The penultimate mission of Jeff's mini.
We continue on our way to the Sunken City.
We hear sounds of battle, and as we cautiously approach, we hear the sounds of battle, of creaking wood, inhuman howling and the sounds of magic.
It's a time honored tradition that Jeff makes some noises with his mouth. They're magic noises.
The swampy trees part way to a flat marshy area, where a city rises up out of the earth. It looks as if floating on the river, and is partitioned into large segments with building standing on their bases. All are made of stone, with iron bands wrapped around them in interesting patterns.
We see a small skirmish. Nearest two us is a man with blond hair tied in a pony tail, wearing a jerkin and wielding a staff. Near him, sprawled on the ground is a tiefling woman.
A short distance, and facing off the druid two druids, are two other figures. One is a solid construct made of metal stands next, a shield guardian of some sort, and the other is a tall floating figure, body wrapped in a red stole, whose face is a copper visage of a woman.
The metal woman laughs sinisterly.
As you might expect, this makes Nera Fionn angry, and he rushes into attack the shield guardian, slobbering all over the place. He strikes the shield guardian who explodes in flame.
Meanwhile, I heal the tiefling and help her up.
But the metal woman is having none of this, and unleashes a cloud of poison on us, and the tiefling collapses into a retching fit. Blond Pony Tail grabs a hold of his companion, and helps her out of the cloud.
Andry steps out of the cloud, and unleashes her own flurry of arrows on our metal enemies.
Nera is fighting the shield guardian mightily, but it's costing him as flames explosively eject from the guardian on each strike. Nera is too angry too care.
I'm overtaken by the poison cloud, and Andry pulls me out. She's pretty strong, for a halfling. With her, we run to the other side of the cloud, to get a better vantage point on the two metal constructs.
The two druids try to help out, but they provide little support in the battle.
Nera manages to destroy the golem, and the metal lady flies high into the air, and unleashes a fireball on us. I manage to shield myself using my shield, but the others aren't so lucky.
Nera throws some javelins, but she teleports away, taking them with her.
The two druids lead us to their encampment, where their Archdruid is. On the way, they reveal his name is Tom, and hers is Nuture.
On the way, we also find some restless skeletons, who hate the living. We deal with them.
The druid encampment is located in a drier part of the swamp. They have many wounded, and we're lead to their archdruid, Vernon.
But on our way through the camp, Nera is distracted by Opex and Eversy, who have been bound by tree roots, and are being guarded by two druids.
Andry and I make it to the archdruid, who is an archdruid is an elven male, with fine vestments made from leaves, with flowing silver hair. He seems glad to see us here, along with the two druids of his order we brought with us, but distracted by Nera arguing with the guards.
Nera has apparently decided Opex and Eversy should go free, but since Opex was working for the "masters", and Eversy sought to free Opex, they have both been restrained.
Somehow, we manage to secure the use of Opex as a guide, and find out what our next move needs to be.
Thousands of years ago, a powerful ritual sank the Exscarran city, but that ritual was lost. Opex remembered the ritual happening, but not the actual ritual itself. He thinks the ritual was in his memories, but his memories were taken from him when he was removed from his body long ago, and put in shiny rocks. They should be in Hexen the fortress we didn't go to in the first session
We leave the minstrel with the druids.
The next day we go back to the tower, to return to the Exscarrian lands.
Opex is with us, of course, and is disappointed that his Carrion Crawler mount is gone with only a bit of dried blood remaining. He'd liked that mount. But, he tells us, he'll just have to use one of the thousands of his mount's siblings as a new mount.
We follow the path to Hexen, and the map leads us true. Opex warns us that we are near, and that it is said to be a creature of terror.
The "ancient one" stands outside the gates of Hexen. It looks like a lion with wings on its back. A sphinx. Not a griffon. Please. It doesn't have a bird head. Surrounding it is a destroyed constructs strewn about it.
It looks at us. "You three are not from here. Why have you come."
We tell him.
"Your quest is noble, but you are untested. The knowledge and horrors inside should never fall to fools. Two more tests you must pass."
I go around in circles but always straight ahead.
Never complains no matter where I am led.
Apparently some people call that a wheel. Other people call that a well trained duck.
For the third test, he looks into our minds.
I have nothing to hide.
He warns us that dangers await us, but Boccob put him here, and now it is Boccob's will that we continue on.
We ask his name and he tells us. Soh'en.
Unlike the white matte exterior, the inside is very glossy, almost pearlescent. Overall, it's very plain, with very few decorations, and seamless overall. The entryway is large, and the only way further in is a door with a face embossed in it.
Andry speaks to the face, and the face's eyes open.
We tell it we wish to pass, but the door says it has no reason to open for us. It cares not for all the reasons we might have.
I open the face. It turns out it had no way to actually affect our passing.
The door leads in a large square room suspended over a bubbling acid pool, constructed from glass walls and floors. We tie ourselves to each other using some slack rope.
Andry points out strange colors obscured by the glass, and in front of us, the glass seems only slightly miscolored.
We step forward and to the side, and the miscoloring in the glass follows. Another step, and it turns out to be a gelatinous cube.
It tries to ungulf Nera, but we destory it, and it burbles into a harmless puddle. Nera also determines that the floor is impervious to his weapon.
We explore the maze. A beaver tail is made of meat! And waffle irons. We quickly determine that there are levers, which correspond to colored portions of the walls or floors, and these levers will make matching walls and floors immaterial.
After activating several levers, I soon make a grevious error that almost costs us our lives...