Down and Out in Taren Kost – Campaign Report Episode 15 – Under the Dome

12 March, 2020

This takes place directly following Episode 14.

Our cast for this episode (for more information on the game background, see here):

Reed Greenbottle and Skathfka (with Mercutio is a GMC for this episode.), introducing:

Natya Gefeltewulfa, brave if none too bright scion of a noble family, trained in the arts of the eldritch knight and assigned to a desolate border region to keep her out of trouble. (Fighter – Eldritch Knight, played by B2).

Episode 15: Under the Dome

Cut to: a lone knight and her faithful horse advancing up the mountainous roads, passing through a ruined arch into the edge of the valley.  In the distance, she sees a group of figures advancing into a cave mouth out of which flows a river.  She mounts up and pursues.

It was a triumphMeanwhile, the rest of our heroes have been delayed in the tunnel as Mercutio gives a long and rambling critique of the carved frieze the runs the length of the interior wall with lengthy digressions into the probably sexual hi-jinx going on in the ruler’s harems.

Natya come charging down the tunnel and tackles Mercutio by leaping off her horse.  A confused discussion follows with the end result that Natya is brought into the service of the Patriarch Skathfka on his exploration of land that is rightful his, probably.  Mercutio is made comfortable by Zyn and left behind to recover.

Now, they arrive and see the vast dome-like cavern containing a large lake in the center of which is a set of structures built around a tower.  Linking this area to the road is a causeway as they approach, the end of the causeway rises, like a drawbridge, and the structure, which can now be seen to be a circle, rotates and the causeway lowers linking it to a different part of the central structure.

We want to helpCautiously crossing they come to a metal gate with the bar decorated as climbing vines.  Finding them unlock they advanced unto a riot of overgrown vegetation.  They push their way through and encounter a satyr who seems as shocked to see them as they are to see him.  Luckily, Skathfka has a gift from his patron that allows him to speak to the satyr, whose name is Ajax.  Ajax invites them to come back with him to his village which our heroes agree to.  The village is in a near by clearing, a simple collection of huts with a trio of huts placed high in the branches of trees.  From one of the huts comes a winged woman who looks at Skathfka and then turns and gives Natya a deep kiss.  Then she welcomes them in the Imperial Tongue* and introduces herself as the Siryn Slym.  The satyrs, nymph and fauns bring fruits, vegetables and drinks (surprisingly potent ones at that) and let the characters tell tales of their adventures.  The siryn answer question about the tower vaguely, “the Lady in the tower sing occasionally but always sad songs.”  Our heroes accept the offered hospitality, food and, to a lesser extend, drink, but refuse the offers of companionship (Reed being especially prudish).

The next morning they leave the lush garden behind and leave to find the area they were in was part of a ring and there is at least one more ring to cross before reaching the central tower.  They cross over a bridge and come to another gate, this one the bars are decorated as swords and it is tied shut with red cord in a fiendishly complex knot which Skathfka unties after some effort.  Opening the gate, they see a bare stone road leading between stone buildings . . . and three ugly humanoid figures seemingly in ill fitting leathers, one with a strange scissor-like weapon, another with a polearm with too many blades at the tip and the last with an atlatl and three-bladed projectiles.  A fight insures and the polearm and scissor wielder and cut down quickly and dissolve, leaving the “ill-fitting leathers”, actually their skin, behind.  The one with the atlatl flees and the characters pursue through the buildings, which have been stripped of everything, no doors on the exterior, no furnishings inside.  As they chase the last demon, they hear the buzz of thousands of flies and soon after they kill it they are attacked by a swarm of flies which is dispersed by acid breath and vicious attacks but not before causing some nasty stings and bites.

Then Natya hear her horse screaming in pain and they all pelt back out to the road to see a giant fly-like demon with a distorted human face attacking the horse.  A brutal combat ensure, in which the demon’s mouth gapes impossible wide and pig-sized beetles launch themselves into the air only to crash down on our heroes covering them in bug parts.  They manage to slay the demon and its body bloats and putrefied in second, bursting and releasing a brood of wriggling foot long maggots, some of which are stomped to death, other escapes.

The characters decide to withdraw and recuperate, and find Mercutio, before venturing further towards the tower.  And thus the session ended.

Notes: *Imperial Tongue is the Sea of Stars rough equivalent of common, beginning as a pidgin language based off of simplified Low Draconic with loan words from all over the place.

Images Bas-relief image: Detail of a relief of the eastern stairs of the Apadana at Persepolis (Takht-e Jamshid), Iran, by Phillip Maiwald (Nikopol) found on Wikimedia Commons and used under the Creative Commons Attribution-Share Alike 3.0 Unported, 2.5 Generic, 2.0 Generic and 1.0 Generic license.  Satyr picture edited from A satyr wearing eyeglasses, with young assistant, removes a thorn from the foot of a male faun who leans against female companion. Engraving by G. Piccini after S. Scolari – Stefano Scolari. Wellcome Collection CC BY

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