Day 122 cont.
The party searches the room from which the cleric emerged to find a round room with four columns, one column facing the other three across from it. The room is crystal and has a map of the constellations as they were about 10,000 years ago, in the time of the Azlanti. Abuto works out that there is a scale map of the Mwangi Expanse on the floor of the room.
When examining the room, Mwaree notices something odd about one of the walls. The secret panel is removed to reveal a sword hidden in the niche. The sword is “Shatter Spike”, a magical longsword (4 to sunder if the wielder has the Improved Sunder feat).
The party works out that there is a niche on each pillar which hold the three gems they found on the cleric’s body. Canzee works out that the moonstone found in the wall carving in the previous enclosure fills out the set. However, there is no instruction manual with the room, so the party decides to explore further down the ziggarat. Abuto takes Flick and Jeeves and goes scouting. She enters through the large entrance on the ground floor, and proceeds to look around. There is a building within the room, and as she rounds the back corner she is attacked by a giant wasp. Jeeves and Flick warn the rest of the party through their communication with their masters, who run in with the rest of the party. The wasp stings Abuto who starts to feel quite clumsy. The party works out it is a fiendish wasp after some of the fire spells slung at it don’t seem to harm it. The party defeats the wasp with Chumly Wallaby striking the final mighty blow. The party discovers that the building in the centre of the room is full of wasp nest. Kasai eagerly offers to burn it out, but the rest of the party, looking around at the mud brick and wood building that they are standing in, declines.
Canzee looks through a doorway near the building and sees a stairway leading to a room part filled with water and holding two more doors. The party decides they wish to check out the other doors on this level first. Through the first door is the courtyard the party had crossed over on the stairwell descending to this level. A door in the opposite wall leads to a small antechamber with three more doors, one in each wall. The one directly in front has a small puddle under it, and the party works out that it is the door to the outside. The door to the right leads to a small room with a set of descending stairs. Canzee goes to look down the stairs, and is attacked by three Mithral cobras. The party eventually prevails and takes the snake constructs bodies with them, as they are made of pure mithral. With the stairs now free the party ventures downwards into a small room with no obvious exit. However, on the wall opposite the stairs there is an ornate carving of a door, with stars in the doorway. It is recognised as a shrine to Desna, and further thought lead to the realisation that it could be an old disused portal. The party comes back upstairs and across to the other door, the party finds another room, filled with wall carvings of humans fighting serpentfolk. The party elects not to enter the room after Canzee detects some poisonous fungus in the corner of the room.
The next room has a set of stairs leading from two doors to join in the centre and proceed downwards. In the lower level of the room there is four statues of faceless humans hovering off their pedestals. Friar Bryn makes his way downstairs towards the statues. However, when the party notices him place his weapons, and even more alarming, Wilson down and proceed with nothing in hand, Mwaree and Canzee go in to grab him. Not looking at the statues they ask what he is doing Friar Bryn replies that he is waiting for judgement. Canzee tells Friar Bryn to follow her, which he does unthinkingly. After many evil thoughts, Canzee tries to suggest things against his nature to break the suggestion. Telling him to stop calling her a Hussy doesn’t work, but telling him to kiss Kasai does. The party decides to investigate that room later if required.
The party then goes to the set of stairs that lead into the flooded room that had been peeped into but not investigated earlier, only to find that the water had hidden two leech swarms. After a Fireball and a couple of Burning Hands, the leeches all die and the party is free to investigate the downstairs room. Through the two doors they find a large room with a shrine to the Azlanti goddess of the Moon and Battle and a map of the moon’s surface….interesting.
Still no closer to knowing how to use the room upstairs the party returns to the room with the poisonous fungus, recognised as Yellow Mold. However, while they are in the room Chumly Wallaby and Jeeves begin to act strangely. Chumly Wallaby acts as if he is sinking in quicksand, until Canzee “saves” him by dragging him out of the room on the end of a stick, where he regains his senses. Jeeves in shivering in fear in the room, and retreats further into the room when Canzee and then Mwaree tries to pick him up. Abuto then goes to pick him and up and is attacked by a strange plant hiding around the corner. The party battles the plant, and works out it was the case of both Chumly Wallaby and Jeeves’s strange behaviors. Jeeves, in particular, seems scarred by his encounter and keeps starting at any sudden sounds. The party look at the carving, and work out that this is a shrine to the demon lord of Sun and Battle, but no further clues to the upstairs room.
