Monday, July 24, 2017

Monday Recap: Gallery Hopping

I do dearly love when we get to play Maze of the Blue Medusa. So many zany things to explore! So little prep needed! Although, after this last session, I'm going to have to come up with more and more cool loot to give to my players...

Edit: This series was written before allegations about the authors of this module were released. To respect the players of the game, as well as the brilliant writing of Patrick Stuart, I've decided to keep these posts up. However, all links and art have been removed. Thank you for understanding.

This story is part 5 of a series. The campaign was completed.
Part 1 | Part 2 | Part 3 | Part 4 | Part 5 | Part 6 | Part 7 | Part 8 | Part 9 | Part 10 | Part 11 | Part 12 |

Maze of the Blue Medusa: Gallery Hopping

Cast of Characters
Jon: Dungeon Master
Megan: Aniria Lightningblood, Firbolg Tempest Cleric, accidentally destroyed her home, now an adventurer, rushes in to things
Makayla: Coria Kelvardil, Moon Druid Elf, traveling the world and cataloguing all the animals she can find, cartographer
Jackie: Derrik Evanwood, Human Bardbarian, punch things, woo women, deal with alcoholism, collect magic swords
Tom: Alan Xanthudides, Human Phoenyx Sorcerer, not-so-secretly a noble with a bad family, trying his best not to burn the place down, actually quite good at social graces

With the horrors of the Dead Wedding behind them, the ragtag group of adventurers decided to head back to Lady Crucem Capilli, art-collecting dragon lady, to claim their reward. Capilli offered them a fair price for the magic chandelier and the scrapped Golden Engine - 30,000 gold! Derrik swooned with happiness.

Lady Capilli was quite pleased, and told the group her next interest: a curio, a small, unique object of some kind, obtained with the owner's written consent. The group, unsure exactly where they would find such a thing, decided to go back to their friend Chronia Torn, immortal naked time-goddess, and ask for further directions.

Along the way, they managed to sneak by a confrontation happening between two factions of the dungeon: men in bird masks were fighting men in torn and bloodied finery. The bird men squawked and shrieked while they fought, and the other group kept trying to eat the bird men. They also shouted vague artistic criticisms while they did so. The party was confused but managed to make it by safely.

Passing through the room where they had first met Gibba Gognata, Coria noticed some enemies clinging to the ceiling - they were all women, like thin dragonborn (lizard-born?) but with the ability to change their skin color like chameleons. Screaming vile threats against the "mammals", they leapt down and attacked!

Derrik and Coria rushed forward, easily cutting through the chameleon women on the ground. Meanwhile, Aniria and Alan dealt with the Chameleon Woman Sorceresses who remained on the ceiling, but not before taking fairly heavy damage from their Shatter spells.

The group was surprised at how ill-equipped their foes seemed to be at fighting mammals. In only a few moments, one final Chameleon Woman remained, and Anrira ran forward to incapacitate it with her warhammer, hoping to gain some insight into their foes.

Derrik began to dig through their possessions, finding some unique items: a scroll of Rust Object, a scroll that only Alan could use that was for an esoteric spell called Steal Face, and a small golden coin with an eye on one side and a mouth on the other. Coria inspected the coin, but in all her travels she had never seen the design of this coin before.

Meanwhile, Aniria asked their captive some questions. She didn't get much information, but she did learn that the Chameleon Women belonged to the Neonate Empire, and this maze was some kind of holy site for them. The group decided to bind her hands and lead her along with them.

When they reached Chronia's Room, they found her trying to play music from a lute, which quickly grew and blossomed and rotted in her touch. Derrik, feeling bad for the tragic time-goddess, played her a song on his own lute, which delighted her. She was happy to tell them more information about the dungeon that she had picked up during their absence.

She was still looking for clothes that would not age, and she had heard of a path to get to the Reptile Archives where they might be held. The party simply had to travel through the gallery and go "up the stairs" and they would find the Archives.

They also told Chronia of their adventures, and she thought the medusa Psathyrella would be delighted to hear that one of the pesky liches was no longer haunting the maze. Chronia advised them to go and seek out the medusa themselves, and let her know. She would certainly be very friendly about it.

The group left the Chameleon Woman with Chronia and made their way into the first room of the gallery. Derrik cast Comprehend Languages, and was able to read the plaques that adorned the walls next to an archway made of goat skulls and a caged gorilla. It seemed that everything in here was actually a piece of art.

Aniria, with help from Coria, decided to free the gorilla after learning that it was being held captive against its will. The ape bounded off into Chronia's room, which was followed by an "oh my!" and some crashing noises, then silence.

