Sumthin's A-Matter With Our Monster
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Adventure: Sumthin's a-Matter with our Monster
GM: Jacqui Smith
Session: Autumn 811
Location Mangere Bridge
Level: Medium to Medium-High
- Lath female, human air mage played by Jono Bean
- Aqualina female, human water mage played by Keith Smith
- Tegan female, water elemental, animal mage played by Kelsie
- Bishop Velcanthus human male, a priest of Chantris, played by Jim Arona
- Thorn human female, Warrior, Healer, Apprentice Sorcerer played by Helen
- Toledo Steele human male warrior played by Craig Harper (unfortunately had to withdraw)
Clan McLeod in Caledonia
Find out what's wrong with the Monster in the Loch - and fix it.
Dwarven blacksteel weapon of their choice - and the usual salvage.
Briefing and Knowledge
We assembled in Meeting Room 3 and met Donald McLoed, Brigetta's oldest brother. He had come down on a trading boat loaded with Caledonian whiskey and wanted a party of adventurers to investigate what was happening with their local monster. A month or so ago, the usual elusive monster in the local loch, or lake, was acting rather erratically, such as swimming in circles, snapping at birds and even overturning a fishing boat. We were asked not to harm it, as the locals didn't really think of the creature as a monster but as a creature that they had nicknamed 'Nessie', since it inhabited Loch Ness.
Nessie is a rather large creature with one head, four flippers, and a greenish tinge and, as far as Donald knew, was the only one of it's kind and had been in the loch for as long as the McLoeds had been there. They were offering a blacksteel weapon of our choice.
My follow adventurers:
- Father Rowan - 5'4", Brown cloak, green cassock and a light rod. Accompanied by his retinue, Orb - a baby angel, Fingers - a monkey, and a trainee priest/alchemist.
- Toledo Steele - 6'2", Black leather with weapons. Warrior.
- Lath - Human female, red robes. Airmage and a person of many skills. Can immediately plate up and produce wings. Has an association with Death.
- Tegan - Currently in the form of a water elemental. 22ft tall and permanently quickened. Also has hallucinations and talks to imaginary angels.
- Thorn - 5'6" female human, warrior healer.
- And I'm Aqualina. 5'1" Pasifikan female water mage.
I got the job of scribe while Lath became the military scientist.
Arranged for a Lesser (-600sp) and a Greater (r15, 3 areas -10,000sp)
Next morning, we headed down early for the boat, the Pride of Oban, commanded by Captain Thomas Kincaid. It was currently loaded up with trade goods back to Caledonia. Father Rowan marked some of us with Greater Heart Runes and Willow Heart Runes. The day and night passed without incident.
"Lath could use knockout gas on herself" - Toledo "Don't tell her. She'll try it" - Father Rowan
The following day, we were getting used to the routine so, those of us who had sailor experience were able to help out.
That night we were woken up by sounds of something hitting the side of the ship. There was a pirate ship firing ballistae bolts as well as fire magics. Tegan and I went over the side. Meanwhile the others prepared to fly over to the other ship and take the battle to the enemy.
It didn't take long once they got over there. I was trying to disrupt their aim by turning their ship with a Mage Current. A barrage of Whirlwind Vortexes and Hellfires swept the decks leaving only a few for Toledo and Thorn to finish off.
We checked the ship over. Of course Captain Kincaid wanted to add it to the Caledonian fleet, after all, his current ship had been captured from the Destinians. This new ship was currently named the "Scurvy Strumpet" but, a few quick strokes with a paintbrush changed that to "Curvy Trumpet".
Not much loot on board, apart from the ship itself, however the captain's cabin had a rather interesting map. It showed the coast around Sanctuary, in a fifty mile area, but it also showed the location of any Seagate Guild adventurers in that area, namely us. The map had a Plane of Origin of Alusia but the magic was Haven in origin.
We finally split enough of the crew between both ships and put them in the same Mage Current before sailing on our way.
The plan was to lay in at the nearest port and take on more crew. However, after studying the maps it was discovered that Brandenburg was lacking in coastal towns. Initially I thought that they had been wiped out by a tsunami but Lath explains it was because Lord Azure was suppressing any competition in coastal trading, namely by getting orcs etc to sack any rising competition. So we headed for Freetaun.
It wasn't until late the following day until we reached Freetaun on the tip of Aladar. The "Curvy Trumpet" was left in the harbour while the "Pride of Oban" went into port. We decided to stay on board.
We got some more crew, mostly green, and the first mate, William Kincaid, took command of the "Curvy Trumpet". We stayed on board in an attempt to 'stake our claim' as someone put it. So far it's looking like we may get an income from it.
Sailed past the pointy bit of Brandenburg.