Reluctantly, the party returns to the room with the four mysterious statues. Again, Friar Bryn enters the room first, but is struck stock still. Abuto, thinking that maybe the room need you to go willingly, enters the room. Strangely, she is changes size to a person about 6 inches high. The rest of the party go in to help their fallen comrades, with Flick picking Abuto up by the scruff of the neck to get her out and Canzee using the suggestion to keep the party focused on combat as many party members become influenced by the statues. As the statues seem completely immune to magic, all the party ends up with weapons in hand. As the idols are destroyed, each of the surrounding people get a hint on the operation of the upstairs room.
At dawn the next day, with the gems in place and the columns in the correct alignment, the party is shown where the city of Saventh Yhi is on the map on the ground. The party goes outside of Tabis to speak to the rest of the expedition. It decided that the party would go ahead to Saventh Yhi, leaving trail markings for the rest of the expedition to follow.
Days 124 to 125
The party travels uneventfully towards Saventh Yhi.
As the party approaches where they are expecting to find Saventh Yhi, they see nothing at all, but soon find a well maintained roadway. The roadway soon leads to a rope bridge with stepping stones in the river below. The party decides to take the high road, with Canzee and her ability to fly, going first across the bridge. When Canzee is about half way across the bridge, she is attacked by three Terradons. During the proceeding battle, Kasai is dropped in the river by one of the Terradons, only to find the water has Crocs in it. he sees at least four. After Canzee swoops in and picks up Kasai, he fireballs the two crocs that dared to attack his august person.
The party continues over the bridge and up the roadway, where they finally come to the outlying areas of the city from the North. The first thing the party come to is three cenotes, filled with remarkably clear water. However, when Abuto, who is scouting ahead, enters the area, she is attacked by a ghost. After the ghost is de-incorporalised by Canzee’s spell, the party makes short work of it. The party searches the area and Canzee finds a magical ring, mithral heavy shield and three mithral spear heads and other treasure as well as a battered journal. After detecting that the ring gives the wearer a constant Endure Elements and a +5 to survival in jungles (Ring of Seven Virtues has other powers related to the city of Saventh Yhi), she puts it on then tries, unsuccessfully to hide the fact she has done it. After being pressed by Mwaree, she comes clean, but explains that she is completely paranoid about being lost, and the ring would help her stay on track. The party decide that she can keep it…for now. The journal seems to belong to a former guide to the Pathfinder Society, and the final entry read:
“I led them right into the army ant nests I found near camp, and those stupid Pathfinders never even saw it coming. They just screamed as the ants ate them alive. But I was not about to share the greatest discovery of all time with them – I’m the one who led them here, after all, once we’d left the rest of them behind to be killed by those crazed ape-men. I can hear something moving around outside now, but I’ll start heading back to civilization tomorrow. Saventh Yhi is mine, and I’m taking full credit for discovering it!”
The party decide to go around the city counter clockwise, using a ridge they spied on the way in. However, as soon as the city is out of sight, they are unable to see it again, so they decide to creep around the outskirts with Abuto scouting out ahead. At one point, she gestures the party forward as she has spied two Charau-ki and a large ape. However, the party are not as stealthy as her and they are discovered, with the two charau-ki and their dire ape friend attacking. After the dire ape and one of the charau-ki dies, the other flees shrieking. Obviously the city is occupied.
The party looks around for a safe place to make camp, and spy an island in the centre of a large lake. The rest of the day is spent making a raft, only to find that the island is occupied by charau-ki when Canzee flies over to anchor a rope to pull over the raft. the party decides to use a different island as their temporary base.
Day 127 and 128
The party spends two days working out the inhabitants of the city by fly-overs and circumnavigation. There seems to be six sections on the outside of a large lake in the centre with a large island in the middle of the lake.
The sections are, in clockwise order from the north:
1st: charau-ki and Dire Apes
5th: Savage Humans
6th: Some other type of monkeys
Centre island: unknown, but could be serpentfolk.
Day 127 – On the way around the city, the party comes across Yogoltha, a hermit serpentfolk who has made a study of the Azlanti city. he is quite willing to talk to us, but is concerned about our intentions. After a bit of discussion, the party leaves him to go our separate ways.
Day 128 – The party, lead by Abuto, comes across some human hunters. After party agrees to give up their weapons, the hunters agree to take the party to their leader, Osond. Osond is very relucant to help the party, but makes a deal that if the party can deal with the creature that brings disease to the village, they will help. The disease is identified as Bubonic plague, and he shows the party around a dozen people and asks for their help to cure them. Canzee and Flick have a little commune over a scroll of Remove Disease that the party has been carrying around, and should be able to deal with some of the worst affected the next day. In the meantime, the party helps with their healing skill. Further questioning of Ozond reveals that the creature is called Vrykolakas and is a type of vampire that comes about once a week. The last time was about two days ago.