They Ramble Again!

In honor of Brian showing up for the first time in ages, and Dan forgetting his notebooks, the Rambling Bumblers rambled again!  And they didn’t even bumble!

When last we left our intrepid adventurers, they were exploring the Ice Caverns of the Moth-People (TM).  They had accidentally destroyed the crystal array that produced the shaft of blue light that powered the whole underground Moth-people city when Jacob (Doug) had killed the guardian dragon, which then crashed into the crystal array at the bottom of the shaft the city was poised above.  Seeking to ameliorate the damage, they were exploring the lower reaches of the shaft, right above the broken crystal array, where they had found a room with three mysterious empty crystal sarcophagi, four doors (behind one of which they could sense unspeakable evil), and a swirly mesmerizing pattern on the floor.  The party was trying to find out how to open the door into the unspeakable evil. That’s where we broke off, three (?) or so years ago.

The intervening years having granted them wisdom, they were now puzzled as to why it seemed so important back then to open the evil doors, and why they had been so reluctant to mess with the blue crystals themselves, other than Merath/Wendy’s paranoia about the blue light being incompatible with her own Pink Light Power(TM).  After messing around with the sarcophagi, including both Merath and Bastriel (Paul) attempting to analyze the magic of them, they concluded that

  • the crystals were controlled by the sarcophagi
  • they sarcophagi were being interfered with by evil spells emanating from behind the evil doors and warding off the two other doors

So they set out to break the bonds between the spells from the Evil Door (an arched double-door composed of greenish marble and swirling iron tracery) and the sarcophagi, and then power up the crystal array.  Since this involved actually climbing into the goo in the crystal sarcophagi and allowing it to bond with them, there was a decent amount of bravery involved.  This they succeeded in doing, though the damage to the crystal array caused it to short-circuit and spew destructive energy around, melting one of the overhead bridges and crispy-frying the dragon’s corpse before they could shut it down.  This prompted a further bout of analysis and brainstorming, during which they ascertained

  • they couldn’t repair the blue crystals, but they might be able to replace them with Pink Light Power (TM)
  • it would be insanely dangerous to the Rose Kingdom to do so unless they completely eliminated the evil influence from beyond the Evil Door

So now that they had an actual reason to explore beyond the Evil Door, they warded Jacob against any form of compulsion (see!  Wisdom!) and he hacked the doors open.  A nauseous miasma of evil puffed out of the room beyond, starting to fill the sarcophagus chamber.  Merath threw up a Pink Light Power(TM) bubble around herself and found it warded off the miasma, so she expanded it to encompass the rest of the party.

Just then, a huge shadowy figure shambled out of the Evil Room.  Despite heavy flavor text from the GM, they held off attacking it until it was revealed that this was, as the players expected, Dan’s new PC…a giant-sized member of The Pack (the wolfman race).  Dan’s character (forget the name at the moment) had been exploring a ruin in a far off area near the Wildlands, and accidentally stepped across a Nephari spiral that took him into the Evil Room, where he was nearly overwhelmed by the evil miasma.

Proceeding into the Evil Room, warding of the miasma with Pink Light Power, they found a network of spell lines coming through the Nephari spiral in the center of the room.  They succeeded mightily in the attempt to break the curse lines and the evil influence was banished.  There was some talk about whether they could destroy the spiral completely, but they were reluctant to mess with it too much (more Wisdom!).

They returned to the other room, and then to the outer bridge over the shaft, where Merath used the Pink Light Power to eliminate the corpse of the dragon…which she managed to do without vaporizing the entirety of the bottom of the shaft, exhibiting more control over the destructive aspects of the Pink Light Power than she had been able to previously.  They still had no way to regrow the blue crystals, so they decided to attempt to replace them with pink…something…to share the power of the Rose Kingdom with the Moth kingdom.  Against all odds, this succeeded without apparent complications, and now the bottom of the shaft is covered with the stylized rose symbol of the Rose Kingdom, worked out in crystal, and a shaft of Pink Light Power springs forth, illuminating the cavern, powering the devices of the Moth city and, incidentally, annexing the Moth Kingdom to the Rose Kingdom.  The new political realities of the situation have yet to be conveyed either to Queen Moth-Ra or to the Rose Princess, but the RB congratulate themselves on a job well done!  And you know, for them it totally was.  They saved the people they intended to save, thwarted evil, and there was no collateral damage this session at all.

Like Moths to a Flame

I have just added on to a summary already written by Brian:

The party ran into a rather large ice-golem that seemed to be immune to the pink light. Trust me — the first thing we did was have Merath zorch it, so she
stayed firmly in character (Wendy was absent this session). After that didn’t work, Merath cleverly cursed it so that its ice became rotted and brittle. Nathan found a giant bow in the chamber, but he wasn’t strong enough to draw it. Marath quickly blessed him to increase his strength. This allowed Nathan to shatter the golem with a couple of well-placed arrows, which was a good thing, because Jacob the Mighty (TM) was busy rolling 1’s. We learned an important lesson about ice golems, though — splitting an ice golem in two gets you two full-sized ice golems. So although there was some clever strategy and teamwork in evidence, we required the legendary cunning of Bastriel to get us out of this mess (Editor: This was in Brian’s original version).

