Lost Souls

In Which We Fight a Recurring Foe, Have Our Wishes Corrupted, and Decide to Confront a Dragon

Because our normal scribe was not at the previous two sessions, I suppose it is up to me to finish updating the adventure logs. I apologize in advance for any omissions or ambiguities as I don’t have any notes, and am writing this purely from memory.

Originally played 12/2/11

After the conclusion of the naval battle, we were informed that our only remaining fight was against the previously undefeated champ, and that the Sultan himself would be in attendance. Naturally, this meant that we had to be at our best, so, after we had rested, we spent several hours getting warmed up and preparing for the fight. Unfortunately, during this final tune-up, Roswyn broke several strings on her lute leaving her unable to use bardic magic until she repaired it. By this point there simply wasn’t enough time to perform these repairs, so she ultimately decided to sit this fight out (note: read the above as “we were missing a player so I’m making something up”).

We walked out into the arena, amidst the shouts of a bloodthirsty crowd, and noted that the battleground consisted of eight floating platforms with an array of teleporters. Platforms would be subject to magical effects both randomly, as well as when a given switch was pulled. We would be fighting both this mysterious champion and the course itself. On the subject of the champion, he finally decided to show himself. It was Carkal. Who else would it be? And after a battle that contained such highlights (or lowlights) as Ezra accidentally subjecting the entire party to sensory deprivation, Perra visiting all eight platforms in a single turn, and liches being encased in blocks of ice, we emerged victorious and won one wish each from the Sultan, who looked none to happy that his champion had fallen.

As for the wishes themselves, the shade wished for the ifrit heart that we had been questing for. Thanks to wording a lawyer would be proud of, and the power of plot, this wish was actually granted as desired. Next, Perra wished for the ultimate cookbook. The Sultan willed this book into existence, but gave Perra no indication as to it’s location. Ozy wished that all tieflings would view him as a strong and capable leader. It has yet to be seen how this one plays out. Edward wished for a woman from his backstory to be returned alive and unharmed to the town of her birth. Again we don’t know how this played out. Finally, Ezra wished that his good friend Calon would be returned to life. This was done by turning The Shade into a living half-elf (still female) with an odd split personality consisting of Calon’s mind, The Shade’s mind, and a weird fusion of the two. Finally, after all wishes had been granted, the Sultan’s guards attacked us, and we were forced to make our escape.

Originally played on 1/6/12

After our escape from the City of Brass, we returned to Sigil and were left with the choice of where to go next. After a brief discussion, we decided that the next thing we would track down would be the head of an ancient dragon. Unfortunately, dragons of that age don’t exactly grow on trees, so we were forced to do some research to track one down. Research. There’s one thing our heroes have never been known for. Anyways, after a long sequence that included tracking down a knowledgeable person, following him home, bullying information out of him, following his lead to a library, and stealing some rare books from the library’s locked vaults, we finally had our answer. There were two ancient dragons that were rumored to exist. The first was worshiped by a cult in the Underdark, while the second had been spotted in an unnamed ruined city from the old dragonborn empire. Having already visited the Underdark, we decided to track down the one in the dragonborn city, despite the greater ambiguity of location.

At Edward’s suggestion, we sought out a city adjacent to a particularly large mountain with an impressive network of caves and rode there. The city in question was mostly in ruins, although there was still an old shrine to Tiemat atop the highest mountain. After a brief and wholly unremarkable battle with some ogres, we reached the caves. Skipping a bit of boring stuff, we eventually climbed the mountain by means of a stairway in the caves and reached the shrine at the top. At the shrine itself, the cowards that were the rest of the party left Perra on his own to explain their situation to a dragon who was in some way connected to Tiemat. Naturally the whole thing turned into a fight, not because of any mistake Perra made, but because our goals weren’t exactly compatible with leaving the dragon alive.

And that’s where we left off. Join us next week for the actual fight. You will see an epic battle with a dragon, a well disciplined group of adventurers working together as a team (yeah right), and some much better writing than this!

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In Which We Are Assaulted By Corpses, Tangle With Dragons Of An Undead Persuasion, and Fight Off Psychic Lobsters

(originally played 11/04)

- We stuff our box in the bag of holding and decide to go after the heart of an ifrit next!

- We’re in Sigil trying to arrange transport…

- We find out we can buy a key that will take us to the City of Brass in the Elemental Chaos, a major center of the ifrit

- We go the City of Brass! It’s…desert hot… And everything’s made of brass.

- Not many on the street, but the few people we see seem to be heading towards the city center.

- We decide to follow them…we don’t blend very well, but they don’t seem unused to people like us, so. We find a gigantic Roman style coliseum made of brass. Most people go in. We look for a sign-up table… find guards around the gladiators’ entrance. We ask the guards who’s fighting… Exotic monsters, champions (who don’t seem to have ifrit names). Roswyn knows that these games are typically slaves fighting and ifrits do not fight in such low class things.

- We do know that if we win the sultan will give us a wish…

- We decide to sign up for the tournament as a group…we’re sent inside to an elderly ifrit and all his guards.

- The room we’re in is small, with a magical barrier on one side. There’s a large table where the elderly ifrit is sitting. He asks for our names for the record. We give our names and notes us down as a group and tells us we’ll be called in a couple hours. Tells us the terms and conditions of being a gladiator: don’t bitch when you die and put on a good show. Scream in pain if mutilated, the crowd loves that. Mentions that we’re not allowed to leave until tournament is over. We get put in a cell to wait…with some burly tattooed monsters from various other places. They don’t want to cause trouble.

- The cell wars are made of brass, also an anti-magic zone. Roswyn tunes her lute, makes sure everyone’s neat and awesome-looking…eventually we get shepherded out into the coliseum. It’s huge and full of people; the lower levels are full of slaves/peasants. The ifrits are in boxes with servants and such. The doors close behind us and the door across open and our first opponent appears…

- Out comes a huge, musclebound giant covered in chains and stuff and slaves poking it out into the arena. The slaves quickly retreat as soon as it’s in the arena. IT’S: …A GIANT THING…

- WE HAVE A TIME LIMIT

- The guards come back to guide us to our cell and drag the corpse away. We sit in the cell for a few more hours before getting called back out. Roswyn cleaned us off during the break.

- This time the opposite gate emits the charred corpse of a guard and then a giant flaming giant.

