Don’t forget that tonight (Sunday) is game night.
I still need character descriptions, for use on the Roster page, from some of you.
5,525 EXPERIENCE POINTS HAVE BEEN AWARDED! The current level of XP, for those who have been with the game since the beginning is now 27,000 + 5,525 = 32,525. As I am overdue with awarding XP, I have already begun the tabulations for the next time XP is granted.
In the last session (05/08/11), the party found themselves beneath the Sinking Isle.
While at rest upon the ocean floor, the Isle concealed a shallow crater accessible only through the funnel-shaped cavern which pierced its heart. Should one brave the silent decent through the forbidden sinkhole, one would emerge in the darkened realm below. Known as Ebonfirth by those who would call such inhospitable waters their home, the region was known to kopru and anguillian alike.
A realm of silt, slime, and sediment, Ebonfirth held one singular treasure. Throughout past generations of the Drylanders above, countless trinkets of gold encrusted with precious gems and artifacts of silver and bone, found their way from the sacrificial pool above. Yet these paled in comparison to the altar.
Beneath the sacrificial cenote, the altar slept. Ringed with concentric monoliths, the ornate domed structure, its walls etched with intricate petroglyphs, was once filled with delicate statuary. Centuries of detritus had shrouded the arcane stones, once hewn of translucent aquamarine which shone with an inner light of their own, now cloaked in the shroud of the ages. All that now illuminated the inky depths were the petroglyphs. The runes cast an eerie bluish glow upon the darkness of Ebonfirth.
As the party descended with their charge, the elderly Drylander known as Scia, they searched for the altar. The structure of the temple was not unlike that which they had encountered in the waters of Hag’s Hollow in Turucambi Reef. That temple had been recessed within an inverted ziggurat riddled with runes and recesses, nestled in the depths of a sinkhole.
Shackled to the altar with a chain of rusted metal, a lone anguillian held fast to his two-pronged trident as they- continued their decent. In time, the party came to learn the eel-like cousin to the sahuagin was meant to serve as a sacrifice, should his captors not capture a more suitable subject. As the sea elf Sakura attempted to pick the rusted padlock, the restraint sprung to life, defending its prisoner from her approach.
Without hesitation, Sakura entered the fray, her spiked chain channeling the powers of Blackwater. As the blackskate weapon closed upon the animate chain and padlock, NeeKaa noted a shroud of blackness falling from above.
Three mermaid members of the enclave of tentacle-tailed witches known as The Grasp held fast to one another’s hands as they spiraled down from the cenote above. Among them, the mermaid known as Creste stared silently forward, her form enveloped in a shimmering layer of mucus.
In rapid succession, the blackskate overcame the animated chain, the anguillian sped the aid of Scia, and the closest of the mermaid witches dropped what appeared to be a sea urchin. As it dropped, the urchin wailed with a powerful shriek, stunning smaller fish and those unprepared for the cacophonous assault. With deepest reverence, the anguillian Gadus assisted Scia as she sat weakly upon the altar. Returning to his mistress, the blackskate pooled his power with the gossamer shawl and bone nunchakus; eel-like sticks joined with a length of chain.
Watching as the second witch dropped what appeared to be a spiral-shaped egg case, NeeKaa hastily enshrouded the ruins below with viscous magical webbing. The egg case was caught within the web, just as the actions of Gadus and Scia were obscured from the eyes of those above.
A seeming mindless automaton, Creste dropped the circular form of a wanderer, the disc-shaped cousin to the sea urchin. As it fell, its form began to grow, exposing barbed hooks fastened to its edges. The ambergris hag Xaetra countered the magics fueling its growth, just as the sentient anemone Knot used his clownfish companion to pass a spell on to Creste, exposing the mermaid to a stream of corrosive bubbles which dissolved her mucus prison.
The second witch dropped a handful of magical sharks teeth down upon NeeKaa’s webbing. As they began to cut away at the strands, Gadus called for Sakura, who held the crystal dagger of Scia.
Without warning, a shriek of pain made all eyes turn. Clutching her midsection, Creste held fast to a triple-bladed dagger imbedded in her flesh. The closest witch, her hair a brilliant emerald in hue, smiled as the weapon struck true.
