Rising Dawn

Session Forty-Four
In which the party gets waylaid by a plant

Sorry for the delay— but here is our recap of the last two weeks.

After the mostly successful defense that the party gave of their campsite, Enna prayed for a selection of spells in the morning, which Desna granted, allowing several of the group to recover from their exhaustion and fatigue. Spending the next day in the same spot, the group set a trap for their foes, preparing spells and traps, as well as setting up in hidden positions for attacks.

Come nightfall, the party was prepared…but still the Black Hands managed to surprise portions of the party (though the same was also true in reverse; some of the party managed to surprise portions of the assassins). Attacks were made all around, and the assassins quickly disengaged, attempting to run away in some cases. Enna managed to use a Dimensional Anchor on two of them; one died when it ran into a spike trap set up by Desmond, while another managed to escape when one of the Cleric’s spells went awry and stripped away the anchor.

Regrouping and healing, the party slept for the night, to awake the next morning and prepare. Everyone made preparations during the day, this time fortifying their camp completely instead of moving on. Laying in wait that night for the Black Hands, they did not encounter any enemies, and eventually Enna communed with Desna to find that they would not be in danger that night.

Upon the morn, everybody broke camp, and Desmond removed the traps around the encampment before moving on. Towards dusk, Desmond, who had been leading the group around the jungle beside a small stream, found a grove of plants where the ground was littered with crunchy bones. The dawning revelation was quickly put to an end however, when huge plant jaws, perhaps seven feet wide each, lashed out and attacked, slashing and biting and tearing.

Desmond took 32 points of damage
Enna took 21 points of damage
Talon took 15 points of damage
Adoness took 22 points of damage
Everybody is being grappled by the plant jaws.

Grappled: A grappled creature is restrained by a creature, trap, or effect. Grappled creatures cannot move and take a –4 penalty to Dex, which reduces AC and Reflex saving throws. A grappled creature takes a –2 penalty on all attack rolls and combat maneuver checks, except those made to grapple or escape a grapple. In addition, grappled creatures can take no action that requires two hands to perform. A grappled character who attempts to cast a spell or use a spell-like ability must make a concentration check (DC 10 + grappler’s CMB + spell level), or lose the spell. Grappled creatures cannot make attacks of opportunity.

If You Are Grappled: If you are grappled, you can attempt to break the grapple as a standard action by making a combat maneuver check (DC equal to your opponent’s CMD; this does not provoke an attack of opportunity) or Escape Artist check (with a DC equal to your opponent’s CMD). If you succeed, you break the grapple and can act normally. Alternatively, if you succeed, you can become the grappler, grappling the other creature (meaning that the other creature cannot freely release the grapple without making a combat maneuver check, while you can). Instead of attempting to break or reverse the grapple, you can take any action that doesn’t require two hands to perform, such as cast a spell or make an attack or full attack with a light or one-handed weapon against any creature within your reach, including the creature that is grappling you.

Grappling actions:
If you are grappling an opponent: You must make a standard action CMB check each round to continue to grapple. If this check is successful, you may, as part of your standard action, do one of the following: Inflict damage from an unarmed, natural, or light weapon; move yourself and your opponent up to half your speed; pin your opponent (Pinned is a worse condition than Grappled— if pinned, you cannot take any actions that require hands, cannot move, and take a bigger penalty to Dex and AC); or if your opponent is already pinned, you may tie them up if you have rope handy.

XP Awarded:

Combat:
Killed a Black Hand of Lamashtu: 1000XP
Fought off three Black Hands: 1500XP

Roleplaying:
800XP

Discovery:
Found a vine of a Giant Flytrap: 50XP

Miscellaneous:
Set up traps around the camp, one of which killed a Black Hand: 100XP
Located the nearest Giant Flytrap: 100XP
Used Dimensional Anchor to trap the Black Hands nearby: 100XP

Total: 3650XP

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Session Forty-Two
In which the party does *not* find the Answer

The session started with Adoness being struck by an arrow, which sent out a flash of light and a BOOM that nearly blinded her, and woke the rest of the party up.

What followed was a mass of confusion; the party awoke to a smattering of strange arrows, that when striking their targets caused a variety of effects. Some caused a temporary blindness, while others a deafness, and still others a strange mind-jolting effect.

