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Quick summary of session 20
We spent 11 days on the river to the Parched Dunes. Once we began exploring, we met a group of gnoll slavers. We defeated them and took the ex-slaves to Ipeq (4 days).

After returning to our search for the tomb of Chisisek, we lost a camel to a bulette, had a nice conversation with a shedu, and then ran into a behir. It ate Jes.

We killed the behir, extracted Jes' body, and took her back to Ipeq for a Raising. Since then, we've returned to the riverbank where we've disembarked before, and are thinking about exploring northeast, even though Pharasma suggested north-northwest would take us to where we wanted to go.

It's Oathday, Gozran 23rd, still early spring
Session: Game Session 20 - Saturday, Feb 09 2019 from 10:00 PM to 3:00 AM
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Ever Onward
While we were resting, another kobold named Aga wandered in, escorting Trinique. Sparrow and Smalls leapt up to escort her back. Meepo was still looking pretty bruised from the revenant fight, so I used some of my magic to heal him. It wasn't much, but it was nice of him to act so impressed. Frank and I examined the black candle a bit closer, too. It was weirdly cool and wouldn't go out or catch on anything, and covered in arcane runes. Frank decided to take it along for more light, and Trinique left to scout ahead.

The eastern side of the hallway up ahead ended in a cave-in, while the western side had another door. Shuffling tracks that looked like they came from the twig blights went south down the hall towards us. Further north the hall was lined with cells, with scurrying noises coming from the inside. I wanted to avoid those. At the end of the hall it opened up into another room, but a large open pit trap blocked the way. Another one was open on the west end of the room too. Trinique said she could see a similar looking dragon fountain as before, but according to Candy this one read, "Let there be death".

We decided to avoid the rats in the cells and the pit traps, and instead took the first hall door leading west. It was plain and nondescript, and none of us heard sound beyond it so we proceeded onwards. It opened up into another empty room, but we found more human-sized boot prints leading to another door on the north wall. I noticed some damage on the door, like someone had hammered three nails in a triangle formation about two feet off the floor. We thought the door might be boarded up, but it opened easily when I tried the latch.

I slowly eased the door open, and found the source of the nails to be a large metal bell nailed to the center. If anyone swung the door open too quickly it'd ring and let anyone up ahead know we were coming. The room up ahead was completely dark, but by the light of my lantern I could make out scattered caltrops on the ground just in front of me. Jax walked on ahead without taking any light, wincing as he accidentally stepped on one caltrop, then crying out when he hit another. I could barely make out his shadow 30 feet in front of me when two arrows shot out from the darkness beyond, clattering against the wall. It was another trap!

Trinique threw Frank's candle to get some more light in the room, and I ran to to bring my lantern as well. Just beyond the edge of the lights radius I could make out two shadowy figures hiding behind a battlement wall. We all returned fire but the darkness and the wall made it hard to land a hit. Meepo ran in to help Jax and I in the attack, but two more goblins joined the fray and rained down arrows on the three of us. Screeching, "Retreat!" Meepo ran back to the cover of the door, just as another arrow got me in the stomach.

Next thing I knew, Jax was leaning over me, softly singing a healing song. Candy took down one of the goblins, and I threw out a pinpointing spell on the three ones left. But it failed.

I panicked. I ran. Obad-Hai, I thought Jax was right on my heels. I should have grabbed him. I should have made sure he made it out with me. I should have been better. Gods damn it.

Three arrows sank deeply into his chest as Jax sprinted forward with a strangled cry. He went barreling over the wall, and another goblin shriek rang out as he took it down, then eerie silence. A moment later, a low whistle from Frank using the Night Caller.

I peeked out. Incredibly, Jax was up again! He bashed the brains out of one goblin while another, also risen from the floor, attacked the final creature. My heart leapt to my throat but Jax looked... wrong. His movements were jerky and unhinged. Jax was gone, and whatever magic Frank called upon with the crystal whistle turned him into someone awful. Finally it was silent.

I pulled the bell off the door and stuffed it in my pack. Trinique swept through the room and collected all the caltrops. We made our way across the room to the battlement to survey the remains. Beyond the wall, another door opened into a hallway leading south. Around the corner to the west side we found a larger empty room covered in straw, with the zombified bodies of the goblin and Jax lying still in the center. Globs of glowing ooze dotted the walls, casting a dull green glow. I could make out 5 practice dummies lines up against a similar battlement wall, with 3 doors to the north, northwest, and southwest. Frank suggested we burn Jax's body before the goblins could find it, so Candy, Trinique, and I helped sort through his belongings.

