A Loss of Reason
- 1 Summary
- 2 Highlights and Lowlights
- 3 Dear Diary
- 4 Administration
- 5 Nominations and SGT Snippets
return to Scribe Notes
- GM: Jeff Church
- Time: Autumn 809 WK
- Day: Wednesdays
- Level: Low - Medium
- The Party
- The Lady Hope De Winter - a petite white clad courtier (calls herself a seer)
- Zanak - A young human male Pirate who likes to acquire pretty dresses. He engages in Healing and being a Mind Mage (scribe)
- Koffi – Gnome Binder and his Golem
- Elenna - An E&E Mage. A shy human, not very pretty but quite practical (quartermaster)
- Melco – Pretty boy human, celestial herbalist - with a variety of interesting skills
- Falco – Human Dark Celestial - with a variety of interesting items
Voice of Reason
Sister Reason is missing and the Memories of the Ancients are Fading
Highlights and Lowlights
- Hot and Not
1st of Harvest - The Man from Minzu
- The Mission
The guild is visited by a human who looks to be of Eastern/Kinlu descent, but with a deep purple black skin, long single white braided hair, wearing unusual ornate colourful enamelled ceramic mail - with many toggles, ties and totems. He is accompanied by a petite cone-hatted robed woman.
The woman introduces herself as Ting Ting (originally from Kinlu) - and introduces the man as Voice of Reason. She translates that he has travelled to Seagate from the Land of the Ancients - from the land of the Zhonghua Minzu
- His sister is missing - and he was directed to find saviours for his sister by an augury using the Tiles of the Ancients.
- Also of great concern is that The Memory of the Ancients is fading. The spiritual power that descendants gain is decreasing. Minzu society has been destabilised by this loss - and lawlessness and chaos is increasing in the Imperial City.
A highly placed official (The Mandarin Lady Temperance) believes that the loss of Sister Reason might be related to the failing Civic magic and has provided funds for Voice of Reason's mission.
- To be accepted, Voice of Reason (VoR) will have to do a Reading of the Tiles for each candidate.
- Successful party members will travel by portal with VoR to The Lands of the Minzu to start their investigations.
- A Reading of the Tiles
Six Seagate adventures present themselves as candidates for this mission, and Voice of Reason does a reading of the tiles for each of them. The results:
- Zanak – The Emperor: Fatherhood, Structure, Authority, Regulation (The Emperor is the great authority figure of the Tiles. … Unfortunately, like a baby he can also be a tyrant)
- Elenna – The Tao (The World/Universe): Integration, Accomplishment, Involvement, Fulfilment (Everything is finally coming together, successfully and at last … It is indicative of a complete circle)
- Koffi – Yang (the Magician): Light, Masculine, Active, Action, Conscious Awareness, Concentration, Power (The Magician is the male power of creation, creation by willpower and desire. Also clever with the slight of hand and a medicine man - either a real doctor or someone trying to sell you snake oil)
- The Lady Hope – Yin (The Empress): Dark, Feminine, Passive, Unconscious Awareness, Potential, Mystery, Hidden Knowledge (She holds scrolls of arcane information that she might, or might not reveal to you)
- Falco – The Triad (The Devil): Materiality, Material Force, Material temptation; sometimes Obsession (This is a tile about ambitions; it is also synonymous with temptation and addiction)
- Melco – The Triad (The Devil): Materiality, Material Force, Material temptation; sometimes Obsession (This is a tile about ambitions; it is also synonymous with temptation and addiction)
- Voice of Reason – The Two Mandarins (Temperance): Time. Ages. Transformation. Involuntary change (This is a tile about moderation. There is, however, another angle to the tile, that of merging seemingly impossible opposites)
Voice of Reason comments: The tiles never lie. They may reveal hidden truths, but we ignore their portents at our peril. These tiles show a party of ambition and drive – and also show balance and completion There is much strength here, but traps we must be aware of
Voice of Reason offers each of us a pearl, which if swallowed will enable us to speak speak Erelaine at rank 6.
- Getting Some History
The lands of the Minzu are vast and mostly flat. There has been peace and stability for several thousand years. The social structure has been in effect in its current form for almost as long. Crime is almost unheard of. The Ancients are worshipped like we worship the gods. There are no religions of differing theologies. Magic comes in the normal varieties but they are all derived from the energy of the Ancients. In summary - The Ancients are everything.
Society is clearly defined in two classes. Those who are important and have the right to do as they please, and those who serve. Alusians would refer to this as Upper Class and Lower Class. The lower class consists of the penniless and bereft (beggers) and the pale skinned Mongols who form the servants ranks. Voice of Reason makes it quite clear that Mongols are the lowest of the low and how they should feel privileged that the Minzu enable them to earn a living by serving their betters. The Minzu are clearly a superior race with their purple skin and their dedication to the Ancients.
Our skin colouring causes him some questioning looks but we decide to either dye our skin or to utilize an illusion spell while helping him.
Voice of Reason will take us back to the Imperial City where we will meet with Lady Temperance. She is the leader of the Civic Magic guild, for wont of a better description. Most if them specialise in air magics. She will be able to answer more of our questions on the disappearance of Sister Reason.
When questioned about other disappearances Voice of Reason says there are none, if you discount the beggers and Mongols, which clearly all civilized peoples do.
The magic of the Ancients has been dwindling for the last few years and no one knows why. Voice of Reason was told by the Ancients to find a band of heroes from Seagate to help rescue Sister Reason and to restore the power of the Ancients. In the weeks before this calling occurred every set of tiles in the land suddenly increased from 95 to 96. Voice of Reason, being the master Tile Reader, defined this new tile as “Sudden Change, Revelation and Downfall”. The extra tile had an image of a clover and a single headed axe. The image on the tile is the same as the crest of the Seagate Adventurers Guild.
Evil creatures have started to appear in the form of bandits, vampires, undead, and other unsavoury beings.
It takes a while to coax any information out of Voice of Reason about enemies of the Ancients but he finally admits there are childrens tales about the Triad. They are evil creatures of Light, Dark and Chaos. But of course no one believes those. They are just stories to frighten children.
Towards the late afternoon we all go to the shops magic guilds and prepare for the coming journey. Voice of Reason purchases a selection of enchantments and potions for us. He also gives each of us a tile from Lady Temperance. As he hands it to each of us the blank front panel chnages to match our Tile Reading. He informs us that they are ancient treasures and will "serve us well in our time of need".
He has a quiet word with Zanak about the colour of his red dress and how in the Minzu Empire only the Empress is permitted to wear Red. Zanak says "not a problem" as he utters his magical phrase and it turns into ornate Leather Armour. Zanak winks at him and thanks him for the warning.
- The Augury
That night Lady Hope does an astrology reading on the Origin of the Ancients and gets this:
Pure energy, pure chi, pure mana. When the stars were right they could plunge from world to world through the sky, but … when the stars were wrong they could not live.’’
Deep and meaningful it is. We all nod sagely and pretend we understand more of the future.
2nd of Harvest – The Journey to Minzu
Voice of Reason informs us he is up before 5am each morning and performs a ritual honouring the Ancients. Zanak and Lady Hope are keen to embrace the rituals of the Minzu empire since it will enable them blend into the society better and should make it easier to gather information. Elenna, Melco and Koffi don’t really give a toss either way and Falco is quite grumpy about having to get up by 4am to travel to the ritual site (outside an Ork Tavern by the docks). After some debate between Lady Hope and Falco, Elenna (our party leader) puts her foot down and tells Falco to stop being grumpy, put some clothes on and join the rest of us for some fresh air! Scribe Note – Not quite in those words but that is certainly what she meant
- Bill and Ben - the Assassinating Men
The sun is just rising as we start the ritual with Voice of Reason and Ting Ting. Falco and Melco stand watch while the rest of us eagerly participate. Lady Hope expects to have a marvelous time, being a courtier and all, but she seems to be tripping over her own two feet. She looks somewhat less than graceful. In total contrast Zanak exibits a natural affinity for the movement and forms being practised by Voice of Reason. In fact if he continues this performance for a week or so he may even learn the skills required to perform the ritual solo. Elenna and Koffi do their best but can't quite match Zanaks gracefulness. Lady Hope shoots daggers with her eyes but Zanak is lost in the moment.
About 55 minutes into the hour long ritual Falco spots a young street urchin hiding in an alleyway, spying on our group. Falco sees another older and quite ugly man in an alleyway on the opposite end of the park. They both look quite shifty. Melco does a quick DA and ascertains the youth is a low level assassin. He uses silent tongue to alert the group and Zanak does a mental attack on the youth without breaking his forms, so in-the-moment is he with Voice of Reason. The ugly man runs away. Melco trusses the youth up till Voice of Reason completes his ritual.
Lady Hope, feeling a bit disgruntled by her poor performance, takes it out on the boy and threatens all sorts of dire torture techniques if he doesn't tell us everything he knows. His name is Ben. Bill and himself have just recently come down from Sanctuary looking for some easy marks and Voice of Reason fit that criteria quite nicely for the previous 2 mornings. Lady Hope isn't satisfied with these answers and insists there must be a bigger conspiracy, so she threatens to cut bits off him. Ben wimpers and pleads with us. Elenna finally pulls us all back in line when the boy starts peeing his pants. She drags him off to the local security guards as a cutpurse.
- The Teleportation Ritual
We all go back to the Guild headquarters and Voice of Reason describes his trip here, so we will understand the reverse trip.
He started with a teleportation ritual using his tiles which took him to a strange land. He was on top of a massive hill rising above a forest canopy. The hill was covered in a ruined building, of which only the outer walls remained, and they had gaping holes. From there he performed another teleportation ritual with his tiles and he ended up at the docks of Seagate. Each teleportation felt like he was flying at unimaginable speeds right up to a barrier for which he slowed down and then was pushed through. He was at a loss to describe it any better as he had never used this particular tile magic before.
After a hearty breakfast (all that tai chi exercise has made us quite hungry) we buff up and Voice of Reason performs the first ritual to portal us to the hilltop.
As we approach the barrier we are aware of motes of light which for all intents and purposes open a door in the barrier and we slip through. As we speed down to the hilltop a huge ball of Blackness, with sparkles of purple and white coming from it, intercepts us and hurls us off course. We crash into the forest canopy.
Falco reacts quickly and turns into an Owl. He hovers above the canopy. Elenna, Zanak and Koffi manage to halt their fall in the top of the canopy (about 100 feet up). Melco, Ting Ting and Lady Hope stop about half way down and Bill and Voice of Reason crash to the ground. Bill, being a Golem, is relatively unharmed whereas Voice of Reason is knocked unconscious. All of his tiles scatter on the ground next to him. Koffi and Melco have been stunned by the fall too.
A small monkey approaches Elenna. It looks like a small spider monkey and doesn't pose any immediate threat.
Falco, spotting a gap in the foliage, flies to a lower level branch and perches. He keeps an eye out while the rest of us safely maneuvour ourselves to the ground. Melco turns in to a bat then back to human once he is safe. Falco can see nearly a dozen humanoid shapes approaching in the distance. They are howling like wolves and moving very fast. they seem just as comfortable i the trees as they do on the ground. Falco turns back to human form too.
Ting Ting races to Voice of Reasons side and begins healing him while the rest of us engage the creatures. Elenna immediately backfires and forgets all knowledge of Magic which makes her very suspicious of the rest of us mumbling and making hand gestures.
We quickly dispatch half of them then a black and purple sphere with white sparkles (just like the one that knocked our teleportation of course) engulfs us. Voice of Reason (now feeling better and picking up his spilt tiles), Koffi, Elenna and Lady Hope are all stunned. The rest of us can smell peppermint (odd!) and can barely see 5 feet in front of us.
Falco, who was still in the trees outside the sphere, drops to the ground and begins searching for the spell caster. He is immediately struck by a heavy crossbow bolt which turns to hundreds of small spiders and swarm him. He thrashes about in discomfort and pain.
Zanak steps out of the sphere and is immediately struck by a spider bolt too. He refuses to believe the spiders are real and ignores the pain. He joins Melco and Falco who have taken refuge behind a large tree trunk. They convince him the spiders are real and Falco and Zanak roll around for a few seconds on the ground, crushing the annoying insects.
Koffi brings out the big guns (A huge clay golem call Bozo which looks like a 9 foot bear) and 4 other smaller golems. They clear the underbrush seeking our mystery assailants but to no avail. They seem to have disappeared.
Within a few minutes the black sphere dissipates and it becomes obvious each of the stunned party members have been cursed. It is likely to pass within a few days. Voice of Reasons clothing is changing colour. Koffi feels pain while walking. Lady Hopes complexion has become pale grey (like a dead person). Elenna is sweating a yellow greasy fluid. The alchemists among us scrape some of the sweat into bottles (yuck!).
