The Consulting Team

The philosopher fisher mindflayer

The party discovered to their horror that Fargas had been horribly and ritualistically murdered

Everyone was questioned quite closely, but there didn’t appear to be clear evidence.
Could some creature be STALKING THE PARTY?

Towards the end of the day, the party came upon a curious and wondrous site. Sitting comfortably near a large pond was an (dreaded, feared, hated) Illithid who was crabbing and fishing. He called companionably over to the party and invited them over for supper.

Most of the party was pretty nervous about acceptaing his invite, but Shuushar and Derendil came, and then the others.

He introduced himself as R’yleh, and said he had lived here for 25 or so years, ever since his mental illness (finding other beings worthy of respect) had struck. Before that he had lived in the Illithid city of Ch’ichit’l to the southwest.

You entered his fantastic dwelling, much like a geodesic dome, but multi colored, and weirdly organic looking and pulsing. Almost, to your discomfort, like you were being digested….

He knew a short cut to the Darklake that would save them several days. It is just a matter of swimming into the pond and following an underground cavern. This will of course require swimming and holding ones breath. So maybe its dangerous. But it will save a lot of time.

Fish and other foods were prepared, some by Sleeves. An old pot was given by R’yleh to Sleeves when he recognized a follow conoisseur of the cooking arts.

Intoxicating liquors and weeds were imbibed mostly by R’yleh and Gabin – the others were still suspicious. Could it be a mind flayer could be decent and trust worthy?

As the night continued onwards, R’yleh recited his poetry, which consisted of disturbing haikus about eating brains.

He and Shusshar talked animatedly for hours about philosophy and argued different ways to maximize benefits to the 3rd power of compassion per unit cost.

And he gave several water proof rucksucks that could be tied quickly made of fish skins and treated with rare unguents and oils to carry some of the parties stuff.

While he is an odd host, he is a genial one, and often his tentacles fibrillate with laughter as he tells a joke. His poetry, while disturbingly obsessed with brains, was at least heart felt and seemed not at all malicious. His food, plentiful seafood expertly prepared by sleeves, is delicious. You all drift to sleep comfortably in his odd multicolored dwelling .
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The Lost Tomb of Khaem Part IV

You discover that fargas is gone (I forgot to mention earilier that he had disappeared/fled during the confusion of all the battles). oh well

Before they turned in, to their delight they found an invisible chest, with much gold and treasure.

of course they could only grab some as they had nothing to carry it, but no doubt they hoped to return to get more

Zoldren while investigating one of the treasures – which turned out to be a necklace of fireballs blew uo the chamber and melted all the gold together, making this an unlikely venture at best.

There was one more chamber explored, and it exacted a terrible price from Ajax. A curse came upon him and he knows not when it will be lifted.

(I skip the boring details there)

Again the companions continued on their quest

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The Lost Tomb of Khaem Part III

Staring into the hole below, the party could see some sort of chamber below. Poor jimjar, was convinced by the cowardly gabin to go down below and a rope was lowered by ajax.

Jimjar is a stealthy fellow, and as he looked around his heart hammering with fear, he noticed another grander sarcophagus. He crept around it and tried to look for clues.

But the only clue he got was nearly being MURDERED BY A WRAITH. The Lady of the tomb, she whose rest they had disturbed was out, her eyes lit was a burning hatred of all that lives. And she grabbed poor jimjar, injuring him horribly, and then went right through the walls, and attacked Ajax.

The battle looked like it would go ill for our doughty party. The undead wraith was fresh and a terrible foe – the damage she caused eventually struck Derendil down. Her blows were mighty, her resistance great.

But Gabin, sweet Sir Gabin showed his mettle and went down in the chamber below. Hearing the siren call that could have easily led to his death of a voice urging him to open the sarcophagus.

Ajax too heard the call of duty and together they opened the lid, and inside saw…a shining hilt.

As Gabin touched it, the sword came to life! Blazing bright daylight, a flaming blade issued forth, and a voice cried in triumph, “At last at last I am free”.

Gabin rushed upstairs to the pained screams of Sarith, Shushar, Derendil, and Jimjar all of whom suffered injury from this sunlight.

But Gabin struck mighty blows repeatedly and the Terrible Lady was slain.

It was a shaken and exhausted party that camped that night. While no one had died, they had come close – too close.

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The Lost Tomb of Khaem Part II

The chamber they found themselves was much like the others – 15 foot tall ceilings, stone walls, carved marble doors, but featured a few unusual bits.

