Adventure: Grasp of the Emerald Claw
Session: 2007-04-01
Player: Rachel Reddick
PC: Taris
Status: Ninja 1/Swashbuckler 3/Ninja +4

What a day! We continued exploring after meeting the scorpion. Atronach met up with us. He’d gotten bored with watching the prisoners, and considering the amount of fighting we’d been doing, we could use all the help we can get.

We decided to take the other staircase up, letting the gray render zombie (ugh) go first; we saw a group of Emerald Claw soldiers working with some kind of mechanism to open a large door. Xame snuck forward to get a better look, and did just fine since they were all distracted. We decided that the safest course of action was to let them open the door. When they did, a huge wave of water promptly washed out over us. We all were pushed down the stairs; Murani, Eldon and all of the soldiers fell off the temple’s edge. Eldon used feather fall on himself and Murani; the soldiers all perished. Convenient.

Inside was more than knee-deep in water. Anson thought that there must be some connection to the water plane inside, which is where the water kept pouring from. We met some strange sort of undead creature, which looked like a drowned elf. We started to attack it… and it had some sort of aura which made the air like water. I stabbed at it, and a moment or two later, I made the bad move of trying to breathe. The next thing I know, Mike is hauling me out of the water. They had dealt with the undead while I was busy drowning, which made the air breathable again.

We found the sources of water—Mike even went into one, which he said was like a huge ocean—but the only other item of interest was a discovery that Eldon made. He had a flash of insight, and looked through the golden hoop-crystal object we found, and discovered that he could use it to read the glyphs on the ziggurat in this chamber. Something about a parable involving terrible lizards and the names of three dragon constellations. We looked at the other ziggurat, the one of the second floor, and it had another parable and a different three dragons. I wonder how that fits in.

Well, we next went up the stairs to the top. We dealt with the guards at the top, only killing one and tying up the rest. They told us that the rest of the group was divided into two parts in the top level—one part lead by a warforged, and the other part lead by, apparently, a vampire. I hate undead.

Eldon and Xame tried to listen at the first door we came to, and got whacked by a ward for their trouble. It looks like it was just placed there to protect more of the Emerald Claw’s supplies. We found another unoccupied room, and now that we’ve cleaned a skeleton out of the closet, we’re staying here for the night. There is one strange thing about this room, though. There’s a mosaic in here, and if you examine it from the right distance, you can see that the figure in it looks a great deal like a warforged. Except the picture is as old as the temple, I’ll bet. Perhaps the idea of warforged is older than we thought. That’s probably why the schema is here… somewhere.

***

And I thought yesterday was exciting.

We began to continue our exploration of the upper level. We found a very large open-air chamber, with a huge throne in it. Near the throne was a rotund woman, apparently in distress, who said that she was an archaeologist being forced to work for the warforged. She seemed genuine, but the whole setup was suspicious. No one was guarding her…

When we got to what was apparently “close enough,” she ran behind the throne, and stuff started happening. A large group of warforged and zombies came from a hall to our right, and between them, they fired an arrow into Eldon, knocking him out, and another arrow with a bunch of acid, and some caster or another put up a wall of lightning that zapped me and Xame, in addition to blocking our attackers from view. Then this four-armed insectoid undead THING jumped OVER the twenty foot wall! I can jump, but not that well. Eek.

Well, the first thing Mike did was try to go after the woman. I was similarly inclined, but decided that the undead bug should probably be skewered first. I tried to go around it, to be closer to chasing Mike and to leave a line of fire open for everyone else, but the bug managed to get me as I went by. Usually I can dodge that sort of thing, but… oh, dear… well, it stopped me in my tracks. Mother always told me to stand straight, but I don’t think this is what she intended. I couldn’t move, at all. I did get to listen to everything that was going on… until something dropped from above us, and I couldn’t move to avoid it, and I blacked out.

Did I mention that I hate undead?

I think I owe Xame a huge favor. Both Murani and Eldon were killed by the falling object and more acid. I would have been dead as well, several times over, apparently. I’m glad I wasn’t conscious for that. Xame cast some sort of spell on me that kept me from dying, and then he and Anson cast a large number of healing spells.

I should try to get a new set of clothes in Stormreach. The ones I’m wearing now have been slashed by assorted drow, soldiers, and undead, and then soaked in acid for a while. Not really presentable, and not very far from falling apart, either.

By the time I was back on my feet, most of our enemies had been dealt with. Since Eldon was dead, the gray render zombie was out of control and being distracted by Anson’s summoned creatures. I knew having that thing around was a bad idea, even though everyone else says it did a good job at slowing down the other undead. Atronach was dead now, too… killed by Xame. Apparently our artificer was a traitor following the Lord of Blades, and changed sides when things looked worst for us. Horrible. I was sure that he was an example of a warforged who was neither insane nor evil.

In any case, those of us still living were in fairly bad shape. We took a large number of useful objects off of the deceased, and Mike was able to carry back Eldon’s acid-eaten remains. Poor Murani. I hope she and Eldon join the Flame and find peace. I have no such pity for Atronach.

We’re heading back to Stormreach now. We’re having to tow the air skiff, since none of us is sure how to pilot it. Also, Xame managed to blow something up from Eldon’s pack and damage a good fraction of the items we managed to salvage.

We’re in trouble now, in any case. Three of us are dead… one not a real loss… and the Emerald Claw, warforged and company, have free access to the temple while we heal our wounds and try to find more help.

This should only be a temporary setback. We’ll still keep the Lord of Blades from getting the schema and doing who-knows-what with it. I hope.

Player’s Notes

All that, and still just short of 9th level. So much fun stuff that level… sigh… oh well.

I do hope we end up getting the schema somehow. Otherwise, I suspect we’ll end up having to take out the Lord of Blades, which will probably be a pound of cure.

This session was Taris’s turn to play “you can’t kill me… I have cool friends!” instead of Mike. Knocked out twice, whew. And Scott just seems to have no luck with his characters…

Dave—as a thought, you ought to add to your death statistics (I’m guessing this is true)…

Record for most negative hit points survived: Taris (-38)

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