Jax had an interesting collection of supplies on him. Deep in his pack we found a very fine set of robes, like what a noble would wear. Candy found a letter that looked to be for a noble from Brindol, and a surprisingly delicate, elven-looking signet ring. Maybe those will help us find his family when this is all over. I added his song sheets, ink, and quill to my own writing bag. I'm sure his relatives will want his music. As a memento.

We set a pyre and continued onward. There are people we can still save.

The southwest door was held shut by a heavy lock, and we could hear high pitched voices just beyond. Frank managed to break the lock, and inside were four small cages. Three of them held kobolds, and Meepo eagerly bounded in to open the locks. The last one held a gnome, and his face broke out in the biggest smile at us.

The gnome introduced himself as Erky Timbers, and said a goblin ambushed attacked him on the Old Road a few months ago, and he's been forced to dig tunnels as a prisoner here ever since. Obad-Hai, I can't imagine being underground that long. The constant darkness is getting to me after barely a few days. I asked if he'd seen any human prisoners recently, and he said Talgen, Sharwen, and Sir Braford were here a few days ago, but were taken to Belak. Karakas was killed before they were taken prisoner. We're too late. Again.

Erky thinks Belak is some sort of spellcaster, and he and the goblins have an enchanted grove where golden fruit grows from something called the Gulthias Tree. The name doesn't make much sense to me; history says a man named Gulthias secretly lived as a noble in Brindol by day, and vampire feeding on the common folk by night. He was a scourge in the city until he disappeared, and no one knows what became of him. I don't understand how a tree named after such a monster of a man grows a fruit that brings life. The deathly white apple does make some sense, though.

Erky and Meepo eyed each other uneasily, and the gnome seemed on edge at the idea of us rescuing the kobolds' pet dragon. I tried to explain it, but I think I just made it worse. Now Meepo was upset too. Frank said something in gnommish to Erky, and he seemed to relax a bit.

The northwest door led to where the goblins live, according to Erky, so we went through the north door instead. Beyond, we found another hallway leading to the west, with a door directly ahead and another at the left end of the hall. More ooze lined the walls, and when I took a closet look, it was weirdly solid and rough, almost like bark, and smell like dirt and sulfur and something else I couldn't place.

Trinique and I heard goblin voices from the northern door, while the west one just had quiet thumping beyond it. Meepo said it smelled like sweets! None of use could pick the lock on the door, so we had to resort to breaking it down again. Loudly. The door swung open to reveal a small white dragon crouched on a table! Meepo was ecstatic! Frank and I, not so much, as the white reared back to unleash a flurry of icy breath in our direction. We managed to slam the door shut just in time, but turned around to see four goblins had joined us in the hall from the northern room.

We were surrounded. Uh-oh.

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Tags: Journal , pc death , Quinn
Epic!
No races, three deaths, and ANOTHER library!
{Day 38} We intended to return to the Inner Archive, but we were intercepted by a servant of Muminofrah. She was in despair, we had to come immediately to her pleasure barge. She. was. So. Bored. We spent the whole day trying to cheer her up, with only partial success at this.
On the way back to our lodgings, we were attacked in a crowded street by trained assassins! Amestri and Ostog were killed instantly, Sallah immediately after! The remainder of the party killed the three attackers and hustled our corpses out of there. Khismia gave Muminofrah the tragic news of the murders of her favorites. It was so sad! Her Excellency insisted that the Pharasmans bill her for the Raise and Restoration spells!

{Day 39} Several expensive spells later...
We visit Her Excellency to express our thanks, despite our weakened condition. She introduces us to her friend visiting from Ipeq, the noblewoman Talibah. Ostog, having just been raised a few days before, is particularly fatigued, and returns to his house in Wati to recover.
{Day 40} This time, we did make it to the Inner Archive, though Ostog stayed home to continue his recuperation.
Behind the disgusted face, the left door led to a square, cobweb-filled, room filled with 16 sarcophagi. Behind one of those sarcophagi, we found another square room with a vast collection of scrolls! One of the sarcophagi is labelled for Khmenti. This sarcophagus had signs of being opened before, and when we opened it, a golem mummy attacked us!
Behind the golem, we found the mummy of Khmenti, and learned that this room was the Hall of Lost Curators, and all of those here had been mummified alive.
The Secret Archive behind the Hall revealed the Scrolls of Inquiry that had been hinted at earlier.
- Sacred Order of the Blue Feather took the Mask and Heart of the Sky Pharaoh, because his ib and Ka were inside. They wanted to learn his Shori secrets.
The Heart was sent to Sothis, and hidden beneath Azghaad's Spire
The Mask was sent to a shrine in Wati (the Erudite Eye, of course)
- Khmenti's notes about the architecture of Hakotep's Tomb were sent to the Vault of Hidden Wisdom in Tephu, which can only be seen from atop Ra's Tower of Glory (since destroyed) on Midsummer's Day.

