7/1/11: We got a lot of juicy stuff tonight! Finally got to reveal a big, Graz'zt-y secret!
Carric Cendoria - Elf Seeker
Fayte Bonesunder - Human Paladin
Heron - Half-elf Fighter
Jurod - Changeling Mage
The adventurers had defeated the priest of the Water Temple, Belsornig, and tied him up along with his two ogre under-priests. They'd then explored the emple, and were attacked by a sentient, evil ooze that claimed that it was the true leader of the Water Temple. It destroyed and absorbed a number of their magic items. The heroes had to flee.
They headed into Belsornig's salon and discussed what to do next. After a bit of debate, they decided to rest in Belsornig's room for six hours, heal up, and then try attacking the pool again.
the temple was an active place. They knew there was a chance that temple denizens might come upon them. The heroes took turns keeping watch. After about an hour, two trolls had come to meet with Belsornig. They saw the destroyed juggernaut and burst into Belsornig's lair, where the heroes were resting!
A troll lunged in and swiped at Carric. Carric ducked and used the wand of a wonder. It turned all gold within 10 feet of him into lead! Carric was dismayed to say the least. Fayte summoned an air elemental with her magic censer. The elemental flapped the open door in a troll's face. Heron then jumped on its' back and plunged his flaming sword into it! Jurod changed shape into Belsornig and tried to trick the trolls, but his voice wasn't convincing.
Carric took aim again with the wand. Putrid fish began falling from the ceiling flopping on the floor. The air elemental created a wind and launched a bunch of dead fish into one troll's every orifice, killing it! The other troll slipped on the fish as Heron climbed off its' back. Carric used the wand on it, making it glow. The troll panicked. Fayte suggested it run into the pool into the next room. The troll did so, and was destroyed by the acid of the pool.
Thanks to the putrid fish, the heroes went across the hall and continued their rest in the underpriests' lair. There were no further interruptions. Once rested and healed, the heroes prepared to battle the pool again. They stripped themselves of most magic items, to avoid losing them if they got drawn into the pool. They tied a few to ropes, and tied the end of the ropes to various objects so that way if the entity dominated them and forced them to run into the pool, they wouldn't be able to take that item with them.
Heron put on a water temple robe. Fayte wore naught but a chainmail bottom and a scant few magic items. They pulled the door open... and immediately the pool attacked! It dominated Heron and lured him into its' depths, burning him with its' acid. Fayte said, "Feel the icy caress of the Raven Queen, abomination!", and cast a cold spell on her blade and slashed at the pool, causing it to howl in pain.
As Heron sizzled in the pool, it said to Heron, "I'll enjoy devouring every morsel of you!"
Heron said, "That's... gross!".
It said, "Don't feel dismayed. In a way, you'll live on forever! I'll grow larger and larger and the elemental eye will use me to rule your world."
"Bullshit!", yelled Heron.
Carric took aim with a freezing arrow and fired. The arrow exploded into the pool and caused major damage to the strange thing. It dominated Fayte and drew her in. It absorbed her magic necklace (+2!) but her chainmail panties persevered. Carric fired another arrow into the pool as his friends were slowly being devoured by the acid. Again, the pool let out a psychic howl of pain.
The pool dominated Jurod, who had tied himself to Garweez. The pool psychically commanded him to untie himself. The pool drew in Baldrim, who screamed as the acid burned him. Fayte snapped out of it as her chainmail panties disintegrated. She pulled herself out of the pool. She turned and sliced into the pool to little effect.
Heron snapped out of it as well, got out of the pool and picked up his rope-tied-rod of lordly might. He activated it's cold blast power and froze a good portion of the pool. It shrieked in pain! Carric took aim with a final arrow and finished it off!
Carric's cold arrow froze the pool, which then exploded in transparent psychic energy. The pool evaporated into nothing in seconds as the ceiling dome shattered and rained down shards onto Fayte and Baldrim, cutting them. The pool was defeated!
As the heroes drew back to heal up, Jurod entered the room and collected the residuum from all the weapons the pool had absorbed. He also found a strange coral scrollcase with a message inside. It was a rhyming message mentioning 'The Answerer' and a 'whelp from Olwynn;. Later they'd show it to Otis in Nulth, who figured out that the note was mocking Lord Thrommel, a hero who'd come to attack the temple wielding Fragarach, one of the magic swords of answering.
The heroes then talked about what to do next. They wanted to hide out at the farmhouse and rest and then bring Belsornig to Prefect Allrem, but they felt it would be difficult to do. They decided to just kill Belsornig and his underpriests. Fayte plunged her blade into the underpriests, their blood spraying her naked body. The she killed Belsornig, whose body serenely became a puddle of water, and then nothing.
The heroes then made their way back to the secret passage on level three, headed to the farmhouse, and from there caught the road to Nulth. On the road up ahead, they saw a cloaked figure lurking - it was Adimarchus, the mysterious 'deva' in gold and white armor. Adimarchus wanted to take Fayte to his 'nether-realm' to give her something that would benefit the heroes. Fayte agreed to go with him.
