Wow, it's been awhile. With one of my players out of town for school and my own education to look after, we only managed to have one session over the last year (?) or so. Once again the time between the session itself and this write up has been considerable, so the details may be sketchy.
I sometimes feel that I'm throwing too many villains/factions/ideas into the campaign at once. It's beginning to get a little crowded. I have a lot of plans… Tell me what you think, if anybody's reading this.
T'sabo is called away to the Sanctuary on some sort of Elf-business. Rather than search for the dwarven fortress without his support, the others decide to finally investigate the church, and perhaps learn what the Orange Robes are up to- or what exactly they even are.
Remembering the usefulness of the aqueducts for entering restricted areas, the adventurers forgo questioning the clerics and go for the direct approach- busting into the temple from below!
Their expedition doesn't go entirely unnoticed though- humanoid frog creatures ambush them from the darkness, using harpoons of all things. The leader, some sort of martial-artist, falls quickly, but the harpooners prove to be quite adept at deflecting attacks with their massive shields, and nearly bring several party members to their knees.
This was a way tougher fight than I expected. The martial artist guy was 2 CRs higher than the harpooners, but he went down in about two rounds. The Kuo-Toa harpooners are a CR 4 creature with an AC of 26, and they just wouldn't die. Anyway it was a fun encounter- the players cleverly used the harpoon ropes to locate the kuo-toa even in the darkness, and a little bit of danger is always nice for the campaign. I never want the party to be too comfortable in the aqueducts.
The adventurers finally mop-up and collect some loot, including the obviously magical shields and a glass amulet filled with mud with no discernable purpose.
Continuing in the direction of the temple, they encounter a dead-end. However, Glerothain's stonecunning reveals a false wall, which is quickly knocked down.
The area beyond appears to be located beneath the temple's well. Further exploration leads to a hole in one of the walls- a hole that feels wrong somehow. The tunnel it leads to is hot and humid, and entirely covered in rough black vines. It opens out into a chamber containing a massive, brightly coloured flower, under which lays the comatose form of a acolyte of Pelor.
Suddenly, rocks and debris from the cavern floor rise and begin to pelt the boy. Thinking the flower may be the cause, the adventurers destroy it, but it has no effect. The young acolyte is slain.
Something about this place greatly unnerves Esper Harland, and he is not keen to explore the rest of it. Nonetheless, they press on.
Failed your will save, huh Esper? Oh I have such plans for you. HeeHeeHee.
This place should not exist. The tunnel leads to a massive underground cavern, one whose roof reaches far beyond where the temple of Pelor should sit. The vines pervade the entire area, mixed in with fragments of ancient looking architecture.
The group heads for the nearest of these, a chapel of some sort, that sits with a precarious lean. Along the way they narrowly dodge a patrol of twisted looking creatures- that speak Abyssal…
The door to the chapel opens just as they arrive, and a furious cleric of Pelor exits. His name is Clovis and he is quite displeased with the adventurer's prescence here. It seems they've interrupted something.
Further discussion is halted when a swarm of monstrous, chittering horrors bursts from the floor of the cavern. The creatures resemble insects or scorpions mixed with a madman's worst nightmare. They seem to be herding the group rather than attacking.
Back near the tunnel entrance, a group of hulking demons await. Clovis warns the group that these are Carnage Demons- dangerous brutes, especially in groups. However, Malkus immediately cuts two of them in half.
Meaning he gets two criticals in a row… what's with this campaign? Carnage Demons have good offense, but they die easy.
The danger is not over though- The one controlling these demons is a Bar-Lgura named Imamu, thought to be insane and dangerous even by his own kind. Imamu has possesion of a powerful magic gauntlet and has a vendetta against clovis, who appears to be some sort of double agent.
Imamu makes an appearance, and things are complicated further by his followers wheeling in a ballista that fires lightning bolts. Fighting proves to be futile- Imamu's gauntlet contains powerful defensive magics. However, he can't leave this strange pocket-dimension without outside intervention, so the party retreats to the safety of the aqueducts.
Finally safe, the adventurers now question how trustworthy Clovis really is. He claims to be working against the demons from the inside, but could it be the other way around? He seems to know little of their plans. There's also the matter of his chosen weapon- a twisting strand of black energy named "Talon" which he says has been turned against its original chaotic owners.
A conclusion is not really reached, but not much can be done, and Clovis and the party go their separate ways.
That night, Esper tosses and turns in his bed, haunted by feverish dreams. He awakes feeling as though he had not rested at all…
Well this session was honestly a bit of a mess. I didn't do as much planning as I should have, which is a shame, as I wanted the demi-plane to leave a lasting impression. Instead I pretty much did this off the top of my head, and had to revise a lot of stuff I had planned out in my head because it didn't fit anymore. I've been wanting to introduce Imamu and his guantlet for a while though, and I've come up with some fun ideas for what's happening to Esper.
All my players are back in town, so maybe now we can finally get to the dwarven fortress below the city. I have that part planned out at least.