We found a small side tunnel, which had nothing inside.
The secret passage from the Secret Archive to the Inner Archive was labeled the Way of Obedience.
At the end of the day, the adventurers travelled home to Wati for the night. But first, in the central corridor junction, the pile of bones that we had been warily eyeing became a bone golem, blocking our exit! It even had a crocodile's skull on top. Novid led the smashing of it, and it slid (greasily) down the ramp into the Curator's room.

{Day 41} We returned to the Great Chamber of Knowledge, intent on recreating the location of the sun on Midsummer, so as to pinpoint the location of the entrance of the Vault of Hidden Wisdom. Ostog stayed home, as before.

Session: Game Session 18 - Saturday, Nov 10 2018 from 7:00 PM to 3:00 AM
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A race, a death, and another library
Day 34: We return to the library's Inner Sanctum. We thank Ud'jebet again for yesterday's aid, and I give her a ring that I'd picked up in our work. In today's research, we gather one useful bit.
- A curator's catalog from 103 years ago, the Scrolls of Inquiry were moved to the Dark Depository-- another Nethysite sealed library.
Ud'jebet's never heard of this library.
The Inner Sanctum's librarian says it's here in Tephu, but access is controlled by Hatt'iya Deka (of course). This is where the most dangerous tomes are kept.

So, we go round to Deka's office and request another appointment. On a lark, as we wait, most of the group wandered the streets of the Wadjet's Walk neighborhood, looking for the entrance to the Dark Depository. It must be hidden, since no one spots it.

Meanwhile, I take the ferry across to Wati, to sign the deed for my new house (bought from Seh-Hosep), move my small pile of things from the inn there, and spend the night.

Day 35: I take the early-morning ferry across the river, to meet everyone for breakfast in the Inn of the Desert Winds. Just in time, as they receive a summons from Her Excellency Muminofrah!

At the Palace of Gentle Reeds, she's noticed the many camels about the city, and has called for a chariot race through the streets! Eager to please her (and win favors), we agree to pair up and join the race. It turned out to be very dangerous, with almost all of the racing teams crashing or being attacked by citizens.

Amestri & Novid took an early lead, but then wiped out past the halfway mark. I was knocked out when Khismia & I crashed, but her magic was able to bring me back.

Her Excellency is disturbed by the violence and has the Watch put onto it right away, and as a reward for being good sports, grants us our firman to visit the Dark Depository. Hatt'iya Deka (reluctantly) passes on the permit. The hidden entrance for the Depository is a grate in the sidewalk, so we really shouldn't have found it yesterday.
Day 36: The grate opens to a shaft with a ladder, 450 feet down!

But first, double bronze doors with a greater glyph placed on them-- Knock spell works better than Dispel. We found a 4-way intersection beyond. Each of the remaining exits have a statue, with differing faces: Sad, Frightened, and Furious.

Sad corridor: Jes set off a flame-strike trap, but found a magical headband (un-ID'd yet)
Frightened corridor: Behind a secret door, there were 3 (shadow mastiffs); Amestri fled from their baying cry, but we finished them off. Here were the Shadow Stacks, where we could do better research, as the cataloging was improved.
- Scrolls of Inquiry [relocated here 103 years ago] are mentioned, they had the Blue Feathers' confessions, which were hushed up to cover Nethysite involvement in the theft of the Sky Pharaoh's artifacts.
Furious corridor: Something dropped from the ceiling, a clockwork winged centaur armed with chains! (A zelekhut inevitable, guardian). Amestri shows it our permission to research, which it grudgingly grants. Amestri is placed under a geas: to research ONLY the Sky Pharaoh while we are here.

There is a hidden hallway behind the Furious statue: another room of scrolls. One pile of them radiates abjuration magic, so we leave it alone. This is the Inner Archive of the Dark Depository, and it is packed with scrolls!
- from the personal journal of Kh'menti, who was obsessed with the Sky Pharaoh and his Mask: "Mask of the Forbidden Pharoah holds a piece of his ka, his soul, which should grant abilities." He was on a quest to learn more about Hakotep and unravel his mysteries. The Sacred Order of the Blue Feather was hoping to commune with him and learn his secrets, their results were ambiguous.
About this time, I spoke aloud that I had "found something", and that triggered the glyph trapping the pile of scrolls that we had left alone for now. IT was a Slay Living glyph, and I was killed.

