Selangod

Death From Above

In this shorter session the party started by finishing up the collection of loot, unloading the wealth of three more lizard-man campsites. They then returned back to their headquarters on the surface to rest. Come morning Delal used magic to open a locked box and found a valuable platinum crown, fit for a king.
The party returned to the lower sanctum, returned to the spot they left off. They climbed on top of the twenty-foot-tall, triangular structure. Gargg and Threep crept up to the front of the structure and looked out to where the party encountered the undead horrors before. The wights were there, frolicking around their barrows.
The two fighters rejoined the party and a brainstorming session began. They all came up with a variety of ideas, plans to defeat the wights. The safest plan seemed to be to attack from above.
The attack started with Gargg shooting flaming arrows. Arrows would be put to great effect during the fight. Not to be out-done the wights retaliated by throwing themselves up the wall, to engage the party. K’em alone was hit by these tactics, a costly bit of damage. The wights failed to ascend the wall after their early success. Their efforts were hampered by the loss half of their party to a turning. This allowed the party to focus their attacks on the struggling undead, caught in small batches.
With the wights destroyed, the party descended to the front of the structure. There they found a heavy, glyph-covered bronze door. It had no locks or handles. Maka couldn’t open it, and no one else could either. They tried to come up with passwords but didn’t find one that worked. They decided to rest again so that Delal could regain her knock spell.

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Cursed Traps, Ghoulish Paintings, and Bushels of Lizardfolks

The party eventually opened the invisible treasure chest, and inside found a spell-book and a bunch of valuable coins. They took the loot to their lair (the former dragon lair) and let Delal take on all the risk of identifying what turned out to be a cursed sword. It is now stuck in her hand, and great lengths need be gone through in order to un-stick it. Then Delal went on to flip open the spell-book only to have it explode in her face, nocking her into unconsciousness. That right there was a tough day. Gargg wanted to go back into town, for Delal’s sake, but the team decided to keep going. They healed Delal and continued.
They went on to see the friendly, neighborhood ghoul artist, to see if he needed to be put down or not. He was painting a new picture, a picture of a damsel in distress, wearing a red dress. Richard the ghoul said he saw the image of the woman in a dream, a waking dream. K’em was very interested, believed the woman to be Martina. Her eyes were painted open, and there were other signs of life – obviously a good omen that Martina was still alive. Richard said that the feeling he had during his dream was that the woman was waiting for something.
Another artistic oddity was that the Succubus in the Succubus painting was no longer depicted in the painting, but only a black background. Richard said that apparently the Succubus had somewhere else to be, and so she left the painting. It became clear to some party members that Richard was perhaps merely a conduit for some other artist of extreme power, one that sends images to Richard for him to paint. They left Richard alone and instead, destroyed a library containing evil and valueless books. It is interesting to see that some people, that do not openly profess ‘goodness,’ still have fear and disdain for evil; that tainted, extremely treasured items suddenly have no value.
The party then decided to go downstairs, to the subterranean ‘beach,’ although Maka didn’t want to go. They explored ‘their’ side of the river, as opposed to the side with the undead monstrosities. They soon came upon a bad scent, the smell of death. A pitched battle had taken place weeks or months earlier. A hundred rotted Lizard-man corpses littered the ground. There was also the putrefied corpse of a huge Land-shark. Could this be Martina’s pet or friend Stewart? They couldn’t be sure, as Stewart was the only Land-shark the party had ever met.
Leaving the death and rot, the party decided to cross the river, finding nothing else of interest on the enclosed beach. The river looked fast and dangerous with rapids, and so the party members scrabbled, in only the most laughingly inept display ever, up the wall and across the river. Yet none of the ample failures led to any damage taken. Another empty barrow awaited them on the other side.
Progressing across the far side, along the wall, they noticed a triangular structure over by where the undead people were. They didn’t approach that, but farther along, noticed campfires. Threep decided to check it out but he didn’t get far before he saw the on-coming Lizard-man attackers. First ten, then another ten, then another, the lizard-men came in waves. The party’s improved armor and position protected them, and they cut down piles of lizards, being completely surrounded by a wall of corpses by the battle’s end. Thirty-six lizard-folk were slain, only fourteen escaped.
The party had suffered medium damage in the fight, but that didn’t stop them from pursuing the escapee’s. They approached some of the now abandoned campsites and found decent treasure at two of them. They cast their eyes to three other campfires and the loot that might be found therein.