Voice of Reason informs us 10 of his tiles are missing, but he can locate them easily. They appear to be North of us.
We check the unconscious creatures but find no loot. Very disappointing. They are human thralls. There master is called Snave. A spell or ritual called "Vile Transformation" has changed them from humans to snarling, frothing creatures with very long nails and teeth, bulky bodies and hides instead of skin. The frothing doesn't have any negative effects on our party (Melco was bitten) and so we dispose of them.
Elennas "ancient tile" kicks in and starts to remove her curse. It should take about 6 hours. The rest of the party gives a sigh of relief as she is the party caster for Quickness.
- Following the Tiles
Falco observed, while he was an owl above the forest canopy, there are 3 hills rising out of the landscape. One was the hill we expected to land on. One has a building with stairs and looks to be in use. The other was empty. Voice of Reason gives the direction we should go to recover his tiles but it leads away from any of the hills.
We travel for about 30 minutes and notice the vegetation is a bit lighter off to the left. We investigate and find a huge pit in the ground. It is 100 feet across and 200 feet deep. The bottom 50 feet is filled with a black water. The pit looks to be a natural part of the landscape. After a few minutes we decide to move along.
We travel another 30 minutes till we reach a strange rock outcropping. So far we have found 4 of the 10 tiles. We are obviously being led somewhere... The rock looks like a totem. The side facing us is carved and we can see a face under the lichen. The stone itself is about 8 feet tall and 4 feet wide. While we debate what to do a shriek from the sky behind us grabs our attention. It sounds like a Roc or giant eagle and it is getting closer. We all go unseen at this point. Within moments a strange figure emerges from the forest and leaps on top of the totem. He is an old man with red skin and a high forehead. He is covered in feathers. He is wearing an upside down broken cross and gives us a hand signal (a greeting?) before indicating we shouldn't pass the totem.
Being unseen hasn't stopped him from identifying us so Koffi and Lady Hope become visible. They try to speak to him in Eraleine but he becomes very wary. They change to other languages but none evoke any form of recognition from him. He does pull out a pipe though and takes a puff himself before offering it to Koffi and Lady Hope. They both reluctantly take a puff. Immediately they can feel their spirits being pulled away from their bodies. Lady Hope doesn't appreciate this and stops smoking. Koffi likes the effect and puffs some more.
His spirit appears in a new land. It is quite scary with a continuous rain of dust and bolts of lightning. He sits opposite the shadowy form of the old man and they converse in the way of spirits. The old man is called Bird of the Jungle and says leaving the lands protected by "Left Handed Humming Bird" will place our party in extreme danger. The totem is part of a large circle where his people are protected from the jungle shadows, shadow spirits and flying demons. He describes the flying demons as floating mindless creatures. He offers our party the protection of Left Handed Humming Bird in the form of 4 vials, the contents of which should be drunk by the whole party. We should follow him back to the temple (the hill with the building and stairs) and consult wiser beings than himself for more information.
The 2 spirits return to their bodies and Bird of the Jungle leaps into the air amid the tree trunks and swings away. We realise the thralls were originally of his race, and possibly his tribe.
We DA the potions and discover it "reduces our aggression" so none of us take it. We debate for a while about turning back and going to the temple or continuing on into the forest to find the remaining tiles. We eventually decide to try the temple as we need more information on this strange land.
It will take us 2 and a half hours to get to the temple which was 3 miles away from our original crash landing point.
- Battle in the Clearing
We make it back to the pit and Zanak gets the feeling the "spirits" of the trees are threatening us. He comments on it but we all shrug it off and continue. When we get back to the original battle site we notice the bodies of the thralls have gone. We step into the clearing and from the other side 2 giant fleas and 3 giant centaur ants appear. They are very fast and engage us immediately. Luckily Koffi has taken the time to get Bozo and Bill out and the creatures engage them first. Bozo begins ripping his opponent apart. Bill struggles but gets a few good blows in. The rest of us try a selection of spells but to no avail. Elenna is still struggling with the concept of magic. The big giant Fleas don't seem to bother her but the rest of us chanting and waving about seems to mystify her.
As the golems eliminate the physical threats we notice 3 human sized shadows moving from tree to tree. As they retreat we can feel their rage and hear a warning "we will be back!".
Finally we have some loot. The chitin and acid glands from the creatures are itemised and packed away for safe keeping.
- The Village
We head on to the village. As we travel Voice of Reason informs us the insects are from the Jin Minzu. They are governed by a queen and it is very surprising to see them here as nothing can penetrate the Great Wall of the Minzu. It would appear these insects have always been here. Maybe this is the original birthplace of the race of the Jin Minzu?
He also says he has 6 special tiles which may be of use to us. There is one for each of the Ancients. see the The Lands of the Minzu page
- Minzu of the Air: Dragons Anger – Ball of Lightning
- Minzu of the Earth: Sunskin. Similar to Trollskin
- Minzu of the Fire: Summon Fire Ally. The party can safely travel on it.
- Minzu of the Water: Bubble of Gongong. Similar to Mind Mage Telepathy
- Minzu of the Metal: Mantis Protection. Similar to a binders bubble of force and can hold the whole party, although we can’t move out of it.
- Minzu of the Wood: Healing for Voice of Reason
It takes us an hour to reach the village. It was a painfully slow journey as Falco grumbled the whole way about the rain and getting wet. It stops raining just as we get to the village though and the rest of us cheer up. Falco quietly mumbles to himself. The rest of us ignore him.
The village sits on top of a 10 foot high circular rock formation. It looks natural enough, being covered in vines but it has a smooth finish. We become suspicious. Bird of the Jungle comes to the edge and indicates we should drink the potion before coming up. He is especially concerned about Voice of Reason.
Falco seems to be in a disagreeable mood and climbs up to scout. Bird of the Jungle doesn’t stop him, but makes his displeasure known. In amongst the vegetation he can see some huts and a few crumbling older buildings, and a large pyramid like structure in the centre. There are about 100 people and they are all exceptionally beautiful, both male and female. The females are topless with only a handful of feathers covering their loins.
Once he communicates this on Mind Speech we decide to take the potion and venture up. It has slightly different effects on us all, from Melco, Voice of Reason and Ting Ting being “stoned”, to Koffi being calm but horny, to Falco having the munchies. Elenna, Lady Hope and Zanak are just happy.
We can now understand what the locals are thinking thanks to Voice of Reasons special Water Tile. It seems the women eat the “flower of the lotus” and then produce the “milk of the lotus”. The men suckle at the womens breasts to get the milk. It is this same milk which was in the bottles we drank. If this is what it takes to be eternally young and attractive then all the male members of the party vote to stay and abandon the quest.
Fortunately the fascination with topless women wears off long enough for us to notice the thoughts of the natives again. They seem to have only two things that concern us. First off the males are ugly and the women and strangely covered. Secondly they don’t like the “black demon” (Voice of Reason) being in the camp.
They get over their discomfort quickly though and “welcome us to paradise”. After a tasty but vegetarian meal we talk to Bird of the Jungle.
- A Brief History
The black demons sent these people to this world a long time ago (about 2000 years ago). The black demons persecuted them mercilessly. Coming to this world was hoped to be a release from horrors perpetrated on them but the land was extremely wild and evil. The animals and plants attacked them at every turn. Spirits of the jungle were everywhere and hunted them endlessly. They eventually came to the notice of Left Handed Humming Bird who showed them the power and protection offered by the Lotus. By being calm and relaxed the spirits would ignore them. The spirits attack anyone who invades the forest with violence in their hearts. In exchange for the lotus and the gift of eternal life all Left Handed Humming Bird asked for in return was a daily blood offering, which his humming birds (mana constructs) would collect each morning at the foot of the pyramid.
Now we can’t deny the effects of the lotus on these people (and the magnificence of their physical forms) but it seems like they are being used by a blood sucking vampire as a fresh source of food. No doubt the “spirits of the forest” are really minions in league with this evil vampire and are used to keep them in line and pacified.
Bird of the Jungle recognized some of the bodies of the thralls as being members of the village a long time ago, although he has no idea how they were transformed.
- Shall we Stay or Shall we Go?
Ting Ting points out she hasn’t seen any children.
We venture up to the base of the pyramid . There is a causeway about 30 feet wide which appears to be littered with buried skulls. The walls have stone carvings of skulls. A quick DA suggests the skulls are of Minzu origin and have been here about 2000 years. There are two rooms at the top of the pyramid. The room on the left is blue. The one on the right is red. There is a trail of dried blood leading to the red room.
Zanak, strangely enough, seems to be struggling with what to do. Do we leave the village, stay the night to recuperate, or invade the pyramid to battle the vile vampire. He would really like to save the people from this eternal hell of being treated like dumbed down cattle (despite their own feelings on the matter). Falco, still in a mischievous mood and taking advantage of the remaining minutes of mind speech, tries to convince Zanak to invade the pyramid for the gold and treasure that must surely be concealed there. Eventually Zanak sees through this and realizes he doesn’t have enough spell fatigue left to take on a nearly dead vampire, let alone an all powerful one as Left Handed Humming Bird must be.
We decide to rest the night and take advantage of the villagers willingness to engage in physical (read sexual) activities. Zanak, Koffi, Melco and Ting Ting wander off into separate huts with very eager companions.
Lady Hope, Falco, Elenna and Voice of Reason take the guard for the night and don’t seem the least bit surprised that the other 4 don’t return in time for their shifts. In fact they only raise the alarm when the villagers awake at 4:30am and they still haven’t returned.
3nd of Harvest – This Strange Land
Zanak, Koffi, Melco and Ting Ting had the best sexual experiences of their lives the previous night. The villagers have skills none of the Seagate adventurers have every encountered before, let alone imagined. Their willingness to engage in these physical endeavours leaves an indelible effect on them and they seem to have gained a new skill themselves, something Zanak didn’t even know could be learnt!
Unfortunately they each fail to resist some magical effect at the point of mutual satisfaction and become enthralled to the villager.
Elenna uses a locate spell to find Koffi. He is asleep by his female partner in a hut. She wakes up and heads out of the hut. Koffi stirs and gets up too but doesn’t respond to Elennas questions. He follows the lady towards the base of the pyramid. Falco nearly whacks Koffi to bring him out of the enchantment but remembers about Bills last command of “attack anyone who hurts Koffi”. Elenna sleeps him and bill picks him up.
Elenna locates the rest of the party, which isn’t too hard as we are all walking in an entranced state to the pyramid. She puts us to sleep too.
It doesn’t appear that we are being compelled so it should be safe to wake us. She does notice that our auras are considerably stronger though. (we have gained +10 Fatigue) Elenna wakes us and we all retreat to the edge of the village, and drop over the side of the plateau. Bird of the Jungle has been watching us but takes no action to stop us.
Falco winds up his mechanical bird and sends it back to the village so we can see the mornings blood offering. The villagers all stand at the base of the pyramid and a swarm of humming birds (the constructs) perch on their outstretched arms, puncturing the veins and filling themselves with fresh blood. As they depart to the red room the wounds on the villagers heal with amazing speed.
Falcos bird flies up higher and we peer into the blue room. There is a large opaque curtain blocking the view into the rear of the room but we can see gems and jade items in the wall enclosures. There are murals showing a subterranean scene featuring an entity with large eyes and teeth sacrificing children. Their fingernails are being pulled and their tears are being collected.
In the red room, decorated in a similar fashion, we can see a tall individual moving behind the central curtain. The humming birds are fluttering about him. We don’t need to see the gruesome details to know he is feeding on the offered blood. There are murals of storms and lightning with a powerful figure ripping out people’s hearts before dining on them.
We look at each other and decide it was a wise decision not to invade the pyramid last night. We rush off into the undergrowth and head for the stone totem where Bird of the Jungle first approached us.
- Left Handed Humming Bird
We get there at 8am and stop for breakfast and some purifications. Bird of the Jungle has been following us but has made no move to stop us.
As we step beyond the totem we notice a large number of humming birds flocking towards us. They surround us for a few moments, with a particular concentration around Voice of Reason, before swooping aside and forming the shape of an imposing figure. The humming birds seem to merge together then fly off in all directions, leaving behind a real being. He is 7 feet tall, wearing white robes, gold bracelets and carrying a very large spear. His aura is immensely strong, almost avatar like.
In a booming voice he addresses Voice of Reason. He says Minzu, What are you doing here?. There is a slight pause. Voice of Reason is cowering, unable to respond, but the being, who is obviously Left Handed Humming Bird, continues as if he has had a reply.
What about the Ancients?
The Ancients are forgetting? How long has this been happening?
