in a black jump-suit with an odd weapon, a purple keycard and a pulse. The party rushed him up to the medbay where the strange woman put him to sleep to tend his wounds...
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- Having left the injured man in sick bay, the party decided to clear out the rest of the third level before descending to the fourth. The last room, however, was a large night-club containing a robotic barman who offered them drinks but said nothing else. There were a couple of vegepygmy corpses there but nothing else and so they ventured onto the fourth level...
- They emerged from the lift to find themselves in a section consisting of stairs going down, the dropchutes (which terminated on this level) and some toilets. They decided to make a circuit of the level, avoiding the overgrown bits wherever possible. They found several rooms containing foods and stuff for maintaining animals and kept moving on. As they came out of one of the doors by a dropchute, however, they saw a group of people by the stairs: seven Drow, a half-elf, a human and a half-Drow. The latter three were bound, evidently against their will, and one of the Drow was a small female (unusual, I know) with no armour and a spear.
- Predictably, a fight ensued between the party and aforementioned Drow. First the Drow knocked out Marcus, Sarah killed one but a magic missile or four from the female Drow dropped her. Meanwhile, the prisoners were busy escaping: the human (6'7" and built like a large toilet facility) broke his bonds and was busy punching a Drow while it hit him with it's longsword, the half-elf and the half-Drow joined forces against another one of the Drow: arkh-Shamier'yv was fending off two (his own and Marcus's) although his own lay screaming on the floor for a while. Marcus came round, pulled a laser-type gun out of his backpack and shot the mage with it; Morwen was scared off by a spook spell and when she returned she attacked the Drow mage; Sisski joined in and made short work of Morwen's original attacker while arkh-Shamier'yv finally managed to dispatch one of his attackers. The big guy was doing alright against his foe, while the half-elf and half-Drow were struggling with theirs as between them they had a single knife.
- Marcus and arkh-Shamier'yv managed to kill the Drow on the Eleshai and he ran in to engage the Drow who had just dropped all three of the prisoners. Marcus meanwhile healed Sarah and she in turn healed the big human and the half-elf, who then healed the half-Drow. All through this Morwen and the Drow mage, who was actually a fighter-mage, were busy bashing the crap out of each other. Sisski reduced one of the Drow, who ran away, hoping to confuse his pursuers with a dome of darkness in his wake and while Morwen and the big guy pummelled the female to death, Sarah and Marcus killed the last remaining Drow fighter.
- After the pillaging was done, the half-elf introduced himself as Dale, the half-Drow introduced himself as Jason and the big guy (who was covered in tattoos and only wears a towel, albeit a big towel) said nothing, which Jason explained was normal.
- They moved on round the level, a rag-tag fugitive fleet, past some bats that excreted methane when scared. Eventually they came to the last patch of garden and decided to cut through it to get to the lift. As they did so a badger-sized golden creature with 8 legs and a hungry eye attacked them, latching onto Sarah and killing her outright. The party tried to kill it but it managed to latch onto Dale and kill him, too. Then it turned on arkh-Shamier'yv and he was nearly a goner - the persistent attacking of the party finally paid off as the thing expired and arkh-Shamier'yv was saved.
- After Sarah and Dale's funeral, the party returned to the sick bay to find the man well and sitting up in bed. Morwen cast tongues but before she could talk to him, Jason blew himself, arkh-Shamier'yv and the big guy up by trying to read a spellbook protected by explosive runes. After they had all been healed, Morwen finally got to speak to the man. He was a little nervous and thought they were all some kind of 'freak show' but explained that they were in a ship that went in the sky (their interpretation) and that it had crashed into a planet and most people had been killed. He said there had then been an 'explosion that wasn't an explosion' and all the vegepygmies and stuff had appeared. He also said he saw a 'daemon' with dogs that matched Inisrya's description. A worried Morwen related this to arkh-Shamier'yv.
- The now-sombre party descended to the next level via the stairs to find that it was some kind of entertainment deck, containing a school filled with dead schoolkids, a gym, a swimming pool, a cinema, some cargo holds and a sports hall. And so the search goes on...
There is a transcript of part of this session, viewable here.
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- The party continued their investigation of the ship after lunch, encountering a room containing three fitness androids (a boxer, a fencer and a martial artist) who forced them to fight them. These were dispatched at length, although the party sustained considerable damage. They also found another fitness android who threw weights at them and so they shut him in to avoid the fight.