- It threw the corpse at Ozymandias…

- WE WIN

- And take a few more hours to rest and twiddle our thumbs. As we emerge for our third round we realize that mages are surrounding the arena and that the mages are setting up a barrier…it’s night, there are no lights, the audience is chanting. After some dramatic drum music the gates are thrown open and two dragon-like things emerge. The stench of death follows them and seem to be vaguely undead.

- FISTICUFFS

- Triumphant, we get an extended rest.

~

(originally played 11/11)

- The tournament continues!

- NAVAL BATTLE :D :D :D

- But we’re just on boats, not ships

- Perra and Edward are rowing…handwave…

- On the other boat are…dragonborn pirates

- The arena has been flooded with: murky water oooh. We notice that it’s magical; will damage you if you’re in it…

- (must be on edge of the ship to row)

- FISTICUFFS!

- At some point the pirates summon a chool, a psychic lobster, and then hightail it out of the way. Then the shade summons an extra chool…good going, shade.

- But then the robed figure by the throne room makes the chools back off once we kill the pirates. We get the equivalent of roses (gold!) thrown down at us for being awesome.

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In Which We Are Intimidating, Indecisive, and You Can Call Us Ishmael

(originally played on 10/28)

- We beat up the githyanki and leave a note for them for the githzerai. :D

- Then we decide to go for the ifrit’s heart…

- But where to find it?

- Roswyn remembers stories about ifrit sultans; the ifrit hold weekly gladiators to the death… We decide to seek out the nearest tournament sign-up!

- Elemental Chaos has occasional gravity…we need to fly to one of the ifrits’ floating islands of fire…

- We’re on a suburb rock, orbiting a rock where a small city is. We fly to the city rock.

- It’s full of githyanki!

- We notice that all the buildings lack signage…they have crystals by their doors instead. We find a tavern equivalent and we ask the bartender for help. The githyanki bartender looks at us warily.

- Roswyn finds out that the closest ifrit city is [somewhere]. Two weeks’ journey in [some direction]. If we’re looking to go there intentionally we should just hire a mage to teleport us. After some talking we decide to go back to Sigil and talk to the githserai wizard.

- We report our beating up his bullies. We give him a day to finish his bag…we come back! We have our box!

- We ask how to find our astral kraken…he tells us that lots of people go to the Sea to hunt exotic creatures, suggests that we go to the “docks” to join a journey as protection. Since all astral sailors fear the space kraken.

- We eventually find a ship willing to take on extra hands as long as they don’t have to pay. We find their anti-kraken measures, make private plans to sabotage them, and say we want to join them as bodyguards, free of charge! …Kraken like to attack ships and eat other astral game.

- We find a ship that’s happy to take us on an expedition!

- After a couple days on the boat, one of the crew comes to us to say they’ve spotted one of their prey and they’re getting ready to fight…will pay us if we’ll help.

- It’s a giant mechanical looking creature w/ mechanical wings: remnants from the previous wars between the gods, made of very valuable materials. Killing them for salvage. We’re given astral items to apply to our weapons to make them do necrotic damage. Only for melee.

- Willing to give us two more astral diamonds to anyone willing to provoke it—because it can teleport to anyone who provokes it. Ozymandias volunteers to throw a rock at it. They give him a ranged weapon to provoke it with.

- He throws a rock anyway…went out with some other people with bows. IT TELEPORTS TO NEXT TO OZYMANDIAS. All of us go out to fight with Ozymandias. FLYING~~~

- FISTICUFFS Ozymandias gets all up in its grill ooh

- Eventually we kill the thing, the crew loads up the parts, we heal, and sail some more…FIND A KRAKEN YAY

- Twist: we get only 30 min to kill it! then it will fade into the aether and we’ll have to track it down again…

- The crew screams and sails off, leaving us behind.

- Ozymandias throws a rock at it.

- FAITO

- WE KILL IT :U

- It writhes in pain with Ozymandias’ killing blow. We rip off a tentacle and the kraken fades away; we put the tentacle into the box and seal it!

- The tentacle solidifies and it was ours.

- The ship captain scoops us up and gifts us with magical gifts :3

- We sleep on the way back to the docks.

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In Which We Meet Carkal's Mother, Receive a Gathering Quest, and Embark On a Journey to Brave New Worlds

I’m way behind on logs so rather than try to play catch-up I’m going to post my raw notes for the last few sessions of the previous quarter and start 2012 with a clean slate.

(session originally played on 10/21)

- We head out of the temple

- We decide to teleport back to Amarak in order to hide the soul gems in order to hide them from Carkal.

- We can’t decide to do with them, though: destruction, hiding, bring them?

- The shade determines that we can release the souls in the gems by releasing the ritual and decides to try. Okay!

- Roswyn learns the ritual…reluctantly…the party overrides her desire to not spend eight hours in a chair staring at a scroll :/

- BUT FIRST when we open the portal to Amarak six devils walk back out of it…

- FISTICUFFS
- We decide not to risk casting the portal again and make our way out of the temple. In the top room we make our way back to the Shadowfell in order to get out of the city

- Once out of the city we try again and…the teleportation portal explodes…

- We decide to go to Ridgeport…but how…okay, to the Raven Queen’s city in the north.

- Then we rest, Ezra and the shade go off in search of a priest, the rest of us find an inn…? Anyway, we also go shopping.

- We find out where Ridgeport is, mount our nightmares, and start riding! Fairly uneventful. We encounter some thieves and Ozymandias throws a rock at them…killing one…

- Yeah they leave us alone after that.

- We arrive in Ridgeport! Where do we park the nightmares…Eventually we realize we can tie them up the Shadowfell. Then we head for the main library.

- When we get there’s a bored librarian we can talk to. He tells us Pem is in the back, we ask for a description of Pem. She is an elf, white hair, scary as all hell.

- After a while we hear screaming and go towards it, turns out it was a student who bent the spine of a hardback…in the direction of the screams. Pem is screaming at a big burly teenager, being held up by a mechanical golem and screaming. Roswyn quietly prestidigitations us to look clean…She has purple eyes!

- Ozymandias taps her on the shoulder…she spins around with an evil look. The golem moves over to Ozy…

- We tell her we were sent by Oss, and show her the tomes…

- She whistles loudly and a scared librarian rushes over to take the tomes from Pembernel…

- She beckons us to follow and we do so. She goes into an office. Golem waits outside and beckons through the door.

- She opens up a cabinet behind her desk, pours herself a cup of wine, sips, thinks.

- Carkal is a lich, sent us to her to help us find Damokos…

- Damokos is a tiefling who consorts with demons every now and then…she can tell us where to find his phylactery.

