Chaos Scar

33. The Room of Pools

6/6/11: We didn't play last week due to memorial day. This week, Brendan (who played Storm in Scales of War) has joined us for good as John R's Monday game is now call of cthulhu.

Artemis - Half Elf Swordmage
Hirbe - Human Mage
Kettenbar - Wilden Monk
Merric - Halfling Thief
Tornam - Dwarf Cleric

The adventurers had just begun to battle Yalax, a neogi agent of Obox-Ob. Yalax had been using a massive orange chaos shard to drive people in the Keep mad. Lord Drysdale, ruler of the keep, had become paranoid to the point of imprisoning some of his own soldiers as well as refusing to allow anyone to leave or enter.

Yalax lurked in caverns below the keep. Merric had charged Yalax's guard, an umber hulk, and it had cut him down in seconds. The halfling laid prone, bleeding and unconscious at its' feet.

Hirbe raced in to join his friends, along with a new ally he'd accidentally summoned to this world with the moonstone - Kettenbar, a wilden monk.

Artemis raced toward Yalax and slashed at him. Tornam used a spell to heal Merric and then lasted the hulk with a beam of radiance. Bolios Whittish, the group's ally, said to Kettenbar "Hey new guy! Watch this!" and cast his spell - volcanic blast (a critical!).

Merric got to his feet and plunged his blade into the hulk. The hulk hit him with its' confusion gaze power, and Merric tumbled into a nearby pit. Down there he found a magic item and gems. The thief quietly put them in his pack. Artemis was hit too, and fell at the edge of the pit. Then the shard pulsed, and pushed her in.

Hirbe cast a flame spell that exploded and hit both Yalax and the umber hulk. He followed up with a fireball spell  that scorched both. Then Hirbe reached out to the shard with his mystic senses, and shut it down. For the rest of the battle, the mage prevented the shard from attacking anyone.

Kettenbar pummeled the hulk with strikes. The beast then roared and slashed into Tornam. From the pit, Artemis took aim and fired a magic missile, right through the hulk's eye. It fell over, dead.

The neogi was quickly surrounded. Artemis teleported next to Yalax and slashed her scarblade through the neogi's belly. To the heroes' horror, a massive pile of larva and squirming grubs spewed out and filled the floor around them.

Merric stabbed the neogi in the neck for massive damage, and then Kettenbar bludgeoned it to death.

The heroes rested, and then saw the tunnel that the umber hulk had made to get to this underground area. They pushed the hovering, 7 foot tall shard down the tunnel. They traveled for a few miles, and came to an underdark cavern. Mushrooms as tall as trees filled the area, which was lit by glowing moss and caged fire beetles. Kettenbar found a dead umber hulk, its' head split open and brain missing. He began to draw it.

Hirbe studied the shard, and knew he'd need to use a remove affliction ritual on Citirian to snap him out of the psychic maze his mind was trapped in. If they destroyed the shard, then Citirian would never recover. He'd sent Bolios Whittish to go cast the ritual. They brought the shard to the cavern in the hopes it could no longer affect the keep.

Bolios returned, and he'd healed Citirian. The heroes smashed the chaos shard, destroying it. Hirbe and Artemis took pieces of it. Hirbe hoped to add its' psychic power to his staff.

The adventurers returned to the keep. The people were no longer going mad, but their confidence had been shaken. They wondered if Lord Drysdale was a worthy leader. The heroes slept and met with Drysdale the next day. He told the heroes that if the people wanted him to step down, he would.

The adventurers decided that Drysdale needed to give a speech to restore confidence. He agreed. They sat down and helped him write the speech (except for Merric, who didn't care). Artemis had great skill as a communicator and was able to give him a lot of pointers. Drysdale delivered the speech later that day, and it was a big success (rolling a natural 18 +8 from assists and +7 from his own Diplomacy!).

Bolios Whittish was itching to get back to the tunnel. The scrying pool had told them that the tunnel would lead to something that could cure Drysdale's poisoned right-hand man, Elessan.

