Monday, June 18, 2018

Monday Recap: Puzzling, isn't it?

It's time for Hyon!
(Quick note: Due to some scheduling mix-ups, I didn't get a chance to post an article on Friday. Unfortunately, due to my writing schedule, I'm going to have to push the Failed Magic Items (G) article off until June 29th. That way, we'll still have the next Creature Loot article up this week. Again, apologies for the missed upload! -Jon)

Hello everyone, it's Makayla again. It's been a bit since we last had a session for Jandar's Lions. Hopefully it was worth the wait.

This article is part 3 of a series. The campaign is ongoing.
Part 1 | Part 2 | Part 3 | Part 4 | Part 5 |

Jandar's Lions: Puzzling, isn't it?

Jandar's Lions Crew:
Makayla: Dungeon Master
Jon: Captain Jandar Monroe, Human Paladin, Explorer of the Horizon (As of 1 week ago), tries not to kill things.
Wes: Barry the Basher, Mountain Dwarf Barbarian, has many memories of his mother, superb angler, can't write.
Tom: "Barth" Perth, Human Rogue, likes to challenge Jandar with moral quandaries, can't take a hit or drink alcohol.
Shannon: Otaroinae “A’ro’wan” Kalepeach, Water Genasi-Halfling Coast Druid, thoroughly enjoys being in and around water, likes to 'kelp' people.
NPCs: Lin and Dekkard: High Elf Blade Bard and Mountain Dwarf Eldritch Knight, First-Mate and Purser, respectively. Jandar's Friends.

When we last left our heroes, Jandar and co. had found a peculiar island. However, there was a more pressing matter at hand: Hyon DeDonta's ship. Hyon was the ruthless captain that Jandar initially had served under 10 years ago. Jandar prepared his crew for battle, preparing for whatever may come.

When the two ships were within shouting distance, the two captains exchanged words, with Jandar attempting to diffuse the situation, and Hyon refusing to hear out Jandar. While this occurs, Jandar had Otaroinae go underwater and attempt to disable Hyon's ship's rudder. She managed to cast Entangle on it, and prepared to climb up to the enemy's deck.

After the ships were within boarding distance, Jandar and co. (minus Lin) managed to board Hyon's ship. Otaroinae managed to Thunderwave a pair of the crew, Dekkard knocked one out with ease, and Barth threw a man overboard. Barry held off another crew member while Jandar cast Compelled Duel on Hyon, and proceeded to attack him with Divine Smite.

The battle swayed quickly in Jandar's Lions' favor, with Barth killing the helmsman without remorse, and Barry knocking out a crewman fighting Dekkard. Jandar managed to take down Hyon without so much as a scratch on himself. Jandar held his blade over Hyon's neck, and told him to call off his crew. Hyon reluctantly did so before passing out. Jandar took Hyon's magic pendant as spoils for the battle.

A brief look over the ship after the battle revealed that a pair of rowboats were missing, having gone ashore to the island. In addition, Barth found some Cast Off Armor in the hold, and Jandar took the Cast Off Chain Shirt, while Otaroinae and Barth both took a set of the leather version.

Jandar briefly contemplated taking both ships and leaving those on the island to whatever fate befell them, but Otaroinae managed to convince him that it might be worth checking out. Hyon wouldn't have come to the island for no reason, so Jandar interrogated one of the crew, learning they brought digging supplies and were investigating something that the captain was keeping quiet about.

Jandar gave orders to Lin and Dekkard to shoot at any enemies approaching the ship, saying that their own safety should come first. He gathered his adventure team and set off in a rowboat for the island, with two additions: Hyon (tied up and being held like a backpack by Barry), and the dead helmsman brought along by Barth, who convinced the captain it was so the corpse could be properly buried.

As they arrived at the island, the shape seemed strange. There was sand up to a set of large, stone spires leaning inwards, with a hole in the middle where the sand had been dug out, revealing a cave. The group entered the cave and began investigating. The walls were oddly shaped, shaped like a wave about three meters wide and a half meter deep. Barry identified the stone as being something similar to petrified stone or a fossil. Definitely not a natural formation.

Surely not suspicious. Not suspicious at all.
The crew delved deeper into the cave, eventually hearing sounds echoing off the walls. Jandar put out his torch and the crew was able to perceive light further ahead. They formulated a plan where  Otaroinae would put out the torches, and Barth would throw the dead body over to them. They pair were relatively close when one of the enemy crew noticed them. Barth still threw the body, and Jandar and Barry started running to catch up to them. Otaroinae meanwhile got a good look at the wall, and realized it was wooden, with intricate carvings all over it.

After reaching his friends, Jandar recognized the first mate of Hyon's crew, Richardson, and called out to him. They talked briefly, with Jandar having Barry show that they had knocked out Hyon. Jandar managed to convince Richardson to take Hyon's ship as his own. Richardson then walked away, saying that they were wasting their time with Hyon's theory that the wall could be opened, mentioning that Hyon had been looking for something related to Fharlanghn. In addition, Jandar warned him not to leave quite just yet, as he had given the rest of his crew standing orders to shoot at anyone leaving that wasn't Jandar and co.

