Main Story continued
After resting the night in the ruined Treff Broga (Giant tree home of the frog pople), the party of;
Davros – War Cleric of Nuada with Crazy enchanted metal war arm played by Damo
Mathias (Powerful Tiefling Warlock with Black Dragon Mask) played by Tim
Thurin – Paladin of Bahamut / Stone enthusiast played by Mark
Khan – Human Dragon Sorcerer in the area searching out powers to fight his plagued homeland played by Jarma
Bip – Last of the frogpeople trained in basic fighting by Thurin (NPC)
Get ready to set out after the missing frog people via the tunnels under the Treff Broga another adventurer finds the group. A young nobleman who left his estate to find adventure after hearing tales of the Bad Company, Roeman Ramone (Eldritch Knight) or Roe for short. He explains how easy it was for a man of his station to track the party down, given their trail of influence and destruction and lends his services on their current quest.
The new and improved bad company set off through the tunnels under treff-broga and found a huge cavern. Frog people tracks along the left hand side lead onward to a tunnel beyond the cavern but at the far right side of the yawning space are some stairs leading up to ancient worked stone temple door. One of the players thought they saw a brief green flash near the door as well.
So the party ascend the stairs to find an alcove, inside the alcove the thick moss has been scraped away to reveal a door. In the door is a cube shaped hole. To the left a picture of a square man (the IRL cube-bot puzzle I gave to tim after his warlock Mathias spoke with the Lizard folk of the southern marshes.) and to the right showed the cube man folded into a perfect cube. On the floor was a beaten up frog person who while dead some time was clear was bludgeoned to death. Next to his corpse a rough cut cube. The entire party save for Mathias and his summoned air elemental body guard step toward the door and use the found rough cut hewn cube rock, and place it into the hole.
The door fires the cube out of the hole, sending it flying as a hidden wall cuts the alcove off from the outside. Holes open in strategic places in the alcove as a dais raises up 5ft in the middle, an island amidst a deepening and strengthening whirl pool. Khan hops up onto the dias as the Thurin simply walks against the current, dragging Bip behind him. Thurin, safely atop the dais holds the amphibious Bip in place as he searches for a mechanism under the water.
Outside, separated from his group Mathias tries chipping away at the stonework with his enchanted pick axe given to him by the deep gnomes after the battle with the beholder before remembering his disdain for manual labour, so he retreated to a safe distance while his air elemental begins pounding against the door and taking a few eldritch blast pot shots.
From the inside Davros has take multiple attempts in smashing the wall down without much seccess and is smashed into wall after wall after wall. Roe doesn’t fare much better and the sorcerer Khan makes a dramatic leap from the dais to kick the wall only to get swept away, smashing bashing into walls by the roaring whirling water. Just as bip worms his fingers under the mechanism to drain the trap, Mathias hulking air elemental smashes through the wall, sending the party sliding, coughing in an ungainly heap at the feet of the smirking Mathias. Khan realises if they can fold up their little figuring into a perfect cube, that will likely open the door, and the dead frog, had obviously tried to open it with the rough cut cube rock, and met his demise via a thorough smashing against the walls. (Players need to fold up the cube bot to a perfect cube, but only if their players aren’t doing anything else.)
The party decides to investigate the green spark they saw earlier, finding a lump under the thick moss covered wall. Upon peeling it away they find stone hands protruding from the wall cupped as if begging for alms. Above it, etched into the stone, a riddle.
“We are four brothers in this world and we’re all born together.
The first one runs and never wearies.
The second eats and is never full.
The third drinks and is ever thirsty,
The fourth sings a song that is barely heard.”
Unable to figure it out at the urging of Bip who is concerned for his stolen kin, the party decides to leave the temple for the moment. Khan specifically striking out alone into the tunnels beyond the cavern, following the footprints of the frog people. Can approaches a bend, where a fire burns, around the corner, so sneaks toward it unfortunately triggering a trap before he can get there. A blast of force flings the wizard from the right of the tunnel towards a trap door that swung open. The wizard clings on with his fingertips, calling out to the party before sliding down, down into darkness and landing heavily.
The rest of the party race to catch up, and spot the trap, divided about what to do. Frogman Bip, the dwarven Paladin Thurin, Tiefling Mathias and human Roe (Who is sitting at the back fo the aprty playing with the puzzle in an effort to figure it out) decide to move around the corner and find the fire was an illusion, possibly to lure people close, and send them down the chute. They continue past the illusiary fire and into a cavern while Davros, sword gleaming with a light spell jumps down the chute.
