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Recap 89 Supplemental: Whatsa Matter? Haven't You Ever Seen a Beholder Pirate Before?

February 23, 2019


Don't Mess With Po-Lutor

After defeating the lich Acerak, the Motley Too hears the voice of the god Anubis. He resurrects Sir Gyles and Adarra. Although completely uninjured, they both feel very weak.

Anubis warns that the Juggernauts have caught up to the group and are trying to break into Nizwah to get to them. He can hold them back for a little while, but the party must leave now before the City of the Dead is destroyed. Sir Gyles and Delphine grab the sarcophagus holding a sleeping Dar as-Sabtah and follow the guide lights out of the tomb and up a set of stone steps. Near the top, they hear voices and pause.

Kurtis has found them, but a group of Set's minions have found Kurtis. The elf bard is surrounded by humans as well as more of those large, wood head statues that house brain-like creatures.

Kurtis: Listen, guys, I'm a toxic shaman and if you don't stop following me, I'm gonna have to kill you.

Brain: (in their usual nasally, almost shouting way) This is immaterial. You will die.

The human minions are looking uneasy. Hearing Kurtis' bluff, The Harper of the North steps out.

The Harper: Who has offended our god? Po-Lutor shall punish you!

Both Kurtis and the cleric drink their Potions of Gaseous Form and transform into clouds of gas. Set's human minions panic and run away. The Brains shout after them.

Brains: Incorrect! Incorrect! There is no poison! Return! Return! Return!

Adarra turns into a woodpecker and kills one of the brains by drilling through the wood with her beak. This gives the Brains pause. The Harper then pulls out his Anti-Demihuman gem. The Brains squeal in pain.

The Harper: Flee from Po-Lutor, and we will let you live!

Sir Gyles: For Po-Lutor! Battle Leader!

Calling for his horse Doggie, Sir Gyles rides out swinging. The Brains spin in circles, confused and alarmed. To add to the confusion, a group of brown trolls leap into the fray, engaging the Brains with some very familiar kung fu attacks. Riders on camels also appear and help the Motley Too escape before more of Set's minions can appear.


Meeting the Zhentils Again but Also for the First Time

The Motley Too's rescuers introduce themselves as the Zhentils. Their leader Zarana explains that her people remember the original timeline from before the Motley Too altered things. While the Zhentils approve of the party freeing Dar as-Sabtah and weakening Set's power, the disappearance of the Green Space is having a devastating effect on the inhabitants. The Zhentils are doing what they can to help people. In time, they hope to unite the land behind one leader. With that, they introduce the party to Redipssm, Flerm's half-Zhentil daughter. Well, she'll turn out better than if Flerm raised her, right?

The Zhentils offer to guide the Motley Too through the desert towards the coast. But first, they would like to discuss Dar as-Sabtah. They feel he should be raised here with the Zhentils. After some debate, the group decides to trust the Zhentils with the boy. After all, it's not like any of them really want to be a parent. And Adarra has some vague recollection that the Motley Crew worked with the Zhentils in the original timeline to defeat the Oblivion King, so the Zhentils are definitely trustworthy. They warn the Zhentils that the Oblivion King lives on in spirit and will make every attempt to gain control of the boy's body in order to inhabit it and live in the material plane again.

Near the coast, the Zhentils and the Motley Too part ways. The group continues west unmolested, carefully avoiding a pitched battle between the Tusken Raiders and more of the faceless Vain-like creatures Jandove saw in the cave under the Qasr lake. Once on board Captain Owlbeard's ship the Scurvy Bird, the party finally has time to rest.


The Voyage Home

The next morning, after another night of disturbing dreams, the group re-examines the last few days. The Juggernauts continue to pursue them, but the Motley Too discovered that the golems have to slow down everytime they change direction. They need to find the Staff of Law the Oblivion King mentioned and hope it can stop the Juggernauts.

The Revenge Squad is out there somewhere, likely scheming with Crulicar on some new plan to take over the world. Mention of Crulicar reminds the party that Delphine stole a letter to Crulicar from Laktos the Intolerant's desk back at the mine.