Passed Flugelheim. Late that afternoon some flying creatures were seen ahead of us way in the distance. Father Rowan sent Orbit to have a look and we discovered that they were gargoyles. Probably came from the Gargoyle Islands.
That night, while we lay at anchor, a swarm of gargoyles attacked the ship. Toledo was on watch at the time and used light to attract them to him while raising the alarm. Everyone else headed up on deck while Thorn prodded me awake - much to the annoyance of the ship's cat that was sleeping on me. Tegan webbed most of the gargoyles while the others laid into them. By the time Thorn and I got there, it was basically all over.
Finally sailed into Solway Bay and landed at Oban. Once off the ship, we headed for the local inn. It was there we noticed a few things odd. First off, the local bard was hesitating over his music, as if he was forgetting the tune. Plus the barmaid, after taking our order, had to come back and ask again as she had forgotten most of it. That seemed so odd that those who had the capability started Daing stuff.
What they determined that there was some sort of forgetfulness curse in the population, mostly prevalent in the adults. Children and animals didn't seem to be affected so much. The bard definitely had it and, from what we could determine, it was in the whiskey and beer that was being served.
While we were trying to determine what was going on we noticed a priestly type in the bar. Father Rowan went to introduce himself and managed to somehow annoy him. We did however determine that he was a junior priest of Manannan Mac Lir, the local sea god. The High Priest of that god is located at Craighouse Keep, on the shore of Loch Dorm.
More enquiries told us that the source appeared to be the water, more precisely the waters from the top of Darloch Firth, which was cleaner than the water down at this end and is used in the whisky distillery. The same effect could be affecting Nessie as the water for the Firth originates up there and flows through Loch Ness and Loch Bracadale on it's way to the sea. It was starting to remind me of the mission I had undertaken a few years ago offplane when we were tracking the source of a poison along a river. We also concluded that the alcohol in the whiskey amplified the effects.
Currently Tegan was stuck in the form of a water elemental and it was possible that a boon from Manannan Mac Lir might be able to fix it. However, being a water elemental, this meant she had to be kept wet. So I put a rainstorm on her. We then flew off, by Lath's cloud, to Craighouse Keep to inform the High Priest of the situation. When we got there, we discovered that the local beer was fine but the imported whiskey from Oban wasn't.
The High Priest's name was Murdoch Kincaid and we found him at the temple by the shore of the lake. The lake had a rune covered obelisk in it, 100 yards off shore and magically charged as a water place of power. We informed him of the situation but unfortunately Father Rowan managed to annoy the High Priest as well. Seems that they've not heard of Chantris at all up here. Also, unfortunately, it looks like fixing the water isn't going to be enough for Tegan to get her boon.
So, we flew back to the Firth then travelled up the waterways until we reached Loch Ness and Dunvegan Castle.
We landed and walked in. When we got to the gates, Donald introduced us and the Laird, Malcolm McLoed, was fetched. Upon listening to him, we swiftly came to the conclusion that they were forgetting things as well. Even his speech patterns were hesitant. They were also rather hesitant about letting a water elemental into the castle, as they didn't want the carpets and tapestries wet. So I offered to waterproof them. They compromised by having the servants remove the carpets etc before Tegan entered the room. They had planned a feast but when Lath pointed out we were fasting they decided to defer the feast until our return.
"You've got two Colleges - put the other one to work" - Lath to Father Rowan.
The castle's water supply came from two sources, either the loch itself, or from the spring under the castle. So we went down to check out the spring. The spring water was also contaminated but not as bad as the loch.
For some reason Lath wanted to visit Castle Stalker where the Temple of the Dagda was. From what I could tell, Dagda sounded similar to Tangaroa.
Later on, we headed down to the beach. The idea was for me to summon an elemental and send it off to find the creature. However it failed to come back. Father Rowan had put a visitation rune on the elemental so used a spell to 'visit' it. All he saw was water.
While I tried summoning a nixie, Father Rowan summoned a fossegrim. We got the fossegrim. Unfortunately, questioning it, even with a truth rune, yielded little information as it didn't know or it couldn't remember. Fortunately someone, Lath I think, had a divination that would give us an indication where the source of the trouble was. It pointed somewhere down the lakeshore on this side.
Lath had sent a windwhistle message over the lake in an attempt to attract the monster. Later on that afternoon, I was keeping watch from the top of Thorn's tower while Thorn was in the process of healing Father Rowan of a previous backfire. That was when I saw the head of a large creature gliding through the water. So, now I knew roughly what it looked like so, after I told the others, I attempted to summon it.
The summoning worked, but it was rather annoyed and every attempt to control the creature failed. After splashing me several times it swum off. It was just getting out of range when the control spell finally took effect.
