Monday, November 28, 2011
When we last left our heroes, they were plummeting to their certain doom atop a gnomishly-created mechanical spider-mining… thing. As the session began, the party engaged in the skill challenge “Don’t Plummet to Your Grisly Death”, in which they tried to climb down to the bottom of the unit, open a blocked panel, activate the Gravity Neutralization System (GNS), and then climb back up to (relative) safety. Things went reasonably well (despite the party not having all of the sold-separately GnomeTech additional recommended pieces of equipment), and the GNS was activated before the Emergency Gravitational Avoidance Device (EGAD) had to come into play (which is very good, believe me).
The spider/construct/miner/thing semi-crashed into a huge underground lake, though fortunately close enough to shore that the party was able to swim away from the depths. Avoiding the docks of some kind of village, the party came up on an unused area, where they met Oogla, the ghost of a Kuo-Toa servant of Dagon, The Deep One (a lord of one of the layers of the Abyss). The ghost wanted the party to slaughter the goblins who had taken up residence in his town and defiled the temple of Dagon into a site that venerated the Spider Queen, Lolth. While helping the forces of an Abyssal Lord seemed like not so great of a plan, Nikolai [Micah] was able to convince the ghost that they’d try, and the ghost responded by “blessing” Nikolai’s shield into becoming a magic item: Floating Shield. The fact that it seemed to have the occasional rune praising Dagon flitting around it didn’t seem to bother Nikolai much, so I’m sure that’ll never come up in any way that might harm the party.
Speaking of the party, they eventually followed a young goblin boy back to his father’s home, which was also a sort of trading post. Here some of them spoke with Splug Splugman, who appeared to (along with his son, Splug Splugman Jr) be faking his allegiance to Lolth (with painted-on facial web tattoos). While they didn’t trust Splug, at least they knew that they could hold his lie over his head long enough to buy them a short rest. Meanwhile, outside Praxis [Lisa] and Akara [Valarie] were also resting in the shadows while trying to determine what was “up” with this town (which, incidentally, is called “Web Drink”). They noticed many spiders, strange webs that appeared to be transmitting magically with one another, and a complete lack of outer defenses in the town.
Eventually the party realized that the Handmaiden of Lolth, whom they learned was called Yaxavanda, the Widow Maker, was likely strong enough to protect the village on her own, and so the goblins didn’t really need any other extensive defenses. They realized that Yaxavanda probably already knew they were there, and resolved to seek her out directly (also motivated by the fact that their Kyone-tracking necklace was occasionally pulsing with red light).
Yaxavanda’s lair, which used to be a temple to Dagon, was a disturbingly intricate combination of constantly rewoven spiderweb tableaus and huge spiders, with the occasional goblin paying tribute with whatever meager scraps he could find. It became clear to the players that this was not so much a 2-way relationship between the goblins and Lolth, but more a group of goblins devoted to Lolth whom Yaxavanda used for her own ends, since the Spider Queen would never care about goblins. This was clearly evident in the village’s chief priest, who was a spider shaman male who could never actually hope to have any true connection to the Spider Queen.
After a non-negotiation, Yaxavanda gave the somewhat-changed Kyone back to the party, so long as they agreed to go stop some kobolds from delivering an important shipment to the mind flayers, and possibly return the shipment to her. Karath [Mike] made it clear that he was no fan of the mind flayers (who had formerly enslaved his people), but Praxis [Lisa] managed to get the party out without actually agreeing to any contracts with the demonic handmaiden of the spider goddess of chaos.
The half-drow Kyone, it turned out, had been infused with “something” from the Spider Queen. While she had enough of Lolth’s influence to be able to lead the party to the kobolds (which was good), she also could not speak the name of Corellon without choking on a spider that would crawl out of her mouth (which was bad, especially given that she had been training for the priesthood of Corellon). Also, once the fight with the kobolds began, it became clear that Kyone was not always in control of her body, which often exhibited Lolthish powers that were not always helpful to the party (or Kyone, for that matter). Nevertheless, the party defeated the kobolds in the middle of the water-and-mushroom-rich “Hunting Grounds”, and claimed the kobolds’ cargo as a prize: 4 purple dragon eggs.
While taking a short rest and investigating the nearby larger cave, they found the corpse of a female purple dragon, which appeared to have been killed by acid, then had eggs cut out of it. While Akara [Valarie] mused on the specifics of dragon mating habits, she remembered that it takes two to tango, even in draconic, and that there was likely a mate somewhere.
With a psionic scream that the party heard in their heads, the male purple dragon returned. With the party split across a large map, the dragon prepared to attack.
The next game will begin with the rolling of initiative.
Next episode is either Monday, December 12 or Tuesday, December 13 (details to be figured out later). But one way or the other, be prepared for Episode 4: “Dagon? No…DRAGON.”
XP: Skill challenge + kobold fight + roleplaying in Web Drink = 200 XP each
1 Floating Shield(Nicolai) NOTE: It appears there is more to this shield than meets the eye. Also, it functions better than the average floating shield…