Elenna tries to make contact with him but is totally ignored. The humming birds swoop back in and surround him and he vanishes just as quickly as he appeared. Although someone had time to DA him and found our the Second to last magic to impact him was “Armour of the Sadhu”, whatever that is…
Everyone but Zanak and Falco have been drained of a few fatigue points (Vampiric Drain maybe?). Voice of Reason takes a few minutes to recover and then describes the violation of his mind. The information Left Handed Humming Bird was after was ripped from his memory, but he felt as if the probing was slightly restrained. Voice of Reason had never felt a mind like this before and could only describe it as evil.
- Legend of the Tile Seekers
We decide to continue searching for Voice of Reasons missing tiles. There are still 6 to be found. They are all in a straight line, as far as we can tell. Knowing there is likely to be a trap we cleverly decide to aim directly for the last tile, hoping to spring a trap of our own making. Falco of course plays the wuss card and wants to collect the other tiles first. The rest of us have some gumption and “get up and go” so we angle off to the side to determine where the last tile is likely to be.
As we travel we notice some small spheres floating in the air. They are life leeches which have been magically created but are now deemed to be alive. As they suck the life force from you they expand. Once they have grown big enough small spheres are ejected from them, starting the cycle again. Bill captures some and Elenna uses telekinesis to trap them in 3 vials. Bill, Lady Hope and Elenna take one each hoping to use them as grenados.
We get to within a quarter of a mile of the tile and quickly buff up. Falco sends his mechanical bird up above the forest canopy to scout for any obvious traps or ambush sites. Asides from the ocean about 20 miles away as he can see is a mountain range in the distance with flying creatures, possibly lizards, circling around the peaks.
Feeling relatively prepared we step forward and are almost instantly engaged in battle by several well concealed enemies. Asides from the spheres of black and purple, from which drop multitudes of spiders or toothy worms, we are also attacked from the air by flying mouths with long tentacles. Despite our preparedness the battle goes poorly for us until Voice of Reason uses his “Summon Fire Ally” tile to help.
By the time the enemies are whittled down to the last mage we have lost poor Arkmed (the suicide, greek fire, exploding golem), Zanak, Melco and Koffi have been nibbled on by the flying mouths, and the rest of the party are feeling a little jaded. Lady Hope has found a new respect for the art of dart throwing though. Falco manages to cast blackfire on the mage, who runs away. The fire ally kills him as he runs past. Immediately a portal opens above the body and giant tentacles with viciously sharp teeth reach through to attack the fire ally. Falco successfully shadowholes the tentacles and the portal closes.
We go back to investigate the 2 humanoid bodies. They are 7 feet tall and very thin. They have a spiky armour which looks to made of some sort of resin. As we peel it back from the dead body it reminds us of ripping off a layer of skin with the stickiness of the flesh revealed beneath. The revealed skin is a pale brown/green with pink and red swirls. The face is made up of tentacles and the hands have only 3 fingers and a thumb. It is truly a hideous creature.
On its shoulders are an eye and a tentacle. The eye can see the invisible (handy in this line of work) and the tentacle (some sort of whiplash symbiote) looks like an eyeless snake with very sharp teeth and can spite poison.
The second creature carried a heavy crossbow (non magical) with seven bolts left and a necklace which appears to be alive.
The party has a quick chat about going forward for the last tile or turning around to retrieve the other 5 tiles, which would be quite unexpected. Being truly brave (stupid) adventurers we decide to get that last damned tile…
We creep forward, mind speech on and Falco scouting the area, till we come to an area where Voice of Reason says the tile is. The rain has stopped again. There is a complete lack of birdlife in the immediate area and a smell of peppermint (not again !!!). We venture forth with Zanaks ESP in effect. He can sense 5 minds. There is a single watcher on the far side of the clearing. He is aware of us but seems very placid. There is a large slow moving mind below the surface and it appears to be half a sleep. The remaining 3 smaller minds are also underground and seem to be hungry.
The tile is about 15 feet underground. We dilly dally about for a few minutes, not really sure what to do. Falco moves forward to get a closer look at the watcher but the mind slips out of ESP range and not seen from for some time.
Koffi gets out some more instant golems and commands them to dig down where the tile is. Despite hitting stone only 4 feet down Koffi doesn’t stop his golems. The large mind is now alert. 10 feet down the golems strike the side of a Cyst Being. It has grey skin and huge tentacles which begin to crush the life from the golems. One manages to reach down and grab the tile from the floor of the cavern/tunnel and throws it back to Koffi. A green vapour rises from the creature. Zanak saves the day by Mental Attacking the creature into submission. Feeling rather pleased with ourselves we head off to get the remaining 5 tiles.
- Lady Hope and the Face Huggers
We only get 100feet before the 3 smaller minds reveal themselves to be spider creatures with ugly human faces. They leap passed Zanak (still unseen) and attach themselves to Lady Hope, Koffi and Elenna heads. Their mouths have needles which penetrate directly into the brain and inject some very unwelcome fluids.
Lady Hope suddenly feel suicidal, Elenna and Koffi feel depressed. Lady Hope stabs herself in the chest with a dagger but despite her best efforts barely scratches her armour. She then proceeds to slice her throat and falls to the ground. Alarmingly (as if Lady Hope stabbing herself wasn’t enough) the spider face takes on the image of Lady hope.
Bill and Bozo race to defend Koffi and eventually rip the spider to shreds. Elenna begins to feel suicidal but by then Falco has shadowholed the remaining 2 spiders. Ting Ting and Voice of Reason try to stabilize Lady Hope but her special tile has already kicked in and given her Sunskin (like TrollSkin), preventing her from dying. Voice of Reason uses his tile of Wild Healing to bring her back to full health while Zanak takes care of Elenna.
- Snave – Master of the Thralls
As we pass by the previous battle site the tentacles which had been shadowholed return and grab the summoned Fire Ally. There is just enough time to DA the creature behind the tentacles as Duculas and to find out it was positioned as part of the trap by Snave, the person we understand to be the master of the thralls we encountered the previous day.
- A Leisurely Stroll
We spend the rest of the afternoon retrieving the remaining tiles. Voice of Reason is eager to get back to the hilltop he originally appeared on to complete his teleportation ritual and get back to the Land of the Minzu.
We get to the sinkhole about 2pm and send Falcos mechanical bird on a reconnaissance mission. The hill is 3 miles away (a short flight if we use shadow wings) and has a staircase running around the side of it to the top. The ruins used to be monolithic walls of a large house but it is now barren and empty.
There are 3 other hills in the distance. One has flying lizards with long heads cruising around the peak. This hill is about 7 miles away. It too has some buildings, although not ruined, and movement can be seen in the entrances. There are also lizards carrying poleaxes.
There is a small risk that when we fly to the hill we will be seen by the flying lizards and be pursued.
We ponder our choices.
Elenna and Melco spend the next hour searching for herbs and are extremely successful.
- The Lure of Treasure is Strong
The party rests but is interrupted at 4pm by a procession from the village. They approach the sinkhole with drums beating in a rhythmic but solemn tune. There are 24 males split into groups of 6, plus the drummers. Each group is holding aloft the body of a Thrall we killed the day before. The bodies have been cleaned and decked out in ceremonial robes. The glitter of jewelry comes from their arms, legs and necks.
Our party had gone unseen once we heard them approaching but the glitter of jewelry has an almost hypnotic effect on the young pirate. Having Falco on mind speech talking to him about treasure is a little disconcerting but with a supreme effort of willpower the impressionable pirate resists the urge to leap forward and grab some.
Koffi steps forth though and becomes visible to talk to the procession. They ignore him. Bird of the Jungle swings out of the forest and offers to smoke the pipe again with Koffi. Their spirits go to a new place this time and Koffi finds the area quite violent. Bird of the Jungle says we aren’t to stay here long. Koffi returns with little useful information.
We watch as a ceremony is performed on each body as it is thrown into the sinkhole. The whole event takes an hour and the carriers wander back to the village.
We wait till 6pm before we attempt to use ShadowWings to fly to the hilltop.
As the party takes turns leaping into the sinkhole to get airborne Zanak again feels the lure of the treasure on the bodies floating on the surface of the water 200 feet below. His attempt to fly is compromised by the greed in his miserable pirate heart and he almost crashes into the black waters at the bottom of the sinkhole. Falco, being a brave and selfless individual (and possible he feels guilty about baiting the young pirate), flies down and rescues Zanak before he kills himself with greed. Zanak says thanks but still looks back wistfully on the glittering treasure as the party flies into the distance.
The hilltop is a classic terraced hill with ruins of a large structure. There are no roofs left on any of the rooms and there are holes in some of the walls. We settle in to the room Voice of Reason used on his trip to Seagate. Zanak instructs his lizard to memorise the location so we can portal back at any time. This will take about 8 hours so the party rests with Melco and Lady Hope doing most of the guard duty.
4th of Harvest – Trapped
As midnight rolls round we see flashes of light in the distance to the north west, about a half mile away. It takes a while but we realize the explosions are small humming bird constructs striking a group of flying lizards. This seems to fit in with what Bird of the Jungle told us about Left Handed Humming Bird protecting the villagers from the menaces outside the stone circle.
The explosions are quite spectacular but don’t seem to pose any threat to us.
The sky is quite dark and cloudy. There is very little natural moonlight tonight.
Melco spots some black shapes approaching from the North East and alerts the party. There are 3 very small humanoid shapes dressed in a shiny black material which is very reminiscent of the seedier quarters in Seagate where the sexually perverse are known to practice. Lady Hope informs us the material is probably Latex. How she knows this we are unsure.
Several of the party climb to the top of the walls to get a better vantage point for the coming battle. Zanak alights on the South East corner and sees 3 more black clad individuals sneaking up. Falco leaps to the South West corner while Melco climbs the center of the southern wall. Koffi commands bill to attack the 3 creatures on the North East. He races off and crushes an adjoining wall to get to his prey. Ting Ting and Voice of Reason unlimber their bows, ready to defend the centre of the room. Koffi, Elenna and Lady Hope remain in the room too. Elenna uses the first few pulses to quicken the party, or at least the ones she can see on the walls or through the windows.
Both groups of small black latex clad Kobolds (Elenna recognizes their speech) open a small black box strapped to each of their chests. They pull out some blue glowing lizards and hurl them towards us. They are shocker lizards and the blue glow is the lightning charges waiting to be discharged at us. Each Kobold also has another black box strapped to their back. These haven’t opened yet.
Zanak, realizing he doesn’t have time to cast a spell before the lizards get him or to pull out his cutlass, bravely leaps off the wall and aims to knock several of the south eastern kobolds to the ground. It comes as a complete surprise to him when he misses all the Kobolds and slams into the ground. The 3 lizards zap him and the kobalds each surround him and stab him with their tiny daggers. Being a mind mage saves him from being stunned by the lizards and he rolls around on the ground trying to evade the nasty little daggers till Melco comes to his rescue. Melco bravely leaps down and swings at the closest kobold, killing him outright. Unfortunately the little lizards are attracted to the metal in Melcos weapon and begin zapping him. He isn’t a mind mage and so falls to the ground stunned and paralysed. Falco casts a shadow hole on the lizards and the kobolds and a few disappear.
The boxes on the backs of the kobolds open by themselves and out pops a small cloud of lightning bugs, intent on zapping us.
From the northern east corner the golem Bill quickly dispatches 2 of the small kobolds and their little buzzing bugs. He races after the last of the kobalds and at Koffis command just grabs him instead of killing him.
The 3 lizards from the north eastern corner clamber over the walls to be dispatched or wounded by Ting Ting or Voice of Reason. Elenna sleeps 2 of them and we capture them after the battle finishes.
One of the groups of bugs tries to get Elenna but she clambers on to the wall and races to the south. Falco, totally uncharacteristicly, says for her to run passed him and he will engage the bugs. Fortunately for all of us the bugs see Bozo in the center of the room and attack him instead. Of course he just rolls around and crushes them.
At the end of the battle Ting Ting and Zanak try to fix Melco from being paralysed. Elenna and Koffi use the 2 remaining kobolds and their boxes to contain the 2 lizards. Lady Hope is very disturbed by Koffis and Zanaks interest in the latex from the squashed 4 Kobolds.
We interrogate the kobolds and find out the wind mages from the lizard hill 7 miles away used the cloud cover to transport the kobolds to our hilltop with the mission of disabling the Minzu (Voice of Reason). Once disabled the Lizards, who are the masters of the kobolds, were going to kill the party. The kobolds have legends of coming from the lands of the Minzu and regard it as heaven. They were captured by the Lizards and enslaved. Koffi has the brilliant idea to offer them their freedom and passage back to the Land of the Minzu in exchange for helping us. They eagerly agree.