- As they entered a coffee lounge, a small figure materialised in front of them, followed momentarily by a quarterstaff. The small figure, a 5' ish, slightly green-skinned human with cat-like eyes and a tendency towards foul language eventually introduced himself as Gomez and explained that 'the bitch' had sent him here and stolen his staff, replacing it with a non-magical one. He also explained that 'the bitch' was, in fact, Inisrya, who was now in Orbrid (a little-known nation, across the seas) and that she was still looking for things in caves. The party in turn explained to Gomez roughly what was going on in their estimation and that the place was dangerous so he'd better stick with them. He agreed.
- The search continued, showing up several more cargo bays, a theatre, a beholder (which they wisely ran away from) and a Lurker that dropped on Marcus (again). They also found a hole in the deck that led into a cavern that was definitely not natural and seemed to be lit without lamps (like the ship is). Morwen and arkh-Shamier'yv went down this hole, followed a little while later by the rest of the party, to find a huge cavern that was once a nicely tiled and pillared hall but had been trashed by the ship crashing into it. Also, there was writing on the walls and a black stone thing on the floor with a hole in it, leading to a passage underneath.
- Morwen then explained to the party that this cavern had been made by the gods and the black broken thing was one of the four seals to Hell. The writing in the room pretty much confirmed this. After much deliberation they decided to descend into the hole in the seal (well, it didn't look much like Hell...) and have a nose around.
- Beneath the seal was a tunnel that led off: a very well smoothed tunnel and there were whiffs of sulphur in the air. The party walked down the tunnel, which ended in a spiral staircase cut out of the stone, descending into the depths of the Earth. They decided to keep looking. The stairs descended for 500 feet before ending in a passageway which led into another lit cavern, this one lit by candles, though, instead. Morwen, arkh-Shamier'yv and Sisski entered to find an old elf wearing a log blood-red robe with a symbol on it fast asleep at a desk. The room was filled with books and also contained two desks and a low bed. Morwen woke the elf and, although startled, he introduced himself as Beltar Than'cor, the Keeper of Chronicles. The rest of the party joined them shortly afterward and talked to Beltar for a while as he gave the tea and patiently answered their questions.
- He had been there for 10,000 years, since the war between the gods that had sealed Lucifer and his allies in Hell. He and three others had volunteered to watch over the world, keep the chronicles, and wait for the future... He had been doing this ever since, watching the important events of the world and writing them down. It also transpired that he had acolytes in the world above, those who watched for him and alerted him to important events and that Sisski was one of these watchers. In answer to their questions, Beltar informed the party of the assassination of the dwarven leader, Thax Brandheart, and of the imminent civil war among those peoples. He could not, however, tell them of anything personal to do with the people of the world: their thoughts and intentions were their own. He told them where Inisrya was and where she'd been, although not what she was seeking, and that the war between Shek-Tar and Jandarr was over Sorcerer King Hena's spellbook, which was stolen by the Shek-Tarens thirty years previously. Marcus read a few choice bits of history and made notes to take back to Agatan to show the Guild of the Magi, while Gomez was told that his father (the green-skinned parent) was important to his people. Jason was informed that his father's grandmother was a great priestess of Lolth and Beltar told them that the gate to Hell was just down the corridor leading out of his room. Morwen and Marcus went to have a look and found that it was a great black stone door with carvings in it, highlighted in flame colours (and they wondered of any of the gods were bad artists). After many questions and several cups of tea, they left Beltar alone again and returned to the ship.
- Morwen put a tarpaulin over the seal, with some rocks on it to weigh it down because, as we all know, the minions of Hell are unable to lift tarpaulin.
- Once inside the ship, the party decided that now was the time to leave, so they went to the lift to find 3 Drow had already had the same idea... during the fight the lighting changed to red and distant alarms were sounding (red alert, Star Trek Stylee). They killed the Drow and took the lift to the fourth floor (with the garden on it) where it froze between floors and the party had to help each other out. Then they ran to the dropchute to find it sealed off with a sphincter with a black-skinned arm caught in it. As they reached the next chute, where they had first encountered the Drow, they found five more Drow there: two females and three males. They managed to kill four of them but one escaped into the nearest room: Silent Bob followed her to find a hole in the back of the ship and a tunnel leading away... and a male Drow slumped in the opening. Tiredly, the Drow fired five magic missiles at him and Bob went to get the others, who came in and diced the weary Drow to pieces.
