Jhavira, my heart, my spirit,
I saw you in my dreams, as we rested. It was a brief slumber, fitful, for I cannot sleep well in this place. I feel the shadows thickening, deepening all around us. Though I wear an amulet that shields me from the eyes of whatever lurks in the bowels of this tomb—it cannot see me, not by any magical means—I feel the thing's eyes upon my companions. I do not know if they feel it, too: I have said nothing, for fear of breaking their hope, or their resolve; if that happens, we will never leave this place, and it will be the tomb not only of the nine gods, but of all of us, as well.
Perhaps they sense it, however. Our priest, previously so hateful of the Goatish Staff, has now curled up with it while he sleeps. He is, it seems, resolved to doing whatever he must to survive the coming battle. Stump, normally jovial, has grown sullen and resentful of battle, and the dwarf stands apart from us now, almost as if awaiting some opportune moment to strike us down. I still do not know the nature of the spirit that has climbed into the mage's mind, but I am watching him closely now.
The truth is, a grim pallor has fallen on us all. I must, I think, try to rouse their spirits… me. Yes, my love, this is how dire it has become, that it falls upon me to try cheer up my companions, if you can imagine such a sight. As we are resting, I have gone from one to another, reassuring them of their valor, thanking them for all they do, and telling them I am proud to have fought alongside them. Whether this will do any good, I cannot say… but I have tried in the way I know how to do.
If only you were here with us, your songs would kindle a fire in their hearts, but… alas, we are without you, though I feel your spirit here with me.
This place, this place… it is a madman's plaything. Not a mad man, rather, but a mad thing. Each level we descend deeper into the tomb, there is some new amusement for the heartless, and on the level to which we descended—the aboleth's home—there is a horror of clockworks. Whole great chambers set upon gears, and a hidden room where baffling levers control their vast movements. Imagine the machinery on which it all rests. Imagine the perversion that would dedicate itself to building this—not as a wonder, not for the glee of visitors, but only as a means of serving up death to them. That Builder… it must be destroyed.
Of course someone, or something, is watching. There would be no reason to build such works, to construct such a thing, unless it were one's entertainment. Here, a jungle chamber, overgrown with weeds and trees, and a mound of filth that springs to life when one enters. There, a stone chamber wet with slime.
Here, a side-chamber filled with noxious poison gas, its last victim laid out upon the floor; there, a chamber lined with cabinets that vomit forth horrors when opened—demons of various descriptions, a warband of orcs, a cloud of wahaj almatakat—the others call them "willow wisps"—and all must be slain ere one pass through the way out from the room, even the helpless, bumbling spirit-automaton that tumbled from one of the cabinets, poor thing. (I had in my heart half-hoped our prating priest might attempt to banish it to its heaven instead.)
The battles, now, have gone from a sport, to a horror, to a grind: we are cutting our way through the Builder's legions, in the hope that we may reach him and cut our way througn him in turn. It is much like it was in the jungle above, machetes in hand: cut, march, cut, march cut, rest, and then wake only to begin again.
When I fell from the wall, I got a close look at the gearwork under the rotating chambers here, on the level where we remain. They could have been concealed beneath the waters, I realized. They were left visible on purpose, I understood, simply to remind us of one simple fact: that we are the ants in his evil machine, crawling between the gears, scrabbling for purchase and hoping not to be crushed or ground to mulch.
Oh, how I long to murder that Builder. To murder it to pieces, to send it reeling into the darkness and smash its bones and soak them in blessed water and then grind them to dust and encyst them in some hidden, magical prison, so that the Builder may never, ever return, or escape, or live again. I ache at the prospect of delivering upon it the perfect gift of the Death Eternal.
And now, we have made our way through to a hallway, and we huddle here, considering whether to forge on deeper into the bowels of the earth, or to search the rooms we might otherwise have passed by, in case something here might possibly arm us against the evil that awaits. There is a staircase that looks to open down into the darkness below, perhaps to the final sanctum. When I look at it, a sick feeling passes over me, but I have fought to hide my misgivings. Something tells me the Builder—or at least, his worst appointee—lurks here, snickering in evil glee at our tribulations, untroubled by our closeness.
Had it any sense, it would have fled long ago. For we are, I swear, going to destroy it utterly, before the week is out.
And then, the stone hidden in my jerkin will guide me to you, my love. Hold fast, and keep strength and hope in your heart.
New treasure as of this session:
- regular studded leather armor
- 6 carnelians (50gp each)
- a sword that makes the wielder understand the Draconic tongue (given to Biff/)
- a dungeoneer's pack
Characters are currently at 10th level, using the Milestone Advancement system.
