Serpent's Skull

12/27/10 Jask in Camp

Today, the PC’s used their resources to cure Jask of his paranoia. When they ask him what happened, he doesn’t know/remember. Looking him over reveals that his eye is indeed put out and the wound looks similar to that of the Aspis Consortium leader Ivo Hagen. Nervously, the PC’s allow Jask to roam free in the camp, but have Captain Bones watch over him.

View
12/21-26/10 Christmas in Camp

Though no one worships Jesus Christ in this universe, the PC’s and their pirate friends feel something special on 12-25. As they are they are recuperating from their insanity, Captain Bones appears to them on that Day wearing a red pirate suit with the hook on his left hand painted in red and white stripes and offers them the following found items as gifts as a small token of thanks for their service in the jungle thus far:

To Skank he gives a pair of Slippers of Spider Climbing.

To Joe he gives a Helm of Comprehend Languages and Read Magic. However, Joe refuses the gift until he is cured of his paranoia the following day.

To Nig he gives a pair of Boots of Striding and Springing.

To SWaD he presents a Headband of Vast Intelligence +2 (perform oratory).

Outwardly, the PC’s thank the pirates for the gifts, but inwardly they are thinking that these gifts are way below their level and begin to complain amongst themselves that they are being cheated by life.

The scuttlebutt around the camp water cooler tells of a large host of armed apes (gorillas, charu-ka, grillons, flying gorillas, etc…) that have been pouring into the city. Some of the pirates report that they have established a base in the mercantile district. An army of this size and type, in this jungle can only mean that it belongs to the Gorilla King. Some scouts report that they have seen him. Others doubt that he would leave his city to come out here.

During the five days that the PC’s were in camp, they noticed that Jask was absent for three of them. When he returned on the 4th day he was wearing an eye patch. He was obviously paranoid as he refused to answer the PC’s initial questions. The PC’s thought it was funny that Jask was outside of camp for any length of time since he was always afraid in the past. Nig diagnosed Jask as having the vault paranoia and cured him against his will. He did not remember what happened to his eye or why he was outside of camp.

View
12/20/10 Verdant Refuge I

The PC’s headed to their next vault, the Verdant Refuge.

Prior to entering, the PC’s discovered the remains of two camels though they could not determine the significance of the find. After entering, all the PC’s save SWaD are overcome by the midnight spores.

In their first room, the PC’s encountered four thorny cave lions who had the appearance of great cats, but were made of leaves and sticks. In fact they have extra long thorns which caused a lot of damage to PC’s who scored hits on the cats. They were easily dispatched, and the PC’s found some old boxes belonging to the infamous dwarven explorer, Eggra Kraggorach. They figured that the camel remains were hers.

The next chamber, in addition to having enough spores for everyone to make an additional save against insanity (which Nig failed), contained six bastiloids. They released hallucinating gasses which eventually overtook everyone causing each of them to believe all manner of strange things. The most debilitating vision was Joe’s who believed that his knife, which took Skank months of convincing for him to have it out, was now a snake. Joe dropped the dagger and ran away from it until the fight was over. Nig was eventually able to overcome his hallucination and started bombing the otherwise weak plants. SWaD finished off what is left of the plants, and Joe eventually made his way back. However, he continues to harbor many second thoughts about utilizing his snake-knife.

The next room contained a brazier which Skank eventually recognized as a trap, and was able to disable. In the following cavern, the PC’s encountered 8 death cap jumpers (jumping mushrooms). Those in the front jumped at SWaD who had pretty much blocked the tunnel. As they jumped, she was able to take an attack of opportunity to damage them. Nig heaved a turn full of bombs at those gathered around SWaD, killing one and wounding the rest. SWaD charged down the hallway knocking over all but one of the fungi like so many bolling pins. The rest of the fight was just a mop up.

The room contained giant fungi derived from the toxic spores. The PC’s were able to determine how to use these as a weekly pick me up to help combat the spore’s abilities. However they spat on the new found knowledge, and elected to continue relying on Nig’s potions for their succor.
Due to everyone being insane, and some characters doubly so, the PC’s decide to spend the next five days in camp.

