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Recap 84 Supplemental: Turtles Can Be Dragons, Too

April 14, 2018

That's How You Get Ants

Taking Beeblebrox's book about Crulicar's orb from the Motley Too, the Revenge Squad escapes through the Mirror of Thought. The Thri-kreen, humanoid ant creatures, come down the tower steps and find the Motley Too unconscious or incapacitated. Paralyzing them with a bite, the Thri-kreen carry all of the party members out of the tower down to their sandy cavern.

Once the paralyzation wears off the Thri-Kreen return. Using telepathy, the Thri-kreen immerses the Motley Too in the memory of the day their eggs were stolen.

You are in a warm den, happily laboring to expand a tunnel. Suddenly, there is a loud noise and a horrible smell. You involuntarily fall to the floor. Looking up, you strain to see through swirls of gas, and you see giant humanoids with blueish skin. The creatures' eyes are totally white and they move stiffly, as if they are not in control of themselves. They are also constricted by the size of your corridors. But they move through your tunnels and come back carrying something. With a sick feeling, you realize that they are carrying the queen's eggs! She has just laid, and will not lay again for many years. A generation will be lost.

With a supreme effort, you struggle against the effects of the gas. The giants are already out of your territory and moving through the Underdark. You follow, but as they descend down a corridor, your body becomes sluggish. You notice there are ice crystals on the walls. As you continue, the ice becomes more prominent and soon you are in caverns of pure ice. If you go any further, your body will shut down and go into hibernation. Reluctantly, you turn back.

You know that not too far from the surface of your den, there is a tower which has been occupied by humanoids of great magical power. Perhaps such a humanoid can be entreated to help, or, failing that, perhaps you will find magical items which will immunize your troops to the cold. And then the eggs can be retrieved.

As the group shakes off the remnants of the foreign memory, the Thri-kreen communicate their hope that the Motley Too will aid them. As a reward, they will let them take everything the Thri-kreen have collected from the tower.

The Motley Too agrees to help the Thri-kreen which means another trip into the Underdark. The magick users feel the familiar buzzing and the dampening of their powers as they enter. Their travels take them down, deeper into the earth and the temperature drops the further they go. Eventually, the Thri-kreen indicate they can go no further, the cold almost becoming too much for them. They will post sentries here and await the party's return.

Wileu vs Frost Giants

Knowing the already frigid temperatures will continue to drop the further they go, The Harper fortifies those without cold survival training with an Endure Cold spell. After passing through an icy waterfall, they find themselves at the edge of a sheer drop. A river rushes below. Across the way is a door. Above this door, a message is carved into the wall in some kind of code. Deciphering the code, they read the message aloud:

All Praise to Lung Wang, the Turtle of Large Proportions

A platform rises from the water enabling them to cross.

Recognizing the name Lung Wang from his bardic studies of ancient lore, Kurtis tells the group what he knows about this ancient being.

Far across the Endless Sea, in the land of Candonia, there are legends of a great sea turtle named Lung Wang. He roamed the oceans near Candonia, demanding tribute from passing ships. Lung Wang believed in tradition and ceremony, and expected passengers to honor him with the finest of teas. If he was not satisfied, he would upend their ships and devour them.

Lung Wang was said to have had a friendship with an ancient white dragon named Qianmulong. Despite having a husband of her own, Qianmulong secretly loved Lung Wang, and in a fit of jealousy, she killed his mate. Lung Wang's rage was said to be so great that Qianmulong shook with fear and fled to the highest mountains. But Lung Wang pursued her even there, developing a liking for the cold in the process. A great battle was fought, and Lung Wang is thought to have had his vengeance by killing Qianmulong and eating all of her eggs.

Afterwards, Lung Wang is said to have regretted killing Qianmulong. And his adaptation to the cold meant he no longer preferred the warm oceans of Candonia. So he left seeking a cold climate that did not remind him of Qianmulong. Lung Wang is also thought to have developed a taste for eggs, and prefers eggs of any kind to other forms of food.

Hopefully, the Motley Too will be able to save the eggs before they become the turtle's next meal.

Going through the door, the party is attacked by a group of controlled frost giants. Wileu, enraged by the sight of giants, attacks them without any thought to her own safety.