The bottom of the chute is completely dark, and Khan cannot make a thing out other than multiple gutteral voices. While he can’t understand them he knows they taunt him, and is clocked by a rock at one point and splashed from above with excrement, to the racious laughter from his captors. Moments later laughing turns to startled cries as Davros tumbles from a chute down into a globe of darkness which the wizard is sitting in, the Cleric getting the briefest of looks around the cavern. Having jack of it Khan teleports the pair to ledge overlooking what turned out to be a cage, complete with crumpled frog people bodies. The pair are quickly surrounded by Druegar, gray dwarves, as they teleported to the entrance of their sleeping quarters and ledges leading towards two lookout points within the cavern.
Before the pair are rushed by a wave of charging creatures, Khan realises who doused him with the mixture of urine and poop. A cruel looking dwarf next to a bucket overlooking the fenced area he landed in. The Druegar isn’t able to resist Khans spell and is turned into a crab which plops into the bucket, unable to scale the slippery, excrement lined sides.
Roughly 6 of the solid looking dwarves close in on the pair, completely surrounding them, smashing away with their heavy war picks. Things don’t look good for the pair, as the battering continues and the dwarfs themselves turn invisible, making defense against thair barrage even harder.
Luckily the rest of the party find their way to a covered position on the other side of the cavern. A fire of hatred boils in Thurin who rather than take the long ramp down to the cavern floor, slides down some loose rubble, but causes a small avalanche, ending half buried in the stone, while Roe and Matthias start slinging spells from their position to assist the besiged pair of Khan and Davros.
The few gray dwarves at ground level suddenly grow to double their size. One heads for the trapped Thurin while the other too try to unlock a cage containing a frothing Quagoth. A large beast with cat like head, more akin to a bear or yeti. And if that wasn’t enough, Roe, Bip and Mathias safe little perch turns out to not be so safe, as drifting down from among the stalactites is another mind flayer. Before the trio can react its disgusting slimy face tentacles flick outwards as if it was trying to blow out a birthday candle, with a soft Fwoomp sound.
A wave of physcic energy rolls over bip, immediately knocking him out, blood shooting from his eyes and ears. Matthias doesn’t fare much better, the potent ranged Warlock also being knocked down, the assault leaving him stunned. Roe however is able to focus his mind and resist the barrage before charging in, flaming sword flashing.
Meanwhile the pair of Khan and Davros manage to hit back at the invisible Druegar. unsure of their numbers Khan makes a break for it along a path 20ft above the main cavern floor, towards the centre of space, trying to get some distance so he can sling some ranged spells. He arrives just in time to see the two Drueugar release the feral looking Quagoth’s cage door from its handle. As it explodes hungrily from its enclosure Khan draws on almost all of his magical resources and rocks the entire cavern with huge explosions, leaving the Quagoth and two giant Druegars, nothing more than crispy smoking husks.
As a giant war pick comes down at Thurins head, the dwarf angles his shield just so, to deflect the blow harmlessly into the rubble, then in a show of brute strength, shrugs the boulders and loose rubble and sets his feet to meet his confident, grinning attacker. Thurin swigs a bottle and a moment later, his attackers wicked grin dissolves away as the two huge dwarfs, one dark one light, lock in battle.
Davros hasn’t time to admire the spectacle as several invisible gray dwarfs unable to penetrate the Clerics armour change tactics, and simply work together to restrain the deadly warrior. Before they can, an acid arrow care of Khan, gives ones position away, the burning smoke giving his location away. Davros cuts him down before the remaining few pin his arms by his side, and throw his sword 10ft away.
Seeing his friend in trouble Thurin give a mighty roar which drowns out all sound of battle and cleaves his giant foe clean in half and pounds his way across the cavern to help his friend using his giant size and brute strength to pull the cleric back. The only problem is the tiny ledge he pulls him too only has room for one, not three and Davros is pulled over the edge falling 20ft, landing in a heap of invisible Druegar. Without a weapon.
