The Consulting Team

Ambush at Abodar's Temple
Consultants survive assassination attempt

Consultants retrieve the dead body (one of Lord Mayor Haldmeer Grobaras ‘s victims) from where they stashed it in the catacombs beneath the Temple/Bar of Cayden Cailean. and send Sheila Heidmarch to wake the city’s top Judge.

They took it to temple of Abadar where they planned on having the Priest cast speak with dead while the Judge heard the body’s testimony.

Judge was in cahoots with Grobarus! The Guards and thugs he brought with him attempted a bloody assassination attempt, killing the young paladin of Abadar, a priestess, and a small handful of acolytes.

Despite a brutal battle, the consultants emerged victorious!

A large group of Ushermen assembled and heard of Haldmeer’s schemes. It appears as though he left town! However, it was noted that at the stroke of midnight, the crescent moon high above Magnimar briefly turned blood red. What does this portent mean?

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Hadrith Acts Impulsively
Haldmeer goes Rogue

- consultants met a gnomish wizard namedGorand Kel. Gorand built a bitchin’ cannon golem but can’t afford entrance into the golem fights. Consultants work out a deal with him to invest in his creation.

-Hadrith invited by Rictavio Trupalin to sing ‘Magnimar, O Beacon of Liberty’ to open Golem Fights. HAdrith accepts.

- Marlin received letter from Haldmeer Gorbaras wanting secret meeting

-Consultants spend most of evening and next day drinking and carousing before meeting Haldmeer at the Blind Basilisk. Haldmeer admits his career is being tested by the angry sentiments of the working class as well as that of the wealthy. He suggests a distraction of heroes. He wants to award you all Magnimars Medal of Honor for saving the city in a large public ceremony

-Hadrith had enough of such bullshit and stabs Haldmeer across the bar room table. Fight erupts as several patrons in the bar are Haldmeer’s minions. Big fight ends as Haldmeer and his peeps flee the scene with the Blind Basilisk in flames.

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Rolling down the River

A couple of days passed more or less uneventfully. Buppido had taken over navigation duties since Jimjar’s sad demise. The boats were sturdy and serviceable and foraging was made easier with the nets.

Halfway through one day, the channels of the darklake narrowed, and became difficult to navigate. Sandbars kept popping up, requiring the party to repeatedly portage the boats.

Tempers probably flared high.

Earlier the weird sounds of gibbering were heard, but nothing was seen.

Luckily the keen eyes of Zoldren spotting something ODD about a sandbar up ahead. And just then the attack began.

Multiple gibbering mouthers, horrors seemingly from another dimension, with random eye stalks and mouths repeatedly attacked the party and nearly killed Sarith. Ajax barely hung on as he was peppered with vicious attacks and repeatedly blinded by their acidic spit. The ground roiled under neath them making it difficult to move.

It was a nasty battle, but fortunately you prevailed and found safe harbor.,..

Thatevening Ajax found a neat stone box, and figured out it contained a tuning fork that allowed you to locate objects and things around it. Cool! This should help

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Pillar of the Gods

The party, exhausted, bedraggled, drained physically and mentally took the boats down the river. Crystals began to appear on the sides of the river and occasionally one of them protrude from the river. They were salt crystals of enormous size.

Several hours later, the party entered a large watery cavern. At the center was a salt pillar about 20’ in diameter, and 100s of feet tall. It glittered brilliantly in the phospherescent light, and the party had no doubt they had found the pillar of the gods.

The party, having lost 2 companions settled in for the night (and leveled up).
Halfway through the night, they were delighted to see their friend Shuushar swimming and dragging a boat.

They talked for the next few hours. Shuushar made it clear that he had helped save about half the kuo toa of sloobidoop, that he was going to return to sloobidoop and help them organize resistance against the demonic incursion. But first he wanted to thank the companions, embrace many of them, and let them know he would be there “at the last, when I am needed. For I am no longer Shuushar the Awakened but Shuushar the Avenger”"

He provided food, nets, a metal cooking pot (to sleeves delight), and gold, copper, and magic potions (“These you earned already in the defense of my people”)

And he let them know that they could travel in two directions.

