Flickering Shadows

Session 4

Endless Recap

Edmund returned the library books. In the run up to this play session, he had experienced a premonition or frightening dream in which he became convinced of his own imminent demise. Not his own, exactly, but the death of his persona. Or, the death of the thing holding him together. He couldn’t tell. He sometimes felt as though there were someone standing over him, adding to and erasing from his memory, subjecting him to cruel truncations of time in which one day could burn itself out in a minute, or that he would be kept immobile while someone conferred with the gods.

Meanwhile, Grigori got someone to appraise the gems the party had found. The party seemed unclear on whether they had received a fair price, but immediately turned their attention to reentering the Capondercity.

As this was all happening, Jed hired a young boy to be his consort and torchbearer. The new party member and NPC, Xal, was apparently selected for his “litheness,” whatever that means.

It was clear to Edmund, who generally can be identified as the clear leader of the group, that it was worth trying to decode the contents of the scroll that had been discovered after defeating the evil monster. There were spells contained in the scroll. Exciting and dangerous magic.

Future City

After a day spent doing almost nothing, the group reentered the Capondercity and returned to the room in which they had eked out a narrow victory against a gang of murderous fish people. It was then that someone in the party, who suddenly felt himself very wise, remembered that the Kuo Toa are immune to sleep spells. This sparked intense discussion. Had the Kuo Toa been deserted by their monstrous, barely-sentient god? They didn’t know. But what was more interesting was that the bodies of the Kuo Toa the party had slain were missing. There were dragmarks leading off in one direction or another, the party weren’t sure.

Out of options, the party hastened to unlock the final door on this level. The tochbearer Xal used his thieves’ tools, which had been procured by Jed as a kind of gift or tribute (it wasn’t clear which) to unlock the door.

Disgusting Encounters

The party then had a disgusting encounter and in this scene Edmund was excellent also, using his “Affect Normal Fires” spell (from the scroll) to cause the party’s torch to flare and illuminate a sort of semi-sentient flesh creature made from limbs and bits of other semi-sentient trash, crudely animated and manipulated.

Jonos was bitten terribly in the ensuing combat, and then Jed severed a crude flesh limb in the second round. In the third round, Edmund cast a Magic Missile (either from memory or from a scroll) which caused the creature to collapse during the rest of the third round and then die at the end of the round.

The Office of the People

After slaying “flesh beast,” the adventurers discovered that the creature was in fact created to guard an office, accessible via trapdoor in the floor. Ultimately the locked door had proven a more challenging obstacle than the flesh creature and had caused the party to even leave the dungeon to purchase a thieves’ tools.

Inside the room, which was kind of an office, the party discovered various objects consistent with office work, such as a bloodstained library book which may have been used as reference material for the creation of the flesh creature. There was also some treasure concealed absurdly amongst other treasure.

Again out of options, and with only a cursory trajectory binding them together into a functional adventuring group, the party looked downwards, always downwards, looking ahead but downwards, pushing on to the spider cave even as exhaustion set in, and slaying another giant spider and another one after that. Someone was injured but probably said nothing about it. It didn’t matter. There were no more options, only to fight and perhaps die, or perhaps descend another level into the city, or to stay motionless, frozen with indecision, as still as a statue, completely stationary, without movement.

Into the Capondercity
Session 3

1.5 in-game days.

  1. We interrogate the captive lizardman. The pitiful creature seems to be a scout or raider of some kind (poorly dressed, poorly armed) and is evidently quite afraid of the “Delve” or of the earthquake the previous day (it’s not clear exactly what the lizardman is responding to).
  2. We march the lizardman back up the road, untie him, and turn him loose.
  3. With the day drawing to a close, we’re reminded that a giant lizard is still out there somewhere and we’ve spent half a day dragging a lizardman around the countryside with nothing to show for it. Instead of pushing on into the swamp, we return to Akkash for wine and sleep.
  4. The next day, we decide that there must be more information about the Delve somewhere, and it occurs to us that one or more expedition folios may have been removed from the library before we could read them.
  5. We decide to descend below the library to look for more information. Initially, our progress is impeded by a locked door, but we find the key in the librarian’s quarters.
  6. Many of the major buildings in Akkash are connected to a subterranean network, some of which is man-made (aqueducts serving the noble houses, for example) and some of which is naturally-occurring (eons ago, Mt. Akkash, the mountain which gave its name to the city, was an active volcano that left caves and a water system behind as it cooled).
  7. This section appears man-made, although we run into the natural cave system in places where the wall has collapsed. Unfortunately, creatures from the cave system have likely begun to investigate the walled sections in search of food. We encounter and kill an enormous spider. The spider appears to have come from a cave system which we explore briefly, but decide against examining in greater detail.
  8. There’s a pit in one of the rooms, and we can hear voices coming from a lower level.
  9. After climbing over a collapsed wall to get around a section where the wall collapsed completely, we find an ornate locked door and cannot progress any further. There is a staircase, but we’re initially hesitant to explore any further since we’re not at 100%.
  10. Even though we’re pushing our luck, we descend cautiously and take a left.
  11. We push through a door and discover three Kuo-toa camped out inside. A battle ensues, and Edmund is able to use Sleep to render them unconscious before slitting their throats. Gills. Edmund is really doing very well in this session! He’s a natural leader and his magic helps the group a lot!
  12. We try the other room and find some crates. Unfortunately, our brief battle must have drawn attention from some Kuo-toa further along the corridor and we’re surprised. Jonos suffers a wound that is bad enough for us to nearly panic. Luckily, Jed, Grigori, and Bobric are able to cut up the fish men.
  13. Grigori is able to heal our wounded henchman, but we decide it’s best to hightail it out of the undercity.
That's a Dangerous Place to Grow Your Bananas
Session 2

1.5 in-game days.

