Super Mega Monkey Ultra Extreme
Dungeons & Dragons Edition
Recap 41: Travelogue - Found a New God to Worship, Killed Some Stuff, Saw the Sights
June 25, 2011
Having abandoned the idea of looking for Tremblaine's group in the Forbidden Cave, the Crew debates what their next step should be. They eventually decide to go to Willie's cabin in Mangar's Woods and see if they can discover how Gloiterwome came through the supposedly closed portal.
The closer they get to the woods, the colder it becomes. As they approach, they see the trees have been completely frozen over. Herds of kobolds who normally inhabit the Woods are camped in the surrounding plains.
Alana (in goblin): Hello, kobolds. We come in peace.
The kobolds were driven out of the forest by the ice, forced to establish a new kingdom in the plains. They attempt to demand a toll from the group to pass into the woods, but the party politely declines. An armored kobold shakes his head and runs off after hearing this. The shaman tells the group to pass quickly before the others return.
Within the forest, they see flying kobolds, something they've never seen before. The woods are entirely overcome with glaciers. From the south, a bright light seems to be retarding the advancement of the ice and snow.
Curious, the party moves towards this light, getting warmer the closer they get. Around the trees is a huge horde of lizardmen and humans dressed in a fashion similar to Malouf's. They come running towards the Crew. Malouf steps forward to greet his barbarian brethren.
Barbarian: Come. We have found the light, and we will show you.
On a throne constructed of swamp plants sits a beaming, radiant man with golden hair. Below him are men with gold skin, long beards, and wings. This man must be Aten, the Sun God of whom Elric's elves informed them. They get within approximately 15ft of Aten when things get weird.
Flerm turns around and leaves without a word. Everyone else except Brecaryn kneels down. They all hear a benevolent voice in their heads saying "Hello, my friends. Do you know me?"
Like the barbarians and lizardmen, the members of the group (save Brecaryn) are infused with a sense of happiness and love for Aten. Brecaryn's not sure what to make of it, seeing her battle-hardened and cynical companions worshipping this man, spouting words of love. She manages to maintain a polite facade - well, polite for Brecaryn, anyway - at least until she isn't surrounded by Aten's followers.
Aten tells them that in seeking to defeat the Red Bull, they unleashed another evil on the world - Gloiterwome. He charges the group with defeating both Gloiterwome and the Oblivion King. To aid them, he says he will block the Oblivion King's ability to spy on them with his scrying abilties. He will join Phantar in a fortnight.
The group takes their leave. Away from the immediate influence of Aten, Brecaryn attempts to break Aten's control over their minds. She convinces Josy to cast Dispel Magick on the group, claiming she doesn't feel well. Nothing appears to change.
Brecaryn then pulls Alana aside and starts mentioning Sehanine Moonbow, the elven goddess Alana worships. Alana suddenly feels Aten's influence disappear. Alana tries this same method to free Josy, bringing up Yondalla, but it doesn't work. Josy has no conflict believing and worshiping both Yondalla and Aten.
Brecaryn has better luck with Snow. Snow in turn brings Malouf back to himself with talk of his ancestors. Suddenly, Malouf is furious and yelling about freeing his people. This draws the unwanted attention of Lieralyn, Klute, and Josy as they are still under Aten's influence. Snow quickly quiets him down - as much as she can.
Oliver expresses his ire, as well. Apparently, despite his outward behaviour, Oliver, like Brecaryn, was never under Aten's spell.
Off in the distance, Flerm is standing on a hill, trying to decide if he wants to take on the kobold army or not. After a moment of consideration, he decides to rejoin the group. They have all the supplies, after all. He waves off all questions about his behaviour in Aten's camp, simply stating that he had to leave.
They attempt to convince Josy, Klute, and Lieralyn that Aten is not trustworthy, but the topic only serves to agitate the three, so they drop it. Since the group's goal of defeating the Oblivion King is in line with Aten's orders, the three have no issues with remaining with the group of non-believers.
