Into the Pyramid

Enter the Shardmind
STEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEVE!

[Encounter continues from last session]

Continuing where we left off, the party is fighting both monsters and the room itself. The walls formed barrier doors at 3 points, 2 of which are now broken down after repeated attacks. As soon as the second door goes down, a surprised Destrachan is quickly beaten down after it makes one last desperate sonic blast.

Meanwhile, on the other end of the room, Ryun’Leh and Thorvar are hacking/punching away at the weeping wound in the wall. Upon breaking through, they discover a large throbbing sack hung from the ceiling. They proceeded to do what comes naturally, punch it until it breaks. Tryn got the final blow that pierced the sack and revealed the now dying large tentacled brain within. With the brain dead, the flesh of the room started to rapidly dissipate.

[400xp for each PC, 5 Minute rest]

Karter recalls during the post battle rest, that the being that contacted him telepathically mentioned that he needed them to find an item, a piece of his body, somewhere in this room.

The party spreads out to search all the rooms of this warped chamber. The pyramid’s magic already seems to be discarding the warped and fleshy walls and reasserting it’s own architecture. Within the decaying walls, bones and equipment of previous victims of this chamber start to emerge. Thorvar using his keen dungeoneering skills, discerns that there is something larger lodged in the middle of the largest section of wall still remaining, and with two swings of his twin axes, cleaves a ‘clean’ hole in the wall, revealing a chest!

[Get loot items in addtion to the items belonging to Sha’ar who’s shard is also discovered, and picked up by Mindantis]

Sha’ar, speaking telepathically through Mindantis, thanks the party for locating his missing shard, and tells them to come back to the chamber containing the abomination. Upon entering the Vortex chamber, Dore steps forward with the shard, and upon getting close enough to the edge of the vortex, Sha’ar is able to reform his body! After giving his thanks and some brief info on the abomination, Sha’ar and the rest of the party get into position around the vortex, ready to attack.

Karter, attempting to discern if the 4 statues positioned around the vortex have any effect on it, pushes over a statue. It crumbles to the ground, and the Vortex is uneffected. Karter discerns no change in the vortex, and decides to try his magical senses. With some concentration and a bit of bardic knowledge, he not only determines that the Vortex is powered by something in the center of the vortex, but also to safely traverse the vortex itself by carefully moving through it’s chaotic energies. With that knowledge in hand, he charges through!

The rest of the party, seeing this bold action, begins to join him, charging in at the abomination in the center of the room. Not as helpless as he seems, the abomination lashes out with it’s tentacles at all around him.

The vortex, reacting to the sudden disturbance of several armored natural (and fey) creatures running through it, churns and blasts those close to it with brilliant prismatic rays!

Seizing on the temporary disorientation of the vortex’s onslaught, the abomination unleashes a mental assault on all around him, dazing those effected by the dizzying madness projected onto them.

The rest of the party (save Mindantis, who is wary of moving through the Vortex without discerning it’s methods and patterns) charges in to combat the abomination. The abomination aims a coiled tentacle tip at Karter, and emits a Prismatic Ray! It seems the beast has either learned some powerful magic, or is manipulating the powers that the vortex imprisoning him to his will.

[End session]

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Punch the buildings down
You rolled what for your Dungeoneering check?

(5 Minute rest after Gorgon encounter)
(440 EXP is gained by each character)

Mindantis offered to calm down Rothmir and speak with him about the kingdom he remembers in order to better fill out the history of that long forgotten state, while the rest of the group tackled the gate in front of them.

After Karter deduced the purpose of the 3 gates they had to pass through to be a kind of test for initiates of some sort, the party faced another solid iron door with no discernible method to open it. As they approached the gate, it boomed out a message, telling them that only the blind and deaf would pass. Karter Dore and Ryun’Leh all covered their eyes and ears and walked through the gate. As they approached, the rest of the party saw the snakes on the columns surrounding the door appear to animate, poised to strike at them. Thorvar correctly deduced that this was an illusion. They waited, and Karter Dore and Ryun’Leh passed through the gate unaffected. The rest of the party then covered their eyes and ears and did the same. Karter, using his arcane senses, deduced that the party had now fulfilled the second of the three challenges to open the final larger doors to the South.

Retracing their steps back through the gorgon’s room and the hall of demon faces (which still were relatively friendly with them), the party moved on into their one unopened door in this area. It lead to a few hallways, as well as a stairway leading up. The party decided to move forward to the third gate, and were greeted with what appeared to be the large toothy maw of a generic devil. After some speculation about whether this too was an illusion, Karter, ever the bold follower of Avandra, sized the moment and walked into the doorway. The remaining party members witnessed what appeared to be Karter being rendered to bits by the chomping bits of the devil. However, upon some inspection, they decided it was probably an illusion. After a few more party members went through, and the exact same thing appeared to happen to them, it was determined that this was an illusion, and everyone else walked through, to find Karter and the others smiling on the other side.

