I am called Seoni, Seoni trice cursed if you must, and this is my tale.
This is the third part in the legend that some call Perils on the lost coast. The full story can be found here Not the best laid plans: A Pathfinder Card Game Story
Amiri’s friend and the keeper of the temple summoned us to the temple on the outskirts of sandpoint. I was excited to go and see the monks of the temple, I had heard many things about them. Merisiel saw no point in temples of any kind but went begrudgling as a favor to Amiri. A strange bond had grown between the slender elf and the hulking amazon. Harsk was always up for an adventure, even if not that excited about the long walk.
When we arrived at the temple we meet Sajan. His skin was black as night and he look stranger than any man I had ever met. I had to try hard not to stare. He greeted Amiri as the closest of friends and was politely introduced to the rest of us. He then revealed why he had asked for our help. “Something the local farmers have taken to calling Blank fang has been killing livestock near sandpoint. This temple stands on what use to be a shrine to the false god Lamasthu and there are extensive tunnels beneath the temple. I fear one of Lamasthus children may have made it it’s home. Recently two of our monks have gone missing and the novices fear to walk the temple grounds at night. He must seek out this blank fang and destroy it. I have been investigating and found what looks like a cave but runs deep into the earth. It has a feel of evil about it.”
“We will find and kills your dragon Sajan” says Amiri. “Even if it turn out to be a cave gecko.” Amiri gives Sajan a hard slap on the back but the monk doesn’t flinch. We all head off toward the mouth of the cave with Merisiel in the lead. As Sajan pauses to talk with some monks before leaving a horde of Ancient Skeletons attack the temple steps.
Amiri bashes one with her sword breaking it apart, I grab ahold of the one closest to me, unleashing lighting through it and destroying it. Sajan lays down a large handful of Caltrops as we make our way to catch up with Merisiel.
Merisiel enters the cave mouth into a mass of twisting warrens. She is shot in the chest with a goblin dart, ouch. She grabs the dart and returns the favor, nailing the Goblin commando to the wall of the cave. She then opens a battered chest in the main chamber of the cave and got some items from it, nothing interesting and some holy water next to the chest but she had no interest in that either.
Moving past Merisiel, Harsk goes into a deeper dungeon. A young woman called out time him, “help, help” she said. Harsk rushed to her side and began to untie her, what fiend has done this to you” he asked. “I didn’t catch his name” she growled as she transformed before his eyes into a massive wolf and reached for Harsk’s throat. Harsk shoved his crossbow into the wolves snapping jaw and reaches for his axe. He catches the wolf in the jaw mid-leap with his axe and lets the wolf’s momentum tear into the beast and bring it town. He lops of this wolfs head to make sure the creature is truly dead as it morphs back into the young woman who had ambushed him. Next to the fallen woman is a chest with a crowbar resting on top. Harsk grabs the crowbar and pops open the chest pulling out several strange potions, I will have to shows these to Seoni he thinks.
Moving past Merisiel , Amiri heads down a passageway to the right. She comes to a huge room. She enters with caution. The room is covered in a thick layer of dust and reeks of death and decay. Everything looks long forgotten except the raised altar in the center of the room, in the dappled light of her torch the altar looks to drip with blood.
A man all in black sits kneeling at the altar. He turns a charges at Amiri, creating a cloud of dust in his wake. Amiri parries the cultists clumsy thrust and does a leg sweep to put the man on the ground. As soon as he hits the ground he begs for mercy and says there are goblins everywhere, please save me. As Amiri approaches he grabs a dagger a plunges it into his own heart, blood runs down the floor to the base of the altar.
Distracted by the altar and the cultist she stumbles over a crate and spills its contents. A pair of finely crafted boots spills out and rolls in the dust. She picks up the boots and noting there fine elves make stuffs them in her pack. A goblin charged at Amiri from a secret passage beneath the altar, Amiri runs him through with her bastard sword. More blood for the blood god she thinks.