Though they were in the darkness, each was able to find their own way around this obstacle— Enna used a spell to allow her to see the auras of the five chaotic creatures attacking them, while Talon gave Adoness an extract of Night Vision, and used his alchemical magic to give himself darkvision in the form of a panther, while Desmond simply charged blindly forward where he was pointed.

Despite their attempts at damaging their foes, who were clouded in a shroud of darkness, each disappeared before being severely injured.

Adoness, Desmond, and Enna each had difficulty sleeping that night, while Talon had no issue. Upon waking, the group reviewed everything they knew about the creatures. With the help of special knowledge and some spells, the party learned the name of these creatures who attacked them: The Black Hands of Lamashtu.

The gist of what they know is summed up as thus: They are master assassins, sent by Lamashtu against mortal foes. It is not known if they are a race unto themselves, creatures uniquely imbued with Lamashtu’s blessings, or something else entirely. Desmond found them to be similar to a race known as the Dark Stalkers, who could create an aura of Deeper Darkness around them, were skilled in the use of poisons, and who would burn up in a blaze of heat upon death. Talon’s arcane knowledge gave him the feeling that the Black Hand’s dimensional traveling was more of an innate ability rather than a spell unto itself.

As a side note, Adoness found a scrap of parchment upon the ground where one of the Black Hands were standing the night previous— upon reading it, the paper blew up in her face.

Despite the lack of rest, which kept most of the party fatigued during the day, the group decided to search the Cairnwood for their Giant Flytrap quarry. Though they searched high and low, they found naught that day.
That night, however, they were once again set upon in the same manner as the night before. This time the party seemed to be a bit more cohesive, and they put up a fighting stand, though only a bit of lasting damage was done; Adoness, while facing against one of the Black Hands, was able to cut it down after Enna cast Silence upon it. It burned up in a flash, singing the half-elf.

The night ended with the party resting, after Enna had managed to remove the magical effect causing the insomnia from all but Desmond, who woke upon the morning feeling completely Exhausted, giving a -6 to Strength and Dexterity, as well as causing him to move at half speed.

XP Awarded:

Combat:
Killed One Black Hand of Lamashtu: 1000XP

Roleplaying:
400XP

Discovery:
Cairnwood Jungle: 500XP

Miscellaneous:
Silenced a Black Hand: 50XP

Total: 1,950XP

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Session Forty-One
In which the party gets a painting!

Shaking off the weariness of battle, and double-checking to make sure that the portal the elemental opened was indeed closed now, the party made their way back to the surface of the lake to find that the weather had cleared quite nicely. Talon checked the air to see if they could set foot on the mainland again, and found that it was possible. Both Desmond and Talon however found that staying out of water for an extended period of time caused their skin to quickly dry up and start to burn.

Upon making it back to the island, they found some of the converts of Desna diving in the water and retrieving debris. Enna gathered around all she could and cured each of their diseases caused by their imprisonment by the Aboleth, along with what was afflicting Talon and Desmond. From there, she gave a sermon reading from the book of Desna, while instructing the new followers in building a shrine to their goddess.

Moving to the village in the middle of the small island, the party quickly found that the Lost Treasure of Palming Lake was no longer lost! Two villagers exploring the depths of their island uncovered the lost painting, and were busy showing it off to the others. After some convincing on the parts of Desmond and Adoness, the two were ‘persuaded’ to hand over the painting.

On their way out of the village, one of the new converts chased after the party, and gifted them all with items and gold recovered from the wrecked caravan as a means of thanking them for their assistance.

Making camp for the night on the shores of Palming Lake, Enna used the magical mirror to get back in touch with Tim the Enchanter, who informed them of heavy fighting between the Vorn Empire and the HRG around Newmark. His last word was ‘Lamashtu,’ which caused some consternation in the party. Deciding to head towards the Cairnwood jungle the next day before contacting Tim again, the group had a much needed rest.

Travel the next day was smooth and easy, and ended with another talk with Tim, who warned the party that followers of Lamashtu were looking for them.

The next day saw the group camping just outside of the Cairnwood, where they bedded down for the night, preparing to march into the jungle on the morrow. The session ended with a surprise for Adoness, who was on watch for the night, who was hit in the chest with an arrow!

Loot:

10,000 gold pieces worth of assorted coins

Boundary Chalk:
The surface of this stick of white chalk is covered with silvery runes. Drawing a line with the chalk creates a wall of force that is as long as the line and extends 10 feet perpendicular to the surface on which the line was drawn. Drawing a 5-foot line is a standard action that provokes acts of opportunity. Each wall lasts 10 minutes; the bearer of the chalk can dismiss a section of wall as a swift action by touching the stick of chalk to it. One stick of boundary chalk can draw 100 feet of line before it is used up, and it must be used in 5-foot increments.