Further discussions show the Lizards want to reclaim the area held in sway by Left Handed Humming Bird and they see it as an insult that he drove them out of this area. This reminds us about the explosions in the distance but they have ceased. The little Humming Bird constructs have done their job and defended the area. We give thanks as we probably weren’t prepared enough to take on the lizard masters.
- The Divination
At 1:30am, just an hour before Zanaks lizard will have memorized this location, Voice of Reason starts his teleportation ritual. Within 10 minutes a group of humming bird constructs gather in the immediate area, observing what we are doing. There is only about a quarter of the number when Left Handed Humming Bird himself appeared last time. We keep an eye out for trouble.
Eventually Voice of Reason tells us the ritual has failed. He can’t feel the energy of the Ancients enough to do the ritual. Although he does have a divination. After reciting it the humming birds disperse.
The Ancients beseech the help of the Tower Cold winter looms over the Minzu flower Our memory fades – the people are bleeding Darkness advances – the light receding.
Minzu Chang Cheng is our shelter, our wall Now this prison holds us in its powerful thrall Our portal keys are lost, our strength astray Seek now the Triad to unlock the gateway
The people are bleeding, the light receding Seek then the Stone Man, the Hermit alone To heal the wound, to cure the bone.
- Lets Try That Again
We quiz Dit Dat and Vaz (the 2 kobolds) a bit more.
When they were in heaven, so the legends say, they were captured by the devils. A mighty battle was fought between the angels and devils and eventually the devils were ejected from Heaven. In a last act of spitefulness the devils took their slaves with them, which included the kobalds. From far off legend they seem to recognize Voice of Reason, or his ancestors, as the angels.
Voice of Reason still doesn’t give us any helpful information about the period the kobolds are describing, other than after that point society improved immeasurably and the Minzu became the dominant race with the blessings of the Ancients.
Ting Ting observes that it rains frequently. In fact it buckets down which annoys Lady Hope and Falco to no end. Ting Ting scans the horizons and see no evidence of any rivers. How can this be? We take a bit more notice of the ground. The stone of the earth must be based on some volcanic material which is quite porous to allow the torrential downpours to quickly soak through to a lower water table. We also observe the stone on this hilltop appears a little different to the rest of the surrounding forest.
We quiz Dit Dat, Vaz and Voice of Reason a bit more about the divination, in particular the Tower, Triad and Hermit. The kobolds try their best to help but it is clear they know little of value on these subjects. Voice of Reason says the Hermit is on a Tile. He represents the Stone Man, Searching and Guidance. As a party we begin to suspect Voice of Reason may represent the Hermit. Of course we could be wrong…
About 4:30am Voice of Reason requires to start his ritual to honour the Ancients. Lady Hope (after her dismal performance the other day) and Falco stay on lookout duties while Elenna, Melco, Koffi and Zanak participate with him. Melco makes Lady Hopes previous attempt seem graceful and Zanak is stunned to only give a mediocre performance. Koffi is doing much better and feels like he is in sync with Voice of Reason. He feels energized and at peace. Voice of reason confirms he got a connection to the Ancients, although it is not as strong.
We immediately ask Voice of Reason to attempt the Teleportation Ritual again. He starts again and we immediately see the number of Humming Birds constructs increase, same as last time. We DA them and after much effort finally agree they are only observing on Left Handed Humming Birds part. They are not interfering in any way. Voice of Reason gives up after only 10 minutes as he is not getting a connection.
Now we know something or someone is particularly interested in preventing the teleportation ritual from succeeding, but isn’t blocking all contact with the Ancients. This mysterious agent is not Left Handed Humming Bird. The mystery deepens.
- No Treasure Here
The kobolds had mentioned they live underground in tunnels. Being slaves they weren’t deemed civilised enough to live in the presence of the Lizard Masters. This hilltop should be like the others they inhabit and there should be tunnels. We investigate but can’t find any. We also can’t find any discarded treasures which makes some in the party a little dejected.
Elenna casts a locate spell to find out where Bird of the Jungle is and by all accounts he is back at the village. At this time of the morning (6am) the whole village is probably donating blood to the vampiric creature lovingly referred to as Left Handed Humming Bird.
Melco becomes itchy and gets red splotches on his body. Zanak, after getting over his initial repulsion, applies his healing abilities but is surprised when he has no effect. Zanak, being that type of person, informs Melco he has only 6 hours to live. Melco is understandably upset and consults the other healer in the party, Ting Ting. She is also unable to heal him but gives a more cherry diagnosis. When the two healers wink at each other he seeks help from Lady Hope and Elenna, who suggest he may have a parasite and he should try stepping through a wall of darkness to rid himself of it. Melco complies but the itching and redness don’t stop. He resigns himself to just having to wait it out.
We begin walking down the spiral staircase cut into the side of the hill and then head off to the sickhole. The sickhole is the only other feature on the landscape where the hermit or some other member of the Triad could be hiding. Half way there, about 7am, it pours on us again. Falco and Lady Hope grumble silently. Zanak gives Melco a reminder that he only has 5 hours to live. By the time we reach the sinkhole Melco appears to be getting better.
- Betrayal in the Spirit Realm
Falco sends his mechanical bird into the sinkhole to give us a better view of the sides of the hole and to look for any cavern or cave entrances. There are some cracks in the sides but nothing to help us. We do observe some ledges just above the surface of the water which we could alight on before getting into the water. The surface of the water is covered in large lily pads for about a third of its area.
Voice of Reason picks up a rock and tosses it. As it penetrates the water surface a slight green phosphorescent glow is seen. He recognizes this as the Haizai, the jellyfish of the Minzu of the Water. They are commonly used to allow air breathers to enter the watery realms. They attach themselves to the persons face and create breathable air from the water. In effect they act as gills on fish. There is a small risk to each non water Minzu that extended use will cause facial rashes and other unpleasant side-effects.
Before we all get carried away and dive into the black watery depths Elenna sees Bird of the Jungle swing out of the forest and seat himself near us. Elenna, Koffi and Zanak decide to smoke the offered pipe and enter the spirit realm with him to converse.
The spirit realm is once again a dangerous place, like on Koffis second visit. It is very bleak. There is dust over everything and it continues to fall from the sky. The sky itself is still red with huge lightning bolts erupting from nowhere.
Bird of the Jungle talks to Elenna and asks why we are still in his jungle. Elenna explains that we are still seeking to leave but are being prevented by some agency. He professes no knowledge of this agency. He looks sideways at Zanak and Koffi and asks Elenna why she still associates with “those two”? She is surprised and asks what is wrong with them. He responds with “they have received from Left Handed Humming Bird but have not given anything back”.
We immediately recognize this as not participating in the blood letting ritual after the night of passion with the villagers. Both Zanak and Koffi protest loudly that it is Elennas fault we didn’t complete the ritual as she ordered the party to remove us. Bird of the Jungle seems to be completely ignoring the 2 offended males and doesn’t give any indication that he has heard them. Elenna ignores her own duplicity and asks if the 2 males are still welcome in the village. He replies with a resounding NO. Both Zanak and Koffi offer to go through the ritual again, including the night of passion, and promise to complete the blood offering to appease Left Handed Humming Bird. Again he seems to be ignoring them.
Elenna then asks if the 2 males were punished somehow if that would change the villagers opinion of them. Zanak responds immediately with some very specific expletives regarding Elenna and her methods of leadership. Koffi, whilst initially surprised by Zanaks vehemence, agrees with his sentiments. Bird of the Jungle again shows no visible signs of hearing the males. He does ponder for a moment before responding “maybe, but they weren’t very good in their physical activities”. Elenna laughs but this doesn’t silence either Koffi or Zanak. They insist they learnt something from the previous evening and would perform much better second time round.
Elenna moves the questions on to our current predicament and asks his opinion of the kobolds. Asides from referring to them as the ‘flying demons’ he has no problem with them. If Left Handed Humming Bird wanted them dead, they would be dead. A few questions from Elenna, prompted by a now recovered Zanak and Koffi via mind speech, indicates there is a heaven above (where the villagers live) and the underworld below. Both areas are revered by the villagers and their dead are always returned to the underworld by dropping their bodies into the sinkhole, as this is the entrance to the underworld.
Asking about the blue side of the pyramid reveals that Left Handed Humming Birds dark twin used to reside there. His name is Tloloc and he departed the temple to rule the underworld. We get little else out of him but it does reconfirm the decision to come to the sinkhole was a good one. Elenna finally asks about the vials of peace and if we can have some more to enter his village later. As we return to the real world he reaches into a bag made of feathers and pulls out 5 vials then swings off into the distance. 5 vials means all of our party and the 2 kobolds so Zanak and Koffi are understandably relieved.
- Betrayal Whilst in the Spirit Realm
As Koffi and Zanak awaken they notice some bruises and small aches which they didn’t have before. Lady Hope and Melco look a little too innocent when quizzed by the pair. Falco spills the beans. This is somewhat uncharacteristic for him. In fact he has been doing some unusual things in the last few hours. Zanak begins to suspect he isn’t in his right mind. A quick “limited precognition” reveals he will be back to his normal obnoxious self in only a few hours.
In the mean time it seemed that Lady Hope and Melco got bored and decided to practice some subtle torture techniques on the 2 unconscious males. Why they didn’t include Elenna is a little unclear but certainly Zanak feels like he has coped the worse of the treatment. Zanak begins to suspect his joke about Melco dying in 6 hours may be part of the cause of this. Falco whispers that Lady Hope instigated the session and Melco was but a loyal follower. This is confirmed by the kobolds who still appear to be rather neutral but have a liking for Koffi regardless. Zanak does nothing overtly obvious at this time to the two miscreants (Lady Hope and Melco) but has this unrelenting desire to ‘accidentally’ knock them unconscious in the next combat. Only time will tell…
- Preparation for the Underworld
We get all our combat spells cast before heading down Koffis rope and alighting on the ledge. The air is warm and still, and there are insects buzzing about. There is a very nice fragrance of flowers from the lily pads in the air. A series of DAs show the lily pads to be Stinging Lilies which may cause paralysis from the tentacles/roots drifting in the water below. They hang down about half the depth of the water we can see. There is a green base of Giant Pond Weed on the floor which doesn’t appear to have any special properties. There is a gap between the two layers where we should be able to swim with ease.
Looking over the edge of the ledge, asides for the school of jellyfish waiting to greet us, we can see that this is an entrance to a flowing river. The current is quite weak so we should have no problem going in either direction. Of course each direction is shrouded in darkness as the light from the sinkhole is the only source we can see.
Just as we are about to lower ourselves into the water the kobolds point out that their lizards will be unable to breathe underwater and may die. This reminds Zanak about his own portaling lizard and he feels a little guilty. We discuss options for the lizards and settle on Lady Hopes spell (Petit Mort) to give them the semblance of the dead. Of course this takes a few minutes to discuss and get organized so we recast all our short term spells.
Elenna backfires on her Quickness spell and slows herself, Zanak, Voice of Reason and Melco. We wait it out.
On our third attempt we get all our spells cast and we are ready to dive in.
- Attack From Below
The jellyfish attach to our faces just like Voice of Reason predicted and we find we can breathe quite normally. We may even be able to cast if we remove the jellyfish, speak the spell and reattach the jellyfish. It should be noted each attachment does the person a small amount of damage and risks upsetting the jellyfish who no doubt can also sting us.
As we slip into the water we have Falco, Zanak, Lady Hope and Melco floating/swimming in the clear space while the rest drop to the river bottom. Lady Hope says we should follow the current and keep an eye out for the Water Minzu. Zanak gets distracted by a glint of gold on the bottom just back a few feet and drops down to investigate. He has found the bodies of the thralls dropped in yesterday and there are small fish feeding off them. There are also older skeletons from previous years of the villagers dead. The lure of the gold and gems, and the almost total lack of valuable treasure we have so far come across, tempts him to begin searching among the bodies.
Almost instantly his danger sense kicks in with one of the strongest warnings he has ever felt. He turns to look in the direction the current is coming from and sees a hideous bone eel-like creature with 2 arms and a spiky tail. It is about 7 foot long. He screams out the warning as he is enveloped by the creature and finds his stomach punctured by the 3 bony spikes from the tail.
He pulls out his cutlasses and strikes the creature repeatedly. Melco, Ting Ting and Elenna surround it and begin battering it too. It takes a few pulses but finally Melco delivers the killing blow and Zanak is released by the creature as it crumples to the river bed. Zanak is hurt but in light spirits so Ting Ting takes him back to the ledge to administer some healing potions and her healer skills. He changes into his red dress which enable him to breathe under water.