At Alana's suggestion, the group head towards Nara Forest to ask the griffon riders to carry them to Roesh. On the way, they encounter a band of ogres traveling with chained kobolds. Flerm eggs Malouf on to attack them. Naturally, Malouf charges.
The ogres are easily dispatched. During the fight, the kobolds take advantage of the distraction and run off into the woods. They are unceremoniously returned by five elves.
Elf: We do not kill bound creatures.
Everyone's injuries are seen to. The kobolds are released with a warning never to return to Nara Forest. The Crew is then taken to see the Chief Griffon Rider. She can't spare many riders but is able to offer one to transport the group to Phantar's camp.
While Alana is off visiting her parents, showing off her collection of trophies, and getting her Tusken Raider ooze identified, Brecaryn learns that draco liches are linked to liches and saying their name can summon them. They have a phylactery, as well, but it isn't necessarily a physical object. Easy peasy!
That night, Flerm has a nightmare where he is restrained while experiments are conducted on him. He struggles awake only to find himself alone and unrestrained in his room. Was it nothing more than a dream? Looking down at his arms, he notices wounds the size of pinpricks. He finds Brecaryn and wakes her with a tap from the butt of his sword.
Flerm (shows her his arms): You're smart. Figure out something.
Brecaryn inspects the wounds. They appear to have been caused by something similar to the syringes they found in one of the dungeons. Perhaps something was injected into or extracted from Flerm. Flerm wakes both Josy and Malouf, as they are the resident healers. Malouf doesn't know what the fuss is about. It looks to him like Flerm has some insect bites.
Suspicious and wary, Flerm alerts the guards in the house to watch out for possible intruders. Brecaryn stays in the room with him for the remainder of the night.
The next day, they all fly to Roesh with griffon rider Ánië Táralóm. In Roesh, they speak to the officials about Shalma the Medusa Queen and give them the statues they were able to recover from her lair. The officials reward them with 16,000gp.
The group also brings up the Forbidden Cave and the likelihood that Tremblaine's party are still in there. The Roesh officials don't have alot of information regarding the cave. There are rumors that a giant sleeps there, his dreams affecting the area around him. Even mages with mental protections have gone mad. Seems like the Crew made the right choice not to go back in.
The word from Phantar's camp is that the bloodstone found by Lord Miles in a vampire nest is not the same as the orb of undead control the Crew discovered previously. It is a glowing, red ruby that emits heat, not a large black orb. Miles refuses to destroy it and instead keeps it as a trophy. He is currently destroying all of the land in the area because of a mistaken belief that simply smashing the skeletons to dust would be enough to prevent them from rising again. He refuses to listen to anyone else's opinion.
The force shield the Oblivion King put up in Cervantes' Cave is still intact. The undead still stand unmoving behind it. What Phantar's people have been able to discover is that the force shield will only respond to a specific energy signature, but so far, they have been unable to discover what that signature is. Unless they can find a way to dispel the shield and destroy the undead, it will be a constant threat hanging over their heads. The Oblivion King will likely choose a time when Phantar and his army are most vulnerable to release his army.
Leaving Roesh, they make a brief stop in Yokel where Oliver picks up some better armor (maybe he won't die so much now) before finally reaching Phantar's camp.
They debrief Phantar on everything that has been happening, asking him about the Brutelle family. As far as Phantar knows, the Brutelles have never been found.
Phantar has heard of Aten. At this point, he is glad to have any help against the Oblivion King. What will happen afterward is something to be worried about later.
After this short visit, the party moves on to South Luka. They want to see this bloodstone before heading to the desert.
In South Luka, they find Lord Miles in a jovial mood, possessively stroking a red gem. Flanking him are his advisor Lightfoot and his mage Soulwind. Snow and Alana try to convince Miles that his scorched earth campaign is doing nothing but destroying the land and wasting resources. He becomes angry with them for disagreeing with him and throws them out. During this heated exchange, Lord Miles' advisor Lightfoot and Oliver exchange glances. How do these two know each other?
