Monday, December 18, 2017

Monday Recap: The Fall of Torcul

The current party dynamic... thanks to Jackie for the art!
We got together for another session of Maze of the Blue Medusa, possibly my last D&D game in 2017. Don't worry, I've got something planned for next week's article.

That said, this was a pretty short and unfocused session. I kind of see this as a stepping stone session between major arcs - the players wrapped up a few loose ends and finished off some monsters so they could freely head to the last couple sections of the maze. I'm guessing the game has 6-7 more sessions left.

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 9 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: The Fall of Torcul

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

When we last left our heroes, they were resting up in the chambers that Tyko Wort protected. They had spent their time recuperating and talking to Lady Torc and Marquis Aeolis, the couple who had been locked in time for about 5,000 years and were recently freed. The party wanted to help them get somewhere safe, and outside the maze.

Coria suggested they take the couple to Elatior, the island on Ahneria they had discovered was connected to the maze. The Marquis thought that sounded like a good idea, and had a way to repay them. He went to Zaccheus, the mechanical peacock, and ordered him to give himself over to Lady Crucem Capilli, who was looking for a creature who consented to being a part of her collection.

The group delivered Zaccheus to Lady Crucem Capilli, the dragon-in-human-form who was collecting objects from the maze. They seemed to be just in time - it had been a while since they had last spoken to her and she was getting nearly impatient enough to destroy the maze and everything in it. She was delighted to see the party returned, and immediately gave them a new task: bring her a small oddity or curio, in mint condition.

The heroes regrouped with the Lady and the Marquis, and lead them through Chronia's Halls to the stairs leading up/down to the island of Elatior. Their passage was mercifully quiet, and when they reached the top they were greeted by the sleepy village with the night's stars hanging overhead.

There weren't many people around, but they sent Lady Torc and Marquis Aeolis down towards the little village anyway. Assured of their safety, the party returned down the stairway while debating what their next course of action should be.

They ended up deciding to finally visit Torcul Wort, who had requested their presence some time ago. Along the way, they fought another Negamancer (a chameleon person who controlled thrall mammals and used magic to undo time), finding a note describing three types of Gems and some strange uses of them. It was very vague, but mentioned a phylactery, so the group copied it down.

They wandered through the halls of the Dead Wedding, moving quickly since they had already passed through this area multiple times before. Along the way, Aniria grabbed Tyko Wort, their ghost boy friend. They reached the room near Torcul's that contained the Angel-fish, and Aniria used her Control Water spell to create a safe passage for them. They crossed the room, passed through a storage area, and entered the lair of Torcul Wort.

Torcul Wort, they had learned previously, was a son of Sophoria Wort, the Lying Lich they had killed a while back. He was a construct, made of gold, built in order to judge those who lied and cheated with their money. He wasn't human, but he was a small, child-like creation.

Now, however, he had grown into a bulbous and grotesque form, absorbing gold until he poured liquid gold from his form, gold fell from his lips as he spoke, and the room swirled with molten, shifting golden forms. He called them by the names they had "earned" by how they used or spent their money, including calling Derrik a "Murderer" and Coria a "Prude" (for rejecting money at all).

Aniria wanted to hug Torcul and make him feel better, but he was inconsolable. He had been told by a mysterious "someone" that the group had been responsible for the destruction of his Golden Engine, and for the death of his mother Sophorina Wort. His anger had given way to murderous rage, and he summoned forth minions of Gold to fight alongside him. He even summoned the gold right from the pockets of the adventurers to augment his strength!

The heroes, faced with such a foe, decided to leave.

Coria morphed into her Allosaurus form and snatched up Alan, even as he sent a massive Fireball into Torcul's golden forms. Derrik bolted, taking a massive slam attack as he turned his back on the fight, and Aniria sent the water containing the Angelfish surging toward Torcul. The fish and the Golden beast fought, giving the group time to gain a lead on their foe.

The heroes pressed forward, assuming they would be running all the way out of the maze. They stopped briefly to grab Tyko's ashes, hoping that taking his body with them would allow him to leave the maze. However, they could hear the pounding sound behind them, signalling Torcul was soon to arrive. Alan laid down a Wall of Fire to stop him, but they kept running.

Finally, the group reached an impasse: They had to choose between passing through a room containing a trap that would certainly slow them down but wouldn't stop them, or a room with a trap that might stop them completely. Coria went for the latter, just as Torcul burst into sight behind them, coating the walls and floor in gold. He was smaller now, nearer to his child-like form.

The room they were in had a pitch-black tar-like floor with six small green emeralds, carved like eyes, floating around in it. As Coria rushed through the room, two of the eyes floated near her and she was suddenly paralyzed! The rest of the group came to a halt and tumbled from her back.

Unfortunately, Derrik and Aniria landed right next to the other eyes and froze in place as well, starting to sink into the tar-like floor. Alan, doing some quick math, realized it took two eyes to paralyze a creature, and started scooping up the emeralds to free his companions!

Derrik turned and tried to reason with Torcul. However, they learned that he had nothing left to live for, since his entire purpose in activating the golden engine and killing the wedding guests was to get back at his mother, who was now dead. He begged them to put him out of his misery.

Alan, unparalyzed, shot a powerful Scorching Ray at Torcul. In his diminished form, he couldn't take any more and melted into a puddle of gold. All that remained of him was a small golden coin with an eye on one side and a mouth on the other - a form of his they had seen before. Aniria picked up the tiny coin and hugged it as hard as she could.

The threat gone, Derrik's eyes began to glaze over at the prospect of the massive amounts of gold covering the hallways. After much insisting, the group agreed to scrape as much gold up from the walls as they could.

Along the way, they fended off a pair of Chemeleon Women and a couple of Cannibals from the art gallery. Derrik found a spiffy new instrument being carried around by the Cannibals, and Coria found a pouch of Diamond Dust that she and Aniria could use to cast Greater Restoration. This would come in handy later, when they would be able to turn statues back into their creature forms.

Pockets filled, the heroes decided to go back up to the island village and lay Tyko Wort's remains to rest. However, their journey had an unexpected ending - the Bondye Reparte and Lady Nine-bones, leaders of the island's religion, had leveled machetes at them!

"You have some things to answer for..." growled Lady Nine-bones.

That's all for this session! Like I said, shorter. And since this group of players has less familial obligations than most of my other players, it looks like we'll be meeting again in January! I'm really enjoying how this campaign is ramping up in intensity as we push forward.

Thanks for reading!

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