Pathfinder: Skull & Shackles 2018

Session 186
December 4th, 2018

Day 360 10:20 AM The party, having arrived in the Sunken Plaza, planned to take the shortest method to the Beggarbriar. Nico summoned three air elementals, which picked up the party and flew swiftly up and out of the limestone channels. The region to the north – the dry docks, from the distance appeared to be busy while shipwrights were hard at work and guards patrolled to keep the riff-raff at bay. Passing beyond the rocky bluff surrounding the Beggarbriar, the city stench was cloying. There was a strong mixture of smells: of glues, tars, open refuse pits, cesspools, close-built shanties made of driftwood and old ships. The region was a wasteland of work zones, shanties and cordoned off slave pens.

The party landed in the center of the slave pens where there was an inner ring of more solid, permanent wood structures. The slave-masters and lieutenants fled at the sign of the party arriving via air elemental.

Temujin and Damiano introduced as the new Hurricane King were greeted by the remaining impertinent slave-handlers. Some were Mwangi, but none knew of the King in Yellow. Their surly demeanor changed abruptly when the party started questioning one of their members, while being dangled over the ground by one of the air elementals. Nico summoned earth elementals to ordered them to review below ground for any signs of stelae or passageways. The fellow being questioned while more compliant now, didn’t have the answers the party was looking for. One young woman, a half-orc named Callie Mora suggested the camp master, one Goat Tongue, in yonder cottage may be of help. The party let her go to his hut and she slipped indoors. Damiano and Ray moved up to the doorway, Damiano sliced the door off it’s hinges – he could see Callie Mora just beyond the threshold talking to an old Mwangi gentleman. The fellow said but a word and the party saw the cottage sprout legs and rise up off the ground and start moving away. Nico tasked his elementals to chase down and halt the cottage that was ambling away. Damiano leaped up to the doorway, holding onto the frame. Hanging there he saw the old man side step into the corner – again he said a short phrase and disappeared.

Temujin cast Dispel Magic upon the cottage, where it’s legs went limp and retracted under the hut. Nico’s elementals cast the hut sideways to the dirt. Ray moved in and determined that there were no traps opened up a chest of papers – sheaves of papers and titles of ownership of the nearby, penned slaves. As the party converged upon the overturned cottage a roar broke out behind them.

Five large lumbering apelike monsters with blood-red fur, twisted horns, and a hideous fanged orifice set in the center of their chests smashed through the wall of a building and made for the party. While a huge towering, corpulent beast, that had the hideous head of a boar and arms ending in fatty, four-fingered hands smashed out of another building and flew at the party. Nico split up the elementals to engage the ape-like beasts, called baregara. Nico recognized the demon called a nalfeshnee. Ray closed in on the demon and they traded blows. While the apes tried to grapple their foes and pull them close to the maws in the center of their chests, the party and the elementals stayed clear. The party slowly extracted itself out of the Goat Tongue’s hut and engaged the beasts about the slave market. It was a slow slog of a battle as both monsters proved resistant to Temujin’s magics but their claws were taking it’s toll upon Ray. The elementals and beasts barely scratched at each other. An orange nimbus radiated from the nalfeshnee dazing two of the elementals.

Ray Lan, weak on his feet was healed by Father Pyrlig and Nico’s newly summoned deva. The party slowly ground down the attacking creatures until their massive bodies fell over in heaps. Two were successfully turned to stone by Temujin’s Prismatic Spray and the final foe, fell into a deep slumber, until it was sent to a more death-like sleep from the party’s coup-de-grace.

The party collected itself. Most of the slave-masters had fled in the sight of so many beasts duking it out in the center of their compound. Callie Mora had been trapped in the hut with all the rumpus going on just outside. The party gathered her near. Mittens had pored over the magical runes on the floor of Goat Tongue’s hut and discerned the word of power to activate it. However, it was a small gate and only a single person could stand upon it at one time.

The party would need to consider their next steps carefully before proceeding.

[end of session 186]
{Day 360}

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Session 185
November 27th, 2018

Day 358 10:15AM The party rested up and recuperated aboard the Black Purrl as the ship set sail south towards Port Peril. Temujin cast a Vision spell, to discern what awaited the party in the submerged Map Room. He learned that in the Map Room was the Blond Stelae. That the drow, Khibisi Dendrosha, served her master, a Spawn of Yog-Sothoth there.

Day 359 8AM The Purrl and it’s crew had a restful day sailing south. Nico and the party Teleported to Port Peril directly to pick up magical supplies that Nico required. They also spent a number of hours to find word of the Sea Stelae, that was located in Port Peril. After questioning merchants, thieves, children and smugglers, Nico felt that the stelae was not in a known or trafficked location or he surely would have heard about it. The party Teleported back to the Black Purrl. Mittens resumed retraining with Captain Knuckles. Nico began crafting magical bracers for Captain Damiano and the remainder of the party took their rest.

Day 360 10AM The party gathered after preparing their morning memorization of spells and Nico completed crafting the bracers for Captain Damiano. They teleported back to the Hall of the Masters.

Nico summoned a daemon and an archon. The party magically buffed themselves and they entered through the doors. They passed through the empty kitchen and hall into the library, and made their way to the Yellow Chapel. They were greeted by the ghostly, cloaked form of the chapel-keeper, Hundun. While he greeted the party as they entered, he did not seem to remember them. Mittens moved into the hallway beyond the chapel and spun the wheel mechanism. Behind the stone wall he heard a wheels as moving counterweights and springs started to move. In the chapel, the lantern shutter began to raise into the ceiling and the two doorways had bronze slot doors begin to drop closed.

As the large lantern hood raised a pale yellow light, much greater than the sum of all these candles, shone out. The light appeared to move, the light was dense and brighter in spots. The light illuminated the wall panels – there appeared to be runes etched into the metal panels, made clear by this new source of light – as if this light is the Truth and has slowly etched words and images into the panels.