Kurtis: Use your most violent maneuvers
I will be back here as an arrow shooter
Wileu hit that giant pretty hard
I'll stay here cause I'm just a bard

After defeating the giants, the group takes a look at the room they are in. There are doors to the east and west. The rangers are able to determine from the tracks that only a single giant seems to have gone regularly through the door to the east but there was quite a lot of traffic to the east. And to the north is a bronze door decorated by carvings of two turtles and two dragons. Above the door, written in Candonese, are the words "Right the Wrong".

Before anyone can stop him, Kurtis starts moving the carvings around to "right the wrong" between Lung Wang and Qianmulong. With a click, the door opens and Kurtis walks through. The rest of the Motley Too follow in case Kurtis runs into trouble. And he does.

Wileu: More giants? Don't they ever learn their lesson?

Sir Gyles: Wileu, let's show them how it's done. Battle Leader!

While engaged in battle with the giants, a pack of emaciated winter wolves attacks them from behind, running out of the unexplored east wing of the first room, cones of icy cold breath shooting from their mouths. While winter wolves are normally intelligent creatures, these seem to be in a frenzy and Adarra cannot communicate with them.

Casting a wall of fire between them, Adarra frightens off the wolves. The Harper animates the dead frost giants and has them enter the fight with the live giants. Kurtis bolsters his comrades with song.

Kurtis: I got songs to heal you
Run before these giants kill you
The chant will knit your wounds
So you can kill all these goons

Once all of the giants are dead (or undead), the group decides to investigate all of the side rooms in case there are more enemies waiting to attack. Back in the first room, they know the wolves are in the east wing, so Jandove and Kurtis investigate the west wing. As noted before, only a single giant's footprints are seen coming and going in this direction.

In this room, they see an icy pipe sticking out of the wall high above the ground. Jandove climbs up the wall to the pipe and suddenly, she hears a voice speaking in a slow, ponderous way.

Voice: are...early......I...have no...tasks for youuuuu...

Jandove: (whispers) Should I respond?

Kurtis: Ask if he has pastries.

Jandove: *stares at Kurtis in disbelief*

Kurtis: You need to risk it to get the biscuit.

Jandove leaves the room without another word. Kurtis shrugs and follows.

The second room is identical in shape to the first, with rooms to the east and west and a bronze door to the north with carvings and Candonese writing. Exploring the west wing on his own, Kurtis' infravision detects a small bundle of heat within a pile of snow. Digging through the snow, the elf ranger finds a cat buried within.

Adarra: ACK! Dungeon cat! Kill it!

Against Adarra's advice, Kurtis decides to keep the cat. Wileu and Sir Gyles check the east wing and find frost giants ready and waiting to hurl icy boulders at them.

Wileu: Ha ha! Giants!

Wileu charges in to attack the giants with relish. Between Wileu's enthusiasm and The Harper's undead frost giants, the fight doesn't last very long. Looking around the room, Adarra notices lichen growing on the walls and near the bronze door in the main room. The druid recognizes it as a variety that, when the spores are inhaled, will cause a person to become susceptible to suggestion. This probably explains the dull demeanor of the frost giants. Relieving Kurtis of a few flasks of wine, she is able to disinfect the area.

Kurtis then approaches the bronze door with confidence and starts moving the carved pieces around as before. A ticking sound can be heard and everyone in the room is blasted with a cone of cold.

Kurtis: Don't worry. I've got this.

Everybody else: Uh...yeah...ok... *backs out of the room with all due haste*

He did not, in fact, have "it". A second blast of icy cold hits him as he trips and falls in his attempt to run out of the room. Sir Gyles takes a crack at the puzzle and solves it unscathed. The door opens to reveal an ice bridge, the same river visible below.

That's How You Get Minions

The bridge is not solid enough to hold anyone's weight, so Sir Gyles summons war horse, Doggie, to ferry the party members across. The room on the other side of the bridge is dark. Unsure if the floor is stable, Sir Gyles drops off The Harper and Kurtis in a doorway on the far side of the room. As he is doing this, he hears chortling from somewhere in the darkened room. Using his ability to detect evil, Sir Gyles realizes the chortling is coming from a group of ice trolls.

