Tuesday, 28 July 2015

Diamond Sky - Session 2 (22/07/15)

This week saw one of the players (Salderban) leave us temporarily whilst he goes on holiday, but we were joined by another new player to replace him, so party numbers remained at five.

Bullywugs go to war - courtesy of WotC

The Party:

Karik (?) - Sorceror
Rhogar (Dragonborn) - Warlock
Skins (Kobold) - Barbarian
Torric (Human) - Bard
Zook (Gnome) - Ranger

Whilst the four companions watched what was happening at the cave and discussed what they were going to do with the captain when they got back from investigating the distant combat, one of the former slaves edged away from the rest of his companions and rooted around on the now broken and deserted sky-ship for a few items that may come in handy at a later time and place.

Skins and Zook were the first into the fray, their axes and swords carved crimson swathes through the
amphibious and insectoid enemy; their chosen enemy was no longer the warband of towering 5' tall frog men but also their attendant fire beetles. Torric began to sing a ballad to magically aid his companions whilst Karik hung back with his loaded crossbow at the ready.

The beings, now recognised as bullywugs, had encircled the fire-headed bronze dwarf and began to strike at him in earnest, but upon contacting the warrior their heads burst into flame. This great loss of batrachian life caused the rest of their companions to turn tail and flee, but the party managed to overcome and dispatch the remainder before they made it back inside the cavern. Skins and Zook cut the firestones from the beetles for later use.

The dwarf took up position before the cavern in front of the party. He introduced himself as Krokdahk Oxar; the prenom being his rank of chief mason as translated by Karik and Zook. Skins stepped forward to shake hands with the now recognisable metallic construct but burned his hands before he could pull them away from Oxar's purposefully light grip.

At the same moment, there was a great roar from the distant volcano and it began to erupt with fire and brimstone. Oxar suggested that the party followed him if they wanted to leave the magnarock alive. The adventurers unanimously agreed and Torric ran swiftly back to the captain to tell him that they were going to aid Oxar and then come rescue him and his remaining crew and passengers. As the party entered the cavern, they failed to spot a sixth shadow slip silently in behind them.

Oxar led the small band of explorers into the mountainside through a great pair of brass valves. The gigantic chamber beyond seemed to resemble a huge workshop or factory with great walkways and tunnels leading off all over the place. However all the finery of the machinery was off-set by the air of disuse.

The party passed through a second, smaller door into a further chamber full of caskets that contained many brass body parts. Oxar introduced them in his gruff language as "Father". Many further doors led off from this chamber into what looked like living quarters; enough rooms for a whole settlement. Oxar did not stop and led them further into the mountainside settlement but the air was laden with the doom of many deaths. Scattered about the chambers were the bodies of many of Oxar's kin as well as many half snake-half man creatures that were recognised as salamanders.

The flame-headed dwarf finally came to a halt at a fourth chamber that contained two large conveyer belts that ended above two deep holes. A great door between them blocked any further progress. Oxar moved towards the hatch wheel that locked the great door but halted, as did the rest of the party as they heard in the distance the sound of many flopping feet approaching. Oxar growled at the party to hide whilst he took up a defensive stance in front of the final door. Skins and Zook made ready next to him but Torric and Karik found the darkest of corners. Nobody noticed in the kerfuffle the trailing shadow take up position in the darkness beside one of the entrance doors.

A large patrol of bullywugs marched past the entrance without looking into the room, obviously bent on going somewhere in a hurry and would not have stopped until Zook launched an arrow at them. This caused the amphibians and their large fire snake companion to turn into the chamber and attack the party. As the first few enemy warriors passed over the threshold into the room Skins threw his hand axes at the following rank felling one of them whilst Zook carried on shooting arrows into the midst of the front rank. Torric chanted to spur on is companions and sewed confusion into the ranks of the enemy whilst Karik looked for a way out at the great hatch door end of the chamber.

As the second wave began to enter the room the shadowy shape emerged from behind the door and a great wave of fire was launched at the incoming bullywugs. This surprised not only the bullywugs but also the party. However, the greatest surprise was on the bullywugs as the great fiery breath dealt death and destruction amongst their number. Seeing that the dragonborn seemed to be a friend, the rest of the party concentrated on the bullywugs and their snake companion rather than worry about who the reptilian was, but Zook recognised him as one of the ex-slaves from the sky ship.