Jandar, intrigued by this, went up to the wall and ran his hand along it. As his hand touched the center, it started glowing bright purple, with the light continuing to spread throughout the carved patterns. The archway carving in front of Jandar faded, revealing a hallway into a large, lit chamber. He called back to Richardson, who came back and seemed baffled, yet uninterested, turning around and leaving it for Jandar and co. to explore.

The group, with Hyon and dead helmsman (that Barth picked back up) in tow, entered what Jandar's Divine Sense and Otaroinae's Detect Magic showed was a powerful area. The area was hallowed and contained all forms of magic. The chamber was cubic, moderately lit. The walls, floor, and ceiling appeared to be made from a smooth, grain-less dark wood, with spherical purple lights moving just underneath the surface continually in intricate patterns. An indentation where the walls meet the ceiling and the floors is glowing faintly purple and appears almost white, providing enough light for the whole room.

Like a whole room made of this
The archway behind them glowed, and the 'door' faded back into existence. With only the archway in front of them open, the group pressed forward into the hall it led into. As each of the group entered the hall, a light appeared on the door in front of them. Jandar found it odd that one did not appear for Hyon.

Hyon had finally managed to wake up, finding himself in an awkward position, being bound and held like a backpack by Barry. Jandar attempted to get information on what this place was, but Hyon told him simply that it wasn't what his crew had thought it was, and he refused to say much more than that. He seemed to be extremely annoyed that Jandar had simply touched the wall to open it. The group decided to ignore him ignoring them and continued forwards.

As the group approached the door, the four lights spun in a circle around the center of the door. Jandar put his hand on the door, and it opened in the same way as the first. The four lights went across the walls and rested above four of the five doors in the room, each door's edge lighting up purple. The fifth door, directly across from them, had a red glow around its edge. Each of the doors had a different pattern in its center.

Jandar decided that each person should put their hand on the door that most represented them at the same time. Otaroinae went to the wave pattern door, Jandar went to the light pattern door, Barry went to the Mountain pattern door, and Barth went to the unknown pattern door. The unknown pattern was many lines going to (or from) a central point. Each of them put their hands on the doors at the same time, and the four doors opened.

Inside the wave door, Otaroinae saw a pool of water. Inside the light door, Jandar saw plinths with objects on them. Inside of the mountain door, Barry saw suits of armor. And finally, inside of the unknown door, Barth saw a pillar with something glowing red around it.

The group decided to take on the water door first. Inside the room with the pool of water in it, they found a hole in the wall above the water, and two passages below the water. One of the passages below had a grate in front of it. The group did what they had done in the past, and tied a rope to Otaroinae. 

Otaroinae went into the open passage and found one of the purple lights stationary in a convex part of the wall. She touched it and watched the light drop to the floor, pass under the grate, and light up another convex part on the other side of the grate. Shortly thereafter, the light came back and the grate closed. She came up and told the rest of the crew that she would head to the other side.

After repeating what she had done before, Otaroinae quickly swam after the light, crossing over to the other side of the grate. She went further forwards and found the passage turned upwards, ending up on the other side of the hole in the wall. In this room, there were two convex light holders on opposite walls, however they seemed to do nothing when pressed alone. The group had a quick discussion through the hole in the wall, and it was decided that Barry would go with Otaroinae to press the other convex light holder.

After another brief swim, Otaroinae and Barry pressed the lights in unison, and the lights zipped out through the hole in the wall, passing through the water pool room and out into the main chamber. Jandar went out to check, and the lights had combined into one light at the bottom left side of the red glowing arch. He deduced that they would have to solve the other three puzzles as well in order to advance.

The group left the wave door and moved onto the light door room. In this room, the group found sixteen plinths with holy symbols on them. There were three plinths that had a light on the wall behind them, and an empty plinth in the center of the room. Jandar became excited when he found one dedicated to Fharlanghn. When he picked it up, it glowed in his hand. He tried putting it on the central plinth, but it didn't react. He tried putting it on the plinth closest to where he found it, and the light seemed to react.

Fharlanghn: God of Adventure!
Jandar then went to another section of the room, where the symbols looked damaged, and he found one dedicated to The Raven Queen that seemed to be desecrated. After having Otaroinae repair it, he tried putting it on the central pedestal, and the light from the Fharlanghn symbol went down the wall, across the floor, and into the plinth below The Raven Queen's symbol. One quick Divine Sense later, and Jandar found a Pelor symbol and a Beory symbol that were also empowered.

After placing the remaining two symbols on their respective light plinths, the lights all entered the plinth below The Raven Queen's symbol and spun around. Jandar watched the desecration leave the symbol, and the lights then left the plinth and left the room. With another puzzle solved, and another light on the red edged door, the group felt they were making progress.

