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Rappan Athuk #97: The Army of Tsar

Wherein Susurrus, the party wizard, tells how the party fared against Orcus temple and an ancient undead army.

(-GM)

3rd day of Lamashan, 4721 AR

Things were looking bleak — well, I was fine but the rest of the party was not — they were slowly having their strength sapped from them by shadows and a few dread wraiths. It looked like I would have to save them, if I wanted them to live.

Before I did anything towards saving the party, The Wall Flesh (a.k.a. Bright Yilling), who had been watching us with the Holy One, created a gate that opened toward the sun; and rendered the dread wraiths powerless. Though it was not enough, as Living Flame and Sir. Yells-O’-Lot both fell into a coma. I was enjoying the chaos, but I felt like I would  incur the wrath of some extra-dimensional being if I did not at least try to save the party. So I reluctantly used my scroll of meteor swarm to decimate the remaining shadows. We then finished clearing the room with minimal effort.

While the rest of the party was healing I decided to go scout ahead to find out what was making a ruckus in the next room. I saw what appeared to be a market and an undead army heading our way. From the banners they carried I surmised that this was the Army of Tsar Also known as the Army of Twilight. After a short discussion we decided  to send half of the party home and face this undead horde as a three-man team.

The ensuing battle was more or less a massacre. I started the fight by hitting the forward portion of the army with a large amount of holy tentacles. Then the army’s archers and ballistas launched a volley of projectiles at The Wall Flesh, most of which missed. In response I entangled the army’s ballistas, archers and any evil creature unfortunate enough to be caught within the area of effect of my second round of holy tentacles. At the same time, Irrelevantly Far Away bowed down a graveknight who was probably a general or something of the sort. There was also an empyreal angel which had been corrupted and become a deathleech. Though it seemed like it might be a worthy foe, all it did was charge at us before dying. Probably the most interesting part a fight was when I cast polar ray on a marilith demon and it turned out to be wild. The polar ray was apparently very scary because it caused the marilith and 2 hezrou demons to run away in  fear.

After cleaning up the remaining undead, we then proceeded to take everything and anything worth something so that we could sell it at the capital to make some gold.

-Susurrus of the Wind (Torin)

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

Bright Yilling, fetchling barbarian 16 / antipaladin 2
Deckard Cain, aasimar oracle 17
Death from Somewhere Irrelevantly Far Away, tiefling slayer 19
Susurrus of the Wind, sylph wizard 17
Shia Labeouf, merfolk bard 16
Valestar Ekhart, aasimar paladin 19

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Posted by on March 28, 2019 in Campaign, Pathfinder Chronicles, Rappan Athuk

 

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Rappan Athuk #96: Overshadowed

The party assaults the greatest Orcus temple yet.

(-GM)

3rd day of Lamashan, 4721 AR

Oh boy! Today was the day. The day we were finally going to assault the last Orcus temple. We spent the first few hours of the day shopping and preparing for the fight ahead. None of us expected just how dangerous that temple would be.

After we had spent most of our gold, we headed downwards. Susurrus insisted on scouting with an arcane eye for 30 minutes before we moved forward. He reported back a few wraiths. We move into the first tunnel and quickly dispose of two wraiths. We get to move not even 10 feet before a small army of the shadowy creatures swarm the party. There are at least 20 and it takes a combination of Valestar using holy energy and Deckard Cain casting a spell that made a barrage of lightning bolts strike and kill all of them. With only minor injuries sustained, the party moved cautiously forward.

Right before we turned the corner at the end of the hall I opened my Ever-Smoking Bottle. Smoke billowed out and around the corner. Seconds after the smoke filled the hallway, wind along the floor blew some of the smoke away, forcing me to fly upwards into the smoke by the ceiling.

The room at the end of this tunnel was a large one. With a giant skull atop an altar. Priests, zombies, and other horrific creatures filled the room. There were some more powerful beings on the left side of the room that Susurrus identified as a Lich, a Devourer, and a Nalfeshnee.

