Pathfinder: Skull & Shackles 2017

Session 101

February 21st 2017

Day 309 The party searched the area exhaustively for any other signs of life, and for any other signs of where the gugs may have come from. No windows nor doors were found on the tower. Damiano did find that with the rampant growth along the tower walls that scaling it would be rather easy. Nico summoned another pair of elementals. The two pairs, moved in a cautious, staggered fashion into the ground, following the unnatural stone into the ground. At sea level, they found a submerged sea cave snaking it’s way into the base of the tower. One of the elementals successfully reported back that a huge beast was seen, above the water line – the elementals withdrew to report back to Nico.

Temujin and Dwag scoped out the top of the tower, carefully flying nearby. The crown of the tower was sagging from the weight of two decades of jungle growth. Dwag landed on the tower and found a hatchway, but was unable to open it. The duo returned to the party. Having taken in the morning of oppressive heat and stinging insects from the jungle, the party returned to the Captain’s Lady. Mittens and Nico could not stop scratching – their backs and necks popping with red sores, which Dwag diagnosed as Red Ache. In a few days the red ache could cause their limbs and strength to weaken. Mittens drank a potion of remove disease and felt much better. Nico held on until the next morning when Temujin cured his case of the disease.

Day 309 11PM Mittens and Dwag were on watch when one of the sailors spotted an individual – a silhouetted shape of a man on the fore deck. They called out to him, but he didn’t respond. Dwag closed in. Mittens told the sailor to wake the Captain and the party. As Dwag stepped onto the stair leading up to the fore deck, he sensed an aura about this yellow cloaked individual. Dwag’s heart pounded, his step uneasy. Dwag closed the distance and pulled his weapon, the man did not turn, barely moving to turn away from Dwag’s blade strokes. Mittens closed in and felt the same fear grip him, as Dwag had felt – but he shrugged it off – Mittens lashed out with his own magic. The individual did wince, and then turned about. Dwag and Mittens noted that the man’s filthy yellow robes had a cowl about the head, it’s opening showed no face, just a dark void – as dark as space. Dwag felt intimidated by the unknown that faced him, but he steeled himself and struck again. The dark cowl turned to Mittens, and in Mitten’s mind he heard, ‘kill Dwag,’ and he was compelled to do so. Mittens attempted to light Dwag up with his magic.

The party, awake now, had grabbed their weapons and their kits and were clambering up to the main deck – they closed in on the fray. Captain Damiano throwing daggers at the man in yellow – but he was a target that was hard to hit, only a few daggers found their mark. Now working as a team, Dwag and Damiano attempted to push the attack – the party becoming aware that Mittens’ mind was compromised. As the part converged on their foe, he stepped backwards, off the deck, and out of their reach – and disappeared.

The control over Mittens’ mind ceased. The fear gripping Dwag faded away. The party took stock on what they knew. That from reading their manual of abstruse geometries, that his could be a servant or an avatar of a great Deep One – powerful gods from the outer worlds, who reside in the deepest darkest voids of space. They felt this servant was known as the King in Yellow. Some time ago, the party had heard related terms and {click link ==>} symbols before, when they were sailing through Balthus Strait. The party settled in with new shifts, and the rest of their evening was peaceful.

Day 310 6AM The party brought a large amount of rope ashore. Captain Damiano scaled the side of the tower and set the rope and grapple for his comrades to follow their way up to the crown of the tower. It took some time for them to assemble. Away from the ship, the heat and the insects made them itch and sweat as they ascended the tower. Mittens noted the red sores sprouting up on his arms and shoulders – damn the red ache! He had to put up with it for now. Nico magicked the hatch door open and Dwag dropped in for a closer look.

Years of neglect and exposure to a quarter-century of storms have apparently caused the tower roof to collapse in on itself, forming a bowl-shaped, rubble-filled concavity at the tower’s crown. Most of the stonework and rubble lies buried beneath thick blankets of moss, vines, and other hanging plants that cling to the foot-deep layer of soil, composed entirely of the sodden, decomposing remains of over two decades of jungle growth.

Day 310 7AM The party recognized the decorations as veneration to the Deep One, Dagon – they had encountered his servitors back at Undertow Island. Dwag lead the party down the circling stair. Finding no traps, he popped the door open.

Patches of dull blue mold spot the walls of this room, partially obscuring a faded mural that depicts some sort of enormous amalgam of eel, fish, and cephalopod rising off the shore of an island. Opposite the entrance, a pair of patina-crusted iron posts suspend a massive gold-plated disc, etched with elaborate runes. Within the center of the disc stares a grayish and bulbous fleshy eye with a horizontally shaped pupil. Beside each post, a serpentine basin rests upon a short, wooden pedestal painted with flaking gold leaf. Within a small alcove opposite the massive disc stands a wooden statue also painted in badly flaking gold leaf. The statue depicts the same horrid creature as shown in the mural, and holds its hands in front of its chest to clench a fist-sized chunk of serpentine carved in the shape of a human heart. A reinforced wooden door stands to the southwest, its hinges and metal hardware forged in the shapes of fish fins and spiked gills. Iron spikes have been hammered into the perimeter of the door, presumably to hold it shut. Crudely scrawled graffiti mars the door’s face.