The group wandered onward, from artwork to artwork. They saw some incredibly detailed paintings of their own wounds, a strange mosaic-pit, a ticking leather balloon, and a shifting sea mosaic with another note from the mysterious "Levalliant G." beneath it.

They found a wax statue of a goblin, which kept screaming at Aniria to give it "the thing". Alan tried to melt it, but it persisted. Eventually, Aniria gave it a iron climbing spike, and it was silent. It just sat in the corner of the room, clutching the spike.

Derrik, meanwhile, had noticed that the strange eye-coin seemed to be looking at him. He poked the eye and it yelped in pain, which lead him to begin interrogating the coin.

The coin revealed that it was actually a piece of Torcul Wort, the golden monster-child they had evaded in the Dead Wedding. He was happy they had killed his mother, but irked they hadn't returned as promised. He wanted to watch them until they fulfilled their promise.

In the next room, they attempted to evade slowly bobbing globes, which ended up splashing them with paint upon contact. Aniria's clothes were ruined. Alan was terrified of his clothes being painted over, and Coria decided to simply run through all the floating orbs of paint and get splashed by all of them. She became a rainbow-colored dinosaur!

The group also found a massive Orrery that seemed to align with many stars and planets. Aniria rushed forward to turn it on, and it spun around. However, she wasn't able to align it to the real stars.

They passed by an anti-painting and met their opposite selves, Kerrid, Nala, Airina, and Airoc. The opposites were busy exploring the straight corridor of the red golem. The party wanted to try and interact with their alternate selves, but Alan said that might be a bad idea.

In the next room, the party found a small green figurine that filled the room with magic gas. Once they had breathed it in, they suddenly had to behave as if they weren't on an adventure at all or risk losing a random limb. Of course, it was at that exact moment that more chameleon women attacked them.

They managed to justify fleeing the room while still behaving in an oddly aristocratic manner, as dictated by the gas. The chameleon women began losing limbs from their obstinence about their behavior, and before long only a shamaness remained. As the effects of the gas wore off, Derrik finished off the magic user easily.

But they weren't out of trouble yet. They were suddenly surrounded by men in bird masks, demanding their gold. Derrik convinced them they had none, and Aniria tossed them a gold piece. The group was out of hot water for the moment, and decided to head back to Chronia's room to rest for a bit.

Aniria was badly hurt in the fight, and Coria gave her a Goodberry to recover. However, she nearly choked on a small piece of paper inside the berry. Coria was confused as to how it got there. The paper had a cryptic message about "moral decay" and "falling", but Aniria couldn't make heads or tails of it and ignored it.

When they made it back, they were surprised to see their captive chameleon woman was gone. Chronia said she had apologized, and so had been let go. The party wasn't too pleased about that, but Chronia was more or less a god. They didn't say anything to her about it.

Having completed a loop through the southernmost areas of the Gallery, Coria lead the group back in and northward. They passed a golden apple on a pedestal, with "to the fairest" written on it. The group decided that between Aniria's scruffy nature, Derrik's roughness, and Coria's animal musk, Alan was easily the fairest of the group. They also noted that he didn't get outside much, meaning he was even more fair.

Alan grabbed the apple, and the pedestal began dissolving. The group argued while they figured out what was happening, and Alan took a bite of the apple when the pedestal was nearly completely gone. As soon as he did, it was restored, and the apple became mundane. Alan put it in his bag.

The next room featured an aquarium full of milk and meat, with odd floating eyeballs. The group could hear some talking from the next room over, and they peeked inside.

They saw a full compliment of twenty cannibals, lead by two who were wearing stone crowns and discussing whether or not the group itself constituted "art". Aniria, not thinking twice, called upon her Spirit Guardians and charged into view of the enemy.

Coria, shaking her head at Aniria's brashness, summoned a Moonlight spell to harm any cannibals who were about to rush at Aniria. Between the Guardians and the Moonlight, the charging cannibals nearly all were vaporized before they could even get close to Aniria.

One of the crowned cannibals bemoaned the fate of his companions, however, he charged as well. Alan and Derrik took care of the stragglers, and without much fanfare the room was cleared.

The group looted the many bodies, finding a rolled up painting of a sun that actually glowed, a note that said "possibly under the water-wheels but it's dangerous" and a key marked #61.

The party pressed onward, and they discovered a room with an empty pedestal in it. The plaque on the pedestal marked it as "The Lion in Lapis Lazuli", the blue construct they had destroyed in Chronia's Halls.

They weren't at all sad about it, either.

We stopped there for the night, since we actually did this session on a Thursday. I might start doing more week sessions like this, which leads to shorter games but seem easier to schedule.

Plus, it gives me more time to play on the weekends! I'm thinking I need a new campaign...

Thanks for reading!

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