Our wizard bravely flew in and called a meteor swarm to strike and burn our foes. All of the zombies and priests died instantly, but the stronger folk brushed it off. The rest of the party flew in but were soon occupied as waves of wraiths came from the walls. Deckard Cain cast spell after spell, felling the shadowy beasts with impressive magic. I did my best, but I could only fire so many arrows each turn.

Eventually, the waves of incorporeal creatures seemed to stop. But not for long. Five Dread Wraiths floated out of the wall followed by 54 shadows. The shadows sucked the strength right out Shia and Deckard Cain. They fell to the ground, in a coma. Shadows swarmed around me, too, but I was able to evade almost all of their attacks.

From the other side of the room beyond a large pair of doors, we heard a war song, sung by many voices coming closer. The situation looked very grim. And that is where I must leave you today. This may be the last you ever hear from me.

Need to talk? Got something to say?
Well that’s too bad, I’m irrelevantly far away!

Farewell,
DFSIFA

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

Bright Yilling, fetchling barbarian 15 / antipaladin 2
Deckard Cain, aasimar oracle 17
Death from Somewhere Irrelevantly Far Away, tiefling slayer 18
Susurrus of the Wind, sylph wizard 17
Shia Labeouf, merfolk bard 16
Valestar Ekhart, aasimar paladin 19

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Rappan Athuk #95: False Gods

The party confronts lieutenants of the Abyss in their attempt to destroy Orcus’ third temple.

(-GM)

18th day of Rova, 4721 AR

He swung his greataxe in such a mighty swing that it chopped the demons head right off…

The battle raged. A huge vicious looking balor demon towered over Bright Yilling, with Deckard Cain hopelessly tangled in his whip. In the back, a disgusting 4 armed demon looked at the party and howled. It ricocheted through my mind; I was on the brink of not being able to move a muscle. But I resisted! My friends needed me to pull through here.

I looked around and saw that the horrid sound the creature was making had frozen Shia and Susurrus in place. I leveled my bow and took down the shrieking demon in a few arrows. I then turned my attention toward the main attraction in the room.

And I’m not talking about the chandelier. I’m talking about the mother f-ing balor demon. I only had a few seconds to shoot off three arrows before the lampshade fell over my head and covered my eyes.

It was all up to Bright Yilling to take down the monstrosity. And might I say, looking back on it, it was quite a takedown indeed. He swung his greataxe in such a mighty swing that it chopped the demons head right off. And as the subsequent explosion went off it seemed like he swung and decapitated it as well.

But all our troubles were not over yet. Wraiths swarmed out the walls and a giant metal spider scuttled along the ceiling toward the party. The wraiths were awfully clumsy however, and only managed to connect a few measly hits. Susurrus had collected his wits and, with a couple of spells from him and some arrows from me, they were all dead. Bright Yilling burst into a fit of coughing, and after a moment of confusion I realized that the Ever-Smoking Bottle was still pouring out smoke and he did not have one of the Goz Masks on. Silly barbarian. I chuckled to myself and ran down to the room with the statue in it to make sure that there was nothing left to kill.

After confirming that we were safe and returning to the party to heal, Susurrus suggested that we all go into his magnificent mansion to sleep and heal. The party assigned Bright Yilling to guard duty while the rest of us slept. After an hour or two, he awoke the party because a storm giant had wandered down here. Susurrus informed us that these creatures tended to be good aligned but we went out just to be sure. The mansion was invisible, so he was quite surprised when we emerged. After our dear wizard calmed the beast down in Giant, we decided that it was a good idea to detect good on him to make sure he was on our side. Great thing we checked because as it turned out, it was one of the few storm giants who had turned away from the path of good. We quickly… disposed of it, and went back to sleep. There were no more disturbances for the rest of the night and after a nine-course breakfast, we were ready to continue exploring what we thought was the temple.