Temujin peered in and pondered about that blue mold. “Looks fine,” he told Dwag, “go on in!” Dwag sidled up to the statue. He noted the flexible joints in the arms. He took some debris and attempted to wedge the arms in place. The party moved in and inspected the room. They found the graffiti and realized what it said: ‘She Lives.’ Was this written by Captain Aiger or one of her crew, attempting to escape? While the party didn’t make anything of the stylized hand print, they were aware that the gold disk represented Dagon, certainly.

The party decided that they wanted the piece of serpentine. Except for Dwag, they backtracked into the stairway. Dwag picked up the stone from the holding hands of the statue and made his way to the stair and deposited into Mittens ready bag of holding – then he felt a splash, as a jet of foul water sprayed from the disk. The magical spray soiled Dwag’s mind and he cried out. He fumbled along with Mittens to grab the stone back out of the bag and put it back into the statue’s hands. The disk didn’t spray again.

The party worked the spikes from the door and moved into the next room.

A guiding row of black iron candleholders protrudes from the curving southwestern wall, their candles long since melted into foul-scented, yellowish tallow lumps. Behind the candles, flaking plaster laid in the shape of fish scales exposes a rough stone wall beneath. Within a shallow alcove at the end of the hall stands a serpentine statue carved in the shape of a naked male human being devoured by tiny, flesh-boring eels that wind their hungry way through every part of his body save for an area over the center of his chest.

Damiano noted the heart-shaped void in the statues chest – surely that piece of serpentine belongs there, he mentioned. Dwag noted scratch marks in the floor – and a crack in the wall behind the statue – perhaps a door or wall panel is there. Damiano went back to the piece of serpentine, snatched it up and made haste out of the room, Mittens closing the door behind him. As Damiano placed the serpentine heart into the chest cavity, the statue slid to the right and a door opened behind it. Stairs descended beyond – the party continued down, with Dwag in the lead.

Huge, once-lavish tapestries hang from this circular chamber’s walls, although the curtains are now sodden and thick with yellowish fungus. The floor in the northwest portion of the chamber has crumbled away into a chamber below, leaving behind a gaping hole and significant cracks and fissures in the remaining mold-encrusted floor. A few furnishings remain, including the moldering remnants of chairs decorated with gold leaf and a wooden table, ornately carved with ichthyic motifs and draped with rotting silken cloth. A tall clay statue sculpted in the image of a bloated, fishlike humanoid stands to the south, also covered with mold. A few feet ahead, another flight of stairs descends deeper into the lower chamber exposed by the collapsed flooring.

As the party entered the chamber, they paused. Temujin noted that difference in the mold – it was a bright yellow variety – susceptible to burst if exposed to violent activity. Temujin moved to the end of the stair to cast a light spell which caused the mold to go dormant. As he completed his spell, a horrid beast appeared out of nowhere, descending from the ceiling – a writhing mass of tentacles and teeth – it attacked Temujin repeatedly – every bite dripping acid. The party found itself bottle-necked in the stairway.

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Damiano leaped across the broken floor onto a table, throwing daggers in the beast – each telling blow sliced the beast and dripped more acid upon Temujin. As Damiano landed upon the table, the stone floor creaked and cracked – the Captain falling 20’ – but landed safely, like a cat!

Rubble from the collapsed ceiling fills the center of this room, which is shaped like three-quarters of a circle. The walls bear scorch marks, and the plaster shows severe cracks. To the southeast, two eerie ivory statures stand on either side of a closed door. These statues are carved into the forms of handsome men that have been bound, gagged, and blindfolded, both heads turned inward to face the other. The statues seem strangely moist, as if they have just been pulled from the sea.

Damiano cautiously appraised the room that he found himself in, while the battle above raged on. Dwag leaped across onto safe ground – another beast, these outsiders called nyogoths, descended attacking him. Dwag found himself flustered being unable to reach up at the beast overhead.

Temujin found himself to be the sole target of the starving beast – repeated attacks of tiny teeth, every bite leaking acid – soon Temujin succumbed from his wounds. Mittens fired up at the beast that fell Temujin as Nico summoned an eryines who lashed out and slew the beast. As the party turned their attention to the foul creature frustrating Dwag, Father Pyrlig brought Temujin to his feet with his healing power. The party attacked in unison and the eryines, again, landed the killing blow.

The party was aware that Damiano was below them on the next level of the tower. The halls were quiet save for Father Pyrlig intoning Gozreh’s prayers and sharing his healing power among the party.

[end of session 101]
{Day 309-310}

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LordGroan

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