Thursday, 5th July, 2012, 09:49 PM #121
One down ...
Sayrui is forcibly ejected from the sluice and with a twist of her body avoids the ledge which could have knocked the wind from her body had she hit. With a 20 foot drop to the waters below she hits the dirty dark water with a splash and immediately leaps to her feet. Looking around the large natural cavern she spies several glows from various different forms of fungus from her position but no signs of the wayward Keeper; staying in her position she is fairly sure she can’t be seen not aware that standing in water while invisible is no way to stay hidden. A pair of crossbow bolts fly from the darkness and impact upon the wall behind her narrowly missing her head which teaches her a valuable lesson. Checking in the direction they came from she can see nothing to indicate where they originated from but the area is thick with natural pillars. She quickly casts a spell, one she has not yet had the occasion to use and a mass of writhing tentacles springs from the surface of the water and latches onto the supposedly hidden Keeper bringing him into full view of Sayuri. Grinning she stands and waits for him to die.
Zordlan however putting his ear to the sluice thinks he can hear some activity down there so he dives into the sluice also being ejected into the cavern and also amazingly twisting to avoid the outcrop but failing to avoid landing directly on Sayuri. Sayuri is driven into the water by a full plate wearing elf and the wind is knocked from her lungs. With some water spitting curses she throws off Zordlan and clambers back to her feet with a very apologetic Zordlan looking shamefaced as he also regains his feet. Deciding that the death of the Keeper is taking way too long Sayuri shoots off a torrent of force missiles; making the struggling form of the Keeper go very limp. Cancelling the tentacles spell they do a search of the cavern and the Keepers body and find the remains of some Crows. (The guards not some birds) One of which has a very nice looking sword which seems to have survived the test of time and the damp environment rather well. The Keeper also has some interesting loot.
Zordlan advances to investigate but is assailed by a fungus who tries to wind it’s tentacles round the heavily armored elf in vain. Zordlan backs off unlimbering his bow and sends arrow after arrow into the slow moving creature which soon brings it to a stop. With the advance knowledge of this violet fungus they soon spot more and they are also soon dealt with as they don’t seem to want to enter the water. Zordlan and Sayuri both use ranged weapons to reduce them to chunks of inanimate fungus. Claiming the shiny longsword they look to head back to the sluice as there seems to be no other exit from here; they are nearly hit by Nashkar’s swiftly moving form exiting from the sluice with a loud splash as they approach.
They all try climbing back up the sluice and it takes several minute for them all to make it. Mostly due to problems with climbing in full plate armor; Nashkar has to heal himself a few times before he finally makes it back up to the main room.
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To the Aslylum
With a sigh they all make their way back up to the room above and try searching through his library however there is nothing much there except for books on History of the last 2000 years. They exit the building and walk out into the rain. Talking to the waiting Crow they decide that the Lunatic asylum is the closer of the two remaining targets and decide to head there next.
Approaching the impressive building they are awed by the oppressive feel of the place; if ever there was a typical depressing, ominous building to have as a lunatic asylum then this was it. The stone gargoyles leering down from the rooftops, the sharply pitched roof, the narrow brooding windows all combined with the cloudy sky, pouring rain and impressive backlight of the rapidly increasing lightning strikes combine to send shivers running down the spines of all present. Even the metal gates are from a story book as they creek at the slightest touch of the hand or wind. The intrepid adventurers place shaking fingers on the gate and push it softly; they all wince at the squeal of the protesting rusted hinges as it opens and jump when it slams into the wall with a loud clang. They can hear various screams coming from the oppressive building before them.
Approaching the entranceway they notice that the doors look to be fashioned from steel and the walls built from solid stone which is unusual for this part of town. Most of the surrounding buildings are fabricated from middenstone which while cheap is not overly resistant to the weather let alone lunatics. The large metal doors are standing ajar as if inviting the party to enter and meet their doom; they push open the door and walk inside to get out of the incessant rain. They pause as they find three bound and gagged figures on the floor; each of them seems to be wearing a straightjacket, legs tied with rope and a gag over their mouths. After absorbing this information for a second Grembor approaches one and slices off his gag. With a bubbling scream from a mouth which seems to constantly stream saliva; eyes wide with an intensity everyone finds disturbing they can hear the scream being taken up throughout the asylum by many throats. They also hear the sound of something moving towards them; it’s dragging something heavy behind it and it’s approaching the double doors before them. With a thunderous impact and the splintering of wood the double doors before them burst open revealing four humanoid figures standing there wielding wooden clubs bound in barbed wire one of which was being dragged along the ground; they each have a cage upon their heads to prevent the prisoners from biting their faces. They advance upon the party and attempt to persuade them to leave using the business end of their clubs. The party soon impose their own thoughts upon the argument and soon there are four bodies lying before the party with only a couple of minor bruises to show for it.