It should be noted that Falco did almost nothing to help so it seems he is back to normal.
- The Fish Will Guide Us
Once again we get into the water, attach some jellyfish and follow the current. Falco doesn’t like the idea of a jellyfish sucking his face so he turns into a very large fish, large enough that the other fish give him a wide berth. He goes unseen and scouts ahead of the party. About 300 feet away a glow can be seen on the floor of the underwater river. The current is still quite leisurely.
The water flow goes through a huge hole in the ground. The hole is covered in a grate with 3 coloured holes, white, black and grey. The symbol of the Triad!!! After a bit of investigation it is agreed that the wards will only stop undead creatures from passing through. We send Falco through and lower the party members from Koffis rope. The tunnel is 300 feet deep and joins with a new tunnel at the bottom. Falco swims down and tells us the current is a bit faster at the bottom. He stays in the tunnel going down while Melco and Lady Hope drop passed him into the new current. The current is very strong and they are swept away at about 30 miles per hours. Falco feels a little embarrassed but isn’t too repentant. After a bit of debate the rest of us drop down also and are swept away.
As we are forced down the tunnel the water temperature starts to drop. The jellyfish don’t really like the cold and become less effective at making breathable air for us. After 10 miles we empty into a vast chamber and the jellyfish give up the ghost and drop to the floor, dead. The group, except Falco and Zanak, swim to the top of the chamber and seek small air pockets.
The current is calm again and there are 3 inlets and 1 outlet. Immediately in front of us is a row of pillars. At the end of the pillars is a wall which doesn’t connect to either side, almost like a screen. From behind it we can see the glow of a light show and hear some drums beating. Falco, still unseen, swims up the left hand side of the pillars to get a better look. Zanak approaches from the right. He is immediately seen by some dolphins and some underwater gnomes. The dolphins race out and surround Zanak, preventing him from going any further. The gnomes approach the rest of the party. One takes a liking to Koffi (he is an attractive gnome after all) and offers to kiss him. Fortunately for Koffi the gnome is female and quite attractive too. He accepts the kiss. He grows some gills and can now breathe underwater. His feet become webbed and thick lenses grow over his eyes, enabling him to see clearly underwater. The only side effect is an instant desire to please her. He makes some lewd suggestions and she toys with the idea.
Voice of Reason swims over to Koffi and talks to his gnome lady friend (Jubie). She explains they are in the Cathedral of the Shi Minzu. The Skum are the masters and the gnomes are the servants. The light and sound show is being performed by the Minzu mages.
Meanwhile the rest of the party are made similar offers but they refuse; to remain in control of their mental faculties.
From behind the screen Falco can see some creatures (Skum). They are alerted by the aquatic gnomes that we are resisting the kiss. They swim out with large tridents. Falco does what he normally does. He stays still and hopes to not be seen. Zanak is still being herded by the dolphins and chooses to remain calm with no provocative actions. The rest of the group can’t really do much as they need to keep sucking air from the ever decreasing air pockets.
The Skum recognize Voice of Reason as a Minzu of the Air. They engage in some conversation. Their water mages cast water breathing on us, including Falco who has turned back to human. Voice of Reason explains the story of his sister being missing and seeking the hermit we believe is called Tloloc. According to legend Tloloc didn’t come to this world. They invite us to join them behind the wall and partake of their hospitality while a magical recounting of their history is told. The area itself has a gravel floor and there are what appear to be fish eggs on the ground. The water around the gravel is a bit murky. Jubie confirms it is a real honour for us to be invited in as this is the Skums spawning ground. We can feel the impact of lots of magics in the surrounding waters and chamber. The water mages , using some form of bardic magic, recount their history for us.
- The Final Strike and The Great Closing
- Staying the Night
Jubie confirms the Skum only come here to spawn and the exit goes all the way to the ocean outlet. About 3 miles down they path there is a heated cavern with a vent at the top. The vent is covered by another Triad symbol. The Skum and Gnomes avoid that area and swim through as quickly as they can.
We ask to stay the evening to rest and recuperate. Koffi keeps begging Jubie and she finally succumbs. Off they go for an evening of wild gnomish passion. Strangely Lady Hope goes along to watch. Not surprisingly, so does Zanak. Falco and Elenna are utterly disgusted.
5th of Harvest – On the Trail of the Triad
At 5am we get up do water tai chi. Koffis efforts last night hold him in good stead as he out performs the rest of the party. Zanak and Elenna are just average today, somewhat disappointing for both of them.
We have a hearty breakfast before preparing to go. Zanak mentions something about caviar (looking at the eggs in the gravel) but the gnomes and Skum are not familiar with the term. Lady Hope and Elenna bundle him off quickly and convince him to keep quiet.
As a parting gift Jubie offers Koffi a necklace with 6 beads. They each have a magical effect. Mage Current, Water Breathing, Water proofing, Wave Control, and the last 2 combined give Summon and Bind a Water Elemental.
At about noon we depart and swim down the outlet. Well we actually get sucked down the passage because the current is really fast again. Just a few minutes into the trip we enter the heated cavern and manage to swim to the sides to get out of the strongest part of the current. The heat is coming from cracks in the ground and every 10 minutes or so a geyser erupts, pushing a really hot amount of water and steam to the triad grate in the ceiling. This grate is warded to cast darkfire on any creature coming back through it. So if we go up it is going to be a one way trip. Of course that has never stopped us before.
There are small plants and creatures skittering around the edge of the cavern. In the centre of the cavern, oozing through the cracks in the ground, is a green and yellow ‘thing’. We don’t know what it is but no doubt it will attack as soon as we get near. We prepare for the worst and swim through the cavern to the grate and clamber through.
- Into the Caverns
We are in a very dark cavern. The air is very steamy, not surprisingly, and the sound of small bugs is everywhere. We pick a direction and head off to the edge of the water. Climbing out we feel the soil is very squishy beneath our feet. We are in an underground swampy forest where the trees are made up of 7 foot high mushrooms. Lots of spores are dropped from the mushrooms as we brush past them.
We move on in the regular marching order with Falco and Zanak at the back. Melco is leading so we are bound to get lost. Just as Melco reaches a cavern wall (smack) Falco looks around for any nasties. He is particularly perceptive and at the last moment the giant black octopus-like creature which was going to land on his head swerves aside and envelopes Zanak right down to the knees instead. Instantly a large circle of darkness surrounds Zanak, not that anyone could really see him anyway, except on witchsight. He thrashes about and stumbles out of the darkness long enough for Falco to shadowhole the creature. Zanak coughs and splutters as his lungs fill with nasty spores.
Melco, unperturbed by Zanaks little brush with death, goes ‘eny meny miney mo’ and elects to go right. We follow the cavern wall, looking ut for other nasties, till we come across an entrance to another cavern. It looks pretty much the same but the air is a little less steamy. Comments are made about being a troglodyte to want to live down here. What type of creatures are the triad that they found here more likeable than living above ground in the sunlight?
We pause for a few minutes to let Zanak get healed. Koffi is boosted up on top of a mushroom to get a better view of the cavern. It is pretty boring but he does see some bats flying near the ceiling, some of which are quite large. Falco climbs up and uses a talent to talk to a large bat. He asks about a number of things like ‘can we get to sunlight’, ‘have you seen the triad’, ‘where is the way out’. The bat replies mainly about being hungry and keeps asking ‘where are you?’. We do get a little bit about a cavern off in ‘that direction’ where the mushrooms are less and the hunting is not so good. We decide it seems like a good way to go.
We reach the entrance to the new cavern but it is 20 feet up. Koffi climbs up with some remarkable skill. In fact he is doing quite well down here. We suspect he may be related to a tribe of troglodytes. He drops a rope and we all climb up without incident. The steam is now just a damp mist. We walk about a mile and the air clears even more. The mushroom forest has thinned out a bit. In the distance we can hear the sound of a whip cracking and some bellowing, in a dwarfish dialect.
We all sneak forward with Koffi out in front by 50 feet. There are a dozen smaller downtrodden figures chopping down mushrooms with very sharp looking blades. There is one figure, taller and more physically robust, but clearly of the same race, with the whip and he bellows out things like ‘move faster you lazy bastards’. He is heavily armoured. He has scale armour, a whip, a tulwar, a crossbow and a shield. His skin is very pale (not surprising since he has probably never seen sunlight) and his eyes are white. His facial expression seems to be set in a permanently angry disposition. All of the creatures are dressed in pale clothing and have an ensignia of 3 broken lines. Voice of Reason dimly recalls the race was known as Derro.
- Our First Encounter with the Derro
Zanak moves forward to be close to Koffi. They observe the scene for a few minutes. The slaves are cutting strips off the mushroom trunks and stacking them on a cart. The cart is hitched to a rather large centipede. The centipede seems a little skittery but the slaves and the slave master pay no heed to it.
On mind speech we agree to capture the slave master and open a dialog with the slaves. Zanak is talked around to trying ‘control person’ instead of ‘mental attack’ as this would be less alarming. He tries but the slave master resists the attack. He turns in our direction and races towards us, shouting ‘Who dares attack Duross the Magnificent?’ followed by bellowing that can only be described as an eldritch scream. Zanak quickly lets loose a mental attack and manages to drop him before the effect of the bellowing renders him senseless. The two unconscious people fall to the ground next to each other and Zanak becomes visible.
At the first sign of the attack the slaves are suddenly covered in a patch of darkness. This surprises us as we hadn’t detected any other individuals in the area who would have been mages. The rest of the party is on alert for the invisible person.
Elenna quickens herself, Melco, Falco and Lady Hope. Melco sees movement in the vegetation. We are being flanked. We casts a wall of starlight 10 feet high in that direction. Koffi produces Specks and then Bozo. We can hear the slaves muttering ‘where is Duross?’. They find his body and stab him repeatedly. He dies. They begin searching his body. Two nimble slaves also search Zanak for valuables before Melco chops ones arm off. He dies. The second one escapes through the wall of starlight with one of Zanaks cutlasses.
Some of the remaining slaves bump into Koffi, making him visible. Specks hits one. Falco shadowholes four of them. Lady Hope drops a spectral hand on some but inadvertently gets Zanak as well. Koffi calls out ‘Why are you attacking us? We took out the slave master to rescue you!’ Koffi and Zanak are suddenly surrounded in darkness. It would appear this is a form of natural protection for the Derro. Koffi reacts by shouting ‘Kill them all!’. Koffi hits a slave while Lady Hope pulls Zanak out of the darkness. Within seconds the darkness disappears and the Derro are gone.
Duross has been mutilated by the other Derro. They didn’t have enough time to steal much and only his Tulwar is gone. The whip has been cut into shreds though.
- Duross the Magnificent
Lady Hope interrogates the spirit of the late Duross the Magnificent about the Triad.
- They are here and close.
- They are not Derro and are not Mexica.
- They don’t know about Voice of Reason being here.
- They are the original, as far as he is concerned.
- They do not do sacrifices.
- He is unsure about trading with the outside world.
- The Triad are in his settlement, about a days travel away.
Other questioning reveals:
- The Darkness is a talent of the Derro and they can see through it with ease.
- The emblem represents 3 factions among the Triad.
- The Derro serve the Triad.
- The Derro do communicate directly with the Triad.
The Derro settlement is off to the West. The Derro who absconded with Zanaks Cutlass is in the East. Zanak is quite insistent that he wants his cutlass back. Melco takes the arm he cut off a Derro and feeds it to the Centipede. It calms right down after the snack.
The 3 trackers in our party make efforts to remove our tracks so it looks like the slaves overpowered the slave master, should anyone come across the carnage. Koffi reitemises Bozo and Specks while Elenna locates the missing Cutlass.
- On the Trail of Zanaks Cutlass
We travel for a mile and enter a new cavern. About half way in we see a group of incredibly large mushroom shapes. They are nearly 30 feet tall and must be at least 15 or 20 feet wide. Falco leads the way in his usual stealthy unseen manner. The party keeps an eye on the ceiling as we can see some of those dangerous black octopus-like creatures hanging about. Elennas locate arrow begins to point downwards and she points out the lost cutlass is likely to be underground, although not very deep.
Zanak tries to use ESP to search for sentient minds in the area and comes up with about 20 underground, in the same general direction as the cutlass. They appear to be waiting but there is a touch of madness about them.
Without warning 2 spears strike Elenna. They came from the roof and are more a sticky web type of material than the traditional wooden haft of a spear. She is lifted off her feet but she reacts quickly and slashes one of the thick strands, severing it completely. The other keeps pulling her but with less force. Melco grabs hold of Elenna to stop her being lifted anymore while Zanak mental attacks the creature on the ceiling. It falls to the ground and Elenna takes her revenge on it till it is ‘good and proper’ dead. We can see more on the ceiling but they are widely interspersed. We suspect this creature (bonespear) was simply hunting in its feeding ground, which we wandered into. Elenna and Melco want to take the time to harvest some of the sticky substance but the rest of the party feels somewhat exposed, especially poor Zanak who keeps glancing at the roof of the cavern while mumbling about getting his cutlass back.
