Wednesday, October 11, 2017

What You Missed: Viper's Den

by James "Sir Tao" Murphy 

We gathered as heroes, but left as seamstresses.

Once again we journeyed forth to do good. We discovered a small village that had several businesses set up. There was a ssssweet shop, an old book seller, a junk dealer, and a potion shop. 

We also encountered Tugarin. This was the champion of the goddess who we freed in the past from his cursed armor. He let us know that we needed to make the portal system work to get to where we could stop the corruption that was happening to his goddess.  However the system was having technical issues, he let us know with the help of the potion seller that if we used the portal it would be a one way trip unless we found the missing power source. Tugarin unfortunately would not be able to join us on our quest. 

After some discussion if we should go, we learned there would be a bar so most people thought this would be ok. Taking a quick look to make sure Ranger was in attendance, I followed everyone else through the gate to find fish. Yes, cute adorable fish. Um, er, yes, we fought fish. 

In a short amount of time, we did in find a bar. The bouncer, however was very strict, and would not allow any weapons. After a few minutes of general revelry however I was able to convince her that the two shorter weapons on my back were allowed as long as I did not cause any problems. I guess my donation to her retirement fund helped with her decision. Inside were some green, very sweet drinks. There were also several bouncer/workers/drunks in the bar having a good time. Several tables were broken, and a few people may have stolen a mug. 

In the bar we did learn where we might find the power source to make the portal system work. It was down a hill across several lava streams, and guarded by fire elementals. There were fireballs flying through the air like snowflakes in the north. Towards the bottom of the hill, the elementals were joined by bandits. Fortunately we were able to defeat them. 

We encountered an aspect of the snake which would only let us pass if we told a “snake” themed joke. After several “Fang you’s” and “Grading on the scale” and “They use a forked tongue,” eventually everybody was able to pass. 

A new problem was waiting for us at the bottom of the hill. The path lead us to a tower that had a drawbridge. However, the gears necessary to lower the bridge were missing. Soon we were attacked by bandits who just wanted us to leave. However they still threw poison bottles at us. Joining the bandits after a bit were mechanical clockwork golems. When they were eventually put down we could scavenge gears from them to repair the drawbridge. 

Inside the tower was the big guy. He was willing to sell us the orb, but his price at 300 gold was a little high. We tried to negotiate with him several different ways, but in the end we resorted to murder. Somehow he did manage to get away. We expect we might see him and his stylish hat again.

After recovering the orb that would power the portal system we had to fight our way back to the gate through waves and waves of fish, yup, more fish.

After we left we learned from Tugarin that we needed another power orb to make the portal system work even better so off we went to a new section of the land. Here were snakes, lots and lots of snakes. Mixed in with the snakes were more of the clockwork golems. Somehow we learned we had to assemble some armor by freeing it from some magic circles-of-protection-like stuff. There were different ways to disrupt the circles that involved putting together cards with letters on them. 

The last piece was on the other side of a long deep pit. Some adventures decided to jump in the pit, they did not survive. We had to tie all of our ropes together to climb down to get them out, but instead of getting out of the pit back up the rope, they decided to go to the far end of the pit and climb a really tall wall. It was estimated it would take over 20 minutes to make the round trip. After killing lots of snakes and some occasional ticklish clockwork monsters I got a little impatient. So I went down into the pit, crossing to the base of the tall wall, I called upon the power of the divine to aid us and I declared that “This wall is too tall.” This resulted in a much quicker process to get the last piece of armor. (I believe if we had thrown boulders into the pit we probably could have walked across)

With the armor on one of our newer fighters we were able to bust into this room that had more snakes, but also some kind of eye monster. Earlier we had found four pieces of something that had different titles on them. This room had four circles that someone of that title had to stand in. I was told to stand in a circle with the bit that said “Knight.” After politely explaining that I do not just do things like that, I was then asked to stand in the circle after it was explained what was going to happen. Asking went better then telling. Once this was accomplished we were able to find the orb necessary and go back out the portal.

