Super Mega Monkey Ultra Extreme
Dungeons & Dragons Edition
Recap 93 Supplemental: Snakes on Another Plane
September 14, 2019
Before the Motley Too can leave the wizard Strinior's testing chamber, the Mirror of Thought opens and Delphine and The Harper of the North tumble out. There is still no sign of Vain. Now that Delphine is here, Adarra hands the Staff of Shattering to the gnome magic user.
Delphine and The Harper are brought up to speed with the current doings, and the team decides to leave through the exit they saw Jwoww use. Upon entering the corridor, they immediately notice a group of fire giants standing at the end of the hall. Adarra claps a hand on Wileu's shoulder and starts frantically whispering in the elf ranger's ear, trying to keep her calm and to prevent her from attacking the giants.
Seeing the Motley Too just standing there, the fire giants approach and hand a bronze medallion to Sir Gyles. In broken Common, they explain that if the party is passing through fire giant territory, they should show the medallion, and the giants will allow them to pass.
The fire giants draw a map showing The Motley Too where in the Underdark the Mind Flayers dwell. But because of the injuries they sustained acquiring the Staff of Shattering, the group decides to return to Gelfini to rest and resupply first. The fire giants escort the party out, passing by the area where the Myconids (large mushroom people) used to live. Despite the Myconids being long gone, the chamber continues to give off a purple light. The webs hanging from the walls and ceilings glisten, creating a very lovely effect. The group pauses in front of the chamber.
The Harper: ...No.
And they continue past. The fire giants raise them up and out of the Underdark via a coal bucket. When they emerge, they realize they are on one of the mountain ranges in Orgoth. They are greeted by hill giants, who apparently have a trade agreement with the fire giants. The party shows the medallion to the hill giants, who allow them to pass. The Motley Too make it back to Gelfini by dawn the next day.
When they arrive, they find, propped on Jandove's statue, the bat-winged axe Sir Gyles had lent the gnomes they freed in the Underdark, indicating the gnomes were able to escape to the surface.
The party attempts to enter Gelfini, ready to have pie, drink ale, and have a nice rest in the lead-lined room. But just as Kurtis tries to step through the gate, the warning bell tolls. Marduke Kurious appears out of thin air, ready to blast whatever demon is trying to enter the town. When he realizes it's Kurtis, he is bewildered. Examining the elf, he finds Kurtis has a tracking spell placed on him and is wearing two cursed rings - a Ring of Contrariness (nobody noticed him acting any differently) and the ring he took off of a wererat body. This second ring is draining his soul into the Mind Flayers' Soul Well.
Kurtis objects to anyone trying to destroy his belongings, but after a brief chase and scuffle, Marduke Kurious is able to free Kurtis from the cursed ring and remove the tracking spell. Marduke Kurious then tells the party that he cannot destroy the soul-draining ring until Kurtis' link to his home dimension has been severed.
Back on his world, Kurtis meddled with an artifact that resulted in him getting teleported to this dimension. It also created a tear in the fabric of reality in his own dimension, hastening its demise. With the ability to sense ley lines, Marduke Kurious can see that this world's energy is being drained in order to artificially keep Kurtis' dimension alive. He gives a gem to Adarra that can be used to stop this power drain which will result in the destruction of Kurtis' dimension, thus severing his connection to that world. Once that is done, the Motley Too can go to the Mind Flayer's dimension and retrieve Kurtis' soul from the well.
Kurtis: Wait. What? You want to destroy my world?
Marduke Kurious implants the information The Harper will need in order to transport the group interdimensionally. He also teaches Adarra how to sense ley lines so she will be able to locate the source of the energy drain.
They arrive safely on Kurtis' world. There is nothing but dust, destruction, and death all around. In the distance, wrapped around a mountain, is a giant snake. At first, they think they're looking at a statue carved around the mountain, but realize their mistake when it slowly moves its head. A bright light is beaming down from the sky to the top of the mountain.
But before they even set out for the mountain, they are attacked by a group of snake people. Their shaman is able to make them invisible, and their attacks devastate the Motley Too. Wileu and Jandove are briefly knocked unconscious.
Delphine and Sir Gyles are killed. Adarra is eventually able to incapacitate the shaman, casting Snakes to Sticks, turning the shaman's body into wood. Without the shaman's help, the remaining snake people are taken out by The Harper and a newly conscious Jandove.
Luckily, The Harper is able to bring Delphine and Sir Gyles back to life with his Raise Dead spell. Upon questioning one of the snake people, they learn that their race is the only one on this world, and it has been so since "the master" left. To no one's surprise, the master is revealed to be Sri Boa, a member of the Revenge Squad. They also learn that there are many groups such as this between them and the mountain.
Having no desire to fight more groups of snake people, Adarra summons the Chariot of Sustarre, a flaming chariot pulled by two fiery horses with the ability to fly. Aboard the chariot, they are able to avoid any more snake people encounters and fly past the giant snake into the hole at the top of the mountain.
