AFO Finale: Rescue the Princess!

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! The Fated Four have succeeded in tracking the enemy, across the stormy sea to the risen isle of Atressos. They have freed slaves, captured the Psysserian ship, fought their way through a small army of Psysserians and another small army of undead. Can they restore Alexandra to her city, Illos?

Sea Ogres defend the Tholos

Inits: Soraya/acolytes, Tyche, Angron, all other sea ogres, Zephrus, Aelia

Fresh from their magical rest, the Fated Four begin the ascent towards the highest point of this strange risen Isle. Dimly seen through the rain, it appears to be a tall-columned domed tholos. The storm has not let up: indeed Zephrus feels in his bones that something uncanny is afoot.

Tyche takes the lead, as usual, and reaching a spot near the top of the steps, and peers through the driving storm. She makes out the hulking, spear-wielding shape of a sea-ogre abomination! She slides back down out of sight and delivers an incomprehensible series of hand signals, then lines up a sneak shot!

Angron more or less figures what is going on, rages, bellows “blood for the blood God!” And charges up to finish off the already-injured sea-ogre.

Not far to his left a surprised second sea-ogre bellows the alarm! It holds back, defensively, while more cries from further up answer the first. Angron snatches a javelin from his ready-quiver and despite the sea-ogre’s stance the missile strikes home!

I roll aggression dice to see if Soraya orders her acolytes into action. She doesn’t.

DM

Barely visible, appearing through what seems to be thick fog, a pair of sea ogre raiders wield spear and net. Zephrus and Aelia make their way up the drenched steps, Fuzzy hiding in Zephrus’ satchel. He throws a Beacon of Hope across the party! Aelia ascends to where she can see the net-bearing enemy, utters an oath (recalling her helplessness from an earlier time) and hammers the nearest with twin orange-gold Eldritch Blasts.

Now, with obvious dangers to her ceremony, Soraya the Gorgon orders her acolytes to join the fray! They slither out and gesture, but the rain makes targets hard for them too. Tyche now moves left and awaits Angron’s next attack. It comes with a rush and a roar, Angron cutting the first raider in half, chopping the second down, and finally closing on the massive abomination. Tyche’s shaft sinks home. But the abomination is not out of the fight and stabs Angron deeply. Then visibly pales as Zephrus steps close behind the orc and fully heals those wounds! Meanwhile Aelia has spotted the acolytes and sends a Blast into each – and behind them the thick fog begins to disperse!

Great good fortune, as I had planned for Soraya to be highly elusive

DM

Aelia summons the slavering horror

Despite being rocked by the blasts, the acolytes do not back down! One strikes back at Aelia with a ghostly necrotic hand, the other casts a charm about Angron.

Beacon of Hope pays off again as the Advantage is enough for Angron to resist!

Behind her minions Soraya turns her attention to the fray, moving to where she can see past the fog. Tyche shifts position again, gets a clear view of the nearest acolyte, and sends another shaft into the abomination. Angron finishes it and moves forward! Zephrus hastens up the steps in the wake of the orc and summons Screechy, his owl Spiritual Weapon. Now they, and Aelia, can see through a covered entryway into the tholos:

Beneath the open dome lies a cracked marble slab. Bronze shackles bind an unconscious oman to the stone, her white silks soaked from the torrent, wet dark hair splayed on the marble. Around the slab coils a thick, serpentine tail, and from its scaled length rises the figure of a woman, beautiful and terrible, her hair a mass of writhing serpents. Lightning crashes through the eye of the dome, striking the woman. She spasms in her chains, back arching before falling still on the cold wet marble. The Fated Four have found Princess Alexandra!

Aelia raises her strange artificial arm: calls forth an abomination! From some dimension of the elder one, Hadar, a sphere of black, slavering ickiness descends, and covers the near part of the tholos, and Soraya and the acolytes.

Which is Soraya? Four gorgons stand at bay

The heroes are given a short space of time to advance, as all their fors can do is scatter, tearing free of the slavering, tongue like tentacles… but where once was one gorgon now emerges four!

Tyche focuses on the nearest acolyte she has been stalking. Angron too is well positioned. With a heavy arrow and two massive greataxe blows the acolytes fall!

And and now they are face to face with four gorgons! Snakes writhe amongst gold atop the Sorayas’ heads, and the glare catches Zephrus, who abruptly stiffens, unable to move away. Angron rushes the nearest snake-woman, drops his axe and heaves her into the air, intending to hurl her into the black horror of Hadar behind him: but this Soraya crumbles. He sweeps up his axe once more.

The next several moments are full of arrows, Eldritch Blasts, and axes. One by one the false two Sorayas are broken, and only the real Soraya remains.

“See me o Gods! See how the last Jagged Maw dies!” Angron bellows, cutting deep but bitten and stung by poison. Perhaps the Gargaran God hears him: the poison boils back out of his blood!

Screechy, Tyche, and Aelia rain attacks on Soraya and finally with a massive sweep of his axe Angron bisects the gorgon, leaving the separate halves writhing, snake-like, in death throes.

Is Zephrus fated to become a statue?

They turn, hoping to see Zephrus himself again: but the marbling of stone is growing! All he can do is mumble for a Bless. That turns the odds! The flush of living warmth sweeps over him!

Zephrus was down to his last SV!

Now they can break the brazen shackles, and free Alexandra. Angron uses his totem strength then retreats, as he is scarcely less horrifying than her previous captors. Tyche pipes up reassuringly. Alexandra seems to have been drugged, and moves at their bidding.

The storm breaks. The Heroes see the Psysserian ship waiting. Or is it? The slaves, now joined by the obelisk-miners, seem to be moving to launch it!

Aelia hastens down, and Persuades the slaves to honor what had been a cynical promise before. And as the others finish looting – Soraya being richly ornamented – they are free to escort the princess to board.

Triumph and return

Having defeated the gorgon Soraya and her plot to control the terrors of the deep, saved Illos from being consumed by a kraken cult, and restored the rightful heir of Illos to the dolphin throne, the heroic deeds of the characters will be long remembered by the people
of the Trident.

Alexandra, returned to Illos, is reunited with her brother Hektor. Welcomed by her people, she is crowned with the dolphin crown. True to her father’s word, she offers the Fated Four 100,000 silver Tridents or a ship and crew of equal value. Hailed as heroes, the heroes are welcome to stay in Illos as long as they wish, joining in the celebrations and coronation games of the new queen!

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s