Meanwhile the huge offensive potential of Mathias’s eldritch blasts is still down, the tiefling unable to shake the stunning blow from the illithid leaving Roe to fight the foul being on his own, it’s tentacles wrapped around his head, digging ina and around his eyes, ears and nose, trying to find purchase to continue on to his brain. Luckily, before it’s evil beak can puncture his skull the fighter spins away from his grasp, feignging disorientation before leaping forward, burying his burning blade into the illithids head.
As the battle raged around them the ilithid broadcast a menacing warning to the party, that he had already sent word to his kin and that the party has no hope against their forces before breaking into a wheezing gurgling laugh before Roe stands over him and proclaims “More hope than you” and plunges his sword through the aberrations head.
Matthias finally shakes off the devastating effect of the mind flayers psionic blast and helps the party wipe out the few remaining Duergar. Clearly outnumbered the final Duergar throws his hands up in surrender, parlaying with Thurin in its harsh dwarven variant. The Gray dwarf explains he works for the Mind flayers, helps them guard new slaves and such, and that allying with them is much more favourable to being enslaved by them. He also details that roughly half the frogpeople where taken toward a new mind flayer outpost in the udnerdark, about a weeks trek down the tunnels and the other half sold to a black dragon (Players realise this is connected to the lizard folk they met a few days before, outside treff broga)/
. Thurin gives Bip, the final choice as to what to do with the prisoner. At first he wants nothing to do with it, but the wise paladin presses him to take leadership, leadership he needs to practice as the remaining ruler of his people. Seeing a few broken frogmens bodies in the cage area, Bip takes a sword and lops the prisoners head off. Davros draws his weapon in outrage, for slaying a surrendered foe is not honorable, his ire causing the small leader of the frogmen to leap behind Thurin in terror. Thurin backs up the frogmans choice however the pair stopping mid argument to spy bip knealing over his fallen peoples in sadness.
All the while Khan was busy at work retrieving the waste bucket containing the polymorphed Duergar and took it over to the rubble that had buried Thurin and tips the contents, crab and all, into the hole left by the dwarf, and spends time burying it a best as possible before helping the others search bodies, bind wounds and consider their next options as three similar looking passages lead out from their current location.
Besides the scattered weapons, scraps of food and water the party discovered a well hidden map. The map is fairly basic in nature and the rough scratchings show two of the tunnels leading to a cavern but cant discern what the symbols in that cavern mean. A volcano? Giant stalagmite? The first path leads directly there, the second, via another cavern. The third leads away to a symbol of a dragons skull.
As the players mull over the meaning of the map, Matthias explains he knows who the dragon is. Matthias had spent time with the lizard folk, his black dragon mask making it easy to deal with the minions of a black dragon. He explains she is Raznimax Artognimine aka “Deaths Head” and explained she laid dormant for centuries until her son Rezmir was recently slain by a group of adventurers. Matthias, hungry for the unimaginable loot an ancient black dragon would hold pleads with the company to go forth and slay her. The well studied Row explains that she was bron from Incubolos himself (an aspect of disease and chaos) and after much debating and the level headed advice of Khan the party realise they need to know more of the legendary creature before taking it on.
By this point Roe, has solved the puzzle of the temple key (A real life puzzle well solved by Corey cos it was friggen hard) and the party agree that it might be worth knowing if some power lay within those ruins they can use. Bip is against it, wanting to plunge on in chase of his people but is ultimately swayed by the group.
The party back track and make it to the temple entrance, and use the completed puzzle to open the door. Inside the walls are covered with black vines. But the party once again see the green spark on the wall near them. Upon investigation the green spark touches the wall, sending the black vines crawling and slithering away from that space. before a series of images appear one by one.
(Copied from my DM notes)
-A temple like structure with a tree on top. (Looks similar to Treff Broga)
-The tree on top turns into a woman, the symbol of Beory around her neck (Was on the door of the temple)
-Shows animals and birds and sun beaming from the woman, trees rising around the temple
-lizard folk emerge from the forest, one super huge one seems to talk to the woman
-The green soft glow turns to a harsh red as the lizard figure steals the green disk from her neck and dives into the temple
-womans shrivels as fires rise up behind her, surrounding trees shrivel away
-Woman throws herself at temple, sinking it into earth.