As Falco edges closer to the line of mushrooms (there are 7 of them) he hears the sound of squeaking coming from them. ‘Rats’ he calls out to us on mind speech. Elenna quickens herself, Melco, Zanak and Falco. Koffi gets out Boris the bear. Falco also reports that the mushrooms are made of stone and have a door at the rear and windows in the front. We all assume they must be homes for the runaway slaves. Elenna, as party leader, shouts out to return the stolen cutlass and no harm will come from stealing it. Zanak mumbles under his breathe about skinning the culprit to set an example but remains quiet enough not to be heard in the homes. When we get no response Melco casts a wall of starlight on the ground near the front of the mushrooms. The rest of the party is a little surprised by this as no consultation had occurred. Elenna and Lady Hope look at him disapprovingly. He shrugs and says “it seemed like a good idea at the time”.
The sound from the rats gets a bit noisier and the minds below seem a bit more crazy.
Falco has now circled around enough and can see in the rear doorway. He reports back that the stone mushrooms are hollow inside and look more like guard towers than homes. Elenna orders Koffi to get Bill out and another instant golem. Once they are out they are sent into the closest tower entrance. Just as the golem (the instant one) approaches the entrance Falco notices the interior walls are lined with mirrors. As it gets into the central part of the tower the floor below it collapses and it drops out of sight. The minds below get really excited but they avoid any contact with the golem. The golem stumbles around looking for a way out but we decide to drop in and chase the Derro underground.
Following Zanaks loose directions we attempt to capture the escaped slaves but just as we get close enough we find a solid wall between them and us. It takes about 30 minutes of frustrating searching to realize we will never find them in this place. We are clearly in an ancient Derro city. Voice of Reason recognizes the layout and multitude of earthen traps (collapsing floors, ceilings, other pit traps and lots of “line of sight” holes in the walls) as very similar to the Earth Minzu dwellings. They are very tricky and only a fool attacks their dwellings. We decide to find a sheltered corner and rest up for 8 hours. Elenna writes a note and leaves it near our campsite, asking to meet with the Derro and pointing out we want to help get rid of the slavers.
6th of Harvest –The Triad
It is midnight when we all feel refreshed. Elenna checks on the note and finds a reply. It says to send a naked person to the place of madness and to follow the arrows. Zanak immediately offers to go but the rest of the party don’t seem to trust his impartiality in the negotiation stakes. They suspect he is really only interested in retrieving his cutlass. Despite his pleas that he has “got over” the theft of this cutlass it is plain for all to see he is lying. Elenna takes the rest of the debate away when she insists on going forth. Lady Hope tries to hide Elennas nakedness as she departs but Koffi and Zanak get an eyeful anyway (they are just teenagers after all).
Elenna moves forward with the party staying about 200 feet behind (the limit of Zanaks Mind Speech range) and she eventually comes to a large chamber. Its walls are carved in a strangely disturbing image although Elenna doesn’t elaborate. The Derro male sitting in the room is naked and has a wand.
He asks “what are you?” Elenna replies “human”. He asks “what are you doing in our city?” She replies “seeking a stolen sword”. He cackles. He says “You have violated my city. Why shouldn’t I kill you?” Elenna talks about what brought us here and our desire to remove the Triad from power. The old Derro male warms up at this point and becomes more friendly.
It turns out this was the ancient Derro city when they were displaced to this realm. The Triad came and defeated and enslaved the Derro. The Triad came in three types of being.
- Mexica, as described by Elenna
- Witches in Black, usually pregnant. They lived in the shadows and resemble the Mexica Elenna described above ground.
- Knights in armour. They usually came in three alignments, Light, Dark and Shadow. Again they resembled the Mexica.
- Shadowy figures that will kill anyone.
- Stone men, like the one which came in front of us.
The Stone Men were sent into the city first and where covered in shiny armour. They brought with them a light which burns (we suspect this was simple torches). They had fists of heat and cold and while there weren’t many of them they were very powerful and the Derro couldn’t subdue them.
The ancient Derro were quickly enslaved and forced to work for the Triad in their underground caverns. The Triad themselves dwell in a cavern made by the stone men, just off the side of the main settlement the captured Derro live in.
The Escaped Derro live here and use small mirrors to see the Triad as they are often invisible. The party mentally takes note and realize the Triad use the Walking Unseen spell a lot.
Towards the end of the meeting Elenna thinks to ask for the Derros name and he says “Tulnar the Hunter”. He rules by virtue of killing the previous leader. He asks who our leader is and Elenna leaves him with no uncertainty that she is in control and she isn’t to be trifled with. He offers to give us each some small mirrors as a parting gift and wishes us luck on our crusade to wipe out the Triad. Elenna comes back and we make our way to the stone mushroom entrance to begin the next part of our journey. We plan to capture a Triad patrol (alive if possible) and interrogate them.
It is only 1am but we head off to the cavern were we were attacked.
- Capturing a Triad Patrol
The centipede is still there and seems to be none the worse for wear. We follow the path and eventually come across a cavern bigger than all the rest we have seen. A third of the way in is a steaming lake. By the smell it is a bubbly mud lake. Near the back of the cavern we can make out the lights slave city. Beside the lake we can see some corrals of centipedes. There are at least a dozen of them. There are still some quite large expanses filled with mushrooms but they seem to have been cultivated with well worn tracks through them. Coming out of the cavern we see a few groups of slave masters with normally 20 slaves each. We have grown quite accustomed to hiding in the vegetation by now and avoid them with ease.
As we approach the mud lake and the corrals we see a stone golem and 1 blue glow. Koffi is in awe of the golem as it dwarfs his pitiful attempts. We observe them for a while and it becomes clear they are just guarding the main entrance to the city. Lady Hope and Falco nearly come to blows when the group discusses trying to capture them. Falco is all for just presenting ourselves and asking to speak to the Triad. Lady Hope is adamant we need to capture and interrogate them before making our presence known. Koffi wants to get his hands on the golem, Melco is off in a world of his own and Zanak just wants to kill something (he is still a bit miffed about losing his cutlass). Elenna finally makes the Leadership call and opts to capture the patrol. Of course, just as the decision is made the patrol heads back to the city.
A new patrol comes out consisting of a Golem, a blue glow and a Derro slave.
The patrol walks up the path a short way. The derro slave is in front with a small magical torch, lighting the way, followed by the golem and the blue glow figure. Using our mirrors we observe the blue glow and mark his armour as simple metal armour, non magical, and a similar shield. The golem is possessed as it has two auras. Koffi is again impressed.
The plan is quite simple. Zanak will mental attack the golem and the derro. The mind controlling the golem will be rendered unconscious, even though its body is no doubt back in the city. Koffi will throw a knockout gas grenado at the armoured person and the whole group will be subdued without anyone noticing. If something goes wrong then Falco can shadowhole the patrol for a few hours. The plan is brilliant in its simplicity. Now being an experienced group of adventurers you would think we would have noticed that Triads come in 3s and this patrol only has 2 members. The derro slave doesn't really count. But no, we are so eager to race into battle we completely miss this important fact.
Zanak starts the engagement by successfully knocking out the golem mind and the derro slave. Unfortunately for the derro though the golem continues on its path and squashes the unconscious body. Koffi, Zanak and Melco find it amusing. Koffi throws his grenado but the armoured figure resist the effects and races forward to the golem. Melco streaks out of cover and attempts to strike him so he will become visible and thus an easy target for Zanak or Falco. He misses.
Lady Hope places a wall of bones around Melco and the figure giving Melco another chance to strike him. This time Melco succeeds and the figure is quickly dropped by Zanak. Lady Hope counterspells the wall of bones so we can get to the figure. Elenna casts sleep on the golem, hoping to remove the possibility of the mind awakening and raising the alarm for a few hours. She fails miserably and Ting Ting drops to the ground, snoring. She tries again and gets the sleep spell off.
Melco sees a spectral warrior racing towards him. It is just a blue glow to the rest of us but Melcos directions enable Lady Hope to counterspell it into oblivion.
- Fight or Flight - guess which one we do
It finally dawns on us that Triads come in Threes. Elenna and Melco can see a blue glow in the mushroom forest but it keeps disappearing. We suspect it is using the same trick as Falco when he stands still. Before we have time to react a huge Triad symbol appears under Melco (the only one of us visible) and the beams of light shot up to the cavern ceiling. It is a pretty damned effective signal of trouble. Melco drops to the ground screaming in pain. From mind speech he says the gravity seems to have increased and his internal organs are being crushed. An alarm sounds from the city and 8 huge golems suddenly appear charging towards us. There are 8 armoured figures beside them and 8 blue glows. There are also a huge number of flying creatues coming our way. Voice of Reason wakes up Ting Ting and she and Zanak do some emergency healing on Melco. Koffi tells specks (his rag and string golem) to grab the still lit torch and hide the light. you don't want to ask how...
The sound of multitudes of rats and bats comes ever closer to us and our escape route appears to be blocked.
We all look to Falco to save us. He gloats for a moment then shadowholes us all in 3 attempts. In the first group are Melco, Zanak, Lady Hope and Voice of Reason. The sleeping warrior managed to resist. The second group has the kobalds, Elenna, Ting Ting and the warrior. the final group is Falco and Koffi. Koffi tells his 2 golems to race off and be a distraction.
Falco and Koffi reappear a short distance away. The sound of squeaking rats and bats is still close. They can see some movement closer to the city. They decide to remain as hidden as possible for Elenna to do a locate on them and bring the rest of the party. Their decision to remain hidden is proven to be a good one as a Derro Slave Master passes within feet of Koffi.
TIME PASSES. Another 30 minutes pass for Falco and Koffi.
Elennas group reappears. She immediately tries to locate Falco and Koffi but backfires and losses all spell effects on herself, including witchsight and her greater enchantment. She can no longer see in the darkness of the cavern but successfully casts locate on the second try. In the distance the light from the Triad signal can still be seen. The noise of the rats makes them all hide too but Elenna seems to be having a bad day and the rats spot her instantly. Panicking she tells the group to follow her as she heads in the direction of Falco and Koffi. It doesn't even occur to her that the sleeping warrior is unlikely to follow...
The kobalds get lost in the mushrooms and are never heard from again.
Elenna and Ting Ting race in front of the rats. Elenna manages to run right passed Koffi and Falco before her location arrow flips around. As she runs by Falco, he casts a short duration ShadowHole on her again but she resists it. He curses under his breathe. Ting Ting notices Koffi gestering for them to not resist the next spell. Ting Ting manages to convey this in time for Falcos second attempt on both of them. They disappear. Falco and Koffi remain hidden and the rats run right passed them.
A few minutes pass before Elenna and Ting Ting reappear. They can hear the rats in the distance but have no trouble joining up with Falco and Koffi, following the locate arrow again. Koffi and Falco are somewhat scathing of Elenna for losing the sleeping warrior. They backtrack the direction Elenna came running from and find the area where the warrior should be, but he has disappeared.
TIME PASSES. Only another 10 minutes for Falco, Koffi, Elenna and Ting Ting.
Lady Hope, Voice of Reason, Melco and Zanak appear. They come out very close to the mud lake but Melco, who is the only one visible, if still lying flat on the ground and is unnoticed by the group of very large golems nearby. In a stroke of brilliance or cowardness he turns into a bat and flies to the ceiling, leaving the rest of us still walking unseen.
There are 8 golems in a circle around 8 warriors. The golems are facing outwards and each one has a pole sticking up from its back. On the pole is a symbol representing a faction or alignment. One of them matches the symbol the derro slaves wore when we killed the derro slave master.
Zanak informs the group that he can't locate the others on mind speech so either they are further than 200 feet away or we are the first ones to reappear. Behind the small band is a selection of corrals for the centipedes. We slip through them with a minimum of noise and decide to hid and wait till Elenna locates us and the party reforms. As we retreat we can hear the the warriors calling out in Minzu (Erelaine) "We come to talk" but we ignore them.
Elenna has been waiting a few minutes between each attempt to locate the last group and manages to backfire again. This time she cripples her legs. She has trouble walking as they feel quite numb. She eventually gets a locate on Lady Hope. Her section of the party move towards the last group.
Meantime Lady Hope fixes Zanaks lizard so they can try for a portal back to Seagate as a last resort. As Elennas group enters mind speech range they are guided together. Elenna tries another locate to find the kobalds but backfires again and becomes deaf. At that point we convince her the kobalds are on their own and to stop backfiring...
