The adventure continues! Last time, our heroes delved to the bottom of the catacombs under Castle Dalca, battling the undead, completing bizarre angelic rituals, discovering pillaged tombs, and collecting powerful relics and weapons…
Play time: 4 hours
- Drew the Eldritch Knight – Level 5
- Ward the Gloom Stalker – Level 5
- Rainen the Beast Master – Level 5
- Hugo the Knowledge Cleric/Time Wizard – Level 1/4
- Tiodhloc (Asmund) the Divine Soul Sorcerer – Level 5
From the safety of the west end of the bridge, Drew summoned the silver staff to his hand. A moment later, the ruins of Castle Dalca collapsed into the catacombs beneath it. A huge cloud of ash and dust billowed into the sky and over the castle walls.
Meanwhile, the young ranger Gavril jogged up. He was glad to see the party was still alive, and pleased as punch to meet the famous Yakov Vanator. After a quick chat, Gavril and Yakov decided to head home to Rukesti while the party went north to find the mysterious Oracle.
But then a figure emerged from the dust cloud, a corpse dragging a sword on the cobblestones, yelling out threats… it was Irina the Inescapable, yet again! But just as the revenant templar shambled out onto the bridge, a second figure appeared. A woman in black strode up and tore Irina’s head off and hurled the corpse into the river below.
The party recognized the now-living corpse of Dark Queen Lerazia Dalca, who had vanished from her tomb. She thanked the party for destroying the undead in the catacombs. Then she told the party to stay on the western side of the river, and that she would protect the eastern side from evil. Then she smashed the bridge, and vanished into the mist.
The party headed north, following the River Moroz in search of the tower of the Oracle. Along the way, Ward spotted a strange mass of tentacles on the river bank, digging into the earth and eating vermin and fish. He told the group, and Drew went to see for himself, making no effort to hide himself. The monster sensed him, and attacked!
Hugo and Drew took point, trying to beat the tentacles into submission, but they only managed to slice off a few of the hundred tendrils. The monster tried repeated to shove a tentacle into Hugo’s mouth, but the wizard used his time magic to escape.
Then Rainen used her magic helmet to connect with the creature and sense its thoughts: “Feed. Enter. Control.” This got the monster’s attention and it raced toward her, plunged a tentacle into her mouth and into her direwolf Sasha’s mouth. They both instantly lost control of their bodies, and the monster puppeted them around to attack Drew.
Now the whole team ran up to encircle the beast. Asmund tried countless times to grab the tentacles away from his friends, but couldn’t connect. When Ward dealt some vicious damage, the monster freed Rainen and took control of him instead, using his Crone’s Claw to magically wound Asmund.
Drew jumped into the creature to free Ward, and then Hugo plunged in to free Drew. Hugo whirled his holy chain-sickle and finally cut the abomination to pieces. Rainen quickly cauterized Asmund’s wound before it could fester and kill him.
Everyone was disgusted. But alive!
Rolling on the River
As night fell, the team found the island and saw the Oracle’s tower. Drew swam the river and tied a rope for the others to use. Ward and Asmund sat on a log and pulled themselves across. Hugo used his new Bitter End sword to freeze a path for him and Rainen, though Sasha had to repeatedly save the wizard from slipping off.
On the far shore, they were greeted by several tall tree-people, the Knights Timber. They demanded the party leave their weapons, and the party agreed. At the top of the hill they entered the twisted white tower.
Vision for a Price
Inside, they met the oracle Dreymondi, a gold-skinned woman with tentacle hair and tentacle fingers. She commanded thousands of floating mirror shards and offered visions of power, for a price.
Hugo accepted the price, and she placed a small wriggling creature in his bellybutton. Then she showed him a special mirror that revealed visions of his own past and future. Hugo exchanged notes with his older self and learned that Old Hugo had failed to find “her” and that the solution to their personal mystery was something “older”, not found in any book.
Drew also accepted the price, got a bug shoved in his tummy, and saw a vision of “justice”. He saw the Crossroads, where ghostly wraiths clawed at a large circular stone beneath a frayed noose.
During this exchange, Asmund left the tower.
Rainen and Ward had a thoughtful discussion with Dreymondi about power and faith, Chaos and Law, and the difference between the angels they serve and the creature Shernavoth that the oracle serves.
Hugo returned to the riverside and had one of the Knights Timber hurl him over the river, where he landed gently and resumed studying his book to better understand his meeting with his older self.
Meanwhile, the Knights Timber offered Drew his pick of the weapons they had collected over the years, and he got himself a shiny shovel and a smith’s hammer for Rainen.
Then the rest of the team spent two hours assembling a rickety sled. Drew used the Bitter End sword to freeze the river and Ward guided Sasha to push the sled across the ice. They slipped and slid at terrifying speed, and crashed safely on the far shore.
And that’s where we ended!
This was a great session. We got a quick cameo from Irina, and then met the undead queen Lerazia. What’s her deal? The combat with the tentacle monster was dynamic and crazy, and I think it was one of my better designed solo monsters. Crossing the river was fun shenanigans, and then the meeting with the Oracle brought in some fantastic roleplaying from the whole group. Exciting choices, interesting insights, strange possibilities.
And then we wrapped up with more river-related shenanigans. I wouldn’t change a thing. Hopefully some of my players will want to use the upcoming Long Rest as a chance for a little solo-questing, or perhaps a return to talk more with the Oracle. We shall see!