Pathfinder Serpent's Skull Adventure Path

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Big and Ugly
Dear Mama,

We are trying to get into this maze and we were attacked by 3 demons that look sort of like jackals and some more vampires. I miss evil cultists that attack me in the bath. Those were simpler days.

Flix's spells were a huge benefit as were Mauser's. Thekola, our little Morlock companion, decided to take up healing magic by smashing a jar of ointment on me - it worked, but I had to pick shards of glass out of my thigh after the battle.

[We found composite longbows strength bow +6 on the Urdefhan - I took one]

The passage to their barracks leads into a dirty cave that smells of wet dog and pee with nothing of interest. The entrance to the mazes look like a snake hole - perfectly round - and it is marked with runes. "Spellcraft check on whatever he said," is Flix's response when I ask him if he knows what it means. It isn't his fault, he's just better at the fighting part. He couldn't really read it, but it says something about a game. I remembered what you used to say to me and Kel - "It's all fun and games until someone loses an eye. Then it is fun you can't see. And you have to call the cleric. Again."

The place appears to be filled with traps based on the first hallway - acid pouring from the ceiling from the looks of the marks on the floor. Fortunately it was set off long ago and was no more remaining. Take an acid shower and then be welcomed to enter the arena. These guys are assholes. Apparently this was a contest for slaves because we hear a message that says if we can escape the maze we will be set free (apparently crossing the star on the floor of the chamber activated the magic voice). There are more vampires in here too. They are called Urdefhan. One got away into a catacomb with large raised plateaus where there is another demon (Meladaemon, I think is the right name) and more vampires. That one spell they use makes me thirsty all the time. Drys me out. It makes me really angry.

Thekala has a wand that does all kinds of magic, and at least so far, it has been helping us. He covered the demon in a tarry substance. Later, he caused 2 magical fingers to appear and poke it in the eye, temporarily blinding it. That and the spell Mauser cast that made Gorag glow allowed us to finish him off.

We are resting in an alcove of that large chamber now. I think there is a lot more to finding our way through this maze to get this great weapon that should help us defeat the serpent folk. I hope we win and finish this soon. I miss you and I think I'm ready to come home, at least for awhile. I will try to bring Kel with me.

Session: Drake's Birthday Gaming :) - Friday, May 23 2014 from 11:00 AM to 3:00 PM
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Preparing for the Hunters' Maze
After hearing Eando's tale we decide the best course of action is find this mythic weapon within the Hunters' Maze. Mauser suggests that this may also be our last chance to stock up on provisions before we confront a god... Flix offers to teleport us all back to Eleder to sell some of our collected items and spend our gold. Seems like a good idea!

After we sell off all our unnecessary items we begin shopping for upgrades. Kolgrim manages to find a Belt of Physical Might. Unfortunately, after buying it Kolgrim realizes the increased dexterity won't help him while wearing his armor. I offer to trade him my Belt of Giants Strength as it will give him the same bonus but his belt would work better for me. Flix also picks up a few wands to supplement his spell casting. Mauser tracks down a Headband of Mental Prowess. He also checks in on the church he founded when we first came through. It seems to be doing well and has established quite a following. We decide to donate the rest of our earnings to this church before teleporting back to the Morlock encampment below Saventh-Yi.

When we arrive, Udara welcomes us with a celebration thanks to all the morlocks we helped rescue from the serpents stronghold. We tell him of our plan to create a diversion with an army attacking the serpents head on while we slip in an disrupt the ritual. But first we need a guide to take us to the Hunters' Maze to reclaim a great weapon. Thekola jumps up and offers to guide us. Its strange, he seems to have become much more confident since we last left him. He also now carries a cudgel and seems to know how to use it.

After a nights rest we head to the Hunters' Maze. As we approach the entrance we survey the ruined buildings and an old drainage ditch. These surround a raised section that, as close as we can figure, holds the maze. There appear to only be two ramps up to the top. Before we can investigate further we are attacked by Urdefhan hiding in the ruins. We make short work of these two but more begin attacking from atop the bluff.