“Reiko!” Scia muttered “Aim your weapon for the egg case! Wait for the moment! You will know!”
They would be the last words uttered by the Drylander’s near-skeletal frame. Plunging the crystal dagger into Scia’s heart, Sakura fulfilled her vow. And yet, as the life drained from Scia, a new voice was heard passing from her lips.
“Know that I am Aedorich!” her mouth spoke in an unfamiliar accent “Trapped within that crystal prison, I am free once more! But what is this? I am slain?
My phylactery! I am saved!” the voice faltered “Look to the book! The tome rests within the Sunless Sea, alight beneath the stolen moon.”
As if waiting for the proper moment, the waters begin to swirl. The maelstrom had awakened.
Here aim momentarily distracted by the lifeless form of Creste drifting into the depths, Reiko took aim with her crossbow and pierced the center of the egg case resting in the webbing below.
Suddenly, the surrounding sea was filled with the stain of crimson fluid, the scarlet-stained waters caught in the birth of the maelstrom. One tentacle-tailed mermaid was caught in the bloodied waters. The flesh fell from her bones as if she had been dead for days.
“Red Tide!” Gadus screamed.
The maelstrom began to hum with a peculiar tone, as the waters began to glow a brilliant emerald in color. NeeKaa watched as the maelstrom pushed against the underbelly of the Isle. Slowly, the Isle lifted from the ocean floor. Caught within the current, Gadus screamed as he tried to swim to freedom. In an instant, he vanished.
“He has shown the way!” Xaetra screamed against the growing tempest. With arms pointed forward, she pushed from the ocean floor, straight into the circling wall of water surrounding the altar, and vanished from sight.
As the party entrusted their lives to the whims of the water, they found themselves thrown into calmer currents. One by one they emerged into a strange sea, the waters becalmed and all but stagnant. The encircling wall of water was replaced with stalks of kelp rising upward towards the surface.
The jungle of seaweed above appeared intermixed with rafts of floating pumice stone and strange entanglements of froth. In the waters below, the ruins of an altar looked both familiar and foreign. Trapped within the waters between, thousands of golden jellyfish slowly hovered.
Entangled within the kelp, the body of Creste held fast to the dagger.
“My friends, if the fates sing true, then we would welcome ourselves to the Jungle of Lost Ships.” Xaetra spoke cautiously “From above, it appears as a massive floating raft of seaweed. None who approach are safe from the entrapment of the weed. From below, it seems equally foreboding. And now our quest continues. Now we search for the last of three. Three Dreamer’s Journals to complete. Three Tomes of Apotheosis to reunite.”
“The hag’s eye…” Meir began “Aiptasia still holds the hag’s eye…”
“In Turucambi, we found the first of the Journals in a ship from outside of time, a twice-named wooden craft christened the Enora Norray.” Xaetra mused “In the Sinking Isle, the metal submersible held both the Journal and the name of Enora Norray.”
Searching for a safe haven, NeeKaa found the nearby folds of kelp had been twisted and braided into spheres. Reminded of the seaweed globes fashioned by the locathah, outside of the community called Driftwood, she noted that nearly a dozen such spheres had been secured nearby. Arranged in clusters, each sphere seemed spacious enough to hold two or three people.
NeeKaa was the first to discover that within each sphere, the bones of the dead now rest.
This Week’s Bizarre Beastie is the Head Shield Sea Slug: liveaquaria
Places on Earth Aliens Could Thrive: NatGeo
Dance of the Dumbo Octopus: video
Architeuthis on Ice: that’s nice
Undersea Adventures: Comments, Concerns, & Concepts: I posted similar threads at EN World, RPG.net, wizards.com, Giants in the Playground, Penandpapergames, and Canonfire to gauge interest in undersea adventures and to mine for ideas. Some threads have 2-3 pages of replies, now.
I’ll be playing a few tunes at the OtherWorlders SHOUTcast Server: http://radio.otherworlders.org:8000/
If you have lost interest in the game or no longer wish to receive these weekly reminders, please let me know.
Be SEAing you!