Session Ten Summary (Graveyard of Empires: After the Fall)
Session 10, September 9 2020
Having joined some travelling deep gnomes after their battle at the spider bridge, the party makes their way towards one of the smaller trading settlements of the Underdark. Perhaps the residents there have more information about their dark elf quarry ...
We investigated the area requiring silence with a giant tentacle and smelly undead in a pit.
We keep quiet and pass the tentacle, and the pit with undead is cleared when Braadlur turned undead.
We found runes relating to regeneration and imprisonment, and a combination of both Ancient common and Ancient dwarven about a curse of eternal undeath.
The tentacle was still there, and we made it to Hesfyx the settlement and name of its leader, with the title Czizek-Tirgma (gem seller).
We met a group from Villems who recognized Rallion, Majilis, lieutenant of the guard of Villems. And Herazib who guided the party when they fought the beetlemen (umber hulks) when Thorfus was killed.
They offered us to stay with them, we did a big favor and they have retrieved a lot of gems since we cleared out the beetlemen.
We went to seek healing and there is Offix who is a deepgnome who claims to be the last mage. He has a crystal on a chain that is glowing blue and looks like the one Braadlur has.
He used it to heal Fisher, then had his assistant Ambren bring in a slave, and speaking words to appease the Stone Gods, to power up the crystal, turns the human slave to crystal and by the time it is done, the slave is gone. then Felix is healed. Now both Fisher and Felix are able to get around.
We then went to the alchemist, Terramin, and buy 6 healing potions and order 6 more for tomorrow. Also 1 sleep poison, 1 death poison, and 2 cure disease, and 2 corals for 12 doses of water breathing.
Those hurt the worst, 6 of us, each drink a healing potion and are a little less worse for wear.
We also buy information that drow came from the Necropolis with an "outsider" traveling through the area on the way to Villems. This was 10 work cycles ago or 3 days and 8 hours. [What about going from the cave we followed them in this direction??]
We asked Majilis what would be a good offering to give Hesfyx. She suggests a couple hundred gp worth of gems and that more would be needed if we need a favor.
We bed down to rest and will see Hesfyx in the "morning."
Rallion shared caution from a note the party found:
Session 171 prior campaign:
We find a neatly folded letter behind the berserker letting us know that Villems betrayed us and that some of the dark elves are on our side:
Blessings of Lloth on you Outsiders,
The grotesque Czizak-Ygna who hosted you recently has betrayed you to those among our people still loyal to the Deceivers from the Great Outside (known to many as the Hidden Ones). The Brood of Hyvaneq intends you harm, so be wary between the trading post and that warren of stunted liars known as Vilsnarg. However, be aware that you have allies among the Matriarchs of Shadow and within that crooked city’s elven embassy who can help you – remember, if you find yourself before a corrupt judge, requests for Ghirzak-Korman cannot be denied!
The Sisterhood of Arachne, Handmaidens to the Queen Who Spins Destiny’s Inescapable Threads
Undead Blob Blasted by Braadlur.
Many Marks… MANY Marks…. But for the good of the party… I leave them be.
most of a rest period about (6 hours or so) into the day and about half a work period
Zaki and troupe plus about half our party hang back while a few of us take off to check out the northern pit of undead in hopes of finding more useful ancient common writings to fuel more spells.
We pass the mouthy tentacle guardian at the roundabout and make our way north toward the pit of undead. There are chambers to the east and west, one a foul deposit of detritus from some messy housekeepers. The other a longish strange room with some alcoves to the north with nanocarbon protrusions on the back side of the alcoves. All are empty except for one that we find broken bits of metal from a treaded machine, fully picked over.
To the north is a crude barrier with a pit ahead full of an undulating mass of pulped multiple bodies in a disorganized blob of limbs, parts and flesh melded together. There’s a bit of heat making it noticeable with our night sight. Light appears to attract the ire of the … flesh pudding? It’s quite pungent with the smell of death and rotting meat. Rallion and I ponder a bit and I start taking a look at the runes when Braadlur strolls up and goes to turn the undead in the pit. To my surprise, and the rest of the party, the flesh mass disintegrates with the power of Braadlur’s force of will. The heat signature winks out and nothing is left of the writhing mass. Damn. That was impressive.
