During the last session, the party had gone off map under the guidance of the derro, Buppido, that they had rescued from the drow at Velkynvelve. So far, things had gone pretty well despite losing some of their entourage to in-fighting of sorts. They had survived some of the dangers of the Underdark and had even learned a thing or two along the way. At the end of the session, the group had made it to some sort of supposedly abandoned temple that Buppido had identified as a safe place to rest but it wasn’t fully abandoned. A pair of large brains with legs were encountered. We pick up after the break with these brains as pretty much all chaos breaks loose.
This recap is from Craig. Muse was missing and so Thomas played Meri. My comments, as usual again, are in [brackets and italics].
As the group prepares to open the door to the temple they hear, “Drop your weapons, motherf@ckers!” They turn around to see Buppido with a sword to Topsy’s throat. Topsy and Turvy’s faces begin to change, elongating and morphing into rat like mugs. Buppido cuts Topsy’s throat but the wound closes immediately. Just then a troll bursts out of the double doors, followed by three kuo-toas. Adran hits the troll with fire and the troll attacks back. One of the kuo-toas, a spell-caster, casts a spell that brings a swarm of spectral fish which attack anyone who moves through them, dealing necrotic damage. Jimjar, hits the Prince, hoping to make him angry enough to fight the troll and kuo-toa. The Prince does get angry but begins attacking Jimjar and Meri in a blind rage. More kuo-toa emerge from the doors, Dench becomes a bear to fight the troll and Adran casts a fireball, taking out most of the kuo-toa.
[Actually, Jimjar stabbed the Prince while shouting out another wager…something about five-to-one odds that you don’t survive and then he ran off, leaving the Prince to attack Meri and whoever else was in close proximity.
Wait…what? Topsy and Turvy turned into what? Looks like they’re lycanthropes…wererats to be exact. Wait? Didn’t Topsy nibble on Verrak?]
As this is happening, Buppido runs away with Topsy and Turvy chasing after him. Verrak and Meri follow after them, finding Buppido further down the pathway. Verrak takes out Buppido with his hammer. While the other continue to fight the remaining kuo-toa, including the spell-caster, both Fletcher and Rory go down when the kuo-toa casts a large pillar of water that hits them both. With no other option, Dench takes out the Prince, still in a blind rage and Adran and Dench converge on the final kua-toa. Meri returns and takes out the final, spell-casting kuo-toa and his spell of spectral fish disappears. The group heals and searches the dead bodies.
[The Prince did, upon his death, revert to an elf so perhaps there was some truth to his claims after all.]
After healing, the group enters the large double doors of the temple, finding a large circular room with a mosaic floor. There are lurid paintings on the ceiling and eight alcoves lining the walls. Each alcove has a nude statue inside, each with the head and arms missing; the heads of several underdark creatures sit atop the statues [in varying states of decomposition]. There are three doors additional doors in the circular room. The door on the left leads to several empty barracks. The center door opens into a skinny hallway with a few doors. Behind one door is a damp, empty room. The next door in the hallway leads to a small circular room with many, arm-width holes in one wall. The last door leads to a room with chests and urns. There’s another door in this room, but it is locked. Rory is able to pick the lock and the group enters to find a circular room with a chest and furniture and a small elf inside, dusting. Before the group can speak to the elf, he takes off down a stairwell on the far side of the room. The party chases after him, half of the group is hit with a wave of despair as they chase.
When the party reaches the bottom of the stairs they see the stairs end in front of a pool of water. The elf turns into a wolf-man and emerging from the water is an Illithid. Rory attacks first, hitting the Illithid and dealing critical damage. Dench conjures bears and the bears attack the wolf-man but their attacks don’t seem to damage him. When the Illithid attacks he does mass damage to Fletcher, Rory and the bears, stunning all of them. Just as Verrak kills the wolf-man, the Illithid disappears. Dench casts faerie fire to try and illuminate the Illithid, inadvertently illuminating Fletcher, Meri, and one of the bears. The Illithid isn’t hit by the faerie fire, but appears again hitting everyone with lightening, knocking out Fletcher. The Illithid goes underwater, remerging to attack the party. The party continues to fight and eventually Rory deals the fatal blow to the Illithid.
[The fight was over much more quickly than I thought but damn, rogues do a LOT of damage…especially on a crit.]
After defeating the Illithid, the party returns to the room where they saw the elf dusting. They open a chest and find a suit of leather armor floating in water. They also find parchment in the room with five different spells written on them (Arcane Eye, Charm Person, Major Image, Non-Detection, Transmute Rock). They go into the next room (the one with the locked door and the chests) to find Topsy and Turvy have already ransacked it. After convincing, Topsy reveals she found a jeweled mask and a silver plate. After more questioning from Verrak, Topsy reveals they also found a gold statue of a lobster goddess named Blibdoolpoolp and a trident. The group also finds a skull [with a gem in its mouth] in the room and realize that is where the despair spell is coming from so they decide to leave it be.
The group returns to the large circular room with the headless statues. They enter the final door on the right side of the room. It’s a room made of stone with grooves down the wall. The floor of the room slopes down forming a small pool at the center of the room. The group decides to bring all of the bodies from outside the temple into the main room, so as not to attract any other dangers.
Verrak is trying to find the [magic] prism [that Buppido had claimed], thinking Buppido has it, but can’t find it. The group heals up and Verrak continues to search for the prism, becoming more and more frustrated when he can’t find it. As Verrak continues to search, Topsy whispers something to him and the two become very chummy. Verrak, in a frenzy of manic searching, cuts open Buppido and sifts through his stomach and intestines, but still can’t find the prism. Continuing to search for the prism, Topsy and Verrak go back out into the main cave. They don’t find the prism but they do attract the attention of two rust monsters. Verrak tries to run past them but Topsy stops him, instead distracting the rust monsters by throwing a sword near them. Verrak and Topsy break for the large room and make it, but not before Verrak is hit by a rust monster, suffering damage to his armor.
The group takes a long rest. The next “morning” Adran and Rory go into the room with the holes in the wall. Expecting to find creatures inside they find nothing; the rest of the group in the main room can hear the amplified voices of Adran and Rory, discovering the room with the holes is some kind of amplification system. The group prepares to leave the temple, Rory gives Dench Phantom’s Ring [that they had found in their prior underwater adventure]. The group leaves the temple. With their guide dead and not quite sure where they are, they continue down the tunnel.
[And that’s where we ended the session.
So clearly Buppido was not all that he appeared (i.e., a sane and rational derro) but it isn’t clear what his angle was. He had, however, led the party off of their known path and then apparently turned on them for some reason. At least he had marked on their map where he had taken them and the route they needed to take to bypass the illithid outpost…assuming, of course, that was all true and not false. The magical prism that Buppido had claimed was not found despite Verrak’s best and, um, clinical attempts to find it.
Jimjar did not turn up again.
Jubi is still missing.
The Prince is dead.
So the large entourage is now down to just three…two deep gnome wererats (one of which has taken quite the liking to Verrak) and a mushroom man who follows Rory much like a puppy dog.
I wonder who’ll be the next NPC that the party will lose. 😉 ]