- Meeting with the Triad
Voice of Reason and Lady Hope agree to engage the Triad in conversation, although they will have his 'bubble of force' tile equiped and ready to use should it be a trap. Falco reminds the group he said to talk to the Triad instead of attacking them but no one really cares for a smarty pants. The rest of us hide.
As Lady Hope and Voice of Reason make themselves visible a golem steps out to engage them. It demands "Maggot, take me to your master!". Voice of Reason responds in his normal diplomatic tones and starts the conversation going. After only 10 minutes they return and share the knowledge.
It seems we were expected by the Triad. They also had a divination saying the Minzu would visit. The golem is possessed by a mind calling herself Mother Thunder. She explains that we can't leave this realm as Voice of Reason can't draw in enough power to pierce the barrier on his own. She and the other Triad members are prepared to help us but the ritual needs to be performed in their place of power. When asked why they want to help no answer was given. They have no knowledge of a creature called Snave but Left Handed Humming Bird used to be important to them till they realised he was a bad influence.
It is 4am and the ritual needs to start at 5am so we have an hour to contemplate our response. We discuss our options for about 30 minutes but we decide this is our only viable way of getting to the Land of the Minzu. We know the Triad have alterior motives but we think we can do something in the last few seconds to foil them. We head on in to the Derro city and then into the Triad cavern.
- Ritual to the Land of the Minzu
We end up in a chamber with the Triad symbol on the floor. Imbedded in the symbol is each of the 8 Trigram patterns we saw earlier on the golem poles. They are combinations of Dots and Lines (Yin and Yang respectively) and are focused in the centre, where we are lead to for the ritual. On the outer end of each Trigram is a Golem and 3 members of the Triad. There is a Warrior, a Mexica Male and a pregnant Woman. The women are all heavily pregnant and the children appear to have been concieved nearly 12 years ago, not 9 months ago.
As Voice of Reason starts his ritual the 2 males of each Triad engage in some rather strenuous sexual behavior with the pregnant woman. Koffi notices the Golems are still being possessed and suspects it is the unborn child as the woman is clearly busy.
At Falcos request Zanak tries a limited precognition for just after the ritual end time. What he sees indicates there isn't anything to worry about. Lady Hope was having a leasurely soak in a bath in a tavern in a civilised world, presumably the Land of the Minzu.
Nearing 6am the Ritual completes and we find ourselves surrounded in a ball of light, streaking through the sky. As we encounter the barrier the familiar black and white specks surround us but we can't pierce it. The Triad Trigrams appear next to us and their extra energy is almost enough to push us through the barrier, but not quite. Just as we think the ritual will fail a vast swarm of yellow motes appear and combining with our own energies the barrier is ripped asunder.
We land in a huge paved area. It looks like a huge open square seen in the more civilised chinese communities. There are buildings in the distance and Voice of Reason calls out "I'm home". Some startled onlookers react in panic as 8 sets of Triad members erupt forth and scatter in different directions. Anyone caught in their way is mercilessly slaughtered, regardless of man, woman or child.
Looking over our shoulder towards the portal breach a swarm of Humming Birds come through.
Lady Hopes dream of a nice warm soapy bath seems like a distant memory.
- Welcome to the Land of the Minzu
It is still only 6am but Voice of Reason immediately notices the number of people around is very small. The populace should have been completing their morning ritual to the Ancients. He recognizes the square as a gathering point because of the 6 large statues spread around of the Ancients symbols. They serve to focus the energies being shared between the Minzu and the Ancients, and through them we can establish the Ancients can observe the Minzu.
As we wander round we notice some houses have a black and purple cross, done in chalk, on the door. Voice of Reason hasn’t seen this before.
After only a few minutes two squads of soldiers (six in each squad) approach with crossbows and halberdier type weapons. They are very young but act with a precision of movement only veterans normally exhibit. They question Voice of Reason while looking askance at us. We are only Mongols in their eyes and for some reason we are heavily armed. Voice of Reason takes command of the situation (he is the Tile Master after all) and the squads lead us to Lady Temperances house.
The main entrance to her home (a small palace) has the black and purple cross and her house guards refuse us entrance to the Lady as she is sick. Voice of Reason makes his demands known but it is only when he says he has Healers in his employ that we are shown in. We walk through the palace and end up being shown into her bedroom. Lady Hope and Falco notice the smell of peppermint in the air. This seems ominous as we encountered it several times in the barrier plane we just departed.
Lady Temperance is lying weakly in bed covered in black bruises and black and purple corpuscles. Her face is ashen and she is covered in yellow sweat. Elenna immediately recognizes the yellow sweat.
She looks at Voice of Reason and tells him another tile appeared the day after he left for Seagate. Without his masterly guidance they interpreted it as “Approaching Doom”. Within days a large chuck of the population was struck down by a poison and she is on the verge of succumbing to it.
Koffi examines her from a distance and recognizes the magic as a Plaque of Taint. It is very common and is usually healed by a low level healer. He asks Voice of Reason why the local healers haven’t cured the people and the response staggers the group. ‘’The Minzu don’t have any healers because they never get sick. Their daily communion with the Ancients protects them from all illnesses.’’ It would appear the energies returned from the Ancients has suppressed their natural immunity systems and now that the energies are not being returned the populace is being struck down with ease. It is still a mystery as to why the Ancients are not returning the energy. We speculate for a moment about possible battles the Ancients might be engaged in but we quickly return to the ‘here and now’ when Lady Temperance takes a coughing fit.
Zanak reaches forward to apply his healing skills but the Lady screams out in disgust ‘Don’t let the maggot touch me!’ Zanak is a little offended and takes a step back. Ting Ting quickly steps forward though and places her hands on the Lady. Lady Temperances’ eyes open wide as the disease is quickly removed from her body. She feels invigorated and completely healed. She looks trustingly into Ting Tings eyes and a deep form of indebtedness is formed between them. Ting Ting decides to stay with Lady Temperance as she can offer her the protection Voice of Reason couldn’t. There is also an unspoken sexual tension between the two ladies. Zanak swears under his breath because he has missed out on a good looking woman and the obvious wealth she commands.
Lady Temperance spares us a few minutes before ushering us on our way. The looks between Ting Ting and her make it obvious we best make the most of the few minutes we have. We find out the marks on the doors indicate a sick person is being cared for inside. Other Minzu are being affected and even some Mongols, but they are really beneath the Minzus notice. We ask about the Triad and Left Handed Humming Bird but are told they are just fairytales. There are a few places of learning still open where we might find some information. Ting Ting says the natural disease is magically enhanced but offers us little else. We offer to heal others in the household but Ting Ting says she can manage it.
Lastly Voice of Reason describes his last six days and Lady Temperance is upset he allowed us to enter their plane. He coughs uncomfortably but responds with a plea that he was following a divination given to him by the Ancients.
We depart shortly after.
We decide to go to Voice of Reasons home so Elenna can study statues and pictures of his sister (Sister Reason) so she can cast a locate spell. While we are at his place we have a short rest and a hot meal to bring us all back up to full strength. We all have baths to clean our dirty bodies. Some of us had forgotten what ‘clean’ smelled like.
As we wait a Mongol knocks at the door and asks to speak to Voice of Reasons guests. He is surprised to see we are not true Mongols but recovers quickly and informs us his chieftain, Khan DungHate, is wanting to see us. Buri, the messenger, has been instructed to wait till we are ready and to escort us to the Khan.
By the time we are all refreshed and Elenna can sense Sister Reasons location it is 2pm
- The Mongols are Revolting
Elenna asks Buri about the underground as her locate arrow is pointing sharply downwards. He describes vast caverns and chambers underground. Many are ruled by factions of the Mongols but there are some places all avoid as it is too dangerous. He is not very specific as to the dangers, repeating they never go there. We follow Buri through the square we arrived in down into the catacombs and after many turnings and descents we arrive at Khan DungHaters residence. The chamber is decorated like the inside of a vast tent. There are women and children in attendance.
He asks us why we are here and if we are the saviours of his people? He offers us food and drink while we compose our answers and mentions the Triad are the ancient masters. We tell him we are agents of change and by helping us he is helping his own people. He doesn’t seem to be the brightest and accepts our answers, as vague as they are. We ask for Buri to guide us on our quest to find Sister Reason, who is also an agent of change. His gullibility level must be quite high as he agrees to our request. He does warn us of other more violent tribes of Mongols in the catacombs, especially a chieftain called Genghis Khan, who is actively seeking to overthrow the current Minzu masters. Khan DungHater wants change too but doesn’t find the Minzu to be especially oppressive master. He just wants to live in peace and govern his own clan.
- The Pit of Blood
Buri leads us in the direction Elenna points out and we wind ever deeper into the catacombs. We eventually reach an area called the Pit of Blood and Buri refuses to go any further. He warns us people go in but never come back out. It is also thought to be the place of sacrifice used by Genghis Khan. Rumour has it he sacrifices animals, small children and sometimes even pregnant women. It is also rumoured to be the place of Tloloc, an ancient feared creature from the distant past.
At the mention of Tloloc we know we are in the right area as our divination told us to seek out the Hermit, the Stone Man, whom we believe is Tloloc.
Elenna confirms we are close to Sister Reason. We move further into the Pit of Blood chamber. The smell of rotting flesh is quite overpowering but we continue onwards and see the ropes dropping down into the pit itself. There are images of Tloloc on the chamber walls which we recognize from the Temple of Left Handed Humming Bird. The pit drops down at least 50 feet and disappears into a thick mist.
Zanak tries to cast ESP to locate any minds in the general area but backfires and his right arm becomes paralysed. We all slowly climb down the ropes and into the mist.
10 feet down through the mist we encounter a soft squishy floor. There are bones and rotting flesh everywhere. Flies and maggots thrive down here. Strangely the bodies don’t appear to have any blood. It looks like Left Handed Humming Bird are truly brothers.
Elenna casts quickness on the front members of the party but backfires (AGAIN!!!) and knocks herself out. Voice of Reason offers to carry her but she quickly wakes up and successfully casts the spell. We carry on down a small corridor. The mist is still very thick and visibility is limited. As we reach the end of the corridor it opens up into a chamber but we can’t see the sides or how deep it is. Melco leads the way forward and we hear a cry of sobbing children to the right. We ignore it as we can always free the children on the way back out. We move forward again but the sobbing moves closer to us. From the mist lumbers out a vaguely humanoid shape with over two dozen childrens faces in its upper torso and head. It seems a bit ghostly and has a multitude of arms reaching out to us. Melco engages it and stuns a few of the faces before being touched by an arm. He feels some energy being drained from his body and coldness where the creature touched him. Lady Hope and Specks (one of Koffis golems) move around the shape and attack also.
The battle is slow going till Falco triggers an item with BlackFire. The second attempt finally kills the creature and it dissolves into the ground. Melco was hit by the edge of the blackfire on the last attempt and he is totally surprised to still be alive. Voice of Reasons tile has kicked in and made him immune to Blackfire, possibly even more celestial magics.
We move a bit further into the chamber. The mist is still very thick. Lady Hope takes the lead as Melco is still suffering bit from the draining. From the mist a group of beautiful women approach. They are all pregnant and their gaze is quite mesmerizing. Lady Hope is entranced and offers her neck to the first woman. She is completely oblivious to the row of little sharp teeth the pregnant woman has.
Specks darts forward and stabs the woman in the womb, killing the baby. The woman screams in pain and retreats a bit. Falco casts a flash of light which blinds the women and Lady Hope. The rest of us shielded our eyes in time, thanks to the mind speech warning.
The mist begins to clear and a small blue figure appears. It is Tloloc. He is a dwarf of 4 foot height with blue skin and dark blue clothing. He carries a shield and a staff, both made of reeds. He looks really angry. He bellows “Why are you killing my children?” and aims his staff at us.
Voice of Reason recognizes one of the women as his sister and he races towards her, ignoring Tloloc. Elenna tries talking to Tloloc, urging him that we come in peace. He strides forward and the pregnant women stop their attacks and stand in awe of him. He speaks in a very commanding voice, just like his brother did several days ago, and demands to know who we are. Elenna feels slightly drained jus by being in close proximity to him but she answers the questions as quickly as she can. It only takes a few minutes to bring him up to speed on the last few days events.
He is intrigued that his brother is back. He is also quite scathing of the Minzu and calls them a bunch of fools. They need to stop giving their energy to the Ancients and use the internal energy to heal themselves. He shows Voice of Reason how to manipulate the energy for this purpose. He also agrees to free Sister Reason although he won’t change her back to being a regular Minzu.
