Session 5

June 1st, 2012 § 0 comments

Special thanks go to Jesse H. for writing this fantastic recap of our Clayfinder (Pathfinder) session.

The curtain rose on our sleepy little heroes as they decided to set up camp for the night and rest.  Watches were established quickly and the exhausted group bedded down without much discussion.  In the early hours before dawn, Carix and the Prince were both awoken by the sound of scuffed feet.  Before they could shake themselves free from the grogginess of a night’s sleep, there was a mumbled incantation.  Suddenly, the world went silent.  Carix could still see the rise and fall of Runebeard’s snoring chest, but it made no sound anymore.  A second later, pure darkness overcame the group.  Carix and the Prince struggled to free themselves from their bedrolls; but before they could stand, light and sound returned.  It was immediately apparent, though, that in the wake of the intruding spells, both Silas and Little Paw were missing.  Signs of a scuffle indicated that they had been taken unwillingly.

Brother was awake and agitated.  He sniffed around for Little Paw and his searching brought him to a door the group knew to lead further down into the pyramid.  Carix and the Prince set about waking up the rest of their companions and informing them of the missing party members.  Pitwick quickly began performing a brief song, after which Brother was much more calm.  Though his urgency remained, there was no longer a panic in his eyes.  Bedrolls were packed up.  Belongings were gathered.  In spite of sleeping on the floor of an evil pyramid, everyone woke up feeling stronger than they did the night before.  The group met Brother by the door to the lower level and, after jostling about for a while to decide a marching order, headed down the stairs with Brother in the lead.

At the bottom of the stairs, the party found themselves in a small room.  Runebeard commented that the stonework perfectly matched that of the floor above.  To their left was a single wooden door.  In front of them was a pair of double-doors.  The Prince opened up the single door.  Immediately, Brother took off down the narrow hallway it lead to.  The group stood around for a while, contemplating whether to follow Brother or let him plow forward as a fur-covered trap-triggering brute.  Before they could reach a decision, there was a loud wooden crash and a clattering sound from the direction Brother had charged off towards.  One by one, the group squeezed into the narrow passageway.  After turning a corner, it became apparent that Brother had smashed down a large door and was lying atop of struggling skeleton.  Brother’s jaws were busy removing the bony monster’s limbs and the party decided that they didn’t have the heart to stop the bear’s fun.

The party – minus Brother – wandered back to the initial hallway.  They had decided to let small Pitwick stealth his way through the double doors.  The halfling showman approached the door, waved his hands in the air with a flourish, and then – as if tugging on an invisible strand of reality itself – Pitwick mimed turning the handle only to have the actual door handle turn with his motions.  Pitwick tiptoed forward cautiously towards the barely open door.  Just as he reached the edge of the imposing door, the tiny bard turned back to his companions, laid a finger aside his mouth, and let loose a juicy “SSSHHHHHhhhhhhh!!”  His companions were unimpressed with his stealthy endeavours.  For his part, Pitwick was unimpressed with the large empty hallway he found on the other side of the door.  Repeating his prestidigitation, the diminutive impresario mimed the door closed again.

“I am a bit concerned about Brother,” said the Prince.  Others agreed and so, once more, the group set off down the narrow corridor.  Kasyc was the first through the door Brother had smashed down and into the room on its other side.  What he found was a dining room of sorts.  Six large dining tables were set at even intervals across the room, though it was clear that they hadn’t been used in many years.  At the far end of the room, Brother faced two skeletons armed with swords.  In an opposite corner, a third skeleton took aim at the bear with a longbow.  Choosing to fight fire with fire, Kasyc let fly an arrow at the distant skeletal archer.  Instantly, the skeleton exploded into a shower of leaves and twigs that turned to bone shards when they hit the ground.  Pitwick ran into the room and, spotting one of the skeletal swordsmen in the center of the room, proceeded to wiggle his fingers, clap his hands, and call into being a burst of light that left the skeleton’s vision dazzled.  Qunso jumped up onto one of the wooden tables near the fray.  Runebeard ran into the room with his axe drawn.  Carix and the Prince stayed near the back of the room, but Carix let fly an arrow from his bow and another monster exploded into a shower of leaves.  With a roar and a swipe of his paws, Brother smashed the last skeleton up against the wall, shattering it into a shower of bone fragments.

