Super Mega Monkey Ultra Extreme
Dungeons & Dragons Edition
Recap 37: Lair of the Medusas
December 4, 2010
With the 3 dozen cattle returned to the people of Bryn Sturges, the Motley Crew is free to continue with their plans to find the first mirror near the medusa's lair. Around noon the next day they see an old man leading a donkey heading towards them. His name is Old Bart. Over lunch, he tells them how he came to be in the area.
Before the Troubles, Bart had been commissioned by a merchant family to figure out how to farm in the mountains ("Have you heard of Bartholomew the Agriculturalist?"). Once the Troubles started, all the work he and his daughter Melinda had done was ruined. Old Bart was in debt to the merchants for 10,000gp. Melinda thought she might be able to get some assistance from the nearby castle, but she never returned. The party realizes the castle Melinda went to must belong to the medusa.
Upon hearing Old Bart's expertise is in agriculture, Flerm gets extremely excited. First, he and Alana want to put him in the mirror and have him grow crops for the group. When this idea is soundly rejected, he comes up with a new idea. Send the him to Bryn Sturges to help them with their farming, which should help them improve their lot in life. Nobody, including Old Bart, is sure exactly how that would work, but since Bart has nowhere else to go, they go along with Flerm's idea. At least Old Bart would be relatively safe in the village. Snow offers to find Melinda in exchange for Bart imparting his knowledge to the villagers. He agrees with little argument and sets out for Bryn Sturges
Deciding to wait until the next day to storm the castle, the group sets up camp. During Flerm and Oliver's watch, a group of trolls and wild boars attack. Luckily, their loud and unsubtle approach ensures everyone in the party is awake and ready for them. Brecaryn helps the trolls get to the fight faster with a grease spell. Meanwhile, Josy and Klute each fortify the group in their own way. The group makes short work of intruders and gets back to sleep in no time.
Noon the next day, the Crew cross over to the northern side of the river before following the river northwest to the castle. Once there, Brecaryn sends Nightshade to do a little scouting. He sees many statues in the courtyard and a few buildings. The river flows from a waterfall on the north side, through the courtyard, and under the southern wall towards the lake.
With this info, the group fiercely debates what their strategy should be. They finally decide to have Josy draw a paralyzation glyph at the castle entrance. The hope is that the medusa will get caught by it when it exits the castle to attack them.
Flerm, Brecaryn, and Lieralyn climb to the top of the crumbling, not entirely stable wall. Lieralyn uncovers the mirror and turns her back towards the courtyard. Brecaryn hears a slithering noise and sees some movement disappearing under the wall of one of the courtyard structures. Suspecting it's the medusa, she summons a group of hobgoblins to distract it long enough for Josy to set up the glyph. Using Nightshade as her eyes, she directs them in several directions away from the castle. Flerm teleports further down the wall, to the northeast tower. To decrease their chances of getting caught, Josy casts a spell on Snow and herself to allow them to walk on air. They both take invisibility potions before Snow carries Josy to the castle entrance.
An arrow whizzes past Flerm's ear. He shoots fairy fire in the direction of the arrow's source and teleports off the wall. Klute runs towards Flerm to assist, arriving just as Flerm shouts a greeting and teleports back to the main party at the foot of the wall.
Brecaryn creates a wall of fire between the castle and the nearest courtyard structure to provide added protection to Snow and Josy. While Snow stays on alert, Josy quickly draws the glyph in front of the door. On their way back to the wall, they see a scaly creature rise up from the river, aiming an arrow towards someone on the wall. The medusa suddenly turns to stone and drops into the water with a heavy splash. Everyone hears the splash but is afraid to turn around to look until Josy and Snow confirm it's safe.
The rest of the party climbs over the wall to investigate the courtyard. The hobgoblins discover a giant snake in one of the buildings which the group easily kills. Suddenly, they hear a male voice and the castle doors open. Three creatures the size of hobgoblins with wild hair exit the building only to be instantly paralyzed by Josy's glyph. Brecaryn has her hobgoblins kill the creatures, which are called grimlocks.
Inspecting the statues, most appear weather-worn and male. None are Melinda. Flerm recognizes one of the female statues as a drow. Unlike the others, she looks like a fairly recent addition to the collection. The group finds seven other victims who appear to have been petrified recently enough that they could be helped and place their bodies into the mirror with the female drow.
The group cautiously moves through the narrow corrridors of the castle. Flerm checks for secret doors while Oliver checks and disable traps. In each of the rooms they enter, they discover more statues. They engage and kill several grimlocks in one room. As Malouf checks the next corridor, he is turned to stone. Flerm hears a medusa slithering away and grabs the mirror from Lieralyn before giving chase. He overtakes the medusa, battering it with the mirror until it turns.
Once it sees its reflection, it turns to stone. Lieralyn and Alana smash the statue while Brecaryn puts Malouf's petrified body into the mirror.
Finding a secret door, Flerm opens it to reveal a room with a rubble-filled floor. Flerm quickly swings the mirror around in the room. When nothing happens, he enters, followed Oliver. Both sink up to their ankles in the rubble. As Oliver makes his way to the door on the opposite wall, he is attacked by a giant centipede and poisoned. Alana kills it while Lieralyn checks on Oliver. Seeing he is about to be sick, she turns away, disgusted, and gets Josy.
After Josy neutralizes the poison, the party prepares to continue to the next room. Oliver overhears grimlocks through the door preparing for an ambush. The Crew easily kills three, leaving two to question about Melinda. They admit to seeing her in the medusas' upper chamber. The medusas have already turned her to stone. After much bullying and intimidation, the grimlocks confirm there are many medusas living in the castle. The grimlocks serve them. Feeling a little guilty about killing the grimlocks when they seem to be more slave than follower, the Crew gets the grimlocks to agree to stay out of the their way. Before they leave, the two grimlocks tell the group to talk to the "dirty elf" in the next room.
Entering the room, they see a drow nursing a broken leg. He speaks directly to Flerm. His name is Awban. He came with a group of drow to kill the medusas for Lolth. Apparently, the medusas worship a demon god named Geryon who is at odds with Lolth. Milina, his superior, was turned to stone in the courtyard. The rest have been killed. He questions Flerm about associating with non-drow, and especially surface elves. Flerm leads Awban to believe he leads the group. Awban is impressed Flerm has managed to "enslave" so many surface elves. Somehow, the elves in the group manage to keep from commenting and blowing Flerm's story.
Awban is in possession of two scrolls that will reverse the petrification. He offers to one of these scrolls in exchange for freeing Milina and healing him. Flerm agrees. Upon her recovery, Milina immediately declares, as the highest ranking female, she will take charge of the group.
Hearing more grimlocks beyond the next door (obviously, grimlocks cannot be trusted to stick to an agreement), the group rushes through and dispatches them. Taking the stairs to the upper level, they find themselves in a dais room. On the wall is a symbol Milina identifies as the Eye of Geryon.