Serpent’s Skull – Part 64

Sanctum of the Serpent God – The Cyclops General

Tabansi’s Journal, Part 64

Having had a bad encounter with the Astradaemon, we decided that better preparation was required, so hopped over to Absalom on the wings of a teleport spell to do a bit of shopping. Unfortunately, despite the fancy spires and crowded markets of the so called city at the centre of the world, they didn’t have what we wanted.

Something that Absalom did have though were libraries, and myself and Derek visited one to try and find out more information about the figures we found in a stasis field within Hunter’s Maze. They were a bronze skinned cyclops stabbing a human woman (possibly a wizard) through the heart with a giant greatsword.

Digging through the histories of Savith, we find reference to a cyclops general named Aveshai, who served Savith. He had an intelligent sword named Eroeme, one of five lesser replicas of Savith’s own sword. It was constructed to defeat and slay the serpentfolk.

So we headed to Katheer, a city that stank of camels and dry sand. It was a most unpleasant place, completely unlike the lush jungles of my homeland. The markets here were more complete, and had some of the equipment we needed, including some unfettered shirts to help us escape from the grip of large beasts, and for myself some bracers of archery to aid my aim.

On the way back we visited our camp in Savinth-Yhi for Athazog to collect his sword, which mage-smiths had been working on for some time to further enchant it.

After a few days of rest and shopping, it was time to head back to Hunter’s Maze. The plan was to head directly to the room where the cyclops Aveshai was being held in stasis, try to dispel the stasis, and then possibly get out or continue onto the display room with glass cabinets of possibly magical items, depending on how things went. As it turned out, that isn’t quite what happened.

We appeared in the right room, but in the middle of it there was a huge oozing lump of flesh, covered in tentacles and eyes. At the time, I recognised it as some form of ooze, though couldn’t identify the exact type. But it didn’t matter, because I barely had time to put up a single spell before it let out a screeching noise which shook all of us, but especially me. The rest of the fight was lost in a fog of confusion, and I came around to find Derek casting a spell over me to heal my temporary insanity. The creature, which as it happened was a proto-shoggoth, had been killed, mostly by Derek who burned it with rays of sunshine.

There is no sign of anyone having heard the fight, so we examine the stasis field – the cyclops inside definitely looks like Aveshai. Ek’Tura succeeds in dispelling the field the first time – immediately there is shouting and screaming as the body of the human woman slips off the cyclops’ sword and onto the floor in a pool of blood.

The cyclops is surprised and yells something at us. Unfortunately, as we discovered later, it was speaking Azlanti, which none of us spoke. Only Ek’Tura, who had a tongues spell up, was able to understand his speech.

Players’ Note: At this point our big problem was that only Arkin has any ranks in Diplomacy, and he is played by someone who missed this session. So Arkin was assumed to be sitting back at camp. Tabansi had a +1 total bonus, which was the highest in the group.

Ek’Tura tried to explain that many thousands of years had passed since Savith had won the war against the serpents, but Aveshai was not convinced. He insisted that we needed to find and slay serpentfolk in order to help Savith, and tried leaving the room via one of the doors. It seemed to have been sealed closed, so he tried smashing it down.

We tried a number of languages with him, eventually discovering that he spoke Aklo. The rest of us were about as useful trying to convince him that Savith was dead as Ek’Tura had been, but he finally agreed to go and see the ruins of the serpent’s city outside of the maze. He succeeded in opening the door, and charged out, heading for the exit.

Following him, we got to the passage we had originally come in through, but let him go through it alone – we knew there was a Symbol of Fear there, and didn’t want to risk getting caught by it. There was a yell, the sound of a dropped sword, and Aveshai came tearing back down the passage, past us and fled into the maze.

Derek went and picked up his sword, whilst the rest of us ran after the cyclops to try and prevent him getting into trouble. As it turned out, the sword was more amenable to sense than its owner, and Derek was able to convince the sword to help us convince Aveshai.

Something had become aware of our presence here, for there was the sound of a swarm of insects, as well as something larger trying to follow us. Aveshai finally ran into a dead end, and collapsed to the floor in terror. Derek sealed off the other end of the passage with a wall of stone, leaving us safe which Aveshai recovered from the effects of the symbol.

When he did, we returned his sword to him and he finally accepted that there might be a small possibility that we could be correct. We took him back up to the city of Savinth-Yhi, where he is finally convinced about what has happened.

He tells us that the wizard he had slain was a Coil of Ydersisus, a serpentfolk pretending to be a human, who had tried to infiltrate Savith’s army. The seven spears of Savinth-Yhi were weapons that could each deploy an army down to the serpent city of Ilmuera – they had been planned during Aveshai’s time, but not built.

He says that we will need a much larger army to defeat the serpentfolk, and starts taking charge, ordering us to begin training the various factions of Savinth-Yhi to help fight in the coming war against the serpentfolk.

Samuel Penn