Date: Friday, August 29, 2014
Location: Cody’s House
Time: (7:00 PM CST – 1:30 AM CST) [6.5 Hours] (37.5 Hours Total Game Time)
Game Time: Afternoon and evening of the 9th day.
XP Awarded: 1,800 xp. for encounter with the Babau, 1,200 xp for surviving the “flesh bulb” trap and the encounter with troglodytes and subsequent interrogation of Ghuln, the troglodyte. (Total: 2,000 xp to all players).
Enemies fell: Babau (CR 6), Troglodytes x2 (CR 2)
Treasure: No treasure awarded during this game session.
The party, accompanied gather their wits after the engagement at the crash site of the Cloud’s Destiny, and accompanied by Captain Jarl Levenstone (who they have discovered is actually Prince Grimrok of the House Ard’Tully), and his contingent of a dozen dwarven soldiers who also survived the crash and subsequent combat.
They travel northward towards the crash site of the sister ship that carried the Magus of Gavenor and the High Priest of Thyane. To discover that there is a very small group of survivors which include four dwarves and the their two human passengers: Magus Theban Overtul & Lylistrahd of Thyane.
The arcane engine of the sister ship explodes, and several are caught in the blast. Including Vannic Cousland, who is violently knocked unconscious. While out, he finds himself in darkeness and in the presence of the spirit of the recently deceased Jeoff Overtul and his eidolon spirit, Nox (whom appears to be bound within chains that burst from within the cursed tome of Appoth Kepper (which had be sent with Nox away from the prime material plane by Vannic Cousland in an attempt to be rid of it). He cannot physically touch either of them, and though Jeoff tries to tell him something, the words cannot be heard before Vannic is prompted back to consciousness by his allies.
As the group, now all together take up defensive positions, it is discovered by the party that the High Cleric is greaviously injured, and despite the attempts of the Magus and the paladin knight, Sir Nestor Stonemorrow, [she] cannot be roused from her seeming coma.
The paladin calls out for assistance from his goddess, when suddenly the high cleric begins to convulse and froth at the mouth. [Her] eyes dart around wildly before she tenses tightly and turns her eyes to the paladin warning him, “Death is here. It is around us. Everywhere. Death!”
Beginning to convulse again, the high cleric suddenly lifts from the ground and begins to levitate while slowly turning in a counter clockwise direction. A large bulge is noticed upon [her] lower torso, which, when her [vestments] are torn open are revealed to be something living within her apparently attempting to burst out.
[Her] gut is rended by clawed talons which burst from inside her, revealing a portal into blackness, and from the void within the high cleric crawls out a hideous demon [a Babau] who begins to slander the paladin’s goddess upon sight.
There is an extended combat engagement shrouded in a magical darkness summoned by the demon which leaves all struggling blind to engage the vile creature. Eventually the magus casts a spell of light, which while not dismissing the dark blackness, does “tag” the demon with a beacon of light that shines within the nothingness that surrounds the group. When the demon is finally defeated, the darkness dissipates and the party discovers that most of the dwarven warriors have fled in fear save two warriors and the prince himself — who is enraged that cowardice of his men.
During the battle in darkness, Aziz Reddus had gathered the convulsing body of the high cleric and fled in an attempt to keep her safe, however upon exiting the demon’s magical darkness he is quickly pushed back by a volley of magic missiles from the nearby forest. He rushes back to the party, carrying the high cleric, and warns them, “Mages in the forest, we are surrounded.”
[Despite the mysterious volley of magic missiles from the forest, there are no further encounters with spell casters.]
The party regroups and begins to attempt to rouse the high cleric whom continues to convulse. She awakens long enough to shout out to Vannic Cousland, “You must save the boy!”
Assume [she]means Jeoff Overtul, Vannic Cousland tells Magus Theban Overtul (who is the boy’s grandfather) for the first time about the spirit of Jeoff which has been haunting him for the past week. When the summoner continues to explain to the Magus about his encounter with the boy moments before the current incident, the Magus grabs Vannic Cousland’s forehead, casts a sleep spell, and the man falls helpless to the ground.
Finding himself again in the darkness with the spirit of young Jeoff Overtul and Nox, Vannic Cousland takes note of the presence of the Babau he and his allies and just dispatched moments before. The demon, clawing at the darkness as if trying to escape. Though the boy’s words cannot be heard, he points to the demon and then walks over to Nox, grasping and tugging at the chains which bind the eidolon. When Vannic Cousland attempts to help, he finds that though he cannot physically touch the ethereal form of Nox, he can grasps the chains binding him.
