Sunday, May 24, 2015

Session 40 Synopsis

Previously, on Phoenix Rising...
... As "wolf-form" Blackwell was peering into the dark tunnel, something shot a crossbow bolt at him that connected squarely with his snout and really hurt. At that time from the five other tunnels other small creatures, who looked very much like the ones they found above ground near the two trap doors, appeared and began shooting heavy crossbows at the party...

The battle with the spriggans wasn't all that difficult and was not that notable except for a couple things. One is that the small glowing orb turned out to be a will-o-wisp that was very efficient at delivering massive electrical damage that it, along with some very lucky shots from the spriggans with their crossbows, was able to bring Zola down to the point that she needed some healing from Kel. And a somewhat comical situation arose when Zerak spewed out a wasp swarm at one of the spriggans and it chased him all round the room including into one of their small tunnels and back out into the room whereupon it promptly died.

After the fight was over the party searched the entire room and then proceeded to get some healing done. Jobi and Zerak were still down several negative levels so with some lesser restoration spells and uses of the bandages of recovery, they were able to regain all their lost energy by the time they woke up the next "morning." Asphodel witnessed something peculiar happen during her shift. She saw Jobi suddenly bolt upright from her sleep with wide eyes looking all around the room at all the companions. Then, without saying a word, she got up and laid back down close to Zerak and went back into a fitful sleep for the rest of the night.

In the morning our heroes decided that they needed to explore the various small sized tunnels exiting this chamber. So before Asphodel summoned her eidolon for the day, she summoned a lantern archon to go wandering through the tunnels and see what it could find out for them. It came back and told them that all the tunnels are connected together and there are a total of three tunnels with ladders leading about forty feet up. Two of the tunnels were the ones they had discovered after they had battled the other spriggans and one that led to some unknown location. So our heroes went to investigate that one.

Blackwell climbed up the rickety ladder, nearly falling but able to catch himself and tried to pass it off as nothing more than something he meant to do - which fooled no one. Then finding no traps, he unlocked it, opened it a small amount and peered into the room beyond - which just so happened to be that crazy cursed gaming room. Blackwell's spirits immediately perked up and the rest of his companions could hear him shout out, "Oh cool. Let's Play A Game!" Needless to say, the rest of the party just waited for him to either win and break the spell or die so they could drag him back down the tunnel and revive him. Fortunately for Blackwell, he won and came back down the ladder another 20 platinum richer, with only moderate damage to himself, which was healed by a couple of his friends.

Not wanting to use that trap door to exit these underground tunnels nor the one that led into that building that kept changing its interior, they all made their way over to one of the two trap doors they found earlier and climbed up and headed back to the room with all the tapestries. They began searching the southern walls of the room and discovered a slightly open secret door which they had not seen before. So Blackwell cautiously checked the area for traps and then slowly opened the door to reveal a short hallway into the center complex of rooms they had seen from the outside.

Asphodel then took point and slowly made her way into the room to see what was in there.

A semicircular chamber features a raised dais along its curved side. A great pile of stones rests atop the dais - it looks like a cairn. Three other cairns, of roughly human or elf size, lie clustered on the floor before the dais. As with many of the other structures through which you've traveled in this place, the walls of this chamber are covered in runes. It's obvious that these cairns don't belong here. They appear to have once lain outside, beside the other fey graves, but have been moved inside for some reason.

Blackwell joined her as they moved further into the structure and peered around the corner.

Two walls intersect in the center of this chamber, serving no apparent architectural purpose. The walls are probably inscribed with more of the runes you've seen elsewhere, but it's difficult to tell, because thick curtains of hanging ivy cover them. There are also several small holes in the ceiling - perhaps they provide sunlight to nourish the ivy.

Blackwell then stealthily moved throughout the rest of the large room and relayed what he saw back to the other. He saw more ivy and more unnecessary walls throughout and on the south wall of the room he found an enormous set of double doors that were covered in runes and bound in iron and silver just like the doors in the tapestry that Asphodel had touched the giant key to earlier. And one of the doors appeared to be slightly open. So Asphodel also approached and verified that it was indeed the same door from the tapestry. Everyone else came up to the two as they prepared to open the door and see what was behind it.

An empty thirty foot corridor was behind the doors and they could see that the room opened up to the west. So Blackwell again snuck down the corridor to take a peak around the corner. He saw that the room was halfway full with a large, dense mass of ivy starting fifteen feet inside the room and extending the length of the room and to the west wall. he turned around and went back to the double doors and began telling everyone that there was just a bunch of ivy in the room beyond. It was at that moment that Kel and Asphodel saw what looked like a moving tendril of ivy. Before they could say anything, the ivy grabbed Blackwell around his mid section and quickly dragged him off his feet and back into the room.

