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Recap 18: Smashy Smashy

June 14 and July 5, 2008

The church was pitch dark when the party slowly entered. As they continued forward, torches at the front of the room lit to reveal what appeared to be 3 priests and 2 Knights of Phantar. The group split up - Malouf, Flerm, and Lieralyn going with a frontal assault, Alana, Brecaryn and Josy hanging back to provide a ranged assault, and Snow blending into the shadows.

It was immediately evident from their blank expressions that these men had been possessed like the rest of the town. Squids could be seen attached to the backs of the knights' heads. One of the priests seemed to be in charge. While the rest of the party kept the others busy, Snow made her way to the front to engage him.

Several serious injuries were sustained before the group prevailed. Flerm was paralyzed. Josy was almost sliced to ribbons by a column of whirling blades. This attempt on the party's cleric backfired on the enemy as Snow used it to dispatch one of them, pulling the priest through with her kau sin ke. The result was a bit messy, however. Oops.

Left alone, the head priest disgorged a giant squid before making his escape. The party quickly dispatched the monster.

Enter: Marnin

Before they could follow the priest, a drow appeared, dragging a critically injured Knight of Phantar. The two had been imprisoned in a cell below. The Knight used the remainder of his strength to heal the drow. He was beyond Josy's ability to save.

The drow's name was Marnin. He couldn't remember much and didn't know why his cell door had been left unlocked. All he remembered was the urgent need to find some artifact hidden in someone or something large, but could not elaborate on what it was or why he needed it, only that it was valuable. Wary of strangers, especially when dealing with mind controlling squids, the group allowed Marnin to stay with them only because he might have been part of Malekith's party. Snow advised her party to keep an eye on their new member.

The Death of Flerm, part... what? Two? Three?

The head priest reappeared through a second door and attacked the party again before running away. The group split up to follow. Malouf, Flerm, Alana, and Marnin went through the door the priest had gone through. The rest went though the door he had first used to escape.

As soon as the first group stepped through the door, they were attacked. Malouf was critically injured. Flerm died. Alana was left to try pulling her party members out of danger. The second group ran through the door and down the corridor to aid them.

Snow followed the priest to another room where she found him standing under a fountain of water. He seemed to be made of liquid. With each hit, some of him splashed out until he could retain cohesion no longer and trickled down the floor drain.

Safe for the time being, the party regrouped. While Flerm was down, Marnin started rifling through his clothing. Alana put a stop to it. Marnin could not explain his actions to the party's satisfaction and suspicions were running high. The party decided it was better to err on the side of caution and restrained Marnin.

Luckily, Josy was able to heal Malouf and bring Flerm back from the dead. Flerm was not happy. Hearing about Marnin searching his corpse didn't endear him to his fellow drow. Snow had to restrain Flerm and warn him from exercising any further corporal punishment. Oddly, though, Flerm's latest experience with death did not seem to affect his personality in any way. It was almost as if dying had become a commonplace activity for him.

Potent Potables

Brecaryn and Flerm decided to investigate the fountain. Flerm decided it was a good idea to take a sip. Although there were no lasting effects, it caused him serious discomfort. Taking this to be a good sign, Brecaryn also tasted the water. Unfortunately for her, she had a much more drastic reaction. The middle of her torso turned to water and dribbled out. She passed out from the pain. Luckily, again, Josy was able to restore her. Exasperated, Snow advised her not to be so quick to taste test unknown items in the future as Josy was fresh out of Cure Critical Wounds scrolls.

Once More, Into the Dungeon, Dear Friends

The party continued on, finding a flight of stairs to a lower level. There were 3 closed doors. One was locked. One opened to a room flooded with a black water, rivulets of which flowed in narrow streams in all the corridors. One was a maze. The party remarked on the fact that such a strange and evil place would have been built below a Temple of Tyr. It was obvious that the Mind Flayers had infiltrated this Temple, and possibly the entire town of Yokel, a long time ago. In the maze were minotaurs. The first one they encounted attacked, and they killed it. The others they lured out and fought one by one, aided by Brecaryn's owl Nightshade's scouting. Finally, there were none left except their king. He would not offer help unless their champion could defeat him, proving they were strong enough to overcome his mind flayer masters. Snow was chosen as the party's champion, but, already injured, she was unable to defeat him and the minotaur would deal with the group no more. The only information he would offer was that the mind flayers had somehow enslaved some ancestral spirit of the minotaur and were using this to control the Red Bull. He returned to his maze and killed himself in despair.