- Having stolen what little he had on him, and found the hole had no metal debris but lots of wood and flesh, the party stopped to think about their next actions.
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- The party decided, despite their tiredness, that they ought to enter the tunnel before them: this was verified by Gomez as the little guy ran off into the darkness, pursued at a slightly more leisurely pace by the rest of the party. The tunnel turned into a ramp spiralling down into the darkness and so on the party ventured, cautious for attacks and traps.
- As they approached the bottom of the ramp, they heard voices up ahead, some speaking commen quietly and others speaking undercommen. Even more cautiously they approached to find a hollowed-out cavern containing two drow and ten humanoids. The humanoids were chained at the feet to each other and then to the wall: the two drow were talking with their backs to the party. Without hesitating the party attacked, almost catching the drow off guard. The fight that followed was won overwhelmingly by the party, but it seemed that the two guards recognised Jason and they both at some point lunged at the half-drow. Before being finished off by his enemy, though, one of the drow managed to alert more drow further up the tunnel by blowing a whistle.
- While Gomez pretended to be one of the slaves and Silent Bob tried to pull their chains out of the walls, two more drow struck, this time with poisoned crossbows, although the only person they hit with them was Morwen and her innate dwarfiness saved her (nor for the first, or last, time) from it's potent effect. Again the party made reasonably short work of the dark elves - they outnumbered them, even if the mages were out of magic.
- The party then talked with the slaves, who told them rather fatalistically that there was no way out and that they didn't dare escape as the drow would kill their wives and children, who they had held somewhere in the Underdark. However one of the slaves, a half-elf called Taloreth (or Tal, as he preferred), decided to join them and find a way out, and so dressed in drow armour and armed with a pickaxe he decided to help them.
- The rested there for four hours when, as Tal had predicted, two drow came looking for the missing slaves. Again the party dispatched the drow and then decided to move on through the passageway ahead, trying to find a way out and a place to rest. The passageway, however, was guarded sporadically by drow, hiding in dark niches, using the power of their cloaks to stay hidden. Using Sisski, they determined whether there were any drow ahead, and then Jason and Gomez would sneak forward and try to take them out. This tactic never worked, however, due to Gomez's inability to walk silently and inevitable the party would end up running in and butchering the drow themselves. A couple of times people went down: Silent Bob and Gomez were both put to sleep with poison, and Jason was badly wounded about twice. Still, at length they reached the end of the passageway - a T-junction. Here Gomez successfully killed one with some kind of laser from the ship, while Jason unsuccessfully shot his and had to be rescued by the party. Unfortunately, this drow managed to alert three other drow and suddenly the party were under attack from 4 drow. As they retreated a little, Morwen cast recitation while Gomez and Marcus pulled out guns and shot at the incoming drow. Remarkably, they managed to kill two and the rest became corpses at the hands of the party...
- 20 dead drow.
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- The party asked Tal where to go and, following his lead, they shuffled up to the next T-junction. They had just passed it when a lone Drow appeared behind them , very calmly walking towards them with his sword drawn. Quickly Gomez took control of his body and made him throw his whistle away - as he did so, he cried out and five Drow decloaked - two behind him and three on the other side of the party. Everyone was caught a little off-guard and a little out of position, and in the fight that followed, Jason, arkh-Shamier'yv and Tal all went down. And during the fight Gomez saw a female Drow wreathed in shadow and radiating malevolence. Afterwards, when they checked over the fallen, it was revealed that Tal was, in fact, dead (his head was no longer attached) and arkh-Shamier'yv was behaving strangely. Jason was alive and well.
- A few minutes talking with the half-daemon revealed that he wasn't really himself - that, in fact, arkh-Shamier'yv was no longer in his own body and in his place was Tal. Despite the strangeness of the situation, and Tal's obvious distress (it's not easy to look at your own severed head) they moved on a quickly came to the place Tal had told them was safe.
- The room contained a single pillar of obsidian, with veins of silver running through it, etched with strange, indecipherable markings. The party passed through this room and found that the tunnel beyond ended in a door that had been barred, bolted and padlocked shut. A quick removal of these seals revealed that the same had been done to the other side. Wanting to get the door open without breaking it, the party argued and eventually Sisski ended the discussion by shrinking the door and its frame so it fell in through the open archway. Beyond the door lay a spider webbed room and the inhabitants thereof, several Driders, came to welcome the party. With their swords.