Exploring this level they don’t find much of any note. There is a wand in a secret door in one of the nicer offices and in one of the storage rooms there are two lunatics playing imaginary poker over the dead body of a third and using body parts as gambling chits. Everything they find is killed with no real problem to the party as lunatics just throw themselves at the party and the warden’s are not equipped to deal with an organized response. They soon find their way down to the basement where this swiftly changes.
Knocking on the door ...
The first room they find is large and has six lunatics chained there. Sayuri and Zordlan soon dispose of these while at the other end of the corridor Nashkar knocks on a door and waits before opening it. Inside he finds an office with nothing much of interest in here bar another door. Heading to the Door he knocks again and is somewhat startled by a voice on the other side telling him to “piss off.” Looking around at the rest of the party he knocks again and is again told where to go in no uncertain terms. They hang around for a while discussing what they should do with Nashkar, Grembor and Pringle by the door. Eventually Nashkar opens the door and is greeted by Keeper Crove; however this gave the Keeper time to prepare and as soon as the door opens they are hit by a column of fire that engulfs them all; Pringle and Nashkar stagger around trying to beat out the fires while Grembor seems untouched by the spell and grins at the Keeper. Pringle runs from the room screaming very badly burnt; Sayuri and Zordlan alerted by the blast of fire down the corridor advance to assist; Zordlan makes it up next to Nashkar while Sayuri starts casting a minor summoning spell. Keeper Crove steps up to Nashkar and reaches out with his hand which is suddenly wreathed in crackling black fire and places his finger upon Nashkar’s chest. Nashkar emits a thin wailing cry with increases in pitch as he collapses to the floor his face turning a foreboding gray colour. The party look on in horror as their healer is brought low so quickly their gazes raise from the prone form to the one standing over him grinning. Grembor tries leaping on him to manhandle him to the floor but fails to connect. Nashkar steps a small step closer to death while Pringle figuring he is a safe distance away uses the power of his tattoo to cure some of his ills and his badly burnt skin is repaired looking more like a bad case of sunburn then the charred remnants of something once human. His new skin has a strangely glistening quality; he just shrugs and heads back closer to the fight to see if he can contribute. Zordlan swings his sword and catches him high on his arm but instead of severing the arm as he would have expected the sword mostly seems to bounce off leaving only a shallow cut. Cursing he strikes again swinging his sword harder and again most of the damage is absorbed. Sayuri grins and three portals open; she is somewhat nervous as this is the first time she has summoned anything since the Sunless Grove and she hopes that what she summoned was what she asked for. Thankfully three Lemures step from the portals and obey her bidding by swarming around the Keeper cutting off any escape but being unable to cause him any harm. The Keeper carefully casts a spell rendering him immune to grappling and heaves a sigh of relief; Grembor leaps onto the nearby table and pulls out his sword; striking the Keeper in a sweet spot but his blade is turned by the apparent toughness of his skin only leaving a thin cut. Nashkar finally stops bleeding; he is very grey and no longer moving; it’s difficult to see if he is still breathing.
Pringle takes out a potion and swallows its contents; the healing tonic making his skin slightly less tender. Zordlan grabs hold of Nashkar and drags him from the room out into the corridor next to Pringle. Sayuri attempts to use her cleric in a stick to revive him but fails to activate the magic it contains; Keeper Crove again summons some dark crackling energy to his hand but fails to hit Grembor with his evilly charged hand. The evil power however is still contained within and Grembor eyes it cautiously. Grembor unleashes a duel attack upon Crove hitting him twice but only leaving minor scratches upon his skin much to his annoyance. Nashkar remains stable even after being moved to the corridor outside.
