[Day 60 and 61 – Return to the campsite (and new neighbors) and the Lady’s Light.]
[This game uses the Pathfinder 1E roleplaying game. Game sessions happen once a week. This session happened July 26, 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.]
Roscuro – male ratfolk 6th level Monk
Swamprover – female grippli 5th level Wizard
Marativy – female ratfolk 6th level Ninja
Hrefna – female changeling 5th level Omdura
Templeton von Trapp – male ratfolk 6th level Summoner (Synthesist)
Zitch Grimreaper – male ratfolk 6th level Witch with a donkey rat (capybara) familiar
Gridik Stormstride – male blue kobold 3rd level Wizard (Invoker)
Ariphi – female tiefling 5th level Rogue
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)
The ship arrived at the drop-off point, adjacent to the peninsula the Lady’s Light was situated on. The crew spent 30 minutes ferrying the expedition and its supplies to shore using the ship’s boat. Looking at the giant statue of Sorshen, the Runelord of Lust, that was the lighthouse for the peninsula, a giant crack or rend in the glowing sphere the statue was holding could be clearly seen. Once everything was ashore, the ship left, with an agreed return to pick up the adventurers in a week.
Zitch cast Conjure Carriage and everything was loaded upon it. Zitch then cast Nature’s Path, providing an easier [and faster] ride through the wilderness to the campsite near the troglodyte cave.
After circling the lesser lagoon, Roscuro thought it might be wise to check in on Maroux, the crazy half-orc woman who lived on the sandy island between the two lagoons. He asked Marativy and Templeton to go check and Swamprover volunteered to go as well.
The trio flew over to the bridge to Maroux’s camp [Marativy and Swamprover riding on the back of Templeton’s Foo-Dog form]. They walked across the bridge as they had done before and found the camp empty. Six wooden poles formed a pathway to Maroux’s hovel, three of the poles topped by a single boggard skull each and three by a single troglodyte skull each. These were new and somewhat ominous. With Maroux away, the trio left and headed to the adventurer’s campsite.
The group in the carriage arrived at their campsite, only to find someone else camped out there. There were several tents flying flags with the symbol of House Kalmeralm and 20+ people around. They had guards out who ordered the adventurers to stop. Roscuro did not take kindly to this and demanded to know why they were camped on his campsite. After some back and forth with the guards, Roscuro was able to speak with Erik Vormu, the trade representative.
Erik told Roscuro that he was negotiating with the troglodytes for the harvest of several herbs and things were going slowly but satisfactorily. When asked about the boggards, Erik reported that some had been seen but they were staying away from this area and tended to flee when they saw others. Erik and Roscuro agreed to share the campsite and coordinate watches. This suited Roscuro as he estimated that the danger was greater than the last time the Ratpack had been here.
The Ratpack camp was finished being set up and Mel was starting to cook dinner.
That Night, Second Watch
Marativy, Roscuro and Ariphi were on watch, observing the southern approaches to the camp. [The merchant guards were watching the northern side.] All three spotted a flying creature approaching from off shore and heading generally towards the campsite, but still very far away. After a bit they realized it was a small dragon!
Roscuro went and poured water on the campfire. When the merchant guards asked why, Roscuro pointed south and said, “Dragon.” The guards helped him extinguish the fire and passed the word around for all to stay quiet.
The dragon was apparently hunting something a couple hundred feet south of the camp and utterly focused on its prey. [It rolled a 2 on its Perception roll to notice the camp.] When it attacked it spat a stream of acid at its target, killing the beast. The dragon landed and ate on the carcass for a bit before flying away to the east. Once it left the area everyone in the camp resumed breathing normally.
Mel out did himself fixing breakfast and the Ratpack noticed some envious looks from the merchant guards. After eating and gearing up, the adventurers left camp and walked over to the troglodyte cave. They hailed the guards and asked to speak with Sulgesh. They were told that Sulgesh was in a back cave and shown the way.
Roscuro and Sulgesh talked for a while, Roscuro asking how things were going for the tribe and verifying the merchants weren’t being a bother. Sulgesh related that things were good and the merchants were being more or less respectful. Roscuro brought up the black dragon seen the previous night. The troglodytes were aware of the dragon, knowing it as Zetirian. The dragon had a lair in the swamps to the east, but the troglodytes had never tried to find out where. It would fly by and kill something every month or so. Sulgesh was happy to learn that they now had another month before it would be an issue again.
