Friday, August 25, 2017

The Colony - Turn 38 - Creature Lair

After slaying the floating tentacle monster (which I wager at least some of my readers will recognize), the party regroups, heals up and heads into the thing's lair. They're hoping for loot and want to be sure no more foes remain.

Start Date: August ?+2, morning
Start Status: Recovery
Start Location: Mountain ruin, lost

Adventuring: Rennard, Jinx, Mendel, Aaron, Maarek, Xon
At the Tulip: Adrienne, Brigg, Hagan, Kessel, Smoke, Zenobe

The Turn

After Rennard lays hands upon himself, and Mendel and Maarek cast heal spells, the party gathers scattered gear and regroups outside the cave. The plan is to explore this area and ensure there are no more floating horrors lying in wait. With Rennard in front, the group advances through a narrow secret passage into the natural cave beyond. The space is fairly small, 20 feet east-west by 30 feet north-south. Several large boulders are scattered around the area and there's a narrow tunnel in the south wall. The corpse of the floating creature hangs in the air near the west wall and several sword stabs prove that it is really dead.

"Be really careful if you touch this thing," says Mendel, examining the tentacles. "They're covered with spines, all dripping some kind of clear liquid. I'll bet it's some sort of poison."

"We can deal with that later. Let's see where this goes." Xon gestures at the south tunnel. The group continues their exploration. The passage turns west and opens into another small cave, about 10 x 10 feet in size, before continuing west, leading into a series of three small caves connected by two narrow tunnels. These chambers were clearly some sort of feeding ground. The floors are strewn with a variety of bones. Some are from small animals, rabbits and the like, others are quite large, and at least one humanoid skeleton, long and thin, is in the pile. "Lizard skulls, huge bird beaks, claws from some predatory cat, clearly this thing was a successful hunter," says Aaron.

"And it's been here a while," adds Maarek. "Some of these bones are old."

"It, or them. Let's not assume it was the only one," adds Rennard.

"Hello, lookie here," says Jinx. Indicating a stretch of the northwest wall. "I think there's another... yeah, that's it." He pushes an almost invisible stone plate in the wall and a large stone panel swings aside, revealing a short passage that leads outside into the rain.

"Guess we know how the thing got out to hunt," says Xon.

Jinx asks, "Do you think it was intelligent? It used the secret doors and fairly sound tactics."

"Maybe," answers Aaron. "In any case, we should search this area. There may be something of value hidden among these bones, and if it was smart, the beast may have tucked something away, out of sight."

The party spends a good 30 minutes searching the area. They find a pouch filled with 50 flat oval polished stones or beads, each about an inch across. No one recognizes the material, which is milky white and shiny. They are neither magical nor evil, but they might be worth something. They also discover a small hidden alcove in the entry chamber hidden behind a small pile of boulders. It contains a leather sack that holds three rather disturbing statues. The first depicts a crab-like creature with legs and claws that look like they're made of leafy tree branches. A stubby and crude humanoid head with an idiot expression rises from the thing's back. The second is a crude human form with arms that split into a half-dozen tentacles and three oversized heads. The third is a worm-thing with dozens of spidery legs and canine heads at either end of its armor-plated body. As with the disks, none of the statues radiate magic or evil. Each is about 6 inches long and carved from dull gray stone.

The party moves back into the shrine area and is heading for the narrow hall when...

In the center of a vast cavern, a man stands upon a dais made from yellow stone in front of a huge freestanding arch made of wicker, wood, and bone. Dim light from floating spheres of brightness plays across his bald head as he reads from a book in a voice too soft to hear from your position on a high stone balcony. Abruptly, the shadows are torn asunder by intense purple light, which spreads in slow ripples to fill the arch. The man raises a short, thick rod, and gestures. Hideous, inhuman shapes, glistening skin, twisting tentacles, squamous hide and pulsing flesh, spill forth from the glowing tunnel as the vision fades.

"We really should get out of here," mutters Xon.

"Feel free to take up guard position outside if you want, but we want to see what's beyond the secret door down here," says Rennard.

"I think I'll stick with you. Safety in numbers and all that."

The group finds the latch that opens the door in the library room, which reveals a small room about 10 x 15 feet in size. A matching alcove on the far side hints at another secret door, which Maarek quickly spots. The only thing in the room is a fairly large iron chest against the south wall. Several latches around the sides secure the top, but there are no obvious locks or keyholes. The metal sides are quite rusty but seem pretty sturdy when Mendel pokes it. No one spots any traps either.

"Who gets to open it?" asks Xon.

Meanwhile, at the Tulip

Most of the crew divide their time between copying/studying the documents found in the lizard cave and guard duty, aside from Smoke, who spends her spare time puttering around with her little book of recipes. She feels she may be onto something with one of the recipes. It seems to have to do with purification or clarification of liquids. Unfortunately, part of the ingredient list is written in yet another code that presents a significant obstacle.

Adrienne is the restless one, roaming the streets when she's not on watch. She picks up a rumor from some farmers in from Vinehold. The group that went to explore the mine was long overdue, so Jinel Vine sent a squad of mercenaries to investigate. They came back to the villa in sorry shape. Apparently, something in the mine attacked them and drove them off.

End Date: August ?+2, morning
End Status: What's in the box?
End Location: Mountain ruin, lost

No comments:

Post a Comment

Note: all comments are moderated to block spammers. Please be polite.