This session was attended by Ave, Trajan, Ben, and Jamie. Will attended via Skype. The session was held at Ave’s house.
Thieves Guild Revolt
After camping out in the box canyon before Kruk-Ma-Kali’s tomb the party woke up. They realized that with Thug dismissed back to Erebos they no longer had a safe way to get past the boulder trap on the stairway to the tomb. Previously, Thug had lifted them over the bad step, but he’d vanished back to his plane. The steps going up to the tomb were four feet wide, so jumping wasn’t possible. Skirting around the steps wasn’t possible either due to the canyon walls at the edge of the stairway. Flying and teleporting were impossible as well due to the enchantments on the tomb entrance.
Terroc suggested a ladder as the simplest solution to deal with the problem step. They could just lay the ladder over the step and walk on their hands and feet over the pressure plate. A new problem arose: no ladder. The group decided to go back to Phoenix for a day and grab a ladder along with other various adventuring supplies they’d realized they needed.
Upon returning to Phoenix, they were immediately called to an Alliance War Council meeting. Apparently, two nights ago the Thieves Guild of Phoenix had revolted. They’d attempted to open the gates to the Xorians and had been preparing a signal fire to alert the Xorians to the undefended condition of the city. The Mercenaries Guild moved quickly to arrest the thieves involved in the revolt. Many were captured, but thieves have a talent for escaping law enforcement. However, the guildmaster was captured. The acting leader of the Thieves Guild is now a man named Yoshimitsu.
The War Council had to decide if it could trust Yoshimitsu. They also had to address the underlining problems that had led to the Thieves Guild’s revolt. Gradorian suspected that because the Thieves Guild revolted because they had no seats on the War Council, but after their revolt how could the Thieves Guild members be trusted on the War Council? A spy on the War Council would be disastrous for the war effort. It was also clear that the Xorians had planted agents within the walls of Phoenix that could communicate plans for attack with the outside. Those minor spies would also have to be dealt with in some way.
The Alliance War Council discussed several solutions. The Thieves Guild could be restructured into an actual Police Guild with the War Council taking a permanent lead of the city. The Thieves Guild could also be entirely liquidated and the Mercenaries Guild could take over police actions. Unsure of which of these extremes to choose, the Council needed more information. The decision hinged on Yoshimitsu’s trustworthiness. Amalius interviewed Yoshimitsu. Amalius threatened the new guildmaster that the War Council could easily promote Tianagi, Yoshimitsu’s immediate junior, and have Yoshimitsu executed if he failed in his responsibilities to Phoenix.
Yoshimitsu said he wasn’t sure if he permanently wanted the responsibilities of being guildmaster so he requested a night to sleep on it. The other order of business was the Innkeeper’s Guild of Phoenix. Bernarda, the guildmaster, came in demanding that the Council pay her 5000GP a month for housing the out-of-town soldiers. These would be the dwarves of Jord, the people of Restnor’s Point, and the knights of Bradel Fields. Jipangu’s army was camped at Shalerton until enough force is gathered to break the siege. Amalius verbally harassed Bernarda until she backed down to 3000GP/month.
During the night Amalius finished The Manual of Military Prowess. He wouldn’t say what he had specifically gained from the text, but he did say he was much more knowledgeable about how to lead and supply an army.
The next day Yoshimitsu was supposed to deliver his acceptance or rejection of the guildmaster position. Instead, he was missing along with his subordinate, Tianagi. The War Council chatted up alternatives for leaders while the party bought their adventuring supplies and headed back to the tomb for the day.
At the tomb the party made a beeline for the room with the Athena statue. Earlier when they took the sword from the statue the wall carvings animated and attacked. Half the war carvings were still there and the party felt threatened. They decided that Amalius would use his retrieve power to snatch the magical banner that Athena held while Preta stood outside of the room ready to blast it with a cone of cold. The plan went fine. The wall carvings didn’t even activate.
The characters messed with the statues in the main room for a bit. They found that they could move, but not easily. They also found that moving them didn’t seem to activate any special clues or traps. They moved on to the door with nine locks. Shez had only prepared one knock spell which unlocks two locks. Not wanting to wait a day they decided that Logan should just blast the door into oblivion again. Aldarian was still pretending to be a paladin at this point. That’s why Aldarian didn’t try to use his Open Lock skill on the door.
Beyond the super locked door were some steps leading down to a large square room. To the left and right were staircases leading further down. Across the room was a pair of cedar doors with silver artwork on them. In the room were four life-sized statues of hamatulas (barbed devils) holding up a giant orange and red orb. Detect magics went off from every caster in the group immediately. The statues and the orb were all evocation and conjuration magic. The party went for the opposite door first. There was no lock on it and it wouldn’t budge to Torin’s shoves. The party decided that the solution was in the vast amount of adventurers supplies they’d brought from Phoenix. A long length of chain was brought out of Terroc’s bag of holding and tied to the door’s handles. Torin, Aldarian, and three summoned apes all pulled on the chain. After a few heaves the door ripped open and the pullers fell backwards under the fiery colored orb.