About this time we happened to notice a phoenix wandering around by itself. While that kind of thing sounds strange, on this day it really did not feel out of the ordinary. Coincidently a masked person came up and asked us to catch his phoenix and he would reward us with potions from the potion shop. What was most perplexing was that the man did not know the phoenix’s name, or even their favorite food, but somehow knew it was male. I guess I just don’t want to know that back story.

The phoenix was quite hard to catch and had to be chased down by some of the younger, more limber members of the party (and Ranger). However they did have to catch him twice. As soon as they brought the phoenix to the masked man, they just let go of him and he ran away again. The second time they caught him they put in in a circle before letting go.

This is when we learned that the phoenix would be put into an epic challenge of fighting another
phoenix in the phoenix fighting ring. Well never one to not try to make a profit, this sounded like opportunity to me. About this time we came across another phoenix in the company of some very disreputable looking people and followed them to the eight- sided ring.

The phoenix we helped capture, was obviously bigger (and meaner) then his challenger. I went looking for someone to place bets with but could find no one. So with a loud voice, and enough gold in my pouch to cover bets I let everyone know I was willing to take bets. Not many were willing to put up gold but enough to keep it interesting. But to the detriment of some and the gains of others, the larger phoenix won. With no other matches scheduled we wandered back to the gathering area and got ready for the next gate to be ready.

As soon as we went through the next gate we found a pool of acid that had orbs with letters on them. This was very close to a large enclosed area.

Infesting this area were spiders that could both bite you and spray webs that came in silly colors to bind you in place or to make it so you could not use your hands. We had to kill these spiders, search them for bits of stronger webbing that we could use to protect ourselves while we searched the acid pool for the correct lettered balls that would show us the password to open a door. We did know the orb we needed was behind the door. Not sure I have that totally correct, I was doing a lot of fighting at the time and handing the resistant bits of web off to other people.

Once we were able to open the door we found a skull splitting druid and a lot of his spider friends waiting for us. It was hard fought, but with magical help to negate the sticky effect of about half the web from the divine (Vandor I think), we were able to defeat the evil druid.
Once we had the last orb we needed we were able to go back to our gathering area and pause for some dinner.

After dinner when it would be considered night, we restarted our quest. Insert name here, let us know that we had been able to get the portal/gate system back to working but we would need a lot of focusing crystals to make sure we arrived exactly where we needed to go to cleanse the snake goddess of the corruption.

The people that had the focusing crystals were a competitive bunch. They insisted we perform tasks or defeat particular monsters.

There were two of them who insisted we perform stretching exercises and squats before hitting some kind of round bounce thing back and forth over a net-like thing. They were very interesting in getting us “pumped up.”

There was a single monster who hunted by sound. The way to get past it and through some tangled webs without making too much noise. There were also people asking questions and another asking riddles. We slowly filled up a chalice with the focusing crystals. Using the crystals we were able to go directly to the goddess.

So, sewing, yup, sewing.  So the snake goddess had been corrupted by the seamstress. The snake goddess asked our help to sew up some wound thing to help raise her? Some members of the group said they would help her. Myself and Ranger thought this was a bad idea. As is my way, I did threaten anyone who helped her in doing this. Fortunately the party members changed their mind about helping her with her plan to raise an even more powerful goddess bent on world domination.

Instead she challenged us to a race of sorts where we had to thread yarn through several hoops, before her snake minions could kill us. After some divinatory magic to make sure we were not doing something bad, we succeeded in a very short amount of time. We had defeated the plan, but did not remove the corruption. So that will still be a problem for years to come.

We moved back through the gate and we were free to go about our separate ways. We did have a fire going, there was a blackjack table that was good to me, and all in all had a very pleasant night.

Pretty solid fighting, funny interactions, and the absolute best spider web I have ever seen. It was suspended about 3 feet in the air and was about 40 feet across. It looked fantastic. This event was fun.

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