Sunday, July 11, 2021

One Heck of a Side Mission

   Last night three players set out to check on side effects of the destruction of the Deep Altar as well as scout the top levels of Skull Mountain. It was pitched as a 'short little scout in force'.

Jack played Seeker and Seeker's henchmen

Sam played Conrad and his many henchmen

Nick played Anarawn, who can't have henchmen yet

Both Anarawn and Conrad had never been to the mountain before.

  Seeker promptly took everyone to Level Zero and read them into Turret Control. They then scouted the North Tunnels (empty) and the Pilgrim's Hall.

  Both the Ice and Magma altars were inert, so they entered and destroyed them. The Pilgrim's Camps were also inert and they retrieved magic items that had survived the magical water and fire. They went to Level Two and promptly met the Beginner of the Third Way. Luckily he knows Seeker (normally he fights anything he encounters in the Mountain) so they exchanged pleasantries for 5-10 seconds and the Beginner left. Seeker boldly cast Forget on him as he was at the edge of range - and it worked!

  Within the High Temple on level two they found a strange creature dying from the wounds inflicted by the Beginner. In an interesting twist they saved his life with magic and took him (under heavy guard) to recuperate in Seeker's Level. The main party went on to the Cavern of Herds and explored the waterfall. Seeker and his selkie henchman explored the outflow at the top of the waterfall but it was far too difficult. Seeker landed his broom and used Polymorph Self to explore the water source.  In the areas with an airspace above the water he eventually found a teleporter room with its controls broken so it can only receive, not send. While waiting he saw the indicator flash as was ready when the chamber flooded with water, a handful of whitefish, and an albino fishman with an obviously broken arm. The water, fish, and humanoid were all swept out into the flume and over the waterfall. 

  Before he died the fishman stated he accepted his execution and died of his many wounds. Seeker continued up the pipe a 1/2 mile and found a massive cistern (perhaps 50 million gallons) fed with many pipes and with a door underwater. He was running out of time and returned to the party before his spell ended. The party concluded that the waterfall is obviously the overflow control and the cistern is where all the fresh running water throughout the mountain comes from. The references to 'override from ocean control' also convinced them that the system was on minimal operation.

  Returning to Seeker's Level with the body of the fishman they used Tongues to talk to the strange humanoid from the Upper temple. He was chatty and explained that his race is from the outermost planet, Iau, and that almost all of his race encountered within the system are rogues, pirates, and mercenaries. He is part of a group sent each year to help the Duke of the Moon fight the mind flayers. Their ship had been damaged and they had been forced to enter the air of the planet. Eventually seeing the spelljammer dock on Skull Mountain they had landed and started repairs. He had gone to look for food & water, but fell into a pit, barely catching a ledge. he had wandered the halls for less than an hour when a strange man appeared and attacked him, eventually defeating him.

  The alien was more than willing to give his rescuers details about the crystal sphere, so they took notes. They spoke as they rushed him to the Skydock and were able to reunite him with his ship & crew. As they departed Seeker experimented and was able to use the Observatory lenses to activate target lock and target tracking for the montanic lances.

  Back on Seeker's Level they waited until the next day and used Tongues and Speak with Dead on the fishman. They learned he was a First Sahuagin from the Capitol. The party concluded that the fishmen seen or found in and around the cavern of herds are sahuagin executed by sending them to Skull Mountain.

  As Nick said,

  "Well, you want a guy dead sending him unarmed to the mountain does work."

  At this point Seeker waited another day and tested his ability to use scrying inside the mountain. What he saw scared him enough he promised to never do it again unless it was an emergency, but he did confirm the altars are all thrown down and that there is a control room behind the underwater cistern door.

  He then slowly scryed various locations in space and took notes.

  Quite a night.

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