Parting with the troglodytes amiably, the Ratpack headed down into the Deep Caves. An hour into their walk they reached the nexus cave. The corpses of the snappy-bitey-pinchy bugs were still there, but have obviously been moved and possibly eaten on by something. This reminded the adventurers to stay alert.
The Ratpack arrived at the entrance to the dungeon, the square room where they had fought the caryatid columns. All the debris left over from destroying the animated statues was gone. Strange.
Cautiously entering the chamber, the Ratpack found there were gaps where the animated statues had once stood and everything else was clean and neat. The adventurers tied a rope to one of the remaining statues and threw down the other end into the black square that was the shaft down into the dungeon. Swamprover volunteered to go down and scout the lower end of the shaft. While the grippli was doing that, Roscuro and Marativy briefed Ariphi and Hrefna on what to expect. Both had looks of doubt on their faces, clearly wondering what they had signed on to.
When Swamprover returned and announced the way was clear, the group climbed down the rope to the upper level of the dungeon. The hallway of pillars was just as they left it. The group walked down the right hand corridor to the red metal door. The group took an hour getting rubbings of 29 more of the one foot panels that made up the door.
Past the red metal door, the group climbed into the two boats there and started poling down the artificial river, Roscuro explaining the source of the water [a permanent gate to the Elemental Plane of Water] and what was ahead. When he mentioned “Porn Hall”, Ariphi asked him to explain. He said, “You’ll know it when you see it.”
As they poled out into the first large cavern, the oversized pedestal where the glass golem had stood now generated a low hum that all could hear. Poling over to the beach, the glass shards of the destroyed glass golem are missing.
Once everyone was on the beach, Roscuro warned Ariphi and Hrefna again that they were about to enter Porn Hall. Ariphi wondered aloud, “How bad could it…oh. Oh, my.” The group quickly moved over to the side passage out of Porn Hall. Marativy and Roscuro quietly scouted ahead to see if there was a new guardian where Gnaeus was once caged. Instead, they found that room empty and the bent gate was completely gone. The wrought iron fencing was still there, but the gate itself was now gone. Both entered the room, Marativy checking for traps along the northern wall as they silently moved along it. At the far end of the room was a stone door, which Marativy checked for traps. She reported none. Both put their ear to the door and listened for noises and heard nothing. They backtracked to the rest of the adventurers.
Once the entire group was at the stone door, Roscuro pried it open. Beyond was a corridor that went a short ways before turning south. Statues of a woman lined the center of the corridor, but unlike every other area the adventurers had been so far, these statues were not of Sorshen. Additionally, the first statue was missing its head. Very peculiar.
Marativy checked the floor to the first statue for traps and found none. Roscuro leapt up onto the shoulders of the statue for a better look at where the head should have been. There was a divot there that was smooth, suggesting that the head had not been smashed or otherwise broken off this statue. Looking over at the next statue, Roscuro could see there was a small gap above the head of that statue and a seam around the base of the neck.
Roscuro reported what he could see to the rest of the group and then leapt across to the next statue to get a closer look. While he was in mid-leap, the eyes of the next three heads opened up, glowing green, and mechanical legs sprouted from the sides of the heads. By the time Roscuro landed, the head on that statue was ready to attack him. A very strange combat ensued.
The heads used green paralytic beams from their eyes for ranged attacks and mechanical claws in melee. One of the heads hopped down to the floor to attack and Hrefna charged it, hitting with her sword and discharging a great deal of energy through the sword, blowing the head to pieces. The things were some form of automatons! Roscuro attacked the head uncomfortably near him with a flurry of blows for a great deal of damage, but it took a blow from Marativy and then Templeton before it was broken and stopped moving. Everyone in the group attacked the final head, doing enough aggregate damage to break it as well.
End of Session
[Zitch’s player could not attend as he was in quarantine as one of his roommates contracted Covid. This turned out to be precautionary as he never tested positive, but is a reminder that we are STILL in a pandemic. Wear your mask and GET VACCINATED.]
[We were very careful re-entering the dungeon, expecting some form of counterattack or ambush from the occupants, but found none. I honestly did not expect the statue heads to be automatons and come to life. On top of which, I did not remember until after the fight that Roscuro has a golembane scarab and should have checked it to see if anything nearby was a golem or automaton!]
Session 29 [Not Yet Typed Up]