Ian/Temujin was ill and resigned to the ship’s head
Mike/Father Pyrlig was asleep dreaming of giant mice
Day 310 7:30 AM With the horrid pair of Nyogoths slain, the party partially healed, they searched the room, to find nothing of value. They regrouped, joining Damiano who was patiently waiting below on the next level.
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.
Nico’s summoned eryines moved up to the door, and successfully sprung the trap! Her eyes went wide as her lungs and throat filled with water. She was on the verge of drowning when Dwag handed her his magical pearl and she was able to breathe again. Now that the danger was averted, Nico granted her a potion of water breathing and returned Dwag’s pearl. Dwag noted seams on the necks of the statues and swiveled the heads so they faced away from each other – with this change the trap was effectively deactivated. The party opened the door and moved into the next chamber.
Flaking plaster speckled with patches of mold crusts the walls of this room. Faded frescoes portray a strange, crystalline city rising out of a vast ocean beneath a gray sky. In several places, imposing iron hooks protrude from the wall, now rusted with age. To the southwest, a jumble of bones held together by an aged suit of black leather armor slumps against the wall, while in the middle of the room, a huge circular trap door sits in the floor. Three lengths of chain have been hammered over the hatch, bound in place by iron spikes that have been hammered into the floor. A black handprint is on the wall next to the skeleton, along with a few lines of scribbled text.
The party noted the corpse. Mittens employed his ring of the Iron Skull and was able to discern that this was the final remains of Captain Tevenida Aiger. She had died from some wasting, rotting disease. The party picked off her few remaining treasures and noted the shaky note scrawled upon the wall:
“The Shrouded Queen yet lives below, bound by Blackfingers’ forbiddance and Aiger’s Kiss. Seek not entrance for naught but her rotting curse awaits ye—let the slumbering darkness lie!”
The party removed the chains and spikes sealing the trap door in the floor. They opened the door to see a smooth 5’ shaft descend into the darkness. They cast light upon a spike and dropped it. They figured it was about a 100’ drop before it bounced and splashed into some water.
As the party prepared, Nico sent the eryines below to investigate. As it dropped into the chamber, it was shocked by a protective ward. As it landed and turned about it noted the monstrosity hovering over it in the chamber. An elephant-sized, spider-like creature having three clawed tails and eight legs connected by leathery webs of flesh. The very appearance of the beast shocked the eryines into a stupor – her shock and revulsion was telepathically noted by Nico – the party continued to imbue themselves with magical protections!
As Nico prepared, Dwag descended stealthily into the chamber, noted the beast, and quickly exited the chamber. As Dwag exited the tunnel, Mittens lit up the chamber with a succession of fireballs – the beast roared in frustration. Dwag, Damiano and Mittens descended.
Damiano was first to drop into the chamber and was immediately frustrated at the Shrouded Queen, hovering just out of his reach. He threw daggers at the beast. Aiming and gazing at the full repulsiveness before him, Damiano’s heart quailed at what they were up against. As he felt his mind wanting to flee at this horror, drew upon his magical ring to grant him a mental reprieve. Dwag dropped into the chamber as did Mittens. The beast, this augnagar qlippoth, blasted the trio with waves of exhaustion. Then it launched itself at Dwag biting and clawing with a mindless, hungry fury.
Damiano continued to launch daggers at the Queen and reposition himself for a flanking maneuver. As he did so, the Queen bit him and his flesh began to rot away emitting an awful stench. Dwag was also bit and the party felt sickened by the smell of their own rotting flesh. Nico and his summoned lillend began to descend down the tunnel – the lillend singing to bolster the party’s morale – as she arrived she also healed Dwag who was the primary focus of the Queen’s attacks.
Mittens blasted the Queen with fire, severely burning her, and she turned her rage upon him – repeatedly bitting and striking Mittens, until his ravaged body fell to the ground, dead. She returned her focus upon Dwag.
Nico was in the room and preparing to evacuate the team, but Dwag stayed put going toe-to-toe with the beast. Nico attempted to cast fly upon Damiano and was struck for his troubles – but he finished the casting of the spell and Damiano flew up to engage the Queen. Dwag and Damiano were able to fell the beast, her dead body striking the floor hard, rupturing her foul corpse.
The party was tolerating their sickness but each and every one of them had contracted the rotting curse from the Shrouded Queens bite.
The party looked around to take stock of the Queen’s chamber.
Decorative stone rafters partition the ceiling of this large circular chamber. A frieze between the vaulted ceiling and lower portion of the chamber depicts a chain of intertwining sea creatures and human bones. In the chamber beneath this frieze, a large altar overlooks a fetid, brackish pool of stagnant water. At the bottom of the pool, what appears to be a blackbladed short sword is impaled in the stone.
They gathered up the treasure, and worked together they freed the sword from the pool – the waters cleared and magically started to refill and settle. The weary party reviewed the treasures and Nico investigated the sword. A powerful sword, but it most likely no longer sealed this magical portal that had been created by the Shrouded Queen – and where was it a portal to? Nico guessed it may be to the Abyss – where the qlippoths are known to originate. That didn’t bode well.
Day 310 10:00 AM Nico alarmed the Queen’s hall, in case something should come through the portal. There was also a trap door in the floor, not locked nor chained. But the party was far from ready to investigate it. They gathered their treasure, their fallen comrade, Mittens and the corpse of Captain Aiger and prepared to withdraw up and out of the tower. They would pull back to their ships to recoup and hopefully Temujin and Father Pyrlig could administer to their hurts and afflictions.
[end of session 102]