After freeing the city of Aevan Vhor last week, it was time to head to the cold mountain city of Bohlvarai for the next part of our Strange Aeons campaign. We couldn’t quite remember in game where we were meant to be going, so had to head back to one of the NPCs to have another conversation about what our options were. In practical terms it came down to which direction the adventure expected us to go in (lower CR encounters), but we wanted some in-game justification for our choice.
The fight over the Star Stelae at Aevan Vhor had gone easier than expected, so we were ready to head towards the next city that needed rescuing from the clutches of Carcosa. There were two options that we recalled – the cold mountain city of Bohlvarai, and the city of Parsis. We weren’t certain though which was in more imminent threat of destruction, so headed back to find Queen Cassilda.
She told us that we should go to Bohlvarai, a lost city in a high mountain. It is a cold and frozen place, inhabited by the children of Yith who are researchers and scientists. However, we should beware the servants for they are strange.
She points us in the direction of an alpine mountain with an ice covered jagged peak. Deciding that the best way to get there would be through flight, we plan to rest up for the night and relearn a suitable selection of spells.
The following day we headed towards the peak. It looked as if it had been severed from the mountain on which it had sat and placed on low ground, though it was still frozen, and as we approached so the air thinned as well. To one side of it was a blizzard miles across, but a tunnel seemed to go through the mountain.
The tunnel had been carved by some beast, and then pillars of stone had been put in place to hold it up. Ray scouted ahead into the darkness, and soon returned to say that he had found an illusionary wall behind which where some albino penguins.
Taking up light sources we headed deep into the tunnel, and indeed came across four giant penguins as big as us. The main tunnel itself was collapsed some distance beyond where the illusionary wall had been, but the illusion led past the penguins and off into a side tunnel. Ray headed down the side tunnel and found that it opened out onto a great stone city, covered with snow and ice.
One of the penguins seem to take to Sheena, and she to it. As she petted it though, it suddenly transformed into a huge purple spider. At though point a second spider crawled down out of the ceiling.
Sheena quickly stabbed at hers, and there was the sound of spell casting from down the passage, followed by cries of “Tekeli-li! Tekeli-li!”. On hearing that noise, the spiders cried “They Come!” and charged over us, away from the noise. They fled back down the tunnel and into the darkness.
The last time we had heard that noise had been in the library.
With the spiders gone, and just the penguins for company, we decided to head into the city. The streets are empty, and a cold blizzard howls around the buildings. Inside they are empty, as if something had come in and sucked out everything that was within them. At the centre of the city was a five sided spire, some 20ft in diameter and 40ft tall, which was resting on a 10ft tall plinth with a ramp circling up around it.
The spire had writing on it, and seemed to be some sort of directory. As I tried to read the Aklo runes on it, there was a sudden strange spiralling yellow portal that opened on the other side of the spire. From it sprang two creatures:
a terrifying amalgamation of chitinous scales, bloated flesh, unblinking eyes and writhing tenatacles.
They are dealt with reasonably quickly, even before myself or Catiana get a chance to react. Erich tells us that he thinks that they were probably sent by Hastur, who is probably pissed off with us for messing with the Stelae.
Finishing the reading of the Stelae we found reference to the city archives, so decided to head in that direction since if there was any record of what had happened here then it would probably be there.
The Archive building is a giant five sided pyramid carved from sandstone, set in the middle of a large plaza. As we approached, there was again the sound of Tekeli-li! Tekeli-li!
From across the plaza came a huge bulbous beast – a shoggoth!