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From Paladins to Getting Lost, To Almost Dying Again

The adventure started with an exploding dragon. The dragon committed suicide after pointing toward a nearby city. The party, in defiance of Gargg, followed the advice of the winged beast. They headed further west.
Threep lead the way through the swamp, roughly in the right direction. They left the swamp and had their first of several encounters. They met stone throwing giants and killed them after receiving a few hard throws. Then the party continued west.
They came upon a small city, enshrouded in stone walls. The city was called Singa’s Justice, apparently a town of 2000 paladins. The holy warriors worship a god named Singa. They require money and the stowing of magic items from strangers entering their town. Maka and Scruffy entered and arranged with a high level cleric to raise K’em from the dead, only 5000 gold.
K’em returned to life at the end of a day-long ritual. He spent another day in town, healing up. The rest of the party aside from Maka and Scruffy remained outside. Gargg was happiest to see K’em up and alive again.
The party decided to head back to the home of the Serpent King, to do more clearing out of the treasure-filled temple. They let Threep lead the way. The journey back took substantially longer than the trip to the town. They got lost in the swamp and fought a giant snake, a bizarre buffalo dinosaur, and a large pack of ghouls. The last encounter was most dangerous as three of the party were paralyzed, but they pulled through because of yet another fortuitous “Turn” this time from Scruffy.
The intrepid adventurers finally made it back to the temple, with little help from their skilled tracker. Rooms and hallways were still abandoned. The party decided to explore the chamber hidden behind the demon statue. A fancy, expensive bedroom and an alchemist lab, were followed by a secret door. This led to a room of impenetrable darkness. Maka and Threep explored the darkness and finally discovered a chest. This they pulled out with rope. The chest emerged but proved to be invisible, once it was freed from the darkness. The session ended looking at the rope wrapped empty space on the floor.

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Bickering, Training and Dying

The administrative session started with the party dividing loot. This took no little time, as there was substantial argument over who got what magic item. Cooler heads prevailed, compromises were reached, and finally the last of the loot found its place in the pack of one character or another.
Half of the party also took a week to train. The concern for the captive Martina had a place, but the party felt that training would be needed in order to free her. None were anxious to face the undead horrors they fought recently, especially without training. Caring adventurers simply hoped that Martina would be okay until the party could get around to saving her.
They also spoke to the goose, which spoke of many goose related things.
Scruffy had some difficulty in that his soul had been blasted by the Wights. He needed some high level priests to Restore him. That promised to be expensive, especially considering that Scruffy wanted to be in the care of his home temple. But with the conversion of some powerful magic items, and a few personal loans, the monies were raised. Scruffy returned no worse for wear.
The party then traveled from Malacad, back to the swamp and beyond to the home of the Lizard King. The front platform, patio and even the dragon’s lair were deserted and looted. The large chamber where the big fights had previously occurred was also empty. Investigating further, the party found the kitchen, pantry, barracks and storage area abandoned. Was there anything left to the temple? Perhaps nothing left that the average cultist couldn’t take.
The party came upon the captain’s chamber, belonging to a fighter that they killed days earlier. They found a magical sword hanging over the bed but nothing else of interest. Gargg threw back the carpeting and found a secret hatch. This opened to a tunnel and another hatch leading up through the floor of another room.
This room had two lumps in it: one, a huge lump of treasure, and the other a huge lump of monster. The pile of twitching vegetation approached the party, sending out huge, leafy pseudopods in attack. The scum covered plant monster effectively guarded the treasure.
K’em and Threep were the first to attack the monstrosity, while others fumbled with fire producing materials. Gargg tried to dowse the creature in oil but instead soaked K’em in the flammable liquid. Others took their time getting into the fight.
The plant monster struck out at K’em for several rounds, succeeded in engulfing him in its vegetable mass. They did manage to set K’em alight, as he didn’t seem to mind the heat, but the horrid creature didn’t seem to mind either. It also proved quite resistant to attacks as the fighters found it difficult to strike anything solid in its flowing, green form.
Delal found success in using magic, as spell after spell caused the monster great harm. Yet the beast was still suffocating K’em. The party decided to give themselves the best chance of success, instead of simply pressing ahead with constant attacks. Sadly K’em suffocated, dying even as the monster itself approached death.
Victory had and treasure gained, the party took K’em’s body outside. Rah called upon his imprisoned dragon to gain information on the surrounding area, to find a nearby city in which K’em might be Raised.

