Following on from the previous session of our Strange Aeons campaign, we continued our exploration of Neruzavin. We were down one player this week, so Ray was played by committee. This also meant that Sheena was able to do some scouting rather than leaving it all to Ray. Where there is overlap of capability between characters it can sometimes mean one PC gets to miss out on activities that they had planned for their character to be doing.
The fight against the two multi-headed skeletal Tyrannosaurs down beneath the ruined city had gone smoothly (at least for us), so we headed further along the crumbling passages to try and find where the Flying Polyps were coming from. Sheena scouted ahead, and after at least fifteen minutes spotted a filthy pool in a large cavern in which were two large, bulbous giants with tentacles growing out of their faces – Moonbeasts, though she hadn’t been with us when we last encountered them on the moon of the Dreamlands.
They hadn’t spotted her, but they were distracted by the sound of hooves. A heavily armoured woman charged into the cavern, riding upon a phantom horse. Her lance pierced the body of the first Moonbeast, leaving it to fall dead into the fetid water. She turned around, pulling out an axe and bore down on the second creature – again slaying it with a single blow, before riding off down one of the other passages.
Sheena recounted all of this after the rest of us turned up at the cavern. There were just the two corpses down. From the description of the knight, it was probably Kakishari – the dead knight from Ninshabur which Upianshe had told us about, and which Ray had seen in a vision.
The walls of the cavern are carved with imagery of volcanoes, meteors and bones – obviously whoever had built these tunnels had been fixated on the destruction that had been wrought here thousands of years ago. Amongst the various carvings Erasmus found a secret door – behind it was a water filled room full of supplies.
The supplies included some silvery disks, along with a command word which Ray and Erasmus thought were some sort of armour. So Catiana spoke the command word, and the discs animated and attached themselves around her body, forming a full set of plate armour. Nifty, but none of us actually have a use for such heavy armour, so she spoke the command again and it broke itself back down into a stack of silvery discs.
There was also a strange contraption which we recognised as an electricity ‘gun’ – something designed by the people of Yith to combat the flying polyps. I kept that, since it might turn out to be useful.
I did notice that amongst the images on the wall was written a Hymn to Rovagug. We decide that singing it would not be a sensible idea.
As we decide which route to take from here, we hear whispering voices on the wind, voices which talk to each other about sending us towards the knight. Well, we wanted to do that anyway.
Following the twisting passages, Sheena and Ray scout ahead until they hear another voice – a female voice singing about the Tarrasque. This we assumed was Kakishari. Being aware of how easily she had disposed of the two Moonbeasts, we prepare ourselves for a fight – but we underestimated just how powerful a foe she was going to be.
Catiana moved up first – finding a large room with stone statues of Yith around the sides and a large knight in full armour and carrying a great axe standing in the middle of the room. Kakishari charged at Catiana – dealing her a single blow from her axe, which burned with acid as well as cut with steel. The blow was enough to take Catiana down if I hadn’t been able to lend some of my life force to keep her standing.
Sheena runs up to Catiana’s side to support her, and Ray finds another route around via a side passage, trying to sneak up behind her, followed by Gregor.
Catiana fights back, using the sword Teralindar (or maybe the sword is using her – it’s not entirely clear), wounding Kakishari slightly. Knowing that the grave knight is immune to almost any type of elemental attack that Ray can summon forth, he tries to disintegrate her – but she stands firm against his magic.
Kakishari strikes at both Catiana and Sheena, almost killing Catiana again even though I have healed her since, and almost taking down Sheena – but Sheena was able to parry one of her blows, riposting and running her through with a deep wound. Gregor finally made it into position and filled her through of arrows – taking her down, but she continued to regenerate.
The sword tells Catiana that we need to destroy her armour to completely finish her for good, but for now Gregor was able to halt her regeneration by calling on his god and placing an arrow through her heart.
As we removed the armour from her – and wondering where her helm was – Ray took a look around the room. He stepped between a couple of large doors, an act which seemed to trigger the Yith statues to animate. Not sure whether they were dangerous or friendly, he fireballed two of them, destroying them both. The third manages to get up to Ray and stab him, but Gregor finishes the final statue.
So we planned to rest at this point, but from beyond the double doors there came the sound of clapping, and a voice we recognised congratulating us for getting rid of her enemies. It was Weiralai – a denizen of Leng and cleric of Hastur who we had already killed before.