After extricating ourselves from the Golem Menace, we wandered about the caverns, finding that they exhibited some odd physical properties. This was quickly dubbed the “Scooby-Doo Effect” as we found that when we left the central room via one passagway, we almost always returned to the central room via another passage.

Trail and error finally worked in our favor and we stumbled upon the a small “city” of humanoid moths (we had run into one such fellow a bit earlier in the evening). Bastriel straining the limits of his diplomatic skill instructed the Mothmen to “Take me to your leader,” and surprisingly enough they complied. Queen Mothra is her name, a blue-skinned beauty (much to Bastriel’s delight), and she informed the party, due in large part to Nathan’s gentle manuevering of the conversation, that all is not right in Moth-ville. Being heroes, the party looks like they are going to help, and there have been knowing glances exchanged about perhaps adding the mothmen to the Rose Kingdom’s faithful subjects.

Deeper Into The Ice

The Rambling Bumblers (it is the Rambling Bumblers, isn’t it? Are we all agreed?) explored deeper into the Nefari-built ice caverns beneath the Red Keep. Coming to a huge fanged archway carved in the ice, Jacob the mighty sliced it apart with the Thorn Sword….and released an enormous Ice Worm. Unfortunately for the poor fauna of the ice cavern, Jacob’s skill at Giant Killing made short work of the beast. Unfortunately for the party, the carcass of the worm attracted the hungry attention of the cloud beast in the chasm, which poured up out of the chasm towards them. Eleazar quickly hurled some silver crescents and put up a ward to protect the party, and after some hemming and hawing, Merath of Yahar let loose with a full-power blast of the Rose Light to try and destroy the worm carcass, so that the cloud would lose interest. Merath forgot, apparently, that within the Rose Kingdom, the power of the light was nearly unlimited, and ended up vaporizing a 30-yard diameter sphere including the worm, the archway, a goodly chunk of the cliff, and the ice bridge that the party had come in on. Ooops. It did kill or drive off the cloud beast, though.
Buried in the ice they found a new PC, Nathan (played by Brian). Nathan had somehow came to be buried there after severely annoying a curse witch three years before, but he was fuzzy on the details. Seeing no other way out, he elected to follow them, although throughout the evening they gave him cause to wonder at the wisdom of that decision.
A bit of fancy work with the rope later, and the party was in the ice tunnel (twenty yards behind the original entrance); proceeding down the tunnel, lit by Merath. After a while, the tunnel came to be suffused with at first a blue, and then a blue-green glow. Eleazar came to be more and more aware of whispering in Nefari that apparently only he could hear. Spotting shadowy humanoid figures paralleling their line of march, Jacob slashed through the ice, revealing another tunnel, and the polished surface that was reflecting the party’s images. They moved over to the new tunnel, and a fair distance farther came to a big, deep cavern, reminiscent of the cavern of the Rose Light beneath the Rose Tower. In the center of the cavern was an icy platform, and there were 24 ice bridges from the platform to tunnels in the walls; below they could see another such platform, and another beneath that, which was as far as the golden light from the torch ensorcelled by Bastriel could carry. As soon as they stepped onto the bridge, the ambient blue-green glow went out, and Eleazar stopped hearing the whispering.
Merath refused to enter the cavern once she figured out that her precious pink light wouldn’t work there, so the others investigated the platform and discovered a Nefari spiral underneath the undisturbed snow. Unlike certain other PCs, they did not walk right across the hidden spiral, so no unexpected journeys to the Nefari lands for them. Yet.
They decided to explore the tunnels methodically, starting at the immediate left, and once they had gotten to it safely managed, with some difficulty, to persuade Merath to join them. Once in the corridor her light worked again, and she was much relieved.
Down the corridor they were attacked by a horde of tiger-sized Ice Weasels, who attempted to rip their flesh. They dispatched several, but there seemed to be no end to them, and eventually (once they rediscovered the fact that Merath’s pink light worked as a damage shield) they sent Merath out into the pack, and eventually the ravening weasels were reduced to so many cauterized gobbets of flesh. In order to prevent them from being used by spirits to make undead, Merath systematically vaporized the lot of them. In the weasel’s nest they discovered a fancy red stone box with gold trim, in which they found a Nefari magical charm (a ring linked to a bracelet) that they tucked away for future examination. There was a narrow tunnel leading out, but since they would have to slither through it, they elected to ignore it.
In the second corridor they found a barrier of differently colored ice, and when Jacob poked a hole in it, water poured out (presumably from the lake above); Merath used her hedge-wizardry to reseal the hole before the entire lake came in.
In the third corridor they discovered a temple with a Nefari altar of ice (shackles, blood-grooves and everything), which Eleazar ritually defiled–although the process of doing so knocked them all out. Upon recovering, they explored two of the three adjacent rooms, in one finding feathery vestments in iridescent blue and green, and in another many sharp knives and instruments of torture as well as a big black Book O’ Evil. Jacob attempted to set fire to the book, and burst into flames himself. Unable to put out the fire on his leafy form, he raced back to corridor two, cut another hole and doused himself. Merath followed, a little belatedly, and sealed up the hole before too much of the lake came in.
At that point, we broke for the evening.