Don’t forget that tomorrow night (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 (01/02), the party swam at the base of what once must have been a mighty tower and examined the ring of statues carved into the ancient stone. Seemingly serving as buttresses, the statues joined one another, hand in hand, save for one. The aventi known as Sir Boral noted one concave depression, roughly humanoid in shape, seemed strangely out of place. From twin indentations which reminded the paladin of unblinking eyes, a stream of foul-smelling bubbles rose slowly towards the surface.
The party watched in morbid fascination as the metallic bones, once attached to six fearsome skeletal foes, began to repair themselves using bits of bone strewn upon the ocean floor. Acting upon impulse Sir Boral grasped one of the clockwork limbs, still alight with eldritch flame of azure hue, and placed it in what seemed to be the corresponding groove within the concave depression. As the arm grew still, unseen gears were heard locking into place.
"There are whispered tales of such devices." the ambergris hag Xaetra spoke aloud "The Avenger, the transports of Drawmij, and more."
As the sounds of hidden mechanisms filled the surrounding seas with cacophonous discord, the final piece of the puzzle was put into place. As the pearlsteel-gilded skull was lifted into its resting place, the stream of noxious bubbles subsided and the waters were silent once more.
Without warning, the petrified remains of the locathah Canthus mysteriously animated, stumbled clumsily backwards, and stepped within the awaiting alcove. The statues held hands once more.
Having readied for battle at the thunderous sounds of unseen mechanisms, the viletooth lizardman Dorman, oceanid NeeKaa, and sea elf Sakura silently watched the scene unfold. Within moments, the silence was broken as six pearsteel staves, gilded metal over the skeletal remains of eels, animated of their own accord. During the battle which followed, Sakura awakened the power of her spiked chain, its magics transforming the weapon into a blackskate – a beast of blackwater. Still unable to explain her affinity for the chilling waters of the deep, Sakura watched as two of the staves, shattered by swordplay, reassembled into nunchakus of bone.
Having hovered silently in the nearby waters, Xaetra regarded the child Reiko. The girl had recently been kidnapped by the enclave of tentacle-tailed mermaids known only as the Grasp. There she had been entrapped by the sea hag fleshwarper Purl, who experimented mercilessly upon the young girl. The tail of a water naga, twin tentacles from a squid, and single eye of a seaholder, aquatic cousin to the beholder, were grafted onto Reiko before her rescue at the hands of the party.
"By the gods,” the hag eidolon remarked “the eye of a seaholder, looking at all of us as plain as day."
Sakura now realized they had the three components needed to restore her mother to health; the tears of the unliving, found within Xaetra’s arcane apothecary, a living tide, trapped within a decanter discovered within bones strewn beyond the lair of a monstrous hermit crab, and now the eye-of-the-deep, the living eye grafted to Reiko’s forehead.
Seeking the solace of slumber before their journey to the Deadwater Fountain, the fourth location to be restored before the clockwork mechanisms hidden within the Sinking Isle would yield a weapon of mystical Oerthblood, the party readied a suitable site for their camp. They knew full well that to sleep meant to dream, and to dream meant they would return to their shared ethereal retreat known as Dream Lake.
Once a spacious pocket dimension known as the Sea of Dreams, the mysterious realm, nestled between the ethereal and the region of dreams, was compromised when Xaetra was nearly defeated at the hands of the Sisterhood of Blood. The vile covey, led by Xaetra’s own granddaughter, the the blood magus Tempest, had slain the night hag in life, then weakened her unliving spectral form in a second attack. Now doomed to haunt the dreams of those she knew in life, the spirit hag took sanctuary within the malleable dreamstuff of her new home.
Yet, as foretold by the first Tome of Apotheosis, the spirit hag would know freedom once more. Using a powerful artifact known as the Lazarus, the party entrapped the soul of an albino tauric sea hag known as Lusca the bloodless. Within the waters of Dream Lake, they exchanged the soul of Lusca for that of Xaetra, before returning to the world of the waking. Dream Lake was now Lusca’s to command.
