Wednesday 3 June 2015

Pathfinder Interlude - Skull & Spiked Chains (Jvala's Journal)

Corridor was long, getting closer. Led to dead end with large door just before on right. Thick double doors - checked around and seemed safe. Invisible Sam whispered he was going in, left door open and we saw a large room. Some undead types - skeletons, mummies, zombies - meandering round. Altar with 5 robed figures kneeling round. Another robed figure walking around. Writhing guy chained down to altar - thorned chains - chains led to large skull, through the eyes. Fuck, this isn't Rovagug, this is Zon-Kuthon. Could hear the sound of metal against bone.

Zabeel, Tanna and I waited outside. Zabeel really breathing down my neck, way too close. Can feel tendrils of spiked chain crawling up through inside me, wrapping round heart. Tightening, squeezing, piercing. Dimming my fire. Look down and Cinder and Flash are terrified, hissing, hackles up, ears back, whimpering. Try to calm them.

Then Zabeel's all yelling at Tanna just for kneeling down - drew guns on her. Wanted us to leave - leaving sounded good, but would be leaving Sam too.

Tanna closed the door.

Stepped in front of Tanna, but couldn't get my fire to start so had to draw a sword on Zabeel. He'd put his guns away, but clearly going mad. Started creeping back but he stayed right in my face. Swiped at him as he ran in front - got back between him and Tanna. Another drow appeared at the end of the corridor and shot at Tanna - but Zabeel wouldn't let me chase after. Threw gunpowder at me instead. Explosion all around - stop,drop, roll, tell Flash & Cinder same. Put out fire and Zabeel floats just overhead, just out of reach. My weapons have vanished. Did I have weapons? No pets here. Alone. Try snapping at Zabeel and he's gone too. I'm a child - small and alone, cold and seeking comfort. Bundle of clothes had some warmth in, so crept in. Found something harder in them - a body. Stood. Stepped back. Grew an age with every step. Watched as the market burned before me: watched the storeholders try to protect their stock, watching parents try to save their children, watching it all burn.

I remember this. I remember... Oh Desna! What did I do?

I never thought...

Felt a hand on my shoulder, then, and came back to the corridor. It was Tanna's hand. An absence of light behind with the sounds of a gun being cleaned - Zabeel. Once he'd settled enough to drop the darkness, explained we'd suffered some kind of illusion. 

Still feel confused. Hadn't thought about that side of the fire, always just focused on how it felt at my back as I ran with Flash to my chest and Cinder at my side.

It was Zabeel who shot Tanna, under influence of the spell. Tanna says he didn't hurt her - she hurt herself more touching me when it first took effect and I lit up. So I was burning when I thought my fire was out. Some comfort that it hadn't left me after all.

Z&T returned to Sam & the fight, but I needed to calm Flash & Cinder, and took moment to calm - held my butterfly necklace and begged for forgiveness. Will follow up with action when I can. 

Sam dealt with most of undead. The robed guy & the 5 kneeling figures were harder to deal with - was like kneeling people not really there - like slicing through jelly & no response. Sam muttered something about them being on another plane. They held crystals - these could be damaged. Robed guy couldn't be hurt, but realised hitting him damaged crystals faster - Sam said he'd fired arrows at him earlier and they'd hit the mummies til there were no mummies left.

Robed guy summoned some kind of asphyxiating cloud. When it cleared, was gone, kneeling guys were gone, guy on altar was gone. Found some shards of the crystals - carefully collected them. There was a robed guy on floor with throat slit, but not the one we'd fought. Body bereft of blood.

Set the bomb Ezekiel had given & legged it back to hill we arrived on. Explosion - column of fire followed by mushroom-shaped cloud. Shockwave nearly sent us flying.

Malliard came for us. He has magic cloak that can turn into a door to another place. Nice way to travel. Lined with stars when in use. Lovely.

M thinks he's heard of our robed guy by reputation, but doesn't know name. Known associate of cult of Zon-Kuthon. Reckons temple we explored pre-dated the Rovagug temple that had been above. Says the gem shards are from "soul gems" - capable of holding vanquished. Says these must have held powerful souls.

Was the ritual completed?

What was ritual for?

M says trapping of a god will have created a magical conversion ideal for certain rituals. Suspects the kneeling people were each on a different plane. Not many rituals require that; none good. Suspects plan was to corrupt remaining Star Towers.

Hope unsuccessful. No doubt will know soon enough.

M has arranged rooms for us at the palace.

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