Game Date: Sunday, July 30
In-Game Date: 998 AC, Summer 20
NOTE: Greg/Fury & Micah/Nikolai were not present for this session. Their characters were played as NPCs by other players (and sometimes Joe). We also (re)introduced Johny to the game with his new character, Jak.
The session began with the party going down a dark stairway carved into the rock. As they headed down into the blackness, using their own lights, they ran into many stick-doll-symbols hanging from the ceiling. While none of the party understood them, they at least understood that they were put there by witches.
They then followed the sound of running water down to a room where several very dirty underground rivers were emptying into a pool… a pool with a whirlpool in the middle. The water seemed to clean up near the whirlpool, though, and there were no other ways out. Elizabeth/Ginger’s fairly wings shriveled when she got near the dirty water, but Nikolai was able to carry her (via his waterwalking powers) to the center, where the two of them could jump into the more natural/magical/fey whirlpool. The rest of the party took a flying leap and also fell into the spiral.
Down below, the party emerged into a cave that was NOT devoid of magic/fey energy like the upper world was. As Ginger’s wings grew back and the arcane characters basked in their reconnection to magic, the party saw in the next room that a tiefling was apparently held in place by bonds of brimstone & fire while he stared at a triune statue of 3 women (maiden, mother, crone), his face locked in a silent scream, his eyes moving rapidly. Ginger recognized the statue material as Dreamstone, a rare material from the feywild, harvested from people’s dreams. As the party examined the tiefling, though, and old friend showed up.
Mr. Lee, the devil businessman some of the party remembered from the Dambrath Casino and the brief Elemental Chaos mission against the Smoke Lord. He was just on his way out, having been turned down by the denizens further in, when he ran into the party. He offered his business card to the party, though Lisa/Praxis & Valarie/Akara did not accept it (Greg & Micah, you can decide if your characters did or not). At the snap of your fingers the card will appear in your hand (doing 1d4 fire damage), and then you can activate the consumable power, being sure that Mr. Lee will hear the next thing said. If the power is not used, releasing the card in the air will make it disappear again to it’s infernal pocket dimension.
Leralak Asah’skar Eht Y’lter’ces
Souls Bartered, Desires Fulfilled, Reasonable Rates
It was also apparent that Mr. Lee was not actually holding the cards… that they appeared to be held by claws that were not visible, and he was only projecting the illusion of well-manicured nails. It’s probably a devil thing.
Using Nikolai’s Thought Sending ritual, Akara was able to tune into the dream power and insert herself into the tiefling, Jak’s, dream. Jak was tied to a post atop a pitifully smoldering fire, being danced around & mocked by 3 fey creatures of earth, air, & water (respectively). Akara appeared as a dark angel with black wings and a curvy assassin’s dagger protruding through the front of her chest blade-first (also with tiger eyes). As dreams go, though, she didn’t really look at herself, instead only seeing Jak & the fey things. Eventually they figured out that they could attack the fey creatures to break the statue, allowing Jak to wake up. Of course, every miss hit Jak right in the brain, doing psychic damage… but they figured it out.
Jak woke up, make introductions, and agreed to help the party with the witches who’d entrapped him. Mr. Lee, after failing to make any lasting deals with the party, went on his way, mentioning that the door was just down the hallway, but the party might not like how hard they had to knock.
Going down the hallway, indeed the party saw a door they did not want to see. Actually it was more of a wall. Of people. Transmuted together. And screaming. It appeared that all of these folks used to be elves, eladrin, drow, gnomes, etc, but that they were used as calibration test cases for the thing that was stealing the fey magic from the surface. When they were used up, they were transmuted into a wall by the witches. The party, after some brief discussion, decided to mercy-kill every one of them before blasting away at the wall. It mostly worked, though there was still plenty of screaming while the process went on.
After that, the party wandered through a corridor from which they heard 3 voices talking about a plan to “kill grandmother.” Ginger immediately knew who the grandmother of all witches was, and everyone freaked out a little. However, the witches chose that time to drop their illusion, showing that the party was actually in a large cavern, surrounded by the 3 witches. There was also a large gem that resembled the Matrix of Stability hanging near the top of the room, apparently pulling energy from above it. Combat ensued.
While the witches kept most of the party busy, Lisa/Praxis teleported up to hang from a chain near the gem, trying to figure it out and break it. At first she damaged the gem, which also damaged every fey creature in the room. Then she eventually figured out how to direct the gem, which blasted one of the witches, but stayed open with fey power, summoning a strange rock that looked kind of like a hut with a door facing the wall.
By this point in the combat, Jak had summoned his demon nature, and slaughtered a witch next to the hut. When he tried to use his soul-drinker warlock power, though, a hand reached out of a window in the hut and grabbed the soul before he could get it. Akara hit a different witch with her “make you undead after you die” power, and when the witches were all 3 dead, the skeleton witch rose up to stand by Valarie.
The hut door tried to open, to the sound of frustrated old woman grunts as it hit the wall. Then the hut STOOD UP ON LARGE CHICKEN-LIKE LEGS to turn, letting the archfey inside exit the hut, her stew pot trailing behind her. The party looked upon Baba Yaga and were pretty terrified.
Showing the archfey proper deference, the party actually managed not to piss off Baba Yaga as she threw the soul of one of the witches into her stew to marinate for a millennium & a day, and summoned the undead body of the other to come stir the pot. It turned out that these 3 witches were Fomorians, and were seeking to perfect an anti-fey weapon to use against Baba Yaga. Baba Yaga clearly took exception to this, smashing the gem into tiny diamonds. The party learned from the First Hag that the gem was harvested from Malachi Jones’ nightmare, and was a scary version of what the Matrix of Stability might be. The Grandmother of all witches gave some gifts to some of the party, giving Praxis a 1/week Rain Stick and giving Jak a gem that could see from the feywild into the corresponding area of the real world. Then she counted her daugthters… “Three I have lost, and two are returned. Need another daughter,” she said, staring at Ginger.
After a brief hesitation, Ginger agreed to let Baba Yaga transform her into a witch. After that, the hag started to waddle back towards her hut, stopping by Akara to sniff her (“so close her nose hairs tickle your flesh”) and then say to her, very bluntly, “The devil you know is NOT the devil you know.” She then looked at Nikolai, calling him “the tone deaf one,” and ordered some instruments in her hut to come out and “play it right”. They played a version of Baba Yaga’s song (dancing & spinning), but with some very unpleasant notes scattered throughout it. Baba Yaga seemed to enjoy it, though, and told Nikolai that if he ever played it wrong again, she’d eat him in her stew.
She then went back to her hut, with all her various things following her, and it stood up, danced & spun, and disappeared into the feywild, leaving a portal that let the party out in the spot of the Farmville portal they’d seen last game. Up above, things seemed to be getting better, with creativity and inventiveness suddenly returning to everyone’s minds. The plantlife was not immediately better, but it seemed to be on its way, and Lord Gortonsalt thanked the party for their work and agreed to work on trying to mitigate this “pollution” thing the party told him about. He also agreed to support the party in their attempts to sway the Parliament in the capital to deal with the Cappadocian undead uprising issue.
Everything seemed great and happy and bubbly and shiney in the Cannery Coast, and I’m certain that’s exactly how things will stay as we start next session, because every loose end was taken care of completely and without exception. Yay!
Next session: “Bloody Remains and Wolf Fur”