Taking the wand from Sayuri, Pringle attempts to activate its power but it does not seem to respond and they begin to wonder if it has any more charges left. Zordlen heads back into the fight but is unable to contribute in any significant way as his sword blow misses. Sayuri takes back the wand and again attempts to channel the healing powers of her wand by poking it into a wound and willing it to work. Again it fails to activate and Sayuri curses under her breath. Crove lunges out at Grembor with his hand and manages to miss while discharging the spell into himself; he screams in anger as the fell energies of his own cause serious wounds spell runs through his system opening old wounds; blood pouring down his arms. Grembor laughs in his face and strikes out again leaving another minor wound on his shoulder while Crove’s eyes flash with hate. Pringle Grabs the wand and finally the bit of wood lurches into life and the healing power is directed into Nashkar; his eyes flutter open and he is lying on the stone floor gazing up at the ceiling and the concerned faces of Sayuri and Pringle. Sayrui with a grin runs into the other room and with a quick spell discharges a lightning bolt through Zordlan and into Crove. Zordlan screams in pain as the lightning shudders though his body and passes onto Crove who joins Zordlan with his screams of pain as the lightning passes through his body. Zordlan shouts his anger at Sayuri closely followed by Crove’s curses.
Oh that old Spell ...
Keeper Crove casts defensively and a swarm of thick black tentacles bursts from the ground around him ensnaring the whole party with their grasping limbs; Nashkar screams in pain as the tentacles wrap around his prone form and squeeze the life from him; his plate armored form goes limp and the tentacles wrapped around him release him and search for more pray to squeeze the life from. Pringle wails as he is wrapped in black tentacles; knowing this spell very well as he has it in his own repertoire and he has been almost killed by it previously when they fought the warden of Ascanor Lodge. This time is little different as he can find no way of escape the murderous grasp; Grembor curses as he is grappled and dragged to the ground by the ever invasive tentacles; Sayrui and Zordlan are also indisposed by the dark grasping tentacles while Crowe stands happily in the midst of them unaffected due to his own protections. Casting a spell he fades from view with an evil chuckle; everyone tries to escape the confinement of the tentacles but they are each foiled by the powerful spell. They can see nothing but they can hear him casting; the effects of the casting however is obvious as the two rooms are filled with a noxious green/yellow smoke. Sayuri’s heart skips a beat; dreading that it is the poisonous mist that helped decimate them which fighting against Auren Vrood but thankfully it’s a lesser version and this one only makes Grembor, Zordlan and Sayuri start vomiting as the noxious fumes make them sick; Grembor soon recovers but the other two obviously have less resilient constitutions as evidenced by the continued vomiting.
The keeper grins to himself as he opens a secret door beside himself and walks through leaving the party in it’s predicament as he is not interested in fighting them; his spell selection is more suited to fighting off the assault of a singular powerful alien creature not a group of curious adventurers and he needs to preserve his spells for that coming conflict. He is scared and his carefully planned trap has fallen apart due to this interference.
Sayuri is the first to break free after casting grease upon herself; she follows the Keeper but is unable to see him due to his invisibility. The corridor however seems to turn back on itself; Sayuri is vomiting for several seconds after exiting the cloud of noxious fumes. Zordlan manages to escape next and makes his way to Sayrui’s side also still vomiting. Pringle notices a wall cracking upon near him but see’s nothing else as the door opens and the Keeper walks out invisibly and passes down the hallway. Soon afterwards Pringle passes out from the damage of the tentacles as his breath is squeezed from him; Sayuri soon recovers as Grembor escapes the tentacles and staggers from the room; they all go to drag Nashkar and Pringle from the tentacles. The spells end soon after and the tentacles recede; they bring Pringle and Nashkar back from the brink of death; Pringle is very close while Nashkar seemed to stabilize soon after passing out.
Nashkar channels some energy into the party healing up a lot of their wounds as Grembor tries to see if he can track where the Keeper went; it looks like he has gone through a doorway close by which leads to a long corridor filled with doors. The small droplets of blood they were following seems to head directly down the corridor and they peter out several steps in as if the wounds had been healed.
Last edited by Sic_Pixie; Monday, 16th July, 2012 at 06:55 PM. Reason: Spelling
Zordlan and Sayrui fail a save ...
They notice hints of flour on the furthest door of the passage; (Zordlan threw flour over the Keeper when he went inviz) quickly following through finding themselves in a small square room which has a collapsed wall opposite leading into a larger cavern with a water filled sinkhole dominating most of it. The room apart from this appears empty; spreading out they cautiously start making their way round the sinkhole. Pringle convinced there is something in the water casts a quick spell and touching the water sends some electricity surging though it hopefully prompting whatever is hiding in there to show itself. This seems to work as a tentacled horror surges from the pool and sends claw tipped tentacles whipping towards Zordlan. One hits him on the knee which causes him to stagger slightly; however he does feel some adverse effect trying to assault him but he manages to resist the evil creatures poison.