Nico’s summoned daemon’s mind and limbs felt weak and he did not react. The light on the dias reacted as if alive and it reached out to draw life force from the daemon, growing brighter as it did so. Damiano leapt at the creature stabbing it – each time it’s brightness waned. Nico and Temujin began scanning the bronze panels for clues and important details. Mittens rolled into the room as the bronze panel slid closed. Father Pyrlig moved alongside to Damiano – the creature extended a tentacle swatting at Pyrlig who felt a burn as the tentacle had a disintegrating touch.

As Damiano continued to strike, the creature, a color out of space, as they had seen once before at Undertow Island, attempted to feed upon Damiano, but failed, but it successfully fed on Mittens, it’s brightness increasing, to compensate for the damage Damiano inflicted upon it. The party told the Captain to slow down – they guess that if they killed the creature too soon they would not be able to read the etchings on the bronze panels.

Nico, Temujin and Mittens saw many depictions of lost cities: Sigguros, Katheer, Okeno, Ythill, Cassomir, Aevan-Vhor, Oromith and Kalashar. Many races were also detailed: Goblins, cecalia, Deep Ones, kuru, cyclops, & various individuals: the chapel-keeper Hundun, the drow Khibisi Dendrosha, the woman in green silks that had informed the party about Jol Blassey, and Sabella Ezeel. Hundun pointed out Lady Cassilda, the consort to the Yellow King, she as beautiful dark skinned woman with a cruel expression. He pointed out another woman, Lady Camilla – this was the image the party knew – the bold blond actress. Hundun added that she was the consort to the Scion of Port Peril, the party seeing Captain Damiano’s face upon the bronze panels also. Lastly Nico and Temujin noted that there were two different representations of the same person. Lady Camilla, the blond actress and Lady Sabella Ezeel, the Chelish-born actress from Hell Harbor, and ex-wife of the Chelish spy, Lon Ezeel. While the party thought to the two to be one and the same, their depictions were quite different.

They also found a star indicated upon a stylized map of Port Peril, in the district of Beggarbriar, a portion of Port Peril known for its slave camps, slums and shipyards. Feeling that they learned all they could, they gave the ‘okay’ to Captain Damaino, who, with Nico’s archons help, slew the color out of space. The ghost, Hundun, faded away. The party rested for a moment, took in some healing magic and they noted that the gear-spring mechanism noises slowed and reversed. A few moments later, the springs recoiled and the two bronze doors opened as the lantern lowered once again.

Day 360 10:12 AM The party felt that had some new information to initiate a new search of Port Peril, they Teleported to Sunken Plaza, a region of the limestone markets that Nico knew well. They arrived safely and proceeded to head to the Beggarbriar.

[end of session 185]
{Day 358-360}

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Session 184
November 20th, 2018

Day 358 10:15AM The party assembled around the Dark Stelae – their magical rapiers and bardiches in hand and they started hacking at the stone. Temujin sent Raven to scan the area, the Purrl was in the distance. The crew could be seen clearing the deck, tossing goblin bodies into the sea.

With a crack the stone snaps and topples to the sand – a huge wave of energy and stone shrapnel spray the party. A second wave of magical energy starts building up – Temujin was readied and detected the wave of transmutation energy but he fails to dispel it before it discharges. A wave of temporal energy hits the party – all of a sudden, some of the party disappear from the beach.

Ray Lan, Father Pyrlig, Temujin and one of Nico’s Archons were left on the beach as a humanoid Deep One, dressed in a ragged oil slicker breaches the surface and greets them. He asks why they destroy the Stelaes sacred to the King in Yellow, when they could be princes among the Shackles, if they just served. The party indicated stated that they had no intention of allowing Portl Peril to be taken – as their intensions became clear, the Deep One sighed, the water behind him churned as a gargantuan Elder Deep One strode from the sea to attack.

Damiano, Mittens, Nico and Nico’s astral deva and leonels were also on the beach – but they didn’t see their companions. The beach and cliff seemed less worn – they felt that they had been thrown back in time. A huge hag surfaced with the three multi-headed trolls and attacked the party. The hag repeatedly struck Damiano and Mittens with a Polar Ray as they kept the trolls at bay with a Wall of Force. Mittens lit them up with a Chain Lightning, which slew several of the trolls. Nico’s summoned allies closed in with Damiano and Mittens to melee with the hag and last troll, slaying her before she was able to escape. The battle ended, they weren’t sure what to do, and where their companions were.

Ray charged at the Elder Deep One as it swiped at him – it’s menacing appearance struck Ray dumb with fear – luckily it was dispelled by Father Pyrlig. Ray and the Deep One went toe-to-toe slicing at each other. The Deep One speaker, Crosu, slid up behind Ray to attack from behind. Temujin and the Archons attacked Crosu and slew him. Temujin cast Deep Slumber upon the Elder Deep One and it settled down to the sand to have a nice snooze – Ray Lan and the Archon moved up to coup de grace the beast. They stood on the sand wondering what was next. Temujin noted the temporal sensor hovering above the broken Stelae – he attempted to dispel it without success.

In the alternate timeframe, Mittens also was aware of the invisible sensor and dispelled it – the second team reappeared back upon the beach with Ray, Pyrlig and Temujin. The reassembled party returned to the Black Purrl. Captain Knuckles relayed that shortly after the party had left, to return to the caverns, the Purrl had been attacked by waves of goblins. There were no major casualties but there were many goblins coming from all sides.