The final gate solved, the main door was now open. There were two path’s open to the party, and after Dore investigated the weird seemingly alive hallway, they decided to go… anywhere else. Anywhere ended up leading them to a ramshackle church in a large chamber at the other end of the hallway.

The building, which turned out to be a church of sorts, had some strange chants coming from it in rough Primordial. Chants of allegiance to some Far Realm entity called the Keeper of the Way. Fy wasn’t quite sneaky enough in moving up to the side of the building, and smacked into Thorvar. This alerted those inside to the presence of outsiders and they began to get up to see what the noise was. Before they could fully rouse themselves, Dore, Thorvar, and Ryun’Leh burst through the wall! (which Thorvar discerned could be burst through without much effort) Thorvar ended up pushing the wall on top of one of the Foulspawn on the other side, surprising it enough to get a quick hit in with his offhand axe. The leader of this congregation of wretched and mutating humans was a Foulspawn Seer, who, using his demented form of telepathy, was able to sense the party, and was ready enough launch a sphere of twisted energies at Dore. Karter and Dore teamed up to disrupt and dispatch most of the congregation, while Ryun’Leh darted from foe to, dishing out punshing kicks and jabs. After the Seer teleported through the thin walls of the church, Thraxon pursued him by bursting through the wall and taking a swipe at him. But that last hit was too much, and the church collapsed in on itself, hurting and knocking everyone inside down under a pile of lose rubble. The party was far too strong for the Foulspawn to handle, barely putting up much resistance and never managing to turn the tide against them. Thraxon and Thorvar teamed up to finish off the last of them with a deadly pincer strike from both sides.

Upon searching the remains of the buildings and foes, the party found… nothing of much value at all. These were truly destitute individuals, with seemingly no possessions or materials concerns. Mindantis and Karter were able to find no magic at work in the area, but were nearly overwhelmed by the strong Far Realm presence coming from the room to the south of them…

(5 Minute rest is assumed)
(404 EXP is gained by each character)

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Gorgons and the Ogres that love them
Alternate title: STONED

Upon entering the chamber to the south from the Demon mouth room, you encountered a Gorgon, and her Blinded Ogre bodyguard, amid the statued remains of the gorgon’s previous victims.

After some spectacular maneuvers from Ryun’Leh the Gorgon was forced out of hiding, and began unleashing her devastating petrification gaze. Her Ogre bodyguard tried in vain to swat away the unwanted attention, smashing one of the statues in the process but was unable to do much to shake the focus from the Gorgon.

Dore, suffering badly from the petrification effect, managed to break its hold long enough to unleash a devastating series of attacks upon the Gorgon, nearly felling it, before succumbing and being fully encased in stone!

Ryun’Leh flipped clean over the Ogre, but missed with what otherwise would have been a devastating attack, and smashed an adjacent statue instead.

Things were looking grim, but the remaining party members were able to down the gorgon, and Mindantis stepped through the ether and dispelled the petrification from Dore before it could fully turn her to stone.

Dore, a bit confused having not known the passage of time while petrified, took a swing at Ryun’Leh, who happened to be standing where the Gorgon had fallen previously. After a final effort, expending himself completely to make an extra swing at Dore, he was taken down.

Ryun’Leh, recalling some specific lore about Gorgons, used the blood of the fallen gorgon to reanimate the two smashed statues (with gruesome results) and the party was able to recover some items and treasure from the remains. They then revived the remaining intact statue, that of a Tiefling in Plate armor carrying a greatsword.

Bewildered and shaken after having been petrified for so long, he was shocked to be suddenly surrounded by strangers and in a different position then he last remembered. After some convincing that he was not in any danger by Fy and Karter he revealed that his name is Rothmir and he was originally from an ancient kingdom, one that predated the Empire of Nerath (which fell over a century ago). The revelation as to roughly how much time has passed in the outside world was shattering to him and it took several moments for him to recover the ability to even speak.

The party now turns to face the second gate, which appears currently to be a featureless iron door, with no discernible means to open it, with columns in the shape of snakes coiled around them.

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Every end is a new beginning
A new GM has appeared. Also a catman monk.

When we last left our heroes, they had defeated a harpy and fought some gargoyles to a standstill (stone actually) as they ascended the stairs to the second level of the Pyramid. Leaving the gargoyles to do their thing in the pit between the trapped stairs, they ventured onward, a bit hastily into the next area.

At the top of the staircase, there was a hallway lined with grotesque demon head’s that appeared to be stone. Upon nearing them, they animated, biting at everything around them, and several abberant beastmen attacked the party. Some used the wall heads to teleport behind the players, while some caused melee attacks to reflect off onto others. The players came out on top, exhausted and spent, ready to rest for whatever passes for night.