The writing on the ledge is in two sets. A crude chalk line of runes not distinguishable to us. Inside the pit walls are a separate set of runes that are … burned as if by acid into the wall and look quite ancient. I’m unable to read all of them, but make a copy. Rallion, Peronell and I decipher a mix of Ancient Common and Ancient Dwarven. We think the text is likely what kept the meat pudding ‘alive’ and fleshy more than rotty. Peronell says we may be able to pull some useful runes from the text.
I drop down and traverse the pit uneventfully, climb the opposite wall… it’s smooth as glass but has enough cracks and crevices to make it to the top. Once up I attempt to stay hidden, hearing shuffling steps and smelling that wondrous smell of decayed flesh. There’s shuffling forms ahead in what we deterimine was the mine cart storage area. there’s a catwalk system overlooking a main chamber. I bring the news back to the party and we decide to forgo further exploration and head on to the trading post.
When we go through the roundabout room.. the tentacled thing seems more excited than it has been… It also seems that our successful return has earned the respect of our Gnomish friends. Each of their group takes a turn and bows to each of us individually. Interesting. I’ll have to ask Braadlur what that means, if anything other than a modicum of respect.
After the genuflection, we make our way to the post. We’re to play the part of Braadlur’s slaves so as to not attract undue attention. Rallion marks our way, but also says there’s evidence of a lot of traffic along this path.
About 4pm by my reckoning we approach the trading post. Zaki halts the group and chats with Braadlur. The gist is: There’s rules, don’t break ‘em. No aggression or stealing (damn), no cheating when your mark isn’t looking… however you can take advantage as long as all the cards are on the table. The Trading Post is named Hesfyx after it’s leader of the same name with the title of Czizek Tirgma (gem trader). We’re to show our respect to Hesfyx before we leave...I’m assuming that means to Pay the Lady.
We enter a side passage on the left and Zaki chats with the voice in the same language. Braadlur relayed that we’ve been allowed entrance to the trading post. I hope they get a good price for us… heh heh heh… ok, yeah. It stinks not being able to know what’s going on and trust Braadlur and his gnomish friends without verification of benevolence. Nothing to do about it. Braadlur reiterates that we’re to follow the rules of hospitality while in the area.
We enter the tunnel and are scrutinized by a lot of armored deep gnomes bristling with weapons. They take careful note of each of us as we pass sizing us up.
We go through a vertical entrance down ladders toward the Hesfyx. Passing through a large barracks area with lots more dour deep gnomes armed to the teeth. Then the open ladder into a large cavern with groups of beings, pack animals and stalls arranged haphazardly across an open floor. There are many side passages off the main cavern and it looks, smells and feels like a marketplace. Ahh, a semblance of civilization...I’m feeling pretty good as this is my kind of environment. Too bad I can’t communicate… ahh well, the ambiance is comforting.
There’s a group that Rallion and a few of the original crew have encountered before, they chat, Braadlur chats. The leader of the group familiar with Rallion is Magilis, Harrisep was a guide down here last time he was here. We get info on healing magic and go to help our wounded.
Rallion relays a warning they received the last time they were here. Apparantly, there’s multiple factions of Drow, those loyal to Lloth, and those who are allied with what seems to be the DVL’s. Interesting.
We make our way to Othix. He has a high opinion of himself as being the last mage… whatever. We’re all surprised when he fuels his magic through draining the life from a slave. Using a stone similar to Braadlur’s, he drained all the magic from the slave. Evidently all the magic = all the life. Kauri later confirms that the blue glow flowed from the slave to the stone, causing it to glow again after spending it to heal Fisher. After healing Felix, the glow fades again. He brags that he can call down pure energy to smite enemies and ID magic items. After our encounter with Othix, Braadlur relays what his chant was, and I write it in my old spellbook along with the rest of the notes on what we’ve learned so far.
We then go to the Alchemist to peruse his wares. Hoping for more healing options. We end up buying a number of things. Healing potions, I’m happy to have a couple vials of poison. Cure poison and some of that fancy coral for breathing underwater. He’s also happy to sell us some information on the Dark Elves we’ve been following. It seems they have yet to return through here to head back toward Vilsnarg.
We go to rest with Magilis’ group and swap out our jewelry for more usable gems. We’re going to see Hesfyx after our rest period and pay our respects. Maybe find out more info on the Dark Elf party.
I’m controlling myself at the moment. The packs and bags of gems are so tempting….