Tuesday, March 3, 2015

Beneath the City of Xan

Last week's session was full of mystery.

Once the adventurers had been transported a few miles outside the city of Xan, they walked the desert region between two hills.  The perfect spot for an ambush.  Three demonic humanoid pterodactyls aka pterodactyloids (one of the players came up with that one) swooped down to attack.  Shortly after, nearly a dozen rolled boulders down the hills, wounding the characters.

Once the pterodactyloids were slain, the PCs ventured up one of the hills to see what they could see - several mutant humanoid primitives with spears.  They wanted Lilah (the party's sorceress).  After trying a few things, one of the primitives dissuaded his friends via a charm spell.

However, the adventurers followed them back to their cave.  Inside, there was a shiny - possibly metallic or magical - object laying upon a large, central stone - probably an altar of some kind.  This is what was used to distract the mutants:  ball-bearings, an obscuring cloud of smoke, oil, fire, and prestidigitation fireworks (the party's whoopee-cushion must have gotten left behind in Steel Haven).  After all that, a couple rogues ran inside to retrieve the object, they attained their prize!

T'was a crystalline great-sword with a faintly luminous green crystal eye at the top of the hilt, a couple inches well into the blade itself.  Attuning it to the dwarf fighter, Kildrak, the magic weapon revealed itself as +1 and a 1 in 6 chance of repelling harmful magic, (with double damage to certain creatures - revealed later in the session).

Arriving at the city gates, the party was intercepted by a man in a skull mask and black robes, accompanied by three human slaves without masks.  Skull mask assured them they would be granted access to Xan upon worshiping at the statue of Yogsoggoth, a clearly demonic god with enough tentacles to make Lovecraft shudder.

They prayed before Yogsoggoth's tentacles.  Just then, a black monolith rose from the nearby sand.  It was covered with hieroglyphics, including the eye, triangle, circle symbol from last session's unmovable seal.  The monolith also had an impression matching the Talisman of Ultimate Evil which the adventurers had been carrying for weeks.

Putting the talisman into the monolith's impression, a half-buried tomb appeared within a stone's throw.  Its iron door depicted the leering faces of devils.  Opening the door, the party walked down stone stairs to find a subterranean area, whose predominant feature was a rushing stream.  Their exploration was cut short by mutant primitives who'd been down there for centuries.  They had evolved into darkness-loving amphibious beings hostile to intruders.

The mutants threw javelins that were organic rather than metal.  They bit and stung for 2d6 damage.  I managed to roll three natural 20's in a row.  Two on Lilah who took something like 27 points of damage in one round.  Luckily, the party was 6th level and could withstand such onslaught.

It was a good long battle.  Once it was over, the party followed the underground river to battle none other than Zargon from B4: The Lost City.  Should have beefed him up or given his tentacle attacks some kind of contact poison because Zargon was defeated fairly easily (even though he had some magical resistance).  Of course, he was vulnerable to crystalline weapons.  Kildrak did the majority of the damage.

So, what did Zargon have in his treasure trove?  Twenty-three exotic gemstones such as blood opals, demon eyes, and aqua-marine quartz (totaling around 6,000 gold pieces), a scroll containing silk of a thousand spiders, a cloak of invisibility, and a leather pouch containing thirteen greenish-grey travertine marbles.

Oops, almost forgot!  Between the amphibious primitives and Zargon, the party wandered around, finding a wall embedded with seven curious stone fragments polished so smooth that they reflected like glass.  They tried a few things before the fragments revealed a scene of the demon who bought Arik's short sword of Xan talking with an unknown masked humanoid with some gladiatorial fighting in the background.  The PCs weren't too sure what to make of that.

This Saturday is the next session and then we'll be taking another week off because Briella is turning 4 years old.  Yay!


p.s.  The polished stone fragments didn't really look like the picture I found on the internet, but if there were only seven pieces and larger, that looked more like stone than glass, it would be really close.