Monday, September 30, 2019

DM Report: the trip to Robias

  Over the weekend we had a bookkeeping session/mini-adventure/investigation mission.
  The Party:
  Jennifer = Fiona, half-elven Fighter/Magic-user
  Jack = Athanasius, human Cleric
  Alex = the Sparrow, half-elven Fighter/Thief
  Sam = Clarence, Human Fighter/Ninja (books, wishes, and such involved)
  Nick = Thoren, half-orc Fighter/Thief

While preparing for a long trip Clarence was in Seaward buying supplied when he was attacked by an invisible assassin that barely failed in killing him. This was followed by 2 days of cat and mouse as Clarence and the unknown assassin (who could fly) dueled. But Clarence got to the Company rendezvous fine.

 The party took the Company's spelljammer and dropped off Llewllyn the Black in the City of a Thousand Isles (paying off a debt to him) and continued on to Imperial Capitol of Robias, called the City of One Hundred Towers to consult the sage Artellius the Younger.
  They had learned of Artellius from Llwellyn a few years earlier and had confirmed his reputation through other sages.

This was the first time Player Characters went to Robias.

  Once in the Robias they travelled to the home of Artellius and (having sent Musad earlier) were welcomed for their appointment by Lorna, Artellius' niece and assistant. While the group was having scones and tea Thoren was alerted (shh. secret stuff) that there was evil at the door.
  Clarence and The Sparrow slipped out invisibly and realized an invisible... something or someone... was listening at the door and they ambushed it.
  It was the assassin again! The party inside surged tot he door and attacked, as well. The assassin fought the entire party quite successfully for a round then began to fly away so Athanasius hit him with a Dispel Magic. The assassin, his flight dispelled, slammed into the ground, rolled, and kept fighting everyone, quite well, for 2 more rounds until he was Held.
  The city guard had arrived and searched the assassin. In finding a black dagger tattoo on his right forearm they announced he was an outlaw and, when the party declined to have him hanged, left.
  They dragged him in, trussed by a ninja and 2 thieves, and as Athanasius and Fiona spoke with the sage everyone else spoke with the Assassin.

The Assassin
  Interrogation went nowhere until Clarence proved he was Clarence, which surprised the assassin (Darbo, brother of Marbo, who was defeated at the tourney the previous game year) since he wouldn't have attacked Clarence if he'd known.
  Soon it turned out that Darbo was sent by the Grandfather himself to send a very clear message (as in, there was a note to be pinned to a dead body) -
  Stay Away from the Deep.
  Since the Grandfather owes Clarence a favor Clarence cashed it in - the message was received, loud and clear, with no need to kill anyone. Darbo accepted this for the moment and... flew away.
  The party rejoined with the sage.

The Sage
  Artellius has spent his career studying myths, tales, folklore, legends, etc. but with a particular focus on Skull Mountain. He lived in Seaward for 20 years and, although he never went to the Mountain, he interviewed many adventurers that had gone there and collected information from any source he could find.
  After a few days of research, notes, long conversations, the party being interviewed, and the expediture of a prodigious amount of gold the party learned the legends, myths, and theories Artellius holds:
  - Four powerful Good Elemental Lords 'fell to earth' eons ago, their impact raising the Greywall Mountains in general and Skull Mountain in particular. This 'impact' makes the walls beteen the planes 'thinner' in the mountain. In the upper levels it is elemental and as you go deeper you can get easier access to outer planes, too.
  -An incredibly powerful mage from a distant land, maybe another universe, came to the Mountain in ancient times and, at the deepest part of it, built the Contraption. The goal was that by creating 'mini-gates' to various planes and even various points in time the Contraption could create any effect: a machine capable of 'super wishes'. But various Powers feared this and subtly affected the work so that the controls are scrambled. The 'manual' was useless and only by experimentation can you figure out how the Contraption works.

  Athanasius gave them a copy of a note from an ancient book. A series of 'settings' said to be able to Resurrect a creature no matter how long dead.

  -Artellius copied his 'conjectural' map of the Mountain revealing things like 'the tomb', 'the death level', and 'the City of Shadows and Darkness' and 'The device'.
  There was a lot more.

  Additional days and gold revealed:
  -The 'devilfish' are the creatures called 'mind flayers'. It is believed that they put The Lurker in the Deep. The king and queen of the devilfish are trapped inside Skull Mountain by powerful magics and a potent curse prevents the devilfish from touching the surface of the planet and even their foul servants, the Men of Colors, must be called or summoned to return. That is why the Elves trade with the Men of Colors in the lake. It is feared that if the Men of Colors touch the surface of the world often enough the curse will be lifted and the mind flayers can return with their warslaves!
  -The devilfish live on the Silver Moon; every Midsummer as the moons come closest to each other they fight with the Duke of the Moon hoping to gain more territory.
  -Beyond the Lightning Slug is the Black Pool of terror, the Beast with a Thousand Young, the Pool of Shub-Niggurath - a large pool of black tar that generates monsters that fill the far tunnels that stretch to the sea. This is because it is broken! Originally the Black Pool was an atmosphere plant for the smallest moon! Since it was damaged centuries ago the smallest moon has lost its air and the Count of the Moon (and his courtiers) live in a complex where the air is held in with Walls of Force. If the Pool can be repaired the 3rd moon would be inhabitable again.

  The party deduced:
  -The men of Colors are a variety of genie; this explains both their descriptions (essentially Jann with extra fingers) and how they are bound to specific jobs, summons, etc.

  There was, as I said before, a LOT more. I'll encourage the players to make entries.

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