|Session 12: Magical Malpractice|
|Real World Date||October 18th, 2014|
|Game Date||April 4 - 5, Year 0|
|Location||Song Hive, and a jungle that no longer exists|
|NPCs||Echoes and the mentally disturbed|
Session 11: Diaries of the Dead
Session 13: A Dungeonless Dragon
After fighting off two vicious harssaf, The Party reaches Song Hive. The remaining villagers are suffering from psychological damage brought on by prolonged exposure to the local visions of lost loved ones. Further west, the party enters a fully immersive field of residual time magic that portrayed a jungle that used to stand in this desert. They witness the origins of time magic at an elven temple resembling the Creston Monastery's undercroft. The Tome of Time fuses with its past instance and appears to become more complete. The illusory jungle collapses, and the party is spit back into the desert, along with some previously intangible debris from the jungle, and a dragon. There are questions.
Battling the Harssaf
The Party fights the harssaf, who battle with heat-based attacks. Isaac pegs one with his crossbow, but it just pulls the bolt out of its arm and sand fills the wound. Namfoodle screams, “Hey! Your ass is glass!” and casts fireball at one of the assailants in hope of fusing the sand that makes up their bodies, but it forgoes its reflex save and seems to feed on the spell’s explosion.
Emilie closes the distance to this harssaf, but the other one counters by passing her in order to get to the squishier party members. Vic conjures water on this second harssaf. It slightly dampens the monster and largely just turns to steam. Crap.
Kal is tired of this shit and just stabs the first harssaf in the face. This seems to hurt and anger the harssaf much more substantially than previous attacks have. It melts into the sand dunes at the party’s feet, which begin to roil as it moves through the ground.
The visible harssaf lashes out at Vic, slicing through his armor and searing the skin underneath. Vic clubs it with his mace in response, dashing part of it across the desert sand. Clearly, bludgeoning is its weakness!
The subterranean harssaf creates a blast of hot sand, cutting and blinding Kal and Isaac. It then emerges from the sand and resumes its attack. Namfoodle casts Ray of Enfeeblement at it, which seems to cause the desired effect.
Emilie has not witnessed this harssaf’s return, so she continues to attack the one that hurt Vic. She completely severs its arm off with her longsword. It is able to reattach the arm, but seems to have been wounded nonetheless. It slices deep into her shoulder and retreats beneath the sand.
Vic is able to inflict serious wounds on the one who has returned, and the sand that makes up its body is dispersed into the air. It stands shakily on its withered legs, still determined to harm the party. Namfoodle slams it with a volley of magic missiles. It’s barely alive. Emilie finishes it off with a flurry of slashes and lets out a massive victory cry, giving the party a boost in morale that makes all their attacks hit harder.
The remaining harssaf emerges and sprays the area with sand, damaging everyone but Kal and Emilie and temporarily blinding them once more. Despite this, Vic is able to lay into it again, dealing massive damage for the third time this encounter. Kal slices it down the middle, and it disperses into the wind.
There is a pile of loot at each site of disappearance.
A large rose prism
An ornate silver and gold ring with pink diamonds
A statuette of a maiden on a unicorn
A wand of Web ew
Namfoodle finds that the prism is some sort of protective satellite that hovers at two feet around the user. Its full nature is not known.
Emilie takes the ring. It doesn’t have any magical properties, but it looks super pretty. She will probably sell it, but for now she will enjoy it.
The dogs return to the party, having recovered from their spookedness. They allow themselves to be reattached to the harnesses on the cart, and the party continues on their way to the Song Hive.
The hive appears on the horizon, and the party starts to hear the humming of the wind over the dunes that gives the hive its name. The party reaches another village of adobe as night falls on the second day of their ride. The dogs refuse to go any further all of a sudden, and Isaac feels the Tome of Time burning in his pack. It is too hot to hold. Emilie offers to open it since she can’t feel anything anyway, but quickly becomes uncooperative when Namfoodle concurs, “Yeah, let the zombie do it!”
Isaac casts energy resistance on his gloves and opens the book. Nothing seems to be different about the Tome, other than that it is incredibly difficult to handle. The dogs, extremely cute as always, seem to be self-sufficient, and draw nourishment from the sand, so the party chooses to leave them in the village while they continue to the hive.
There is no movement discernable anywhere, either in the village or on the hive in the distance. The party sees a humanoid form rocking back and forth on the ground by the road. Isaac warns that it may be a vision, like those the party saw under the monastery in Creston.
