Monday, June 11, 2018

Dungeons and Dragons! Part 8!!

The party was given an invitation to the grand tournament honoring the defeat of Cull and the end of the War of Rising Kings. Robank, their boss, was the guest of honor for the event, having used a note of music so pure it drove off the armies of Cull. They were being asked to compete with other heroes in a giant maze similar to the sporting maze but changed up enough to be fair to foreign competitors. This event is to show solidarity with the neighboring kingdoms as groups of heroes from almost every nation have been invited to participate. The party has had time to heal their wounds and shop as well as relay all the information they have gleaned in their travels to their boss at Tower Artifacts. Forty adventuring groups have entered in the event, most they have never seen before, and a few familiar faces. Everything seems to be going well, they had each group get ready in separate summoning circles in the Arena of Bitka with crowds filling the stands. Vendors hawk their wares and can be heard over the crowds. There are giant ice screens with scrying spells places on them to show the events transpiring within the maze and its many environments. As the event starts they saw Robank sitting upon the champions dais made for him by the founders of this event. The spell grabs them and they were sent elsewhere. The last thing they saw were cloaked figures descend on Robank with knives drawn. The party opened their eyes in a dank terrible sewer and heard a voice in their heads say: “Great sacrifices, welcome to the hero Culling. This world has so much light in it that darkness has taken matters into its own hands. Before you are various challenges to test your mettle and thin your numbers. Can you make it to my throne and free your nation from chains? Make this challenge worth it. Bring me the primal keys to face the next threat. You should not trust the heroes you have been placed in here with, many are my pawns, having killed them long ago and living among you. Once allies might be villains in disguise. Go forth heroes and face death.” They gathered themselves and started preparing for the worst, already finding themselves standing in a dank sewer. The sewer water started rippling towards the party after the druid skipped a light stone across the water so they wisely left the room using the large metal doorway behind them. Tentacles slapped futilely against the door, shaking the wall. The cleric had time to cast a divination spell to commune with his god and asked questions on which way to go, is Robank still alive, are any of my current associates traitors? He got the answers he needed and a bit more finding Robank was still alive, the way they went was a quicker path, and their group did not contain and traitors. They went east, traveling past another iron door and heard fighting from further down the hallway. There was a fire giant fighting another group of heroes and winning. The giant had just killed the other parties’ fighter and while the party deliberated on interfering murdered a cleric. The party jumped in to save the rogue and the sorcerer, killing the giant rather quickly thanks to the magic sword the warforged had claimed from the skeletons last session. As the two warriors slumped in death the characters heard this boom in to their minds: “it seems one of you has fallen, such a pity, I had hoped to torture that one myself. You see the threats here are not like your simple sporting maze, each thing here is real and willing to destroy you, body and soul.” The party interrogated the rogue and sorcerer and found out they started in a room on fire and found a room full of eight comfy beds, a cozy breakfast nook and kitchen with a fireplace. They were attacked by the giants and fled to this hallway before the giants caught up with them. They were sad for the loss of their friends and put them in a portable hole not noticing they were a little lighter. The party with their two additions traveled further down the corridors and opened the next door they found, a room again full of comfy furniture. The cleric threw a chunk of bacon on a bed and the mattress folded on itself, eating it instantly. All the furniture grew eyes and teeth and started to charge the door, even the fireplace. The party slammed the door shut, cutting off a few pseudopods in the process. They found their way further down the tunnel and the next door was in a dead end. The spot was pleasant, like subtle calming melodies were on the horizon. They grew skeptical of this obvious trap and debated about opening the door. The cleric cast a divination clairvoyance spell to look beyond the door and saw tranquil waves on the peaceful shore of an ocean, sea breezes moving the palm trees, a large city sized turtle swam lazily among a chain of small islands in the distance. Cliffs ran westward with a switch back path leading to another door in the cliff and some sort of activity on top of the cliff. Far above the turtle floating islands chained together drifted ever so slowly in the sea breeze. Some of the party believed that this was an elaborate illusion meant to trap or maim them. The bards grew restless and tried to force their way past the druid who happened to be blocking the door. The necromancer contacted an otherworldly being and got odd responses. He