Monday, August 21, 2017

Monday Recap: Framed

Another month, another session of Maze of the Blue Medusa. I had to come up with a bunch of cool loot to give my players, and they actually found some of it.Which can only mean I must make more loot. The cycle continues!

Also, at this point we're actually starting to get into some spoilers for Maze of the Blue Medusa. If you plan to play this campaign, you may wish to turn back now!

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 6 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: Framed

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
Liz: Guest NPC Gibba Gognata, caterpillar/snake child of the medusa, loves eating stone and people who let him eat stone

When we last left the party, they had been wandering through the art gallery housed in the maze. They explored several rooms before stumbling into the room that once held the Lion in Lapis Lazuli, a rude beast which they had dispatched earlier.

As they explored the surrounding rooms, Aniria heard the sound of chewing behind them. Sure enough, it was their friend Gibba Gognata, sneaking around and eating the walls. Gibba technically wasn't supposed to be doing so, by his mother's rules, but the adventurers didn't mind.

They explored several rooms, including one that made them irrationally angry and one that made them irrationally afraid, both based on artworks by the same person, one Milo de Fretwell. Coria and Aniria didn't approve of his overtly-emotional artwork.

The group held hands and crossed the fear-colored room, lead by Coria, who was able to suppress the effects of the artwork on herself. They emerged in a room with a large metal tree holding up glass globes. One of them had fallen and shattered, apparently killing the cannibal who had been standing below it. Alan wanted to grab a sphere for later, but the group persuaded him not to.

From here, they explored several smaller galleries. They found a portrait of a beautiful woman, who they quickly realized was Charity Torn, one of the three God-sisters of the Church of the Triad.

The characters were surprised to find that the painting could talk, but only had knowledge from the point in Charity's life when the portrait was created. They asked her some questions about the empire she once ruled, but unfortunately, she couldn't help them much in the maze.

As the group was preparing to leave, they were suddenly attacked by more of the bird-masked men, who demanded they give over their valuables. The group attacked, but it quickly became clear that Charity's painting held some of her powers: they struggled to do any harm to the bird-men, and vice versa!

After a few rounds of flailing about uselessly, Aniria decided to put a Fog Cloud up over the painting. Charity, who had rarely ever seen anyone being harmed before, was saddened to miss the chance to see violence, but the group made quick work of several bird-men before they scampered off.

Exploring the other rooms in the gallery, they saw some mosaics and curtains. Apparently, everything here was a strange and unusual work of art, and many of them dangerous, as passing through the curtains caused flames to lick at Aniria's heels. The group found another work by Milo de Fretwell, this one a gemstone mask attached to a skeleton. They decided to leave it alone.

Finally, they came to a dead end. A large aquarium full of lazy fish was the last room in the gallery. However, the sight of the fish caused strange things to happen to Derrik, Aniria, and Gibba. Derrik began to believe he was a polar bear, and leapt in the aquarium to eat a fish. Aniria jumped in too, but only to immediately grab a fish and try to strangle it. Meanwhile, Gibba suddenly felt the need to give his opinion on everything.

At that moment, a few cannibals burst into the room, demanding that the artwork wasn't to be interfered with. With two of their party members underwater, Alan decided to simply immolate their guests with a well-placed Fireball. Afterwards, he combined his Burning Hands spell with Coria's tail swipe to break the glass of the aquarium and free their friends.

The party retraced their footsteps back to the room that once contained the Lion in Lapis Lazuli, taking a short rest in a small red-colored room that seemed to repel the dangers of the gallery. They then pressed through the anger-colored room to explore the next section of the gallery.

They saw an empty room, a fish-like geode floating through an area, and a wispy sculpture that spoke strange whispers which only Derrik could understand. They passed by a corpse with some wax on it, followed by a line of statues with lanterns instead of faces. This made Coria a bit worried.

The group found a foot-long jade locust, which Derrik realized was incredibly valuable. He quietly stuffed it in his bag.