Elixir of Tumbling:
This draught of liquid grants the drinker the ability to tumble about, avoiding attacks and moving carefully across nearly any surface, granting a +10 competence bonus on Acrobatics checks for 1 hour.

Elixir of Love:
This sweet-tasting liquid causes the character drinking it to become enraptured with the first creature she sees after consuming the draft (as charm person—the drinker must be a humanoid of Medium or smaller size, Will DC 14 negates). The charm effect wears off in 1d3 hours.

Restorative Ointment:
A jar of this unguent is 3 inches in diameter and 1 inch deep, and contains five applications. Placed upon a poisoned wound or swallowed, the ointment detoxifies any poison (as neutralize poison with a plus five bonus on the check). Applied to a diseased area, it removes disease (as remove disease with a plus five bonus on the check). Rubbed on a wound, the ointment cures 1d8+5 points of damage (as cure light wounds).

Burglar Boots:
These form-fitting, calfskin boots are dyed black and lightly decorated with raven feathers. grant their wearer a +5 competence bonus on Perception checks to spot or locate traps and devices on the floor with 10 feet. This includes pits, pressure plates, and other mechanical and magical devices located on or attached to the floor. This bonus also applies to AC and on any Reflex saving throws against such traps.

Magnetist’s Gloves:
These thin leather gloves have delicate steel wires running through them. Three times per day as a standard action, the wearer of these gloves may attempt a disarm combat maneuver on a target within 30 feet. The target’s item must be mostly made of metal. If the combat maneuver check is successful, the target is disarmed and the item falls to the ground in the target’s square. For every 5 by which the check exceeds the DC, the item lands 1 square closer to the wearer. If this would place the item in the wearer’s square, the wearer may attempt to catch the item with a DC 10 Dexterity check; otherwise it lands in the wearer’s square. The wearer can only use this ability if she has at least one hand free. If the wearer fails the combat maneuver check, she is not disarmed.

Mind Sentinel Medallion:
The surface of this silver medallion is covered in angular geometric shapes that refract light randomly. The medallion grants a continuous +2 resistance bonus on saves versus mind-affecting spells, spell-like abilities, and supernatural abilities. If the wearer fails a save to avoid becoming dominated or confused, the amulet immediately grants the wearer a second saving throw to resist the effect. If this second save is successful, the medallion’s power fades away entirely and it becomes a simple piece of silver jewelry.

Folding Boat:
A folding boat looks like a small wooden box about 12 inches long, 6 inches wide, and 6 inches deep when it is inactive. In this mode, it can be used to store items just like any other box. Yet when the proper command word is given, the box unfolds itself rapidly in the space of a single round to form a boat 10 feet long, 4 feet wide, and 2 feet in depth. A second command word causes it to unfold even further into a ship 24 feet long, 8 feet wide, and 6 feet deep. The folding boat cannot unfold if there isn’t enough open space for it to occupy once unfolded. Any objects formerly stored in the box now rest inside the boat or ship. In its smaller form, the boat has one pair of oars, an anchor, a mast, and a lateen sail. In its larger form, the boat has a deck, single rowing seats, five sets of oars, a rudder, an anchor, a deck cabin, and a mast with a square sail. The boat can hold 4 people comfortably, while the ship carries 15 with ease. A third word of command causes the boat or ship to fold itself into a box once again, but only when it is unoccupied.

Necklace of Rememberance:
A silver chain meets at a heart-shaped locket which dangles down off your neck. While wearing this necklace, you are able to memorize a single page of writing perfectly per day, up to five pages memorized. As long as you wear the necklace, you will be able to recall the pages exactly, as the spell Memorize Page. If the necklace is removed, you slowly lose your ability to recall these pages, starting with the most recent page memorized, and losing them at a rate of one per day the necklace is not worn. Putting the necklace back on will not allow you to recall again any pages you have forgotten while not wearing the necklace.

Glasses of Truth:
A sturdy wire frame sits around these two small glass circles, and arms reach back to hook the frame behind your ears. With a swift action, you can activate these glasses, which enables you to determine falsehoods for two rounds as the Discern Lies spell.