- The last Drider fled in the face of superior opponents and the party took the opportunity to seal themselves in the tunnel again - Sisski reshrunk the door and then expanded it in the hole while the party held it in place. Morwen used the nap spell to give everyone a decent night's sleep in one hour, but while she and Sisski slept, a group of Drow found the party and asked for their surrender. Marcus quickly blocked of the Drow's access to the party by causing a cave-in, and then Morwen, upon waking, placed a glyph of warding in their way, to slow them down. They then went through the door to find a slightly loopy female Drider waiting for them. They dispatched her, and the last male, but decided to leave the young one alone. They quickly explored the cavern, finding a lot of spiders, much to Jason's horror, and some water. The water didn't appear to be a way out, no matter how much they wanted it to be.
- Eventually the Drow attack came: they burst through the door and Marcus fireballed them, killing four slaves in the process. The group consisted of four, slightly toasted male Drow, a female warrior and a priestess of Lolth. The males caused problems but were ultimately dispatched: the female warrior was tough and held out for a long time, maiming several members of the party before falling to the ground in a pool of her own blood. The priestess, however, was a force to be reckoned with: what with protection from good and battlefate she was almost unhittable: she blinded Silent Bob and even Morwen had to be pulled out of the fight once, having been struck down. Eventually, Marcus struck on the idea of web, which proved successful and eventually she too suffered the fate of her fellow Drow.
- All attempts to dispel the blindness on Silent Bob failed, and so the party settled down to heal and rest and analyse their difficult situation...
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- The party rested a while and eventually managed to dispel Silent Bob's blindness, but they felt unsafe and at last decided it was time to venture out. The corridors were quiet, but parts were lit, so they followed the lights... into a botched ambush, as it happened. The party killed a couple of guards and found themselves in a corridor with a door and a T-junction. Silent Bob pulled a lever and killed a hundred women and children (and several drow) by dropping rocks on them - tut tut. The rest of the party opened the door to find 10 Drow (the part of the ambush group designed to cut the party off from behind). Some of the party stayed to fight, others ran... Silent Bob ran into the Slave cave where he accepted defeat at the hands of a drow mage and a dozen warriors. The other all became victims at the hand of Drow poison... even Morwen. Sisski escaped.
- They all awoke, bound, in a small room (an anteroom to the Temple of Lolth, as it turns out). There a priestess of Lolth informed them they were to be sacrificed to Lolth for daring to kill drow. Not happy with this solution, the party waited for one of the two guards on them to leave the room, and then they attacked the remaining guard, killing him brutally. When the missing guard returned, they jumped him and killed him too. Then, armed with the stolen equipment, they ventured out of the room, along a corridor whose floor was made of the shells of spiders... creepy.
- They met resistance in the corridor, and fought hard but in the end, although they won, most of the party were seriously hurt. So it was that Silent Bob and Gomez went off to find the party's equipment, while the others rested up and healed.
- Silent Bob and Gomez did indeed find the party's stuff - but not without incident. They threw a Drow down a well (twice), found the treasure room, found a vampire drow-slayer called the Shadow and then the equipment. But not the cat. They quickly rescued the party, equipped them and went to the treasure room... which was trapped and turned Gomez to stone. Fortunately, Silent Bob reversed the effect and so the party stuffed their pockets, pouches and bags and ran for it, alas leaving Sisski behind.
- The Shadow knew a way out, so led them to the surface, where they were very relieved to breathe real air. At this point Silent Bob spoke and explained that he could speak and was going to stay in the Underdark with the Shadow and fight Drow. Then he and the Shadow left. Marcus also announced his plans to return to the Jandarr Empire and took his leave of the party.
- It transpired that StormTop had collapsed at some point, so Morwen, Jason, Tal (in arkh-Shamier'yv's body) and Gomez (the remaining party) went to have a look. Satisfied that it was smaller, they headed for Hal-den. On the way they were attacked by a wereboar, three neogi and an umberhulk. They also took an opportunity to scry on various folk: Inisrya appeared to be on the road and quite pregnant, with Corman at her side with his two dogs and Gomez's stick. They saw Angor in a pub, Quistin showed only blackness, as did Sisski; various other people appeared to be alive and well, as they should have been.
