Friday, June 1, 2018

Abberations in the Analysis - Crossroads Campaign - Session 16 and 17

We came out into the Center on the circle established as a firm target to receive plane shifts and immediately started calling for a cleric. An older dwarf came to use quickly enough and we took Wendylly to the chapel for the ritual. We quickly made some explanation on the nature of the task we were undertaking and the dwarf made mention of the seal and added some other details implying that he had been on the site some time ago himself. Our focus at the time was on Wendylly but I kept that bit of information in mind.

I have to say that I have never seen a resurrection before. I have heard of them. Only a very few rare holy people in my own setting have that sort of capability. And they mostly keep low because publicly magic isn't a thing and someone with that power would be a target for control or manipulation. I didn't know precisely what I could do to help so I sat to the side with my harmonica and drew on my own magic with a pleading tune while Kelmar helped out every little way that he could alongside the dwarf. One of the Ellyons that we had rescued from execution came running into the room and pleading for her not to leave. She had a more than passing similarity to Wendylly now that I think about it, maybe a sister or cousin.

Fortunately, the ritual succeeded and Wendylly was taken back to Istryx's tower to recover from her injuries and resurrection. I remained behind to have a conversation with the dwarf and discuss his history with the Abolist's Tower. To my surprise it turned out that he was the dwarven cleric that had been part of the band that stopped the Abolist in the first place, Adruun. We had a nice discussion about the various items we had found. They were gag gifts, apparently, some sort of party competition to see who could give each other the most useless gift possible. But he also confirmed that he had left the Urn behind in the Tower.

His had a theory about the items we found in the machine, and I showed him the drawings I had taken of the device. The more detailed analysis was in Wendylly's journal, of course. He theorized that the items in that crystal device had been arranged to be placed there by our own patron as a sort of hint of what is going on rather than by our enemy as a power source. I mentioned I'd ask Istryx about that and see if her current less than fully divine status would let her give a straight answer. Adrunn laughed at that and it turned out he was correct in his disbelief as I found out later.

We stayed the night in our Tower and discovered that the ellyon girls each had a bit of a mental quirk. While we were eating breakfast with them, I glimpsed into their minds and found that they were each a bit off in their way of thinking. Tonwen's thoughts gave a perspective on this. She'd seen something like this before. Apparently, an ellyon that is confined for a long period of time with nothing to do starts to go a bit insane and all of these had served prison sentences in the past. So sort of like what solitary confinement does to most people multiplied by at least one order of magnitude. I'll have to keep that in mind going forward. Still, they had uncovered quite a few more leads for us to look into later on.

As to our current task, we shifted back to the plane and found ourselves just about half an hour away from the Abolist Tower. 

Side note: there are two towers of import in this story, I do hope we're not Minas Tirith. I don't particularly want to be besieged.

Anyway, we made our way back to the tower and Kelmar spoke that there were signs of people having moved through the area. Heading on up, and getting that damn trap disarmed, we found ourselves face to face with a horrific sight. Nyktox was in a cage hanging over an opening in the floor at the center of a massive chamber open to the high mountain winds. Portals were open within the framework of four sets of three doors and monsters were streaming out of them into matching portals not far away. At the center were four cultists and an undead goblin leading the ritual.

He turned to say to us "Took you long enough" and the battle started.

Having recently had to deal with enemy casters we immediately started spreading out to present less of a target. Unfortunately, the undead abolist shrugged off my tune of discordant thoughts with an uncommon effort of will and they started spreading out as well. Some of the monsters moved forward to attack us even as Nezeri surged forward to smash into one of the cultists and summon her spiritual weapon to attack the goblin, opening him up to a telling blow from Kelmar's arrows.

The goblin summoned a mass of demonic guardians to surround him, but it fell quickly as Medi and Alwyn descended on him and slashed into his form. The cultists attempted to lay chains about my mind in a way that I am familiar with. It would have left me paralyzed and helpless had I not resisted. Kelmar, meanwhile was swarmed by monsters. 

This is when something unusual happened. Among the aberrations being summoned for the portals, there was a flumph and it moved to help us. The last time I saw a flumph it was a librarian at the Department 7 archives. I'd never really considered them to be all that dangerous or useful, but if I ever find a way to get back in, I'll have to re-adjust my estimation of Cedric if I see him again. This flumph was very useful, casting strange powers and wrapping the enemy with acidic tendrils. Sort of like a friendly airborn jellyfish or a mini-Cthulhu friend.

The battle persisted, Kelmar suffering the brunt of the damage and both he and I being encouraged to travel far across the battle either to avoid the enemy's spiritual weapon or thrust by powers of fear. Fortunately, Nezeri had used her curse again and a lot of the enemy were having difficulty laying hands on Kelmar otherwise I think he may have fallen. 

I took the opportunity to cast Detect Magic, thinking that this would be like the room of the undead and we'd have to identify a source of magic to shut off, but I rather think I should have focused on reading the minds of our enemy instead. I gleaned some information, and I will recognize the world that one of the portals connected to if I see it again, but the spell was already fading when I cast the spell. I'm sure there would have been more information in the minds of the goblin and his human assistants.

Astra, of course, was going about keeping a count of who killed what and declaring what was her kill, which is most of them by her accounting. She was, as always in this adventure, of inestimable value in the fight, taking down several enemies over the course of the fight. 

Finally, the goblin went down and the portals shut off, leaving us to clean up the remaining monsters and cultists. At the end we had a discussion with the flumph and it looks like we'll be adding another friend to Istyrx's Tower. Meanwhile, we went through the gear and found another journal confirming the suspicion that this undead goblin had been the original Abolist. 

Now we're looking to return to the Center to report the situation and get Nyktok some medical treatment, thankfully he survived the ritual. Then we plan to head back to Opali and make sure that there's no remnant of the cult behind as well as recovering Kelmar's wolf friend.

Character Journal

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