It was after dark by the time everyone else brought my corpse up the 450 foot ladder and across the river to Wati.

Day 37: I got better. Wati's Pharasman temple was pleased to Raise and Restore myself, for which I am very grateful. Our party funds took a hit, though, so I spent some time selling off some more of our accumulated wealth, and unpacking my belongings in my new house.

I set up Sigrun in my spare bedroom as a house-sitting job, where she could also write her novel.

Tomorrow, we will return.
Session: Game Session 17 - Saturday, Oct 06 2018 from 6:00 PM to 2:00 AM
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Down under the Observatory, part 2
(Day 23)
We returned to the Observatory and began looking into the room adjacent to the "Catalogue of Days", which was the "Catalogue of Nights", a repository of deaths of ancient Wati.
A room across the hallway from that was full of sarcophagi and mummified animals, including an elephant.

Down the stairs, we found a room with blue tiles laid across the whole floor. These were a magical trap that flung the tiles with great force across the room. Amestri disabled the magic, and we moved on.
Beyond that, large doors led to an almost-octagonal room, very large, dominated by a 15'-tall statue of Pharasma as Matron. It had hieroglyphs on the walls, interrupted by floor-to ceiling curtains. Most of the curtains hid alcoves which contained shrines to different aspects of Pharasma.
One curtain led to a dormitory area. In two of the beds were deceased women, well dressed and not mummified. Magical and medical examination showed them to be young priestesses of Calistria, dead from exposure to the desert. Their corpses were preserved by magic, but they were not undead. Since Nebta-khufre had recently come from Tefu, perhaps they came through the desert from there? One large bed in this area had been slept in recently, and had many notes in his hand.
Another alcove hid a crypt thing, an undead guardian who told us to leave. He magicked away Khismia and Amestri, fortunately they did not go far, and then began to battle with us.
Khismia only went as far as the unoccupied dormitory. Amestri ended up in a long room occupied by a ghastly half-orc. She fled, and luckily ended up in the same room as everyone else.
Ostog held the ghast while the others dealt with the crypt thing, then Khismia moved to cast upon the ghast. Unfortunately, everyone's timing was off, and the ghast ripped Khismia apart before Sallah, Jes, and Novid could kill it.
We took her body with us, and returned to the Pharasman temple to request her return. Ostog sold off most of the magical cloaks and other items we'd collected to pay for the spell's components. We all rested for the night.

Day 24
When we returned to the room we had just left, the bodies of the undead had not been altered, and the tile-floor-trap had not only restarted, but had replaced the tiles destroyed in yesterday's attack.
Beyond this, and down more steps, was a silent room that had deep pits along both walls. These had once been fire pits, it seemed. A bubbly fountain lay in the center of the room, in front of a large statue of Anubis. This Graven Guardian fought us for a long time before I was able to finish it with a Ray of Acid.
After that was a Really Big Round Room with a pyramidal platform in its center, a walkway high around the outside of the room held up by statues of Pharasma. Bodies lay all around the room, but two mummies flanked the steps up the platform.
Atop that stood Nebta-Khufre, wearing a very magical golden mask. We fought. It was a LONG Fight. My spells kept him at bay most of the time, while the others fought two mummies and 6 zombies that he raised from among the many corpses on the floor.

After finally defeating him and his protectors, we took all of the magic items from the room and returned to inform the Pharasmins of our efforts. The mask was indeed that of the Forgotten Pharaoh, and was highly magical.

Days 25-26 We rested, and then escorted an eager Amestri (hopefully fully recovered from mummy rot?) into the Observatory's several genealogical libraries. There were no more monsters remaining in the lower levels.
There was an interesting room, with a miniature representation of Wati laid out on the floor, complete with running water, miniature people, animals, and buildings. The only difference is that a large obelisk (representing Pharasma's Judgement) arose from the site of the current Mausoleum.
Ostog busied himself with the spellbook of Nebta-Khufre, as well as any plans or other information he may have left in his papers.

Seti the Crocodile was busy with a 2-day-long ritual, intended to lay to rest the remaining undead who rose in response to Nebta's actions.

The Pharasmins had almost no information on the Sky Pharaoh, Forgotten as he was. They suggest the libraries of Tephu for future research.

We shall head there, but after a week or so of preparations and recovery from our labors here in Wati.
Session: Game Session 15 - Saturday, Jul 28 2018 from 6:00 PM to 1:00 AM
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