Tuesday, 23 August 2022

Session 326 - The End of Suspiria

Date: 21 August, 22 p.p.

Moon: New - Dragonwane
Zenith: Minerva


--- Evade the Shadow Dogs
- Suspiria, Jojo and Dorian leave the quiet kitchen many levels down into the dungeon below Fate, accompanied by a giant lizard and a moaning clone of Suspiria. The machinery in the walls here is fairly well maintained, shining brass pistons and whirring cogs spinning and hissing in clanking rhythm.
- They hear faint distorted animal noises and follow them down the shadowed hallway, lit by the soft red-tinted light that glows from within Dorian.
- They peek round a door and see a few shadowy pitch-black hounds with blue flames licking around their jaws. They're eating the shadows of corpses. The party sneak past, leaving well enough alone.

--- The Surface of the Sun
- They enter a large room with stone tables and big shields mounted on the walls. They have Repel Light glyphs embossed on them. Jojo takes one... and from under the tables some flat Dwarf shadows crawl out and attack the party's shadows!
- Suspiria gets the worst of it, her Strength being drained as the shadows rip and tear into her own shadow.
- She tries to snap-cast Magic Missile, but the magic winds out of control! Hallucinatory Terrain forms, the room is suddenly bathed in light like the surface of the sun!
- The shadows scream silent screams and flee as fast as they are able! 
- The half-blinded party wrestle a couple more shields off the walls and stumble out of the room, the sun-terrain refuses to fade.

--- Shadow Food
- The party continue, entering a strange little annex with an obvious secret door - a false wall painted Wile E Coyote style to look like this underworld machinery.
- The annex itself contains a bunch of dead Dwarfs in black hooded Klan-like robes who cast no shadow, and some long-smashed kegs of ale.
- They try the secret door and lo! It opens!
- Inside there are humans and goblins dressed in rags, caged by broken pistons. They say they are LARPers from above, captured by demons and traded to the shadow Dwarfs who are slowly eating their shadows. The weakest have the tattiest shadows, scraps of shadow-stuff bleeding in the light.
- Suspiria tosses them some mushrooms and they fall upon them gratefully. In exchange they tell the party all they know about the shadow Dwarfs and their leader To'coatl Cthon who wears a crown of twisted metal, and of the shadow-hounds that breathe cold flames.
- Jojo picks the lock, releasing the captives. They are given directions to the dragon cultists upstairs, hard to follow because the Passwall spell has long vanished, and a few of the captives decide to help out the party because hopefully they're a safe bet. Splink the Goblin and Gregory the Human carry stuff for Suspiria, and Alan the Human - becomes a porter for Jojo. Warm bodies! - Belatedly it becomes apparent that the whole lot of them are some sort of theatre troupe, including a mime.
- Some hooded robes are grabbed for the three who will be tagging along with the party, and also some boots. The plan is to have the ex-slaves kneel on the shoes and pretend to be Dwarfs who've captured some people. Classic!
- They also say that Plump Helmet beer helps to heal damage from shadows. Luckily they brewed some last session! Suspiria and Gregory share a cup and they can feel that it's helping... although they will need a full serve.

--- The Sins of Dwarves
- They travel on, eyes peeled for shadows. A wave of darkness washes past impersonally, tying Suspiria's shadow to the clone of her she accidentally generated last session. They can't be apart now, but it's... fine? They come to a long pillared hall, skeletons in manacles tied to the ceiling, each pillar carved with one of the five Dwarf Sins - sloth, whimsy, inattentiveness, deceit, and cowardice. - Suspiria gives it a go, throwing off her deceitful stealth roll, removing her whimsical turban, and walking with brave attentive gumption towards the other end of the room! The pillars which glowed briefly let her past, and she gains some Dwarven constitution!
- They hear some distorted dog-growls and a language nobody can place. They don't go that way! - The other direction links back up with the hallway to the kitchen, but there's some metallic grinding sounds from behind another painted secret door...
--- Dwarfs and Angels - Might as well check out this secret door. They fling it open... and see a full three-dimensional Dwarf wreathed in shadow behind a desk... and two robotic creations that are each made from three repurposed angels, layered on top of each other, grinding around each others' spherical bodies!
- The angels go straight for King Gizzard the Wizard's Lizard! Gregory jumps in the way to save the cute beast, shattering a shield against an angel's drill then getting the other one's drill straight to the brainpan.
- Suspiria goes for a "Snold Snerson",the snake version of Hold Person. Snakes blast out of her fingertips and go straight through the shadow Dwarf... but his shadow is held by the snakes' shadows! - Something is wrong with Suspiria though. She sees herself in a darkened room, painting the scene. She paints more and more legs coming out from her torso. So many legs. Her friends scream, running, as the creature crawls out of her skin. She laughs, crying, as the monster emerges and the shadow of its chitinous claw guts the shadow of the Dwarf. - The rest of the party slam the door. The shadow-bound husk of Suspiria is trapped on this side, pinned to the secret wall. The party step backwards as the clone writhes and shrieks.

--- Lift Denied
- They back slowly away... then turn and run. Screams follow them down the hall. - They come to a room with... a lift! It looks like it will go straight down. The trouble is that it's locked up tight with shadowy locks, which clearly need some sort of shadowy key. A pity that they've got a cosmic horror problem in the room with that Dwarf...
- They explore more... and come across a friendly Dwarf called Gurny! He's from Ur-Kalladh, near Dwimmermount, and while he doesn't speak the language of these shadow Dwarfs he knows they're speaking the dialect from Ur-Darghab. He's a philosopher.
- They hear kettle drums from behind another hidden door and investigate. They lift up some portcullises, quietly sneak down the hall, and peek round to see some more shadow Dwarfs playing kettle drums. Or at least, the shadows of the shadow dwarfs are playing the shadows of kettle drums. They're singing in Ur-Darghab, which I voiced very well I thought!
- Considering this might become a fight, we pack up for the night for now...

Total: 7000 exp

Enemies Defeated:
- Some Dwarf shadows (225 exp)
- Two repurposed angels (500 exp) - A shadow Dwarf (250 exp)
Total: 975 exp

- Kitty the Cartographer & Paymaster (200 exp)
- Ollie the Expedition Leader & Quartermaster (200 exp)
- Tom the Vanguard & Chef (200 exp) - Death's Witness bonus (200 exp ea.)

Exp Totals:

- Kitty / Dorian "Ditto" DeMone, Level 6 Inheritor: 47299 (Level up at 72000)
- Ollie / Jojo Fullbeard, Level 4 Muscle Wizard: 9735 (Level up at 18000)
Level Up! +1d4 HP! +1 Mana! +Free Spell! +2 to Saves! +Backstory! - Tom / Gurny, Level 2 Dwarf: 2734 (Level up at 4000)
Level Up! +1d10 HP! +1 Lorebond! +2 to Saves! +Backstory!

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