The group then advanced to the unknown door, wanting to leave what they felt might be a battle until last. They found themselves in a large room with a pillar in the middle that had lights at the top of it, but appeared dangerous to climb. The pillar was surrounded by a glowing red area that felt as if it would be hot when Jandar put his hand over it, yet did nothing to the water that Otaroinae poured onto it. In the corners of the room, there were white lights on the walls, floor, and ceiling. Jandar ordered everyone to a corner, and once again had everyone touch the white lights at the same time.

The group did so, only to find that another light appeared next to the light that they had just touched. Jandar once again counted down and had everyone touch the lights at the same time. As they did so, they fell onto the walls. Jandar took a moment, realized what had happened, and proceeded to walk up the wall which was now his floor. Barth, still holding a dead body, found that the body was still pulled towards the actual floor. Barry noticed the same thing with Hyon still tied to his backside.

After a quick test to see if two people could stand on the same wall at the same time, and a brief meeting, the group had a plan. Barry put Hyon down and Otaroinae tied a rope around her waist. Barry went onto the wall, picked up and carried Otaroinae up the wall. After crossing over to the ceiling, Barry carefully lowered Otaroinae down so she could touch the part of the pillar holding the lights. As she did so, the lights went down the pillar and out of the room.

With another puzzle down, and having returned the groups gravity back to normal, they headed into the final door. There they found three sets of armor standing in the center of the room, with a fourth set of armor standing in front of a sword pedestal at the far side of the room. To the left of the door leading in was a greatsword in another sword pedestal.

Jandar, feeling that a battle would happen either way, decided to have everyone attack the armor directly to get them out of the way. The group did a synchronized attack, however nothing happened. When Barry put Hyon down and pulled the greatsword out of the pedestal however, the armors activated. The group attempted to damage the armor, however their attacks simply pushed the armor away from them. In addition, the armor's weapons didn't hurt, but did push them back.

Jandar kept one suit of armor busy with Nature's Wrath, while Barth kept another set busy after reluctantly putting the corpse he was carrying down. Otaroinae decided to try to run forwards to help Barry as he ran around the armor Barth was attacking. After exchanging attacks and knocking each other around a bit, Barry and Otaroinae managed to get right in front of the empty sword pedestal. As the pair put the sword in the pedestal, the armors stopped their attack, and light left from the pedestal and out of the room.

With the final puzzle solved, the group went back into the main room (after picking up Hyon and the helmsman), to find the red edged door now had a glowing purple edge. They opened the door, went down the hall it led to, and opened the door on the other side.

The group found themselves in a massive chamber with white lights in different parts of the walls, and darkened archways with doors lining the floors, walls, and ceiling on multiple levels of the megastructure. Above them was an astonishingly large ring structure made of gold with a purple gem to one side and a green gem to the other. In the center of the room on the level they were on was a platform with a box on it. The platform was connected to a bridge directly in front of them.

Jandar, acting boldly, took the first few steps towards the box before realizing that his crew wasn't following him. For them, the bridge simply wasn't there. He continued forwards, investigating the box, realizing it was some sort of puzzle box. As he picked it up, light shone everywhere.

As the light faded, the group found themselves back inside of the cave they were in before, however they were standing among the wreckage of some kind of ancient ship. The group took a brief check of the surroundings before beginning the trek out of the cave. Jandar had come to a realization about what the island likely was, believing it to be a purple worm that had swallowed this ship shortly before being petrified. Jandar also began messing with the puzzle box, finding that parts of the glowed, while others did not.

No, not that kind of puzzle box
The group found Richardson and the rest of the excavation crew waiting at the entrance of the cave. A short discussion later, and Richardson was the proud captain of Hyon's former ship, much to Hyon's dismay. Jandar and co. gave the all clear signal to Lin and Dekkard before burying the helmsman and leaving Hyon on the island.

Finally back aboard The Golden Duchess, Richardson and Jandar had a brief talk, with Jandar trying to set Richardson down the right path. As the two ships parted, with Richardson's ship dumping some supplies in the island's direction, Barry came to a realization.

"Wait, Captain, did you want me to untie Hyon?"

Jandar panicked and shouted to Richardson, "Send him a dagger or something to cut his ropes!" One arcane cannon fired dagger later, and the island began sinking into the horizon. The group ended the day with a celebratory meal of more shark meat, and some drinking.

That night however, Jandar had a dream. He was back inside the puzzle box chamber, with all of the doors still darkened. Seeking to explore, he tried to open the doors to no avail. He then found himself outside the wall, watching Hyon try everything to try to get inside, but constantly failing.

As Jandar woke up, he saw the puzzle box glowing brightly, and then fading back to it's normal state.

Onward, to the next adventure!
So this was a bit of an awkward one for me, as I'm still not used to running combat situations. In addition, bad rolls (except constitution saving throws) ruined Hyon's former crew's day. They literally had...

No Dice.

Thanks for reading! Take care!

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