They picked up their three hirelings, Marcos the tiefling, Shensen the beauty and Kalidric the crabby dwarf. They got to the tunnel, and had about two days of work ahead of them. Artemis saw Marcos being lazy, and pointed out that the faster he hacked, the faster he'd be done. Marcos liked that idea, and then got turned down for a date by the swordmage.

Hirbe liked the looks of Shensen. He tried to impress her, but she was more interested in Tornam. Kalidric was so crabby he was punching a wall in frustration. Kettenbar did some flips for his amusement. It turned out that the dwarf loved feats of athleticism.

The next day, Shensen continued to make eyes at Tornam, and Marcos continued to try to get out of work. Merric intimidated them with his fire eyes and kept them going.

Late that day, the last of the crystals were shattered, and a chamber had been discovered. It was a vast room of pools, each ten foot pool filled with some different liquid. Bolios took the hirelings back to the head while the heroes spread out and looked to see which pool could heal Elessan.

Merric dropped a piece of rope in a pool, and determined it was acid. Kettenbar drank from another, and became mute! And he also couldn't write! Artemis checked out a pool with swirling green hues, and let it be. Tornam found a boiling pool. He washed its' beard, immune to its' fire damage. Hirbe found a pool with treasure in it. But when he tried to use mage hand to pull it out, it wouldn't budge. He decided to leave it for now...

Merric came upon a pink pool, and he became certain it had healing properties. He called out to the others. They decided to continue exploring, to catalogue their findings. Kettenbar headed over to Hirbe by the pool with the treasure. He decided to empty the pool. Then, the treasure was accessible! They split up the treasure. Artemis checked out a red pool. It smelled like wine. She called Tornam over. He stuck his face in it, but didn't drink. He was pretty sure it was elven wine, which was gross to him. Hirbe came upon a basin leaking frozen vapors. He put gloves on and reached in to see if anything was in it. His gloves froze and shattered, and he took some cold damage.

Merric checked out a pool filled with murky gray syrup. He put his rope in it. It was thick and sticky. He decided not to mess with it. Kettenbar joined Hirbe at the frozen vapors. Using his blindsense, he realized the pool had dry ice in it. He indicated this to Hirbe through pantomime. Artemis came upon a slimy green pool. She put a sword in it, and the slime started to creep up her sword. Tornam found a pool filled with cool refreshing water. Hirbe came over to Artemis, and cast a fire spell on the green slime pool. It was, in fact, a green slime! It attacked!

Merric let the others deal with it. He investigated a dry pool, which was completely empty.

The slime engulfed Kettenbar, covering the wilden and burning him with acid (a critical!). Hirbe hit Kettenbar with beguiling strands and separated the slime from the wilden. Then Tornam cast a radiant spell which caused the slime to explode! With the threat eliminated, the heroes continued to explore.

Merric looked at a shimmering pool with glistening and sparkling water. Kettenbar drank from the green swirling pool that Artemis had checked out earlier. It caused him to fall into a magical slumber! Artemis came upon a grey pool. Tornam checked it out, and fell in. Hirbe headed over to a pool with fish in it. He snatched a fish out of it with mage hand. It was a gar. He chucked it back in and drank from it. It tasted fishy.

Merric headed over to the pink pool and tasted it. It healed him a bit. He called out that the pink pool was the one that would likely heal Elessan.  The others came over. They put Kettenbar in it, and indeed it woke him! Hirbe and Tornam climbed in and had a pink water fight.

They then headed out to the head and flew to Tornam's church in the scar. They picked up Elessan and brought him on board. On the flight back to the room of pools, Tornam and Hirbe got ill from one of the pools they drank from. The pink pool cured them. It cured Elessan as well, who was eternally grateful.

Elessan was at last well, and the keep was back to normal. Now all that was left was to deal with Olek Dael the runecutter once and for all!