Episode Twenty-Two: The Chornicles of Klarn: Do You Mind? ( 7/27/05)
Chronicles of Klarn
(In the words of Arty)
We passed under the brick wall through a small opening that was probably a rat hole in reality. Rhekel was leading us with a swaggering bravado as if he owned the whole world. It struck some of us as a little odd, but we let him continue with his charade as he was the one with the inside knowledge. We first passed some guards holed out in a store room. Rhekel tried to get them to let us pass, but one of them ran back to alert the people in charge. We took the others out quickly, but we could see that this was probably not going to be as easy as we had hoped.
The passages narrowed and Rhekel led us down a passage that Smokey would not fit through. It wasn’t necessary for him however, as the rats, led by their goblin trainer charged the trail end of the party in the main corridor.
Smokey, Freya, Charley and Arty took the brunt of that attack, but escaped with little injury thanks to Smokey’s great strength and a few well placed arrows from Lorel sent back in our direction.
The monks, Hal and Lorel faced a greater threat.
As they approached the village faces peered out from behind half-open doors. We heard a chanting coming from ahead. As we rounded the corner to enter their main square we were greeted with a grizzley sight. In the center of the chamber was the eviscerated body of one of the rat riders whom we had blinded. His blood was splattered throughout the chamber and covered many of the villagers. The villagers themselves seemed to be in a whipped up state of fury, half-crazed seemingly intent on only more bloodletting.
In a side chamber was a dwarf chanting spells. He summoned an ankeg to attack Hal and the monks. Silent Pete used his mysical powers to transverse the space between them and arrived in the dwarf’s own chamber. While Hal and Lorel took care of the ankeg, Silent Pete with Gustave’s aid sliced off the head of the dwarven sorcerer before he could summon any more foes. His familiar was quickly dispatched as well.
Hal advanced into the mass of villagers unsure of how to approach the situation, were the people maddened or evil? Calling upon the vision of his god, he determined that they were not evil, but that only made his task all the harder as he was loath to slay them but they gave him liittle choice.
Lorel’s attention was divided between assisting Hal and assisting the group back in the main tunnel fighting the rats. As such he didn’t notice the attack on the monks until it was almost over.
As Pete was finishing off the dwarf, he felt a scream in his head as the rest of the silent companions in the narrow hallway suddenly collapsed clutching their heads. Wending his way back through the press of crazed villagers down the narrow passage, Pete saw Synkey be dragged into one of the huts. As he burst into the hut he saw a wild-haired woman clutching Synkey in her perilous grip. Her hair was drapped over his head and Pete could just barely see the slack-jawed, glazed look in Synkey’s eyes as the woman tightened her grip causing Synkey to wince in pain.
Silent Pete let loose a barage of attacks with Gustave clearly injuring the woman, but she stood the attack with unnatural fortitude. Silent Pete could feel her summoning up psychic energies in what looked to be an attempt to flee with Synkey in hand. Taking one last strike before she faded completely from view, Pete landed a viscious blow. Perhaps it was luck or maybe some fluke caused by the woman’s semi-material nature, but Pete’s attack was devestating, nearly slicing her torso in half. With that she fell to the ground and her form began to waver. The illusion she had been maintaining faded and she was revealed as an Ithillid, the dreaded race of mind flayers.
Quickly seeing to Synkey’s health, Pete discovered that a faint breath of life remained in the small monk. Blood and other fluids seeped slowly from a series of four holes in Synkey’s skull. Pete quickly applied a potion of healing to the wounds and in moments they healed over.
Synkey and other other monks were still stunned from the mind flayer’s attack, but the villagers were reacting as if waking from a dream. We quickly realized that they were being controlled by the mind flayer and with his death they had been freed from his evil control. As they regained their minds, the villagers looked around at their state and some became sick with the revalation of their former situation. A few retained enough control to answer Hal and Lorel’s questions. We were told where Jack was being held and as Lorel tried to open the door (unsuccessfully) Hal approached the bartender who had the key to the area that Jack was supposed to be being held in.
The bartender was beligerent and not only wouldn’t assist Hal, but the fool creature pulled a weapon on Hal. Hal quickly ended the evil man’s life and retrieved the key to Jack’s cell.
Lo and behold, we were not misled. We found Jack in the chamber. His feet and hands were purple and at first we were worried that he was injured, but he explained that they had had him making wine and that the stains were from the berries. He was insufferably pleased that he had put goodberries into the wine to enhance the wine’s flavor. I doubt that Father Lenwe would approve of Jack enhancing the wine, let alone making it in the first place.
