[Day 34 ends and 35 starts. Nighttime dealings and a damned sarcophagus.]
[This game uses the Pathfinder 1E roleplaying game. Game sessions happen once a week. This session happened March 8, 2021.]
[SPOILERS! If you are likely to adventure through the Shattered Star Adventure Path from Paizo, this campaign will be spoilers all the way down.]
Zitch Grimreaper – male ratfolk 5th level Witch with a donkey rat (capybara) familiar
Roscuro – male ratfolk 5th level Monk
Swamprover – female grippli 4th level Wizard
Marativy – female ratfolk 5th level Ninja
Templeton von Trapp – male ratfolk 5th level Summoner (Synthesist)
Winston – male ratfolk 5th level Gunslinger
Auto – a clockwork servant fixated on Winston
Gridik Stormstride – male blue kobold 2nd level Wizard (Invoker)
Mel Sharples – male halfling Cook (Expert of unknown level)
Alice Hyatt – female halfling Bodyguard (Warrior of unknown level)
Flo’ Castleberry – female gnome Bodyguard (Warrior of unknown level)
Day 34, Expedition Day 4
During the deep of night, Marativy and Roscuro were on watch when a goblin appeared, holding one of Marativy’s shuriken, asking what it was. Not certain how big a threat the goblin might be, Marativy and Roscuro talked with him to see if there were any more goblins in the area. The goblin introduced himself as Ret’skirt, a wandering merchant and he claimed he had been watching the Ratpack for the last day. This was alarming to Roscuro and Marativy. Observing Ret’skirt and his actions they were both of the opinion he was an Arcane Trickster of considerable skill. Roscuro was not entirely certain if he and Marativy could defeat Ret’skirt in combat and glumly accepted that they would have to endure him.
Zitch and Templeton were woken up to see if they wanted to deal with the goblin. The spellcasters were not woken up so they could get their needed sleep. [Despite Swamprover's player complaining about being left out.]
Marativy, Zitch, and Templeton pooled the various items they had that the party wasn’t using to trade for two of the items Ret’skirt had for sale: a potion of cure moderate wounds for the group and a set of +1 leather armor for Marativy. They traded away two wands [the wand of spiritual weapon and the wand of charm person] and the masterwork aklys taken from the Derro for the potion and armor. They eyed the bag Ret’skirt pulled his wares from and he admitted it was a bag of holding [Type 2]. He wanted 5250 gp for it, which was much more than the ratfolk had.
Once the group had finished trading for the wares shown, Ret’skirt asked if there was anything else they might be seeking. Zitch asked if he had a ring of sustenance and a carpet of flying, both of which were good asks. Ret’skirt though a bit and then went rummaging in his bag of holding. He eventually pulled out a small pouch that jangled. From that pouch he pulled out a ring of sustenance. He apologized for not having a flying carpet, but would look for one while he was wandering. The ring was expensive and so the group traded off a pile of items for it, including the jade holy symbol taken from the dead troglodyte shaman.
Once the trading was done, Ret’skirt gave Zitch a magic card and told Zitch to write down anything the group wanted on it and Ret’skirt would find one and bring it to them. He then packed up his wares into the bag of holding and left. The rest of the night passed quietly.
Day 35, Expedition Day 5
While Swamprover and Gridik were memorizing their spells for the day, the rest of the group discussed moving the camp to a location closer to the dungeon to avoid losing hours just walking there and back. After a short debate, the group agreed to move the camp to a location closer to the troglodyte cave. Templeton and Winston were sent to scout for a new site while the rest of the group packed up the current camp. [Packing up a camp always takes longer than you expect.] Once packed, the entire group hiked two hours to the new site, about 500 feet from the troglodyte cave on the other side of a hill.
Once the new camp was set up, the adventurers went over to the troglodyte cave. The beginning of a new barricade was in place, but none of the troglodytes objected to the adventurers. Winston and Zitch finished curing the last two troglodytes of the filth fever and verified the rest were recovering from the disease's effects. The adventurers then entered the deep tunnels to the chamber with the entrance to the dungeon. They tied a rope to one of the columns in the chamber and climbed down to the actual dungeon.
The U-shaped corridor was as Swamprover had described, but the group noticed that the left branch had a gradual incline up while the right-hand branch sloped down at a shallow angle. The columns along the center of the corridor were all sculpted to look like the Runelord of Lust. [It was starting to get very tiresome to the ratfolk.] Checking the area with Detect Magic showed protective enchantments on everything.
Then there was the sarcophagus across the corridor from the Ratpack’s entrance. They all knew it was a trap. Roscuro also knew the group was going to open it anyway.
With Templeton on one side, Roscuro and Winston on the other, and Marativy at the head [to disarm traps or attack anything moving inside], the sarcophagus lid was lifted and set aside. Inside was the perfectly preserved body of a human woman that looks like all of the statues, wearing clothes and jewelry. Swamprover cast Detect Magic and examined the body. She found three strong magics: a necromantic aura, a strong illusion, and a necromantic enchantment. She pronounced it a Clone [the results of a very high-level spell] and it appeared to still be viable. This suggested that Sorshen might still be alive somewhere if this clone was never activated.
Marativy and Roscuro shrugged and attempted to relieve the body of its jewelry. This triggered a reaction as the clone suddenly grew to giant sized, grabbed them, and crushed them near to death before they could react! This turned out to be a very powerful illusion spell, Phantasmal Killer, and only Roscuro was affected. [He took 35 out of 40 hit points of damage in one go!]
Zitch healed Roscuro back to full health and the group discussed what to do. Roscuro’s dander was up and he wanted to destroy the clone “so we won’t have to fight her twice.” At first he wanted Winston to shoot the clone, but they decide that won’t destroy it in one shot and Winston might be hit with the Phantasmal Killer multiple times if he rapid fired. The group discussed blowing it up with a black powder bomb or setting it on fire. Setting it on fire seemed easier [and potentially safer].
Roscuro threw a vial of oil on the clone from a distance, but was hammered by the Phantasmal Killer again. Zitch was only able to heal Roscuro most of the way up this time. Templeton dropped his eidolon so he could cast a summoning spell. He summoned a small fire elemental, but when he ordered it to attack, Templeton was hit by the Phantasmal Killer spell. Zitch healed him up from the assault while the group talked the situation over. Roscuro was ready to move on until he could think up a safer way to destroy the clone.
While Roscuro had been repeatedly triggering the trap, Marativy scouted the two ends of the corridor. The right-hand path ended at a giant door [20 feet tall] made of red metal. The left hand path ended at a balcony overlooking a subterranean river, flowing from left to right. To the right she could see a sandy beach with two wooden boats beached on it. The sandy area appeared to be where the red metal door led to, but she could not see the door on this side due to rocky outcroppings.
End of Session
[On one hand, Ret’skirt the wandering goblin merchant allowed the group to unload a variety of things they were not using for some useful magic items. On the other hand, random NPCs that are super better than the PCs at everything are bad form for a GM (Ret’skirt had apparently been following the party through the tunnels and was never discovered or noticed). Ret’skirt was a creation of the Other GM who felt this part of the adventure was a bit slow, so he added in Ret’skirt to liven things up.]