- Upon reaching Hal-den, they found that Allundi (the centaur) had stayed there and built a farm outside the walls of the city. This farm had prospered and grown in the months that the party had been away for. Morwen told Allundi about Sarah's death and they erected a monument to her and Karl, burying their coat beneath a sign dedicated to them. Morwen visited the temple of Iaphre while Gomez, Jason and Tal snuck into the abandoned section of the city and stole several books and a keg of wine.
- Morwen used dimensional folding to travel to her brother's location (which she scryed out) and rescue him from his underground imprisonment, which had lasted nearly 18 months. She then transported the party to Adag'ban, which caused a few problems as they appeared inside the city and non-dwarves are not permitted... suffice it to say that when they ended up on a mountainside, they weren't surprised. They decided to scry out Angor and Quistin when they were attacked by ogres. These they defeated relatively easily (with the loss of a few sling stones and without the use of psionic powers) and they were then found by a young half-elven chap with a shiny sword. He introduced himself as Louis de Lioncourt and chatted to the party.
- Morwen managed to get the scrying spell to work and they had a look at their various friends and enemies. Upon seeing Corman, Louis got rather angry and declared that Corman had killed his parents. The party barely had to say that they were seeking Corman and Inisrya when Louis was on board and coming along. They managed to look at Angor in a pub and decided that Morwen and Louis should transport to Agatan in the early hours of the morning to find the other party members. This they did but spent quite a while searching for them, finally catching up with them outside the Institute of Magic.
- Transporting all of them back to the mountains, they talked a little of plans and were then assailed by four goblins and two trolls... these they despatched fairly efficiently and then returned to planning. At this point, High Priestess Morgan, from the Temple of Iaphre in Hal-den appeared and told them Morwen had to return with her and not go on this quest. However, she did tell them of a thing called the Ship that Sails on Land and Sea, that might aid them and that they should seek one who could help them in a nearby town.
- So it was that she transported them to the outskirts of the town to find one Hayle Darkcloud about a fabled ship...
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- At Gomez's behest, the various members of the party explained their experiences with Inisrya and Corman: Gomez told them of his run-in a month back in Orbrid while Louis told them that Corman had killed his family. Angor and Louis had a bit of an argument about Angor not wanting Corman's dogs killed but it all blew over and at length they wandered into the town to have lunch and ask about Hayle Darkcloud.
- They found out where he lived and went there to ask him if he would help them: he was a little reluctant but when his price of 700gps was met without hesitation, he packed a bag and took them up into the foothills of the mountains to summon an earth elemental.
- With the party stood in a protective circle, opposite the summoning circle, Darkcloud summoned Grr'oosch, King of the earth elementals and then handed him over to Quistin of Althas to talk ' about the ship. Grr'oosch was willing to give up the ship but his price was the firstborn son of any member of the party. Everyone agreed, mostly on the grounds that they would probably never have kids anyway, although Louis was a bit unhappy.
- The ship arrived at dawn and was beautiful beyond compare. They boarded and met the 4-man crew: a captain called Captain and three guys who didn't talk. The party dropped Hayle off in Ameril and picked up supplies before setting course for Orbrid.
- The ship was all that was lovely in nature: the essence of harmony. She moved smoothly and about her keel the ground rippled like water. As they were travelling, Jason decided to carve a target into the wall of the most beautiful ship in the world, in order to practice throwing his knives. In the morning, though, the target had gone.
- The travel was easy and uneventful; they passed Hal-den and Allundi's farm and managed to avoid a few towns and travellers on the way. When they reached the mountains they slowed down a bit to navigate them more easily: they saw a great many interesting creatures in the mountain, the most dangerous of which attacked them as they were reaching the edge of aforementioned mountains.
- A huge green-and-red dragon swept towards the ship, breathing a searingly heated gas at those on deck. the ship's sails fizzled and burned, while the party got nicely cooked. Angor, Tal and Louis struck at it, while Gomez tried to change into a thing and Quistin cast a spell. As the dragon turned and came back for another pass, Quistin vampiric touched it (which saved his life later on) and Angor shot at it: Louis in the rigging could only watch as the huge beast flew overhead, grabbing the crewman from the crows nest as it did so. Jason failed to shoot it and Gomez failed to change into a thing.