Within the etheric sea, Lusca found redemption. She shed the skins of evil and swore to teach Xaetra’s progeny how to control the dream realm. She also knew of Xaetra’s newborn daughter Jariah, born within a massive pearl from a spirit plucked from the dreamscape itself. The second Tome of Apotheosis had shown the means to craft a body of ambergris for the spirit hag to inhabit. That she had been reborn with child was a serendipitous discovery.
As they returned to the warming waters of Dream Lake, the party knew all was not well. Gone were the golden waters shimmering above. Gone was the ornate circular reef in which dreamfish once swam. All that remained was a darkened oubliette.
Each party member emerged as a bioluminescent mote in a chamber pocked with passages. Upon closer examination, they found that each egress was shaped like a particular sea creature; abalone, anemone, crab, nudibranch, sculpin, sea cucumber, starfish, sea urchin, shrimp, and conch.
Having resigned her fate to the path of oneiromancy, NeeKaa was the first to pass through an egress, choosing the passage of the conch. She emerged as a diminutive queen conch in an etheric tide pool. One by one her companions followed, emerging as tiny avatars in the form of the egress they had chosen. In the company of Xaetra, now in the form of a hagfish, NeeKaa is led to the unmoving body of a small octopus. Lusca the Bloodless was dead. Before her eyes, the white-skinned octopus transformed into a statue of stone. Encircling the statue Sir Boral had chosen the form of a crab, Sakura had chosen a sea star, and Reiko emerged as a sea urchin.
Yet she was not alone. NeeKaa was joined by her companions and Xaetra, as well as the shellycoat Meir, who had chosen the form of a chiton, a hermit crab avatar of the mechanatrix Jaenan, Xaetra’s last born from the days when the spectral hag wore a metal skin known as Grandmother Clock, and a blue-mantled scallop representing the form of the reef hag Ciliaris. Looking closer, NeeKaa spied a small barnacle on the silvery shell of Jaenan and surmised that the newborn Jariah was also in her company.
"And now, my friends, we should discuss the day to come…" the hagfish gurgled
This Week’s Bizarre Beastie is the Bat Star: mbayaq.org , kelpcam
Ocean: An Illustrated Atlas: from National Geographic. I have heard of this layman’s reference book a few times, now.
“We’re going to need a bigger boat”: Great White circles Australian Fishermen
Dead Zones: underwatertimes
Bat fish, Razor fish, Frog crab: Bay of Bengal
Presumed Blackbeard Booty On Display At NC Museum: wxii12.com
I continue to be fascinated by the prospects of Cerulean Seas ($30 PDF) and Pathfinder (Core Rulebook $50/$10 PDF). The Advanced Players Guide ($40/$10 PDF) has undersea variants for bards, druids, sorcerers and more. There is even a Dreamspun sorcerer to mull over. For the curious, there is a free Conversion Guide , Reference Document , and fan-enhanced Database.
GHWiki Gem of the Week: Celene – “Celene, also called the Handmaiden, the Lesser Moon, or Kule, is the aquamarine-hued satellite of the world of Oerth. It is known as Apocatequil among the Olman and Koxanag among the Touv. From the perspective of Oerth, it is full four times a year, at the equinoxes and solstices… Celene has no atmosphere today, but in the distant past it was the home to an unknown, highly civilized, long since vanished race. Ruins of its civilization can still be found by those who use magic to explore the surface: awe-inspiring castles, delicate towers, and enigmatic temples… Celene is tidally locked, so it shows only one side to Oerth at all times… its Underdark is comparatively thriving, containing caverns filled with water and air. Races familiar to the caverns below Oerth contend here: drow (20,000), kuo-toa (5,000), and illithids (15,000), among other sublunar races of lesser extant. Both the drow and illithids are relative newcomers to Celene, measuring their time on this world in centuries.”
More at: http://www.canonfire.com/wiki/index.php?title=Celene_%28Kule%29
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!