Twentieth Session (10 page pdf) – “The Lower Temple” – As the party continues to wind deeper into the ancient serpentfolk temple beneath Viperwall, there’s investigation, puzzles, and loads of undead threat. Then the group faces the avatar of the semi-dead god Ydersius. Death looms near for our favorite Ulfen snake lover… All in the latest installment of Reavers on the Seas of Fate!
Beware, there are plenty of spoilers for Green Ronin’s Madness in Freeport adventure, from which the serpent temple was taken. And you may want to brush up on the previous couple summaries; there’s a lot in here that ties in with previous events but it’s not expanded on in the summary all the time.
After many levels of the “Upper Temple,” what was the human area of Viperwall, the Reavers have made it down into the “Lower Temple,” of ancient serpentfolk provenance. And it’s big. Last time they hit four of its levels, and each one gets larger as they descend. This time, it’s levels five and six.
I think it was a bit unexpected to the PCs that the shadows (which usually attack them) of the serpent men (which usually attack them) were only sometimes hostile; mostly they were caught in their own mildly crazed, shade-trapped existence and the group talked with some of them, ignored some of them, and fought some of them. It was a lot more interesting than a “kill a billion shadows” dungeon crawl.
Here’s one weakness I have though – I’m terrible at riddles. I knew the riddle in the scenario sucked, but I couldn’t think a better one up (and had been off the plane from California for only like 8 hours when I had to run the session and hadn’t had prep time to search something out). And it was made worse by Wogan legitimately guessing “egg!” even before Sseth spouted his riddle (fricking Gollum…). Ah well, an easy win for Wogan.
The group finally released the high priestess trapped in the mirror. She’s from thousands of years ago. In traditional adventurer style they went through fits of just wanting to kill her and take her stuff despite her not being overly hostile (she wasn’t overly friendly either – last time she knew she was high priestess of a huge civilization, and now suddenly she’s among a bunch of scruffy nerf herders in skull makeup looting the place). They settled for beating her down and taking her stuff. Things were going OK with only threats of violence until Serpent rolled a 1 on his Diplomacy roll trying to convince her of the situation; that made her decide they were just tomb robbers. Her high level spells are gone since her god is mostly-dead (they nearly crapped themselves when they realized she tried to cast dictum on them) but her low-level ones and her serpent style kung fu made a decent showing of it.
I am up for suggestions here actually – so far she’s still with them, and I’d like to depict well someone who is from a wildly different, ancient culture. She only speaks Aklo of course, so communication is only via Samaritha (and Serpent, in this chapter) – I’m trying to come up with less verbal stuff for her to do – I don’t know, weird habits, eating rituals, smacking people for weird stuff – to help depict that she’s very different.
The snake fight is short in the summary but the thing did horrific amounts of damage to people – bite, grab, and constrict and away go the hit points. Serpent had to spend an Infamy Point to not die (he wanted to get a lot more out of it, but he waited until he had taken enough damage to go past -10, so an emergency save is all it got him). I think Sindawe might have spent one too. Well, that’s what they’re for.
In the end, they broke the curse, freed the shades of the serpent priests, collapsed the temple, and got the idol! Wictory! So now with idol and priestess in tow, and a delay poison wand to get them safely past the poison gas the ruin weeps outside, they’re heading out to return to Riddleport and prevent the arcane nastiness! But it’s not going to be that simple…