With combat over, Qunso decided the best course of action was a bout of needless showboating.  With a hop and a skip, the albino dynamo tried to jump from one table to the other.  Unfortunately, he failed miserably and fell to the floor like a rock, landing squarely on his face.

“Wait a minute,” he said from the floor.  “I’ve been here before.”  Having jogged his memory with a crash to the floor, Qunso stood up and began leading the group of heroes through the rest of the pyramid.  He led them through a large area filled with long-cold beds.  There was an unused closet off one end of the room and a pair of double doors that lead to another long, empty hallway.  At the far end of the sleeping quarters, Qunso found a pair of doors that, he remembered, lead to stairs.  If his memory was correct, those stairs would lead to the next level of the pyramid.  Disturbingly, however, there was blood on the floor surrounding those doors, and it was the purple blood of elves.  Their friends were likely in serious trouble.

Qunso hurried to open the door, but unfortunately, the door lead instead to a cave-in where the stairs had once stood.  Instead of the expected staircase, Qunso found a gloriously large hole in the exterior wall of the pyramid.  A strange glowing portal seemed to ring the glorious hole.  Brother padded up quietly behind Qunso as he investigated the glowing portal in the pyramid’s wall.

Without warning, a pack of enormous spiders fell from the ceiling.  Qunso and Brother were immediately attacked by the arachnids who stabbed Qunso in the chest and viciously wounded Brother in the neck.  Spurting blood everywhere, Brother limped to the side of the room.  The rest of the heroes charged in.  Out came the hurdy-gurdy as Pitwick set about playing a slow and grinding dirge.  Within seconds, four of the five spiders fell soundly asleep under his spell.  Kasyc, Carix, and Runebeard set to dispatching the sleeping spiders while the Prince made his way over to Brother.  With a soft word and a touch of his hands, Brother’s wounds were healed.  Emboldened by his successful spell, Pitwick took out his sling staff and flung a well-placed bullet.  It bounced off of one of the many slumbering eyes of a giant spider who promptly woke up.  As Pitwick clapped and cheered his aim, his companions grumbled and dug in for a harder fight against the two remaining spiders.

In his hurry to run to Qunso’s aid, Kasyc had dropped his bow in the hallway and ran into the fray with his sword drawn.  Outside in the hallway, Pitwick offered to “help” by “holding” Kasyc’s bow for him, though everyone else could sense the small halfling attempting to appraise its worth as he slung it over his shoulder.  Meanwhile, inside the small chamber, swords flashed and connected with the bloated bodies of the two remaining beasts.  In moments, the floor was littered with the carcasses of giant spiders.

With the spiders dispatched, the group turned their attention to the only path available to them: the glowing hole leading to the subterranean exterior of the evil pyramid.  As if its very nature wasn’t uninviting enough, the exterior seemed to only have a narrow wooden plank to walk on.  Pitwick kindly returned Kasyc’s bow and then, gingerly, the group set off across the wooden plank, descending to the next level of the pyramid along its outside.  To their left, a massive chasm yawned beside them, swirling tendrils of eldrich purple evil drifted in the depths of the chasm.  Prince Derrik found it very difficult to even glance at the chasm, let along stare too long into it – such was the powerful evil emanating from its depths.

Though precarious, the wooden plank held up to their combined weight and the heroes reached a small antechamber back inside the inverted apex of the evil pyramid.  To their surprise, the group were greeted by four imposing figures.  Two were dressed in robes, one human and one drow.  The other two figures flanking the robed strangers were a pair of undead skeletal brutes.  “Your companions are quiet well just inside on the other side of this door,” said the human.

“Who?  Our entire party is intact.  We’re all here,” said Qunso.

Prince Derrik was confused by the lie.  After falling on his head and then being bitten by the giant spider, the Prince was afraid Qunso’s memory had faltered.  “No we are not,” he corrected.  “We are still looking for Silas and Little Paw.  Remember?  They have been missing for some time now.”

“No no,” continued Qunso.  “We’re all here.  I have no idea what you’re talking about,” he told the human stranger again.  Behind them all, Pitwick flourished his hands, spoke an incantation and – in a halfling’s wink – was disguised as a perfect recreation of Little Paw – if one were to ignore the fact that this Little Paw was a good two feet shorter than the original.

