Campaign of the Month: September 2012
A Manifestation of Chaos
Session 47 Expanded
12th – 14th Day of Readying CY 623
Location: Demi-plane – World Map
Map Tab Color: Blue
Caldin, son of a once noble family has set out to prove his worth, rescue his family name, and earn the wealth and position that a fighter such as he deserves. Hearing of a treasure lying to the southwest of the Flaness he sets out with a crew to make the journey to the dark island swamp of Palisso. While following the rumors of the treasure-laden ruins, he catches sight of a decrepit set of buildings matching the descriptions of the ruins he was foretold of. Making his way inside one of the buildings, an odd feeling of teleportation magic consumes him.
As he opens his eyes and focuses, he notices that he is now on the wooden porch of a stilted swamp house. The house appears to have been a hunting lodge. Although in decent shape, there is no sign of occupancy for some time. As he returns outside, the mist of the swamp seems to have thickened and night has fallen. In the distance he can see a light flashing in regular slow intervals.
Caldin makes his way towards the light and comes across a small fishing village. An eerie quiet sweeps over the village. The lack of sound is unnerving. Upon closer inspection, Caldin discovers that this village is also abandoned and that a trail of footsteps – as if a large group of people had walked together recently – was moving up the path on the nearby hill.
Following the path, Caldin hurried to solve the mystery of the disappearing villagers. As the path rose, it was met by a well-maintained lane which wound down to a large manor house. Making his way in the dark with only a lantern, Caldin proceeded to the manor house. Searches around the house led to no resolution. It too, was abandoned. While pondering this (and the value of a fine marble bust), the sound of a giggling girl could be heard faintly in an upper room. Caldin headed up to the room to explore, but the door was locked.
Caldin called out to the room and the door opened slowly, though no one was inside. Searching the room led Caldin to surmise that this was a young girl’s bedroom. The various trinkets and dolls matched the image in the large painting. A girl stood in the painting holding a locket. The picture was one of the most life-like images he had ever seen. As he considered the value and craftsmanship of the art, it seemed as though the locket was opening and he could hear the gentle chime of a song.
Meanwhile, in the church on the hill, Kolev stabbed directly into the head cultist’s chest. The expert attack left the cultist crumpled on the floor. As Sir Bayard lowered himself to examine the cultist, the hood slid back to reveal the manor’s butler. His last words were, “Go figure…it’s the Mercs…”
Cutting back to Caldin who had discovered a secret passageway in the girl’s bedroom, he followed an odd sort of faintly-lit spirit who was guiding him. Winding through a series of corridors, the spirit seemed to occasionally stop and unlock a door or disarm a trap – the whole time beckoning the warrior to continue to follow. Turning a corner and entering a room, Caldin realized he was along with an open door before him. Peering into the next room, there were crisscrossed in front of him a spider web of wires which seemed to connect to various scroll tubes on the walls. After considering his situation, the fighter grabbed his secondary blade and, while standing in the doorway, took the blade overhead and threw it into the room.
Wire snapped and twanged as the scroll cases emptied out a yellow powder into the air which slowly settled to the ground. In a stroke of cat-like reflexes, Caldin leapt backwards avoiding contact with the Burnt Other. When he looked again, Caldin noticed one remaining scroll tube in the room unharmed. Taking the bedding and mattress from the bed in another room, he proceeded to lay it across the poison-laden floor. While carefully moving across the makeshift bridge he was able to acquire the scroll tube. No sooner did he remove it then the room went pitch dark as the door closed behind him.
Meanwhile, our adventurers followed the purple-eyed villagers and manor inhabitants as they returned to their homes still under the odd trance. When close to the manor, Xellos spotted a moving figure in an upper bedroom (Caldin). The group hurried to catch up to the mysterious stranger. Winding their way through numerous traps and dangers, the group came to an odd glowing presence located against a glyph-covered door in a room with a bed frame and no mattress.
After defeating the guardian light and uncovering the secret of the glyph, the party opened the door to find Caldin holding the scroll tube. The party began to introduce themselves and then the scene faded.
Another scene opens with a miner working in a mine deep under the surface. As he works, he begins to realize the mysterious gases in the mind seem to be affecting him as he slips into a day dream.
The dream opens with Sir Bayard, Xellos, and Caldin entering the deepest parts of the mine trying to locate the source of the mine gases. The other party members were in odd states on consciousness, and these three were the only unaffected ones and thus were moving to uncover the source to save their allies.
As the three moved deeper into the tunnels, the rough-hewn walls gave way to a more organized cave structure with smooth, rounded walls. Suddenly Xellos called out noticing a side passage and a creature. Sir Bayard brazenly called out to it and began to approach it, but it fled.
Continuing down the passage, there were numerous other side passages. All seemed to be tempting the party away. In one a gold coin was on the ground. Down another, a voice cried weakly for help – although it was an obvious fraud. It was just past this passage that the three moved cautiously around a brackish pool of dark, murky water. While next to it, a gaunt humanoid jump out and attempted to attack. Caldin’s blade was faster, quickly separating the monster’s arm from its body and ending its existence.
Coming upon a barricade in the tunnel, Caldin and Sir Bayard moved to free the passage. While their attention was divided, Xellos was attacked from a creature from behind which choked, grappled, and moved Xellos away. Sir Bayard, noticing the missing wizard, moved and called on Heironeous to free the Halfling wizard. Now unfettered and open, Caldin moved in once more making quick work of the monster severing its head from its body with a mighty swing of his falchion.
The group continued into a room that had a 30’ by 30’ ziggurat in it. While exploring the ziggurat, Sir Bayard worked to open the mysterious scroll tube and found a partial statuette inside. Moving up to the top of the ziggurat, the three found an arcane chamber where inside a pedestal stood which seemed to be the perfect place to set the statuette once the other pieces were collected.
As the group exited the small area back to the ziggurat, the room was filled with an unnatural darkness. Sir Bayard immediately cast Daylight and the three heroes looked on with horror as before them slithered a mighty two-headed purple worm.
A battle ensues fast and furious. The worm swallows Caldin who only is saved as he teleports out of the stomach of the worm. Xellos casts magic jar and enters the worm, but is battling with the other head for control of the body. In the meantime, the other head swallows the body of Xellos, leaving Sir Bayard and Caldin alone to swing when opportunity allows. After inflicting numerous massive hits and causing the worm to bleed extensively, the two remaining warriors searched through the innards of the worm only to find the broken and defiled body of the Halfling wizard. Thus passed Xellos son of Xellot.