Finally we were able to talk to and divinate it. Usually it could be classed as a 'gentle giant'. It looked like a creature called a plesiosaur but it was actually a long-lived sentient with the GTN of 'Water Orm' - some sort of dragon-kin. Maybe it was related to the dragons in the mountains. It reminded me of a taniwha.
As far as it knew there was something in the water. It usually ate fish but remembered eating a couple of goblins that had fallen in the water, which had tasted horrible. The goblins had been digging in the surrounding cliffs so we were wondering if they had let something out.
We followed the creature down in the direction of it's lair, which incidentally was in the same direction of where the problem was coming from, passed a couple of dilapidated fishing village, before stopping in the shadow of a mountain that was quite close to the loch. That was Bynack Moor. There were steep cliffs into the water some of which had slipped into the water. The creature's lair was a blind cave under the water and wasn't the source of the problem.
There were other caves and crevasses in the cliff face, both under and over the waterline. The rockfall must have taken a few goblins with it as a couple of pairs of legs were sticking out from the rocks. One of the holes, just above the waterline, had water pouring out of it and it was that, which was causing the problem. There was a maze of passages behind the holes.
It was getting late by now so traps were put up to catch any wandering goblins while we slept.
Spent the day watching for goblins and fixing up Father Rowan.
Went in one of the other holes near where the water was coming out and, sure enough, there was a twisty maze of winding narrow passages behind there. Toledo stayed back as a guard in case goblins followed us in. He had instructions to go back to the Guild if we failed to return. Tegan had to flatten out to a mere trickle in order to fit in.
Tegan had a rabbit in front of us but it was soon shot by a crossbow bolt which had been set as a trap. It hadn't been the only victim either as nearby was a dead male goblin who had been shot in the back.
I went on find trap duty at the front. I successfully found and disarmed the next tripwire trap but discovered the punji stake pit by stepping in it. After that, I triggered the ten ft deep pit trap as well but managed to tumble away from it.
We soon found a bridge over the flowing water but Tegan managed to break it, even though she was being careful. So Father Rowan ferried us across.
A bit later on, after crossing another bridge and squeezing our way through a narrow point we discovered a small goblin child who wandered out and said "Are you my mummy?" Nearby were a group of half starved children and female adults. The only males were elderly. So we gave them some food, including a few coconuts, and asked them what had happened. They told us that the goblin king had sent the males through a hole in the back of the cave complex to look for the goblin crown, presumably some sort of artefact. We got roughly the same story when Father Rowan went back to question the corpse we had found.
A bit later on we found a tributary flowing into the main stream that was practically full of the forgetting water. It's plane of origin was Lethe which told us that this was an outflow from the River Lethe - the River of Forgetfulness. "Round Five" exclaimed Lath when we discovered that. Father Rowan had his alchemist bottle some of the water as it may prove useful later on.
One of the goblins led us to the point where the rest of the tribe had vanished. There, we found the goblin queen and a crude inscription on the wall. The walls here also indicated that this complex was of dwarven manufacture.
The inscription read
He who would be the Greatest of Goblins must seek in the Deep, He must find the Door that should not be opened, Loose the Waters of Forgetfulness, Enter the Realm of Winter's Embrace. Pass through the Mountains of Frozen Memory, Climb the Hills that Summer Forgot, Cross the Plains of Snow, To the Slough of Sleet, Find the Fortress of Ice, Fight his way to its very heart, And take the Crown of the Goblin King!
The tributary led back to what looked like a vertical circular puddle, framed by stone, that was mounted in the back wall. Fortunately there looked like to be enough room for us to get through above the water outflow. Father Rowan divinated the portal and discovered that the name of the plane on the other side was "Hibernia".
Father Rowan, and his minions, were the first through and I wasn't too far behind them. What we discovered was a ring of dwarves on ledges above us pointing crossbows. Then the leader yelled "Hold your fire - they're humans". I could see that the water flowed out of a pipe and into the portal. Also, what we were standing in appeared to be a bowl with outflow drains. Marks on the bowl indicated that it used to be full of water.
We were conducted to the King of the Dwarves, Belerl. There, we discovered that the goblin king had discovered the key and the lock to the portal, presumably on the Caledonian side, and opened it, letting the Water of Forgetfulness out. Then a whole horde of them, roughly fifty, had gone through, busted past the dwarves and out into the winter wilderness. These dwarves had originally came from Caledonia and were the self appointed guardians of the portal. Submerging it behind the Waters of Forgetfulness had been part of the security system. Also, the waters would still leak through even if it were capped. So much for that idea. Looks like we're going to find the goblin king and get the golden key and the silver disk back. We were also told it was impossible to fly here. Something in the air would stop you. Air spirits I suspected.
