Saturday, 14 September 2019

THE LOST CITY PART 9

Actual play adapted from module B4: The Lost City. Will contain spoilers.
Lost in the desert, the four foreigners (Luke, Kostas, Romulus and Xavi) have been whittled down to two by their fourth day in the pyramid above the city of Cynidicea: Kostas nurses an injured leg and Romulus has been inadvertently poisoned! The remaining members of the party were plotting with their allies when news came that the Cult of Zargon had cut off their supply lines to and from the underground city. Will they still proceed with their plan to depose Auriga? Will Xavi forgive Luke for the death of Romulus? Will Kostas ever drink wine again? Find out below (maybe)! Read the previous instalment here
Day 4, Continued...
After hearing the terrible news, Luke ventured that they call off their attack on Auriga and seek to unite against the common threat. The other two leaders were not convinced that Auriga didn't have something to do with it. The Madaruan ally, Helena, volunteered to scout out the chamber of worship, and to see if the Magi made an attempt to travel to the city, after Luke postulated that were AUriga behind the scheme, they would be able to do so unimpeded.

With time of the essence, Luke and Xavi escorted her through their secret entrance, and stood guard as the stealthy woman snuck into the chamber....

TURN 7 (a few hours after dawn):
After twenty minutes, she reported back: it seemed that the Magi of Usamigaras were suffering as much as the other two factions: guards positioned at the balustrades housing the entrances to the sects' storerooms were all guarded. She reported that the room contained a veritable army: the three ogres and two shapeshifters from Luke's earlier encounter; a high priest of Zargon leading a band of 12 fighters; and six hobgoblins with chain mail and shields.

TURNS 8-10:
Cautiously, the party returned to the gnomes. Three of them were ready for battle. Helena decided to head back to Pandora unless required, Luke said okay. The gnomes joined the party to loot the room they had seen the ogres in previously.

TURNS 11-15:
After traversing the passageways without incident, the party happened upon a side door to an unexplored room. Three masked clerics were dozing in their bunks. Luke considered knifing them in their sleep when one awoke, explaining that they sought audience with the Brotherhood of Gorm. They join the party and head towards the "ogre room".

TURN 16:
A thorough search of the old storeroom the ogres had laired in revealed quite a stash of coins, and a ring. Luke entrusts the gnomes to return the coins to their own hoard (numbering an astonishing 1400 gp), and agreed to escort the clerics up to the Brotherhood.

TURNS 17-21:
Xavi and Luke led the three clerics through the various levels and back to the uppermost portion of the pyramid. However, when a group of cave locusts obstructed their path, they turned around to find the three clerics quite changed... brandishing weapons, the clerics urged them to face the cave locusts, alternatively offering the beating of their lives. When Luke refused, the leader removed his mask to reveal that he wore the face of ... Luke!

"What are we going to do now then?"

The doppelgangers (one of whom revealed that it had assumed the likeness of Xavi) offered the party a merciful death in exchange for total compliance. Naturally, they declined, and five rounds of fighting resulted in a bloodied Xavi and Luke standing triumphant over a pile of corpses. Xavi felt lifted. They moved the corpses into the hallway to distract the cave locusts while they travelled upstairs: after looting them of their treasure, of course!

TURN 24:
Xavi and Luke were back at Kostas' side with an hour to spare before dawn. They rested together awhile, before Luke went to parley with Pandora. A battle plan was agreed, involving Kanadius hiding inside the statue of Gorm while Auriga and his cohorts studied the stars. Luke's role was to engage Auriga in conversation, all the while having Kanadius scan his thoughts with his magical helm of telepathy, transmitting his findings to the mind of Luke using the same device.

All the while, a unit of both Brothers of Gorm and Sisters of Madarua would be lying in weight in the shadows of the pyramid: Helena would likewise remain hidden in the shadows, striking at Auriga once Luke gave the signal (faking his a heart attack.

Luke returned to some quiet contemplation before the fall of dusk.

EVENING:
Before sunset, a group of suitably cloaked Cynidiceans took up position outside the pyramid. Kanadius was hidden within the statue, and Luke was waiting for Auriga at the top of the pyramid. The mage was surprised to see him, but keen to engage in conversation. Kanadius was not so keen with the line of questioning that Luke provided, but pushed him to pry more into the nature of Auriga's dabblings. Through this method, it was confirmed that Auriga had killed his predecessor, the lawful cleric Demetrius, and had done so at the behest of Demetrius' brother, Darius, a Zargon loyalist.

While that was good enough for Kanadius, Luke stayed his hand until one of the Magi cast detect magic after hearing a curious noise. The trap sprung prematurely, the magi did not stand a chance against such overwhelming numbers. Surprised, Auriga was blinded by Xavi's light cantrap and the curious magi was taken out by a sister of Madarua. Even with a sleep spell (which seemed to aid the assailants more than Auriga) the magi were no match: Luke collapsed into unconscious, but so did Auriga and the majority of his retinue, all but one of whom were slain in their enchanted slumber.

Pandora ordered that the bodies be collected and escorted back to the shrine of Usamigaras, along with the sole survivor of the raid. Of the remaining cultists, around half were visibly shaken by the deaths of their colleagues, though no tears were shed for Auriga. Luke looted their shrine, under the watchful eye of a female magi, who also showed them to Auriga's private quarters.

Pandora dragged the prisoner away, explaining that the remaining magi needed to select a new leader, for tomorrow they would be needed in battle against the evil forces of Zargon! Though Luke could not see it, he felt certain that the female maga of Usamigaras was pouting bitterly at this coup de'etat. He fed a piece of raw meat to the late Auriga's guard-wolf, and pondered his next move.

To be continued...



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