Captain Damiano gave the word to weigh anchor and set sail towards Port Peril and to get some distance from Sigguros. The party settled in to get some rest before they would teleport back to the Hall of the Masters. Their intention was to head to the Yellow Chapel to see if there was intelligence to gained. The guardian, Hundun had repeatedly stated that the bronze plates detailed something, yet at the time, the party detected no writings – perhaps there was something there that they had missed. But first, as the Black Purrl sailed south, the party rested and regrouped.

[end of session 184]
{Day 358}

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Session 183
November 13th, 2018

Day 358 10AM The party stood before the doors in the Halls of the Masters adding their final magical protections. Nico summoned a squad of devas and leonels and they all moved into the kitchen – taking the pain from the Forbiddance – and moved into the chamber where they encountered the party earlier that morning. All was quiet. They passed by the archway that led to the Map Room and entered the Library. Nico met up with Mr. Snippy. Ray Lan took up lead and entered the side tunnel where they saw a soft golden light.

The stone tunnel pushed straight 30,’ the ceiling is arched and then forks, a dark passage winds off to the right at a 45’ angle. To the left, a tunnel lit with a soft yellow glow – the party cannot see the source of the light, but it is dim. The tunnel continues, occasionally stepping down in shallow steps. Ahead, 20’ the stonework becomes more ornate and just beyond you can see that bronze panels have been fixed to the walls and ceiling, reflecting soft golden light through the hall – There appears to be an archway 60’ beyond into a room, that is lit brighter. Some of the light from that chamber is what is reflecting off all the bronze panels.

Ray Lan in the lead, was closely followed by Damiano, sees a 30’x40’ room. This room appears to be a chapel. The walls are set with shallow alcoves with votive candles. There are lit lanterns hanging from this room. While the alcoves are stone, the ceiling and walls are covered in these bronze plates. In the center of the room appears to be a metal cabinet resting on a high dias. At the far side of the wall is a rustic cloth and bone effigy, similar in appearance to what the party has seen below the Black Tower (shrine to the King in Yellow). Near this effigy, is a stone archway and tunnel. About 15’ away, a pale humanoid figure stoops over one of the alcoves, he lights the votive candles with a taper.

Ray steps around the metal cabinet staying out of sight of the cloaked figure – who turns to address the Captain. “_Welcome friends. Why are you here. So rarely do I have guests. There have been a few, wild insane men. Savage and desperate sailors. I heard them wailing in the tunnels. But the other, she was so beautiful – what a lovely wit. Sabella, Sabella. She was so confident and full of life for having made her way through these ancient halls.”_

“My name is Hundun and I but tend to this chapel to his glory, his histories.” He points to the bronze panels, but the party sees no text or runes. “We are so lowly but so eager to serve and give ourselves – we are nothing – shades that can but give our essence and our will. This room tells all. His glories upon the realm of Golarion.” Again pointing at the wall panels. _ "Can’t you see this histories of those that come before: Sigguros, Katheer, Okeno, Ythill, Cassomir, Aevan-Vhor, Oromith, Kalashar. Wait, where is it? Another to come, where is it written about…Port Peril?”_

Mittens having moved through the chamber to the stone hall beyond, found an alcove with a lever and wheel mechanism. The party slowly move through the chapel ignoring Hundun’s wish to educate them of the glories of the King in Yellow and regroup in the stone hall.

The stone tunnel proceeds 30’ and then starts to wind down, clockwise in a tight, closed-in staircase. The party proceeds down 300’ in the winding staircase. The stair gets cold, slick with moisture, with a dark green fungus growing upon it, everywhere. Insects crawl through the matting of the fungus. The air is briny.

There is a strong breeze and the stair opens upon a cavern. The 5’ stair descends via a natural rock formation that appears to have been worked ages past – it is worn and slick but passable. The party casts light and realize the far wall is about 200’ away. The caves wind off into the darkness to the left and right. As they proceed down the natural stair, they hear a flapping – a sense of foreboding strikes them as a heavy wind picks up – Father Pyrlig really wants to leave, racing back and forth across the stair but finding no way out.

Three beasts, called flying polyps, This nauseating tapered tower of flesh, eyes, and tendrils coils through the air, surrounded by a strange vortex of sucking wind, close in on the party.

Pic of nasty flying polyp…
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They attack with their tentacles – they attempt to pull Ray and Damiano off the ledge but can’t get a grip with the duos magical protections in place. Mittens and Temujin move up. Nico helps dispel the fear upon Father Pyrlig and his own angelic minions. They party realize that the vortex of wind surrounding each polyp offers protection from their missile weapons. Mittens, focusing on poor Temujin banks a Chain Lightning off him and forks it to two polyps – they explode and their carcasses fall to the stone 150’ below. As Damiano continues to pepper the last polyp, Ray Lan lunges at it, shredding it with his rapier – the beast falls to the cavern floor.

The party spreads some healing around, regroups, and heads down the stair.

Before they reach the bottom, the party sees a strange beast, like a large, white gorilla, it’s head a mass of tentacles. It sits near an ornate pool, 30’ across. It appears to be pondering something about the pool. As they approach, it turns towards them and they all hear a telepathic greeting.

Pic of Yath-Khaph’s smiling face…
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“Greetings, I am Yath-Kheph. I am a slaver and I seek a human story teller named Marjan Sarces.” This is not a name that the party recognizes. “When I find him I will be richly rewarded by selling the human to Bokrug of Ib.” After conversing, the party realize that Yath-Kheph hopes to enter this portal at midnight (it is currently just after 10AM) to find his way into the court of Cassilda, the consort of the incarnation of the King in Yellow. Yath-Kheph hopes to find his mortal there. He sells information about the five stelae. Nico pays him with a fine suit of Chelish Hellknight armor and a fine sword.

1. Dark Stelae = Beach (in sight of the Black Purrl)
2. Blond Stelae = Map Room (under water)
3. Star Stelae = Throne Room
4. Blood Stelae = Library (destroyed by the party)
5. Sea Stelae = underneath Port Peril

Yath-Kheph points off into the darkness. “This way will also take you to the Map Room. You don’t need to back track. But be careful, there are mountain giants near. They reside here, deep underground."

