The Sunken City

The Judge: Session 4

The group returned to Mustertown via the Proving Stone and the news of the fallen’s fate delivered. The baked clay markers were turned in so the next of kin could be notified, while those that survived were treated as heroes.

Several months pass as the group enjoys their new found money, equipping themselves with better gear and several making real progress in gaining true arcane power. As the money begins to fade Meffridus and Iomagoth swear their fealty Malloc as their patron. Soon thereafter the first of the visions occur.

Over the course of a week the pair receive visions of a mask and then another night a vision of the Sending Stone. On subsequent nights the pair hear strange whispers. ‘Clotilda Gralk’ and ‘Slither’s End’. Finally the pair wake up with the word ‘Control’ carved into their arm. Though the scar will heal, a message is definitely trying to be sent.

Telling the others the group seeks out a Shaman to try to make sense of it. He tells them of an old town called Slither’s End, one of the first areas to be reclaimed by the same. He also shows the group an old sketch of the mask that was seen in the vision. Supposedly the mask can unlock ones deepest desires, perhaps also allowing one to control the demon in the Sending Stone to control transport more easily? The shaman finally reveals that the Lady en route to the Sending Stone has been known to mold the demons will in where folks are sent. While she cannot do so frequently, perhaps with the right tokens of appreciation she could help the group.

The group armed with this information adding clarity to the visions, the group heads back through Mustertown towards the Sending Stone. Gonlex readily turns over 9 electrum coins much to the group’s chagrin, though the Lady is quite happy to help accepting the coins as a retainer. She agrees to see if she can speak to the demon within the stone to help direct the group’s travels.

Using the stone the group does indeed arrive in Slither’s End. On a small island, pigs hung in cages rotting in the damp air. Dark shapes swim through the water as a bow on the far dock looks on, shaking his head at the dark shapes. Using rope and grapple to cross the boy remains silent, but the shaking of his head seems to keep the dark shapes from getting too close to the group.

On the larger island it appears a fair is soon to take place for harvest season. A pair of city council members hurry quickly to the group, ready to risk them on a tour of the island. Introducing themselves as Miriam and Grimchops the dwarf the group is ushered around the island. They are shown various buildings, a rusty red pool and the empty house of the Gralks with the graveyard out back.
Along the way and once back at the fair tents the group learns that both the Gralks are missing, supposedly with Jonas Gralk the son having carried the mom away several days ago. The adults seem to go about their business, but the children seem to lack any real happiness with morose looks upon their faces. The shapes in the water are supposedly there to protect the island and some of the townsfolk mention other disappearances of late and mention a 30-eyed snake like creature.

The fair’s contests will be starting the next day. Miriam happily invites the group to participate in the challenges against the town’s own people.

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The Judge: Session 3

With the slimes defeated the group again returned to the room with the vases. With a brilliant idea from Meffridus, the group began to heat the bottom of the vases and listening for the rattle of a coin as a way to determine which vases to open. Using this methodology the group was able to easily determine which vases help coins and which held the noxious gas.

Seeing little alternative the group returned to the south arch off the main room they plummeted into. Moving into that natural grotto the group found a slow moving underground river with hundreds upon hundreds of crayfish swimming about and one large shadowy shape swimming by. Across the far side was a glint from something shiny on the island.

Wanting to test the waters the group sacrificed Sarth’s sheep and tied it to a line and then threw it into the water. Quickly the water churned and a giant catfish like creature some 20’ long leapt from the air and took a leg off the sheep. Hurriedly pulling the sheep back to shore the group decided to put the sheep back in the water and be prepared to pepper the catfish with ranged weapons. Employing this tactic several times the group appeared to have weakened the catfish, but not killed it.

Seeking a “safe” way across the underground river the group took one of the large braziers from the room and also flung a rope with grappling hook across. With the rope secured two members pulled themselves across in the oversized brazier. On the way across the large catfish leapt up out of the water but failed to capsize the makeshift raft allowing the two to safely reach the other side.

They found several small items over there including the skeleton of a man who was likely trapped for several years on the far side. Retrieving the items the group finished off the catfish and then made their way back across the river.

Heading back to the vase room, Dandelion caught the feeling of a small breeze prompting the group to look for secret door which they handily found. Behind it was a hall that led to a room which had paintings depicting acts of unspeakable pleasures.

Finding multiple passages from here they found one that led to a rubble collapse that Felroy deemed quite unstable as also evidenced by the pair of boots sticking out from under the pile of rock. The group decided to leave that alone.

Another passage appeared to have a slight grade upwards, though there was collapsed rubble there as well. The group decided to check the other passage out first.

This passage ran to a hall with a slight turn in it opening into a room with large tree in the center with a glimmering chalice hanging from a tooth-like maw. Eight giant lanterns hung over open holes in the floor with small alcoves all about the chamber.

Gonlex was the first to cross the circle of lanterns which caused giant root-like tendrils to burst forth from the floor and begin grabbing and attacking the group. Several get grabbed and begin to get squeezed while others are tossed across the room. Heidolphus gets squeezed to death and is then transported towards the maul as Felroy tried to retrieve the chalice, but gets attacked by tendrils from the maw itself. Grappled there he received aide to break free. As they flee Heidolphus is fed to the tree’s mouth. As the blood flows the root-like tentacles recede allowing the group to flee.

But not before several of the party members accept the blessing of Malloc!