To the great and wise Crulicar,

All goes well. Our production rates are on target. As you know, we have already shipped enough material to produce at least a dozen of the marbleized golems. We expect to triple that number with the next shipment if we stay on schedule. Additionally, our raids on merchant caravans have produced in excess of 50,000 gold pieces, more than enough to make payroll and continue bribing local officials. Enclosed is the surplus gold for the war effort at home.

I am also pleased to report that your process for enhancing our thouls with desert scorpion blood is a success. Our natural paralysis effect and our regeneration have been increased ten-fold, and we are also seeing an increase in heat tolerance and general toughness. We have not (yet?) seen any degradation in mental faculties. I would be tempted to be subjected to the process myself if not for your countermanding orders.

I also need to report that our agents in the Underdark have detected unusual activity among the Mind flayers. They seem to be making hasty preparations for an unexpected return of their god. I half-suspect that this is part of your own machinations, but I thought I should make you aware of it in case it is not.

It is with great relish that I look forward to ending the human dominance of the Five Kingdoms, and I thank you for putting me in a position where I can play a large role in bringing that day forward.

Your loyal servant,
Laktos the Intolerant

None of this is good news.

  • The "marbleized golems" are the white Vains. They were super hard to kill when Vain was helping. Now all he does is sit in Gelfini.

  • Super thouls. Fantastic.

  • Uh...the Mind Flayers' god is Cthulhu...

Hearing this about Cthulhu, Adarra remembers the dream she had last night. She dreamed that she was waking up and was held or confined somehow. When she was finally able to break free, it turned out she had been in the center of the world and breaking free also broke the world. The rest of the party confirms they had strange dreams, as well.

Just then, Captain Owlbeard alerts them to a ship fast approaching. The captain recognizes the ship's flag - a beholder wearing an eyepatch over its central eye. It's the pirate ship Sudden Plague! Rumor has it the ship and its crew are protected against magick. The Sudden Plague quickly gains on the Scurvy Bird. The crew appears to be made up of bugbears and harpies.

Sir Gyles uses his deck of magick cards to summon a cloud giant. The Harper casts Water Walk on Wileu, Kurtis, and himself so they can board the Sudden Plague. Delphine flies up to engage the harpy pirates. Adarra summons three hammerhead sharks to ram into the Plague's hull.

One of the harpies manages to paralyze Delphine and she falls into the sea but Kurtis is able to rescue her from drowning. Three armored warriors climb onto the Bird and engage Owlbeard's crew. As the battle seems to move in the Motley Too's favor, a beholder appears on the deck of the Sudden Plague. Just like the image on the flag, the beholder's central eye is covered by an eyepatch.

Beholder: You fight well enough for Captain Jagged Diglish to come out and deal with you.

Using its many eyestalks, the beholder attacks the group. One of the hammerhead sharks is charmed and made to attack the other two. Wileu is slowed and almost unable to make it onto the Sudden Plague. Sir Gyles is struck with fear. Calling Doggie, the usually brave paladin rides away as fast as he can, his horse able to run above the water thanks to its special horseshoes.

Luckily, before anyone is hit with the beholder's disintegration or death rays, Jandove is able to shoot all of the eyestalks plus the central eye. Blind, the Captain Diglish surrenders. The bugbears surrender and the remaining harpy flies away. One of the armored warriors is killed. The other two open a rear flap in their armor and water and fish pour out and into the sea.

Knowing beholders to be evil creatures, Kurtis kills Diglish. The bugbear pirates are allowed to leave on a lifeboat.

The sharks were able to do considerable damage to the Plague's hull before the one was charmed. The ship is filling with water and slowly sinking. Undeterred, Kurtis searches the ship for anything of value. By the time he is done, Sir Gyles has recovered from the fear ray and returned to his companions. They sail on.


While You Were Out

Four more days of sailing, a severe rainstorm, and a slimes-with-teeth spitting blue sea serpent later, the Scurvy Bird finally pulls into port in Gelfini. The kobolds are overjoyed to be back. The kobold captain of the guard Kelyari rushes out to greet them and asks for leave to escort them home. The kobolds also agree to help police the woods of the Disputed Territory and alert the Motley Too if they see anything or anyone strange.