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Back to Finish the Job

The party started in the swamp. After resting a day, they traveled back to the home of the Lizard King. Stephen left them there as Delal didn’t want to bind him to a place he didn’t want to be. They approached the demon bas relief passing through the seashell curtain without conflict. They considered the relief again.
K’em produced a gem and popped that in the demon’s mouth, and pop went the door. The party entered a large chamber that might be home to a dragon, by the size of it. A passage to the left and they came upon a big pile of treasure. There were a few bizarre trinkets like a random throne and a vial of minor hydration. There was also a mysterious goose. The party pocketed some of these items including a special sword.
It was late in the day but the party decided to get some action before turning in. They went down into the big room and met a handful of clerics and fighter-types. A long fight ensued with the defenders being a tough bunch. The Silence spell put upon K’em had amazing repercussions as the only enemies with combat spells were also silenced. Additionally, the best and brightest of the enemy fighters couldn’t hit the side of a castle with a catapult. It was pathetic. The hardly trained fighters did better than the trained. Eventually the party was able to weed down the clerics and the fight became one-sided. Even when reinforcements came, the enemies were stymied. All of the characters participated in a big way.
Victory was had for our brave adventurers. Much magical treasure was recovered. Surely there shall be a reckoning of luck in a future fight.

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Watery fights, Cowards and Trolls

Mirrodin decided to stay in the boat and watch Stephen, the crazy man. The rest of the party sifted through the clothing of deceased bandits and gained a handful of gold. Then they took interest in three pools of murky water.
Up from the water emerged a giant, watery snake. It seemed to be made from water by its semi-transparent appearance. Indeed, cutting attacks made against it only seemed to displace tiny amounts of water, and left no wound. Blunted weapons had more effect as Rah’s flail uncovered. Eventually the watery menace dissipated. Hundreds in platinum coins were recovered from the bottom of the pool. Other weird water things emerged from the other two pools. These too were brought down after a short fight, although K’em and Maka almost drowned after having been absorbed by the creatures. More platinum coins and a fine collection of jewelry were gained.
The party stood in front of a large, demonic bas relief, just one part of a large diorama of mosaic art. Near them was a blood-stained altar stone which laid in front of the relief. They started looking for traps and secret doors. The relief itself turned out to be a very large secret door but the party members couldn’t figure out how to open it. It seemed that you had to put something in the mouth of the demon, which was some kind of trigger. A puzzlement.
But there was another secret door, a floor hatch, just behind the altar. The party descended the thirty-foot staircase with some trepidation. They came to another small room that had a double-door on its long wall. They opened the doors to this room and were met by a huge assortment of people, bandits perhaps, all of which wanted to kill the party. Their number included several leader types but also a magic user and a large ball of darkness.
With their volley of arrows, Rah stepped forward and cast Hold on three of the enemy leaders, but no other strategy was planned so Gargg closed the doors. Threep called on Rah to release his pent up dragon, which he did when the doors opened again. The dragon entered and slew the magic user as commanded, although all in the party felt that the dragon wanted them dead as well.
Chaos ensued as all of the low-leveled cadre fled at the sight of the dragon. Twenty bandits fled the room in a single round. The leaders stayed behind and tried to kill the dragon. In the meantime, a demonic creature stepped from the darkness and attacked Rah. Several party members had difficulty striking the creature for its impossibly tough hide. By the time they did fell the beast, the dragon was near death. Rah recalled the dragon, but then the surviving bandit leaders fled the room.
The party salvaged some loot from the bodies of the few enemies they had killed but no money or jewels. They set out to follow one of the leaders that had escaped, hoped to find him alone. They entered a series of passages and on one wall, saw the same relief, the same trigger, that they saw outside. This too befuddled them.
Continuing in their wandering, they literally ran into a troupe of three trolls. These tough brutes put up a fight, and Gargg, angrier than he had been in a long time struck out at them with heavy blows. He had also taken the line share of damage. Still, victory was had and the trolls bodies were burned.
The party had had enough. They retreated all of the way out and re-boarded their boat. Stephen led them to a place to rest in seclusion, hidden in the middle of the swamp.

