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Recap 82 Supplemental: Time Travel Ziggurat

January 27, 2018

Running Away Turns Into a Strategy

After the Motley Too's return to town, Sir Gyles entered a high stakes poker tournament. Meanwhile, the rest of the party received word from the Myconids, the mushroom people of the Underdark, that they required help from the group to create a distraction that would allow the Myconids to safely move their buttons, the Myconid name for their offspring. Deciding not to wait for Sir Gyles, the Motley Too set off for a known entrance to the Underdark in the kobolds' cave.

Hours after the party left Gelfini, Sir Gyles suddenly becomes aware of his surroundings. Feeling a little lightheaded, he has very little recollection of why he is just sitting alone in the tavern. Finding Vashti, he learns the whereabouts of his companions and sets out immediately on his war horse, Doggie. Sir Gyles catches up to the party just as they are about to enter the cave.

The cave seems deserted. There are no kobold guards at the entrance. Looking around the area, Jandove points out many humanoid tracks going in and out of the cave, but no kobold tracks. Further exploration reveals nothing but cobwebs. The kobolds have not been in their home for quite some time.

Shortly after entering the Underdark, the Motley Too see a Myconid peeking out of a glowing passage. It nods to the group before stepping back into the passage, the opening closing behind it. Taking that to mean the Myconids are ready for the Motley Too to create a distraction, the party moves forward until they reach a main thoroughfare of the Underdark. Just around the corner to the east they spot three demons and three Drow. Although they cannot understand what is being said, it seems as if the demons are interrogating the Drow.

While the group bickers about the best way to create a distraction, a small group of skeletons appear from the west. The Harper of the North takes control of the skeletons and uses them to attack the demons while the group starts running west past the skeletons.

Unfortunately, the skeletons are hardly a match for the demons. Summoning bar-lgura, the demons attack the Motley Too. Disliking the odds, Kurtis turns around and starts running towards the kobold cave while singing a bardic ditty.

Kurtis: It's time to hustle
So move those muscles
I don't want to get
Into a tussle

Meanwhile, Jandove, leading the group, rounds the corner and skids to an abrupt halt. Adarra and Delphine stop behind her just as three fire giants exit another passageway and spot them.

Fire Giant: Look! More of Crulicar's goons!

The giants attack them but they manage to dodge the first few attempts.

Jandove: We're not with Crulicar! Those demons are working with her, though!

Adarra: Yeah! We're just innocent bystanders. It's them you want.

At first the giants seem skeptical, but as soon as they catch sight of the demons, a look of rage appears on their faces.

Fire Giant: We told you demons! The bell was stolen from us!

Adarra: (whispers to Jandove) Ohhh! It's those giants. Good thing they don't know it was us.

Jandove: *nods*

The fire giants run forward and engage the demons and their bar-lgura servants. Kurtis fires a couple of arrows at the demons as he tries to make his escape. Enraged by the attack, one of the demons chases after the craven elf. Despite his disgust at Kurtis' cowardice, Sir Gyles rushes to help him. Exerting great effort to suppress her natural instinct to attack the giants, Wileu turns to join the knight.

Kurtis: Hear my battle melody
If you keep hitting that demon
It'll be good for me

The Drow use the confusion of the battle to quietly slip away. A beholder and a pair of mind flayers are attracted to the sound of the fray and stop to watch and take notes.

The party's attempts to survive the demons are hampered by their environment. In addition to the area's magick dampening properties, the group must avoid geysers of lava spurting randomly from the walls, fight off swarms of fire beetles and rust monsters, and dodge falling stalactites.

In the end, all of the demons, bar-lgura, and fire giants are killed, leaving a very relieved Motley Too. However, during the battle, one of the demons managed to entrance Bone Crusher. Adarra was bitten by her warg before the demon was killed and the enchantment lifted. Having gotten a taste of her flesh once, the warg knows he will be tempted to do so again and therefore chooses to leave the druid instead.

With the demons dead, Kurtis stops running away and checks the Myconid passage. The doorway is open again but the passageway is no longer glowing. The Myconids must have successfully relocated their buttons. Inside, the party finds a pile of mushrooms. Expecting another coded message from the Myconids, they are happily surprised to find that eating the mushrooms restores health or magick energy.

Magicking Our Way Out of Solving a Trap

Back in Gelfini, Kurtis had charmed Captain Dokari of Havoc Company into telling him that they planned to search Crulicar's old lab for a piece of Cervantes' sword. The Motley Too might not know much about the sword, but they do know the original Motley Crew was interested in the sword pieces which means if there is something in Crulicar's lab, they're going to get it before Havoc Company can.