Laeryn, after being treated with a Make Whole spell from Enna, was blessed by Desna and enchanted, to become a +1 magical Frosty Elven Curve Blade, adding +1 to damage rolls, and an extra 1d6 cold damage to each blow.

Desmond threw away 100 gold pieces.

Talon paid out 300 gold to the lady who gave the most help to the party, in recompense for the boats lost to sea.

XP Awarded:

Roleplaying:
400XP

Quest:
Retrieved the Lost Treasure of Palming Lake: 1000XP

Miscellaneous:
Built a shrine to Desna: 75XP
Retrieved the painting with no loss of life: 100XP
Paid back the boat debt: 75XP

Total: 1,650XP

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DING! Level Achieved!
In which the party levels to 8

Welcome to Level Eight!

Add new saves, roll twice for HP and take the better result, add new Skill Points, get your Favored Class Bonus if applicable, update Base Attack Bonus, update weapon to-hit bonuses, check class abilities to see if they are more powerful or if they gain more uses per day, add new class abilities where applicable, learn new spells or extracts, gain more spells/extracts per day, and finally, at level eight you are able to increase an Ability Score of your choice by one point!

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Session Forty
In which the party stops an invasion

Despite previous appearances…Talon still lives! Eventually receiving healing from Enna, he drank one of his extracts to fortify his health. During the rest of the battle, the elemental put both Talon and Desmond down into the negatives, only to be saved from certain demise by Desna’s healing magic.

When the fight was near the end, Adoness’s family sword, Laeryn, was shattered by the elemental, broken into four large bits of blade and the hilt.

The Half-Elf was able to end the fight when she plunged her hand into the chest of the elemental, grasped its heart, and tore it from the watery body, slaying the creature. His final words were “No…this…cannot be….we must…save this world…must….stop….”
“…haaaaaaahhhhhhk…”

Enna finished off her channel energy for the day to heal the party back to almost full hit points. As the action winds down and the portal closes, Enna’s spells begin to wear off. Desmond and Talon are both still diseased with Aboleth’s Slime:

“A creature hit by an aboleth’s tentacle must succeed on a DC 20 Fortitude save or his skin and flesh transform into a clear, slimy membrane over the course of 1d4 rounds. The creature’s new “flesh” is soft and tender, reducing its Constitution score by 4 as long as it persists. If the creature’s flesh isn’t kept moist, it dries quickly and the victim takes 1d12 points of damage every 10 minutes. Remove disease and similar effects can restore an afflicted creature to normal, but immunity to disease offers no protection from this attack. The save DC is Constitution-based.”

Story Feats:
Talon—
Precious Life: You have gone through the fires of death and returned. Whenever you receive Temporary Hit Points, such as from an ability, spell, or class feature, these hit points are subtracted first instead of last. When you reach 0HP, you remain conscious and focused, and are able to act normally without fear of being knocked out. This lasts until you are reduced to the negatives.

Desmond—
Master Thrower: Able to aim with deadly accuracy even in the grimmest of conditions, treat all thrown weapons as though they had a range increment of 50’. Additionally, you may add half of your Dexterity modifier, rounded up, to the damage rolls made with thrown weapons.

Adoness—
Scourge of the Extraplanars: You are adept at fighting creatures of the Extraplanar subtype. When fighting any creature with the [Extraplanar] descriptor, you may ignore five points of their Damage Reduction while making attacks. You also may score critical hits against an Extraplanar creature who is normally immune to them.

Enna—
Long-shot Healer: You have taken great lengths to assure your healing reaches your friends. The Channel Energy class feature activates with a Move action instead of a Standard action. Up to two times a day, you can spend a Standard action to Channel Energy twice the distance you could normally channel.

XP Awarded:

Roleplaying:
400XP

Combat:
CR3 Medium Water Elementals x3: 600XP
CR9 Greater Water Elemental: 1600XP

Quest:
Obtained the Essence of a Greater Water Elemental: 4000XP

Miscellaneous:
Destroyed one pillar feeding the portal to the Elemental Plane of Water: 100XP
Halted the invasion of the Elemental Plane of Water onto the Prime Material Plane: 2000XP

Total: 8700XP

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Session Thirty-Nine
In which the party fights to the death!

The fight raged long and hard this session, with multiple enemies taken down by Adoness and her compatriots. Talon was able to blow up one of the pillars, Adoness used her Hammer of the Heavy Drop to smash another, and Enna destroyed the third, leaving just one standing.