  • Grackltstugh the legendary city of the duergar. A hard discliplined ruthless people, with little sense of mercy, but honest, and fierce enemies of the drow. As the largest city within months of travel (other than drow cities), it is possible you will find a way out
  • Neverlight Grove – the grove of the myconids and stool’s home.

A healthy debate ensued. Some wanted to go to Gracklstugh (like Buppido). Others wanted to go to Neverlight Grove (like Stool and Sarith).

In the end the decision (which stool tearfully acquiesced to upoon Gabins solemn promise they would go to Neverlight grove next) was to go to Gracklstugh.

They parted from Shuushar, with tears and thanks

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Escape from Sloobidoop

The intro I read

“You stare, frozen in horror at the sight of Demogorgon, Demon Prince of the Abyss, He who has inspired a thousand childhood stories that left you quivering as youngsters, as his monstrous form, 60’ tall with 100’ loh5. Your title here…ng tentacles
has arisen from the lake, and claimed this world for his own. Meanwhile the waves froth near the docks, churning up a steady froth of blood and screams from helpless kuotoa who are being consumed
by strange frightening creatures from the deep that resemble giant mantas rays with fangs
Ploopploopeen, archpriest of the Kuo Toa stares blankly at this menace, his mind apparently blasted from the horror that he sees in front of him. He is not alone. Many kuo toa who were on both sides of the
conflict seem similarly afflicted. Some are crying, some beating their heads against the ground. Some futily run into the water to attack the demon, and are swept into the waves never to be seen again.
A few of course are running away.
Terrifyingly, strange green rays strike some of the kuo toa and you see them freeze, convulse as if the hands of some mighty invisible fists are squeezing them. They straighten, their eyes now fiery red, thei expressions blank, and you hear the terrifying moan “Leemogoogeen” as they advance in unison, and begin striking down other kuo toa.
As if all this weren’t bad enough, Demogorgon appears to be slowly, ponderously moving closer to the shore, his great tentacles causing crashing waves to hit the shoreline, partially inundating the area.
Welcome to part 2 of Out of the Abyss. We will be rolling for initiative, and then each person will get 30 seconds for their move. (First player gets a minute, because, yes this is tough, and yes you lose
any rremaining part of your turn if you don’t use it in the 30second time clock. "

The sounds were taken from:

The battle began. It was a tough one, particular since:

  • Ajax was terrified and trying to run away
  • Dawnbringer was terrified, screaming and her blade was as bright as a sun. This attracted Demogorgon’s attention.
  • Sleeves was paralyzed.
  • Derendil was driven mad and charged towards the Dock..

The intrepid heroes tried to escape. This was made difficult by multiple possessed Kuotoa attacking them, particularly Gabin, and because the group was pretty spread out. In addition, Sarith basically had to carry Sleeves..

It didn’t help that much of the way was swampy and mulchy, reducing movement to a desperate slip and slide, half falling in the mud, scrabbling to escape.

And all around, the screams and moans……

Jimjar fell, and was revived once by gabin, only to fall again! Sarith was struck multiple times as was Gabin and Ajax. Terror overcame our heroes and their retreat became a near rout.

Meanwhile Derendil waded into the dock water and was ripped into multiple bloody shreds by the ixitachitl (the vampiric manta rays). He bellowed his defiance and fought bravely but disappeared beneath the waves, not to be seen again.

Demogorgon repeatedly sent physical waves crashing, and slowly approached the dock, and sent powerful psychic waves of fear and despair that threatened to completely overwhelm the party.

It looked like this might be curtains for the heroes, but Shuushar,…… stepped up

He stared in horror and shock at the approaching monstroity, at the prone body of the archpriest of Blibdoolplodd and watched the imminent destruction of his people.

And …. something changed inside the kindly Kuotoa, the pacifist who had debated the ways of peace and love and compassion with R’yleh. A hot rage awoke within him, and he swore that he would save his people, and these brave companiions that had saved him from slavery

Within him, he found reserves of inner strength. Perhaps he called to Blibdoolplodd, and something answered. Regardless he found his fists became like that of steel, and he was able to command great powers.

