RPG Recap: Beyond the Temple of the Abyss, 2012-09-22

Sometime during the Red Moon, 937

With their numbers bolstered by centurions and sellswords, the tripart party of Red, Yuki, and Delian made good on their threat to seek their fortune inside the statue of Cosativa. They paid Egrin to arrange their entrance, and were saved considerable expense when he pointed out that the centurions would likely be admitted without tickets.

Inside the plinth’s brass doors, whatever means of travel once took visitors from the statue’s base to its top was gone, or at least reduced to a scrap of twisted metal. Inside, the ascent was lit only by shafts of light coming through the walls and by spots of light that slid across the interior surface with no clear pattern or source. Centurion Α was sent up the metal cabling that hung inside. He only made it about fifty feet before he reported becoming entangled in an unnatural spiderweb. When ordered to free himself, he dropped his sword and stopped responding.

The group decided to try going down, instead.

With a rope secured to the metal debris in the shaft, the group descended one by one and found themselves in a huge, dark round room. Slowly, they established a loose perimeter around their point of entry and tossed torches out into the room to light it up.

The room was about 100’ across, with four ramps leading down. Each ramp was surrounded by a mural and numbered by a plaque:

  1. to the southeast, its mural depicting an elaborate map
  2. to the southwest, depicting two armed men, one triumphant and one defeated
  3. to the northwest, its mural a complex pattern of curves and angles
  4. to the northeast, again depicting two men, both amputees

A number of small displays were set around the room, as well: two statues facing each other, a floating black sphere, a model city, a dead man on a patch of dead, earth, and an abstract metal sculpture overgrown with a pale blue thicket. Vines from the thicket spread out far and wide across the floor, and down the ramps.

The first statue was some sort of fortune-telling construct, which interpreted the significance of Yuki’s life for him for a gold coin. The reliability of its interpretation was unclear.

Before investigating the rest of the room, the group looked into the scattered remains of five centurions near the west wall. The centurions’ group leader retrieved an energy weapon from them, restored it to working order, and at Red’s suggestion vaproized the thicket across the room. Beside the destroyed centurions were two purple blobs, one of which, when carefully observed for several minutes, was seen to extend a pseudopod and extinguish the torch that had landed near it. Assuming that the thing didn’t like the light, Rob-E suggested he could focus the light of several nearby torches onto a hand mirror and bathe the blob in the focused light. He did, and got quite a reaction: the blob flowed up into a pillar, sputtered, and began to roil toward the nearest living things: the mercenaries.

Rob-E panicked and retreated.

The rest of the group scrambled to set fire to the shambling ooze. Delian lobbed a flaming vial of oil, Yuki fired a flaming bolt from his crossbow, and Red threw just about anything he could find, culminating in the throwing of a hacked-up piece of vine. The ooze was angered, but not stopped, and with its caustic touch it dissolved most of Len and engulfed Hester whole. The rest of the mercenaries and centurions looked for throwable debris, but came up empty-handed — except for centurion Ε, who picked up the body from the patch of dead soil, set it alight, and threw it into the blob, which seemed to suffer greatly. Rob-E, who had gotten behind the group to cower, was cajoled into resuming his light attack.

In the end, the thing was dead, and dissolved into a puddle. Red set a torch to much of its surface area, just to be sure. Everyone agreed to try to not disturb the other blob, which had remained dormant.

While everyone else resumed their positions around the entrance, Red and Group Leader moved to investigate the model city. Group Leader identified it as Alithica (possibly during the preceptorship of Astagath), and saw nothing out of the ordinary about it. Red the Medium, on the other hand, saw quite a bit out of the ordinary. Looking through one of the magnifying lenses mounted around its border, he saw hundreds of tiny people engaged in a general panic. Some sat catatonic, staring into the distance, but most of the others ran: some to attack and defile, others only to flee. Occasionally, he caught site of a sinister shape moving through the crowd. Rob-E reported seeing nothing, and while Delian saw people moving through the city’s streets, he didn’t see anything unusual in their activities. Finally, Red called for one of the mercenaries, who gasped in horror: she had seen the same thing.

In Memoriam

R.I.P., Hester the Harrier
R.I.P., Len the Linkboy

Written on September 28, 2012
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