Currently we were in a mountain. Outside, it was eternal winter and the land was occupied by creatures such as snow giants and storm drakes. For some strange reason, instead of stopping to talk to the dwarves, Lath, Tegan and Father Rowan decided to head outside. I thought I'd better go with them to see what they were up to.
What they were up to was attempting to control the weather and maybe attracting something that they could control. Lath's first attempt to control the weather failed, as if the very air was resisting. She started to try again and that was when five large snow creatures were seen advancing up the slope to our position.
So we went on the defensive with a barrage of whirlwind vortexes, water bolts, and agonies. They replied with something that caused our minds to go momentarily numb, like what happens when you eat something really cold. I got that twice. The creatures then charged their way up the slope towards us and Tegan went down to meet them. Meanwhile Father Rowan tried to knock them over with an earth tremour while I followed up with a line of geysers.
Finally we took out three, rendered one unconscious and had the last one under control thanks to some strange hooks that Lath had. They also 'hooked' the unconscious one. So, with two snow giants in tow, we headed back to the dwarves along with the bodies and their weapons.
The corpses were dragged as far as the cave entrance where the big double doors are. The dwarves were sure surprised, especially when they saw we had managed to compel two of them. We left the two controlled snow giants outside and went in to have another word with the dwarves.
We met up with three of them: Werel Stormhammer, the son of the chief, Th'dak Blackshield, the Namer and Taren - the librarian. We told them what had been going on in Caledonia and the verse we had found on the other side of the portal and they confirmed that we were in the Mountains of Memory. A map was drawn for us showing the way to the shrine - located south of here. Father Rowan then obtained permission to install one end of a rune portal here in order to facilitate a speedy return.
We had already found out that many air and weather based spells weren't working too well as if the very essence of the plane was actively resisting. So we went back outside in order to run some tests. My fog worked, but the rainstorm spell I had been using to keep Tegan topped up failed. Have to go to plan B. Lath was rather annoyed when she discovered that her Barrier of Wind actually had the opposite effect.
Preparations for the trip were made. I managed to get my Greater upgraded to a rank 20 all areas, to match the others as well as getting a pair of snow shoes. Meanwhile Thorn's tower was loaded up with coal and a lexicon of simple snow giant words was obtained. We also got snow giant fur coats.
We prepared to leave. A sled had been constructed out of a large table and, with the snow giants acting as brakes, we slid down the mountain. Suddenly a crevasse was seen ahead but, Tegan managed to alter our course so we were able to slew to a stop just before it.
As we were sorting ourselves out, one of the snow giants suddenly jabbered out something and ran off. A short while later a large worm thing popped up and breathed on us with it's icy breath. We assaulted it with magic then Lath and Thorn moved into the attack. After a few rounds it finally tried to run away into the snow but we were able to thwap it some more until it expired ..... and exploded - much to our annoyance as we were planning on making armour out of it. I was nearly rendered unconscious by the shockwave. It Daed as a Frost Worm.
After Father Rowan healed us all up and sent Orbit after the runaway snow giant, we continued on. Orbit returned empty handed, without the hook that had been in it.
A while later we came off the glacier. The terrain was rough and the weather was still nasty. It didn't take long to reach the tree line. A small group of reindeer were spotted and Tegan tried to catch one. Unfortunately they got away.
That night, Thorn's tower was erected and we made camp inside it. The remaining snow giant was dismissed. I had to use my plaque to top Tegan up. Watches were set and during the night, we could hear wolves howling to each other.
Today dawned clear and we could see we were in a valley. The way ahead was full of trees. Lath managed to put air flights on the rest of us while Father Rowan used his Install Flight. I was quite happy to stay close to the ground but as soon as Lath got higher than fifty feet, she started getting buffeted.
Lath didn't seem too bothered by that but it looked rather scary to me so I stayed close to the ground even though that involved playing dodge with the trees. As we continued on, something flew out of the sun in our direction. As it got closer we could see it was a 20 odd foot long dark bluish coloured dragon. Lath flew up to meet it and got a warning shot from it's lightning breath weapon. It's GTN was Storm Drake. It was soon evident that it didn't want to communicate so we kept on going.
We had been going east and soon found the frozen river, which to our surprise was not frozen. We discovered that there was some magic in the water that prevented the river from being frozen. However, water removed from the river lost it's magic rapidly and froze.
Turning south, we followed the river downstream. A bit later on we could see activity ahead. A bit way from the river a horde of pale goblins were attacking some humans. Two of the humans were already down. Also with the humans was a large, dead, wild boar. We soon determined that the goblins were snow goblins and not the ones we were looking for.
