Session Two Summary (Graveyard of Empires: After the Fall)
Session 2, July 8 2020
The party continues to make their way through the Caverns of the Dead on their journey to consult the Four Matriarchs about the loss of magic ...
[5:10PM on the 2nd of Tenrilden; 1 hour of lantern oil has been consumed]
We made our way through the maze and find the spiral steps up and find a demon and try to slay it and Bavmorda can't hit with the shard. Rallion hits with his sword and it shatters. The demon hits Bavmorda and Rallion. The demon runs and the party pursues. Rallion manages to hit it with the feather, it angers the demon, and the demon pounds Rallion into the dirt. Bavmorda continues to miss it, and the demon pounds Bavmorda into the dirt. Laris pulls Rallion to safety and give s healing draught and Kauri picked up the shard and also missed the demon. The demon grappled Kauri and grabbed the shard and both the demon and shard disappeared.
Bavmorda is given a healing draught and placed on Braadlur's mount, and someone lead Rallion who regains his senses by the time they get to the door at the top. They go through the iron door and around the covered walkway and leave their dwarven make stuff that was once magic behind and place the feather on the pedestal and levitate up to the tomb with the sarcophogi of the Matriarchs. We held vigil and had a vision of the morning light shining on the feather of the chosen.
In the morning we go down and see three panels that show us images of Cerida, Feldma, and Oswitha. Cerida is indicated to be in a mountain North of Old Greybeard that we can see. The locations of the other two scenes are not visible to us.
We plan to retrieve the feather and out gear and head down to the cave and take advantage of the healing waters.
Friend? Foe? Fickle Fate!
Tenrilden 2 in the Caverns of the Dead. About 5pm in the evening
We’re in the circular room with the lever and spiky roof immediately over it. Rallion and the rest are fairly convinced of the proper lever manipulations… just in case we use ropes to move the Lever East, West then North. Upon the last move, the spiked ceiling rises about 10’ revealing a passage to the north that goes about 20’. We contemplate the best way to approach and after about 10 minutes, the spiked ceiling returns to it’s previous position.
We run the lever again through it’s pattern and I get ready with a grapple. Once I approached the lever in the floor, to get a good angle, I rose up to the level of the alcove that was revealed. The rest of the group follows. After we all get crammed into the area and it closes behind us, before complete panic sets in, I get jostled into the North wall and a pivoting secret door opens.
This room gives us a bit of breathing room. It’s fairly large with some sloping midway in room down to the west, and a huge set of double doors covering most of the wall to the East. A large large clear sphere is suspended from the ceiling with some kind of liquid in it and a key…. The inscription on the door reads:
- Brita requires nothing but a courageous heart to go forward.
Our intrepid Rallion steps forward and pushes open the door without much discussion and we’re on to the next section.
The mood of the group is focused on moving through these challenges with the hope of some direction once we reach these mysterious Mothers. We’re all hoping they’ll guide us to restoring the abilities of myself and our friends. I’ve got plenty of options sans magic. Kauri seems pretty focused, but Lambertus is having quite the challenge of the spirit I’m afraid. Peronell is taking things in as we proceed. Braad is excellent in his knowledge of stonework, still he seems a little odd could be growing up in the dark.... Bavmorda and Rallion lead us on through the passages with little fear, as usual, and the gods forbid what would we do without Oskar’s tea.
The next area is an open hallway with some odd characteristics, one end seems to go on quite a ways ending with a mirror and a pedestal. A double door to the east and to the south a large decorative wall with a painting of a door. (the decoration on the wall to the south: 2 women with 8 eyes each holding a scale with a 3rd woman smiling and gesturing to the painted door. )
Evidently this is where the Box of Infinite Spiders came from and it’s decided to return it to it’s resting place. Rallion notes that in the mirror’s reflection, after the box is returned to the pedestal, the scales tip where the right side is higher. Looking at the scales in the south wall they’re still even. We go to the painting of the door in the south and it opens to a 20’ corridor that ends in a staircase spiraling to the right going up and up and up and holy moly it just keeps going…
We start our ascent about 7:30pm and from what they remember it’ll be about a 3 hour trek.
We hear movement above us. Bav and I attempt to sneak up and see what’s going on. Bavmorda seems to have forgotten to have removed all the bells and tinkly bits from her outfit and the hobnails from her boots as she sounds like a whole squad of folks clangin’ up the stairs… We lose track of the noise. But continue on.
We come upon a mansized, 4 tentacled, batfaced, lion tailed, wide mouthed, one eye stalked, orangy furred people eater with a menacing demeanor. It hisses at Bavmorda as it sees her and asks “Which way is out. Tell me or die.”
Bavmorda talks with it a bit, waves the Shard in it’s face and things degrade to fisticuffs… or shards, swords and tentacles with a fang or two thrown in for good measure. Rallion charges up after sounds of battle ensue and I can’t get an angle to move around it without exposing myself so the rest of us take opportunistic missile strikes and cheer our fearless front-liners in taking out the ugly thing. It does try to avoid combat and talk, but now that Rallion and Bavmorda have engaged, the Shard once it connects should rid our world of one more invader.