Whilst the combat erupted around the chamber, Karik tried the great door to see if he could escape. He did not have the strength to turn the great hatch wheel so he jumped up onto one of the stationary conveyor belts and wriggled through the chain curtain into the room beyond. The room was full of various wonders but what grabbed his attention most was the vast amount of potions and precious stones. He stuffed a couple of handfuls of the processed stones into his pockets and went about testing some of the small vials. One particular group of the potions contained within a box upon a side table seemed quite familiar to him so he grabbed a few and made his way to the back of the door to see if it could be opened from that direction. He had just as much luck on that side of the valve so, after pulling 3 levers beside the door, he decided to return to the fight.

Inside the conveyer belt chamber the fight was not going well for the party; Oxar had fought the fire snake to a standstill whilst the party slowly mopped up the bullywugs with their combined magical and martial prowess. Unfortunately, numbers began to tell and the party slowly succumbed to their wounds. When they heard the whine of turbines come from beyond the door they were fighting to protect, Oxar swore an oath and redoubled his efforts against the snake.

Looking over his shoulder, Karik saw that a great cauldron in the centre of the room had begun to bubble with clear liquid whilst great fans in the ceiling began to blow cool air into the room. At the same time, the conveyor upon which he was standing began to move him back into the room he had just left.

Skins was very badly injured and extricated himself from the melee he was in in order to try to lick his wounds and rejoin the combat at a distance whilst the fresher Rhogar, the dragonborn, covered his retreat. Torric and Zook held their own and dealt out more damage from a distance whilst the combat between Oxar and the snake remained in deadlock.

Just as Skins thought all was lost, Karik came through from the far room, stood upon the moving conveyer belt. He caught the small vial that was thrown at him, pulled the stopper and drank the contents at the signal from Karik. He felt better very quickly as the magical Healing properties of the liquid coursed through his veins. Following his lead, the others who had been thrown a vial followed suit.

Karik rode to the end of the conveyer belt, leapt off and then removed one of his gloves which revealed a pallid, thin white hand. From this hand shot a Ray of Frost, which struck the fire snake and turned the combat in favour of Oxar. It was with a renewed vigour that the rest of the party rejoined the combat and swiftly put paid to the remnants of the bullywug patrol and their fire snake compatriot.

Torric quickly leapt onto the serpent and removed its poisoned fangs whilst the rest of the party collected their spent arrows and axes, and tended to their wounds. Oxar opened the door to the chamber beyond and led them into the now cold interior. He pulled the levers back into the opposite position to which Karik had pulled them.

With a grunt, he led the party back through the chamber where the combat had just taken place and headed off in the direction that the bullywugs were taking before they were ambushed by the party. He led them through a mine where more dead dwarfs and snake-men lay. Scattered around the huge chamber were huge piles of unrefined jet - a small sample of which was now sitting in Karik's pockets.

Finally, the last corridor opened into a huge chamber that held over one hundred bullywugs that appeared to be worshipping a tall, skinny, old elf with a ring around its neck that held four beings at the end of chains attached to it. The bullywugs were in awe of the elf and as a result failed to spot the party arrive.

There were two exits from the large chamber; to the right was a stone path and bridge that led towards the volcano and opposite was a brass lift with the insignia Azroc (ship) inscribed above it. The party decided to split at this stage but just as they began to move, the elf's speech reached a crescendo and the bullywugs began to rapidly leave the chamber via the bridge exit.

With only the old, skinny elf and his four attendants left, the party advanced amongst the shadows towards the raised dais upon which he was stood. Rhogar created a diversion with a Noise cantrip, but one of the beings attached to the elf via a chain was not fooled. The old elf undid his collar, left the small band on the dais, and moved off towards a table and began to read a book laying thereupon; he began giggling to himself.

The female half-elf that had previously spotted the party began to work on her chains whilst the party advanced upon the elderly elf. Torric crept up behind him and grabbed him firmly by the throat. Skins unpacked his rope and tied the villain up with it. Meanwhile, the female half-elf had been able to free herself from the chain and had found a dagger from somewhere. She walked over to the elderly elf with menace in her eyes. Torric asked if this was what she really wanted and without saying a word, plunged the dagger into the old elf's neck, killing him instantly.

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