[Day 35 continues. Deeper into the dungeon and we nearly lose half the party.]
[This game uses the Pathfinder 1E roleplaying game. Game sessions happen once a week. This session happened March 15, 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 35, Expedition Day 5
Needing some time to come up with a plan to destroy the clone in the sarcophagus, Roscuro asked Marativy to share what she found while scouting. [See the end of last session for details.] As both passages ultimately lead to the same underground “river”, the group decided to take the eastern [right-hand] passage and investigate the large door at the end of it.
At the end of this passage was a 20-foot tall door that was ten feet wide. The door was covered in red metal panels, each one-foot square. Each panel showed the same human woman performing a different magical ritual. Swamprover believed that the rituals shown were binding rituals and they showed the woman [Sorshen, the Runelord of Lust] binding various demons [including cacodaemons, imps, and succubi] to various items. One of them showed Sorshen binding a succubus into the monument where the Ratpack had fought the bitey-pinchy-bugs. The door did not detect as magical and there was no obvious method for opening it.
While investigating the door, Marativy discovered that the panels depress slightly. At a loss for what to do next, Roscuro suggested that Marativy take rubbings of the panels with the succubi on them for the group’s patron – she seemed to have a thing for them. Marativy started doing this. She needed Templeton’s help to reach the panels higher off the ground and one of these glowed when she pressed on it with the paper and charcoal.
Maintaining pressure on the plate, Marativy pulled aside the paper she was taking the rubbing with to see what was glowing. Thassilonian runes had appeared, stating “Ayandanahla is bound to the Light for all ages.” She called this out and quickly copied the runes down, then released the pressure on the panel. The large metal door split in two and each half retracted into the wall adjacent to it. Beyond was the sandy beach area with two boats tied to a post.
The group carefully advanced through the doorway. Swamprover used Detect Magic [still active from her previous casting] and learned that the boats and the post had magic on them. It appeared that the boats would always reappear at the post if they were damaged or destroyed. [The post was their spawn point.]
The water had no smell of salt, which told Roscuro that it was not connected to the bay or lagoon up on the surface. The “river” flowed from the west, from further up a passage containing the water and past the balcony to the beach. The sound of water falling in quantity could be heard in that direction. It also flowed east and around a bend, beyond which there seemed to be some light. Peculiar.
Templeton flew upstream [to the west] to see what he might find. Past the balcony was a metal landing to an alcove 15-20 feet deep. In that alcove was a stone statue of Sorshen with its arms raised. The passage continued past this alcove and the sound of falling water from that direction was much louder now. Templeton returned and reported what he had discovered.
Swamprover and Winston volunteered to ride Templeton back upstream as they wanted to get a look at what he had found. After a cursory glance at the statue, the trio continued upstream a distance and the passage ended. Water poured through a grate up on the back wall, creating the “river”. [Distances are going to be approximate as the map is in Roll20 and I cannot access it. Significant downside to VTT gaming.] There were glowing runes around the grate, but Swamprover did not recognize them [suggesting advanced magics as she can read Thassilonian]. The trio returned to the beach.
Roscuro and Zitch hitched a ride on Templeton to go check out the statue and grate. Roscuro hopped off Templeton to the metal landing the statue was on while Zitch and Templeton flew closer to the grate so Zitch could get a better look. Roscuro mimicked the pose of the statue, thinking maybe it was a lift of some sort to get up into the Lady’s Light up on the surface. It wasn’t. Zitch called out that the grate was actually a protected entrance to the Elemental Plane of Water. Roscuro climbed up onto the back of the statue [using a Jackie Chan bounce between the alcove wall and the statue]. Once he could see the back of the head, he discovered an opening. The statue was actually hollow, metal lined, and full of what smelled like very pure water. Roscuro was very careful to not touch the water at all. He shared this information with Zitch, who had Templeton fly him over so he could cast Detect Magic at the opening in the statue. While the statue was not magical, the water inside it was very magical. Roscuro and Zitch speculated that the water in the statue was some kind of magical anchor for the gate to the Elemental Plane of Water, possibly even a trapped creature from that plane. They carefully left it alone and had Templeton fly them back to the beach.
Zitch and Swamprover asked Templeton to fly them back to the grate one last time so they could collect water directly from the elemental plane. If nothing else, it was safe to drink, so they refilled everyone’s waterskins. Once they returned and the waterskins were passed out, Templeton flew Winston and Swamprover down the east passage to see where the water went.
Around the bend to the east they found an enormous underground cavern with a domed roof. Rising from the water was a 30-foot diameter, 7-sided pedestal, upon which stood a ten-foot tall glass statue of Sorshen. The statue was transparent and the arms ended in long sharp blades instead of hands. In the southeast corner of the room was a waterfall going some place deeper underground. In the southwest corner and not immediately obvious was a small sandy beach with a door in the cavern wall backing it. There appeared to be two graves on this beach, marked with shield of the Korvosan Grey Maidens. The cavern was lit by floating motes of light.
While Templeton was orbiting the glass statue, Swamprover hopped off onto the statue to get a closer look. This triggered the statue to attack, slashing Swamprover with its blade hands and causing her to bleed! Swamprover performed an acrobatic leap to get out of the statue’s reach and dove into the water below. Unfortunately, the statue caught her with a vicious slash mid-leap. [By the time Swamprover hit the water, she was down 29 hit points and still bleeding.]
Templeton flew back from the statue to a point where it should not be able to reach Winston and he from the platform. The statue stepped off the platform and walked on the water to them, slashing both of them and causing them to start bleeding profusely! On top of this, the light from the floating motes refracted crazily through it now that it was in motion, causing a dizzying and blinding effect [IIRC - I know it did something, but I didn't write down what].
While Swamprover swam to the available beach so she could then attempt to stop her bleeding, Templeton and Winston retreated backwards, Winston shooting at the statue with his musket. Back at the original beach, the rest of the group heard the gunfire. They piled into the two row boats and started rowing to join their companions.
Templeton and the rowing boats met at the bend in the passage. The glass statue stopped following Templeton and Winston when they left the cavern and returned to the pedestal. In the meantime, Swamprover made it to the beach in the cavern and was able to patch her wounds enough to avoid bleeding to death on the soggy sand [down to 2 hit points when she made the Heal check]. She immediately used her Grippli camouflage capabilities to hide against a rocky wall.
After Templeton explained what had happened, the group rowed into the cavern, hugging the western wall to get to Swamprover, hoping she was still alive. When the boat with Zitch arrived at the beach, Swamprover broke cover to rush to him, urgently requesting healing immediately. Zitch immediately cast his last Cure Serious Wounds on her and then used several charges from the wand of Cure Light Wounds to finish healing her.
End of Session
[I’ve been generally OK with having the game on Roll20. It works very well if you have published maps with a consistent scale. I’ve been using maps from Dyson Logos in my test campaign for my OD&D clone RPG and his hand-drawn 10-foot squares are not all the same size, so they don’t always align everywhere to the apps grid. Another issue is that when the GM isn’t running the game, you as a player cannot access earlier maps to check distances for your blog post. When we were mapping by hand on paper, I’d take a picture of the map with my phone for later reference. I might need to resume doing this, but it’s inelegant, especially if the GM has to move the display back when we’ve moved to another map. First world problems.]