In the center is a well into which all the light from the sky is flowing. Beside it is a large book resting on a pedestal. Their entrance surprises the snake people resting all along the perimeter of the chamber. But before they can do anything to stop the group, Adarra tosses Marduke Kurious' gem into the well and grabs the book. The light immediately cuts off. Just as The Harper transports the party home, they catch a glimpse of a dimension collapsing.
Marduke Kurious is waiting for them when they return. While they were away, he has heard that the Mind Flayers are holding a conference in the Underdark. They have invited the albino alligators, derro, and beholders. The Drow and fire giants have been conspicuously excluded, causing great offence in the Drow community. Presumably, the conference will be to discuss Cthulhu's awakening.
It is decided that with so many of the Underdark's denizens at the conference, now would be the best time to get Kurtis' soul back. Marduke Kurious implants the knowledge of getting to the Mind Flayer dimension into The Harper's mind. The demon wizard warns the group that they will see things that their minds will be unable to interpret. It is important for them to do nothing there that they would not be able to do here in this dimension.
The Harper transports the Motley Too, and they find themselves standing on a platform in front of what looks like a giant paper wasp nest, although it is definitely not made of any substance like paper. Behind them is nothing but a gray void. Each of them is unequpped except for one item. Most are carrying a favored weapon while Kurtis has his lute (not "loot"). Adarra transforms her newly carved staff into a treant.
Large insect creatures fly out of the nest. They have wasp-like heads, wings, and stingers attached to white grub-like bodies. The rhythmic beating of their wings causes The Harper and Adarra to become charmed. The Harper stabs and paralyzes his closest companion - Adarra. Luckily, Kurtis is able to counter the wings' affect with his singing and the group kills the wasp grubs.
Kurtis notices the insects shimmer as if there is some kind of shield around them. The shield also seems pliable and could be stretched to fit over a person's body. The elf is about to do just that when Delphine reminds him of Marduke Kurios' warning - if they can't do it in their world, they shouldn't do it.
As they head up the steps to the only visible entrance to the nest, they notice some kind of slime creature is pulling itself up onto the platform. The gray void behind it seems to wrap itself around the creature. The affect is so disturbing, their grip on their sanity loosens just a tiny bit. In the interest of getting as far away from the shambling slime as possible, they rush up the stairs and into the nest.
The walls are soft and moi...damp, almost bread-like. They push their way through a narrow corridor and find themselves in a larger chamber face-to-face with Captain Jagged Diglish, the eyepatch-wearing beholder pirate they had killed some time ago. Above them, a colorless pond seems to be suspended in mid-air.
Ignoring the fact that the beholder shouldn't be floating in front of them, appearing hale and hearty, Kurtis challenges the pirate to a shanty duel. Diglish counters with a game of cards instead. Kurtis accepts and pushes Sir Gyles forward as their representative.
With a little help from Kurtis' Mule's Kick, Sir Gyles easily wins 2 out of 3 hands and the beholder allows them to pass. They push through another humid bread corridor only to find themselves facing Captain Diglish in the same chamber. Impatient, The Harper casts abjure and banishes the beholder to their own dimension...which is probably the sort of thing Marduke Kurious meant when he told them not to do anything out of the ordinary.
They exit the room and find themselves back in it yet again, only this time the beholder isn't there. Not sure what else to do, Sir Gyles tries jumping up into the pond. It works. Swimming around, he sees a giant drain plug at the bottom (top?) of the pond. The rest of the group dive up and help him pull the plug. The water drains out, pulling the party down with it.
They land in a soggy cavern with only one way forward. They encounter a pair of crazed, blindfolded Mind Flayers. Beyond that is a room with cots lining either side, human wearing bowl-shaped helmets with short brims and unusual uniforms sleeping on them. Beside them are what appear to be weapons - arm-length metal staffs that aren't staffs with a short sword attached to the tip.
As they walk past, the soldiers sit up in unison and put a finger to their lips in a shushing gesture. They then place their hands on their necks to mime choking before laying back down. Kurtis takes one of the bayonets. The party continues, quietly.
Next, they find a library, except it's completely topsy-turvy with stairwells and bookcases above and below them, walkways that seem straightforward but are as likely as not to land you on the ceiling. Kurtis examines the shelves and, over the objections of the rest of the group, decides to pocket a book written by someone named Euclid.
Kurtis: Don't worry. We have geometry. It's totally fine.
The final chamber is a large room. Murals depicting Mind Flayers cover the walls. One shows Mind Flayers killing humanoids and feeding their souls to Cthulhu. Another depicts a Mind Flayer sitting at a piano with musical notes above. At the far end of the wall is a piano. On the wall behind it is a grated opening where a giant eyeball sleepily peers out.
Kurtis sits at the piano and plays the notes depicted in the mural. This causes an engraved message to appear on the top of the piano. It's in a cryptic code, but the party manages to decipher it: TO RETRIEVE SOUL, PLAY DEAD.
At Jandove's and Adarra's insistence, Kurtis sits at the piano and plays the notes D-E-A-D. A blue tear falls from the eye and floats into Kurtis. He feels whole again. Their mission accomplished, The Harper transports the party back to Gelfini once again.