He then tells us to “get out”.
- Summoned by Lady Temperance
We take Sister Reason back to Voice of Reasons place. We blindfold her first so she can’t ‘charm’ any other people we meet. She fell pregnant about 6 weeks ago. This is most unusual in the Minzu society as the energy of the Ancients keeps the populace healthy but also limits their frequency of reproduction. In fact, being a consort, she seldom used protection to prevent pregnancy. She was walking home one evening 2 weeks ago and she was kidnapped. She awoke in the pit and was enthralled to Tloloc. Her pregnancy had been advanced to the second term and she had been altered to find sustenance in blood. A side effect of the transformation is a talent to charm people. Although she is not a vampire.
We give her some fresh blood (animal) laced with calming herbs and Voice of Reasons servants look after her.
There is a knock at the door and a Shenobi is let in to Voice of Reasons living room. He is a black skinned Mongol dressed completely in black. He has a long lethal sword sheathed on his back. In his right hand he carries a long staff. Voice of Reasons immediate deference to this new comer is noted by our group. We remain silent while Voice of Reason is instructed to bring himself and his party of adventurers to Lady Temperances palace.
The walk to the palace is only short and we are shown into a room where Lady Temperance is engaged in conversation with Confusie, an advisor to the Emperor. There are four guards at each corner of the room. Voice of Reason is instructed to tell all of the events of the past week so a decision can be made on what to do next. He glosses over some parts of the adventure where party members did stupid or unforgivable acts, knowing these stories could result in the party being sentenced to death. He has a few sidelong glances at Zanak and Koffi.
After what seems an age, because we had nothing else to do, his tale ends and a new round of discussions starts with the Minzu suppositions on why all this has happened. They finally agree that the Ancients are engaged in a battle in Heaven. They need all the chi energy the Minzu supply each day but are unable to return it for the beneficial advantages the Minzu are used to. Obviously the Enemy have noted this and sent a plague to cripple the Ancients source of renewable power, ie the people of the Minzu. It is also agreed that Left Handed Humming Bird, Tloloc and the Triad are not the main Enemy the Ancients are facing, although the people should be wary of them.
It is decided that Voice of Reason will spend the rest of the evening teaching the Tai Chi masters from the 6 ancient cities how to perform the enhanced Tai Chi to cure the Minzu, for without the Minzu the Ancients are doomed.
Lady Temperance informs us instructions have been sent to Seagate to pay each of us 10,000SP. Voice of Reason has some individual boons he wishes to give us. Tomorrow morning the great healing ritual will be performed and on the following morning Voice of Reason will return us to Seagate, with Lady Temperances thanks.
- Some More Research
We go back to Voice of Reasons house and leave him to train the masters who have begun arriving. We are guided to a local library and we learn a few more details about the Ancients and the Enemy.
2000 years ago a war raged between Left Handed Humming Bird, Tloloc and the Ancients. Offerings to the Ancients were made in the form of blessings, whereas the enemy used offerings of Blood. These were far more intense and enabled the 2 to challenge the 6 Ancients. After the enemy realized they needed more power to win, they sought an alliance with some powerful beings from another plane (unspecified). The Ancients, alerted to what was coming and seeing their own doom, performed the ritual of the Great Closing and expelled Left Handed Humming Bird and the Triad (some of his servants) to the barrier plane and formed an impenetrable barrier to their own plane. This served 2 purposes. It stopped the new Enemy from reaching the Land of the Minzu and it removed the chaotic influence of the Ancients existing enemies, although Tloloc was trapped on the Minzu plane. Tloloc went into hiding and the Ancients ascended to Heaven.
We return to Voice of Reasons home in the late evening and form a battle plan for the morning Ritual. It appears obvious to us that Left Handed Humming Bird and Tloloc will assault the gathered Minzu and attempt to slay them to gain enough energy to overwhelm the Ancients. We plan to be standing on the top of the wall surrounding the large square and we will do anything in our power to save the Minzu when the attack begins, or at least Voice of Reason so he can perform the ritual to send us back to Seagate.
We rest till 5am and Zanaks lizard memorises the location so we can make a hasty retreat if needed.
7th of Harvest – The Final Battle
- The Battle Begins
At 5am we gather on the northern walls of the great square. From this vantage point we can tell it is a five sided shape. Near each angle is a statue of an Ancient, with the sixth one being in the centre. The square will hold up to 10,000 people but we estimate there are about 5,000 because of the space needed to perform the Tai Chi ritual. Amongst the Minzu we can see many sick and ailing people have been wheeled in. everyone is dressed in flowing white robes.
The Emperors chariot is carried into the square and halts by the central statue. His immediate area is screened off but we catch a glimpse of him in his flowing red robes. He certainly makes an obvious target!
The ritual begins without incident. Elenna keeps a focus on Voice of Reason but he is more than half the square away. When the attack begins he may be hard to extricate. We remain on high alert.
A few moments before the ritual finishes there is a swirl of yellow in each of the entrances to the great square and our worst fears are confirmed. The Triads become visible, each surrounded by a small army of Mongols. To our surprise they are facing outwards though. Walls of light/dark/shadow form in front of them and the sounds of combat can be heard approaching the great square. It is almost like the Triad are defending the Minzu and keeping another enemy out of the square. Koffi in particular is confused by this but we all agree to hold off attacking till their strategy becomes clear.
The sky suddenly goes very dark and lightning strikes the ground from the purple and black clouds above. Some particularly dense portions of the cloud cover separate off and drop down to float above the statues. An acid type rain begins falling from them and the statues, previously confirmed as being indestructible, start to show the signs of the assault. The Minzu panic and race for the only remaining exit from the square, the entrance to the Forbidden City. This is the emperors palace and regular Minzu are never allowed in. The Emperor steps forth from his screened off area and beckons for the people to follow him into the palace.
A cloud of yellow humming birds forms by one of the statues as a mist from below the cobblestones rises in the same spot. They rise together and attack the purple/black cloud above. Through the darkness we can see the cloud being split asunder and the horrific form inside is revealed. It is truly disgusting with its ugly eyes and tentacles being all black and purple. In only moments the creature screams in agony and is utterly destroyed. The humming birds and the mist move onto the next cloud above a statue. It is now obvious to us that Left Handed Humming Bird, Tloloc and the Triad are acting to ensure the Minzus survival. We don’t entirely trust their motivations but this becomes secondary to staying alive as massive Scorpion like creatures enter the fray, climbing up and over the walls to get inside the square. They are carrying scores of thralls and some unseen creatures (blue glows). We of course are standing on top of a wall and are directly in the path of one of the massive creatures.
Our party does what it normally does in these circumstances. We engage the enemies we can’t avoid while looking for a way out.
We are surprisingly successful in the first assault and decide to stick around and help more. Zanak does his mental attacks, Falco does shadowholes, Lady Hope casts fear on the scorpions, Elenna speeds us and slows them (and hardly backfires at all), Melco casts walls of light and engages the thralls directly while Koffi creates some more golems and instructs them to attack the thralls and Scorpions. Falco has to save Zanak again (this is becoming a habit) as a flying creature pulls him off the wall. Zanak falls unconscious but Voice of Reasons tile kicks in saves him from dying.
- Return to Seagate
We are still doing remarkably well by the time the mist and swarm of humming birds reach the statue near us. After disposing of the purple and black entity in the cloud a 7 foot tall Tloloc appears from the mist. He strides towards us and says “We are grateful to you for bringing my ‘family’ together, but it is time for you to return. I cannot hold this open for long. I need to fight the enemy – GO NOW or stay forever” as a portal to Seagate is opened beside us. We all leap through to safety. Only Koffi is upset at the hasty departure as his golems didn’t have time to get back to us before the portal closed. It takes a moment but we suddenly realize the bulky treasure items we had picked up on the adventure were strapped to his golems too. The happiness of being alive and back in Seagate is tempered by the loss of most of our treasure.
A small humming bird has slipped through the portal in the last seconds before it closed. It drops to the ground in front of Koffi and changes to a small piece of jewelery. He picks it up and puts it in his pocket.
We take a few moments to discuss the fate of the Minzu but we are undecided if the Minzu are safe or just trading one set of enemies for another. It seems like a bit too much thinking for some of us so we all retire to the guild kitchen for a sumptuous meal and a clean bath. Most of us hope to return to this land to see what has befallen Voice of Reason and his sister in the coming months.
- Guild purchases
- Greater Enchantment, Rank 11 – Paid for by Voice of Reason, 3 months
- On 2 – Zanak, Falco, Lady Hope
- On 4 – Elenna, Melco, Koffi, Ting Ting, Voice of Reason
- Potions – Paid for by Voice of Reason
- 3 Waters of Healing
- 6 Healing (10 points)
- Lesser Enchantment – Paid for by Voice of Reason
Loot and Boons
- 1st Day at Guild
- 1 Blank Tile each to activate when needed by the person
- 1 Pearl each to allow us to speak Erehleine
- Greater, Employer paid for these
- Lessors, Employer paid for these
- 3 x Waters of Healing, Employer paid for these
- Second Jungle Encounter
- Exo-skeleton (lost)
- 4 x acid bladders
- 3rd Day in the Jungle
- 3 vials - with life stealing floating entities
- plant samples -Koffi
- 3rd Day in the Jungle, fight for one of the Tiles
- Heavy Crossbow (lost)
- 7 Bolts
- 2 x Resin Armour (Lost)
- 2 x Bodies from Garglespit (Lost)
- 1 x necklace - Invisibility
- 3rd Day Getting the last Tile
- 2 x Vials of Peppermint Mist
- 1 x Spider Body (Lost)
- 3rd Day near sink hole
- 2 x 3 doses - Healing herb (Princess Lotus Flowers)
- 3rd Day - Last fight of the day
- 4 x Kobold size latex suits - protection from lightning
- 4th Day - Meeting with Bird of the Jungle
- 5 Vials of Peace Milk to get back into the Village
- 5th Day - Encounter with the Derro Slave Master
- Scale Mail (Lost)
- 6 Bolts
- 7th Day Battle in the Square of the Ancients
- Humming Bird Jewellery
- Women's Balls
- Gift of Universe
- Tile - Invoke Yang
- Tile - Invoke Yin
- Tile - Mantis Protection
- Tile - Dragons Anger
- Tile - Sun Skin
- 2nd Day - Encounter with Bird of the Jungle
- 4 x vials of Tranquil Potion - which he had given us.
- 3rd Day - Last Tile
- Koffi - 1 x Greek Fire Gernado
- Elenna - 1 x Healing Potion
- Elenna - 1 x Restortive
- Zanak - 1 x Healing Potion
- Zanak - 1 x Restortive
- Koffi - 1 x Healing Potion
- 3rd Day - Last fight of the day
- Melco - 1 x Healing Potion
- Zanak - 1 x Healing Potion
- 5th Day - Getting a Triad
- Zanak - Sword stolen
- 6th Day - Getting a Triad
- Koffi - Gas Gernardo
- 7th Day - Fight in the Square of the Ancients
- Koffi - Gas Gernardo
- Koffi - Boso the Bear Golem
- Koffi - Bill the Golem
- Koffi - Plate Armour for Bill the Golem
- Koffi - Battleaxe for Bill the Golem
- Everyone - Some party treasure that was on the Golems
- 1st Dropping from the Sky
- Elenna - Tile Activated when did backfire - Minor Curse Removal
- 3rd Day - In the Village
- Malco, Koffi, Zanak, Tingting - Courtly Arts encounter
- 3rd Day - Spider Fight
- Lady Hope - Tile - Sunskin (Similar to Trollskin)
- 3rd Day - In Water Logged Cavens
- Koffi - a necklace given to him by Jube
Keeping up Standards
- Standard Buffs - Party
- Mind Speech - Zanak
- Quickness - Elenna
- Shadow Form (DEF + 26) - Falco
- Witchsight (Rank 6) – Falco
- Spectral Weapon (+7SC, +3DAM, hit insubstantial) – Lady Hope
- Standard Buffs - Personal
- Durability on Lady Hope - Koffi
- Mind Shield - Zanak
- Standard Marching Order
- Rank 1: (cannon fodder): Bill (Koffis Golem), Melco
- Rank 2: Koffi, Elenna, Lady Hope
- Rank 3: (mages & cowards):Ting Ting, Voice of Reason
- Rank 4: (dag ends): Falco, Zanak
- Standard Watches
- First: Zanak, Voice of Reason
- Second: Melco, Koffi
- Third: Ting Ting, Elenna
- Fourth: Falco, Lady Hope
Nominations and SGT Snippets
- Best Dressed Party Member
- Zanak the cross dressing Pirate
Possible Award Nominations
- Best Death
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