- He’s a demon lich…

- She doesn’t know where it is, he’s like 2k years old, but we ask her for some clues…

- She starts rifling through her books. Tells us there’s a ritual we can use to track…tricky soul-scrying ritual. Lists some difficult to find ingredients…and a part of the person’s soul. Shade is sad…

- She tells us that Carkal has a link to Damokos’ soul if he’s working for him…we can capture Carkal and use him as the fuel for the spell if we find the ingredients.

- We discuss the mechanics of the plan, what would happen to Carkal, how to find him…telepathically…

- Perra asks: what would happen to Carkal? It would perma-bind Carkal’s soul to Damokos and he could weaken Damokos from the inside. If we kill Damokos we’d kill Carkal…so why did he send us here to his mother and this ritual…? Seems strangely altruistic…

- In the office, shade spits out the skull mask with Carkal’s message and hands it to her. She looks it over, hands it back, into the Bag of Holding it goes.

- She modifies the ritual to be more effective on phylacteries in particular…

- INGREDIENTS: residuum, head of an ancient dragon, heart of a ifrit, an unholy or holy relic (The Hand or Eye of Vecna…or the corpses of a thousand angels should do), tentacle from the Astral Kraken, soul thing of a Death Giant, and blood from a fey creature that’s lived for over 1000 years

- Before we leave her office, Edward asks for the sigil sequences of the planes we need to go to. She gives us some: hands us a sequence for an interplanar trading post.

- We go the trading post via the Shadowfell! Find lodgings, set up a dartboard with the list on it…trying to figure out where to go.

- We end up going to get the tentacle of the Astral Kraken…

- Roswyn remembers stories from the Astral Kraken, it exists in the Far Realms and occasionally goes to the Astral Sea to eat travelers…

- We decide to go to the Astral Sea, use ourselves as bait to summon the Kraken…but we also need a magical bag to hold the tentacle.

- We go to a merchant, and find an old wrinkly wizard about the containment bag…tell us we could probably use a [complicated magic term]…but we have to pay. He tells us to just wander to find the kraken… Makes us a deal, we kill a pest, we get the containment field. We decide not to pay the fee, and privately agree to intimidate the githyanki into being nice to the githzerai.

- Tells us that the githyanki will appear in the next hour or so…We can’t kill him in Sigil, everything’s monitored. We should go kill him in his home in the Elemental Chaos…We decide to follow him home, kill him, get the ifrit’s heart, and then go back to the Sigil.

- He comes by in couple hours, harasses the old man, we follow him. We follow Batman following the githyanki…

- They go through a door that needs a key! Ezra…goes to grab the door before it closes? Ozymandias goes up to help. Perra manages to wrench the door open so we can all charge through.

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In Which We Solve a Puzzle, Make Like Theseus (Sans All that Ball of String Business and Arguably Sans Minotaur As Well), and Come Face-to-Face with Our Prodigal Ex-Leader

(originally played 10/14)

We defeated the guardian drakolich in short order. Finding it to be disappointingly loot-free, we made our way to the spire of the cathedral it was guarding, the most grandiose one we’d seen yet. Though still a ruin, the Shadowfell twisted it into odd shapes—we found parts of the stone to be warped, shrunk or compressed or otherwise twisted out of true. Other than that, we found little of interest and so decided to leave the Shadowfell. Without the dark pall of the Raven Queen’s realm about us we saw that the inside of the cathedral had, despite its harsh conditions, remained well-frescoed and decorated. Roswyn recalled that the cathedral had been considered the exemplar of its kind during the heyday of the tiefling empire—supposedly it was also known for its many bells, which sounded with the howls of thousands of souls ripped from mortal bodies for just that purpose.

From within the cathedral, Ezra told us he heard devils walking about outside, and we stayed cautious and quiet as we searched for another secret chamber, much like the last one we’d found. After some searching, Ezra managed to find the small door well-hidden in the façade of the enormous, elaborate altar that dominated the interior. The door revealed a long tunnel stretching deep beneath the ground, with only a shaky ladder to mark the way down…luckily, we all made it down without incident. Once in the bowels of the earth, we lit our way with a sunglobe and Ezra’s mysterious glowy dagger (named Sting, for it glowed in the presence of evil, i.e. us).

We spent some time walking down the corridor we’d found ourselves in, soon coming to an open room with a gateway that had runes inscribed all along its curved edge. Beyond the gateway all was dark—not even our lights, magical as they were in origin, could penetrate it. Before the arch stood seven spheres and pedestals. We sensed great power coming from the arch and beyond, power connected to the orbs… Despite Roswyn recalling myths of gods able to create such portals, we have no idea what one would be doing down here, in the bowels of the earth beneath the supposedly deserted and devastated capitol of a long defunct empire. With the runes on the arch unintelligible to us and no other way forward, we set about determining the relationship of arch to globe in the only manner left to us: trial and error.

After some time, we managed to figure out the trick to the arch and spheres, and determined the proper order to touch the spheres in order to dispel the darkness beyond the arch. Congratulating ourselves on a job well done and unfortunate deaths well avoided, we proceeded through the arch and down a hallway until it forked. We spent some time traversing the maze, running into traps, freeing ourselves from traps, splitting up, and getting into other such delightful japes. Alas, the shade was forced to continue touching the spheres in order to ensure the darkness remained dispelled. Among our notable discoveries was an enormous vaulted room full of treasure. Ozymandias, claiming his right as the heir to the tiefling empire, claimed the treasure for himself. The rest of us wisely chose to hightail it out of the room as soon as Ozymandias made a move for the treasure. Breathless, we watched as he determined there was no way out of the room besides the doors we’d walked (and subsequently exited) through, and then decided to touch a piece of gold.

The treasure immediately shimmered and vanished as the entrance door slammed shut—a solid slab of stone between us and Ozymandias and the room now beginning to fill with sand. Lots and lots of sand. To no avail did we attempt to break down the door with our trust anvil, and were forced to waste our last charges blowing a hole the door just large enough for Ozymandias to see out of, allowing him to teleport to safety. The sand, meanwhile, faded away as soon as it left the room…we let the disappearing sand be and continued our explorations. Of note was also the room full of mummies in cages, all trying to get out—and indeed, when the darkness briefly swept over us we heard the cage doors rise, until the shade dispelled it once more. Throwing rocks at them predictably did nothing (this discovery brought to you once again by Ozymandias).