The group explored a large room full of pillars and a huge sculpture of a pair of hands, connected at the wrist. The hands took Derrik's bag, removed the jade locust, and put it back on its pedestal, waving an admonishing finger. However, as soon as the group left the room, Derrik grabbed the statue again.

They wandered into a large, long room that held a wire cage. The cage was as large as a house and oddly shaped like one. Inside, an emaciated and naked man watched them with hopeful eyes.

He told them his name was Ralph, and that he had been an amateur artist trapped here by the Lich Xanthoceras for being a romantic rival of the God-sister Zamia Torn. The cage was cursed, it would have to be destroyed before he could escape.

Aniria, finally in a room large enough for her Call Lightning spell, cast it and began blasting the cage with bolts of electricity. At the sound, the large hand sculpture burst into the room. Ralph told the characters it was the curator of the artwork, and would certainly kill them for breaking the artwork. Behind the hands stood the eight statues with lamps instead of faces, apparently waiting for the group to be in a vulnerable spot.

The hands leapt forward, bludgeoning Coria until her allosaurus form fell. Alan and Derrik rushed forward to help, while Aniria stayed back to blast the hands with lightning. Coria re-formed into her dino shape, and together the group made quick work of the statue. Gibba, excited to eat stone, began to munch away.

Meanwhile, the lamp-faced statues attacked, trying to grapple the characters into an embrace that would bring their lamp-faces right up to the adventurer's. One by one, the stone men fell, and one by one Gibba gobbled up their pieces. By the time they were done, the group was tired, but victorious. Aniria finished blasting the cage and Ralph was freed.

Gibba slithered around Ralph, delighting in creeping him out. Anrira lent him a fur coat so he wouldn't be naked, and he told them he knew his way around the gallery a bit.

Ralph lead them through a room with an odd sculpture and a room with large spheres in it, warning them of the danger in both rooms. They found a room with a perch in it, which turned out to be the home of the bejeweled hummingbird they had met several times on their journey. Gibba thought it looked delicious.

The group found (and killed) a weird Rat-leopard hybrid while Gibba used a bone to lure the hummingbird down. With a decisive snap, Gibba ate the bird! Thus ended the life of a small creature that had plagued the adventurers since the beginning. Nobody was too sad about it though.

In the next room, the group found a bunch of paintings and the stairs to the Reptile Archives, where they could supposedly find clothing for Chronia and possibly an exit to the Maze. Having found the location, they decided to return to the island in the maze and let Ralph out.

On their way back, they fought some more Chameleon Women, and Ralph told them more about some of the artwork in the gallery. As they passed by Chronia's room, she waved and remarked on how she had thought they possessed better taste in company.

Aniria and Derrik decided to stop by and see what Chronia meant by that, while the others followed Ralph to a nearby mural to ask him about it.

Chronia revealed that the mans' name wasn't Ralph at all, but he was, in fact, Milo de Fretwell, of horrifying artwork fame. He had been imprisoned not for loving Zamia, but for killing her. Aniria was aghast, and stormed over to him.

With little warning, she picked him up and demanded answers, after casting Zone of Truth. He mumbled half-answers and avoided questions, until Aniria finally killed him with an Inflict Wounds spell. In his dying words, he told them how Zamia had been his most perfect work of art.

The group, sufficiently creeped out, headed up the mysterious staircase and out of the maze. Gibba had to stay behind, since he knew the people outside would see him as a monster.

Outside, the group was happy to be free of the maze. Coria checked her star chart and determined, happily, that they were indeed still on Ahneria. Derrik rolled around on the grass, and Aniria hugged a tree. Alan seemed a bit sad to be out of the adventure.

They headed down into the small, simple port town, on a small island surrounded by horrifying fortress-boats controlled by the chameleon women.

We stopped there for the session. The players got to level up this time, since figuring out and killing Milo de Fretwell was one way they could do so. They are also itching for some town gaming, and I'm happy to oblige - if they like the simple, god-fearing folk of Eliator.

I'm not sure when the next game will happen, but rest assured, it will be up here when it does!

Thanks for reading!

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