Salted Grapes

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After a break over the holiday period, we picked up where we’d left off for our Strange Aeons campaign. In the last session of 2021, we’d fought some of the vampires in the house, and had come up to deal with the Kudimmu in the vine yard. We had to break the enchantment on the Star Stelae that was there. At the end of the session we levelled up to 16th level.

The Star Stelae was in the middle of the vampire’s vineyard, and was being protected by a Kudimmu – a plant creature that fed on blood and produced fruits which provided sustenance to undead. Performing the ritual to break the chains between Aevan-Vhor and Carcosa would require several hours, which meant that we’d need to destroy the Kudimmu first. Though it would probably regenerate within a few days, we weren’t particularly concerned about that.

What (mostly Gregor) knew about it was that it was restricted to moving around within its field, so if we hit it from range we would be safer – ignoring its ability to throw bad fruit at us. Within its field though, it would be able to burrow under the ground, making it difficult for us to pin down. Even worse, it could teleport at will about the field, moving between as many different people as it wanted and attacking them all. Just standing back and hitting it from long range wouldn’t work, since it would just burrow beneath the ground until we stopped. We had to force it to fight us.

After a long discussion, it was decided that we would try attacking it at range as much as possible, but Catiana would need to go in and keep it occupied. Erasmus would be able to summon something to help her as well. I would try to possess it, Erasmus would try to stop it from moving and Ray would try various spells to try and damage it as much as possible.

We would rest tonight and prepare our spells for the following day.

As we’d feared, the Kudimmu had been tough to affect with magic. Erasmus had summoned an Earth elemental to cause damage to the field, which forced the Kudimmu to come to the surface and fight it off. Catiana also waded in with her sword, since the plant-like nature of it was pretty much unaffected by her fists.

Every one of my attempts to possess it failed – it just shrugged off the magical effects as if they weren’t there. Similarly Erasmus and Ray were unable to do much to it. Fortunately Erich played his unnatural music, which thought sounded discordant to our ears didn’t affect us nearly as badly as it did the plant – it was confused by the music, lashing out at Catiana all the time rather than making full use of its teleportation abilities.

Player’s Notes: As I write this, I suddenly realised that Erich’s confusion shouldn’t have worked on it, since plant creatures are immune to compulsion effects. It may not have had that big effect, since it was attacking Catiana most of the time anyway, but it may have been a bit more intelligent in how it acted. Our problem with Pathfinder is always keeping track of all the different rules and exceptions to those rules when in the middle of combat. The thing is, we remembered during planning, because all the players discarded any spell options which would be mind affecting. It was the GM controlled NPC that ended up using the enchantment effect.

Between Catiana and the earth elemental pummelling and cutting it, and Gregor shooting it with arrows, it finally fell, with Catiana being the only one hurt in the fight.

With the Kudimmu out of the way, we quickly set about casting the ritual on the Star Stelae. Ray, myself and Erasmus tried to tame the magic – and for once we were all successful on our first attempt.

As the magic was broken, there was a dull ‘womp’ noise from the Stelae, and a wave of destruction swept out from it – the vines shrivelled, blackened and withered in an ever increasing radius from it. Farmers in the field burst into flames and were consumed, and a shock wave spread visibly through the air outwards, presumably covering all of this shard of Aevan-Vhor.

The enchantment had been broken, and Carcosa’s hold on this place was shattered.

Samuel Penn

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