Father Rowan put up a barrier of thorns between the two fighting groups. That was when the wind came up and knocked nearly all the goblins over, some of the humans as well as Father Rowan and myself. Lath had managed to get a windstorm up. She was hovering in the air with her wings and from what little orcish I knew I could hear the goblins saying 'Save us' and seemed to be proclaiming Lath as the Winter Queen. The goblins that were still alive then ran for it as soon as the wind stopped.
It was soon ascertained that these humans were also from Caledonia, a long time ago, The one we were talking to was Connell McDermont of Clan McDermont. He told us that there were 7 clans here of roughly 2,500 people in total. We told him that there was a way back if they wanted to take it. Personally I was wondering if Caledonia could take the influx of more people especially of complete new clans. Would there be room?
They took us to where they lived, a cave that was surrounded by a stockade. They even had a garden, thanks to the ice mages they had. As we discovered, they had a lot of mages, a fact which had contributed to their survival. We were introduced to Aaron, the clan chief and Hannah, the wise woman. Hannah offered to make us boots. Initially Tegan declined but if these prove to be special, i.e. magical, she should give Hannah her foot size for when she becomes human again. I was also curious about the clan's history as well as how they were going to cook the wild boar. Basically they used an earth oven, very similar to the Pasifikan method except they used their fire mage to heat the rocks. Must remember that technique.
Lath was very curious about this 'Winter Queen' and we learnt that the snow goblins worship her as a goddess. Also we were likely to encounter snow goblins and snow giants near the fortress we were heading for. The Winter Queen's name is Maeb and Father Rowan recognised her as a rather powerful Unseelie fae. She is probably the one controlling the weather which meant she was either an extremely powerful Air mage or had an artifact to help. It was increasingly becoming obvious that Lath had aspirations of being a Winter Queen herself.
Got the boots the next morning. As I suspected, they were enchanted so Tegan asked for a pair. They were nice and furry and, as well as keeping our feet warm, they allowed us to walk on the snow without sinking. Speaking of Tegan, Lath was referring to her as 'Bubblegirl'.
It was snowing this morning as we pressed on which was making it difficult for me to see. Also I couldn't get a rainstorm on Tegan as the plane was resisting but the snowfall was doing the job.
A short while later, the snow drake turned up again. Whether it was the same one or not, I couldn't tell but this one also exhibited the same aggressive tendencies. It was also surrounded by a lightning shield. According to Thorn, it was angry about something, probably us invading it's territory. The party decided to strike back with Lath, Tegan and Thorn trying to grapple and bring it down. Much to our surprise, the drake assumed lighting form and zapped them all before flying off. Thorn was the only one not sparkling.
So we all went Unseen to avoid future conflict. I used my last Witchsight charge just to make sure I wasn't at a tactical disadvantage by not being able to see anyone.
That evening we stopped and put the tower up. I prepared a hot vegetable and ham soup for dinner. A short while later, two large wolves started approaching the tower. Thorn remarked that they were probably attracted by the small of my cooking.
We gathered on the top of the tower. It was still snowing so Father Rowan created a tunnel of Bound Air so we could see. However the wolves must have sensed the magic as they became very wary. Tegan tried Binding Animals but that failed. That, and Thorn's ESP told us that they were actually sentient.
The rest of the party decided they wanted to talk to them so attempts were made to lure them towards the tower with the promise of food. They weren't having any of that. So Father Rowan decided to shapechange into a cat, go out there, then use the broken leg act to attract them. Meanwhile Knockout Gas and Binding Wills were tossed at them.
Father Rowan's act may have been successful if they hadn't resisted all that magic and decided that this was not a good place to be. Father Rowan then gave chase. So, there was the sight of two rather large wolves running away and being chased by what appeared to be a small domestic housecat. I thought it so funny that I was laughing hysterically on top of the tower. The last thought that Thorn got was 'This never happened' and 'We will never speak of this incident again.' It also tells me that if I find a cat curled up on me while I'm sleeping during this adventure, I'll know who it is.
We also discovered that Tegan has a higher order of drinking problem ... such as a desire to drink experimental alchemical potions.
Early that morning, Thorn and I were on watch when we saw, off in the distance, a rather curious creature. Even with the spyglass we couldn't make out much detail but it was hopping along on one leg, only had one arm and was covered in feathers. We later discovered that they were called Falchen.
After breakfast, Lath checked that item that was telling us the best way to go and it was indicating a south west direction. That seemed about right. The morning had dawned with a heavy snowfall so Tegan wanted to find a creature that could see through falling snow. So this was why Thorn had taken the form of a helpless doe in order to attract predators. What she got was a stag, which did not have predation on it's mind. So Tegan bound it to pull our sled. Much to her disappointment, it could not see through falling snow. Meanwhile I collected the velvet that it had scraped off onto the tower. Maybe it could be useful for something.
