"Heirs of Turucambi" (Session Recap)

Aeolius

Adventurer
In last week’s game (06/30/13) the party explored the depths of the Azure Sea, having traveled from the Solnor Ocean within a saltwater lake held aloft upon a floating island fashioned from a cloud. Within the waters, they sought the whereabouts of the undersea fortress of Drawmij, reportedly where the mechanatrix Jaenan was now held captive. To this end, they had located a pelagic tribe of merfolk who dwelt both upon and within a gargantuan jellyfish.

The last they had seen of Jaenan, she had been lost in the Stream of Time when the vessel she was exploring returned to its proper time. Chronomancy was a hazardous magic for even the most adept of wizards.

Having briefly investigated the gargantuan jellyfish, the kelpie known as Botry learned that it was known as Medeopolis and that its merfolk population were both xenophobic and extremely distrustful of her kind.

Medeopolis appeared to be a transparent dome-like globe with translucent structures placed therein. Examining the creature in closer detail, the party saw a merman with glowing tattoos swimming within the jellyfish itself. The bioluminescent markings appeared to resemble the random spiraling lines often associated with jellyfish stings.

"Hail, stranger!" the merman spoke to NeeKaa, having watched the party’s approach. Cautiously, he raised a spear made of bone and abalone. "Two strangers within the span of a single tide. Unusual."

When the oceanid NeeKaa sought passage into Medeopolis, the merman was adamant in denying her entry. 

"I am afraid that is impossible. Only Medeopolitans may pass. We welcome the trade of goods and information but our city is sacred. We are also on high alert having spied a kelp temptress in these very waters.”

When NeeKaa tried to buy her way into the city, the merman seemed agitated.

"The only wealth we now seek is the Nutricula. Bring us the Nutricula and you will be made welcome, here, assuming you survive passage into Medeopolis, of course. You have until the time when the smaller moon atop Synsaal shines full."

When NeeKaa returned to her companions, she sought the council of her aunt Meir, now an undead shrunken head. Whereas NeeKaa was the daughter of the salt hag Salkt and a triton, Meir was born to the hag Xaetra and a human. It was Xaetra’s dalliance with a sea elf that had produced Salkt, thus binding them with blood. It was Salkt and the sea hag known as Tempest who had slain Meir, reanimating the shellycoat in undeath as a tsantsa to complete their covey with a subservient slave.

"Nutricula?” she repeated aloud “I believe it to be some form of animal. There is one who may know more, though. Ciliaris knows the seas. As you know, the reef hag resides in Driftwood, on the outskirts of Turucambi Reef. We may seek her council within the Tidepool, unless there is some other means of scrying available. I believe I know of such a way; The Cookbook. Are witches’ cauldrons not used as scrying pools?"

Meir referred to the book found within a crimson pumpkin in the root cellar of D’naeli’s Stairwell. The pumpkin had arisen as an animate scarecrow but revealed its secret when a password was spoken. The Cookbook was clad in a green-scaled cover and held velum pages within. The book had seemingly been made waterproof using magic.

There were many mundane recipes, within the Cookbook. Seemingly scattered throughout the book were references to the Cauldron of the Covyn. Many such references mentioned Iryaek, Xaetra, and D'naeli. Several pages detailed spells and other magics.

After several minutes, NeeKaa located a chapter detailing the use of the Caldron of the Covyn as a means of scrying in the manner of a crystal ball. The scrying ability of the Cauldron could be awakened through an incantation and a recipe. All of the ingredients could be found in the apothecary save for one, the eye of a creature known for its sight.

Yet, inexplicably, Sakura found a vial containing "Eyes of the Lamprey" within the apothecary. She was certain no such vial had been there in prior days.

Within the pocket-dimension known as D’naeli’s Stairwell, NeeKaa and Sakura swam swiftly through the flooded chamber up to the air-filled root cellar. There, sequestered behind a concealed doorway, was the roughly-hewn room which held both the Cauldron of the Covyn and the soulless simulacrum created by the scarab Glaucus.

Glaucus, the animate scarab, had once been the demon’s amulet of the alu-demoness Anasta, granddaughter of Xaetra and the Cold Lord Kostchtchie. When her mortal form had been slain in the arctic waste known as the Land of Black Ice, the spirit of Anasta returned to Hades where it was watched over by the hag Iryeak.

Unbeknownst to the hags, Glaucus had used the magics at his disposal; the Cookbook, the apothecary, and the ingredients found within the stairwell to recreate his mistress.

Having followed the scrying recipe, NeeKaa and Sakura watched patiently from within the roughly-hewn chamber. Within moments the cauldron began to bubble, swirl, and froth.

"What manner of madness is this?" the voice of Ciliaris was heard as if from a distance.

"NeeKaa? Sakura? Is that you? Wait a tick. Let me see.... Ahh! There you are!" the voice continued. The image of Ciliaris appeared as a ripple upon the surface of the cauldron.

“A most effective means of communication!" she exclaimed "I hope you are well, I miss you all. How may I be of assistance, Soldiers of the Tide?"

When NeeKaa described their predicament, the reef hag was eager to reply.

"Nutricula? The immortal jellyfish? They are easy enough to find, but only the larger ones can be used to craft potions of longevity. What need do you have of them? Never you mind, here is what they look like." After a minute, Ciliaris returned holding an open book. "As for when Celene will shine in her full glory, we only just had the festival. In three months time, she will be full again."

NeeKaa found comfort in the countenance of the reef hag. When they had first met, Ciliaris dwelled in a simple cavern on the outskirts of Turucambi Reef. Ciliaris had seemingly given her life as willing sacrifice to awaken the altar which summoned the maelstrom within Hags Hollow. Yet the reef hag would not be so easily overcome. The party had since learned that when a reef hag dies, her coral-like horns fall from her brow and seed the ocean floor with a reef of incarnum coral. When a sea hag passes near such a reef, she becomes impregnated and gives virgin birth, parthenogenesis, to an infant reef hag. The reef hag swiftly grows, inheriting all of the knowledge of her progenitor. In this way, the reef hag has claimed immortality.

"Use a net. Do not let it touch you.” Ciliaris cautioned “They seem mindless, but for reasons I cannot explain, they seem attracted to younger prey. Feed it well and it will be docile, for a time, yet I am not sure fish fry will suffice. Though I said it was attracted to younger prey, the lifespan is important. A fish that lives but a year is not nearly as tasty as one that lives for decades, or even centuries, to Nutricula."

In the conversation that followed, the party discussed nacemancy, the magic of pearls, with the reef hag. They also discussed the acquisition of Cloudsea and the fate of both Jaenan and Jariah, the child of pearl who was abducted by the krampus, Xaetra’s male offspring. When told that Jariah was a prisoner of the ixitxachitl, she offered one simple word of advice.

“Play against their pride.”

When Ciliaris learned that Jaenan was held within the undersea fortress of Drawmij, she seemed puzzled.

"My dears, you had but to ask. One tick." In three minutes time, Ciliaris returned with another book. "Here he is. Get close to this region and listen for the dolphins."

The book showed a map of Oerth. The particular page showed an enlargement of the region beneath the Azure Sea, 150 miles south of Gradsul in Keoland.

"Mind you, my curiosity is piqued. Why do merfolk need a jellyfish that provides longevity?"
 

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