Vashti is also very glad to see the Motley Too because while they've been away, issues requiring their attention have been piling up. Wileu received a reply to the letter she sent earlier warning her people, the elves of Eldric, of Crulicar's machinations and genetic manipulations. The elves offer to send a contingent to the Disputed Territory to help hunt down the night hag. Unsure if they want a group of elves loyal to some other ruler coming into their lands, the Motley Too table that decision for the time being.

Vashti: Also while you've been away, the hermit mage Marduke Kurious came by again and left a message for you to come see him when you return. His presence set off the Bell of Warning again. It's quite troubling. And...um...there's a man with his eyelids sewn shut sitting in the dungeon waiting for an audience.

This gets the Motley Too's attention right away and they rush off to the dungeon to see for themselves. Sure enough, sitting quietly in a cell is a gaunt old man dressed in a cloak. His eyes are indeed sewn shut. Sir Gyles tries to speak with him, ask him why he put himself in the dungeon. The man throws his head back and opens his mouth wide. The voice that comes out is not his own.

Greetings to you. Your recent actions have turned our eye towards you. Your opposition to those who would engage in the disgusting practice of animating the corpses of the great eye tyrants puts you in our favor. You are invited to join the Society of the Oculisticons. There is a wizard named Strinior who works for your enemy Crulicar. She is currently operating in the Underdark, not far from the entrance under the former Kobold lair. Her prized weapon is a Staff of Shattering. Bring this staff to the Cascading Falls to indicate your acceptance into the Society.

The man closes his mouth and walks out of the cell.

Oculisticon Messenger: I can say no more. I did not say this. I was not here.

Refusing any food or aid, the messenger leaves Gelfini.

Jandove: Why is it always the freakin Underdark?!!

Adarra: Wait. They turned their eye, singular, on us? Are these Oculisticons a club for beholders?

Delphine: I'm not letting anyone sew my eyes shut!

That's No Ordinary Hermit

Agreeing that they shouldn't rush to join the Society of Oculisticons, the Motley Too heads off to Marduke Kurious' camp the next morning. Adarra squeals in excitement as Kurious' pet Walking Id runs up and leaps onto her head. They decide to tell him what really happened to the Motley Crew seeing as they don't have any ideas on how to get them back.

Marduke Kurious: Ah...so you finally decided to trust me.

With this, mage transforms before their eyes into a stooped, yellow-skinned frost giant-like creature.

Formerly Marduke Kurious: I am the demon Kostchtchie. I encountered your friends the Motley Crew for the second time in the Abyss. They stole from Orcus, attempted to frame Demogorgon, and betrayed Lolth. I aided in their escape, washing away their memories with water from the River Styx in order to mask their presence from the others. While they are a part of Vain, they will remain hidden.

Kostchtchie is willing to aid them because he hates the other three demons more, but make no mistake - he is a demon and would gladly see the destruction of this plane. The party questions him about Vain and the Staff of Law.

Kostchtchie: The black, faceless creatures you encountered in the desert are called Ur-viles. They produce a black liquid which is the material from which Vain's body is made. A method of golem-making invented by the fire giant King Snurre combined with the Atlantean technology of distilling gestalt spirits into a golem is what makes your golem unique.

These "Juggernauts", as you call them, lack the gestalt of spirits. And the marbleized golems lack both the Ur-Vile material and the gestalt technology, thus they are more easily destroyed.

Adarra: Ah, crap. I bet we could have found out how to fight Ur-Vile goo from the Tusken Raiders.

Kostchtchie: Staffs of Law are created every ten centuries or so by a powerful druid when the balance is too much on the side of chaos. The remains of the last staff are in Orgoth near where you first found my Walking Id. It is possible the Oblivion King was speaking the truth and it can help you stop these Juggernauts.

So, the Motley Too has a few decisions to make. How should Wileu respond to the elves? What about the Society of Oculisticons? If they don't join them, they will probably end up with another enemy. Either way, they need to stop Crulicar's agent, especially if they're carrying around something called the "Staff of Shattering". But how can they do anything while the Juggernauts are hot on their trail? And someone needs to stop Cthulhu from waking up.


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Tags: Adarra, Captain Owlbeard, Delphine, Doggie, Jandove, Kostchtchie, Kurtis, Marduke Kurious, Sir Gyles, Tala, The Harper of the North, Vashti, Wileu, Zarana, Zhentils


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