In the rest of the level, they encountered fish men, driders, and a room housing some sort of Cthulu monster. They subdued the first with a magick trident, killed the second, and avoided the third. From the fish men and driders, the party was able to learn that the mind flayers were in the locked room and the key was guarded by what the fish men referred to as a "dizzy fish". It was through the door with the flooded room.

Marnin had been freed early on to allow him to defend himself. It quickly became evident that he was not working in the party's interest. Several times he missed shots he should have made easily. A few times, his shots missed the enemy and hit Snow instead. He persistently attempted to convince the party to dive into a pool of the black water. When questioned about these things, he chose to run and attempted to jump into the pool but was stopped. The party tied him up a second time.

Macabre Solutions

Flerm suggested stacking the corpses in the corridor to create a barrier, preventing the water to continue flowing into the room. If the level dropped sufficiently, the party could explore the area.

Snow, Malouf, and Lieralyn entered. The others were told to stay behind as backup. All three heard a voice speak to them, telling them to come forward and help. What they found was a creature huddled in the corner, seemingly trying to block a floor drain. It needed the black water, and they had stopped the supply. A deal was struck. For the key and safe passage back out, the party would remove the corpse obstruction. It could give no advice on fighting the mind flayers, unfortunately.

With no better plan (big surprise), knowing the mind flayers had most likely already read their thoughts, the party decided to there was no point in stealth and went for an open attack. The door was thrown open and those with bows or ranged attacks immediately let loose.

They managed to injure some before the mind flayers' golem slammed the door shut. The group tried a second time, rushing fully into the room before the door could be closed again. Brecaryn used her phasing ring, trapping yet another golem out of phase. The party dispatched the mind flayers with only minimal face sucking injuries sustained. There was a near miss when the group left Alana unsupervised while they examined the room and corpses. Alana, finding the mind flayer's control panel couldn't resist the pull of curiosity and began flipping switches without warning her compatriots. Luckily, nobody was injured by the giant stone column falling from the ceiling. Snow had Lieralyn restrain her before she pushed any more buttons.

Closer inspection of the room revealed more traps that were controlled by the panel. Also, a lever that lowered the room like an elevator. The party used it to descend yet another level.

Exit: Marnin

After fighting their way through several mind flayers and monsters, the party was surprised to encounter a very injured Malekith. He had lost all of his group. He had tried to use the shield to defeat the mind flayers. After learning his mistake, he said he would make his way out and take Marnin with him.

All the while, as the group kept moving further and further into the dungeon, several members could hear a buzzing in their heads. Malouf thought he saw a squid attached to Snow's head, but because none of the others could see it, they believed it to be another mind trick.

More fighting, more mind flayers, and more face sucking and tentacles up nostrils.

Too much caution

In the last corridor, the party faced 2 more mind flayers and a flaming skeleton monster with a horned skull. The mind flayers were killed as quickly as possible while trying to avoid the deadly fire attack from the skeleton. Finally, the skeleton's body exploded, leaving only the flaming skull on the ground. Taking no chances, Snow smashed it.

It was the totem. The item they had been questing for all along. The item that would control the Red Bull.


Nonetheless, the party had defeated the Mind Flayers and freed the town of Yokel. The Knights of Phantar, no longer mind controlled, suggested that the group travel to the kingdom's capital for help if it were possible for them to make it there.

So, gathering up the pieces of the totem, the intrepid heroes travelled to the city of Roesh hoping to get help from Retameron and Halia, who Snow and Malouf previously had dealings with when they were part of Lashtal's band. Not having Lashtal with them, the group received a less than warm welcome but eventually did get to see the couple. Halia revealed that Lord Phantar had left some time ago to on a quest to the southern desert and had never returned. This was a fact that had been kept a secret from the general populace in order to avoid mass panic and possibly uprisings. Retameron and Halia were left as de facto rulers while the Knights secretly searched for their Lord.

The skull bits were given over to Halia and her magic users to try to piece back together. They were not able to restore it, but were able to use it to locate the Red Bull. It was residing in The Waste, near the Pumpkin Ruins that the demon Hutijin used as his base of operations a generation ago. The group rested and re-supplied before heading out to Waste in search of the Red Bull.

Without a Red Bull controlling totem.

Tags: Alana, Brecaryn, Flerm, Halia, Josy, Lieralyn, Malekith, Malouf, Marnin, Nightshade, Retameron, Snow

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