Posted on February 8, 2013
The Acts of the Lords of Rannick, XC
Yeah, XC, so it’ll be an long post because it covers two sessions. Probably not, this has been slow going, with many hundreds of hit points to wade through. Still they saved the world. Kinda.
Still in the Pinnacle of Avarice.
Okay we left them in a maze, after Kerplak got all hot and bothered about possible Sci-Fi sound effects coming from behind the set of unpleasantly runed doors. As soon as he reached out and touched the doors, the entire group (minus angel) were transported to a nightmarish realm of twisting ways and dead end paths.
Lost and stumbling through the confusing maze, they were beset by their greatest fears made manifest in the form of ghostly attackers. Brushing these off, they continued to stumble around and be beset until some bright spark realised that the way to leave the maze was to _____ the maze. At which point they all returned to the point right outside the runed doors. They asked the angel, who reported that they had been gone for about half an hour and no, she didn’t know what had happened – the party had just disappeared.
Losing their nerve, they decided to backtrack and look for some different, less trapped doors to go through. They had passed a set of doors on their way to the room in which the angel waited. So they went back to those.
After carefully listening and checking for traps (Halvard got in on this, I think because the Ulfen now has serious misgivings about Kerplak’s abilities) they opened the double doors and found a cozy, well appointed room, with luxurious pillows and throw rugs covering the floor. A large fireplace in one corner of the room made it quite nice and warm. There were three exits from this room and Kerplak chose the leftmost to scout out. From behind the door he heard slurping, belching sounds, and the faint cracking of bone, as though someone was trying to speed-eat a rack of ribs (extra sauce) with their hands tied behind their back. As they did this, Arradin – and only Arradin – searched the room but found nothing. Because that isn’t her goddamn job.
Turning himself invisible, the gnome led the way into the room, which contained two enormous… things. The things wobbled their way towards the party covering the area in a nauseating cloud of thick stenchmist. Stenchmist.
The fight didn’t last very long. Arradin and Halvard found that whenever they struck the monstrosities they were covered in gouts of foul blood and digestive acids. Halvard also fell victim to a Grease spell. The old ones are the best, eh? Still, with hacking from Arradin, Halvard and the Angel and missile assistance from Kerplak off to one side, the Hungerers were eventually killed. Searching them presents a problem, as they weigh 20,000lbs. But no one was too eager to go much further than peeling the rings off them.
So back out to the next door, right? No. The party lost their nerve again and decided that the scary doors were less scary than these doors, which evidently had big inside-out lion looking things trying to shove them in their massive maws. So they back-tracked to the big runed doors after some healing.
From behind the door, they could still hear the bleep-bloop-ooooeeeee-blip of some outlandish technology at work. This time, Kerplak deactivated the magical trap on the door and then opened it.
Inside they found a room lined with arcane devices humming and flickering with energy. Connected by copper pipes and hoses of some strange material, the multitude of devices were linked to a 40ft tall stone and metal ring at the end of the room. Glowing with runes, the ring surrounded a rippling image, like a tapestry of light showing a view of a magnificent city. In the image, races of all kinds walked the broad and golden streets of a mighty metropolis, shining with precious metals, glittering with jewels. Pennants fluttered from spires high above the streets before a back drop of the Mhar Massif. The party were viewing Xin Shalast as it once was at the height of Karzoug’s empire. The scope of the view was, all at once so large that it showed the vastness of the city yet also so detailed that they could make out interactions between its inhabitants.
All of this technology was not unattended. Quite the opposite, a dozen robed Men of Leng flitted between devices, tapping unlabeled buttons, shifting levers slightly and tweaking dials here and there. The party tried to get some kind of response from them, Ron being diplomatic I believe, but they barely glanced at him as they continued whatever weird science this was.
Tersplink decided to put some fear into these men… the same men who will cut their own throats just to prove a point. The gnome stepped forward and in an intimidating way demanded that they – … They charged him.
Tearing off face scarves, the men revealed their complex jaw arrangements which seemed to involve more joints and barbels than the traditional human arrangement. Their tongues, certainly, were non traditional, being several barbed tentacles with which they sought to tear the skin from the interlopers. En masse, the MoL crowded the party at the entrance to the room, howling and shrieking in anger.