  1. Edmund spent the morning after the earthquake reading through the expedition reports he’d taken from the library. The information was vague and in some cases of dubious authorship. What a waste. He concluded that the vital information might be among the expedition reports he’d left for Grigori to pick over. Initially, Edmund planned to cast Unseen Servant to remove the volumes from Grigori’s possession, but later he decided a better idea would be to overcome his suspicion of tourists and approach Grigori about sharing whatever research they had gathered. The two set to work but found only more vague myths.
  2. Meanwhile, an Akkashi patrol was returning to the city, visibly shaken and carrying wounded men on stretchers.
  3. Since research is often very tiring and can make a man thirsty, Edmund and Grigori returned to the Capon for a drink and noticed the atmosphere of general alarm. Grigori was able to enlist his temple in providing for the wounded men.
  4. Back at the Capon, Grigori recognized Jed from the previous day and the party came together around the shared goal of determining exactly how the lizardman incursion was linked to the events of the previous day. Jed seemed motivated by a strong moral code, while Grigori seemed compelled as faith-based healer. Edmund, on the other hand, just couldn’t handle not knowing something important.
  5. The party spoke with two of the patrolmen—Jonos and Bobric—and they were convinced to act as guides (for a price).
  6. The next day the party set out along a main thoroughfare leading out of Akkash and into the outlying agricultural area.
  7. The road was well maintained and the party noted the plantations and farms that surround the city had not been attacked.
  8. Soon, however, a giant lizard (of some sort) was spotted and the group was forced to detour around through the swamp.
  9. As the party neared the site where the patrol had skirmished with lizardmen, Jonos and Bobric abruptly called the group to a halt. Two lizardmen rose out of the swamp and came forward.
  10. Edmund was quick to cast Sleep. The party argued over what to do and decided that it might be possible to seek more information. (Edmund and Grigori are both able to communicate with lizardmen to some degree.) The party decided that Jed would kill one of the lizardmen and the other would be tied up and brought back to the city. Edmund later confessed that he felt a little umcomfortable about killing a sleeping creature, but wasn’t really losing any sleep over it.
A Shadow is Cast
Session 1

One in-game day.

The campaign begins in the city of Akkash, with the start of the Succession Festival and the introdution of our characters:

Grigori Oakenhand, a rural clergyman from the outlying town of Badun has just arrived to pay his villages’ respects to the new Emperor, being the only even remotely educated person of his small village. Seeking refuge from the crowds swarming the streets of Akkash, he manages to find his way to the temple of Liamath, he makes his way to The Golden Capon for relaxation and refreshment.

Edmund Cheddarmilk, a scholar, copyist, translator, scribe; accidental wizard. Native to Akkash, Edmund has spent the better part of his life in study. Irascible and unamused by the crowds of tourists and revelers swarming through the great city, he is a creature of habit – he lives for his books and study. No party can distract such a man from his beloved Library – or his local watering hole, The Golden Capon.

James Edward Renner, squire and son of a minor nobleman from Waymoor, in the neighboring Kingdom of Lindor. Arriving with the delegation sent from Lindor to honour the Akkash and witness the succession ceremony, James Edward (“Jed”) is a young man on the verge of knighthood. Preoccupied with the tales of great champions and heroes of the tournaments, Jed is largely free to amuse himself in the city over the course of the great festival. Tired and suffocatingly hot, he makes his first thirsty stop within the walls of Akkash at the finest (and most befitting his station) establishment in the city – The Golden Capon.

The scholar, the clergyman and the squire come together within the spacious and accommodating walls of the Capon – operated by the consummate purveyor Rixos Kaleun – through a mutual desire for refreshment, though their introductions are fleeting and incomplete.

Edmund reads a tome of architectural technique and methods, Jed drinks and sweats in equal measure at the bar while Grigori reposes in the adjacent gardens, feet half-sunk in the moss.

The land shakes. The shuddering noticed only by those in the Capon idly watching their cups. Within seconds no patron can ignore the ground beneath them as it rocks the city. Akkash is wrenched from its revels by the only earthquake in living memory. As the Capon is evacuated by a quick-thinking Jed; Edmund’s thoughts are focused only on his books. Grigori initially stayed in the gardens, already being outside – but he had second thoughts when visions of being crushed by the walls around him danced through his mind.

Far more abruptly than it began, the earthquake ceased. A stillness settled over the city, interrupted only by the barking of dogs. Edmund and Grigori both notice a red streak moving curiously slow across the sky – and then within moments begin to spot others joining the first, all in the same direction.


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