Monday, October 30, 2017

Monday Recap: Tunnels in Time

We got together for a session of Maze of the Blue Medusa this weekend. It was a somewhat brief session, but the players managed to make it fun anyway!

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 8 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: Tunnels in Time

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

When we last left our heroes, they had just defeated the pipe demon Carnifex and gathered some nice loot. The group knew that they couldn't go back the way they came without running into Lady Crucem Capilli, who had threatened to burn the maze down if they didn't return with a sentient creature who had given consent to be "collected" by her.

The party explored a side-room near the pipes and found a vine-choked room with a hole leading to a tunnel in the ceiling. Alan and Coria, being the smaller members of the party, decided to crawl around the tunnels and check them out.

Unfortunately, they didn't notice the Chameleon women stalking them until too late, and when they reached the next open area in the tunnels, their foes attacked! Aniria and Derrik heard the ruckus and began to crawl to the rescue!

The warriors of the Neonate Empire tore into Coria and Alan with tooth and machete. Coria, unable to transform into a dinosaur, fought back using her scimitar, while Alan summoned a Flaming Sphere to protect himself. However, both of them weren't faring well against the barrage of attacks.

Finally, Derrik and Aniria arrived on the scene, jumping down from the tunnels into the open room where the attack had taken place. Aniria crushed some heads with her warhammer, while Derrik's greataxe made quick work of the lizards attacking Coria.

The group gathered themselves, and found that the vines lead northward. They heard terrible moans coming from that way, and Aniria rushed forward to see if she could help.

However, a gruesome sight greeted their eyes. The room was full of horrible beings composed of two different creatures fused together in awful ways. They cried and screamed for death. Their bodies were twisted and broken.

Aniria sadly began to grant them their wish, to put them out of their misery. The others joined in, using magic and weaponry to end the sad lives. As she finished off the last being, it warned her of the thing that did this to them - just beyond a door to the east. The group decided not to go that direction, since it was likely that the Loving Lich was laired there.

In the next area, they found a giant rose that smelled sweet with sap. Derrik poked it with his sword that let him read the minds of plants, and learned that the rose desperately wanted him to get in its bulb. Coria though that sounded like a bad idea, and that they should instead go up to another tunnel hole in the ceiling, the only direction that didn't involve going through that eastward door.

The group crawled through the vine-tunnels for quite some time. After traveling a good distance, Coria heard voices and movement up ahead. They called out, and sentient creatures answered them. The party decided to approach, cautiously.

They came face to face with the adventuring party they had unfrozen from a rogue time elemental long ago, back before they had found the island or even met Chronia. The adventurers spoke in a dialect of common that sounded centuries old, but they seemed friendly. Their leader, a fighter named Citrina, told them that he sought a bounty reward from the Medusa for the captured Time Elemental. The characters decided not to mention that they had freed the elemental.

Citrina suggested they go to the bar, close to where they had just come from. Derrik seconded, and the parties carried forward.

They finally reached the end of the tunnels, and spilled out into a room that looked a lot like the Dead Wedding area. Coria marked it down on her map. Citrina introduced the rest of his party, a thief named Zoothera, a cleric named Plain-Leaf Neglectus, and a magic user named O'Cephalus.

Citrina said there were two ways to get to the bar: one, they'd have to deal with some ghostly creatures, the other, they'd have to navigate a trap. The party chose the trap, and they went into the next room.

The room was full of censers of incense hanging from the ceiling. Derrik used a mage hand to bump one, and the incense self-ignited, causing a poof of smoke to rise from it. The group figured out they would have to move cautiously.

However, as they were doing so, they were shot at by nearly a dozen Oku, peeking in from an archway! Alan took several shots and nearly went down from the pain. Aniria bumped into a censer, and began loudly questioning people's opinions. It seemed the smoke had some kind of magical effect.

Coria and Aniria took advantage on the fact that the Oku were clumped together at the door, and unleashed a Thunderwave and Ice Storm that obliterated the bird-masked men. Zoothera finished the last one off with a well-placed arrow.

Coria wanted to map the room the Oku had hid out in, and the group explored it for a bit. They also made sure to relieve the dead Oku of their valuables. Aniria got a small rock that looked like a goblin (which she named Gibbles), Derrik found a note scribbled with random words, Alan found a book titled "Liches: A Treatise", and Coria found another key, this one marked "#19".