learned that this was not an illusion, was not near Rhadamanthus, and something they needed was within the temple on the turtle. He is not sure what he contacted but it seemed more than happy to help. They soldiered on into the unknown and found out, yes, they somehow built a saltwater ocean inside the maze, sand and all. The druid started to converse with a friendly toucan and found people had brought everything here around three months ago. The party heard the death message in their heads again as a falling body hit one of the small islands from far above and crabs the size of elephants came out of the water to eat it. The party took small boats far around the small islands to skip past the crabs and found a latticework of pirate-built landing on the turtle for docking purposes. The druid asked questions to the turtle and got vague answers back. They investigated the temple and the sorcerer and rogue extras stayed back by the necromancer’s skeletons to be out of the way and the dead were unable to cross into sacred ground. The paladin started to demand the two extras join the rest of the group while the rest of the party found the altar with a large chest on top of a large oddly shaped rug. The chest had a large key made of non-ice solid water. The physics of it baffled them until they remembered magic. At this point a gasp went out as an arrow hit the rogue in the neck and dark poison pulsed into his now convulsing body. The necromancer commanded the rug to lift off and his friends all jumped on. They flew off as his skeletons were decimated by a group of undead warriors. The party booked it away from the temple and made for the cliff door. They noticed a clutch of harpies feeding near the door and bashed them with a fireball and picking off any stragglers while they got closer. The door was then unguarded but a loud yelling could be heard from a higher cliff point. They all jumped inside the cliff door and pulled it closed, relaxing for a moment. At this point a strange pale woman floated into the hallway with the and when she noticed the swarm of living creatures, teleported within their midst and wailed a baleful scream, almost killing both bards and the sorcerer in one fell swoop. The rest of the group beat the tar out of her and the banshee was destroyed. As the party examined the bards and sorcerer they found they were still alive but needed healing. Two survivors of another group entered the hall and tentatively joined the group. They had lost their companions to the sewer room and the snow room. As they discussed their past a small shape, a tiny blue man with a broom was confronted by the party. They interrogated him and found the dungeon rooms change places and rotate, he was sweeping up after parties, and lost his dustpan in the jungle room. They looked back to the cliff room and saw it was now the sewers again. They journeyed to the gremlins passage and found a room full of gold, after investigation they found a dragon guarding its treasure. The warforged kicked the dragonborn sorcerer into the room when he tried to cast a spell at the dragon and closed the door. The dragon asked him a few questions and soon the dragonborn paladin and the half elf bard came in too. The dragon told them he was at an impasse, he wanted to leave this horrible place but was stuck until he could find a way to carry out all of his gold. The party spit balled ideas with him and other members of the group decided to explore door number two and found the room full of hydra. They quit both rooms and traveled further down the hallway. They found another chamber with a strange large many limbed racoon sloth creature in a room covered in stone and emeralds. They watched the creature and it mimicked their hello waves and went back to grooming itself. The bard threw a rock in the room and it became reversed in gravity, then the party saw the corpse ball on the ceiling along with the thrown rock. The creature told them it was hungry, went back to eating an arm, and snarled at them. The party pressed it for information and tried to convince it to let them return it home. They pressed it enough that it grew suspicious and reversed the gravity in the door way causing the wizard and sorcerer to fly halfway into the room and take damage from the emerald shards on the floor. They knocked it out with a hypnotic pattern and the barbarian almost cut it in half with his hasted attacks. As they fought with it they heard a scream and found the elf sorcereress they had saved earlier scream as a gibbering mouther tackled her and killed her. The group was blasted with a beam of gravity reversal but only the sorcerer was affected by it and took 62 damage. The party switched focus and fought both monsters, finding the earth key inside the gravity lemur. The other was destroyed by the handiwork of the druid in earth elemental form and the barbarian with his cursed sword. The party rested and asked their gods and patrons questions about the dungeon and found that another team was walking around with the air key, the fire key was in the room on fire, and there was only one copy of each key. After resting they asked the gremlin more questions about the dungeon and he was evasive but honest with the information given. They heard the telltale grinding sound and found two doors out in the hallway with another