View
12/19/10 Back to the Mud Vault

After committing his spells to memory, Joe casted a divination spell. Suddenly the ghost of Jari appeared and it looked Joe as though Jari doesn’t realize that he has been summoned due to the fact that he continually talked/argued with his sword about all manner of topics from ziggurats to rectal temperature of sloths. Tired of waiting for a break in the conversation, Joe interjected his question and asked ‘where does the party need to look for the focusing crystals they did not find in the mud vault’. Jari turned to Joe with a look as though he noticed the witch for the first time, then shoved his sword into his abdomen, and answered, “the Hujurat of Khalid-Sha”. Upon answering the question, Jari takes the sword out of his stomach and continues arguing about the effectiveness of Libnie until Jari. The PC’s immediately knew where Jari was talking about, and headed back to where they failed to defeat the mud-shaitian in his lair.

Upon entering the mud vault, Joe and SWaD became paranoid, and Nig decided to help SWaD this time. The group searched all around in the mud pool and through a constant detect magic spell, determined that there was something under the floor of the pool. Joe recognized the rock bottom as a wall of stone, and SWaD commenced to destroying it. At the bottom they found the remains of Urshalar Vohkavi, his gear, and the focusing crystals from this vault. The PC’s surmised that Khalid must have cast the wall after diving into the mud, but could only guess what happened to him after that.

When they came out of the mud vault, the characters were confronted by five giant winged gorillas, with giant swords. The quickest one shouted “lets fight” and attacked the PC’s. Joe tried to ask the gorillas why they were so intent on fighting, but they paid him no heed. While the brutes were able to significantly damage SWaD with their giant blades, the flying monkeys were cut down easily in turn, though one did manage to escape and fly away.

Unable to cure Joe’s insanity from the vault, the characters quickly head back to camp for another night.

View
12/18/10 Vault of Silence IV: Gbala TPK/Alternate Reality

The heroes venture back into the Vault of Silence. They take the left at the intersection where they first discovered the secret door, and Skank notices that the first room they come to is trapped in such a way that stepping on the floor will cause pendulum blades to fall from the ceiling and darts to shoot out from the walls. He uses his flight ability to fly up to the ceiling and disable it.

In the next room the PC’s encounter a skinless terkow vampire named Gbala. He utters the word ‘skins’ then orders his unseen minions to surround the party. The fact that Gbala is a twelfth level rogue in addition to his awesome damage resistance, spell resistance, and resistance to all the elements made him very hard to hit and/or damage, that in addition to the fact that his rogue abilities prevented him from being flanked by Skank made him a very powerful opponent. His attacks were equally as powerful, draining 2 levels per each successful attack in addition to regular melee damage.

Gbala was nearing death when his two rawbones companions arrived in the chamber, sporting a 20ft aura of nasty stench that nauseated everyone and a vomit attack that damaged all in a 30ft cone with the gory contents of their rotten stomachs. SWaD was quickly reduced by multiple negative levels from Gbala by the time the rawbones appeared. Nig gave the order to run, but by then it was too late. In their nauseated condition, the party was only able to make one move action per round. The rawbones, under the control of Gbala, hemmed the party in and allowed Gbala to make the killing blow on each hero. He promptly skinned all the PC’s and proudly wore the skins until they rotted away. His favorite hide was from SWaD whose skin was significantly thicker and heavier than the rest. He made four skullcaps from each of her meaty breasts. Twenty four hours after the PC’s died, they arose as powerful terkow themselves. However, they were enthralled to Gbala with no free will of their own. With his new, powerful super-slaves, Gbala gradually wiped out each expedition in the Lost City and established himself as the king of Saventh-Yhi. Perhaps some powerful adventurers could one day come back and defeat King Gbala and his slaves, before his terror spreads beyond the bounds of the jungle.

At the very same time in an alternate universe, as the PC’s were running away from Gbala and the rawbones, they were suddenly cured of their nausea and all of their negative levels. They also found that the rawbones no longer smelled bad at all, and Gbala had lost his ability to bestow negative levels on anyone. Wondering what he had done to anger the gods, Gbala and his minions fought valiantly with the abilities that remained to them, but in the end were wiped out by the heroes.

The PC’s searched the rooms and bodies of the dead and found the usual treasure along with some more focusing crystals of a different style. Nig put two and two together and realized that while they found crystals in this vault and the submerged vault, they did not find any in the mud vault. He suggested that the party search that area again. Joe decided to cast a divination spell on the next day to further guide them in their quest.
After this the PC’s limp back to camp and heal up.

View
12/17/10 Vault of Silence III: Pipes of Doom and Dark Chapel

Once again, the PC’s head back to vault of silence in an attempt to try to discover its secrets. They find one of them in the form of a secret door at an intersection of the hallway. However, they did not see the ward of weakness behind the door that SWaD set off, sucking between 4 and 8 points strength from each hero.

