Posted by : David Guyll February 26, 2012

Cast

  • Iron Jack (made human invented warlord)
  • Danh (male goliath serpent shaman)
  • Lothelle (female moon elf bladesinger)

Wandering through the city, the party eventually found a ziggurat. As they approach it alien runes began to glow, and they can see a spire jutting from the top, orbited by faintly glowing stones. The bite marks on Jack's arm had grown into mouths, and they began to whisper. Inside the ziggurat they found a channel filled with green water, with crystalline growths encrusted on the edge. Somehow Danh knew that these shards could boost their capabilities, and was able to easily remove a few clusters.

They find a pool deep underground, filled with fish-like humanoids. They attempt to speak to Jack, and after it is clear he cannot speak Deep Speech they begin to move towards Danh and Lothelle. Danh brandishes the rod they found, and they bow before him. They motion towards Lothelle, and a voice inside Danh's head tells him that if he sacrifices Lothelle that he will be given great power. Danh refuses and throws the rod aside, and the fish-people attack. They slaughter most of them before an aboleth arrives and halts the battle. It tries to manipulate Jack and Danh, but fails, and the characters flee.

Back in the city they try to escape, finding an edge after several hours of wandering about. They find a huge pit and end up confronting the star cultist leader from before (the one that shed its skin and scuttled away as a cluster of tentacles), along with a pair of grells. During the fight Lothelle manages to slice his head off and blast him into the pit, but he returns, his head replaced with a cluster of tentacles and a massive, worm-like horror. It eats Lothelle and as Danh tries to free himself from a grell, Iron Jack is telekinetically hoisted 50 feet in the air by the star cultist. It offers to spare him, seeing as he has already been infected, and Jack responds by throwing his orichalcum axe at it.

The axe is deflected, and Jack is also tossed into the worm's maw. Danh finally manages to kill the grell, and is badly injured from the fall. He throws Tempest and skewering the star cultist, but it lifts him high above the ground before dropping him, and he seemingly dies. Inside the worm, Lothelle and Jack desperately try to carve their way out of the worm with minimal success. Danh's eyes open, glowing a bright green. His skin is covered in thick scales, and he finds that he is able to conjure powerful serpent spirits that tear apart of the star cultist, tentacles and all. He then slices off the top part of the worm, and as its remains fall to the ground Jack and Lothelle spill out (along with lots of purple ichor and entrails).

Thanks to their sunrods and sending stone, the ship is able to find them and get them off of Acamar. During the trip back to Hammerfast an animal messenger informs Lothelle that Astrazalian was destroyed, and they change course of the Feywild. On the way Jack's arm heals, and Lothelle's studies of Draconic boost her fire magic considerably. At the Feywild all that remains of Astrazalian is a crater. They examine the ruins and find nothing, so head to Gwynneon to find out what happened. She tells them that they tried to duplicate the elemental lance and something went wrong.

With one of the greatest eladrin cities destroyed, fomorians on the move, and the looming threat of the clockwork horrors in the Elemental Chaos, Jack decides that their only course is to find Moradin's forge and hope that there is some weapon there that can help them. They give her a grell's brain in exchange for the location of the forge, imparting the vision to Danh.

Behind the Scenes

Thankfully I have a copy of CthulhuTech; it gave me some great eye candy. I figured I'd throw some skill shards with them from 3rd Edition to help them out, since none of them are playing psionic characters and they can be used by basically anyone, though they just forgot that they existed anyway. Had they gone deeper into the city I might have been forced to dredge up Expanded Psionics Handbook for some cool, thematic shit, but they ended up running because in Kamon's words, "I think we are outclassed, here". To be fair, exploring the dead shell of an aberrant star that is inhabited by aboleths, mind flayers, and who knows what else is a bad idea, especially when your DM is a Lovecraft fan and knows the score; everyone goes insane and/or dies.

This came across really well when they tried to find their way out and, well, they couldn't. They ended up wandering for hours before finding a pit, and even then it was monster-infested. The battle, like all the others, went really well; they fought the grells while the star cultist stayed out of the light and kept trying to pick off Lothelle. At the mid-point she thought she was doing pretty well, blasting him with burning hands before following up with a basic attack/unseen hand combo and knocked him in the pit. When he came back with the worm they really got worried, and Josh mentioned at the end of the session that he seriously did not think they were going to make it.

All in all I think I would have done Lovecraft proud. They went to what amounts to an aberrant planet, stumbled upon eldritch horrors from beyond time and space, almost went insane (in the case of Danh) or got mutated, and then ran the fuck out of there after realizing that they were the smallest fish in that amoebic sea. Better luck next time, though to be fair they were all pretty lucky to come out alive at all. Really the only reason that Danh was not driven insane was because when the World Serpent awakened it healed him and scoured away the aberrant influence, and there are special reasons why Jack was able to shrug off the mutation.

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