The first, was 4 sarchophagi. Each heavy lidded, with effigies of humanoid figures.
The second became clear once Gabin touched one of the sarcophagi.

4 spectres, one from each, came howling out, and the party found itself under heavy attack.
The necrotic touch of these fiendish creatures heavily drained both Gabin and Ajax, and the party would have been doomed had Gabin not wisely called upon the divine nature of his God and driven two of the four spectres away.

It was still an easy fight – these creatures were resistant to nearly all the damage the party could mete, save the powerful peppering of Ajax’s Magic Stones.

Nonetheless the spectres were defeated.

A sarcophagus was opened! It proved to have a goodly amount of treasure. A second, and more was found. The hearts of the aventurers went aflame with the lust for gold, and all common sense went out of their minds.

Just as they were about to examine another coffin, one of the turned spectres returned and inflicted heavy damage yet again on the party before being sent back to the hellish regions from whence it had come. Oh often has the death of adventurers come from greed, and forgetting that turning is TEMPORARY!

The stress must have been great, for the adventurers forgot entirely to ever open the other two sarcophagi. However Jimjar (?, not sure) did discover the fourth sarcophagus was on wheel and with renewed vigor and effort was able to open it.

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The Lost Tomb of Khaem Part I

Reaching the end of the Silken Paths you all sighed a breath of relief I think. Climbing up and down in the dark across this gorge was no doubt exhausting physically and mentally.

You gave your fond farewells to the two brave goblin guides that faithfully served you well, in your favorite manner – you cheated them. Spiderbait’s mother will never be able to have that operation her son worked so many long hours for and will die in agony. Spiderbait, in despair will take to drink and suffer an early grave at the hands of the impatient Ilvara who shows up a mere day or so behind you all.

The path was long and windy, but Fargas, the halfing thief you rescued seemed confident enough. You kept a wary eye on him, hard to trust someone so new to the group, but Gabin seemed to trust his superficial impressions well enough.

A few hours into the day near a particularly thick growth of mossy lichen, Fargas stopped suddenly. His hands reached in somewhere and he opened a secret passageway. The party crept along with a few hundred feet as the “cave” began to turn more and more into an (old, abandoned) finely carved corridor of stonework. You saw murals and art work dating back to ancient Thessalonia. Including various pictures of floating cities. Sleeves, with his random knowledge of ancient Thessalonia well recalls the period when floating cities and castles were all the rage, and the awful tragedy that occurred one morn when the magic spells, interweaved from city to city, castle to castle, were briefly interrupted for only a few seconds, and came crashing down. For some reason, such cities and castles have never come back into vogue since then.

The entrance consisted of a marble door, 10 ft wide, with a aged copper patina overlaying it. Ajax and Sleeves questioned Fargas closely? Where were the bodies of his companions, the ones he said had died. Just inside, he said, but sounded a bit evasive.

Derendil, by far the strongest of an effeminate and weak group strained mightily, his sinews stretching and he opened the door as instructed by Fargas, using a pivoting mechanism.

Inside….. was a more or less empty room. With no signs of his companions bodies, except a small amount of disturbed dust. The companions looked around but saw nothing

Slowly cautiously they headed down stairs that continued from the opposite side, pausing to admire the elegant Thessalonian calendar that had they more successfully investigated would have led to another part of the complex and they might have enjoyed the company of the ghouls that had grabbed his companions bodies, and well…. you can probably imagine. Instead, Skulleater will have to go without his traditional after-dinner party. (<=>ll forgive my saying so, the party decided to head to the east.

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On the Road Again Part V

The webs are a long and tedious path, but you settle into a slow steady pattern, the goblins often darting ahead to check out things.

As you climb one particularly large “stalk” of webs some of you notice up ahead several giant spiders, and a large cocoon they are clustered around. Battle commences.

A large hard battle occurs. At times the spiders have two of you webbed, and injure quite a few of you. Jimjar is nearly slain and it is lucky that his unconscious body falls into the webs below, not to the stone canyon floor hundreds of feet below. Derendil is fairly effective against his opponent, and Ajax, Sleeves, and Buppido get enmeshed is close hand to fang combat.

It’s a near thing, but you emerge victorious.

The cocoon turns out to be a halfing! Name of Fargas Rumblefoot. He claims he knows a path on the way to Sloopidoop to some treasure. His party was killed there and he fled. He wants to come with you and will guide you there and give you a share.