Finishing our explorations of the maze, we finally found ourselves in front of yet another arch and seven spheres, the mirror of the one we’d encountered on the other side of the maze. On the other side was simply more hallway, and we found that touching the spheres in order also dispelled the darkness, allowing the shade to finally, and happily, abandoning her post fondling balls and join us on the other side of the maze. Together, we walked the hallway on the other side of the arch, enshrouded in a quite mundane sort of darkness. Eventually we spot a room at the end of the hallway that is lit by torches. Ezra, ever brave, went forward to scout…the sounds of activity grew audible as he neared, but did not increase. Peering into the room, he saw an ornately decorated hall marked only by a throne in the back, upon which was seated a figure reading a book, wearing loose black robes that were embroidered with both purple flames and the symbol of Damokos. Several other robed figures surrounded the throne, one of them helpfully holding an ottoman should it be required by what was obviously their fell master.

Before we could decide on a further plan of action the shade decided for us, noisily running down the hall to join Ezra. Ezra, sensing our recklessness, ran back to join the shade and the rest of us. We entered the hall as one, only to have the reading figure look up and inquire as to why it’d taken us so long to arrive. In close proximity, we saw that his robe was missing a sleeve and that the revealed arm was withered and bony, inscribed with several runes. His face we could not see due to it wearing a mask. It was about this point that some of us began having feelings of unease as to the identity of the masked figure…

The head lich in the flaming robes soon invited us to sit and join him as he conversed with us, remarking on his surprise as seeing how Ezra and the shade had changed since last he’d seen them. The more perceptive of us notice that, just visible through the slits in his mask, were purple eyes. And indeed, though dry and raspy, Edward noted that the voice was nonetheless familiar. …Needless to say, most of us chose to stand rather than join this mysteriously familiar lich in dining, except for Ozymandias. Not even the lich helpfully rejuvenating some dusty desiccated food into complete freshness could change our minds, though Ozymandias certainly had no problems partaking.

During our meal and discussion, the lich removed his skull mask and threw it at one of us, revealing—to no one’s surprise—the dry, shriveled face of our old friend Carkal. Still, not ones for rudeness, we politely inquired as to his well-being and what had happened to him since the last time we’d seen him it was totally dominated and running through a portal to a dire fate. Carkal told us that we’d ended up in an unfamiliar teleportation circle, the domination quickly fading. There, he met a well-dressed person wearing the symbol of Damokos. Sensing incredible power within his grasp, Carkal decided to make a pact with Damokos for warlock powers greater than those he had had before, knowing the pact would also protect him from the wrath of Damokos and his other followers. However, the pact meant that while Damokos couldn’t kill Carkal, so too could Carkal no kill Damokos… (Midway through this, ahem, cut scene we all took a moment to judge Ozymandias for drinking some tiefling wine offered by Carkal. It was literally on fire.).

Small talk finished, the shade snapped and charged, briefly assuming the also mysteriously familiar shape of a half-elf man in plate armor. With that, all politeness was dispensed with and we down with attempting to kill Carkal. Alas, just as Perra cleaved him in two, he flipped us off, displaying the teleportation ring he’d had on him all along, before crumbling completely into dust. Disappointed, we healed and searched the chamber, finding some valuable art pieces and—most intriguingly—a message scrawled inside the skull mask, signed by Carkal. The message told us to go to Ridgeport in search of a specific librarian named Pembernill. We were to bring books.

Despite the fact that Carkal had just tried to kill us in earnest, we decided to take his message—and, I suppose, his creepily amiable new demeanor—at face value and stuffed our bags of holding with ancient tiefling tomes, before making our way back out of the temple.

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In Which We Solve Riddles of a Theological Bent, Find Ourselves Lost In a Goddamned Desert, and Venture Forth into the Shadowfell Once More

(originally played 10/07)

Much refreshed by our rest in the stolen magical tent, we continued our journey to the abandoned city at the edge of the desert. Along the way, the mysterious shade that had followed Ezra stole one of our magical amulets, allowing us to—at long last—communicate with this mysterious creature.

Upon arriving at the city, we spotted a miraculously still standing building that seemed to have been of reasonable importance. Naturally, we headed there first, quickly scaring off the monsters in the ruins by destroying a pack of wild dire dogs. We found the building to be a library…probably. There were plenty of shelves, but a rather noticeable dearth of books. Poking around, we found no secret passageways, no mysterious patterns on the floor, and no magical doohickeys: in short, nothing of interest whatsoever.

Flying up, Roswyn spots another large building towards the center of the city. We headed there without incident, finding it to be a large temple dedicated to some tiefling deity of the other. It was quite large, with some fancy gothic architecture, including some bat-shaped flying buttresses that were perhaps trying too hard. Ezra, having found the symbol of his soul, decided to perch on one for a bit to brood over the criminal streets below. Meanwhile, the rest of us did something useful and headed in to explore the interior of the temple. We found decorations that, though faded, spoke to the former decadence of the tiefling empire, and the space was dominated by tiers that led up to the central altar. Ozymandias notes that in the old days important documents were frequently kept under the central altar via a secret passageway. Ezra helpfully pointed it out for us, pulling aside part of the altar to reveal a secret passage leading downwards. Sending some lights down, Roswyn light up a none-too-stable-looking ladder… Naturally, we decide to go down it.

After a pratfall of three, we made it to the bottom and, guided by a combination of a sunglobe and Ezra’s glowing dagger, we headed forth down a strangely empty hallway. No magic to be sensed at all, until we stumbled into an open room—ornately decorated, and marked by a faintly glowing symbol on the far side of the wall. The shade beckoned us past the mark… Resorting to old tactics, Ozymandias threw a rock at the symbol. Nothing happened. Fed up with such shenanigans, the shade set forth under the symbol herself, prompting a series of riddles to blossom across the wall. Apparently we weren’t going to be allowed through until we completed a minigame. Forced to use brains rather than brawn, we struggled, but ultimately prevailed.

Past the riddles we hit the jackpot: on the wall beyond was a map, one that encompassed all of the old tiefling empire. Though crude and potentially out of date, it pointed to us the direction we needed to in order to find the ruins of the capitol, Bel’Turath. Memorizing the direction we head made our way back out of the temple. As we climbed the ladder and emerged from the dusty basements into the temple proper, we were met by an unpleasant sight: the doors of the temple swinging open to admit devils chattering in fell tongues (aka supernal).

