Serpents Skull – Part 61

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Sanctum of the Serpent God – All Different

See the campaign notes for background.

Tabansi’s Journal, Part 61

We knew that there were more morhg lurking in the twisting passages somewhere, but weren’t entirely certain where they were. I headed down one passage in the direction that he had seen movement, and heard what sounded like spell casting.

Moving quietly down one of the passages that led back into the round room where we first encountered the morhg, I see one hiding by an opposite passage. Telepathically sending the information back to the rest of the group, Athazog moves quickly down the passage past me and out onto the ledge that runs around the room above the pit – and is immediately ambushed by two morhg either side of this passage which I hadn’t seen.

One of them flicks its long tongue at Athazog, wrapping it around his neck trying to paralyse him, but he calls on inner reserves of strength to resist it. The other one steps out in front of the passage and grabs at Athazog from behind, trying to pin him. As they struggle on the ledge, Arkin comes tearing into the room, using air walk to dance above their heads and land behind one of them, but fails to account for the one I had seen at the far side, who also flies across the room towards the halfling, his tongue lashing at him.

Both Ek’Tura and Derek follow Arkin into the room, hoving in the middle above the statue in the pit, where they notice a fourth morhg skulking in the shadows to the side. I pull out my bow and put some arrows into the nearest morhg that is trying to grapple Athazog.

Athazog drops his sword and in his rage claws at the creature, tearing its undead flesh but not enough to free himself from its grip. It steps off the ledge, pulling Athazog down into the pit below just as Derek draws his holy symbol and fills the room with holy light. The one still holding Athazog burns and is destroyed by the energy, but the others stay standing.

I step out into the room, and see that Arkin is caught between two of the undead, both of them grasping him with their tongues. I put some arrows into the nearest one, just as Athazog rises up from the pit and leaps on the creature. Just then, Ek’Tura speaks words of conjuration and the badly injured halfling is covered in slippery grease, which allows him to wriggle free from the grasping tongues and fly up towards Derek seeking healing, closely followed by a morhg.

Derek summons more holy energy, this time healing all of us, as I put more arrows into the back of the morhg, distracting it long enough for Athazog to rip it to shreds.

By now though Derek is in trouble for the last morhg is clawing at him, cutting him open in a large gaping wound and dragging him down into the bottom of the pit. Derek should have died them, but miraculously holds onto life. However the morhg stands over him, ready to bite open his throat, just as Ek’Tura speaks the final word of his Getaway spell and we are all whisked back to safety.

Player’s Note: Three hero points got used in this fight – one by Athazog to resist getting paralysed at the start, and two by Derek to avoid being killed. From that perspective, it was a relatively expensive fight for us, and even after we returned later and finished them off, got zero treasure and not a huge amount of XP.

We spent the night resting up, with Athazog and myself recovering from the demonic disease that we had woken with that morning. After some discussion the following morning, we decide to buff up and teleport back into the room.

We appear floating in the middle of the room, but it is utterly silent. One of the two surviving morhgs casts unholy aura on them both and they fly up to meet us.

Arkin and myself take on one, but as Arkin stabs it the unholy aura saps his strength. He steps back and throws a flaming acorn at it but it sails past to hit the far wall. I put some arrows into the thing, and move back out of the way as Derek calls on Sarenrae to channel her holy might.

Ek’Tura moves himself out of the silenced area, and disintegrates the top of the statue, much to the anger of the two undead. The morhg tries to claw at me and lick my face, but I dodge back as Derek dispels the unholy aura that protects it. As its magical protections go down, Athazog slides in behind it and takes off its head.

Ek’Tura tries to dispel the aura around the second, but fails. Nonetheless Arkin bravely darts in and stabs at it, I turn its chest into a pin-cushion and Athazog finishes it off.

With all the morhgs new dead we take a look around the place, but it seems to be empty of anything interesting, except for the remains of the crude statue which seems to have been of Trelmarixian, the Horseman of Famine.

Once we’ve had a chance to catch our breath, we head down one of the many passages that lead from this room, though we aren’t quite certain where we are going. Ek’Tura had scrawled a map earlier when he had magically explored the place, but seems to have mislaid it.

I head down one passage to find that it opens into a huge cavern, with a crackling sphere of dark energy at the far end, distorted images of writhing figures surrounding it. I quickly head back, since it looks like it needs the help of someone who actually understands this magic stuff.

There is some disagreement in the party about where to go, since though the dark energy sphere looks dangerous, it also looks important and possibly interesting. I argue that we should investigate it further, and manage to persuade the rest of the party. It turns out that they really shouldn’t have listened to me.

By the time we return to the cavern, it is filled with utter darkness which even my magical dark vision doesn’t penetrate. Derek says a prayer to his goddess, and is surrounded by a nimbus of light which pushes the darkness back, allowing him to move forward and reveal more of the cavern.

Meladaemon

A black bolt of energy flies out of the darkness, striking some of us in the corridor, though I deftly sidestep it. As a second bolt flies from the darkness, Derek strides forward confidently, and reveals two huge meladaemons. Derek tries to banish them but fails, and we decide to turn and run. Wherever we go though, we either run into dead-end tunnels, or find the daemons teleporting into the passage ahead of us.

Player’s Note: We managed to defeat two meladaemons previously, but it was a tough fight and we didn’t actually slay them – they both teleported out leaving us with nothing to gain for it. So our problem here was that it would end up to be another long risky fight that probably wouldn’t gain us anything. Our final decision of the day is that if we are to fight these things again, we need to do so with the right spells prepared to prevent them from running away, so that we can finish them once and for all.

Finally we decide to flee again – and Ek’Tura teleports us back to one of the rooms we found earlier which we believed to be safe. Fortunately, it turned out that this was still the case, and we begin our explorations of the twisting passages again. Unfortunately, it turns out that the route we’d taken to get from there to the dark cavern had been a particularly long and convoluted one – the two places were only a few tens of feet apart. So we once again run into the meladaemons and decide to make a run for it to safety.

Samuel Penn

Samuel Penn