Kolgrim and I rush the ramp after Flix blasts it with a Fireball. Once we reach the top however we find something more serious. I'm not entirely sure what it is but it looks like a jackal and immediately fatigues Kolgrim and I. Sadly it's not your typical spell caster so I can't just tackle it. We instead focus on the Urdefhan before ganging up on the jackal daemon. Before we can bring it down however it teleports away. From across the way we can see a flurry of activity at the top of the other ramp. It seems he is calling in reinforcements. And great, there are now 3 jackals...
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Pointer-left Gandalf_thumb
Eando's Tale
After the battle, you make your way carefully back to Saventh-Yhi. Help from the Muse provides relieve to the party and during your well earned rest you are finally able to question Eando in length.

“There’s more happening in Ilmurea than you may realize. The serpentfolk are preparing something big, something that’s a threat not just to those living here in Saventh-Yhi, but to the whole surface world. It has to do with their god, Ydersius, now called the Headless King. Long ago, in the time of Azlant, the serpentfolk had a huge empire—they controlled almost all of the Darklands known as Sekamina. And Ydersius walked among his people on Golarion, a true living god.

“Eventually the serpentfolk set their sights on the surface world, and challenged Azlant for supremacy over all of Golarion. The Azlanti could only fight them to a standstill, until a great hero named Savith led an army into Ilmurea to crush the serpentfolk once and for all. In Ilmurea, Savith faced Ydersius and beheaded him, finally breaking the power of the serpentfolk empire.

“No doubt you’ve noticed that there’s more than one type of serpentfolk— the big, dumb, degenerate brutes and the smart, conniving ones, with magic. In the old days, most of the serpentfolk were of this more powerful, advanced ‘purecaste’—the degenerates were apparently bred only for war. But with Ydersius’s defeat, the serpentfolk empire fell into decline. Most of the purecaste serpentfolk went into a sort of magical sleep or hibernation, while the descendents of the rest eventually devolved into the monstrous degenerates.

“Occasionally, though, a purecaste serpentfolk is still born today. And one of them, a priest of Ydersius called Vyr-Azul, plans to resurrect Ydersius. He’s actually found the god’s skull, and believes that he can reunite the serpent-god’s head and body and restore Ydersius to his former power, heralding a new age, restoring and evolving the serpentfolk, and bringing back their empire of old. If true, this could prove disastrous for us all.

“Scholars say the Azlanti, even at the height of their power, struggled to defeat the serpentfolk while Ydersius walked Golarion. But human civilization isn’t nearly as advanced today. We’re far too fragile and fractured, unprepared for a serpentfolk resurgence. They could wipe out or enslave every living thing in the surface world. At best, we’ll become their slaves. At worst, they’ll keep us in their larders like livestock until they eat us. That’s what happened to the rest of my party when the snakes captured us—all of them, eaten alive.

“But we have an opportunity to avoid that fate. You’ve already proven yourselves by entering the heart of their domain to rescue me. We’ve got to go back down there and stop Vyr-Azul before he brings back Ydersius!”

After hearing Eando’s tale, over the next few nights you are able to ask Eando a few questions.

How do you know all this? “Some I found out from research. The rest I learned while I was captured. During my imprisonment, Vyr-Azul interrogated me. He believed I was scouting for an army—a human army, perhaps their ancient enemy come to stop them. When he realized I was on my own with no chance of escape, he gloated about the new ‘Golden Age’ he would bring about.”

How can we stop him? “Vyr-Azul must have to perform a major ritual to actually resurrect a dead god. If we can slay him or disrupt that ceremony, we can hopefully stop Ydersius from returning.”

Will the ritual even work? Is it possible to bring back a dead god? “Vyr-Azul is convinced it will work. He believes Ydersius was never actually killed, and I’m inclined to believe him. According to the old chronicles, Ydersius wasn’t destroyed. Savith just cut off his head and threw it into a pool of lava, and his body disappeared into the Darklands. It takes a lot more than that to kill a god, apparently.”