After an arduous fight we defeated our foes and robbed them all the treasure they had to offer. We noticed one was wearing an old friend of ours, the telepathic amulet, and stole it for Ozymandias that we might include him in our mental mutterings. Knowing Damokos was after us, we took off. …And promptly got lost, forcing us to wander the desert in misery and varying degrees of sunburntness until, despairing of the increasingly state of her skin, Roswyn decided to suck it up and learn a ritual that would point us in the direction of the city. On the fourth day of our sandy sojourn, we contacted the dead tieflings who once ruled this arid land and made our way to the city.

Surprisingly, we discovered Bel’Turath to not be sunken in the sand but in fact aboveground and even reasonably intact. Significant portions of the wall had failed utterly to give in to the ravages of time! Also, they were being patrolled by humans and devils. Ever the stealthy types, we discussed very methods of sneaking before decided to just go into the Shadowfell. Having switched planes of existence, we used the spire of a building deep within Bel’Turath’s bowels to guide us into the city’s heart. In the Shadowfell, Bel’Turath’s remains were rather less grandiose—even more devastated than the version we knew in the usual realm, the sand of the desert a miserable jet black beneath our boots. As we approached the spire we caught the attention of a drakolich sitting atop the cathedral. It weighed us with flaming sockets, perhaps deciding how best to devour our souls, before taking flight towards us.

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In Which Some Old Friends Are Much Changed, We Venture Into a Desert, and Not Enough Things Happen for a Third Teaser

(session of 9/30)

We open with all our heroes safe in Amarak—save one, our eponymous warlock who, under the thrall of evil forces, vanished into the ether. No sooner had we realized we were bereft of his charming presence forever when we met with an old friend Ezra—and his mysterious companion, a dark shade who, for reasons unknown to us, had apparently sprung up when Calon died. We spent a few days in Amarak recuperating (many of us finding that our rest allowed cosmic forces to finally catch the hell up with us and grant us untold powers). With some research, we pinpointed Damokos’ likely location and set off, determined to end him once and for all. Ezra, though much changed by his adventures in the Shadowfell, accompanied us.

After some days’ travel we found ourselves at the edge of the southern desert. With the location of the city of Bel’Turath, the capitol of the once-mighty tiefling empire lost to us, we set off across a section of the desert towards another city in hope of finding information on where Bel’Turath might be. Astride our nightmares, we set off. We rode for hours, but at dusk were interrupted by the sight of a distant campfire. Ezra set forth to scout out these strange travelers, but was spotted by the humans grouped around the fire. After some discussion, we decided to provide Ezra with a bit of support from atop our flaming steeds. The humans told us they were relic hunters, looting the ruins of the tiefling cities for curiosities to sell to their credulous fellows.

Intrigued, and possibly outrage by the looting of his ancestral territory, Ozymandias demanded to see some of the relics that the humans had on hand. Though suspicious, we indulged his curiosity, following the humans into one of their magical tents. There, Ozymandias was presented with a rather marvelous sword, which turned into a heavy weight the moment he laid hands on it. Obviously, the sword had been a trap, and as we made ready to fight, the humans revealed their true forms: rakshasa.

A fairly uneventful battle later, we emerged from the tent to find even more rakshasa approaching. Since they seemed disinclined to run away, we fought them off too, before justly declaring their magical tent ours and taking a well-deserved rest.

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BONUS: P-P-P-Partymon

I decided this should be immortalized in its own post forever. The rules were: no legendaries, within the first two generations if possible.

CARKAL: Trainer
PERRA: Dragonite
OZYMANDIAS: Magcargo
ROSWYN: Jigglypuff
EDWARD: Alakazam
THE SHADE: Misdreavus
EZRA: Scyther

Next up: getting through the backlog of sessions that need proper logs!

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In Which There are Bullet Points and ALL CAPS.

(These are my notes for our final two sessions! They haven’t been edited or prettied up at all, and they’re quite a bit more detailed than what usually goes into the written logs. Kinda goes without saying, but this is going to get pretty long.)

05/20:

- PREVIOUSLY, ON LOST (SOULS): had stepped into the Shadowfell and started exploring, fighting some weird undead thingies
- Riia tells us to keep moving now that we’ve attracted the attention of the entire cavern.
- We head off into the trench, the darkness closing in around us. Shadows seem to be moving all around us. Roswyn stays in the middle of the group.
- Carkal got his chunk of crystal at least. :|
- We are depending on Riia for navigation since the darklight only casts a small round of light around us.
- We descend some stairs that rickety, and then TRAVEL MONTAGE: tunnels and caverns and caves, not much to distinguish them. Start losing sense of time. Roswyn starts singing mentally…
- Travel broken up by periods of larger caverns that make us feel incredibly alone. We NEVER feel very safe…senses already playing tricks on us…
- AND THEN SOMETHING ACTUALLY LEAPS OUT AT US WHUPS. Shadow hounds. 
- FISTICUFFS
- At some point we grow weary through we still can’t tell how much time has passed. We get stalked by another pack of hounds, which we fight them off. We don’t necessarily sleep well…We press on!
- Pass two caverns of minor interest but can’t make out details…
- The journey begins to wear on us…two or three more ‘days’ pass, blurring together and it seems that we keep running into hungry beasts. Eventually the stifling darkness + constant battles start to wear us down. Each of us loses 8 points worth of something.
- We are shocked when we finally stumble onto a cavern full of light. Large but low cavern full of silvery quartz that reflect the light in the cavern and make it brighter. The light is a dull red light being given off by flames. Grazing among the fungi, we make out a herd of black firey horses. Nightmares. Also, bones. Also a group of three giants so tall they’re heads brush the ceilings. With axes carved with skulls and bones, trapped souls around them that are writhing in agony.
- There are large crystals around the cavern draw light towards themselves that draw us towards us, but we don’t know what they do.
- They hear us approaching…thanks Ozymandias. The Nightmares perk up and the giants stomp towards us, brandishing an axe.
- Various obsidian gems on the giants’ armor, within which circles some kind of life force. One has a bunch of souls that pull free to swirl around the first giant’s weapons…they get used in attacks…
- Carkal pulls out a sunglobe, which causes the entire cavern to light up with brilliant reflected light
- FISTICUFFS
- Nightmares not bothered by sunglobe, but the giants are.
- As they come in for the attack, we realize that Ozymandias can speak Giant! Finds out what they’re doing whoops
- Riia ricochets a thunder spell off a crystal at one point aw yeah :3c
- Battle over, we attempt to tame one of the remaining Nightmares. Ozymandias decides to try and ride it due to immunity to fire damage…taking off his armor first. After about five laps, Ozymandias is enough in control of the thing that though it still struggles a bit, it’s basically Ozymandias’
- We feed it soul gems…now it belongs to Carkal…
- We all tame Nightmares to ride…except Roswyn, who just doubles with Perra.
- With mounts we can make much better time through the Shadowfell; the Nightmares run fast. B)
- The Nightmares don’t care about the dark and they GALLOP LIKE STEEDS OUT OF HELL, we can’t even tell what all we’re passing but the Nightmares don’t give a fuck.
- We have to duck low outcroppings as they rush out of the darkness, eventually we just start keeping low. After a few hours of riding we’ve passed innumerable miles, and eventually we get sore from clinging to their backs that we have to rest.
- After fighting off a few more shadow creatures we remount and ride for another solid day. We’re attacked a few times, included some who drop from the sky. Some teleport into our path and try to attack the Nightmares, we have to fight them off because they keep teleporting.
- We get worn down a bit anyway…we finally burst out into a massive cavern, one that Riia recognizes. We’re getting close!
- Cavern nearly two miles long, one mile wide, one narrow winding path along one side of it. VERY TALL. We have to leap over chasms a few times where the bridges have collapsed. The path winds in and out of alcove and ledge, looking over a great, perfectly still sea. Riia knows that in the normal Underdark, the lake is something of a landmark, the largest cavern known and the lake is supposed to be inhabited by an ancient creature that is huge beyond reckoning. Carkal runs across the surface of the water using his boots, Riia takes his other pair of water-walking boots. The rest of us take the high road…
- A short way out, Riia also notices something clinging to the ceiling and swirling; souls and specters that have died within the cavern. There are hundreds.
- As we make our way along the road, a few of the specters break free and descend towards us on the road…
- Roswyn brings out the sunglobe. A brilliant light emerges around us. EIGHTY MORE SOULS FLY TOWARDS US.
- Whups. Put the sunglobe away.
- Roswyn uses Prestidigitation and Ghost Sound to try and mask our presence, light blend into dark and muffle the sound of our hooves.
- We speed, driving the Nightmares even faster as we wind our way along the narrow path, trying to guide them along the right path.
- Perra makes it! At times only clinging to his Nightmare by his arms. Roswyn, in turn, is clinging to him.
- The spirits catch up to his as Perra manages to burst ahead from Ozymandias and Edward. We’re almost there!!
- And then the water begins to froth under Carkal and Riia. The frothing quickly spreads…a tentacle whips out against Carkal.
- Riia had told Carkal there was a mystical treasure in the lake…they head out wayyyy into the middle, the opposite side of the cavern.
- WE ARE PURSUED! WE MUST GET TO SAFETY! PURSUED BY THE JEALOUS DEAAAAAD.
- Perra and Roswyn turn back to help Edward and Ozymandias. The spirits radiate cold…
- FISTICUFFS IN TWO PLACES
- Ozymandias decides to make an EPIC LAST STAND, telling the rest of us to run
- PERRA AND ROSWYN EPICALLY LEAP ACROSS THE GAP, POPPING DAILIES AND SUCH >)
- At one point the horse rears and almost throws Perra, but Roswyn saves him as he falls past her (holding on to the tail), using her wings. He gets flown back up onto the horse, catching Roswyn on the way back up and hanging her back on the horse. They take off into a little tunnel! Ozymandias follows.
- While Roswyn/Perra/Edward/Ozymandias desperately race for their life, Carkal and Riia make it to safety in a cavern and wander around looking for the treasure, fending off a few beast encounters as they do. Wander through tunnels shaped long ago, being to realize a pattern to the canals they’re crossing—old bridge endposts…as they explore they pick up a pattern to the tunnels themselves, something repetitive. Eventually realize they’re at an ancient site of the frog people, Koatoa. And don’t find anything of interest…(it’s all underwater).
- Riia and Carkal return to the material plane. Find themselves in a grand architecture marvel full of buildings all facing towards a central shrine instead of the ruins of a long-dead civilization. Everything is covered in a thin layer of dust, ornamentation is of bones. Carkal uses last sight vision on corpse and finds it to be that of a slave who is sacrificed by a Koatoa priest in an elaborate ritual.
- They start looting the place. Find a bunch of relics.
- They spend a few days trekking around the dungeon while we camp out in the real world, waiting for them to finish.
- Once Carkal and Riia are ready, Roswyn creates a teleportation circle in the material plane for Carkal and Riia to come over and join us. Yayyyy.
- They pass out some relics to the rest of us.
- Anyway, Riia recognizes our location as near some trade routes to the drow city we’re aiming for.
- We head back to the Shadowfell and fend off stuff as we make our way to the city.
- Two days in we arrive at caverns familiar to Riia, barely recognizable as twisted versions of themselves; landmarks are shifted around or collapsed. As we approach the city the attacks become more frequent and we eventually come across a cavern filled with denizens of the Shadowfell. Gnomelike creatures in capes and sharp teeth. We know we have to go through them to get to the cavern that we need, though they’re gathering. Riia strides forward…Heavily armed deep gnomes. :|


05/27:

NO DEEP GNOMES
WE ARE BACK TO THE POINT WHERE RIIA RECOGNIZES THAT WE’RE NEAR SOME TRADE ROUTES
THAT LEAD TO THE CITY THAT WE WANT

