Pattern Seekers – Episode 12: Shells, Wyrmlings and Man-Eating Plants27 January, 2013
Having moved to gain allies in an urban setting, our heroes were next summon for a more traditional venturers task: recovery. Summoned by the Shaper they are dispatched to an isolated valley to retrieve dragon egg shells. They are assured that no actual dragons will be present at the start of their mission.
They arrive through a portal on a slope leading down into a lush jungle valley. They start to blaze a trail through the undergrowth which proves hard going off and on. Soon they come to a crystal clear stream winding its way through the valley with no obvious ford or bridge crossing it, though it is only about eight foot (2.5m) wide it is deep and quick flowing. Thea produces a ladder from her bag of holding and lays it across the stream and scampers across followed by Pho, under which the ladder ominously cracks. The others decide to trust to ropes and climbing or jumping the stream. When Thea pulls her ladder from the stream, it crack further, the parts of it that were in contact with the water having crystallized. It is then that our heroes realize that the area around the stream is remarkably quiet, lacking bird song and drone of insects. They discover that anything exposed to the water begins to crystallize, after some failed attempts they manage to get a few bottles of the water.
Continuing on, they find a few trails through the jungle, Thea recognizes that they were caused by a large serpentine creature, something lacking legs in any case. All too soon, they find out what made them as a set of panicked creatures come running through the jungle, including a boar that nearly gores one of them, pursued by a wyrmling. Wyrmling are massive omnivorous draconic serpents that are rare and quite dangerous. A fight ensues that sees several of our heroes injured and Pho almost swallowed whole before the wyrmling is dispatched. They leave the creatures body behind, hoping to return to it later and skin it.
From a vantage point high in a tree, Nikko is able to spot a tower in the distance and they head toward that. Nikko, scouting in the lead, is promptly enveloped by the acid-laced fronds of a plant. His friends and allies manage to hack him free before he is dissolved but his clothes are quite ruined by the experience.
Arriving at the tower, it rises out of what was probably an ancient temple, while their are vines growing on the temple it is noticed that the temple is not over grown by the jungles and the vines are rather artistic in their placement implying that someone in maintaining the structure. They slip in, cautiously, finding that the interior is also well maintained and clean. Spreading out they encounter a Visse servitor who wants to know who they are and why they are here. But before the conversation con continue too long, he is knocked unconscious and hidden. Dodging further groups of Visse, they ascend the tower, suppress the wards on the door to the room at the top and enter (after picking the lock). Inside are seven carved stone urns, some of which contain shell fragments. They gather the extremely sharp fragments and flee as the ward starts to flicker back to life. To escape they jump or climb down to the roof of the temple and then to the jungle floor and away.
Their escape would have been easier if they had not attracted the attention of a flock of piranhakeets! The small but vicious and hungry birds swarmed over our venturers who fought back with spell, bow, net and other tactics finally dispersing the flock after taking a multitude of small bites. Then bruised and battered they made it back to portal and the Complex.
Rollin and Bradely ventured back to cut the hide from the dead wyrmling and managed to do so before being caught by anything that would harm them. The Complex makes the hide into armor for Rollin.