However as everyone stops and stares at the curiously tentacled creature it looks around and decides if they don’t wish to do anything it would and strikes out again at Zordlen. Both tentacles hit scoring wounds on his shoulder and arm and with a whimper Zordlan drops to the floor and starts changing into a blob of bubbling flesh. The party look on is horror as their friend and the only hard hitter in the group is taken down so quickly. Sayuri scanning the room notices the Keeper across the sinkhole laughing softly to himself as he finishes off his spell; (he is still invisible but Sayuri cast see inviz at the end of the last combat) Shouting a warning to the party it’s too late as a Babu demon appears in the midst of the party striking out at Sayuri with it’s acid covered claws to good effect scoring a couple of nasty burning wounds on her shoulder and back.
Sayrui casting defensively looses her spell due to the distraction while Grembor unleashes some arrows at the tentacled creature Pringle identifies as a Chaos Beast. One of the arrows hits the mark the others going wide; Pringle after intoning a spell shoots a pair of bright bars of flame towards the Chaos Beast but they both miss. Nashkar ever the slow one stumps up behind the Babu demon and gooses it with his axe; which is not something you get to do every day I have to say. Most of the damage is absorbed by its tough hide but some of the damage still gets through. Thankfully Nashkar is nimble enough to avoid any damage to his weapon.
The Chaos Beast advances upon Sayuri and attempts to inflict it’s curse upon her but she avoids the flailing tentacles of spongy form; Keeper Crove moves along the side of the sinkhole and walks up to Pringle a muttered spell on his lips; touching Pringle in his special place he drains out some of his psyche reducing his mental faculties a little but not enough to impede his casting much to his disgust. The Babu turns and strikes Nashkar for his gall of striking him from behind scoring some good hits through his plate armor. Grembor shoots off some more arrows at the Chaos Beast scoring some better hits this time as Pringle moves out of the way of the Keeper as Sayuri directs him to; he takes out a wand and sends a single missile of force towards the Chaos Beast which is unaffected by the feeble spell as its resistance to magic absorbs it. Sayuri waiting for this moment concentrates very hard to remove the distractions of the Chaos Beast and the Babu Demon trying to remove her intestines and casts one of her favorite spells; Lightning brightens up the room leaving an after image of it’s path from her hand to the far wall; no-one but Sayuri can see that it went through Keeper Crove as he is still invisible but the group can hear his curses through clenched teeth. Nashkar again uses his axe to little effect on the Demon only scoring a minor wound to his dismay.
Sayuri is whipped around the face by the Chaos Beast and she put everything into her last spell she apparently has nothing left to defend herself with. With a moan and a strange slurping sound she collapses to the floor as pile of softly undulating skin; Crove with a grin at Sayuri’s predicament casts a spell and a hammer of force appears next to Nashkar and attempts to strike him but misses. The summoned Babu again goes for Nashkar not having much choice between a puddle of skin or a heavily armored Dwarf; lashing out with his claws it leaves a nasty looking acid etched claw marks down Nashkar’s face causing blood to trickle into his eyes. Zordlan however comes to the rescue and manages to pull himself together and regains his normal form. Admittedly it’s a much more generic normal form than he is used to as the features look to be badly molded clay; however it works as it should and he bends down and picks up his sword from the floor looking around the room to see what to do next. Grembor whips out his sword and attempts to strike the position he thinks Crove is in. He must have made a mistake however as none of his strikes hits anything. Pringle has more luck however as his spell fires off a bar of flame which impacts Crove’s invisible form burning the last vestiges of life from his mortal coil sending him collapsing to the ground with the low exhalation of his last breath rattling in his lungs. There would be celebration all round if they could in fact see this but events continue and the only one who would know is currently indisposed. Nashkar again strikes with his axe through the red stinging blur of his own blood but the axe just bounces off the tough skin of the Demon leaving no visible harm.
Now Grembor fails a save ...