- We know that there’re a decent number of trade posts along the route, plus traders outside discussing business (of dubious legality)
- The city we want is just a little ways ahead
- We continue on through the Shadowfell, passing by the long-crumbled ruins of an outpost
- After half an hour of twists and turns we walk up a steep, broken flight of stairs and end up on a ledge that overlooks the long axis of the cavern
- Towards the edge of the ledge we know there to be a few buildings, they are collapsed in the real world. As we advance through the ruins Riia spots something approaching us…a large thing…lifting its head up it turns in our general direction and seems to be sniffing the air before pushing itself higher, making its way towards us, still sniffing. It’s about 12 feet tall, general shape is that of a large head, hunched back, and numerous legs that reach out around it. Spindly legs that seems to recombine and shift. We have enough time to take up positions as it gets to us. But as it gets to us, Riia spots another one that starts making its way towards us as the first one makes it.
- Composed of black energy, look like void when looked at, featureless heads that sweep back and forth as they make sniffing noises. Don’t look like they can sense. One hunches over, hiding, the other one stands up and merges its legs into four thick legs, spindly tendrils reaching out before it.
- FISTICUFFS
- We only see five squares except for Riia…
- Carkal’s Nightmare ends up spooking and racing away into the darkness.
- We make out the crumbled site of the great drow trading city we’re heading for at the bottom of the cavern. At the far side we see a huge underground lake/sea that allows for trading connections with aquatic races.
- We see a few huge markets where trading takes place. At the other side of the city is a huge domed temple to Lolth that’s mostly intact, even in the Shadowfell. The staircase leading up to it is covered in skeletons. The noble households are scattered at the far end of the cavern, around the great black lake. Riia can make out the Elendar household, which oddly enough seems to be the best-preserved building in the Shadowfell. In a lesser state of decay…
- The house itself is a large, slightly elongated spherical tower, suspended above the tower on three huge structural bridges of steel darting to the cliff around it, to the shore, and out into the lake, where it merges with a crumbled dock. Roaming the bridges and hovering in the air around the household is a whole herd of the creatures we just fought. However, we notice a slight disturbance in the air around the house itself; occasionally one of the creatures will drift towards the house, the disturbance flares up, the things recoil. No visible guards other than the shadowy things.
- Is fighting through a herd of these things is better than fighting through the drow’s guards and traps and such? There’re about a dozen of them…And what to do with the Nightmares…
- We argue for a while…
- Carkal ends are argument with his plan: we create a shadow bridge and ride out of the Shadowfell into the tower astride our flaming horses. Enough of the party agrees that we…agree…
- As we approach the tower the creatures pick up our scent(?) and start drifting in towards us…
- We ride out onto a stone promenade that defines the edge of the lake shore, and we see that there’s a central tower upon a circular walkway that connects to the bridges out, there are few windows which are (in the material world) warded against trespass. Carkal starts…casting the ritual to create a bridge…the rest of us stand ready to fend off the shadow creatures.
- As he readies to prepare the bridge he decides to cast a portal into the tower instead! Darting across the promenade, he shouts for us to follow. We do, as the creatures follow. He flings up the gate and we gallop through, the gate snapping shut just as the creatures converge on our location. They mill about confusedly for a bit, before re-picking up our scent and drifting towards us. We are now on the walkway around the tower.
- There is a main entrance nearby, with a large steel gate. Seems like the entire tower is wrought out of black metal. The main gates seem to be as stout in the Shadowfell as they are in the real world.
- Perra stuns himself smashing into the door as he tries to charge through…
- As he attempts to force his way through, Riia remembers that the back way into the tower might be accessible from the Shadowfell…
- We race around looking for it as the creatures race towards us. Examining the place, there are certain differences: like there are certain differences where the building had been “redrawn” in the Shadowfell. The first entrance is missing, but the second one is further up the wall and so we teleport. We make it up to one of the tower’s ledges, and none of the wards Riia knows seem to activate.
- We find ourselves in a room that is less upkept than the building’s façade. Carkal casts Hand of Fate, looking for the largest concentration of treasure in the real world. Riia recognizes the furnishings as probably being one of the rooms of a lesser daughter or perhaps a son. (ONE OF HER COUSINS!?)
- We follow Carkal upwards, backed up by Riia’s notes. She tells us the tower’s layout. Stairs spiral up the center of the tower. We follow it up.
- The stairs are sans railing and a long way down. We wind/teleport it up. We up on a ledge that looks down to the ground below, there is a small room beyond with doors that lead to the Matron’s quarters. The doors are covered in an ornate spiderweb pattern.
- After confirming that these are the doors we want to pass through, Perra dismounts and kicks it open after a few tries. It opens into a room of nothing.
- Riia recognizes the place!
- We’re in an ornately decorated room with several abutting rooms, a huge iron throne across from us. We close the door that Perra broke. Riia positions herself and tells us to get rid of the Nightmares. We ask how Riia knows where everything is…she says she worked there…Edward then asks how…she says not a friendly capacity.
- We argue where to drop out of the Shadowfell. Carkal is in charge of the ritual so we have no choice but to follow him. He goes into the Matron’s private quarters, having Perra kick in the door…Carkal has his horse try to kick the door in…it’s bent but not open. The horse succeeds where Perra has failed.
- The Matron’s room has a central pillar, with web vaulting covering the ceiling towards the wall piers. Edward communes with his mount…
- The room is filled with once-ornate finery and furniture, covered in dust and bleached white from age. Hideous-looking statues along one side, one bearing a great blade. The rest of them bearing cracks and falling apart. There’s one huge window—in the material plane it’s warded against passage. Carkal smashes the statue with a blade by throwing the silent sledgehammer at it.
- Riia is very edgy by now. Carkal…continues smashing statues…
- Anyway we position ourselves inside the room. Edward and Carkal are still on horses. The rest of us are not.
- Edward can maneuver his horse much more effectively after communing, but in return it communicates its bad mood.
- WE REAPPEAR IN THE MATERIAL PLANE. The horses appear with us. Roswyn is on a table.
- As the shadows find we find ourselves slightly disoriented in the same room, it’s much more richly adorned than it was before. Standing just in front of Riia, examining a shelf full of things while holding a vial of something, is a drow she recognizes very well. It is the Matron Mother of the Elendar, wearing a blackened mithril hauberk over her dress. Light armor…she’s wearing weapons at her side. The center pillar is actually made of crystal that glows with faint red light, illuminating the room in deep red. A curtain of shimmering iridescence separates the room at one part, illuminating much of the finery. The crystal window has an ornate stained glass abstract pattern. Perra finds himself standing in the midst of finely carved but grotesque statue. A few other miscellaneous decorations…including a four poster bed with deep, deep red curtains. The whole room drips with wealth.
- At the sound of our arrival, the drow spins on her heel, takes in the scene, and a wry smile cracks her lips. “I’ve been looking for you, Riia.”
- Undercommon conversation between her and Riia…
- Carkal get impatient and introduces himself with an attack.
- FISTICUFFS.
- ALSO SHE STARTS USING THE ROOM AGAINST US FFFFF. Summoning shadow creatures from objects.
- At one point Edward runs a wall of fire through the room…
- Also the golems came to life. Before the wall of fire.
- Roswyn gets smashed into a column, but she action pointed so she teleported away, while invisible. Edward cried out in despair, believing her to be vanished, until Perra informs him that he can still sense Roswyn over the amulet connection.
- Riia crit fails and everyone gets pushed one square away oh noes.
- The drow who joined the battle finally asks to parlay. Roswyn translates for the party.
- He refuses to toss his weapons into the Hunger of Hadar at Carkal’s request, and Riia interrupts Ozymandias mid-speech, asking if the drow knows who she is.
- HISTORY HAPPENS IN UNDERCOMMON :D
- And then Riia attempts to throw lightning daggers into his face, he dodges and waves blades menacingly.
- He tries to persuade us that he’ll be of use as a voice for us…
- We don’t trust him. Kill him and take his soul. As that happens Riia conducts a thorough search…
- Edward spots reinforcements coming as we finish looting. DROW AND DEVILS.
- We question the soul:
- The Matron, Savafey (?) replies that the Elendar has been working for Damokos to transport souls collected from the surface…Perra deduces that she is not a proper servant of Damokos as she still has her soul. She describes a pit in the Shadowfell where all the souls are taken, Damokos collecting them. It is guarded by soul reavers, the things we fought earlier.
- Bel’Turath, the capital of the old tiefling empire, is where Damokos is hiding.
- The Elendar have been working for Damokos for…well over a century. Surprise!
- We decide to blow up the bridges and collapse the tower, though it takes some work to convince Riia to come with us…we tempt her with treasure, despite her not wanting to work with stupid, naïve surfacers.
- We’ve taken so long that the reinforcements are at our door—!
- Edward starts casting the teleportation ritual back to Amarak while the rest of us prepare to fend off the attackers. Roswyn helps casting, tag teaming.
- Perra anvil-traps the door. Carkal flies out the window to set the charges on the bridges.
- Perra, Ozymandias, and Riia left to HOLD THE LINE.
- FISTICUFFS
- Just as Ozymandias falls, the portal flares to life! Roswyn quickly heals him, just as Carkal BURSTS IN THROUGH THE WINDOW, CHARGES SET!
- And then he gets dominated. THEN IT IS A RACE TO GET US ALL THROUGH THE PORTAL AHHHH
- WE MAKE IT ALL SAFELY! THOUGH AT THE ELEVENTH HOUR EDWARD WAS IMMOBILIZED OH NOES
- We’re back in Amarak!
- We note that though Perra did what he could to restrain Carkal (not much), he did manage to knock Carkal’s pack loose, which remains in Amarak. Carkal, alas, lunged through the portal and freed himself.