Then they came to another not so secret door. Behind the door was a pool of water. The PC’s took their time examining the pool for traps, tripwires, piranha, and the like. For the first time Nig even used his alchemy skill to determine if there was anything bad about the water, but was positive that it was just water. Everyone jumped into the pool, and Skank pulled out his water-walking ring and walked around on the top. When the PC’s found a door at the bottom of the pool, they were so excited that they searched the rest of the pool and found a wheel shaped valve and what appeared to be a drain at the bottom. Putting 2 and 2 together, they figured out that by turning the knob, they would let the water out.

Nig and Joe jumped out to the pool just in case some monsters or holy fire came out of the pool, while SWaD and Skank stayed in the bottom to turn the knob. When the knob turned, the water started draining out, but as the water went down, so did the ceiling at the same rate. Nig and Joe quickly jumped into the pool, but none of the PC’s were able to turn the valve to stop the water so they swam/waded to the door at the opposite end. They first tried to shove their way through, but were unsuccessful. As the water drained out and the ceiling came down, they started desperately hacking at the door with swords axes, and teeth but were unable to beat it down before the roof caved in. The PC’s all took enough damage to kill normal heroes, but were still alive. At this point they began hacking at the collapsed ceiling with their weapons, while Nig shot it with his bow. The weight of the ceiling continued to crush the air out of them, but eventually, the PC’s were able to destroy the ceiling, before becoming entombed in the pipes of doom trap.

Continuing on into the next chamber, the party came to a dark chapel where they found three fast dire tiger zombies who weren’t hard to hit, but packed a hard punch of their own. Their attacks were so powerful and unerring that SWaD took more damage than she could take and fell as a result of a critical zombie cat bite. As she was raging at the time of her swooning, her heart exploded and SWaD died, or at least appeared to die. However, through the sheer power of her heroism, she cheated death to only to end up being mostly dead.

The last room on this hall contained only the dried up corpse of a failed litch with a pretty knife, golden circlet, and wearing leopard skin underwear. Everyone was ready for the worst and surrounded his casket, with Joe going so far as to cast an archon who immediately cast a number of evil wards and anti evil spells. It all wound up being a false alarm as the old dead corpse was just that. His body and final resting place, like all the others, was not respected, and was promptly looted, with his possessions and heirlooms sold to the highest bidder. The PC’s attempt to appraise the leopard skin, but it is completely worthless to all save the most perverted.
With their resources completely used up again after the combination of the near fatal wounding of SWaD and the crushing blow of the pipes of doom ceiling, the party once again headed back to camp without finishing exploring the Vault of Silence.

View
12/16/10: Vault of Silence II Spectre Battle

The PC’s go back to the Vault of Silence, but this time do not stop at the gate. Instead the plunge headlong into the cliff wall not heeding the warning of the captured serpent man who told of the undead lurking within. In the first room, the PC’s find two sarcophagi, one opened, and one closed. When they open the closed one, a spectre popped out, touched SWaD, giving her two negative levels. The fun really heated up when 3 more spectres appeared out of the other three walls of the room, effectively trapping the PC’s in a close quarters fight, and began inappropriately touching the PC’s draining their life, health, and abilities. They were finally destroyed, but not before draining eight levels from SWaD and multiple levels from the others except Skank. The party was most demoralized by such a battle, having never experienced such damage.

In the crypt, the PC’s discover a shiny trident which turns out to be very valuable, so of course they sell it. They could not figure out what the snakes on the sides meant, and did not try to take it to anyone other than the Ruben Goldberg at the Pirate’s pawn shop back in camp. Of course he gave them the same price he always does for magic weapons.

With their negative levels almost totaling their positive levels, the PC’s decided to go back into camp and rest again. Once again, the PC’s demanded that faithful Jask heal them. Before the browbeaten black man can even say anything, the PC’s begin to make him feel guilty for the number of times that they have had to save him, and remind him of what a completely useless man he is other than his use as a healbot. Jask has begun to long for the sweet release that death will bring. Each morning when he wakes up and sees that the PC’s are still alive, he has to fight his willpower to kill himself.