“Hellooooo!  I’m over hereeee!,” yelled Littler Paw.  There was a distinctly Pitwickish quality to “her” voice.  Prince Derrik, though, was immediately relieved to see her and walked up to her eagerly.

“Where have you been?  Are you alright?  How did you escape?  What did …”  The Prince paused.  “Did you see where Pitwick went?  Did he say he was leaving us?”  Despite the absurdity of the ruse, the Prince was completely snookered.  Littler Paw walked past the Prince, past a disbelieving Carix, a disgusted Kasyc, and snuggled up alongside Runebeard who also seemed to believe the disguise but was confused by the sudden flirtatious nature of Littler Paw.

“I’m here,” said Littler Paw as she twirled a finger in Runebeard’s beard.

“You see,” continued Qunso smugly, “we’re all here, just like I said.”

“Enough,” said the human, and with a snap of his fingers, Pitwick’s disguise was dispelled.  The Prince was astonished.

“That was very convincing,” he murmured to Carix.  Kasyc only shook his head in further disgust.

“I’m quite honestly surprised you managed to make it this far,” said the human.  “As a token of my esteemed surprise, I will grant you each a gift in the form of insight.”

“Prince, my gift to you is a vision of your future. May this vision give you sight, you blind fool.”  And immediately the Prince collapsed to the ground in an unconscious heap.

Next the human turned to Kasyc.  “You have many questions and I have many answers. You have many secrets too. I shall do my best to answer the burning question you have, yet respect your secrets at the same time. You want to know about your mother. I can tell you this about your mother. She came prepared for a fight, but she didn’t have the strength to finish the fight. Teresa bet her within inches losing her life and then she took her and left with her. If you want to find your mother, find Teresa.”

To Thooril Runebeard, the human simply said “Keep your friends close, but your enemies closer. Is that what you are doing? Or are you a fool?”

Next he turned to Qunso.  “To be so young, innocent, and trusting,” he opined.  “Your corruption has already begun.”

Without clarification, he address Carix.  “The Prince of Elves…  Lied to, manipulated, and sentenced to death by his own blood. May your death be honorable.

“And you noble biographer,” he said at last to Pitwick.  “You have been chosen to be the narrator of an age ending and a herald of the new age that is beginning. May your pen write true and your music echo to every corner of Nara!”

His words were heavy in the air still as he paused slightly – perhaps for evil effect.  Then, continuing, he informed the group that they could be reunited with their companions, but it would necessitate their defeating Lord Searyn, and he indicated the robed drow to his right.  With that, the human withdrew through a curtain at the back of the antechamber and left the heroes to their fate.

Kasyc wasted no time and fired an arrow off at the Lord Searyn.  Carix, also, was quick on the draw and cast Grease across the floor surrounding the drow lord.  In response, Lord Searyn shot forth a bolt of violent green energy that blasted Kasyc in the chest, wounding him badly.  Thankfully for him, Prince Derrik had just opened his eyes on the ground.  Standing to his feet, the cleric prayed for help from Takeo and a burst of warm, healing energy radiated out of him.  Kasyc was brought back from the brink of death and Qunso’s spider bite healed completely.  As swords rang out against the undead skeletons, the familiar whine of Pitwick’s hurdy-gurdy spun up behind the group.  Just as with the spiders, Lord Searyn fell soundly asleep into a puddle of magical grease.

With the mage rendered harmless, the group set about dispatching the two skeletons.  Strikes found their marks on both sides of the fight, but the undead brutes fell quickly.  Pitwick was wounded; and though he was annoyed at being hoodwinked for the second time by the halfling, Prince Derrik cured his light wounds with a touch.  Meanwhile, Runebeard and Qunso cautiously traversed the greasy floor until they stood above the slumbering drow sorcerer.

Runebeard glowered down at the dark elf, ancestral hatred burning within him.  With a heaving cleave, his axe landed squarely upon Lord Searyn’s breastbone, slicing through to the floor and ringing against the stone below.  With one great strike, the sleeping mage was sliced in two, and the curtain came down on our heroes for the evening…

 

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