The stag wasn't enough to pull the sled easily so Father Rowan and his throne were pressed into service. A bit later on, we heard a scream then voices in an unknown language. Visibility was appalling so, as we hurried towards the sounds of a conflict in progress, it took a while to determine that there was a bunch of humans fighting a couple of ice trolls. So, we decided to break it up the same way we had dealt with the earlier combat and smack down the ice trolls. There was also a dead deer nearby which seemed to be the cause of the conflict.
Tegan and I swung around to attack a troll each from behind. Thorn came in from the side while Lath and Father Rowan prepared to lob spells at them. That was when we discovered that the trolls had ice armour on, which probably meant that their axes had weapons of ice on. My first swing was good but proved to be ineffectual while the second caused the blade of my tulwar to fall out. I was not happy about that as evident by the language I was using. Fortunately the others were having better luck and the other ice troll went down.
The troll I was fighting then turned, attempting to trample Thorn and myself as I switched to a trident. Meanwhile the humans were pointing at Tegan and yelling something that sounded like 'Narki' as she hooked the other frost giant. She then battered the second one and hooked it as well.
We had no language in common, and these were definitely not Caledonians, but their gestures indicated that we should follow them. So we did ... right back to their camp. There, we met up with their spokesperson, who introduced himself in halting common as 'Speaker to Strangers'. They were the Sarmi and they had been here long before the Caledonians arrived. As a reward, their shaman was going to make us potions of 'run like deer'.
That night we stayed for dinner and entertainment. Dinner was venison. I spent most of the time getting their stories and histories. They were of a hunter/gatherer culture and followed the reindeer herds that they were dependant on. Their main legends had to do with the disappearance of their sun god, Beaivi, and the hope that one day that she would reappear permanently. Occasionally they would catch glimpses of the sun through the ever present clouds. Mention was also made of a thunder god called Horagalles. We also discovered 'Narki' meant 'water spirit'.
We set off again, slogging through the snow with the hooked snow giants pulling the sled. At this rate, it was looking like it was going to take us days to get to the fortress and we were discussing ways of getting there faster. Why don't we take a boat says I, remembering the non-frozen river. So, that's what we ended up doing with the aid of a ship strength. There was some contamination in the river, according to Father Rowan's alchemist, but it seemed safe enough for Tegan to enter. We figured it was probably mineral or thermal elements in the water.
Later on we reached the swamp and could see lights glowing over the water. Will o' wisps I believed and kept the boat on course. That's when Thorn's undead detecting sword started glowing.
Visibility was not the best as a blanket of mist covered the area and it was snowing. Tegan stopped the boat and we waited, prepared to strike. Here, the river was 50ft wide and 10ft deep and all around was boggy swamp punctuated by the odd cluster of half drowned trees.
Just then it went completely dark and I mean really dark, completely pitch black. I could hear the spellcasting somewhere off to port. At the same time Tegan detected four winter wights closing on our position.
Both Paracelsus and I cast Quicknesses so that the entire party, including the two snow trolls, were quickened. Father Rowan also created light in order to create the darkness. The wights blasted us with waves of cold but Father Rowan was able to turn three of them while the others basically beat the other one up. Unfortunately, during the skirmish, the caster cast a Mass Fear spell and both trolls ran away much to Tegan's disgust.
I was still in the boat keeping a lookout and caught a glimpse of the caster ducking behind some brush. I was going to blast the area with geysers to flush him, her or it out but the next spell cast at us was Agony - and, as usual, I was affected by searing pain - worse than giving birth in my opinion. I hate that spell. I really should learn Necro Special Counter and cast it on myself everything I get wind of a necro in the area.
The agony meant I was basically out of the combat and all I could do was curl up in the bottom of the boat and suffer. So Tegan took over that idea as the others advanced on the caster, who proved to be an ugly old crone or a hag as someone put it. Tegan's geysers failed to go off and the others piled in, soon rendering her 'armless - literally. They then went after the fleeing trolls, returning with one of the hooks and a troll.
The agony had worn off by the time that they returned and I had already checked the loot over for curses etc. What we had, after Father Rowan divinated them was the following:
- One well made non-magical kite shield (adds +5 to DEF)
- One weaponsmithed & magical sword (+10SC +2D, half from magic)
- Master stone and minion stone. Allows self only spells to be shared with minions.
The GTN of the crone was Masana, or Winter Hag. We ended up taking her hair, an eye and her claws before dumping the rest of the body over the side. At least she wasn't pacted to the Winter Queen.
Aqualina - "and not the guild adventurer with a similar name that starts with M" Lath - "Oh my god. There's a plane of frozen things pacted to Mortimer?"
Tegan was so full of swamp water that ... well ... I had never seen a black water elemental before. Lots of peat in the water presumably. I offered to flush it all out with the plaque but she reckoned it would all settle eventually.