Grembor gets a surprise as the Chaos Beast surges across the sinkhole and strikes out with one of its tentacles catching him low on his thigh; as happened to Zordlan and Sayuri he soon becomes a puddle of skin with an artfully placed sword and bow lying atop of it. Pringle looks around in fear knowing he is next as his mind quickly catalogues the spell options available to him. The Summoned Babu Demon attacks Nashkar again trying to take advantage of Nashkar’s partial blindness; its claws again find holes in his armor but its teeth bounce off his shield leaving an indent in the strong metal. Zordlan makes his way to the demon and strikes it with his sword catching it with a powerful slice which severs one of its fingers sending it spinning into the sinkhole behind him; the sword continues and scores a deep incision across its chest only just stopped by the thick breastbone of the creature. The Babu Demon turns and grins in his direction with the promise of pain in its eyes which makes Zordlan gulp in apprehension. Pringle back pedaling uses his staff to recall the spell which brought down Keeper Crowe and fires another pair of beams of flame towards the Chaos Beast; the fire flickers over the skin of the beast as if considering if it’s inherent resistance to magic will allow it to effect it as Pringles heart leaps to his throat. With a squeal of pain the fire burns through its resistance and its skin scorching the creature to its core as it screams in a writhing mass of whipping tentacles. Sayuri manages to pull herself together and staggers to her feet making sure her clothing is covering her ample charms before checking out the situation. Nashkar assisted by Zordlan’s attack strikes the Demon scoring some minor damage while wiping the blood from his eyes.
The Chaos Beast deciding that enough is enough makes its way to the closest and only exit. However this exit is blocked by a Babu Demon whose knowledge of the Abyss and Hell are very good; however knowledge of other places like the far realm was a little shaky had no idea what this creature was. He continues his attacks upon Nashkar missing him by a cat’s whisker. Zordlan again eying the Chaos Beast strikes the Demon bringing its attention back towards him; its hate filled gaze burning into his mind. Grembor gets himself back into some semblance of a humanoid form and scoops up his bow. He moves around the sinkhole to gain a better firing position as Pringle fires off a force missile towards the demon who ignores the fly bite. Sayuri also fires off a barrage of force missiles but these are from her spells not from a wand; they impact with great force battering the poor Demon around its head and shoulders.
The demon is not having a great day; it gets summoned to this location; where only a pit fiend would be stupid enough to want to be; then he gets the smack down by some uppity adventurers. Now it has some weird tentacled creature waving at him. Really it’s too much he thinks as the Chaos Beast strikes him soundly round the head a couple of times; rendering his solidity a thing of the past as the demon collapses into a red puddle of boneless demon flesh.
Zordlan cuts up the Chaos Beast rending it past dead as tentacles flop around on the floor having been severed from its body. The Babu Demon manages to reform its form into something approaching its usual shape to meet a barrage of arrows from Grembor; his last Arrow pierces the Demon’s eye transfixing its brain and causing instant death. The demon is reduced to smoke as it dissipates and if it remembers any of this on its home plane then it may be more cautious when faced with a Chaos Beast.
The party heaves a huge sigh of relief while looking around. Three of their members are looking a bit worse for wear; Nashkar channels some energy into the party healing up everyone and finishes up with a few localized healing spells. Sayuri and Pringle race to the fallen Keeper on a search for treasure; Sayuri gets most of it due to her swift movement. They are brutally reminded of their current situation as Zordlan is reduced to a pile of skin and flesh again.
They each do a mental assessment of their spells and no-one has anything they could use to help remedy the situation. They decide that Pringle as the fastest moving non afflicted person should head to the local temple to find someone to help in this matter and bring them back as quickly as possible. However as quickly as possible will be in excess of a half hour so Pringle sets off running to the temple of Pharasma which he knows is helpful … for a price.
Pringle is lost for words
Making it to the temple at record speed Pringle bursts into the main room and is met by an under priest who enquires as to his needs. Pringle while catching his breath manages to gasp out some nonsense which has the priest confused. Something along the lines of “I have to find a thing as my friends are hurt; they are all like blah and they need stuff to make them better.” The priest is very confused and asks Pringle to slow down and start from the beginning. Pringle takes a deep breath and then says “we killed a load of people then we fought an old guy who cast flame at us; following him we were attacked by a tentacled thing which made them blah then we killed the old guy and the demon and now we need help with the thing the thing did to us.” The priest now looking worried stutters out “wait you killed a load of people?” Pringle looks around the temple suddenly realizing what he just said …. “err yes they were crazy and they attacked us with errr stuff” The priest steps back a step feeling very much like a crazy person has just intruded into his day. “So where did you say these killings occurred?” Pringle getting the feeling that this can’t end well states that he just came from the lunatic asylum and that there are tentacled monsters there and his friends are in danger; with a smile the priest steps back a step again thinking “why do I always get the crazy ones.” He is just turning to one of the temple guards to ask that they restrain him when the high priest wanders through the temple. Catching sight of Pringle in his disheveled form and looking exceedingly distressed he advances.