Moving past Merisiel, Sajan heads into a more ancient part of the catacombs. Here the walls are adorned with ancient runes and the walls look about to collapse with great age. He sees that a group of goblins lie in wait to ambush unsuspecting pray but easily sneaks past them. He then finds a scroll written in some ancient script but it turns to dust as he touches it. A horde of skeleton’s converge on Sajan. He is a whirl of fury as he slams in to the lead skeleton knocking it down and the combined momentum taking the next two skeletons behind them down as well. He grabs a leg bone and swings in a wide arc, sending the bones of three more skeletons flying. As various half skeletons begin to rise to fight again Sajan says a prayer and the demonic energy dissipates as the skeletons fall to the ground around him.
Moving past Merisiel, Seoni heads down a passageway a finds what looks like the goblin idea of a throne room with a huge stone chair in the center and skulls stacked 3 high all along the walls. Several of the skulls where still attached to bodies and fell into a rank and rushed me. I unleashed holy fire that bathed them in blinding light, as the spots cleared from my vision I could see the rooms had been cleansed of any danger.
I left the altar and headed toward the commotion in the dungeon. Amiri and Harsk joined me. We found Sajan battling the skeletons; he was a marvel of deadly speed. We joined the fight and together we easily finished them off. As I was checking that there was no life left in any of the skeletons and I found a strange pair of glasses that give magical sight near a pile of the now long dead bones.
Moving past Merisiel and into the warren was a huge black reptile with glowing green eyes. He moved through the cave with the lithe grace of a snake, squeezing his immense bulk into very narrow passages. Merisiel was caught in the sickly green glow of the dragons eyes as it spit it’s acid breathe toward her. She duck, missing the worse of the blast but globs of the hot sticky stuff hit her armor and she retched from the noxious fumes. She flicked two daggers, hitting the dragon in each eye. It fled down the tunnels deeper into the dungeon. The warrens were clear of trouble for now.
Black fang is not happy to have intruders in his midst of his lair. Death on 4 scaly legs was approaching us unaware while we were locked in battle with the skeletons but unbeknownst to the dragon Merisiel also stalked him. As we were about to leave the dungeon he heard the swoop of leathery wings and the dragon dropped right in front of us. His scales sleek midnight in the torch light. He gave us a toothy grin and spit his breath weapon at us. The acid blast would have struck but just then Merisiel lept from the exit we had been headed towards taking the awful blast full in the chest. We were sure she was dead the acid should have eaten through metal and flesh like butter but her wonderful magic armor drank it in and begged for more. Merisiel shrugged off the armor as quickly as possible, careful to not let delicate flesh come in contact with the foul liquid. Even the fumes were making me light headed but not Merisiel. She unloaded with her darts sending the dragon back while the rest of us now ready for action closed on the overgrown lizard. Black fang seeing he was over matched lept into the air and disappeared through the passage he had come. The Thassilonian dungeon was secure and the hunt was on.
Harsk headed back to the deeper dungeon. He was taken by surprise as a scout hit him hard with an axe. If not for Harsk’s amulet of life to protect him it would have been a mortal blow. The scout thinking he had finished him off never saw the crossbow bolt that toke him between the eyes. The noise of the battle draw a great beast of a goblin, I have heard it called a bugbear. The bugbear rushed at Harsk. No time to reload his crossbow he throw his axe but it bounced of the bug bears shield. Harsk retreated back and reloaded in flight, shooting the goblin point blank in the face with his crossbow.
The rest of use follow Black fang back to the shrine. We are entranced by a Siren’s song but Amiri manages to regain her senses long enough to slice the Siren in two. As we enter the shrine I am struck by the sight. I see a vision of hundreds of creatures, mostly goblins but also stranger beast gathered at the foot of the alter, bowed in worship while a dragon sprays acid over five bound captives, their blood dripping from the alter and there screams driving a spike into my head. The vision was gone in a second and left me clutching myself. Amiri pulled me back to the present and I saw we had a problem, glowing script at the base of the altar is pulling in arcane power and I felt it about to explode. As quick as I could I raised a mystical barrier to protect us as a wave of force knocked us from the room, I had gotten up the barrier just in time to save us from the main force of the blast.