door down the length of the hall. The right door looked to be a jungle and the gremlin grabbed his dustpan of wonder. The party attempted to figure out its magic over the course of ten-minute learning that whatever the dustpan gathered would not fall out of the dustpan, like it went elsewhere. They closed the jungle door and opened the next door finding a mountain range with four golem like creatures carrying a palanquin with a golden skeleton on top. Greed got the better of them and the druid attacked. He trapped the skeleton in a sphere of water and moved it away from its guardians. The golems attacked the party, moving to separate them from their charge. The paladin and the druid were subject to a fire explosion trigged by the paladin reading runes on the back of the amulet she removed from the skeleton. The druid turned into a water elemental and started attacking the golems. The party used spells to knock the golems off their feet and proceeded to bludgeon them do death, sending one off the cliff side. The party gathered themselves and watched as the bones of the skeleton spelled out the phrase “forest realm water ways” and started to wander up the mountain to see what was on top of it. They found the air temple with floating island connected by rope bridges and another adventuring party across the gap, tending to their wounds. The sorcerer and the witch decided to go talk with them with the druid in water elemental form and were attacked. After the party stopped trying to throw people over the edge they made quick work of the assassins but were unable to find the air key. The sorcerer had dominated one of the assassins and it confirmed that they did not have it on their persons. While they were investigating they heard a horrible screeching noise and saw a huge sized harpy tear out the first bridge. The party regrouped on different islands and assaulted her, teleporting allies from place to place for more advantageous positions. They defeated the harpy queen and decided to rest before carrying on their adventure. While resting the great voice filled their minds and informed them that the hallways were gone, and resting was a fool’s option. The sound of breaking gears and grinding stone filled the air.  The party got on their carpet and flew down to the last door they saw, back down by the beach. The door had been ripped from the frame and tossed into the sand. The passage lead into a cavern where the party continued their tradition of slapping every surface of the dungeon with bacon with light cast on it. After a few hundred feet of smack, smack, smack they heard smack, smack, thwack, and realized something was there. They were attacked by two manta ray cave monsters. The party spent many of their higher-level spells on the beasts and murdered them quickly. The witch had slowed them, the druid hit them with ongoing moon magics, the sorcerer hit them with small meteors, and the bad covered them in revealing magics. The party continued onward into a familiar chamber, the earth room and noticed one door with flames shooting from its depths, another leading into the dragon room and the last door across from the entrance had elements of a jungle poking through. A loud voice could be heard in the direction of the jungle shouting about its gold. The party investigated the dragon’s room to find it empty, the fire room had been looted, and the jungle was in the process of burning. The party split up, with the barbarian, necromancer, mite companion, and the paladin staying within the necromancer’s tiny hut he made out of magic while the rest of the party made their way into the jungle. Once into the jungle the rest of the group noticed the dragon they had met before flying around any laying waste to the center of the jungle. The witch wandered around the left flank looking for another door, finding a swamp. The rest of the group decided, having a dragonborn with them, they should try to talk with the raging red dragon. They messaged him with the bard’s spell and attempted to negotiate. After a few tense moments the dragon realized the party was wearing the same Tower Artifacts guild bags. The bard and cleric retreated with dimension door while the druid attempted to make himself immune to fire. The dragon attacked with tooth and claw both the sorcerer and the druid and fearing for their lives they also dimension door teleported after the bard and cleric. They all arrived near the witch in the swamp and found another door leading into a dark swamp and hid within. They followed a pathway of blue fey ghost lights and the witch noticed the glint of numerous jungle trolls sitting in the water watching the party and decided not to tell the party. They followed the lights to a large chicken legged hut surrounded by a fence of bones. The gate was open and the witch and dragonborn entered. The druid noticed the trolls eventually and had a panic attack, having had bad experiences in the past. The witch entered the hut and made a deal with the matron of the swamp, promising that she would serve the matron for a week’s time and help establish a coven near Rhadamanthus. She informed the adventurers of great wards she set up to keep the dragon out and her new troll minions would leave them alone. The group gained the matrons favor and were granted the ability to teleport past the dragon to