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Of Dragons, Snakes and Reptiles

The party rested in existing, vacant hovels surrounding the inn. The Ring of Regeneration made the rounds that evening and the next day. Rah and a few friends couldn’t wait to talk to their new dragon slave. They went out a mile or so up the road and called forth the beast.
Rah asked it many questions about its hoarded treasure. He also asked it about the Lizard King, who also apparently has a hoard. All of it, including the lair of the Lizard King, is located in a swamp, north of Weycomb. Rah also healed the mind-bogglingly evil creature.
There was a bard in the Inn, of sorts. He sang a song about Sakatha, the Lizard King, gained from a book he had read:
- Sakatha once was the great Lizard King
- Sald to have power stored in a ring.
- O’er swamplands and plainslands his dominions they spread;
- His very name filled all creatures with dread.
- To build his great tomb in the midst of the marsh,
- Many men died in slavery most harsh.
- His minions took all of our best for his alter;
- Not for a day did his bloody thirst falter.
- Then there arose the Great Count of yore,
- The greatest of heroes in those days of war;
- He slew Sakaltha in the battle of Weycomb;
- The Lizard Men carried their slaughtered chief home.
- And now he awaits in the cold sleep of death,
- His day of awakening, his first newborn breath.
- Though deep in the ground his followers closed him,
- He’ll come back for vengeance on those who opposed him.
The Innkeeper gave basic, geographic information about the swamp, and mentioned a crazed hermit named Stephen, who had a boat. Then the rye harvesters came as well as Mirrodin, who rejoined the party. Work began in Weycomb but the party rested another day.
The adventurers set out the next day, traversing the mostly safe grasslands and trees between Weycomb and the swamp. Out of nowhere a very large snake-man appeared, sitting on a throne. Next to him was another throne, empty. The serpent’s booming voice was heard from a hundred feet away. He asked the party where his wife was, as the party was supposed to fetch the witch Martina for him, and had failed to do so. The party that knew of the snake was shocked to see it here of all places. The snake informed the party that Martina had been captured by the so-called Lizard King, and that she was to be sacrificed. The snake charged the party to rescue Martina and deliver her to him. He was irritated that the party had lost the last egg talisman given them, and set about making another. K’em approached at retrieved the new egg, he also produced the egg that Martina had given him, handed it to the snake.
The snake never received the egg, however, as it exploded then and there. The party gathered at a distance, saw a bright flash with a thirty foot radius. The snake screamed, and he and the thrones vanished. K’em was unharmed but shaken.
Continuing on, none the worse, the party noticed the shack of the Hermit named Stephen. It soon became clear that Stephen was quite mad. Still, through kindness and the offering of food, Stephen offered to pilot them through the swamp on his skiff. It seemed that he knew the way to his friend Sakatha’s house.
The swamp was surprisingly free of danger, considering it would take days to reach their goal. There was a brief encounter with two large, green humanoids, but that lead only to minor pains. The plants seemed calm for whatever reason. Eventually the party did reach a stone structure, much to Stephen’s excitement as he was going to meet his old friend again.
It was around now that Rah dispelled the Charm spell that had captured Stephen’s still cracked mind. Rah had detected the Charming the day before. Stephen provided little new information, except that he wanted to be nowhere near where he was. Delal charmed him again and set him to watch the boat.
The party ascended stone steps to a large, columned platform. There was something odd about the back wall and so the party approached it. Thick crossbow bolts shot forward hitting Mirrodin before Gargg saw that the rear wall was actually wall of seashells, strung together like beads and hung from above. Gargg crashed through the fake wall and started killing puny bandits.
The rest of the party followed and soon all of the bandits were slaughtered or routed. The open area beyond the seashell wall looked much the same as the prior platform, save for three, ten-foot wide pools covered in green algae, a heavy blood-stained stone, and a huge bas relief of a demonic being, protruding from a series of mosaics. The mosaics depicted a great lizard, conquering the world of men.