- It came back for a final pass as fireball, Melf's Acid Arrow, Flame Arrow and poisoned crossbow bolts flew at it and, in some cases, struck it. The creature was looking pretty hurt as it breathed it's heated gas on the ship again, almost killing Louis, Gomez and Jason as it did so. Angor, however, managed to strike it as it went overhead, splitting it open from sternum to bladder and the thing fell from the sky onto the mountainside. A moment later Angor was next to it, hacking off it's head while Quistin chopped little bits off and mumbled about dragonhide armour.
- Tal healed Jason, Gomez and Louis: Jason went below decks to sleep and heal; as did Louis. Gomez, however, turned into a big stone-like version of himself and flew down to where Angor and Quistin were, nearly getting attacked for his trouble. A few hours later, the stationary ship had parts of dragon stowed aboard and the party were breathing a sigh of relief and admiring their new haircuts.
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- While some slept and others rested, Angor and Quistin cut bits off the dead dragon and stored them in the cargo hold. The Captain told Gomez that the ship would heal herself in a short time, so Gomez then asked the party if it was wise to go to Orbrid when they didn't have the full picture about Inisrya's intentions: the party told him it was. Then while the dragon was cut into steaks and eaten, Quistin went off to cast a spell to help them find their demonic enemy, while Gomez stood in the crows nest and shouted at the gods for a while. He got little more than a strong breeze for his trouble. Quistin returned in the middle of the night and set the ship on a new course: Gomez caught him as he sneaked in and badgered him about it until Quistin told him that they were headed for Tyroll in Lanixa, where Inisrya was.
- When questioned in the morning, Quistin explained that he had asked Kedras, the God of Knowledge and Learning, and that's how he knew where Inisrya was. Jason and Gomez then quickly recounted what they could recall of the gods sealed in Hell: Archin, Foria, Mornan, Lucifer and... Kedras. Quistin wouldn't accept that asking a god sealed in Hell where a demon was might be a bad idea.
- They reached Alesia, where they were intercepted by five mounted men. When they got close, the leader explained that they were a border patrol and if the ship didn't stop then they would all be arrested. Well, they refused to stop and so the leader stood on his horse, leapt and grabbed onto the rail and then pulled himself up onto the ship. There he explained, in halting commen, that the ship had to be searched in case they had any illegal things on it; especially something called Mesh. Highly suspicious, the party let him look around and then he gave them some papers and left them alone.
- Three days passed slowly; each day filled with the prospect of walking the horses, running about the main deck, sightseeing or maybe playing marbles and reading. Just before dawn on the fourth day, though, they caught sight of a fight going on around a wagon, so Louis decided to intercept and pretty much while everyone else watched, Louis ran in and attacked. There were two obvious factions: four peasants and four armed man in an insignia-less uniform. So Louis attacked one of the latter. Two of the peasants died and Louis took out an armed attacker while Gomez turned into a 6-ft statue-like version of himself and bellowed at the two guys not attacking Louis. They ran away. Then the remaining guy, who was fighting Louis and a peasant, ran after them, clutching his wounds and vanishing from sight.
- Louis insisted on helping the two remaining young Alesian men, called Mathim and Simon, and managed to convince the party to take them all the way to their home town of Caliphim, about 20 miles and three hours sailing to the north. Just as they were leaving, though, a huge storm hit the ship and from the sky fell a pale-faced man with black hair and black eyes. He explained that he was called Portrathos and he was an associate of the weather elementals, who had transported him to Alesia from Caldium. Quistin offered to put him off the ship at Caliphim, which Portrathos agreed to as he had no real reason to be on the ship at all, and so they travelled and chatted to this strange young man. They were generally suspicious of him, especially his link to elementals, but let him go intact.
- Once Mathim, Simon and Portrathos were gone, the Ship resumed her original course and Quistin explained to Louis that if they were to catch Inisrya (and Corman) then they were going to have to stop helping every poor soul they came across.
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- The ship sailed gracefully away from Caliphim, heading to the south east and leaving behind her Porthrathos' bad weather. The going was plain sailing and for eight days the only things they encountered were a distantly flying draconian shape, some good weather and a village of people waving small Alesian flags and cheering. On the eighth day, at dusk, they reached the sea and decided to remain stationary for the night and continue sailing in the morning.
- It was Louis who noticed that the crew were missing and made a quick search for them: he found the captain hog-tied in his cabin but then the half-elf was set upon by couple of little foot-high men (jermalaine) who clutched onto his shoulders and stabbed him with little spears.