Then the orb dropped.
The orb broke, exploding in a blazing inferno. The apes all died and Torin was greviously wounded. Aldarian emerged unscathed due to his quick reflexes. To make things worse, one of the hamatula statues was a real hamatula, just waiting to drop the orb and attack. A battle ensued. Torin pulled out his axe and attacked. Preta started testing different elemental spells to see which ones would damage the hamatula most. Amalius tried his best to dominate the hamatula, but kept failing. Terroc summoned some apes. Shez ran and hid. Aldarian reached for his personal longsword, but found himself holding the magic greatsword the group had taken from the Athena statue. Aldarian swung the sword at the hamatula, but found that his strength wasn’t enough to pierce the devil’s flesh. However, the blade would not yield. It drew power from Aldarian’s own body and struck through to cut the devil. Cuts appeared all over Aldarian as he used the blade. Aldarian swung again and almost died from the damage the sword caused to him. Then the barbed devil turned on him and he did die.
Eventually, one of Amalius’s dominates succeeded. A short period of peace set in. Amalius and Preta questioned the devil and found out that it was bound to protect this tomb long ago when the tomb was built. They attempted bribing it to letting them pass, but it refused. They realized that the devil wasn’t going to help them and it would resist every attempt to order it with the dominate spell. Preta prepared a new element spell and let it loose when Amalius dismissed the dominate. The devil was defeated. Aldarian lay dead on the ground for a second time since the party had come together.
Trials, Traps, and Tribulations
The party decided they were done adventuring today, so they teleported back to Phoenix. Aldarian was raised again. The War Council had yet to come to a decision on who to place as the leader of the Thieves Guild. They needed someone who they could trust, but they also needed someone who the Thieves Guild would accept as their leader. Aldarian stepped up at this point and admitted that he wasn’t a paladin. At least, not in the literal sense. He said he had taken the vows, but before doing so he had been a thief. He’d stolen from people all over Cimmeria. He had since reformed, but his thief skills were still strong. He requested that he be made leader of the Thieves Guild. The War Council agreed and Aldarian was declared guildmaster of the Phoenix Thieves Guild.
The party identified the loot they’d gotten from their adventures so far:
- The cursed sword that Aldarian had used was enchanted to always hit, but when it would’ve missed it sucks HP from it’s wielder equal to the amount it would miss by. Furthermore for every type of DR that it’s target has it multiplies how much HP it sucks from its wielder. Amalius took the sword, unsure of what to do with it yet.
- The banner was a minor artifact of Athena. If carried by a cleric of Athena in a battle with troops who follow Athena it gives a few minor bonuses to those troops. It also gives a few minor bonuses to the cleric who holds it, as well as counting as a rod of rulership. Torin was a cleric of Athena, so he claimed the banner. It was stored in Terroc’s bag of holding until needed for battle.
- The black silver dagger that Amalius held was not actually magic. However, it naturally dealt double damage against targets unprotected from cold damage. It was extremely cold to the touch. Amalius kept it.
- The party also had some loot they’d stolen from the hobgoblins bodies, a suit of red dragon scale armor and a wand. The red dragon scale armor provided protection against fire. The wand was a wand of fireballs with only a few charges left on it.
- There were also a pair of huge bracers from Bill the geriviar. They were found to be bracers of armor +6, but still too big for anyone to use.
The party headed back to the Tomb of Kruk-Ma-Kali without Aldarian. They went straight on through the door they’d ripped open The hallway split into a T; however, before the T there was a falling block trap. The block fell down and crushed Amalius and Preta. The party struggled to lift the blocks before all of Amalius and Preta’s bones were crushed. Fortunately, after an agonizing twenty seconds the block went back into the ceiling of its own accord. Torin healed Amalius and Preta’s injuries before they all jumped over the spot the block had crushed to avoid triggering the trap again. At the T the party went left and encountered an electricity trap. They got through the trap easily with a mass resist energy spell cast by Shez.
The left corridor led to a room. The door was opened by Torin and fortunately no traps went off. Inside the room the walls were purple and covered with carvings of purple and pink worms. The door on the left of the room was round and purple with a white handle. The door on the right was black with white runes all over it and a handle shaped like a sword pommel. Opposite the entrance was a giant creepy head with a beak and tentacles coming out of its mouth. The beak was open and beyond it was pure darkness.
The left purple door was opened first. Beyond was just a wall with a symbol of insanity on it. The symbol affected only Shez. He began to attack the party, but a mage with only buff spells is very bad at offense. His most offensive spell was dispel magic. Terroc used a dispel magic to get rid of the insanity and the party went on with their lives.