After leaving Lord Miles' Audience Chamber, Oliver slips off, as usual. The rest of the party goes off in search of food and talks over whether it's best to just leave Lord Miles to his folly or if they should attempt to steal the bloodstone. It's hard to tell if Lord Miles' behaviour is due to his ever present arrogance or if the stone itself is influencing him.
A short while later, Oliver returns. From what he's learned, the stone is not affecting Miles and to attempt a theft would cause more trouble than it was worth. With that decided, the group heads out to Sorcerer's Isle to hide the second mirror. Most people fear Beeblebrox and never go near the Isle. With a few protection spells and a decoy item added to the mix, it will hopefully be safe enough and provide quick access to this side of the Rusty Mountains from the desert.
As expected, while walking through the snowy mountain range, the group encounters many dangers. First it's winter wolves and then it's the shuffling undead. They even almost get the drop on the undead, but then....they don't. In the end, they are injured but victorious.
Underneath the area the undead were gathered, a heat source is detected by the elves' infra-vision. Removing the snow reveals five coffins surrounding a glowing ruby - another bloodstone. The vampires are easily dispatched in the daylight. With business taken care of, the race is on. Will the looting party members grab items up faster than Malouf can smash them?
It ends in a tie. Malouf manages to destroy one coffin but the other four are claimed by Lieralyn, Flerm, Alana, and Oliver.
A ring made of the same type of stone as the bloodstone catches Alana's eye. She absent-mindedly slips it onto her finger as she begins removing the dead vampire's armor from the coffin.
Brecaryn: Malouf, destroy the orb.
Lieralyn tackles Malouf. While they wrestle, Snow leaps up and smashes the stone. Lieralyn turns angrily to Snow.
Lieralyn Why do we have to destroy everything? Why couldn't we keep it?
Don't Fight. There's Plenty of Me to Go Around
That night during the second watch, Alana and Snow hear moaning from somewhere in the snow beyond their campsite. Alana can't see anything, but they can sense something is out there. Snow cautiously searches the perimeter. She sees a shapeless, floating object a little ways off. It's the source of the moaning. Shivering at the sound, Snow returns to report her findings to Alana.
They pass this information on to the third watch as they head to their bed rolls. Soon after taking over, Malouf and Lieralyn hear the moans. Then a voice calls out.
Female Voice: Malouf......Malouf, it's ok.
Malouf rises and saunters towards the succubus, dropping his weapon. Lieralyn grabs his arm.
Malouf: Lieralyn, there's plenty to go around.
Flerm runs up swinging his swords. Snow rushes out of the tent and assesses the situation. She runs up to the succubus managing to land a strike. Taking the split second opportunity the punch has given her, Snow grabs the demon and breaks its back. A moan and scream can be heard in the distance. According to Brecaryn, the succubus' soul returned to the demon dimension when its body was killed.
After a while, everyone finally manages to calm down from the excitement and get back to bed. Unfortunately, robbed of a full night of sleep, Brecaryn and Josy wouldn't regain their full magickal strength. They would have to rely on scrolls and staffs if the party encounters trouble.
The next day, the group can see the frostline and know they are entering a more temperate region of the mountains. As they are making their way down the path flanked by cliff walls, a shadow flies over them. They look up but see nothing, hear nothing. Nightshade is sent to investigate. Suddenly, Brecaryn loses contact with him. A human-shaped shadow swoops down and Josy is gone. Malouf scales the cliff wall while Flerm floats up behind him. Malouf throws down a rope and urges the rest to get up to the top quickly as he prepares to defend himself.
Oliver, Alana, Klute, and Snow make it up to the top and come face to face with four examples of a magickal experiment gone wrong - Perytons: beasts with a stag's head and forelegs combined with an eagle's wings and hindquarters.
Snow rushes to the nest where five more surround Josy and Nightshade. Klute mesmerizes a few with his song, hoping to gain new pets now that he's run out of owlbears. Unfortunately for him, the rest of the group didn't get the pet memo and proceed to kill the now dazed and unmoving perytons.
In the end, Klute is left with only one peryton to command. And Brecaryn finally makes it to the top of the cliff.