Pringle standing in the foyer of the temple notices a familiar looking face approaching from within the temple proper and grins manically at him. This figure is a young bald heading man with expensive looking robes covering his lithe form. “Hello Pringle how are you feeling today? Better than when we last met I hope?” Pringle grins again and nods before blurting out that his friends need help and time is of the essence. “Oh how are your friends; Grembor was it not? Is he still a man of means?” Pringle nods a little unsure of what he means. “They need help; they were attacked by a tentacled monster and now they can’t keep their shape.” Nodding the head priest motions out the door; “well show us the way and we will do our best; for a reasonable price of course.” They run through the city again making it back to the lunatic asylum and heading quickly down the stairs to the basement.
Meanwhile down in the basement; Sayuri, Grembor and Zordlan each are afflicted by a curse that renders their form like jelly every minute unless they resist its powerful effect. However each time they fail another part of their psyche is ripped away and they step one small step closer to oblivion.
Zordlan was the first to suffer the ignoble fate of turning into a Chaos Beast closely followed by Grembor; Sayuri and Nashkar who is eyeing up Sayuri, carefully retreat out of the room into the corridor outside where they find Pringle coming along with a new face; a bald headed priest wearing the somewhat lavish robes of a priest of Pharasma. He looks over the small group questioningly and notices the pair of Chaos Beasts following down the corridor; nodding to himself he looks over the party and pokes them all a couple of times noticing that Sayuri is not feeling as solid as she should he casts a spell returning her to her normal self and dismissing the whole jelly in a bag of flesh problem.
He asks were Grembor is and they point to one of the Chaos Beasts; nodding he states that he can’t fix that; especially while they are alive. It would take very powerful magic to restore them to their natural form. When dead we may have a chance however …
Looking at each other they devise a cunning plan; Nashkar casts and erects a stone wall in the narrow corridor with a small hole only a few inches across in the middle. Sayrui and Pringle fire Lightning bolts and Fireballs through this hole until both Grembor beast and Zordlan beast are very dead, shocked and burnt. They hammer down the wall with Nashkars adamantine hammer and then retrieve the bodies for later work. It is a very sad procession leaving the lunatic asylum.
DM Note: Chaos Beasts are nasty. Upon failing your fort save you are rendered down to basically jelly or a jelly filled sack of skin. In order to assume your own form you require a will save and you can reclaim your form for a minute. Each round your in jelly form you loose a point of wisdom; if your wisdom hits 1 you turn into a Chaos Beast and the cycle begins again as you attack those who were trying to help you. To prevent this you need a Restoration, Heal or Remove curse; none of which Nashkar was currently carrying. Even a lesser restoration to bolster the failing wisdom would have been handy. I was very generous and took it to be 30 minutes to get to the temple Pringle to blurt out his sad tale and get back with help. Would have been less if Pringle had managed to concisely articulate his problem without making the priest think he was a crazy mass murderer. So each of the people infected needed to make 30 saving throws. If they fail more times tan they have points of wisdom then …
I daresay it would not have got to them as bad as it had if it was on its own. Two party members dead and killed by the party no less; personally running this session I found it hilarious. Now to figure out a way to bring them back; if it is actually possible. I have an idea how they could do it but I don’t think some of them will like it. Plus considering the area they are in there may be some side effects …
Grembor reborn ... with a thirst for calamari
They make it back to the Temple without any problem; they then start hauling out all the treasure they have discovered to cover the costs of the spells. The temple can’t actually perform the miracle but they do have contacts in the area to a druid who could help out. He explains that the only Clerical spell which could feasibly bring them back is a True Resurrection which is vastly more powerful than anyone round here can cast. However there is hope if you’re willing to take the risks? The risk being that you will not be coming back in your body and that you may indeed be a different race, sex or size. Now there are ways of minimizing the risk with anointing with expensive herbs, oils and unguents but it’s a chaotic spell and there is only so much we can do with it. We can shave the odds so it makes it more likely to be a certain sex or size but nothing is ever certain with this spell.