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The Judge: Session 2

With the pavilion in the arena explored, the company decides to descend a rope to the arena floor to investigate a lone skeleton in the arena clutching a golden sword. Approaching the skeleton and using a 10’ pole to poke at the skeleton sends “screens” of elemental electrical energy coursing through the walls and openings essentially trapping the group in the arena floor area.

The stands slowly come to “life” with the sounds of moans, screams and other horrific whines as the skeletons littering the arena’s stands begin to stand and look down upon the arena floor.

Spikes begin pushing up from an inner wall with force, then retracting before doing so again. A set of large steel balls come rolling around the arena floor area the group is on with extreme force. Ben and Lantin fail to dodge them and are killed from the blow as the balls clank down against the spikes along the inner wall.

A portion of the group checks the rope and finds the elemental energy screen will prevent them from scaling back up it into the pavilion. Another portion of the group tries to roll one of the steel balls back through one of the energy curtains, and while the steel ball passes through, they take damage from the electric energy arcing through the steel ball.

Another group focuses on the short wall with spikes that has a black hole at the bottom, currently also covered by an energy field. One leaps over the wall, clearing the spikes only to tumble down onto the energy field below. The others rig up a bridge of the fallen bodies of Ben and Lantin.

Using this makeshift bridge the rest of the companions cross over the bodies, though Algernon loses his footing and succumbs to a blow from one of the spikes.

The group discovers some panels that depict a tree with long roots, much like the one carved on the front of the arena itself. Pressing one of these plates causes the energy screen to disappear, revealing an opening that seems bottomless from the top. Lowering a torch proves that it disappears in blackness several feet below.

Next Gonlex was lowered on the rope disappearing into the darkness. Moments later the electric elemental energy field snapped back into place, severing the rope. Gonlex was nowhere to be found, calls for him were unanswered.

With little options for escape from the arena the tree embossed plates were pressed again and the party made their way into the dark hole.

After many moments of darkness the party splashed down in a pool of water, finding themselves healed completely was they looked about a circular chamber.

Leaving this chamber the group found themselves face to face with chain wielding skeletons which proved little match as the group quickly laid them back to rest. The party quickly learned that return trips to the pool for healing was not an option as it seemed to affect the individuals stamina.

The group then headed west finding themselves in a hall with passage to the north and to the south. Heading to the north the group came upon a room with 18 stoppered vases. One vase was smashed, a noxious gas spilling out killing Dorian. Another had the top pried off, again releasing a noxious gas in the room which was quickly burned off with a torch.

Deciding to head south the group found themselves in what appeared to be a washroom, purple slugs covering the walls, though they had no interest in the party. Elroy and Felroy moved further into the room causing two purple slimes to come out of the toilets and attack the pair.

A battle ensued with Elroy falling victim to the slime and Delbert getting killed by an arrow from one of his own comrades. Soon the battle ended with the group victorious, though less in number.

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The Judge: Session 1

Coming from assorted backgrounds you met at the south gates of the Great City waiting for them to be opened. With debts growing and struggling to make ends meet, some not even able to afford arrows for their bow, the group of you found yourselves in Mustertown.

This little ramshackle village just outside the Great City walls sits on an area of dry land just between the Great City and the expansive Sunken City the swamp has been reclaiming for centuries. While the Great City is harsh on debtors, they allow ones to form Free Companies to venture forth into the Sunken City via a Sending Stone to make their attempt at striking it rich.

Meeting up at the Soiled Dove you quickly found Old Soily who told you about the protocol for forming up into a group and heading out into the Sunken City. With the copper piece fee paid, arm bands distributed and clay marker to note your next of kin should you not return you were given directions to the Sending Stone to the south via a narrow causeway.

Along they way you met The Lady who seemed to live in a small shack along the route. She seemed pleasant enough and wished you well on your journey to the Sunken City.

Reaching the Sending Stone, towering some 20’ high and years of glyphs faded by the weater save for the horned head that seemed to be weathering better than the rest. Wasting little time the group placed their hands on this massive stone and found themselves transported through swirling darkness to a misty, grassy, swampy area of the Sunken City.

With the smell of roasted meat from one direction and a great areana visible in the distance to the north, the group chose to move towards the smell of roasting meat. En route you encounterd eight opposumen, a cross between man and possum. The battle was brief with your sheer numbers overwhelming these strange beasts.

Finding their camp a short distance away you found some rope, lean-tos and 8 bottles of wine. Following some drag marks from camp into the waters of the swamp where you lost track of them you found yourself beset upon by two large crocodillos. While much tougher than the opposumen you once again managed to defeat both beasts. Being resourceful you mangeged to cobble some crude leather shirts for makeshift armor and food for several days to pack along.

Continuing to the north you reached the great circular arena with the word ‘Madazkan’ carved into the stone arch of the gatehouse. A dead tree with roots trending downwards also marked the doorway.

Deciding to use the great staircases on the exterior of the arena you found yourself in the stands of the arena with hundreds of skeletons littering them. Spying a pavilion across the way, the group worked their way through the stands to the pavilion. One tried to ease their way along the edge only to slip and fall to their death. The remaining group used the doors to enter the pavilion.

Within you found more skeletons that appeared to have defending this area. A skeleton sitting in a chair was clutching a black mace with chains that was freed from the bony grasp. Several swords and armor were also found that acted as upgrades for the group.

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