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Blogging the Apocalypse - Part 3

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With the Haunted Keeps defeated, the adventurers take the fight underground. In this post, we explore the ruins of Tyar-Besil.

This post contains spoilers for the Wizards of the Coast adventure Princes of the Apocalypse.

You have been warned...

I really wanted to avoid another foray into one of the higher-level areas, so the aarakocra tried to direct the heroes towards the entrance to the air temple. But two of the PCs were on a mission to rescue a girl named Wyn from the Mud Sorcerer, so... Back to the Sacred Stone Monastery they went!

I failed to mention a brief exploration of the earth temple after the characters cleared the monastery. Fortunately, they scouted well enough to discover the medusa and realized they were outmatched. By the time they returned, the Mud Sorcerer had retreated to the earth node, leaving the girl alone with the ancient construct. The party escorted the girl to Summit Hall, and early the next morning the girl tried to assassinate Lady Stormbanner, the knights' leader. The priests concluded that the girl was possessed by a powerful entity - the Elder Elemental Eye in my mind, but I think the players assumed it was the Mud Sorcerer. The knights insisted that the girl remain locked up at Summit Hall for everyone's safety.

The final trip to the earth temple ended with a relatively anti-climactic battle against the earth prophet medusa. After clearing most of the gate area, the remaining cultists made their final stand in the mess hall. To protect against the medusa's petrifying gaze, the wizard Grenlon had fashioned some special goggles with a small hole in the middle of mirrored lenses. These proved insufficient to save the half-orc fighter Wyk, who was turned to stone, but his companions defeated the medusa without really breaking a sweat. We had a fun discussion about how to transport the half-orc "statue" to Red Larch for healing. On the way, a passing caravan informed the party that Womford had been decimated by a flood the previous day. The apocalypse was at hand!

Back in Red Larch, the paladin Sangir dreamed of a sentient sword calling out to him from a soggy bed chamber. The dream became a nightmare when he suddenly found himself strapped to the bed as the room filled with water. He awakened just as his face was submerged. A tiny crab scuttled across his bedroom floor and under the door - or did it?

As you might recall from my last post, the adventurers had recently become the new proprietors of the inn. Unbeknownst to them, they hired a water cult spy from the tavern across the street to help them run it. The spy allowed the water cultists to organize an ambush inside the inn early the next morning. The paladin had not yet donned his armor, but the cultists were soundly defeated. Still, one thing was clear - no one could be trusted. That, and the water temple was next on the hit list.

In the water temple, the party re-united with the wereboar bandit captain, whom the water cultists had imprisoned for failing to defend Rivergard Keep. The sentient sword from the paladin's dream called to him from within the temple and led the party straight to the sea hag's lair. The sea hag was the true source of the paladin's strange hallucinations, and she intended to make him her plaything in the bed chamber. Sadly, it was not meant to be, and even the telepathic blade was a ruse. On the upside, she did have a magic dragon-detecting sword stashed in her bedroom, which the paladin promptly claimed.

Meanwhile, the warlock Haven caught a glimpse of a large creature lurking in the water as he passed through the market hall. Everyone was on the alert as they noticed the paladin's sword glowing, indicating that a dragon was nearby. Cautiously, the exploration proceeded into the western section of the temple where the heroes faced a tough encounter with a one-eyed shiver, some water cultists, and three water weirds. During the battle, the bugbears circled around from the south, and a troll crawled out from under the bridge to the east. This strategy fit with my perception that the water cultists were opportunistic fighters, hence their penchant for ambushes and caravan raids. With foul creatures bearing down on all sides, the warlock polymorphed the monk Vinchenzo into a T. Rex, turning the tide (yeah I did that) in favor of the heroes.

With the last of the cultists defeated, the dino-monk sunk his teeth into the giant octopus to the south, and we all enjoyed some kaiju fun. Feeling (over)confident, the T. Rex stomped off to the market hall alone while the rest of the party headed for the exit. The dragon turtle absolutely pummeled the dino-monk, forcing him to retreat with 1 sorry hp remaining, and we ended what was probably the most entertaining session of the campaign.

Tune in to part 4 of Blogging the Apocalypse as our heroes match wits against the air and fire temples... and the cultists strike back!

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Updated September 11th, 2019 at 03:33 by leozelig



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