Arradin managed to get a hit in before the Angel swept her Holy longsword around in a graceful arc and annihilated a MoL that had stepped up to her. He literally flew apart, gobbets of his flesh turning to motes of light and whipping towards the portal at the other end of the room. One of the runes on the outer ring of the portal went dim and the party became aware of something getting closer on the other side of the portal. Albedon cast Icy Prison on one of the men, trapping him in 14″ of ice, which is… kind of badass. Tersplink brought up a Wall of Ice behind the men, bisecting the room.
The Angel and Arradin, meanwhile, continued swinging around swords, the Angel reliably carving her Holy weapon through these evildoers with considerable ease. Spellcasters stole a couple of kills with low level spells. Kerplak, invisible as the Men rushed them, nimbly ducked between the oncoming attackers and arrived behind them. Dagfinn, finally taking a break from answering all his fanmail and returning to adventuring took up a Frightening song, scaring all but one of the Men away, causing them to run 20ft to the Wall of Ice then turn and resume fighting. Ron had been flicking shuriken at the Men to good effect, but as the fight started to wind down he successfully grappled and pinned a MoL, with Arradin stepping in to gut the alien with her sword.
As all this was going on, two things were happening; Albedon were quickly interrogating the MoL trapped in ice and MoL were being slaughtered left right and center, flying apart at the point of death and into the increasingly unstable portal. The mech-magic items that powered or regulated the portal were in bad shape now too; boiling over, imploding, sparking dangerously or bursting into blue flame. At first all they got from the trapped MoL was screaming, but Albedon and Tersplink persisted – what will happen if that portal is destroyed? The MoL eventually calmed down enough to scream that Karzoug would return to this world.
So as the last of the fighting MoL died and the portal device began to rapidly deteriorate, (helped along by Kerplak dicking around with the mechanisms), they girded their loins for the emergence of the Runelord from the portal.
What actually emerged wasn’t the Runelord, which is good news. The MoL wasn’t lying, but what was probably more important was what would not happen if the portal was destroyed. As only Ron appeared to recall, what would not happen was that the entity Mhar would not be released by the redirected soul energy and the world would not be eaten as the nourishing caul of the newly reborn Elder God.
So they just saved the world. That’s pretty great, right?
It’ll make Karzoug happy too, because now – or at least in 35 hours – he’ll have a world to tyrannize. I imagine that his gratitude will extend as far as having the party and everyone they know dipped in boiling Platinum, rather than some lesser metal that wouldn’t show his full appreciation.
Except that the destruction of the portal had caused the image to shift to that of a shattered and crumbling Xin-Shalast, far beyond its current decrepitude. And when you fuck around with that much time-viewing, as Dagfinn knows, you attract things. Things that seek to prevent the manipulation of time for reasons entirely their own. The Hounds of Tindalos. In his Liao-inspired visions, Dagfinn had seen a towering Hound tearing apart the mountainsides with his very gaze. Now, stepping from the collapsing portal, the Hound of Tindalos filled the end of the room with thick blue fog. Tersplink Dispel-ed that and the party saw the huge creature advance, its gaze causing the remaining equipment and considerable amounts of masonry to fly apart. It swept its gaze over Arradin, but she stood resolute and the powerful warping energy passed over her.
Arradin, Ron, Dagfinn and the Angel moved in to tackle the thing. Tersplink found that he was unable to find any kind of mind to affect with his spells. The Hound attacked, clawing at the attackers. Its thin, bladelike tongue passed right through Ron’s head, incorporeally flaying some of the smarts off of Ron’s brain. But the Hound was no match for the now phenomenally outfitted Arradin, who is a gleaming golden tank. The Angel is a handy ally to have around too, at least when you’ve agreed ahead of time that Evil Must Die. The Hound collapsed in on itself, weighed down by the multitude of attacks. Kerplak hurt himself, and his crossbow, but when doesn’t he?
With that, I think, they started to think about resting with only two unexplored areas of the tower to go.
Sean brought macaroons this week and Rolland brought cookie dough cupcakes last week. This means my long plan to have baked goods brought to my house isn’t just working, it is working reliably! I think I’m giving the CA award to Ben for Tersplink’s build. He has created a great utility-sorceror who can pretty much help out in any situation, often in creative ways. You tend to see it making a difference when everyone else is running low on spells, so that’s why I’m noticing it more.
Also, people are losing track of what they are doing. That’s understandable since the goal hasn’t changed much recently, but there have been many obstacles. And the goal is complicated. But that’s what the blog is for…
Here is 9000xp in a pot. That pot will be divided by every player who responds to this post. Only one person responding? They’ll get all 9000xp. Two people? 4500xp apiece.
“Draw me like one of your French girls.”