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In Which We Are All In the Closet, Are Quite Nearly Dreadnought Chow, and Ozymandias Throws Rocks. Again.

(This was the last full log I wrote for last year’s campaign. I believe this one is placed after the session Laura covered for me. It was originally played 5/13.)

When last we left our heroes, we were about to face an arch mage that was quite justifiably pissed off that we’d burst into his tower and started killing his mages. Of course, meeting justifiably incensed foes had never stopped us from kicking their asses before…

And, vengeance-driven though he was, it seemed seemed like after taking enough of what we were dishing out the Archmage was on the cusp of flying away. But Carkal leapt out of the window after him and gave chase—! Dominating the Archmage into flying back towards our loving weaponry, though we were saved the trouble of finishing him off when he stepped in one of our bear traps. That had an anvil in it.

Pleased with this turn of events, we looted the room we were in, as well as an animal-skin rug of dubious origin, before hiding ourselves in a handy closet and portaling to the Astral Sea for some R&R. Riia, alas, had been knocked unconscious some time earlier and was tossed into a Haversack so she could recover.

We spent our vacation in the Astral Sea floating about semi-transparently, watching rock formations slowly drift by between the clouds. Edward and Carkal busied themselves learning the rituals we’d stolen from the mages. Roswyn worked on her perpetual epic-in-progress for a bit before joining Perra and Ozymandias in playing a few board games to pass the time. Alas, our relaxing vacation could not last forever—we soon noticed one of the numerous rock formations floating in our general direction. We watched in apprehension as it drew ever closer over the course of a day, winding lazily between clouds. Suddenly, it stopped in place—before beelining straight towards us. As it neared us, we realized that what we’d thought was a rock formation was in fact an enormous monster, a nearly spherical beast covered in scales and spikes, its gaping maw lined with teeth. Protruding from either side of its mouth were two long pincers. A quick knowledge check told us that we were about to face an Astral Dreadnaught.

Still floating in space, we engaged it in fisticuffs. It quickly set about attempting to swallow us, sending us to the airless demiplane that lurked within its belly…still, we proved too rich for its blood and prevailed! Once our wounds were seen to, we snapped back to the material plane—specifically the bit that was contained a closet in the drow mage tower. We cast the Shadow Walk ritual and stepped out into the Shadowfell. We found ourselves in a facsimile of the tower we’d been in before, standing on a ledge gazing out over the city. The tower itself seemed to be a long-abandoned ruin. Casting darklight in hopes of avoiding the dark beasts that lurked in the shadows by avoiding visible light, we picked our way down the tower.

The darklight seemed faint and timid, its light extending feebly. At the edges of our visions, dark tendrils crawled over the city’s ruins and at the far end of the cavern we could see a yawning pit filled with pale patches of razor-sharp crystals. As we approached the chasm, Riia warned us that dark creatures moved among the chasm. Yet we were not deterred: we set about climbing down the chasm, though the constantly shifting shadows played havoc on our nerves and meant we had no idea where the ground was until we reached it. In the pit of the chasm, the dark seemed more oppressive than ever, and our light even more feeble. We followed Riia’s directions as she guided to a patch of crystals. A small creature, no more than a foot wide waved tentacles in our direction, but we avoided it.

Walking on, we found ourselves on the edge of the precipice that looked out over a seemingly bottomless cavern. Our light dimly illuminated a patch of crystals glittering just below. Ozymandias, in his infinite wisdom, threw a rock at it. The sound echoed off the cavern walls and fell down…we could not hear it reach the bottom, if there was one to be reach. Carkal decided to rappel down to the crystals in order to examine them properly, and just as he was embarking on that unwise venture dark beasts coalesced out of the shadows, encircling us. They were twelve feet tall, composed of some dark blue energy, rippling with muscles and claws and ghastly featureless faces. A ghostly chill rippled over us as they approached, even as we readied our weapons, and we felt the life being slowly sucked from our bodies…

Even more hitherto unknown enemies approached us, hiding at the edges of our vision behind rocky outcrops; humanoid shapes with warped faces bearing huge eyes that gazed deep into the depths of our souls (only applicable to those of us still with souls, of course). Still, we were not deterred—and prepared to fight our way to freedom.

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