The party take their leave of Yath-Kheph. Both Nico and Mittens teleport their whole retinue back to the beach. As they stand on the sand they appraise the dark stelae, some of them pull out the adamantine bardiches and they prepare to lay waste to the massive stone.

[end of session 183]
{Day 358}

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Session 182
October 30th, 2018

Daughter of Shub-Niggurath

Day 358 9:15AM There the party stood. The Blood Stelae sundered as they just hacked it with the bardiches. The stone toppled over onto the floor – then a magical sonic wave hit the party closest to the fallen stone. Nico and his construct being far enough away from the blast radius to be unhurt. The light dimmed for a moment and a massive tree-trunk of a beast, it’s lower half a multiple of massive hooves while it’s upper half whirling tentacles. It had no head, no eyes, but the trunk was covered in many maws clamping away, some talking:

The party heard a variety of common phrases:
Why you break blood stone?
You smell…delicious.
I’ve come to enslave your seed
Love me!

A strong scent exuded from this ‘female,’ this Daughter of Shub-Niggurath. Ray Lan felt lustful urges towards this creature – all other thoughts made his mind and body cease up with uncertainty. Damiano closed in upon this otherworldly creature and found it quick to attack, lashing at him with her tentacles. But the Captain was fast enough to evade her, closing in on her and slicing her with his rapier. This newfound wound healed quickly, but not fully.

Massive slug spawn fell off of the ‘Daughter’ and writhed towards the smell of blood, the sense of heat. Two leaped at Nico and Damiano but they stepped aside. Mittens lit up the foes with a fiery Chain Lightning – the slugs sizzled away. Nico’s construct took a defensive posture between him and the Daughter. Something quickly moved, flying, into the room. Pyrlig and Mittens saw the ghostly drow form from the party hovering close to the ceiling. The ghostly, drow female peered at the party through metal spectacles, she appeared to be both grim and angry. Once attractive, her visage was now covered in bulging pustules and boils – there is an aura of grey and black smoke drifting about her. A magical wave struck the entire party as the drow cast Mage’s Disjunction – their spell effects dissipated, many of their items ceased to function, some few were destroyed. Temujin cast Time Stop on himself to raise fresh magical protections. Mittens cast another fiery Chain Lightning at the Daughter and the drown, Khibisi. Pyrlig followed up by hitting Khibisi with a channel. Ray Lan was then struck with a Feeblemind spell by the ghostly drow. He resisted, at first, but then his will caved in – his mind became imbecilic – and he gave into the lustful compulsion and started making his way towards the Daughter.

Mittens saw the mindless look in Ray’s eyes, he tripped him up – Ray clawing at Mittens as he fell. As Ray tried to get back to his feet, Temujin tripped him again. All this time, Damiano melee’d with the Daughter. With some of his defenses down, her tentacles and maws slashed and bit at him more effectively. Mr. Snippy powered down due to the Disjunction. Without him to block, the Daughter lashed out a single tentacle at Nico and pulled him into her maw, swallowing him whole. Inside Nico suffered as her internal organs bashed at him and burned him with her foul acid.

As Ray was getting to his feet, Mittens and Damiano focused on the Daughter and slew her – her great bulk falling over. Nico crawled out of the mouth of the beast. Ray lustful thoughts dissipated. As the party turned it’s attentions to Khibisi, the ghost-drow mage – she flew back into the library stacks and escaped.

Regrouping at the Black Purrl

Day 358 10AM The party quickly withdrew to the dry Hall of the Masters, where they encountered the gholdako. From there they teleported back to the Purrl. This gave them the time to recover from the Mage’s Disjunction and rebuild their magical protections. From the deck of the Purrl they imbued themselves with Heroism and Nico teleported them back into the Hall of the Masters.

[end of session 182]
{Day 358}

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Session 181
October 16th, 2018

Day 358 9AM The party engaged with the ghosts, staggered between the dining hall and the foyer to the library. The drow, Khibisi Dendrosha turned the corner through the archway and disappeared, out of sight, down the passage. Ray Lan pulled back towards the dining room to assist with the battle with the ghosts. One noble-ghost tilted his head back and howled a fearful howl, but the party was undeterred and kept fighting.

As the party waded through the ghosts – a few ghosts got their incorporeal hands upon the party, the flesh withering and aging under the ghostly touch. One ghost savaged Mr. Snippy, Nico’s construct as the iron panels rusted and rotted – Nico cast Displacement to further protect his creation.

Damiano had warned the party of a strange presence coming from the library. As Mittens focused upon the ghosts, he is singed by a Disintegrate ray – he spun about to see, 50’ away a gross beast hovering towards him – with many claws, maws and tongues – this otherworldly beast comes to snack on any mortal being that it can find. Even lizards.

[Qolok smiling for the party – he’s a charmer!]
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Mittens, raged and roided, moved in upon the beast, a Sakil Qolok. They trade blows – and Mittens withstands the weird and otherworldly fear that the beast inspires. Damiano and Ray move back to help Mittens. Again and again the Qolok slaps Mittens around with it’s tongue, but Mittens size and juicin,’ it can’t grab him up to try and swallow him whole. With the trio in position, they kill the beast, it’s bloated form deflating and leaking upon the floor – the party isn’t done, they move back to the dining hall where Temujin, Purlig and Mr. Snippy continue to wade through the ghostly courtiers and their servants. In moments, both rooms are quiet – the battles are over.