- His sudden empathy with Gulliver sent Louis running down to wake up the party while he and Tal tried to disentangle him from his enemies. This done, Louis explained that there were many little guys in the captain's room and that they ought to take them out. So Tal and Louis assaulted the lower deck of the room and Angor, Quistin, Gomez and Jason assaulted the upper room. There was a big skirmish which the party won; however they were not without injury, especially Tal.
- Then they decided to find the rest of the crew: Louis and Tal searched the cargo hold and found it empty of crewmen, while Gomez and Angor found them in the Galley with two little critters. The critters ran but were cut down in their tracks. At this point, as Angor emerged from the room, the remaining jermlaine threw a net over him from their hiding place on the aft deck. Gomez spider climbed up behind them and attempted to knock them off the rail with his stick, however, most jumped onto Angor and assaulted him while he was vaguely restricted by the net. Louis helped him and all too soon Angor was trying to gnaw the head off the last little guy. This failed, so he just smashed its skull against the deck and tossed it away.
- They sailed the ship south along the coast in search of a town and sure enough, they found one: a coastal port called Zeneb. They slipped into the sea and docked at the quay: the harbourmaster then came over and offered his services as a translator and was accepted. So while Angor went to the Bear and Swordfish Inn to drink a couple of (dozen) pints and have a fight, Louis and Tal stayed to guard the ship and Quistin, Jason and Gomez went to get supplies.
- In the town square however, they found themselves helping out as a little man sprinted out of a sewer grating with a rhinoceros hot on his heels. He was screaming 'It's got my wand!', at which point the people panicked and ran in all directions (including the harbourmaster). Gomez instantly put the rhino to sleep and then Quistin vampiric touched it, injuring it badly and waking it up again. While it rampaged off up the main street, followed by the town guard, a grey blob fell out of the sewer, belched up some gems, and assumed the form of a coiled and poised snake. Quistin prepped his spectral hand and vampiric touch spells, Jason ran in to attack it and Gomez fled for his life back to the ship.
- In the ensuing fight, the two mages found that Quistin's touch spells failed to work, and the creature corroded the blade of Jason's dagger, and then it threw a fireball at him, hitting him squarely. He then had another nasty spell directed at him, but it bounced off his magic resistance (warranting a hushed 'thankyou Lolth' from the half-drow). Burning hands and magic missile had no effect and then a dome of darkness appeared around the creature, engulfing Jason. Quistin fired a fireball into the fray while Jason rapidly levitated out of there.
- As this fight drew to a close, Louis turned up but only talked to the guy who had lost his wand (he was hiding behind an overturned stall) and filled himself in on the details. The blob then disappeared down another drain and the guards managed to kill the badly-injured rhino. Quistin chatted to the fleeing man, who revealed that he was a mage, trained in Devir, the capital of Alesia, and that it had been an unpredictable wand anyway.
- Jason managed to get new clothes at a discount price, Quistin got the supplies and reported the incident to the mayor's office and Louis went back to the ship... Jason did a little thieving and eventually everyone returned to the ship as well: Angor even brought a barrel of ale with him.
- As the ship got underway, an argument broke out between Louis and Gomez because Gomez had run back to the ship shouting 'Get the ship out of here NOW!' and Louis had stopped him and disagreed with Gomez's call. Basically, Gomez had been acting in his own self-interest but he might not have been and Gomez wanted Louis to accept that he may have been right. Louis maintained that Gomez had been wrong and abandoning his friends. The argument went on for quite a while until Angor broke it up by telling Gomez not to run away completely and telling Louis to listen to the instincts of someone else when he didn't have the full facts.
- Shortly afterward, the sea became really choppy and the ship began to rise and fall quite rapidly. Then a man made of sea-water emerged and sprayed the party with foam: the King of the Sea Elementals. He asked a price for the loan of the ship as well: he asked that the party go to and island called Sunward Isle and there free a trapped spirit - the embodiment of nature. They agreed, although they couldn't wangle it so they could do it after they had killed Inisrya, which annoyed them a little. However, Quistin managed to get the Elemental to agree that if they made a good effort to rescue the spirit, and two of them died in the attempt, that then their failure would be adequate price for the ship. Satisfied, the Elemental sank beneath the waves again, leaving the party to ponder on what might have happened on this island.
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Campaign 2: [Next] [Part I] [Part II] [Part III] [Part IV]