Black fang uses that moment to strike hitting Sajan with his acid breath. I could see the monks skin blister but he fought through the pain and struck the dragon hard. Black fang whipped his tail but Sajan was too fast. Sajan struck again hitting the dragon with a series of rapid short punches. Black fang fled from us once more, moving into a large chamber behind the shrine.
As we entered the crypt Sajan gasped. “This is the sacred vault of monks, where the greatest of my order have been laid to rest as long as we have had a temple here. Lamashtu’s foul beast has desecrated it, I am forbidden to enter the vault but you must drive out Black fang and restore the balance to this place. Sajan retreated to the shrine and found a place to rest.
Now Merisiel led us as we walked among the tombs of the dead. As she is examining one of the crypts and the corpse began to shamble towards here. The zombie was wrapped in dirty rags and covered in maggot ridden boils. It shambles forward and Merisiel strikes it with a hail of daggers barely slowing the abomination. She lands a flying kick, knocking the zombie to the ground. It begins to get back up when Harsk hits it right in the chest pinning it to the wall, it will not be bothering us anymore.
The ground opens up under Merisiel and she tumbles gracefully down a hidden passage. Before her eyes can adjust to the near total darkness she drops to a crouch by the thump of a dagger hitting the wall just inches from her head. She has fallen into the sneaks trap but now that she can see again she disappears into the darkness of the cave, loops around the cave and plunges a dagger into the sneaks back.
The companions have attached a rope to Amiri and he is slowing descending the trap door that swallowed up Merisiel. He gets only a few feet down the passage when he is attacked by a enormous blind cave gecko. The lizard appears from an unseen passage and knocks Amiri to the ground. Amiri raises her short sword but has almost no room to thrust in the narrow passage. She drops the weapon and grabs the lizard by the neck in a choke hold, crushing the geckos neck. The now lifeless carcass blocks the passageway, Amiri backs back out to regroup.
No sooner does Amiri return to the desecrated vault when a tremendous wind plunges the companions into darkness. The beat of dragon wings can be heard over head. A booming laugh fills the crypt as black fang circles above considering his prey. He dives straight at Amiri, drenching her in his acidic spittle. I under a simple spell to relight my tourch and Harsk times his shot. Black fang dive for another pass again and Harsk takes him in the eye as he is about to release another volley of acid. The dragon reals back and break out of his dive, clawing at the bolt a howling in pain.
He does not see Amiri spring onto his back, barely feels the weight of her in his pain. He does feel the bite of her steel as she drives frost pain deep into dragon flesh, burying the sword all the way to the hilt. She drops to the ground, harder than she had planned but uninjured and the dragon plummets into the largest of the vaults crypts, spilling ancient bones and filling the air with a curtain of holy bone dust. I tried not to choke and gave thanks to God in a quick prayer as the bones of a thousand monks re-sanctified this holy place.
Harsk drew a short pick axe from somewhere, I guess all dwarves have one hidden somewhere on their person and cleared the trap passageway of gecko gore so that Merisiel could rejoin the party. “Did you guys find anything fun to do while I was gone” she asks Harsk with a wry smile, un-phased by the mountain of dragon Amiri was retrieving her sword from.
We made are way back to the temple to find a battered but thankful Sajan resting. He thanked us for saving his temple and offered us each a treasure for the temple treasury. I don’t remember all that we got except Harsks magic throwing axe, but that is a legend for another time.
This one was really close, we only had 2 turns left in the blessing deck, Sajan had no life left Seoni had 1 and Amiri had 3. Having to fight black fang 4 times was not the best way to win this adventure. The first 1 could not be helped, the second we could have had all the locations covered but not everyone had gotten a chance to move after closing the temple and the warrens. The thirds was a blown closing roll and the 4 was for the win.
I do understand why some people complain the game is to easy, and with play by experienced gamers maximizing each of their actions it does seem easy. However to be able to win the encounter with my kids and on the edge of defeat was just wonderful, I am very thankful for the experience.