TOTAL LOOT COLLECTED:
Precious Stones, Jewelry, Artworks, & Ingots:
- 2 unspecified gems (50 gp each)
- 6 Onyxes worth 50gp each
- 4 pieces of moss agate worth 10 gp each
- a necklace worth 15gp
- Assorted trinkets from the Grung camp.
- 10 adamantine ingots worth 10gp each, stamped with dwarven runes
- Ceramic Ring (25 gp)
- Three painted gold masks sized for children and shaped like the faces of a bat, a monkey, and a parrot, respectively (75 gp each)
- A gold coronet shaped like an octopus with mother-of-pearl eyes (2,500 gp)
- five moonstones (50 gp each),
- 10 opalescent stones worth 75gp each.
- 6 carnelians (50 gp each)
- Jug of Alchemy (carried by Shayegume)
- Wand of Secrets (carried by Hakkan), 2 charges left.
- One jar of Keoghtom's Ointment (2 uses remaining (2 uses consumed in today's session), carried by Hakkan)
- 20 magical arrows +1 (carried by Hakkan)
- Charms given the group by the Guardian Naga Orolonga
- Razz: a Charm of Animal Conjuring
- Stump: a Charm of Heroism
- Brother Aught: a Charm of Restoration
- Hakkan: a Charm of Feather Fall
- Shayegume: a Charm of Vitality
- Cloak of Protection +1 (to AC and Saving Throws while worn), made from beautiful parrot feathers, worn by Stump
- 1 ring of jumping (As yet unassigned to a PC?)
- 3 potions of healing remaining
- 1 potions of greater healing remaining
- 1 potion of water breathing
- 1 Decanter of Endless Water (Carried by Hakkan)
- 1 Helm of Telepathy (worn by Shayegume)
- A Flame Tongue longsword (+2d6 fire damage on successful hit rolls) (carried by Stump)
- A pair of bracers of defense (+2) Worn by Shayegume
- A Wand of the War Mage, carried by Shayegume
- An Amulet of Proof against Detection and Location, worn by Hakkan
- A Ring +1 of Protection (carried by Brother Aught)
- A Mace of Terror (carried by Razz)
- A Staff of the Python (carried by Stump?)
- "Teleportation Amulet" carried by Shayegume: The amulet has 6 charges and regains 1d6 charges daily at dawn. While wearing the amulet, you can use an action to expend 1 of its charges to transport yourself and anything you are wearing or carrying to a location within 100 feet of you. The destination you choose doesn’t need to be in your line of sight, but it must be familiar to you (in other words, a place you have seen or visited), and it must be on the same plane of existence as you. This effect isn’t subject to the magic restrictions placed on the Tomb of the Nine Gods; thus, the amulet can be used to enter and exit the tomb.
- A Staff of Striking (+3, cursed to give anyone who attunes it a goatish appearance), carried by Brother Aught: The staff has 10 charges. When you hit with a melee attack using it, you can expend up to 3 of its charges. For each charge you expend, the target takes an extra 1d6 force damage. The staff regains 1d6 + 4 expended charges daily at dawn. If you expend the last charge, roll a d20. On a 1, the staff becomes a nonmagical quarterstaff.
- a potion of healing
- Pearl of Power (petrified Grung Egg) (carried by Shayegume)
- A Wand of Wonders (not yet attuned, carried by Hakkan)
- 1 Potion of Diminution (carried by Hakkan)
- 1 Bead of Force (carried by Razz)
- +1 Shield (bronze, shaped like a screaming devil's face) (carried by Brother Aught)
- Some kind of Magical Lute of Shagambi (carried by Hakkan)
- a Robe of Scintillating Colors (worn by Shayegume)
- a pair of bracers (magical?)*
- The Navel of the Moon (secretly hidden on Hakkan's person)
- a sword that grants the wielder the ability to understand the Draconic language (on Biff)
Spellbooks & Scrolls:
- Spell Scroll (Tasha's Hideous Laughter, carried by Shayegume)
- Spell Scroll (Comprehend Languages, carried by Shayegume)
- 2 scrolls with the spell Cure Disease
- 1 scroll with the spell Unseen Servant
- A Red Wizard of Thay's spellbook, containing the following spells:
- 1st level (4 slots): detect magic, mage armor, magic missile, shield
- 2nd level (3 slots): misty step, suggestion
- 3rd level (3 slots): counterspell, fireball, fly
- 4th level (3 slots): greater invisibility, ice storm
- 5th level (1 slot): cone of cold
- Ras Nisi's spellbook (spells ???)