Kurtis: These cowards hide within the ice
My power will protect you guys
This song creates a mystic barrier
Mind your footing in this frozen area

Adarra lights the trolls up with Faerie Fire and makes them easier targets. Kurtis shatters one of the ice trolls with an arrow, but the shards of ice grow into new trolls. The Harper casts a spell to uncreate water, permanently killing several of them. In fear, the remaining ice trolls clutch at The Harper's knees and beg to serve him. He magnanimously agrees.

Jandove makes her way across the bridge and the room by climbing across the ceiling like a spider, passing metal stalactites hanging over the ice bridge. Pulling on one of them causes a platform to rise up under the icy path, reinforcing the bridge in the spot directly below the stalactite. As soon as she lets go, the platform sinks. So Sir Gyles continues to provide ferry service to the remaining party members until they are all in the doorway.

As the Motley Too starts proceeding through the doorway, the ice trolls stop The Harper.

Ice Troll: Master, this way to Lung Wang.

The Harper: Yes. We seek him.

Ice Troll: No. Bad. We must protect you.

Before anyone can stop them, the ice trolls carry The Harper away.

The Harper: Go on without me!

With a shrug, the rest of the Motley Too continue forward. There is a loud cracking sound. Wileu braces for an attack. A large crevice opens in the center of the path and Wileu falls through. Delphine casts a spell to fly while simultaneously opening a dimensional door below Wileu, dropping her onto Doggie with Sir Gyles. Adarra turns into a bat. Jandove starts running away from the rift, towards the wall. A startled Kurtis jumps onto Jandove, clinging to the gnome. Fortunately, she's able to drag the elf along with her to safety.

More ice giants. This time, one is riding a mastodon. They fight. The Motley Too win. And finally, there are no more obstacles between them and Lung Wang.

The Turtle of Large Proportions

From what Kurtis has told them, the giant turtle is fond of tea. In order to get him to look upon them favorably, Wileu and Sir Gyles approach Lung Wang first to perform a formal tea ceremony. Kurtis tags along, but luckily says nothing to insult the turtle.

Sir Gyles negotiates the return of the Thri-kreen eggs with the promise of bringing Lung Wang a dragon egg in exchange.

Jandove: What did he just promise???

Lung Wang agrees to allow the group to each carry one egg from his treasure room if they defeat him in a play fight.

Lung Wang:, not...damage.

To "even the odds", Lung Wang summons six giant white snakes to fight alongside him.

In the first salvo, Lung Wang effectively knocks out Wileu and severely injures Sir Gyles. In retaliation, Jandove, Delphine, and Sir Gyles accidentally knock themselves out. Kurtis strategically retreats (runs away) while Adarra turns into a crocodile to attack the turtle from the water.

Somehow, they still manage to "win".

Lung Wang: You fight...poorly...Your cowardly troubadour...has powerful magic...If...we were to...fight again...I would...kill...him...first. In one will...bring me a...dragon egg.

The giant turtle breaks an ice wall, revealing his treasure horde. It includes a barrel with the Thri-kreen eggs, but the party also pick out a number of choice items.

The group realizes all the walking through the Underdark has brought them so far south that they are somewhere in the middle of the Rusty Mountains, and there is a shaft leading to the surface. Lung Wang offers to carry them up when he departs the cavern. Adarra squeals in delight at the prospect of riding a turtle.

But before they can leave, the Motley Too needs to return the eggs to the Thri-kreen. As they carry them back to the Thri-kreen, the group encounters The Harper sitting comfortably in a chair while the ice trolls bring him refreshments.

The Harper: Oh, hey! guys need help carrying stuff? These guys can give you a hand.

The Thri-kreen are grateful to get their eggs back and astonished that the Motley Too managed it without killing Lung Wang. When they explain to the Thri-kreen that they must give Lung Wang a dragon egg, the Thri-kreen tell them they can, with great reluctance, lead the party to the Deep Dragon in the Underdark. Tabling that for another day, Adarra and one of the Thri-kreen have a moment as the Motley Too say goodbye.

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Tags: Adarra, Delphine, Jandove, Kurtis, Lung Wang, Sir Gyles, Tala, The Harper of the North, Wileu

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