Continued down the river and eventually night fell. For some reason there was some concern that this river also had forgetfulness in it but we were sure there wasn't. We managed to find a place off the river that Thorn could put her tower up.
Tegan - "I've been in this river all day and I don't remember anything I've forgotten"
After breakfast, Lath checked on the location of the key and the lock and discovered that it was due south, away from the river and into the rugged hills nearby.
We slogged up into the hills and discovered an area where there had been a big fight a few weeks ago. From what we could tell it had been between the green goblins and the white ones. However there was no sign of the lock and key.
A bit later on, we spotted a wooden fifty foot high watch tower, manned by half a dozen white goblins on the ridge line overlooking the wide valley we were starting to head down. Crystals of Vision and Waters of Vision were employed to scout out the area looking for a more subtle way past the watch towers, and also to find the fortress.
A goat track that led in roughly the right direction was soon discovered and the fortress itself was found. It was roughly star shaped with ballistae at the points and set inside a crater. The top of the fortress stuck out of the crater and a moat ran around the base of the building. Getting in wasn't going to be easy.
I believed that we should go back to the battlefield and question the spirits of the dead white goblins but the others wanted to assault the 40ft high tower and talk to the still living ones. Incidentally we had released the second troll from its enchantment and it had run off in search of its brother.
So it was decided that we would windwalk up to the tower, unseen, and slip in the gap between the top of the tower and the protecting metal cupola roof. Well, that was the plan but what we didn't realise that there was an all round transparent window that covered that gap, discovered when Tegan smacked into it. So we ended up on the cone of the cupola itself, hanging on from Lath and my nets. Unfortunately for my state of mind, the weight of a three tonne water elemental on the roof was causing the entire tower to creak and threaten to cave the roof in.
Tegan suddenly remembered she had another way in and used it to get inside the top of the tower where the big mirror and light were. It was actually reminding me of a lighthouse. I blanketed the tower in fog while Tegan attempted to flush the goblins down the tower. We featherfalled down the tower to meet her at the front door.
Finally Tegan burst the door open. Three of the dozen goblins inside had already drowned and the rest were cowering in various places in the tower. She had also managed to take out the wooden stairs so getting to them was going to be difficult. Father Rowan blasted the entire tower with a Mass Fear and that was when the uncontrolled, and extremely annoyed ice elemental rose up from the floor. After a severe fight, it was hooked then completely smashed up into pieces. I got the impression that Lath was planning to make ice lollies from the remains. That was before it vanished.
A quick search through the tower, using air walking, discovered that the remaining survivors had escaped through a portal and pulled the plug out at the other end rendering the portal useless. However we did have one stunned living goblin so Father Rowan put compulsion and truth runes on it and while the others questioned it, I went searching the tower for anything useful.
They were told that the surviving green goblins had been captured and incarcerated in the dungeon level below the fortress. The lock and key that the green goblin king had was in the storage rooms on that level. The entity in charge of the fortress was Lord Malbereth and he does ice magic, can make himself really big, up to 25ft tall, and can go from place to place, presumably a teleport step. There was a back way into the fortress which consisted of going into the sewage outflow into the moat, up into the mushroom farm, veer left and through the door then up the steps to the dungeon level. Above that was the temple then the fortress proper. The goblin believed we would die horribly if we went there.
So it was water walks all around then more windwalking. We landed on the surface of the moat and got blasted by the dragonflames ward that was on the grill covering the outflow. Windwalked up the tunnel and discovered another dragonflames ward (rank 15) at the other end. So we backed off while Father Rowan dealt to it. Lath also used a wind to flush out the fumes out of the tunnel in case there was a massive explosion.
Once it had been rendered safe we headed in, entering the mushroom farm. Tegan was looking very dirty and Thorn referred to her as an 'excretamental'. Tegan then decided to gather some of the mushrooms. We were also using various disguise items to look like goblins.
We found the door and discovered that it was locked. I started picking it when a goblin came over and said something like 'Have you lost your key?". I just nodded and he muttered something about 'stupid' produced his own key that was on a chain around his neck, and unlocked the door for us. I guess it had been decided that we needed that key so we snatched the key and pushed the goblin back into the mushroom farm before going through the door, closing it and locking it behind us, leaving us in a rather crowded and cramped stairway.
Once we sorted ourselves out on the cramped landing we had found ourselves on, we started working our way up the stairs. I was taking point checking for traps and managed to dodge most of them even though a few fire traps did go off. Thanks to my armour I was unaffected but the noises from behind indicated that some of my companions weren't so lucky. I then nearly missed the concealed door at the next landing but Lath saw it. We soon found the fireball ward in the door.