The boy and the summoner make their way, dragging the eidolon to the location of the demon, which attempts to attack them, but finds that it too is in an ethereal form that cannot cause harm to them.
When the demon finally rips a whole into the darkness, there is a burst of white light, and Vannic Cousland hurls the bound body of Nox through the opening. In an instance the summon feels his being torn asunder, at once everywhere and nowhere simultaneously, and fades into unawareness as the portal closes trapping the demon behind.
Meanwhile, the party outside takes not that the bulging once again begins to occur on the torso of the high cleric, and once again, claws burst forth from within [her]. However, this time Claud Ironfist (whom had rushed up to attempt to kick the demon back into the void] thinks he notices the face of his friend, Vannic Cousland within the dark void behind the portal opened in the high cleric, and this causes him pause for a moment.
(Suddenly Vannic Cousland finds himself bound within the body of his eidolon, seeing through it’s eyes and controlling its form.)
The bound body of Nox (whom, having been kept a secret by the summoner, has never been seen by anyone in the party) comes hurdling out of the portal which slams shut behind the eidolon, seemingly trapping both the demon and the summoner within the void behind. The high cleric tenses once more, quickly sitting up and turning to the bound eidolon and sternly shouts, “You must free yourself of all evil!” After speaking, [she] falls unconscious, and still.
Nestor Stonemorrow, calls upon aid from his goddess and suddenly the chains surrounding Nox retract back into the book from where they extended. The pages begin to turn wildly as if fluttered by a great breeze and the book spins and floats in the air near the eideolon.
Now freed, Nox gallops over to the unconscious body of Vannic Cousland and violently rips the skulled mask (the cursed artifact originally manifested by the very book that had bound the eidolon) from the mans face.
The mask is ‘sucked’ back into the book which loudly and harshly slams shut and falls to the ground. The summoner awakens in his own body, his eidolon, now free of the curse of the tome, beside him. For a moment, Vannic Cousland hears the faint voice of Jeoff Overtul and is overcome with the urge to embrace Magus Theban Overtul.
(The summoner concludes that the spirit of the boy now resides within his own being in tandem with his own spirit.)
After explaining who/what Nox is to his allies, Vannic Cousland informs the Magus of his belief of his grandson’s presence in his own form, explains the sensation he felt, and the Magus smiles faintly before tightly embracing the man in a hug while faintly sobbing.
When the high cleric is once again roused, [she] smiles at Vannic Cousland and informs him that he has been set free from the evil that had tainted him, and explains that the demon (one of many at the behest of Gyntha Tormanthis, had been tracking them via the presence of the cursed artifact (the tome of Appoth Kepper). [She] places the book within her removed cloak, wrapping it securely and binding it tightly, informing the party that she must take the evil object back to the High Temple of her goddes in the Fallen Kingdoms to the south so that it may be destroyed.
After a brief conversation with the Magus, the high cleric informs the party that [she] will meet back with them in the capitol city of Nindol once [she] has completed this task, and immediately, cursed tome in tow, begins to trek southward.
Befor leaving the crash site, the Prince requests that a search party join him in searching for his corward soldiers so that they may be reprimanded. The party assists, but every last one of the dwarven solders is discovered dead in the forest. Many with their throats slit. Tormir Oakstream uses his knowledge of nature to discern that many of the wounds appear to be reptilian in nature, and he discovers what he believes to be dozens of troglodyte tracks that all lead northward (which is unfortunately the same direction the party must travel to reach the city of Nindol).
Stopping long enough to bury the bodies of the dead, the party then begins to trek into the late afternoon, heading northward towards their destination.
Just before sunset, the party comes across a small hamlet, which appears to have been heavily damaged by a recent fire as smoke still hangs heavy in the air. As they approach the small village, they are disturbed by the sight of what appears to be massive fleshy tumors and tendrils which have engulfed the remaining structures of the hamlet. They decide to bypass the cursed place until they hear the exasperated pleas from help coming from what sounds to be an elderly gentleman. — the paladin knight Nestor Stonemorrow refuses to let the party depart without further investigation, and steadfastly marches directly into the hamlet.
The party finds that the village has been engulfed in a cancerous flesh blight, and most of the village’s inhabitants have been absorbed into the pulsating blob of flesh that stretches across the village, enveloping huts, connected by hundreds of fleshy tendrils and thinly stretch skin. The mass pulsates and writhes.
More coming soon…