Freya on discovering the Jack was found immediately rushed to him and hugged him clearly relieved that he was uninjured. Stepping back however, she glared at him and as she slapped him on the side of the head she exclaimed, “Jack, thou’rt a simpering calderoun! How darst thou put us through such trials to find thee bathing in a wine induced stupor? Aqk!?” As she almost finished her statement, she found herself lying on the ground at Jack’s feet, Talon standing over her.
“Keep you hands off Jack, or I be forced to sray you.”
Fury building in her eyes, Freya growled out a warning, “Thou foul-breasted bitch. Get thy foot off me or it is thee who shall feel the cold kiss of death from mine own fist.”
Talon seemed unperturbed as she replied, “You not ham Jack. He unde my plotection.”
Freya continued, “Thou knowst nothing of what thou attempts to speak of. Jack and I art family and we shall do to each other as we will without thy interference, thou muggering twitbrain.”
Jack jumped in at this point, “Ladies, now, now, there is no need for disagreement. Talon, Freya meant no harm, it was not an attack, but merely roughhousing as is frequently felt between siblings. And Freya, shouldst thou be so discourtous to a companion who desireth only my safety? Thy threats are exceeding severe.”
Talon backed off as Freya stood still glaring at the pale-skinned woman.
We collected ourselves as the villagers began to collect themselves. As we did so, Pete went to investigate the altar to Calahagern. Touching the holy or unholy symbol, we weren’t sure at that point, he was struck blind as a spary of caustic fluid burned his eyes. Realizing that were sorely in need of rest, we took to opportunity to examine the blongings of the creatures we had deafeated as Smity and some others saw to the injured villagers. Hal called upon the power of his god, Herioueous, to heal those of us who had been injured.
Jack gathered his belongings from me at his first opportunity. I had not witnessed the sight before, but was amazed when Jack opened his haversack. Jack held out his hand as if to beckon someone or something. A thin brilliant green tendril that looked like a cross between a vine and a wire reached out from the sack and began to wend its way up his arm, curling and weaving itself about his arm and then over his entire body. Jack stood still eyes half-closed lips murmering as if in some sort of communion. Within a few minutes the vine had transformed itself into Jack’s armor. I hadn’t realized it was an animate seemingly sentient object. Jack started speaking outloud, “I too am glad to be reunited with you Calaglin. It has been too long…Yes, I have been changed, by this land I believe, though perhaps it was just a matter of time, I am become more true to the name my mother gifted me with…I think it is safe as well…jewelry, I think that would be wonderful, can you make it match what Freya is wearing?…Well, its another one of those skimpy outfits with silvery bracers and leggings. Pink skirt and stockings, Green belt with large gold buckle…that’s what I thought too I didn’t think you were supposed to mix silver and gold but you know Freya, she defies conventional dress…I wouldn’t be surprised to see her in a chainmail bikini at some point…yes, her hair is still purple, she still has her rings though I think she must have had Arty alter them as they are green now…and a blue, um, I don’t know what to call it, kind of like a corset, but only on her stomach…oh, okay, that’s enough, great.” Jack’s eyes refocused on me.
“Thanks Arty, you’re the best. Calaglin thanks you for your service and I’m really glad to see you too. You know I was thinking, that I don’t see my Ring of Sustenance here…”
I replied, “Yes, we lent it to Smokey the Urskan.” Jack looked puzzled, “The bear-like creature. We were short of food and as he was taking the largest share, I offered him your ring until we could find more supplies.”
Jack looked amused, “That’s okay, he can keep it. Calaglin says he can do the same thing.” Now I looked confused. “Yes, something about just altering the energies that he uses to supply me with oxygen.” Again I looked confused, “oxygen, hmm, oh, okay, Calaglin says it is something like another name for air. Anyway, he can provide me with food and most of my rest just like the ring could. He says though that I still need to sleep a little so that I can dream. If I don’t dream, eventually I’ll go crazy he says. Oh, no, everyone that doesn’t dream eventually goes crazy. Hey, Arty, do you dream? What kind of sheep do you have in your dreams? Are they constructs like you?” Jack laughed at his own joke as I followed him around the village.
“Oh wait,” Jack interjected later, “I almost forgot what I was going to say. Do you think you could tell Calaglin what the spell word is that you used to create the communication rings? He thinks that he can emulate that power as well so I won’t have to use them. While he was resting in the haversack he has developed the power of telepathy thought only with those he is touching. He thinks he can extend that to the rings of they are touched to him as well since they have a similar power. He says though that there is a magical phrase he has to have to enter their communication loop.” I touched Jack’s armor, Calaglin, and communicated the magical codes he requested.