When is the ritual going to take place? “Soon, but I don’t know exactly when. I’m guessing that not even Vyr Azul knows. But especially now the pressure’s on him, he’ll hold it just as soon as everything’s ready. There’s no way to know how much time we have, but it’s not going to be much.

Where is Vyr-Azul? “In a place called the Sanctum of Ydersius, probably the most well-guarded place in Ilmurea. It’s a fortress-temple built into the cavern walls outside the city. They never took me there, but I know there’s a whole army inside, and it’s well-shielded with serpentfolk magic, practically impenetrable.”

Can we just infiltrate the Sanctum and kill Vyr-Azul? We rescued you without too many problems. “You were able to rescue me because the serpentfolk weren’t expecting you, and the fortress was staffed at nowhere near full strength. Vyr-Azul knows you’re here now, and since you rescued me, he knows his plans have gotten out. The Sanctum is going to be locked tight, and crawling with serpentfolk.

How do you propose we assault the Sanctum and defeat a whole army of serpentfolk? “I don’t think you can. Not alone anyway. I think the best plan is to try and draw out their forces with your own army. Even an army may not be able to get into the Sanctum by force, but it might just provide enough of a diversion for us to sneak in and stop the ritual. But first, we need a weapon. The morlocks told me of a great weapon used against the serpentfolk in the past, which the ancestor gods hid in a place called the Hunters’ Maze. I didn’t have time to go looking for the weapon myself before I was captured, but the morlocks seemed to think that any attempts to defeat the serpentfolk without this weapon were doomed to failure. Before we go any farther, I think we need to go to the Hunters’ Maze and find this ancient weapon. After that, we can see about building an army.” Eando knows that, according to the morlocks, the Hunters’ Maze is located in the north of Ilmurea in a choked warren of debris and fallen rock.

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A Stoned Barbarian, and a Dead Cleric

We begin by ordering shawarma. Great way to start out adventuring.

After the battle we detect a pulsing energy from the east. Looks like someone has started a dance party. Mauser heals the party. We hear sounds of battle down below. Mauser goes to consecrate the alter. There is a brief pulse of light as we are stunned. Mauser feels like he reset this thuming tension. We kick the door to the north east down. We see 4 serpents in the room, initiative. They look like commanders. They commanders say to protect Khavith. Thanks, you just said to kill him first. I fireball attempting to destroy the lamp/ pedestal. This is going to be a tough battle. I feel a sense of Buff's campaign: for some reason the officers are up here, sitting around, and not commanding their defenses... odd. The big wizard guy summons a black tentacle in front of my face, great. I Dimension Door behind the wizard. Sneak attack!! They party continues to attack the commanders. They take one down, but the dualist is still stabbing at them. I cast Ray of Exhaustion, fatiguing the dualist. Take that! Mauser goes to heal Kolgrim, otherwise he would have fell. The fight continues... This is definitely going to be a close one. I kill the wizard. He goes down hissing, “Ydersius will rise”. So now we have a dead cleric, and a stoned barbarian. The pedestal grows louder, pulsing through us. It now is glowing steadily. It then flashes, and stops, as if completing it's purpose.

After sometime, Izon comes up to us. He said that the serpents that were all left fled. They lost two – thirds of their numbers. “You did not stop it?” He asks. He claims that they will be back, and in greater number. He says that we can trace where this summoning went to. We go back up to Savanth Yhi.

We find:

A longbow +1, and +3 strength
+1 keen short sword
Amulet of natural +2
Belt of strength +2
Potion of cure serious
Potion of cure serious
Potion of invisibilty
+1 frost dagger
Amulet of natural armor +2
Ring of protection +2
Scroll of chain lightning, cone of cold, stoneskin, dragons breath, dimension door, and black tentacles
20,000 gp
Restoration ointment
Lens of detection
Potion of comprehend languages
Spellbook containing the following:

7th—forcecage (DC 26), mass hold person (DC 24),
prismatic spray (DC 26)
6th—chain lightning (DC 25), contagious flame* (DC 25),
quickened scorching ray, unwilling shield* (DC 23) 5th—baleful polymorph (DC 22), cone of cold (DC 24),
hold monster (DC 22), hungry pit* (DC 22), quickened magic missile
4th—black tentacles, dimension door, silent dispel magic, dragon’s breath* (DC 23), shout (DC 23), stoneskin
3rd—dispel magic, fireball (DC 22), fly, lightning bolt (DC 22), pain strike* (DC 22), slow (DC 20), wind wall
2nd—dust of twilight* (DC 19), false life, glitterdust, resist energy, scorching ray (2), touch of idiocy
1st—charm person (DC 18), mage armor, magic missile (2), ray of enfeeblement (DC 18), shield, unseen servant
0 (at will)—acid splash, bleed (DC 17), flare (DC 19), ray of frost, resistance
Session: Game Session - Friday, Apr 25 2014 from 10:30 AM to 3:30 PM
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3-28-14 Dungeon the Final Frontier...

These are the tales of Kolgrim and the Adventurers.
Their Mission: To explore strange new worlds, to seek out new life,gold, and new civilizations. To boldly go where no man has gone before!
Journal Entry. Serpents Skull.

After telling the vampires, that the time is right to strike, we depart after we‘ve rested. We decide to venture on back to the island and obtain Ean do Kline’s weapons and gear before we continue clearing out the underbelly for the Serpent folk’s Lair.
Our battle had just ended, so what do we do now? We heal, that’s what I do! Mauser to the rescue!
We head on out down the hall with Juliver, Gorag, and Ean do in the lead. Kolgrim, Flix, and I mosey on after them.
They spot more Serpent folk. Kolgrim and I are Louder!
We find two hand crossbows and random gear. Ean do is ready. Flix wants to leave the party. We make him stay. Kolgrim barges into the room. “It’s just Prisoners right?”
We hear “Snake, its snake!” “There are guards here.”
Juliver “Inspires Courage” and sings a very bad song. Ohhhhhhhhhhh!
Casting “Prayer”, we advance on into the room and defend ourselves!
We are here to free the Prisoners! Saranrae guide us to victory!
Fireball AH! Naga coming into the fight also, this is getting harder! Flix just stands there, sigh…
Gorag flurries of blows and defeats the Serpent folk. I advance casting “Spiritual ally”
Juliver Summons Barbarian allies, how come she hasn’t done this before?
The Naga’s and Serpentfolk continue to attack us!
Casting sunbeam I blast the two Nagas, but one disappears!
Hey where is Kolgrim?
“Solo Kill! Juliver exclaims! Ean do then decides on something and begins freeing the prisoners.
We free Morlocks, they look to Ean do for leadership. Kolgrim talks to Ean do and instruct him on what to say. We save 120 of them! We go on down the hall and encounter more prisoners being held. Before we can begin to free them we run into more Serpent folk and attack once more! Once we defeat them, we then release anymore Morlock prisoners. We save a 100 more Morlocks! We decide to release them as their own unit to stir up some chaos.
One last room we continue to release the Morlock prisoners, but alas more guards are blocking are way! Kolgrim and Gorag quickly dispatch of the two while the rest of us catch up to them. Assistance is applied when the time is right. Ean do begins to release the last of the Morlocks from the cages!
Morlock frenzy! The rush in and overwhelm the two Serpent folk! Another 100 are saved. We go back to the armory and equip the Morlocks, the serpent folk are up there, Charge!
We make it on up the stairs to the upper level and head on out with Morlocks in tow.
At the top chamber we try and make an effort to stop the Serpent folk ritual. A phantasmical Snake/ Blob emerge and the Morlocks advance! It screeches and the Morlocks stutter their attack. We attack it as it advances!
THE Serpent /blob attacks! This is going to be tough! I cast Flame strike and then Destruction, Haza! It successfully hits! Saranrae you are with us today! Praise you! (120 points of damage)

Kolgrim scores a few blows of its own, this is making it possible! He hit it 5 times! Minion attacks and misses. Gorag moves in for the final attack?!!! Haza!
We stop here after the battle to consider our options…
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