Finally, the group found a familiar "face" - the severed hand with an eye sewn into the palm and a snake body on the wrist: the ally of Torgos Zooth, Mr. Grasp. This time, the little flesh construct didn't bother playing dead, but instead slithered up to Alan and perched on his shoulder. The group concluded that Torgos was keeping an eye on them and decided they should probably get searching for his missing sons.

They also found a huge stone head situated in the room. Aniria started having a conversation with it, while Neglectus and Derrik read some ancient writing on the base. Apparently it was the purvey of someone called the Elephant King, which made Neglectus very excited as he was a cleric of an Elephant God.

(Just a side note here. Jackie, one of the players, is a language nerd and enjoys texts and fictional languages. The entire time they hung out with the Un-Frozen Adventurers, I was throwing around "thee"s and "thou"s at random, and adding "-ith"s to the ends of all sorts of words, which was really annoying her. So when they translated this poem, I made a point to say it rhymed in the original language but not in the common tongue. This made her very happy, as it never makes sense for something to rhyme in multiple languages. The moral here is know your players! If you're doing something that annoys a player, make sure to throw in something fun for them later on. Fun is the number one goal!)

The parties traveled towards the bar, meeting two helpful but hollow-headed constructs and clearing some blood-soaking vines along the way. They finally reached the liquor, and Derrik began to grab bottles from the shelves for drinking.

Citrina and Neglectus poured themselves a drink, and Aniria and Coria tried to get more information about the maze from them. Meanwhile, Alan and O'Cephalus compared magic notes, while Zoothera watched closely.

One of the constructs tapped its chalice-like head, and Derrik decided to pour liquor into it. Suddenly, the construct began to talk like the people from the country where the liquor was made - it explained that it could replicate the persona and abilities of the creator of any liquid it kept in its head. Derrik found this wonderful and poured some dwarven ale in the other one.

Meanwhile, Coria used her mapping skills to figure out where they were, and how they could get back to somewhere they knew. They were actually quite close to Lady Crucem Capilli, but also to Tyko Wort's room - a safe spot where they could take a much-needed rest.

Derrik found an empty bottle containing a note from the mysterious Levelliant G, and the others realized that he had nearly cleaned out the bar. Fortunately, this did nothing to combat his already drunk demeanor, and only Aniria was feeling unusually tipsy.

The two adventuring parties split ways, the Un-Frozen Adventurers still hoping to figure out where their Time Elemental quarry had gone off to. Our heroes decided to venture towards a resting spot.

They opened the next door and heard a slight tinkling sound. Inside, a small pixie was trapped in a birdcage. She gave them a very sassy look and told them they were about to get eaten.

As they asked what she meant, the southern door in the room burst open, and a horrible shark-man-beast with two gnashing mouths snaked into the room. Alan reflexively threw up a wall of fire, which pushed the beast back. It tried to dual-cast a spell using its two mouths, but the group resisted. They fired magic at the monster until it collapsed from its wounds.

The pixie seemed fairly impressed, but quickly turned the conversation to any juicy gossip the adventurers had heard about other denizens of the maze. They gladly exchanged information, and the pixie introduced herself as Ysanne. Aniria mentioned that they had found a squashed pixie that seemed to be her mother, but Ysanne was barely affected by the news.

Ysanne told them to beware the Medusa. Coria mentioned that Chronia seemed to like her, but Ysanne pointed out that the people who liked the Medusa were mainly the ones she couldn't petrify. She also told them that the person mostly likely to steal Torgos Zooth's kids was See-Me-No-More, a mad mathematician located in the reptile archives. He had the power to turn invisible upon saying his name, but everybody knew that he turned back if you said "See-More".

The party thanked Ysanne for the information and asked her if she wanted to be freed. The pixie actually asked to stay, as she enjoyed having an excuse to not go looking for her sister. The party shrugged and complied before going on their way.

They made it back to Tyko Wort's room, and found him playing with Marquis Aeolis and Lady Torc. The exhausted heroes snuggled up and took a rest, planning to find this "See-Me-No-More" when they awoke.

Whew! It was a short session, but they did accomplish a fair bit. Hopefully, next time we'll be able to travel to the Reptile Archives and explore a brand-new area! Whenever we meet again, that is.

Thanks for reading!

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