Jack continued, “I was also thinking that it would be really cool if we could make either a ring or a cloak that would allow me to fly. Can we work on that when we get home?”
“We’ll have to check with Father Lenwe to see if you’re allowed to do anything other than clean latrines when we get back.” Jack wrinkled his nose and looked guilty for a few seconds before he continued.
“Let’s help these people pick up.”
We continued our discussion as we helped the villiagers clean up the mess in their village. We rested that evening with the villagers.
The next morning we returned to investigate the altar behind which Jack had said he an meet Cqekjsdoir. The injury that Pete had suffered had healed on its own overnight. Behind the area where the symbol had been we found a secret door. Charley examined it for traps and discovered only the one that Pete had triggered the day before.
Jack knocked on the door not wanting to appear rude and entering unannounced. Hearing no reply, he and Hal opened the door and advaced up the very narrow, sloping passage. At the sumit they found a room bathed in a bright light. They could feel the presence of some being above them who spoke, “Who dares disturb the great Casdfdasdf?”
Jack replied, “Its just me, Jack and my friend Hal, the hero.”
“Jack, why are you not still making wine? How is it that you are not in the wine chamber anymore?”
Jack looked over at Hal who seemed somewhat stupified, “Well, the door opened and so I figured that it must be okay for me to leave.”
“Who opened the door?”
“The guy with the key.”
“Where is The Voice?”
“Do you mean the mind flayer? Oh, that was his name, well no wonder…” Jack started to babble, “that is too classic, it must be Fate, clearly we see the Hand of Fate here. Don’t you get it. The Silent Companions. The Voice. Get it. The Voice was stilled by the Silent Companions.”
“Do you mean to say that he has been killed?”
“That is unfortunate,” said the voice from the heavens with sadness and yet, also a trace of relief.
“And how was it again you came to be free?’ it asked.
“Like I said, the guy with the key let me out. I assumed that it was okay since he had the key. I’ve made a lot of really fine wine. Do you want to go check it out or maybe I should bring some to you. It is especially tasty and good for you. I put goodberries into it. So do you know anything about leaving?”
“Yes, the others want to leave and I guess my work here is done since the wine is fermenting. Did I mention that it is really good goodberry wine? The ogres will get a real kick out if it. I though that since Fate is taking a hand that it must be time for me to move on. I’ve really enjoyed working for you. I’ve never made wine before, though the idea was fermenting in my mind to do, get it fermenting, but Father Lenwe wouldn’t let me do that for probably another thousand years or something…anyway, I just wanted to thank you. I’ve had a good time. I hope you enjoy the wine. Well, I think we’ll be going now.”
As Jack had been babbling, the light had shifted and perhaps become less bright. Glancing over to center of the room, though keeping his eyes downcast, Jack noticed something strange. Where he expected to see either nothing, or perhaps something more divine in nature, he noticed a carpet floating above the floor and on the carpet were the feet of a man. Jack looked up to see a finely dressed middle aged half-elf.
“Perhaps we should talk further,” started the half-elf, “Would you like to join me?” he motined to the carpet. Jack climbed aboard and they talked further.
Eventually they discovered that Serran was simply posing as Csadfasdf. He had been controlled by the mind flayer who had enslaved, and nominally protected his food supply, the villagers. The mind flayer had exerted some influence over Serran, but left him to pose as Casdfasd so that it could presumabley more easily infiltrate and control the villagers.
The villagers were both horrified and relieved to find out that they had been hosting a mind flayer. Serran was concerned that without the mind flayer (name?) the villagers would not be safe from the outside threats.
He told us what he could of the sphere that Mondragon had used to entrap us all. He offered us some rats to use to search the garden area, which the goblin (name?) didn’t like, but agreed to. We eventually declined the offer and deciced to set off on foot the next morning.
Amalamas, The Caretaker
The Voice, ???, an Ithillid Assassin
???, The bartender
The dwarven sorcerer, ???
Giant rats and the rat trainer, ???
Ring of Force Shield (Jack)
Ring of +2 Protection (Hal)
Cloak of Resistance +2 (Pete)
Hand X-bow (Pandora)
Bolts (w/ Shadow essence poison) (Pandora)
Potion (Blur, alteration) (Charley)
Breastplate +1 (Arty, for essence)
Spiked Gauntlet +1 (Charley)
Hand X-bow +1 (Glauron)
5 Bolts (w/viper poison DC 13, 1d6 Con/1d6 Con)
Longsword +1 (Hal)
Ring of Sustenance (Milav)
15 arrows +1 (Charley)
3 Potions of CLW (Hal)
Equal Share = ?? gp