The party look at each other; tears rolling down their faces as they come to the fatefull decision that they will indeed go ahead with the ceremony; the young bald priest who we shall call Minax the undying for no real reason leaves the room to arrange things. They are served some food and drinks while they wait. Under priests enter to sort out preparing the bodies but are somewhat at a loss as to what to do with the burnt up tentacled things but they do their best with funeral shrouds and some sweet smelling candles.
A couple of hours later Minax the undying re-enters followed by an older woman who still seems sprightly in her advanced years. She nods at the assembled party and pokes at the recumbent figures of what were once Grembor and Zordlan. Shrugging and with the words “what harm can it do” she nods curtly at Minax and the bodies are gathered up and taken outside into the pouring rain. Behind the church is an area still left wild where these sorts of ceremonies are performed; setting the corpse of Grembor down onto a rune marked natural stone which is surrounded by long lush looking grass which wraps itself around the recumbent form and seems to swallow it into the rune marked stone. The Druidess starts a small fire at the head of the stone while chanting; picking out various expensive woods, oils and herbs and throwing them onto the fire; a small stone pot is set aside with several pungent herbs mixed with ground up minerals and ample oils. This is placed upon the fire and the stone starts sparking and flaring various coloured flames from the top as the contents are stirred together with strange smelling aroma’s drifting through the air. The rain intensifies if anything but the druidess seems unaffected by the torrent of rainwater. Crows overhead a calling out in their raucous cries circling the site with increasing numbers joining them as the ceremony continues; the group look at each other in concern as the signs are not looking good.
At the culmination of the ceremony the Druidess gets out some chicken and drops it into the pot stirring it as it cooks while smacking her lips in appreciation … Well that is what I would have liked to say. But she picks up the stone pot and pours it over the rune marked stone; clucking like a chicken as it runs into each and every rune causing it to burn with a sickly green flame which she seems to not like the look of much. She pokes at it with a stick a couple of times seeing if it will change colour to the vibrant green she is expecting but it remains stubbornly a sickly green colour. The crows overhead number in the hundreds as they circle the area their cries almost drowning out the storm and the now shrieking Druidess. Finally the stone cracks across it’s middle with an ear splitting retort and a linen wrapped bundle raises from the earth below; the stone repairs itself and the motionless form is left lying upon the wet stone as the green flames gutter and die around it lightly scorching the linen wrap even in the rain. The murder of crows above all cry out at once and they depart flying off to various points of the compass; again acting normally.
The Druidess walks up to the wrapped body and pokes it with her ever present stick; grunting as she kneels down she slams her hand down upon it’s chest with a force which should have caved in its chest; with a pained cough and choke the figure starts moving; feebly trying to push the tightly wound linen away from its face with limbs that don’t seem to respond as they once did. With help the new Grembor manages to extract the linen from its form and his eyes see the light of day for the first time. The light is grey and overcast when an ominous steak of lightning which shoots across the sky and hits the temple roof with a resonating blast. The party look on in surprise as the new Grembor looks at each of them noticing the looks on each of them as they see him for the first time. “Ok now what am I” he asks as they all look upon him with various amounts of concern and wonderment. He wipes the rain from his eyes with a tentacle before he even considers it and then looks down at his arms. His right arm and shoulder is a writhing mass of black tentacles of various lengths and thicknesses; with a thought they raise up before him and wrap around each other forming a close approximation of an arm with five fingers on its hand. “Interesting” is his only response as he bends his arm in unusual ways which makes Sayuri’s stomach churn in other unusual ways. Pringle grins in appreciation suspecting the alien influence obviously corrupting the land and local magics. He has recently come into a more worldly view of all things tentacled and understands how useful a tentacle could be.
Examining the rest of his body it looks like there are some errant writhing tentacles within his body which the skin is keeping in check; there is no telling how deep the taint has gone. He quickly pulls the linen covering himself to one side then grins at the party in relief as there is no other outward signs of tentacles and it looks like the remaining part of him is still mostly elven.
Sayuri is now seriously reconsidering what she is going to do with Zordlan and how to bring him back if this is an example of what happens here.
DM Note: Reincarnation is a tricky spell, some people love it and some hate it. I am allowing for a significant excess to mitigate some of the risk. For a spell which costs 1k to cast I am allowing each 5k spent in excessive oils and ingredients to mitigate a factor like if your coming back as a male or a female, if your medium sized or small. Each 5k past this allows you to move the scale up or down a notch; max is two notches. So when you roll to see what you come back as you can change the result up or down by two results. Some people just are not happy with coming back as a female Halfling … I just don’t understand it … Think it’s the hairy feet.