View
12/15/10 Mud Vault II: Boss & Vault of Silence I: Entrance

The PC’s decided to go back to mud vault and finish searching it. Picking up where they left off, they found Khalid-Shah a muck shaitian and his two little ooze mephit friends. The mega PC’s swatted the mephitis like flies, but not before the bad guys were able to sicken a couple of the PC’s with their acid breath. Khalid lived in a mud swimming pool in the middle of his room. SWaD, not noticing that the mud in the pool was any different than the mud in the rest of the room, fell in as she approached. Khalid tried to turn the mud around her to stone, but she was able to move out of the way before it encased her. Skank fished out a ring of water walking and was able to move freely on top of the mud. Nig shot arrows and Joe summoned another deamon. The only notable thing about this fight was when Khalid managed to shove noxious mud into SWaD’s mouth. Before The PC’s could kill him, Khalid dove into the bottom of the mud. The PC’s healed up and dove for him, but at the bottom all they found was a stone floor with no treasure.

Disappointed and confused at what happened, the party went to the next room and there discovered the Argental Font. (queue angelic voices) Nig had an idea to take the waters from the font and keep them in bottles, but six seconds after taking the flasks of water, his alchemy skill told him that the waters had lost all their magic. There were no more rooms to explore so the heroes left and felt as though they missed something, (which they did).

Still feeling fresh, the party decided to go to the vault of silence. At the entrance in what was once known as the Garden of Contemplation, they come to an encampment of six Serpentfolk. A pitched battle ensued, as the snake men were able bring the fight to Nig and Joe who usually hide in the rear. Their blur ability also caused many, if not most of Nig’s arrows to miss. After three snake people were killed, the others tried to escape. Two were cut down mercilessly, but the third threw down his weapon and asked for mercy in one of the many languages that the PC’s have learned. The PC’s get little information from him other than he is looking for the crystals, he is not from a faction, but from a city Ilumera. He also tells them that his party was larger, but that they were cut down by dangerous undead in the vault. The PC’s ultimately let him go, to tell his people that the PC’s are coming. They even gave him a cure light wounds potion, but considering the state they left him (naked, almost dead), he will need more than blur and burning hands to survive more than a day or two in the jungle.

Drained of resources, the PC’s decide to return to camp rather than push on into the vault. Back in camp, faithful Jask heals them of their wounds, and is spit on and humiliated because he is a poor black man with a raspy accent.

View
In Camp 12/5-14/10)

The PC’s spent this time resting in camp, brooding over being cheated out of their fair share of treasure, having to spend what little treasure they did get on potions, consistently high enemy die rolls, being attacked, being damaged, being targeted, being eaten, Jask not helping them, the faction not helping them, the NPC’s not helping them, PC’s not being able to help each other, and no doubt many other unspoken, but long harbored sources of bitterness.

View
Mud Vault (12/3-4/10)

12/3/10

The PC’s spent this day resting and moving the supplies from the old camp to this one.

12/4/10

The PC’s started out looking for the next vault. While they were on their way, they noticed some giant winged gorillas in the sky. Nig was tempted to shoot at them, but did not and they flew away. Sloppy Joe felt as though he had seen them before.

When they arrived in the Mud Vault, the PC’s were attacked by a giant, walking Venus Fly Trap. Before it succumbed to the PC’s power, it managed to engulf both Skank and SWaD in two of its plant mouths, much to their controller’s frustration. At this point, all of the PC’s failed their insanity saves and either became paranoid or sank deeper into their insanity.
Further into the vault, the PC’s found an interesting staircase which fell apart and hurt them as they went down, but didn’t completely tear up.

The next hallway contained 3 feet of mud and 4 mephits. Many of the characters experienced a hallucination and thought the mud itself was attacking them causing them to run away from the horror. The mephitis wound up frustrating the party as well with their breath weapons and claw attacks.

The next room contained a mud elemental which almost proved too much for the super heroes. His extensive attack & damage power, mobility, damage resistance, and his ability to encase foes in mud, neutralized SWaD and dropped Skank outright. However Joe was able to use a combination of debuff spells to finally render the elemental helpless while Nig peppered it with barely harmful arrows that mostly appeared to just sink into his muddy body.

Out of resources, and unable to take any more damage, the PC’s decided to flee this vault for the safety of their new camp and lick their wounds for a couple of weeks. After climbing back up the stairs, the PC’s cut the chain that holds the staircase to the ceiling, allowing the whole thing to collapse, and deciding just to use a rope on when they return. Once outside, on their way back to camp, they noticed the strange, winged gorillas in the sky again. “What do they want?” Sloppy Joe again had a strange sense of déjà-vu and thought about having them find him a little dog to replace his scorpion.

View

I'm sorry, but we no longer support this web browser. Please upgrade your browser or install Chrome or Firefox to enjoy the full functionality of this site.