Down a hallway to the left we found a goblin lair. We killed them off with no problem. The toughest part of the area being a stone golem. We looted our way through and picked up quite a decent treasure hoard. The last important thing to do on this level was to purify the area so that we could get the holy Auren Beacon. After a short message to the eye the Pope had sent after us, we teleported to the church and picked him up. Once he arrived, he quickly informed us that this place holds no power and that it is not a temple at all. We apologized profusely for the mistake and promised that we are close to the temple and will purify it soon.

After he was gone, I remembered that there was a lever underneath the giant Orcus statue. I pulled it and a section of the wall opened up revealing a stairway down. Eager to find the real temple, we quickly filed downwards until we found ourselves in a room filled with skeletons. We opened the door to the room a crack and had Susurrus send an Arcane Eye down the tunnel beyond. He reported back that a few wraiths were nearby. A little while later he confirms that this is the real temple and that there is a giant room filled to the brim with the undead. Shia recommended that we return to the air elemental plane to gear up before this mega battle. The party readily agreed and we teleported away.

Need to talk? Got something to say?
Well that’s too bad, I’m Irrelevantly far away!

Signing off,
DFSIFA

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

Bright Yilling, fetchling barbarian 15 / antipaladin 2
Deckard Cain, aasimar oracle 17
Death from Somewhere Irrelevantly Far Away, tiefling slayer 18
Susurrus of the Wind, sylph wizard 16
Shia Labeouf, merfolk bard 16
Valestar Ekhart, aasimar paladin 19

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Rappan Athuk #94: Below Hell

The party refers back to the Oracle’s Clue and seeks the 3rd Temple of Orcus in this week’s writeup.

(-GM)

17th day of Rova, 4721 AR

Susurrus recalled the puzzle and some legend about a prince named Simon…

Beyond the halls where hounds of flame once slept; Are the prisons where the slaves are kept. To be tortured there and then killed after. In the greatest temple to please the Master;
The most confounding entrance is not very far. And that is where lies the army of Tsar.

When the skull oracle recited the long poem about what was left in Rappan Athuk, this was the line that caught my attention the most. “The greatest temple to please the master” sounded like the final temple we needed to purify to get the Lens of Clarity. This stanza also mentioned a place with hell hounds. That seemed like a good place to start, but unfortunately Susurrus had misplaced the map of the level. Our only option was to make a whole new map. We teleported to the level, and those who were present last time quickly remembered that there were traps scattered around the level that teleported you randomly. We carefully maneuvered our way around the level, keeping our eyes peeled for anything that could be a giant Orcus temple.

After wandering around for some time, we came to a room with a giant black door. Inside the room were a few weak monsters that died quicker than you could say “Wow these guys are probably going to die relatively quickly because they don’t seem very powerful and we are pretty strong and we have almost a full party so yeah these guys are definitely dead.” In the back of the room, three gold panels were laid out on a dais. Susurrus reminded us that this was an old puzzle we never had solved. He mentioned that when you touch a panel there is a blinding red light and you go to sleep. Naturally we decided to go touch the panels. After much fiddling and sleep, we finally figured out that if you touched them in a certain order, a little compartment opens. Much to our disappointment, the loot inside the drawer that emerged was not particularly expensive or unique.

I was still quite eager to find the temple though, so I urged the party on with enthusiasm. A little more exploring warranted us with a blank wall with a magical keyhole in it. Susurrus identified the keyhole as a magical spell and it could only be opened by the exact key that was designed for it. Everybody dug around in their packs and tried all the keys they could find, but to no avail. After twenty minutes of testing things, we came to the conclusion that the key must be located nearby.

After a couple of twists and turns down a hallway, we came to a room with four pillars in a diamond shape. The one closest to the door seemed normal but all the other three had mouths protruding out of them. The one on the left said, “Give of your life.” The one in the back said, “Give of your heart.” And the one on the right said, “Give of your mind.” Then the mouths were replaced by three glowing white circles. Bright Yilling decided that he was going to take one for the team on this one. One by one, he placed his right hand in each of the circles. Nothing happened. He then tried doing it with his left hand. This time there was a reaction from each pillar. One of them made him feel physically weaker, one of them made him feel less intelligent, and one made him feel less experienced. After he had touched all three, the fourth pillar opened up and revealed a key. This was it! This was the key we needed!