The party decides that since Khibisi directed them towards the tunnel, they would head instead into the library. They regroup and head deeper into the library. The room widens out and stone book cases run floor to ceiling. However the party needs to squeeze through narrow aisles. The party stacks over their companions, as Pyrlig grants air walk to everyone. A soft breeze blows and rotten bits of paper whirl through the air. Occasionally they hear a low chortle. Other times they hear a strange sexless murmuring. The party enters into a 10’ aisle running perpendicular. Looking to the right they see an archway branch into a Y. The left-hand route emits a soft yellow glow. The right-hand passage is dark. Looking to their left they see a room beyond. They hear the murmuring from this direction. The party turns right and comes to a room choked with debris. Beyond all the garbage, they make out a thing – a barrel shaped creature with wings, tentacles and eye stalks. It doesn’t appear to have a mouth, yet sounds, strange words reverberate from it’s torso. Damiano greeted it and it moves quickly, as if it was abruptly awakened.

[Elder Thing, posing for the party:]
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It speaks, but in a foreign language – However Temujin has Tongues active and can understand the creature. Nico recognizes bits of the language as Elder Thing – as this must be what the creature is. “Greetings mortals – Well met but step wisely now, careful, careful. There are foul beasts here. They come to feed on mortal men and women. They seek life and souls and the psychic energies that are trapped here.” With Temujin translating for Damiano, he states that he is here for the King in Yellow. The creature only says that it is here, but deeper, ever deeper. “Ruin comes by way of the Stelae – the small obelisks you may find. There are five, acting as anchors for the King in Yellow’s incarnation to draw his master’s sight to this place, your Port Peril, and drag it, it’s souls and energies, into Carcosa! The closest of these is the Blood Stelae, nearby…deeper into the library. The Blond Stelae is in the Map Room.” One of his tentacles points back where the party has come from. _ "The other’s must be deeper still.”_ The party took their leave and headed deeper through the library stacks, single file. Nico cast Alarm upon the Elder Things chamber door.

As the party passed back out of the stacks, the room came to an end – a 25’ tall pulsing red obelisk standing along in the chamber. Nico, Mittens and Temujin reviewed some of the runes upon the stone. They could make out Sigguros. And then other cities (Katheer, Okeno, Ythill, Cassomir, Aevan-Vhor), while unfamiliar, must have been coveted and equally doomed by the King in Yellow.

Nico became aware that his recent Alarm was triggered. The Elder Thing flapped out flying from between the stone book cases and settled upon a high end shelf. It’s eye stalks regarding the party curiously.

Day 358 9:15AM The party eyed the stone and then Nico broke out his portable hole, reached in and pulled out adamantine bardiches. The party circled the stone and started hacking away at it. Some moments later, the stone cracked and toppled over – a great clap of thunder resounded through the library. The party members hacking at the stone winced as it energy pulsed through them – Nico and his construct were safely out of the radius. However, moments later, a darkness appeared near Nico and Mr. Snippy – The lumbering bulk of a treelike monster lurches out of the mist, its branches tentacles, its roots ending in hooves, and its trunk decorated with numerous drooling maws. A beast the party had faced beneath Undertow Island. The Dark Young of Shub-Niggurath.

[The Angry, Misunderstood, Dark Pre-Teen of Shub-Niggurath, defiant and definitely not posing for the party]
Screen_Shot_2018-10-18_at_3.30.24_PM.png

[end of session 181]
{Day 358}

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Session 180
October 10th, 2018

Kevin/Mittens was resting in Leomund’s Tiny Home

Day 358 9AM Ray stepped up to the great doors and took a few moments to pop the aged lock. Ray and Damiano pulled open the doors. Entering from the hall of the Gholdako the room beyond is warmer and there is a mist in the air. It is dark and due to the fog, vision is obscured. Temujin’s Sunlight spell pushes back the darkness, but light reflecting off the mist, vision is still partially obscured. Beyond, there is sound of music being performed. Many voices are heard in pleasant conversation (much rhubarb-ing). The clatter of plates, silverware, the crackling of a large fire. As the party moves in, Pyrlig looks back over his should towards Nico and his construct. Pyrlig hears the capering about of the ghouls from the level above, who had showed the party the air shaft. Pyrlig spread the word to their companions.

The party didn’t want potential ghoul opportunists at their back. The party pulled back into the dry hall and closed the door – the noise behind now silent. The party feigned casualness as they approached the ghouls – until Ray Lan drew his rapier. The battle was short and sweet. The ghouls bit and clawed at the party but no one caught Leng Ghoul Fever this day. And both Ray and Damiano’s magic of Free Movement prevented any paralysis from setting in.

The party turned back to the door and pulled them open. The familiar sounds continued and the party pushed into the fog. They approached rich, purple velvet curtains on both sides of the hall, making small partitions for serving staff to prepare food, pour drinks and clean tableware. They staff gave the party the once-over and continued with their busy work. Father Pyrlig noted, his True Sight engaged, that the staff were translucent, perhaps not there at all. However each staff member had one, near solid object about them. A knife, a towel, a headband – one object each that was on their person yet appeared solid under the scrutiny of Pyrlig’s True Sight.

Pushing through the purple curtains, the party walked up behind a sextet of musicians. Before them was a long hall, the mist in this part of the hall was thinning out. Tables were set out with food and drink and servers passed through the crowd. The party noted that the servers and beautiful people were all Chelish. To the east, there was an archway. At the far north end of the hall was a massive set of double doors and on the west wall was a large fireplace. Above the fireplace was a familiar looking painting. Temujin and Damiano moved up to investigate. The painting was titled, ‘Under the Specter of the Two Suns.’ It displayed a scene of a city at a lakeside, twin suns were setting behind the mountains casting the city in it’s shadow. At the north end of the hall, to the left of the large double doors, was another painting, but they couldn’t make out the details at their current distance.

