[Day 62 – The Hidden Shrine of Nocticula]
[This game uses the Pathfinder 1E roleplaying game. Game sessions happen once a week. This session happened September 13, 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.]
Marativy – female ratfolk 6th level Ninja
Hrefna – female changeling 5th level Omdura
Templeton von Trapp – male ratfolk 6th level Summoner (Synthesist)
Roscuro – male ratfolk 6th level Monk
Swamprover – female grippli 5th level Wizard
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)
Day 62 (Continued)
Hrefna and Zitch cast spells to heal and restore Roscuro from the effects of the poison gas. The perfume closet was nothing but glass shards at this point, but Roscuro asked Zitch to use the wand of detect secret doors to see if there were any secret doors in that room or the crooked passage to it. The cave giantess had told the Ratpack that there were two things behind the secret door that brought them here and the Ratpack had only found one.
Zitch used the wand. There were no secret doors or compartments in the perfume closet, but there was a secret door in the passage leading to it, right where the passage seemed to go around something. Roscuro opened the secret door and found a fancy room that was clearly a shrine. There was an altar at the far end of the room with some objects on it and the ceiling was a mass of dark fog.
Roscuro, Marativy, and Swamprover entered the shrine. Marativy and Roscuro stopped just inside the door so Marativy could search for traps, but Swamprover walked all the way in, nearly making it to the altar before the dark fog on the ceiling dripped down and deposited four shadow dogs with long, whip-like, tails in the room, two of which were between Swamprover and the only exit!
The two dogs between Swamprover and the door attacked and hit Roscuro and Templeton [who was in the doorway, Marativy having concealed herself was not a valid target]. One of the other two attacked Swamprover [missed] and the last one howled, causing panic in Templeton, Ariphi, Hrefna, and Marativy! Hrefna turned and fled, followed immediately by Marativy. Swamprover defensively cast Burning Hands, catching two of the shadow dogs in the arc of flames. Templeton fled while Zitch cast Protective Luck on Roscuro and then moved to a better position in the hallway outside the shrine. Gridik cast Magic Missile on one of the dogs and then stepped for a better line of fire. Roscuro, not wanting to abandon Swamprover to the shadow dogs [although he had to think about it a bit], unleashed a flurry of blows on the shadow dog that attacked him, landing one blow and hitting only shadow with another. [The shadow mastiffs have a displacement effect due to partially being shadow and all hits have a 50% chance to pass through shadows and do no damage.]
Three of the dogs attacked Roscuro. Thanks to Zitch’s Protective Luck only one blow landed, a tail attack from the third dog that failed to trip Roscuro. Swamprover was not as lucky and was both tripped by the fourth dog and bit. Hrefna and Marativy continued to flee, but gradually came to their senses [the panic wore off after two rounds]. Swamprover got up from the floor acrobatically, avoiding an attack of opportunity from the dog standing over her, and climbed the wall to get away from the dog. Templeton fled again, gradually coming to his senses, but he was now all the way back at the kitchen area. Zitch re-added the Protective Luck to Roscuro and cackled to maintain it. Ariphi fled again, gradually coming to her senses. Gridik, in perfect position, used the bond with his ring [his magic focus] to cast Fire Breath, burning all three of the dogs attacking Roscuro, killing one of them. Roscuro flurried again, again landing a single solid hit.
Two of the remaining dogs attacked Roscuro, getting hits in despite the Protective Luck. The third dog attacked Swamprover and bit the grippli, who was not quite high enough to avoid attacks yet. Hrefna, once again in control of herself, ran all the way back to the fight, trusting that nothing would attack her along the way. [Run provided 4x movement but at the cost of a big hit to armor class.] Marativy headed back to the fight but at a more cautious pace. In the shrine, Swamprover cast a Lightning Bolt at the dog attacking her and edged a bit higher on the wall. Templeton flew back to the fight as fast as he could, arriving back just behind Hrefna. Zitch took a five-foot step to Roscuro and cast Cure Moderate Wounds as Roscuro was now heavily injured. Zitch then cackled to maintain the Protective Luck. Ariphi ran back to the fight, passing up Marativy on the way. Gridik released another breath of fire, scorching the two dogs attacking Roscuro. [Fire Breath allows the caster to breathe fire in a 15-foot cone three times, each time rolling fewer dice.] Roscuro flurried again, landing a single blow, but it was enough to drop that dog.
The dog near Roscuro decided Gridik was a bigger threat and stepped over to attack the kobold, successfully biting and tripping him. The other dog turned away from out-of-range Swamprover and attacked Roscuro, getting in a bite. Hrefna, back in the fight, used a divine touch effect to damage the shadow dog attacking Gridik. Marativy used ki to speed her step and arrived in Roscuro’s space, also attacking the dog on Gridik but missing. Swamprover, from her position up on the wall, cast Snow Ball at the dog attacking Roscuro, but only hit shadow. Templeton attacked the dog on Gridik with all his attacks, hitting twice and killing the dog. Zitch placed an Evil Eye of the last dog and cackled. Ariphi attempted to acrobatically get past the dog to flank it, failed, and then missed with her attack. This turned out to be convenient as Gridik released his last use of Fire Breath from the floor and killed the last shadow dog.
Zitch placed his healing hex on Swamprover and Gridik, healing Gridik completely. Hrefna cast Cure Moderate Wounds on Roscuro, healing him the rest of the way. Zitch then used his wand of cure light wounds to finish healing up Swamprover.
In the meantime, Marativy checked the room for any further traps and found none. Behind the blood-stain altar was a mural of Nocticula with her arms out from her sides with a globe of darkness hovering above the upturned palms. Zitch identified this as Nocticula back when she was still a demonlord. Marativy discovered there were words behind the black globes. The left orb concealed a list of those consigned to the Lady’s Light with only one name left, Ashamintallu. The right orb concealed words that said, “Those who would seek my inner sanctum need only speak my artist’s name.” On the altar were a silver scroll tube, a symbol of a seven-pointed crown with thorny vines, a curved blade, a blood-stained gold cup, a bronze incense burner, and some incense.
While Marativy and Roscuro puzzled over the riddle, Gridik cast Locate Object to try and find the shard. He received no answer, so it was not within the range of the spell.
Marativy said aloud, “Amivadeus Yasrin,” the name of the artist who painted Porn Hall, and disappeared in a flash of light!
End of Session
[The senior members of the adventuring group received enough experience during this session to finally level. Unfortunately, they still need to make it back to camp alive and rest overnight before getting the level. With Marativy suddenly being teleported deeper into the dungeon, that is not as straight forward as we’d like.]
[Our entire group is now playing remotely via Roll20 as the Other GM is in training for his new job and doesn’t get home until just before game time. As he needs to eat dinner before the game, it is more convenient for him to go home and run the game from there than stop for dinner, get to my place, and eat while running the game or delaying start until 30 minutes later. This more or less works, although anytime we have connectivity issues we lose 10-15 minutes getting everyone back to the point where they can be heard. Part of that issue is Roll20 and part is due to the Wi-Fi issues. This will last until mid-November and we all look forward to it ending. The downside is that when it ends, the Other GM will get his actual work assignment and it is quite possible he will be assigned to another city or even state. We’ll deal with that when it happens, but we are all hoping he gets a slot here in the Houston area.]