He shouted to his compansons and led them in retreat to a nearby dock.

He fought the Kuo toa that were possessed, held back his brethren with might and fury and sadness and rage, power coruscating out os his fingertips in whitehot waves of flame.

And he helped his companions escape down a river and told them he would meet them that night if he survived, “at the pillar of the gods”

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Sloobidoop: Leemoogoogoon

The party is led, prodded occasionally with spears just a short distance, perhaps a few hundred feet but around some winding mounds to an open area near the docks.

There they see dozens of kuo toa gathered. Some near an altar, some surrounding the party, some hanging around on top of the mounds, some swimming in the water, some on the docks. There are a LOT of them here, perhaps as much as a fifth of Sloobidoops population.

You see Ploop stride up to Blodd, a youngish (you’d guess) arrogant looking Kuotoa, wearing much garish jewelry. He acknowledges his daughter’s mastery with a bow, while Gloog stands nearby and sullenly glares.

The altar is a disturbing one, it looks like thisthat_s_just_fucked_up.jpg

Nearby there is clear signs of multiple blood sacrifices.
The next minute or two is an anxious one. Blodd makes a short passionately probably insane speech about the superiority of the Deep Father Leemoogoogoon. And then orders the party to be ushered to near the altar to be executed.

Suddenly Ploop strikes his daughter with his staff. A loud CRACK echoes and she is struck to the ground badly injured.

And a fight breaks out all around you. It looks like roughly 2/3 of the kuo toa are adherents of Blodd, one third of Ploop, but many of them are near him and he has surprise on his side.

Some of them attack you and you fight back. It’s close quarter fighting on marshy grounds, and you hear the ground squelching repeatedly as you move back and forth.

A short time in the battle you hear the a disturbance from the lake. Some creatures appear to be attacking the kuotoa in the water and near the docks. The sea is almost seething near the shore line. You see the flash of teeth and weird manta ray creatures repeatedly ripping kuo toa into little pieces.

The battle between Ploop and Blodd lasts a file. She strikes her father with a lightning bolt and he causes an earth quake and chasm to appear at her feet that she nearly falls into.
Eventually, though he gains the upper hand and kills his daughter thrusting his staff/spear (dual weapon) into her chest. A bloody froth bubbles from her lips as she looks beseechingly to the sea…. “Leemoogoogoon” she wails and crumples to the ground.

For a few moments nothing happens. All is tense and then begins to relax. Just when Ploop looks up and you and is about to speak…..

The dark surface of the water farther out bubbles and begins to foam, A thick oily tentacle bursts forth followed by another. Then… two monstrous heads break the surface, both resembling hideous angry baboons with wickedly curved tusks. Both heads are attached to a single torso, and the monsters red eyes burn with blood lust and madness.

The creature must stand about 60’ tall or more, with 100’ long tentacles. It is about 400’ feet from the docks, and water cascadees down it’s back and shoulders. The great ceeature, clearly of demonic oregon throws back its heads and roars, and you hear in Abyssal (for those of you that know it)

“I have come, in all my majesty to claim this plane, and make it a part of my demesne. All who oppose me will perish”

He looks kind of like this:

demog.jpg

All of you with even a smidgin of intelligence are struck with horror, this creature resembles without a shadow of a doubt

DEMOGORGON, THE PRINCE OF ALL DEMONS, LORD OF THE ABYSS

What have you gotten yourself into?!?!?!?

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Sloobidoop: The New York of the Underdark

Sadly as you approach, many of you no doubt feel your heart sink.

Sloobidoop is a large village, perhaps a small city. It is built on rotting reeds, marshland, with rickety bridges connecting various sections, huge mounds of dirt where kuo toa live, water and mud every where. Mosquitoes buzzing everywhere.

And the stench of rotting fish! Clearly the Kuo toa have different standards!

You trudge through the winding “streets”. Ploop leads you a circuitous route for reasons you would later learn, and you arrive at the altar of the sea mother.

