Rappan Athuk Reloaded

Session 9: Don't Go Down the Well!

The spectral figure of a wizened, empty-eyed man disappeared into a translucent crystal box on top of a pedestal. Two of the iron statues animated and the golems attacked. The heroes — Hiso, Snaggletooth riding Hiso, Azrond, Zorian, Requiem with Rocknut, Aribon and Tucker — were joined by their friends who had guarded the temple. Morgrimm saw the danger in Scramge’s mirror, gathered Giblet and Pradish, and entered en force to save his companions.

  • A magical fear shakened the party while a supernatural darkness settled in. Aribon and Zorian had difficulty seeing until Aribon dispelled it with Sarcek’s shield.
  • Aribon, Morgrimm, Requiem and Tucker bolstered the party and magic potions were quaffed as the golems moved in. With Greater Magic Weapon in place, it seemed that Az and Morgrimm might take down the golems quickly. Hiso teleported in to help flank the constructs while Rocknut flew in and delivered mighty blows. They learned to avoid the fists of the iron golems. A single blow almost felled several of the heroes and Aribon’s healing power was put to the test. He called upon Iomedae to prevail in the place of darkness. Zorian’s arrows were many, though he fumbled and lost his adamantine darts, many of them connected, shattering the golems.
  • The undead presence reached out to both Azrond and Morgrimm, attempting a Magic Jar effect. The heroes shrugged it off, but not before hearing the ghostly voice of the spectre-lich, Zelkor. “I am the chosen of Orcus. Obey me!” The golems breathed deeply, their poison settling into the lungs of most of the party. Zelkor gave up the Magic Jar attempt; the party felt his true might as an Empowered Fireball launched from the crystal, both incinerating many of the heroes and repairing the golems. The constructs moved in, healed and whole, and dealt devestating blows. Aribon attempted to heal the damage, but it seemed Orcus’ power prevailed inside the shrine.
  • Pradish, the half-orc, fell as another fireball erupted. Tucker launched a final spell, before the poison gas sucked out his life. Giblet rushed in with his axe, only to have his skull crushed in by a golem. Trying to save his companions, Aribon unleashed the full healing power of Iomedae; it wasn’t enough when the gas filled him and a golem connected with his rib cage. Requiem used Rocknut to help the rest of the party flee towards the well entrance. Hiso teleported to the crystal box, thinking to undo the power magic inside. An enormous treasure chest tempted him and he reached in ethereally to steal a tiny, toothpick-sized sword (later found to be “Azathor”, a size-shifting longsword). A bad feeling washed over him regarding the gem inside the crystal box and Hiso fled along with Requiem. Rocknut carried Zorian and Morgrimm to safety as spells dropped the archer. He returned for Azrond who held the line. The paladin nearly destroyed a golem, yet braced himself as Zelkor emerged from the box and flew towards him. Spells and golem fists dropped Azrond. The other golem smashed Snaggletooth into a butterfly-colored pulp. As Rocknut returned for the paladin, the eidolon arrived in time to see Zelkor cackling as he corrupted Az and an undead spectre of the paladin emerged from his fallen body. “Yes, flee heroes! I have what I want and the Master will reward me!”
  • They skirted the wilderness and filled their sad days with tales of the fallen comrades. No more jokes or pranks from Snaggletooth. No shaven Az dreaming of dwarven artifacts. Tucker could no longer dream of finding his pig or save the party with Black Tentacles. Pradish and Giblet never had a chance to prove themselves and Aribon and his Shining Shield were lost forever.
  • Returning to Egede, Captain Vanreim’s grizzled features provided little sympathy. Yet the threats inside Rappan Athuk were more apparent than ever. He diverted two more promising candidates away from the campaign in the World Wound and introduced the party to them. Drusk, a fierce half-orc fighter wielding a greatsword, and Fvarig, a distant dwarf cousin of Azrond and cleric of Torag, who willingly took up his relative’s quest for dwarven artifacts. Vanreim offered news of the front and the challenge with maintaining the wardstones, saying parties sent behind the lines had disappeared and there was a need for strong heroes to find their remains and bolster the wards containing the demons. The party declined, vengeance burning in them, and returned to Rappan Athuk. Hiso left Vanreim with one piece of advice, “Don’t go Down the Well.”
  • Miles from the dungeon entrance, the newly-formed group smelled sulfur and found two huge-sized pig demons on the beach, eating a giant crab. The Orusula demons charged, tusks splitting the heroes wide and infecting Hiso and Drusk with demon fever. After destroying the creatures, Fvarig removed the disease. A bloated zombie mob emerged from the sea-like lake the next day, only to be destroyed from a distance. Crab swarms emerged from the zombies and quickly dispersed.
  • Hiso urged the party to look for the gnome, Arkandor’s, ship instead of returning to the dungeon and tragedy. Fvarig used divination to determine that the ship rested 15 miles east of Rappan Athuk, firmly putting it deep in the Lake of Mists and Veils. Using Rocknut as a makeshift vessel, the party flew or rode the eidolon towards the site. They found a small island and noticed a crumbling ruin at its northern end. Remembering the rumor of the orange dragon, they instead used water breathing and other spells to look for the ship under the waves.
  • They found the vessel, but also an enormous guardian, a shipwrecker crab of colossal proportions. Crushed in its claws, Drusk almost became the next victim, but through a combination of ranged attacks and spells, the crab’s shell split open and they saved the half-orc. Fearing more guardians under the water, they party carefully went ashore and found a small grove to rest in. Hiso and Rocknut went invisible the next morning and crept towards the ruins, finding a deep pool of water and an enormous pile of treasure gleaming in one corner, but no dragon.
  • Eager to loot the ruins, the party walked past the pool and began to push the treasure into a bag of holding, only to see the illusion disappear and two magical traps materialize. A Ball Lightning spell and an Aqueous Orb erupted from the water. Rocknut and Hiso flew/teleported to a nearby wall while Zorian, Drusk, Morgrimm and Fvarig dealt with the spells. A huge, orange draconic figure became visible inside the pool. As it dropped the disguise and illusion, it’s briny scales turned silver-blue. Acidic salt and spittle speckled the party as it spoke gurgling draconic. They had found the dragon of the Lake.

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