For Glory, For Empire

Session 20, 4/09/2017

The "Being John Malkovich" Edition

The session opens with the Pymlion oracle Mirror granting his wisdom and insight to Kalum, Rebecca, and Ts’ao Hai, granting them the Truth Seeker, Explorer, and Unforgotten Story Feats respectively. Talis speaks to some of the wagon party, introducing them to Westgate and assuring them that they are welcome in the settlement. Certain members of the party noticed that the wagon goers seem to be under some sort of glamour, and that there might be certain ominous significance to the presence of a maiden and crone in the company of an oracle.

The party prepares to ritually purify themselves before venturing to the Temple. The group has learned that they will need the spoor of a “thunder lizard” in order to abjure the well. The party is not certain if this means the spoor of a shocker lizard, or the spoor of a extremely large theropod. The posse heads out on a shocker lizard hunt, hoping that small electric lizard will suffice in place of giant short sword-toothed dinosaur. A shocker lizard is spotted, and Ts’ao Hai and others rashly give chase, thinking they need to kill the animal for their purposes. Moccan chases after and tries to get them to stop attacking, as Kalum sends blasts of water into the undergrowth twice, killing a lizard. An angry hissing rises out of the jungle as multiple shocker lizards congregate. Taking Moccan’s advice, Kalum and Ts’ao Hai fall back as the shocker lizards advance. The group eventually retreats and collects the spoor without any murder, and only getting slightly electrocuted. The group returns to town afterwards, proceeding with the ritual preparations.

The ritual preparations begin. The group is cleansed, tattooed, dyed, and purified. The party divvies up potions to prepare for the coming trial, alongside other useful items. Before the party leaves, Talis asks the Lantern (through Mengzhi) what to expect inside the Temple, and the artifact answers, “Power, beyond control.” The ominous note does little to calm the party’s nerves.

Finally, the group attempts to summon the first Couatl, to ask it to take them to the temple and resume its original duties. The first Couatl does not answer; when summoned, the Second Couatl answers that the first has been killed in its duties. The second Couatl then transports them through several Realms that includes getting familiar with a Realm of Water, Stars, and Madness. The group is deposited right in front of the main entrance to the temple on top of a pile of bodies, from many species all across the Areiystis. The pile is on top of a narrow bridge that crosses a moat-like canal surrounding the temple.

At the main door to the temple, the party discovers many sets of bloody footprints leading inside. There are 7 different sets of tracks, including one set that looks like someone walked in one of the earlier tracks in order to conceal their presence. Rebecca flies around the main temple structure, examining the many different entrances to try and divine the best way to approach this challenge. The party decides that the main door presents the best opportunity to enter.

Talis bravely marches in, and triggers a swinging blade trap that barely misses her. With some expert work from Arturian, the trap is disabled. The prints lead on past the trap, and then suddenly stop as the material of the floor changes. Ts’ao Hai steps forward after Arturian checks for traps and finds an odd bottle. When he picks it up to examine it, he discovers that there is something in the bottle looking back at him. He tries to drop the bottle and step back, but finds the bottle returning to his hand. As he stands in bewilderment, a weird huge dark ooze coalesces and tries to engulf him. Ts’ao Hai narrowly avoids being grabbed and ripostes, which causes the creature to split. Arturian adds in a musket shot, which causes the creature to split again. During the fight, Mia charges forward and gets entangled in the slime. After many splits due to all the piercing and slashing, the ooze things are dealt with and the party regroups.

After a quick scan, Art decides that the weapons and armor left over from the ooze creatures is worth around 5,000 gp, plus many coins and gems, including some broken, cut gemstones. The party organizes the loot and then looks at the passage to the left, where there are signs of traversing on the walls, seeming to indicate that the floor is dangerous.

The party decides to take another path forward, squeezing into a narrow crevasse where they encounter some kind of illusion magic, and the smell of sulfur. The party accidentally strikes a spark and ignites the gas, scorching the party. To add insult to injury, the path turns out to be a dead end and spiders beginning to swarm from holes and crevasses deeper in the room. The session ends as the party beats a hasty retreat.

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