With no regard for Bright Yilling, the party rushed back to the keyhole to see if this key would fit. Much to our relief, it did. A door opened and we filed downwards. I heard some noises bellow and recognized them as trolls. I hurried ahead and finished them off quickly. I went invisible and swiftly moved forward down a hallway. I looked to my left and saw a huge statue of orcus surrounded by priests. There was a scout closer to me and I tried to dispose of it quietly but before it died it was able to warn the priests. I heard the sounds of a summoning and ran back to fetch the party.

By the time we were all prepared and ready to fight, a Balor Demon flanked by another tough looking demon were by the statue. I fired off whatever shots I could, and Susurrus cast the big spell that had the tentacle things that attacked them (Jatembe’s Ire –Ed.). Much to our surprise, the four-armed demon that stood opposite the balor grabbed his hand and they vanished only to appear behind the party. The four-armed demon cast a spell that caused violent winds to blow away all the smoke that was pouring out of the Ever-Smoking Bottle we had opened. This change in tactics was not what we had expected at all, but like true heroes, we recovered quickly. A prismatic spray and a stormbolts removed 2 priests that had teleported with them. I was able to stagger the four-armed thing with a few cold iron arrows. The balor demon moved with incredible swiftness for his size and grappled Deckard Cain. Now I know this is quite the cliffhanger but I really need to go kick some ass. There is no time for journal writing.

Need to talk? Got something to say?
Well that’s too bad, I’m irrelevantly far away!

Signing off,
DFSIFA

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

Bright Yilling, fetchling barbarian 15 / antipaladin 2
Deckard Cain, aasimar oracle 17
Death from Somewhere Irrelevantly Far Away, tiefling slayer 18
Susurrus of the Wind, sylph wizard 16
Shia Labeouf, merfolk bard 16
Valestar Ekhart, aasimar paladin 19

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Rappan Athuk #93: Help I Can’t Find the Giant Metal Statue

Since the LONG TIME we last had a writeup (grrr!), the party explored a spiral-shaped level with with strange puzzles. I don’t remember everything, but I do remember Bright Yilling and Death from Somewhere Irrelevantly Far Away trying to make love. They fought an undead sorcerer with a shaft leading far down into the “The Graveyard” — the maze. There, they found a goblin outpost and then a Temple of Orcus with goblins and humans, and a prisoner with Dissociative Identity Disorder. The death prophet Bright Yilling continues his tale.

(-GM)

5th day of Rova, 4721 AR

We continued to explore the level known as the Graveyard. The area we were delving into had a lot of depictions of Orcus on the wall. It was going to be hard to be sure we had explored everything here, as they were connected via a constantly shifting set of teleporters. We decided to keep walking into rooms until they were all ones we had seen before.

There was a chamber filled with sarcophagi, with one large coffin at the center. A red liquid that looked a lot like blood, but was in fact caused by some fungus, oozed from the walls. We were all very surprised when skeletons came out of the coffins and attacked us. The nerve.

Oh, excuse me, they weren’t skeletons, they were “sword wights”, and the middle sarcophagus had a “blood wraith.” But I don’t think they deserve fancy titles. They already have enough arrogance, demonstrated by the fact that they thought themselves able to cheat the Last Door. We showed them their true place.

After a while we found a room very unlike the others. A giant mithral statue of a skeleton with hooks for hands stood in the center, and the walls were covered in mirrors. “Well that’s nice,” we thought, “a room without monsters for a change. Just this unique display of modern art.”

Suddenly, surprisingly, spontaneously, out of the blue and with no forewarning, the statue came to life and attacked us! Statues can’t move! Making matters more mind-melting, when we attacked it, our weapons passed right through it! Oh, it hit us just fine, but we couldn’t touch it! Eventually we looked to the mirrors for guidance. We saw the statue from a new perspective – one that was positioned behind the one we thought we saw. Aiming at that space let us kill it.