Talon, Adoness, and Desmond have all used their Luck.
Enna has one more round of Greater Path of Glory left.

Laeryn now has the condition ‘Broken.’ All attacks with the blade are at -2, and damage rolls have a -2 penalty to them.

XP Awarded:

Roleplaying:
250XP

Combat:
CR3 Medium Water Elementals x4: 800XP
CR7 Aboleth x2: 1600XP

Miscellaneous:
Destroyed three pillars feeding the Portal to the Elemental Plane of Water: 300XP

Total: 2,950XP

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Session Thirty-Eight
In which the party Fights Evil!

The party set out in their acquired boat through the waves towards the deepest part of the lake, where they know they’ll be able to find the Water Elemental. As they traveled, Adoness questioned Desmond about his time under the influence.

The weather worsened the closer the party got to their target, eventually sending waves foaming around and wind whipping through the air. Enna cast her spell, and the group dove into the rough waters.

Diving down, with Desmond leading the way wearing the Helm of Underwater Action, and Talon swimming along with his Cloak of the Manta Ray, the party quickly came upon the sight they were looking for: an ugly underwater structure, a large cylinder running on slave power, and an Aboleth watching over them.

The slaves, which could be recognized as people from the village, paid no heed to the heroes, leading Desmond to draw the conclusion that they were being controlled by the Aboleth. Adoness drew near, and then Enna cast one of her spells, which caused a magical Starknife to begin hacking at the cylinder, which had been determined to be sending out some kind of pulse through the water. As soon as this happened, the Aboleth darted for the peace-loving Cleric, and Adoness sliced it and diced it.

The newly freed villagers were in great confusion, until Enna, preaching Desna’s saving grace, gave them direction and told them to return to the island for the time being. From there, the group gathered the remains of a broken gemstone object retrieved from the center of the newly broken cylinder, and entered the underwater structure.

After a bit of exploring, the group found nothing in one large ‘under construction’ room, and two interesting tidbits in a second ‘run-down’ room. Swimming up the stairs, the party opened two large ornate doors to find themselves in a huge room, populated by many enemies and four pillars with glowing Aquarnite insets.

The Aquarnite, glowing, had several ‘strands’ of green energy emanating from it towards a large disc hovering in the back middle of the room, underneath of which stood the Water Elemental. After bandying a few words, and Enna spending the distraction time casting spells while Desmond summoned his Eidolon, the fight began when Adoness attacked one of the Aboleth!

Several blows were exchanged back and forth, before the session ended.

Expended Spells:
Greater Stunning Barrier
Spiritual Weapon
Dismissal

Spells in effect:

Ride the Waves: The party gains a Swim speed of 30, and can breathe underwater. Lasts for 7 hours.
Freedom of Movement: The party cannot be grappled, and suffer no penalties for attacks underwater. Thrown items still receive the usual penalties. Lasts for 70 minutes.
Touch of Luck: You may immediately re-roll one attack roll, skill check, or other d20 roll before being told the results. You must take the second roll. Lasts the encounter.
Bear’s Endurance: The party gains +2 to Fortitude Saves, +14 HP, and +2 to Constitution checks. Lasts 7 minutes.
Protection from Evil: The party gains +2 to AC and a +2 Resistance bonus to saves against Evil creatures and effects created by Evil creatures. Furthermore, any Evil-summoned creatures cannot touch the party, and their natural attacks all fail. Lasts 7 minutes.
Shield of Faith: The party is protected by a magical shield, granting a +3 bonus to AC. Lasts 7 minutes.
Bull’s Strength: The party is magically enhanced to be stronger, gaining +2 to melee attack rolls, melee damage rolls, and strength checks. Lasts 7 minutes.
Draconic Reservoir: Talon is protected from 42 points of energy damage. As a swift action on his turn, he can charge a melee attack with 1d6 points of energy which he has absorbed from his surroundings. This spell lasts for 70 minutes, or until all 42 points of energy have been absorbed.

Loot:

Boro Bead: This multicolored, sturdy glass bead is an aid to members of the alchemist class. Once per day on command, a boro bead enables the bearer to recharge any one extract that he had mixed and then consumed that day, up to third level. The extract is then reconstituted and usable again, just as if it had not been drank. A bead works on an infusion, but not a potion, elixir, bomb, mutagen, or nonmagical alchemical material such as antitoxin.

