Friday, March 14, 2014

Labyrinth Lord (4): Jang-Aru's storm of displeasure

#3 A storm is blowing in on the island. The PC's go to the crone's hut to complete the marriage of the charmed Andrew to the crone. Wendyberg completes the ceremony, and the crone can hardly keep her hands off her new husband as she explains she has esoteric knowledge and can train Zander. She also has knowledge of the island near and far. She warns the group that terrible things can be blown off the ocean with a storm like this. She also notes that Xander has a evil mark upon him, explaining his poor sleep, and that it is likely caused by a cursed object. Xandar suddenly thinks of the threatening note on the drowned boy, but doesn't have it anymore.

The group goes back to the camp and gathers people from the beach where they forage. Uncle Chu reports recovering his boat and drops heavy hints about being rewarded for not simply absconding with it. Elrond dubs him Minister of Fisheries and Oceans, and Xandar pays a small retainer to him. He is tasked with finding a productive use of the 2 remaining evil prisoners. He quietly suggests getting bribed by them to spirit them away, and then seeing about turning them in for a bounty from White port. If there is no bounty then at least they are gone. Elrond commends his outside the box thinking and approves.

The village battens down and guard rotation of 2 each on the front and back gate is arranged. Xander searches the grotto for the note but can't find it. One of the 2 women who find the grotto reassuring suggests that he look for it in the rag picker bags above, but he can't find it there either. Overnight Xander is unable to sleep and guards the back tunnel with a villager. In the depths of the night Kwong (the confessing cultist) awakens Wendyberg in a panic, during his watch he has spotted the beacon (the bonfire that attracted the ship) aflame on the beach. He begs her to awaken everyone while he goes back to the palisade gate. The village is awoken and prepares for the worst. Bruno organizes the clan at the camp, and notices that Uncle Chu and their prisoners are gone. Wendyberg checks the grotto and awakens the women, one of whom she swears has glowing eyes for a moment, before joining with Xandar to update him. They walk out the secret entrance and espie the fire from a hill and decide to head towards it.

Meanwhile Elrond makes haste from the village to the beach and spots 5 men at the fire. He casts sleep from a distance, downing 4 of them, but as he closes some are awoken by the resistor. Putting down 2 of the sleepers to even the odds, he faces two well armoured and competent swordsmen. The third hunts in a bag while the fight rages. As Zandar and Wendyberg rush into the fight from another direction, Elrond takes near mortal sword strikes. The third enemy manages to cast a gourd into the fire before Zandar brains him, and Wendyberg manages to heal Elrond and the pair eliminate one enemy before driving the other off.

The gourd in the fire ignites, causing the large bonfire to grow and take on an ominous green cast. The smoke gathers above it and moves towards the ocean, contrary to the winds. Zandar scoops wet sad with a rusting shield to try and put out the fire while the other 2 watch. A strange phosphorescence is noted offshore, and then a constellation of glowing green dots. As the PCs back away, a horde of 20 rotting, coral encrusted undead sailors lurch from the sea. Wendyberg calls upon the Maker and turns back half of them, but the others lurch ominously towards the village as the party races them back.

The villagers are moved into the cave and Elrond takes place in the cave mouth to defend it. Wisely it turns out, as the undead drop over the cliff edges and pour through the pallisade towards him. He stands cutting down enemy after enemy when word comes from below that the door to the Grotto has been closed from within. Wendyberg and Zandar go below to investigate and spot one of the woman who finds the creepy grotto soothing standing at the pool, rocking back and forth while back lit. Zandar casts a pot of oil at her, igniting her and knocking her into the pool. Wendyberg with her keen hearing notes a soft chanting that sounds as the tide in the grotto.

Meanwhile Elrond takes a final enemy strike as he misses with his 2 handed no dachi sword and he collapses. Bruno leaps forward to guard the breach as villagers pull the mortally striken Elrond within the cave.

Zandar casts charm person and talks to the stranger in the grotto who reveals himself as Lo Pan. The man wears a soaking gown in blue and a coral ringlet on his head. He is saddened his 'good friend' Zander is caught up with the unbelievers who must be punished. He instructs Zander to make the symbol of Jang-aru, the god of tides, upon his head to spare him from the vengeance. He is even coaxed into showing him the symbol itself. Zandar returns to the villagers and instructs everyone to make the mark in charcoal on their forhead. The undead ignore the villagers and move down the cave to the barred door and begin attacking it. In the larger area the villagers fall upon the undead and destroy them.

Zandar attempts to convince Lo Pan that the remaining villagers are worshippers but he will have none of it. He spots Kwong and gets into a towering rage calling him a betrayer and defiler. Kwong drops to his knees in fear. Lo Pan casts sleep and everyone but Zandar and Wendyberg fall asleep. He notes that the Maker must some some element of power and encourage Zandar to flee to the west and that “our agents will find you if you don't find us. Wear the mark of Jang-aru!”. Lo Pen escapes from the group as the morning dawns and the fury of the storm is spent.

No comments:

Post a Comment