Fayte and Adimarchus headed back to the temple grounds, to the foundation/cellar area near the trees with the blue fruit. Down there, he moved some dirt and revealed a ritual circle. He cast a ritual and opened a portal. They stepped through.
they emerged in a bedroom with a floating, rotating bed, a bar, many mirrors, and a sliding glass door leading to a type of landing over looking a weird ooze sea. They were on a boat in the Abyssal Realm of Shedaklah - an ooze-dominated layer ruled by Zuggtmoy, Juiblex and Graz'zt (as established in John Reilly's campaign. In addition to his normal three layers, he also shares dominion of Shedaklah, and took over Thanatos when Orcus was killed by the heroes in the Revenge of the Giants campaign).
Adimarchus gave Fayte some Firewine, and then some firefruit - a fruit shrouded in weird ethereal flame. He warned that it caused pain to most mortals.. but to Fayte, it was simply delicious (she has resist 5 fire).
They stepped out ono the landing as the boat passed land dotted with Tree-sized toadstools and boulder-shaped fungal growths. He took off his helmet and chestplate. His skin was gray, and he was covered in golden tattoos. He had stubs of wings coming from his shoulders - his wings had been cut off.
They drank, and Fayte told Adimarchus her story of her life int he Desert of Desolation, and how Dragotha the dracolich had killed her people. Adimarchus in return told her that he was an angel from Celestia who'd been tricked by a demon into turning his men against Bahamut and Moradin. There was a great battle, and the gods cut off the section of Celestia beneath his men's feet, and cast it and them into the abyss. The layer is now the 507th, and is known as Occipitus. Adimarchus claimed he was on a quest for redemption.
"Is that why you've launched a one-man assault against the temple?", Fayte asked.
Fayte took off her armor. The blood still covered her boobs."Well you don't have to be alone anymore."
She proceeded to give him oral pleasures (rolling a natural 17!). Then they began to copulate madly. Fayte masterfully brought the angel close to ecstasy, so much that he lost control... of his illusionary disguise. Fayte's eyes went wide as his hands shifted to a black color, and a sixth finger appeared. Gone was the grey skin and the golden tattoos! Fayte was having sex with the demon lord Graz'zt himself!
Graz'zt took control of her and brought her to an earth-shattering climax! Once they had recovered, they laid sweaty in his weird rotating bed. He asked her if she was going to try to kill him. She said no.
Graz'zt explained that the Adimarchus disguise was based on a real person (the villain of the Shackled City campaign, in fact!). A band of scoundrels killed Adimarchus. They also killed Athux, Graz'zt's daughter. Graz'zt recounted the story of her death with great rage and sorrow. While he was no doubt an evil being, he clearly cared for his warped offspring and wished to have another child.
He further explained that his current consort Lolth had instructed him to lurk in the temple in disguise, to test the defenses and to spy on all of the various factions. But Graz'zt said he'd spent most of his time gallivanting with drow lieutenants, freed prisoners and bar wenches (including Dala, as they'd soon learn).
She told him she had the skull. He said he knew, and that he was sure Lolth would want him to take it from her. She asked him if he was going to. Graz'zt decided he couldn't possibly do such a thing after Fayte's mighty blow job drained the energy from his loins.
Then she teased him, asking how it was doing it with Lolth's spider butt. Graz'zt said grimly, "Don't knock it until you've tried it." He again complained that she
He asked her if she was going to try to kill him. She said no. He stroked her long black hair. He said, "You remind me of someone..."
He got up and reached under the bed and grabbed a maul made of stone. He threw it to Fayte and told her she'd need it. Then they returned to the ruins, mounted Skullstrider and rode toward Nulth.
While all of that was going on, the rest of the party arrived at Nulth in the midst of a heavy rainstorm. Corpses lay in the streets. They recognized them as river sailors who worked for Grud Squinteye. Heron asked a citizen of Nulth what happened. At first he cursed out Heron, but then Jurod ordered Garweez to manhandle him, and the man explained that ghouls had attacked a day or two ago...
The adventurers visited Otis. He said he could repair their items absorbed by the pool, bu t it would take three days. Then they visited Mother Screng's herb shop, where Canoness Y'Day was thrilled to remove her disguise and reveal her true beauty to her trusted allies. The heroes asked her to make holy water. She had 8 vials and could make ten more in a day or two. She also told the heroes about the ghouls who had attacked. They were Darakhul, a new breed of ghouls who came from the southern Zobeck region. The Darakhul were more intelligent than normal ghouls, and their bites were infectious and caused the victims to transform into Darakhul in a few days.
There were also spell-casting ghouls known as necrophages, who often had lich hounds with them. There were bonepowder ghouls, vortexes of teeth and sand, and then there was the Bone Collective. The Bone Collective was hundreds of tiny skeletons merged into one giant 20 foot-tall skeleton. It had formed in Nulth when the ghouls attacked and destroyed a number of buildings. The darakhul were led by an imp of Zev...