A foppish fellow approached and introduced himself as Vaustin York. He welcomed the party but eyed their weapons. Vaustin summoned a server and invited the party to take a glass of champagne – they party waved the server off, but the Captain did pick up a glass. Temujin and Damiano both questioned Vaustin, he was unaware that D.C.I. or the Island of Empty Eyes was anything but a place of savages. But he, and his fellows came to the Shackles when Hell Harbor was a burg, just a small town in a nondescript harbor. Instead they sought to settle here in Sigguros. Based on the conversation, Temujin and Damiano felt that Vaustin was referencing a timeframe about one hundred years before their current time.

Pyrlig eyed Vaustin York, he too was translucent. His totem was the wine glass. Even when he set it down to pick up a fresh drink, his glass remained in his hand. Nico brushed past and successfully gripped the glass – he felt resistance. Nico had the glass only to see it wisp away into nothingness – Vaustin York didn’t notice and took a long sip of champagne. Damiano asserted that his purpose was to see the King in Yellow…Vaustin waved off this line of questioning, and moved away. Temujin and Damiano followed him to a banquet table deeper in the room. They pressed him – what was beyond the double doors? Where was the King in Yellow? As he attempted to move away again, they followed – Temujin and Damiano could see the second painting – it appeared to be of the cyclopian city above, at it’s height. When they glanced at it, they both felt a sense of vertigo. Damiano was okay, but Temujin felt a roaring of the ocean in his ears – but he gathered his wits and continued to push at Vaustin York.

A drow woman stepped out of the archway in the east wall. Vaustin York had mentioned to Damiano and Temujin that this was the mistress of the party, her name was Khibisi Dendrosha. Across the room, Damiano disrupted the party and yelled at the drow, “Where is the King in Yellow?” She pointed to the archway. The party sought to read her body language – there was something that she wasn’t saying. They pushed. She pointed again, “The hall forks. You must take the left fork to the Map Room. The right path leads to the well. But there is nothing in the Library for you. He is not there."

A serving girl sidled up to Ray Lan, she said, “You ought not to be here. If you tarry much longer you may never leave.” The party started moving towards the great double doors, as they got close to the farther painting – they felt off kilter but everyone remained solid. Ray checked out the doors – and it took a moment but this door was more difficult – and a moment longer it was unlocked.

The party opened the doors and the air beyond was dry and musty. 30’ away stood a large demon, Temujin recognized it as a Painajai. The eight spider eyes of this pale, towering humanoid glisten hungrily, and its mouth contains dozens of sharp teeth. It carries a barbed spear with a long, clinking chain attached to its end. The party rushed into the Library and savaged the demon – it lashed out, stabbing with it’s spear – it attempted to drive off the party with a wave of fear but they were resolute. In a few moments it had fallen upon the flagstones.

Screen_Shot_2018-10-11_at_4.01.47_PM.png

Damiano heard a rushing of wind through the high stone stacks of book cases beyond the party, in the dark. Behind them, the party heard a hiss. Turning back, the party saw both the party-goers and the serving staff, their bodies limned in a whitish-grey light. Their eyes black. Nico and Temujin were still in the dining hall, facing the library when the dinner crowd went feral and attacked! Both were attacked, Nico, sliced several times. Their fingers raked at Nico and Temujin: the muscle and skin decaying by their corrupting touch. Nico being surrounded, was teleported into the library, to relative safety by Temujin. Father Pyrlig blasted the room with his channel, but the ghostly forms still stood. Back at the archway, the drow female looked at the party balefully.

This party wasn’t over.

[end of session 180]
{Day 358}

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Session 179
October 2nd, 2018

Day 358 8:45AM Descending down the stairs, the party turned the corner and entered the tunnel. The tunnel winds down, clock-wise. The stonework wrapped in vines. The Halls are 30’ wide x 30’ tall and the sunlight only extends in through the balconies 10’. There is the gentlest of slopes to the floor, ramping down gradually in the direction that the party is heading. Small rivulets of water run downhill, often pooling up behind obstructions such as a a mat of moss, debris or a rotten corpse.

The interior side of the hall is slick and has a yellow-green fungus growing where the daylight never hits the stonework.It has a cloying, sweet flower scent. There is a latency to the echoes made by the party’s footfalls. The light past the balcony alternates, bright/then dark, vision having a hard time constantly correcting. The party quickly discerns that this fungus is foul and protect vulnerable members of the party with Delay Poison spells.

The party proceed through the hallways – they can see up ahead at the corner, the tunnel turns downward at a steep decline. Mittens notes movement outside the window – a large shape, hidden by magical invisibility. Damiano and Ray step forward and they see the stair is shrouded in webbing from floor to ceiling. They attempt to step carefully through the webs and across the slick floor. Damiano feints, ‘oh no he is trapped in the webs’ – there is movement as something large swings into the hall and casts a spell. Temujin counters the Insanity spell cast upon him and the party starts to move, closing in. They surmised correctly – this massive form is a spider from Leng – they had last encountered one of these beneath the Black Tower. Movement on the stairs is difficult, but they close in for melee as Mittens and Temujin attack from range – in a few moments the beast is dead. The party takes a few moments to look through the webs, they find some weapons, a vial and some coin. They form up and move on.

Marching and turning a few corners, Temujin pauses to send Raven skyward for a better view. Raven spots ghouls on the far side of the well, cavorting in the tunnels and along the vines creeping along the stone face. The party moves up prepared.

Damiano leads the group and comes around the corner – addressing the ghouls – these fiends look leaner, stronger then those on the surface. They eye the Captain hungrily – but are then dismayed seeing the party come about the corner. Seeing unfair odds, they fall back to conversation. “Don’t continue down this tunnel…avoid the Thunder in the Dark. Round and round you go, but only greater death down there awaits you. The Old Man is down those halls, playing his games by himself. [shudders] But the Dark, it devours all. No, no, we know a way. A secret hidey hole. A secret hole to the Grand Hall of the Masters. Come, come, this hole leads to the Masters – smells dry, like paper. Not much down there. But the Doors! Can’t get past the doors.” And the ghouls caper on leading the party another turn around the tunnels until they come to a large damaged statue of a cyclops. Behind it is a broken panel leading to an air shaft that ascends and descends. Ray leads the way down as Mittens is wary of the ghouls behind them.