Magical +1 Studded Leather Armor: This set of studded leather armor, though a bit rusty and very tattered and waterlogged, still retains its magical properties, enchanted to be stronger than most normal pieces of armor. Enna has been able to detect the presence of another enchantment upon the armor, but has not yet detected what this is.

XP Awarded:

Combat:
Defeated an Aboleth: 800XP

Exploration:
Found the Palace of the Deeps: 400XP

Roleplaying:
450XP

Miscellaneous:
Freeing the village slaves: 100XP
Evangelizing the villagers: 100XP
Discovering the use of the Cloak of the Manta Ray: 50XP

Total: 1900XP

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Session Thirty-Seven
In which the party speaks with an Aboleth

The session involved a lot of talking, formulating, and planning. After having successfully fought off the disease the Aboleth plagued her with, Adoness prepared to head to the surface with Enna and Desmond. Almost immediately however, the two of them noticed a change in Desmond’s behavior, and were reminded of his warning of the Aboleth’s possible mind powers. After quickly conferring, Enna cast Protection from Evil on Desmond, who was immediately (though temporarily) released from the control of the Aboleth. Desmond was able to scrawl a semblance of a map quickly on a piece of parchment Enna gave him at Adoness’ request, to try and show the location of the Aboleth.

Meanwhile, Talon was busy meeting with the locals after returning his fishing boats. They were not happy with him taking off with their livelihood, and made it rather plain to him until he scared them off with a show of magical force. After that, the populace of the village left him alone, and did not bother the rest of the group either.

After the Aboleth regained control of Desmond’s mind, he was knocked out for the good of all. Enna was able to act as diplomat with the local lady who earlier told them the location of the aquarnite, in order to find where the Aboleth was hiding. It did not seem terribly worried about the possibility of the party finding him, and indeed invited them to find him.

The first order of business attended to after having reunited the party was to track down where a few fresh sets of tracks in the underground dungeon led to. It didn’t take too long for the group to find two scavengers from the town poking around in one of the bunk rooms, which they then left alone (after the villagers busied themselves shouting at the group).

After that, the party set up on the beach, Enna inscribing a scroll and Talon working his alchemy magic, attempting to weaponize the Aquarnite that they have retrieved. Powdering and sharding the items, he had a few ready for when Enna finished her scroll, using near sunset to attempt to speak with the water elemental.

The elemental was completely resistant to her attempts to talk with it and resolve the situation peacefully, claiming that he would rule the waters and that he was returning. He disappeared before Talon’s dropped bombs had any telling effect on the creature.

After some more discussion within the party, the group decided to sleep for the night before taking a boat out on the lake, which might be powered by magical squid to help them arrive without being harmed. Desmond woke in the morning seeming to be back to his normal self, though Adoness wished him to continue being restrained for the time being. And thus the session ended.

Loot:
3x Powderbombs: These alchemical creations are a compact reaction chamber encased within a shell of powdered Aquarnite. When thrown, the bombs will blanket a ten foot by ten foot area with Aquarnite dust, causing 4d6 damage to all creatures vulnerable to Aquarnite. A successful reflex save of DC17 will give half damage.

3x Shardbombs: A more deadly, yet harder to use bomb created by Talon on the sands of the island village, this bomb is crafted with several larger shards of Aquarnite encased inside, designed similarly to a grenade. On a successful ranged attack, the bomb will explode with full force, dealing 3d6 damage to any creature it hits, and an additional 3d6 to any creature vulnerable to Aquarnite. If the bomb misses underwater however, the force of the explosion is not enough to damage anyone it only barely misses, as the water absorbs the generated force.

XP Awarded:

Roleplaying: 300XP

Miscellaneous:
Attempting to talk with the Water Elemental once again: 100XP
Figuring out where to find the Aboleth: 75XP
Putting the fear of the Arcane into the townsfolk: 75XP

Total: 550XP

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Session Thirty-Six
In which the party puts their plan into action!

With most of a plan put in place, the party sprung into immediate action. Talon started grabbing fishing boats, tying them together and prepping his small fleet for launch. Adoness, Desmond, and Enna moved back down into the depths of the island, arriving at the airlock quickly. From there, Enna cast a spell to allow them each to breathe underwater, and the group divided; Desmond began swimming in the direction of the Deep Depths, while Enna and Adoness positioned themselves near the airlock, and began attempting to draw their enemies towards them.