It’s not a very impressive sight. A crude idol with random bits of garbage, shell, fish, etc strewn around it. Several very serious guards. A few worshippers winding in and out.

Gabin had recalled from his studying days that Kuotoa tend to be scavengers and their gods and goddesses reflect this, The Kuo toa are a simple folk as Ploop himself admitted, and tends to create their own “deities” for a short time for convenience sake. The Sea Mother is a pretty long lived deity but is more of a concept than a coherent theology.

Anyway, Ploop pauses expectantly. A Party member regurgitates on the altar, and everyone looks pleased, and he ushers you in his house.

His house is a messy rickety hut, with earth floors. Some comfortable cushions mostly not mildewy are brought out for his guests.

He explains that he feels he must deal with his daughter, perhaps even kill her. It grieves him, but these beliefs of hers are both dangerous and morally questionable. Murdering outsiders has continued, and clearly the kuo toa in the boats were trying to capture the adventurers for such a fate. Plus the duergar and drow will not be pleased when they find out that members of their race have been sacrificed by the kuo toa.

His plan is simple. He will lead the party members to his daughter, pretending he has decided to join her cult. He will take some of his strongest men and at the last moment they will attack her, as will the party.

This isn’t the most sophisticated plan, and some party members seem uneasy about it. But food and drink is brought (mostly nearly rotting fish, which is disgusting, but Ploop does seem to be trying). Some clothes are dug up, they aren’t in very good shape or comfortable, but since the Kuotoa rarely use clothing, they are all they have.

Glooglugogg, Ploop’s son interrupts once. He is clearly not enamored of the party and expresses his distrust. But Ploop shusshes him gently and firmly.

Ploop removes the curse from Ajax, to his great joy, and helps heal up the party.

They are still discussing “better plans”, when loud noises erupt outside.

It is a party from Blopp, sent to take the “prisoners” away to be sacrificed. Ploop has no choice but to put his plan into action and hope the party wll go along.

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On the Way to Sloobidoop Part 2

The Darklake begins to open up into a very wide cavern, hundreds of feet high. Glowing stalactites light the way. It is actually quite beautiful, almost like a night sky of stars without stars. Shuushar says at most it is a half day away, and you can see some dim lights in the distance where he points.

Sanctuary at last!

You see a couple of long boats ahead of you filled with kuo toa. They appear to be fishermen, casting their nets and catching fish with long spears. They wave excitedly to you and approach. Shushar talks back at them and says they sound friendly and are greeting them and wanting to chat and offer food and sustenance.

But…. as you approach, they throw their nets at you. They leap onto the boats and begin attempting to grab people with their pincer spears or knock them unconscous. A brutal battles occurs, where a third of the party is netted or enmeshed repeatedly. The “monitors” and “whips” have powerful pincer spears, magic, and there are a couple dozen kuotoa on the water – their native element.

To your dismay you see an even larger boat filled with kuotoa, approaching at a distance! Reinforcements!

You fight on, but a growing feeling of hopelessness assails you. These kuotoa seem intent on capturing you for some purpose, Shuushar swims around trying to reason with them and then swims to the larger boat. He is useless! Stupid pacifist loser!

But then the large boat occurs. You see a fairly elderly dignified kuo-toa at the prow. He looks angry and you hear whistles and chirps in the kuo toan language.

“Infidels, traitors, you will not assail these good folk”. Quickly your rescuers overpower the assailants, and slaughter some and capture others.

The elderly Kuotoa introduces himself. He is Plooppploopeen, the archpriest of Blibdoolpolp the Sea mother. He is courteous, but firm, used to command.

He apologies for the assault, and explains that the city is now in turmoil. For several centuries, the kuo toa of Sloopbludoop have lived fairly peacefully and harmoniously. They’ve carried on occasional trade with duergar, drow, and other underdark denizens. While generally kuo toa are simple folk, who live quietly alone, they had strangers and tourists visiting and treated them well.

A couple of months ago, his daughter Bloppblippodd, had strange visions. She began to preach about Leemoggoogoon the Deep Father. How he would rise from the depths, and lead the Kuo Toa to glory. They would slaughter others, and the Darklake would become a fishery for them and them alone.