Things don’t go so well…. (Is this becoming a habit, or am I just hanging with the wrong folks!! We may be in a bit of a funk...) Bavmorda swings and swings and swings and swings without connecting with the Shard. Rallion connects in what would normally be a crippling strike only to have his sword shatter… the beast bites and wails on them. Rallion’s feather seems to bother the thing, but not enough. Oskar steps up and tries to help with his spear…. We chase the thing up the stairs. The thing drops Rallion, then Bavmorda. I pick healing draughts from Bav’s pack and keep them from dying while Kauri steps up, and brandishes the Shard, attacking the creature (who knew!!). I shout something about maybe it’s time to talk, but the thing ignores my offer completely…. It grapples Kauri grabs the Shard and vanishes. Shard and all. I cast about with my grapple and listen to see if I can hear it, if it’s turned invisible… but I can’t detect anything. Did I mention that the Shard is gone? Yeah… I think I did….
Rallion is aware and mobile but weak, Bavmorda is unconscious and breathing regularly. The last of our effective quick healing items are gone. The Shard, the only tool we had for reliably dispatching invading DVL’s is gone. This in addition to an open portal to Hell above our world, no reliable way to alleviate the infection creating the living dead, no magic to combat either or alleviate the DVL invasion…. what’s next, I’d say murder hornets, but we already fought those after I ran across these folks having just slain a dragon! We’ve really got to get uphill from all the shit that’s rolling down. We’re all a little dumbstruck at our continued downturn of circumstance.
The mood is somber. I’m afraid to ask ‘What else could go wrong?!’ So I don’t. I'm certain we’ll find out soon enough.
Where to go but up from here right? So we do. Unconscious Bavmorda gets strapped to 'Fisher' and Rallion is helped along as he regains his faculties. We note the tracks from that thing look like they appeared from nowhere before it headed down the stairs. With the crazy times we’re experiencing, and the start of tracks out of nowhere, I’m guessing it got popped in, maybe as it fell from the portal?? There’s some discussion between Bavmorda and Rallion concerning Vikram and/or the Clock’s dvl being somehow connected to this. I can’t see good solid logic in that and say so.
We reach the top of the staircase and a closed iron door with fresh air coming in around it’s edges. We enter into a cloistered area beyond the iron door. There is a walkway around the top of the mountain with the curious effect of making things look really close if you put your mind to it. Almost like one of those ….telescopes I think they’re called, but without any visible mechanism. I’m sure it’s magical, but can’t seem to parse the source. There’s an empty Roc’s nest.
We make our way to the Matriarch’s tomb and a pedestal with the inscription:
- Sully not this resting place with things from the outside lest their wrath awaken.
- Both light and light, place here the token of the chosen
Rallion places his feather on the pedestal and a levitation effect takes us up to a chamber above. We leave anything of dwarven make below.
The room is a square with 4 vertical sarcophagi set in the cardinal directions.
- Scale lady (Cerida) North. The lid has a crack in it.
- Bird Lady (Brita) East
- Sunset Lady (Feldma) West
- Flowers Lady (Oswitha) South
Rallion genuflects and begs forgiveness for incompletely driving away the foes unleashed and losing the Shard.
Braad, Peronell and I look around and see if there’s anything interesting in the room besides the sarcophagi, nothing catches my eye. Bavmorda snores.
Following Rallion and Kauri’s lead, and suggesting to Lambertus and Braad, all of us meditate and vigil throughout the rest of the night.
Tenrilden 3, Dawn
Near morning a vision of sorts affects us all. we’re facing the pedestal below, hear birdsong, cant see our legs and watch as light slowly moves across the pedestal.
We go back down and watch as the opening to the east lights up as the sun rises, as the beams of the morning sun fall on the pedestal and the feather, 3 tableaux appear on the wall across from the pedestal:
- Seven warriors who have laid down their arms atop a mountain; behind them is a woman with too many eyes holding scales; seven hearts on one side of the scale are lighter than a feather on the other side (Northwest side (Cerida?))
- Three ships setting sail toward the horizon, where the figure of a woman whose arms are full of flowers smiles benevolently (West side, Oswitha?)
- Human prisoners chained together are led down into the earth by dragon/snake-headed captors (they seem to be on a plateau with a huge waterfall); a young woman with birds on her shoulders and finger sheds a tear watching them descend (Southwest side (Brita?))
Rallion goes out and looks around using the magnified vision enhancement to see if he can see anything relating to the either of the tableaux we saw. He finds the mountaintop shown in the first tableau.
Lambertus remembers that Xen Kel is a plateau with a waterfall.
We plan to head back down to the cave and recover using the healing waters. Then either head to the mountaintop Rallion identified, or maybe Xen Kel…. I guess we’ll see once we get our heavy hitters healed up.
Rallion’ll have to do some smooth talking once that Montoan shaman comes around. Too bad I can’t charm the broad the old fashioned way… with magic….
I’ll have to see if there’s any healing draughts in the camp… probably not, but if they’re there, we’ll need ‘em. Or maybe someone is skilled enough to make them if we can procure the ingredients.
I’d really like to find a game of chance or some non stressful company when we get back down to the refugees. I’m guessing they may need some entertainment as all people do when they’ve lost everything. I’m sure there’s liable to be like ilk amongst the population down there. I’ll just keep an eye out for anyone showing signs of respectable haberdashery.
I’m going to try and work out a harness system with handles or attachments for Vikram to use to haul me around if he’s willing. Being able to fly and scout would probably be helpful in the coming days and if we can work it out, maybe a mobile missile platform…. After seeing that creature demolish the two strongest fighters I’ve seen makes me a nervous not having an escape route planned.