After bypassing that and getting the door open we found a room. Some sort of ice crystal design was embedded in the floor which had a Nature of magic of Chaos. Certainly Lath and I were detected that the mana felt ... odd. Entities were detected beyond the walls and their presence was confirmed when crossbow bolts flew out of slits in each of the five other doors and hit us. I had to drink another healing potion after that, as soon as the tweeting birds circling my head disappeared.
We crowded in one corner to disrupt the angle of fire then Tegan phased through the nearest door. Thorn was gaseous formed so she could zip through the slit as soon as whatever on the other side opened it to take the next shot.
There were two spriggans on the other side and it didn't take too long for Tegan and Thorn to deal to them. Meanwhile I had blanketed the room we were in with fog so we couldn't be targeted. One of them was hooked and communication was established. Tegan found out that it's name was Havgar but Father Rowan preferred the name that Tegan had originally used - Boofhead.
The corridor went on a bit until it terminated at a door. Beyond was a large smokefilled room containing a forge and several spriggans. The door was magically trapped and resisted my attempts to pick the lock. So Tegan phased through again and let us in.
It was really dark in here and the smoke was very thick making it hard to see although some of us didn't have too much of a problem. Torture equipment lined the walls as well as a few benches. A door was on the other side. As the others went in, I dropped a fog in as well to make it just as hard for the opposition. That still didn't stop a fight starting.
It was rather hard to figure out what was going on to be honest as I was reduced to seeing a distance roughly equal to the length of my trident. There must have been a fire mage about as we were being blasted by fireballs. So Father Rowan produced a Wall of Thorns to block that. Meanwhile Lath and Tegan were laying into the opposition. Thorn was doing the best she could as well even though she had the same vision problems I had.
I managed to find something to hit but soon discovered that, because of their thick skin and the chain mail, even when I did hit, the trident wasn't getting in. However I did manage to score one good hit on one Lath was attacking and stunned it with a lightning discharge. I was feeling rather frustrated at this ... and I suspect my fellow party members were getting rather annoyed at me as well.
Meanwhile Thorn was falling down but, thanks to Father Rowan and Orbit's healing she was getting up again and carrying on. The firemage had, by now, switched to dragonflames and had blown a hole in the wall of thorns. Tegan was also using her water powers to give the fire mage a really hard time of casting.
Finally most of the minions were down and the attack was being pressed on the fire mage and his defenders. It was during this bit that Thorn got an arm lopped off.
"I can't believe you're being so careless with your limbs" - Father Rowan to Thorn.
Fortunately that didn't slow her down much and a short time after that, all the spriggans were down. Of course, when they died, they reverted back to their normal small size and disappeared, presumably to be resurrected later.
Havgar told us that one of those we had taken down was the head jailor and that his office was through the other set of double doors. Once we had removed the fire trap on them we went down the corridor on the other side and into a set of rooms, one of which was where the stuff from the captives were kept. The lock and key was found as well as quite a bit of other stuff.
Just then a small grey goblin, wearing a crown suddenly appeared and told us to take the loot and the prisoners before vanishing. It probably was the goblin king but whether or not he was real, or just a projection, we were unable to determine.
Thanks to Father Rowan's rune portal we were able to return to the dwarves rather quickly with the prisoners and the loot. All the dwarves wanted was the contents of the bookbag of holding which were dwarven exploration journals. We got to keep the bookbag though.
Back through the portal which was sealed with the lock and key behind us. The flow of forgetting water stopped. Hopefully it wasn't going to be long before the effects wore off.
Once it had, and the McLoeds had been appraised of the situation, we were feasted including the traditional piping of the haggis. Some of my companions were feeling rather discomforted but I thought it was rather interesting. We had also been offered a darksteel weapon of our choice. I was thinking about a matched dagger/maingauche pair but the rest insisted that I do something with my present weapons, especially the tulwar I had to make it better. I was even convinced to take a battleaxe and shield from the treasure split as well as the soft dwarven made leather I was eying up. I guess I'm going to be carrying different equipment whether it was an on land or underwater adventure I was on.
I stayed on at Caledonia a bit while my weapons were being fixed up. Meanwhile the others continued back to Seagate, arriving there on the 30th of Harvest. I didn't get back until a month later, just enough time to get organised to go down to Pasifika for the yearly Spring celebrations.
SGT Snippets & Gossip
Thorn can provide Mind Speech for 7 targets that lasts 70mins with a 210ft range. She also has ranged Empathy out to about 100ft.
People and Creatures
|Autumn 811wk: Fruit(4)
|Autumn 811wk: Harvest (5)
|Seagate Autumn Fair
|Seagate Autumn Fair
|Autumn 811wk: Vintage(6)
|Winter 810wk: Frost