The party drops into a 40’ wide by 30’ high hall. The drips of water of found other pathways – this hall is dry and dusty. They confirm that the ghouls have not followed them down. They form up and proceed down the hall.

Soon they come to a great door, a figure is depicted, painted upon the wood – a faded yellow and brown representation of the King in Yellow. This artwork appears more recent then the other art in this great hall. On the right and left are three sarcophagi, chipped effigies once covered in gold leave. Specs of gold shimmer in the dust upon the floor. On the right, the three sarcophagi depict male cyclops with armor and great clubs and spears. On the left are three females cyclops resplendent in togas and jewelry. As the party approaches, a voice booms out: “None shall pass that don’t serve the King in Yellow. Bow to the Yellow King and Enter.” The party feels that bowing would subvert their own will. Ray Lan steps forward and takes a closer look at the image of the Yellow King – hidden in the artful lines he sees the subtle making of the Yellow Sign, as depicted in the theatre’s muslin. Ray successfully obscures the sign with a barrage of chalk…he feels confident? And the party moves forward.

As the party step lively, the sarcophagi explode battering the party in stone shrapnel. Six cycloptic mummies step out to engage the party. They have seen these foes before, they are called gholdako and they defended the hag in the chambers under Sumitha. The party engaged the gholdako as they latter attempted to breathe upon the party. As they close to melee, the party dances about shredding the cyclop mummies in a few moments, their bones and wrappings lying in the dust at the party’s feet.

The party take stock of their surroundings, at the closed door, ready to move forward into the Grand Hall of the Masters.

[end of session 179]
{Day 358}

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Session 178
September 25th, 2018

Day 358 8AM The party geared up and walked carefully down the wide boulevard. They stepped lively around massive cave-ins from the ancient stone buildings and through winding vines and tree-growth than ran rampant through the quiet streets. From time to time, the group spied fresh blood spattered upon the stones. Here and there, were bits of sailor’s clothing.

They travelled for some time, when Temujin decided to send Raven skyward for a look – just around the next bend were a half-dozen ghouls. Mittens grew large and leaped up onto a pile of stone for a better vantage. Nico and Mr. Snippy followed him up – the rest of the party weaved through the obstacles in the streets and pushed onward towards the ghoul. Most of the ghouls were in rags but some wore a newish shirt or sported a kerchief. Closing in, Damiano threw a dagger into one of the beast’s chest – it howled, they looked up to see the party surge toward them and they clashed in a melee.

The battle lasted moments – with one ghoul fleeing as his comrades were butchered. Temujin and Mittens followed around the corner to see the single ghoul ducking and weaving through the choked alley-way. Mittens tossed a lightning ball at him, frying him. His unholy corpse collapsing on the pavers. The party regrouped and kept moving.

The lane continued to slope downward slightly. Ahead of them were two tall stone towers – between them a pair of massive aged wooden doors. Ray Lan climbed up, easily scaling the cracked wood panelling of the doors and with a little finesse, a little force, he snapped the rusty lock and the door swung open noisily.

Ray dropped down and went to move stealthily into the next room, but he found it was a large round plaza – 150’ away was another set of doors, however between this set of doors and the next, were five strange giant kin: These tall giants had no head; instead, its one-eyed face rests in the center of its broad chest.

[Pic of kambandha]
Kambandha.jpg

Damiano moved about the open door and through a dagger at the leader as Ray Lan moved in to engage.

The one in the lead turned to the others and spoke. Temujin was able to make out it’s cycloptic tongue, as it said, “These are not the ones to help – they are attacking! Attack them!! These strange cyclops, the kambandha, hurled large stones at the party with great force, bounding across the ground striking anyone in it’s path. Temujin lit these new foes up with a Chain Lightning as the party sought to separate and close in to engage the kambandha.

Once in melee, the cyclops struck with their fists and bit with their great jaws, in the center of their torso. In short order four are slain, and Damiano struck one that is fleeing and demoralized it – and it surrendered.

The party learned that Gianconda sent the kambandha here to help the party and to keep the undead at bay while the party descended. Pyrlig doled out some healing to the party, including the sole surviving Kambandha. He relayed that they had camped just beyond this great door – pushing open the door he revealed a massive well 150’ across. The party walked out onto a 40’x40’ landing, to the left a stairway descended into a tunnel. The tunnel appeared to run clockwise around the perimeter of the well, descending one level at a time. Looking down the central shaft of the well, 400’ down, green water could be seen. Water seeped from cracks in the stone settling in the basin below. The stonework all around them was covered in foliage – massive trees and vines curled about the edifice of the entire stone structure. From their current level, the interior wall of the tunnel – that facing the well’s shaft, was broken up with windows, allowing some light into the tunnel.

[Pic of great well]
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Day 358 8:45AM group parted from the kambandha, and walked down the stairs, at the landing, they turned to the right to enter the shadowy tunnel. The tunnel was cool and damp and ran 30’ wide by 30’ tall. The party readied themselves and moved in.

[end of session 178]
{Day 358}

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Session 177
September 19th, 2018

Kevin R./Ray Lan was ill and resigned to the ship’s head

Day 350 Noon Temujin taps Captain Damiano and casts Dispel Evil upon him. The party debates their various administrative decisions and review their contract with Sargava, Kroops comes into the room with a shit-eating grin upon his face. “Cap’n your lady is awaiting you in your cabin. I believe, from what I saw, she is ready to entertain! The Captain took the hint and eventually took his leave from his officers and headed downstairs. Nearby, below decks, Kroops loitered. Unbeknownst to the Captain, Kroops was singing under his breath a well-known chanty from the 70s.