You travel for a couple more hours and run into this horrifying creature floating up from the depths of the canyon:

It’s a spectator and it raves about the horrible demon creatures that are taking over the underdark and seems to be nearly insane and incoherent.

Fortunately it doesn’t attack, and floats away.

You find shelter on a ledge for the night, the goblins say that we are nearly through

Notes:

  • If you don’t find a good footwear substitute soon, either you must travel at slow pace, or take a level of exhaustion each day.
  • I should have been meaner re: sight. I will be if there are other battles coming up.
  • Food will be down to 2 days.
  • This day passed at SLOW PACE, since the webs are difficult terrain
  • You get a successful long rest – heal up, replace spell slots, rearrange spells.
  • Will you follow Fargas? He claims he knows a path on the way to Sloopidoop to some treasure. His party was killed there and he fled.
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On the Road Again Part IV

The next day you again travel through areas both beautiful and ugly, such is the underdark.

Suddenly the party stops. All they can see is darkness – darkness and webs! An enormous gorge yawns before them!

No one knows what to do. This gorge must be half a mile wide, 700 feet deep and 500 feet wide. the webs criss cross in haphazard fashion.

The party finds a sign nearby that says in crude undercommon

“Welcum Travlers Stay HEAR, make sum noize, and We’ll Good U for a Priz”

Buppido smiles, laughs, and whistles.

A few minutes later two goblins appear SURFING the web!

Their names are yukyuk and spiderbait, and they speak in animated goblinese to buppido. Stool spreads his spores and suddenly everyone can communicate.

The goblins regularly travel “The Silken Paths” and offer their services as guides. They say it will take a least a day, and want 2 gp each. Gabin and Ajax come up with the idea of swindling these poor innocent capitalists with an illusion.

They agree to guide you but warn you
- No light
- They won’t help in fights.

A half day of travel ensues. It is slow tedious work especially for the non-see-ers being tied to seers. Up and down to and fro. Sometimes the other side is reached, just a ledge and then you head back. Sometimes you go down several hundred feet, sometimes up. You realize you are ENTIRELY in the hands of these goblins, and hope they don’t cheat YOU as BAD as you cheated them.

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On the Road Again Part III

You continue on your way, somewhat horrified and chastened.
The head navigator is Jimjar and he does surprisingly well the next few days, assisted by Ajax.
Foragers are sleeves, buppido,derendil.

You travel for the day, and find yourself surrounded by some weird glowing material that seems to suffuse the caverns you travel in. This is described by Sarith as “Faesress” – ancient elven magic that prevents scrying or teleportation. (Hence drow settlements are often built near these)

As you walk through these caves, you hear weird sounds and noises. But when you investigate you find nothing. Today’s travels take you up steep natural stairs, through narrow chambers, and down wide faerzeress infused glowing caverns. While crossing one such enormous cavern, the magical glow illuminating high featureless ceilings and barren, dreary walls, you hear a gibbering, alien echo. Chatters, moans, screams from the darkness echo from right to left, from left to right, from behind to front, from front to back.
When you look – there’s nothing there! The cavern is barren, just a huge void. The sounds come from the walls, the floors, the very air itself. The sounds follow you, pursue you. Through a limestone tunnel, over the rocky escarpment, up a ledge, across a gallery, the follow you. First clicking and clacking sounds as of massive chattering bugs. Then grotesque slurping, dripping, oozing sounds. Now foot falls in the dark.

You get very on edge and some of you are almost sure you saw something. But you don’t.
You continue on and find a dead aphid, which you cannibalize for food and for chitin .Your foraging is surprisingly successful, but it’s a long stressful day, and no one is in a good mood when you settle down for the night.

When you awake, you find yourself again travel deep into the underdark through a sloping tunnel, across a narrow isthmus overhanging a gorge and then the tunnel narrows dramarically to single file, twisty and turny

You crawl downwards in tunnels filled with muck and mud. The tunnels seem to twist and turn without obvious pattern.

At one point you guys are on your bellies barely able to squeeze through the tunnels, and then after several hours run into a dead end. You have to slowly back out, following the lead of those in the back. Everyone is very grumpy and angry except Shusshar who comments approvingly on the comfortable feel of mud serving as a exfoliant on his skin, until Sarith punches him in the nose.

You finish the day in a large cavern filled with rocks and barely find a clear spot.