When the other party members sprang into action, they found Blackwell hanging in mid air upside down while being heavily constricted. Also a large eye-like appendage had risen up out of the massive ivy "body" and there was a strange, sickly green beam of energy coming out of the eye and engulfing Blackwell, who seemed to be completely out of it and not fighting back. The rest of our stalwart band lept into action and began attacking the tentacles, for now there were a total of four of them lashing out and trying to entrap the party members. But just as some of the others were about to rush to Blackwell's aid, three skeleton champions emerged out of the thick hanging ivy near Asphodel, Jobi and Zerak. They were accomplished fights and bit into our heroes with consistency and caused quite a bit of pain when they did hit. Kel stepped in to channel energy to damage the undead and helped quite a bit damaging them significantly. Asphodel was effective at taking one out as Kel also used her weapons against the things. Zerak and Jobi also helped in vanquishing these three creatures and soon turned their attention to Zola and Blackwell who were trying to fight off this huge plant monster.

Zerak conjured a large fire elemental to go after the creature and hopefully start it on fire. Jobi was casting her fireballs into the far corner of the room, also hoping to catch it on fire, if not blow it to pieces. Zola was regularly hacking at the tentacles and chopping them off. But the creature seemed to keep growing them back at an alarming rate. Zerak was also grabbed by a tentacle and had the same experience as Blackwell - losing any sort of will to try to fend off the attack. For him it was nearly deadly for it seemed that if the tentacle held on long enough that one's soul would start to be drained out of one's body through that sickly green beam and transfer to what appeared to be a large crystal of some sort that had formed on top of the creature's eye-stalk. Had it not been for one last burst of will to fight off the creature's hold on him, he would surely had his soul sucked out and died. But he was able at the last moment break free and shortly after the tentacle was cut.

The battle raged on with fireballs and scorching ray spells being blasted upon its massive "body." And with Asphodel voluntarily raging and getting up close and personal with the overgrown hedgerow, along with Zola, Blackwell and Kel trying to keep the tentacles off of their friends and occasionally taking a shot at the beast's eye. Kel was also channeling energy to keep the party healed up as much as possible since the tentacles did quite a bit of damage when they attacked and there were a few times that the positive energy was just about the only thing keeping them alive as they battled to keep the constricted party members alive.

The battle raged on for what seemed like forever but in the end when the final killing blow was landed, the creature died and a scream of frustration sounds, not from the creature but throughout the chamber. The creature of vegetation rots away to nothing almost instantly, as do the curtains of ivy hanging along the walls, exposing the many scrawled runes beneath. Soon, everything is quiet and the strange chaotic mixture of background magic has dissipated as well.

Our heroes existed the building through the tapestry room and saw that the dirt path now went off to the north where before it seemed there was another cliff face. They decided to follow the path in this direction since everything appeared the same back where they had come from. After following the trail for several miles, our heroes came to a fork in the road where the fork to the left looked like it led to some kind of strange looking city made out of trees and other living plants.

Once they were about half a mile from this city, they were met by a dozen very well armed and disciplined elven soldiers. They stopped them and asked what their business was here in the Fey Realm. the party explained that they had stumbled into the Fey after being attacked by harpies and they had met a man named Paelius who was trying to find someone to help them with the corruption in the Garden of Graves. The soldier in charged asked where Paelius was and they informed him that he was now dead, but they did have the note he gave them and gave it to the soldier when he asked for it. He looked at it approvingly and indicated that the heroes should follow him to the city to meet with the Fey Court.

When they arrived in the main audience chamber the PCs were greeting with what could only be described as unemotional gratitude for what they had done in the Garden of Graves. They were thanked and told that they will send them back to their world through another gate they have. They were escorted into another chamber that had a large archway with what appeared to be a permanent gate inside its borders. The elderly elf who was the head of the Fey Court held his hand out palm up towards the party and closed his eyes for a few moments. then he placed that same hand onto the stone of the gate and held it there for a couple minutes. Soon the gate reacted and colors and mist swirled (not squirreled, Blackwell) and in a matter of minutes, they were looking out at the open field where they had fought the harpies. Our stalwart band saw that the villagers had made a makeshift refugee camp in the clearing and were not back in their village for some reason.

Our heroes exited the Fey World one by one through the gate the members of the Fey Court had opened for them. After a couple heroes had "re-materialized," it only took a little while for one of the villagers to notice and call out, "Hey everyone! They're back!" while pointing to the party. The other villagers stopped what they were doing, looked in their direction and proceeded to quickly descend on the party, excitedly all talking and pointing towards their town at once. Through the cacophony they could only make out a couple of words - words like "help us please" and "they took our village."

So we leave our heroes as they re-entered the mortal world in the same clearing as they had left. Next week we shall see what they make of these villagers who have set up their own refugee camp here ...

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