Serpent’s Skull – Part 65

Sanctum of the Serpent God

Sanctum of the Serpent God – Diplomacy Sometimes Works

Tabansi’s Journal, Part 65

The cyclops Aveshai and our Pathfinder Eando Kline spent some time in discussion about what has changed in the world, and how best to make use of the resources available in the city of Saveth-Yi. Though we have figured out the passive abilities of the spears in the Residential and Artisan districts, but only discovered how to fully activate the spear in the Merchant district.

So as well as gathering an army, we will need to continue exploring the spears and research how to use them. Initially, we decide that we will try to win some of the factions in the city over to our side.

One group we know about are the boggards, who were looking for their spiritual leader, an oracle named Ugimmo. We had found him previously researching some of the carvings in the city, but he hadn’t shown interest in returning to his people. It was decided that we would try to persuade him again.

Ek’Tura flew out to take a look for him, and fortunately after a couple of hours our telepathic link with him expired, because he spent most of the time complaining about having to fly around the city in the heat and humidity. Eventually though he returned, with information that Ugimmo would meet us down by the lake shore the following morning.

In the meantime, we formed a plan with Aveshai. We would need to make an assault on the central temple of the serpentfolk down in the city of Ilmuera, where thousands of the serpentfolk dwell. In order to get in successfully, we will use the army to draw the serpents out, helping to clear the path for us to get inside and kill the high priest and ensure that the serpent god remains dead once and for all.

Some of our research team managed to uncover information about the spear in the Government district. Apparently it will need to gather at least 50 allies on top of the ziggurat to pledge loyalty to one person, and for a cleric of a god representing government or nobility to channel energy into it. Alternatively, it will need some dedication of Azlanti poetry or something.

The following morning, we met with Ugimmo, who still didn’t care about returning to his people. They had lost the way he said, and that he was being directed by the voice of the swamp to bring the swamp to all of the city. I pointed out that if the serpentfolk come up here, they will no doubt kill his god and prevent him from spreading the swamp. This seemed to convince him that getting his people on board to help us stop the serpents would be a good thing.

He went with us to the boggard encampment, and we took Aveshai along with us as well since Ugimmo thought an impressive looking leading would help convince them. Arkin, with a bit of help from myself and also magical aid from Derek, was able to sway the boggards into joining our cause.

Next on our list were the troglodytes, who could not be swayed by reason. However, they were will to join us if we were to pay them in a considerable amount of magical weaponry. Given that we had recently sold off all the space equipment we had looted from the dead serpentfolk and Urdefhan, this wasn’t something we could give at the moment, so we decided to come back here later.

We then tried the Free Captains of the Shackles, who had arrived here at the same time as us to explore the city. They were quite reasonable, and Arkin was able to convince them, with help from Ishirou who we had rescued from the island of Smuggler’s Shiv so many months ago.

The Aspis Consortium were likewise agreeable, but the remaining Charau-ka were not.

We discussed whether to try and get the Red Mantis assassins on our side. Though there were not many of them left in the city, Sasha was still with us, and we could use her as an introduction to them. I was in favour of using the unholy artefact that the Red Mantis had been looking for, an intelligent sword, as a bargaining chip. However, Derek was uncomfortable with giving it over to them, but the biggest argument against doing that actually came from Ek’Tura, who insisted that we should try and sell it to someone instead. Even though we would probably not be able to find someone who would buy it, he was adamant that risking the world being overrun by serpentfolk was preferable to potentially losing some money.

This is still an unresolved discussion as far as I am concerned, since money is useless to us if we are dead.

The following day we headed down into the darklands to visit the Morlocks, many of which we had rescued from both the serpentfolk and the urdefhan. They were more than happy to join our cause.

The other faction down here that had said they would help us were the urdefhan. We had killed their renegade general, so they now owed us. However, we decided to try a smash and grab into the Hunter’s Maze again, to try and obtain the magic weapons kept behind the walls of force. This way, if he had to kill any urdefhan, then we would do so before we made a formal alliance with their leader Izon.

After agreeing that it would be a straight in and out, and that we would retreat if the Meladaemons or Astradaemon turned up, we teleported in. Again, they were waiting for us with new types of daemons.

Player’s Note: Personally, I don’t want to face the full force of the daemons until we have all levelled up. Athazog and Ek’Tura are now level 15, but the rest of us are still at level 14. We are actually meant to be level 15 at this point in the adventure, but because there are five of us, we are lower than we should be. One side effect of this is that Tabansi hasn’t been able to pick up his next favoured enemy, which he would have put against evil outsiders, which would have helped a lot over the previous few months.

Myself and Arkin managed to take down a strange winged horse headed daemon almost immediately, but then more started appearing, including some three legged chitinous ones that made unearthly noises. Both Arkin and myself found our minds clouded by the noise, though Derek was able to heal me. As the Meladaemons and Astradaemon turned up, Ek’Tura seemed very reluctant to actually trigger his getaway spell as we had agreed, but he finally chose to do so.

We escaped with two of the lesser daemons dead, but with nothing to show for it ourselves.

At this point, we decided to head to see Izon and claim the alliance he had promised. On arrival there though, Izon agreed to help us against the serpentfolk in return for us having slain his rebellious general – as long as we also gave him 100 slaves for the urdefhan to torture and kill. Ek’Tura turned him down immediately, and I actually agree with his decision. Though I may not be as caring about others as Derek of Sarenrae is, I am firmly against slavery in all its forms.

So we left there empty handed. I’m not sure where we go to from here. I still think we should try and get the Red Mantis on board, but that may involve a lot of convincing of the others. Ek’Tura seems to want to assassinate the urdefhan leader Izon, but we don’t know how practical an option that would be at this stage, or even whether it would do us much good.

Player’s Note: This session had a lot of roleplaying in it compared to the previous few sessions which had consisted almost entirely of combat. We also managed to achieve quite a bit – probably more than we have over the past six months.

Samuel Penn