the top of the nearby temple. While they were dealing with all that the necromancer, barbarian, paladin, and mite traveled past the horrible hydra chamber and found themselves outside a great temple on the north edge of the chamber. They could see a red dragon pacing and digging at the swamp door. They made another magic hut and moments later the other group appeared nearby. As a group they traveled up the temple stairs they noticed eyes carved into the stone work, and the druid and the necromancer remembered things about an eye monster. Within the temple they found large sized husks of molted spider carapaces stuck within the webs and dust. They beseeched nature for advice and found that there was a large undead power polluting the ruin, there were beasts still roaming the tunnels, and there was a much lower chamber that seems to lead to the next area. They made their way to stairs the druid had learned about and found a huge sized spider with a human face guarding them. They made quick work of the beast with larger area of effect spells and cleared the way. They journeyed down the stairs and found a hallway leading forward and another leading to the right and continued strait, finding a four-way tunnel, they chose to take the left passage and found a door locked and trapped with poison gas and within the room a minotaur skeleton soaked in blood and viscera from the mutilated bodies on the floor. The cleric said nope and used dispel evil and good on it and sent him to another realm. the group searched the bodies for loot and found the corpses had been sent into this room nude and stripped off all belongings. The next door northward lead to a strange fingerprinted hallway with odd marks in the dust, finding another door slightly ajar. Looking inside the party found a sea of severed hands writhing on the ground and the witch’s familiar got disintegrated by something else in the chamber, some strange flash of white. The party threw a wave of water and tried to turn the undead with divine power, finding the hands immune to divine might, the water destroyed them. The druid threw a wall of fire into the room, leaving an entire corner walled off and illuminated. The Death Tyrant dove through the wall, taking some damage and started shooting the party with rays of magical energy. After alliances were tampered with, healers thrown through walls of fire, barbarians hasted and climbing magical hands, death and disintegrations dodges, and fears faced, the party drove this monster into the dust, which the dragonborn started eating? He had his reasons. The party gathered together and gave a short rest a try and after notices a door that was hidden by the fire wall and another unassuming door on the north side of the chamber. They detected no magic, and the druid in elemental form went in and found a chest covered in runes but giving off no magical auras. He returned to the party with it and they popped it open finding a smaller parcel radiating epic levels of magic. The party had discovered a Deck of Many Things and within moments chaos reigned. They each decided to pull one card from the deck. The paladin reversed her alignment, the barbarian has a penalty on all his saving throws, the witch has an answer to one of their questions, the cleric gained a kobold knight, the sorcerer gained the ability to change the way something in the past of present happened, the druid lost all of his magic items, the bard lost a few points of her intelligence, the wizard’s soul was imprisoned elsewhere and his body became a vessel for the slain beholder monster. The druid in a panic drew two more cards gaining both the enmity of both a devil and an old friend. The witch attempted to help by drawing another card and should have been imprisoned but his contract with the witch protected him. The bard drew another card and will level up if she solo’s the next encounter. The sorcerer helped out the druid by cashing in his fix one problem card. The party decided to rest up a bit and after a few hours decided to pull the rest of the deck between them. The bard pulled the avatar of death card and was able to defeat it, also gaining the boon of the other card she pulled, becoming stronger. The barbarian also became stronger and the bard gained a monster filled keep. The cleric’s kobold friend ended up pulling the card of Comets, gaining two wishes. At this time the wizard’s subtle transformation went unnoticed by the party as well as the paladin taking the dark iron sword from the warforged barbarian. The party cast a spell to show them the quickest way out of the dungeon and traveled into the tube like tunnels the beholder was using to travel between the dungeon rooms without using the doors. They came to a chamber with a sunlit exit as well as stairs leading back up into the dungeon. After moments of discussion the witch sent his yarn golem up the stairs and saw a flaming skull looking around. Not wanting to get destroyed the yarn golem decided to retreat back down the way it came. They exited the ruins and found themselves in a vast city, to the right of them a large city wall and past that a painted forest scene on the outer wall. To their left a dense city full of large buildings, some screaming, and a few larger fires. They went into the dense city and found an armored “person” stabbing corpses with his