GM Transition point

Suddenly a gargoyle from the previous room burst forth from the closed doors! Before any of them could respond, Ryun’Leh destroyed the gargoyle from behind in dramatic fashion. Reintroducing himself to the party (and meeting Karter and Thorvar for the first time) he explained that he had made it back to his mountain monastery, reequipped himself and headed back out into the world to locate the party again. He tracked them into the forest, and found himself stuck in the Pyramid as the party was. It was a rather simple matter to find his way to them, as they had killed everything on the way.

(The party gained 730 exp for this and the previous encounter at this point)

As they settle down to rest for an extended period, Mindantis resizes the Darkleaf Armor +2 for Tryn’s small frame.

(Extended rest for all but Setra and partial for Mindantis)

During the rest, each of the party’s arcane practitioners become aware of an arcane disturbance to the southwest of their current position.

Karter’s bardic training prevented this effect from disturbing his sleep much aside from awaking with a very odd feeling.

Mindantis had a fitful trance, haunted by bizarre images and feeling the curse placed upon him by his brother’s infernal pact flare up and grip him tighter. With some help from Fy, he attempted to ward himself against further encroachment of the curse’s effect. They were partially successful but it takes a measure of concentration and mental energy to maintain the ward. Thus, his combat abilities are diminished, and he is no longer able to prepare his spells each day. (Daily powers do not renew)

Setra, who’s control of the arcane energies she wields is tempered by a dark pact with infernal beings, was losing control. As the rest progressed, she was more and more overwhelmed by the distorting effect and eventually lost control of her powers entirely. Her infernal pact was warped and twisted so that rather than draw arcane energies from the infernal realms, it was drawing the infernal realm and it’s power into her body itself.

When Karter went to check on her after they had all finished their rest, he noticed the first sign of trouble. Setra’s eyes had gone red, as if made of polished ruby, burning from within with an internal fire. She rose as if pulled by puppet strings and spoke with the voice of the infernal realm that was poring into her. Karter was able to determine that something had gone wrong with her pact, and with Mindantis’ help, managed to push the energies overwhelming her body and mind deep deep inside her head, to the point where she could regain full use of her body and speak normally again. This process had stripped her of all but the faintest hint of her arcane abilities, and left her dazed, exhausted, and scared.

Not wanting to bring Setra into combat, Thorvar ‘offered’ to stay behind and guard (and monitor) her. The rest of the party moved to investigate the hidden door they had found in the room they had slept in. It lead to an unassuming chamber with a gate at the far end, a hooded figure in stone relief on either side of the gate. Upon reaching the gate, the doors in it opened on their own. As each member of the party moved through the gate, they heard a whispered thought in their head telling them that another member of the party had been cursed. Eventually, it was determined that the gate would only curse those that revealed this secret information, but also curse the one who was claimed to be cursed. After being cursed himself, Mindantis went through the gate, and did not say (or do, or look at) anything, especially not to Karter (who he had been told was cursed). After some time had elapsed, they determined the Nature of the curse, and that they had to pass some kind of test for the other two doors in the room on the other side of the gate before the final door would open and allow them to proceed further.

Upon returning to the room they had left Setra and Thorvar in, they discovered Thorvar looking confused and struggling to hold Setra down as she writhed and clutched at her head. A check of the barriers they had placed in her mind revealed a cascade failure was occurring and would soon expand outward from her body. The group hastily departed the room, and soon heard the noise of the breach event occurring. They returned to the room to find a perfectly spherical piece of the room missing. Beds, walls, floor and ceiling all removed from this plane by the planar inversion that had enveloped and consumed the space where Setra had been. No signs of her remained within this plane of existence.

Karter said a quick Prayer to Avandra for Setra’s fate, and the group moved on to attempt to figure out the mystery of the remaining two gates.

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Catching up
Catch up post for the campaign

Ok, as a quick overview. Our heroes, after joining up with Karter Alegari and Thorvar on the way, have all become trapped inside an inter-dimensional prison via a small pyramid in a forest clearing.

They’ve cleared out the first level and have just entered the second floor.

On the first floor…

  • Karter Alegari had some bones fall on him for a while.
  • After an encounter in a library, they defeated Karavakos for the first of three times.
  • They encountered a succubus, disguised as a human woman, that was trapped in a room that would prevent others from leaving it by spawning some demons in front of them.
  • They unknowingly allied with and were betrayed by Gharash, but managed to avoid conflict with his gang.
  • They found an Eladrin Princess’s head in a bag then lost it.
  • They found said Princess’s body, then stripped it of it’s magic armor, wrapped the body in a cape, and Thraxon carried it into the ice room.

If you come up with other memorable encounters or tidbits, Add them! It’s pretty simple to edit these pages, and I can help you with the wiki linking if you need.

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