- 1st level: alarm, comprehend languages, detect magic, expeditious retreat, identify, illusory script, sleep, Tenser's floating disk
- 2nd level: arcane lock, cloud of daggers, flaming sphere, knock
- 3rd level: dispel magic, fireball
- Cantrips (at will): acid splash, mage hand, minor illusion, prestidigitation
- 1st level (4 slots): detect magic, expeditious retreat, feather fall, thunderwave
- 2nd level (3 slots): darkness, hold person, rope trick
- 3rd level (3 slots): dispel magic, lightning bolt
- 4th level (3 slots): blight, wall of fire
- 5th level (1 slot): telekinesis
The Drow Spellbook:
- Cantrips (at will): mage hand, minor illusion, poison spray, ray of frost
- 1st level (4 slots): mage armor, magic missile, shield, witch bolt
- 2nd level (3 slots): alter self, misty step, web
- 3rd level (3 slots): fly, lightning bolt
- 4th level (3 slots): Evard’s black tentacles, greater invisibility
- 5th level (2 slots): cloudkill
12,000 cp, 5,000 sp, and 2,200 gp: not sure how much of that we can carry, so leaving for future edit.
Carried before this session:
- 155 pp
- 2814 gp
- 5119 sp
- 11 ep
- 273 cp (+12,000cp?)
Assorted Other Items:
- 6 Carved Wooden Chultan Goblin Masks (value unknown)
- 1 Carved Wooden Mask (25 gp)
- 1 ivory smoking pipe, worth 25gp
- 1 very high quality spyglass (estimated value ~500 gp)
- 2 Triceratops eggs, unhatched
- a sack seemingly made of human skin
- A map of the region, from the Red Wizard of Thay's baggage
- An extra survival supplies (from the Red Wizard's party's stuff)
- Tabaxi's longbow & 20 arrows (nonmagical, currently on Stump)
- A leopard-skin sash (worth 25gp)
- <s>Eight Puzzle Cubes from the Shrines of Kubanaz, Ijin, Unkh, SOMEONE ELSE, Nyang-Nyang, Shagambi, Moa, and whatever Ras Nisi had. </s> (Lost on entering the Tomb.)
- Feathers, teeth, and the horn of the King of Feathers (the magical T-Rex of Omu)
- An electrum platter engraved with images of Chultan feasting rituals (25 gp)
- An Omuan death mask (worth 250gp)
- Some papier-mâché masks from the tomb of Obo'laka.
- Nyangnyang's burial urn
- Withers' shortsword (claimed by Hakkan)
- Withers' journals, which we scoured for information
- A "scholar's pack" worth of equipment
- Withers' grimacing metal mask (taken as a trophy by Stump)
- A scholar's pack
- Orvex's notebook
- A clay chameleon statuette covered in crystal beads that change colors (25 gp)
- A fine music box (250 gp)
- a golden, cockroach-shaped jewelry box (worth 250gp?)
- a jade key
- a pair of sceptres of matching design (one iron, one brass, both with adamantine heads)
- a hornet mask of gold (worth???)
- one suit of studded leather armor (on Hakkan)
- one dungeoneer's pack
- 5 doses of Midnight's Tears (valued at 1500gp/dose): ingested poison, 96hp dmg/dose, saving throw for half damage DC 17. Carried by Hakkan.
- 3 Bottles of Poison Gas Vapor: 15' radius sphere of poisonous vapors for 1 minute. For those in range, DC 15 CON saving throw to resist damage (fail = 18 (4d8) poison damage). Creatures are affected even if they hold their breath or don't need to breathe.
- <s>12</s> <s>11</s> 10 Doses of Serpent Venom (cost 200gp each): used on weapons : DC 11 Constitution saving throw; 10 (3d6) poison damage on a failed save, or half damage on a successful save.
- (1 dose used on Zagmira.)
- (Six doses applied to arrows held by Razz; four doses in Hakkan's possession.)
- (1 dose wasted on a missed shot at the aboleth)
- 3 Doses of Essence of Ether (300gp each): inhalation poison: dose is a 5-foot cube. DC 15 CON save or fall asleep for 8 hours. Wakes if wounded or shaken awake.
- 5 doses of Torpor (ingested) (600 gp/dose): DC 15 CON save to avoid being incapacitated by the poison for 4d6 hours.
Critters Defeated/Dealt With Between Levels 9-10:
- Mezzoloth (1?)
- Bone devils (3?)
- Will-o-th'wisps (2?)
- Warband of orcs (7?) with a Chieftan
- a helpless modron