It took some time for each element to get into place, but when they did things snapped into motion quickly. Almost simultaneously, one Aboleth revealed itself from under an illusion and attacked the Cleric, while another far away launched itself out of the water to crash down on one of Talon’s fishing boats, sending its fragments and detritus out into the lake all around it.

The Pseudodragon, tasked by Desmond earlier to distract the Elementals in the area by attempting to fly to the mainland, apparently kept the water elemental busy as it did not interfere in the battle that ensued thereafter. The fighting was fierce, with Enna and Adoness taking damage, and Adoness trading some back.

Meanwhile, Talon was throwing his bombs every time the Aboleth would surface above water, and although he had little success in hitting it, the Aboleth would at times crash down upon boats that Talon had earlier trapped with his alchemical magics.

Desmond, in the meantime, was swimming for his life towards the lake floor and the Aquarnite awaiting him. After arriving, he shoved as much in his bag of holding as he could loosely gather, and then sped off towards the airlock. By the time he reached it, the action was over. Adoness had managed to fillet the Aboleth that she had been fighting, while the one Talon was fighting had retreated while heavily wounded. Talon began his way back to the island.

Finally, Adoness was experiencing extreme difficulty while exiting out of the water; something the Aboleth did to her while fighting it had changed her skin, turning it rubbery and soft, and causing her skin to burn in the air. Enna attempted a small portion of spells to heal this ailment, which was only partially successful; Desmond luckily drew out a potion that was able to cure the Fighter of her disease, and thus ended the session.

Loot:
About thirty pounds of Aquarnite shards

XP Awarded:

Combat:
Defeated Two Aboleths: 1600XP

Exploration:
Survived the Deep Dives: 200XP

Roleplaying:
350XP

Miscellaneous:
Collectively planning to retrieve the Aquarnite: 500XP

Total: 2,650XP

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Session Thirty-Five
In which the party doesn't drown

With the water rushing in, the group quickly set to work attempting escape. Examinations, quick and slow alike, begin. Enna took some time to pray to Desna, receiving direction towards the peg-holes near the floor. After playing around with them for some time, the blocks in the peg-holes retracted, and a thick slime fluid began flowing out.

Eventually, it was found that this fluid would bond to the hands and create a thin membranous webbing between fingers. Meanwhile, the water continued rising, and while Talon began preparations to direct one of his bomb blasts outwards through the doors, Enna and Desmond began attempting to use leverage to open up the stone slabs blocking their way forward.

Eventually gaining enough purchase, Enna was able to get a glimpse of the other side, only to find that the other side of the slabs led only to the lake. However, it was at this time that Talon’s bomb went off, cracking the doors leading to the puzzle chamber behind them. Desmond levered them open quickly, and the party spilled out into the chamber, the water stopping its streaming from the peg holes in the top of the wall, but continuing to pour through the now open stone slabs.

Desmond acted quickly, and closed the now rising slabs by pulling the lever again. This closed off the water flow, and allowed some water to slowly drain through the floor of the airlock.

Deciding to take the rest of what was left of the night off, the party camped out in the guard room, three of them taking turns on watch. Waking refreshed in the morning, and having established that they had explored the entire complex, the party returned to the surface, meeting a townsperson on the way up, and telling him that there was no way off the island down there.

The man proved less than helpful for the party, and rudely left them, heading back to the surface. The party followed behind, Desmond briefing the rest on what he learned of Aboleth. When they reached the surface, they were faced with a crowd of likely everyone on the island, being informed of the letdown the newly opened door actually was. Taking some time to address the crowd, the party gained some new information, including that one of the village women had once found some of the green Aquarnite whilte trawling the Deep Dive. She also mentioned that the boats that traveled near there recently had never returned.

Also of note was an old heckler in the crowd, who did not seem to agree with anything the party said. In the meantime, Desmond caught up with the lady who knew about the Aquarnite. She refused to pilot her own boat there with him, but said there were plenty of boats near the water to use.

The session ended with the party discussing their next move, with strategies ranging from luring the Aboleth away from the Deep Dive and sending in a lone man to sneak some Aquarnite away, to trapping an Aboleth in the airlock, to taking a fleet of boats to the Deep Dive, to ignoring the Deep Dive entirely.

XP Awarded:

Roleplaying:
400XP

Miscellaneous:
Blowing out the airlock doors: 25XP
Convincing the village to listen: 100XP
Learning about the Aboleth and Aquarnite: 100XP

Total: 725XP

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