sword and cutting down anything that tried to flee. The party unleashed a barrage of attacks against him and he animated the corpses as ghouls. The druid entangled the horde and tuned into an air elemental. Most of the party hung back and was enveloped with a hell ball the knight threw at them, leading to massive damage and a few near casualties. After a few more exchanges of blows the paladin killed the knight with her horrible sword and the knight was sucked into its blade. The party took a rest within the taverns nearby and the cleric noticed a false floor in the bar, and within there was a kobold merchant and his three iron golems, waiting out the storm. The party weighed their options and decided to do business with him, buying some new and needed gear. The druid went out to the magic wine fountain and drank until he passed out, the witch watching him to make sure nothing to bad happened. The necromancer set up his magnificent mansion with ghost looking unseen servants, bone d├ęcor, and unbeknownst to the party secret tunnels between the rooms. The party was met outside by two new faces, one a heavily shrouded mystic, the other a snake person artificer with a thunder cannon and a mechanical eagle friend. They joined the party in the morning. During the night the kobold felt and saw eyes watching him in the walls, and in the morning he and the fire cleric found the tunnels, leading the cleric to assume the necromancer has a thing for the “young ones” and put the group on alert, noticing after passing his note to the bard the eyes on the wall reading the note with her. They all gathered their things and decided to pass on breakfast when strange oversized bacon and mystery meats were being set on the table by the blood drenched ghostly servants. Outside they met the new group and headed out with them finding their path leading into a hallway. They were sure the voice had told them hallways were gone and were confused. After debating the witch’s familiar went into the tunnel and found an ornate room with copper mirrors in the corners and stairs leading up. The group experimented by throwing things onto the mirrors and found they were electrified. While the party again discussed the path, the necromancer claimed not to have time for this and teleported with his four skeletons elsewhere, and the mystic teleported to the top of the stairs triggering the traps the artificer detected. The stairs tuned into a ramp and the first five feet fell into quickly rising oil. The group all made their way both magically and jumping up the ramp an escaped the inferno of the oil hitting the metal plates and igniting the pit. To their right there was a long hallway leading to a further closed door and a hall that came to an end in front of them after two chambers. The party went to the closer end point, again sending the familiar to scout ahead and after burning webbing was tackled by a large spider like creature. The party set to attacking it dealing a heaping pile of damage upon it. They found there were tethers attaching it to something up above and noted with every hit strange pods above it would be damaged in its place.  They cut the tethers and watched as the beast, a machine placed within a spider husk, fell quiet, triggering the chest in the next room to burst open and spray both air and oil into the chamber onto the familiar with its hands aflame. The explosion sent a few of the party back out into the hall, the mystic plugged to the oil stream and eventually a large burst sound shook the tunnel. They found the rest of the chest disappointingly empty. They went to the other hall and found a larger chamber with odd large non-supporting pillars, two switches, and a mechanically sealed door on the end. The sprite familiar went and tugged on the right-side switch while the party was investigating and the door to the chamber clanged shut and the pillars fell away to reveal four writhing black oozes. The barbarian ran up and made the number now six oozes as he chipped away at them with his sword. The druid cut the room in half with a wall of fire, catching a few on the way and the witch slowed them with magic. The mystic summoned a fire elemental and as a group they dispatched the rest quickly. They flipped the other switch and the door opened, leading them into a chamber with a faint damp smell and an even larger suspicious pillar. The other door on the far side was jammed shut with barnacles and slick with algae. Once the entire group entered the room the doors predictably slammed shut and the party was up to their knees in odd water with two aboleth splashing about with water coming down from pipes in the ceiling. The druid was in water elemental shape and was attempting to bludgeon them, the bard eye bit on of them causing it to swim away, the witch used cloud kill and the cleric used control water to remove the water from the center of the room. The barbarian broke a chunk of the door open with his magic sword, the aboleth took damage from the witch’s large spell cloud and the both tried to dominate the mind of the druid and failed, so they lashed out with all their tentacles and afflicted him with bad magics. The party sent fireball after fireball at the aboleth quickly gaining the upper hand. The party dressed their wounds and pressed forward and found a room with a wall of