Saturday, 22 June 2019

THE CRYSTAL SEAS... EPISODE 9: Troll-Lol-Lol

The following content borrows heavily from the 5e update for The Sunless Citadel, available in Tales from the Yawning Portal. There will be spoilers, although the module has been adapted for our Crystal Seas Sandbox. If you intend to play The Sunless Citadel, please look away now!


12th Sositi, continued...


The party, after a trap-ridden journey through the Sunken Citadel, happened upon an ancient sarcophagus occupied by a deadly troll...

"It's definitely a troll."

The enormous creature sprung forth from its stone tomb, emaciated after its interminable entombment. It swiped at Kuriakos and Horace with long, blackened claws; it did little more than scratch their armour, however. Kuriakos unleashed a flurry of swipes from his twin scimitars, carving deep fissures in the creature's sallow flesh. An arrow from Analicia's shortbow vanished into the darkness, as did a firebolt from Ursula... and Horace's warhammer proved equally ineffective...
Analicia: The Hero for whom No-One Asked 





In the end, it was the elf-maid of the Varanesi clan who saved the day before the rampaging creature could do any real damage. As a confused Horace watched the beasts wounds apparently close up before his very eyes, a molt of magical fire flicked from the fingers of the thief, and the beast collapsed to the ground in a smouldering heap. Triumphant, this then enabled the elf to proceed to her new-found hobby of tomb-plundering.

The grave-goods of the "living" grave comprised a ceremonial dagger, a few silver rings, a silver amulet and an impressive haul of coins, as well as two stone tablets into which an indecipherable script had been carved. Additionally, Horace scooped up a handful of scrolls, which had initially caught Ursula's eye before being dismissed as "religious nonsense". The wizard finally began to take a rubbing of the hieroglyphs carved on the inside of the lid. She seemed troubled, catching Horace's eye:

"What is it?"

"A powerful spell: it had sealed the... troll in a kind of sleep.. for a long time..."

"How long?"

"At least one thousand years. But that's not all... see the robes the creature is clothed in? They are those of a priest. He... transformed himself using forbidden magic... and was entombed alive."

Analicia's ears pricked up:

"He used to be..."

"Yes," said Ursula, "he was one of your ancestors.

There was a momentary pause.

"Then I'm glad we I put his spirit to rest... speaking of which..."

Almost immediately, Analicia fell into a meditative trance.

Kuriakos shook his head.

"It would appear we're camping in the dungeon tonight."

Strange Dreams


Horace slept uneasily. In his dreams he heard the laughter of the quasit-demon that he and his battle-brother, Kuriakos, had failed to slay. It perturbed him that the unholy creature had eluded capture, and even in his dream-state he felt compelled to ask the Great Dragon for guidance. Almost immediately, he saw the imp appear before him in his mind's eye, and even as it motioned to speak, a vast iridescent serpent emerged from the void, swallowing it whole. He fell into a comfortable slumber.

Even though she wasn't sleeping (and indeed never did), Analicia's trance unexpectedly turned to thoughts of the little demon they had seen earlier that day. Through the blackness of her trance the creature materialised, and at once began to talk to her, explaining that it had a proposition for the elf-maid...

D&D art... fair use... etc.
The quasit explained that its master wished to strike a bargain: perform a service for him, and in return receive great power. Unconvinced yet curious, Analicia sought audience with the demon's master, and almost immediately found herself before a most handsome gentleman. He reminded her somewhat of the iblisi priestess they had encountered at Okraha: he had the same crimson skin and horns as she, yet with eyes of an oddly serpentine bent.

"Please allow me to introduce myself: I'm a man of weal- ah! Wait, sorry, my name... you may call me Asmodeus."

"Pleased to meet you Mister Asmodeus!"

"By now my subordinate will have furnished you with an outline of my proposal: allow me to fill in any gaps to assuage any lingering doubts. Right now, you are very very near to something I dearly want: the Gulthias tree. It's growing, down here, deep in an underground garden-"

"An underground garden?"

"Yes yes, now if you were to bring me one branch I would-"

"Give me great power, yes I know, but how can I trust you?"

"Everything will be in writing!"

The demon summoned a papyrus scroll and a fine feathered quill.

"Bring me one branch and-"

"I'm not sure about the great power part...."

The demon sighed.

"She is that horrid combination of wilful and ignorant... a pleasure to meet you, Analicia!"

"The pleasure was all mine, Ass... Ass man?"

The vision faded, and the elf maiden opened her eyes to find herself back in the dark dungeon, her comrades sleeping soundly by her side, oblivious as to what was coming.


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