Heron mentioned that he was no longer allowed to stay at the Hostel any more. Canoness Y'Day sized him up and decided she liked the cut of his jib. She said he could stay at the herb shop. Heron was innocent and any kind of flirtation went right over his head. He happily agreed.
Then the heroes headed back out into the rain and decided to bury the bodies slain by the darakhul. They got shovels and found a dry enough spot for holes and began digging. Fayte re-joined the group at this point following her meeting with Graz'zt and readied a prayer to the Raven Queen...
While the digging commenced, Jurod headed off with Garweez. First he went to the brothel to talk to Lady Ophelia.
He said, "How is it going?"
"Oh just great. It's raining and a bunch of ghouls came and killed a bunch of people. I'm sure that's fine for you."
"Why would that be fine for me?"
"You just seem like that type, I guess."
He grabbed her by the neck. He pushed her against the wall and said, "I tried to help you. This is how you treat me?". He dropped her. She held her throat and glared at him. "Mind yourself, woman." With that, he left.
While digging, a citizen of Nulth walked by and said to Carric, "What's with the fucked-up mark on your face?".
This triggered the curse of Galasis. His mark glowed but he kept his mouth shut. Instead, Carric took aim with the wand and turned his and the guy's gold to lead. The citizen felt the shift in his pouch and realized what happened. "Mother fucker! I'm gonna fuckin kill you!". He pulled out a sharpened stick, a rather pathetic shiv even by Nulth standards.
The guy charged. Carric shrugged, hoisted his shovel and buried it in the guy's neck. The guy fell over, dead. Fayte dumped the body into a grave and said, "Carric Cendoria's shovel shall shepherd your soul to its' final judgment."
Jurod and Garweez went to the hostel. Dick Rentsch greeted him.
Wat the bartender came over to Jurod and quietly explained to him that the leader of the Darakhul, an imp called Dankweeper the Conspirator, had questioned them. Dick, member of the Earth Temple, found out that Wat was aligned with the Fire Temple. This had caused a rift between them. Wat knew the heroes had joined the Fire Temple. He wrote on a parchment and slid it to Jurod. It said: "Kill Dick now!".
Jurod got up and cast hypnotism on Dick, forcing him to lunge at Garweez. Garweez picked him up and smashed him through a wooden table over and over until he was a bloody pulp. Dala shrieked and pulled a knife. Wat and Jurod talked her down, with Jurod pointing out that he could shapechange into Dick and treat her better. She whispered to him, "Adimarchus, is that you?". Jurod nodded. Dala was happy then.
Wat said his girlfriend Pearl had been bit and was sick. Jurod told Wat she'd have to die. He cast hypnotism on him, too, and forced him upstairs. Wat had a shovel, but was fighting Jurod's control. Jurod forced him psychically to kill Pearl, who was indeed slowly becoming a darakhul. Then jurod cast Maze of Mirrors on Wat, in a maze where all he could see was Pearl in the mirror. Wat shrieked and jumped out of the second story window, plummeting to his death.
Jurod told Dala that they'd be running the hostel now. Dala, thinking he was Adimarchus (who she'd had a dalliance with after she had a fight with Dick Rentsch a few days back), was happy with the new situation.
The heroes dug and finally retired to the hostel to sleep, except for Heron. He headed to Mother Screng's. There, Y'Day awaited him in her bedroom in golden negligee. She blessed some wine and gave it to him. Then she laid him down and began to rub and "heal" him. Once she crept toward his nether regions, Heron got nervous.
Y'Day let it be. She laid in bed with him and talked about the temple for hours, strategizing and talking about the best possible plan. She warned that the ogre could be easily turned. She said "Don't let your innocence cost you your life". Then she told a parable of Clarissa, and how she turned into the evil Marcela for a time (in Revenge of the Giants).
Heron saw that she was wise as well as beautiful and began to warm up to her. They slept, and the next day she told him he was welcome to stay any time.
The other heroes ate breakfast made by Garweez. The rainstorm was over, and the day promised to have pleasant weather. Then, a crystal minion of Romag, priest of the Earth Temple came racing toward the hostel. It was being chased by a lich hound. The heroes headed out to help, except for Jurod.
Heron turned his rod into a ladder and then rode it up, over and down onto the hound, pinning it to the mud. The hound turned ethereal to escape. Fayte slashed at it, but her blade passed through! The hound became tangible and bit Carric's leg, tripping him. Then it pounced on him and began tearing open his stomach! Fayte pulled out her mancatcher and snapped its' bony neck.
The minion would show them images and sounds in its' chest. Romag had been bitten, and was turning into a Darakhul. He was strapped to a table until the process was complete. He'd sent the minion on a mission to find the heroes. He wanted them to sneak into the darakhul-infested first level, and kill him before he became a ghoul!