It is a lizardfolk, and it is repeating the phrase “I’m sorry,” over and over. It does not acknowledge the party’s presence. Isaac touches its knee, and it looks up at him momentarily before returning to its loop. He tries to pick it up to bring it to the dogs, but it resists him. Namfoodle offers to forgive the lizardfolk for whatever it did, but it ignores him. Sometimes it looks out into the distance at something the party can’t see. Isaac takes the Tome out. The lizardfolk doesn’t react, but Isaac alone sees his old companion Traps lay her hand on the book. He puts it away. “I think we should just go.”
The party returns to the adobe village to take shelter for the night. Inside one of the deserted homes is a young ant, cycling as the lizardfolk did. He is talking to his absent mother as if she were in the room, saying he is happy that she’s back from the mines and offering her cereal. He scoops dust and dirt into bowls. It’s fucking creepy as hell.
The party returns to the dogs to sleep with them. The dogs are so cuddly with Isaac that Emilie tries to repair her relationship with the quadrupeds. The dog reacts to her kindly, and she spends the night watch seated in the curve of its long trunk. Nothing happens during the night, but the visions of the past that haunted the party a couple days before stare from a distance.
The party heads out in the morning to see that nothing has changed in the village. It’s unclear what is going on here. They aren’t visions; they can be touched. It seems likely that these individuals have been driven insane by repeated cycling images of dead loved ones.
The book seems to be pulling Isaac toward the hive. However, it may in fact be pulling past the hive, since the red circle is further west still. Isaac suggests they investigate the hive, to see if there are any observable time anomalies in the deeper tunnels. As they journey to the hive, they pass more maddened individuals.
The entrance of the hive has been dotted with heavy footfalls. Trampled bodies of those who tripped and fell during the massive evacuation line the halls. Emilie apologizes for her earlier racism displayed at Mist Hive, which she is now homesick for.
The Verdant Echo
The party travels all the way through the hive and out the western exit, following the pull of the book. They find another lizardfolk on the road. He acknowledges and communicates with the party, but still shows signs of heavy mental wear born of hallucinations.
Down the road, the desert suddenly becomes jungle. Not like, it gives way to jungle. Like, they were walking through the desert, and then were suddenly IN a jungle. Crossing back and forth across this invisible line transports individuals from the desert to the jungle and back, but they can still see people that are on the other side of the line.
“Of course!” Namfoodle concludes. “This desert has been an illusion the whole time!” “Namfoodle. Oh my gods. No,” Emilie protests.
The desert was probably a jungle centuries ago. The illusory jungle is probably a large-scale example of the same magic the party experienced under the Creston monastery. The trees and foliage of the jungle can be clipped through without collision. The hallucination is visual and audial only, it seems.
The party comes across a temple in the jungle. Sculptures of panthers dot the scene, similar to the heron imagery in the monastery. They also see elves. They practice many different kinds of magic, including what looks as though it could be time magic. They create fields of energy that appear to restore subjects to earlier states. The elves seem to have enslaved the ant race. Looks like their slaughter when the humans settled Enderland was a cruel trick of karma.
Isaac notices that the Tome is starting to glow in a way that resembles the fields of magic cast by the elves. He leads the others into the temple. The party finds themselves in an insanely large library. Shelves stretch on in every direction, including up. In the middle of the room, four elves speak tersely over a large book that looks suspiciously like the Tome of Time. They are arguing about the implications of time magic, and whether or not these discoveries should be released to the public. Two of the elves are dedicated to keeping a safe and cautious approach to the development of the magic, while the other two are eager to publish as soon as possible, blaming complications and hazards on the lack of ability of the apprentices. Isaac follows the book’s pull, and it fuses with the book on the table, becoming twice as thick and heavy as it was before. The book is more complete now, and Namfoodle is able to make out more pieces here and there. But it’s still illegible. The visions start to distort, and the desert can be visible again for brief moments. Isaac commands Namfoodle to keep the book open, lest the vision collapse before Isaac can explore the temple. He dashes from room to room, but can only find bedrooms and bathrooms, all devoid of useful information. In time, the book shuts itself in Namfoodle’s hands, and the party is back in the desert, with Song Hive in the distance.
“Dammit, I wasn’t done,” Isaac says.
A purple rift stands in the sky above the team. It spits out several jungle trees, slabs of concrete, a massive pile of treasure, and a live, fully grown black dragon. What. Wait. No. Bad. Stop. What.
THE PARTY PREPARES FOR BATTLE OH MY GOD
- After we slay the dragon, the DM tells us that fleeing encounters will be an acceptable and sometimes wise decision if we want to keep our characters alive.
- Tahlarien's player not able to join us!
- This article lacks proofreading because Jonathan was super tired, having been editing on and off all day. Please feel free to improve readability.
hahaha this map looks funny out of context god I need to get off this site immediately