Conveniently, the lab is located in the area the fire giants exited from earlier. The room looks more like a foyer to an ancient temple than a laboratory. On the wall is a symbol of Osiris, identical to the holy symbol Sir Gyles carries. There are two doorways, both leading east, with humanoid footprints entering and exiting. Jandove explores the one corridor with fewer footprints while Wileu, Sir Gyles, and Kurtis check the other. Not far inside each corridor a part of the wall is made of a strange crystalline material. Jandove and the others can see each other through this material. Suddenly, metal doors slam shut on the east and west sides of both corridors, cutting them all off from returning to the foyer and from moving forward.

Both groups notice chains hanging by the metal doors and after some trial and error figure out that pulling on the chain in one passageway opens the metal door in the other, allowing eastward movement. Unfortunately, Jandove is barely strong enough to pull the chains by herself.

Meanwhile, Delphine, The Harper, and Adarra search the foyer for a way to get their friends out. Finding nothing, Delphine uses a Knock spell to open one door, freeing Jandove. Delphine uses her spell several more times to reunite the party and then move them forward through the series of metal doors.

Finally, coming out of the corridor, the group is attacked first by a group of rhinomen and then by zombies. Kurtis boosts the party's morale with song.

Kurtis: There were complaints about the music quality
I'm sure basic rhymes have lost their novelty
I probably can do better, in all honesty
But while I'm singing, please don't bother me

When The Harper attempts to turn the zombies, he experiences the nothingness that marks these zombies as Crulicar's creations. Fortunately, the monsters are easily killed even without The Harper's divine intervention.

This room has a locked door on the southern side and an open doorway to the east. Unable to find a way to open the locked door, the group continues east. Sending her hawk familiar, Tala, ahead, Delphine reports the next room contains a large, dilapidated ziggurat that takes up most of the room and the walls are covered in faded carvings.

Sorry About Your Friend! It's Our First Day!

Upon entering the room, Sir Gyles is hit with another bout of lightheadedness. A glowing symbol of Osiris seems to float out of his body and surround the group. They all feel the same sensation they experienced when time traveling previously. The ziggurat now looks new with a few of the bricks glowing in different colors. A row of mummies stand guard at the base of the ziggurat. A woman is locked in a cage and frantically shouts at them to help her. At the top of the structure, three priests are performing some kind of ritual. One of them is placing a sword piece into a coffin. A young boy is sitting on a throne near the priests watching the proceedings impassively.

The mummies shuffle menacingly towards the group. Kurtis and Jandove are struck with horror when they see the mummies up close and both try to escape the room.

Woman: It's too late! They're here!

On the far side of the room two beholders appear. With them are three horrific creatures with mottled skin and tentacles for faces. They're so horrifying, no one can even look at them. Sir Gyles and Adarra recognize them. They are Starspawn, elder gods capable of driving a person insane with their mere presence.

Believing the priests are summoning these creatures, Delphine uses the grenade she took from the Atlantean and blows up one of the priests. Looking at her in horror, the two remaining priests point at the Starspawn as if to say, "Why didn't you blow them up?".

During the ensuing battle, Jandove, Kurtis, and Delphine contract mummy rot. After multiple attempts, Sir Gyles is able to free the woman. She identifies herself as "Auric" before turning into a gold dragon and savagely attacking one of the Starspawn. Unfortunately, the Starspawn drives her insane before she can kill it.

One of the priests steps onto a purple glowing block and attacks one of the otherworldly creatures with black bolts of magick. The second priest shuffles inhumanely onto a red square and throws knives at another. Seeing the glowing squares seem to boost attacks, the party members make their way to the nearest colored squares. Delphine, standing on a purple square, feels her magick restored and her spells are certainly more powerful. Adarra positions herself on a green block. Nothing happens.

Adarra: This square sucks!

Kurtis grabs the sword piece and then tries to get the young boy to safety, but the boy is more interested in watching the fight than getting away. Both priests are killed by the Starspawn. The beholders petrify Sir Gyles and Delphine. The Starspawn lifts the stone gnome telekinetically and throws her at Auric, killing the insane dragon.

Despite all of this, the Motley Too does manage to kill all of the Starspawn and both beholders. Jandove sees one of the priests was wearing a nice suit of armor so she takes it. Just in time, too, as everyone in the party feels themselves become insubstantial. Before their eyes, people in robes bearing the mark of Osiris enter and carry the boy away. Time speeds forward and the ziggurat is once again ancient. And the room is now full of rhinomen and bulettes!

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Tags: Adarra, Bone Crusher, Delphine, Doggie, Jandove, Kurtis, Sir Gyles, Tala, The Harper of the North, Vashti, Wileu

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