doors, two boneless dead gargoyles, two signs with odd messages, and a trail of bloody footprints leading into frosty chamber past the open door. The signs spoke of a riddle, only one gargoyle spoke the truth, the other lied, but it looked like the last person through the chamber just murdered them both and carried on. Unsure of the path, the cleric cast a divination to ask her god for help, finding the snow door the most likely source of an exit. Once within the snow room the druid cast more divination spells to see if there were dangerous demons or otherworldly creatures in the room and found a faraway source of undead energy and asked if there were any dangers with terrain and found none. Having exhausted many of their abilities the party trudged off in the most likely direction, following the blood footprints, and noticed an ambush of strange fire and ice bugs. The bard used a spell to make one amused by shiny colors and shapes but the druid decided to charge it, after turning into mammoth, knock it down and step on it. During the attack he took fire damage and lost his mammoth form as well as breaking the bards spell. The rest of the party used spells to try to help the druid, who turned into a giant crab, attacked the monster, took fire damage, and lost his form again. The witch, feeling bad for the druid turned him back into a giant crab for an hour. After tense moments of almost losing their druid to the bugs the party defeated them, questioning the logic of charging hungry monsters. The party almost made it to the door when a shadowy shape of a beholder zombie shambled out of the snow. The paladin, having become evil, used command undead and now has a henchman temporarily. The party peered through the door and saw a fertile land of green forest, meadows, a floating tower with rock chucking giants, huge tracks of torn up soil, and a rock studded broken tower made of wood. They decided to tie up a loose end while resting before leaving the snow room and used their first wish spell, properly and precariously prepared to summon the bags the necromancer owned to the party, securing both of the keys he had possessed. The drawback being the bags had a vampire spawn within as well as piles of dead bodies. They poured the contents into a magic circle to keep all the possible undead inside and have now come to the realization their old necromancer pal might be a bit mad, having all of his items and gold stolen. The party took a look into the next room again and watched as a giant purple worm enveloped the floating tower and the giants in one big attack. The group decided to take their carpet across the chamber to the wooden tower that was un eaten by the purple worm and found it full of survivors of other groups. Of the twenty or so people only two volunteered to help the party in their fight and also had the last key they needed. They rested in the tower and after took their carpet towards the waterfall they had been informed of by the tiefling warlock and the human druid. They past minor threats from on high, ignoring the tree folk in a secluded glade as well as a group of kappa eating a horse in a river. Eventually they found the fifty-foot-high waterfall over a large lake and within a chamber impatiently waited Charles, their old friend turned foe and a dais which looked like the keys were to be placed on. The group fought him viciously and noticed on his body large welts that turned out to be more eyes. With the final blow a smile broke upon his face and his form shook, he thanked the party for releasing him, his head detached and swelled impossibly large and detached, becoming the beholder skeleton they had faced before and now wearing the helm of teleportation, and the body remained standing and throwing spells. the group used every tool at their disposal to kill theses beasts, from simple vine whips to wishing an incendiary cloud into being around their foes. The beholder and the now headless lich both used every round to blast the party with as much power as they could muster. The beholder used every ray in its arsenal, blowing more holes in the ground than the party and the lich cocooned himself in the globe of invulnerability making it so he could only be hurt by ninth level spells. The artificers both shot volley after volley of scatter shot into the lich and the beholder, one running around inside the chamber, the other riding upon its companion metal bird and ducking in and out of the cave to shoot every round. The cleric laid down heavy channel divinities and the kobold minion threw a storm of magic missiles after its wish and then hid outside he caves on the magic carpet covering its ears so just in case the cleric became possessed or charmed he would not hear any of the commands from its master. The newcomers both held their own against them as well. The paladin and her dark sword put every smite she had into the lich eventually killing him and pulling it into the sword. And her minion beholder she had charmed eventually got to send its disintegrate into the big skeletal beholder, ending its reign of terror. As soon as they killed them the party tossed their keys on the dais ending the tournament and returning to the Bitka Arena finding the city just a tiny bit on fire, their boss still alive but wounded.

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