AFO5.04: The Storm Rises Once More

The Fated Four for this session

Aelia, celestial warlock;
Angron, orc bear totem barbarian;
Tyche, elf rogue/thief;
Zephrus, human cleric/fate

Ably supported by Fuzzy the familiar

THE STORY SO FAR

Princess Alexandra has been taken by Psysseria’s agents! Can the heroes learn of her whereabouts? Can they restore hope to her city, Illos?

The Fated Four reach the Isle of Atressos whence the princess has been carried, and seize control of Psysseria’s vessel and slaves. But one enemy gets away! Will they pursue, or prudently wait?

It’s a trap!

Tyche has been gone for some time. The storm, which had abated so far, appears to be growing once more. Now Zephrus looks at Aelia, “I’m ready to go if you are!” And then starts picking up shells on the beach.

“Let’s go then” – Aelia

Some few minutes pass then Zephrus looks around with his mouth wide in amazement. “Did they build this place for giants?… And then looks around again… “Where did everyone go?”

He scrambles up water-worn steps to the next level, to discover that he is in a fight!

Inits: Tyche/Aelia, Serpent Warriors, Hoplites, Angron, Zephrus

Ignoring the rain as best she can, Tyche has searched up the steps of what she assumed was a temple, but may actually be a lighthouse. Then swinging back to the great promenade she detects waiting cloaked ambushers, up the next flight of steps. But they sense her too, and spring their trap! She looses and retreats.

Two groups of three hoplites advance from hiding from either flank, aimed at cutting her off. But Now Angron takes a hand! Raging, he runs and hurls a javelin effectively, downing a hoplite. Zephrus, though still somewhat confused, calls a Bless on everyone.

Aelia’s golden-orange Eldritch Blasts crash and flash through a growing storm. As hoplite after hoplite falls the original pair of ambushers produce heavy horn bows from beneath their cloaks, and slither to cover. Zephrus uses Sanctuary and Aelia hugs cover! Angron rapidly closes on one, and Tyche advances to finish the serpentine warrior off. Then before it can get away, the second one is downed as well.

“You should harvest some arrows, those are the same as yours,” Angron observes to Tyche then without waiting heads back to check on the others. They are unharmed.

Crusty old elves

The lighthouse, up close, is somehow emitting white light from atop its dome. The lintel of its rune-traced stone doors is supported by two graceful forms bearing bronze-tipped torches. Tyche has no problem recognizing elven designs and figures.

Evading the weakened landing before the doors – which falls away leaving but a slippery edge on either side – Tyche advances to examine the doors. They cannot be opened.

Without too much delay, the four decide to provide light to each bronze torch-tip, and that does the trick: with a stony CHUNK the doors crack open.

Beyond the doors the lighthouse’ main feature is the plinth-mounted large silver brazier, blazing with light. The stone pillars of the lighthouse are mostly in the form of elves, holding aloft concave shallow bowls black with age – silver mirrors, as those who study in Ithea’s temple of Thessa know. Two of the statues, however, are not of stone, and bear a trident. And they seem to be paying Zephrus some attention as he saunters in, examining coral growths crusting the floor.

“Bless me, this is a lid for the bowl… I wonder what happens it I put it back?”

Angron shrugs in amusement as the weedy priest fails to dislodge the lid from its coral bed, strides over and wrenches it free. Zephrus and he guide it home.

The light is extinguished.

The bronze statues attack.

Aftermath

“You know I can’t help feeling there was some kind of puzzle about this place, that we missed.”

“Yep, maybe we should have tried cleaning the mirrors, but I don’t even have Mending.”

“I could like try Presti, but like, you know, so much bother…”

“Well I’ve searched, there’s no treasure unless we dismantle every statue, knock off every silver mirror and take them, so let’s go.”

“Heavy silver mirrors, duly noted, let’s leave that for looting later.”

That’s not a boat

The four clamber up the next flight, Fuzzy keeping Zephrus in touch with the lead, inevitably Tyche. After scouting left and right, she swings back and announces:

  • Left: Another building of some sort, pyramid-like, with steps leading up to a pyramid-shaped peak
  • Right: Ruins of a variety of sizes, and possibly flapping canvas.

“Is there another boat up here? I thought we got the one.”

“This could be good news, we would have options if it’s not wrecked.”

They spread into a crude formation and advance left. Indeed, over the sound of the storm, they can hear a flapping sound, like canvas.

Nor is that all. A bony shape moves. Then another one.

“That’s not a boat… and those aren’t people!”

And the session ends.

DM Note

I don’t want to comment/review while the adventure is ongoing, I will try to slot in a mini review of Arkadia afterwards.

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