…My motto’s always been ‘when it’s right, it’s right’
Why wait until the middle of a cold dark night?
When everything’s a little clearer in the light of day
And we know the night is always gonna be there any way
Thinkin’ of you’s workin’ up my appetite
Looking forward to a little afternoon delight
Rubbin’ sticks and stones together makes the sparks ingite
And the thought of lovin’ you is getting so exciting
Sky rockets in flight
Afternoon delight…

As Kroops indicated, when Damiano arrived in his chambers, Camilla was dressed to seduce. But first she apologized for the previous evening at the theatre – she seemed sincerely blindsided and terrified by the turn of events. Not only was she scared about last evening but she blathered on about other fears…“Bonefist and that dreaded Hyapatia are gone, but still, I’m still so scared! There are so many enemies out there – Andronicus, Bedu Hanji…” But Damiano cut her off. He wasn’t interested in speculating about other enemies who may be coming after him and his officers.

Camilla poured the Captain some wine and directed his attention to more nonverbal pursuits. And while in Camilla’s arms he looked away for a moment, his vision cloudy. He saw a black stelae standing upright on a shore, behind it a dark cave – both shrouded in fog. The Captain stood upon the deck of a black ship, which buckled under his feet and he found himself surprisingly helpless, his brain wanted to leap, to grab for something – he had done it a million times, but he found himself slipping over the rail.

Damiano’s head comes up out of the water, his feet touches the sand and he pulls himself to shore.

He stood before the stelae and the dark cave and then his gaze scans up the cliffside towards the ruins of a city, great pieces of masonry pitched to and fro.

While standing upon the beach, Damiano knows that he is still lying in Camilla’s arms. She whispers in his ear, “I worry about my dear friend Giaconda.” Damiano heart starts to beat rapidly. He is aware of someone standing nearby.

A woman, stands a few feet away, she is attractive, dressed in a fancy gown of gold, blue and white. She is blond, and upon her face she wears a porcelain mask. When Damiano looks at her, he catches glints of purplish black light tracing around the edges of her body.

Nodding at the ruins above, she speaks, “It is a dead city, abandoned by all but those you can gaze into the apocalypse and survive." She looks past Damiano, he turns, seeing Port Peril in the distance. "You just gained the crown…ironic that your city will soon turn to ash – for HE has laid his eyes upon it.”

She looks directly at Damiano, her expression impassive through the mask, “Why don’t we have another go…” Damiano finds himself standing, staring out the windows of the captain’s quarters looking out over the sea. Camilla is laying in bed, giving you eyes. “C’mon love, we have nowhere to be, let’s have another go.” The Captain begs off, dresses and joins his officers, hard at work, in their quarters.

The party teleports to the wreckage of their first ship, the Lachesis. The dive below and recover the whale bone, scribed with magical spells. They also recover chains of dimensional anchor.

Day 351 Mittens spends the next few days training at the Mystic Redoubt. Nico tags along so no one ventures off alone. Nico is working on his construct in the Redoubt’s labs.

Damiano is aware that Lady Camilla went out shopping yesterday while the party was occupied. She never came home. Temujin attempts to scry and discern her location – but no luck. He also tries to trace Giaconda, but his divinations were blocked.

The Harbormasters, Kreidoros and Pherias Jakar pay their respects and confirm that business will continue as usual. The party is also visited by Lady Myrasep of the Aspis Consortium – she confirms that the assassins from Sargava think that they can threaten the Captain in keeping Sargavan tithes low when negotiations come up in a few months.

Day 353 Temujin retires to the officer’s quarters and he feels a quick breeze whip through the chamber. Giaconda is there – the woman dressed in a gown of gold, blue and white – she wears the porcelain mask on her face. Temujin bristles, and he asks, “What have you done with Lady Camilla?” Giaconda responds that she too is worried, and states that she is not responsible for Camilla being missing. Giaconda is here, as a warning. The party slew the sub-priest of the Yellow King in the bowels of the Black Tower. His greater servants reside in the City of Bleeding Stones as the party already had guessed. Temujin knew the City of Bleeding Stones and the nearby desolate human settlement, Sigguros was the site of an ancient cycloptic civilization, the Ghol Gan empire. Giaconda states that she was the queen of the city of Ythil – her city was devoured, her people gone – absorbed into Carcosa. Unless something is to be done, Port Peril will suffer the same fate as the Yellow King has turned his gaze upon the city. With that, a breeze rushes through the quarters and Giaconda is gone.

Sandara visits with Damiano and takes her leave from his service. After a pleasant farewell, Sandra disembarks, planning to be a resident priest at Besmara’s temple, the Berth of the Sea Wraith, in Port Peril.

Day 355 As the Black Purrl makes preparations to set sail to the City of Bleeding Stones, the Captain makes the decision to have Glaive act as governor of Port Peril while he and the party are absent.

Day 356 The Black Purrl sets sail for Balthus Strait with Knuckles at the helm. Nico puts the finishing touches on his large construct, in the bowels of the Purrl.

Day 358 The Purrl anchors in the small harbor under the shadow of the cliffs of the City of Bleeding Stones. They disembark by jolly boat and make their ascent up the great stone stairs. At the top of the cliff, looking to the west they can see the towers of the Sigguros about a mile away. They are at the edge of the ruins of the ancient Ghol Gan ruins. Wide roads weave north, pitching downward where at the center of the city is a deep well. Around the massive stone piles of aged buildings, the jungle has encroached into the city weaving around structures and disrupting the paving stones.

The party forms up and head down the road.

[end of session 177]
{Day 350-358}

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