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A Barren Town, a Trap, and a Pet Dragon

The party, having cleaned out the laboratory complex, considered making it their home away from home. They went in to Malacad as several members needed to train and resupply, especially if they were to stock their new home. They cashed in a bunch of stuff and set out to train.
Beforehand, however, they met a gnome slaver bearing human slaves. By chance, one of the slaves looked like someone from their past, the Witch Martina. Closer scrutiny and interaction with the slaver showed that the slave was not actually Martina. Tru and Threnody bought her anyway.
Then the party split up. Tru and Threnody packed up and made their way toward Hatyaid. Luthan and Verac headed back toward Selangod. It seemed that in the last case, their jobs with the party were done and Scruffy and Delal had come back. These more experienced characters were welcomed back warmly. Gargg, less so, but nonetheless welcomed back. Mirrodin seemed to like it in Malacad, so the new party left without him.
They returned to their new complex and unceremoniously dumped off their supplies. Further down the road they met a monster that was vaguely giant-scorpion-like but bigger. They brought this terrible creature down after a short fight. It was heavily armored but persistence paid off.
The party ventured on and met another party. They were five fighter types wearing red robes and one Enki priest. The robed folks claimed to be servants of the Red Goddess, a deity not listed in the Book of Recognized Religions. They apparently fought at her side in a fight against Lizard People but were now returning to town. She likely sent them back for their own safety as they seemed low level. They seemed a good lot.
Pulling into the quickly fading village of Weycomb happened next. There were few residents left to talk to but those that were available spoke of bandits, raiding, burning and kidnapping at night. Indeed several of the hovels were burned down. Only the Inn survived as a business. That and the lush rye field.
It was said that the bandits approached the village through the field. An invisible Threep investigated by walking through the field toward a copse of thick trees. Two individuals came out of the woods and started screaming insults at the transparent thing cutting a ribbon through the rye. As Threep retreated, the couple advanced to the center of the field. From there they yelled insults at the village, goading a response from the party. The party entered the field and approached the duo, with the intention of capturing them. Instead of that, however, they were attacked by a Black Dragon.
The dragon used spells to great effect, almost dropping Delal and Charming Rah. Gargg, K’em and Threep attacked it with bows to some effect, while Scruffy healed and protected Delal. Then came the dreaded breath weapon as the dragon descended. Over half the party was caught in the acidic blast, although none were slain. Some armor and clothing were damaged by the acid. As was Rah, shook free by the burn.
Rah took the opportunity to save the party from another blast. He pulled out the dreaded Iron Skull of Gul’Dan. With a word he successfully trapped the fierce dragon inside the skull. The danger, for the moment, was over.
The party returned to the Inn to heal and rest, happy with their success. They briefly considered the trap that had been left for them. Was the dragon the Reptile King or is there another?

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Fight!

The party fought two rooms worth of Bugbears at once, ugg. No problem. Then they proceeded to the back and found a weird fountain with water flowing, swirling down a rune-scripted post. Inspecting the water signaled an attack from a bunch of watery, undead, ghoulish creatures. These wimpy creatures had the power to paralyze living beings, but most of the party proved too hardy to succumb to this effect. The creatures retreated back into the fountain. That’s it.

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Interruptions in the walk.

The party healed up in Malacad but not before venturing out to speak with dead lizard-people. Finding the large, leader-type lizard corpse, Rah cast the Speak with Dead spell and asked his questions. The corpse proved unhelpful, only begging forgiveness from someone called the “Cold God.”
They returned to town and rested. They then tried to hire themselves out to the local magistrate. They were told of a Reptile King that lived in a swamp, and a possible link from this king to bandit raids in and around a southern village called Weycome. The party headed out the next day.
Along the way, the party noticed a strange sight, metal doors set in the face of a cliffside. There were humanoid tracks leading to and from the door. There were no sounds to be heard from inside.
The party opened the door to the structure to find a long passageway with a bunch of monsters in it. There were the red-eyed dire-wolves and their cruel masters, a pack of bugbears. The battle started with fire, which didn’t work so well. Then the fight turned into a great melee.
The enemies seemed pretty tough, able to withstand all but the greatest of attacks. They dealt out some damage too, although more often than not, their attacks failed. One after another the party beat through the wolves and then defeated the bugbears, all to the sounds of silence.
Something about the corridor had a muffling effect on all sounds. Screaming at nearby friends seemed the only way to vocally communicate. The walls and floor were strange as well. The steel walls looked quite polished compared to the normal rough rock walls of other caves. The floor shone mirrored reflections covered in a thin layer of lightly vibrating sand. The hallway had several metal doors in it.
Maka searched these doors and found bugbears behind about half of them. The party decided to fight these creatures, one room at a time. Some party members were quite wounded from the first fight, but others took their places. They cleared a room and found light treasure. Surely there must be more to this strange place.

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