It turned out the statue wasn’t actually mithral, just some alloy that was designed specifically to be worth a lot less. Even worse, the mirrors weren’t real diamond, just something called “glass”. We explored the rest of the level, but aside from some more wannabe death cheaters that we dispatched, everything we came across had already been encountered. We could officially mark  the Graveyard as fully explored.

We decided to head to a city in the Plane of Air known as Armun Kelisk. It had all the cool magic items that were unavailable back home. Then it was time to get to the level with the hellhounds we had been putting off for so long.

Signing off, Bright Yilling

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

Bright Yilling, fetchling barbarian 15 / antipaladin 2
Deckard Cain, aasimar oracle 17
Death from Somewhere Irrelevantly Far Away, tiefling slayer 18
Susurrus of the Wind, sylph wizard 16
Shia Labeouf, merfolk bard 15
Valestar Ekhart, aasimar paladin 19

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Posted by on February 1, 2019 in Campaign, Pathfinder Chronicles, Rappan Athuk

 

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Wrath of the Righteous #40: The Goddess

The Goddess of valor, justice, and honor, Iomedae, personally asks our heroes to undertake a dangerous mission in today’s writeup. (-GM)

11th day of Erastus, 4728 AR

Iomedae grew displeased…

When our heroes had slain the daughter of Baphomet and returned to their own plane, they had urgent news to report. They told Queen Galfrey that the herald of Iomedae had been captured and they recounted the tales of their adventure. They were to be dispatched on a rescue mission of such importance, that they gained an audience with Iomedae herself. Throughout their reports both with the queen and Iomedae, the loudmouthed buffoon Nunya kept attempting to say very foolish things indeed. So foolish in fact, that while speaking to Iomedae, Sigarda had no other options than to physically prevent Nunya from opening his big mouth. Displeased with Nunya‘s foolishness and with the display of how little control the party had over its own members, Iomedae grew displeased and provided only one artifact to aid them in their journey to free Harold. Had The Incredible Fella not shown his vast knowledge and skill, they would have received naught but a dirty look. Read the rest of this entry »
 

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Rappan Athuk #89: Getting Some Fresh Air

The party asked the Oracle at the end of the last session what “other evil lies within Rappan Athuk.” The floating skull replied:

What evil remains, my stalwart friends,
I now describe, as the crow descends:
A temple lies in the hills nearby
Where those who do not worship Orcus do die;
The miners have another purpose
And have a lair that is near the surface;
And for a fate that is worse than hell
Do not go down the well;
Robed mages trapped outside of time
The priests did bury, beneath rocks of lime;
From there a molten river runs
To trees who live without the sun;
Trails of smoke that twist and wind do hide
A fortress where goblins and humans live side by side;
Lying beneath where the water floods,
Is the lair of a mage who drinks of blood;
Beyond the halls where hounds of flame once slept;
Are the prisons where the slaves are kept
To be tortured there and then killed after
In the greatest temple to please the Master;
The most confounding entrance is not very far
And that is where lies the army of Tsar;
And finally, I must advise
Not to descend where you are asked to lie
And bathe yourselves in reddish dye
For that is where my friends will die.

(-GM)

25th day of Erastus, 4721 AR

The poem mentioned a temple in the hills, so we decided to explore the wilderness surrounding the dungeon, even though DSFIFA maintained that it was talking about a level we had already explored. To my surprise, they had never done a thorough exploration of the wilderness, despite having almost completely navigated the dungeon. The immediate surroundings were disappointingly unpopulated. To the north were a tribe of ogres. They looked like a bigger but slower version of the orcs from legend. I’ve never actually seen an orc, despite all the tales of how they roam in vast hordes. I’m convinced that orcs don’t actually exist. They’re just a fable made to scare children from going out at night. Most of the ogres were killed by Madrik’s blast of ice. Read the rest of this entry »

 
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Posted by on November 1, 2018 in Campaign, Pathfinder Chronicles, Rappan Athuk

 

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