At first Ploop indulged his daughter, whom he doted upon and had expected to succeed him. But she didn’t give up her visions, and they grew increasingly dark. After she and her followers murdered some outsiders, a schism grew between two factions – the traditionalists, led by Ploop and the new adherents of a dark and violent religion led by Blopp.

You find this story interesting, and futher accentuating the odd behavior of the kuo toa is that as he speaks he walks in a circle and many of his adherents follow, like a school of fish.

Shuushar however takes this all very seriously, nodding, shaking his head.

Ploop says he needs a favor of the party, but first he will take them to his home, get them food and water, and a little rest.

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On the Way to Sloobidoop

The next few days is filled with adventure. First you have to build your own primitive boats. Fortunately a nearby island has zurkhwood, but it still takes about a day and a half to build them. With primitive boat and paddles, it is slow and exhausting going.

The next couple of days consists of traveling through various parts of the darklake. For the most part it’s not too bad, ocassionalyy portaging is required.

Notable exceptions to the progress occur twice:

1. As you are winding around the bend of a “river” in the Darklake some THING erupted under neath one of your boats and sent the occupants flying. The creature was nearly invisible in the water, and extremely difficult to hit (since spells generally don’t travel well in the water and you could only guess where it was most of the time. Fortunately Gabin eventually dispatched it with his Dawnbringer, whose searing radiant energy caused great energy to the water weird.

You searched around and found in the murky depths a distubing altar with a strange spider symbol. Not Lolth, you quickly determine. But some deity Rovagug. The water weird must have been watching over the alter for millenia. Somehow you disturbed it…..hmm…. strange…

A day later you are ambushed by Darkmantles. The first thing you realized was when 3 or 4 of you had these horrible squid sucking things fall from the ceiling of the caverns. Huge circles of darkness surrounded them. So a tough battle ensued.

(It must be noted that Ajax had a particularly tough time as the curse from the Lost Tomb was still active)

The Darklake is clearly no picnic. But Shusshar assures you soon you will be in Sloobidoop, and it is a rich and beautiful city and you will be treated well. Relaxation, baths, armor, swords, will all be yours!

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A rude awakening

You have a wonderful sleep.

There’s a brief spat between stool and dawnbringer, where the sword calls the mushroom a “wanton hussy”. Clearly the sword feels possessive and jealous. Gabin tries to calm the sword down as Buppido grumpily says “We’re all trying to sleep here, get a room with that sword”.

Shuushar and R’yleh actively debate the ways to maximize unit compassion and justice per person. Apparently it’s quite a complicated thing being all things to all people.

Early “morning” approaches and a horrible klaxon noise jolts you all awake.

R’yleh leaps to his feet and grabs some strange looking organic extension that looks kind of like an intestine. It works like a periscope.

The Drow from Velkynvelve are back! In Force! They will be here in about 10 minutes.

You guys need to rush out of here, there is little time to waste. You grab all your stuff, throw it into waterproof sacks that R’yleh provided the night before and prepare to venture into the depths.

The path is perilous. Basically you ened to dive down about 30 feet, fight a current, and then go into a narrow tunnel. You need to swim another 30 feet and then you need to surface. You will be on the shores of the Darklake, R’yleh escapes.

Current, cold, and not every one can swim! Terrifying. Fortunately Shuushar can swim and breather underwater. He can help most of you, but given the time, some of you have to go it alone.

Great drama ensues, but for the most part people make it, thanks to Shuushar. There are a few rucksacks lost and two folks have significant trouble – Derendil, and Zoldren. In particular Zoldren actually begins to drown in the tunnel (and needed multiple attempts to get there). Shuushar has to drag his unconcous body through the tunnel, to the Darklake, and successfully wakes him.

And there you are! The darklake! A huge expanse of dark gloomy water puntuated by small rocky islands, stone columns, old locks, and glowing masses. Parts are large open sea, some are tunnels, and all is hard going. But shuusha says he knows the way!

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