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Shattered Star #6: Deeper in Guano

10 Mar

5th day of Lamashan, 4712 AR

Ulf

Ulf

The battle with the leader of the Tower Girls, a wererat named Ayala Javeski, continued but was marked by a bizarre event. Two new companions appeared among the party: a dwarven druid named Glondorfin with a giant frog Ulf. Although a dwarf and therefore of a different race as the barbarian Grog (who was human), they bore a striking resemblance, as if they had been brothers in their previous lives.

Henri the gunslinger, meanwhile, busied himself with the door puzzle, ignoring the battle altogether as if he weren’t there.

Katrina stayed in the back of the fray, ready to aid her companions with her prodigious healing skills. Meanwhile, Grog, Lillian, and Joshua had charged through the door to engage a force of Ayala, three Tower Girls, and two donkey rats.

Ayala looked a bit worried, realizing she perhaps should have ambushed the party from hiding places. Still, she sneaked past her foes with an uncanny grace, moved into position, and sliced the hardy Grog with a vicious swipe of her bladed scarf that sent him reeling.

Joshua swung at a Tower Girl with his longsword, and then, once he found their foes ideally positioned, shot forth a fan of scorching flames from his fingertips. However, the agile Tower Girls and especially Ayala avoided the worst of the flames. Still, one of the donkey rats fell in a smoking mass.

Glondorfin sent Ulf forward through the door. Ayala also sliced into the side of Ulf, and the wound welled-up with a strange poison! Glondorfin opened a side door and summoned a poisonous frog from the ether to attack the Tower Girls from behind. The small amphibian appeared and charged at Ayala, who swiftly cut it in half before it could even reach her!

Ayala continued to dart around the battlefield, moving behind the party to position herself for another backstab. But Lillian tripped her to the ground, foiling her plan. As she tried to stand up, the party pummeled her: the scarf fell out of her grip, and Ulf wrapped her in its tongue!

Ayala Javeski

Ayala Javeski

From there, Grog tried to push Ayala deeper into the frog’s throat, but the battle was already largely decided: by then the other Tower Girls and the last donkey rat had already fallen.

The party proceeded to torture Ayala: Lillian started banging her head against the wall and did other things. But this produced no answers because they hadn’t asked her any questions. After Katrina cowed her into submission, she asked Ayala who else was behind the Tower Girls. But Ayala was their only leader; the Tower Girls served no one else. Katrina brought Azura down from upstairs to join in the questioning. After further questions, Ayala revealed that she only knew of the Shard of Pride because Natalya Vancaskerkin had stolen away with it and “betrayed” them. They were in The Crow because they were looking for other valuable artifacts, pointing to the table covered in gems, jewelry, and pieces of mural! The party ran to the table and immediately started appraising them, guessing they were between 200 and 1300 gold pieces in value. Then they started arguing over what to do with Ayala — Lillian wanted to be her friend! (After making up for torturing her, of course.)

“BOOYAH!” shouted someone from outside the room. Henri had solved the door puzzle! They ran out to find an exultant Henri smiling, albeit his hands were bubbling with third-degree burns. The second door glowed behind him, the strange letters that once spelled “L-I-S-T-E-N” now spelling “S-I-L-E-N-T”.

“Let’s rest!” commanded Katrina, and before people could realize what was going on she started swirling around channeling divine energy towards everybody. Grog was particularly wounded by the Tower Girls and needed an administration from Katrina’s curing wand. After they silenced Ayala for good, they went off to go to sleep. As they cooked their rations, Lillian cooked up a crazy scheme to raise more money by acting out plays in the streets of Magnimar — a scheme they decided had to wait for later. They went to sleep, ignoring the luxurious bed that Ayala had used…

Beyond the Ancient Doors

Our heroes dreamed of lasagna and orange soda,  and woke up happy and rested, but also hyper! Glondorfin and Katrina found their meditations to be more fulfilling than before, having proven to their divine patrons their skill and courage. Henri and Katrina, meanwhile, paid attention to their explorations only intermittently, reading tales of previous legendary heroes, their powers and their gear….