As for the taint of aberration they received; the whole area is besieged by alien energies; if a raise dead is used then it would act normally as its just breathing life into a corpse but something like then where a whole new body is being created; the power being drawn from the surrounding area and the source body is an aberration itself then its just too much of a co-incidence to let this go without something weird happening. There are benefits to this as there are negatives; but these will have to be discovered later on; being an aberration does have its difficulties in social circles after all.
New Zordlan ... very much like the old Zordlan
Sayuri with reservations allows the proceedings to go ahead to bring Zordlan back in an alternate body. The ritual proceeds as before but thankfully with less crows circling above. When Zordlan emerges he seems completely restored in a new body much to Sayuri’s delight. However upon closer inspection his eyes have changed colour to deep soulless pits of black despair surrounded with silver while sometimes under his skin there is movement as it something dark and strangely alien is wriggling inside of his flesh suit. This is disconcerting but it’s still Zordlan so she is happy.
They set out to the tavern they stayed in previously called the Sloppy Rune Inn and they stay up late drinking the suspect beverages behind the bar before retiring to bed.
What big monster .. oh that big monster
The next morning dawns grey with thunder and lightning disturbing the peace; the amount of rainfall is causing problems with the streets as the volume of water is washing some of them away. They however soon find themselves approaching the Rupman Vats were the last of the victims reside; however upon approaching they notice the building is crumbling and one of the walls seems to explode as if hit with great force from inside. As they approach they can see the large building shaking while the surrounding building are stable; Nashkar approaches the door and cracks it open so he can see through. He can see nothing inside except for the results of something huge ripping things from the inside ceiling and walls of the building. However the destruction stops and large strange looking footprints seem to be moving their way along with the stench of the creature which almost makes him regurgitate his breakfast.
Something long, tentacled and invisible wraps itself around his chest with crushing strength; luckily for him his full plate armor prevents the teeth he feels gnawing upon the steel of his breastplate along the length of the tentacle. The rest of the party look in shock as their healer is again stricken and made mostly harmless by something none of them can see. Sayuri casts a quick spell to allow her to see those things invisible to the normal eye and almost runs away in terror as she beholds the manifestation of Yog-Sothoth for the first time. The huge tentacled beast covered in blazing red eyes burning with hate and hunger; mouths in the place of hands and feet its face a parody of the poor unfortunate’s body it possessed to be here and its face is still frozen in the scream it let out when he met his end. She steps back a step struggling to hold in her own breakfast and sanity as the stench and the view are not helping with either. She strongly considers clawing out her own eyes before her rational mind re-asserts itself and tells her not to be so melodramatic.
Pringle knowing something is there but unable to see it casts Ice Storm over the area which while it does not seem to effect the creature it does outline it in snow and ice allowing the rest of the party to at least see its outline. Grembor and Zordlan fire arrows at the outlined form some striking its tough hide; Zordlan’s arrows seem to bounce off while Grembors seem to penetrate and cause some small wounds. Nashkar manages to channel energy through the party healing up the massive amounts of damage the creature caused him and refreshing the others who had not fully healed from the day before. The abomination which only Sayuri can see tightens the tentacle around Nashkar pulling him to the floor before the creature; the teeth along the length of the tentacle gnawing their way through his magical plate armor trying to get to the succulent flesh inside. Sayuri trusts in her spells and unleashes a torrent of force missiles at the creature as they blast past its defenses and cause several eyes to explode in torrents of foul smelling slime which causes the whole party to gag and vomit; poor Nashkar however has his helmet closed as he vomits inside of his armor and vomit in your beard is never a pleasant thing. That is going to need some serious scrubbing to get that clean … should he survive the small problem he currently has with the whole tentacle thing. Pringle fires off some force missiles which impact but seem to be absorbed by the creature’s resistance to magic; while Grembor continues to fire arrow after arrow into the hideous monster he can’t see (some of which even strike true) Zordlan charges into the fight with sword drawn as several tentacles streak his way which amazingly miss his lithe form. Utilizing his new powers his sword slices through one of the tentacles sending it crashing to the floor; the spurt of foul smelling ichor which splatters over his armor does not help his stomach though. The tentacle flashes into view as it is separated from the host and appears to be a long tentacle with many toothed maws with clusters of burning red eyes interspacing them. The sight does not improve his digestion in any way.
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