The darkness of the beak was explored by a summoned dog next. The dog died on the other side under mysterious circumstances. The players decided to send in a summoned creature that can talk, a hound archon (Still a dog). The archon went on the other side and reported a small 10′ by 10′ room. A silver circle was on the ground. Terroc ordered the archon to step in the circle. He suffered electricity damage, but nothing else happened. Curiosity or sadistic pleasure motivated Terroc to tell the archon to step in the circle again. The hound archon did so and died instantly.
The party decided to have a look at the circle themselves. It was indeed a silver circle inscribed on the ground in a small room. No one was brave enough to step in the circle.
The last thing in the room was the door with a sword for a handle. Another summoned dog was ordered to touch it. The dog touched it and went into a coma. The adventurers were surprised by such a quiet effect instead of injuries and explosions. Ever cautious and careful, Terroc summoned an ape. It was able to touch the door’s pommel handle without falling unconscious, but touching the door sent it into a coma as well. Nothing brought the ape out of the coma.
It was decided that the pommel handle was safe, so Torin opened the door very carefully, touching just he pommel. Beyond was a hallway with a locked steel door at the other end. Shez used knock and the party got through. On the other side was a room filled with wooden spikes. There were spikes covering the walls, floor, and ceiling. A quick estimate put the total at more than a thousand. The door on the left of the room was made of wood. On the right the door was made of gold and had hobgoblin writing on it. On the opposite wall was another steel door.
As the party was deciding what to do about the scary room with spikes a tornado picked up inside. An air elemental attack! It snatched Torin and threw him into the room, impaling him on the spikes. It did the same to Preta next. The party managed to regroup in the corridor and then Preta blasted the air elemental to death.
From Tomb to Tome Search
At this point the group decided they’d had enough of this dangerous tomb. Ever-present danger and no visible treasure in the last few rooms was fairly discouraging. They teleported back to Phoenix to rest for the night before going back on the quest they’d started the campaign off with, using the ritual from the Tome of Agamemnon. They also took Aldarian from his new guildmaster post to check for traps in the sewers underneath Bradel Fields.
The Tome of Agamemnon is buried in the abandoned catacombs underneath Bradel Fields. The catacombs have since become the city’s sewers. The location of the Tome was relatively well known. The section of the Tome in the catacombs had two entrances close to it. The room the Tome is in would be marked by lots of traps. There is also supposed to be a golem that protects the Tome. The golem can be controlled with a bronze amulet that was given to Preta. With the warnings in their minds the adventurers went down the western entrance to the sewers.
The passage branched immediately at the bottom of the stairs. The party went left and found a room with a giant crocodile fighting three dire rats. Preta blasted the lot of them from far away to avoid backlash from sewer gas. The party ventured into the room. There was a passage to the left, a large grate in the wall to the right, and another passage across from the party. The center of the room was filled with foul sewer water.
The party explored the grate first. Torin cut through it with Amalius’s adamantine dagger. On the other side a gibbering mouther was waiting to attack. It rushed across the ground and bit Torin. Torin began to sink into the ground of the room. It had looked like solid stone but was in fact quicksand. Aldarian and Amalius pulled Torin out of the muck. Then Preta blasted the gibber mouther to death
The party explored the passage across from where they entered. As they went down the ghost of a young girl with half her face flensed off materialized in front of the party. The translucent girl screamed at the party with a mild fear effect. Preta threw a fireball down the passage and the ghost disappeared into the floor. The party went into the burned room. It was filled with abandoned crypts and skeletons. They searched the crypts but found that Preta’s fireball had destroyed all the treasure.
The passage to the left of the entrance of the room led to the lair of three crocodiles. Torin decided he wanted to solo fight the crocodiles. He won with ease. This room had passages leaving it to the left, right, and opposite the entrance. The center of the room was once again flooded with nasty sewer water. In one of the corners was the skeleton of a knight, still wearing his very nice armor and sword. He also had a well-constructed hand mirror in a bag at his belt.
The party took the right passage from this room. A few feet down the passage their was a branching passage to the left. The branch led to a dead end. What could be at that dead end waiting for the party, but the ghost girl with half her face flensed off? She screamed again and swooped in. Torin got the full blast of the fear effect and ran away. Before Preta could get off a spell he was possessed. Amalius dominated Preta in turn. The odd situation caused a standoff. Amalius was in control of Preta and his spell was more powerful than the ghost girl’s possession of the mage. Torin returned from his running escapade and the party was able to get the ghost girl to talk them using Preta’s satyr-like body. She said that she attacked people because she was afraid that they might be the “bad man.” She said that the “bad man” lived by the “pillar.” Amalius and Logan were unable to get much more out of her than that. They did convince the ghost girl to lead the party to the pillar deeper within the sewers.
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