The party ventured past the magical doors and found a hallway with murals of wizards summoning various demons, murals that strangely had been untouched by time. The party freaked out at the cobwebs that laced the , and burned the webs. They lay flat on the floor to escape the fumes, until the webs were mostly gone. They ventured ahead and found a spiral staircase leading down. Grog grasped the sides of his head and remembered an old trauma involving a similar spiral-shaped staircase!

They descended the steps and found a U-shaped hallway that turned northward. This ended in the balcony, with two curved staircases leading down to a large chamber with a pool and exits leading west and east. The pool was covered with algae and the walls and floor were caked in guano. Lillian and danced across the balcony with her stealth abilities, and Henri tiptoed down the staircase toward the pool, as Grog strode loudly from behind in his metal armor!

Just as Henri looked upward toward the sound in alarm, a giant ooze crawled out of the pit and grabbed him in its oozeness! He cried for help, and the rest of the party joined Lillian on the balcony. Henri burned from the ooze’s acid, but he managed to escape and ran smoking up the stairs. Two more oozes appeared from the water and crawled slowly upward!

Oozy thing.

Oozy thing.

Lillian hurled a flask and coated one the first ooze  with oil, and Henri brought out his flint and steel and tried to light a spark onto it. Grog threw a torch on it and it burned in silent agony!

Grog hit then hit the ooze dead through its center, causing it to explode and cover the walls in slippery filth! The over-sized frog, Ulf, used its tongue to grab one of the oozes and swallowed it whole! The wriggling of the strange creature inside the frog’s stomach ended, and Ulf smiled with satisfaction. The party, staying concentrated and in their defensive position, were able to minimize damage to themselves and maximize damage to their amorphous enemies!

Once the battle was over, Lillian decided to jump down from the balcony. She dove gracefully into the pool… which was only three feet deep.

She yelled a single word very loudly, but the party could not make it out from beneath the water. She stood up, rubbing her head. Then her keen ears caught the faint noise of squeaking bats. She plunged back down into the water!

The rest of the party, seeing this, readied their weapons. A gigantic swarm of bats filled the room and accosted them! Joshua stepped forward and fanned them with magical flames, as Katrina and Henri attacked them with vials of alchemist’s fire. Luckily, their preparations saved them from what would have been a grave danger!

Lillian stood back up from the filthy, algae-covered water and started examining the room, pressing her hands against the guano on the walls. Surprisingly, her hand entered the wall as if nothing were there! She crawled through the strange space, finding an opening to the outside — ten feet below her was the vast ocean off the coast of Magnimar! There was naught else beyond the strange window, and so she crawled back inside.

Glondorfin and Grog explored the west exit from the room, and saw a small blue humanoid squeal in panic and run down the passageway! The summoned the party to join them and pursued it.

Deeper in The Crow…

“When will this dungeon end!” said Katrina. None of her companions had an answer. They turned a tunnel and saw a large room. Lillian suggested that blind pursuit was not wise — their delay in pursuing might have set them up for a well-prepared ambush, which had ruined them before during their first raid into The Crow.

The party was now deeper than ever in The Crow, and below sea level. After they traversed a long hallway, there stood before them an enormous chamber with burial niches in the wall. Exits branched off from it; but also scattered throughout the room were several large mounds of dirt that in some places were nearly as tall as the ceiling, which was fifteen feet high Grog stepped inside, and a gigantic ant crawled out of the nearest mound and tried to bite him! He hit it with his sword, and Henri shot it with his musket, beheading it! From its inanimate abdomen, bright blood spilled forth.

Two more huge ants crawled forth from nearby mounds! The party braced for battle….

=====================

XP at the end of the session:

Glondorfin – 2,746
Grog – 3,336

Henri- 3,008
Joshua – 2,886

Katrina – 2,746
Kevin – 2,816
Lillian – 3,786

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