-Woman surrounded by blackness reaches on hand out. tiny green light reaches surface sprouting huge tree as she fades to nothing
As the company debates on the images meaning, The ever confident Davros strides down the long entrance hall. The green spark appears before him briefly, shaking violently. Davros shrugs and makes to move forward, the spark moving to stop him. Once again Davros moves forward only to step on a pressure plate. The floor shift suddenly, sending Davros into a pit, filled with black snakes which widens more and more, with more and more snakes pouring out of metal grates. Davros is quickly rescued, but not before taking several extremely venomous bites. The party easily make it over the widening pit only to realise the far door was actually locked. Khan spies a control panel but his tinkering causes the pit to widen faster. Thurin begins trying to beat the door down as the edge speeds ever closer, but a few well aimed shots from Mathias blasts the door open, causing the trap to rest. Khan realises the doors locked, only when the trap was triggered.
Beyond the door a stairway lead down, but before moving on, Davros wants to check a side room to the main entrance hall. The party queue up and see this dusty rectangular room has a few barrels at either end and old viewing platforms or balconies above, and a door to the far left. Davros strides in, and starts for the door. What he didn’t realise was the room was a giant see saw, and his weight on one side caused him to loose his footing. As the left side dipped he picked up speed, heading toward a dark room, a floor below his original starting point. Row and Khan jump onto the opposite side causing the see saw to level out but too late, the cleric lands in a heap in pitch darkness. Producing his sword from his magic arm the Cleric lights the area to see 5 drooling rust monsters, staring hungrily at his gleaming weapons, arm, armour and shield. The monsters are on him in a moment, the cleric in a panic managing to avoid almost any contact, though his once gleaming plate is streaked with a few brown, crumbly lines. The cleric rolled away to give himself space to cast a spell, calling forth the souls of warriors fallen by his blade which whip and whirl around in a maelstrom, the ethereal forms not effected by the foul beasts. By this time the rest of the party, excluding Thurin who couldn’t fit through the door in his still large size have swung the see saw back down and help the Cleric finish the last few of the vermin off.
Battle over the party investigate the far room, and find a storage room, full of wooden weapons, water and barrels of ore containing precious metals. Before they left the area though the party, having heard growls of more rust monsters on the other side prepare an ambush.
All the while Thurin is speaking with a strange looking creature. roughly the size of a gnome, only much more lean, with long pointed ears and a pale grey blue coloured skin. The creature speaks so fast, that Thurin had trouble understanding it. The creature asked about the party number and where they came from, showing obvious excitement that they opened the door to the temple and disappeared in a blur back down the temple depths.
The rest of the parties ambush goes off without a hitch. Khan delivers a well aimed fireball who’s total damage ends up in the 200’s! Davros, Roe and Matthias easily mop up any surviving rust monsters before Roe and Davros sift through the knee high piles for rust. The pair finds a wooden box containing a bag of holding, only the stitching on the outside seemed a little off to Roe who (critted arcana check) identified it as a devious Bag of devouring. He went on to explain the bag is basically an orifice for a gigantic inter-dimensional monster, and that anyone who reached in had a 50% chance of being pulled in and immediately obliterated and that items could sometimes survive, but had a good chance of eventually being digested as well.
With a wide grin, Davros holds up his metal arm “This is awesome! My arm isn’t organic, check it out!” but before Roe could finish his protest the cleric is violently sucked into the bag. Davros find himself floating in space. Gorgeous formations of purple intergalactic dust shine from a backdrop of billions of stars, the thrones of gods themselves. But the image quickly turns into a nightmare as he sees the light of the bag opening diminish from view, a slimey, spike covered appendage wraps around his leg, and try as he might to hold onto the bags edge, the Cleric’s strength was simply not enough and he begins to fall, into the void.
Suddenly he comes to a jarring and painful stop. Roe has reached in the bag and grasped his arm, despite knowing the HUGE risk to himself. Caught between the two pulling forces Davros tries a one last ditch effort to call on his godlike powers, not to be destroyed, however in his panic, struggles to focus his prayers.
Roe is flung across the room, landing painfully against the far wall, huge smile on his face unable to let go of Clerics hand. But the relief is short lived. Roe is holding the clerics hand a cold rock forming in his stomach as his eyes run over it’s smooth metal surface gleaming in torch light from hand, to forearm, bicep then shoulder… Stopping at the flap of gristle at its end.
Shell shocked, the eldritch knight scoops up the bag, avoiding its opening, and secures it to his waist. He hefts the metal arm of Davros, trudging slowly back up the see-saw to share the horrific news….