Shuushar speaks of pacifism and enlightenment. He rambles on a bit about Sloobludop and someone named “Plooploopleen”

A long tedious day, rather dispiriting. And no additional food found. Still you guys have aboit 3 days of food and water at this point

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On the Road Again Part II

You all awake feeling greatly refreshed. You pack up some food and water for the road, stretch
your legs and head out.

You see a surprising sight just as you exit the cavern:

A small cute creature playing with some kind of reddish ball

You investigate further, and the fairy appears to have long teeth and some sort of blood and eat sticking to its teeth. It runs away when the party approaches.

Ajax looks at the “red ball” and is horrified to realize it is the partially eaten head of CROD! Furthermore, it has Crod’s penis and testacles stuffed inside its mouth.

Shuushar and Ajax follow the trail. Others demur at first but grudgingly join in.
Not far away, the party comes upon a gruesome sight!

Crod has been horribly murdered by some creature or creatures.

- Each of Crod’s limbs has been removed and stacked them neatly to form a rectangle
- In the middle of the rectangle is placed his liver, pancreas, heart and lung They form a (very crude) idol.
- As the party investigates carefully, they find one kidney is missing
- His face is covered with a few droplets of a sticky goo (probably not much remaining maybe some in his hair) and his mouth is cut joker like into a wide ghastly smile
- all incisions are done with an expert surgical hand
- Scrawled on the wall in blood “He was born to provide the Lord God with sacrifices and to magnify his glory. His purpose is fulfilled. ” in undercommon.
Underneath in shakier writing “It felt sooooooo good”.

The party tries to find the tracks, but whatever/whomever has done this has hidden their tracks carefully. Or maybe they were not to be found, who knows?

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On the Road Again Part I

Exhausted after running for hours through twisty windy passages, going ever deeper, you pause for a breath.

You look around. Everyone is worse for the wear, your clothes such as they are in poor condition, Derendil with a cut in his side, Buppido with a broken tooth, and so on.

And you realize CROD is missing!!?!?!?!

People talk and there is some discussion of looking for him. But the consensus is Crod was never close to anyone, barely talked or participated. And people need rest. Maybe tomorrow?

The group continues on, Jimjar in the lead, towards an orange glow ahead and intense heat.

A largish cavern opens up with a big lava pool, and little lava creatures playing and having fun. It’s a reminder of the cycle of life perhaps, that not everything is a life or death struggle – these creatures seem to be kids having fun, tossing little pieces of lava at each other. Would they have been a threat? Well you all sneak past, so who knows.

The cave winds around and you see a new chamber, teaming with life and loveliness

“The horrid sounds have faded and hopefully too the madness they inspired. As you round a bend you see a dim yellow glow. As you approach you can feel moisture in the air.
The cavern beyond is large, perhaps 60 to 80 feet across and 60 feet high. It is lit by tall, bizarre, tube like fungi that grow in several clusters around the chamber. They illuminate many two-foot tall, orange and red toadstools, half a dozen four-foot tall gray green four mushrooms, and three massive, forty-foot tall mushrooms clustered in the middle of the chamber. Walnut sized spores from the larger mushrooms litter the somewhat muddy floor, and a bubbling pool – a hot spring – gurgles at one side. Water streams down, through fungal filters, to a small, beautifully clear pool nearby.
Food, water, dim natural light and a high perch – this could be a comfortable place to rest.”

You approach cautiously but not cautiously enough – a patch of the orange and red toadstools (“Timmask”) explode as Ajax and Jimjar approach. Fortunately they avoid the nasty spore cloud that would have done bad things to them.

Still, this place looks like an (ahem) godsend! The green toadstools are Trillimac, “the bread of the underdark” and can be pressed and rolled and baked into a bread. Th glowing toadstools provide light, and the tall mushrooms – Zurkhwood, provide shelter. The decision is made to camp.

As people are beginnign to relax, cook, etc, Gabin heads to the pool to get some water, maybe consecrate it. He is surprised when the water surges and he is attacked by a BLUE OCHRE!

Poor Gabin tries to fight back but is quickly overwhelmed. It looked like he was about to become part of the Ochre, and join the Great Chain of Being, but brave compansions like Zoldren, Ajax, Sleeves fire back at the ochre, and Buppido(?) drags him back from the ochre just as he was about to be enveloped. The Ochre is defeated!

Gabin finds a magic chainmail (Acid Resistance), and some other niceties from the corpse of a Duegar who was not as lucky as he.

They settle down for a nice nights sleep. Sleeves wanted to try to do some smithing, but quickly realized he had neither the tools nor the time to do so.

LEVEL TWO!

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